bas_math_girl: Why did I marry you? (marry)
[personal profile] bas_math_girl
Title: Gallifrey Productions (13/15?)
Author: [personal profile] bas_math_girl
Characters: Donna, Ten (John Smith), TenII (Andy Smith), Jenny Smith, OCs
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2959
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: part 13 - unlucky for some...
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

Hearing the strain of a plucked string, followed by three notes obviously played on a piano, Donna asked Jenny, “What’s going on? Have they booked a band?”

“No, silly!” Jenny chided her. “It’s the usual family recital.”


Jenny nodded in confirmation. “Grandma always insists that they play some pieces together. It’s a Gallifreyan tradition.”

“So who are ‘they’ exactly?” Donna cautiously wondered.

“My uncles and Dad,” Jenny supplied. “That’s them tuning up. Come on or we’ll miss it.”

So Donna let the eager girl lead her towards the sounds from afar, in another room. It was large enough to have once been a ballroom. Within it sat a grand piano, with Roderick seated at the keys. Beside him stood John and Andy, both holding what looked like violins.

“I didn’t know they could play,” she muttered; feeling even more than she had earlier that any chance she might have had with either brother was being whipped away by a cultured hand. This wasn’t her world, and never could be. These men were well out of her league. “Are you going to join in?”

“One day,” Jenny replied, “when I am able. Grandma says I should be proficient enough to reach the right standard quite soon.”

Donna merely nodded in understanding. What else could she say? She had only ever had a go at hitting a triangle or waving a tambourine when she’d been at school. There was no natural musical talent yearning within her and the opportunity to do anything more taxing with an instrument had never arisen. 

A few feet away from them stood Verity Smith, looking very smug and every inch the successful matriarch as she eyed her talented sons. She beckoned Jenny over to stand by her side as the first chords were played. 

Such beautiful music. 

Donna was enthralled as she listened to the unfamiliar sounds. It was similar to something else she had heard as part of a film score, but that was as far as her recognition went. Both violins seemed to soar as the music reached a crescendo, and she found herself willing them to reach the next high note and complete the piece. 

When it all ended, she clapped with appreciation as much as everybody else did; but was she the only person who felt as though certain parts had been aimed purely at them? Surely not. But John’s gaze had captured hers as he finished, and she dipped her head to hide the resultant blush upon her cheeks. It hadn’t been for her but it was nice to pretend, for a moment at least, that it had been.

All three men bowed to the assembled audience and then accepted a grateful kiss on the cheek from their mother, returning the kiss in the same vein.

“Everybody, my talented sons,” Verity announced, thus forcing the attending people to applaud again.

“What did you think?” an eager Andy asked Donna, having risked disapproval by seeking her out first. 

“I can’t believe you did that. You are very talented. All of you,” she gushed in reply. “It was beautiful; out of this world.”

He grinned in delight. “Did you recognise it? Roderick chose the arrangement.”

“I have no idea what it was,” she honestly admitted. “Then again, we’re Radio 2 people in our house rather than Radio 3, so that shouldn’t be a big surprise.”

“That’s not all you are,” he bitterly commented, lifting up her left hand to examine her fingers. “What’s this, Donna? I thought you were going to wait… for me.”

“It looks like an engagement ring,” Jenny supplied. “Did you get engaged? I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend.”

Before Donna could reply to Jenny’s question, Andy continued his reveal. “I’d know that ring anywhere. It was my grandmother’s; the one that was left to John. You went and got engaged to John, didn’t you?” he accused Donna.

“What!” Jenny shrieked.

“I can explain,” Donna started to defend herself, “I… We…”

“Oh no! No. This can’t be happening,” Jenny was denying as she backed away. “He would have said something to me. You are just friends who work together, nothing more, that’s what he said; that you needed comforting the other night. It wasn’t as bad as it looked!” she bit out angrily. “My friends all warned me you were moving in on him.”

“Jenny, please listen, your dad was right,” Donna tried to calmly state. “This…” She waved her ring finger about. “…is all a rouse.”

“Go on, explain,” Andy demanded. “I cannot wait to hear this after the lecture you gave me on our first location trip.”

No matter where she looked, John was nowhere to be seen to come to her defence. “Do you remember that day in the restaurant, when you’d just come home from Budapest and Amanda was all arsy with you both? He’d pretended me and him were an item to get rid of her, you see,” she aimed the last bit towards Jenny. “Well, he asked me to pretend again so that Amanda wouldn’t try it on with him today. All this is because John hasn’t got the wherewithal to tell some tarty bunny boiler where to get off.”

Fortunately, Andy appeared to understand, but Jenny was still furious. “So are you and him together or not?”

“That is exactly what I would like to know,” a stern female voice announced. 

“Hello Mother,” Andy greeted her as a distraction, but it didn’t work.

“Well?!” Verity Smith commanded. “Speak, woman. You certainly had no problem talking a moment ago.”

Not wanting to answer her, Donna retorted, “That is a matter entirely between John and me.” 

“If you are unwilling to inform us, I think you ought to leave,” Verity declared. “I see that my suspicions were true. Roderick, would you escort her from the property immediately, please?”

From beside her, Roderick obediently stepped forward; but he gently requested, “Would you come this way?” He held out his hand to guide her exit.

Sod this! “Alright, I’ll go but it is for John to decide my fate, not you,” Donna bravely proclaimed.

“John knows his duty to the family, the company and his business,” Verity stated. “He will do what’s best. Goodbye.” She then turned her back on Donna; fully expecting her to be gone from her sight, very soon. “Jenny, dear, why don’t you play for us in a little while? You could do with the practise, and Roderick will tutor you as to how to improve.”

“Yes, Grandma,” the girl reply.

But Donna wasn’t listening anymore. Instead, she was following Roderick; out of the house and probably out of the best job she had ever had. “I’m not really the gold-digging witch your mother will make me out to be,” she assured him as they walked. “Not that you care, but I thought I’d say it anyway.”

“My mother hasn’t said anything yet,” he reminded her.

“Maybe, but she will; if she’s anything like my mother is. You’ll get a full ear-battering about why you must never go near any woman remotely like me again.” Donna jiggled the ring on her finger and finally managed to free it from her possession. “You know, you’re not the snobbish robot I first expected you to be,” she complimented him with a smile. 

“I try hard not to be,” he commented with a wry grin. “Although I am well aware that some people still think so.”

“Well, you’re not; and if I tell you so then it’s true. I may be a lot of things but I only give compliments when they are due.” She stopped out on the drive gravel a few feet away from her car. “Can I ask a favour? Would you give this ring back to John for me and tell him I’m sorry.” She took hold of his nearest hand and placed the gem onto his palm, ignoring his shock at being touched. “His plan went tits up but at least I can take the blame for it and he can avoid his mother’s wrath for a while.” 

To his consternation, Roderick found his fist being patted by her as his hand was closed around the ring. “I am sure he will appreciate the gesture. Mother can be a little demanding.”

“I’d guessed that,” Donna knowingly replied. “Look after yourself, Roderick. You’re a keeper.” With that, she reached up to kiss his cheek farewell. “Bye!”

“Oh!” He raised a hand to place his fingers over where she had kissed him; surprised at himself for reacting in such a way. “Goodbye, Donna Noble.” 

With a cheery wave, she started up her car, and drove away, leaving him standing there deep in thought. 

Seconds later John came frantically running out of the house as though his heels were on fire. “Where is she? Did she leave?” he queried as he ground to a noisy halt. “Why didn’t you stop her?”

“Mother wanted her gone,” Roderick explained. “You should have told her about switching your affections to Donna.”

“It isn’t like that!” John denied, expecting his brother to argue with him.

There was a nod of Roderick’s head, and then he held out his open hand, palm upwards. “Donna asked me to return this. You are lucky; anyone else would have kept it as a memento. Now you can give it to the woman you want to marry, if you ever come to your senses.”

“Pardon!” John gasped, taking the ring.

“Oops! I meant if you ever find the right person,” Roderick drily corrected. “Never mind,” he breathily murmured as he gazed towards the driveway that Donna had driven along moments before. “As Mother said, I’m sure you’ll do what’s best. But,” he added as he turned his stare onto John, “don’t take your friend for granted and break her heart. Donna doesn’t deserve it.”

Any reply John came up with was halted by the sight of Jenny storming out of the house, bearing down on him at a fast rate of knots.

“Dad! Grandma said she caught you kissing Donna,” Jenny accused him. “Well? Why did you kiss her?”

“Jenny, sweetheart, it just sort of happened,” John defended himself. 

“Just sort of happened,” she sarcastically repeated. “Did you happen to fall on her, landing on her lips with your mouths wide open? Seriously, Dad! How stupid do you think I am in order to believe that one?!”

“She’s right, you know,” Roderick put in when John silently appealed to him to back him up. “You must have wanted it to happen.”

“Did you, Dad?” Jenny loudly demanded. Scorn contorted her face.

“Well I… erm… it was…,” John faltered.

Taking pity on his brother, Roderick rested a tender hand on Jenny’s arm. “Why don’t we take this conversation inside,” he calmly suggested. 

“But he needs to answer the question,” Jenny insisted.

“And he will,” Roderick assured her, guiding her back into the house. “Once he has found the correct words to describe his emotions, and you stop shouting at him.”

“I wasn’t!”

“I’m afraid you were, and it doesn’t help explain matters when you do,” Roderick continued, using his calm, suave tone

“If he can’t or won’t explain things, doesn’t that imply…,” Jenny reasoned. She then stood stock still as a thought occurred in her mind. “Oh my god! I’ve been so blind. He’s in love with her.”

Oh no! “Jenny,” John whined behind her. “Do you have to?”

“But I’m right, aren’t I, Uncle Roderick,” she sought to confirm. “Why else would he go through this ridiculous charade?”

“He did give Donna our grandmother’s wedding ring,” Roderick quietly added. “In here…” He opened a door that lead into the downstairs study. The scent of aged wood immediately rose up and greeted them. “We can discuss things in here without too much interruption.” Once the large panelled door was shut behind them, he set his attention onto his niece who was taking far too much joy out of glaring at her father. “You seem to have objections against John’s interest in Donna. Why? You were rather taken with her friendship before today.”

“Well,” Jenny huffed, “I was, but that was before he turned it into something gross.”

Ignoring John’s cry of protest, Roderick forged on. “Why exactly is it gross? Would you prefer your father to choose someone more like Amanda?”

There was another inevitable cry from John.

“I certainly would not,” Jenny quickly answered. “Anyone but her.”

“I think that is an excellent starting point for you persuade your daughter, John,” Roderick turned to him and stated, “so I shall leave you to do just that and I shall return to my duties and Mother.”

“Thank you, Roderick,” John responded. “Jenny and I have a great deal to talk about. But first, I need a drink…”


John stepped out of the room and straight into Amanda. “John!” she gasped in delight.

Hell’s bells! “Oh, hello Amanda. Lovely to see you again,” he forced himself to say. “I’d heard you were around somewhere.”

“I was beginning to think you’ve been avoiding me, you naughty man,” she chided him.

Get me a sick bag, someone… anyone. Jenny plastered on the biggest grin she could muster. “He was with me.”

“Oh look, it’s Jenny,” Amanda noted.

As if Dad can’t see me with his own eyes, you stupid idiot. “The very one,” Jenny trilled. Go on, give me a decent reason to thump you.

“So….,” Amanda hesitantly began, obviously caught unawares. “Is there any chance of us having a quiet word together, John?”

His heart sank. I don’t need this right now. “Certainly we can,” he politely assured her. “But first, I have a few things I have got to do.”

“Like what?” Amanda wondered as her smile faltered.

“Like talk to me,” Verity announced as she approached them. “Jenny, dear, would you show Amanda where the buffet table is? She’s looking a little peaky and obviously needs to eat something to boost her blood count.”

She also needs to put some meat on her skinny bones before all the venom in her throat explodes. “Yes, Grandma.”

“John, with me, please,” Verity commanded as she swept away.

“Yes, Mother.” He obediently followed.

She led him back into the empty wood panelled room he had recently left, and immediately turned to face him once he had closed the door, leaning against the desk in there. “Well? What do you have to say or yourself? Andrew has filled me in on a few of the details but I would like to hear the complete truth from you.”

So he told her everything, from the very beginning, about his blossoming relationship with Donna and how he had used her to waylay Amanda’s attentions. He ended by saying, “I have tried to maintain an appropriate distance from her, but the universe seems to dictate otherwise, causing me to form an attachment that can benefit no one. Our people will not sanction this relationship with Donna. I understand why, Mother.” John sighed, dipping his head in resignation. “It cannot be.”

“My son, I sometimes forget that you do not remember the exact circumstances of your father’s death or why we came to be here, living in this place,” Verity kindly stated. “The fact is, our people have gone and we are all that remains of our way of life.” 

“Yes Mother, you have often told me we retain all our traditions and customs.”

“What I might not have told you is... the pain of loss, of what could have been, weighs heavily on the best of us.” The memory of her late husband being the reluctant cause of too many deaths to even attempt to count, painfully stilled her words. He had been a good man, a caring man. A man who would have been proud of the sons he helped create; especially the one who stood before her, filled with compassion and duty. “Their deaths released us from unnecessary constrictions.” 

“What do you mean?” John queried. Hope rose in his heart.

She stepped closer and rested a hand on his arm. “Liaisons with lesser beings were frowned upon, and the participants ostracised, but that does not need to happen anymore. We live among these people, they provide our sanctuary, and we, of course, grow fond of them. Or in some instances, like you have, we love them.”

“So what does that mean?” John wondered. “I cannot continue to live this lonely life without a companion. I don’t want to now that I’ve met her; but you do not approve even if I am allowed to dismiss the objections of my ancestors.”

“I never said I disapproved,” Verity softly stated, pleased to see the light return to her son’s eyes as she spoke. “I trust your judgement to choose the right woman, no matter who she is or where she comes from. I merely ask that I get to know her before you do something stupid.”

“Like elope with her,” John considered, remembering the actions of his elder brother Donald all those years ago. “No, I will not do that. I would prefer to do things properly.”

“Good.” She gave him a nod of agreement and acceptance. “Then I shall leave you to do just that.”

“Thank you, Mother,” he gratefully acknowledged, and gave her cheek a kiss. “I won’t let you down.”

“Since you have already made initial advances, make sure you complete things properly, if you can and she is willing,” she warned. “Return to me when all parties are favourable and everything can be arranged. We do not want a repeat of last time. My poor boy can never gain his correct place within the family.”

He gave her a grave bow and then left.


Part 14
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