Donna was well pissed off that he'd left her. She'd only gone to see her family, that wasn't a reason to bugger off to Mars. Probably he was off shagging that tarty River Whatshername. He was going to get a bloody good slap when he got back, that was for sure.

She heard the familiar wheezing-groaning of the TARDIS materialising and spun round. She didn't like to admit to herself that she was a bit relieved that he had come back for her, but she sort of was. She walked up to the blue box, fishing her key out from between her breasts and opening the door with a barrage of abuse ready on her lips.

Only the walls were white, the console was different, and there was a bloke with blonde curly hair standing staring at her like she was an unexpected fish in a pair of knickers.

"How did you get into my TARDIS?" he asked.

"Who the hell are you?" she asked at the same time. She waited for an answer, knowing that she was in the right and that he was probably a murderer.

"I," he said, drawing himself up to what was presumably his maximum height, "am the Doctor."

Fair enough. "Rejennywhatsit, yeah? You're him only you're not him." She looked at him, which involved looking at his coat and then trying to look at his face. "Oh my God, did you die? How did you die? Was it that woman? I knew there was something funny about her."

She rushed over in case he was about to drop dead again.

"And who might you be?"

"It's me, Donna. Donna Noble. Most important woman in the universe. Me." How could he have forgotten her?

"I'm afraid we've never met before. Or rather, you've met me and I've yet to meet you." He seemed very pleased with himself.

"Oh. Are you a younger one, then? Wait, if you're younger then how come you didn't know me when we first met? So you can't be younger." She picked up a spanner that was helpfully lying on the console. "What have you done with him?"

He held up his hands. "The memory cheats. Perhaps you're not a very memorable person."

"I am so memorable!" She nearly hit him with the spanner just for that.

"Arrogant as well, are you?"

Donna waved her spanner threateningly. "Bring the Doctor back right now! What have you done with him?"

"I am the Doctor! I am me and he is me and I am him!"

"The Doctor is a skinny twat and he hides his obnoxious until you know him. You're not him."

"My dear, I am the definitive Doctor. There never has been and never will be a more Doctorly Doctor!"

"Prove it!"

He sighed, which was a dramatic event in itself. He offered her a wrist. "Two hearts, lower body temperature than that furnace you call a body."

Donna checked his pulse with her free hand. It did seem a bit funny, and he was that sort of clammy cold that the Doctor seemed to think of as normal. "Prove it some more," she demanded, just in case.

"How?" He was annoyed, which would fit.

"Erm... what was the Spice Girls' first UK number one?"

"Wannabe."

Donna lowered the spanner. "Fair enough."

The Doctor took the dangerous instrument from her hand. "This sort of crossing of the timelines can be dangerous. Who knows what harm you're doing just by being here?"

"Me? I'm in the present sunshine, you're the one that's got it wrong."

He walked round the console pressing buttons. "Has the TARDIS been here before? This exact spot?"

"Yeah, this is where I left you. Him."

"It might be a simple slip in the vortex. We must have tried to materialise at the same time in the same place," he mused, apparently more for his own benefit than for hers.

"Right, technobabble," she said, with the dismissive tone such nonsense deserved. "How do I get back to the real you?"

He looked up at her like he'd only just noticed she was there. "Oh, easy enough. The future TARDIS should be able to get through once I leave. The ripples in time might explain why the future me didn't remember meeting you now." Again, talking to himself. What a wanker. Yeah, had to be the Doctor, didn't he?

"Have we finished expositing?"

"I should think so, yes." He seemed to find it amusing somehow.

"Right. Look, I don't want to be rude, but are you colour-blind?"

"Certainly not!"

"So... you know what that coat looks like? You realise that none of you matches the rest of you?"

He tugged his lapels. "This is quite the fashion statement."

"It's a statement alright. 'Look at me, I'm a looney.'"

"Are you always this rude?"

"Are you always this... wait, I know that. You are." She looked at the coat again, though it had been hard to stop looking at it in the first place. "Buy yourself a nice suit. Or a suit, at any rate. And some trainers."

"Trainers with a suit?" He looked shocked and appalled.

"Yeah, you don't really get that much better at dressing yourself."

"Am I... ginger?" he asked, a hopeful and surprisingly boyish expression on his face.

She shook her head. "Better luck next time."

He sighed. "I suppose it was too much to hope for." He shook himself from his sad reverie. "Still, this body isn't too bad." He stretched his arms out and smiled at her.

Donna looked at him critically. "Yeah, you've got a bit of weight on you. My you looks like he'd snap in a strong wind."

"What I wouldn't do for that metabolism," he muttered.

Donna patted his arm, only slightly awkwardly. "You look fine. Sort of... cuddly. I used to worry about my weight," she confided, "but what matters is confidence. You seem to have that in spades. Really big spades."

He smiled. "I do have a certain self-assurance."

"That you do." She stood there awkwardly for a bit. "Well, I'll be off then."

"Nice to meet you, I'm sure we'll get along famously."

"Very famously," she agreed. "Household god famously, even."

That seemed to please him. "Really?"

Donna nodded. "It's not exactly useful, but it's a nice story to tell down the pub." She paused, thinking surprising thoughts. "Are you sure you won't remember this?"

"You seem to think that I won't. I wouldn't know, I haven't been me yet."

"...right. Only..."




"You... had sex with an earlier me?"

"Yeah." Telling him was probably a mistake, but who else was going to believe her?

"And I don't remember it?"

"Thank God."

"Was it good?"

"I've had better."

"Oh." He looked more or less like she'd expect after a revelation like that. "Well, that's..."

"I'm not going to shag the you you," she said, stopping that thought in its tracks.

"Right," he said, a bit hurt.

"I don't want you swanning about telling everyone that we've slept with each other. Not with details, anyway. Not anything that'd prove you weren't a total liar." She sat down on the seat by the console. "How was your girlfriend?"

"She's not my girlfriend," he said, quickly.

"Seeing her again?"

"Maybe." He flicked switches in a way that looked suspiciously random.

Donna took pity on him. "Just so you know..."

"Yeah?"

"Other you? Had a really nice arse."