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FIC: Amalgamation (6/6)

Title: Amalgamation
Series: (none)
Rating: T for the first two parts (naughty comments among... other stuff) and M for the final
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: The Meta-Crisis transforms Donna Noble in a way that only Caan could foresee. No one is prepared for what comes next.
Disclaimer: That this didn't happen proves I own nothing.
Dedication: tardis_mole. I was asking for ideas for another story's ending, and the third idea triggered this plot balrog. I doubt Moley will mind. ;D
Author's Note: Various medical issues coming to play. Along with psychological ones. Be prepared for a ride.

And as of Chapter Three, tardis_mole is the co-author. I got stuck, and my beta saved me. So much that I feel it's only right to give co-author credit from here on.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I won't go into why. I'm just glad to close off another story.


Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five


Amalgamation

Started August 14, 2014
Finished September 15, 2015

CHAPTER SIX: LONG-AWAITED FREEDOM

Once Donna had recovered physically, the Doctor began the lengthy task of blood tests. He immediately found something odd that had been masked by the pregnancy. As it turned out, David had a very good reason for feeling everything Donna had been going through during the birth. Donna’s progesterone levels had had an affect on his body as well as hers, which meant their endocrine systems were joined somewhere. Before he could find out where, he had to work out what it had been doing to David while Donna was pregnant.

It didn’t take long to work it out.

“I need to tell you both something before I go further,” he spoke at Donna’s six-week check-up. He had brought in Sylvia and Wilfred to hear this news. It seemed only fair than everyone heard it together. “Donna’s progesterone levels were affecting David. There is a leak somewhere in your conjoined endocrine system and it’s been growing extra genetic material.”

“You mean I’m pregnant?!” David panicked.

“No, nothing like that,” the Doctor assured him. “Let me explain and then I can answer any questions you have at the end.”

Donna and David both nodded.

“You’re both still regenerating,” the Doctor said. “But it’s left you both stuck in an almost suspended regeneration. Fused together, your regeneration is still happening, but it’s been reduced to a crawl. During the pregnancy, Donna stopped regenerating, but David has kept going. I didn’t realise until now that it could have killed you both. But the pregnancy has given us has been an unexpected bonus. The two sets of DNA have pulled back from each other, probably in an effort to save itself from death. A self-preservation mechanism. It slowed after Abigail’s birth, but it’s now accelerating. I can’t guarantee that I can save you both. I might be left with a choice to save one at the expense of the other. Unless a genetic identifier can be found to target a specific DNA sequence, I might end up losing you both, and even if I can create the identifier I might still lose you both during the separation sequence. Separation has to be within the next twelve months. After that, it’ll be too late.”

Sylvia covered her mouth with her hands. “I can’t possibly choose. How can I choose one?”

“If it’s going to be that dangerous, why not leave well alone?” Wilfred suggested.

“That the problem,” the Doctor replied. “if I do nothing, David’s DNA will swamp Donna’s and she will die. Right now, she’s been the stronger of the two, but David’s DNA has become more aggressive and is exerting itself. He’s slowly killing her.”

Donna and David looked around them at their family and then at the Doctor.

“Then get me out of here,” David decided. “Do whatever it takes, because I am not going to sit here and kill my own sister. You and Abigail need her.”

“It’ll take months to map your anatomy,” the Doctor reasoned. “And by the time I’ve done one MRI I would have to repeat it as your body grows again.”

“Then get started and save Donna,” David replied. “I don’t want to live if she dies so I can live.”

Donna broke down then. But there was nothing she could say.

/=/=/=/=/

The Doctor worked on every scan he could think of and perform. Ultrasounds, xrays, CT scans of the circulatory system and the nervous system, mapping what was connected to what; where the organs were, which brain had control of which anatomical process; what if anything is missing. Detailed MRIs located the leak, a massive hole between Donna’s left kidney and David’s iliac artery. He could plug the gap with a stent, but the reprieve would be brief. The only way to do the job properly was to separate them. David would lose a kidney, but he would live a normal life with just one.

The full 3D images were fascinating for everyone. Two skeletal forms, two sets of organs, everything in perfect duplication. Now that it was done, the Doctor could begin the genetic testing to locate a key identifier sequence with which he could use as a target for the separation. For this, he turned to cancer treatments for ideas.

It took a month, but he burst in on lunch one day, full of such excitement and jubilation.

“I’ve found it!” he cried. “I’ve created a chemical that can locate David’s entire body as a target sequence. I can do it. I can separate you both.”

He was expecting a wall of emotion that mirrored his own. But that didn’t happen. Instead the family grew quiet and subdued.

“And when you’ve done that,” Wilfred voiced quietly. “Will David and Donna both be viable when separated?”

“Yes,” the Doctor replied confidently. “They’ll both be alive and well. David will lose that kidney, unless I operate within the first few hours after separation. But it can be saved.”

Donna got to her feet, but it wasn’t her who spoke. It it wasn’t her tears that rolled down her teaks.

“I don’t want to be separated.”

“David?” Sylvia blurted out. “How can you say that?”

“It’s the truth,” David insisted. “I’m connected to Donna, and she to me. What happens if we don’t like each other afterwards? What if one of us dies during the procedure? It happens. You can’t guarantee anything.”

“No,” the Doctor agreed. “But I am not going to leave you conjoined. It’s certain death.”

“But she won’t like me after,” David wept. “I don’t want to be abandoned. And I know she feels the same. She won’t say it, but she thinks people will alienate her after it’s done, and me most of all. Tell him Donna.”

“David’s right,” Donna put in. “I know alone. I had that for years, and now I have a sibling and you want to take him away from me. It’ll be so quiet,” she sobbed. “When he’s not here... I’m scared he won’t be there anymore.”

Her voice broke then, and the Doctor sucked in an unsteady breath. He went to them and hugged the both. He let them cry, and cried with them. And when they quieted, he sat down with them, and addressed their fears.

“What you’re feeling is very real and understandable and justified. We knew this was a risk, we know the risks ahead. But we have to take that chance. You’re losing half of your self. You are going to feel as if the other has deserted you. You are going to feel abandoned and alienated by the other. You will have moments where you hate each other and hate me for going ahead with the separation. It’s all normal. Separating conjoined twins is likened to mourning and for very good reason. Suddenly, you’re alone. Suddenly you can be apart from the other. Suddenly you can go to the toilet without someone being there with you and rating your farts.”

Donna huffed a laugh through her tears. She had not liked that about David at all, outwardly. But then she had ignored him whenever he did it and called him a normal annoying brother. it hadn’t stung as much as she had hoped it would.

“But think of all the things you’ll able to do,” the Doctor suggested gently. “You’ll be able to go out and meet people, be seen, be able to laugh and talk and hold hands and hug each other. You’ll be able to be like normal siblings. And you’ll have your privacy back,” he added.

Donna’s face turned red enough for two faces.

“You can do this,” Sylvia encouraged. “You’re both strong. You can work through the rough patches together afterwards.”

/=/=/=/=/

“Are you certain you've done everything you possibly can, Doctor?”

He met Sylvia's intense gaze as evenly as his trembling frame could. “Yes, his grown genetic material is finally enough to support the rest of him. We could've done this a month sooner, but you know that wasn't possible.”

Sylvia's eyes drifted to her father, or rather to the bundle in his arms. The wedding night's result, Abigail Martha Noble, born last year. She had developed enough that she was not completely dependent on the mental connection with Donna to survive. Mercifully she was asleep, having been fed and changed before they set foot inside the TARDIS.

Donna's body was shaking hard. The words that came out were her brother's. “We won't be awake for this, will we?”

“No,” the Doctor stressed. “I made certain that neither of you would feel a thing. At least at first. There might be a moment just when you two are finally separated, but it'll take a moment. But try to remain absolutely still. One slight movement and the separation could fail and kill you both. David has been given a mild sedative to help. But Donna you might feel its effects as well.”

“Right,” Donna muttered. “Let's not waste time. We're scared enough as it is.”

Her body got on the main bed, next to the development medium bed. “Get it over with, Spaceman,” she whispered.

“Good luck, Donna, David,” Wilfred said softly.

“Yes, good luck, my children,” Sylvia added.

The Doctor placed the modified chameleon arch headgear on her head, to facilitate the separation. He touched Donna's hands. “Love you both,” he whispered as they both squeezed back. Then he stepped back and put his hand over the switch. “Allons-y,” he whispered.

The bed and the arch glowed brightly, looking like the fires of regeneration. Sylvia and Wilfred looked away because their eyes could not stand up to the glow. The Doctor however did not flinch, merely squinting against the brightness. He owed it to them to not turn away.

Soon the second bed was also glowing, and a human shape began to form on it. Donna's body did not change size, but the second form grew into the same size and build as the Doctor.

And he was naked. There was no way to avoid that.

After a long while, the glow faded and the arch fell off Donna's head. She yelped, but was more startled by the gasping for breath happening on the bed beside her. She looked over and her eyes widened. “Oh my god! David, is that you?”

David slowly opened his eyes, still groggy from the sedative, but he was more or less awake, just very relaxed. He managed to lift his head a little to takes stock of his new body, but he wasn’t strong enough or awake enough to keep it up for long. His mum held up a mirror for him so he could see his face. His own face. He had never had his own face before.

“Whoa. Dig the ginge!” he crowed in delight, his voice slurred as if drunk.

The Doctor, much chagrined, had to agree as he covered David with a blanket. “Yeah. And I’m envious,” he admitted.

But it was short-lived. Finally, he could hug his brother-in-law, and Donna could hug her brother. He looked like her, with perhaps a little more of her dad in him than her. And she loved him.

“Be gentle with him,” the Doctor spoke as Donna attempted to hug the stuffing out of David. “He’s still haemorrhaging. I need to prep him for immediate surgery. But they’re both safe and the separation was a complete success.”

Sylvia and Wilfred hugged David for the first time before the Doctor had to whisk him away into the operating theatre. Only then did Donna break down. The three of them hugged each other for the entire hour it took to seal the hole in David’s kidney. Until he returned, still groggy, they didn’t want to think about what it would be like if he died. Abigail’s presence was a necessary distraction, especially for Donna who found her waking daughter's smile a balm.

But there he was, oxygen mask over his face, attached to monitors and a morphine drip, and a grin the size of Saturn’s Rings.

“Hey, sis, now he gives me the pain relief,” he slurred.

Donna grinned. “Hey, time squirt,” she spoke softly. “You better get well soon, or I’ll switch the morphine off.”

“Time squirt?” He frowned. “You looked in the mirror lately?”

“Don’t have to. I have you,” she countered teasingly.

“I don’t know what mirror you were looking into. Coz I don’t have milk jugs. Or, in your case, milk pitchers.”

“Aw! Just you wait, you-”

“Aaand visiting times are over,” the Doctor cut in, fearing an all out war in his infirmary. Repairing a kidney was one thing, but reattaching limbs was something else entirely. “Short ears in the room, remember? She's already picked up more words than you know.”

Donna pressed her lips together. She leaned close to kiss her brother’s cheek lovingly. “Sleep. I’ll see you later.”

Sylvia hid a smirk and ruffled her son’s orange hair. “Glad you made it through, sweetheart. Rest now and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Night, Mum.”

“Yeah, ni-night, David,” Wilfred put in, giving his hand a gentle pat.

“Wait,” David gasped. “I want to see Abigail. I can feel her sensing me.”

Donna had taken Abigail from her mother's arms when she stepped back from hugging David, and stepped closer so the two could lock eyes. The instant Abigail’s eyes fixed on him she squealed and reached out for a hug. Donna had to help David hold her and he tiredly grinned as little arms wrapped around his neck and his jaw was peppered with baby kisses.

The Doctor felt warmed by the sight, and relieved that she readily accepted David. The tears he saw, those of joy for finally getting his own hug, made his own eyes water. He wondered when he would have to break up the meeting. He hated to end the hugging and cooing between uncle and niece.

Luckily, David motioned for Donna to take her when he knew he was flagging too much. Abigail waved night-night to him as her family took her to her home and bed.

The Doctor watched them all leave and turned to his brother-in-law. “How do you feel? Comfortable?”

David nodded. “When I’m well enough to leave hospital, there’s a guy I want to meet. He’s hot.”

The Doctor nodded. “Thought as much. Well, as long as it’s not Jack.”

David laughed, but groaned as laughing hurt his stitches. “Don’t make me laugh. It hurts.”

The Doctor smirked gently. “Oh how I could use this power,” he voiced slowly.

David blinked up at him, suddenly afraid. “May I make a suggestion?”

“Certainly.”

“Go home. Make love to your wife and have another child... Without me getting in the way. I want to be an uncle, not an amalgamation of my sister.”

“Done. Any other requests?”

But David didn’t answer. He was finally asleep. The first real sleep he had ever had. The first of many.

THE END

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Sep. 16th, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
Awwww, this is such a lovely ending; especially after the way I fretted at the end of the previous chapter. The hug between David and Abigail was so warming! May David now get the man of his dreams and Donna regain hers. :D
tkel_paris
Sep. 17th, 2015 04:31 am (UTC)
Oh, he will. Sooner or later. :D And she will. :DD Welcome! :DDD
alimoseby
Sep. 18th, 2015 05:41 am (UTC)
Well...the CenturyLink issue is sort of fixed. The first tech support person I talked to fried my wifi in the modem. The second tech I talked to, called the local Best Buy and reserved a modem for me. Got internet back. Still slow, but leaving it for now. Anyhow...

So. They're safe. I can breathe now. =) And they've each got their own body. And is it wrong that I see the guy David likes as Ianto? Because I do for some reason, and his canon ending sucked ass. =/ I think David and Ianto would be a good pair.

Abigail sounds adorable and I love the image of David cuddling her. I do. So sweet.

I loved it. =)

~Ali ♥︎
tkel_paris
Sep. 18th, 2015 05:48 am (UTC)
*sighs* I may have to nab that icon. :)

Ouch. I was looking into CenturyLink here, but they don't have service in my area. And now I'm hearing stories that Prism isn't a real service... *groans* Glad to hear from you in any case.

*giggles* Well, Jack would have mixed feelings, but I think he could accept losing Ianto to David. I actually have no idea who the hot guy is David has in mind. :)

Abigail is adorable. How could a daughter of Ten and Donna not be? :D Man, I wish I had artistic skill...

Welcome! And thank you for reviewing.
jennytork
Sep. 20th, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC)
This was so beautiful!!! Thank you!
tkel_paris
Sep. 22nd, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
Welcome! :D
develish1
Nov. 2nd, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
An unusual twist on the meta-crisis, but I loved it

I'd also have to agree with alimoseby, I can totally see David with Ianto, they'd make a lovely couple :)
tkel_paris
Nov. 24th, 2015 06:11 am (UTC)
Hi. Sorry for the delay. NaNoWriMo takes a lot out of a girl's time.

I'm liking coming up with unusual ideas more and more. So thank you. And... perhaps it IS Ianto. :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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