“Five of a kind?”
The Doctor’s head suddenly snaps up and he glares at his companion, who is sitting opposite him at the kitchen table, savouring the last of the chocolate mousse she had made the previous day.
“How on Zaqtin did you manage five of a kind?”
Donna arches an eyebrow, her lips quirking in amusement, and slowly licks the spoon. “Everything that happened that night and all you can remember is me getting five of a kind?”
He shrugs, trying not to blush or grin too widely. Unfortunately he fails in both endeavours and can feel his cheeks glowing. “Well, it has been a week,” he says. “I’ve, you know, processed everything else.”
“I bet you have, Spaceman.” She smirks. “I just bet you have.”
There’s a moment of silence while Donna scoops up another mouthful of the mousse and begins licking it very delicately off the spoon. The Doctor considers reminding her that she wasn’t that gentle when she was licking it up the previous evening, but decides that that will send the conversation in a very different direction from the way he wanted it to go — or that it would end the conversation entirely and start something very different. Which would be kind of fun. Well, a lot of fun, really. But, again, not what he wanted to talk about right now.
“So where did the five of a kind come from?”
Donna rolls her eyes. “Are you really that vague? Didn’t you not notice that the backs of the cards were different colours?”
“We were playing with two packs, Doctor.”
He stares at her for a long moment before exploding. “Why, you — you cheating — ”
He points at her accusingly. “You — you cheat, too!”
“Too?” Donna arches an eyebrow. “So you finally admit that you cheat?”
“I don’t — I — not like that!”
She snorts loudly.
“I see, so cheating is something done by anybody else, but never by a Time Lord!”
“Exactly!” He beams, glad she got it so quickly.
Donna grins. “Come on then, Spaceman. Maybe we can both get through a game without cheating this time. Poker again?”
He quirks an eyebrow. “TARDIS rules again?”
“Unless you’ve found the chips.” She chuckles in a way that he suspects is more than just amusement at his habit of misplacing his belongings.
The Doctor goes over to the games cupboard, which has conveniently appeared in the corner, and opens the doors. “Or would you rather play Scrabble? Or Twister?” He grins. “Jack likes Twister.”
“I bet he does,” comes Donna’s retort from the bench, where she’s apparently making more drinks.
“Go a little easier on the alcohol this time, please,” he tells her, before turning back to the cupboard. “What about Monopoly then? Or Trivial Pursuit?”
“I’d prefer a game we could finish this millennium, thanks,” comes the sarcastic reply.
“Yeah, all right.” Donna comes across to the table and sets down a tray that holds two full jugs and two glasses.
“Brilliant!” The Doctor picks up the pack of Uno cards and joins her, sitting opposite and eying the jug somewhat suspiciously. “What is it this time?”
“Or banana milkshake. Can’t quite remember which.”
“And yours?” he asks, putting on his glasses to get a closer look at the vividly blue liquid with ice floating on top.
“Blue Hawaii.” She shrugs as he stares at her amazement. “Hey, I get a bit tired of sidecars all the time.”
He can’t help being a bit suspicious, as he didn’t think she liked pineapple. Leaving her to deal out the cards, he pours their respective drinks, but then grabs her glass before she can take it and sips the contents, slamming it back down onto the table with a howl of victory and sloshing the contents all over the cards and the table.
“It’s water again! Water and food colouring! You were trying to do exactly the same thing as last time!” He grins. “Hah! I caught you!”
Donna smiles smugly. “Well, I don’t know about Gallifrey or anywhere else in the universe, but on Earth, they advise pregnant women not to drink alcohol.”
The Doctor peers over the top of his glasses at her. “Well, yes, that’s very sensible advice, of course. Alcohol can cause all sorts of… problems… if you’re… preg…”
He stares at her, his lower jaw hanging loose, as if someone has disconnected it from the rest of his face. Then his mouth works for a moment or two without sound.
“Wh — ugh — what?” he finally manages to get out.
“Martha said to say ‘hello’,” she tells him. “Now, are we going to finish this game or not?”
The Doctor stops on the threshold of the room that used to contain his collection of pinball machines, but which now holds three small, pink bassinettes. Inside those are three small, cool-to-warm bundles (because they inherited his physical features, including the whole thing with the two hearts and the lower than normal body temperature) with tufts of, to his absolute delight, ginger hair.
“You know, it could fall out and grow in brown,” Donna teases from behind him.
“It wouldn’t!” he exclaims in horror, much too loudly, and then learns his first lesson of fathering a newborn when all three babies open their brown eyes and pink mouths simultaneously, letting out wails that make his hearts ache.
“Oh, no! Please!” He rushes from one cradle to another, but with no idea how to stop them. “Don’t cry! How do I — just, please, don’t!”
He looks back over his shoulder to where Donna is standing in the doorway, a smirk on her face and a teasing look in her eyes.
“What do I do?!”
“Oh, sit down there, you prawn,” she tells him, pointing at the rocking chair bought for them by Wilf and Sylvia, “and hold out your arms.”
He gapes at her for a moment, watching as she goes to the first crib and picks up their oldest daughter — by nine minutes — hushing her cries instantly.
“I said sit down,” she reminds him, without even having looked over her shoulder to see that he's still standing.
“Okay, okay.” He does as she tells him, about to ask what she wants, when she puts a pillow on his lap and gently places Sarah on it.
The Doctor looks down into his daughter’s eyes and smiles, sliding his finger into her chubby fist and feeling as she holds on with the surprising strength of a new baby.
“You know, Donna,” he starts telling her about the instinct that means a baby can almost support its own weight when he finds that the pillow on his lap now also contains baby Jane and that Donna is approaching with little Rose, the youngest of the triplets, in her arms.
“Just, for once in your life, shut up, will you, Spaceman?”
He’s about to argue with her when she puts Rose on the other side of baby Sarah and he’s struck down at the sight of his children on his lap.
“Well,” Donna steps around behind the chair and rests her chin on the top of his head, looking down at their family, “I suppose we really are five of a kind now, aren’t we?”
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