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NEW: Female Advice on Love Letters

Title: Female Advice on Love Letters

Rating: K+/T

Author: tkel_paris, aka KendraC

Summary: Four letters have gotten him nowhere. The Doctor is desperate enough to ask an old friend, but will he get the advice he wants...? Sequel to bas_math_girl's Love Letters... Almost... Hopefully, my Donna's Terse, Unimpressed Replies, BMG's Love Letters... Getting Closer and nipponophile05

The Doctor slumped in his favorite chair in the TARDIS library. He really didn't care about the sofa Donna had soaked in sending that last cup of tea his way; the TARDIS had lovely cleaning supplies that let him fix that a bit. Although given how she'd been glaring at him when she slapped this letter on his table, he might've just barely avoided another...

His hopes had been crushed again at that glare. He just had the sinking feeling that she still wasn't impressed with his efforts. And reading the letter had borne his fears out.

But she did note that he didn't intend to hurt her! That was promising! Now how to build on that...?

Shakespeare had been completely unhelpful! He came back – having deliberately timed the visit for while Donna was sleeping – in a huff, and the TARDIS had laughed at him. It took him hours to calm down enough to compose a new letter. Which he made sure was in English, as she clearly preferred.

But he felt unequal to writing something that could work on Donna! What could he say that would get through her defenses? He finally understood what Earthlings meant when they described someone as having built walls of Jericho around their heart...

He had to break through! There had to be a way! He craved her love...!

He wanted to try someone else's advice before going back and trying a different tack with the Bard. And he would keep his word!

Try not whining next time, the Old Girl finally said.

He squawked. “I wasn't whining! I was stating my case!”

His only answer was a mental snort that he somehow sensed, if the TARDIS had a human form, would typically be accompanied by an eye roll – and a slap! His own ship wasn't on his side!

The Doctor thought about his options. He had to figure out why Donna was so bothered by mentions of... past loves. Now, he supposed that comparisons might not be such a good thing; Earth females in particular seemed awfully sensitive about a lot of things – which reminded him that he had to persuade Donna that this obsession her time had with being thin was unhealthy!

But who could he ask whose help he could count on...? He wanted to know what all Martha and Donna had talked about, and get some insight into why Donna might think she'd repeat Martha's situation, but he had enough self-preservation to know that asking Dr. Jones for help was asking for trouble.

And he really tried to avoid trouble now that Donna was his companion. At least, additional trouble...

Going to Jack was absolutely out of the question. For one, the Immortal still clearly had a thing for him, and asking the randiest human he'd ever met for romantic advice was bound to come with strings attached... And he wanted to keep Donna as far away from Jack as possible. Not that he didn't trust her, but he didn't want to see anyone flirting with Donna. He wanted exclusive rights for that!

He needed someone who had no expectations of him. With experience in life and knowledge of how women thought. Someone who could help him make his thoughts clearer... And then it hit him. The perfect person to ask: someone who knew him, met his last love, and had the wisdom he needed...!

The Doctor blanched. “You're joking... You have to be...”

Sarah Jane Smith smirked, shaking her head at his disbelief. He knows nothing about women... “Since I can't read what you wrote to her, I want to know what she's written to you.”

His face went from pale to flushed in an instant. As little as he wanted to share Donna's writings, he wanted his friend's help more. So he reluctantly reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled all four letters out – as he'd been keeping them by his hearts.

Sarah Jane sat down and read each, shooing him to inspect K-9's systems. She figured his old friend would keep him occupied enough... She quickly figured out the order of the letters, and had to suppress laughter quite a few times. I had no idea, she soon thought, how clueless he really is about humans... Gives me a new perspective on him...

When he saw her fold them, he jumped up – hastily finishing a little upgrade to the robotic dog – and plopped next to her. “So?! Any ideas?”

Wow... He is eager... He wasn't anywhere near like this about Rose... I wonder if he actually did love her romantically... He might just think he did... Sarah Jane clasped her hands in front of her. “I think I need to meet Donna.”

Memories of Rose and Sarah Jane laughing over something – and he'd never found out what it was – flashed in his mind. He was uneasy about this... but he could read that his former companion wasn't going to back off. He squeaked, “Why?”

“Because I need to get my own feel for what kind of a person she is. If you want to woo her and you want my advice, then I need first-hand information. Luke will be home in a few hours. Come back here with Donna then, and you can entertain Luke and his friends with science lessons. Under Mr. Smith's supervision,” she added, aware that this Doctor was childish enough to overdo things...

Rassilon, he hoped Donna's getting fantastically along with a former companion was a one-time deal...

Sarah Jane couldn't remember the last time she'd laughed so hard. Donna had the best stories about the Doctor's chronic ability to get into trouble, and how she helped him get out of it. The two seemed to have the best adventures! “So you're happy traveling with him? No regrets about what you might be missing out on?”

Donna snorted. “My life was nothing when I met the Doctor. My world and views were small. I kept missing seeing the alien invasions because I was too caught up in trying to break free of my little place on Earth. But my biggest mistake was that day we met. He asked me to come with him, and I said no.”

He didn't mention that...! “Did you? Why?” Sarah Jane listened carefully. This might be telling, especially since she looks uneasy about mentioning it... She soon coaxed Donna into telling the story about Lance, meeting the Doctor, and the Empress of the Racnoss. Why Donna had refused was understandable, but it made Sarah Jane very thoughtful. “Does it bother you that he's an alien?”

Donna shrugged. “No, not anymore. It's just who he is. A daft Spaceman, that's the Doctor for you.”

Sarah Jane laughed, smiling. “Might be the best description I've ever heard of him. Seems pretty fitting for this Doctor.”

“What do you mean?” That led to Sarah Jane explaining regeneration to Donna, and that this was the third man she knew as the Doctor. Donna was stunned. “I wonder how many of him there've been...”

Sarah Jane frowned. “You know, I'm not sure... Guess you'll have to ask him sometime.”

Donna snorted. “Well, there's some things I've been trying to figure out about him lately.”

Hmm... This sounded interesting. “What in particular?”

A long pause, then: “Did he ever try to... change things between you? Did he ever do things that confused you about what he wanted from you?”

Aha! Here came the opening Sarah Jane had been looking for! “No. I mean, once or twice I thought he cared more than as a friend, but... Well, you know him. Absolutely rubbish with expressing feelings. I did care for him, but... it wasn't meant to be, I guess... Besides, I was rather young then, so my memory could be biased. And he has difficulty talking about the people he's previously traveled with. Rose had never heard of me, and she wasn't happy about that.”

Donna sighed unhappily. “Lovely... He's so amazing that if you're unlucky enough to fall for him, you risk not being able to find someone who can take your mind off him... Glad Martha found Tom...”

As close as that had hit, Sarah Jane was much more interested in the undertones of that reaction. And about this Martha... “What about you? He found his way into your heart when you weren't looking?”

Donna blushed, fisting her hands into her hair. “And to think I told him I wasn't going to have any of that nonsense!”

Sarah Jane couldn't help but ask for a clarification, which led to hearing about Adipose Industries. She silently marveled over what a bind the Doctor had been himself into, and completely understood Donna's frustrations on Martha's behalf.

“And to top things off,” Donna added, frustration blasting through her voice, “he's written me these bloody confusing letters!”

Sarah Jane's eyebrows bounced, and she had to suppress her delight. “Letters?! The Doctor wrote you letters even though you live in the TARDIS?!”

Donna snorted, and reached into her own jacket. “Here. The first three also have the translations that I managed with help from a bloody small-print book from the TARDIS library. Cheeky git wrote me in Gallifreyan until the last letter!”

He didn't mention that... Sarah Jane scanned the letters carefully, unable to suppress laughter as she shook her head over how terribly the Doctor expressed himself. No wonder she's confused... Even I'd wonder if he hadn't made such a cake of himself in begging for my help...

“He uses so many words,” Donna whispered, tears building in her eyes, “that I'm not sure what he really means. I can't afford to mistake his intentions. I won't be another Martha to him!”

She coaxed Donna to take a long ladies break to compose herself, and to collect more tea when she was done. When Donna left the room, Sarah Jane quickly pulled out a notebook and – using all the practice from her years of rapid note-taking – quickly penned a missive.

Which just she just finished in the ten minutes it took Donna to finish her business. Hearing Donna pouring the tea, she quietly ripped out the page, folded it, and hid it in a trouser pocket.

When Donna sat back down, placing their teacups, Sarah Jane grabbed her hands. “I've thought about it, and I do have some ideas about what you should do.” Which will make things a little easier for the Doctor... if he's willing to do the necessary work...! Can't make things too easy for him; I have to respect the sisterhood of women!

Rassilon, he should never introduce former companions to current ones! He'd cringed over every laugh he heard coming from the downstairs while he explained the basics of a few of the sciences to a group of fascinated teens. He would've been more into it if he hadn't been constantly worrying about what was happening between Donna and Sarah Jane. “What,” he asked when they were back in the Vortex, “were you talking about that caused all that laughter?!”

Donna was glad he didn't mention the quiet times. It allowed her to flash a cheeky grin. “About how stupid you can be. I'll let you try to figure out which times we talked about while I go make us tea. And try to not make me mad enough to dump some on you this time!”

He flinched, and held still as she left the Console room. He waited a few extra seconds, and then shoved a hand into his other inside jacket pocket. As they were leaving, Sarah Jane had taken a moment while Donna was bidding Luke goodbye to hand the Doctor a folded paper. My answers, she'd mouthed at him. He couldn't wait to read them.

Not having noticed the smirk on his friend's face as he closed the TARDIS doors behind him...

He opened it to find the following:

Dear Doctor,

I'm glad I met Donna. Finally, you have a companion who is a woman, not a girl! (I'm embarrassed to admit that I counted as the latter when I traveled with you, but I was...) Someone who challenges you, who is a good intellectual match, who makes you laugh, and who accepts you as you are – alien traits and all. I congratulate you, Doctor, on having the sense to recognize her value. No wonder you've fallen head over feet for her!

Now for what you should do...

I'm glad you finally listened to her and wrote in English. If you want to impress someone from another culture, you do it by speaking in their native tongue and showing a comprehension of their ways. You really are ignorant about human females! Makes a lot of your behaviors from back when a lot more understandable... I do wonder if you've been speaking in English at all, after reading the letters...

A couple of things I realized from talking with Donna are key stumbling blocks you need to overcome. And you cannot ever admit that I told you any of it!

First, she's been deeply hurt by a lot of people in her life. People she should've been able to trust. Lance might've been the last example of a man she'd pinned hopes on only to see them crushed. She doesn't think she can be loved for who she is, and that belief has become deeply ingrained in her psyche. She needs to know that you respect and admire her as she is. I'm not sure she's convinced of it...

She thinks she's only an object of desire because she is... well-endowed. Thinness has been considered the thing to be for her whole life, and I bet she's struggled with her weight for years. Avoid all mentions of her body – unless you're making some simple comment that indicates you like what you see.

She's also convinced you're still in love with Rose. That, should Rose find a way back, she'd be dumped back in Chiswick. You have to prove that you would choose Donna over Rose to overcome that.

Your best bet? Focus on showing how much you respect her for her. That you'd inconvenience yourself to make her life better, to even just make her smile. Use small actions that speak far louder and clearer than the verbosity this you is used to expressing. Practice that, and then I'll help you write a letter. Assuming you haven't worked up the courage to simply say those three most powerful words in the English language... Ones that I now question whether you've ever said to anyone in any language...

Wishing you the best,
Sarah Jane Smith

PS: If you do want to use a Earthling's words, Donna's favorite poets are Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, William Butler Yeats, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and William Carlos Williams. Oh, yes, and she has expressed a fondness for Shakespeare's sonnets. Take great care in choosing from them... If you're not careful, using them will backfire on you...

Keep your eyes open for the sequels! I'm sure nipponophile05 and bas_math_girl have great ideas coming our way!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Love it! I knew SJ and Donna would get along famously, and SJ was able to give the Doctor useful advice. If only he doesn't muck it up now, like only he can!
Sep. 14th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Ah, but there's so much he can muck up! And right now, it's not up to me to decide what happens next! It's N5's turn!
Sep. 14th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
Just lovely...You write Sarah Jane beautifully, and just the aura of calm and wisdom underscored by the love she has for these two..sigh....

I'm getting some ideas for the next part.. will consult....
Sep. 14th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
I liked her. I hope Elizabeth Sladen didn't suffer at the end of her life...

I know you already had ideas, but I'm glad to give you more! PM me if you want to go to email contact!
Oct. 8th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
No title
User nipponophile05 referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] and tkel_paris's Female advice on love letters [...]
Oct. 8th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
New Fic: The best laid plans (Love Letters series)
User nipponophile05 referenced to your post from New Fic: The best laid plans (Love Letters series) saying: [...] ;and tkel_paris's Female advice on love letters [...]
Oct. 10th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
This was so great and Sarah Jane?! You've made my day.
Oct. 29th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! I might be able to write the next part this weekend... Assuming nothing gets in the way... Just so I can be ready for NaNoWriMo... :)
Nov. 28th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
just stumbled on this little series via BMG, and I'm loving every bit of it :)
Nov. 30th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
Glad to have another reviewer! :D I will try to write something, as it's my turn. But I have two other fics that take priority as they're "due" at the end of the month. *le sigh*
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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