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FIC: Flipped, Book 3 (3/12?)

Title: Flipped, Book 3
Rating: heavy T, with some M/MA
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: David Noble thought he had come to terms with the strange feelings the female Doctor inspired, and it seemed to be helped by Martha Jones joining them. But when the Aubertide threaten the Doctor, protecting her requires a cover that will test his sanity and his ability to find the right thing to do. Written for tardis_mole.
Required Disclaimer: The summary should be enough to tell you I own nothing.
Dedications: My good friend tardis_mole, for helping me discover my talent at editing and for being an inspiration. You've challenged me to go beyond what I previously thought I would like, and so this is the farthest I've gone from my comfort zone so far. Who knows where I'll go next?
And another important shout-out: sykira, whose LJ post about John Barrowman's comments about how Doctor Who could eventually go was the ultimate spark for this idea. So I suppose that means the ultimate blame for this lies with the Barrowman. I can only imagine what he would think, although I suspect he would heartily approve. :P
Author's Note: Originally spawned from a different idea that split into three, this is a new version of one of those ideas revived as a birthday present. And it's spawned a slightly AU version as a Christmas present. The original prompt from TM boiled down to this: “The Doctor and Donna in a situation that's never been done before.” Ask and ye shall receive, my friend. Enjoy the second sequel. :D A VERY Belated Happy Birthday, TM! :DDD

Special Disclaimer: I refuse to be held responsible for any $2000/₤2000 lattes, spit-takes, fainting spells, workplace/school gaffes, or falling against/from things that might happen if you're not careful while reading this story. Especially in certain chapters. Read at your own risk. (I put this in because I was warned by one of my betas, cassikat, that my emails should come with a spit-take warning. So I'm looking out for y'all. ;D)

And TM, be careful that you don't hyperventilate from reading some of the sections. I know you. :P And so sorry for the delay. At least I have a legitimate excuse for not working on it last year; we had our balrog to work on. :D

Thanks to cassikat and bas_math_girl for betaing. Couldn't have done it without y'all.


Chapter One / Chapter Two


Flipped, Book 3

Started July 14, 2013
Finished December 31, 2015

CHAPTER THREE: WE'RE WHAT?!?!

David stared at Martha, jaw slack. He slowly recovered the ability to move, the ability to speak having deserted him for the time being. He took the birth and marriage certificates and stared at them. It looked genuine, having spot-on stamps and a realistic birthdate given the Doctor's current looks. Martha was listed as a wedding witness, and it looked like her signature.

“How the hell did the Old Girl manage this?” he exploded. “And why did she do this?!”

Martha swallowed. “This isn't going to be too hard to manage, will it? Aside from your being stuck with dealing with the fallout?”

He groaned. “Oh, my God! We can't use the TARDIS to go elsewhere. Who knows if the Aubertide will be able to follow us still!”

“And knowing the Doctor's luck, we'd end up somewhere that I'll not be so keen on. I'm not sure how well we can trust that we could locate trunks that would work for the time we might end up in.”

The memory of Martha's concerns when they went to Shakespeare's time made him blanch. He tried hard to not think about what happened when Queen Elizabeth I appeared. Clearing his throat, he sank slightly. “Well, time to face my time again. But I'm going to need help.”

The TARDIS screen flickered to life, startling them both. The Doctor appeared, looking in a big hurry.

“David, Martha, if you're watching this, then I've succeeded in using the Arch to become human. The TARDIS will only show this once it's worked. She won't let it not work, but there's no time to explain things properly to you. So I have to give you some warnings and guidelines about what to do. This is more extensive than I'd like, but I know you, David, would rant – with cause – about me withholding important information. So I'll tell you anything I can think of.

“One: I need you both to watch over me and keep me safe. That could be a challenge since I'm not known for doing what I'm told, and I have trouble imagining that will alter with the transformation. The Chameleon Arch can change biology, but it doesn't change the core of the person, their psychology. Well, not on a major level. Just enough to fit within the mores of the time.

“Two: If I show any signs of tinkering to create things that I unconsciously miss, then you need to keep me from inventing anything before its time. The TARDIS will provide a quick reference to help you, unless we're lucky and land in modern times. But I could still think of things, so be careful.

“Three: Don't let me eat pears. I can't stand them, and I don't want to have that be the first thing I taste when I return to myself.”

They exchanged a narrow-eyed look. She thought that was important?!

“Four: Don't let me alter history. We're supposed to land somewhere where I'm unlikely to do harm to begin with, but you know me. That's not an assurance.”

Martha snorted. It was like the Doctor saying 'what could go wrong'.

“Five: Don't let me even consider standing for Parliament or any kind of government. I left Gallifrey partly because I didn't like being part of the Council, and I don't want to have to untangle myself from human politics. I hate politics, but if the human me gets mad enough she might try to fix things. And you know the stereotypes about angry gingers.”

David raised his eyebrows.

“Six: Make sure I have clean knickers everyday. I haven't shed all of my bloke habits, and you know stuff like that will catch unwanted attention. We don't need anyone getting strange ideas about me. Well, more so than usual.”

Which both humans knew wasn't saying much.

“Seven: Don't let me try the new flavor of Pringles. I'm likely to do something stupid. David has seen me after eating all those awful artificial things. And really don't let me eat them on my period. Martha, ask him how bad it made my symptoms if you must.”

Martha glanced at David, who didn't take his eyes off the screen. He did quickly mouth, “Don't ask.”

“Eight: Don't let me go on any of those clothing sprees that human females seem to like. I don't need anything more than what I already have. But especially don't let me own any additional heels. A woman does not need more than four pairs of black heels, and certainly not four pairs of red shoes. There are cultural implications behind that and I don't want to approach them ever again.”

Martha let out a short giggle. It was too much. David just cringed.

“Nine: I can drive, but David knows it's best if I don't. I'm not used to anything other than my old Bessie, and she's still inside the TARDIS.”

Martha made a mental note to ask about Bessie.

David resisted the urge to groan.

“Ten: Don't let me eat pickled onions. I'll know if you did, and you don't want to be around me when I do.”

David noticed Martha's inquisitive look, and nodded with a pinched expression. Yes, he didn't want a repeat of the last time, either.

“Eleven: Don't let me anywhere near Boris Johnson. Just don't! I'm likely to show myself up, and I can't do that since he last saw me as someone else.”

Even David looked askance over that one.

“Twelve: Don't let me abandon you. Either of you. No matter how nutty I get or upset I get with what you do to keep me safe, don't let me leave for any reason.”

“Thirteen: Please don't hate me for anything I might do as a human. I don't know what the TARDIS will do, but believe me when I say that whatever she creates is a part of me. And I will be able to let you both in. I just don't know what I'll think you are to me.”

David looked back at the wedding rings.

“Fourteen: leave the TARDIS alone. She'll operate on the barest energy levels possible, avoiding detection. You should be able to leave her be since I made sure you can access this message from your computers and phones. A text only version on the phones, of course, but it'll still be there.”

Might be helpful, Martha thought.

“And last, and most important, if the Aubertide do come and there's no other choice, open the watch. By then I'll have a plan.” The Doctor's image paused and sighed. “Good luck, both of you. I'll see you in about three months.”

And the screen went blank again.

The two exchanged another look, stared down at the Doctor, and then looked back at each other.

Martha's lips twisted slightly. “She didn't say anything about what to do if she thinks you're her husband.”

David paled just a little. “I know,” he whispered. “I don't know what to do.”

Thinking back to all the discussions she'd recently had with each of them, she wondered if she could say that this was an opportunity.

No, it wasn't the time. He wasn't ready. The panic in his eyes was too strong.

/=/=/=/

David had carefully carried the Doctor inside, and laid her on the couch. It seemed a safe place to let her wake, even if he had no clue what to do when she woke.

“What time is it?” Martha looked at her own watch, remembering that the TARDIS could manage to make the timepieces be exactly the current time. “Ooh, it's just part seven thirty-four the day after we last left.”

He groaned. “I need to go in to the clinic! At least my bag's ready, but I don't know how long I can spare waiting here.” He ran a hand through his hair. “God, this is nothing like I had planned or thought possible.”

Martha sighed. He needed a distraction so he could refocus and prepare for work. “Let's make some breakfast. Maybe we'll find some answers over a meal.”

While the tea prepared, they sat over fruit and some toast. Neither of them felt like eating anything more. Nor did they have the time with him needing to leave soon.

And he was not sure if he wanted to leave before the Doctor woke. Well, the version she had been turned into by the TARDIS. He knew that was merely delaying the sort of confrontation that would happen eventually. It was probably best if he had a better idea of what she thought their circumstances were and how they met.

David broke the silence. “What's next on your schedule?” Maybe talking about what had to done in their lives anyway would help settle them both. “Can you stick around to keep an eye on her and learn everything you can about what she thinks was in our shared past? I don't want to say anything that'll make it harder to keep her safe.”

Martha tried to remember, but had to resort to looking at her mobile. “I have my next exam next week, so I have time to study. Yeah, I can stay for several hours. There are books I can reference here. I should still be able to come over and ask questions. It won't raise any concern given the cover story.”

He paled. “Shit, the weekly family dinner is the night after tomorrow. I have to introduce her as my wife.” He covered his face, rubbing it fiercely. “This could be a disaster.”

“They know about th-” Martha cut herself off before David could look up in alarm. “Her, I mean? Maybe visit them and give them a warning to not mention anything about the time before. At least not until we know what 'Donna' thinks she knows.”

He rubbed his face. “Bugger, I have to tell several people just to make sure I can keep her from causing any big messes when they all find out that I have to pretend I'm married to her.”

Martha was pretty sure that it was not pretending to the woman in the other room.

Curie suddenly left David's side and hurried back into the living room. They listened a moment and realized they could hear movement. Donna Noble was awake. Here came the first test of their acting abilities.

Donna entered the room, frowning and seemingly unaware that Curie was following her. Her eyes fixed on David in exasperation. “I was asleep on the couch! In my clothes, like a flipping kid! What did you let me do that for?!”

David and Martha both cringed at the tone. The accent had changed, too. Where her accent had held a hint of East London before, now it was completely West London, like she had grown up somewhere close to Chiswick if not actually in it. Like she might have been a neighbour of David's growing up.

He however managed to smile bashfully. “Well, you were tired. I didn't have the heart to wake you when you needed your rest, so I carried you in.”

She sighed and smiled in affectionate exasperation. “Next time, help me to bed. Or if I won't wake, carry me. I'll be more comfortable.”

“Okay.” What else could he say? He still needed to know how she thought they had met. The TARDIS had not been exactly forthcoming with information. Not that he should've expected it since she had powered herself so far down. “Sorry about that, Donna.”

She smiled softly at him, brightening immediately. “Forgiven.”

Donna looked at Martha, who tried to not tense since there was no telling what this human version knew about her. And she wondered how successful she was.

But the older woman merely smiled as she went for a mug for tea. “Oh, hello, Martha! Sorry I interrupted your studying, but we did need to get home. You sleep any in the car?”

Time with the Doctor and David had made Martha quicker on her feet than before, and she'd done well enough then. “A bit. I'll catch a nap later, if I can. Else go to bed early. I do have an early start tomorrow.”

“Well, good to know that Britain will have another fine doctor in her midst. Anyone David took on as a protégé won't disappoint.”

The two companions exchanged a quick relieved glance when she was distracted with pouring tea for them all. Martha's face went through several expressions as she tried to find something to say. David, who could normally find something to say to fill a silence if he thought it needed filling, was also drawing blanks and his face was even more expressive.

Donna managed to carry all three mugs at once without spilling – quite the feat. “What's the plans for the day, David?”

He looked at the clock, and paled. “I have to go.” He got up, looking to confirm his work bag was where it should be. It was.

“Work? But we just got married,” Donna protested, springing to her feet.

“And work knows nothing about us yet,” he said, placating her before she could get angry. “They were expecting me back today. I can't go back on my word, and I'd feel awful if they needed me today and I pulled a sicky.”

She pouted and touched his jacket. “You'll schedule some time off for a honeymoon?” she begged on a whisper.

The look in her eyes broke his heart and made him feel both like a heel and want to launch a series of swears at the Old Girl. “I'll talk with my colleagues and see how much time they can let me have on short notice.”

The worst part was that had this whole thing been his idea he would've called the day before and negotiated with his colleagues then. But with it all dumped on him like it was, he had to fake it. After all, he had no idea what she thought they had had time for the night before.

Donna sighed heavily. “I suppose I have to be satisfied with that. Didn't let you have the chance to call them yesterday. And you'll get more time later on? So we can go somewhere, just the two of us?”

“Of course,” he promised, blushing at the look in her eyes and worried about what she expected for the evening. “Martha, can you...?” He trailed off, and gave her a significant look within a mere second.

She knew this was more for Donna's benefit than theirs, so she nodded, hoping it looked natural if Donna was looking. “I've a rare day off. I can stick around, help Donna however she needs it.”

“Oh, I've been here before, so I know where things are in the kitchen. Might need some help moving my bags upstairs.” She laughed suddenly. “This was kind of a sudden decision for us both, so I'm guessing that cupboard of yours isn't ready for my things, David?”

He knew his face lost a little more color, and he prayed she didn't notice. “Um, no. We can figure that out when I get home.”

She laughed wryly. “Yeah, you'd probably rather wait before I mess with your organization. We can try to settle on ideas tonight, or tomorrow. I could always use something temporary for whatever I need. I've lived out of suitcases before.”

That made him feel bad. “Just because you have don't mean you should have to.”

“I'm not going to inconvenience you. Not this early on, that's for certain. We'll agree upon it together. See you tonight.” She leaned in and kissed him on the lips. She didn't notice how knocked for six he looked. “I'll look after Curie, see to the laundry, and fill our cupboards. Have a good day, love! Be right back, Martha.” She breezed out of the room, and Curie followed her in curiosity.

Martha waited a moment, and then firmly tapped his arm. “Work, Dr. Noble!” she hissed on a whisper.

David came out of his stupor, blinking rapidly and mouth moving silently. He shook himself, and grabbed his work bag. He leaned in to whisper frantically, “I'm hurrying over to see Nerys and Emily. They usually come over to check on Curie, even if we weren't expected to be back, so I have to intercept them. They can't see her without being warned, especially the twins!”

“How are you going to explain it to them?” she asked, just as quiet and frantic. “She's going to see the pictures of them you have all over here and wonder what's wrong if you try to keep her from them. And how do you tell it to the twins? 'Uncle David's friend hurt her head, and her memory's gone silly. You need to call her 'Aunt Donna' until she remembers, and tell no one about who she really is'?!”

He blanched again. “I've got to go.” With that he walked out as quickly as he could without it looking like he was actually fleeing while he could.

She suppressed a groan. “Lovely,” she muttered under her breath. “I'm stuck babysitting a Human Doctor who thinks she's David's wife. And he's still not ready to face his feelings. I am going to make the Doctor owe us both for this.”

“Martha?” Donna called out.

She nearly jumped out of her chair. “Yeah?”

“Would you help me remember where the nearest Tesco is? I'd like you to help me locate enough to make David's favorite meals. He stocks his supplies well, but I need to add more feminine ones. We did marry in a hurry. I'll buy you lunch for your trouble!”

“Okay, thanks,” she called back, not sure what else to say. It was going to be a long day. How could the TARDIS impose on them all like this?

That led to some thinking, and Martha couldn't help but wonder. Could the TARDIS have planned this to force David and the Doctor to break through the emotional and psychological stalemate?

She knew the ship didn't always take her occupants to her pilot's intended destination. It was the subject of a lot of debate between the Doctor and David, and apparently it had been this way for a while – even though David was always returned to whenever he wanted to be.

But this had been a matter of life or death for the Doctor. Surely the Old Girl, as the Doctor called her, wasn't that sneaky!

Martha's eyebrows raised. “Or is she?” she whispered to the air. “With so much danger would she dare?”

CHAPTER FOUR: WARNINGS AND SHOPPING

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Dec. 30th, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)
Boris made it in. YAY!! Sorry... I shouldn't be as pleased as I am about that. ;D

Oooh! So what misunderstanding happened about the red shoes? I spy another possible DVD extra.

*helps David calm down a bit* He's going into work? Is he mad? It's his honeymoon, and Donna would be rightly suspicious. Poor Martha got lumbered with coping with it all, so David is very fortunate that she can think fast on her feet.
tkel_paris
Dec. 30th, 2015 06:36 am (UTC)
Still don't know what's the significance of that, but... I went with it. :)

I believe that came from some discussion with Moley. It stuck in my head and I included it. Can't think of what it was right now.

Ahem. As someone who's contentious about work and other obligations you need to make sure you don't offend those you work with. And he has obligations that he can't just drop because he - according to the TARDIS - impulsively got married. So he's got to smooth things over a bit. Good thing the TARDIS gave Donna memories to know that he's that attentive, which she WILL appreciate. ;)
tardis_mole
Jan. 1st, 2016 10:48 am (UTC)
Pears *cackles* Thinking of TLBB. :DDDDD

Pringles. *cackles*

Pickled onions. *cacklefit*

Boris Johnson *snortfit*

Oh yes, the TARDIS played her Ace card. *gigglefit*
tkel_paris
Jan. 3rd, 2016 06:43 pm (UTC)
TLBB?

Well, the more I read ingredients the less I like things like that.

BMG's idea, I think.

Also BMG's. I don't know who it is, but I included it anyway.

Probably... ;)
tardis_mole
Jan. 3rd, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC)
Time Lord Baked Beans. :D

Pringles are disgusting, even though they taste nice. You could make them at home with real mashed potato. But I haven't tried yet so I can't tell you how successful it is.

Pickled onions leave me seriously ill for weeks. I avoid them.

*giggles* Boris Johnson is famous for making really weird comments and jokes. But he's very clever. He does it to gain your attention. When he has that, he then launches into the real speech. Brilliant mind.

:D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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