Wilf could hear her tossing about in bed through the wall, soon she would wake up and start screaming but until then all he could do was sit and wait. The Doctor had promised that had to happen, that she would be better without him, but he was more wrong than he could ever imagine.
Surely there was some way, in the whole wide universe, that Donna could be with him again, even if it meant that he could never see her again. He'd rather miss seeing her happy than watch her being sad.
"Nooooooo!" This was only the beginning, it got so much worse, she spent all night, every night, screaming out his name. It was like she hadn't forgotten him at all, and that every fibre in her body was clinging on to the memory of him because there was nothing else to keep her alive. Donna was the most stubborn woman on this planet, probably in the galaxy and if she wanted something done a certain way, it was going to happen no matter who tried to stop her. She wanted to remember her doctor, she wanted him to come back for her and Wilf knew that even if it killed her, she would find a way to see him again, even if only for a few minutes.
"Shhhh, it's okay Donna. I've sorted everything out, you're not going to die so please stop crying, I hate to see you upset." That voice. It was his voice, Wilf's ears pricked up, Donna's eyes shot open, Sylvia's jaw dropped. "Here, just drink this and everything will be fine. Shh, calm down."
"Doctor? What are you doing here? She'll remember you, she'll remember everything won't she?" Wilf couldn't understand everything that was going on, nor could Sylvia by the look of things. A speechless Sylvia Noble, I never thought I'd see the day. The Doctor couldn't help but smile, he was truly happy for the first time in months, there wasn't anything that could upset him now, he had his best friend back, his Donna.
"I'll explain everything very soon Wilfred, but right now I just need to get Donna back to the TARDIS. She's dying right now." He said in a cool matter-of-fact tone, as Donna went limp in his arms, though rage was burning in Sylvia's eyes, fear lingered in Wilf's. No, he thought, this man has saved Donna before, I trust him to save her again.
"What do you mean 'She's dying?! What have you done to my daughter you...martian!" So, that's where she got that idea from! The Doctor thought, smiling at the harsh use of Donna's personal term of endearment for him.
"No need to worry, she'll be fine in the end of it all. There's no point in me explaining all of the as-you-put-it 'martian talk' so all you need to know is that it's a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey spacey-wacey stuff that's going to save her life okay?" The both of them nodded at him, only understanding half of his very basic explanation anyway, they'd heard 'save her life' that's all that mattered to them.
After getting them all out to the TARDIS, and Sylvia having her 'it's bigger on the inside' moment, they all sat quietly, waiting. The Doctor rigged Donna up to the monitors, using it as a progress tracker to see how she stabilized, there was nothing any of them could do. They put her in her old bedroom, which was still almost exactly as she'd left it, and left her to rest and went back to the control room to rest.
"You know Doctor, I was wrong about you..." Sylvia began, and The Doctor raised his head absent-mindedly to hear her out. "I thought that you were always putting Donna in danger, that you were the worst thing to happen to her and she would have been better off without you. But seeing her, these last few months without you, it's been terrifying. She can't even remember you properly and she still misses you. What you saw tonight was nothing compared to what she's been like lately, she still remembers you, in her dreams but she can't remember enough to know the truth." She swallowed hard, trying to keep the tears at bay but knowing it was only a matter of time before she broke. "I..I'm sorry Doctor. I always doubted you, but you've saved our lives every time, never looked for praise in any of it and stopped to consider yourself. Donna needs you, and if this doesn't work, if she goes back to the way she was, I don't know what will happen. She's been more unhappy than you can possibly imagine these past months, mourning someone who doesn't exist. She needs you, now more than ever." She was speaking through broken sobs, and the doctor had begun to cry silently too, a lone tear was trailing down his cheek and his hands were shaking.
"I know." That was all he said, he was thinking so much more but he knew that was enough to make them understand, for now at least.