Prompt: I have a soft spot for Eleven/Donna fics, and I would love to read a fic about it. Or anything as shippy as it gets.
Warning: This assumes you have watched End of Time; and there is a character death.
Summary: Donna sets an unusual problem for a doctor or two, and finds her own solution.
Disclaimer: The neurology here is totally fictitious; I do not own these characters, nor make any money from them. I do, however, intend to have fun with them.
A/N: The lyrics are from "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot
A/N2: It might help if you have ever watched "House". Then again, it might help if you haven't.
There was an 'Oof!' followed by a shout, "Oi! Look where you are going!" from a ginger-haired woman.
The man that had accidentally barrelled into the woman stuttered to a halt and closely regarded her. "Donna Noble," he murmured in surprise. "What are you doing here?" he asked more loudly.
"Getting tripped over by you, obviously," she bit back; her eyes blazing as her hair blew across her face in the strong breeze. By the time she managed to reach up and wipe the offending hair out of the way to glare at the man he had scarpered; running away into the distance, closely followed by a girl with similar hair to hers. 'Strange bloke,' she thought absently as she rubbed her ankle. 'Shouldn't be let out without a keeper!'
Donna had hobbled the way across to a table outside a café and sat herself down. She was supposed to meet her friend any moment, so she perused the menu and considered her options. A waitress appeared so Donna asked, "Could I have an orange juice while I wait for my friend to arrive, please?"
"What a cute accent! Where are you from?" the waitress asked with keen interest.
"I'm from London. I'm just here visiting someone," Donna automatically replied.
The waitress went to make another comment, but she gasped as she saw something behind Donna on the street. "What is that?" she demanded.
Donna glanced round and saw a small creature, about four foot tall, scuttling along, emitting a weird sound. The weirdest thing of all was that Donna understood every word perfectly.
"It's a Fugia, and he's not happy. He's not happy at all!" she commented to the waitress. "Someone has run off with his tempest drive."
"His what?" the waitress asked in confusion.
"His tempest drive. He'll need it to get beyond Outer Cycoran," Donna stated. She was about to wonder out loud how she knew that when images started to flash through her mind, and her skin began to faintly glow. The last thing she remembered was someone screaming, quite loudly.
"Where the hell am I?" Donna demanded.
"Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital," the young medic anxiously answered.
"And where is THAT exactly," she yelled at him.
"In… er… New Jersey…," he stammered.
"What was wrong with the old one?" she asked. "Oh come on! It wasn't that bad a joke. In fact I've been to Jersey. Nice little island… in the English Channel… and you've never heard of it, have you? Why do I even bother?" She sank back down on her pillow and had a good sulk.
"And what do we have here?" asked an authoritative voice from the doorway.
"Oh Dr House!" the medic exclaimed with relief. "Miss Noble here has been displaying signs of unusual brain activity…"
"She'll be displaying signs of being totally pissed off if you keep talking about her as though she isn't in the room!" Donna interrupted caustically. "Try asking me a question. Believe it or not I do have a mouth that works."
"I can clearly see that, Miss Noble," Dr House told her bluntly. "Would you like to explain your symptoms?"
"I'll give it a go! There is a rare high grade astrocytoma upon the upper trigeminal nerve that is impeding the parietal lobe and causing stress within the hypothalamus. This is expressing itself through stress within the lymphatic system and the weird phenomena commonly known as glowing," she instantly reeled off; much to House's amazement and amusement.
"Would you mind if I allowed my team to examine you?" he asked her.
"Do what you like. It's your hospital," she said non-committedly, and gave him a shrug for good measure.
"Sorry I'm late!" A doctor almost bounced into the room, and shook the hand with everyone present. "Dr Jamie McCrimmon… lovely to meet you… just here as part of an exchange programme with St Bart's in London." He halted once he reached Donna's bedside. "And who do we have here?"
Donna eyed him suspiciously. "I'm Donna Noble; also from London, but not on an exchange programme. Instead I'm supposed to be here on holiday and visiting an old work colleague before you ask. Everyone has asked that question and it's getting really boring!"
"We can't have Donna Noble getting bored, can we?" He almost danced around to the other side of her bed. "What did you say your symptoms are, Donna?"
"I didn't! You haven't asked me that one yet. They have; you haven't." She then eyed him extremely suspiciously. "Is that a bow tie you are wearing? Who wears a bow tie these days? Or a tweed jacket, come to think of it."
"What's wrong with the tie? Bow ties are cool," he insisted as he adjusted the tie and his shirt collar.
Donna snorted her scorn. "Keep telling yourself that, Sunshine!"
"Dr McCrimmon, Miss Noble, if we could get back to the point," Dr House interjected tersely. "Does anyone have any ideas?"
"Yes, lighten up," Donna muttered, much to House's annoyance. "And treat yourself to a shave."
Before House could reply, Cuddy appeared through the glass doors, looking like a woman on a mission. "Dr McCrimmon? Could you explain, please, what exactly you are doing here?" she ordered him.
"Ah! Well! The thing is… I rather fancied coming in here to see Miss Noble… since you ask. Did you know they don't serve curry in the refectory here? How unusual! Ooh, what an interesting pen you have there…," Dr McCrimmon babbled on.
"For the love of Pete, would you get to the point?" Donna huffed at him in exasperation. "I don't have all day, and even less travel health insurance to pay for all this rigmarole, so would you tell me what's wrong, please, and I'll willingly get out of your way."
"Her temper is a bit volcanic," one of the interns commented; causing unwanted thoughts to suddenly flutter through Donna's mind.
"Volcano day… today they learn a new word," she told them in an eerily distant voice as she gazed unseeing ahead of her. "Just one; please save just one…"
Then as they all watched in astonishment her skin began to lightly glow. Somebody gasped loudly, but only Dr McCrimmon approached her, with caution. "Can you hear me, Donna?" he asked apprehensively.
"Doctor! Help me, Doctor! Adjust my primary primary primary primary primary primary primary primary…" she continually stuttered out, until he touched her temples and she instantly quietened, to their joint relief.
He staggered back from her, clearly puzzled at first until her message got through to him, and then exclaimed, "Oh my! That's wonderful!"
"What is wonderful?" Dr House quizzed him.
"The thing! You know the thing," he replied with enthusiasm. "It's the one that works!"
"No, I don't know," Dr House pointed out. "Why don't you enlighten us?"
"Can't right now. Have to go and sort out something, and be right back," he threw at them as he rushed out of the huge transparent doors.
"What was that?" demanded Cuddy from the ensemble doctors. "Do we know why any of this happened?"
"No," admitted Dr House, as his team exchanged puzzled glances. "But I intend to find out."
The next thing Donna was aware of was music playing, very close to her ear from what she could gather. Forcing her eyes open, she was amazed to see that weird Dr McCrimmon sitting by her bed playing a lute. His eyes lit up as soon as he realised her gaze was set upon him, and then to her upmost surprise he burst into song. "If you could read my mind, love," he sang, with a surprisingly strong sense of coordination. "What a tale my thoughts could tell…" He strung a chord or two, and then continued, "Just like an old time movie, 'bout a ghost from a wishing well…"
The song carried on, soothing and seducing her as she lay in the hospital bed listening to him sing. In fact it was beautiful, and made her feel extremely special. "What did I do to deserve that?" she calmly asked him when he finished; and graced him with a beautiful smile. "You should sing more often."
He blushed. "I'm just stimulating your neurons and synapses," he answered.
"Flatterer!" she exclaimed fondly. "I bet you say that to all the girls."
He chuckled and reached out to hold her hand. "Donna Noble, it's wonderful to see you again."
"And you, Doctor," she replied with feeling. "Even if this is a brand new face; but you know what I mean. I just wish you hadn't gained one that looks younger than me… not that it will cause you any problems. How long will this last; this remembering bout? I want to make the most of it."
"Are you up to a little trip, Donna Noble?" he asked her; and she instantly knew it was a very brief interlude.
"Always," she told him, giving his hand an understanding squeeze.
With a great deal of patience, he helped her get out of the bed and don her dressing gown, before guiding her out of the room and into the corridor outside. She wasn't surprised in the least to see the TARDIS sitting there, waiting for their return.
As she touched the familiar blue door that led inside to the console her senses flared, and she was aware of the TARDIS calling to her in welcome with an exquisite bittersweet song. If nothing else had confirmed her time was short, this would have done. With a gentle touch, Donna stroked a hand along the handrail and whispered her thanks to the old girl.
The Doctor pretended he hadn't heard, and set about punching in some coordinates. "Do you want some help with that?" Donna asked him as breezily as she could.
"It has changed quite a bit since you learned how to pilot her," he said, smiling softly at her. "But why not?" And he beckoned her over to place her hands upon the controls one more time under his careful guidance.
"You've done something different with the brakes," she commented when they landed.
"Something River Song mentioned," he casually explained; but she quickly guessed what that meant. He could feel it emanating from her. "Shall we?"
Hand in hand they made their way down the ramp and out the doors. They emerged on a snowy London street. "Where are we?" she whispered to him. "When are we, and why here?"
He pointed behind her in answer. "Look!" As he watched the scene play out before him he felt the timelines snapping into place, and his own memories unlocked concerning this event. With a gentle sigh, he said his own 'goodbye'.
Donna turned slowly and gasped at what she saw. "Spaceman!" she cried, and would not have been able to stop herself from running to him if she had tried. "Spaceman!" she yelled again as she ran with her arms spread wide.
The Tenth Doctor rose from his kneeling position on the ground and gawped at her in astonishment. "Donna? Donna!" he cried out in reply, and was instantly swathed in her warmth as they hugged. "Oh Donna! I've missed you so much!"
"And I've missed you! What have you gone and done to yourself now?" She pulled back slightly to look him in the eye. "You look awful!"
"Thanks," he replied with an ironic laugh. "Trust you to point out the obvious."
"Well? Aren't you going to tell me?" she softly chided him, caressing his cheek with one of her hands.
"I'm dying, Donna… I saved Wilf's life by sacrificing my own. I could have done so much more," he mumbled, conflicted by pain, sadness, relief and happiness.
"Yes, you could have; so I need to say 'thank you'", she said, and placed a kiss on his lips.
He wrapped his arms tightly around her and returned the kiss, relishing in its taste and her tender lips. He had tried to imagine what this would feel like, but the reality was so much better; especially when she allowed him to deepen the kiss. Reluctantly he broke their embrace. "I need to get back in the TARDIS," he excused himself.
"Yes, we do," she confirmed, letting him read her thoughts through his touch.
"No, Donna! I can't let you do this," he insisted.
"It's the only way I can be with you; and I want to be with you forever," she argued. "I want to make the choice for myself this time."
He could feel the radiation killing cell after cell in his body, and knew he didn't have enough time to argue the toss, so he conceded the point. With a nod they staggered into his TARDIS, and clung together as the golden light of regeneration slowly built up and consumed them.
"I don't want to go," he cried out, and she held him closely.
"Don't worry; I'll be there too with you," she crooned to console him; and then they were engulfed by the flames like a Roman candle.
The Eleventh Doctor emerged, and instantly wondered, 'Where are you Donna?'
'Here! I'm here!' she quickly replied. 'I will be here forever, as I promised. Held within your hearts and inside the TARDIS. I am her, and she is me.'
With a happy grin, and a shout of "Geronimo!" he grabbed the controls of the new and improved console, and raced towards his first adventure.