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Title: Love is Thine to Teach
Rating: K/T (not sure yet)
Genre: Romance
Summary: The Doctor wants to woo Donna. Donna wants to teach the Doctor to woo her. Is it a recipe for disaster?
Sequel to: these stories, in order: BMG's "Love Letters... Almost... Hopefully...", TK's "Donna's Terse, Unimpressed Replies," BMG's "Love Letters... Getting Closer", N5's "An Ongoing Correspondence," TK's "Female Advice on Love Letters," N5's "The Best Laid Plans," and BMG's "Love Letters... A Step Further." I doubt this is going to end anytime soon. ;D
Disclaimer: Not mine. Or BMG's. Or N5's. :(
Author's Note: Written for nipponophile05's birthday. Happy belated birthday, sweetheart! I had your last story in this series up as a reference while I wrote. :D And yes, the title comes from "Much Ado About Nothing." That download from Digital Theatre is eating my brain... and I don't really mind. ;D

The Doctor stood in the dining area, trying to resist the urge to pace. Never had he felt so restless in his life. Why had he, not an hour earlier, been feeling full of confidence and now was chock full of nerves? The dinner was ready – the warm parts being kept warm by the TARDIS, and the cold items kept cool – and he'd put the Post-It Notes in place, along with Donna's vase. And he was perfectly good at standing still when the occasion called for it! So what was with this new urge?!

Oh, he realized when he felt the TARDIS' amused snort in his mind, right... There was a lot at stake here. Especially since he'd royally blown all of those letters. The memory of Sarah Jane smirking and silently laughing over the letters stang, but he supposed he deserved to be laughed at.

A bit, mind you. Only a bit. He was a man in love, after all! He might act like a fool, but that didn't give people license to make sport of him! So what if he had trouble wooing in festival terms?!

He kept his hands to his sides. Somehow. He resisted the urge to go find something to work on, as that would spoil the efforts he'd made to look better. Any moment now, Donna would be back... and he would learn how well he'd figured out – so far – the lessons that Sarah Jane and Shakespeare tried to teach him...

Donna turned her TARDIS key in the lock with a sigh. She'd given herself as much of a pep talk as she could manage in the short walk she had from her mother's to the blue box she now called home. It was time to start putting her plans into action!

She opened the door to find the Doctor nowhere in sight. But on the Control console was an unusual sight: a purple Post-It Note! Eyebrows raised, she went over and silently read it. It was in Spaceman's handwriting, but mercifully in English:

"Donna, I hope this visit went well. I have dinner ready for us. Thought we'd take a relaxing night. You deserve it.
The Doctor"

She blinked. This was a kindness he'd never done before. Not that he wasn't a good person, but where did this come from? Not that she was going to argue with it! In fact, she should encourage this, just like she intended to model the behavior she wanted to see him acting out. Should, she wondered, I go straight to dinner or stop and freshen up? Ah, yes, freshen up first. Be seen in a better light, for certainly even after a good visit with her mother, she wasn't going to be at her best – and she never thought her best was very good in any case, but she worked with what she could and as well as she knew how to.

So she would see what she could do to make herself look lovelier. And wear something she felt comfortable enough in to encourage him toward the path of truth. Sarah Jane might suspect that he was trying – and failing miserably – to show that he was in love with her, but until she had hard proof – something that could not be misconstrued by a babbling Spaceman's ramble – she would have to play some things close to her heart.

Although it was interesting that he had thought of leaving notes for her. Could she dare hope? Or should she wonder what Sarah Jane might have said to him...?

She shook her head. It would give her a headache, and she needed a clear head – okay, as clear a head as she could manage given her own turbluent feelings toward the Doctor – to get through this night. And she didn't want to look ghastly when she wanted to see if she could encourage what might – just might – be love in his hearts. "Just keep him occupied, please, Old Girl," she begged. "I need a moment to compose myself."

She got a flicker and a hum that she had learned meant agreement. They had found a way to communicate through trial and error, which had amazed the Doctor. Apparently, no one had coaxed the TARDIS into being so cooperative with them. She knew him well enough to know when he was lying, and that wasn't a lie...

She should be back by now, the Doctor thought, it's past time! Where is she?! He looked up at his ship, waiting for an answer.

The only response was the mental equivalent of a pat on the head. Be patient, she told him. As is said on Earth, good things come to those who wait.

He hated it when the Old Girl was uncoopperative, or just used sayings rather than answered him. It was his office to speak bullocks, as Donna liked to call it.

Then he heard footsteps. Finally, he cried silently, finally, she's here! He turned, smiling and ready to greet her with relief... and he froze solid.

Donna had left the TARDIS wearing one of her practical outfits, which he had liked quite well. Even if it wasn't his favourite, but he hadn't seen anything in her wardrobe that he outright hated. Now... she wore a knee-length blue dress that made her skin and hair more radiant than usual. She'd also let her hair loose, and hadn't touched it up with her straighteners – a practice he wished she would leave alone – when she'd clearly stopped to change. Why, he had no clue, but... it was such a lovely picture that he wasn't going to argue with it. Or ask questions, which he would likely bungle as much as he'd done those letters.

He swallowed hard, and blinked. His ready way with words had deserted him completely and left him feeling extremely dumb.

Donna struggled to suppress a hopeful smile. His behavior sure suggested that he liked – really liked – what he saw. Feeling that she'd betray herself if she wasn't careful, she looked at the table. "Spaceman, you went to a lot of trouble today, with this and the notes and the flowers. What's the occasion?" Oh, the flowers – her favorite from the TARDIS garden – had been the best surprise of the day. So far; there was no telling what might happen next.

The Doctor blushed, tugging his collar. Oh, when had it gotten so warm in here?! "Um, I... I wanted to... b-brighten-"

She held up a hand. Now was not the right time to dispose of the Hands deal. Not if he was stammering like a nervous schoolboy with a crush. At least she had the comfort of knowing with absolute certainty that she looked lovely in his eyes. The admiration was so much more than what she'd seen when he complimented her 1920s outfit – which, upon reflection, wasn't the best she could've chosen for her figure, but she knew he wasn't lying when he smiled at her – and she found the knowledge that the most powerful being in the Universe desired her empowering. (There was the matter of the person he probably truly wanted not being available, but perhaps she should just treasure what moments she could get with the Doctor.) "How about you show me what's for dinner, Spaceman? Maybe these nerves that've taken over your mouth will calm if you have something to show off."

He sighed in relief. Oh, bless her ability to soothe him! Although he wasn't able to do more than hold out Donna's chair for her. He was worried about what he might say if he let himself talk; he just might say something that could get him slapped. Because that dress was making him think thoughts that would surely get an outraged shout.

Donna wanted to hug the Doctor; his nervousness was actually speaking louder than any of his letters had. As she sat, letting him push her chair in (and it was so lovely to know what a gentleman he could be!), she added, "And once you've told me what we're having, how about you then tell me about those places you mentioned back when you thought I was leaving?"

His eyes went wider than when he realized that he was the expert being called in by UNIT. They both knew it. He had to suppress an urge to gulp, she a desire to laugh at his comical expression.

The Doctor found himself, a while later, considerably relaxed. Donna had coaxed him into enthusiastic descriptions of the diamond coral reefs of Katta Flo Ko, one of the places he'd thought of in a rather desperate attempt to talk her out of what he had been convinced was her decision to go back home for good. He'd mentioned it then because he remembered her mentioning that she'd been scuba-diving during the Cybermen and Dalek battle. Although when he mentioned how warm the waters were there, Donna became very thoughtful.

"Have you gone scuba-diving?" She looked openly at him, wondering what all he had gotten up to in his centuries of life. Surely he had lived much longer than he claimed, if the amused hums of the TARDIS whenever he used that 900-something number were anything to go by.

He blinked. "Oh, it's been a while. A few regenerations back. I think my Eighth self was the last one who did it. Of course, there was always something to do." He caught himself when he noticed the amusement on her face, and flinched. "Oh, I'm babbling again, aren't I?" He didn't want her to tire of hearing his voice!

Donna tried to not squirm over the thoughts that floated into her mind. "Well, if the waters are that warm, then we could wear swimsuits. Never done that before. You?"

The Doctor didn't want to admit how quickly his mind suddenly visualized her in a two-piece suit, and blushed all over. He couldn't meet her eyes, either.

Okay, Donna thought, there's hard proof of lust, but the averted eyes suggest that he thought highly enough of her to be afraid of admitting to certain things. Sure, he'd learned to catch himself a bit more often when he said something that could earn him a slap. She decided to try to make him relax. "Wot, you think I'd laugh at your skinny body?"

He blinked rapidly, startled out of his daydream that he was trying to pretend he wasn't having. It took him a few seconds to process her words. "You wouldn't?"

She smiled. "Nah, I've gotten fond of you. I don't make fun of my friends. I wouldn't want them to make fun of my body. Now, as for your choice of trunks, I make no promises. Especially if there are clocks on them."

The blush on his face grew to the point where he thought he'd permanently turn that colour. He cleared his throat. "Um, I, uh, I've never... I mean, I swim, but I... I don't mean to stare, I never do, but I-"

Donna cut him off with a hand on his arm. She smiled fondly over his impression of a bug. "Let's try a simple yes or no question, Spaceman. Maybe that'll help you. So tell me: do you like the idea of seeing me in a swimsuit?"

He nearly choked. And that was with his respiratory bypass. But when could he resist that open, artless look? "Um..." he gulped "yes..."

She managed to hide a shiver over the dark longing in his eyes, and just made her smile bigger. "There, was that so hard?"

The Doctor blinked, nearly needing his bypass from the shock. "You mean...you don't mind...if I looked...?"

Now Donna couldn't hide a blush. "Well, it's always nice to know that someone actually appreciates what you look like. No matter how imperfect you are."

It came out before he could stop it; he hated her denigrating herself. "Donna, don't you ever think you aren't beautiful!" And his face turned into a frozen shock. Oh, Rassilon, did I just say that out loud?!

Her blush went deeper, but she couldn't take her eyes off his face. She forced her throat to clear. "Well, let's clear these plates and then...maybe go to the library to talk."

The opportunity to do something allowed him to move, but he couldn't talk as they did. His mind was churning with the implications of the moments before. Donna had coaxed him into an admission – a really unromantic admission – and hadn't slapped him over it. If anything, she seemed pleased. Perhaps even happy – if a bit disbelieving that he could desire her. Oh, he had to help her see how wonderful she truly was! That gave him a bit of courage to prepare to offer the massage and other ideas he had planned. Now if he could avoid chickening out from nervousness...

Donna smiled a bit. He was still tense, but she figured that a weight would come off his shoulders once he had the chance to let it sink in that he'd confessed. Now if she could get through the next moments without embarrassing herself or giving him reason to not want her...

A distant part of her mind began to wonder if perhaps she should consider actually breaking her earlier promise to herself – and her silent promise to Sarah Jane – to not be the first to say those three words. Even though the Sisterhood needed to be supported, since men weren't exactly inspiring confidence these days, Donna couldn't ignore the possibility that the Doctor was so rubbish with expressing his feelings that he'd need prodding to admit to what she needed to know...

In any case, she had the feeling that tonight was going to change her life forever. Or at least for as long as the Doctor continued to want her to travel with him... "By the way," she added, "thank you for the other gift. How did you get Adele to autograph a CD for me?!"

He blushed. He'd been unhappy that the singer hadn't been any more willing to write something for him, but she had smiled and pulled out a CD, signing it after asking for the name of the lady it was for. And the smile he was getting now made it completely worth the embarrassment. Although how could he explain it without making a complete idiot of himself?

He hoped he could figure something out quickly.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Waaaaahhhh, that was perfectly GORGEOUS!!! Loved it, loved it, loved it, thank you soooooooo much! The Doctor's nervousness was palpable and I thought you wrote Donna's uncertainty really well, too. I just adored the conversation where he finally admitted he'd like to see her in a swimsuit, and when he (slightly) lost it telling her never to think she wasn't beautiful.

You've set me up rather nicely for the next chapter, which I shall have to get writing forthwith.....

P.S. From your intro, it seems the MAAN digital download is now available. Is it in any good? I'm thinking I probably need to download that pronto too...
Jan. 19th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Perfect icon! :D You're welcome, sweetie! :D

I didn't want to do TOO much, because I had the feeling you'd want to handle certain things. ;D

YEP! Go to Digital Theatre! It's still up for purchase! Be sure you have a Mac or Windows machine; the required player only runs on those. But it's been worth the hard drive replacement on my Mac; it is a BEAUTIFUL production! (Warning: there are some scenes where you MUST NOT have food or drink nearby; you may hurt your computer.) Well worth the annoyance of having to download the site's player! :D Oh, and go to iTunes; the soundtrack is there for purchase, and DT and CT sing on it! :D
Jan. 19th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
I don't remember the bit about Adele before! You sneaky woman. Ha ha ha

I love this fic of yours!!! :D
Jan. 19th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
I remembered your story just in time, and realised I had to add something in. Since I'm kinda ignorant about her, except for the songs that are played frequently on the radio, I felt this was a safe choice.

And you're welcome! :D
Feb. 1st, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
ooooh! Flowers, dinner, and an autographed Adele CD? Where can I get a Doctor of my own?
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
If I knew that, I'd let the secret out! ;D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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