A/N: Disclaimer: I claim this disclaimer to disclaim my disclaim of my disclaimer. Noodles!
This is my first full-length Donna fic so I'm still sliding into her character, any critique on how to improve writing her are welcomed :D
All of my memories keep you near.
In silent moments,
Imagine you'd be here.
All of my memories keep you near,
In silent whispers, silent tears.
"Memories" by Within Temptation
Chapter 1 – Memories
"I am never goin' on one of your 'shortcuts' again, spaceman!"
The Doctor was struggling desperately not to laugh at his companion's expense as Donna Noble squelched into the TARDIS after him, absolutely drenched and caked in fast-drying mud. He tried not to look at her, instead applying total concentration to picking at the lining of the chair he was sat on. He heard more squelches as Donna moved over towards him, looking down angrily.
"You could've bloody told me there were quicksand pits!!!"
"Well I got you out, didn't I?" the Doctor countered.
She stared at him with a look of pure indignation. "At the last possible second!"
"Be no fun otherwise!" the Doctor chirped in reply happily.
"Excuse me? No fun?!" Donna shrieked, "no fun?!" She stepped close to him, causing him to shrink back in the seat. "So at my funeral you'll make a speech and say, 'oh well, didn't quite save 'er at the last minute but at least it was fun'?!"
Still smiling, he gestured to the TARDIS inner door before turning to input destination settings. "Go get cleaned up. You smell."
Her glare was enough to kill, and the Doctor winced.
"Sorry," he tried to say, but ended up snorting with laughter halfway through as he looked at her muddy form.
"You're not bloody sorry! You're an idiotic big-headed thirteen-faced spiky-haired probably-homosexual two-dimensional MARTIAN BOY!"
The Doctor grinned happily at the insult before his face became solemn. "Seriously," he began, rubbing his left ear thoughtfully. "You really smell. The stench might start damaging parts of the TARDIS in a minute."
With another evil glare, she went to get cleaned up.
The Doctor looked up from where he stood next to the console, Rose bounding towards him with a huge smile stretched across her face. Her smile was infectious and soon the Doctor found himself grinning too for no apparent reason.
"What's up?" he asked, and she stretched out her arms, hugging him tightly to which he returned. She clung on tightly for several more seconds, not seeming to be about to let him go.
"Nothing," she finally answered, still clinging on. "It's just really fun huggin' you."
He laughed. "Fair enough. Where d'you want to go today?"
"S'your ship," she countered.
"You're the guest," he insisted, "make a choice!"
Rose finally drew back from him, turning towards the console and looking over the millions of buttons and levers spread across the surface.
"Isn't there a random button?" she asked, bewildered. The Doctor's grin widened to the proportions of The Grinch.
"Okay, okay," he said, moving forward to operate the console. "Random destination coming up!"
Rose watched him as he began to bounce around the TARDIS console, hammering the very buttons and levers she'd been staring at in a seemingly random order. The TARDIS landed surprisingly smoothly at their destination and the Doctor ran across the console room, grabbing his coat and throwing it on as he turned back to Rose. Her eyes were wide and sparkling, electricity bouncing through them that the Doctor found a joy to see. He recognised it – it was that joy, the anticipation of a brand new world not yet discovered.
"Ready?" he asked.
"Doctor," she suddenly said softly, her expression remaining the same. "Doctor."
"What?" he questioned, confused. Suddenly he felt himself being shaken back and forth erratically. "Wow, we got turbulence in here or something?"
"Doctor," she repeated, louder this time. "Doctor, wake up you lazy alien git, Doctor, Doctor!"
The Doctor's eyes opened to come face-to-face with Donna Noble, shouting at him and shaking his shoulder. The dream faded away and he found he'd been asleep. He was sat crossed-legged on a beanbag in the TARDIS library, a book on temporal space physics and the theories of infinite multifaceted polygons and their properties (just a bit of light reading before bed) opened on his lap. Donna was still shaking him.
"Donna!" he said in protest, "I'm awake, you can stop now!"
"Bloody hell," she said, letting go of him. "You sleep like a hibernating hedgehog on Night Nurse!"
"What is it?" he asked irritably.
"The TARDIS console room lights keep goin' on and off," she said, "and buttons are flashin' that I don't think are s'posed to flash."
"You woke me up for that?"
"No. I wanted to see if you would like some tea," she said sarcastically. "Of course I woke you for that!" she yelled. "I thought we were gonna crash or somethin'!"
The Doctor sighed, moving the book aside onto a handy table and hauling himself to his feet. He pulled on his jacket and shoes and made his way sluggishly to the console room, Donna closely following.
"Looks fine to me," he said as he entered the familiar circular room, lights on, only buttons flashing that flashed normally.
Her jaw dropped, but only for a second. "A minute ago it was all over the place."
He walked up to the console, flicking a few switches. "I'll run a diagnostics check if it'll make you feel better."
"A-" Donna began but was suddenly cut off by a huge jolt, the Doctor reaching out to steady her. She looked practically violated. "Oi!" she slapped his hands off of her, but he was far too focused on the TARDIS.
"What's wrong with you?" he said softly, massaging the central column with a caring hand.
"Is it all right?" Donna asked anxiously. The Doctor didn't reply, tapping a few more buttons as if to gauge a reaction.
And oh boy, did he get one.
The TARDIS lurched dramatically, sending the both of them careering across the room and landing with a crash on the grating. The Doctor was on his feet in a second, pulling Donna up and placing her hands to grip on the ridges in the TARDIS console.
"What the bloody 'ell was that?" Donna gasped, watching the Doctor bounce more around the TARDIS.
"Just an air pocket!" the Doctor answered as he frantically turned dials and hammered more buttons.
"Oh all right." Donna relaxed, staying quiet for a few moments before she suddenly frowned. "Hold on," she said suddenly, "air pockets don't even exist!" She paused, and thought about this some more. "Wait! Even if air pockets did exist, we're in space! There isn't any air for there to be pockets of!"
The Doctor was ignoring her. "C'mon girl," he was addressing the TARDIS now, "if you don't tell me what's wrong I can't fix it!"
The TARDIS lurched again, sending the Doctor sprawling headlong into a support strut as Donna held desperately onto the ridge. He was back on his feet within seconds.
"One word," Donna breathed, "airbags!"
The TARDIS landed.
The Doctor looked at Donna for a moment before his eyes flickered over to the door, frowning. Without a word, he picked up his coat from the strut and threw it around his shoulders, slipping out the door.
"Oh no you don't, Space Boy! Not without me!" said Donna, now pursuing the Doctor.
They emerged into a large forest, a gentle breeze ruffling the leaves of the surrounding trees. They had landed beside a clear pathway, and the Doctor skipped over a few fallen branches to get to it. He dug his hands into his pockets and looked above at the sky where the sun was shining brightly in a baby blue sky.
"Where are we?" Donna asked, stepping out of the TARDIS precariously.
"Dunno," the Doctor replied simply, whirling around to look at the scenery so fast that it made Donna feel light-headed just looking at him. "The TARDIS was very keen on bringing us here, though."
"Bad something?" Donna proposed. The Doctor drew a breath.
"Quite possibly." He turned to her suddenly, eyes narrow, watching her carefully. "Wanna go back in the TARDIS?"
"Are you kiddin' me?" she demanded instantly, moving forward to grab his hand and yanking them both away from the comfort zone of the TARDIS. "Come on! Discovery!"
An hour later and the only thing Donna had discovered was that she hated forests. This particular forest they'd landed in seemed to go on for miles. It wasn't long before Donna was utterly and hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere and of course, the Doctor was being no help at all. He seemed to be revelling in her lack of sense in direction and was giving unhelpful comments such as, "I'm sure I recognise that rock", "that stick wasn't there before" and, "did you ever see The Blair Witch Project?".
Finally, Donna gave up, turning to the Doctor.
"Okay, you win, you're brilliant, get me out of here," she said. The Doctor persisted with his inane, winsome grin.
"But of course," he said, turning on his heel and striding off back the way Donna had led them. "By my calculations," he was saying as they reached a wide, muddy and plant-covered rockface of an 80º angle, looking a little over five metres high. "The TARDIS should be just over this."
"Up you get then," Donna said, making no move to ascend. The Doctor grabbed onto a rock hold and pulled himself up, making short work of scaling it to the top. He peered over the edge at the top and suddenly froze.
In the seconds that followed, Donna's entire life turned upside-down.
There was a cry of surprise accompanied with a bloodlust roar, which evidently covered up the sound of an arrow being propelled by a bowstring. The Doctor was suddenly thrown backwards with the impact of something, half scrambling weakly on the muddy holds up the wall, struggling to keep his balance but failing, miserably. He was going to fall…
"Doctor!" she gasped, throwing out her arms as if she thought she could somehow catch him, but she could only watch, shocked and helpless as the Time Lord finally lost his grip. It was as if in slow-motion when he ultimately fell, bouncing off of the various rocks and ridges of the slope and seconds later arriving at the bottom unmoving, something long and wooden sticking out of his shoulder. "Doctor? Doctor?!" her voice dropped to merely a whisper, terrified as she moved towards him. "Doctor!"
There was a huge gash inched across his forehead, blood seeping out and snail-trailing over his eye and down his cheek with his eyes were closed, but the worst was yet to come. There was a long wooden arrow sticking in his shoulder, more blood spilling from around the point of entry. Donna's heart raced as she tried to decide on what to do. Right, first aid, she'd been taught this… Clean handkerchief to stem blood flow… She couldn't move him in case of neck injury…
"After him! Make sure he's dead!" a voice bellowed from over the top of the hill, and Donna panicked. She had to hide. Her eyes quickly scanned over their surroundings, finally snapping on a hole big enough from someone to crawl through covered by ivy – a cave. She had no choice but to move him.
She slipped her arms beneath his, pulling his unconscious body across the bumpy terrain. Whoever had fired this arrow into him were getting closer…
She ducked down into the cave, pulling aside the ivy to drag the Doctor through. The ivy bounced back as soon as they'd passed through and seconds later someone was clambering down the rock face, chinking as though they were made of metal.
Donna waited with baited breath, hoping and praying to the God she didn't believe in that they would just give up and go away.
"Where is he?" one asked in a gruff voice, sounding close to Donna.
"Must have run off," a second voice replied, just as gravely, "but he won't get far. I got him, I swear." The footsteps began to move away.
"Then let him die somewhere. Boss says we got to move."
The conversation faded as the men moved away.
Donna's attentions instantly turned back to the Doctor, who was still unconscious in her lap. She pressed harder on his shoulder wound, trying in vain to stop it bleeding. She took off her conveniently worn scarf and tied it around his shoulder, being careful not to move the embedded arrow.
"Doctor," she whispered, "Doctor! Wake up, I need you!"
The amount of blood that had spread from his head wound had made him unrecognisable, and Donna was – for once – beginning to fear for his life. He was an alien, could he die from blood loss? There was no way she'd be able to get him to the TARDIS, even if it was up the rock face as the Doctor had said.
After a few moments of consideration, she made a decision.
"I'm gonna go find you 'elp, okay?" she said, "just… don't move!"
She took off her jacket, folding it up and slipping it under his head before lowering it to the floor with deliberate care. Seconds later, she had gone.
A/N: Doctor whump? :D
I SWEAR I'll be working more on the 'prequel-ish' one but it's hit a wall...