“Donna Noble, you’re a genius!”
The Doctor pulls Donna into a very enthusiastic hug. He wraps his arms around her, drawing her in close, and then he leans backwards, lifting her off the floor and spinning the two of them around.
She yelps, “Put me down!” and he lowers her back down to the ground again, laughing.
Donna’s skin is flushed and she looks annoyed, but she’s still in his arms and he still think she’s a genius.
“No spinning,” she tells him, sternly, but her expression is softer than her voice.
He nods. “No spinning,” he agrees.
She loosens her grip, and it takes him a moment to do the same because she’s warm and soft and she has just had an idea that’s going to save a planet. In a moment like this everything is perfect, and she probably wouldn’t even slap him if he risked a kiss to her forehead or her cheek.
The thought is appealing, and so he leans in closer and he -
The Doctor flinches away from the sting of the antiseptic.
“Don’t be a baby,” says Donna, touching his chin to angle him back to where she wants him. She dabs at the wound on his forehead with a ball of cotton soaked in Dettol. She’s doing her best to be gentle but he winces anyway.
“I could do this myself,” he tells her, not for the first time.
“I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
Donna moves her attention to the cut on his lip, looking at it carefully without quite touching it. (Lots of nerve endings in that area, it’s going to hurt when she puts on the antiseptic.) Her fingertips ghost across his mouth, tracing a route to goodness knows what. When she withdraws her touch he manages – just – not to lick his lips.
He says, “Donna,” but it comes out as a whisper and nothing more. He breathes and swallows and tries again. “Donna...”
“Shush,” she says, and she touches his cheek.
He lifts his own hand to cover hers, leans into her touch and -
It’s inevitable that in such a small bed they’ll become entangled in the night, so neither of them panics when they wake up wrapped around each other.
It’s quite pleasant, if anything, lying on a comfortable mattress with Donna half-draped over him, resting her head against his shoulder. If they didn’t have something important to do it might be nice to just lie here together for a while.
He turns his head a little and meets the tickle of her hair and the scent of her shampoo.
Donna’s hand moves, travels across his chest until it stops just over his hearts. He slides his own hand over it, laces their fingers together and then lifts her hand towards his lips and -
The pollen in Donna’s bloodstream makes her say things – flattering things at first, then suggestive, and then finally angry and spiteful when he has to turn her down. He locks her in her room until the danger passes and then pretends to remember nothing of what she said.
“Thanks,” she says, embarrassed, because she knows he can’t possibly have forgotten already.
“Donna, it’s okay, you weren’t yourself.” He changes the subject. “I thought we could go to Ganymede today. There’s an ice rink, sort of floating, and they have these special skates that -”
“I can’t skate,” she says, but she’s smiling at least.
“I’ll teach you,” he offers.
“You’re a ridiculously good friend,” she tells him, and she kisses his cheek.
He feels himself blush, and when she steps away from him again he gathers his courage and he tells her that he -
Donna is safe and breathing and somehow, impossibly, she doesn’t have a mark on her. The relief is overwhelming, and he doesn’t want to let go of her ever, ever again.
She leans against him, exhausted but alive, and he holds her close. He tells her that he’s sorry, even though she’s right about it not really being his fault.
“You’re not getting rid of me that easily,” she says, to calm him.
“I just don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you,” he admits.
Donna lifts her head from his shoulder, and at that same moment he inclines towards her, and the gap between them narrows and they almost –