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FIC: Royal Bloodlines (1/1)

Title: Royal Bloodlines
Genre: Doctor Who
Rating: T (probably for language)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Gallifrey survived the Time War, but they need fresh blood. The Doctor reluctantly suggests marrying a Human woman, but someone with influence over him has some requirements before granting consent.
Disclaimer: The summary is enough to say that I own nothing except this idea. Oh, and the Time Lords are brutal when they don’t like someone. Just a warning.
Dedication: tardis_mole, with whom I shared a plot bunny marathon lasting several days. We each did a version of this particular plot bunny, waiting to share until we’d each written our drafts. If you're on Moley's list, you can read The Noble Motte.
Author’s Note: Inspired by visiting Castle Cardiff and learning that the name “Mott” implies Celtic or Gaelic royal roots dating back to the earliest known kingdoms in the land.


Royal Bloodlines

Started June 21, 2016
Finished June 22, 2016


“How do we solve our population crisis, Doctor?”

The Doctor ran his hands through his short hair and paced. The actions would have once been considered undignified. But times were different; he was once again - unfortunately - Lord President and having to lead his people out of the Time War.

They had come a long way, but he hadn’t saved his people only to let them watch themselves go extinct.

“I have an idea, but many of you won’t like it.”

“Given that our alternative is to die out, we are inclined to accept a great deal,” the High Council member continued.

“I have confirmed that exiled members of our people have seeded the populations of a number of planets, and we know from Andred and Leela that Gallifreyan DNA can be combined with other species’ DNA. We must begin intermarrying, bringing in fresh DNA to revitalise our species.”

“We will change!”

“It’s called evolution. We stagnated for so long that we’ve completely forgotten how to deal with change. But the Gallifreyan and Time Lord heritage would live on in this new species. Or several species, depending on how much we mix. Which will it be? Dying out completely, or starting new forms of Gallifreyans?”

The High Council gave in surprisingly fast. It seemed everyone valued carrying on their planet’s legacy in one way or another more than xenophobia and the old biases held sway.

“You intend to lead the way?”

The Doctor started at the new voice, even though it was not unfamiliar to him. “Mother, I believe I am more likely to be the first.”

“You cannot simply choose a bride as you have chosen your associates. You are of the most honourable bloodline of Gallifrey of those that are left, and would be considered a prince or even a king on other worlds. Your bride must come from equally excellent lineage.”

“I’ve noticed that many times on these other worlds, nobility does not always equal true class.”

“But sometimes it does. Swear on our ancestors that you shall seek out a woman descended from kings.”

“You mean a current royal? Mother, do you even know how much attention that would attract?”

“Pazithi, no! But a woman who hails from royal ancestry. The more ancient, the better. Swear it.”

It was not a hardship, even though it might be a tall order. At least if he looked on Earth. “Would it matter if any of the ancestors were created on - as I believe it’s sometimes said - the wrong side of the sheets?”

The Doctor’s Mother grimaced, but was thoughtful. “So long as she is a worthy partner for you, I would excuse that. It is no different than being born within wedlock, and I am aware that many Human kings sowed their seed widely.”

That, he felt, was putting it politely.

/=/=/=/=/

“Where are we?”

The Doctor sighed harshly and threw his overcoat on. “Come on. There are things I’ve been trying to tell you, but you haven’t been listening.”

Rose perked up. “What?” She followed him eagerly. “You know you can just tell me.”

“I did. And you misunderstood. So I’m taking you to where you can’t misunderstand for long, because you’re not listening to what I’m actually saying.”

Only then did Rose take notice of her surroundings. “The air… it’s different. And the-! Oh! We’re in a…”

“It’s a glass sphere. The Citadel of Gallifrey. Welcome to the home of the Time Lords.”

His voice was deadpan, not exactly welcoming. He opened the doors and led her inside a room.

“Pardon my intrusion, but I’ve discovered that my latest companion needs to be informed of a few things, and there’s no one better than the person I must answer to. Mother?”

Rose’s eyes widened at the sight of all the people in red robes, and the weird headdresses. But one woman walked forward, grabbed her hand and poked her finger with something tiny but sharp. At the same moment another person ran some object by her head.

“Ow!”

“How old are you?” the woman demanded.

“Nineteen going on twenty.”

“Actually, seventeen going on eighteen,” the Doctor interjected. “She’s lying about her age and she missed a year. She should be going on nineteen now.”

Rose gasped and met his eyes in horror. She didn’t even notice the woman walking away and putting the blood into a device.

“What?” the Doctor said, blithely. “I read your envelope from the Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue. You only get your NHI card during your sixteenth year, on or around your birthday.”

“You’ve known all this time?!”

“Yes. Ever since I got the dates wrong and your mum slapped me. And you think I wouldn’t have figured out that you’re still developmentally a child by you falling under the influence of those tainted chips when Mickey didn’t? I had hopes that you would grow up into someone brilliant.”

“I wouldn’t bother, my son,” said his mother, imperiously. “Her DNA is pure commoner, poisoned by what she did to cause this you to be born. And there’s the matter that her brain is not wired for intelligence. She is good for little else than servicing men who can’t get a woman without paying for one on her world.”

“You’re calling me a prostitute?!” Rose screamed. “I can think for myself, and I have standards!”

“I can tell that you were pregnant three linear years ago. Given the lack of permanent injuries I assume that you weren’t forced, even though you are plainly still not mature enough to make that choice. How is it that you were not punished?”

“She had to leave school,” the Doctor said. “The young man in question was imprisoned. And it’s hardly fair to punish a girl for being taken. Would you have a girl forced to marry a man who forced her?”

“No, but she wasn’t forced, was she? She was pretending to be older. Such behaviour ought to be rewarded with imprisonment and exile from all males until she shows an ability to restrain herself. Otherwise she ought to accept her fate and receive compensation for attempting to satisfy paying Humans. Although I question whether she has the patience to become any good at it.”

Rose was so indignant that she could only splutter. No coherent words formed.

“Why would you keep her in your company, my son? Couldn’t you just leave her if you couldn’t kill her for killing you?”

“I don’t kill where it’s unnecessary. You know that. And killing her would be unfair to her mother, for she is her only child. And if you haven’t noticed, I like to make sure my companions become better people than they started as.”

“Has she become better?”

He opened his mouth, but then closed it right away.

His mother nodded. “She has technology on her that she shouldn’t.”

The Doctor silently took the TARDIS key from Rose, and also removed her phone. He quickly swapped the battery for her old one, sonicked the phone to remove all traces of the TARDIS, and put it back in her pocket.

Once he stepped back, another Time Lord activated a lever and then pressed it. Rose vanished.

The Doctor knew she had been sent back to her point of origin. Powell Estates.

“Next time, my son, be clear from the start what you mean. You shall save yourself a galaxy of trouble.”

“Don’t I know it,” he muttered.

“And the next time a companion won’t listen, just leave them!”

/=/=/=/=/

He made a point of avoiding East London for a while, to ensure that he couldn’t encounter Rose randomly. He didn’t want to see her again without a wife as a shield. Preferably one who could give as good as she got.

He carried on, and ran into his next companion by accident. Martha Jones was intelligent, had a level head on her shoulders, and was lovely to look at.

But it dawned on him that she might get the wrong idea from that kiss. Didn’t his mother say he clearly got it wrong in explaining things to females?

So he changed his mind on their first destination. Not that it was any less bumpy.

Although she took immediate notice of their surroundings. “I’m on another world, aren’t I?” she breathed.

“Yes. Welcome to my homeworld.”

“Why have you brought me here?”

“Given some expectations that are on me, I figured it was for the best that we got this out of the way. And since you said you only go for Human blokes it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Martha frowned but followed him. Her eyes went wider at the sight of all the people in red robes and other robes in other colors. “Why do you all look like Humans? Or is it some… trick?”

“Some of my people… seeded your planet long ago,” he whispered. Then he addressed the woman approaching. “Mother, I’m clearing the air between me and the Human who might my companion. That’s what I call those who travel with me these days,” he added to Martha as an aside.

“Does she know about the necessity?”

“No, I don’t think I do,” Martha answered.

“A bit of an awkward topic, Mother,” the Doctor reminded her.

“Point taken,” his mother said. “What’s your name?”

“Martha Jones.”

“Martha Jones, will you submit to giving a sample of your blood and letting us scan your brain?”

“What for?”

“My son?” the woman invited him to explain.

The Doctor sighed. “Martha, my people experienced a brutal war. We’ve been left with a population crisis, and have decided that we will have to locate compatible members of other species in order to survive. Only, since I am their leader, there are stronger standards expected of my future… wife. Seems anyone I travel with is expected to be tested.”

Martha looked around. “I’m not sure I’d want to be part of this, but… you may scan me.”

The Doctor’s mother motioned for her hand. Martha held it out, and held her reaction to a flinch at the prick. She also held still as the Doctor’s mother then scanned her brain.

There was considerable silence as they waited for results. Martha had questions galore, but she felt it selfish to ask.

The Doctor’s mother finally reported. “High intelligence, but not quite the bloodline I’m looking for. Her ancestors were well-born, but not quite royal. So she’s not for you, but I would hardly object to any other Gallifreyan marrying her. We could certainly treat the remnants of her illness.”

Martha was a little flummoxed. “Um… thanks, I think. I’m pretty sure I’d prefer Humans, but… I’m flattered. And… you mean you have a way of making it so I could have children - no matter who the father is?!”

The Doctor cleared his throat. The TARDIS had already told him about her having hepititus, an illness that often led to being discouraged from having children. His mother’s words must have been heaven set to her. “So no problem with me travelling a bit with her?”

“No, but no dot let it interfere with looking for your wife.”

It was a relief. And he was later sure it prevented Martha from having a crush on him, which might have been encouraged by the idea that a Human couldn’t have a child with him.

/=/=/=/=/

The next time was the least fun for him. And he didn’t bring either candidate forward. They somehow found their way to Gallifrey. Worrying enough.

Martha had just gone home, having helped him and his people imprison the Master. At long last. So he was hoping for a little quiet time to repair the Old Girl and figure out where to go next. Maybe he would have a few journeys on his own.

Instead he was summoned by the High Council.

He marched in and saw two women who his senses said were Human, but one was throwing him off. And given how she had been slapped with manacles and was guarded by six guards, he wasn’t the only one.

“How did they get to Gallifrey?!” he cried.

“The Neverwere had a Vortex manipulator,” his mother snapped, her patience plainly at an end. “Along with numerous technology that she shouldn’t have! And she can speak!”

The Doctor’s eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. “How is that possible?!”

“Doctor, will you-?” the woman in question began.

“He’s the Doctor?!” the younger ginger exclaimed. “He looks nothing like him!”

“Never mind that, young lady,” the Doctor’s mother interrupted. “I already scanned both of you.”

“Did you find why the Neverwere can speak?”

“I’m River Song!”

One of the guards tightened his grip, making her cry out.

The Doctor’s mother ignored her. “She was born to Humans, but conceived within a time field. Clearly you need to have more detailed talks when your companions bring their spouses.”

He wanted to bristle at the assumption, but didn’t dare. “How do you know it’s at all my fault?”

“The Gallifreyan DNA she gained from the exposure matches yours.”

His eyes went huge and he shuddered. “Oh, sweet Pazithi! Do you even care that I am, by temporal law and Gallifreyan law, your father?! Or are you such a Neverwere that you don’t care?!”

River looked disoriented and disconcerted, but repentance did not cross her mind. Instead she suddenly spouted a vulgar, expletive and insult-ridden vitriol.

The Doctor rubbed his hands over his face. “That alone would eliminate you for anything, including being a companion. And the other?”

“No royal lineage to speak of, and she’s the Neverwere’s Human mother.”

“You what?!” cried the ginger.

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Mother,” he cautioned. “I don’t think that’s happened for her yet.”

She had the decency to look chagrined. “Sorry. We’ll have to wipe her memory of what happened and condemn the other to Shada.”

River’s eyes popped wide, and she screamed in protest. Only she was so horrified that none of it could be understood. No one could tell you where Shada was, because the location was written in Old Gallifreyan and the only way there was the transports protected by the old magic. Even she had heard of them.

“Trust me,” the Doctor told the ginger, whose name he still didn’t know. “It’s for the best that you don’t remember this. I don’t know if I can even turn her into someone worth saving.”

The look of sadness stuck in his mind for a long while.

/=/=/=/=/=/

“So your people are curious about the ancestry of your companions?”

“Yes, Donna. But you don’t need those papers from your granddad.”

“Spaceman, he took pride in putting this together. He and my dad. I’d rather have it handy.”

The Doctor knew when he was going to lose an argument with Donna. So he cut his losses and just flew them to Gallifrey.

“What are you nervous about, Spaceman? It’s just introducing your friend who saved your life to your people. It’s nothing bigger than that, is it?”

He cringed, but remained silent as he led her out. How could he tell her that he feared the result of this one? Especially when she had announced why she went looking for him.

Donna’s eyes took everything in, admiring and wondering about everything. She wanted to ask so many questions, but sensed that it wasn’t the right time. She was going to take his lead, and had asked if there was anything she needed to know.

He just said to think of good manners. Strange. There had to be more to it than that.

As the Doctor led Donna inside, the whole High Council was on their feet. His mother was practically in the way to meet them, and raised an eyebrow on seeing Donna. “She is more mature than anyone else who has come this way, whether by your doing or not.”

“She’s also absolutely brilliant, but doesn’t believe it.”

Donna gave him an embarrassed look, but remained silent. She wanted to speak, but it was more important to make a good impression. It would make the Doctor look better.

“What’s your name?”

“Donna Noble.”

Immediately the Doctor’s mother’s eyebrows rose. “Will you let us take a drop of your blood and scan your brain?”

“What’s the brain scan for?”

“It’s possible that some of my companions could be deemed capable of handling certain tasks that would make my job easier. The scan tells us your potential.”

His mother gave him a side glance, clearly wondering why he didn’t want to admit to the real reason. “No one else has shown this level of calm, my son.”

“As I said, she’s brilliant.”

Donna cleared her throat. “Okay, let’s get it over with.”

The Doctor’s mother took the sample, noticing that Donna didn’t even flinch over it. Or act rattled by the scan.

Donna waited for the drop to be placed before she risked speaking. “I brought information on my ancestors, in case you had questions. Not that I understand why.”

The Doctor’s mother accepted the papers and quickly read through them; every single one of them, to the Doctor’s surprise. She looked back up. “What do you know about your ancestors?”

“On my dad’s side we can trace as far back as the 1200s of the current era. About then we think an ancestor took a different name because he’s listed as being the son of someone with a different family name. And on my mum’s, my granddad can trace the family line back to the 1100s.”

The Doctor’s face shone with awe as he sucked in a breath. The only families with that ability were usually royalty. Could it be?!

The equipment chimed, and the Doctor’s mother looked at the results. Her eyes went wide.

“Intelligence is high, with an aptitude for languages that I’ve never seen in a Human. And I can trace your DNA further back, Donna. Your father’s ancestor was a direct descendent of Kenneth MacAlpin, considered the first King of Scotland. What is your mother’s family name?”

“Mott,” Donna said, barely getting it out through her shock.

“Then your other genetics make perfect sense. Mott, spelled with or without an ‘e’, is an ancient minor royal name in England that intermarried with all of the royal lines. I know from my own travels that your earliest traced ancestor on that side is a descendant of one of the first chieftains in the area that would one day be known as Acton.”

It was hard to say whose jaw was looser, the Doctor’s or Donna’s.

“It means that you, Donna Eileen Noble, are a daughter of kings on both sides, and thus worthy to become my son’s wife.”

Donna looked at the Doctor with huge eyes. “Wife?! I thought you said you just wanted a mate!”

The Doctor’s face ran through a gamet of emotions. Horror, hope, shock, shame and elation were the most recognizable. His words spilled out in a vomit of sound.

“Donna, you spoke like you’ve given up on love and everything you wanted; marriage, motherhood, and everything associated with it! And you said no when we first met, and told me that I’m not your type. How could I ask you to help me keep my people alive, continue my line at least a few more generations when it didn’t seem like you wanted to help? What I’ve wanted hasn’t mattered to anyone! I was forced into a role from my birth, and even when I tried running away from it I still couldn’t escape it. Companions usually don’t see me as a person but as their ticket of escape from danger or a hum-drum life. I prefer the former to the latter, as anyone would. And what was I supposed to say? That I’ve thought you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and that I would give anything to convince you to give me a chance to!”

Donna was agog. She had completely misread him, all because she knew he was an alien. To get him to stop talking she put her fingers in her mouth and gave her best West Ham whistle.

Everyone in the room stopped and flinched. From the outside several guards rushed in, blasters at ready and looking for the threat.

“Stand down,” ordered the Doctor. “That was just a Human whistling. No danger to the Citadel.”

Donna’s face was stern even as the guards slowly exited. She noticed the continued shock on the faces of the others in the room, like they could not fathom anyone would say no to their leader. Obviously they needed to be knocked down to size; they were all too big for their boots.

Instead she focused on the spaceman who was so nervous he was shaking. She wasn’t inclined to be too generous. Yet. “You’ve been looking for a wife to help you with this population crisis?”

“Yes,” he said, hands going into his pockets.

“And you didn’t tell me because…?”

“You sort of scare me sometimes. I don’t always get the chance to explain myself, because you jump to conclusions.”

“And you still think I’m brilliant?”

“Yes. You deserve so much better than you’ve ever got from anyone, and I want ginger Time Tots.”

She was absolutely silent for ten minutes, arms folded and glaring at him.

No breathing could be heard except for Donna’s. Either the Time Lords had quieted their breaths, or were like the Doctor and needing the respiratory bypass to get air.

At last, Donna spoke. “Well, you have outdone all of my boyfriends without trying. Or were you trying when you made it snow?”

He blushed. It made him look rather young.

Donna finally smiled. “You’re actually rather cute when you’re off-guard. Okay, Spaceman, you can woo me.”

The Doctor’s whoop of joy made her smile, and the other convinced he had lost the rest of his mind. And they still had to follow his leadership.

They could only hope this Human would give him his dignity back.

THE END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jennytork
Jun. 23rd, 2016 12:07 am (UTC)
oh, I love this!!!
tkel_paris
Jun. 23rd, 2016 06:59 am (UTC)
Oh, hey! Feels like I haven't heard from you in ages! Thanks! Feel free to let me know if anything stood out for you. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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