Fandom(s): Doctor Who (modern)
Characters: AU - Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, Sylvia Noble, Wilfred Mott, Lance Bennett, Nerys
Pairing(s): Tenth Doctor/Donna Noble
Rating: R (well, probably more PG-13)
Genre: Sci-fi, adventure
Summary: Original AU. A normal human in a world in which a handful of individuals have suddenly developed superpowers, Donna lives her mundane life whilst always keeping one eye to the skies to catch a glimpse of the city's new heroes.
Word count (chapter): 1881
Five months later...
“What do you think? Does it look all right?” Jon asked as he balanced the last biscuit atop the carefully arranged pyramid in the center of the platter.
“Perfect!” Donna beamed as she swept by with a handful of silverware and plucked the biscuit from right in front of him and popped it in her mouth. “Looks great and tasty, too,” she announced through a mouthful of crumbs.
“Oi! That was the capstone!” He grabbed the packet from the counter to check it for an extra biscuit.
Donna laughed, rolling her eyes. “Engineers!” She began setting out the place settings on the dining table. “There’s too much food, you know. It’s just Mum and Gramps, and Mum won’t let him touch most of this.”
Spinning to lean back against the counter, Jon fiddled with the crinkly plastic. “I just want them to know I can take care of you.”
Exasperated, she shook her head. “I am not a puppy they’re giving away, Jon.”
With a sheepish grin, he shrugged and binned the packet. “Yeah, but your mum’s not going to be happy with you moving into a place like this.”
Donna glanced around his flat, one of a number built in a converted warehouse. The tall windows and soaring ceiling made the atmosphere airy and bright, but the outer walls were naked brickwork, the original pipes still running up from the floor through the ceiling at irregular intervals, giving it a dirty industrial feel. Jon was right: Sylvia would turn her nose up at it. To be honest, he’d done a good job of furnishing the place more stylishly than Donna would have expected from him, but it wasn’t going to be enough to sway her mother’s opinion. It didn’t help that the area under the metal staircase leading up to his bedroom was currently stacked with boxes and objects he was moving out of his former study to provide a room for her.
“Mum’s not going to be happy no matter where we we live. We could live in Buckingham Palace and she’d complain that the drawing rooms are too small,” she drawled, affecting an aristocratic accent for the last phrase of her declaration and fanning herself with her hand. “But you don’t need to get her to agree. It’s my decision to move in with you.”
As Jon took the platter of biscuits and set it on the coffee table near their mugs of tea, Donna strode to the window and lifted his violin from the rack on the wall next to the music stand. “This.” Holding it gingerly by its polished body, she looked it over. “This’ll get her. Mum’ll always fall for the posh pretentious music snob.”
“Oh!” In a moment, Jon was by her side, taking the instrument from her to quickly tune it, snatching the bow from the rack. “What should I play for her then? Something Russian, you think? I’ve got Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.” Dropping the instrument back in its home, he was halfway up the wall and about to leap from a pipe to the top of the stair before Donna could call him back.
“Jon! Come back here! I was joking.” Reversing on a dime, he somersaulted and landed next to her, and she reached out to squeeze his arm. “I mean, yeah, Mum’ll love that, but… Come on, you know she likes you. Always has, and she loves that you’ve been coming over to see Gramps as much as for me.”
Scratching at the back of his neck, Jon glanced over at the door. “Well, that’s going to end right quick tonight.”
“You don’t have to tell her.”
He didn’t move, but his wide brown eyes twitched to look at her, dark and serious. “No, I do. It’s time.”
Donna tugged gently on his arm. “Come on. Everything’s ready. Come relax.” Leading him to the sofa, she sat down and pulled him down next to her, then picked up her tea.
“Let me warm that up for you?” Jon reached a tentative hand towards the cup, his long fingers twitching nervously, making Donna bite back a giggle. He was still sweet, shy Jon.
“That’d be lovely.”
Taking the mug from her, he stared absently at it as he held it in both hands. “I think this is the right time to come clean with them. They’ve had time to get to know me. Now they need to meet the other me. They need to know what I do, and they need to understand the dangers.”
Donna sighed. “In a way, I’d rather you didn’t. You’ll confirm everything Mum’s ever said about primes. She still doesn’t trust you all.”
“She’s right, you know.” When Donna frowned at him, surprised at his statement, he peered up at her and nodded. “Everything she said about us at your party, she was right. We need to be controlled.”
“You heard that?” She immediately snorted at herself. “Oh, I’m daft. Of course you did. You really think you should give up your freedom?”
“It’s not freedom, Donna.” He very deliberately pronounced, “Licence,” his tongue flicking visibly. “We’re given licence to do whatever we want because it hasn’t really dawned on anyone that we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re as dangerous as a gun or a car in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to use one.” He shrugged. “But that doesn’t matter. Your mum’s going to hate me after tonight.”
“I don’t think so. It’s not the same, you know.” She shook her head at the question in his eyes. “All this Downer stuff. It’s easy to say ‘get out of England’ when you’re talking about them over there. But when it’s a real person, when it’s a friend, it’s different.”
“Maybe, but I think you’re overestimating your mother’s regard for me.”
“You’re the first boyfriend of mine she’s liked in a long time,” she pointed out. “Maybe ever.”
Jon stared at her, his head cocked in disbelief. “Not Lance? He was quite a catch, head of HR with a prime flat right in the city. Better than a loner engineer living in a warehouse in Acton any day.”
“Nah! He was too posh,” she crowed as she rolled her eyes. Puffing herself up, she imitated Sylvia’s nasal whine. “‘Man like that, he doesn’t need you. He’s only keeping you around for practice.’ Turns out she was right,” she admitted in her own voice, shrugging.
“Donna, you know that’s not true,” he chided her with a gentle, low voice.
“Yeah, I know. But,” and she patted him on the arm, “Mum likes you and you’ll be fine. And anyway, she can’t stop me from being with you.”
“No, she can’t.” He sniffed. “But I want us to have her approval.”
“Yeah,” she agreed with a dreamy sigh. “That’d be nice. But it’ll be okay. You’ll see.”
“Here.” He handed her back her tea. “Be careful. I think it’s a bit too hot.”
As Jon picked up his own cup and cradled it in his hands, Donna took a careful sip. “No, it’s perfect. Thanks.” Taking a longer drink, she placed the mug back on the table and leant on Jon’s shoulder, then frowned. “You’re buzzing.”
She drew back to look him over. He was tense, but not jittery. “You been letting off steam?”
“Yeah. For about an hour before you got here.” He shrugged. “Had to. Let it go on and I’m like a five-year-old after two cans of pop. I’d be going out of my mind right about now.”
“Climbing the walls?” she asked with a playful jab in his ribs.
“Literally,” he replied, nudging her back.
“You know,” she began, patting his denim-clad leg, “you’d get a lot more freedom of movement with more flexible clothing. You should keep that in mind as you design your costume.”
“I am not going to wear a ‘costume’,” he spat at her, crossing his arms in indignation, “and I’m certainly not going to wear spandex!”
“You’d look gorgeous in it.” Leaning away, she looked him over from head to foot. “Let’s say, a nice deep blue like your mask. Maybe some silver trim here and here to bring out your shoulders.”
As the colour began to rise on his cheeks, Jon curled in on himself, the arms across his chest becoming a shield against her scrutiny. “I’d look like someone wrapped a broomstick in a party balloon,” he mumbled.
“You’ve got to have an image,” Donna urged, “so the bad guys quake in their boots when they see you coming.”
“You know that’s not how I work,” he grumped.
“There’s gotta be something unique about it, make you stand out. How about a bright red fez?” she suggested, managing to keep a tolerably innocent expression.
He glared at her. “I would never, ever, in a dozen lifetimes, wear a fez.”
“Maybe,” and a sly grin curved her lips, “but I did take your mind off my mum for a moment. You know, she isn’t that bad, really.”
He drew back, looking her over with one eyebrow arched high. “You are Donna Noble, daughter of Sylvia Noble, aren’t you? I mean, you must be, because you’re beautiful as ever, but you’ve obviously gone spare.”
“Put a sock in it, flea boy.” She punched him on the arm. “Really, Mum won’t be that bad. She’ll understand eventually. Besides, you did just fine when you told Nerys, and she can be a right nightmare.”
Jon wagged a finger at her. “The woman who holds the noose around my job and career is nowhere near as scary as your mother. And I knew that she’d be reasonable, once she knew the reason behind all my failures and we could work on stopping them.”
“Did you ask if you can use your powers for your work?”
“No. Thought about it, but I figured if I did, I’d have to come out to the whole company. Not ready for that. Don’t think I ever will be.” He glanced up with a slight frown. “Someone’s at the main door. Two people. That’s them.” He gulped down his tea as he popped up and grabbed Donna’s cup to take them into the kitchen. “Glah! That was still cold. And, oh, my hair! Forgot my hair!” Dumping the tea things in the sink, he crossed the room in two leaps using the kitchen island as a springboard as Donna called after him that his hair was fine.
“Calm down, Ears!” she groaned as he disappeared into the toilet and the intercom buzzed at the same time. Shaking her head, she got up and crossed to the speaker by the door, punching the “Talk” button as she spoke into it. “Hoy, Mum. When the door buzzes, you can pull it open.”
“Right-o!” came Wilf’s squawky reply.
As Donna released the door, Jon appeared next to her, his eyes wide and panicked. He smoothed down his shirt and stood wringing his hands. Donna stretched up to peck him on the cheek. “You’ll be fine, love. You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” He smiled down at her. “I love you, Donna.”
“Go get’em, Doctor.” Snaking an arm around his waist, she hugged him to her side, then pulled the door open to welcome their guests.
Author's Note: Thank you so very much for reading!