Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, Nerys
Summary: The Doctor investigates one of the most serious time anomalies he's ever encountered, right here on Earth.
Word Count (chapter): 900
Donna was yelling his name. That was a common enough occurrence, though it usually wasn’t a good thing.It meant either that she was in danger or that he’d done something particularly stupid. Often it was both. He wondered which it was this time. Something else strange about this still niggled at him, though. Perhaps it was the fact that her voice was coming from underneath him.
“Donna?” He wasn’t sure if she had heard him speak at all, because he almost didn’t hear it himself.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he groaned, the word far stronger than the last. Everything was so hazy. “What happened?”
“You had another bit of ‘weird’ and toppled. You sure you’re all right?”
The realisation finally hit him. This was Donna. She was with him. It had worked. He’d succeeded in restoring the timeline. “Oh! Better than all right. Fantastic! Molto bene!”
“That’s great! Could you do me a favour, then, Doctor?”
“Get off me!”
Oh. Perhaps he wasn’t quite sorted yet. He rolled a bit to peel himself off his companion, and she grabbed him by the shoulders to hold him steady as he found his feet. The gesture felt so familiar, and he remembered she’d done the same a minute earlier for her but days ago for him. Around them, the crowd of journalists and guests gawked at him, this spectacle being their only entertainment as they waited to go backstage.
“Ah, yes, backstage. The Spice Girls concert,” he recounted, more to convince himself that everything had been restored than anything else. “You couldn’t go the first time because of the wedding, and so here we are!”
Donna eyed him with suspicion. “Yeah, I just said that, not two minutes ago. Why are you saying it all again? What just happened?”
“Nothing, Donna, I’m fine,” he assured her. “Everything’s fine. No more anomalies. Just clearing a few cobwebs up here.” He tapped his temple.
She wasn’t convinced, but knew the Doctor would never admit when he wasn’t feeling well. She shrugged. “That’d take an industrial hoover.” She bent down to snag a piece of paper at the Doctor’s feet and hand it to him. “Here. You dropped this. Your pass.”
“Thanks. Can’t get in without it.” He stowed it away, then shoved his hands in his trouser pockets. “Didn’t you say your friend Nerys is here somewhere?”
“Yeah.” She flashed a devious grin. “Oh, only if I could tell her I did get to come to this concert, and I got to meet the Spice Girls! She’d just die.”
The Doctor laughed and shook his head. “Can’t, really.”
“No, but I can dream.”
He popped up on his tiptoes to look out at the thinning crowd in the main passage. “Don’t think she’d find you here.”
Donna turned to look in the same direction. “In a crowd like this? Not a chance. They were down on the floor anyway. Sam got them prime seats, right by the stage. They’d have to come all the way ‘round to pass by here.”
The Doctor was glad Donna’s attention was distracted, as he hadn’t quite been able to hide a smile at hearing the name of Nerys’ concert date. “Sam? I thought you said his name was Devon.”
“Devon?” Donna frowned up at him. “Where’d you hear that name?”
He shrugged. “That’s what I thought you said.”
“Nah. Only Devon I know is Devon Blackman. Total wanker. Dated him for a bit, and Nerys stayed well away from him after that.” She grimaced at the memory of the man. “No, her husband’s Sam, and he’s a catch.”
“Yeah. Nice bloke, clever, treats her well, and he’s managed to chip a little ice off her heart,” she grinned as she mimed hitting a pick with a hammer. “And he’s got the money to make them comfortable. They just moved into a bigger house, cos of the twins, of course, but they’re already planning for more.”
“Good for her,” the Doctor beamed, clasping his hands behind his back. “How’d they meet?”
“In a pub, oh, five years ago now. Hen night, you know, and he saw her at the bar and thought she looked nice. That’s what he says anyway. I say he settled for her cos he didn’t see me first.” She punctuated her claim with a hair toss and seductive wiggle, then settled her fists on her hips. “But what are you on about? Why are you asking about Nerys all of a sudden?”
Stepping back, the Doctor scratched at the back of his neck as he explained, a bit sheepishly, “I realised I don’t really know much about you. You know, your life and your family. I mean, you’ve said a bit about your mum, and I suppose I’ve seen most of your friends at the wedding, but I couldn’t name a one. So I thought I’d ask.”
Donna gaped in surprise, then smiled, a cheeky sparkle in her eye. “Being around humans is rubbing off on you. Honestly, I’ve not much to tell that’s interesting, especially compared to what you’re showing me, but there’s a bit. Maybe over a lager and some chips, but after, cos it looks like they’re starting to let people in.”
The Doctor offered Donna his arm, and when she took it, he pulled her close. “Ready for the next great adventure?”