AN: I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack
Sorry for the epic wait. First I was in Mourn-Ianto mode after CoE. Then I was away for a few days, and when I got back I was too lazy too type up anything, then I went away on summer holidays with no interweb, then I was stressing about College Enrolment, then I started College....sorry if you've been waiting long, guys.

Disclaimer: Mine. No, really. Well...oh, ok ,you got me


Donna had an interview. It was only another temping job – a month typing up an audit of another victim of the recession – but she had been going through a "dry spell" for a while now. Anyway. last week she'd found Mum up at two in the morning, head inb hands, staring at a pile of bills. Donna wanted to do her bit - just yesterday, Gramps had offered to pawn his telescope again, and sulked when they wouldn't let him.
She turned right at the intersection, heading for Jival Chowdry's failing business. She crossed her fingers as she walked into the vaguely derelict office block and headed for the main desk with her best confident hire-me-you-know-you-want-to smile in place.

-x-

As she left the office, Donna could have hit something – preferably Mr. Chowdry. There was a cold, brisk breeze in the November air, and she nstuck her hands as deep into the pockets of her coat as she could. In doing so, her fingers brushed against something cold. Donna wiggled the coat around until she brought out a heavy-looking ring: a dark green stone set in gold.
Funny. She couldn't remember where she got that from. There was something odd about it – trying to rasck her brains for the memories started giving her a headache, and in the end she decided that it must have been there for ages – she hadn't worn tis coat in a while, after all – and headed back home. She put the ring on, though. It looked classy.

-x-

Somewhere, lost in the fabric of Nothing, something was stirring.

-x-

Over the next week, Donna grew increasingly short-tempered and aggravated. When the headache got so bad she couldn't get out of bed one morning, she called it a migraine and stayed in bed for a few days.

-x-

This cycle continued for a while – Donna kept waering the ring, and kept starting to feel emotionally drained and headachy after a week or so; after taking to bed for a few days, the whole thing would start again.

-x-

Somewhere, in the fabric between Nothing, someone was waking.

-x-

Eventually, Donna managed to find a two-week job dressed up as an Elf in a shopping centre. The pay was crap, the work was crap, and even though the centre gave them lunch and dinner, she was sick of mince pies and mulled wine after a few hours. By 8 pm on Christmas Eve, she was ready to go home and sleep for days. But the other Elves, Santa 1, 2 and 4, and two of the Rudolphs managed to persuade her to come to a house party "just for a few drinks..."
She should have known it was a bad idea.

The next morning (or was it afternoon?) she surfaced slowly, curled up on a third of the couch. As she was getting dressed and trying not to wince at every whisper, she realised that her fingers were bare. She vaguely remembered dropping it in the toilet at one point, and the hilarity that had ensued when she and three others tried to get it back. She felt annoyed for a while – it had been a good ring – until the effort of being angry was too much. She shrugged on a coat and left, going back to her life, day after day.

-x-

It was too late.
In the fabric of Nothing and Everything, the Master had almost enough strength to wake up.
And when Rose Tyler came hurtling into his existence, a plan started to form.


AN: Ooooh, the next chapter is gonna be creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy....