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Title: Gallifrey Productions (12/14?)
Author: [personal profile] bas_math_girl
Characters: Donna, Ten (John Smith), TenII (Andy Smith), Jenny Smith, OCs
Rating: PG-13
Word Count:
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.
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

Saturday took an unexpected turn for Donna when Jenny phoned up to say she was going shopping with her friend Beatrice instead; so she was left to go out and choose an outfit and a suitable birthday gift on her own. Once that task was done, Sunday loomed large and scarily on the horizon.

After what Jenny had said about her grandmother was it even possible to impress the woman? Sylvia Noble may have her faults but at least you could schmooze her with the offer of a bottle of white wine and a James Blunt or Michael Ball CD.

It took almost an hour to find the right place. There were loads of cars parked in the driveway when Donna turned up to the home of Mrs Smith. The place was enormous. I mean; it represented serious money. She had expected the Smiths to be fairly wealthy but this was on a different scale to what she had anticipated. Perhaps the old girl had bagged herself an Earl or something? Or was housesitting for the National Trust.

She parked her car where some lackey in a yellow hazard jacket pointed her to go, and then stepped self-consciously onto the gravel that led up to the main house. This was just like being in Pride & Prejudice, Donna told herself, and if she could stretch the fantasy, she’d be Elizabeth going to see Darcy at the ball. But who would be her Mr Darcy? Her mind flitted between John and Andy. At one time it would have been only Andy, but after that pool incident at the hotel, John had started vying for top spot. Now, after having spent intimate time asleep in his arms, John was easily her first choice; given a choice, of course.

Stop imagining your boss being your lover, she angrily told herself. Not going to happen. Not in a million years. One more week to go and things might be able to change between her and John. Unless she got this meeting right with his mother it would all be over, for her to never see him and his brother again. Only one more week, she forlornly repeated as dread suddenly but briefly filled her. She was Donna Noble, she told herself, and she could bloody well do this!

Smoothing down her dress over her hips, she took a deep breath for encouragement and set off to face whatever music that might come. A couple of other people were walking in front of her, so she just followed them in through the main door, and walked through the house until they eventually reached the back lawn.

“There you are!” a delighted voice called out as soon as she stepped through some huge French windows. “I was worried you wouldn’t come.”

She turned to see Jenny racing forward to take possessive hold of her arm. “Hello,” she greeted the girl. “You look lovely! That shade of blue really suits you. Am I dressed alright? I’ve never been to a garden party before. Heard about them obviously, considering the Queen has them every now and then.”

“You look fine,” Jenny reassured her. “Do you really like this dress?”

“Of course,” Donna suitable enthused; and they chatted on about the various dress shops Jenny and her best friend had visited the day before.

Very soon a familiar face appeared by their side. “Hello,” Andy greeted them, giving Jenny a kiss on the cheek. “Did you two deliberately choose complimentary dresses?” he teased.

“Oh, you know, when in Rome,” Donna joked. “It’s a happy accident that we chose similar styles and colours.”

“The sort of accident I approve of. You both look lovely,” he complimented, and then stepped warily away from her. “Have you done something different to yourself?”

“No,” she answered. “What sort of something?”

I have my suspicions. “I’m not sure,” he admitted, “but it’s good whatever it is. Anyway, I haven’t greeted Mother yet so I’d better go and do that as soon as possible. I’ll see you both later.”

“Any idea what he was on about?” Donna asked Jenny as he walked away and back towards the house.

“None at all,” Jenny replied, but she could see what he meant now that he had mentioned it.

All further thoughts on the matter flew out of Donna’s head because something made her turn and look in a particular direction; almost calling to her. “What….,” she began to query; and then she saw him.

Standing less than three metres away was John, dressed casually smart in a jacket she hadn’t seen before. Instantly, her pulse began to race and butterflies tried to take up permanence residence in her stomach. It was his eyes that captured her attention, drawing her in with their warmth; causing love to swell up into her heart. He was so handsome it almost made her weep.

But as he got nearer, the radiant smile on his face slipped into a warning grimace. “Erm, Donna. Can I have a quick word please?” Without waiting for an answer, he took hold of her elbow and guided her across the lawn, well away from the other guests, by an ornamental lake and under the shade of an overhanging willow tree.

“Well?” she challenged him. “What’s the problem? Why all the cloak and dagger stuff?”

He kept a firm grip on her forearm. “It’s my mother,” he quietly confessed. “She apparently saw Amanda in town last week and invited her here today.” He then took hold of her left hand and brought it up to his chest. “If that wasn’t bad enough, my mother now thinks we are engaged thanks to that encounter, so I have to do some damage control, with this…” From out of his trouser pocket he then produced a ring that he preceded to place upon the tip of her third finger. “This was my paternal grandmother’s ring, and since you said you would be willing to carry on with this charade so that I could get rid of Amanda, I am asking you if you will do me the honour of being my temporary fiancée.”

“But that’s a family heirloom,” Donna objected. It was rather a nice ring, she had to admit; the amethyst set amongst several diamonds especially caught her eye. “I can’t take it even if I’d obviously give it back later on.”

Ignoring her protest, he slipped the ring completely onto her third finger. “There’s no one else I would rather wear it for the time being,” he sincerely told her. “And I know you wouldn’t be petty enough to keep it if things between us went sour.”

Having placed the ring, his arm wrapped itself around her waist to draw her close. She gazed up at him, seeing his vulnerability as clear as day. “You silly pup,” she fondly said, raising her other hand to tenderly caress his cheek. “All this just to avoid talking to a crowd of people or tell your ex where to get off.”

Anxiously licking his lips, he admitted, “It’s all a bit daunting, talking to Mother’s friends. It is much easier coping with the technicians at work or on location. I can do that; and when I can’t, I have you by my side organising me.”

“That is so sweet of you to say,” she near whispered, feeling him drawing her closer. “All I do is stand about with a clipboard. Nothing else.”

“I am grateful for all that you do,” he murmured, leaning forward even closer. “Thank you. If I were putting this ring on for real I’d kiss you.”

And I’d let you. “Go ahead. Help yourself.”

His lips eased forward and her eyes fluttered shut; letting the sensations of all the aromas around her weave their own special magic upon her senses. There was the smell from the tree, the fresh watery breeze, his aftershave and the scent of the washing powder used to launder his clothing. Plus the minty hint in his breath as his mouth landed softly on hers.

It was the briefest of kisses; like a leaf on the breeze. But Donna was determined to get any ounce of romance that existed in this scenario so she tugged his head back down to kiss him properly. One kiss surely wouldn’t harm things, would it?

This kiss was headier than the previous one. Tender with the merest touch of his tongue against her lips as they moved together.

“There you are, John!” an older female voice broke through the passionate fog that had enveloped them. “I thought I would find you hiding under here. Is this who I think it is?”

A stunned John drew back from their kiss and regarded the mature well-dressed woman who stood watching them. “Sorry, Mother. We were just…” He then gave an embarrassed cough and remembered his manners. “This is my friend Donna. Donna, this is my mother, Verity Smith.”

“Lovely to meet you, Mrs Smith,” Donna quickly greeted her, having released her hold on John’s arm and offered a hand to shake.

Verity took the offered hand and limply shook it. “How do you do. I’ve heard a great deal about you, from my granddaughter Jenny,” she stated with all the joy of meeting Osama Bin Laden after he’d fallen in a cess pit. “If you could put my son down for a second or two perhaps he would mingle amongst my other guests. It is very impolite of him to monopolise you like this.”

“Yes, Mother,” John stammered. “I’ll erm go do that right away. Perhaps we can meet for refreshments later, Donna?”

“Of course,” she answered, plastering on an encouraging smile for him. What a bitch, she thought as she looked back at his mother. I mean, what kind of mother deliberately shows up her son like that in front of the fiancée she’s never met before? A snobby one, that’s who. “Happy birthday,” she forced herself to trill. “Thank you for inviting me. I’ve left your card and present in the same room as everyone else. Sorry it isn’t much but I didn’t know what to get you.” Still no welcoming words, so she trundled on. “You must be so proud of Jenny. She’s a lovely girl.”

“Yes, she is coming along wonderfully well,” Verity commented in return. “Are you the one that works under both John and Andrew?” she idly asked as though she didn’t have a clue who Donna was.

Those beady eyes bore into her as she replied, “The one and only. Well, for the time being I am, but not for long. It will be good to be part of a team, and I’ll get the best bit.” When Verity’s eyebrows rose in interest, Donna added, “I’ll get to travel about with them and stay in expensive hotels.”

“I hope that isn’t the only reason you are interested in my sons,” Verity voiced in dispassionate tones. “And what is that ring I see upon your finger?”

Donna held up her hand to display the ring on her third finger. “Do you mean this one?”

Verity bent to get a closer look and then sniffed in disdain. “That was his paternal grandmother’s. Why has he given it to you?” she haughtily wondered.

“Well,” Donna nonchalantly began to explain, “The fact we are engaged might have something to do with it. Family heirlooms tend to be passed on like that.”

“It was supposed to go to his future wife,” Verity snapped, clearly put out.

Of course Donna then pointed at herself. “Well d’uh! Official fiancée at your service.”

“No, you are merely a flash in the pan,” Verity insisted with a minimal shake of her head. “You cannot be his fiancée.”

So Donna pinched her own arm. “I assure you I am real.”

Alas, Verity was not amused by her antics. “It doesn’t matter whether you are real or not, this engagement of yours will not last long, and John will be free to find a better choice of wife.”

Now Donna was really riled. What a cheek! “I think you’ll find it’s up to me and John whether this engagement will go the full course or not, and you should respect his choice, even if you don’t like it.”

“Young woman, my son knows his duty to me, the family, and his daughter. You, on the other hand, are simply a passing fancy who happens to have charmed her way temporarily into his affections.”

Donna deliberately bobbed her head in a mini curtsey. “Thank you,” she said as though she’d been given a massive compliment.

At that point, a tall, vaguely familiar man sidled up to Verity and lightly touched her forearm. “Who has been using their charms, Mother?” he pleasantly asked.

Mother? There was another brother?! Why hadn’t she been told about him! Although now that she looked at him, Donna could see a strong resemblance to John and Andy. When I say strong, they could have been clones. Like peas in a pod, they were. The hair was completely different in style, being swept harshly back into a short back and sides kind of thing. Clean-shaven and he wore thick rimmed glasses. She was brought out of her musings by Verity pointing at her.

“This young woman has been using her extensive charms on John. She works as his secretary,” Verity explained as though the words tasted really bitter on her tongue.

This new son extended his hand towards Donna in greeting. “How do you do. I’m Roderick, John’s elder brother. Well, half-brother to be more precise.”

Donna eagerly took his hand. “I’m the ‘she’ that’s not the cat’s mother but you can call me Donna. I work with John and Andy as their personal assistant on location.”

“Ah,” Roderick gasped in realisation. “Jenny speaks very highly of you too. Would you care for some refreshment? I see you don’t have a drink.”

“I’d love something, thanks,” Donna cheerily answered. “What have you got?”

“Why don’t you accompany me and we shall see,” he offered, gesturing with his hand for her to follow him as he stepped back towards the house. “We have several things that might tempt you.” He then returned his calm gaze to his mother. “Would you like me to get you anything too, Mother?”

“No thank you,” she primly replied. “I have already arranged something.”

“Very well,” he acknowledged, and placed his hand on the small of Donna’s back to guide her away. “I shall return later.”

They walked in silence for a few steps. Then Donna murmured, “I’m not sure which of us you were trying to rescue but thank you.”

He looked suitably shocked. “I am merely being hospitable, Donna.”

“And I’m the Pope. Yeah, I can see you trying to hide that smirk. You were doing some rescuing and I am personally grateful for it. Your mum obviously detests the sight of me.”

“Surely not,” Roderick protested. “Mother is concerned about John’s well-being and she hasn’t had the chance to meet you properly. Whereas Amanda supplied a great deal of information that Mother was unaware of, so she was a little disconcerted to learn about your relationship through a third party.”

“That’s her excuse, huh?” Donna then smiled conspiratorially at him. “Didn’t stop her inviting me to this birthday gig though to get a good look at me; without telling John. Are you supposed to now report back to her? Because I’ve been a bad girl. A very bad girl.”

“Oh Donna,” he laughed with glee leading her to pick up a plate at the buffet table. “You are going to cause my mother all sorts of problems in the future.”

“Who me? Nah!” she denied. But if she could ruffle the old crow’s feathers, she wouldn’t be disappointed. “So how come I haven’t seen you in the production company?”

Picking up some slices of meat to lay on his own plate, Roderick paused to think first before replying, “It isn’t my field of interest, I’m afraid. They sometimes include me when decisions are made about soundtrack musical scores; otherwise I am free to enjoy my own pursuits.”

“Which are?”

Standing up straight, he announced, “I have a career in music. Not quite reaching the same heights as Gareth Malone but I follow a similar path, with young students.”

“Wow. That’s impressive,” Donna responded. “Does your wife work in the same field?”

“I have no wife,” he stated, giving a defensive sniff. He then continued to fill his plate without looking at Donna. “People always fixate on that fact which can be rather irritating. It would be nice to meet someone but I am happy as I am.”

“You’ll find someone,” she consoled him, thinking that there must be a woman somewhere who could see his good qualities shining through. She then spotted an advancing figure and whispered to him, “Looks like your playtime is up.”

Puzzled, Roderick lifted his head to look in the same direction, and saw his mother aiming towards him, dragging behind her his niece Jenny. “Hello Mother. Is something wrong?”

Slightly flustered, Verity informed him, “The piano is all set up, Roderick so can you rouse your brothers, please. This is most infuriating.”

He handed his untouched plate to Jenny and followed Verity. “Yes, Mother,” he sighed as he walked away. “I shall collect them straight away.”

“So that’s Roderick,” Donna remarked to Jenny who stood watching them leave. “Smith version number three. Do you get to see him much?”

“Not really,” Jenny confessed, “and I find him a bit scary. He’s always so severe.”

“He seemed nice enough,” Donna defended him. “Just needs a bit of teasing every now and then. Are there any other brothers I should know about?”

“Just Uncle Donald,” Jenny supplied. “He and Uncle Roderick are twins too; but he isn’t here today. His son, my cousin David is around somewhere. Grandma is looking after him while his parents are on holiday.”

“Blimey, she certainly was busy when she was younger,” Donna muttered to herself.

Part 13
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