The day had finally come. After years of bouncing from job to job as temps often do, Donna had finally gotten a permanent job. She wasn't just a temp from Chiswick anymore. She had a right proper job as a secretary for the Head of Cardiology at Royal Hope Hospital. Sean was so happy for her. This was a good sign. Things were turning up for them. Sure, she didn't need to work; after all, they won the lottery with that ticket from their wedding. But months of traveling and sitting around the house had made her bored. She didn't enjoy it. She wanted to work, even if it meant dealing with people.
She went out and bought a new suit for her first day. She was never one for fashion, but she just had a feeling that she should look nice today. When her alarm went off in the morning, she got up right away. She went through her morning routine, putting on her new suit. She opened a drawer and pulled out a small jewelry box. She opened it up and dug through it until she found what she had wanted. She brought the simple gold chain up to her neck and clasped it. It had been a wedding present from her dad from her first marriage—the one to Lance. When he gave it to her, she put up such a stink. Dad, I'm not wearing that. It's far too simple for a wedding. Besides, it doesn't even match. Donna grimaced at the memory. It had really hurt her dad. She had made sure to wear it to her wedding with Sean. Her dad wasn't there but she did it anyways. It helped her feel connected to him. It seemed right that he'd be with her today too.
The drive to the hospital wasn't too bad. Traffic was a little heavy but she made it there in time. Fifteen minutes to spare actually. She was given a quick tour around the hospital. It was standard information: Here's ER, this is so-and-so's office, over there is the nurse's station. She sat down at her desk and started doing work. Around ten o'clock, one of the nurses walked in.
"You must be Dr. Ericson's new secretary. I'm Abby," she said holding out a thick folder. "This is the file for one of his patients. We just discharged her today."
"Alright, thanks. I'll get it taken care of." Donna replied without looking up for more than a second.
"I must say, I was really surprised you applied for the job."
"Why do you say that?" She asked curtly, looking up. Donna was genuinely interested now. Did this girl think she wasn't cut out for the job? She had the fastest words-per-minute in the area and was an amazing secretary. Just because she spent so much time as a temp doesn't mean she wasn't good.
"Well it's just, not many people want to work here. You know… after what happened a few years back."
"Why?" Donna asked. "What happened a few years back?"
The nurse looked at her in shock. "Aliens, of course. The building, being taken to the moon? Hundreds if not thousands of people on the verge of death? Of course you remember it?"
"No. Not a bit. That might have been the day I was stuck cleaning Gramp's basement. He only had one TV at the time."
"Right," the Abby said in disbelief. "Anyways, here's the file. Have a good day!" With that, she walked out and Donna returned to her work.
About an hour after lunch her boss came in with another doctor. She was a tall woman with blonde hand and blue eyes. Donna thought she was very pretty but sort of looked like a hussy. They seemed to be in the middle of a conversation as they walked in. "-and I'll see if you can get the files as soon as possible." He turned to Donna. "Donna, this is Dr. Emily Carter, from oncology. Doctor, Donna."
"Nice to meet you," Dr. Cater said. But Donna didn't hear it. Everything went quiet and hazy. She could feel a light pounding in her head. One-Two-Three-Four. One-Two-Three-Four. Those two words echoed in her head. Doctor Donna. Suddenly she could see everything. The mustard stains on Dr. Ericson's lapel. The way Dr. Carter's eyes dilated as she looked at Donna's boss. The pink hair elastic holding up the ponytail of a nurse in the hallway. She could hear everything too. A pencil tapping on a clipboard. The beeping of a photocopy machine down the hall. The footsteps of the residents on the floor above them as they started their group rounds. She could sense everything that ever was or will be. It all started to come back to her.
"Donna?" Dr. Ericson asked. "Donna? Are you ok?" He looked at her with genuine concern.
"Doctor Donna," she said meeting his gaze. "I remember." And then the pain started.
Wilf ran through the hospital doors. "Where is she? Where's my sweetheart? Where's my Donna?" He was frantic. The minute he got the call, he jumped in Sylvia's car and sped down here. He was lucky he hadn't been pulled over. There was a woman already waiting for him.
"Mr. Mott, I assume?" She asked. Her face was void of any expression and she couldn't meet his gaze.
"Yes that's me. I'm Donna's grandfather. Dr. Carter I assume? You called me to tell me my Donna was in the hospital. Where is she?" He was growing more worried by the minute. If Donna was hurt, she should be with her, not making idle chit-chat with a woman in the lobby of a hospital.
"I'm sorry Mr. Mott, it's too late. You were too late. We tried everything. We just couldn't save her." She looked at Wilf and watched as the grief flooded over him.
"What happened? What happened to her?" From the depth of his soul he hoped it was natural. A stroke or heart attack. Even something unnatural like a gunshot wound. From the depth of his soul he prayed that it wasn't because of the Doctor. That wonderful man who had made her so happy. The last thing he wanted was for him to be her demise.
"I was there when it started," Dr. Carter explained. "We were having a normal conversation and then she just collapsed. At first I thought she was having a seizure but she seemed to coherent and conscious for it to be one." This wasn't helping Wilf's fears.
"Was she in pain? Did she say anything?" He needed to know. He just had to make sure it wasn't what he thought. The woman looked towards him but couldn't meet his eyes.
"I'm sorry Mr. Mott. We tried everything to make it easier. If we could have helped we would. Eventually it was all just too much for her body to take. She just gave out." The tears were streaming down Wilf's face quickly now.
"But did she say anything?" he asked again.
"Yes. She said… well I don't quite understand. When it first started, she said, 'I remember.' Then later on, right before she passed, she got very calm and peaceful. She looked right at one of our nurses. A tall, skinny man with brown hair and asked him 'did you ever hotwire the binary binary binary binary?' and then she…" Dr. Carter couldn't even finish the sentence. "I'm so sorry. But does that mean anything to you?"
"Yes." Wilf's tone was solemn. The tears had faded and he looked like a man who had just lost everything. Like a child who had just found out Santa Claus did not exist.
Later that night, after Wilf and Sylvia had gotten home from the morgue, he went straight to his room. He sat on his bed and just let the tears come. He wasn't sure how long he had sat there crying. When he couldn't cry anymore, he just crawled into bed went to sleep. The next morning he got up, showered, and got dressed. Nothing seemed real. Donna was gone. The one time she needed the Doctor to save her and he didn't. The only solace he found was in the fact that she died knowing of all her wonderful adventures and with the knowledge that she was the most important woman in the Universe. She died knowing she was special.
He tried to eat, but he just couldn't. He was overcome with grief. He pushed his plate away from him and got up. He slowly climbed the steps back upstairs. Once in his room, he went straight to the corner where he kept his star gazing equipment. He picked up his telescope and went back downstairs.
"I'm taking the car, Sylvia," he called out. If she responded, he didn't hear. Once outside, he popped the trunk put his telescope in there. He got in and drove off. He drove and drove until finally he reached downtown. He parked in a parking lot behind an old barber's shop. He got out, picked up his telescope, and started walking down the sidewalk. After about ten minutes, he found the sign he was looking for. A bell rang as he opened the door to Ricky's Pawn Den.
Wilf sat in the diner drinking coffee and picking at, but not eating, a turkey club he had ordered in hopes finally find his lost appetite. It had been three months since Donna had passed away. Three months since he had last looked out at the stars. Three months since he had hoped that the Doctor would one day come back into her life and fix everything. It had been three years since the last time he sat in this diner. Three years since he had seen the Doctor. They had sat in this booth talking about everything. About the Doctor, Donna, everything. That was right before her wedding. Right before he left them and regenerated, saving Wilf's life in the process. Wasn't that something? The Doctor was able to save Wilf's life, a man he had hardly known, but he couldn't save Donna, his best friend. When she needed him most, he was off doing his own thing, having fun amongst the stars.
"Wilf?" He turned around startled. There was a bloke standing right behind him, staring in disbelief. He was a young fellow of average height. He wore a dark brown suit jacket and matching bow tie and was standing next to a short girl with long, brown hair.
"I'm sorry," Wilf said. "But have we met? Were you at the funeral? Did you work with Donna?" Pain spread across the man's face.
"Donna's… gone?" He couldn't seem to get the question out. "When did this happen?"
"Three months ago next Tuesday," Wilf answered. He was genuinely confused now. How did Donna's friend not know she had passed away? "If you weren't at the funeral then how…" His eyes got wide. "Doctor?"
The Doctor stepped closer. "I'm sorry Wilf. I'm so sorry. I wish I had known. I wish…" He couldn't finish. He got really quiet.
"Where were you?" Wilf's voice was really loud. He didn't care if he caused a scene. He was angry and the Doctor was going to know it. "She needed you! You could have saved her! My Donna. My beautiful Donna! This is your fault, Doctor!"
"Wilf, I-I'm… I'm just so…" He stepped closer to comfort his old friend.
"No. No, stop it!" Wilf exclaimed. He stood up and stepped out of the way. "Just… stop it!" He pulled out his wallet. Throwing down a few bills on the table, he looked straight into the Doctor's eyes with a look that could kill. "Leave us alone. She's gone. You have no connection to our family anymore. I won't look out for you in her place anymore and you don't have to look for me. Goodbye, Doctor. Have a nice life." With that, Wilfred Mott walked out the door, leaving the Doctor and the stories of the Doctor Donna behind.