Author's Note: This was originally inspired by my need to see Donna meet the Eleventh Doctor. It was originally going to be very lighthearted, but changed due to the fact that, well, the Doctor has gone through alot with Donna... and not everything can be a joke to the man with a thousand hurts.

Disclaimer: I don't own anyone in this, or Doctor Who. Wish I did, though.


A DoctorDonna Friendship Fanfic

By Kirsten Erin

Donna rolled her eyes as the Doctor rummaged through his pockets, looking for his sonic screwdriver.

"Oi, I told you. You left it in the TARDIS!" she repeated herself for the seventh time.

"I didn't. It's in my pocket. If they weren't so darn big on the inside, we wouldn't have this problem."

Donna pulled her brown leather jacket tighter around herself, growing more and more irritated by the second. The cold Irish air whipped her hair about her face and kept her shivering as she glared at the skinny rake of a man she was traveling with.

"Would you just listen to me for once and get back to the TARDIS. I'll go take a gander at this pub and warm my toes before they fall off." And with that, she spun on her heel and stomped into the wooden structure with a sign over it that read Bad Wolf's Brewery.

Thinking it was a stupid name for a place little more than a pub, she pushed through the door and was immediately bombarded with the overwhelming stench of beer and man smell.

It wasn't more than five minutes before a burly man with a scruffy beard and dark eyes began to accost her.

"'Ello, lass. What's a sexy woman like you doin' in a pub all by 'erself?" he questioned, stretching one arm out and placing his hand next to her head, practically trapping her between himself at the wall, since she'd been standing in a corner.

She quirked an eyebrow. "Oi, watch it. I'll not put up with a bumbling bloke like yourself. Go find another woman to irritate." she tried to duck underneath the outstretched arm, but he grabbed her arm and slammed her into the wall. She cried out involuntarily even as she started to panic internally.

"Playin' 'ard to get, eh? Why don't we 'ead upstairs. I've already got meself a room." he laughed uproarously and grabbed her chin, making to kiss her.

"That's enough!" she cried, color rising to her cheeks as her temper flared and she knocked the man's hand from her face. She tried pounding on his chest, but it was to no avail. He backhanded her, causing her to knock her head against the wall beside her.

"I don't think ye have a choice."

Her head pounded against her skull. The Doctor wouldn't be back for another ten or so minutes and by then he'd be too late to help her. Her heart leapt into her throat as she glared back at him, unwilling to show fear.

"Someone help me over here." she yelled, but no one could hear her. The raucous sound of the pub drowning out her voice. The man grabbed her wrist tightly, but when he turned. received a blow to the face that sent him staggering backward, tripping over a chair, and knocking him unconscious. Donna herself was pulled down by his grip on her hand, which succeeded in knocking her on her bum, but not much more damage was done.

A hiss of pain came from above along with a half-whispered, "Buggering idiot." clearly directed at her attacker.

She looked up, expecting to find the Doctor, somehow having returned far more quickly than expected. Instead she was looking into the eyes of a shorter man with a babyish face. His face was very squarish and he had small blue eyes and long(ish) light brown hair. He dropped down to a crouch and looked her in the eye.

"Donna. Donna, are you alright?" he questioned, turning her face to inspect her bruise.

"Oi, stop touching me." she pushed his hand away and furrowed her brow at the man. "And who are you, then? How do you know my name?"

"Well that's an interesting story. I'm the Doctor. Only not your Doctor. I'm the next Doctor, your Doctor regenerated. Only I wasn't technically your Doctor. Just the one you know."

"Alright, I get it." she said, trying to get the bumbling kid to shut up. It took a moment before she processed his words. "No, no I don't. What?"

"It doesn't really matter." he said, turning her face to inspect her bruise again. "I'm just the Doctor with a different face... from the future."

"Oh." she shrugged, figuring when all this came about, she'd probably be there anyway and know what was happening. "Thanks. Wait, are you crying?"

The future Doctor blinked a few times and wiped a hand across his eyes.

"Why are you crying?" she looked into his eyes, pushing his hand away from her face again. "Has something happened?"

"Yeah, I guess you could say it has." he jumped up, suddenly regaining the hyperactivity that both Doctors apparently possessed. He held a hand out to her and pulled her up. "I've got to be going now. The other me should be getting here soon enough. Glad I could be of service, Donna Noble."

He started to turn away, but then seemed to change his mind. Grabbing both her hands, he held them in his own and looked her deep in the eyes.

"You're my best friend. You know that right?" he said, that sorrowful look painting itself on his features again.

"Yeah." she answered slowly, searching his eyes, wanting to know what was ailing her friend. "And you're mine."

He leaned his head against her forehead and closed his eyes as if trying to convey it without words, but she didn't understand. Still, she let him, feeling as if he needed her to be still for this moment and not push him away.

"You were brilliant." he whispered, voice breaking. He gave her one last meaningful glance before letting go and running off, hightailing it across the pub and running out the back door.

Donna made to plop down on the chair behind her, but thought better of it when she remembered who was likely to wake at any moment and start harrassing her again. Instead, she pulled her jacket tighter around her and headed out into the wind-whipped Irish night, headed where she knew she'd find the Doctor on his way back.

Her mind buzzed and whirred. Was that really the Doctor from the future? She didn't think he could fake those tears and such, so it must be. And those were his eyes. River Song had mentioned something about how his eyes stay the same and she understood now. He may not have the same eye shape or color, but the look in them was identical. It was definitely him.

Now that she'd established that, she went on to consider his tears, his heartfelt brokenness. What was he so broken up about, then? Something about her. It must be. She was sick, or dying, or something.

The poor Doctor, her poor Doctor. He was her best friend and always would be. She would follow him until her dying breath. Apparently, she'd done well. Still, the heartache in his eyes tore at her. How could he be so hurt? The Doctor was supposed to fix the world, he wasn't meant to be broken himself.

"Donna?" a familiar voice pierced the wind and she looked up just as she nearly collided with the tall toothpick that was the Doctor, the one that she knew. "Donna, are you crying?" his brow furrowed and concern flooded his features. "Is that a bruise on your face?"

She didn't respond or make a snide remark as she normally would've. She only lurched forward and squeezed the man in a tight hug that he willingly returned.

"Donna, are you alright? What happened? Who hurt you?" he squeezed tighter, then released, pushing her back so he could get a good look at her face.

She sniffled and blinked, watching as the Doctor's jaw stiffened, looking up to scan their surroundings as if someone would come to threaten his best friend again. She couldn't feel more safe than with him near, ready to protect her from whatever danger had threatened her thus far.

"I'm fine, Doctor." she uttered finally, sniffling again as she used the back of her glove to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Let's get somewhere warm and I'll explain it all. Don't worry. We're in no danger now."

"Alright. Let's go." he said, completely solemn, not dropping the arm around her shoulder. He pulled her close, offering both his protection and warmth.

She turned to look up at him, twinkle returning to her eye as she responded.