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"Two After Midnight"

Title: "Two After Midnight"
Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG
Genre: General
Word Count: 466

Summary: He'd wanted to see sapphires.



They sat on the edge of the pool, the roar of the waterfall drowning out the sounds of the forest around them. They'd both rolled their trouser legs up to dangle their feet in the cold water, the icy shock reminding them that they were alive.

After a few minutes, he scooted a tad closer to her and leaned his head on her shoulder, and she slipped her arm around him, first squeezing his shoulder, then running her fingers through his hair, playing with the soft locks the way her mum used to sometimes, when she was a girl, that would make her fall asleep even though she really wanted to see the end of the telly show. Though she felt more than heard his soft sigh at her touch on his scalp, she knew that he wouldn't fall asleep, that his wide eyes were haunted, horrified.

As she watched the river above plunge down, churning up raging clouds of mist where it met the water below, she mused on what had affected him like this. He'd faced death before, stood in front of aliens with claws and tentacles and poison, and men threatening to gun him down, without blinking an eye. Death doesn't scare him. Or, at least, death for a good, noble purpose doesn’t. It wasn’t the possession by the alien lifeform: he'd been controlled, rendered helpless, unable to protect the passengers of that bus, but from the stories he'd told her, and some she'd heard from Martha, he’d previously dealt with similar situations the way he did with everything else: as long as everything came out molto bene, he never looked back.

It was different this time, and she knew why, much as she didn't want to admit it. He was the eternal idealist. He searched for the magnificence in each person he met, but this time, as they dragged him to his death because he was clever, because he told them things they hadn't wanted to hear, because he was different, he'd seen what was truly inside: fear, ignorance, suspicion, panic, hatred. Beneath the sparkling surface of the jewel, there was nothing, no substance, no beauty deep down. A tear slid down her cheek, for him, and for the failures of her species.

Gazing at the streams of falling water and tangling her fingers in his hair, she bit her lip to stop her usually glib tongue. She wanted to comfort him, but words, those empty, meaningless sounds, were the last things he wanted, from her, from anyone. She rested her head against the top of his. No sapphires here, Doctor. Just me and you. As the thought drifted through her mind, somehow, he heard her. He shifted ever so slightly, relaxing just a bit against her, and she knew that his eyes had finally fluttered closed.

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Sep. 9th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
This is adorable!!! :)
shivver13
Sep. 9th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
serenityslady
Sep. 9th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful scene for the aftermath of "Midnight". The fact that he feels so comfortable with her that he can let himself relax after such an ordeal speaks volumes about the closeness of their relationship, and the trust they have in each other.

Lovely. Really lovely.
shivver13
Sep. 9th, 2014 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think Donna was really the only one who could have healed him after that.
(no subject) - serenityslady - Sep. 9th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shivver13 - Sep. 9th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dm12 - Sep. 10th, 2014 12:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shivver13 - Sep. 10th, 2014 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dm12 - Sep. 10th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gallif_migrant - Sep. 15th, 2014 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
tangotabby
Sep. 9th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is just lovely! He really was affected by what happened in this episode, and for Donna to just be there and not talk shows that she really does understand.
shivver13
Sep. 9th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! As I wrote the story, it occurred to me that the things that happened on the tour probably really influenced his behavior later on, especially in "The Waters of Mars," where he tries so hard to save the people he saw as good and wonderful. I really, really love how they subtly built his character up over three seasons just to get to that point of failure.
(no subject) - serenityslady - Sep. 9th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shivver13 - Sep. 9th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
shivver13
Sep. 9th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! Thank you! :)
paynesgrey
Sep. 11th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
What a sweet moment, and some great introspection as well. Wonderful job.
shivver13
Sep. 13th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Donna is lovely to work with.
jay_vingt_six
Sep. 13th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
I love anything Donna/Doctor and your descriptions are brilliant! This episode is possibly my favourite ever, and this aftermath is just so perfect I might just be reduced to tears again... Thank you for this lovely fic!
shivver13
Sep. 13th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This is my second favorite episode (it *just* missed beating out Human Nature/Family of Blood), and it's not an easy one to write about. I'm very glad you liked the descriptions - I tried extra hard on them for this. :)
swan_secrets
Sep. 14th, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Very good, I liked the insight into both of them you showed here
shivver13
Sep. 16th, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
gallif_migrant
Sep. 15th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
"A tear slid down her cheek, for him, and for the failures of her species."

Well,that was...awesome. So sad, so..."feels" seems disrespectful to say, cheapening somehow. An awesome, heartbreaking fic. Good job.
shivver13
Sep. 16th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am glad that it worked - I find "Midnight" hard to write about because it's so deep and horrible.
a_phoenixdragon
Sep. 15th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Oh honey...ohhh, this made me sad, even as it made me love Donna that much more. Thank you for this...

*HUG YOU HARD*
shivver13
Sep. 16th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Many, many hugs! I'm so glad you liked it!
flowsoffire
Sep. 17th, 2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
This is such a beautiful, beautiful moment ♥ Your writing was absolutely gorgeous. Those descriptions—flawless. And it was such a beautiful moment of insight, Donna making herself remain quiet as she pondered the impact this had had on the Doctor, as she just offered him the comfort of her quiet companionship. That's really what's so striking in Midnight, the sheer hatred and madness of humanity in the face of what's different and they don't understand, and she got that perfectly. Amazing work ♥
shivver13
Sep. 17th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's the thing with Midnight - the alien was creepy, but the real terror came from the humans. Even just thinking about the episode horrifies me, because, unlike all of the other threats in DW, this one is real, and it's terrible.
(no subject) - flowsoffire - Sep. 18th, 2014 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shivver13 - Sep. 18th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flowsoffire - Sep. 19th, 2014 05:56 am (UTC) - Expand
radiolaires
Sep. 19th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, such a gorgeous add-in to Midnight! And beautifully expanding everything Donna was able to say in that hug at the end of the episode. I love so much how you subtly described how perfectly they were working together -there's a reason the Doctor-Donna was created. They click; physically fitting around each other and emotionally, since Donna is able to tell so much about what happened to him. Explaining it silently to herself, she somehow explains it to him. The physical awareness of the two of them is one of the most beautiful I have read for those two characters. It's splendid, quite crystalline: all the tiny gestures, feeling so right and in place. Thank you so much for writing it!

Favourite line: No sapphires here, Doctor. Just me and you I think that it sums them up perfectly, and the fact Donna was able in her time to realise how important their relationship was makes me a bit teary-eyed.
shivver13
Sep. 21st, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much! I am happy I was able to communicate all of this; it's difficult sometimes to really show how well the Doctor and Donna fit together, and then to add on the complexities of Midnight... I also wanted to keep the story as simple as possible (not to mention the wordcount restrictions), so I am very happy that it worked out for you!
(no subject) - radiolaires - Oct. 5th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
eve11
Sep. 21st, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
This is such a scenic and private look at Donna and the Doctor after Midnight. Just the two of them at the waterfall; I like the details of their trousers rolled, of the silent communication. And Donna is spot on about the Doctor's dismay as well; it's not the big Alien Adventure and Peril that gets to him; it's the failure in the human heart.
shivver13
Sep. 22nd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to communicate. I think the Doctor took a long time to recover from Midnight, and that Donna was really the only one who could help him.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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