Warning: Contains a couple of mild swear words, and a slight reference to 'The God Complex'; but not really any spoilers!
Summary: Donna has noticed she's being watched, so takes matters into her own hands.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, but the words here are all my own.
Do you think I couldn't see you?
Did you think you were so small?
Am I really not surprising?
Was the writing on the wall?
I looked for your dream cloud,
It has everything I feel,
It has colours of the rainbow,
It has things I can reveal.
But you never really wanted
To be joined to only me,
So I'm waiting here for ever
'Til I know you'll set me free.
"What's the matter with you? Why the long face?" Sylvia cross examined Donna as she sat idly drinking her coffee in the kitchen after dinner.
Donna carefully placed her coffee cup down before turning in her seat to regard her mother. "Mum, I think I have a stalker."
"What do you mean you've got a stalker?" Sylvia demanded.
"I mean I've got a man that stalks me," she said as clearly as possible. "There's two of them actually."
"Oh yeah? What do these stalkers look like?" Sylvia asked before adding, "Are they private detectives? Have you been playing around with a married man?"
"Mum! Beyond my own husband, or should I say ex-husband, no I haven't! I'm not that daft!" Donna huffed testily. She reconsidered her coffee cup. "One of them is a pleasant cross between the Nutty Professor and Herman Munster, and the other one is a tall skinny streak of... Actually, now I think about it, I think he came to my wedding."
"Did he?" Sylvia pretended to ponder. "What was he wearing?"
Donna frowned. "What the tall one? Erm... Brown suit, long brown overcoat, and shoes that weren't black! Dunno why I noticed that. Why?"
"Nothing!" Sylvia immediately answered. "I think you should tackle the shorter one of the two. You might get more sense out of him."
Donna chuckled. "Whatever makes you think that? Are shorter stalkers always more intelligent?"
"No, but their ability to speak might have improved," she answered.
"Mum, you are bonkers!" Donna snorted. "Though his bum is nearer the ground if I have to give him a swift knee jerk to the groin. Yeah, that's a good enough reason to tackle that one."
"Glad to hear it," Sylvia replied. "But be careful, Donna. Take photos of him first as evidence. You never know who you might meet in the street these days. Could be a psychopath or a preacher."
"Or a doctor," Donna mumbled for some unknown, and unknowing, reason.
He was standing there again; right by the entrance to Starbucks. He was just like some orphan of the storm as he stood there, in his tweed jacket, skinny-leg trousers (the bottom of his trousers had obviously had an argument with his shoes) and a bow tie of all things! Probably an eccentric ex-public schoolboy she decided. That meant he might be a kinky bugger judging by what the News of the World wrote about such people. She almost let his presence dissuade her from going for a Frappuccino, but then she thought why should she let him stop her doing what she enjoyed? Bloody cheek! So instead she marched right up to the doorway and glared at him as she went by.
"Forgot your camera this time, eh? What a shame! You'll miss me doing this!" And with that she strode into the shop.
She could feel him watching her through the window, like a puppy at the pet store; so she left the queue and went back to the door.
"Do you want a coffee or what?" she demanded from him. "I can't stand about here all day." She held the door open in invitation, making it obvious that she wasn't going to move until he had joined her.
"Oh, thank you!" He fumbled about in his pockets looking for coins that were suitable for that time period.
Donna heaved an agitated sigh. "I'll buy these, shall I? You can treat me another day." It wasn't as though she couldn't afford it after all. She just was riled that she had to pay, again… because she always had to pay for him... Hang on! Where did that thought come from? She contemplated him and could see no reason why he seemed so familiar to her. Apart from the stalking bit, obviously. "Given your mate the day off, have you?" she suddenly asked him once they'd received their drinks and she'd gestured for him to sit on a nearby bar stool with her.
"What mate?" He looked quite skittish as he answered her.
"The tall mate in the long coat, before you try pretending he doesn't exist," she said, giving her drink a good stir and a slurp.
"Ah, he sort of doesn't," he murmured in a low voice. "No, it's just me! I don't work with anyone else, not anymore. I did once but I left them to move on. You know how it is," he tried to say brightly.
"No I don't," she said flatly. "I'm quite a loyal friend so I don't tend to do that sort of thing."
"I know," he replied before he could stop himself. "I mean... You look the sort that would die for a friend..." His voice trailed away as he realised what he'd just said, and he gulped visibly.
"I've no idea," she answered honestly. "I've never had the opportunity to find out."
"I have," he mumbled. He caught her looking at him in bewilderment. "I was in that place once, long ago, and yes I made that decision, and I feel sure you would have done too."
She scoffed at him. "I'd probably run a mile!" she declared. "Gramps is the hero in our family."
"Yes," he agreed. "But there is more than one way of being heroic."
"So own up! Why are you following me?" she abruptly asked him. She felt it was a now or never moment.
"I... I wasn't...," he blustered, trying to desperately think up a cover story.
"I think you were," she continued. "I've seen you, several times, watching me from across the street. It hasn't mattered where I've worked; you or your mate has eventually turned up to gawp at me."
"Donna," he went to counter argue, and immediately knew his mistake.
"A hah!" she declared triumphantly. "If you aren't stalking me, how do you know my name? It's not as if I walk around with a flipping big name badge on is it?"
"No, but you are remarkably easy to find... If I was trying to find you, which I'm not, Noble," he heard himself say, and wanted to kick himself again.
She laughed at him then, in a self-satisfied way. "So you don't know my name, eh? Yeah, I'll buy that lie. Not! Come on, tell me, who set you up to this? Is it that tart Shaun has shacked up with? The gold digger? Or has he got a new one in tow? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he had three on the go."
"You're not with Shaun anymore?" he asked in shocked tones. "But you were supposed to stay with him forever."
"Well he didn't get the memo, chum! Money attracts all sorts of people, and most of them are strangely blonde," she commented. "Of course, I've had my own fair share of hangers on. Like bloody limpets they are once you show them a bit of sympathy. I'm just glad I don't have all that money anymore."
"You don't!" He looked appalled. "That money was supposed to set you up for life; let you travel and see the world."
She snorted a laugh. "I got to see the inside of plenty of law courts and QCs living off the interest, and not much else. Don't get me wrong, I'm not church mice poor, but a lot of it went to the wrong people. People like cosmetic surgeons, masseurs, fashion houses, and whatever his latest Barbie doll wanted. Not that I'm bitter; much!" She laughed then at herself. "Poor bloke couldn't cope with the attractive qualities of big money, so it's no wonder he was fleeced."
"What about you, Donna? What did you get out of it?" he asked sadly.
"Me?" She thought carefully then. "I paid off the mortgage for Mum, bought Gramps a decent telescope, made sure they had a little treasure to help them while they needed it. Most of the rest I gave away, like I said. I did consider paying for IVF treatment once, but, well... Who would look at me now? I haven't even got kids and I can't..." She halted abruptly then. "Why am I telling you this? Aren't you supposed to know about my life? Or do you only watch? Not much of a stalker, are you, if I have to tell you everything."
"I have to go," he announced.
"Is that it? You stand around in all weathers for yonks, and that's all you're going to ask me?" Donna regarded him incredulously. "Well that was worth all the effort, wasn't it? Alright, dapper Dan, you can go back to your life now and pick someone else to stalk. Obviously I bored you to tears with my tale of woe... No don't bother trying to deny it. I get the message." She stood then, drawing her cloak of indifference around her closely. "Have a nice life," she threw at him and almost ran out of the shop.
She didn't stop to look back, but just kept on going until she reached her office. Stupid bloody stalkers making her feel special! What was the matter with her? Couldn't she see he had mistaken her for someone else? Someone a lot more interesting, that much was true. She reluctantly admitted to herself that she would miss seeing him and his mate every now and then.
The Doctor sat and watched her go; longing to call after her, tell her everything was okay, that he understood; that he was still her friend. But of course he never said a word and just let her go. Just because she had caught him today doesn't mean she'd catch him last week, did it? Once again he told himself, 'Just one more sighting then I'll stop. Just one.'