“Oh and you'd better put this on,” the Doctor tells Donna, reaching for her hand.
“Oh, d’you have to rub it in?” she complains, and only then does he remember the human habit of wearing wedding bands on that finger.
“No engagement ring?” he asks somewhat thoughtlessly as he slides on the plain gold band of the biodamper.
“Lance hadn’t found the right one,” she says defensively. “He said he wanted to find the piece of ice that would be just right for me.”
“Diamonds!” Donna rolls her eyes. “Bling, you know!”
“Strange,” he muses.
“Romantic!” she snaps back.
They skid to a halt when confronted by the head of Adipose and two guards with semi-automatic weapons.
“Well then,” Miss Foster says coldly as she removes her glasses, “at last.”
“Hello,” Donna says.
“Nice to meet you,” the man beside her puts in. “I'm the Doctor.”
“And I'm Donna,” that woman adds. “Nice reception you give people here.”
“We do our best to be polite,” Miss Forster assures them.
“Actually, I’d call it chilly,” Donna offers, glancing at the men holding the guns.
“Positively icy,” the Doctor corrects as they exchange glances.
“Partners in crime,” the other woman sneers.
She doesn’t notice the burns from their adventures beneath Pompeii until the Doctor takes her into the kitchen.
“Why is it green?” Donna demands as the Doctor applies what looks like an ice pack to her red, throbbing palms.
“It’s not normal, human ice,” he says. “It’s something long and complicated, which you’d ask me to repeat several times if I actually told you.”
“In other words,” Donna corrects him, relieved that the burning sensation is easing, “you can’t be bothered making something up.”
“No!” he protests, and then catches her eye and looks sheepish. “Well, maybe just a bit.”
She steps outside, her feet crunching on something soft, her hands clutching her upper arms in self-preservation.
“I’ve got the word,” she declares. “Freezing!”
The Doctor follows her outside, and she can almost feel the glee he’s exuding. “Snow!” he announces in delight. “Aw, real snow! Proper snow at last! That’s more like it, lovely. What do you think?”
What does she think? What does she think?! She thinks that where there’s snow, there’s ice, and where there’s ice, there’s her on her bum in an undignified manner, her legs and arms going every which way. That’s what she thinks!
“Didn't take you long to replace me then,” Martha says as Donna appears.
The Doctor jumps in before Donna can speak, and she hears the discomfort in his voice.
“Now, don't start fighting,” he pleads. “Martha, Donna. Donna, Martha. Please don't fight, can't bear fighting.”
She wonders what’s happened to prompt this reaction from him, but perhaps she should just be thankful that he didn’t drop her off somewhere before he came here.
“You wish,” Donna mocks, and then steps forward to shake Martha’s hand, smiling as warmly as she can to break the ice. “I've heard all about you.”
“You belong here, with them,” the Doctor growls, and Donna glares at him.
“She belongs with us,” she argues vociferously. “With you. She's your daughter!”
Clearly that argument cuts no ice with him. “She's a soldier,” he snarls. “She came out of that machine!”
“Oh yes, I know that bit!” she retorts, wishing she could grab him and shake some sense into him. “Listen, have you got that stethoscope?” He hesitates, clearly startled by her request. She holds out a hand impatiently. “Give it to me. Come on!”
“What're you doing?” Jenny asks anxiously.
“It’s all right,” Donna reassures her.
“But one must be sure with the Unicorn on the loose.”
“A unicorn?” the Doctor says gleefully, exchanging delighted glances with Donna. “Brilliant! Where?”
“The Unicorn,” Lady Eddison corrects him. “The jewel thief. And nobody knows who he is. He's just struck again. Snatched Lady Babbington's pearls right from under her nose,” she goes on as the footman presents their drinks.
“A funny place to wear pearls,” Donna suggests softly as she takes her glass off the tray.
The ice in the Doctor’s glass clinks gently as he nods in agreement and raises his lime and soda to his lips.
“You don't have a suit,” she points out, “so you're in just as much danger as I am and I'm not leaving!”
Somehow she knows what he’s going to do. She’s not taken in by his reply of “Donna! Let me explain.”
The world around her dissolves and she feels a deep sense of betrayal that he would try to get rid of her like that, even under the guise of saving her.
When she finds him again, he’s going to be on such thin ice with her that he’ll need to grovel for a week!
And then she forgets.
“This is insane!” Donna declares as she glances out of the window at massive blocks of what looks like ice.
“That’s stone,” the Doctor says, waving his free hand, his other hand clutching her fingers as she wobbles. “This,” he gestures to the rink around them, “is ice.”
“I am aware of that,” she says bitterly. “Why did I want to come here again?”
He grins. “To relax,” he replies.
“And am I relaxing?” she demands, before her feet slide out from under her and she lands on her back.
The Doctor arches an eyebrow. “Looks pretty relaxed to me!”
The Doctor stares at her. “You don’t want to go shopping?” he demands. “Seriously?”
“Nope.” She shrugs, smoothing her fingers over the console.
“Donna,” his voice is serious, questioning, curious, “why?”
“It’s just,” she looks up at him, speaking faster as the words flow “I can shop anywhere, you know. Even if it’s an alien market. But all those other places you could take me — I can’t do that with anyone else.”
A grin works its way across his face and his hand finds the gears. “All right!” he says in obvious delight. “That idea's on ice then. Allons-y!”
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