Just a quick oneshot that popped into my head. Not quite what I wanted, but oh well. Muses are wily creatures.

There was something wrong with Donna Noble.

There was something wrong with Donna Noble. She didn't know what, exactly, and there was never anything to show; not a cough or a rash, or even a change in her period. Everything was the same, her body chugging along the way it had been for the last thirty-four years, with its red hair and flat feet and crinkly tummy.


That was what it was, a but. A feeling, that came and went and never stayed for longer than it took for her to notice it; a moment, where she would catch sight of herself in a reflection, and she would seem smaller, lesser, than what she had been, and that what was left was crippled, irrevocably, irrefutably, because of it.

She never told anyone, of course, never dared to do more than subtly hint over the cups of tea, liberally laced with whisky, that she shared with her girls. It was a ridiculous idea, a delusion; to know the name and genus of a flower she had never heard of; to, for a brief moment, understand what the bloke at the genetics lecture her braniac friend Norma had dragged her to had been wittering on about, when she'd done Arts and Media Literature for her final exams at high school. Time to cut back, she thought. All the alcohol was frying her brain.

But she always knew, went through life, all the minutes and the days and the years of it with that niggling, always there, always calling. Went to her mother's funeral, ten years later, with the thought that she could have stopped it, if she'd embraced instead of ignored screaming through her head, through the pain and grief and envy; stood at each of her friends weddings, outwardly smiling, always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

And when she lay in the hospital bed, sixty-five and nothing to show for it, face ravaged by sun and makeup, body ravaged by simple neglect, she felt, with her fading senses, a slight pressure on her right hand. A dark figure hove into view, a dark blob with a crest, through the blurry fog of her vision.

The steady beeping that had become her constant companion in her days was changing, growing louder and faster, until there was a strange buzzing, and it stopped altogether. As her world faded to black, she heard a voice she thought she knew.

"Oh, Donna Noble," it sighed. "Look what I did to you. "