“Well, that’s a lie to start with,” Donna complains, placing her knife and fork neatly on her empty plate. “It can’t possibly.”
“It does though,” the Doctor contradicts her, pushing his own cleared plate away. “Everything.”
“It can’t,” she tells him. “Not even the TARDIS can have everything.”
“Does,” he declares, folding his arms across his chest and pouting.
“God, you’re like a kid sometimes,” she objects, rolling her eyes.
“Donna, I’m a Time Lord,” he reminds her impatiently. “I command respect and admiration and deference and reverence and... and... and...”
“You’re dribbling on your tie.”
Startled, he looks down to see his tie neatly tucked away under his jacket, returning his eyes gaze to her face in time to see her smirk.
“Made you look.”
The Doctor leaps to his feet, towering over Donna, and moves to grab her arm. He distinctly sees her cringe away and suddenly realises how threatening his position must seem. After all, she’s only been back with him for a few hours, and the last time they met, she did admit to being afraid of him. And now he’s looming over her...
He instantly rocks back on his heels, seeing as she relaxes, and grins in his most persuasive manner, holding out his hand and wriggling his fingers in an inviting gesture.
“Come on!” he says cheerfully.
Donna eyes him in a way that reminds him of the moment when, after he had regenerated, he said something similar to Rose.
“I want to show you,” he explains rather more quietly. “You name it, we’ll find it.”
“Is that a promise?” she demands, standing up and taking his hand.
“Yup!” He beams, giving her fingers a gentle squeeze. “What will it be first?”
“Hmm.” She thinks for a moment. “I reckon you’ll have all the normal rooms — bedrooms and dining room and whatnot.”
“’Course,” he agrees with a nod, hoping she won’t want to see the dining room since it was a bit of a mess last time he looked.
“And you claim to be a Doctor,” she adds, casting a teasing look in his direction, “so I suppose you’ll have a laboratory or something to show off your skills.”
“Actually, I do,” he agrees. “Want to see?”
“Oh, go on then!”
The Doctor is relieved to find that the laboratory is much as he left it last time he saw it — which he thinks might have been back in his second incarnation actually. Good to know he hadn’t left the Bunsen burner on during that last visit. He did have moments of being a bit absent-minded back then, or so he liked people to believe.
“What else do you want to see?” he asks once she’s satisfied.
Donna rolls her eyes. “Well, despite being alien, you’re still just a bloke,” she tells him, hurrying on before he can get indignant, “so I’d guess you’ve got somewhere to do all that tinkering — apart from the console room, I mean. Putting stuff together. You’d want a room for that.”
“Of course,” he agrees, deciding not to take issue just yet with her accusation about being ‘just a bloke.’ Instead he finds the tool-room and shows his companion around, just as he did last time he was here, about three incarnations ago.
“Tell you what I bet you don’t have,” Donna declares almost triumphantly once she has seen all there is to see in that room. “A pool!”
“Aha!” He knows she’ll be impressed by this one.
It takes them twenty minutes, but they find it in the end. He’d always thought it was next to the library, but apparently the TARDIS has decided to move it around. The room’s not white, like it was the last time he saw it, but the pool itself is still there.
“Voila,” he announces, his arms wide, gesturing at the pool. “Told you…”
“Don’t you dare!” She points an accusing finger at him. “There is no way I’m letting the words ‘I told you so’ cross those lips of yours, mate. Not until I actually agree that this TARDIS really does have everything.”
“Hmph,” he grumbles. “Get on with it then.”
She reels off a list of unlikely rooms — unlikely to her anyway — beginning with a greenhouse and ending with a boot-cupboard. He proudly shows them all to her, trying not to look too smug at the disappointment on Donna’s face each time one of her suggestions is met with success.
“Tell you what,” he says when she seems to run out of ideas, at the same time as a rather naughty thought occurs to him, “I’ll show you some things you probably haven’t even thought of yet. Sound good?”
“Yeah, go on then,” she agrees, looking rather more cheerful.
“Hmm.” He looks up and down the hallway and finds what he’s looking for — a non-descript door that most people pass without even noticing it. “Aha, yes, that one!”
“What is it?” Donna asks as they stop in front of it.
“Take a look,” he tells her obligingly.
Donna unsuspiciously pokes her head into the dark space.
“I don’t see anything,” she complains, and then, as the Doctor had always known she would, sneezes violently.
And then again.
He’s getting worried by the eighth sneeze.
And by the twelfth, he’s no longer amused at having asked her to look in the cupboard where the TARDIS hides the dust bunnies.
In fact, he’s more than worried as he sees that her face is as red as her hair.
She slaps him in between the sixteenth and seventeenth sneeze.
He thinks he probably deserved it.
She calls him an idiot — breathlessly — after the nineteenth one.
He certainly deserves that.
And there’s an awfully long moment of silence after the twenty-third sneeze. He stares at the floor and she glares at him as she recovers her breath.
“Well, I know one thing the TARDIS doesn’t have,” she exclaims at last in an air of triumph, wiping her streaming eyes with the handkerchief he has sheepishly offered her.
“Oh?” The Doctor leans against the nearby wall, his arms folded over his chest, trying and failing to look innocent. “And what’s that then?”
She pokes him in the chest. “A vacuum cleaner!”
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