A/N So glad you guys liked the second chapter and I'm suddenly inspired to write more of these so here you go, a quick update! :D
Summary: FORGET Imagine if Donna didn't have to get her mind wiped. This is set a little bit after the beach scene when Rose and the duplicate Doctor were left to live their lives. Now the real Doctor is traveling with Donna but she's worried because he's acting different. Then suddenly, it all gets better.
Disclaimer: I own no rights to Doctor Who, no matter how much I want to.
Donna sat in the captains seat, her eyes tracking the man in front of her.
His steps were fast and energetic, his hands moved with enthusiasm and glee. Cheerful babble filled the air as he explained in a way no human could follow the planet they were next going to.
Something was very wrong.
It had been two weeks, or somewhere around that as time is almost impossible to keep track of inside the TARDIS, since that horrible day when the Earth was almost destroyed and the Doctors world was once again ripped apart.
He had to watch as within minutes all the people he considered his friends walked away from him and back to their real lives, a pain he usually only had to deal with one at a time was multiplied and thrown at him with such force she could see him begin to crumble even before they reached the beach.
But then the beach came and he was forced to convince the only woman he had ever loved to stay behind and have a happy life without him. Because they both knew that the other Doctor wasn't him exactly and she had watched from the background as they had shared a last look before Rose had turned to his clone, a look that spoke of understanding on her part, of why he had to leave her there with him; agony, because they both knew neither would be truly happy again.
Rose, even though her life would drastically improve as compared to the last few year and she would learn to love this new Doctor, would forever feel the hurt and betrayal of being left behind even though she understood it, and the guilt of living and loving another while she knew her Doctor would travel on, alone except for his one companion that could never quite be what he really needed.
And the Doctor; even though his life would continue with the travelling and he would always have his TARDIS, and now Donna, he was back to where he began those years ago, heartbroken and now with even less hope as something even more than the walls of the universe dividing them.
And so for the two weeks they had been traveling he had been doing everything it seemed, to take his mind off those events. The trips they took got more and more dangerous and the Doctor got more and more careless, coming back to the TARDIS with an array of injuries and disappearing into the infirmary for hours at a time, refusing her help.
About a week in when she truly started fearing for his injuries she scolded him for not allowing her to help him and for the first time she saw the Time Lord rage inside him. A manic, half insane look crossed his face and he screamed at her that he didn't deserve her help, nor anyone's and that if he died the world would be better off.
The conversation shook her to her bones and ever since the TARDIS had descended in near total silence… until today.
Donna gaped at him as his hands moved over levers and buttons and he cracked some sort of joke, his laughter ringing out around the room.
This had been going on since she had awoken . At first she thought it to be a mask, that he was attempting to now hide his real feelings from her to avoid any more screaming matches or re-emergence's of the Oncoming Storm. Now she wasn't so sure.
She had seen him watching a hologram once, a long time ago, just after she had started traveling with him. It was a simple thing, just the Doctor prancing around the console with a large grin on his face while Rose sat exactly where she was now. She remembered the Doctor stopping his tirade as Rose giggled at one of his more insane ideas and he smiled warmly at her, pausing in his "flying" of the TARDIS to lean over and plant a playful kiss on the blonde girls cheek.
That was how he was now, exactly the same. There was no faking, no sadness but for a deep weariness in his eyes and the constant air of self-deprecation that came as the consequence of having to destroy his own planet.
She should have been happy, but she wasn't. He had done something. Something terrible and unforgivable.
She wracked her brain trying to think of what could have such an effect on a Time Lord, her expanded mind rushing through thousands of options in a few seconds.
And as he bounded once more she saw it. It was just the tiniest glimmer of something attached to his neck behind his ear, a word inscribed on that something but it being too small and dark for her to read.
Donna gasped and stood abruptly, marching towards him with a stormy look on her face.
He stopped and looked at her, confused, running a hand through his already mussed hair like he knew he was in trouble, but didn't know for what.
'Donna? What's the matter?'
She grabbed his arm and yanked it slightly to the side, leaning up so she could see the plastic square stuck to his skin.
'Forget.' She whispered, her eyes scrunching closed in horror, though she couldn't bring herself to be angry with him.
'What was that?' His eyebrow rose and he watched her apprehensively. 'Donna are you feeling alright?'
Without answering his question she looked into his eyes, the carefree expression there almost more than she could bare. 'Doctor, what happened two weeks ago?' He only stared at her like he thought perhaps she had gone mad. 'Just tell me spaceman,' she demanded.
'We saved 27 planets and the rest of the universe for that matter, from the Daleks. Donna, what's this all about?'
She sighed and fought the frustrated tears that welled in her eyes.
'Doctor, how did we do it?'
He opened his mouth to answer but shut it again, brows scrunching before he met her eyes and his expression cleared once more. 'I-… Does it matter? You know, it's all wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey Donna, honestly what's going on?'
And yet again she ignored his question. She looked down at the grating beneath their feet and swallowed, knowing she needed to ask even though she already knew the answer.
'Doctor, who did you travel with before me?'
He shrugged this time, figuring he might as well answer her questions as he wasn't going to get his answer until he did. 'Martha.'
Donna nodded. 'Right, and before that?'
Her face fell even more when he thought for a second then shrugged. 'No one. There was the Time War and then I traveled by myself for a while and then I picked up Martha on the moon with the Judoon platoon.' He grinned down at her as if expecting her to appreciate the joke and frowned when she merely turned away from him, fingers wiping at her eyes for some unknown reason.
She turned back a moment later, her voice shaky as she spoke this time. 'Doctor, who's Rose?'
'Rose? I dunno, it's a very common name. Though the only Rose I've ever come across was a florist! A florist can you believe it?' He giggled lightly while Donna's stomach rolled and she suddenly felt very sick.
'Doctor, just stop. Rose. Rose Tyler… You don't know who that is?'
He merely shook his head this time, though the shake was just a fraction too quick and he turned back to the rotor, working more frenzied than before. She watched as his hand absentmindedly came up to rub at his neck, right where that god-forsaken bit of plastic was, as if trying to rub it into his very skin. But then his hand fell, as if he felt nothing there and continued working.
She opened her mouth but words refused to come out. She shook her head to herself. She couldn't do it. She couldn't shatter this perfect little illusion he had made for himself and force him back to being the shattered, nearing suicidal Doctor he was now.
She muffled out some kind of excuse and ran from the room, entering hers in a minute flat and slamming the door behind her, tears falling over her cheeks because now what was going to happen? Was it going to last forever and she just had to pretend? Should she let it last forever or did she need to take his whole world away from him yet again?
She opened her eyes and they found purchase on something atop her neatly made bed that didn't belong. She walked forwards and picked up the same square of black backing that had two lines of white inked across it and she let out a breath.
Strength: Level 1
Lowest strength available. Chemicals effects will fade in exactly 24 hours
She sat quietly, not knowing what to do or think. She found some comfort in the fact that the Doctor still had enough of his right mind to not only allow this to go on too long, though in her mind any was too long since it would hurt him even more when the effects wore off, but also that he had obviously left this here for her to find, to let her know it wouldn't be long and he wanted her to leave him be till it was over. At least he cared enough to make sure she understood.
She sighed and made her decision. They would have an adventure today, a nice one without any life or death situations, no running, just Donna and the Doctor, travelling together, happy.
And that night as she left the console room she paused, wondering if she should go back in when she heard a gasp and then a sob coming from the room, followed by the sound of someone falling to their knees on the grating.
Tears fell from her eyes but she knew there was nothing she could do and knew the Doctor would want to mourn alone. She didn't know how he was going to be tomorrow; better, worse or the same but for the first time since the whole mess had happened he was grieving for Rose and the life they would never have together.
So she walked away from him, trying not to break down herself as his quiet sobs echoed slightly in the corridors.
A/N I know… I'm depressing, but what can I say, it's just what I'm good at writing! I will be doing some that end happily though so never fear! Some good ideas are coming from your guys reviews so keep it up!
Next up is… a surprise! :D
Please review with what you thought and suggestions for other moods you want to see