bas_math_girl: DT Grim (Grim)
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Title: Gallifrey Productions (14/16)
Author: [personal profile] bas_math_girl
Characters: Donna/Ten (John Smith), TenII (Andy Smith), Jenny Smith, Sylvia Noble, OCs
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2883
Summary: another office, another set of faces to learn for Donna Noble. But suddenly there are two of them, and they are causing her all sorts of problems.
Disclaimer: I own the mini film running in my head and absolutely nothing else here.
A/N:
I would have updated this earlier but my migraine decided otherwise
Previously:| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 |

Part 14

The drive home was rather quiet. Jenny glanced across at her father and was dismayed to see his face almost crumpled in grief.

“Dad, what happens now?” she softly queried.

“The usual, we go on, we do the best we can with the life we have. I shall travel on by myself once you reach the age to go out and explore on your own.”

“I think you are forgetting someone. You’ll have Donna,” she bitterly spat out.

“No, I won’t,” he morosely replied. “We can never be together.”

“Why? Doesn’t she love you enough to stay with you?”

“Oh Jenny,” he sighed, turning this head to glance at her, “the tragedy is that quite the opposite is true.”

“I don’t understand,” she admitted. “Do you not really love her? I thought she was more to you than just a trifling arrangement.”

Sucking in a sob on his breath, he confessed, “I love her a great deal. More than I could have ever imagined, but I am denied that happiness.” Knowing Jenny’s confusion had just increased, he explained, “I am restrained by your disapproval from ever telling her of my feelings.”

“Me?” Jenny gasped in denial. “But what about Grandma? She doesn’t approve either.”

“Mother now understands why I behaved the way I did today, and has withdrawn her previous misgivings but cannot give me permission to proceed unless you also agree. I therefore accept that Donna and I can never be.”

Guilt overwhelmed Jenny but she still felt the same level of opposition. He had lied to her, after all. But she wasn’t the only one involved. “And what about Donna?”

“She loves me but she has not told me. Sadly, she thinks I am incapable of loving her,” he brokenly replied, “so she will sacrifice her feelings. That’s good; it’s all good.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I know, sweetheart,” he acknowledged. “Being as we are can make life difficult, especially during puberty when emotions and hormone levels are high and contrive to strengthen any conflicts.”

“Did you go through these phases of intense anger and distrust?” she wondered, relieved to be able to compare notes.

“Of course.” He gave her a wan smile. “Why do you think Donald ran away to end up as a humble schoolteacher married to a woman who never raises her voice except to praise him? It was his way of rebelling.”

“I see,” she conceded. “That explains why Grandma detests Aunt Sarah so much.” After a few moments, she pondered, “Doesn’t that suggest Grandma should love Donna’s fieriness rather than dismiss her from the house like she did?”

“It does,” he agreed, “hence her change of heart tonight. If you can overcome your aggressive instincts I am hoping you will eventually do the same.”

Fat chance!

Rather than blurt out any rash comment that would hurt him even more, Jenny kept wisely quiet. Anger, possessiveness and a protective compulsion warred within her still. Logic said that she ought to welcome Donna into the family with open arms, since she had valued her friendship until that day; but the prominent feeling within her at that moment was the need to rip Donna’s throat out for trying to steal her father. The only blessing was that it wasn’t as violent as the way she had felt about Amanda.

With a typical teenage pout on her lips, she stared out of the car window instead.

~o0o~


Later that same Sunday evening a man stood on the doorstep of the Noble household. A knock at the door soon had Sylvia opening it with barely concealed disdain.

“Hello. Is Donna in?” Andy cheerily greeted her.

“Which one are you?” she asked, narrowing her eyes. He didn’t look like he normally did. “I can’t tell you apart but that won’t affect my aim if I have to slap you into next week.”

Biting down on a sigh, he replied, “I see you’ve been told what happened this afternoon. Let me introduce myself: I’m Andrew Smith but someone as lovely as yourself can call me Andy.” He added to the schmooze by taking her hand and gallantly kissing the back of it.

To his relief, Sylvia’s scorn immediately melted away. “Charmed, I’m sure. She’s in the back room. Go on through.”

“Thank you,” he said as he graced her with a beautiful smile and stepped into the modest house. To some it would seem like a palace but to him it was terribly small yet cosy. “In here?” he double checked as he entered through a door, and then found Donna sitting in the room.

“Hello Andy. What can I do for you?” she instantly asked, standing up at the ready.

He motioned for her to sit down again, and went to sit by her side. “Hello Donna. I wanted to come and see if you were alright.” He then lowered his voice to whisper, “Having now met your mother I can understand why my mother didn’t have quite the impact she was hoping to have on you.” Donna giggled in appreciation. Keeping his voice low as he leaned closer, he surreptitiously tasted the air near her and stated, “I hear things got a little bit heated as Mother’s part in Amanda’s plan to get John back failed dismally.”

“Is that what that was all about?”

“I’m afraid so. Mother always did like some of the qualities Amanda could bring to the family.” Andy then sighed. “Unfortunately, Mother chose to ignore other, less pleasant ones; plus, of course, John’s heart in the matter. Or mine,” he idly added. “Before I go any further, did John do anything in particular to you?”

“Like what?” Donna glared at him as she warned, “You’d better not be suggesting that he’s got me up the duff!”

“Oh no! I’m not saying you are pregnant at all,” he insisted. “Far from it. His personal moral code would never allow such indelicate behaviour.”

“That’s all right then,” she huffed. “What do you mean by ‘indelicate behaviour’? That’d better not be a backhanded insult.”

“Again, no.” He tried to smile brightly. Now, how should he gain confirmation and then tell her she had been specially marked by his brother? It had been strange to suddenly lose interest in her when they’d met again that afternoon, but the current tang in the air solved that little mystery. “What I am trying to find out is, and this is going to possibly sound a little weird but, did he touch you in any way that seemed odd at the time?”

“You’re starting to frighten me,” she admitted.

So he took hold of her hands to offer comfort. Ah, there it is; the missing piece of the puzzle. Although, quite frankly, how she could no longer fancy him personally was beyond his normal sensitivities; but that was by the by. “There’s no need to be frightened. John is not a predator of any sort, let alone a sexual one. I’m trying to find out if he did anything to your neck, or maybe your forehead.”

Finding his presence to be an immensely calming one, she was able to relax and think. “Not my neck, but he did kiss my forehead, I think, when I fell asleep on him the other night. We got a bit drunk, you see. No, not like that, buster! There was no quick bunk up to be later blamed on alcohol. We merely drank enough to fall asleep on each other while watching a film. Well, we were supposed to be watching one of those cult creature films of yours but we never got that far. Too busy emptying a bottle of liqueur. Anyway, we just sort of...” She demonstrated them sagging together by bringing her hands closer in a telling gesture.

Ah, so she doesn’t know. Andy pondered on how much to tell her. John had not only initiated contact, but judging by the change in her pheromones, he had also stamped her with his ownership, as it were, by apparently licking her neck at some point of the evening without her even knowing. Only one more step would be needed in order to make them fully married, in the eyes of their family’s culture. Oh boy! This was momentous. It was also not his place to tell her but for John to reveal the truth.

At least the bond John had formed stopped Andy from feeling overpoweringly jealous. That was a blessing. There was something about Donna Noble that was generally attractive to the Smith family. An important something. Even Roderick had noticed and commented on it.

But he realised he would have to make some token gesture of jealousy to halt any of her suspicions. “I see. Just cuddling?”

“Just cuddling,” she confirmed. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” Her finger did the appropriate action on her chest.

“In that case, you shouldn’t let Mother put you off going back to work.”

How did he know I was worrying about that?! It’s like he‘s physic or something. “But the things she said...”

“As far as I’m concerned you can continue as you were,” he assured her. “If John doesn’t want you to sign that new contract he’s been hastily pushing through, then it is up to him to say and dismiss you, not Mother.”

“So it will be alright to go in tomorrow?”

He nodded. “Should John not contact you beforehand to say it’s alright, go and see Peter Browne down in the accounts department to finish off your six weeks. I don’t see why you should lose out when you were especially booked for it.”

“Thank you, Andy.” She sighed, feeling that not everything was as bad as she thought.

“And if that idiot of a brother of mine doesn’t show up, I shall deal with him before coming to take you out to lunch. Bring Marianne as well if it makes you feel safer,” he offered as he stood to leave.

What could she say to that except give him a heartfelt hug? So she did.

It was only later that she realised that she hadn’t wanted to do more to him.

~o0o~


“Morning, Donna! You don’t look very happy. Not like you to look so glum. Anything the matter?” Marianne kind-heartedly greeted her first thing Monday morning.

“To be honest I’m not feeling so great,” Donna admitted. “The thing is... I need to change office this week and join the regular workforce. It’s my last week here so it shouldn’t cause too much of a problem, but I can’t go back to John Smith’s office.”

“Oh?” With that, Marianne leaned closer to hear the gossip. “What’s gone wrong?”

Donna waved her hands about to dismiss all the flimflam. “I accidentally handed my notice in, shall we say, so I won’t be welcome anywhere near him. It’s best I work out my temporary contract in another part of the building entirely.”

“But what about the location stuff?” Marianne wailed in sympathy. “They’ll need you for that.”

“No they won’t,” Donna denied with a shake of her head. “I’m sure Mr Smith will be on the phone right now to arrange a replacement secretary. So, I’d better go along and see where Peter Browne can fit we in his department for a few days and I’ll see you lunchtime.”

“Yes, see you later,” Marianne replied, already deep in thought. Poor Donna; and so taken with the two brothers, especially John, too. Such a shame to have her heart broken like that. She would have to think of a special treat to cheer her friend up.

When John Smith strode through the main doors about ten minutes later, Marianne did her best to give him her usual cheery greeting, but he merely scowled at her. Oh dear. Further proof that Donna had been correct.

But it shocked her when four minutes later he reappeared at the front desk to demand, “Has Donna phoned in sick?”

“No, Mr Smith. She’s here, in the building.”

His face went from a scowl to thunder. “Why isn’t she in my office?”

“She is in the office, just not your office,” Marianne did her best to explain, but those angry eyes of his were causing her thoughts to scuttle away.

“Then where exactly IS she?”

“Erm....” Marianne nervously licked her lips before answering, “She was heading for Peter Browne’s data collection, to see if he had any work for her.”

“What!” John raged. “She has a perfectly good job to do already. Why has she gone there?”

“Because you didn’t want her…,” Marianne cautiously suggested. Whatever she’d done, Donna seemed to think she had blown it where her previous position was concerned. “If that isn’t the case then she will need to be informed.” She quickly picked up the reception phone receiver. “Shall I call the department and get them to send her back? I’m sure I could catch her in time.”

His eyes bulged. “In time for what?”

“To stop her leaving for good,” Marianne squeaked out, half expecting him to strike her or cause some damage to her desk.

“Leave it with me,” he proclaimed. “I’ll deal with it.”

Watching him march away, Marianne felt it was best to phone up and warn Peter Browne that the boss was on his way. Might save a life or at least a career by doing that; her own included.

~o0o~


Donna strode up to Peter Browne’s office and invited herself in, cloaking herself in as much bravado as she could muster. “Hello, Peter. I’ve had to be re-assigned for this week. Do you have any work you can offer me?”

Just as she had expected, Peter frowned heavily at her in confusion. “But I thought you were tied in with John. What changed to cause that to happen?”

“Oh, you know,” she airily stated. “Clash of personalities and all that.”

“A lovers’ tiff, eh?” he mused, giving her a sympathetic grin.

“What? No! We aren’t like that,” she protested. “Why do you think so?”

His grin morphed into a sly smirk. “Oh really! We aren’t blind, during our departmental meetings, despite what you think.”

Oh no! Do I give off the fancying vibe when I’m around John? “Well,” she gulped nervously, “whatever you thought is happening, isn’t; so do you have some work for me or not?”

Peter hissed out a sigh through his teeth. “I’ll find something for you today but you won’t need a whole week’s worth.”

Would she be getting the sack? Did he know something she didn’t? “Why’s that?”

“Because,” he explained as he started to guide her towards another colleague who would provide the work, “John will soon make sure you are back in his office or out on location. There’s no way he’ll let you stay here.”

“Says you,” she despondently muttered to herself.

“Leanne, this is Donna from John Smith’s office. She’s down here to gain some idea how we operate, from the ground upwards,” Peter lied. “Do you think you can find her some tasks to do? Filing, phone call messages, anything at all.”

The woman introduced as Leanne cautiously eyed Donna up and down, as though she expected to be bitten at any moment. “I know that Gaynor has a mountain of stuff that needs filing.”

“Good. Excellent,” Peter enthused. “Then I’ll leave Donna in your capable hands.”

“Lead on, Macduff,” Donna cheerily said to Leanne. She could feel that probing questions were going to be asked, but at least she had a window of opportunity where a polite distance would be maintained, in order to rustle up some answers during the quiet period.

It didn’t last as long as she had anticipated.

“Does this mean that John Smith himself will be coming in here for some work experience?” Leanne wanted to know as she ‘accidentally’ hovered about doing things nearby. “Like that programme Undercover Boss, but without the secrecy.”

“No, I don’t think so,” Donna answered whilst trying to evade the woman.

Leanne pensively entwined her fingers. “Then why is he in Peter’s office?” she continued to ask. “If this is a new initiative they should have told us about it.”

Donna almost dropped her armful of papers in shock. “John is here?” she faintly wondered.

“Yes. He turned up about ten minutes ago,” Leanne supplied. “Weren’t you expecting him?”

“Not really,” Donna admitted; and looked towards the office door to check whether a burly security guard was going to arrive in order to escort her abruptly from the business property.

No sign of anyone on an evicting mission, so she allowed herself a sigh of relief.

“You and him. John,” Leanne clarified, “is it true that you’re having an affair?”

“Neither of us are in a relationship so it wouldn’t be classed as an affair IF anything was going on,” Donna stressed. “Which it certainly isn’t.”

“That’s not what I’ve heard,” Leanne maintained. “Not that I blame you in the slightest because he has been looking even more gorgeous than normal lately.”

“It’s the beard,” Donna absently agreed as she noticed Peter’s personal office door open and a familiar figure start to appear as both men stepped out.

It’s him! Oh my god. Will he want to see me? Her heart thumped wildly in her chest as her instincts told her to run and embrace him.


Part 15 
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