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Title: From Ashes to a Phoenix

Author: tkel_paris</lj>  aka KendraC

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...

PART 1: The End of the World as She Knew It

Donna Isabelle Noble – sometimes known as Mrs. Temple-Noble – had always suffered from headaches when she was stressed. The equipment from _ which allowed people to get updates directly into their minds gave her the worst ones of her life. She couldn't predict when she would dry heave, and that was very bad for a woman running her own consulting business. Let alone a successful woman.

So her doctor tried putting her on a series of headache relief and nausea meds. Although they took care of the headaches and nausea, they left her with a foggy mind and unable to concentrate on her work. So she promptly arranged to have it removed until they could make the models better. Besides, she thought at the time, she preferred reading to having things uploaded into her head.

Besides, reading was her thing. It had made her into the most successful person in her field, where she helped make other businesses run more smoothly and efficiently. She was brilliant at it. And she knew it. She had a good husband whose musical talents brought great joy to her family, and was a mother to three children. And she was positive another was on the way.

Then the Cybermen came. Seeing every last adult she knew in the grips of the controlling device that had been the bane of her existence was beyond awful. To make matters worse, those metal creatures started grabbing children to make the unadorned who fought cease resisting. She and two girlfriends found themselves hiding in a shelter, shivering in fear and worried sick about everyone else.

The evident collapse of the Cybermen was a profound relief – at first. Then it was time to assess the damage wrought by their sick creator. She found no comfort in knowing that Pete Tyler had sent that man to his death – in apparent revenge over the death of Jackie Tyler. For she never found the bodies of Shaun or her parents.

All of them were converted...

And Gramps and the children... She found their bodies in the rubble of the family home. He was the only other person in the family to decline the device, and had obviously tried everything to protect the children. She never realized how long or loud her screams of agony were...

/=/=/=/

Donna knew, in that distantly aware way, that she was homeless before the firefighters finished assessing the damage. What she wasn't expecting was that all of her intact belongings fit into just four bags. Some clothes had survived, and other random items. But she'd gone from a whole house full of memories to not even having the pictures.

Aside from what had made it to her laptop...

Her computer was with her, and she backed everything up through a remote system. So she should have been able to continue running her business. And, as an independent owner, she really didn't have time off without not earning a paycheck. But, it turned out that every last client had used the device, and were all gone.

So she not only had no home, but no income – except what little insurance money she did get. It seemed that the company found a clause that allowed it to lower its total payout in light of the circumstances of the disaster. Donna fought them – not for her, but for the other families whose lives were ruined. Oh, she got her payout, but it all had to go to the payments to free herself from the mortgage. And for the health treatments she needed after losing the baby...

Her life now royally sucked; she had no desire to remain where she was constantly surrounded by memories of what was forever gone. Actually, she found herself with no desires of any kind. She ate because she knew she needed fuel, not because she felt hungry. She'd gone through a routine because she had to help the others devastated by the Cybermen.

But once that was all over, when she'd done everything she could and found her services no longer needed... there was nothing. Her skill-set was suddenly too advanced for nearly everyone, and those who could use it had other priorities.

So then she was alone, living with a few girlfriends who'd banded together because they'd all lost their families. It wasn't an ideal arrangement; it turned out they all got along better when they mostly met at dinner or out for drinks.

Not that Donna really registered it. Actually, she could barely maintain awareness about what was happening around her. Aside from looking out for immediate danger, paying attention just made her aware of the children who lived, the families who'd made it through, the lives who still had a purpose. People who were managing to go on where she wasn't...

Hers was gone. She'd gone from having a slew of roles – granddaughter, daughter, wife, mother, businesswoman, inspiration – to nothing in a matter of hours.

Sometimes, when she drummed up the energy to think about it, she felt that the universe had either forgotten about her, or decided that she actually wasn't worth anything. The latter mindset always won, drawing her further away from feeling anything.

From wanting to feel anything. From feeling that it was worth going on...


Part 2: Struggling, Used, and then Rescued?

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Jun. 11th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
Poor poor Donna Belle! :(
tkel_paris
Jun. 24th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
If I can still get that reaction out of you, then I did my job with this chapter. Maybe I should pull this story back out if I slow down again on "Cupids"...
katherine_b
Jul. 27th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
I have no idea what happened to my comment on this, but I'm sure I left one since I know I'd read it. Still, it gives me the chance to feel sorry for this version of Donna all over again. Bad luck doesn't even begin to cover it! I can't wait to see how her life changes...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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