Obviously I own nothing, if I did this wouldn't be fanfiction.
Donna sits at her kitchen table, stirring her cup of tea absently, not noticing that it's gone cold and the sugar had dissolved long ago. She has her head leaned against her hand, her elbow resting on the table. She's frustrated, which is quite usual for her these days. She feels...bored. That's not an unusual thing, Donna's spent most of her life being bored, but this was different somehow. It was an empty kind of boredom, like she was supposed to be doing something else, something fantastic. It feels like where the boredom is, something else should be, and the boredom is only there filling it's place. She explains it as missing something she's never had. Her mother tells her to get over it, while her grandfather only looks at her sadly whenever she brings it up, she thinks he's just sympathizing with her. He's spent so many years out on the hill, looking through his telescope. It must hurt to look at the stars, when you're never able to be among them.
"Donna." her mother says sharply, in a tone that suggests she's been trying to get her daughter's attention for a while now, Donna shifts her eyes over half heartedly, making a "mhm?" sound. "What are you doing? you've been sitting there for ages just staring."
"Just thinking about stars." she says truthfully, still staring at the opposite wall in a trance-like state. She doesn't see the way her mother's eyes widen momentarily before she bristles,
"Well you ought to stop it." she barks, "there's no sense in that, why don't you go out and find yourself a real job?" Donna doesn't look at her, "stop being a bloody secretary, you'll never make anything of yourself like that, you're like the living dead, Donna, I swear." she huffs and turns out of the room, muttering, "bloody stars." Donna sighs and looks down at her tea, she takes a sip and winces at it's coolness. She heats it up in the microwave and makes her way to the back door. She follows the trail to the hill, where she knows her grandfather is sitting with his telescope.
"Hey, gramps." she says, plopping down next to him on the grass, he smiles at her.
"Donna, my girl!"
"anything out there?" she asks, looking up at the sky, only seeing twinkling stars. He shakes his head,
"not tonight, just stars." he smiles at her, "but there's nothing wrong with stars, Donna." and for some reason that makes her feel better, less silly, if anything. It was okay to imagine about stars, everyone does it, right? Imagines something bigger and better than themselves out there. That's what she loved about her gramps, he wasn't afraid of looking silly with all his talk of aliens and stars.
"I feel stuck, gramps." she sighs, looking up at him, "I feel like I should be doing something, travelling, seeing things, meeting people." she shrugs, "I'm just not...happy."
"oh, Donna." and he has that look again, that look he gets whenever she brings something like this up, it's almost like...pity. She doesn't understand it, but she never asks. "You will, someday." he says, "You'll be out there, Donna, just you wait."
It was Tuesday, which meant lunch dates with Jack. This was Donna's absolute favorite part of the week. Jack lives in Cardiff, she met him at the shops one day, buying groceries. He'd flirted with her but she'd taken none of his nonsense, but he insisted on taking her out to lunch, and she accepted...but just as mates. That was the best decision she'd ever made. Jack was now her closest mate, he put some excitement into her life. He still flirted, although she didn't fancy him, he was just that way. He worked for some super-secret agency that he couldn't tell her about, but she didn't mind, the mystery of it was kind of fun. He made her life a bit more bearable.
"Jack!" she smiles as she throws her arms around him in front of their favorite restaurant. He smiled widely, with his perfect white teeth and sparkling blue eyes.
"Donna!" he wraps his arms around her waist and frowns as he pulls back, "have you been eating?" he asks, and she scoffs,
" 'course I've been eating, what's that supposed to mean?"
"Seems like you've lost weight." he says, and she rolls her eyes,
"please, how's that a bad thing? Mum's always telling me to go on a diet anyway." and with that she walks through the doors, Jack close behind her. The truth was, she really hadn't been eating all that much. Not because she didn't want to or anything, simply because sometimes she just forgot. She'd be so deep into her thoughts and daydreams that hours could pass and she wouldn't ever have known. They order
their meals and she looks to Jack, who's shifting nervously in his seat.
"What's the matter?" she asks, frowning and taking a sip of her iced tea.
"Nothing." he says, forcing a smile, and soon their food comes. Donna instantly picks up a chip.
"ugh, these are the best chips ever. Honestly, what do they fry these things in?" she asks, not expecting an answer, maybe getting Jack to agree...or say anything at all. Instead, he clears his throat and looks at her levelly.
"I've never told you what I do," he says seriously, "at work, I mean."
"Ooh, am I being let in on some big government secret?" she smirks and he shakes his head, one corner of his mouth lifting,
"No, but there's a reason I couldn't tell you. If I did, you could be in some real danger, Donna, even right now I have to be careful about what I say." he looks so serious, she wants it to be a joke, but she can tell when Jack's joking, and right now, he isn't.
"Oh, come on." she says doubtfully, "I haven't got a hit on me, have I?" she picks up another chip, "am I gonna get whacked?" she gasps, and Jack sighs.
"Donna, please, I'm being serious. Nobody's after you, it's all in your own head and if I say anything that...triggers that, something really, really bad could happen. Everyone has to tiptoe around you, Donna, we don't want anything to happen." Donna frowns, looking affronted,
"you're saying I'm bonkers, then? And who's we, huh?"
"Your mom, Wilfred and I." he says, and his eyes grow sad, "you've forgotten so much, Donna, but I can help you now, I know what to do."
"Stop it." she says, going stiff, she doesn't like what he's saying. There's something wrong in her head? Does she have amnesia or something?
"Do you get daydreams?" Jack asks suddenly, "do you feel like...you're not supposed to be here, and you don't know why?", Donna shakes her head, pushing her plate away from her.
"Jack, stop it." she says, firmer than before, "stop it, your'e scaring me."
"Donna, you have those feeling for a reason!" he insists, "please, let me help you and I can make them go away, I promise you're life will be so much better if you just let me help you."
"Why?" she asks, "you haven't known me forever, Jack, you don't know that."
"I've known you longer than you think," he says softly, and her head jerks up to look at him, her bangs falling in her eyes. She gets up from the table, suddenly,
"I don't know what you're on about," she says seriously, standing at the end of the table with Jack looking up at her, "But I'm not having any of it." she starts to walk away, "you can take your freaky sci-fi somewhere else, timeboy." and then she freezes, and so does Jack. Terror floods through him at the name, and Donna frowns at herself, wondering why she'd just said that. She couldn't remember.
"Donna?" Jack ventures, now standing behind her with a hand on her back.
"Why did I just call you that?" she asks, her voice soft and just a little bit scared.
"Because...Donna you'll know, I promise, you'll know if you just come with me." she looks up at him and he can see how scared she really is, behind all of her bluster, she's scared.
"You swear it'll help?" she asks, and Jack nods,
The millions of security protocols Jack has to go through doesn't do anything to sooth Donna's nerves. What in the world were they going to do to her? True, she's scared, she's more than scared, she'd bloody terrified. But Jack had promised whatever this was, it would make things better, and Donna didn't think she could walk around one more day feeling like half of her heart was missing, so she agreed. Jack and a couple other's bring her down into a room, completely encased in lead. There's a chair sat in the middle of it, and nothing else. Donna looks to Jack,
"What are you going to do?" she asks, trying to keep the tremor from her voice, "what if something happens? Gramps-"
"I've talked to your grandfather," Jack said, "he thinks it's a brilliant idea," Jack puts his hands on her shoulders, "Nothing's going to happen, Donna, I promise I won't let anything bad happen to you." she takes a deep breath and nods at his words.
"Okay." she says, and two of the others, she never caught their names, bring her into the room, they make her change into a hospital gown, and sit her down in the chair, strapping her arms down, and bringing one more padded strap over her forehead. She closes her eyes as they leave the room and she hears a sound, like engines starting up. She hums to herself, a song that she doesn't really recognize, she doesn't even know if it actually exists or if she's making it up, but it comforts her as bright lights shine, making her vision splash red beneath her eyelids. She hums louder as her heartbeat races and the light shines and the sounds grow louder and the room begins to vibrate and suddenly her mind explodes.
It's like watching a movie a million miles a minute, and she screams, fists clenching and unclenching. Her eyes are thrown open wide but she isn't seeing the room, it's like she's seeing through someone else's eyes as these images play. A phone box and a tall, thin man, giant spiders with human voices, Lance, a room on fire, everything on fire, a volcano, aliens, a giant wasp, a giant brain, heart break, elation, crippling fear, adoration, and running. There was an awful lot of running. And that man, the Doctor, the skinny alien streak of nothing, a spaceman, her spaceman, how could she ever have forgotten? The memories end as she lies in the TARDIS, fire all around them, things sparking around the console and the Doctor's severed hand glowing and then...nothing. Waking up in her own home, continuing life as normal. The strangest part, though, is that she remembers not remembering. She remembers not knowing about the Doctor and not having him in her life, it's the worst feeling she could possibly think of. She blinks, clearing the spots from her vision as she stares at the opposite wall. Suddenly, someone's hands are on her face and she looks up, meeting Jack's blue eyes. He wipes her cheeks free of her tears and smiles a little,
"Donna?" he asks quietly, lifting his brows, "you okay?" she shifts her eyes to meet him once more.
"Yeah." she says, nodding slightly, "I...I'm okay, I'm fine...I remember." she all but whispers, Jack quickly unstraps her from the contraption and holds her close, petting her hair as she grips the back of his coat. "Did he leave me?" she asks, sounding more like a child than anything. "Did he just...drop me off? Didn't he want me anymore?" Jack shushes her, his heart breaks at her tone, it was the type of tone that said, 'if the answer is yes, I'll break.'
"No, sweetie, no of course he didn't leave you." Jack assures her, leaning back a bit, keeping hold of her shoulders, "the last thing he wanted to do was leave you...it was for your own good, I promise."
"Why?" Donna asks and Jack feels like slapping the Doctor for ever letting this happen.
"I think I should let the Doctor explain that one," he says, looking at her sadly, and she sniffs, straightening her back.
"Fine." she says, some of the fire returning to her eyes. "But if...when he comes back, I'm going to give him a piece of my mind." she nods resolutely to herself and yawns, "I'm tired...is that normal?"
"Dunno," Jack admits, "We've never done this before." he smiles at her, "Don't worry, the Doctor is coming back, let's just keep you here for a while, okay?" Donna nods, though Jack's sure she's just going along with whatever, seeing as she can barely keep her eyes open. "We'll take you down to the infirmary." Donna nods again, practically falling against Jack. He lifts her easily, he sighs, noting the weight she's lost in a less than healthy manner. He brushes away the other's offers to help as he takes Donna to her own room in the infirmary. He exits the room, making sure a nurse goes in to see her, and pulls out his cell phone. The Doctor's number is first on his contacts list, and he dials.
"Come on, come on, don't you ignore me." he whispers to himself as the phone rings, finally, there's an answer.
"What do you want?" the Doctor's voice sounds on the other end, sounding exasperated,
"What? Not happy to hear from me?" Jack teases lightly, and there's a scoff on the other end.
"The Earth better be burning, Jack, what do you want?" Jack sighs and runs a hand over his face, he feels a bit bad for this next part, because he won't give the Doctor an explanation. He knows if he leaves it how he will, the Doctor will show up faster, and without question, but it's also running the risk of giving him a heart attack...hearts attack? But he'll do it anyway, because this is the Doctor, and he can't stand him being the way he is anymore.
"It's Donna." Jack says, making sure to sound completely devoid of emotion, as not to lean the Doctor in any certain way, he'll have to come up with that on his own.
"Donna?" the Doctor chokes, and Jack hangs up. He instantly walks to the elevator, a heavy feeling settling in his stomach, he really does feel bad for stressing the Doctor out, but this was simply the best option to get him to arrive. He waits in the courtyard, sitting on a bench, twiddling his thumbs (quite literally). Finally, oh god, finally he hears the sound he's been waiting for. He doesn't turn around until he feels a hand clasp onto his shoulder, hard.
"I swear Jack, if you've done anything to her-" Jack whips around, surprised at the Doctor's tone.
"Technically, we have..." Jack started and then decided to change directions as the Doctor looked like he could literally growl at him. "But it's good! She isn't in any danger anymore, Doctor, she remembers you." the Doctor went pale as a ghost, his grip on Jack's shoulder tightening.
"What?" he asks, obviously trying to pick an emotion somewhere between devastation and fury. "Jack, you have no idea what you've done-"
"No, Doctor, she remembers you, she doesn't remember the Doctor Donna or the whole universe packed into her head, she doesn't remember any of it." the Doctor frowns, "we've taken out that section of her memory, it took us a while to figure it out but we've done it. We'd have to rebuild the whole machine if we wanted to do it again, but still." he smiled, "all she remembers is burning up the TARDIS, and then waking up at home."
"She...she remembers me?" the Doctor asks, "everything, all of us...together, she remembers?" Jack laughs,
"Yes!" he says happily, "but...she thinks you left her." Jack says, "that's why you need to come back, I know what you're like on your own for too long, and she's the same."
"Is she alright?" the Doctor asks, worry lacing his voice, "how was she?"
"She's had a rough year, to be honest." Jack rubs the back of his neck, "she only met me a couple of times before, so I figured...it'd be okay to see her." he shrugs, "I introduced myself, we became friends," the Doctor shakes his head,
"That was dangerous, she could have remembered you."
"But she didn't." Jack points out, "now she does, but that's beside the point." he looks sadly at the Doctor, "I think she knew something was missing, she'd space out and just...I don't know, daydream." he sighs, "Wilf took care of her, but her mother wasn't helping the situation, she wasn't eating, hardly sleeping, she kept up a job but she was practically dead on her feet." the Doctor looked pained, Donna, Donna Noble, the most important woman in the universe, reduced to that because of him. He felt sick.
"I...Jack, after everything, I don't know-"
"Don't you dare say you don't want her back." Jack says fiercely, "Don't you dare because whether you want her there or not, you need her. You need each other, you balance the other out." Jack knows he's making sense, and he knows the Doctor agrees. "All I'm saying is that you need to go and see her, and if it's her choice to stay behind, okay, fine." he points a finger at the Doctor, "but don't you even think about making her stay against her will." the Doctor nods and swallows thickly,
"Okay, you're right...can I see her?"
The Doctor's hearts are pounding in his chest as Jack leads him to Donna's room in the infirmary. Jack opens the door and let's the Doctor in. He walks forward and see's her, he nearly chokes. Oh, he's missed her, Donna, his brilliant Donna. He wants to laugh and cry and hug her, and run as far away as he can. The effects of the last year are evident, the way the hospital gown is sitting on her exposed her collar bones, which are a bit too visible for the Doctor's liking. Her face is thinner as is the rest of her (he would guess) her ginger hair is pulled up into a bun on the top of her head with her bangs falling over her forehead. At least she hadn't gone and dyed her hair or something ridiculous like that, she was still ginger. The Doctor smiled softly, she looked so different, but exactly the same. He's a bit embarrassed by the tight feeling in his throat, the feeling of holding back tears. He sits in the chair next to her bed, he won't wake her, but he'll be there when she does.
Jack stands in the doorway, watching. He decides to leave the Doctor alone for now, he should give Donna time with him when she wakes up. He smiles, hoping she doesn't kill the Doctor straight away, and then hoping that she can understand what needed to be done. But he has absolutely no doubt that the two of them could be together again, best mates, the Doctor and Donna.
Donna slowly begins to come to. First, sounds, the soft hum of the air vent, some people walking by. She remembers Jack taking her to the infirmary, she remembers why she's there. Her eyes snap open and a hand flies to her forehead. She sits up with a little,
"oh!" as she notices all the new, well, old...recovered memories sitting in her head. It's then that she notices someone else is in the room, she slowly looks to her left and sitting in the chair right next to her bed, staring at her with wide brown eyes,
"Oh no." she says, instantly pointing a finger at him, "You left me!" she accuses instantly, throwing the blanket off of her and sliding off the bed, ignoring the way the gown wasn't completely tied shut in the back, and took a step towards him. "How could you do that? I was supposed to be with you forever! You...you prawn! You think it's alright to just get bored of me and drop me off?" she's nearly yelling now, and the Doctor just sits in the chair, taking it, he doesn't argue, he simply listens. "What did you do? Wipe my mind with your freaky alien gadgets? Well I'll tell you something, I remember it now, I remember...not remembering." she falters slightly, "I remember that year without you, and it was horrible." her mood is shifting, from initial anger to slight resentment but mostly sadness. She sighs and drops her arms to the side, "wasn't I clever enough?" she asks in a small voice, "Was I slowing you down, or...was I too loud? I know I get annoying, Doctor but-" she instantly freezes as she watches a tear slide down his face, horrified, she sits back on the bed. She watches as he blinks and opens his mouth a few times before finding the words he wants to use.
"Donna," his voice is rough, "I...I didn't leave you, I never meant to leave you."
"Then why did you?" she asks softly, suddenly unable to conjure a venomous tone while those tears were still standing in his eyes.
"I let you go." he says, "I didn't leave you...I let you go." he looks at her sadly and pinches the bridge of his nose, taking a breath. "You remember the TARDIS burning...yeah?" she nods in agreement and he continues, "well, you saved it, Donna, you saved the whole bloody universe. My hand, it still had some regeneration energy stored in it, and when you touched it...it was an instantaneous biological metacrisis. Essentially there was another me, grown from that hand...Doctor mock two." he smirked a bit, "but he wasn't me, he was part Time Lord, part, well...you." Donna's eyes widened,
"Part me?" she gasped, the Doctor nodded,
"And when that happened, it also worked the other way, you...changed." he said, "He had the body of a human, you had the mind of a Time Lord, a whole entire universe packed into your head, the Doctor Donna." he says bitterly, "you defeated the Daleks, you saved us all, you saved the universe. But...the whole universe, Donna," he looks at her sadly, "it's not meant to be in your head like that, you're still human. It was burning away at you, I...I had to make you forget. Forget what happened, forget everything we've done together...forget me." he sighed a bit harshly, "if you remembered any of that, Donna, any little bit of it could send you right back and...you would've burned right up."
"There's...just a gap now, though." Donna says, "all I remember is the TARDIS burning up and then...I was at home." she runs a hand over her face, "I remember not remembering...that's the strangest bit." she smiles, "it doesn't even seem like my life, whoever that was this past year, I don't like her." Donna smiled, the Doctor smiled with her,
"I do." he says, "any way you are, Donna, any way at all." and hold out his arms. Donna lightly slaps his chest before wrapping her own arms around his skinny torso and hugging him tightly.
"I was pathetic." Donna says lightly, the Doctor pets her back,
"You were bored." he says, but he likes the thought of that, not of Donna being pathetic but...of Donna being her best when she's with him. And he can't deny that he's the same. What Jack had said was right, they're two halves of a whole, they're there to inspire each other. The Doctor's there to help Donna realize how brilliant she can be, and Donna's there to stop him, comfort him, and tell him when he's being a twit. He loves her for that, and he missed her, he missed her so much.
"Oh!" Donna squeaks, "hey," she pulls away a bit, "hey," she looks up at him and brings a hand to his face, using her thumb to wipe a stray tear from the side of his nose. "What's wrong?" she asks, honestly unprepared for this. She'd never seen the Doctor cry, not ever, he was "always alright" even though she knew he really wasn't. He sniffs, obviously not meaning to cry in front of her.
"Sorry," he says, still sounding choked, "Couldn't help it, I'm fine, really, don't you worry about me." he smiles, but Donna sees his lip tremble. She makes a sympathetic face, taking his in both of her hands, rubbing her thumb over the stubble along his jawline.
"See?" she smiles a bit, "Here I am, just wanting to tell you off,"
"Rightly so," the Doctor interjects before letting her continue,
"And you start this up and...I can't be mad, Doctor." She strokes his cheek and his face falls, she gently pushes him back onto the chair and takes a place in his lap, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and letting his head fall in the crook of her neck.
"I missed you, Donna." he chokes out and she feels the hot tears falling onto her gown.
"Shh, shh, it's okay, Doctor, it's alright." he wraps his arms around her waist and tugs her closer. After a few moments, his trembling subsides and he looks up at her, eyes bloodshot and nose red. "You're breaking my heart." she tells him and instantly regrets it. She hadn't meant to say that aloud but now that it was out...he looks pained and she shushes him. "Was it that bad?" she asks, "I would've thought you'd have, y'know, found someone new to travel with." she shrugs, "can't be that hard to replace me."
"Oh, don't you dare." he says a bit more seriously than she was anticipating, "I couldn't replace you, Donna!" he shakes his head, "still, you still don't get it."
"Get what?" Donna asks, looking a bit affronted,
"How special you are." he says, holding her close, "You're everything. You're brilliant and brave, you don't let anyone tell you you're not important but you don't actually believe that you are and, Donna, you're kind." something flickers in his eyes and Donna thinks...but no, no it can't be, this is the Doctor! "It would just be unfair for anyone who came after you because they could never compete." he swallows, "Jack told me that you weren't...you weren't okay." he says, "not pathetic, just...not okay." he frowns, moving his hand along her waist, "I can practically count your ribs." he tells her, frowning.
"I just...spaced." Donna says, moving his hand away lightly and standing up, off of his lap. She wraps her arms around her middle, "my mother just criticized me, Gramps looked at me like I was terminally ill and I just..." she sighs harshly, throwing her arms to the side, her hands balled up into fists. The Doctor watches her, slightly surprised. "You don't know what you do to people, do you?" she asks, not rude not confrontational just...informative. "I didn't even really remember you and I missed you it just...it felt like a giant chunk of my life was missing but I had no idea what it was or how the hell to get it back." She sighs, "I'm not mad at you, Doctor, I'm just frustrated. You act like your just another person that can come and go out of someone's life with no problem but you can't, not with me." she tells him, "I tried so hard to be alright, because I knew I wasn't. I tried to be better, a better me, a perfect me but I'm not perfect." she looks at him desperately, "I failed, at everything I just.." her voice had gone shaky and the Doctor stares at her. He can't stand to hear her talk that way about herself, so on the verge of tears. He knows how she is when she's upset, she'll swallow her tears until she absolutely can't anymore...and then she'll go to her room. He stands up silently and hold out a hand, she pushes it away lightly. "It's fine-" but he ignores her, encircling her in his arms and holding her close. She lets out a small whimper and he clutches a hand in her hair, weaving his fingers through the base of her head, avoiding undoing her bun.
"Oh, Donna," he sighs, she looks up at him,
"Can I go home?" she asks, and wipes at her face, "Can I please just...I just want to go home, I'm so tired." the Doctor nods,
"Of course." he tells her, "of course you can, I'll go get Jack-"
"No!" she protests instantly, grabbing onto his hand, "no, just...we'll just go. I'm fine, I'll call Jack later I just...is it stupid to think that you'll disappear again if I let you go?" she asks, and the Doctor smiles softly, slightly enjoying finally seeing this side of Donna, the side that admitted that maybe she needs him too.
"It's a bit stupid, yeah," he teases, squeezing her hand, "Because it's not going to happen." but he does as she wants and leads her out of the room, she blushes a bit as they can't find her clothes, but ultimately decides that she'd rather get out of there in a hospital gown than stay to find her clothes.
"Here," the Doctor says, taking off his trench coat and putting it around her shoulders,
"What's that for?" she asks, slipping her arms through, though it's way too long for her. The Doctor clears his throat,
"The gown is a bit...open in the back." Donna blushes and nods,
She leans heavily on the Doctor as they walk to the TARDIS, suddenly feeling overwhelmingly exhausted. The Doctor leads Donna into the TARDIS and over to a seat, she wants to stay awake and watch him fiddle around the console, to have some sense of familiarity, but she just can't keep her eyes open. He lands it on the hill, exactly where he knows Wilf will be, looking through his telescope at the stars. The Doctor wonders if she'll want to stay home, or if maybe she'll want to come with him. He decides not to dwell on it, and if he only has a short time left to spend with her here then he'll make the most of it. He parks the TARDIS on the top of the hill and waits a moment, smirking when he hears the soft rapping on the TARDIS door. He goes over to the seat and gathers Donna in his arms, sighing as her boney elbow digs into his stomach briefly, he walks over to the door and nudges it open with his foot. As he steps out of the TARDIS, he instantly notices Wilf's face...and then remembers that all he'd be seeing is his granddaughter in a hospital gown, seemingly unconscious.
"She's fine." the Doctor assures, holding her closer to him, "Just sleeping." Wilf visibly relaxes and then smiles,
"She remembers you, then?" he asks, "Jack told me about that doohicky, it worked?"
"It did." the Doctor nodded, decidedly not telling him about how dangerous it actually was. "Shall I bring her inside?" he encourages and Wilf nods, starting off down the hill and waving, beckoning the Doctor to follow.
"Sylvia's gone on a holiday," Wilf reports to the Doctor, "so you won't have to worry about her." the Doctor smiles gratefully, and he really is grateful. He doesn't think he could put up with her criticism without going off, her poor daughter had been through enough as it was. Once they reached the house, Wilf opens the door for him and the Doctor heads straight for Donna's room. He nudges the slightly ajar door open with his foot and walks into the room, he deposit's Donna onto her bed and covers her with a spare blanket folded at the bottom of it. He leans down and kisses her forehead lightly, brushing her bangs from her face. She smiles a bit in her sleep and he turns to go. He rejoins Wilf in the kitchen, he's put a kettle on and it waiting at the table for the Doctor.
"Thought you might like a cuppa." he says and the Doctor nods,
"That'd be lovely, thanks." he takes a seat across from his old friend and rubs the back of his hand along his neck. "Wilf...I'm so sorry, for everything, you know I didn't want to leave her."
"I know, but Doctor, you're back!" he beams, "Was she happy?" he asks, "When she saw you, was she happy?" the Doctor chuckled,
"She told me off, but that's our Donna, firecracker, she is."
"Yeah..." Wilf looks down, "She was so sad." he says, "she tried to hide it, Sylvia fell for it but not me," he shakes his head, looking back up at the Doctor, "I could see it in her eyes. You two're no good without each other." he says resolutely and the Doctor can't help but agree. They're much better off when they've got each other. Because when Donna's there, he's got something to stop him, not only in her telling him to do so, but just her being there, he's less reckless, more careful, he's got something to protect. He knows if he ever told Donna that she'd scoff and tell him she could look after herself, and as well she could, but he couldn't help but want to take care of her sometimes, she's always been there for him.
"Jack's gonna have my head for taking her out of there without his clearance," the Doctor smirked, "but she just wanted to come home." a fond look settles on the Doctor's face and Wilf shakes his head as the kettle whistles. Are they the only two who couldn't see it? They were so obviously meant for each other, Donna had been thrown into his path more than once and that just didn't happen. The way the Doctor talked about Donna, well, you could get ideas. Wilf had hinted it to Donna more than once before she forgot, and the Doctor just seemed oblivious unless you threw it in his face.
"Have you got a family, Doctor?" Wilf asks as he pours their tea. The Doctor shakes his head,
"Nope. Just me." he tells Wilf in a tone that suggests he doesn't want to talk about it. He looks back over and the Doctor looks sad, he hands him a mug and the Doctor wraps his hands around it.
"It is okay that Donna remembers?" Wilf asks, sounding a bit worried
"It's brilliant," the Doctor says, smiling, "but, she's seen a lot." he looks at WIlf, "she says it's alright but Donna's empathetic, she feels...very strongly about things." Wilf nodded,
"Quite right. That's my Donna. She'll be fine, Doctor, she knows how things are." the Doctor nods, finding a smile blooming on his face at the memories of her. With the Ood and Pompeii, she'd been so ready to risk her life for others, it was admirable, but also terrifying. The Doctor sighs as he lifts the mug and takes a sip of his tea, they don't talk anymore, they just think. They're both happy to have her back, the Donna they know, the Donna they're used to, the Donna they love.
Wilf insisted that the Doctor slept on the couch, just so he couldn't fly off in the middle of the night. So that's where he lay, on the Noble's couch, hoping to whatever higher power that Sylvia wouldn't come home early and tear his head off. There'd be no regenerating after that. It's always the mothers.
Suddenly, he hears footsteps clomping down the stairs, he sits up and flicks the light that's on the side table on. He catches Donna's eye as she halts at the bottom of the stairs and she visibly relaxes. With a hand to her heart she walks over to the Doctor and smiles.
"Did I wake you?" she asks, coming to sit on the couch as he moves to make room for her.
"No, I was just thinking," he frowns, "are you okay?" she nods,
"I just...I woke up and I thought, I just remember being on the TARDIS and then..." she sighs harshly and takes a breath, refusing to let the tears creep into her voice. "I thought it happened again, that I was just home and you were gone."
"I wouldn't do that to you." the Doctor says, taking her hand and squeezing it gently. "I didn't want to wake you, so we just let you sleep and Wilf and I had a nice cuppa." Donna giggled, imagining her grandfather questioning the Doctor about all of space and time and everything in between. She yawns, and the Doctor thinks, it's around three o' clock in the morning and he can already see Donna returning to sleep-mode. Her eyelids droop and she yawns again.
"Go back to bed," he tells her gently, "you need rest." and that was the truth. He knows the extent of what they've done to her mind, and she needs proper rest to let it heal, to go back to normal. But she hesitates, there's something in her eyes that the Doctor doesn't quite catch right away...fear, maybe?
"I'm okay." She says instead of whatever she really wants to say, and yawns again. The Doctor frowns at her, in obvious disbelief of her statement.
"Even if you're "okay", Donna, you need sleep for your mind to properly heal." she looks to him once more and bites her lip, "What is it?" he asks, not giving her the chance to walk away without answering.
"It's just...I mean...do you think that maybe you could...come with me?" she asks, and it's not at all suggestive, in fact, it's very innocent. But still he says,
"Donna, I'm not sure if-"
"Please," she cuts him off, "I just want to know you're not leaving, I still can't get it out of my head. I think I'm going to wake up and you'll be gone forever and I'll be here all alone again and I-" she'd started to breath heavily, and the Doctor was instantly rubbing his hands over her arms, shushing her.
"Hey, hey, okay, I'll come with you." he agrees and stands up, prompting her to take the lead. As they reach the base of the stairs the Doctor smiles, "But no funny business." Donna laughs quietly,
"Wouldn't dream of it." she jokes back, "you're just a skinny streak of nothing, remember?" she leads him down the hall to her bedroom, and opens the door. Her bed is a nice size, it would easily accommodate two, which is probably for the best. Donna climbs into bed and the Doctor stands at the end of it, beginning to loosen his tie.
"I thought we agreed no funny business," Donna teases, raising an eyebrow at him. The Doctor rolls his eyes and slips the tie over his head. His jacket goes second and he looks at her,
"I'm not sleeping in my suit." he says, "It'll get wrinkled."
"God forbid," Donna scoffs, and yawns, laying down and turning on her side. The Doctor continues, stripping down to his undershirt and pants, doubting Donna would mind too much, the trousers would be too uncomfortable to sleep in.
She feels the bed dip and turns over, looking at the Doctor. She smiles sleepily at him and he returns the grin,
"Hullo." he says softly, "are you sure your mum isn't coming back for a while because if she sees-" Donna reaches up and covers his mouth,
"I'll protect you from her." she says sarcastically, "now sleep, I'm tired and no matter how much you disagree I know you can't stay awake forever." The Doctor makes a sound beneath her hand that would have been a 'wellll' if he could speak. So she takes her hand away and he nestles into the bed, gripping the duvet at his shoulders. He watches her close her eyes and he does the same. He can feel the heat radiating off of her, warming his own cooler body. He focuses on that, on the warm, on Donna, so close but not close enough to touch...not that he would, they were in a bed together for god's sake! So he just allows his breathing to deepen, and his mind to relax for a while.
There's something on his chest, the Doctor realizes as he slowly returns to consciousness. He breaths deeply and feels the weight, and then he remembers the night before. He peeks one eye open and sees a mess of red, strewn all across his chest. There's a hand gripping his waist, and a leg intertwined with his own. He moves his hand, only to find that it's all tangled up in that red. He prays that Wilf won't come in to check on Donna because there's really no explaining this one away, and he already knows that Wilf expectes there's something up...not that there is, not that he would want there to be...well...no, nothing up, not at all. The Doctor slowly tries to disentangle himself from Donna, but as he takes his hand from her hair she stirs, making a little noise and lifting her head, she rests her chin on the Doctor's chest before looking up at him. He waits. He watches as the realization dawns on her and she makes an 'Oh!' sound before quickly moving away from him.
"Ow!" she complains as the Doctor's hand pulls at her hair.
"Sorry, sorry!" he says, wiggling his fingers and removing it. She stares at him for a moment, a blush on her cheeks.
"uh...I don't...sorry." she says sheepishly, and suddenly the door opens, and Wilf looks inside,
"Donna are you...oh." He looks from the Doctor, to Donna and back again, "Uh...I'll just..." and he leaves, closing the door in a rush. Donna's jaw is open slightly and she collapses, pressing her face into the pillow.
"Oh my god!" Comes the muffled shout of embarrassment from Donna, and the Doctor can't help himself, his chest shakes with laughter and he turns over.
"Oh god," Donna says, lifting her head, and in the middle of her own laughter, "Gramps probably thinks...oh, no!"
"Oi! Don't say it like that I'm not that bad!" the Doctor defends and Donna rolls her eyes.
"Just be glad it wasn't my mum!" she says, "you'd have your head through a wall by now." the Doctor laughs and Donna watches with a smile of her own. He was here, she was with him and everything was right again...but she couldn't help that little voice in the back of her head asking why. She'd ran into him twice in her life and he'd said it himself, that just didn't happen, not with him. And now...a third time? She'd been allowed to regain her memory of him without consequence and without danger? Now that was nothing short of a miracle, and frankly, she really doesn't think she deserves it.
"Why did this happen?" she asks suddenly, smile gone, and the Doctor instantly sobers, he thinks for a moment before looking at her and shrugging honestly,
"I don't know."
"But...there has to be a reason." she insists, the Doctor frowns,
"Why?" he asks and she scoffs,
"Because! You came back to me twice and that just doesn't happen, you said it yourself." she shakes her head, "I'm nothing special, nothing at all, and it seems..." she sighs harshly and the Doctor frowns at her, "it's like if you're here again, it's only because you're going to be taken away again, nothing good happens to me, Doctor."
"Oh, Donna," he sits up and takes her into his arms, "I won't let that happen, I promise." he leans back and kisses her forehead, "Do you want to know what I think?" he asks and she nods,
"I think that we belong together." he starts, "I think that the Doctor and Donna are a package deal and the universe just couldn't have it any other way." he smiles softly, "Donna, when you were gone...I did things I'm not proud of, I mucked things up, big, important things." he squeezes her a bit, "You're like my conscience sometimes, the one that tells me when I'm being a prat, the one that gives me a slap when I need it and tells me what's what when I'm getting a big head." his eyes go soft, "the one that stops me." he takes a deep breath and smiles again, "And me without you, well, that's just not fair." he frowns, "I don't want to speak for you but...maybe it's the same?" Donna laughs, tears standing in her eyes because of all the things she's considered this hasn't been one of them.
"It is." she says, "I'm, I don't know, I'm better when I'm with you. It's like you make me realize that I'm not entirely useless." the Doctor rolls his eyes,
"Donna Noble, you are the least useless woman in the universe!" he snuggles her a bit before letting go completely. "I don't want to hear you talk about yourself that way, because however unimportant you think you are, I need you twice as much." Donna smiles widely, and the Doctor's hearts thump in his chest. Oh, he missed her smile. There's so much to look forward to, that is, if Donna agrees to travel with him again.
"Do you think you'll come?" the Doctor asks suddenly, "I mean...do you want to...come with me?" the Doctor raises his brows as he waits for her answer. She looks at him a moment before pursing her lips, rolling her eyes to the ceiling.
"Eh," she looks at him levelly, "As nice as that sounds I think I'd much rather stay here and live out the rest of my days as a temp." she keeps a straight face, right up until the moment he smiles, nearly tackling her back down,
"Aha! Donna Noble!" he cries, and she laughs, smacking him lightly on the back,
"Did you honestly think I'd say no?" she asks, and the Doctor shrugs, climbing off of her,
"I dunno...It's dangerous out there." he says halfheartedly, and to his delight she looks at him with those blue eyes, twinkling with the old spark of excitement, now reignited,
"I wouldn't have it any other way.
Oh, would you look at that I actually posted something wow cue the choir and doves,
Anyway, It'd be really awesome if you guys could review! There's going to be a second part to this, but probably no more than that since this is already longer than most of the things I post. Any comments, compliments, constructive criticism, or anything of the like would be much appreciated, that's actually what "writers" like me live off of so yes. Thank you very much for reading!