gracie_musica: Good Omens (yeah, go over to a friend's house) (do not attempt)
[personal profile] gracie_musica
Title: Second Fiddle (3/10)
Date Written: 4/25/11
Rating: PG-13/T for later chapters
Word Count: 2,113
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock/Doctor Who
Disclaimer: Not mine, property of their respective owners
Characters/Pairings: John Watson/Donna Noble (yes. you read that right), Sherlock
Spoilers: None, really
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: I blame [profile] midassa_in_gold for this, completely, utterly, and entirely. All of this. Thanks, as always, to my betas: [personal profile] totally4ryo, [profile] k8stamps, and [personal profile] gingerlr. And thank you, dear readers, for your kind comments! New Orleans was a blast. I spent far too much, ate far too much, partied far too much.


"And what day do we call this, then?"

Donna frowns as she hangs up her coat in the hall closet of 221b Baker. Mrs. Hudson has her hands on her hips, and even though she is smaller, slighter, and probably the same age as Donna's grandfather, she looks ready to bend Donna over her knee and spank her for insolence.

"Wednesday," the redhead replies. "Of course."

"Try Saturday, Miss Noble." The older woman crosses her arms across her chest.

"Bloody hell," Donna swears. Normally she wouldn't mind just randomly losing track of three days -- what's three days when you're traveling through space and time? -- but she'd been gone since Monday.


"I think I've worked it out!"

Donna leaned against the TARDIS railing, watching the Doctor's feet twitch this way and that. She has been being a good Companion and handing him tools out of the toolbox, only making him describe exactly what he wants her to hand him a few times. "Good! What was wrong?”

The Doctor shimmied out from underneath the console. He was holding something in his hand that looked almost steampunk chic; burnished copper and coils and delicate small parts, all blowtorched together into a mass of metal. "A spacial coil," he pointed his sonic at the mass of tarnished wiring, "and a temporal bobbin," here he indicated the lump of melted metal, "got fused together. Acted like a spanner in a gear clock, we were stuck."

"A temporal bobbin?"

"'A stitch in time'," the Doctor quoted.

Donna was pretty sure he’d made that up. When she said as much, he had the dignity to look affronted.

"Anyway," he continued. "Now that I've found the problem, we can go!" He tosses the lump into her hands and darts around the console, long fingers flicking at buttons and dials. "Where to, Miss Noble?"

"Do we have to?" She was teasing, of course. They'd always come back; all she had to do is ask.

This time, the question brought the Doctor up short. "Well, no. You're welcome to stay if you'd like."

His voice was non-committal, carefully neutral. Donna tapped him upside the head gently with a spanner. The Time Lord made all the appropriate outraged and injured noises, rubbing his head, even though they both knew it hadn't hurt. "Don't act like I'm throwing you over for a man, Dumbo. Hate it when mates do that."

"But you are," he whined, turning back to his console. He jabbed at the buttons, a brooding teenager who'd been told he couldn't go to the cinema today. "You're going to leave me and go get married and be a Mum -- don't get me wrong, you'll be dead brilliant at it, but blimey, I'll miss you." The last was said in a rush, and Donna just shook her head.

"Stop trying to marry me off, Mum," Donna deadpanned. "We've been going out for two weeks. Hell, we haven't even snogged."

The Doctor's head whipped around so fast that she was afraid it was going to come off his shoulders. "What?"

"What?"

"You haven't kissed him?"

"This is why I don't have to go home so much," she teased. "First, you're my Grandad, then your my Mum, and now you're my maiden aunt who wants to gossip about boys." The Doctor frowned, and Donna laughed. "Every time we get close, Sherlock interrupts. Or you," she added. "And why are you being so bipolar about this? On one hand, you're upset that I may want to stay, but with the other you're pushing me towards him."

The Doctor took a deep breath and put his hands in his pockets. Then he exhaled, and it was like he'd deflated, shoulders slumping a little. "It's... Something I know you want. A home. A husband. Children." Memories of the Library came up, a fake life that had been so, so real; Lee with the stutter and twins that had looked just like everyone else's twin children. They hadn't talked about it – they're okay but not really okay at all, and the subject's been left well enough alone. "I've had those things, Donna. They're wonderful. I can't give them to you, but I won't take you away from a chance at them." He smiled and moved to stand next to his human Companion, leaning against the railing. "And you glow, Donna. When I see you with him, when you mention his name."

Donna ducked her head, blushing a bit. "I feel like I'm in secondary school again," she admitted. "First crush, you know."

"I know."

The two of them stood in comfortable, contemplative silence for a minute.

"You had a husband?"

The Doctor nudged her in the ribs.



"Damn it, Doctor. I had plans yesterday," she sighs before turning to Mrs. Hudson. "Is he in?"

"Upstairs. The pair of them."

She is acting every inch the guard dog. Donna briefly wonders if she should fear for the state of her ankles, but settles on a nod of thanks and bolts up the stairs to the flat.

Sherlock is in the kitchen, cooking something over the stove. A notepad is in his hands and he scribbles notes down, not looking away from the bubbling pot. Mad scientist. John is nowhere to be found.

"Nice of you to finally pop in," he says, not taking his eyes off the experiment.

"Where's John?"

"Up in his room. He caught nasopharyngitis treating people down at that surgery."

Donna gasps. "What's... naso-whatsit?"

Sherlock sighs. "The common cold." He enunciates every word, tone clearly saying how stupid he thinks she is. "He's holed himself up in his room so as not to infect the rest of us."

"And... You've been keeping yourself occupied and out of his hair?" Donna guesses.

"Attempting," Sherlock confirms. Donna picks up a dishtowel that is singed at the edges and holds it accusingly out at the consulting detective's back. "That was an accident," he tells her without turning around. "I got distracted."

"God..."


"I'll have you back by your next date!" the Doctor promised, and Donna grinned as the TARDIS lurched under their feet. Yes, the Doctor's right, some part of her wanted quiet, stability, and peace. But she knows she can't ever give this part up either; the spike of adrenaline, the excitement of the new and mysterious, and even all the running. She'd never been so fit. The TARDIS hummed and groaned as time and space bent around them. It's a powerful, heady knowledge. She feels like a goddess, elemental laws laid bare at her feet.

This is why Time Lords wanted to keep this power to themselves, she knows it in her bones. It's something you don't want to fritter away on someone who won't appreciate it.

A deep thud and booming silence signaled their landing. Donna grinned and hurried to the exit, throwing the double doors wide open to reveal --

--- Hills of grass and bracken, a moor, spread out underneath a blanket of star-studded black. "Are we in England? Doctor, did we just move time-wise then?" She stepped outside, just far enough to feel the cool breeze on her face, and craned her face upwards.

After a few minutes, the Doctor came out, grumbling and scratching the back of his head. "I'll be damned," he told Donna. "It seems the old girl's reluctant to get off-world. We can go back and forth in time, but it looks like we're grounded."

"Doctor."

"Hmn?"

"The stars are different."

"What?"

"I don't know them like you, of course, but I spent enough time with Granddad and the telescope on our hill to have a vague idea where things are in the night sky."

"Different time, different stars in the sky." He patted her back. "I think we need some work on some of the spacial mechanics. C'mon grease monkey. The sooner we get things fixed, the sooner we can get you back to your boy."



Despite the wastebasket overflowing with used tissues and a few empty mugs scattered about the place, John's room is nice and tidy. His military training is obvious in here, in the neatly tucked bed, the clutter-free desk, the sparse but functional furnishings. There are a few pictures on display, some tacked up and others, obviously more important, in cheap frames: a unit of men and women in uniform in front of a tan-colored tent, hats shading half their serious faces from the sun; a group of university-aged kids in lab coats mugging around a skeleton; a younger John and a woman with the same color blonde hair, obviously his sister Harriet.

John rolls over when Donna eases the door open, but doesn't wake up. She slips into the room and tiptoes over to side of the bed, leaning down to check on him. His face is slightly flushed, and he has a white bandage across his forehead. Without thinking, Donna reaches down and brushes her fingers over the strip; it's cool to the touch, and slightly squishy.

The light touch awakens the doctor, and he blinks up at Donna with confused, slightly-blurry eyes. "'onna?" he murmurs, moving to lean up on his elbows.

"Shhh, don't," she soothes, easing him back down onto the bed. She run her fingers through his hair, smiling when John closes his eyes and leans into the touch. "What's on your head?"

John gestures vaguely up at his head, eyes still closed. "Cooling strip. Have to get rid of my low grade fever. They're good for headaches too, actually."

"So you can go back to work? Workaholic," Donna teases.

He snorts in response. "Someone has to keep Sherlock occupied or he'll destroy us all. Can't be running about after a madman with a temperature."

She lightly scratches his scalp and watches him melt into the bedding. "I'm sorry."

"Hmn?"

"I missed our date."

John laughs weakly, the chuckle turning into a cough towards the end. "I've been pretty useless."

"Still."

"You said you'd be traveling." He turns to look at her. "See anything interesting?"

"Not really."

John smiles. "But you're late getting back."

Donna shrugs in response. "You know how it is with men like them. One minute it's Monday, the next it's Saturday and you can't quite remember how it got there."

He laughs and shifts to lay on his side, making room for her to sit down on the edge of the bed. He starts coughing again, and she hands him a half-full mug of cold tea from his bedside table. "Do you have any medicine? Need me to run out and get something?"

"Just took some," tells her, clearing his throat and flopping back onto the bed. He makes a petulant whining noise in the back of his throat, and gives her a mock glare when she giggles at him. "What?"

"That's more the medical-types I know," she chuckles. "Doctors and nurses who think they can fight off illness by willpower and whining alone."

"If a medic doesn't use the schooling he went to university for, he can't complain. I have taken meds, so I get to."

"Whine away," Donna tells him, leaning in to kiss his forehead. Her top lip presses against his warm skin, while the bottom is chilled against the cooling strip.

John tips his head up to look at her. "Thank you for permission."

She smiles and leans her forehead against his. Their noses brush. 'It'd be so easy, really,' she thinks. 'Just a tilt of the head -- '

As if he's read her mind, John closes his eyes and does just that, his lips touching hers lightly. It... leaves a bit to be desired, if she is going to be honest with herself. It isn't passionate or earth-shaking, or even that deep, just a gentle brushing, barely even there. His lips are chapped and dry from being sick, and carry the lingering taste of cough syrup and chamomile tea. Despite that, there is that tiny, delicious little thrill that runs through her; with the when-will-he nerves gone, the excitement that someone wants her makes her smile against his mouth. There is potential here.

She is still smiling when he pulls back.

Then John coughs right in her face.

There is a split second pause while both of them take a moment to realize that yes, that has actually happened. John launches into a shocked, embarrassed apology while Donna just laughs.

"I keep screwing up firsts," he laments, covering his eyes with one of his hands.

Donna wipes her mouth with a clean tissue. It won't help anything, but she can pretend. "You know what they say, practice makes perfect. You're bound to get one of them right eventually."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-26 02:07 pm (UTC)
milady_dragon: Dragon Myfanwy (Default)
From: [personal profile] milady_dragon
Oh my. Poor John and Donna...they just can't seem to get a break. I do hope though, if Donna gets sick, that John offers to doctor her back to health... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-26 04:33 pm (UTC)
missthingsplace: (Default)
From: [personal profile] missthingsplace
Awww, poor John getting sick and Donna missing her next date ... will they ever get a proper kiss???

Oh well, back to the kitchen now i guess ...

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