AliMoseby (alimoseby) wrote,

The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn Part One

So when I posted "Waiting", I called it a prelude to this oneshot which because of length is having to be posted in two parts.  It turned out that prelude was the wrong word to use, and instead I should have called it a preview.  You might recognize a re-writing of it in the second part.  

The cliff Donna and Ten stand on to watch the storm is an actual place called Shore Acres State Park.  It's on the southern Oregon coast.  During November through around March when storms blow in from the ocean, the waves that come in are huge and spectacular.  I'll show you pics at the end of the second part as well a post a link to a video of it on YouTube. 

This is my first attempt at really writing het romance type stuff.  I'm the first to admit that I'm not good at it.  I hope you don't mind it, or perhaps even like it.  

If you've read "To See the Light", you'll know who the Praxi and Eridan are.  It's not really necessary to read that one to read these, but that one does give you the background to when Belle gets her sensory web. 

I've also made up some names for a couple of animal species.  That's kind of fun.  One thing I like about writing in this particular fandom.

As always, I don't own Ten, Donna, or Doctor Who.  Please read and enjoy...

The sky was overcast and gray, the sea below matching the color except where the wind caught the crests of the waves whipping them up into a white fury that pounded against the large rocks below the cliff.  The cliff itself rose eighty feet above the turbulent sea, the large rocks below it themselves forty or fifty feet in height.  When the wind tossed seas crashed into them, the spray rose higher than the cliff often times drenching any persons perched to watch as these November storms blew ashore. 

            Two such people were standing there, a man and a woman.  They were side by side, her left hand holding his right.  The wind whipped their hair, and lashed at their coats, his more than hers as it was a full length duster.  They faced the sea, as the feelings of anger, helplessness and sadness churned in them much as the storm churned the waves.  They tried to make the thundering sound of the water against the rocks and cliff, drown out the misery in their souls, but it didn’t do much.  Not that they expected it would, but it gave a tiny respite.

            When the rain began, first with light drops that blew in on the wind, to heavier drops, and finally sheets of it, so heavy it obscured even the roiling ocean below, the woman let her tears go.  She glanced at the man, and seeing his face as wet as hers, wondered if it was the rain, or like her, he’d let go as well.  She felt a fine trembling in his arm and hand that held hers, and when she squeezed his hand, he faced her.  They stared at one another, and their chins wobbled with the effort not to outright sob.  There would be time for that later.

            Right now, there was this, the raging storm, to reflect their feelings, and they turned from each other to watch again.  Behind them, yet out of the range of the spray of the crashing waves, a blue police box sat, where their child lay in a coma, neither the man nor the woman knowing if the child would awaken again.

48 hours earlier (approximate linear time)

            Belle held the certificate in her hand, and ran her fingers over the Braille letters.  A smile crossed her face as she read what was there.  Isabelle Renee Noble-Smith.  It had taken some time, but Captain Jack and Torchwood had gotten her a new birth certificate and other vital documents.  She had told Miss Donna and Mr. Doctor that Belle was short for Isabelle, but that she’d not used Isabelle since she’d lost her sight and hearing.  She’d been asked if she’d like a middle name, and she did, but she couldn’t come up with a name she liked.  So Miss Donna had chosen Renee, the name of a childhood friend.  The subject of her last name came up then, and Belle had no memory of her original one.  Miss Donna’s name was Noble, and on Earth, Mr. Doctor used the name John Smith.  They argued a while about it, before Mr. Wilf had suggested they use both and just hyphenate them. 

            This started a small argument over which would go first.  Noble or Smith.  In the end, Captain Jack had gotten a hat, handed out small pieces of paper, and told everyone there to write which they preferred, and the one with the most votes would win.  So Belle was officially Isabelle Renee Noble-Smith. Two copies of the documents were made, one in standard print, and the second with standard print and Braille. 

It had taken all of the seven months Belle had been with Miss Donna and Mr. Doctor to get these documents done and now that they were, she was happy.  She had parents now.  At first, the idea of parents had confused her, never having a father figure, and her Mama having been just a year dead.   She didn’t want a Mama, and she didn’t know what a father was. But now it was different.  She understood what the roles of proper parents were.  Perhaps she would address them by their names now without the Miss and Mr.  At least them.  Good manners demanded the other adults in her life would retain the proper prefixes.

            She heard Miss Sylvia, and Mr. Wilf going up and down the stairs at their house.  It was time for a return trip to Praxis Eridani, the planet where she’d gotten her sensory web and implant, for a check up.  Miss Sylvia and Mr. Wilf were going with them.  It would be Mr. Wilf’s second trip in the TARDIS (though what his first trip entailed, no one would talk about) and Miss Sylvia’s first.  It would be the first trip for both of them to an alien planet.

“How much do you think they’re going to pack?” she heard the Doctor ask Donna, his voice much quieter that it usually was.

“Whatever they think they need,” Donna answered back.  “This is their first trip. I didn’t know what to pack when I was looking for you.  It’s the same for them.”

“But it looks like they’re bringing everything they own.  Oh…Wilf, you don’t actually need to take the telescope.”

“Let him, you prawn,” Donna admonished.  “It’s like me and the hatbox.  It’s going to go.  Gotta be prepared for everything.”

            Belle heard the Doctor sigh.  “A sort of Planet of the Hats thing for him I guess then.”


“Oh for heaven’s sake,” Sylvia muttered when the TARDIS landed a little roughly at their destination.  “Where did you get your license to pilot this thing, from a box of Cracker Jacks?” she glared at the Doctor, who sighed.

“Oi!” Donna glared back at her. “It’s fine, Mum.”

“Fine for you maybe, but I prefer to get to where I’m going in one piece, thank you.”

“Mum…” Donna started warningly.

“It’s alright,” the Doctor patted Donna’s arm.  “You know the Old Girl can get a bit temperamental every once in a while, not to mention sometimes I can’t quite control her, not her first pilot you know,” he looked over and grinned at Sylvia.  “But, you’re in one piece so all’s well.”

“Hmmph,” was all Sylvia replied. 

“Well, let’s go see what we have here, shall we?” Wilf clapped his hands together eyeing the doors eagerly.

            They entered the hospital, the walk from the TARDIS to the hospital taking a little longer than the Doctor would have liked, since Wilf was looking around in wonder, while Sylvia was a tad more cautious.  They both looked at the Praxi moving about their daily lives, trying not to stare, but the ruddy pink complexions of the Praxi along with the fluff of cottony looking hair that looked white, but had a tiny hint of pink in it on top of their heads were strange to them.  No Praxi it seemed had hair longer than their shoulders, male or female.   Momentarily confused as to why they could understand the people speaking around them, Sylvia and Wilf were told about the TARDIS translation circuits, and that the TARDIS was somewhat in their minds.  Wilf accepted this with ease, while Sylvia remained a little uneasy.

Greeting the young Praxi man at the reception desk, they went to the pediatric floor where a large Praxi doctor was leaving a room, talking with a nurse, and waving their equivalent of a clipboard around.  “He’ll be here the better part of two weeks, I should think, so I want monitors set up.  I want him monitored 29 hours a day, 5 days a week,” the doctor placed the clipboard into the nurse hand and turned to walk away.

“Dr. Shay!” the Doctor called out to the man who turned and gave a wide grin.

“Doctor!  Ms. Noble.  It is good to see you again,” he boomed, he approached them and held out his hand, which the Doctor took and shook as vigorously as the physician did.  He looked over at Belle.  “And young Belle.  How is she?” he looked at the Doctor and Donna again.

“She’s had surgery to help correct her hearing,” Donna said, turning to Belle.  “This is the doctor who did the surgery for your web and implant.”

            Belle stepped forward, facing the shimmer she identified as Dr. Shay. “It is good to meet you again, Dr. Shay.”

“A-ha!  You can speak now too.  And quite well it seems.  It is good to meet you again as well,” Dr. Shay’s booming voice carried through the hall.  He turned back to the Doctor and Donna.  “Now then, Doctor, Ms, Noble, and…oh!  You have others with you!”

“My mother, Sylvia Noble, and my grandfather, Wilfred Mott.”

“Call me Wilf, sir,” Wilf pushed forward and gave the Praxi doctor a sturdy handshake.

“Alright, Wilf.  Good to meet you,” Dr. Shay turned to Sylvia.  “And a delight to meet you madam.”

“Yes.  Well,” Sylvia stepped back.  She wasn’t going to shake his hand.  “Good to meet you too, I suppose.”

“Mum,” Donna muttered under her breath.

“What?” Sylvia hissed back.

“It’s alright,” Dr. Shay said with a grin.  “Always different people are,” he focused his gaze on the Doctor and Donna.  “Now then, what can I do for you?”

“Well, it’s been over six months since the implant was placed, for us, and you said she should have a recheck in that time,” the Doctor said.

“Of course, of course,” he pulled out an iPad looking thing and scrolled on the screen.  “I’ve tomorrow midday available.”

“That will suit us,” the Doctor said. 

“Excellent,” Dr. Shay tapped his finger against his mouth.  “Doctor, Ms. Donna, if you wouldn’t object, I have a colleague, Dr. Hrim.  He’s an Eridan physician.  Would it be alright if he was here for the exam as well?   He’s worked with the sensory web for well over 25 years.  It would interest him greatly to see how one not of our species has adapted and uses it.”

“Belle isn’t a guinea pig,” Donna said.  “I won’t have her messed about with.”

“No, no!” Dr. Shay said.  “It will just be a standard exam.  She won’t be what you said a…guinea pig?  Am I correct in assuming that’s something of a test subject?”

“You would be,” Donna leveled a stare at him. 

            The Doctor placed his hand on Donna’s shoulder squeezing it.  “We’ll take care of her, love,” he said.  “No one will take advantage,” he also gave the Praxi doctor a stern look.  “Now then.  How about we find something to entertain ourselves for this afternoon?”

“What?  Here?” Sylvia sniffed.  “Can’t imagine what you’d want to do here.”

“Mum,” Donna rolled her eyes.  She really had no patience for this kind of behavior from her mother, and almost wished the older woman had stayed home. 

“What?” Sylvia groused.

“Enough,” Donna glared.

“Fine,” she knew that look on her daughter’s face.  Crossing her arms at her chest, she waited to see what would be next.

“If I may,” Dr. Shay began.  “My son is caretaker at the biological preserve just outside the settlement, near the docks that go down to the Eridan settlement.  I’m sure he’d be willing to show you around.”

“Biological preserve you say?” the Doctor’s ears perked up and the beginnings of one of his excited grins spread across his face.

“Yes.   Species from all over The Five Galaxies.”

“Five galaxies?  Ours included?” Wilf asked.  “Imagine that.  Earth animals out in space.”

“Uh, no, sorry Wilf,” the Doctor said.  “We’re actually several thousand light years from your galaxy as well as oh, about two thousand years from your time.  The galaxy that houses Praxis Eridani and it’s solar system is part of a confederation of five galaxies called…well…called The Five Galaxies Confederation.”

“And our biological preserve is one of the finest in The Five Galaxies,” Dr. Shay clapped his hands together.  “I’ll just call my son straight away.  Be just a moment.”

“Doctor,” Sylvia approached him.  “Just what kind of species are we talking about here?”

“I…have no idea what ones they’ve got.  I’ve not seen them.   I do hope they have a Katakkifyn grelt.  I haven’t seen one of those in years.”

“A Katakkifhywho?”

“A Katakkifyn grelt.  Marvelous creatures they are.  Four eyes, very long snout, no real mouth, a bright shade of blue, they walk on their front legs, and use their hind legs as sort of arms.”


“Be a good idea to stay away from the snout though.  They may not have a mouth, but there is an orifice there and they tend to spray phlegm at you.  Rather foul smelling phlegm actually.”

“You’re not inspiring my confidence in this biological preserve, Doctor,” Sylvia’s upper lip curled.  “Couldn’t we just content ourselves with normal creatures.”

“These are normal creatures, at least for the Katakkifyn.  If you wanted your kind of normal, then perhaps you should have stayed home and gone to the London Zoo,” he gave a sort of glare.  Sylvia went to snap back, but Donna’s sudden grip on her arm had her backing down. 

“I for one want to see them,” Wilf said.

“And see them you shall,” Dr. Shay’s voice boomed.  “It’s all arranged.  My son will be waiting at the gates.  Just ask for Sym Shay.”


            A couple of hours into the tour of the biological preserve, and they’d entered a garden of sorts.  Wilf had been describing in detail everything they’d seen so far to Belle, and the Doctor had been ecstatic to see that indeed the preserve did have a Katakkifyn grelt.  Two of them in fact.  Not even the fact that one of the grelts had shot phlegm at him dampened his enthusiasm.  Donna chalked that up to the thick glass standing in between them and the grelts. 

            As they entered the garden, the Doctor pulled Wilf aside and asked him to keep an eye on Belle, as he would like to explore the garden alone with Donna.  Wilf winked at him, and waved him off, before turning back to Sym Shay, asking what other creatures this preserve had.  Sylvia looked to want to stay with Donna and the Doctor, but Wilf gripped her elbow telling her to “come along, and leave our girl and her Doctor be for a while.”  Frowning, she followed.

“Alone at last,” the Doctor grinned, pulling Donna close and giving her a light kiss that turned more passionate as it went on.   Donna pressed closer to the Doctor kissing him back with as much fervor as he kissed her.  Her hands moved up to the back of his neck, tangling in his hair, while his hands roamed up and down her back. 

            After a bit, Donna pulled back a little breathless, and brought her hands down to her chest.  She looked around and seeing a couple of Praxi eyeing them with raised eyebrows, she sighed.  “As lovely as that was, and as much as I’d like to continue, I think we ought to stop for now.”

“Why?” the Doctor asked, going in for another kiss, which Donna kept chaste for the most part.  “We should continue.  Continuing is nice.”

“Yes,” she said while allowing several little pecks.  “But I’d rather we didn’t have the audience.”

“Audience? What audience,” he backed her up towards a rather large tree, pinning her, and proceeded to place kisses over her jawline and down her neck.

            She let him keep going agreeing with him, until she caught sight of another couple of people looking.  She lightly pushed him back, and turned him around.  “That audience.”

            His eyes widened comically as he took in the four or five Praxi watching them with a range of expressions on their faces, from a lewd smile on one young male, to disapproving glares from an elderly couple.  He blushed, and his hand made it’s way up to the back of his neck.  “Oh.  Quite right then,” he muttered, turning back around, taking Donna’s hand and leading her away from their audience towards some large displays of flowers.


            Belle had a tight grip on Mr. Wilf’s hand as they moved through the hot steamy building that held what on Earth would be considered reptiles and amphibians.  Mr. Wilf kept up a constant stream of chatter describing what was there, while Miss Sylvia kept silent except for the occasional grunt of annoyance when faced with an animal she thought was nasty.  Which apparently was all of them. 

            Mr. Sym patiently waited for  Mr. Wilf to finish talking before moving on to the next specimen.  However, he was interrupted when a voice came over a loud speaker.  “Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time, this exhibit is being closed for the day.  Please take yourselves to the exits immediately.” 

“Please, do excuse me,” Mr. Sym said.  “This exhibit shouldn’t be closing this early.”  Belle heard rustling before hearing Mr. Sym speak again.  “You there! Miry! Come here!” She heard hurried footsteps and saw a shimmer approach their group.  “What is the meaning of this?  This exhibit is scheduled to remain open for another four hours.”

“I’m sorry, Sym, but we have to close it,” the other person, Belle assumed was this Miry, said.  “A freyDicanthis is on the loose.”

What?!”  Mr. Sym all but shouted.  “Right then.  You three, with me, come along, quickly.”

            Belle felt the sense of urgency and realized whatever a freyDicanthis was, it wasn’t good.  Mr. Wilf gripped her hand even tighter and pulled her as they followed Mr. Sym’s shimmer.  She felt something brush her leg, and automatically reached down to flick it away.  The thing brushed against her again, and she felt something hammer like slam into her hand.  A second later and she let out a scream as white hot pain shot through her hand, up her arm and into her body.  Dimly she registered Mr. Wilf’s and Miss Sylvia’s voices shouting her name.  And then…nothing.


“Metrixian bell flowers,” the Doctor said as he and Donna approached a flower bed filled with tall plants with colorful bell shaped blooms that chimed in the wind.  He ran his hand over some, one blossom falling off into his hand.  He held it out to Donna with a grin.  “Beautiful flower for a beautiful lady?” 

            She took it with a smile, and seeing that the stem had a small bit of length to it, tried to put it in her hair.  The Doctor took it and slid it into her hair just above her ear.  It made a tinkling sound as he did so, and every time she moved her head.  “Yeah,” he breathed.  “Beautiful flower, beautiful lady,” and he kissed her once more.

“Doctor?  Ms. Noble?” a voice interrupted them.

“Yes, that’s us,” the Doctor said.

“You need to come with me now.”

“Whatever for?”

“There’s been an incident.”

Tags: doctor who, donna noble, fiction, pg-13, tenth doctor
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