Don't ask me where this came from; I really haven't a clue. Reviews make me happy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. If I did, Steven Moffat would be strung up by his feet for disgracing Donna's legacy. (See my story "Meaningless" for an explanation.)
It isn't until after her wedding to Shaun Temple that she begins noticing strange things.
Little things; small objects moved across the room in the morning, sticky notes that she doesn't remember writing on. Shaun is a log of a sleeper, but she questions him anyway. He says he can't remember her walking in her sleep, but it's possible. She does talk in her sleep now, something that she hasn't done since she was a child. He can't ever understand what she's saying; it always sounds like a foreign language to him.
She mentions the oddities to her Grandfather and he just smiles sadly at her. He pats her comfortingly on the shoulder, reassuring and kind. She hasn't hurt herself or anything like that and her sleep hasn't been disturbed, so what's the harm? Donna furrows her eyebrows at him. She doesn't like doing something that she can't remember.
The nights drag on and she keeps moving objects, writing notes that make no sense, and eating the strangest foods. She takes a trip to the doctor, hoping that perhaps she is pregnant, but no. She sighs. They've been trying for a few months now. Perhaps she's simply stressed; that would account for her strange behavior.
Weeks pass and nothing changes. The sticky notes are annoying, but she can't bear to throw them away. They're filled with odd phrases, saying things like "Felspoon", "Charlie Chaplin", and "Messaline". These words make her head hurt; she places the notes in her sidetable drawer, feeling uncomfortably attached to them, but not knowing why.
Months drift by and she finally becomes pregnant. She and Shaun rejoice, Sylvia ecstatic that a grandchild is on the way. Five months pass and an ultrasound confirms their hopes; the baby is a girl. Two weeks later, Donna goes into false labor. She is rushed to the hospital, but the baby does not come early. The doctor runs tests and must tell them the terrible news; they suspect that the baby is diseased, sick. The child may die soon; a miscarriage. Five months is not long enough to perform a c-section to save her.
Donna panics. She rashly demands every possible test be run, determined not to lose her child. Shaun holds her hand silently, knowing that nothing will dissuade his wife. He wants this baby as much as she does.
Test after test is performed and the baby is not sick; it is Donna's own body rejecting her. She doesn't understand why. The doctor, and three subsequent doctors, cannot tell her why this is happening. The baby is not dead; she is very much alive, but her development has been stunted. Donna is almost six months pregnant now. The baby could possibly survive if she came now, but the chances are very slim. They spend their days hoping and the baby stays just one more day every time.
The sleep walking stops while she is pregnant. She is more stressed now than ever, but her growing stomach hinders her movement. There are more sticky notes now than before, plastered all over the side table when she wakes every morning. She has stopped looking at them. She gathers them all up and puts them in their proper drawer, the stack almost overflowing now. Though she refuses to read them, they have become somewhat of a constant and she takes strange comfort in their existence; everything is okay as long as they are there. She lays her hand on her swollen belly, thankful that her daughter is still here. They have full access to a wide range of medical sources because money is no longer an issue. Wilfred stays at Donna's side constantly, helping her just as much as her husband. The six month mark trudges by without incident.
Suddenly, she wakes one night, pain gripping her stomach. It's too soon, not now! She shakes Shaun awake and he hurries her into the car, calling out for Sylvia and Wilfred to follow. They arrive at the hospital just in time; the baby comes early and quickly, her frail cry bringing tears to their eyes. She's beautiful but small, fragile and three months too soon. Donna cries as the doctor informs her that her daughter will need to be kept in the hospital for many days; she cannot breathe on her own and her heart isn't fully developed.
Suddenly, Donna feels her head begin to spin; everything swirls and falls dark. She is hemorrhaging, losing blood from delivering the baby. The nurses and doctors fly into a frenzy, trying their best to save her life. Her body is fragile now, weak and losing fast. They immediately pump her veins full of donated blood and she finally stabilizes after several agonizing minutes. Wilfred is hysterical, but he finally calms down once she wakes again.
Donna stays in the hospital. In her sleep she finds no sticky notes, so she writes on the newspaper next to her bed. She sits at her daughter's side, sometimes falling asleep in the chair next to her plastic cage, the one that helps her breathe. She watches her daughter's chest rise and fall too quickly, her beautiful face marred by a mask. She has her father's skin tone and dark hair, but her mother's eyes. Shaun visits all day long, sometimes falling asleep there himself. Wilfred and Sylvia visit, bringing them food that they barely touch. Two days pass and their baby girl gets no better.
The doctor informs them on a bleary, rain-filled morning that she needs heart surgery if she is to survive. Donna cries and Shaun holds her close. Donna has another hemorrhage scare that night, stress-induced, and she almost dies again.
The baby's surgery takes hours. Donna sleeps and Shaun paces her room. In the dark of the night and the glare from the hospital lights in the hallway, he sees his wife open her eyes. She is asleep, he can tell. She looks about as if looking for something. He realizes she is looking for a pen and paper. He runs to fetch her both, since these notes have since become a constant in their life. They seem to help her, somehow; she looks just a bit less lost than she used to. He brings them to her and her sleeping form awkwardly takes them, scribbling down two simple words. The pen falls from her hand to clatter on the floor; she is asleep again. Shaun gently takes the paper from her, but doesn't understand. He rips the paper from the pad and returns both objects to the room he took them from. He returns to see his wife in a deep, peaceful sleep. She hasn't looked like this in months, he thinks.
The next morning, Donna wakes to bright sunlight through the curtains and her husband asleep in the chair across from her bed. She silently adjusts herself on the sheets so that she's comfortable. The doctor hasn't returned; could the surgery still be going on?
Something catches her eye and she spots the paper on the desk to her right. Something strikes her as odd and she realizes there is only one sheet. One single sheet, as opposed to the many that she is used to. She picks it up and reads just two words:
She furrows her eyebrows, but the words resonate with her. She reads it over and over again. It is most certainly her handwriting, and yet... The voice in her head is not her own, nor is it a voice she's ever heard before. Nevertheless, it sounds... familiar. A male voice. It's reassuring, comforting, like a long lost friend. She understands, but doesn't quite know how.
The door to her room opens and she immediately lowers the paper, gazing at the doctor expectantly. "Shaun!" Her husband startles away and he stands nervously. The doctor smiles. He informs them that the surgery was a complete success; her heart is now functioning as it should be. She should also be able to breathe on her own power within the next few days. Donna and Shaun cry as the relief floods over them. They embrace and watch the doctor leave; they'll be able to see their little girl soon.
A nurse comes in a few minutes later to check on Donna's condition, surprised to find that she's completely stable. Everything is perfectly normal; scarily normal, in fact. She gave birth only three days ago, lost more blood than she should have the night before, yet every sign is perfectly healthy. She performs a few tests, in case the machines aren't working properly, but they tell her the same things. The nurse exits the room, obviously confused.
"We never decided on a name," Shaun prompts, watching the nurse leave. They weren't sure of naming the baby before they knew she would live, but Donna had already chosen a name for their girl a long time ago.
The ginger woman shakes her head. "Her name is Jennifer. Jennifer Susannah Temple." This name is right, she thinks. It fits her perfectly.
Shaun thinks for a moment, then nods. "I like that name."
A week passes and they bring baby Jennifer home. She is healthy, with only a light scar across her chest to show that she had ever been sick. Donna no longer walks in her sleep or writes mysterious notes that make no sense to her. They decide that one child is more than enough for them, but two more follow in the coming years, a boy and another girl, not a single problem with either. Jamie Stewart Temple and Jacqueline Reinette Temple are strong, healthy children. They grow under the watchful eyes of their loving parents.
Jennifer is eighteen when she hears the noise for the first time. She has grown up, a beautiful, intelligent young woman. The Temple children are especially bright; all three of them have skipped at least two grades in school, a feat that no one can understand. Jennifer crosses the grass separating the college buildings at Oxford, peering around a corner to see an odd man with a bow tie stepping out of a blue police box.
He spots her and smiles, giving a bit of a wave. "Hello there!"
The strangest feeling washes over her that nothing is going to be the same ever again.
Here's a short breakdown of the names:
Jennifer = Jenny, the Doctor's daughter; Susannah = Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter; Jamie = a previous companion of the Doctor's; Stewart = The Brigadier, Sir Alastair Gordon-Lethbridge Stewart; Jacqueline = Rose's mum Jackie; Reinette = Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Madame de Pompadour