Author's Note:

Regular readers who have me on alert: Sorry, again, not regularly scheduled programming. Just another itch I needed to scratch. But I promise I have TWO updates for you in CM. One should be up tonight. Few hours. One tomorrow. And you don't need to start panicking that I'm going to move on to some other forum and leave all the bits dangling elsewhere. This is just a two shot I had to get out of my head. Though if you have NOT seen the new Doctor Who (can't vouch for the old ones as I've never seen them) it's highly, highly recommended. And I'm not really into scifi, it's just wonderful writing. So hopefully some of you will stick around. God knows I have not a clue what the crossover audience is for CM and Doctor Who. Probably not epic ;)

So moving on, Doctor Who Folks, hello :) This isn't my forum, again, just an itch to scratch. Please be kind, though it's not my first trip to the rodeo, it is my first time riding the bull down in Who'ville. But I got this idea (explained a bit at the end) and just from poking around a bit in the Doctor/Donna stories, I didn't think I'd seen anybody else take this exact spin on what happens after the memory wipe. And for that reason, I figured okay, as long as I have a fairly original idea (I think) I'll let my brain run with it.

So here we are, a few months after Donna resumes her old life. We're now going to follow along with what happened after The Doctor left. And keeping the thread of what Wilf said in the coffee shop in End of Time, that sometimes he sees her staring off like she's so sad, but doesn't know why.

These would be the moments that Wilf doesn't see.

Making Do

Some days Donna doesn't want to get out of bed . . . but she didn't know why. She didn't know why this terrible weight would suddenly press against her chest as hot tears filled her eyes. It was like she was grieving for someone, someone so important that the thought of going on without them broke her heart.

It broke her heart every damn time it happened.

But the problem was . . . she didn't have the first flipping clue who that person was. And why it felt like the loss that she was feeling . . . was the loss of her whole world.

And on those days when her chest ached with grief and her mind raced in a weird fever, she'd yank the blankets over her head and pray. All she wanted to know as the tears spilled over in a scalding torrent was the answer to one question.

Why the hell was she so bloody sad?

Because by all accounts . . . all standards that mattered to her anyway . . . her life was pretty good. Gramps was still the best and still going strong even though he creeping up on eighty. And Mum, even she wasn't bugging her too much . . . really she'd been so flipping nice lately that it had started to creep Donna out a bit. Plus . . . and this was the new thing . . . she'd got herself a pretty decent job . . . a proper permanent job mind you . . . down at the hospital. Well, actually Gramps got her the job. He said he knew a doctor, and that doctor had gotten her in there. Whatever. Either way, she loved it!

Maternity unit.

It was just so nice to spend her days around those adorably sweet new babies instead of a bunch of fussy middle aged gits that didn't know their arses from their elbows. That was the main reason she liked it.

The atmosphere.

Also though . . . and this was a funny thought that popped into her head sometimes . . . occasionally she'd find herself going to the viewing area and looking at all those babies through the glass. And then she'd think how wonderful it was to see so many new lives beginning. All the possibilities there. The people that they'd become and the things that they'd do. And how simply amazing it was that she was there to witness such a miraculous thing.

It was astounding.

But then just as quickly as that funny thought would come, she'd brush it away again. Too much deep thinking had always made her head hurt . . . and then she'd turn and walk back to the desk.

Back to her typing and filing and flirting with the handsome doctors. She loved to flirt with the doctors.

Doctors were always a good time.

Plus . . . and this was the other new thing . . . she'd recently met a guy. A nice guy . . . his name was Shaun. And he honest to God treated her like a princess. He brought her flowers and opened her doors and he told her that she was beautiful and smart. And of course when he'd say things like that she'd laugh and call him daft . . . but still, it was sweet.

He was sweet.

Gramps thought so too . . . he said so. Though he also seemed kind of sad these days. Donna wasn't sure what was up with that, maybe old age. Time passing and all that.

That was probably it.

Anyway, so yeah, one day a few months after she and Shaun started seeing each other, they were over at his place watching telly. Mastermind. Why that show, she still didn't know . . . that wasn't generally her cuppa. It was the kind of thing that usually made her feel kind of dumb. She was more of a "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here" kind of gal, but whatever. There they were watching this egghead with a funny bowtie and ridiculously floppy hair tear through question after question. It was fantastic!

He was fantastic!

Okay, yeah, he also seemed to be a bit bonkers, but really, the guy knew EVERYTHING about everything! She was transfixed.

But then he got stumped.

Or he seemed to get stumped. Either way, he just suddenly stopped answering. And they were sitting there in the living room waiting and waiting as he stared at the camera with this look on his face.

Really this guy being silent was almost as bizarre as him ratting off the mathematical equations that built the universe.

So they're just sitting there and then she leaned back slightly in the comfy chair that she liked so much. And then . . . to her everlasting astonishment . . . she popped out with the answer to that question the egghead didn't know. An answer that she totally had no business getting. It was on quantum mechanics of all things!

Who the hell knows anything about stuff like that?

But she was right. And when Shaun heard her answer . . . and two seconds later realized that she was right . . . well, he'd looked at her in a way that she knew only one other person ever had. But she couldn't remember who that person's name was, or why he would have done such a thing. She was just plain old Donna.

Nothing special to anybody except maybe Gramps.

God bless him.

That day though . . . that day when she got the answer right . . . Shaun gave her that look right before he broke into an enormous toothy grin. She was feeling right chuffed . . . but then all that changed. Because he said something that made her cry.

He told her she was brilliant.

Shaun told her she was brilliant and she'd burst into tears. God knows why, probably PMS'ing or something, but it was weird. Fortunately the moment passed as quickly as it had come. Before Shaunt even realized what was happening, she'd wiped her face and faked a bright smile. Again, she told him he was daft . . . that it was just a lucky guess, something she must have picked up on another game show . . . then she'd hopped up and hurried out of the room. At the last second she yelled back that she was just going to put on the kettle.

That night she cried herself to sleep.

That was four months ago. Three weeks later . . . at a nice dinner in a posh restaurant . . . Shaun leaned over told her that he thought he might be falling in love with her. And she'd grinned like an idiot as she kissed him and whispered back.

"Ditto Sunshine."

She believed it too. Because really, it's what she'd always wanted. A nice bloke, a nice job . . . a nice family. And it seemed like it was all coming together.

But still, she had these days where she'd wake up filled with an unimaginable soul crushing grief. And on those days she knows in her gut . . . she isn't happy.

Not at all.

But why? That's the question she asks herself over and over again. Why can't she be happy with what she has? Why isn't it enough? It's almost like . . . and this is so stupid that she can't even say it to anybody else . . . but it's like her life as she's living it, it isn't the way it's supposed to be. That the nice family and the nice job and the nice bloke . . . all those things that she always wanted, always dreamed about . . . that they aren't enough. That her dreams should be different now.

But that's ridiculous.

Because what else is there? That's life. Or at least the life of somebody like her.

Just a regular old nobody from Chiswick.

So as the months continued to roll by, she kept pushing along, kept trying to fold the corners of her life together like everybody else did.

She was just trying to get by with what she had.

And then one day something wonderful happened. That nice guy that she didn't deserve, who treated her like a princess, got down on one knee at the pub. They were in the middle of trivia night and then he suddenly asked her to marry him. The man was . . . as she'd been saying all along . . . utterly daft.

Didn't stop her from saying yes though.

And she said it immediately and without hesitation. He might have been daft but she wasn't. Then she laughed like fiend and yelled for the finest champagne in the house. Their finest champagne was actually nothing but cheap sparkling wine . . . only five quid a bottle . . . but it was good enough for her. Either way, they had a good time. And their measly paychecks really did spread for five quid a bottle.

She got good and pissed.

It was wonderful.

Then that night she stumbled home in a happy daze . . . and cried herself to sleep. Again. The next morning she tried to tell herself that it was just a combination of happy tears and cheap booze . . . but that was bollocks. She'd been sobbing into her pillow like the world was about to end.

Those weren't happy tears.

But again . . . as always . . . she didn't know why. So she put that strange moment behind her . . . she had to, it's all she knew how to do . . . make do with the options life threw at her. And crying her eyes out all day long wasn't a good option. But Shaun was. She was sure of it. He'd be a good husband . . . a good dad.

He'd give her a good life.

She'd chosen her path . . . but then one day all that changed.

That was the day she found her mobile.

A/N 2: Yes, that was a cameo by Eleven, though this is a story about her and Ten. But I could see Eleven popping back into this timeline for something ridiculous as a game show.

I always thought it was a bit odd that in Journey's End it was stated that The Doctor "took" her memories, (or implied anyway) but then in the same breath, if she ever "remembered" him that her mind would burn. How was she really going to remember a memory that she no longer has? Even by scifi logic standards it was still a bit off. Yes I know, removing somebody's memories on it's base is a huge logic jump, so the whole thing was really more just the out they needed so Donna would be gone, gone in a tragic way, but not dead. But then they kind of fixed that dichotomy in End of Time when Wilf told him how sad she would get. That it was clear that there was still something there and that whatever The Doctor had done hadn't taken everything. So that's how the first part of the story came. Her struggles to live this life she's supposed to lead, the one that used to make her happy, while at the same time there's a whole part of herself walled off that keeps creeping through at the weirdest times. Or times that seem weird to her.

Then two seconds after I got the idea for this chapter, I dropped my cell phone. And that's how I got the idea for chapter two ;)

It'll be up next week. Hope you like it. Again, first dip into this pool.