Donna stands there, staring down at the Doctor.
It’s kind of cute, she has to admit, seeing him draped over the couch, his eyes closed and his lips slightly parted, breathing deeply and slowly. She had made a few less-than-subtle remarks about how she was afraid of going into the library in case the dust-bunnies attacked her or something, so he had gone to clean up.
It was probably the silence that made her go and look for him.
After all, when he first stomped off, she’d had to put up with him singing Pink Floyd and the Beatles at the top of his lungs for the first fifteen minutes.
That was when she had discovered that he was completely tone-deaf, at least in this incarnation.
Then, presumably after picking up the various items in his rock collection to remove the dust of ages, he had begun telling her about the history and adventure associated with every single one of them.
Finally she had managed to block out the sound of his voice and concentrate on painting her toenails before giving herself a long-overdue manicure.
But once the polish was dry, she realised she couldn’t hear his voice anymore and so she’d gone to look for him.
And now she finds him lying on his back, glasses half-way down his nose and a cloth hanging loosely between fingers that are dangling down towards the floor.
She rescues the duster without him reacting and then manages to ease off his glasses without waking him.
For a while, she thinks about leaving him there, but she can’t help remembering his denials that he never sleeps.
Besides, she’s a little suspicious of the strange twitches his face keeps making.
She picks up the feather duster lying on the coffee table and plucks out one of the long, fine feathers that come from an alien bird-like creature whose name she can’t remember now.
Kneeling down behind his head, she brushes the edges of the feather across the skin at his hair line.
A minute frown appears on his brow, but it smooths away almost instantly.
She brushes the feather on the skin just above his lip and watches his nose wrinkle as if in response.
Her next target is his eyelid. His lids flicker as she sweeps the soft downy part of the feather over his lashes and she waits until his face goes lax again before trying it several more times.
A giggle rises in her throat and she struggles not to make a sound, almost choking with the effort so that she has to get up and walk away from the couch.
Creeping back, she sees that his head is slightly deeper into the cushion, exposing his throat. She’s never had a fancy for this particular part of the body, but she has to grin as she smooths the feather across his Adam’s apple and watches it bob as he gives a reflexive swallow.
The Doctor frowns slightly and turns his head to one side to face her, although his eyes remain closed.
She strokes the fold of his ear, back and forth, so that the feather only just brushes his skin.
He mutters something under his breath and shakes his head, lazing lifting a hand to wave her away.
Finally she wafts the very tip of the feather back and forth across his nostrils. His breathing becomes erratic and then his eyes fly open as he gives an enormous sneeze that jerks him into an upright position.
“I was sleeping!” he protests indignantly.
“You told me you never sleep,” she shoots back with a grin as she sees he’s far too alert to have been so suddenly woken up.
“You told me something, too,” he says, suddenly taking a step towards you. “You said you weren’t ticklish.” He arches an eyebrow, a knowing expression on his face that makes her instinctively cross her arms over her stomach. “Let’s put that little theory to the test, shall we?”
And as he gives a mock-menacing growl, she shrieks and flees.
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