?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: Ginger Goddess
Series: none – first part belonged to “There's The Door!”
Rating: T
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 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7





CHAPTER EIGHT: THE TOUGHEST SELL OF HIS LIFE

It had been one of the worst nights of the Doctor's life since the Time War. Enemies he could handle. Evidently he could also deal with silly teenage girls, even if he unwittingly encouraged infatuations that weren't healthy for either them or him. But make him deal with a companion's parents – especially of a companion that he wanted to marry?

Worse was meeting her grandparents. Once dinner was over and the Bennetts had left, Donna decided she wanted to tell her grandparents what happened so they wouldn't be so floored that she was there and not at the airport. Sylvia decided that the Doctor should go with them – he might also be able to take a look at her parents and check on them.

Not for the first time, he silently bemoaned his choice of title, even if he had later trained and earned it. But he'd obeyed the request, since he still had to work to get Donna to be a companion, to say yes to coming with him. How was he to overcome accidentally scaring her? How did he prove that he was actually a good man she should take a chance on?

He had to ignore the voices that had haunted him since the Time War, and before. The ones that called him a freak who didn't deserve anything good. One that the universe hated and would ruin any happiness he found. It had happened with Sarah Jane, because of his own people.

Of course, those voices also sometimes warned him about people. Now he knew that they had been warning him about Rose Tyler almost since they'd met. Well, he'd corrected for that now.

Moving back to the topic at hand... Donna's grandparents. Sylvia had led the way, and brought them in. The Doctor was promptly introduced to Eileen and Wilfred Mott, married for fifty-seven years.

Donna retold the story, with the Doctor's help. Although this time she played up the alien parts for her grandfather's sake, as he clearly had a fascination – she'd mentioned he liked to look through his telescope on clear nights. Yet Donna held back on the information that the Doctor was himself an alien – which he was thankful for, since he couldn't be sure how her family would take that.

Her grandparents were very sorry for Donna, and grateful that she'd escaped a bad marriage and death. The Doctor had to endure more thanks than he was comfortable with, but he held himself to merely saying that it was the right thing to do.

While they talked, he was watching the Motts, and came to some conclusions about their health from what he could see and smell. Wilfred was over the worst, and was on the mend, soon able to go back to his irascible ways. (He could hear the affection behind his daughter's irritation.) But Eileen... she was worse off than any of them realized. The Doctor was positive, even without scanning her, that she wouldn't make it to New Year's Day.

How could he tell Donna and her family? He could see how deeply in love Wilfred was with his wife, so he could easily imagine how poorly the man would take it. After all, he knew that he would be in Wilfred's shoes within several decades.

The question was taken out of his hands when Geoffrey helped Wilfred to the loo. Eileen had suddenly asked for a moment alone with the Doctor, which threw her daughter and granddaughter for a loop. But it was honored, and soon the Doctor was uncomfortably waiting to see what Eileen would say.

“Who are you really?” she asked. “Are you an alien?”

The woman was very perceptive, he'd realized. So he nodded. “Yes.”

She'd blinked at him, eyes narrowed as she'd assessed him. “How much of a doctor are you?”

He squirmed slightly. “I've... studied human medicine and anatomy.”

“Then you've guessed that I'm dying?”

His eyes had turned to saucers. “What makes you...?”

“I've always recovered faster than this. I can feel my body slipping away from me. I just can't tell my family. Not until after Christmas. Donna's hated Christmas since she had a number of bad ones in a row. Of all of them, figuring out that Father Christmas doesn't exist was the mildest. Boyfriends who proved worthless, her mother's nagging to get better work, and overall distrust of gingers... it's fed into her feelings.”

His hearts sank. “I... I'd help her recover a love for the holiday.”

She fixed a hard gaze on him. “You mean you love her?”

He froze for a long moment. “Did your daughter and granddaughter inherit your perceptiveness?”

“Depends on what the matter is. They have a talent for jumping to the wrong conclusions, although I can't say I was immune to the fault. But you didn't answer my question.”

He took a deep breath, and whispered back. “Yes.”

“How do you know her?”

That had made him uncomfortable. “Ah, well... I knew of her for months before today, but she never even saw me until she appeared in my... office.”

“There's a lot you're not telling me.”

“I'm not sure what you can handle. I don't want to shock you.”

“Think I can't take it?”

The acid in the tone had made him realize there was no good answer to that question.

She'd softened, seeing his unease. “Listen, I can live with not knowing a lot of things, but this I must be reassured on, or I'll demand that you leave this house tonight.”

He'd swallowed. This woman was someone Donna respected, and she might listen to a warning to stay away. Who knew how long that would delay things?

“Will you do anything to make her happy, even wait a long while for her?”

That hadn't been what he'd expected, not by a long shot. But it was easy to answer. “I'd wait centuries for her to be ready for me.”

The phrasing made her frown a moment, but she smiled. “Then I'll be able to die in peace.”




He sighed, coming out of the memory as he looked around the living room where he'd been settled in. Donna had given him a stern lecture about not skipping out without saying goodbye, or not sticking around for the morning meal. Not that he intended to leave – she was here. Besides, this was the best human food he'd had in a long time. He had declined Jackie's Christmas Day meal because of the implications, ones he refused to tell them about. Some chips from one the adventures had been it until this evening, all because it was really a lot longer since he lost his people than he'd given Rose a clue about.

1930s houses had a particular pattern to their layout. The room was square with a half hexagonal bay window, complete with a window seat, and a brass and tile fireplace surround with a chimneybreast that protruded into the room. It hadn’t been lit in a long time, but had been maintained in its original condition; the heating now supplied by gas central heating. The alcoves on either side of the chimneybreast were furnished with dressers, both antique and matched the colour of the high dado rail that ran the entire circumference of the room. Both dressers wee festooned with family photos and heirlooms, some very old indeed.

His jacket and tie hung over the nearby chair, and his trainers were resting on the floor beneath them.

Upstairs, Donna was upstairs somewhere, sleeping. He wished he could join her, ease the worries that had been so evident on her face. But he had no right. Not yet. Besides, he would've had to deal with Sylvia Noble. Geoffrey he wasn't worried about – as much as daughter-guarding was instinctive, he felt that he had got on well with Donna's father. But he was worried about that axe that Sylvia hinted at before her daughter snapped at her. He wasn't keen on the idea of risking regeneration before he got Donna pregnant – or after!

Sighing, he rubbed his face. What in Rassilon's name was he supposed to do? Now was a moment where the advice of someone like Jack Harkness or Giacomo Casanova would be extremely useful. They would know something about getting back into someone's good graces without hurting yourself.

“Don't Martian-boys sleep?”

He sprung to sitting at the sound of Donna's voice, startled and struggling to resist a grin over seeing her.

Donna looked at him with bleary eyes, and frowned. She wasn't in the mood to deal with overly chipper behavior. “I'm getting a drink. Want anything?”

“Yes, please.” He'd agree to anything, just to spend some time with her. He pushed aside the blankets and followed her.

Donna opened the fridge and took out a water jug her mum put in. Sometimes she liked the pretension of appearing middle class. They were borderline on that line, but it was with both of her parents working. And that might not last. Days like the one she'd just had would make all but a few people very aware of how quickly what you had could be lost. Sighing, she was hardly surprised to see the Doctor enter the kitchen. “Gonna answer my question?”

He grinned. “Well, I don't need a lot of sleep.”

She narrowed her eyes, glaring at him out of the corner of her eyes as she poured two glasses. “Why do I suspect you need more than you get?”

His grin faded a little. It was looking like his days of 'lying like a rug' whenever he felt like it were over. At least around companions. “Eh... I have a lot of nightmares when I try to sleep for a while. Not restful unless I keep it short.”

Donna turned, looking at him a long moment before putting the jug away. “Nightmares about things worse than what happened today?”

The Doctor cringed and sat at the kitchen table. Sighing, he stared at the patterns in the woodwork.

She brought the cups over, placing one in front of his hands. “You keep everything tightly wound, don't you? Won't admit weaknesses, have to look good in from of the ladies?” She quietly laughed as she sat. “Guess some things are universal, no matter the species.”

He put his chin in his hands. “Donna, have you given any more thought to coming with me?”

Donna narrowed her eyes. “You're keen, Doctor.”

The answer that best fit that came from Shakespeare, but Hamlet's words were utterly inappropriate under the circumstances. Not to mention that she used a different meaning than Ophelia did. So he cleared his throat. “It's just...” Words failed him. He, who could always find something to say!

“What? It's just what?”

Okay, what could he say that wouldn't frighten her? She knew nothing about his people or how they saw the universe, let alone time. So how could he answer? He swallowed, praying to any higher powers that might be listening – the Eternals, the Guardians of Time if they were still around – that he would find the right words. “I've been on my own for a long time. It was that loneliness that led me to take Rose as a companion. She... fancied me, used me as a meal ticket to escape her life. She wanted to keep everyone else away from me, shut out her family. I was so distraught from the War that claimed my planet that I encouraged her infatuation, and had to dump her when it threatened to become too much. I need... someone who's an adult. I just want a mate.”

Donna drew back. “You want to mate?!” she hissed, sounding horrified.

In truth, it was too damn soon to think about anyone else. She had to grieve for Lance, after all, and become whole again on her own. Be comfortable with being alone again. All the smiles from earlier flashed before her, and she had an urge to demand he leave.

Oh, Rassilon, no! He held up his hands, keeping his voice down. “A mate, Donna! An equal! Someone who'll stop me! You said I needed that, and I think you're right. Everyone else is too... enthralled with what they see as the magic of being with me. Maybe you seeing how terrible it can be is a good thing, Donna. You might be better prepared than anyone else to travel with me.”

Donna eyed him for a long moment. She wasn't entirely sure what he wanted, so since she felt insecure she had to take measures to protect herself and her heart. “Well, I'm not having any of that fancying nonsense! I am not getting my heart broken again! And you owe me an explanation!”

His eyes turned into saucers. “For what?”

She snorted. “What? You really think you can't deny how you were looking at me? I've been trying to figure out where you've seen me before, because as much as I've tried to ignore when men ogle me, I think I would've noticed a skinny boy going near me. And did that former friend of yours somehow convince you that you're God's gift to human women? I think she made your ruddy inflated ego worse, Sunshine,” she added gently, trying to not utterly wound said ego. It wasn't good to do that to someone who had saved your life, even if he did act too big for his boots.

He shifted and rubbed his neck, remembering the stupid questions he asked Rose after this version of him was born. “Well...”

Donna giggled. “Oh, come on. Leaving Star Trek aside, it's so unlikely that species from two different planets could get it on that I think it's laughable that a little Earth teenager would fixate on someone who she had to know was an alien.”

He cringed. Rose had seemingly deliberately forgotten. It explained a lot.

She ignored his shock, and especially how cutely pathetic it made him look. “Besides, I need a new job. HC Clements will be out of business after this, and explaining it will be a nightmare. I have to figure out something that isn't temping. Something that lets me travel. Besides, I need to help my parents since they spent all this money on the wedding and it was for nothing.”

The Doctor forced his mind back into gear, and an idea hit. “You know, I used to work for this Earth organization years ago. UNIT, it's called. What are your skills, strengths?”

“Secretary; shorthand, typing, dictation, one hundred words per minute, and I know the Dewey system backwards.”

His eyes widened at how confidently and quickly the words flowed from her. Here was the woman he saw that day on New Earth! And it gave him an idea. “Well, I bet I can talk them into hiring someone so clearly undervalued to an important position that pays well. Although,” he added, fighting a bigger grin over the skeptical look in her eyes, “I suspect I can negotiate an even higher pay for you if you're hired formally as my assistant.”

“And that would involve traveling with you?”

“Well, I suppose I'd have to bring you to UNIT to help them with some things. Maybe a little showing of your skills first might seal the deal.”

“You'd be taking a big chance on me.”

“I have good instincts about people.”

“And what was Rose?”

He flinched as if slapped. “An exception due to stress. And being alone from the... war.” He really didn't want to talk about it. Not yet. “So will you let me introduce you to UNIT, get you a better and permanent job? Might be able to argue for a little extra up front, which could help your family.” He had the feeling he'd have to handle all sorts of unusual things – for him – if he was to work on changing her mind.

Donna pursed her lips. What this Spaceman might want was troubling her, but he did have an extremely expressive face. Emotional lying didn't seem a strength of his – she doubted he could play poker at all, certainly not for money. So he was telling the truth when he said he wanted her company, to help her.

It seemed risky, accepting his aid. His face and frame were actually more appealing than she'd thought when she first laid eyes on him, and he was simply the best man she'd ever met. Even accounting for his being an alien, and having such a lower body temperature. Being around him could be dangerous to her mental health, especially while she was trying to heal.

On the other hand, what if she said no and regretted it later? She might be ruining the chance to have a job that would be better than anything she ever had before, and he was genuinely respectful toward her. No one, other than her dad and granddad, had ever treated her so well or been so protective of her. Her dad and granddad's protectiveness sometimes felt like it didn't account for her being an adult, but the Doctor's did – he had demanded respect toward her and silenced her critics at the reception.

She was silent for so long that it was all the Doctor could do to not fidget. At least where it could be seen. He forced it all down to his toes, which wiggled like atoms bouncing around.

Donna sighed. “Tell you what: you plainly are going to get into trouble if you don't have someone to remind you how to behave. I'll give you two trips – one forward in time, one back. It'll let me see what I'm getting myself in for. Then introduce me to these people, let's see if they're willing to hire me, and if I'm okay with travelling with you, I'll go with you on more trips.”

His smile was just there. No warm-up, just there in a flash. “Brilliant! Where do you want to go?!”

“Hold on, Sunshine.” Donna had to suppress a laugh. He was such an eager puppy. She could imagine those eyes and smile causing a lot of mischief when he was little. “We're not leaving here until after Christmas dinner, probably a few days more than that. I'd need to pack a few things. I'm not going back into that ship with just the clothes on my back.”

“I have a multi-story wardrobe. I'm sure we can find things that would fit you.”

“Ever had anyone not thin travel with you?”

He frowned, not liking her talking like that about herself. But he knew he couldn't challenge her notions of herself. Yet. “Well, my ship can make alterations in any direction.”

She snorted quietly. “All the same, I'd be more comfortable in my own things. Now go and sleep like a good little boy, and I'll see you in the morning. Ever opened presents on Christmas morning?”

“Not in a long time,” he admitted. The last time he really celebrated it was while he and Susan were living off Totter's Lane. It was more for her benefit, so she could fit in better on Earth. He plainly didn't do enough there, else Ian and Barbara wouldn't have followed her back. Christmas at the Tyler flat didn't count.

“Well, then you're in a for a treat. Even if we don't have anything for you. I mean, you are an unexpected guest.” She finished her water and put the cup in the sink. “See ya.”

“Good night.” He watched her leave.

“Put it where I put mine when you're done with it, and switch the lights off. You do need some sleep, Time Boy.”

He grinned as she went back up the stairs. Yes, she'd said yes! Perhaps not to the question he really wanted to ask, but it was a start!

His smile faded as he remembered her insults from earlier. Had she meant them? Did she really think he was a skinny boy with a weird face? His hearts did uncomfortable flips and twists as he sank in his seat. Now how was he to overcome that?! Would slowly earning her trust be enough to decide he wasn't that bad to look at, and then perhaps she might get used to him?

Then he remembered something else. She'd called 'fancying' nonsense, said she wasn't having any of that. She said nothing about love, marriage, and children.

His smile returned, more of a smirk than before. Yes, he would be patient. He would watch his words, spend his time showing off in ways to prove his worth as a mate-mate. After all, 'just mates' could be expanded in its definition.

Perhaps he could sift through the TARDIS in the morning, There had to be some items he could gift to Donna, and perhaps use as something to break the ice with her parents. Her granddad would probably be thrilled with an upgrade to his telescope, or a new one altogether. And her gran needed something to make her final days comfortable.

But those four would be easy. What could you give to the woman you intended to marry when she was from a different species – one you were still struggling to understand – and nowhere near ready for you to declare your feelings for her?

This might be the biggest conundrum of his life to date.

END OF PART 2


Continued in Part 3: Drama in Venice and Spacial Multiplicity...

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
sykira
Aug. 11th, 2013 09:43 am (UTC)
Oh I am so glad you finished this part, I just got caught up, LOVE it! You did a great job with the rewrite of TRB, it's not an easy thing to do but I liked how you handled it and many times I was thinking "oh I wish it had actually happened the way she changed it here".
I also love the slow pace, the development. If only the plonker HAD stayed for Christmas dinner, this could easily have been how it played out.
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2013 10:58 am (UTC)
Thank you. *hugs* So glad to hear from you. And yes, if only! :) And yes, he was a plonker in canon, wasn't he? What if he HAD stayed anyway....? :D

BTW, may I send you something? I don't ask for a beta read, but I'm hoping it'll make you smile and laugh. If you DO have some feedback, I'd appreciate it.

And FYI, I'm going to somehow finish "Seals of Love" before your birthday, and write some little thing for your birthday as well. Do you have any requests that might help my muse along?
sykira
Aug. 11th, 2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
You can always email me stuff, sadly another weekend is drawing to a close and I haven't had time to write yet and I owe some more people some comments, but at the very least I can thumb type some kind of response from my commuter train during the week?
*hugs*
Oh and I have lots of requests,...hmm, maybe I could even send you one of my neglected WIPs and we could finish it together?
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yay! Because there's two things that I CANNOT sent to my usual beta, for obvious reasons. And I think they'll amuse you. I certainly think you'd be eager to see them. ;)

I hope you do have some time to write. I miss your stories. *hugs*

Well, I MIGHT be able to write the Trope sequel at long last, but I don't know how good it'll be. You can email me with ideas/WIPs and we can chat further. I'll email you some things in a little bit. :D
fidelis_scripto
Aug. 11th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
I love this! The storyline is so good. I love how the Doctor's trying so hard not to tell her he loves her. I can't wait for part 3!
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And now we'll see how long it takes my muse to create Part 3. I have some birthday presents and a few Christmas presents to write first... Do keep checking my page for more works. :D
bas_math_girl
Aug. 11th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you thank you!! *hugs you tight*

I adore smitten!Doctor falling over himself to fit in and win round Donna in his quest to get her to join him travelling in the TARDIS. I especially liked their late night chat together, and her need to talk to him. *swoon* I can't wait to see what you'll do with this next. :D
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
Hope this helped you cope with nutty things that you're seeing on this side of the pond. *hugs back*

Yes, he was falling all over himself, wasn't he? I had fun writing that. Yes, wish me luck with Part 3... and Part 4. :)
starseeker32
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:14 am (UTC)
To be continued? You're sneaky! Poor Eileen! I love how you've written her though. I can see how she and Donna would get along. Oh, the Doctor had better not take advice from Casanova or Jack. Just thinking of the potential for awkwardness is cringeworthy. Of course Donna would establish the "no mating" rule this early on in the game. Honesty might not be the best policy when trying to ease Donna into a life with him, but she will slap him silly if she finds he's keeping secrets from her. Conundrum, indeed! Looking forward to the rest. Don't let the Doctor screw this one up!
tkel_paris
Aug. 12th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
Well, it's true. This story was done, but the arc isn't. :D

Yes, I'm going to miss Eileen. Will have to include her more in other fics.

Actually, those two are wiser than most give them credit for. And recall from the first chapter about the Doctor meeting the latter man.

Yes, I've set him up with a big problem. And we all know he's going to be a bloke about it. ;) But he'll be charming in that adorkable way of his, so Donna will forgive him for a lot. Even if she has to be the responsible adult in this relationship at times. :P Thank you for commenting! :DDDDD
starseeker32
Aug. 12th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
Actually, those two are wiser than most give them credit for. And recall from the first chapter about the Doctor meeting the latter man.

I guess not so much the taking of advice, but the asking for it would be awkward. I'm imagining the Doctor approaching one or both men with the old adorable "So, I have this friend who likes this girl..." routine. I think Jack would help, but not before teasing the Doctor and/or resorting to innuendo.
tkel_paris
Aug. 13th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
True. Good thing I don't plan on him asking Jack for advice. ;D Although I might have to use that for another ficverse someday. *giggles* Thank you for the idea.
nitestar73
Aug. 16th, 2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
I absolutely LOVE this! I made the mistake of not reading Ginger Goddess first so when I started this, it made NO sense but then I went back and read it and re-started this. I can't say enough how much I love this story. What a great way to look at this part of their story!

So.... rocking back and forth on some very Doctor like Converse and rubbing the back of my neck .... When's Part 3?
tkel_paris
Aug. 18th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. And was Ginger Goddess 1 enjoyable, too? :)

Ah, that's the big question. I don't know. My muse will decide, probably after I finish some birthday and overdue Christmas projects first. Wish me luck, and keep an eye out. There will be fun things in the meantime. :)
nitestar73
Aug. 19th, 2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
In the words of Ten- OH YES!

GG1 was quite enjoyable.
malie_girl
Jun. 19th, 2014 03:36 pm (UTC)
Just found this story and I love it. I wish the show had actually gone this way. I can't wait for the next part!
tkel_paris
Apr. 11th, 2015 04:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! And love the icon. :D
Carolyn Harrison
Apr. 12th, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
Loved it. So nice and sweet and yet it doesn't feel like I'm going to get cavities by just reading it.

I really loved the idea of Donna working for the Doctor. UNIT must have been overjoyed to hire her, they've probably been trying to get the Doctor to come back ever since he left. To have him come back on his own? I'm sure they would have agreed to anything the Doctor wanted. That Donna has the skills she does is an excellent bonus for them. I don't just mean her typing skills, but also her ability to help the Doctor in difficult situations and getting him to tell her the truth about things, even when he doesn't want to yet.

Sorry for not replying to this chapter before, but I'm not feeling great right now. Which is why I need some good Doctor/Donna stories to read.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

October 2018
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow