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Title: A Brave New Donna
Series: Doctor Who
Characters: Donna Noble
Spoilers: Journey’s End (DW 4.13)
Beta: [ profile] knitchick1979
Rating: PG
Synopsis: At the end of the day, Donna still needs her doctor.
Author’s Note: I wrote this after talking with some friends and realized that sometimes what you need to hear, you often don’t until its too late.

A Brave New Donna

Donna felt weightless - light as a feather even. If she was feeling skinny, she figured she must be dreaming, especially since just that morning Claudia had called her a fat cow. Well, Claudia hadn’t said it as much as made the motions and moooed. Well, Claudia hadn’t ‘called her’ as much as Donna had heard it ‘round the corner from the other secretaries as she carried her latte down the hall. Granddad had told her to forget about it, but it still bothered her.

Instead, something inside her told her to enjoy the here and now. She found herself wandering down winding hallways, fantastical doors all along the way. Some would open and some stay locked, hiding their secrets from even her. She opened the door on the left at the end of an immensely long walk and found herself in a library, shelves crammed along every wall. Heck, there were even shelves jutting out from some of the walls. Each bookcase crammed beyond full, and more books laid about on the tables, and a stack of novels took up an armchair in the far corner.

Donna had never been one for reading musty old tales, but this felt nice, although she felt a smidge of terror in the pit of her stomach while looking at a dark corner. She felt relief once she hurried over and turned on the small lamp. Glancing down at the books massed in the green armchair she smiled and picked up the one on top. Donna felt a chuckle bubble out of her as she started flipping through the Agatha Christie book, “The Man In The Brown Suit.”

Leaning back against one of the walls of shelves, she craned her head back and looked at the ceiling above her. The entire ceiling was made of glass and reflected the night sky, but it was a sky unfamiliar to the one she had looked at before she went to bed. A falling star flew across the ceiling, leaving a trail of red dust disintegrating behind it.

“That’s impossible,” Donna whispered, feeling a sense of familiar awe overtake her.

“No it’s not.”

“But we’re nowhere. How can that be?” Her eyes never left the starfield above her head. She was afraid if she looked away it would be gone forever.

“Think of it… Like the ceiling in the Great Hall at Hogwarts.”

“Hogwarts? Let me guess, you met J. K. Rowling as well?” She looked around, but couldn’t find the man she had been talking to. She knew who he was, but couldn’t remember his name to call out for him. “Oh come on…”

Tossing the book aside, she hurried out of the library and ran down the hallway, knowing the one place she would find the man. Darting through a doorway she ran up a couple of steps, her trainers echoing on the metal grating. Ragged breaths caught in her throat as she looked at the round console. Something seemed wrong, this place felt too empty. If she walked quickly around the control room she could see ghosts of people in the corner of her eye: a man in a long dark military coat, a blonde woman, a dark woman she used to know the name of, another young guy in a leather coat, and him.

“Oh, Donna Noble, you are brilliant.”

“Where are you?” she asked, stopping.

“I should have known better. I should have known you could still call on me when you needed. Even at the end you still surprised me.”

“The end of what?”

“I can’t tell you. You have to trust me on that.”

She did. She trusted this unseen man. She couldn’t see his face— she barely trusted her own mother, but then again that was her mother and anyone that knew her mother would be surprised— “I’m sorry, who are you?”

“A friend.”

“Why am I here?”

“I don’t know. I never knew why you came here exactly.”

“Can I stay here?”

“You can’t.”

“Why not?” She did nothing to hide the irritation in her voice.

“Why do you want to?”

Donna took a breath and leaned against the console, noticing a few more wrinkles on her face as it reflected in the surface before her. “I feel safe here. Have you seen the world lately? I can’t deal with it anymore.”

“Yes you can, Donna. You of all people can make it. You’re brilliant, and brave, so brave. The things you have done, the things you can do, it’s all within you Donna. Not even I could take away what makes you so special.”

“I’m special?”

“Yes, yes you are.”

“Then why did you let me go?”

“I didn’t want to, believe me on that, but I had to. It was for your own good. Deep down you know that’s the truth.”

She shook her head, red hair tumbling off her shoulders, hiding her face so he wouldn’t see her cry.

“You can still do so much, Donna Noble. No one can stop you - not your mother, your husband, or your ‘idiot boss.’ Do you hear me?”

“What about you?”

“I will always be a part of you. You can never remember it, but I will always be here, and there is no one I would rather be a part of than you.”

She wiped away the tears, trying to salvage her sassy demeanour. Somewhere deep in the ship she heard an alarm going off. Before she could find it, the ship dissolved around her and she felt herself floating amongst the stars, past planets no one on Earth had ever seen.

* * * * *

Donna waved bye to her husband and pulled away from the kerb outside his work. She felt like she had barely slept, but that morning, her confidence had been restored and she felt like a million pounds - it would have been nice if she actually had the million pounds but that would have to wait for another day. She knew she could stand up to Claudia, and something told her that if her boss gave her a chance for that promotion today it would be hers.

She tried to remember if it had been something her husband had said to her, or if Granddad mentioned anything when he stopped over for tea the day before. Donna shook her head. That couldn’t have been it, she had gone to bed so gruff and sour at the world. Smirking at the inability to figure it out, she tried to guess what dreams she had. She never remembered her dreams, especially not like last night when she slept so soundly she never even heard her husband go to the toilet.

Deciding to give up on figuring out the weird things in her life, since anything interesting always seemed to miss her anyways, Donna flipped on the signal and turned left, heading for her job. Maybe someday she would lead an interesting life, until then she would try to enjoy this one as much as she could.

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