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Title: Altered History: The Runaway Bride
Genre: Doctor Who
Rating: T (language, Donna anger, Doctor anger)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Donna Noble's wedding day wasn't what she expected. Disappearing, kidnapped by robots (twice!), being attacked, and learning she had a worthless fiancée. But the most unsettling part is her savior: an alien ponce who makes all Human men look bad. Even when he is acting like the Spaceman that he is.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm taking the Whoniverse and meddling drastically with it.
Special Author's Note: This opening is listed a little different. A special dedication will be at the end of the chapters. Why? I'm trying to surprise at least some of you. If I say right here what brought about this story, I think it'll spoil it. Suffice to say... be prepared for a ride.
Dedication: Two this time. One is cassikat, who I owe more of The Noble Girl to. So sorry, my friend. I hope this compensates a bit. I know I owe you for birthday and Christmas. And also to hezikiah, whose birthday prodded me to rush to get the first chapter ready and posted. And yes, I owe you a prompt. Muse stalled on it, hard. And a huge thanks to tardis_mole for awesome beta work.


Chapter One


Altered History: The Runaway Bride

Started February 25, 2017
Story Unfinished as of start of posting



Chapter Two: Attempts to Part Ways

“No, wait, wait, wait! I haven't run scans yet!”

Donna flew out of the TARDIS, ignoring the Doctor again. Only she stopped cold in the face of the building before her. “I said 'Saint Mary's'. What sort of Martian are you? Where's this?”

The Doctor frowned and looked at the TARDIS with alarm. “Something's wrong with the Old Girl,” he remarked, a stutter making its presence known.

Donna rolled her eyes. What a Spaceman! Could there be a greater outer space dunce?!

He eyed the readings. “Are you... recalibrating? No... you're digesting!”

At last Donna turned to look back. Her eyes went huge as she saw just what she had stepped out of. It was one of the old police public call boxes her family used to mention!

He looked up at the rotor. “What have you eaten? What's wrong?” His hands raced across the panel as he tried to get a handle on things. “Donna?” he called out. “Think about what you've been through recently. Is there anything that might have caused this?”

He was completely unaware that Donna was walking slowly around the TARDIS exterior, touching the outside to reconcile what she had experienced with what she was seeing. Her eyes were huge, and yet it all felt real beneath her hands. There was a hint of vibration that she couldn't account for.

“What have you done? Any sort of possible alien contacts? If I don't know what you've been exposed to then I can't let you go wandering off in case you're dangerous. Have you seen lights in the sky?”

He was rattling off any idea that came to mind. All the while he kept looking at readings that made no sense. “Or... did you touch something? Something-- anything different? Something strange? Something made out of a sort of metal or... You know, who are you getting married to? Are you sure he's Human?”

He stopped when out of the corner of his eye he saw Donna stumbling backwards, hands over her mouth. Her eyes were so huge over the shock that she turned and ran in her short heels.

“Donna!” he called out, tossing on the satchel he had taken to carrying as he rushed after her. He couldn't let her just leave, and there was no telling what he might need. Luckily he caught up quickly as her shoes were not meant for running in. “Donna, come back into the TARDIS.”

“Leave me alone,” she pleaded. “I just want to get married.”

“It's all right.”

“No way. That box is too... weird.”

“No, it's... it's just... bigger on the inside, that's all,” he said, stutter appearing again.

She scoffed. “Oh! That's all?” She checked her watch and grew more frantic, especially since she needed to slow down. “Ten past eleven. I'm gonna miss it.”

He tried to think of what had worked with Lucie. Only Donna was plainly older, and so he realized he had to wing it. Story of his life. “How about you phone them, tell them where you are?”

“How do I do that?”

“Well, haven't most Humans got a mobile these days?”

Donna stopped, making him stop even before she fixed a glare at him. “I'm in my wedding dress. It doesn't have pockets. Who has pockets? Have you ever seen a bride with pockets? When I went to my fitting, do you think I said 'Alison, the one thing I forgot to say is give me pockets'?!”

He sighed after taking a few breaths. “Okay, okay, okay. This man you're marrying -- what's his name?”

Her manner instantly changed, her eyes sparkling and a smile lighting her face. “Lance.”

Dealing with her wild emotional range left him rubbing his forehead and where she had slapped him. “Good luck, Lance.”

“Oi!” she snapped, pointing a finger at him.

He leaned back in the face of the sharp change in demeanor. This was not something he was used to.

“No stupid Martian is gonna stop me from getting married. To hell with you!” she shouted, running off again.

He groaned. “What is it about this me that the universe sends me Humans that drive me barmey?!”

But he had a mystery to solve. So he ran after her, and she led him to a busy street.

“Taxi!” Donna shouted, waving frantically and yet being ignored. When she noticed that the Doctor had followed her, her mood had changed. “Why's his light on??”

Maybe he had seen enough that he had an answer, after all.

He looked around. “I'll try and help you catch one.”

They tried several times. All without success.

“Oi!” Donna cried yet again, sinking in her shoes.

The Doctor frowned. “Strange effect, this is. Why aren't they stopping?”

She struggled for ideas. “They think I'm in fancy dress.”

He blinked at her. “Humans usually say that about me. Or they used to.”

“Stay off the sauce, darlin'!” one driver shouted, honking at them.

Donna rolled her eyes. “They think I'm drunk.”

Before the Doctor could comment on how obvious it was that she was sober, two guys passing by in their car yelled out of the window, pointing right at Donna, “You're fooling no-one, mate!”

She groaned silently. “They think I'm in drag!” she snapped.

He looked her up and down. “They must be blind.”

“Or they just hate gingers.”

“Now that is simply wrong. But wait, wait, let's see if I can do this.” He put his fingers between his lips and whistled, long and piercing.

Donna winced and covered her ears. But a taxi soon drew to a halt next to them. She clambered inside, and just accepted that the alien ponce was following her. “Saint Mary's in Chiswick, just off Hayden Road,” she instructed as the driver pulled away. “It's an emergency, I'm getting married! Just... hurry up!”

The driver looked at her through his rear-view mirror. “You know it'll cost you, sweetheart? Double rates today.”

“Oh, my God!” She turned to the Doctor. “Have you got any money?”

He winced, suddenly convinced she was ready to slap him again and he had no way out. Honesty was the only option. “Um, no. You?”

“Pockets!” she reminded him sharply, gesturing at her dress.

Soon the taxi screeched to a halt. The Doctor was happy to get out, and waited until Donna got out to slam the door. But his attention was more on the slew of words coming out of Donna. “And that goes double for your mother!” she shouted as the taxi drove off.

The Doctor's eyes were huge. “You're creative with the insults.”

“I'll have him,” she vowed, ignoring the alien yet again. “I've got his number. I'll have him. Talk about the Christmas Spirit.”

“Clearly they lack it toward a hair color that the painters of old loved,” he tossed out.

She spotted something in the distance and hit him on the chest with the back of her hand. “Phone box! A real one! We can reverse the charges!” she declared, all as she led him toward it.

“Wait, wait, wait, how come you're getting married on Christmas Eve?” he asked, as soon as the thought hit him.

“Can't bear it. I hate Christmas. Honeymoon in Morocco. Sunshine -- lovely.”

He didn't grasp it even when they reached the phone box. He still held the door open for Donna as she grabbed the phone.

Her frantic emotions ramped up as her memories failed her. “What's the operator? I've not done this in years. What do you dial? 100?”

He just drew out his sonic screwdriver and aimed at the phone. “Just call the direct. It'll work now.”

The dial tone buzzed on the end of the receiver, and Donna stared at him in surprise. “What did you do?”

He was looking around for the next thing they needed. Distracted, he casually dropped, “Something Martian. Now, phone your family. I'll get money!”

He ran to the nearest cash machine, its logo familiar as signaling the bank that UNIT officers used. He recalled that the senior officers like the Brigadier had overridden his insistence that he needed no money.

Yet his luck continued to run poorly. The man using it in front of him was being aggravatingly slow – much like getting the Time Lord Council to agree to something in a hurry. He rubbed his forehead. “Why do Humans need to spend so much time here?” he muttered under his breath.

It took far too long before the man finally left. He darted forwards, looking around him to make sure no one was paying attention. He used his sonic screwdriver to retrieve cash from the machine.

When he finally got to take the cash, his ears picked up yet another problem. Christmas music, played on horns. The tune was nagging him. He looked in that direction and stilled. A trio of masked Santas playing trumpets approached from a short distance away.

“No, not you again,” he said. “What are you doing here? Why now? Why two Christmas' in a row?”

“Taxi!” Donna shouted.

His attention was diverted as a taxi pulled up beside her. She talked a few seconds with the driver, and then shouted back to him. “Thanks for nothing, spaceman! I'll see you in Court.”

She climbed in and it drove away promptly. And just then he realized that the driver was a masked Santa.

“No, Donna! Wait, wait, wait!”

But the driver was too far away.

The Santas playing the trumpets came even closer. All three of them soon held their trumpets like weapons, aimed right at him.

“Oh, no, you don't!” he declared as he sonicked the cash machine. Notes flew everywhere. He ignored the mad scramble and confusion as the Humans predictably rushed around, attempting to catch the money and stuff it into their pockets. With the Santas backing off, he could run to the TARDIS unopposed.

The Doctor sprinted through the TARDIS doors the instant he got them open. He pounded on the controls, bringing the ship into action. “Come on, Old Girl,” he pleaded as the rotor began reacting. “We need to follow that taxi!”

He traced the taxi's progress on his monitor, and winced as he saw the direction. “The motorway! Oh, this won't be easy, but we can't let them take her for whatever they want her for. It has to be connected to how she appeared in here.”

As they flew toward the taxi, sparks erupted from the TARDIS console. The tilting was dangerous, and he was struggling to stay on his feet.

“I know you would rather deal with a time eddy right now!” he snapped. “Now behave and get me to her!”

Finally he was close enough, but how to keep driving and still rescue her? The teleports might not be working, especially given whatever the Old Girl was digesting. “Well, time to evoke the old 'save the universe with a piece of string' me!”

He quickly attached string to the console. “Have to make this long enough so I can operate the controls from the door. Sorry about the lack of finesse, Old Girl.” The tilting forced him to stumble over to the doors, string between teeth because he needed his hands to stay upright, and threw them open. The TARDIS and the taxi were zooming along the motorway.

When he saw Donna staring wide-eyed at him, hands pressed against the window, he took the string out of his mouth. “Open the door, Donna!” he shouted.

“Do you what?” she called back, muffled by the window.

“Open the door!”

“I can't, it's locked!”

“Of course,” he griped as he sonicked the door.

Instead of opening the door, Donna pushed the window down. “Santa's a robot!”

“Yes, Donna, I see that! Now open the door!”

“What for?”

“Don't you see? You've got to jump!”

Donna's voice instantly went shrill. “I'm not bleedin' flip jumping, I'm supposed to be getting married!”

Suddenly the taxi sped past the TARDIS. Like the robot was listening.

“Oh, no! Not this time you won't!” He pulled sharply on the string. Random explosions burst from the console and he worried for the ship's safety. He felt her bang against something. “Oh, I hope that didn't leave a dent.”

The TARDIS finally pulled herself back in line with the taxi. The Doctor struggled to regain his balance and then aimed his sonic. “Time to shut off!”

The robot stilled, disabled.

“One problem down. Now, listen to me -- you've got to jump.”

“I'm not jumping on a motorway,” she insisted.

“What does it take to get through to you?! That robot needs you. And whatever it needs you for, it cannot be good. Now, come on and jump!”

“I'm in my wedding dress!”

“Don't be obstinate!” he shouted, completely exasperated. “Yes, it's a lovely dress and you look lovely! Now jump!”

Eyes wide with fear, Donna opened the door, yelping as it flew open. She positioned herself to jump. Feeling that he got through to her, the Doctor held out his arms to catch her.

Donna looked up at him, paling over the racing motorway. “I can't do it,” she whimpered.

He shook his head, speaking just loudly enough that she could hear over the road. “Yes, you can. Trust me. I won't let you fall.”

In the end, the need to escape overpowered the fear. Donna screamed as she jumped out. The momentum and her angle slammed her into the Doctor. They fell in a heap on the floor, eyes huge.

“Well, that's a first for me,” he muttered as he psychically made the doors slam closed. One more twist of his wrist and the TARDIS zoomed back up into the sky.

Just before more explosions rocked their journey.

“Oh, no!” he exclaimed, managing to get Donna to her feet so he could rush to the Controls. “We have to land!”

“Try and get me to the church!” she cried, hanging on even tighter to a handy rail as she eyed the fires starting nearby. “I don't fancy dying of smoke inhalation!”

“Neither do I!”

/=/=/=/=/

Special Dedication and Rest of the Author's Note: In a sense, this is ultimately dedicated to a charming and talented man known as Paul McGann. I saw him for the third con this February at Gallifrey One. I went despite recently being sick (that's what you have to do with work when your job doesn't have sick days, and I made sure my doctor didn't think I needed special precautions because I would have had to stay home in that case – something that would've devastated me), and felt a huge emotional boost merely from being there. And of course, any chance to see him is worth a lot. Put simply, he makes any con worth going to. (Read what you will into that.)

And with having seen him, I came home and listened to every last copy of an Eighth Doctor Adventure from Big Finish that I owned and hadn't listened to yet. I'm hungry for more, and had already gained at least two plot bunnies from talking with PM. But this one? Huge, and came to me randomly afterward.

So if you haven't figured it out yet, it's not Nine who Donna's met. It's Eight. And he thinks the Time Lords have imposed another witness protection person on him. For clarification, a passing knowledge of Lucie Miller's first Big Finish adventure, Blood of the Daleks, is useful for understanding his mindset. She's one of Eight's companions, and... much like with Donna... she didn't get on with the Doctor at first. And perhaps had more reason to take out anger on him.

If anyone is blinking over the Doctor's described outfit, I can explain. It wasn't seen on screen in either the Movie or Night of the Doctor, but it is from the Dark Eyes series from Big Finish. (While I don't currently own any copies, I will one day soon! I keep hearing great things about it.) I was going to use the Night of the Doctor outfit, but it dawned on me that the Dark Eyes one allowed me to potentially throw some confusion into the mix. Couldn't resist.

Please enjoy the rest of the ride!


Chapter Three: Rooftop Exchanges

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
dm12
Mar. 15th, 2017 05:20 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I noticed right away that Eight didn't use a mallet; he asked the Old Girl to take him to Donna, recognized that it wasn't easy for her.

Loved that he actually commented to people thinking she must be in drag instead of just looking her up and down. Yup, they must be blind!

I wonder if he's going to use the same biodamper ring. Hopefully, this Doctor is a little more sensitive to the situation and won't start in with the "unimportant" bit. He could wonder if she's attached to anything strange going on, but not that she's unimportant.

It will be interesting when they finally get to the reception... will he defend her or let the insults fly?
tkel_paris
Mar. 15th, 2017 05:38 pm (UTC)
(Okay, I managed to accidentally post my reply as a comment. So...)

The Old Girl must miss him a lot. No mallet, more asking.

Well, we know that they are and were blind. And he's a bit cautious since he's just been slapped, which is a new experience for him. Never mind Eight's natural compassion.

You'll find out tomorrow... :DDDDDD
dm12
Mar. 15th, 2017 08:19 pm (UTC)
Well, Ten knew they were blind, too... since that's practically the first thing he did when he saw her, looked her up and down. Eight just was more polite about things (and probably wary, too. He learns; apparently Ten does not!).

Eight also still had his people around. Even if he didn't see eye-to-eye with them, he could afford some compassion still.
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:40 am (UTC)
He did it more than once. Wonder if DT realized or intended us to think his Doctor was attracted to Donna. Yes, Eight could be better mannered. Although when you PO'd him, he could be as cruel as any. Although usually with cause.

Yes, he could express compassion more readily. Although... there are a few things different here to permit him to be here. Wonder if you can spot one of the clues. It was in this chapter.
dm12
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:18 am (UTC)
BMG will tell you, I attempted to do a count. It was at least 10 times he looked at her that way within the first few minutes. I don't have one of those clickers anymore that you use for counting bacteria colonies on a plate, so I kept losing track.... then again, she eyed his tush when he was climbing up that ladder (with her fiance right next to her!).

Not sure if that was what TPTB intended, but that's how it played out between DT and CT. He gave her such a wistful look when he gave her that biodamper ring, and he certainly gave her loads of adoring looks throughout the season. Then there were all the "not a couple/not married" moments. DT did mention in an article after Runaway Bride that they made a good team and may have started to fall for each other (or at least, he fell for her) by the end of that. He had to change his tune later when they decided that Rose was his one true love, and he couldn't love anyone else.

If I have any clue, I'll keep it to myself for now. I want to see how things go and give others a chance, too.
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:31 am (UTC)
I recalled reading you saying that. Would make for an interesting drinking game. :D Speaking of, I found out today that someone created a drinking game based off of Paul McGann's first movie. He was asked if he's ever tried it and he pretty much said that it sounded like a good way to get alcohol poisoning. "Drink tea instead," I believe he said.

*snorts* Yeah, and we all know how convincing the whole thing was. He left his "one true love" with his son and chose a future face based on a memory of Donna. Way to undermine your intention, RTD. (But let's not go there...)

Okay. Wonder if you spotted what cassikat just did. Feel free to hold on to those thoughts until the end. :)
dm12
Mar. 16th, 2017 02:55 am (UTC)
Yes, I saw the comment below. I agree with Paul McGann, tea is much better!

I know, and he was truly shattered after Donna left (by his hand, and even if he mistranslated the original message, he did choose that face because of Donna.
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 03:00 am (UTC)
It's from a clip of some sports channel's interview with him. There were several funny moments, and that was one of them. And I agree on tea! :D

Yes, it's like the universe really said, "You can live without Rose, but not without Donna". Or something like that.

Anyway, I'm working on the final chapter of this story. Am hoping I can manage a full draft tonight. :D
briarpetal
Mar. 15th, 2017 06:52 pm (UTC)
This Doctor is much nicer then the ones that follow him. I'm liking him more and more as the story goes on. It's really a shame that he seems to have lost all of his manners and most, if not all, of his compassion when he regenerated from the 8th Doctor into the 9th Doctor. Maybe Donna's influence in his life can change that for him. I'm sure the Old Girl would appreciate it.
dm12
Mar. 15th, 2017 08:22 pm (UTC)
Well, Nine had just lost his entire people. If he couldn't spare them, who else would he spare? As for Ten, well he was quite rude as well, and a bit heavy-handed. Always gave his enemies a choice and a chance, but not his friends. Donna had started to really help him heal from all of that, but then he had to go and wipe her memories (against her will), and that really shattered him!
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:46 am (UTC)
Yes, he could be. And sometimes it made no sense. (Thank you, RTD, and the people who forced unnecessary editing changes on the show.) He left Jenny behind for no good reason, wrongfully exiled his son, and ignored Donna's wishes. An argument that some power was working on the Doctor, maybe?
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:44 am (UTC)
In Nine's defense, he suffered severe PTSD and self-loathing for what he did. What he needed was someone strong enough to stand up to him and yet gentle enough to soften his rough edges. And they had to be wise enough to know how and when to stand up to him. Shame he didn't get that.

Also, Eight could be downright nasty when the occasion called for it. He wasn't fair to Lucie when she arrived. Although to be fair to him, she was being evasive about why she was there. So he had reason to be angry and suspicious.
bas_math_girl
Mar. 15th, 2017 10:41 pm (UTC)
Yay, no unnecessary mentions of Rose shoehorned into the story! This is instantly a better version of TRB. *picks up my popcorn* Yes, I like all of this. :D
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:47 am (UTC)
I bet you liked that. ;D Grab the popcorn! This will get interesting! :DDDD
cassikat
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:44 am (UTC)
Robot Santas two years in a row? Either I missed something in the audios or Eight's the one who dealt with the Sycorax. Which is an interesting idea all in itself. :D

*giggles* Ooh, remembering the piece of string days - nice touch! And how he gets her to jump - trust me, I won't let you fall. Beautiful!

And now... they're still going to end up on the top of that building again. Wonder how much of a fit's going to be thrown this time. *L*
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC)
Congratulations! You're the first to comment on a clue as to why Eight is there! TM picked up on that immediately during the beta process. I have yet to say why I made that change. ;D Anyway, it's a hint that not all is as it was in canon...

Yes, Eight has a sense of humor where his previous selves are concerned. Didn't the gallow's speech in "Dead London" prove that? *snickerfit*

You'll find out tomorrow. ;D Anyway... *hug for reviewing*
cassikat
Mar. 16th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
It makes me wonder whether anything canon is going to apply in the future, especially St. Rose. *snorts* I shall try to wait paitently for answers. :)

I love Dead London! I bet that was a fun one for McGann to record. *L*

*fidgetfidget* Biodamper... soft look too? *hopes so!*
tkel_paris
Mar. 16th, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
You'll see. :DDDDDDD

I bet. Although he must've enjoyed "Horror of Glam Rock", and it sounded like he'd requested for a glam rock era adventure. *giggles*

Posted. See for yourself. :D
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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