Thursday, November 17, 2011

Personal Spaces

Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: The Tenth Doctor/Donna
Length: Oneshot, 5300 words
Genre: Humor
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the BBC, not to me.

The Doctor had no respect for personal space.

The first time Donna Noble had met him, he’d almost instantly gotten right in her face, waving his alien thingy at her. Well, not that alien thingy, no. Another alien thingy, a little technological doohickey. A whatchajigger, if you wanted to use the technical term. He’d started nattering on about what might be wrong with her, babbling nonsense at a mile a minute, and she’d had to smack him to get him to give her a little breathing room.

He’d backed off, holding his cheek and looking affronted, as if no one had ever complained when he got in their face before.

Since she’d moved into the TARDIS (along with half a dozen suitcases), a day hadn’t gone by when he hadn’t invaded her personal space in one way or another. He’d come up and peer over her shoulder to see what she was having for breakfast, dribbling his toast crumbs onto her scrambled eggs and bangers. He’d walk up behind her in the library and blithely snag a book right out of her hands, without the slightest concern for whether or not she wanted to share her reading material (Vogue, yes; The Pirate Captain and his Virgin, not so much). He’d absentmindedly wander into her room because he wanted to talk, oblivious to the fact that she might be changing her clothes or flossing her teeth. He’d sing “I’m On My Way” by the Proclaimers fifteen times over while working, unaware or uncaring that she was right there in the console room and growing ever more ready to kill him.

And then there was the hugging.

Donna wasn’t the touchy-feely sort. But the Doctor definitely was. At first she’d been a little suspicious of all the hugs, thinking maybe it was just his way of copping a feel from his unsuspecting companions. But for all his lack of respect for personal space, his hands always stayed very carefully on her waist whenever he hugged her, never sliding down to squeeze her arse (and as ample as her arse was, it wasn’t as if he’d have had any trouble finding it). And she never got the feeling that he was thinking about knobbing her.

He just liked hugging.

To the villains of the universe, he was the Oncoming Storm, respected, feared, even dreaded–and with good reason. When he encountered a wrong, he could be cold, implacable, and honestly quite terrifying. She’d seen it.

But much of the rest of the time, he seemed more like a lost little boy who’d lost his family and needed consoling.

And he had lost his family. He’d lost everything. Once she understood that, she actually found the near-constant hugs rather endearing. He was just a poor lost alien who needed a little physical contact and affection, so he didn’t feel so alone in the universe. She could understand that.

So when the green-skinned aliens who’d abducted her shoved a dishevelled and rather grubby Doctor into the cell where she’d been confined for the last hour, she fully expected a hug.

She wasn’t disappointed. The instant he saw her, those big dark eyes lit up.

“Donna,” he said, crossing the cell in two steps and wrapping his arms around her in an enthusiastic embrace. “You’re okay,” he mumbled into her hair.

“Course I’m okay,” she mumbled back–really mumbled, because her face was being squashed into his shoulder. Not that she minded. Even though his face looked as if they’d been using him to scrub a rather dirty floor–and given that mop of hair on his head, they could certainly be excused if they had–he smelled like he always did, clean and sort of spicy. “I yelled. They ran.”

He laughed into her hair, a sound of amusement and relief. “That’s my Donna,” he said fondly. “Always armed for battle.”

She pulled back, just a little, and looked up at him. Up close he looked worse than she’d thought. There might be a bruise or two under the dirt. “What happened to you?” she demanded.

“Oh, well…” He sighed, looking slightly ashamed of himself. “When they grabbed you, I might have made a few derogatory remarks about the local laws. And I might possibly have added an insult or two about the planet’s monarch, while I was at it.”

“And you complain about my mouth. You never shut up, that’s your problem.” She looked him over, feeling more sympathy than she would let herself show. “Beat you up, did they?”

“Well, not so much. I mean, there was a fight.” He lifted his chin in a feeble effort at machismo. “You should see the other bloke.”

“I did see the other bloke. He just shoved you in here. And he looked perfectly all right.”

The Doctor’s face fell. “Well, the Isara don’t show bruising the way we do. It’s the green skin, y’know. Bruises don’t show as much. But I definitely got a punch or two in.”

“Of course you did.” She patted him on the shoulder and pulled away, looking around the cell. “So we were arrested for…?”

“Your hair color. It’s a crime.”

She turned on him abruptly. “I beg your pardon?”

Since she’d begun travelling with him, she’d grown accustomed to getting in trouble for what she saw as rather silly reasons. A couple of months ago, the Doctor had been detained by the local authorities for wearing trousers–an item of clothing only permitted to women on that particular world–and to his great disgust, he’d had to don a skirt to get out of official custody. And a few weeks ago, she’d nearly caused a riot by wearing the wrong perfume to a planet where everyone communicated by the sense of smell.

But her hair color? Since when was red hair a crime?

Alarmed by the look in her eyes, he held up his hands in a don’t-hurt-me gesture. “Oi, don’t get mad with me. I like ginger! You know I like ginger! It’s just that here, no one has red hair except… well…”

He muttered the last word, and she scowled. “What was that?”

“Prostitutes,” he repeated, his cheeks flushing a bit.

“Prostitutes,” she echoed, narrowing her eyes. “So they think I’m a–"

“Yep." He popped the P, as he often did when he was uncomfortable. "On Isar, ladies of the evening dye their hair ginger. A sort of advertisement for their trade, you might say. And since the government here is currently cracking down on that sort of activity, they arrested you.”

She imagined a green-skinned Isara with red hair, and supposed that would be rather gaudy. Hard to miss. Quite an advertisement indeed. “But you’re not ginger.”

“No.” He sighed. “I’m in gaol because of my big mouth, mainly.”

“Nothing new there,” she snarked. “Couldn’t you just keep your head, hold your tongue, and bail me out, or however they do it here?”

“I tried. They wouldn’t let you go. That’s why I got annoyed, because…well…”

He trailed off, looking more embarrassed than before, and she glared up at him. “What exactly is the punishment for having red hair?”


He could drag out a word longer than anyone she’d ever known. Ordinarily he was a babbling brook, and the fact that he couldn’t get beyond that one word didn’t bode well. “What. Is. The. Punishment?”

“Well, you see,” he said awkwardly, “although it’s illegal for the regular bloke on the streets to avail himself of a prostitute’s charms, the monarch himself is allowed to… well, he rather collects… that is to say, he tends to…”

For a nine-hundred-year-old alien who’d seen just about everything, she reflected, he could blush and stammer more than any man she’d ever met. “The monarch gets to keep all the prostitutes for himself,” she said bluntly.

“Er… yes.”

“So they’re keeping me here until they turn me over to His Bloody Majesty, is that it?”

“Errrhhmm. Yes.”

“Okay, then,” she said, moving on from that unpleasant thought to the next. “It’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen to me, but what about you?”

“Wellllll.” There was that word again, drawn out till she wanted to smack him to make him stop. “That’s the embarrassing part.”

“What, we didn’t get to the embarrassing part yet?” She heard her voice rising, and didn’t try to hold it down. “The embarrassing part isn’t that I’m being given to the local ruler as a sex toy?”

“Er, not exactly. Not quite, no. You see, as you pointed out, I’m not ginger, so they would have let me go, but once they decided to keep me–"

“Once you shot your mouth off!”

“Right. --I had some discussion with His Majesty himself, and it turned out that he’s quite the amateur student of xenobiology.”

Oh, dear God. There was that word. She’d never heard it before she met the Doctor, but now it seemed to come up on a regular basis, and though she wasn't entirely clear on the meaning, she'd noticed that every time she heard the word, trouble followed. “What exactly do you mean by a student of xenobiology?”

“Well. He’s, er, interested in the way our species… interacts. So to speak.”

Oh, no. She felt her cheeks turn just as red as his. “But we’re not even the same species.”

“Well, they don’t know that, do they? We look like the same species. We’re certainly not green-skinned, after all. We both have only two eyes and five fingers per hand, and we're missing all those tentacles. As far as they can tell, we’re the same, and they’re rather intrigued by…”

“Let me guess. His Bloody Majesty wishes to observe us mating.”

He turned the colour of a ripe tomato and stared at the stones of the floor as if they were extraordinarily fascinating. “That’s about the size of it.”

“No.” She glared at him as if he'd come up with the notion of shagging all on his own. “I won’t do it. We agreed when I came on board the TARDIS. No mating, just mates. Remember?”

“This wasn’t my idea!” he said crossly.

“You’re the one who landed us on this stupid planet without doing a little research into the local customs first! Shouldn’t the mighty and brilliant Time Lord know what red hair means here? Shouldn’t you have an idea what the punishments for local crimes might be?”

“I don’t know everything,” he grumbled. “Just most things.”

“Well, we just won’t do it.” She scowled. “They can’t make us. Can they?”

“I suppose not.” He sounded dubious.

“His Majesty sounds like a perv. Probably wants to record it. Probably has DVDs of all sorts of aliens going at it.”

The Doctor turned even redder, and abruptly crossed to the small cot in the corner of the cell and sat. She didn’t really want to know why he’d found it necessary to sit, all of a sudden. There were some things she was better off not knowing.

“Anyway,” he said in a voice that was unusually hoarse, “they’ll be coming shortly to take us up to the palace. They’ll clean us up, and then…”

“And then we get to perform for His Perverted Majesty.”

He looked up at her with big, solemn eyes.

“I’ll get us out of this somehow, Donna. I promise.”

And regardless of what might be going on downstairs–because blokes couldn’t help their physical reactions, after all, even Time Lord blokes–he was wearing his lost little-boy face, and she knew he needed a hug. She crossed to the cot, sat beside him, and put an arm around him. He leaned against her, pressing his face into his hair.

“It’ll be all right,” she told him. “Everything’ll be okay.”

He wrapped his arms around her and held her.

“I hope so,” he said softly.


Two hours later, she was escorted into a large, circular chamber with enormous marble columns holding up the domed roof, and a large golden throne at one end, where the monarch was seated, flanked by armed soldiers. She’d been freshly bathed and scented and wearing a dress that under other circumstances, she would have fallen in love with. It was made of a silky material, and it was a particularly lovely shade of green (not unlike their captors’ skin color, actually). It clung to her curves and cupped her breasts lovingly and in general made her look quite stunning.

But given that His Perverted Majesty was almost drooling, she really wished she looked a little less glamourous.

Fortunately for her, the Doctor made his appearance before she decided to march across the room and slap His Majesty across his green cheek, which probably would have been a mistake. The Doctor was wearing handcuffs, and she guessed he’d tried to escape again, but without success. There was a fresh new bruise marring his forehead. He wore a very unDoctorish outfit– dark pants, a dark green jumper, and what looked like a leather jacket.

Not at all the Doctor’s style, she thought.

His clothes, however, were similar to what the Isara males seemed to wear. Apparently they’d put him into what they thought of as a more appropriate costume. He looked displeased, and she guessed that he was unhappy about the loss of his beloved brown suit. Still, he had to like the leather jacket better than that skirt he’d had to wear a couple of months ago.

They marched him toward her. As he approached, she could smell soap, and the scent of freshly washed male skin, and she knew he’d bathed, too. He smelled good, rather like sandalwood but with his own spicy scent beneath the soap, and all the dark clothing made him look rather more dangerous than usual.

A little warmth coiled deep inside her, and she tried to ignore it. After all, he was just a long streak of alien nothing. A skinny boy with abandonment issues. Not an attractive, gorgeous, sexy male.

The Doctor stopped a foot away from her, and his dark eyes bored into hers. Trust me, his gaze said. I’m going to get us out of this. I promise.

You bloody well better, you alien git, her gaze answered.

The Doctor swallowed, and turned toward the monarch, who was leaning forward eagerly on his throne, observing them with what Donna thought was a rather disgustingly avid gaze.

“Your Majesty,” the Doctor said, obviously trying for a reasonable tone. (If he'd tried for that earlier, she thought snarkily, they might not be in this mess.) “Our people do not mate publicly.”

His Majesty smiled–at least, Donna thought it was a smile. It wasn’t a pleasant expression, in any event.

“You will mate for Our viewing pleasure,” he said. “Or you will die.”

“Somehow I knew you were going to say that,” the Doctor muttered. He glanced at Donna, visibly gathering his thoughts, and then spoke firmly.

“Our people’s most sacred rule,” he said, “is that once we mate, we are mated for life. Therefore, if we do this, I must insist that you release us afterward. The woman will be mine, forever. I cannot share her with another, not even your Royal Majesty. Our religion forbids it.”

There was a brief stirring around the chamber as the Isara soldiers discussed that string of lies. The muttering voices sounded respectful, almost impressed, and she recognised that the Doctor had hit on something that impressed their captors. Apparently sacred rules and religion meant something here.

“Couldn’t tell him our most sacred rule is no shagging in public?” she hissed.

He had the grace to look embarrassed. “Didn’t think of it fast enough,” he whispered back. “Anyway, I really don’t think they’re gonna let us out of that one.”

Given the avid expression on the monarch’s face, she suspected he was probably right. His Majesty clearly wanted to see some hot xenobiological action. Right now, however, the monarch was looking Donna over as if she were a slab of beef, rather to her annoyance. She opened her mouth to tell him to keep his five eyes firmly in his head, but the Doctor shook his head, very slightly, and she subsided. For now.

“Very well,” the monarch conceded at last. “She is not attractive enough for my harem in any event. I would only give her to my soldiers as a toy, and I doubt they would care overmuch for her, either.”

Donna growled-- who are you calling unattractive, Tentacle-Boy?--, and the Doctor made a noise that might have been a snort of amusement. But his face was carefully neutral as he said, “Then we are agreed. We will demonstrate how our people mate, and then you will let the two of us go on our way peacefully.”

“As long as she never returns to Our planet with her hair dyed that color,” the monarch said.

The Doctor didn’t bother to explain that her hair wasn’t dyed. He only nodded. “Agreed.”

One of the soldiers unfastened the Doctor’s handcuffs. He lifted his hands, shaking them a bit, and then turned toward Donna. She shied back and glared at the monarch.

“Oi! Are all these soldiers going to stay in here?”

“My bodyguards,” the monarch informed her.

Bloody perverts, more likely, she thought, but didn’t say so. She only looked back at the Doctor, waiting for him to do something to get them out of this.

Instead, he caught her face between his hands and kissed her.

Her first instinct was to react the way she’d done the very first time he invaded her personal space–yank back and smack the daylights out of him. But his lips were firm and cool on hers, and her mouth tingled at the unexpected contact, and she almost instantly forgot about slapping him. Kissing him, she thought fuzzily, really wasn’t so bad. In fact it was sort of… pleasant.

If pleasant meant that it made her hot, wet and tingly in places other than her mouth. Yeah. It was definitely pleasant.

And then his tongue was slipping into her mouth, touching hers, and she thought vaguely about jerking away and yelling, Oi, mate, don’t need to do that in order to put on a show, do you? But there was something very sexy about the feel of his tongue against hers, and she felt that warm melting in her middle again, felt the tingling between her legs grow more urgent, and somehow she just couldn’t pull away.

God help her, but kissing the Doctor was incredible.

Not that she was ever going to admit that, not in a million years.

Anyway, they wouldn’t convince the monarch and all his drooling bodyguards to let them go by yelling at each other. They had to see this through, one way or the other. So she let her hands slide through his hair–all that nice, thick hair–and he groaned. Loudly.

A bit startled by the intensity of his reaction, she started to yank her hands away. Instantly he lifted his mouth from hers. “Play along,” he hissed, and then his mouth slammed back down on hers, and his hands went to her hair, too.

She stroked his hair, and he groaned again.

Okay. She got it. She understood the plan, now. It was kind of a dumb plan, but a dumb plan was better than no plan at all, she figured.

He touched her hair in a slow, sensual caress, and she moaned into his mouth. She’d had a long string of rotten boyfriends, and God knew she knew how to fake it. She was a bloody expert on the subject.

She ran her hands through his hair again–and no, she had never, ever fantasized about doing that before, because that would be weird, and she was so not weirdly attracted to the Doctor’s hair–and he moaned and sobbed and gasped so convincingly that it made her insides melt almost entirely. He was really putting his hearts into this performance, she thought. He was good-- really, really good. He was one hell of an actor.

Well, she could put on a show, too. His long, graceful fingers continued to slide through her hair, and she moaned in ever-increasing pitch and volume, and let her body undulate as if she were lost in the throes of passion.

All of which was completely, totally, and utterly faked, because she was not in the least turned on by the feel of his talented fingers stroking over her scalp. His gentle caresses didn’t arouse her in the least.

Oh, bloody hell, who was she kidding? The dreadful truth was that she wasn't having to fake it very much at all. Having her hair stroked by the Doctor felt quite a bit better than sex had with most of her boyfriends.

She wasn't sure if that said something about the Doctor's skill with his hands, or just about the generally abysmal quality of her boyfriends. Either way, it was depressing.

She ran her own fingers through the hair at the back of his head, down to the nape of his neck, and the Doctor uttered a rumbling noise that was so blatantly sexual it made her toes curl. Her fingers curled, too, digging into his hair, rather harder than she intended. The Doctor threw his head back, screwing his face up very convincingly, and sobbed as his whole body shook.

She was so caught up in watching him that she almost forgot she was supposed to be part of this too, but a yank of his hands on her hair recalled her. She threw her own head back and arched her spine, faking it as loudly as she could (which was of course pretty damn loudly, because if there was one thing Donna Noble did well, it was loudness), while chiding herself for getting distracted. It was really ridiculous for her to pause to watch the Doctor come, when he wasn’t coming at all.

Not that anyone would know that. The way he shuddered and cried out, you’d think he was in the throes of a spectacular orgasm.

She realised she was still gripping his hair tightly. She loosened her fingers, and his cries faded to gasps. He seemed to think the performance was over, because he leaned forward, resting his head on her shoulder and panting heavily. Then his knees seemed to give out, and he pulled her down with him.

They knelt there on the marble floor, faces buried in each other’s shoulders, giving a very convincing impression of a couple who’d just done the dirty and now were barely able to keep upright.

But would the Isara really be fooled by such a silly display? It seemed absurd to her, but then again, she had absolutely no idea how the locals copulated. For all she knew, they shagged with their ears. Maybe this would look perfectly believable to them.

Sure enough, His Majesty cleared his throat. He sounded hoarse and turned-on, she thought. At least his voice was decidedly different than it had been. She took that to mean that their performance had been satisfactory. She only hoped that His Majesty wouldn’t be watching it on DVD from now till the end of his reign.

“The two of you,” he decreed, “may go in peace.”


“I can’t believe they fell for that!”

Donna threw herself down on the sofa in the TARDIS library, still wearing the green dress, and laughed in joy and relief. They’d left Isar in peace, as per the monarch’s orders, only stopping briefly on the way to free all the ginger ladies of the evening from His Perverted Majesty’s clutches. She imagined the two of them wouldn’t be welcome on Isar again any time soon, but that was absolutely wizard as far as she was concerned. She didn't have any intentions of inviting any of the Isara to visit her in Chiswick, either.

The Doctor sat down next to her, a little too close, as always, and put an arm around her shoulders. He smelled like leather and wool and warm male, and she wished he’d change back into one of his suits. The dark, smoldering leather look just didn’t suit him. Really, it didn’t.

“I knew they would,” he said, preening a bit. The Doctor never failed to congratulate himself on a job well done. “Y’see, while I was being bathed and dressed, I made some discreet inquiries of my captors, and discovered that the way they have sex involves the first digit of the left hand and one of their eyeballs.”


“You really don’t want to know the details,” he agreed. “At any rate, I knew they wouldn’t be expecting to see sex involving, er, the nether regions. They probably would have thought that we were faking it, frankly. And they certainly would have found it disgusting.”

She leaned her head on his shoulder, not because she wanted to breathe in the mingled scents of leather and sandalwood and spicy, sexy man–because there was no sexy man here, just the Doctor–but because she was rather tired after all the day’s events. “I suppose different people have sex all sorts of ways.”

“Oh, yes,” he agreed readily. “You wouldn’t believe some of the structures that have evolved just in the one galaxy. Eyeballs aren’t the strangest sex organ I’ve run across, not by a long shot. Why, I once encountered a race that–"

“Doctor.” She reached up and ruffled his hair affectionately. “Believe it or not, it is possible to talk too much.”

At the touch of her hand, he suddenly went very still, and she looked up at him. There was an oddly intent expression on his face, a look of hunger and wanting that made her heart ache even as a terrible suspicion occurred to her.

“Doctor,” she said, very slowly. “How did your people make love?”

“Um” he said. “Erhm. Wellllll…”

There was that word again, dragged out like it was being pulled through a time warp. That couldn’t be a good sign. But at last he got more words out.

“Much the same as your people do, actually,” he said.

She breathed a sigh of relief.

“We just have a few more erogenous zones,” he added.

She yanked her hand away from his head and sat up very, very straight. “Is one of those erogenous zones your scalp, by any chance?”

He turned red again, looking more abashed than she’d ever seen him. “It might be.”

“Oh, my God!” She whacked at his shoulder, not terribly gently. “I got you off, didn’t I? All that moaning and groaning–you weren’t faking it at all, were you? I really made you come!”

Well, more or less, anyway. The absence of a wet spot on the front of his jeans indicated he hadn't come quite like normal blokes did. But the fact that the Doctor wasn't a normal bloke was so obvious it hardly seemed worth remarking on.

He scrambled backward on the sofa, holding up his hands as a shield. “I didn’t mean for it to go that far,” he said, rather pitifully. “I thought I had better self-control than that. I just…”

“You just what?”

“I just couldn’t help myself,” he said in a very small voice. “Once you started–I didn’t want you to stop.”

The honesty and the shyness and the sheer aching need in his tone brought her to a sudden halt. She looked into his dark eyes, seeing there the lost and lonely little boy she’d seen so many times before.

Only he wasn’t a little boy. He was a fully grown man. A man who’d been cruelly cut off from his own society and the company of others like himself. A man who was very, very lonely, and who desperately needed to be touched.

Sympathy swept through her–and that was all it was, just sympathy, not any sort of lust inspired by the memory of his voice sobbing through an orgasm, or by the fact that he smelled good enough to eat with a spoon–and she slid along the upholstery toward him. He backed up against the arm of the sofa, his eyes wide and worried, and for once she found that she was the one intruding into his personal space.

She remembered her own words: No mating, just mates. They’d agreed to that. They’d both insisted on it, actually. But that had been before she really knew the Doctor. Before she’d really understood him. Before she’d seen all that terrible loneliness in his eyes, and realised exactly how much he longed to be touched.

I just couldn’t help myself.

Yeah. She knew how that felt.

Reaching out, she stroked a hand through his fringe, very gently. He closed his eyes, and she heard his breathing turn harsh.

“So that’s an erogenous zone?” she said.

“I’m afraid so.” His voice was rather unsteady, as if he could hardly keep himself from groaning again.

She let her hand run along the side of his head, just above his ear. “And this?”


She trailed a finger along the fine hairs at the nape of his neck. “How about here?”


She’d never heard the Doctor make a noise quite like that before, not even on Isar, and it made her smile at the same time it made parts of her go tingly again. Really, all this tingling was getting out of hand.

Maybe, just maybe, she thought, the Doctor wasn’t the only one here who was lonely and isolated and aching for a little physical contact. Maybe she needed to be touched, too.

Before she could change her mind, she reached out, grabbed the Doctor’s hand, and placed his palm firmly against her breast. His eyes snapped open, and he stared at her, his mouth falling open in shock.

“That’s one of my erogenous zones,” she informed him.

“Really,” he said, very slowly. He sat there frozen for a long moment, as if totally baffled by what to do next, but eventually it seemed to dawn on him that she was waiting. He moved his hand, very cautiously, and she shivered as her nipple hardened beneath his palm. A dark heat began to glow in his eyes. “Are there others?” he said softly.

“Oh, yes,” she breathed. “Lots.”

“Really?” His hand squeezed her breast with slightly more confidence. “Where?”

She smiled. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

He looked at her for a long moment, still very serious, then his bright, beaming smile broke out, and some of the loneliness faded from his eyes.

“It’s a deal,” he said.

And this time, when he moved into her personal space... she didn't mind.

-The End-


Anonymous said...

I can't believe no comments! I adore this fic, and the hair pRon was both sexy as hell and hilarious because, well, it's the Doctor getting off by having his hair pulled which I always believed was a little fetish of his. ;) Loving this and everything else you're writing for Ten/Donna!

Meg said...

Thank you very much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for taking the time to comment!


Claraon said...


Sarah said...

Of course 10 would be the one to love his hair being ruffled and have it bea sexy zone. I had to laugh about leather not being his thing. 9 could pull it off, but 10 not so much. Excellent writing on this.