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Title: The Naked Roommate, And Other Issues You May Run Into While Traveling Through Time And Space
Rating: PG
Summary: The Doctor and Donna get used to living together.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] cliche_bingo, for the space "Domestic Bliss."



i.

It took a while for Donna to scrub the mud of the Ysserjibi Empire out of her hair, but eventually the water began to run clear. She gave herself one last rinse, just in case, and then turned off the water and reached out of the TARDIS's shower stall for her towel.

Her fingers met empty air.

She closed her eyes, counted to five, and tried again. Still nothing.

This time she peeked her head around the shower curtain, examining the towel bar – her usual towel, the nice turquoise-and-brown paisley one she'd brought with her from home, was missing, and the only occupant of the towel rack was a ratty old red one that appeared to be stained with some sort of alien goo.

Donna took a deep breath, and hollered at the top of her lungs. "Doc-tor!"

He came running, which was gratifying at least, and looked rather frenzied when he pulled open the door to the bathroom, sonic screwdriver at the ready as though he half-expected an alien invasion in his own WC. "What? What, what is it, what's - " He stopped abruptly as his mind caught up with the image before him, and Donna tucked the shower curtain tighter towards her chin. "Are you naked?" the Doctor demanded, looking faintly disgusted.

"Yeah, I am," said Donna crossly. "Because you took my towel."

"I did what? Why would I do that? You probably just left it somewhere - "

"I don't just leave my towel somewhere - unlike some people, I actually hang it up after I use it, who wants wet towels everywhere? And I know I didn't move it, and I don't think it just got up and walked away on its own or turned invisible - "

"I didn't take your towel! And besides, there's a towel right there."

Donna maneuvered one arm around the shower curtain to point at the towel, revealing one pale shoulder, and the Doctor's nose wrinkled, as if he'd just smelled something horrible.

"Oh, come on now, put that away!" he said, looking away from her.

"It's a shoulder," said Donna slowly. "I think you can deal with it. And anyway, that towel's got alien goo on it, and I'm not putting that anywhere near me and the towel's not the point!"

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. "It's not?"

"No, the point is that ever since I got here my stuff's been moving and disappearing and I know you ate the last of my Jaffa cakes, don't even bother denying it - "

"Now that's just - " the Doctor floundered for words briefly as Donna glared at him, before looking down and putting his hands in his pockets sheepishly. "I'll buy you some new ones the next time we pop in by a Tesco's."

"Thank you," said Donna. "But for right now, could you just grab me a goo-less towel? 'Cause I'm getting cold."

"Right," said the Doctor. "Right - yeah, I'll just - "

He fled, but returned a few minutes later with a familiar brown-and-turquoise towel.

ii.

The Doctor wasn't a late sleeper, seeing as he didn't really sleep as far as Donna could tell, but Donna still tended to eat breakfast alone, since he also didn't seem to eat like a normal human unless the food didn't actually belong to him. Occasionally he'd join her for a cup of tea, but for the most part he would just wait in the console room of the TARDIS for her and with some panels or circuits.

So Donna wasn't really expecting him to come into the kitchen that morning, even as he made a bee-line for the teapot and poured himself some.

"Morning," she said cheerfully, and he just grunted back. When he turned back towards her, she saw an unusually glum look on his face. "You all right?"

"Spent all night trying to find a chronoflux detector – chronoflux detector! It's like a wire circle and a chronopotential detector, it's not that difficult! But apparently none of the Infinite Markets of the Grand Bazaar had them, kept saying they'd just sold out last week, so I went back to last week and they'd still sold out last week and I kept having to go back, week by week, until I figured out that it was a paradox and then I had to set it right and I got back and you still weren't up yet and I never even got the detector!" He threw himself into the chair across from Donna petulantly.

"It's all right," said Donna soothingly, trying not to smile. "We'll go challenge a dictatorship or incite a democratic revolution to make you feel better, how does that sound?"

The Doctor frowned at her, then at her cereal. "Donna," he said slowly. "When did you pick up that milk?"

"It was in the fridge," said Donna. "I figured you'd gotten it..." She trailed off, then lowered the spoon into the bowl. "Please tell me it's actually milk."

The Doctor didn't answer immediately. "...technically, it's milk, yes. Just not...from a cow."

"All right," said Donna, "follow-up question: please tell me it's not poisonous."

"No, you should be fine," said the Doctor. "It's just...mine."

"Oh. Well, then." Donna picked up the spoon again, and the Doctor looked pained.

"Well, it's just – sometimes I get thirsty and there aren't any cups around..."

This time, Donna dropped the spoon as though it were hot. "If you just gave me space-mono," she said viciously, "I'm gonna kill you."

"How was I supposed to know you'd drink it? It's obvious to anybody with seven senses that it isn't cow's milk!"

"Well, some of us have to make do with five, thanks," said Donna, pushing the bowl away. "And sometimes when we want other people not to eat or drink our food when it's put in a communal place, we label it. Like how my Jaffa cakes had 'DONNA'S, DO NOT EAT' in big, thick, capital letters!"

"Will you stop it with the Jaffa cakes already?" said the Doctor. "I replaced them!"

"And then you ate the replacements!" Donna pointed out.

"Let's just go topple a corrupt regime or something," said the Doctor, standing abruptly.

Donna stood, too. "Best idea I've heard all morning."

iii.

Shackled to the Doctor at the wrists and ankles, awaiting execution for an ill-timed sneeze during an important ceremony in a tiny cell, Donna sighed.

Then sniffed.

"Did you use my shampoo?" she asked the Doctor.

"What?" said the Doctor, then added, clearly lying, "No!"

Then something exploded, so the conversation was cut short, but Donna made a mental note to bring the subject up again later.

iv.

"Mugs," said Martha thoughtfully, before sipping her own tea. "I mean, I don't mind so much, but they're just everywhere, and after I put the third one back in the sink and rinsed it it turned out that it actually was a science experiment and I wasn't allowed to touch any more of them."

"Oh, I know," Donna agreed. "Have you been into that one room, the one off the library with all the technical manuals? It's like a forest of half-empty tea mugs. Some of them still have the teabag in them, and that's just gotta be too strong by now."

"I know!" Martha shook her head. "Sometimes I miss this whole thing – the traveling and all – and then I start remembering what it was like to actually live with him and it goes away."

"Really?" said Donna, frowning. "I dunno, I've never really had trouble like that. I mean, yeah, he still has pretty much no concept of personal space, but we get on all right."

"I dunno, maybe it was me," said Martha, shrugging.

"No," said Donna immediately. "No way. If it comes down to you or him, trust me, it's him. Besides, it was rocky at first until I figured out how to get him to actually clean up after himself."

Martha sat up a bit straighter, her interest piqued. "How'd you do that?"

"I stole all the tea in the kitchen and hid it and told him he wouldn't get it back until this place was actually livable," said Donna, grinning.

"Where'd you put it that he couldn't find it, though?" asked Martha.

"In my pants drawer," said Donna, grinning wider now.

Martha snorted. "Lucky. The first time he dropped me off at home I had some clothes out on the drying rack, and he just grabbed a pair as if they weren't, you know, pants."

Donna let her head fall forward into her hand. "Why does that not surprise me?"

"Allllll right," came the drawl from the hallway, and both Martha and Donna looked up as the Doctor entered the kitchen, hands tucked into his pockets. "We're about five minutes out from Earth, Great Britain, London, wherever it is that your apartment is. Unless you want me to turn the TARDIS around – we could still make it to 1969 in time if you want to see the moon landing again - "

"Aww, bless," Donna said to Martha, grinning.

Martha grinned back. "Four times was enough, thanks."

Even as Donna and Martha stepped out of the TARDIS, she could hear the Doctor behind them muttering, "Who gets sick of the moon landing?"

v.

The pot boiled over, of course, and Donna frantically pulled the lid off and blew on it, trying to get the foam back down to a reasonable level. She'd always been rubbish at this bit, she knew.

"Donna," came the slow voice from the other side of the kitchen. "What are you doing?"

Donna didn't bother to turn around. "I'm cooking, obviously. Well. Burning. But the intention is to cook, so we may as well call it that. Are you gonna stand there all night, or are you gonna give me a hand?"

The Doctor approached slowly and warily, eying the stovetop. "Is that spaghetti?"

"Hopefully." Donna blew on it again, and the foam receded.

"You do realize that I can have us in fifteenth-century Naples in two seconds flat, don't you?"

Donna turned around, one hand covered by an oven mitt, the other on her hip. "Doctor," she says. "We've been out there nonstop for, what, two weeks? I'm making an executive decision, and tonight I'm gonna have a lie-in. So I'm making spaghetti and I'm gonna eat it while watching, I dunno, maybe telly or maybe a movie, and then maybe I'm gonna put varnish on my nails and then I'm going to go to sleep and tomorrow we can go back to gallivanting around the universe but tonight, I'm knackered."

"Oh," said the Doctor. "Well then, you might care to know that the heat's on too high – that's why you keep boiling over. And where's the sauce?"

"It's over there," said Donna, pointing vaguely.

"Aren't you going to heat it up?" asked the Doctor, and Donna shrugged.

"I figured the spaghetti would do that – why?"

The Doctor was looking at her confusedly. "You don't heat up your sauce?"

"Why would I?" repeated Donna, reaching over and turning down the heat on the stove.

"Because...it's sauce! It needs to be warm!"

"You heat it up, then," said Donna, and to her surprise, he did just that, pulling out another saucepan and emptying the can into it.

"Mind if I join you on your night in, Donna Noble?" he asked, turning on his own burner.

Donna smiled at him. "Not at all, Mister Smith," she said, and then the pot boiled over again and she cursed.
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