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NEW: Return to Base (5/5)

Title: Return to Base

Rating: T (a bit on the high side, be warned... and not always for happy reasons...)

Author: [info]bas_math_girl started this, writing much of the first scene and some of the pre-delivery moments, but the rest belongs to [info]tkel_paris

Summary: Sequel to BMG's “Back to Base” and my “Eyes Forced Open.” Jenny plots against Rose, the Doctor helps Donna deliver, and a surprise hits them all...

Disclaimer: That we even wrote this ficverse proves that neither of us has any claims to the Doctor Who universe... I just own a Disappearing TARDIS mug, two Doctor Who t-shirts, and some DVDs... BMG can claim, among other things, a few MAAN ticket stubs. (pouts)

Also, this is not a Rose-friendly story. If that bothers you, turn back now. Save yourself the headache.

BMG's Author's Note: I am very happy to leave this in the capable hands of TP. I have adored writing about Donna and Andy but I cannot face writing Rose with the Doctor... I just can't so please don't expect me to, especially after all the grief I have suffered because of this. TP has very kindly allowed some bits I wrote to sneak in here (I couldn't leave it totally alone, you see); so I shall hand you back to my lovely online daughter. :)

TP's Author's Note: When my on-line mummy mentioned that she wasn't keen about writing the sequel to “Back to Base” since it almost demanded Rose's presence (and she can barely stand to mention her, if I understand her correctly), my Muse picked up the thread and wrote a fic for her birthday. “Eyes Forced Open” was my take on what might happen after the end of “Back to Base,” and BMG gave me permission to continue the story. So... Hope those of you reading this enjoy it!


Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4




PART 5: ANOTHER DOUBLE?

The Doctor led the rag-tag group deeper into UNIT Headquarters, where their new arrival had been taken by Martha for a check-up. Dr. Jones' ability to compartmentalize had allowed her to get over her own shock and order help in bringing her new patient to a treatment room. If nothing else, to make sure that the dimension travel hadn't harmed her.

Two Donnas,” Jack mused, a grin splitting his face. “This will be fun.”

Stow the flirting, Captain Hotpants,” Jenny growled. She was having enough trouble deciding whether this meant she would have two mothers, or how difficult life must have been in Pete's World for her mother's alternate to agree to cross over. She didn't need Jack flirting with anyone right now. It was still disgusting remembering when she learned about his (still there, evidently) thing for her father, and she didn't want to think about what he might feel toward Mum or Pops!

Donna, Andy (holding Effie in his arms), and the Doctor blinked and looked at Jenny. She was gaining some strange vocabulary from working with the younger members of UNIT, and her father – in particular – wasn't sure how he felt about her acting... well, so much like a human twenty-something.

Wilf, walking alongside Sylvia and carrying Mikey (who couldn't make sense of what he was picking up from the adults and his older sister), looked worried. “She isn't going to have problems even existing because of our Donna? I mean, can there be two of one person in the same universe?”

Jack perked up, happy to have some science to answer. “You mean like on that American show, Stargate? No, entropic cascade failure is pure science fiction. It's more you can't let someone touch a past or future self from their own time-line. That causes huge paradoxes.”

As Rose should've learned,” the Doctor grumbled under his breath. That memory still stuck out like a sore, swollen thumb in a cast. It was proof that he'd been too afraid of being alone to let Rose go afterward, and he had thought about it. He wasn't sure if it was a good thing that he'd ignored it, but – then again – if doing otherwise it meant that Mikey and Effie wouldn't exist, then he'd live with his regrets.

Donna and Andy exchanged looks. Yeah, nearly getting killed by the stupidity of the girl who said she loved you would make anyone think twice, Andy snorted.

She just nodded. The children were feeling the confusion around them, and were fussing a bit. She paused to take Mikey from his Great-Gramps, sensing that he'd want to be held when he saw another version of his own mother.

Mickey trailed behind, silently taking in everyone's reactions. He wasn't sure what to make of this development, but it wouldn't be boring. That was certain!

They found one of the soldiers who helped earlier, guarding a door. He snapped a salute (the Doctor couldn't get the people around here to stop doing that no matter what he said, and it didn't help that Donna would accept them – whereas Andy chose to ignore them) and nodded. “Dr. Jones says the patient is well and ready to talk a bit.”

At the Doctor's nod, the soldier (whose nametag, the Doctor finally spotted, said “Matthews”) opened the door. The group filed in. Martha was standing with her back to them, speaking softly to the woman lying (now comfortably) on the medical bed. Her colour had returned, and the Doctor took the most complete visual stock of her. The hair and face and eyes were the same, but she was a bit thinner than he would've expected for Donna Noble. She had a haunted look in her eyes that he'd only ever seen in people who'd seen their entire world (be it their home, city, country, or even planet) destroyed.

Come to think of it, time moved differently in Pete's World. Rose had spent ten years there (and hadn't aged much thanks to the TARDIS' affect on companions). Shouldn't this Donna look older? If anything, she looked younger than his Donna. Oh, right, he remembered with an unhappy sigh, she wasn't his Donna. Never had been, thanks to his own stupidity.

The Doctor shook off his thoughts when Martha spoke. “Everyone, meet Donna Eileen Noble, of Pete's World. I've mentioned about our Donna,” she added when the two women's eyes met and widened, “and she's thinking about what she's willing to be known as.”

The Donna on the bed sighed, resigned. “Oh, I guess I'll live with Ginger for now. But only until I come up with something better. I've still got too much of a headache from that bloody jump.” She noticed the little boy whose eyes were wider than dinner plates and the sleeping baby girl, and tears formed in her eyes. “Your son and daughter?”

Donna nodded. “Mikey,” she said, “and Effie can think of you as an aunt, if you don't mind.”

Let me think about it.” The answer was soft, filled with the pain of memories and lost chances. Then she caught sight of Sylvia and Wilf, and a sob escaped her throat.

The Doctor's eyes watered. He had a suspicion about what might've happened to her family, and wished that he'd known about her and could've done something to help her out.

Sylvia and Wilf knew the look of someone who had lost so much. They knew how it could feel. So they gently nudged everyone else aside. “There, there, child,” Sylvia said softly, stunning the Doctor as she folded her daughter's alternate into an embrace – which Wilf added to.

No one was surprised when the sobbing got louder as “Ginger” clutched the people who – to her – were her family's alternates. Jack and Mickey stepped out of the room out of respect, but the Doctor stayed put; he felt he had to witness the depth of her pain, as he hadn't forgiven himself for the hurt he'd caused Donna.

It was a while before Sylvia and Wilf had calmed her down enough that she could speak again, but they didn't let her go. Instead, they managed to sit themselves on either side of her, keeping contact to – they hoped – ground her. Jack stuck his head in to see what happened, and led Mickey back in on Sylvia's nod.

Donna cleared her throat, and quickly gave the introductions, pointing to each person. “So you know who I am. This is Michael Peter Noble, my son. That's Andrew “Andy” Noble, my... everything... and Mikey's father. That's Effie Grace Susan Noble, our daughter. Mickey Smith. Jack Harkness. The Doctor. And Jenny Noble, the Doctor's daughter. I consider her mine, too. It's why she took my last name.”

They each got a nod, but the Doctor got a narrowed look. “Oh, you're the one that blonde bint was obsessed with.”

Eyebrows went up, but none higher than the Doctor's. “Ah, so you... you've heard of me.”

Ginger” grimaced. “Hard to not know when you suddenly find yourself nearly twenty years into the future, your whole family's been taken by the Cybermen, and your own skillset is suddenly completely out of date. Pete Tyler told me that Rose evidently hit upon some time travel device and tried to make it work. Instead, it caught me and flung me into the future. I was a successful woman, with a fiance and a promising career. I came back to a world completely changed... and everyone I loved was dead. My friends didn't know what to do for me, and I couldn't get work.”

More than a few breaths were caught. The Doctor's face fell. “That's why you agreed to cross over?”

That and I didn't want to actually have to meet the Heiress. I would've beaten her to a...” She caught herself when she remembered little ears were in the room. “Well, I wouldn't have been nice.”

That's okay,” Mikey said. “She was mean.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Well, nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks so. Who uses things without trying to find out what they might do first?!”

Donna, Andy, Jack, Mickey, and Jenny tried to not look at the Doctor. They weren't careful enough.

The Doctor, still feeling the silent reprimand, cleared his throat. “Well, we will help you adjust, and I'll do anything I can to help. I know it's my fault you're in this moment, so whatever you need, just ask.”

The Donna on the bed looked at him, noting the earnest wish and a guilt that seemed bottomless, and sighed. She shook her head. “Doctor, surely someone who travels the universe won't have time to deal with a little human like me.”

His eyes narrowed. He didn't like anyone speaking ill of Donna, not even herself. He tilted his head toward his universe's Donna. “She was a companion, the best. Her children are my nephew and niece. So I'm going to be around a lot anyway. If you're willing,” he added, on a moment of hope and inspiration, “I can take you to wherever you'd like. You can do whatever you want, and we'll give whatever help you want.” Or need, he silently added.

She looked at him, puzzled. “Me, a time traveler?”

Wilf squeezed her hand. “Oh, she,” he gestured to his granddaughter, “doubted it, too, but it was the best thing she's ever done. She's gained a lovely adoptive daughter, had two children in addition, and has the best partner possible. Not to mention how much she's able to do because of what she's seen and done. Don't underestimate yourself.”

She went thoughtful. How much would that involve, she wondered, and can I really handle it? But on the other hand, she realized in the next moment, it'd be something to keep me occupied...

The Doctor saw the contemplation of the offer, and felt a stirring of hope that he hadn't felt since Donna was traveling with him. No, it wouldn't be the same, but what a lovely change of pace! He'd have a Donna Noble in the TARDIS again, and things would be brilliant again!

Everyone else was wondering how the new Donna would adjust to life here. But no one was worried for her. She had a huge support network now, and they could remind her how much she could do.

Jenny meanwhile, was eying how her father reacted. Hmm... Dad's in love with Mum, but can't have her. And now here's her alternate, alone and needing support – and he's going to offer the status of a companion to her because he wants a Donna Noble in the TARDIS again. Might I gain a step-mother from this...? And do I dare encourage it...?

THE END


Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
nini_cuddles
Jan. 31st, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
*rolls on the floor* tell me there is more!!!
Ginger's reaction to Wilf and Sylvia was heartbreakingly beautiful.
I loved this.
tkel_paris
Jan. 31st, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
BMG and I have to consult. We will see.

Glad you enjoyed! :D
(Deleted comment)
tkel_paris
Jan. 31st, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
That's assuming the universe can handle it! ;P Thanks for reviewing!
bas_math_girl
Jan. 31st, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Excellent ending, promising loads more.
I'm sure "Ginger" would love travelling with the Doctor (and Jenny?). :D
tkel_paris
Jan. 31st, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Get back to me when you have ideas... ;D
morganfm
Feb. 21st, 2014 05:44 am (UTC)
BEYOND AMAZING.
Hello! I would have commented earlier, but I couldn't stop reading for a second! I started reading "Back to Base" earlier this afternoon with a sort of browsing, noncommital "yay more 10/Donna! oh wait Rose too? greeeeeeat... *heavy on the sarcasm*" opinion. Boy was I in for a surprise! I was instantly hooked and absolutely LOVED it. After speeding through the first one by the brilliant BMG, I was excited for more but slightly worried about the change in author. Cue: more mind blowing surprises! I adore your work on the story and found it to be a wonderful continuation of the first part. I've never been super happy about Rose, but Donna is my absolute favorite and I've recently gotten REALLY into noncannon Ten/Donna fics, just for the feels. :)
This is the best best best one I've read, and I can't send you enough virtual cookies of love (both of you!) for it's wonderfulness. I'm considering it an unintentional birthday present, since I'll be 17 in about half an hour.
so far beyond excellent, amazing, brilliant work lovelies! I look forward to more that your fabulous minds will come up with :D
- morgan
tkel_paris
Feb. 22nd, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
Re: BEYOND AMAZING.
Well, Happy Birthday! :) In a year you'll be old enough to read ALL of my and BMG's fics.

BMG indicated, as you might've read, that she wasn't keen to write Rose scenes, so I wrote Eyes Forced Open for her birthday, and then wrote most of this story. I did inspire two DVD extras from her, so I'm pleased in the end. And to think this story is two years old...

Virtual cookies accepted. My muse will be very happy. :D
~T'Kel~
develish1
Sep. 30th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
Finally found time to read this (and the others in the series) after BMG posted Back To Base over at AO3. It reminded me I'd not read this one so I re-read from the start, and loved it.

(Yes, I know I've written Doctor/Rose, don't hold that against me, lol.)

I'm a little sad to see the two of you haven't managed to continue the series yet though. I'd love to see more
tkel_paris
Aug. 21st, 2015 06:04 am (UTC)
Oh, hey! I managed to not notice this review. How I'm not sure, but I suspect it was because I was in the middle of starting my new career. Which is slowly taking off. SLOWLY.

Forgiven. Just... don't ask me to write any. Rose wouldn't be ANYTHING like she was in canon. If she did grow up like I think she should've, I doubt she would've wanted the Doctor in the end.

Well, it could happen. Our respective muses have been bit by other ideas. My most recent was a blind date story by that very title. Five parts. :)

Hope you've enjoyed some of the other fics.
helloprilly
Dec. 2nd, 2015 08:08 pm (UTC)
Oh my god I loved this ending!!! Please tell me there's more ginger/doctor adventures. He is finally far more self aware and can finally stop being such a bloody idiot and he has Donna back in his life!!!
tkel_paris
Dec. 21st, 2016 04:55 am (UTC)
Oh, hi! Just noticed this one. My bad. :( Anyway, maybe. I'd be co-writing with BMG, and I'm not sure when it'll happen. I say "when" because I suspect her muse would happily go along with it.
helloprilly
Jan. 11th, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
LOL... no worries, lord knows I miss stuff on here all the time! Well I for one would LOVE more installments in this story!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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