A/N: Okay, the idea for this came from the song, you know 'Mr Sandman, give me a dream, make him the cutest that I've ever seen'... (at least I think those are the words, lol). I always found the idea of the Sandman really creepy, so I thought it would make a half decent Doctor Who story lol. Anyway, I'm not going to say much about it because I'd rather let people find out for themselves, but this is a Doctor and Donna story, and set somewhere in the middle of series 4. I hope you enjoy it anyway :D
The Doctor woke up quite suddenly, and was instantly confused. Firstly, he couldn't actually recall falling asleep and secondly, he was quite certain he was wearing toe-socks. He frowned, wiggling his toes and testing out this strange sensation of these extra pieces of wool on his socks. After that strange episode passed, he glanced around to see if he could settle his mind any. Nope, still confused. More so, in fact.
He was in a bedroom. A bedroom that was completely unfamiliar to him but faintly recognisable all at the same time. Just that thought alone was enough to assure him that he wasn't going to escape this bewilderment any time soon. The room was quite large, and decorated in a very feminine way; soft cream colours and white, lacy furnishings. Judging by the light that seeped in between the light beige drapes, the Doctor guessed it was about an hour before midday. Certainly no time to be lying around in bed. Whoever's bed this was.
He swung his feet out and was treated to a closer look at his newly acquired toe-socks. He didn't like them. His toes certainly didn't like them. He peeled the off and tossed them on the bed, and then decided it was high time he set about looking for his clothes taking he was wearing nothing but a pair of black boxer-shorts. Boxers and toe socks. He wondered, not for the first time, just what it was that he had been up to.
He crossed the soft carpet to a large wooden wardrobe and pulled open the doors. His eyebrows drew together at the sight that greeted him, but he didn't allow himself to be too surprised. If he allowed himself to be as surprised as he wanted to be then he would have started shouting and hooting and attracted goodness knows what. He hadn't yet decided if he was in danger, but the kind of person who's idea of bedclothes were boxers and toe-socks was certainly the kind of person to be avoided. And now, looking at the wardrobe full of all the clothes he had ever worn – past and present incarnations – he felt even more dubious.
As he quickly pulled on his blue pinstripe suit, he wondered where Donna was. He tried to remember the last place they had been before he woke up in that bed, but found it irritatingly hard. His memory only frustrated him further as the harder he thought about Donna, the more vague she became. He was even starting to struggle when he thought about her face. He could barely remember the sound of her voice…
'Okay, enough playing house,' he muttered as he pulled on his jacket. 'Time to see who's playing dolly with me.'
He was angry now, and quite ready to face whatever creature had trapped him in this ridiculous bedroom. He wanted Donna back, and he also wanted to know what they had done to his brain. He wanted to know why he was finding it harder and harder to think of Donna. Donna. Donna… what was her surname? Donna… Jones? No, that wasn't right. Donna Tyler?
The Doctor yanked the door open and stepped out into a narrow landing. He was scowling now, his dark eyes scanning for anyone else who might be lurking amongst the cheerful, cosy décor. He listened, and heard the familiar clang of pots and pans. Kitchen. Best place as any to start. He stormed downstairs, not caring that whoever was down there would be able to hear him coming. He wanted answers, and he wanted them now. Actually, he would have preferred them when he had woken up. Since then the confusion had only made him angry. But he had a right to be angry.
He burst through the kitchen door and sucked in a breath to start his rant, but found himself releasing nothing but a rush of air. He blinked at the kitchen, his stomach grumbling at the smell of warm toast. The two children at the breakfast table looked up at him impassively, and then went back to squabbling about who got to use the jam jar first.
'Morning, hon,' the dark haired woman at the kitchen counter smiled at him. 'The kids didn't wake you, did they? I told them to keep it down, but you know what they're like.'
The Doctor stared at her, mouth open. He had no idea who she was. Never seen her before in his life, in fact. Nothing recognisable about her in the slightest. Except that, somehow, she was slightly familiar. And he had the sudden urge to call her Danielle.
'If I were you I'd get in there before all the thick bits of toast are gone. Don't know what's got into them two recently but they're eating enough to make a pig sick.'
The Doctor just continued to stare around at the three people in the kitchen. The two children continued to squabble. The dark haired woman (Danielle Smith) poured a drop of milk into her coffee and stirred it. When she sensed him still standing at the door, she glanced up and frowned slightly.
'Are you okay, John?' she asked.
The Doctor's mouth opened and closed for a few moments before any words escaped. 'What's going on here?' he asked. 'Who are you?'
The kids stopped squabbling and looked up at him. The woman eyed him for a moment, and then turned to face him. She planted one hand on her hip and narrowed her grey-blue eyes. The silence was thick and nauseating. Then she smiled suspiciously.
'John Smith, you're such a joker.' The woman grinned, turning back to the coffee. 'Now get your breakfast.'
The kids began to giggle. 'You're so silly, daddy,' the little blonde haired girl giggled. She had wide brown eyes and blonde hair that was twisted into two plaits.
'You're silly, Rose.' The little boy snapped, pushing her in the arm.
'Mummy! Jack is being mean!'
'Jack,' the woman said sternly. 'Stop being mean.'
The Doctor found himself moving to the table, but he couldn't actually figure out whether it was him making his feet move. He sat down at the end of the table and watched himself pick up a piece of toast.
'Are you two kids nearly done?' the woman said. 'Your gran is going to be here to pick you up any minute.' As if on cue, there was a car horn. 'Oh, there she is. Now go on, before she gives up and leaves the two of you here.'
The two kids hopped down off their seats and ran out of the kitchen. 'Bye daddy!' the little girl called, before vanishing after the boy.
The Doctor watched after them, speechless, before looking back at the woman. 'Who are you?' he demanded, feeling that pang of anger again. 'Where am I?'
The woman sat down at the table, coffee in her hand. 'Oh stop it, John. You might be able to fool the kids but you can't fool me. What time do you want to go down to the garage to pick up the car?'
The Doctor frowned and shook his head. 'I'm not called John Smith. I'm the Doctor. Look, something has happened here. I was travelling with my friend, D…' He frowned to remember. 'Donna!' he finally managed. 'I was with Donna, in the TARDIS. Then I woke up in that bed upstairs. I don't know who you think I am but I can assure you, I'm not him. I want some answers.'
The woman was looking at him oddly. After a moment she reached out to put her hand on his forehead. 'Are you feeling okay?'
The Doctor stood up, ducking away from under her hand. 'I'm the Doctor,' he insisted. 'I think someone has put us together in this house, trying to make us believe that we're married or something when… I don't know, but I can assure you that I'm most certainly not married. Never liked the idea of having to do a speech. And… toe socks? I'm sorry, but never in a million years – even if I do get married and I do arrange to go and pick up the car at the garage, I most certainly won't be wearing toe socks while I'm doing it.'
The woman stared up at him, looking frightened. 'John, you're scaring me.' She confirmed.
'I'm not called John!' the Doctor cried. 'Stop calling me that!'
She stood up tentatively. 'Have you been dreaming again?' she asked. 'You always were a vivid dreamer, John.'
'Seriously,' the Doctor said in a low voice. 'Stop calling me that. And I haven't been dreaming. There's something seriously wrong here. I need to find… I need…' He frowned when he couldn't remember the name again. He rubbed his temples with his fingers. 'I need to find her!' he insisted.
He felt her soft hands on his wrists. 'John, see? It's just a dream. You can't even remember what it was about anymore. If you were really travelling with some woman you wouldn't be forgetting her name now, would you?'
The Doctor didn't want to open his eyes because he knew if he did, everything would slip away from him. 'I need to get back to the… to the TAR…' That name began to slip from him also. He closed his eyes tighter.
'Relax,' He voice was so soft and soothing. 'I'll make you better. Open your eyes, John.'
Slowly, the Doctor opened his eyes. Her soft grip suddenly tightened. He stared in horror at the creature that now stood before him; its two eyes large, black and segmented like a fly's. A long, thin stinger protruded from the centre of its face.
'I'll make it better, Johnzzzz,' it buzzed, gripping his wrists tighter and tighter. 'You'll feel much betterzzzzz…'
It snapped forward and the stinger stabbed right through his chest.
'Doctor!' Donna Noble screamed and trashed against her restraints, but it was no good. Even her infamous surround-sound Dolby voice wasn't having any effect. It only bounced harmlessly around the dingy, musty room. The metal chains that held her down to the flat, operation-like table clinked and clanged, but showed no sign of miraculously snapping and releasing her.
There was nothing she could do. Apart from keep shouting. But that wasn't helping.
'DOCTOR!' she screamed again, tears of frustration now escaping from her eyes.
She couldn't even see him anymore. Not underneath that… thing. It was right on top of him, veiny wings flitting. It buzzed. It was sucking the life out of him. It was killing him, and there was nothing she could do. Apart from shout. But she didn't think she could keep that up for much longer.
It looked like this was it. The end of the line.
What she wouldn't give for an industrial tin of fly killer right now.