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Title: From Ashes to a Phoenix
Rating: At the moment, T (emotional hardships, and later some suggestive implications). There's a shot that at least part of this story will jump to a strong M rating. We'll see as it develops.
Summary: “The Belted Doctor.” supplement: The story of Donna Belle, of Pete's World. How she lost her family, nearly lost herself, and was reborn with the right support.
Disclaimer: The simple matter of this fan-verse's existence should prove my lack of ownership. Capish?
Dedication: To MonkeesDoctorWho1987, whose review planted the seed of this story. So if you're getting sick of this universe, you know who to blame. (grins) Anyway, thanks for the idea. It allowed me to flesh out some other events within this universe when the tone of TBD didn't allow for it. Well, the truth is that I didn't want TBD to grow past 90 pages on my word processor...
Author's Note: I know most of you are looking for the “Cupids” sequel, or “Taming.” Well, I had a bad day recently, and Muse and I were in the mood to revisit the “Belted” universe and continue Donna Belle's story. But we did get to the point where we could finally bring her to her new home, so say Hello to the start of a ton of fun!



Part 1

PART 2: Struggling, Used, and then Rescued?

Donna finally had to take whatever work came her way. No one was willing to give work to someone overqualified for most open jobs; they preferred to give them to younger temps who wouldn't command such a high salary.

But Pete Tyler himself finally came through, hearing of her through his contacts and offering her a position organizing all the information he had and couldn't make sense of. It paid well, although Donna didn't need as much since her expenses had dropped dramatically.

A fact she consciously ignored...

The job was interesting intellectually. All the data and potential information about technology that could either make life on Earth easier or protect it from threats, it all had to be cataloged. Her maths brain was appropriately challenged.

A good distraction from her emotionally numb state...

And it all worked... well enough.

Until Rose Tyler came...

At first, her arrival was accompanied by a slew of gossip. How their boss had gotten a version of his wife back, and gained a daughter in her early 20s. It made for material she could use for the expected gossip nights she and her friends kept trying to have.

Nights that were getting harder for her to take. Some of her friends were proving to be not such good friends. They were far more interested in gossip than she'd thought, or they deliberately gave off hints about how they were moving on and so “why couldn't she?”

A few slaps had ended those so-called friendships. The comments made Donna angry, and it was bad to feel anything...

Donna used to like it when people came up to her because they'd heard of her skills. The ability to type 100 words a minute always drew impressed reactions. At first, the young blond had seemed nice enough, asking for her help with information relating to something called a Dimension Cannon. And the amount of work involved certainly kept Donna's mind engaged.

More importantly, it kept her from dwelling on what no longer was. And it gave her a reason to not talk about her work.

Although it made for fewer things she wanted to talk about on girls' nights...

But slowly Rose asked for more and more of her time, even begging her “father” to transfer Donna to the section where Rose spent all of her time working. The girl had a goal for the Cannon, but she didn't talk about it to anyone other than Pete Tyler, Jackie Tyler, and a nice young man named Mickey Smith. The lad seemed interested in Rose, and clearly knew her from the alternate world they came from. But the little twit sometimes didn't pay him any attention unless he was helping her.

As Rose got more caught up in her efforts, Donna found herself working more and more hours. When her girlfriends were pushing her too far, Rose had suggested moving into the office for the peace and quiet. It had seemed like a good idea; those twits she had thought were her friends were all moving on – the lucky cows!

So she needed to go numb again. And living out of her office made that easier.

Except that even then she was doing more work on Rose's precious project. Oh, the girl periodically noticed – when she bothered to drop by and check on the status of whatever she had Donna working on – that she wasn't eating much, and would make her take breaks. But Jackie and Pete Tyler would make her take longer ones, which Rose didn't know about. And they profusely apologized for Rose's behavior, and said they were working to curb it.

Finally, curiosity overcame her determination to avoid getting close to anyone. So when Mickey Smith came by on one of the sandwich drops that Jackie had established for her (never allowing her to pay for them, either), Donna had to ask questions. Why was Rose so fixated on this Cannon? Where were they from? And what the bloody hell did she intend to do?

Mickey had sighed, and sat. The long story she heard was unbelievable. He told of an alien called The Doctor who Rose had traveled with for three years before a second Cyberman attack – that she managed to miss, thank God! – traveled across into the universe which Rose and Mickey and Jackie were from. Mickey had already been in this world, taking over the role of his dead counterpart (showing a strength of character that Donna couldn't help but admire), and helped Pete Tyler's group cross to help end the threat. But there was something to trap the Cybermen and some other threat called the Daleks, but it threatened to swallow the people exposed to certain particles. (Mickey admitted to being a bit unsure of the details.) So Jackie was semi-dragged to this world (which Mickey admitted he still referred to as Pete's World), and Pete had flashed back – which saved Rose from that Void thingy.

Of course, Rose had been Mickey's girlfriend until the Doctor came into their lives. He was rightly angry, but he admitted that he'd grown up because of the Doctor's influence. So it was a blessing in disguise. Mickey had held some hope that, since they were “trapped” here, Rose would turn back to him now that the Doctor was gone from their lives. Except she hadn't. Despite his warning them that they shouldn't try to cross back over. Something about damaging the fabric of time and space, and hurting time-lines.

Whatever that meant... It was hard to follow, but she couldn't help but observe aloud that Rose was clearly acting obsessed with this alien. “And why,” she also asked, “would she go after him when he clearly wasn't that into her? If there were a safe way for them to be reunited, he would've found it by now, right?”

Mickey gave a wry smile. He'd definitely thought about that, and had given up on Rose Tyler. Now it was more about damage control. “We'll get you away from her,” he promised with a pat on her shoulder. “There has to be a way to stop this.”

But he couldn't find it. Rose had been using the Cannon to find the Doctor's time and universe. Quite often. And she seemed to grow harder and harder after each effort. And more determined to get the data that would get her to him. And for Donna, that meant being talked into more work.

So Donna slowly realized she was absolutely exhausted... and had no urge to keep going. What was the point? She'd lost everything, no one really cared about her. Not even Mickey or Jackie or Pete. No one would miss her...

So when Rose found the setting she was looking for, just as the stars seemed to be going out, and hurried to use it – bringing a big gun with her. The gun look didn't suit that little twit, Donna noted.

But she saw an opportunity... She typed her letter of resignation, and packed what little she hadn't unpacked from her four remaining bags. She figured out where to drop each bag off for donation, and was thinking about what chemicals she might need to purchase in order to fall asleep and never wake...

When she finished tying all the knots at the company, she took her four bags and looked for Pete Tyler. Finding the Dimension Cannon seemed a good place to start. Since Mr. Tyler had gone out of his way to hire her, it seemed appropriate to hand her letter personally to him.

And she vaguely noted that Jackie and Mickey were back. But she focused on just telling what was going to be. Pete read it in shock, and suddenly begged her to stay. Saying among other things, “Rose... She's gone. She's not returning. You'll have regular hours again, time to yourself.”

She shook her head, and kept reiterating her refusal in the face of Pete's apologies. So tired, she thought... It'll soon be over...

“Excuse me!” It sounded like a shout to her, and she jumped with a scream as a skinny man (boy?) in a blue suit approached her. He was looking at her with an earnestness that she'd never seen from anyone since her Gramps was still alive. “If you're looking for something to do, we would love to have you join us.”

Donna starred at him. “What are you talking about?!”

The man flashed a maniacal grin, as if momentarily lost in a memory. “Donna, there's a whole universe waiting for you to see it. Just join me, my brother, his wife, and their daughter.”

Her eyes followed his hand, and then she spotted something else that shocked her. The man in the brown suit looked almost exactly like the blue suit man! And then the woman standing next to him...

It like looking into a mirror from several years ago, before everything went to hell... The idea of you having a counterpart in another universe sank in right then. But the sight of someone looking like her, and clearly being married with a child... It was making something bubble inside... and it scared her. The man was talking, and Donna finally couldn't take it; he was making her feel too much, especially with how he was looking at her with so much emotion. Her hand flew against his cheek before she even knew she'd done it.

The shock as he recoiled from the force of her slap didn't surprise her, but then the sudden resignation that drifted across his face after a few moments – as he rubbed his cheek – did. “I should've known you'd slap as hard as she does.”

Donna blinked at that, and then she heard her own voice speak from a distance. “Oi, Handy! Let me do the talking here!” She watched as her counterpart walked up to them, shooing Blue Suit away. Although he didn't go far – just far enough to be out of another slap's reach. The other woman gave a soft, friendly smile. “Hello. Sorry for the confusion. Life with this crowd is an extremely strange journey.”

Brown Suit snorted, but suddenly stopped right after the other Her closed her eyes briefly. He acted like he'd been reprimanded – but no one said a word! Donna had to shake her head. “You're all from where Mickey and Jackie and... Rose are from.”

The other Her nodded. “Yes, a parallel world. We're heading back because we're needed there, because it's our home, but there is room for another person. I... take it that there's nothing holding you here...?”

Donna could only nod, feeling so much bubbling up again. Especially with the gentleness in her tone. But she couldn't react like she had to Blue Suit; this was another her, and she didn't deserve such treatment.

The Other Donna smiled, reminding her of her Mum. “In that case... What have you got to lose by coming with us?”

Donna wanted to decline, but she sensed that this version of her knew what she was planning – and would interfere. Also... there was something rather pleading in Blue Suit's eyes... Something that tugged at her heart and made her want to take that away... And hadn't she always wanted to travel, and never had the time?

So she nodded before she could think further. It was probably worth a try, and she could always escape at some point if it didn't work out. The Other Donna gave her a soft smile, and took her hand. “You won't regret it. I'm glad you're taking the chance I wish I'd taken the first time this offer was made to me.”

Donna blinked in confusion, but didn't have time to think. Her counterpart was gently tugging her toward what looked like one of those old blue Police Phoneboxes. “Handy,” the woman called, evidently to Blue Suit, “get her bags, please. We need to move on to get home.”

She was barely aware of the last goodbyes, and of the people who somehow all fit inside that box: a tall man in a military-style coat, an older woman with kind eyes, a beautiful dark-skinned woman, a young blond woman with an unusual expression in her eyes, a dark-haired man who followed the blond closely, and then Mickey.

Donna paid little attention as she and her counterpart entered, although she realized that there had to be some illusion happening. When they were inside, she looked around... and couldn't believe the sight in front of her. It was huge! All the devices! That strange thing in the center!

She didn't hear the doors close behind them, or the Suits enter. Blue Suit put down the bags, and walked up next to them. “So,” he drawled, “welcome aboard the TARDIS. What do you think?”

It took her a moment to make her throat work. When it did, she could only voice one thought: “This... is... completely... impossible!”

Blue Suit just grinned wildly. “Nah, just a bit... unlikely.”

She didn't notice how he was thinking of some memory with fondness. Or how her counterpart, Brown Suit, and the dark-skinned woman all rolled their eyes – after they'd also smiled over her words...



Part 3: Her Baffling New Home

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
lilsum4
Jul. 27th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I love 10.5/Donna stories. LOVE them! And alt!Donna was heartbreaking! I'm so glad I found this and apparently it's a follow up to a previous one so YAY, more to read! *runs off to find original*
tkel_paris
Jul. 27th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
There are some good 10.5/Donna stories, including 10.5/alt!Donna ones. I have a 10.5/Donna story in the works, and I might bring the first chapter out while I work on the outlines for both the "Cupids" sequels and for my "Taming" fic.

Just click on the tag for the Belted Doctor ficverse, and follow the links. (Although I just discovered that I need to fix a few links... Which I'll do later just to get them over with.) It was a lot of fun to write in places, and if you think Martha deserves sainthood, then you should like Chapter 5!
thenoblethang
Jul. 27th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Ah! I'd been waiting for an update for this fic. Can't wait to see where this goes! :)
tkel_paris
Jul. 27th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
Then I hope you won't be disappointed. It turns a bit toward the humorous side, because Donna (Belle) is going to have a lot of observations to make in the next part... and I think the Doctor will soon have to pull Handy aside for that... talk I alluded to in Chapter 18 of "Belted." The plus side is that soon I'll also be doing stuff from Handy's perspective, which will be needed since this is a 10.5/alt!Donna fic.

Thanks for reviewing!
katherine_b
Jul. 27th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
Ah, wonderful how quickly Alt!Donna managed to find herself a chance of happiness, and I do adore Handy's obvious interest in her. (Nice bumping off of Rose, too - don't think I didn't notice ;-) Can't wait to see where you take it with this TARDIS full of people next!
tkel_paris
Jul. 28th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
I assume you've read "The Belted Doctor" for that part, right? ;-D If you haven't already, please sometime let me know what you thought of it!

I might get more of this ready soon. The outlines for the next two Shakespearean stories are taking shape, but the details need more work... Anyway, thanks!

Oh, the Doctor's so going to have some things to say about Handy's interest! And so will our Donna, for that matter...
katherine_b
Jul. 28th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
Ah, see, I admit that I didn't, and having seen my comment on the first part I now remember that I was afraid it was going to be a Rose-centric fic. Of course, that was before I got to know you and saw your long list of fic prompts - and realised just what you think about Rose. ;-) Therefore I am about to dive into the whole of the fic and will leave you a lovely long comment at the end.

Ooh, more? Of any or all of your fics?Yes, please!
tkel_paris
Jul. 28th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, well, I do have one fic in mind where Rose actually grows up a bit. Gonna figure out how to tie it into a D/D fic as a prequel. Maybe an alternate JE outcome fic... Which I'm putting WAY on the backburner... "Ashes" and the two Shakespeare stories are bigger priorities.

Love the icon, BTW... You've got pretty good ones. ;D

Oh, do you know who has an icon where a shocked Ten is saying something like, "OMG, Jack, do not mate with TARDIS!"? A pal who's not on LJ (and loves Jack) wants to see it, and I can't remember who has it - so I can't point to any one journal.
katherine_b
Jul. 28th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Ooh, that would be interesting! I have to admit that, thanks to you, I'm now considering writing S1 with Donna INSTEAD of Rose, rather than as well as her. That, too, is going on the backburner though. Isn't it awful when the bunnies are like that?

Aw, thanks!

As for that icon, I know the one you mean, but I can't think who has it at present. Also, since LJ is being so awful, I don't have the patience to wait for huge userpic pages to load. If I find it, I'll let you know though!
tkel_paris
Jul. 29th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
My idea - or the one I'll eventually write - has Rose appear, for a reason. I want Nine to compare the two and CHOOSE Donna as his companion. I also want to include Mickey at times, show him growing up. But yes, on plot bunnies. I'm even working on another story that had been on the backburner thanks to recent moods...

(smirks) He has the best "what?!" looks I've seen! Although I still kinda vote Trip Tucker's look when Phlox said, "You're pregnant" as the best WTF look of all time on TV... (Star Trek Enterprise)
katherine_b
Jul. 29th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I can certainly see the benefit of that, but the story I have in mind follows on well from something I've already written, so it may take priority just because the bunny is that much more enthusiastic.

And I adored (and hugely miss) Ten's expressions. I don't know the particular example that you're thinking of, but if he can beat Ten(nant) then that is seriously impressive.
tkel_paris
Jul. 29th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
Oops! Forgot the closing tag... I should know that, having edited html pages on a text editor!
katherine_b
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
*g* Now if only I had the time to write all of these...

Dear Lord, plenty of WTF in that little bit right there! And frankly, considering the plot itself, you can't blame any of them if they were unable to keep themselves from laughing!
tkel_paris
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
True... on both counts!

Yeah, Jolene Blalock deserves a lot of props for managing to keep a straight face. She had to, though; she was playing a Vulcan...!

Just for curiosity, how would you rate this on the WTF scale? (Having watched Ten's expressions over the years, we DO know that there is a scale!)
katherine_b
Jul. 29th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
When you say 'this,' what do you mean exactly?
tkel_paris
Jul. 29th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Meant Trip's WTF look. I was thinking about the WTF scale that I know had been unconsciously created - largely because of DT.
katherine_b
Jul. 29th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Ah, sorry, just wanted to be sure. Personally, I can't top some of DT's expressions, just because he seemed to have such differing grades of WTF-ness. Still, Trip's would probably be a 9.5.
tkel_paris
Jul. 30th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
It was a good one, wasn't it?! ;D Hope you enjoyed the clip! Trip got a great sarcastic last line in the episode: "Always how I wanted to make the history books." (snorts)
katherine_b
Jul. 31st, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
Yes, heaps of fun. Thanks so much for sharing!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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