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Title: Ginger Goddess
Series: none – first part belonged to “There's The Door!”
Rating: M (there be smut inside in more than one spot, or at least some adult thoughts or implications)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Ten has been patiently preparing himself to meet his bride and impress her. Naturally, their first proper meeting doesn't go well. After all, she's intending to marry another.
Disclaimer: RTD clearly missed on some of the subtext created by the dynamic of Tate and Tennant.
Dedication: bas_math_girl, for Christmas. Started this back in May for you, after writing the first part Story-a-Day challenge. Love ya, Online-Mummy! (blows a kiss) Also to tardis_mole and cassikat for extremely helpful beta advice. :D
Author's Note: This started as a one-shot, but quickly grew into a story and a sequel. :D

Chapter 1

Ginger Goddess, Part 2: Eager Groom, Unaware Bride

Started May 2, 2012
Chapter 2 Finished December 24, 2012


Donna alighted from the TARDIS the instant he said they'd landed. She looked around. It was the right time and clearly the right planet, but the surroundings were unfamiliar. She snapped at the mad alien. “I said 'Saint Mary's'. What sort of Martian are you? Where's this?!”

Not landing in the right spot had never suited the Doctor more. But his ship's humming had taken on a rather off quality. He slowly stroked the TARDIS' exterior. “Something's wrong with her,” he whispered aloud, deeply concerned and distracted. This never happened! Hadn't since Gallifrey still existed!

Donna rolled her eyes. Daft alien! Hadn't heard a word she said!

Gears that hadn't been used in ages ground into operation in his head. “It's like she's... recalibrating!” He rushed back into the TARDIS and over to the console. His jaw dropped when he saw the readings. “She's digesting?!”

As the Doctor talked, Donna suddenly noticed that what she stepped out of was one of those old police call boxes her granddad told her about. (Although she'd heard a very colorful story from his friend Minnie, who'd actually gone for a nude dip with friends in the fountains at Trafalgar Square and was the only one caught – and yet had no shame telling the story. If Minnie even hinted at the story in his presence, he turned an interesting shade.) More to the point, she fixated on the size difference between the box and the room she'd been in.

He put a hand on the rotor. “What have you eaten? What's wrong? Donna?!” He grabbed his stethoscope to check the ship's sounds on a deeper level. “You've really gotta think,” he called out. “Is there anything that might've caused this?”

Donna wasn't listening. At all. Instead, she felt her way around the TARDIS, staring at the walls in utter bewilderment. How the hell could a room that big fit in such a small package?!

The Doctor frantically rushed around the Controls, listening for any clues – and talking as he moved. “Anything you might've done? Even by accident? Any sort of alien contacts? Besides me, of course. I can't let you go wandering off in case you've been exposed to something dangerous. I mean, have you... have you seen lights in the sky? Or... did you touch something? Something-- something different? Something strange? Something made out of a sort of metal or...” He hesitated just a moment. “Who're you getting married to?!” He turned back to look out at Donna.

Donna still paid no attention to his words. She completed her circuit of the TARDIS and popped her head back inside while he was still talking, to check whether she wasn't just imagining how big it was. Having confirmed this, she stumbled backwards, hands over her mouth.

“Are you sure he's human? He's not a bit overweight with a zip around his forehead, is he?” The words rushed out of his mouth as he noted how the shock of the size difference was hitting her hard.

Too much! It was too much! Donna ran, desperate to get away.

“Donna!” The Doctor raced after her.

Not that she could've gone far. A binary cardiovascular system combined with a runner's legs ensured he caught up with her within seconds.

Donna bit back a curse. Damn her shoes for forcing her to slow down early! Damn this alien!

He tried to get in front of her. “Donna,” he pleaded, reaching out to touch her arm.

She shook him off and kept walking. “Leave me alone,” she snapped, feeling at the end of her rope. “I just want to get married.”

You will be married! I'm your future husband! With consent from you and your parents, we could be married today!

It took all of the Doctor's restraint – which was already frayed from the sheer sight of her – to keep those words in his head. Instead, he begged, “Come back to the TARDIS.”

She shook her head, trying to move faster. “No way. That box is too... weird.”

Thrusting his hands into his pockets to keep from being slapped again, he struggled for something to soothe her. “It's... bigger on the inside, that's all.”

“Oh! That's all?” Donna was not amused. This alien was far more bonkers than anything her granddad's wild imagination could've invented. Sighing loudly, she checked her watch. “Ten past eleven,” she choked. “I'm gonna miss it.”

Family. She probably had family and friends who cared about her, were worried about her safety. He shrugged, thinking of something that couldn't offend her. “You can phone them. Tell them where you are, let them know you're safe and on your way.”

She scoffed. “How do I do that?”

Wait, how could that be offensive? “Haven't you got a mobile?” he asked in what he thought was a reasonable tone.

Donna stopped, faced him with fire in her being and stared at him. “I'm in my wedding dress.” How thick was he?! “It doesn't have pockets. Who has pockets? Have you ever seen a bride with pockets?”

He rubbed his neck, trying to draw his gaze up to her face and away from her neckline – again, not very well. Why did brides have to put what should be solely their husband's... territory, if you could forgive the sexist phrasing... on display for everyone's eyes – including the vicar's?

“When I went to my fitting, do you think I said, 'Alison, the one thing I forgot to say is give me pockets?!'” she spat at him.

The Doctor swallowed. What in Rassilon's name could he do now? He had to get into her good graces, which he wasn't in yet. Which meant he had to force himself to be more polite about the groom... at least until he figured out why she had appeared in the TARDIS and how to convince the man that he had precedence where Donna was concerned. “This man you're marrying – what's his name?” There! He deserved credit for keeping his tone even!

She beamed. “Lance.”

He couldn't hide his disgust over the loved-up tone in her voice. “Good luck, Lance.” Especially once you've met me.

“Oi!” Her tone changed abruptly. She was satisfied when he recoiled slightly with wide eyes. “No stupid Martian is gonna stop me from getting married. To hell with you!” She ran off, hoping he'd give up the chase.

He watched her numbly, and his mouth worked a moment. Even though she was out of earshot and he couldn't make his volume loud enough. “I'm... I'm not... I'm not... I'm not from Mars.” He forced his mouth to shut, stopping the feeble words, and ran after her.

Well, he had to keep her safe! She might not know it yet, but he would be her husband!

Donna ran down a busy main street. She wasn't sure which one, but she still hadn't shaken the Doctor. He'd promised to see her to the church, stressing that he needed to figure out how she appeared in his ship. Fine! She could ignore him for the most part. “Taxi!” she shouted as the Doctor caught up again. But the taxi ignored them completely. Her mouth went slack for a moment. “Why's his light on??”

The Doctor wasn't sure. He couldn't understand why the drivers would ignore a potential fare. He looked a second, then pointed. “There's another one!”

They both ran to try and catch it. “Taxi!” she called again as they stumbled into the road. But for all their efforts, the driver didn't seem to notice them. “Oi!!”

Why was everyone ignoring her?! Surely the so-called bias against gingers couldn't be this bad! “There's one!” He ran again, waving for attention – painfully aware he probably looked ridiculous. And couldn't believe they were ignored again.

“Oi!” Donna wanted to tear her hair out and break down into sobs. But she had too much pride to do it in public.

This was offensive! “Why aren't they stopping? Don't they see you need a ride?!”

She struggled to keep an even tone. “They think I'm in fancy dress,” she suggested.

His eyes widened. They thought she was a prostitute?! What sort would wear a wedding dress?! One who worked in Soho?

Another taxi drove past mere seconds after Donna spoke, the driver hooting his horn. “Stay off the sauce, darlin'!”

She sank a little in place. “They think I'm drunk.” Great!

What?! He looked at her. She wasn't even tipsy! He couldn't even smell a hint of alcohol on her breath!

Not four seconds after Donna voiced the second apparent reason, two guys in their car yelled out of the window as they drove past. “You're fooling no-one, mate!”

Oh, if that didn't take all! “They think I'm in drag!” Donna snapped, briefly flapping her arms in anger.

The Doctor looked Donna up and down appraisingly. Okay, these humans didn't appreciate her. He had to convince her to leave all this behind, go with him so she would be treated like the goddess she was. But he knew he just might be slapped again if he voiced that, so he thought a moment. Time to break out the Time Lord abilities. “Hold on, hold on.” He put his fingers between his lips and whistled, long and piercing.

Donna winced and covered her ears. Good god, was he letting out sounds only a dog could hear?! However, she couldn't really complain because it promptly attracted the attention of a taxi, which ground to a halt before them. She flashed the Doctor a grateful smile.

The Doctor had to suppress the urge to preen. Oh, her eyes were even lovelier when she was happy! He had to quickly find more ways to make her smile – especially at him. He followed her into the back seat, glad that he could be right next to her again and she had no cause to smack him.

“Saint Mary's in Chiswick, just off Hayden Road,” Donna instructed as they started along. “It's an emergency, I'm getting married! Just... hurry up!” she begged. Because I'm not sure what to make of this alien I can't shake!

The driver looked at them through his rear-view mirror. “You know it'll cost you, sweetheart? Double rates today.”

Donna blanched. “Oh, my God!” She looked desperately at the Doctor. “Have you got any money?” she pleaded with him.

Oh, dear. He paled slightly. He had bank accounts ever since he was exiled as his third self, having kept money on hand while he and Susan hid, but he had to get help to use them. And he hadn't trusted Rose with the knowledge – he knew how teenage girls could be, having raised Susan and fostered others after her. He'd recently asked Sarah Jane for help, so he could access the money if he needed it. But... “Um... no.” He blushed, wondering how bad this would make him look in Donna's eyes. “You?”

She glared at him, gesturing violently at her dress. “Pockets!”

Oops. He forgot.

The taxi screeched to a halt. Moments later, they were out. The Doctor slammed the door, not liking the driver's attitude toward Donna.

“And that goes double for your mother!” Donna finished with a shout at the driver as he drove off.

Interesting insults, the Doctor thought. He suppressed a smile. Life with her would never be dull. Mind, he was sort of glad that he didn't have the money. It kept Donna from getting married to a man she would one day have to leave – for him. And that wouldn't make her look good, which would bring her down – and he cared about her feelings.

“I'll have him,” Donna vowed. “I've got his number. I'll have him. Talk about the Christmas Spirit.”

He thought the phrase was an odd one, but the last part caught his attention. Along with their surroundings. He looked at the decorations and blinked. “Is it Christmas?”

Donna silently groaned. “Well, duh. Maybe not on Mars, but here it's Christmas Eve.”

He didn't have a chance to retort. She suddenly hit him on his stomach with the back of her hand. “Phone box!” He followed her as she rushed towards it, catching up as she declared, “We can reverse the charges!”

A question came to mind, and he had to ask it. “How come you're getting married on Christmas Eve?” Odd time, he thought.

“Can't bear it. I hate Christmas. Honeymoon in Morocco. Sunshine – lovely.”

He blinked at her. Hates Christmas?! Why?! More mysteries to unlock with her, but this one was the most critical. As they reached the box, the Doctor moved ahead to hold the door open for Donna. Be gentlemanly in his manners, she might warm up to him sooner.

Donna entered and grabbed the phone, but paused. “What's the operator? I've not done this in years. What do you dial? 100?” She suddenly felt like she was back screaming at the taxis that passed them, and tears were forming over the utter frustration.

He couldn't let her be unhappy. He pulled out his sonic screwdriver, and aimed, depressing a setting he quickly activated. “Just – just call the direct.” He grinned as the dial tone buzzed.

Donna blinked and looked at him. “What did you do?!”

He looked around, aware of her words but not fully able to attend to her this time. “Something... Martian,” he answered, distracted. He saw a Bank of London sign. Aha! The place his UNIT pay was housed! And the thing below it was a cash machine! “Now, phone. I'll get money!”

He sprinted to that cash machine. There was a man using it, so he stopped behind him. But he was taking his time, as if triple-checking his options. Come on! The Doctor's restlessness hit him full force, and he soon had to hop from foot to foot impatiently. Come on!

Several moments later, the man was still using the machine. Now the Doctor – agitation growing by the second – understood why Sarah Jane had joked that some people tried to refinance their homes at the cash machines. How long could it take someone to use them?! Unless your card was damaged or there was a bad connection to the bank system, there was no reason for this to happen!

The Doctor glanced back at Donna. She was still in the phone box, dialing and talking. Good, if telling her family she was okay was taking a long time, then he wasn't going to look too badly in her eyes.

Finally the man in front of him finished. Exhaling sharply, the Doctor darted forward, barely letting the man move out of the way. He cast a furtive look about him, making sure no one was watching. Certain everyone was too busy with their own lives and tasks, he pulled his sonic screwdriver back out and activated a new setting. The screen rushed by his options, and he slightly tweaked the setting to retrieve cash.

At last, the machine dispensed what he requested. Probably more than he needed even for today. The Doctor seized the cash, but motion and music caught his attention.

Walking slowly toward him, a row of masked Santa's played a variety of brass instruments a short distance away. He stared at them, remembering last Christmas – when the post-regeneration sickness left him at Rose's selfish mercy. The suspicious part of his mind worked overtime. What were they doing back here on Earth?! Had some of them laid dormant? What reactivated them? Or were they entirely different pilot fish?

“Taxi!” Donna's voice reached his ears. He turned and saw a taxi pull up beside her. She had a tenner in her hand. Where did she get that?! But suddenly she conversed with the driver for a few seconds before shouting back to him. “Thanks for nothing, spaceman! I'll see you in Court.”

No! She couldn't leave him! But he froze as she climbed in. The driver was a masked Santa. It looked him right in the eye, and then drove off suddenly.

“Donna!” he screamed. But it was too late – they were gone.

Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no! He had to go after them! The Doctor looked back at the Santas playing the trumpets, and wasn't surprised when all three lowered their instruments at him like weapons. Thinking fast, the Doctor decided he would cause a distraction and pray it worked. He sonicked the cash machine causing it to empty its cash drawers.

A mad scramble and confusion ensued as people ran around trying to catch the money and stuff it into their pockets. Meanwhile. the Doctor sprinted back in the direction of the TARDIS. A quick glance back showed him that the Santas had reverted to playing mode. Good.

The Doctor reached the TARDIS doors, racing inside. He quickly pummeled the TARDIS into action with his usual equipment – fists and the mallet. The rotor rose and fell, but he could hear that the Old Girl was struggling. Whatever she'd inadvertently eaten, it was hindering her actions.

“This isn't acceptable!” he yelled. “We have to be able to save Donna!”

She growled her acceptance of that, letting him know she was giving it all she had.

Groaning, the Doctor traced the taxi's progress on his monitor. At least the Old Girl, once she knew of a person's existence and they'd been touched by artron particles (a product of temporal energy and which could be measured by the current time's standards), could easily track where she was.

Sighing, he lifted the brake and forced his ship into a mode he almost never used in all the time he'd had the Old Girl: regular ship travel.

She groaned in complaint, reminding him that he owed her from this trouble!

As they flew, the Doctor had to deal with the problems of flying a ship that had been repaired with whatever he could find since the Last Great Time War. Sparks rained over him from the TARDIS console, and the ship tilted dangerously.

Frustrated and unable to restrain his agitation, he grabbed the mallet again and whacked the console, triggering a ringing noise. “Behave!” he admonished.

The ship gave a petulant moan of protest. He ignored it.

His scanners told him that the TARDIS was falling out of the sky, a way behind and above Donna's taxi, spinning through the air. He forced the controls to bring him closer as he yanked a long thread of string out of an inner jacket pocket.

The Doctor attached the string to the flight stick. He needed to be able to operate the controls from the door if he was going to rescue her. He quickly stumbled over to the doors, string between teeth as he tried to control the flight (as the Old Girl could only manage so much on her own direction), and threw the doors open.

He was relieved to see the TARDIS was in line with the taxi, zooming along beside it on the motorway. Although it was bumping the roofs of cars every so often. His eyes briefly registered that Donna was no longer wearing her veil.

Donna stared at him, hands pressed against the window. She'd been panicking ever since she realized she was trapped with a robot, which wanted her for god knew what. Her mouth was slack in shock. How had the mad alien been able to find her?!

He would deal with the shock later. It was a challenge to keep the doors open and remain steady, even for him. “Open the door!” he screamed in a panic.

“Do you what?” She could barely hear him. Her muffled voice and her wide-eyed look screamed her confusion.

“Open the door!”

She frantically moved her hands ineffectually. “I can't, it's locked!” she shouted.

Of course. Santa wouldn't let its prize loose. And taxi cabs locked their passengers doors manually from the dashboard until they reached the point of paying. The Doctor risked reaching for his sonic, using his core strength to remain stable. He aimed, and heard the door unlock. That enabled Donna to push the window down.

She was horrified as she met his eyes again. “Santa's a robot,” she called out, now knowing she was more audible to him despite the motorway sounds and noises.

Oh, god! What was her life like that she deliberately ignored important things?! She had to know she had to escape! “Donna, open the door!”

Her eyes widened further. “What for?!”

His eyes felt like they would try any moment to pop out of their sockets. “You've got to jump!” he begged her.

“I'm a flip jumper, I'm supposed to be getting married!” Donna shouted, shrilly.

Suddenly, the taxi increased speed and left the TARDIS behind. Donna's face fell as she realized what was happening. No! Not again!

The Doctor watched in stricken horror for a moment – until his anger overtook that. He turned his head to eye the console as he pulled on the string, pushing the engines to give him more speed. Random explosions burst from the console once again. He felt the TARDIS bang the roof of another car. He cringed briefly. This would be impossible to hide.

Not that he cared. Especially as the TARDIS came back into line with the taxi, but not before bouncing off the motorway. He struggled to regain his balance, then managed to stabilize the flight long enough that he could sonic the robot. He saw its hands lock around the wheel, disabled. The TARDIS would send a message to UNIT to take care of it. He had to save Donna. “Listen to me! You've got to jump!”

Donna shook her head obstinately. “I'm not jumping on a motorway!”

He resorted to explanation. “Whatever that thing is,” he shouted, “it needs you. And whatever it needs you for, it's not good. Now, come on!”

She shouted to match his tone. “I'm in my wedding dress!”

That was a reason to not jump?! He resisted the urge to shake his head. “Yes!” he hollered back, heartfelt. “You look lovely! Come on!”

Donna was breathing heavily with fear as she slowly opened the door. She yelped as it swung open with the momentum of the car. She positioned herself to jump.

Yes! The Doctor held out his arms to catch her. His eyes pleaded silently with her to just do it.

She slowly looked from the motorway to his eyes. “I can't do it,” she cried in fear.

He found an inner calm. He had to not panic now. “Trust me.”

It didn't occur to him that his voice might be too calm for her to hear until after he said it.

But she met his eyes anyway. “Is that what you said to those friends you mentioned? Even the ones you lost? Did they trust you?”

Oh, he'd forgotten what he said to her earlier. But it gave him a critical opening. “Yes, they did. And I did everything to justify their trust in me. Now, jump!!” he finished on another shout.

Donna took a deep breath, and let out a scream as she jumped.

The Doctor went from overjoyed as she cleared the gap to shock as she landed on top him, sending them to the floor in a heap. Oh, dear. Part of her had landed right on top of... places that were getting ideas. Not the right time, body! And given her slack expression as she pushed herself a bit off him, she felt something from him. He blanched, afraid that he had given something away too soon.

Fortunately, the TARDIS slammed the doors closed. He felt her zoom back up into the sky. He helped Donna sit up, and then clutched her to him in relief. She was safe!

Donna was stock still in his arms. Unable to understand why he was so happy to see her. And what-?

Their respective thoughts were interrupted as more explosions burst from the console.

Chapter 3: An Alien and a Gentleman


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2012 11:35 am (UTC)
Yay! Another chapter! :D

I love the little things you changed, the Doctor's helplessness when Donna refuses his help and his struggle to pretend he doesn't know her. I love it all!
Dec. 25th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Then you should LOVE chapter 3... ;D

Thank you. *hugs*
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Poor Tardis being unwell (but yippee that it meant Donna could appear!!).

My favourite line has to be:
You will be married! I'm your future husband! With consent from you and your parents, we could be married today!
Cos I'm a romantic softie like that.
Not the right time, body!
runs a very close second.

You go, Doctor!! Ha ha ha And thank you so much for this. *hugs u tight*
Dec. 25th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
*snickers* Appropriate icon. ;D

Yeah, sorry, TARDIS.

Glad you loved those lines. :DDDDD

You're welcome. *hugs back*
Dec. 26th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh dear, she is going to ream him one.

Oh, there's more...
Dec. 26th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure she'll ream him one. Just... not quite yet. :)
Carolyn Harrison
Apr. 10th, 2015 01:29 am (UTC)
The first time my husband met my parents my Mother kept saying over and over again 'you have my permission to marry my daughter'! He was there for 5-10 minutes and she just kept repeating that! My younger sister got in on it as well vand gave her permission for him to marry her sister. The only one on my side was my Dad. He waited until he left and then started yelling at my Mother and sister so loudly that my future husband heard every word my Dad said. He still laughs about it whenever he thinks about it. The worst thing about it to me was that at that time he hadn't even asked me out for a date yet.

In the Doctor's case I it will be easy for him to get permission from Geoffrey and Wilf, but getting it from Sylvia is going to be a real challenge! At least he kept his mouth shut this time though.

The Doctor really does owe the TARDIS big time for that rescue! Not to mention that stupid mallet of his! I'm surprised the TARDIS hasn't hidden it free him yet.
Apr. 11th, 2015 04:12 am (UTC)
Oh, lordy... As embarrassing as I have found my mom at times, I'm confident she wouldn't say stuff like that. Not at that point, for sure! I feel for you. Glad it worked out anyway.

Yeah. On all counts.

Hah! True enough. She must have a reason for not.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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