Genre: General, Angst
Time Frame: Post 4x13
Characters: Donna, implied Doctor/Rose
Summary: Ghosts of memories play over and over like dreams in her mind.
Notes: The whole wiping Donna's mind thing really left a sour taste in my mouth. I mean, I can see why, but . . . did they have to do it? I mean, c'mon. You can have Earth towed by a blue police box across time and space, but you can't think of anything else to do with Donna? Once again, this is me trying to deal with my thoughts over the finale.
Disclaimer: Just checked. Still no jo.
It's been a month since Earth saw planets rather than stars in the sky, and people still haven't stopped talking about it. For Donna Noble, she never saw any such thing. She's heard of it, of course. Her grandfather is totally into outer-space-ish stuff like that – looking for blue boxes in the sky and nonsense of the like. She's told others she's seen it, but she didn't. Not really.
It didn't really bother her anymore. Angela was still yapping about it next to her, and she let her friend carry on. It's a chilly day – crisp and clean like it only was after the rain has come and gone. The autumn leaves were swirling in the wind, carrying the children's laughter like the chime of bells on the breeze. The nice weather beckoned the two out for coffee at break – and after typing one fifty words a minute all day in her current position, she can use something warm and comforting beneath her gloved hands.
Angela gestured to a park bench, and Donna sat down next to her without protest. After planets in the sky, she's off to the next latest piece of office news. The best thing about being a temp, her friend always swore, was the ever changing line of gossip. Normally she would agree wholeheartedly, and add in her own comments, but today she was quiet, her eyes tracing silly patterns in the sky.
There was a sound of laughter across the path, from the children's play park. Her eyes fell away from imaginary points in the sky to the swing set, where a tall, thin man was pushing a small blonde woman back and forth. He was brown and pinstriped clad, with tousled nut colored hair catching in the wind. His whole attention was on the girl shadowed in sun before him. Her wrists were loosely circled around the rusty chains, and her ankles dangled lazily above the ground as she swung back and forth; grinning like mad. Their laughter blended with the gentle back and forth creak of the swings. It made her smile. Just a little bit.
"You listening to me?" Angela asked from next to her, a smile quirking her mouth.
"Sorry?" She dragged her eyes away from the couple to her friend.
"So spacey lately," she chided, her eyes twinkling past the faint concern that coated her voice.
Donna shrugged. Her fingers ground out small patterns in the styrofoam coffee cup. "I guess I have been lately."
Her eyes turned from Angela to the couple on the swings when the girl laughed again. Her one hand swatted at the man when she came back, her eyes twinkling. "Doctor!" she admonished in mock exasperation.
An ache bloomed behind her eyes at that, and she frowned. She looked at the man's face again, sure that somewhere . . . But no. Her mind produced no memory. The man caught her eye for a minute, but there was no recognition in his eyes either, just a polite acknowledgment.
And that felt wrong.
Next to her, Angela smiled gently. "You know, If you ever want to talk, I'm here . . ."
Donna looked away from the man and the woman on the swing. "I don't know what to talk about." Well, at least that much was true. It wasn't something tangible or explainable . . . it was just there. And she had a feeling that it was driving her mad.
Apparently Angela thought so to
Donna looked down at her coffee, tracing the dappled patterns the sunlight lent to her with a glazed expression. Well, here it went. "Do you ever think," she started slowly. "Well . . . do you ever think , that you were met to be someone else?"
Her friend was smiling in a way that could only be described as indulgent. "No. Not really."
She frowned. The couple's laughter echoed like ghosts of memories in her ears. "Not someone else, per say, but perhaps someone else?" She was grasping for straws.
"Not that either," Angela shrugged. "Are you talking about what-could-of-beens? Like what would have happened if I turned left rather than right?"
She started at that. The man's voice played like an ocean's breeze across her skin. She shivered. "Maybe . . ." she gave.
Angela nodded like she figured out a piece of a perplexing puzzle. "Like, if you had done things differently? Could-I-be-a-football-player's-wife-or-a-famous-actress sort of thing?"
"I guess." That was wrong.
Angela smiled. "You'll drive yourself mental trying to figure out alternate lives for yourself. It's just make believe anyway – you are right now who you're supposed to be."
"Fate?" Donna asked dubiously, an eyebrow raised.
She elbowed her. "That's more of the Donna I know," she approved.
She sighed. The leaves skimming across the path formed constellations on the ground, glowing like stars where the sunlight shinned through. The chains from the swing creaked impossibly loud.
"You're Donna Noble," Angela was continuing. "Kick-butt temp who can type over a hundred words a minute, and give that whore Ginny West a run for her money when it comes to getting first choice from the boss. Snarky, lively, and holder of the most gin shots since Freddie himself in the old neighborhood." Angela elbowed her, again, her eyes burning bright. "Girl, you don't need to be anyone else!"
"I guess so," Donna agreed, not wanting to dampen her friend's spirits. How could she after a rant like that?
Angela nodded one more time before changing the subject again, her role of best friend dutifully discharged. Donna listed and broke in at the proper moments while she pushed her melancholy thoughts aside. It really wasn't very her, she knew.
She broke again at a rather loud shriek of laughter from the swinging girl. She turned in time to see that the man had both arms wrapped around the girl from behind, causing a lull in the old chain's song. She was laughing – so carefree in a way that Donna didn't think that people laughed anymore. There were suns glowing in place of her eyes; a light only bellied by the glow in the man's eyes. Donna let her gaze linger, tracing the strange sort of gleam that emitted there.
Once again . . . Maybe?
No. She shook her head, and the blonde reached up to leave a peck on the man's lips. She barely caught the corner of his mouth, and then she drew back, blushing horribly. The kiss did it's job, and he let her go – set her free – and she was off again, laughter and creaking metal singing a bright song. He watched her still, the light in his eyes glowing and growing while the blush from the touch still stained his cheeks pink.
And she has to remember to tease him about that . . .
Another shake of her head, and she got to her feet, determined to walk again. Maybe in time she could walk away from the ghosts of memories that paraded like dreams through her mind.
Angela got up, and followed her. Donna didn't look back.
PS – since I had questions from my beta - The Doctor/Rose bit is supposed to be from sometime during season two. Ya gotta love time traveling, you really do.