Doctor Who: Sine Verbis
by: domina tempore (formerly "jewel of athos")
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and all of its characters and locations etc. belong to their respective owners. I own only my original storylines. No copyright infringement intended!
Summary: Donna Noble is the one thing in the universe that the Doctor has found no words for… pre- End of Time.
Author's Note: I've never felt *constrained* by words before, but in trying to do Donna justice, I find myself helpless. It can't be done.
This was inspired by something Ace of Gallifrey said to me in one of her reviews, and part of it by a conversation that I've been having with SPACER8000. She brought something to my attention that I hadn't really considered before, and I tried to touch on it here towards the end. Dunno how I did haha. We'll see.
sine verbis: "without words"
In all of my many, many long years, I have never before met any woman quite like Donna Noble.
It's not often that words fail me, but in her case, I often find myself stumbling, searching. There's just something about Donna that can never be explained, and never be equaled. Maybe, if all language was like the song of the Ood, or if I could delve deeply into the ancient speech of Gallifrey, I might be able to convey just an inkling of what it is that makes her so exceptional. But that language is long gone now. As it is, the only word that I've found in the universe that even remotely begins to cover her, is brilliant.
Absolutely, completely, utterly brilliant. The English language is a pitiful excuse for a compliment. Rough, crude, and un-lovely. Oh, the glowing phrases that I could spin and shower if there were just the right words for it. But there are no words. I can search for the rest of my endless years, throughout all of time and space for something just right, but I know I'll fall short. Nothing can describe Donna.
She was the woman who pitied the Racnoss, who cried for the man who abandoned her to them for sacrifice. The woman who was prepared to shield the life of one mad Timelord with her own body, when just hours before she had essentially been kidnapped by him. She was the first and only human to see the creation of the world, to walk in the dust.
Hers was the voice that stayed the Timelord, and her hands were those that pushed the lever to destroy Pompeii, even as she cried for them to be saved. She took on my burden, my impossible choice to save the world, so that the fault did not lie on me alone; and she forced me to go back, to save someone. She opened my hearts to the dying and taught me that not all things are set in stone.
It was her childlike wonder that led us in exploring the Ood-Sphere, and her utter fearlessness and compassion that helped to save them. It was her heart that broke when she heard their song, and it broke for a second time that day when she realized that I could hear it always, even when she couldn't. It's her that they still sing about; I was mere second.
Donna was the woman who taught me to accept my daughter, to love her in what little time that I had with her. It was she, not I, who figured things out that day, in that endless war that lasted seven days. She tried to give Agatha Christie what she had never felt – and at that point still did not realize – her importance and her worth in the universe. It was Donna who comforted that poor beauty Evangelista when she was dying, who comforted me on Midnight after Sky had stolen my voice.
It was Donna who turned left, Donna who let herself be killed in order to let herself live, Donna who went on, Donna who remembered the lost planets, Donna who never gave up, Donna who became a Timelady, Donna who saved the universe. Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna… Throughout all of time and space, she has been at the heart. Always at the centre, always the pivotal link, the key to it all. It was Donna at the heart of the universe.
She was the one who would have stayed with me until the end. When she found out that she was going to die, she didn't ask to be saved; she just asked to stay. For whatever little moments that she had left, she wanted to stay on the TARDIS, with me. She wanted to remember. I can still hear her voice in my head to this day, begging me not to take it away from her and make her go back to what she was. She could see from the beginning to the end of time, all that was in my head, and she knew exactly what would happen if I didn't take it away. And yet she still wanted to stay.
I betrayed her that day. She wept and she begged, and I touched her temples and took her memories. Every trace of myself and the TARDIS and the wonderful, brilliant things that we had done together, I wiped from her memory. I used an authority that I had no right to claim, and I stole her life away. In the name of honor, to save my best friend's life, I killed the woman that I had known. I never hurt her physically, but every time I look down at my hands I see her blood on them, staining them, along with the blood of all those who have died in my name. It burns and drips, as hot as the fires of Pompeii. As cold as the Ood-Sphere. I can never be rid of it.
I never cried for her that day. My mind and my soul mourned and died, died a thousand deaths, but I locked it all away inside. I hid away all of my emotion, all my rage, and became cold and empty and broken. I hate it, and it feels wrong, but I can't bring myself to do it. I know that the moment I give in I won't be able to handle it anymore; if I ever allow myself to cry for her, it is going to kill me.
"I was going to be with you, forever. Rest of my life. The Doctor Donna."
As always when it comes to Donna Noble, at the most important, tragic moment of our relationship, I was without words. How could I tell her in such a short time what she had meant to me? Words were so small and insignificant, and so pointless. I could not explain it; I could do no justice to my thoughts. There was no way to thank her for what she had done, or to explain how sorry that I was that I had to do what I did. I could waste time wishing for other ways, but there were no words for it. Oh! How I've started to hate words since that day.
I tried, though. In that second, that final second before I stole it all away, I tried. "If it's in your head, it's in mine," she had told me; and so I tried. Everything, absolutely everything that I had ever thought and felt while I was with her, I called up, and allowed into her head. Before I took it all away, I let her see everything.
And then the Donna Noble I knew was gone, killed by my own hands; and once again I was left without words to drown in a sea of indescribable sadness.
"Donna Noble, I am so sorry."
What small, silly words to fill the void she left in my universe.
A/N: I wish I could make this story longer; but I would just end up repeating myself even more than I already have. But the Doctor rambles a bit, yeah? So slightly in character…ish.