The Doctor looks up from his book as the lights around him dim and frowns for a moment before picking up on the satisfied hum he feels in the back of his mind. He smirks a little as he realises what is happening elsewhere on the TARDIS.
Donna appears some time later — he refuses to try and work out exactly how long or what she might have been doing — and he can’t help noticing that she looks flushed and quite pleased with herself.
“Feel better?” he asks calmly as he turns a page of his book.
She stops dead in the doorway and stares at him. “What — are you talking about?” she demands, clearly changing the subject at the last second in the hope that he isn’t going to take the conversation in that direction.
He smirks a little. If she thinks he’s going to let her get away with that, she’s very much mistaken.
“Increased respiration,” he offers, his eyes still fixed on the book in his hands, although he hasn’t managed to read a single one of the words on the page since the lights went down.
He tells himself that it’s because it’s too dark in here to read.
“Dilated pupils,” he continues, ignoring his own thoughts, “heightened colour around the face and neck, production of particular pheromones.” He winks at her. “Need I go on?”
She comes into the room and drops onto the other end of the couch, moodily crossing her arms over her chest. “You’re a bloody stickybeak,” she grumbles. “Not to mention a pervert! Is there no privacy on this blasted ship?”
“Donna,” he explains patiently, “it’s not a matter of privacy so much as that people in your era are particularly, well, prudish.”
“What, so I suppose your lot did it in the open in front of everyone, did they?” she prompts.
“We-ell,” he admits somewhat uncomfortably, “not quite, no. But we were certainly more willing to talk about it than people from your time are.”
“I see.” She nods, staring at the carpet, clearly deep in thought. “So how did you know what I was doing then?” she asks at last. “I’m sure you’ll deny you were sneaking around and peeping in at keyholes — not that my bedroom door even has one of those!”
“I wasn’t actually,” he agrees, relieved that he doesn’t have to lie. “The TARDIS gave it away.”
“Oh, she did, did she?” Donna shoots back as she glares around the room. “Tattle-tale!”
“She didn’t mean to,” the Doctor explains hurriedly, not wanting to see just what Donna might do to the TARDIS in revenge. “It’s like how you couldn’t hide your physiological reactions when you came in here. She’s the same. She absorbs your feelings and inadvertently let me in on the secret.”
“What, so she was feeling everything I did?” Donna shrieks, her voice rising at least one octave in her indignation.
“When you come on board the TARDIS, she forms a link with you,” the Doctor is forced to admit. “It’s how she translates languages in your head. But it means she’s there for other things, too.”
“Oh.” This logical explanation clearly calms the worst of Donna’s fury, much to the Doctor’s relief. And then, as he reaches over to pick up his tea, which is on a nearby table, her next comment nearly makes him drop the cup onto the floor. “So when you’re having a private moment with your bits and pieces, she’s part of that.”
“Er,” he curses inwardly as he feels himself blush, “yes,” he says at last.
She arches an eyebrow, as if about to ask why, when he’s just told her how much more open he is about sex than she is, he’s reacting this way. That’s not actually a question he wants to consider himself.
Luckily for him, she asks something else instead.
“But then, considering how much more of a link she has to you,” she muses, her eyes fixed on his face, “she’d feel anything you did to yourself even more than me.”
“Probably,” he’s forced to admit, wondering just when he lost the mental supremacy in this conversation.
Donna arches an eyebrow. “I bet she loves it even more when you’re doing it with another person then,” she says, and he can’t help thinking that there’s a glint in her eye.
“Um,” he wriggles uncomfortably, “probably. Yes.”
“So,” Donna says with astonishing calmness, “when we have sex…”
The Doctor chokes violently and spills half of his tea, thankfully on the floor and not on himself. “When we what?!” he demands.
“Well, I’m sorry,” she says with a grin that is verging on a smirk, “but isn’t that why you brought up the conversation in the first place — because you’re in need of some?”
“Some what?” he asks, his mind still racing to catch up with where this conversation is going, before realisation hits. “Oh!”
“Exactly.” She begins to undo the buttons on her shirt before nodding at him. “Well, get on with it, Spaceman. I don’t have all night.”
“B-but,” he can’t help stammering a little, “I thought, w-well — what happened to just mates?”
“Oh, don’t give me that,” she mocks as she pulls the clip out of her hair, which swings loose around her shoulders.
Having her arms above her head gives him an eyeful of her bra and chest. She waits for him to focus on her face again, smirking as warmth floods his face and he realises he’s blushing at having been caught perving at her.
“I heard the tone of your voice when I was talking to Roger in the 1920s,” she goes on when he meets her gaze once more, and whatever he sees in her eyes destroys the last of his resistance to the idea. “At least until you realised that he was more interested in that footman than me,” she finishes.
“Well, I know how you felt when I was talking to River Song,” he shoots back, shrugging out of his jacket. “Don’t try to deny it!”
“I’m denying nothing,” she assures him, before reaching across to pull off his tie. He leans towards her and she slides a hand around behind his neck, drawing him closer. “This is for the TARDIS, right?” she confirms, her lips only a breath away from his.
“For the TARDIS,” he agrees, before kissing her.
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