The nurses ran hurriedly to the next ward, electrical noises buzzing, panicked shouting, trolleys being pulled and curtains being yanked shut. Lifting her grey head off her pillow the old lady looked across to her fellow patient and laughed;
''Which lucky bugger got away this time?''
''Donna you are terrible" Maisie laughed back. ''Probably Ron though, he was complaining of chest pains last night, poor bastard.''
They sat in a comfortable silence. Death, mortality, it becomes less of an issue the more you are faced with it. Donna knew her time was coming, she had lived a good life, loved a great man and had many fun times. Lucky to come into money at a fairly young age she travelled the globe, helped people that needed it. Cancer however, wasn't interested in money, or morality, or charity. Cold and ruthless, it was taking her piece by piece. Shaun, her husband had died five years ago. Lee and Anita, her thirty-something children, tried to visit when they could but they both had such busy jobs. Donna's mother and grandfather were long gone. She felt alone. Without her grandfather her life had lost something. Whenever she was with him, it wasn't just grandfatherly joy he carried, he seemed to hold the key to a whole other exciting life. Wilf kept her going, made sure she never stopped fighting, and made her find adventure in her normal boring life. Perhaps she would find them again once she died. Perhaps not.
Hours blended into days and another grey haired frail man was brought into Dons old bed. Nurses came and went in shifts. Needles were injected and blood taken out. Life at the hospital was consistent. Donna awoke to whispered chatter, looking around she was surprised, not expecting to find the two normally serious student nurses giggling in the corner of the ward, they couldn't control themselves. A blush ran up their cheeks. The ward was in excitement over a new doctor they told her. Supposedly doing a favour for the hospitals current Chief of Medicine, Dr. Jones. Dr. Smith was on loan, and he was very hard to get a hold of. The click of heels down the hallway gave the young nurses time to compose themselves, fixing their hair, they left the ward and Donna heard a polite greeting;
''Morning ladies'' replied Dr. Jones. The clacking of heels grew louder and the door to the ward swung open and in entered Martha Jones and the new doctor that had everyone in a fuss. 'Pretty yes, bit skinny and what was with that awful tweed coat. oh god he is wearing a bow tie' Donna thought to herself. As the man moved closer, Donna could see a sadness in his eyes, she could tell this man had witnessed many deaths, and said goodbye to many loved ones. Yet the kindness shone through.
''Donna, how are you? This is Dr. Smith, Dr. Smith, Donna. My favourite patient.'' Donna did not know why, but after arriving at the hospital, Martha had come to see her, making sure she was getting the best of care. At 1pm everyday, Martha made her way to Ward 54 to check in on Donna. Like old friends, Donna had liked Martha instantly, but did not understand why Martha had taken to her. There were thousands of patients in this hospital day after day, none of them received the care she did. She wasn't special, why me? she had always thought to herself.
''I'm The Doctor, it is so... great to meet you'' The man choked, tears in his eyes, ''You haven't got long. Days at most''
''Oh he is really great Martha, that is medically advanced, no wonder you were so eager to get him here, did you bring him all the way here for his bedside manner?'' The three of them laughed, it was Martha that spoke first, sensing the doctor could not.
''Donna..., this is going to sound crazy but a long time ago, you and I were friends, we travelled together, you and I. We travelled with a man named The Doctor. Please let me finish'' she said holding a hand up to Donna, sensing she was about to interrupt. ''We seen worlds people wouldn't believe and you had to forget that, all of it. To protect you we had to stop you from knowing. Do you remember? Do you remember the blue box'' The tears were filling the old womans eyes, she gripped The Doctors hand instinctively,
''But those were dreams, just dreams, the magical police box. No... but that man, my best friends. You must have regen... Doctor... you and I were going to travel forever. My head Doctor, please my head.'' Donna fell asleep, Martha grabbed her stethoscope ready to check on Donna, pulling her back The Doctor assured her she would be okay, for now. She had been moved into a private room, they didn't need to make the patients and the staff suspicious about who this man was. They sat by her bedside for 2 nights whilst she slept. Martha, taking breaks to sleep and eat, The Doctor never moving. he held her hand and wished away her pain.
Blinking, she opened her eyes, blinded at first by the bright lights, she thought it must have been more dreams, until she saw his panicked face;
''Donna?'' he almost cried.
''I haven't long. Stay with me?'' He moved her over the bed and lay beside her, holding her hand he began to cry. ''I understand now Doctor. You came back to me, at the end. You came back because I was special. I want you to remember, I love you, and you are special too and you deserve love. Find someone, and let them cherish you.''
Martha found him on the roof, sat outside the TARDIS. His tears fell hard and fast, unable to stop. Sitting beside him, she held his hand, proving what Donna had said. He needs someone.