Bopping along to Lady Gaga in her mum's kitchen.
Not for much longer; Sondra from where she used to work said she needed a flatmate, and she'd just gotten this admin job conveniently near (thirty minute drive during peak hour) said flat.
Another handful of Prawn Cocktail flavour. Things were beginning to look up. After that incredibly long period of unemployment and having to live with Mum (and at her age, I know!) life was beginning to turn around, and having a bit of dosh just when those sales were starting up.
Chewing, bopping, looking for —
- she coughed.
Half her mouthful went down. The wrong way.
Spluttering around processed potato, she tried to cough, but couldn't catch that pocket of air needed, couldn't catch her breath.
Tried to catch her breath, to speak, to shout. But her voice, for the once in her life, failed her.
Stumbling, crashing, falling into the table, collapsing to the tilework that Mum still complained about not being right for about six years now. Face reddened. Vision blurring, lungs burning.
She hauled herself to her feet. She was not going to die, not like this, alone on the cold ceramic mosaic.
She would —
He closed the door to the loo. Getting older meant more midnight visits.
Tottering back to the stairs, he turned to the kitchen. And all thoughts of sleep left his mind when he saw her spluttering, red-faced, eyes gaping, levering herself to a standing position.
He ran towards her. That Heimlich thing — did you bend them over, or just grip their stomach?
Just as he drew near, she convulsed, hitting his face with the back of her skull, sending him staggering to the stovetop.
A blue light began to emerge from her features.
Arcs of electrical light began to fire from her arms, increasing in intensity, until it burst.
The plume of light streamed out of her exposed flesh, obscuring her choking expression.
As quickly as it started, it stopped, the woman bending over, finally breathing in long, gasping breaths.
The man looked at the familiar features of his granddaughter with more concern than fear. "Donna?"
She looked at Wilf with amazement. Then realization. Then anger.
The Doctor peeked out of the wooden doors before stepping out. So far so good. Why did this distress call have to originate smack bang in the middle of Chiswick? Hopefully, the person who he wished to avoid was currently at work.
He took out his scanner, and tried to get a bearing.
And turned straight into the woman he wanted to avoid.
He quickly pocketed the device while giving his most (not very) convincing smile.
"Donna was it? Just in the area, wanted to say hello to Wilf if he was in…"
A perfect ascending arc as her open right hand caught him right on the Zygomatic Arch. His left eye closed up in pain as he fought to regain his footing.
"What was that for?"
"Leaving me behind!"
Now that his vision was returning, he saw the iPod, the radio, and the other blinking assortment of scavenged electronics fused together to create the emergency beacon which brought him here.
How? More importantly, how did this happen without her grey matter short circuiting and becoming grey custard?
Wilf came around the corner. "He's not around the front — oh, you found him then …"
"Induced Regeneration, using up all my metabolized Arton Energy as a primary power source, just enough to not only heal me up but restructure my neural and cranial architecture to accommodate your mind, dumbo!"
"What? I didn't know there was enough of me inside for a partial-"
Another almighty whack, right across the top of his skull. The Doctor used the momentum of the blow to stagger out her reach.
"Have you been working out?"
"She's been hitting her hand across an oak tree for over a month."
"And you've still got all my stuff!"
Oh right. The various suitcases he'd been avoiding as of late.
"Now come on!" Donna began marching towards the still open doors of the TARDIS.
The Doctor turned towards Wilf, who shrugged in that what can I do? fashion that exactly mirrored his own state of mind.
The Doctor trudged back towards the TARDIS
Wilf smiled. Now Donna was back to normal.
A burst of laughter from the still-open Police Box.
"You choked to death on Pringles?"
A slap, louder than the others put together.
Back to normal.