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07 December 2008 @ 08:39 pm
fic: extraordinary  
Title: Extraordinary
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor, Donna and some brief mentions of the additional cast of "Midnight"
Genre: Angst-y gen, which is apparently my not so new favourite or something.
Spoilers?: Through "Midnight" (4x10)
Summary: Donna Noble is angry.
Excerpt: “They were scared,” was all the Doctor would say, and for once Donna found herself wishing he’d relinquish the moral high ground and admit that they were wrong, wrong, wrong, cowards and idiots and quite nearly murderers.

Once she’d stopped being terrified with concern, Donna had started being furious.

She was furious at herself for staying behind, for lounging by a pool while the Doctor’d been off putting himself in mortal peril. She was furious at the Midnight staff and their apparent reluctance to believe the story put forth by six of their guests. She was even a little (and, she admitted, rather unfairly) furious at the Doctor, for having such an incredible knack for finding trouble everywhere he went.

Mostly, though, she was furious at them, the five people who had come so close to killing her best friend.

Convincing an entire establishment that they ought to pack up, lock the doors behind them and toss out the key was not an easy task, not even for the Oncoming Storm and Donna Noble, Supertemp. The five people standing awkwardly in the back corner, actively pretending the Doctor didn’t exist, had not been much help.

Donna had wanted to scream at them. Would have, too, if the combination of the Doctor’s vice-like grip on her hand and his impassive face hadn’t been begging her to stay silent. She’d settled instead on the coldest glare she could manage and felt a twisted sort of accomplishment when they’d shifted uncomfortably under her gaze.

They were lucky, Donna thought, that she hadn’t been there.

“They were scared,” was all the Doctor would say, and for once Donna found herself wishing he’d relinquish the moral high ground and admit that they were wrong, wrong, wrong, cowards and idiots and quite nearly murderers. She knew, on some level, that perhaps she ought to feel some measure of sympathy; they had, after all, been thrown into a horrible situation, seen death and terror and the worst of themselves.

She couldn’t seem to muster up the morality.

The problem was that she could see the haunted look in the Doctor’s eyes and she knew what had put it there. It wasn’t the mysterious force that had hijacked his voice and paralyzed his body. It wasn’t that he’d nearly been killed, because that was hardly a first. It was that they were human, the lot of them, ordinary, plain, simple, boring, average humans, the sort he so frequently brought onto the TARDIS, the sort he fought so consistently to protect.

It scared her, perhaps as much as it scared him. Perhaps more.

“Come on,” he said eventually, once the point had finally been made and they were able at last to retreat to the TARDIS. Donna clung to his hand as they walked, determined to anchor him, searching for and failing to find something to say.

They were nearly back to the quiet corridor where the ship was parked when the all-too-familiar sound of running came from behind. They spun around to look at the same time, and the Doctor dropped her hand.


Donna recognized the voice as one of the five, the dark-haired boy who’d stood separate from the rest, arms folded protectively across his chest. He was young, and Donna presumed that before today he considered homework and overbearing parents to be the absolute worst that life got. He stopped when he reached them, wedged his hands into the pockets of his jeans and didn’t quite make eye contact with either of them.

“Jethro,” the Doctor said, nodding ever-so-slightly, his voice and expression unreadable.

The boy shifted his weight from one foot and back to the other, and then finally lifted his gaze to meet the Doctor’s. “I just – I wanted to… apologize.” He dropped his gaze back down to the floor. “It was just – everyone was –” He fumbled for the words and Donna nearly felt a pang of sympathy. “I’m sorry.”

At her side, the Doctor nodded again, the faintest sign of a smile on his lips. “I know.”

That was that, apparently. Jethro gave a twitchy, nervous smile and went back the way he came; the Doctor turned on his heel and continued towards the TARDIS. Bewildered, Donna gaped after both of them, then shook herself and started after the Doctor.

She caught up to him as he was fishing in his pocket for the TARDIS key. She leaned heavily against the familiar blue wooden frame and stared at him in disbelief.

“That’s it?” she asked, and he met her eyes as he slipped the key into the lock. “'I know?'

He raised an eyebrow. “What would you have preferred me to say, Donna?”

Lots of things, Donna thought, and probably several the TARDIS wouldn’t be keen on translating. Instead she said, “He tried to kill you.”

“And he apologized. The only one, too.” He shrugged. “I liked Jethro, well enough. He was clever.”

Donna stared. “He tried to kill you,” she said again, in case the first time had gotten lost in translation.

The Doctor gave her a strange sort of smile and shouldered open the door. “Lots of people have tried to kill me. No one’s quite got the hang of it yet.”

Donna stepped into the golden light of the TARDIS console room and frowned.

“So he apologizes and it’s just water under the bridge, then? That’s it? No lecture? No righteous Time Lord anger?” She raised her eyebrows. “If it was me they’d tried to chuck out of their bloody space bus you’d be absolutely beside yourself.”

“Well, yes, probably,” he conceded, tossing his coat over one of the coral struts. “But it wasn’t.”

He leapt up the ramp to the console, no doubt eager to leave the diamond planet far behind, and Donna instinctively braced herself as the ship dematerialized. From his spot at the controls, the Doctor looked over at her.

“He’ll have plenty to deal with because of today, Donna, without a guilt trip from me. They all will.”

“But so will you.”

The Doctor only smiled.

Donna heaved a sigh as she made her way up the ramp. There was no point in being angry, not if she was never going to see those people again, and his resolute smile only dredged up the worry she’d managed to bury under her fury. She knew how the Doctor dealt with things – or rather, how he didn’t – and she remembered too clearly the delay there’d been before he’d hugged her back.

“It’s just that they were people,” she admitted, coming to stand at his side, tracing her fingers over the unfamiliar controls of the TARDIS. “Just… regular, ordinary people. Just like me.”

“Oh, they were nothing like you, Donna.” The Doctor smiled sideways at her. “The people I travel with – none of you are ever really ordinary.”

Donna found she didn’t have the heart to correct him.
♦ k a h l i a ♦: doctor whocuban_sombrero on December 8th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I don't know exactly what it is, but I really like this. I think it's Donna - you've caught her thoughts so well, and still managed to fit this perfectly in as a nice missing moment, without making it too big in its own right.

Actually, I don't know that my comment even makes sense, but yeah... great work, and I really enjoyed it.
Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! I struggled a bit with the ending because I wasn't sure if it concluded anything or not, but ultimately I decided it didn't really need to end in a convenient little bow.
Jennifertime_converges on December 8th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
I liked this a lot - I think you really captured what Donna would have been thinking. I especially liked this line:

“Oh, they were nothing like you, Donna.” The Doctor smiled sideways at her. “The people I travel with – none of you are ever really ordinary.” -- so very true, of all of his companions.

Nicely done.
Kali: daughter of london_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
I know we only really saw sympathetic huggy Donna in the episode, and that reaction makes sense, but at the same time... it's Donna Noble, she is going to be pissed, lol. And yeah, he really does choose the brilliant ones.

Thank you!

Sarah: hughence_the_name on December 8th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
Oh, I really like this, especially that last line. Because Donna not realizing how brilliant she is = me all weepy. I really like how you've explored Donna's reactions to what happened to the Doctor here. *cuddles Donna and the Doctor*
Kali: doctordonna friends_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
The fact that Donna does not realize how totally awesome she is is tragic indeed, and it's sad how central it is to her character. D: Poor Donna.

Thank you!
lcuddywannabe on December 8th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC)
“It’s just that they were people,” she admitted, coming to stand at his side, tracing her fingers over the unfamiliar controls of the TARDIS. “Just… regular, ordinary people. Just like me.”

THAT is the reason why I love that episode so much. It's different from a lot of the others becuase they're just people. Hooray for you for pointing that out.

I really like this. You've got Donna down pat. :)
Kali: the oncoming storm_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
I adored Midnight for lots of reasons, and that was definitely one of them. They were all very recognizable, typical characters and I thought that added another very interesting level to it.

Thank you! I've been writing her a lot lately, she's a lot of fun.
Not meant to be taken seriously.: Donna Wanderlustmaypanic on December 8th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
Wonderful, dead-on reactions. This feels like exactly what we would've (should've) seen, if the episode had gone on ten minutes longer.
Kali: voice of a nightingale_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm quite fond of this episode and the desire to continue on beyond what we saw was too great for me to resist, apparently.
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Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 06:56 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore their friendship, so I'm glad you think I got it right. I don't know how much we actually saw of angry mama bear Donna in the show, but I love it, and I think it's pretty safe to say that given the chance she'd have completely flipped out at everyone on the planet, because she's Donna Noble, lol. She even tries to shield him in Runaway Bride, long before they're best friends 4eva.

...and I mean, I would be pretty angry if a group of strangers tried to kill one of my friends, so.

No worries, I love rambling! Thank you!
Fangirlosaurus Rex: drwho - donna can't hear youhibernate on December 8th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this! I never thought about it before, but OF COURSE Donna would be fiercly protective of the Doctor, not to mention extremely pissed off, if she ever came in contact with the people from the train. You have such a knack for writing those two!
Kali: a complicated event in time and space_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
We get to see protective!Doctor a lot, but we didn't get much of an opportunity to see protective!Donna, and frankly I think that is a shame because protective Donna would be awesome. I think given the opportunity she'd have completely flipped out at them, and it would be kind of like when your mom calls the mom of the kid who's been bullying you, lirl.

Thank you!
Katherine: DW - Doctor and Donnakatherine_b on December 8th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely lovely! So perfectly in character for both of them. Thank you.
Kali: better with two_thirty2flavors on December 8th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
wendymr: Ten Donna hugwendymr on December 9th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
I started reading this and found myself very quickly nodding, then reading on really enjoying it and finding it so very in character... and only at the end, when I saw who was responding to feedback, I realised so that's who wrote it! and then no wonder it's so damn good!

There are a few post-Midnight fics around, of course, but this is definitely one of the best for all the reasons everyone else has mentioned. It's also unique among those I've read, in that you go on to consider what happens next: after the hug, after he's told Donna what happened. And of course he'd want to stop the tours, and of course the other passengers wouldn't be able to meet his eyes, and he wouldn't accuse them and Donna would be furious.

Jethro was one of the best of them; I can't remember, but was he part of the lynch-mob or not? I didn't think he was actually dragging the Doctor, though his parents were. I'm glad he said sorry. :(

Very, very nicely done, as always!
Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on December 9th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
Hee, awww, thank you.

They sort of hint at this at the end of the episode -- Donna points out that they should probably tell the Midnight staff -- but then of course the episode is over, and I can't imagine it would have been an easy task, trying to shut down the entire establishment, lol. And I've seen a couple other post-Midnight fics, too, but most of them seem to focus primarily on Donna's worry and/or the Doctor's trauma, and while that's well and good, I thought Donna's innevitable and well-earned anger would be interesting to explore, because Donna Noble is not going to take kindly to a bunch of people trying to kill her bff. The other thing I thought was interesting was that yeah, the Doctor definitely wouldn't accuse them, even though, as Donna points out, if they'd tried to do it to anyone else he'd definitely go all shouty Oncomign Storm.

I liked Jethro a lot, actually, I thought it was interesting to have the sulky teen be arguably the brightest of them. He does get caught up in it in the end and helps his father drag the Doctor towards the door, probably mostly because his mom is screaming at him to do something. (lol, his mom is the worst) I don't remember what the professor is doing at this point, but Dee Dee's huddled in a corner with her hands over her ears, and Jethro's mom is just kind of yelling encouragement to them (I think? I can't recall if she was actually helping or not, though she was definitely the instigator). Anyhow, I wanted someone to apologize, and Jethro seemed like the only one who would be up to the challenge.

Anyway, thanks again!
dark_aegis: Ten & Donna - Hugdark_aegis on December 9th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Oh, that's gorgeous. The ending few lines really pack one heck of a punch, which is perfect. I love how you write Donna, too. She comes to life through these words and Midnight is definitely one of those stories where I wish there were more post-ep fics. Lovely job, as always. :)
Kali: daughter of london_thirty2flavors on December 9th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! I wish there was more post-ep fic, too. I've seen some, but most of it is sort of hurt/comfort and to be honest I really just wanted to see Donna get mad, both because she's Donna Noble and because hell, I'd be mad.
Drakochidrakochi on December 9th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
This fic is fantastic! I absolutely loved it! I am always trying to search post-Midnight fanfics in hope to find one where Donna is furious with what happened to the Doctor. All I usually find is the comfort fics but not where Donna screams at the 5 people. I am glad I found your story before I could go and write my own. (I don't think I got Donna's "voice" right yet)

But back at thise amazing piece of work, What is believable is that Donna wanted to scream at those people but the Doctor didn't want her to makle a scene. I also like that Jethro apoligized because he and Deedee were the people who were willing the less to throw the Doctor out. I really wanted to punch the other 3 in the face. Your fic wins the internet!

I also believe that Donna Noble would have given them a piece of her mind if she would have met them. She is the kind of character that speaks her mind and sometimes even the doctor can not stop her. And she is overprotective of the doctor. There is no way stopping her when she is pissed. (And for proof I have the two audiobooks).
Kali: spend it with you_thirty2flavors on December 9th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
I noticed the same general trend, and while comfort is all well and good, I wanted someone to get angry and I don't think the Doctor would, not if it was only for himself. Donna, on the other hand, would be furious (and who wouldn't be?) and the only reason I can see her reigning in that anger would be if the Doctor asked her to. Which, of course, he would, because that's the sort of thing he does.

I liked Jethro the most, and even though he does get caught up in the moment I thought he'd be the only one who'd feel bad enough to apologize, or at leat the only one with the courage to apologize -- he and the Doctor seem to get along earlier, and while Deedee didn't actually help them try and throw the Doctor out, I also think she's the sort of person who might hide behind the "it wasn't my fault, I wasn't doing anything" excuse. I also liked the way they had Jethro be far more sensible and rational than either of his parents, who absolutely would never admit that they were wrong.

Had Donna met them while the Doctor wasn't there, I definitely think she would've completely gone off at them. Would've been awesome, and probably terrifying. And if it'd been anyone other than himself they'd tried to kill, the Doctor would be right there screaming with her, lol.

Haven't read/heard those, they good?
(no subject) - drakochi on December 10th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
helygen: DW_DonnaBrillianthelygen on December 10th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
This is magnificent. It perfectly captures Donna and the Doctor and you've presented a very believable 'missing scene' from that episode which I am now adopting as canon :)
Kali: a complicated event in time and space_thirty2flavors on December 10th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I always felt like the aftermath of this episode would've been just as interesting as the episode itself, so I was kind of sad we didn't get to see any of it.
Fatemafatema on February 27th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
Excellent coda! Very insightful on the part of both the Doctor and Donna and really, just a wonderful addition to that very scary episode.
Kali: partners in crime_thirty2flavors on February 28th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Thanks! This is one of my favourite episodes, but it definitely needs moar Donna, and I wanted someone to get angry.
bubbles234bubbles234 on March 3rd, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant :) You've really captured how I imagine they both would have been feeling after this.

I especially liked "“Oh, they were nothing like you, Donna.” The Doctor smiled sideways at her. “The people I travel with – none of you are ever really ordinary.”

Donna found she didn’t have the heart to correct him." because that is just so them.
Kali_thirty2flavors on March 6th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really liked Midnight but I wished we'd gotten to see more of Donna's reaction, because she would have been pissed.
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Kali: doctordonna friends_thirty2flavors on June 3rd, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I do think Jethro might've had the sense to say something, even if no one else did.
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(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on June 3rd, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on June 4th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
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