Fandom(s): Doctor Who (modern)
Characters: AU - Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, Sylvia Noble, Wilfred Mott, Lance Bennett, Nerys
Pairing(s): Tenth Doctor/Donna Noble
Rating: R (well, probably more PG-13)
Genre: Sci-fi, adventure
Summary: Original AU. A normal human in a world in which a handful of individuals have suddenly developed superpowers, Donna lives her mundane life whilst always keeping one eye to the skies to catch a glimpse of the city's new heroes.
Word count (chapter): 2036
Notes: I'm posting this now, and only to LJ, while I'm still editing the final chapters, to get a feel for how it has turned out. I'm not quite sold on the title yet, so that might change.
Coincidentally, today (well, tomorrow; it's already tomorrow in England) is bas_math_girl's birthday. Happy birthday, BMG!!
It was fully dark by the time Donna stepped off the bus at the stop closest to home. She still had a number of blocks to walk before she even got into the area in which she lived, but it gave her the chance to glance in the shop displays, even if they were mostly dark and hard to see. She’d wanted to stay at the pub, and honestly, spend the night with Lance, which, on top of its obvious perks, meant she’d be that much closer to work the next morning and could sleep in a bit, but living at home had its responsibilities. Since she’d managed to hold a job for two years and started seeing Lance, the influential director of human resources at Fischer, her mother Sylvia had finally stopped nagging her about bettering herself and turned her attentions to trying to groom Donna to “serve the community and the family”. So far, Donna had determined that this meant doing tasks and favours for Sylvia, but it was a small price to pay for living rent-free at home and getting to spend time with her grandfather, Wilf.
As she paused to admire a dress in a display that she’d been considering buying for the next company party, Donna suddenly realised that three men had come up behind her. Before she could turn to see exactly where they were, she felt something sharp prod the small of her back and she stiffened.
“You was thinking that your handbag is a bit heavy and you’d like someone to carry that for you, now wasn’t you?” growled a low voice in her ear.
“Oi, I don’t want trouble,” she replied, grabbing her purse from her shoulder and shoving it into the hands of the one that came up on her left. “Take it. Just please leave me alone.”
“Look at her, mate. She’s gorgeous. I want a piece of her!” The man on the right grabbed her chin and forced her to face him. She flinched as heavy fumes of stale vodka washed over her.
“Please, let me go!” she pleaded, but the one behind her grabbed her arms and began to drag her down the pavement. That was enough; she would never go down without a fight. Screaming at the top of her lungs, she started kicking and writhing against the grip that pinned her.
Immediately, a wad of cloth was stuffed in her mouth and held there, and the three strong men had no trouble pulling her down the alleyway on the side of the shop. “Trying to spoil our fun, are you?” snarled one of the men, and he punched her hard in the stomach. She doubled over and stumbled backwards.
“Oh, that’s what I want!” leered another one. As he made a grab for her, she launched herself sideways to slip out from under him, but her heel came down wrong and with a grunt of pain, she crashed to the ground as her ankle collapsed under her.
“Make it easy now, won’t you?” crowed one of the men as he dropped down next to her and rolled her over to pin her arms. He was easily the largest of the three, with big hulking biceps that barely fit his shirt sleeves.
“Leave her alone!” thundered a voice from the street, and the three men turned toward it. Through the tears in her eyes, Donna could just make out a tall, bulky male silhouette against the lamplight spilling into the alley.
“Bugger off!” yelled one of the men. “Or we’ll paste your face into the ground.”
The figure strode into the alley to face the men directly. “I said, leave the lady alone.”
“Cort?” called one of the men to the one pinning Donna down.
“Oh, yeah!” He leered at Donna. “Don’t you go anywhere, love,” he crooned at her, then punched her across the face before jumping to his feet to face the stranger.
The strike hadn’t been enough to knock Donna out, but she was dazed and hurting. Cort pounded his fist into his palm as he approached the interloper, then lashed out with a fast, heavy strike. However, his target was faster. He ducked under the punch and, ignoring the huge gorilla, sprang to one of his smaller friends and knocked him into the wall. At his pained yelp, his friends jumped to his aid. Cort bulled the stranger with both fists while the other struck with his knife, and Donna blinked hard: it looked to her like the man scurried up the vertical brick wall and vaulted over the two men, knocking them each on the back of the head with a fist or a foot as he flipped past them.
His efforts only served to enrage them, and all three doubled back on their attacker. To Donna, it seemed like her defender had nowhere to go, when a blur streaked down from the sky and caught Cort hard on the side of the head, and the big guy collapsed where he stood. With a quick flurry of punches, the new arrival disposed of the other two in a moment. Donna blinked her eyes furiously: she couldn’t be sure through all of the haze, but this man’s costume looked like Silver Falcon’s. If the grey-silver tight bodysuit lined with red stripes and ribbing wasn’t a good enough indication, the mask covering his face with its hawk-like black eyepieces and stylized wings swept back over the ears was a dead giveaway.
“That’ll teach them to prey upon women like that.” It was! It was Silver Falcon! Donna had heard that deep, booming voice hundreds of times, in interviews on the telly and videos on YouTube. “Are you all right, miss?”
“Yeah. I’m fine, Silver Falcon,” she heard herself answer through all of the pain. “Thank you!” She grinned at him like a starstruck schoolgirl.
The hero glanced at the stranger. “Good work there, mate,” he announced, though the disdain in his voice made it clear he thought it was anything but. He then wagged a finger at Donna. “Now, be more careful in the future. Chiswick is a safe place in general, but you never know what might be lurking.”
“I will, thank you!” she called as he raised a fist to the sky and sailed off into the night. She continued to stare in that direction, an astonished smile on her face, contemplating how quickly the worst moment of her life could transform into the best.
A movement beside her brought her back to the alley. The stranger was kneeling beside her. “I know you’re not fine, no matter what you might tell him.” Staring at him, she realised that what she had thought was a strong build was actually a jumper tied around his face and head to hide all but his eyes. She guessed that beneath it all, he was quite rangy. “It’s okay,” he assured her. “I’m not going to hurt you. May I check you over?”
“How?” She pushed herself up to sit against the wall behind her.
“I just need to touch.” He held up his hands to show that he wasn’t holding a weapon.
“No funny business, sunshine!” she spat though her dizziness made her nearly fall over.
“None. If I do anything you don’t like, just tell me no.” He pronounced each word very carefully. “Or scream if you prefer. Okay?”
Eyeing him warily, she nodded.
Very gently, he placed a hand on her ankle and held it there for a few seconds. Then, he cupped her cheek where Cort had hit her, though his eyes failed to meet hers; he seemed to be thinking, his eyes unfocused. Finally, he indicated her stomach, where she’d originally been punched, asking permission with a pointed glance. When she nodded, he placed his hand there, over her blouse, and removed it after a few seconds.
“You’re very lucky. Nothing serious.” He scooted back a metre to give her some space and ease her suspicions. “Your ankle is twisted and not sprained, and you’ve no internal damage in your gut. Your jaw is fine, too, but it will likely bruise.”
Donna gaped at him. “You can tell all that from just touching?”
“Yes.” At her sceptical smirk, he shrugged. “Well, I’m not perfect and could be wrong. Best you go to an A&E if you can, but I think they’ll tell you the same.” He hopped up and stooped to snag her purse, which had fallen, forgotten as events had whirled out of control. “Let’s get you home, shall we?” He looped the purse strap over his head so that he’d be free to support her, then held out a hand to her. “Can you walk, or shall I carry you?”
“I can take care of myself,” she lied, unwilling to accept more assistance from him.
“I’m not going to leave you here in this alley, especially when we don’t know when they will wake up.” He indicated her assailants with a jerk of his head. “Come on. You can lean on me.” He beckoned with his outstretched hand.
“All right.” As she shifted to try to stand, Donna found that she needed his help to do almost anything, and he finally got her to her feet, leaning heavily against him. He moved to support the side with the twisted ankle, and she slowly stumped along.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have a car here. We’ll have to do this the hard way. Which way?” he asked as they stepped back on the pavement.
She pointed with an arm. With her limping along, it took them over thirty minutes to do what was normally a ten-minute walk for her, and neither spoke except for his periodic inquiries into how she was doing, his light baritone inexplicably soothing her and quelling her nervousness. By the time they arrived outside her door, she felt comfortable relying on his support.
“All safe!” he pronounced, carefully letting her stand on her own, then unhooking her purse and holding it out to her. What wasn’t covered of his face was illuminated by the lamp above the door, his clear brown eyes shining with pride at getting her home.
Donna accepted the purse and strung it over her shoulder. “I don’t know how I would have done it without your help. Thank you…” She frowned. “You are?”
He stepped back and shrugged. “I don’t have a name.”
“Of course you have a name,” she chided him with a none too gentle laugh. “Why don’t you take off that silly jumper so that I can see you properly?”
“No!” he exclaimed, jerking back though she hadn’t made any move to remove it for him. “I’m not anyone. I was just passing by.”
Donna knew there was no subtle or polite way to ask what she wanted to know, so she blurted it out before she thought better of it. “Are you a prime?”
The man’s eyes clouded for a moment before he answered. “That’s such an odd word, isn’t it? Implies we’re not human, like we’re a, er, a number, or a cut of meat or something. Or that we’re morally superior somehow.” He glanced away to try to conceal his embarrassment. “I… I’ve a little. You saw. I can’t do much, not like Silver Falcon. But you were just…” He gulped, reluctant to mention what had been happening to her when he’d stepped in. “I couldn’t just stand by.”
“You’re a proper hero, then.” She laughed at his sputtered denial. “You are! Really you are. Jumping in to defend me when you could’ve been killed yourself. And not for glory or recognition or reward, but just to help me. That’s what a hero is.” He stared at her with utterly stunned disbelief. “Though, if you’re going to keep doing this, you should get a better mask,” she teased. Hobbling forward, she grasped his arm. “Thank you for saving me, and helping me home.”
“It was my honour.” His eyes crinkled with a pleased smile, and suddenly, he was gone, dashing over the low wall and up the street with surprising speed. Grinning, Donna pulled out her key and let herself in.