“She doesn’t feel like a ‘Julie,’” Donna complains as she strokes a hand over her swollen belly and looks across the table at where the Doctor is leafing through a baby name book. “‘Mary’ doesn’t really fit her either.”
“You’ve said that about every single name in here,” the Doctor retorts, tossing the maltreated volume onto the table and folding his arms rather grumpily across his chest.
“It’s not my fault she’s taking after her father in refusing to give me a name,” Donna shoots back, although she can’t hide a half-smile as she waits for the usual lecture about the power of names. She’s heard it with increasing frequency over the past few months, ever since a visit to Earth and a quick pop in to her local GP had confirmed what severe bouts of morning sickness and a distinct tightness of clothing around her waist had suggested — that she was properly up the duff.
The challenge of finding a name for their pending infant Time Lady had provided to be the biggest difficulty yet. After all, finding a room they could set up for the baby was easy — there were plenty of empty spaces on board the TARDIS. Sylvia had been thrilled to break out all of Donna’s old nursery furniture, and after the ultrasound told them that a mini-Donna was on the way, she swiftly added piles of pink baby clothes to the growing heap in the middle of the soon-to-be-nursery.
“I’m not going there again,” says the Doctor rather wearily, referring, Donna knows, to the discussion about names — his, in particular.
“Probably good, because I already know it off by heart,” she agrees. “Why don’t you go and get that other book out of the nursery and we can see if there are any new suggestions in it that weren’t in the last five?”
“While I’m gone, you’re not allowed to eat the custard,” he warns, standing up and nodding at the stove where a saucepan is warming up the one food Donna has craved more than any other. “It’s not cooked enough yet and it will only give you a bellyache, like it did yesterday.”
Donna grumbles under her breath, but knows he’s right. She does check on it to make sure it’s not boiling, but heroically resists licking the spoon. Dropping back into her seat, she leafs through the book again, looking up in time to see the Doctor re-enter the room, a puzzled look on his face.
“Have you been getting up in the middle of the night again?” he asks, leaning against the table beside her. “I told you to wake me if you couldn’t sleep, Donna.”
She looks up at him in confusion. “No, I’ve been sleeping pretty well ever since the morning sickness finished. What are you talking about?”
“I’ll show you.” He turns off the stove and then takes her hand, leading down the hall in the direction of the nursery. Donna frowns as he opens the door and gestures at her to lead the way inside. “Take a look,” he tells her.
Glancing warily at him, Donna enters the room, but stops short in the doorway to stare at the completed room. The walls, with blue backgrounds, are adorned with characters from well-known fairy tales from Earth and other planets. The cot is made up with blue covers. Stuffed toys appealing to boys are lined up on the top of the dresser. A nightlight casts shadows of trains and cars onto the walls.
The tins of pink paint that they had ready have disappeared, as have the dolls and other traditionally girly toys that Sylvia was so pleased to hand to her daughter in readiness for this baby.
“Bad luck, old thing,” the Doctor teases, stroking a hand down the blue wall. “You must have some wires crossed. We know this baby is going to be a girl.”
“We might as well leave this as it is though,” says Donna. “After all, blue doesn’t have to be for a boy. We’ll just have to make sure Mum doesn’t see this room or she’ll never let us hear the end of it considering her stubborn thoughts on the matter.”
“We are not having your mother on board my TARDIS,” snaps the Doctor, taking her hand and guiding her out of the room, closing the door behind him. “Come on, I’ve got that other book. Let’s go and see what other names we can find - girls’ names,” he adds meaningfully.
“Yes, and I want that custard,” agrees Donna. “I just hope the TARDIS hasn’t hidden those old toys of mine in a place we’ll never find them. I’ll want to play with them with our daughter.”
“Oh, me, too.” The Doctor looks pointedly at the ceiling. “With our daughter.”
Five months later, the TARDIS tries very hard not to hum too smugly when Donna and the Doctor unexpectedly have to find male names they like instead.
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