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): 980
For all her insistence that she hated sitting still and that she didn’t need any help moving around, by the time she returned to her desk, Donna was exhausted and she plopped down in her chair with relief. Veena laughed heartily at her as she got up to bring her a coffee. “Told you I should’ve done it!”
“Nah. I just need to catch my breath. I’m not going to let this ankle of mine get the better of me.” She took the mug from her friend with a grateful smile. “Thanks! Oh, I’m gasping.”
“‘Course you are!” Veena nodded as Donna took a long drink. She turned to return to her desk when Donna stopped her by catching her hand.
She turned back. “Yeah?”
Donna set the cup on the corner of her desk. “You were at the off-site. Why didn’t you tell me about Jon’s presentation?”
Veena glanced around then, pushing the cup aside, sat down where it had been. “Did he just tell you about that?”
“Yeah.” She looked around again, then lowered her voice. “Nerys warned the rest of us not to talk about it at all. I think she’s planning to use it as a nail in Jon’s coffin.”
“That’s hardly fair!” exclaimed Donna, and Veena exhorted her to keep her voice down. “Firing him for a tool failure? What’s she thinking?” she whispered.
“Oh, it wasn’t just the thumb drive,” she said, leaning in close for her favorite activity, gossiping. “When he figured out that the thing was broken, he just fell apart. He kept muttering that it was all his fault. And then he tried to give the presentation blind, but he could have been speaking in Chinese, for all that we could understand him. It’s one of our biggest contracts right now, but he made us look incompetent. He’s on his last legs now.”
“Oh, that poor man!” Donna crooned. “He’s such a shy little sweetheart, too. I thought he was supposed to be a genius.”
Veena pulled back, her eyes wide. “That’s the thing,” she drawled. “He is. You should see his CV. Graduated from MIT, Ph.D. from Cambridge - no one else here has anywhere near those credentials. He was United’s top engineer and architect for years, and only came here because he wanted to move back to London. But he hasn’t performed at all.”
“I wonder what happened?” Donna frowned.
“I don’t know. Maybe too much pressure?”
“Could be.” Donna glanced at the door. “They put a lot of pressure on the engineers here. What about at home? Marital problems, or new dad maybe?”
“Him?” Veena had to stifle her cackle. “Nah, he’s not married. I’m not even sure he swings that way.”
Donna smirked at her. “Just because you haven’t turned his head doesn’t mean he’s gay, Vee. If that were the case, all of London is gay.”
Veena sneered at the insult then shot back, “Doesn’t mean he isn’t. You know him, right?”
Donna shook her head. “Can’t say I do much at all. He’s so quiet, and I actually haven’t worked with him. He’s never chosen me for any of his projects.”
“Well.” Veena crossed her arms, her attitude that of an expert on the subject of Jon. “As far as I’ve seen, he doesn’t look at any of the girls at all, and he’s out quick when the blokes get rowdy.”
Donna rolled her eyes. “That’s shy, Vee. Not necessarily gay.”
Veena shrugged. “Don’t matter. He doesn’t have a partner, one way or the other. And whatever his problem is, he’s got to get over it, because if he doesn’t succeed this time, he’s not going to be able to land another job after this.”
Biting her lip, Donna glanced in the direction of Jon’s office even though she knew he wasn’t there. “He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. He’s doing it alone, you know.”
“Yeah. He insisted, after the off-site.” Veena leaned in again, lowering her voice. “It’s good, though. He left a squad of engineers and mechanics free to work on that new project. Nerys owes him for that, at least.”
“Yeah.” Donna leaned back in her chair, thinking. Jon had been so open with her and so scared, she felt like trying to do something for him, to help him feel more comfortable at work. “You know, Vee, I should throw a party. The whole team, some Friday. You know, dinner and drinks. What do you think?”
Veena quirked an eyebrow. “What are you on about now?”
“Well, I just thought it might be good for Jon to get to know his team. It’s been two years and he barely talks to any of us.”
“Oh, I see.” Veena smirked. “He’s your new project, isn’t he?”
Grinning mischievously, Donna cocked her head at her friend. “Well, he could use a little work, don’t you think? Draw him out a bit?”
“Is that even possible?” Veena cackled. “What is he, thirty-five maybe? And he still jumps like a spooked cat if you so much as look at him?”
Donna rubbed her hands together. “I like a challenge.”
“Getting him to relax?” Veena laughed again. “‘Challenge’ isn’t the word. ‘Miracle’, more like. Well, you should at least wait until he finishes this project. Be a shame for him to make some friends and then get let go.”
“Yeah, I’ll wait.” Donna agreed, though her twitching fingers betrayed her eagerness to enact her plan. “Don’t got a choice, with this foot.” Leaning forward, she grasped her friend’s hand. “Thanks for filling me in, Vee.”
“Any time.” Veena grinned evilly. “I’ve been itching to talk about him all week.”
“I bet you have,” Donna laughed. “Well, you can keep me in your confidence at any time. You know you can tell me anything.” With conspiratorial grins, they returned to their work.