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NEW FIC: You Thought Wrong (2/5)


Rating: T for angst, a character death, and serious Doctor-whump.

Summary: The TARDIS mysteriously dumps 11, Amy, and Rory near Chiswick. Worried about running into Donna, 11 instead runs into someone he thought he'd never see again... and who's furious with him.

Disclaimer: If I owned them, would I have ever felt compelled to write this? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

Author's Note: Almost all songs referenced are sung by Kelly Clarkson, although there might be one additional one by someone else. Each one seemed appropriate given the tone and topic of each chapter. Title is from another Kelly Clarkson song, although the lyrics weren't right for this story.

Might want tissues while reading this...

This revived fic is dedicated to tardis-mole, with extra Eleven-whumpage as an homage. If you love Eleven, blame this fic on her. My frustration is with RTD and the other writers responsible for the situation that I'm sort-of fixing here, but I'm afraid Eleven has to take the punishment for it. Apologies to Matt Smith, but I have far too much affection for the characters that David Tennant and Catherine Tate played to perfection.

No Eleven here, but this is a seriously angsty part. Have tissues handy... Here is part of my feelings about why the mind-lock and separating Donna and Handy (John) was a mistake. Not just for the Doctor... but more for them...

Part One: Low


Donna Temple-Noble sat thinking as Shaun drove them to her Mum's. She'd thought when she won the lottery after her marriage that she'd finally have what she needed to make something of herself. That the money would enable her to be more than a temp – at long last! And that she could move on from that memory loss and apparently missing all the “alien” things happening around her.

But no... Money, she'd discovered, doesn't solve all of your problems. Especially if they're inside you...

It all started as they arrived at their flat after the wedding. She'd suspected that she might be pregnant, but then she was suddenly violently ill. A visit to Casualty had done nothing... Except send them to a private doctor when Shaun and her parents thought it would take too long to get the results from NHS, and run up some bills that they were mercifully able to pay off almost immediately thanks to the lottery. And she hadn't been pregnant. The worst faded while they were leaving Casualty, and all she'd been left with was a strange case of fatigue that she hadn't been able to shake since.

It'd now been a few years. She'd seen some strange things... including people claiming that no one was dying. Oh, had her Mum and Gramps been panicking over that... Trying to keep her from going out, and being overprotective. Shaun had helped, which had driven her crazy. Except she'd been too weak to protest much.

The weird thing was... Her condition stayed exactly the same during the period of what was called “Miracle Day.” And only resumed its slow deterioration once people apparently started dying again.

It once again made her wonder what happened to her during those years she couldn't remember. And why her family was so insistent that she not think about it much...

But telling Donna Noble to not do something was asking her to do it. And she started to wonder why it felt like someone in particular was missing from her life...

I will not make
The same mistakes that you did

It was like she just knew that there was supposed to be someone – or maybe more than one someone – in her life, and their absence was why she felt so empty. An emptiness that Shaun hadn't dispelled...

And the worst part...? She'd known on some level, way back when she was deciding whether to accept him, that she'd just be making do...

She feared that she'd waited too long to try to have children, and she badly wanted to know the pain and joy of carrying a child of her own. That, she now felt, was what drove her to accept Shaun's proposal. After all, Shaun loved her and wanted – if possible – a family. And he wasn't scared by her missing a few years of memories. Given how sad she was, how much she still wanted a family of her own to love... it had seemed very tempting...

She'd thought it was learning from her mistakes, but it now seemed like she'd just caused more misery. And this time, it wasn't just for her...

I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery

It seemed like those years she was missing... They would've solved everything... It was like she was missing the best parts of herself, and she had no clue what they'd done for her!

She'd tried quietly figuring out what had happened, but there was nothing to go by. No accident reports that could explain how she could be sleeping in her bed during an alleged invasion by pepper pots and be seemingly unharmed. No clear indication of how Lance died... or what happened exactly to H.C. Clemments and his company...

And it seemed that her family was intent on hindering her efforts. Like she could have a break-down at any moment if she tried too hard...

I will not break
The way you did, you fell so hard

Soon, her fatigue grew, slowing draining her body of life... And Donna thought she had to give up on finding the answers.

Which caused a cloud to settle over her mind, pulling her into a downward spiral... Thinking was starting to hurt, to create headaches... And so she had to stop her quest for the truth...

I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that fa

To not make her Gramps, or any of her family worry, she tried to let go. To cope with this strange illness that her family doctor couldn't make heads nor tails of. She tried sticking close to the accepted form... The one that her mother followed. It wasn't like what she'd been doing was working great...

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk

She tried keeping things safe. Thought it would minimize the hurt.

Donna had soon discovered that playing it safe didn't work so well if you didn't understand why you were doing it. Or if you sensed that you craved some form of excitement that was completely out of reach. Even to your mind...

Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt

And, she slowly discovered, when everybody’s trying to keep you from something (including the teas that you couldn't explain why you wanted to drink them!), it erodes your trust in them. And this was her family! The people she was supposed to be able to trust – no matter how they had treated her!

So why the bloody hell were they acting this way? Did someone put them up to this? It made her feel like she couldn't ever trust herself again...

Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you, I am afraid

Watching as the streets she remembered passed, Donna kept silent as Shaun talked about the most recent visits for answers. This labyrinthine journey was making her feel more lost than ever, and it hurt every time it seemed like someone pointed out how much she was drifting... That it was like she'd lost her spark...

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out

If I had the energy to cry, she thought as Shaun stopped for a light, I'd have to hide them... It'd just hurt everyone around me now...

I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes

It drain her further to fake her reactions. She was glad she didn't see so much of her Mum and Gramps. They would never be convinced if they were around for her forced smiles and laughs for long... and surely become even worse...

I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh, every day of my life

Now... It was all leading her to one conclusion. That whatever had happened had broken her heart into so many pieces that she had no idea how to put it back together.

Shaun was... the window dressing that concealed the destruction... Until she couldn't help but look more closely at her wishes and life.

And nothing felt right anymore. Her world was wrong...

My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

So she started thinking about it again, but very quietly. She might not have flashes, but she sensed a few things. Like they were bleeding through whatever damage had happened to cause the memory loss.

Who was this person – a man, she was somehow positive of that one detail – who had needed her so much? But, and this was the rub... was he somehow responsible for her memory loss? Could he not bear to be around for the guilt?

God, she hoped that was the reason. Everything else was awful to contemplate...

And somehow... she knew that at the moment she was most ill... he'd needed her. More than ever. If she'd said no to Shaun, she wondered for what felt like the millionth time, could I have been there to help him...? Or was he the kind that couldn't see through his own hurts...?

You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain

Shaun, bless him, had tried to keep her healthy despite her growing tiredness. But she was losing weight, and it was becoming beyond what even her wildest thoughts had deemed good. She just had no desire to eat anymore...

“We're here,” he said. Drawing her attention to the fact that they were parked already.

God, she was losing track of so many things... Playing it safe was virtually making her forgetful...

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk

Donna had to wait for Shaun to help her out. She was dependent on him and her family for so many things... It was probably for the best that she didn't share her thoughts anymore... That she was even shutting Shaun out... It was now to keep them from getting hurt...

Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt

She'd done her best to let go of that time that had her family so scared. But it wasn't letting her go. She just knew that it was why she was dying.

Yes, she just knew it, even though not one medical person had said it. Donna could feel her body betraying her bit by bit, and knew that she'd allowed herself to forget a lot of things when she accepted Shaun. She knew her self-respect hadn't been the best before, but she wondered if Lance had done a further number on it before he vanished...

Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything

Shaun's heart was going to break, she thought as he helped her out, when I die. I could've saved him from this if I hadn't let him so far into my life...

But then she froze as she realized that she really hadn't let him in. She'd always kept him at arm's length. Like I always knew that he wasn't the right one...

That I'd forgotten so much about my ability to trust... To be my best...

Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in

Donna was so sick of feeling sick... of knowing she was nothing but a burden to her family... of seeing the rest of her dream evaporate... Especially now that another physician reported that she and Shaun didn't seem to be compatible to have children... That, based on tests from blood samples from before her illness but after her memory loss, it had always been the case...

She wished she'd known... Because that might've convinced her to keep with her instincts... It was too late to adopt; she knew that she didn't have much time left. It wouldn't be fair to a child for her to die so soon after starting the adoption process. It might not go through after her death...

Although Shaun held her close, supporting her body, Donna had never felt more distant from him. It wasn't fair to any of them... She had to end things, but there was no point in a divorce. She'd just give up and leave her family all of the money...

She didn't know why, but potassium cyanide seemed like an appealing choice for closing things off... What was the point in living when she felt so completely empty inside...? So worthless...?

Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you, I am afraid

Then a van rushed up next to their car, much too fast for a delivery or a reckless teen. Instincts that had been long dead suddenly flared in Donna's body, screaming at her to run – run like bloody hell!

But she was too weak to make her legs work like that. Not even as two men came out the sliding side and rushed them. Shaun stepped in their way, and threw a connecting punch at one of them as he grabbed Donna. “Help,” she screamed, “help!

Then... a twist on her nightmare... The other pulled out a strange gun... and shot Shaun in the chest. If it weren't for the wound that suddenly appeared, and how Shaun staggered, no one would've known what happened; it was frighteningly quiet...

He fell back in shock, and Donna was dragged to the van. She screamed his name, but the van's door cut her off and then it was off with a cloud of slightly burnt rubber...

Shaun trembled, feeling his life fading out him. “Donna...” But then he heard someone running... running up to him, and then something buzzed in a strange way...

John Noble witnessed the event, but had been too far away to stop things. Adrenaline had given him a boost of energy, the fear for Donna's life and what those aliens (his senses were tingling again after getting those fluids from the Old Girl's stocks) wanted with Donna. The amount of blood emerging from the wound, however, told him the same thing his Screwdriver was: that nothing could be done...

Shaun looked into the eyes of the person trying to help him. “Don't,” he choked, barely managing to shake his head. “Save Donna...”

John felt tears building in his eyes. “I will,” he whispered, conviction pouring through every syllable as he tried to silently convey an apology. And I'll die for her if I have to...

And then Shaun found a smile. There was only one person who'd act that way, who'd have that much reason to find Donna. The only person in the universe who would owe her everything... “I know you will... Doctor.” And his eyes closed...

Because of you

John Noble could have cried openly as Shaun Temple died under his hands. Another life lost... because of the Doctor's mistakes... arrogance... His mistaken belief that he knew what was best for his companions – without consulting them first!

Fury grew as he stood and used the Sonics to scan after that van, using one to boost a signal from his Manipulator. “Come on, Baby Old Girl,” he murmured, “trace her!” And it didn't take long; the idiots apparently had no clue that there was a trace of the Doctor's sonic changes to Donna's cell phone – detectable even while turned off and disabled! – despite undoing his earlier work and which was still on her person. “Yes! I can intercept them before they get to wherever they're taking her!”

As he adjusted the Manipulator to take him to the spot where the TARDIS and its little baby (tucked inside the Manipulator as its power source) said would be the best place to ambush the kidnappers, he heard two familiar voices call out from the house as a door opened, “Doctor!”

He felt his insides sicken over the name. But all he said as he met their eyes in apology was a shouted, “I promise I'll save Donna, Sylvia and Wilf! I swear she'll come home safe!” And he flashed out of their sight...

Because of you

Donna's remaining family stared in shock as neighbors poured out to help. Sylvia wanted to blame him, but she saw the stricken look in the alien's eyes. It looked like he was doing what she and her father had been doing: self-blaming... And she saw the naked determination, conviction in his body language. Failure was not an option for him... and then she knew that her daughter would come home...

Wilf cried... And shouted in his mind: Oh, my God... Please bring her home, Doctor! Please...!

And he felt extra sickened by the realization that the alien said nothing about himself making it out alive... Was the Doctor still suicidal...?

Part Three: If No One Will Listen


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 16th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
Oi, what a cliffhanger!
Poor Donna, always searching, making do, trying to find herself again.

Another life lost... because of the Doctor's mistakes... arrogance... His mistaken belief that he knew what was best for his companions – without consulting them first! Best line ever. The Doctor really has got to get rid of his God complex whenever it comes to his companions!

Can't wait for moar!
Aug. 16th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
Yep... Which is why he still needs Donna; she could've knocked it out of him given enough time. Because just one key example wouldn't quite be enough to overcome all that Time Lord sh*t that he still believes in despite his problems with his people... Guilt and such is a bad mix with the Doctor.

Working on more today!
Aug. 16th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
*sniff* Hurry up and get John/Handy to her!!

[I loved the little changes btw; and I'm slightly envious you managed to post this much, as LJ restricts me. *kicks LJ*]
Aug. 16th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
I'm not sure why there's that difference. I keep waiting for LJ to tell me I'm over the limit, and it never does. I don't get it...

Am working on it! Got a little distracted answering comments and PMs. Although one gave me some lovely ideas for some future fic...
Aug. 17th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
This is agonisingly, unbelievably sad, and mostly because it's exactly how I could picture Donna feeling and acting. Her sense of loss is absolutely palpable. I feel terribly sorry for Shaun, not just because of him being shot (and I'm really not sure if he's survived or not!) but also because of the fact that he clearly loves Donna and yet he is almost there to fill the space because of what the Doctor has done.

John coming as in as an avenging angel is the only thing that keeps this fic from descending into a puddle of misery that would drown my own plot bunnies. I can't wait to see where you take this!
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
(Donna voice): Oh, I wasn't clear enough, again?!

Huh. Well, next chapter will clear that one up.

A filler... That's what I feel he became, so it's more reason to be unhappy with RTD especially...

Avenging Angel... Quite the contrast to the Lonely Angel Reinette knew. I wonder what she would think of this...

Keep watching... I'm working on the rest! :) And thanks for the review!
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
Well, he could be dead, but I sort of hope he isn't because he does love Donna. So maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. I feel sorry for him being the filler because I think he's a good man.

*pulls in chair to sit comfortably and wait for more*
Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
okay, so I'm barely catching up
and OH MY GOSH is all I have to say for the time being!!
Aug. 25th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's quite the ride, isn't it?

Keep your eyes open for new stuff... Whenever Muse gets cooperative...
Aug. 25th, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
If anyone thinks this chapter looks off, LJ is doing something funny to it. It looked just fine when I posted it, but that was before it went all goofy on us. And I've given up on adjusting its look. At least it's readable here. It looks awful when I go into edit entry mode. Argh!
Mar. 18th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
I hung on under Wilf showed up, then the tears came. I have such a HUGE soft spot for Wilfred and I just want to go hug him.

Great song choice on this one (maybe because it's one of my favorites) They're both so broken. *sigh*

Go get her handy!!!
Mar. 19th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Wilf Mott is one of two characters I would love to adopt as my grandfathers. The other is Hank Booth from "Bones." Seriously, watch episode eight of season five and judge for yourself. He's as wonderful as Wilf is - just in a different way. :D

Yeah... Not all of the lyrics were right, but it was too perfect for the events of the story. Actually, sometimes the lyrics drove what I wrote. I don't remember anymore what drove what. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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