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The Belted Doctor, Chapter 16

Title: The Belted Doctor, Chapter 16

Author: tkel_paris</lj> , aka KendraC


Rating: High T, borderline M for (very) naughty humor, and some hints... Consider yourself warned.


Summary: A crack!fic inspired by a line from “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and run for its life with. The Doctor is left with a very uncomfortable “protection” against unwanted advances. But will he find the one who is foretold to release him from his... prison?

Disclaimer: Mel Brooks owns “Men in Tights.” The BBC and others own “Doctor Who.” 'Nuff said.


Author's Note: I think I managed to top Chapter 14 for most amusing ending in light of things I've recently learned... But Poor Jenny... The girl's gonna need therapy at this rate!

P / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE PAST VIOLENTLY RETURNS

Leaving plans in another's hands felt very strange to the Time-Lord's mindset. Hell, he wasn't used to making plans. It was the only thing he was more rubbish at than weddings. And these plans were all about his own!

Which, he felt, really should be worrying Donna. But she said that she had faith enough in both of them to get them through this. It ought to have been enough to at least soothe him a bit.

Until Donna had the mother of all nightmares. He'd been educating Jenny and Lee on reading the TARDIS readouts when a scream unlike anything he'd ever heard ripped through the ship. Not to mention his head. They rushed to Donna's room (which had been expanded to absorb his own – proof that TARDIS loved Donna more than she did her own pilot!), and found her sitting up in bed and sweating. “No, no, no,” she was screaming. “He's alive! He's alive! They all live!”

He rushed over and grabbed her arms. “Donna!” His own shout was aloud and mental. It shook her out of the frightened stupor, and she threw herself into his arms, crying so hard her body was shaking. It scared him – and Jenny, who hurried over and wrapped her arms around them both.

It was right then that some distant part of his mind got why Donna used to joke that hugging him would give someone a paper-cut. He really was skinny.

It took some time to calm Donna enough to stop shaking. At least, so much that she might accidentally hurt herself. Lee went to make tea, and Jenny hurried back to the Console Room, saying that she felt TARDIS telling her something. The Doctor, babbling the whole while about anything and nothing at the same time, helped his wife dress; her hands were still shaking, even though his touch was reassuring her. Her silence, however, was the worst part. It was her trying to keep control over a jumble of confusing feelings – all of which he could detect through the bond.

She'd been having weird dreams lately. The common theme was that everything she dreamed were events that might have been in her life. It was the first time in a while, she'd admitted, that Lance and the Empress of the Racnoss had crossed her thoughts. (The Doctor had been thrown for a loop when she admitted to feeling some gratitude to both of them, as they'd sent her on the path to meeting him – which allowed him to let go of anger he hadn't realized he was still carrying.) This one, however, clearly held frightening qualities that topped everything previously dreamt.

It had all started after their brief trip to the Asian bazaar world known as Shan Shen. Painfully aware that there had been no courtship – by Earth or Gallifreyan standards, the Doctor figured he could find some little item to start making it up to Donna. He allowed Lee to help him while the ladies went off on their own. He felt he could trust them to not get themselves into trouble.

Of course, trouble found them anyway. A sudden telepathic message from Jenny, giving a location, sent him flying – with Lee barely keeping up. They found Jenny restraining a fortune teller while holding her own Sonic (made with his help, as an apology for accidentally neglecting her) on what Donna was calling an “overgrown beetle.” He immediately recognized it, and knew they'd run into another member of the Trickster's Brigade. Getting to question one was unusual, but enlightening. Eventually, he let her go, destroying her tools first, but the girl seemed more frightened by Donna – who'd sensed something wrong in the room early on, but couldn't explain what – than him or Jenny. “Who are you,” she'd whimpered at Donna before fleeing. “What will you become?!”

“That,” Donna had commented, “was weird even for us.” He'd only hugged her and cut the trip short.

When they reached the Control Room, the Doctor settled her in the jump seat and stepped behind her so Lee could hand her tea. Donna's hands trembled, but they wouldn't deny her the dignity of drinking it herself; all hell might break loose later otherwise. Which was also why the Doctor gentle rubbed her back with one hand and stroked her hair with the other, all the while sending comforting thoughts to her.

Between the tea and his ministrations, Donna finally recovered enough to talk, although she remained extremely subdued. “You ever realized that a seemingly innocuous day might have been a great pivotal moment in your life? This dream started with one of those days. I was in the car with Mum, arguing over the latest temp position I'd taken. She... urged me to not turn left to start the job I'd taken, but turn right and get a more permanent one.”

She started shaking again. “It was the job at H.C. Clemment's I was turning away from. Next thing I knew, it was months later in the dream, and I started seeing a domino chain of bad events. I wasn't the one Lance chose, so I wasn't there to stop you, Doctor, from going too far... and dying.” She couldn't focus on anything but the story, so she missed the horrified expressions – and even feelings. “Then Martha, Sarah Jane, the entire Torchwood Cardiff team... They all died saving the world because you weren't there. The spaceship Titanic destroyed London, and then the stars started going out. The whole time, I had this feeling that the whole thing wasn't supposed to be, and at the end I screamed, 'The world is wrong!' And I finally woke up.”

No wonder she screamed her lungs off, the Doctor thought to himself. To think that everything came so close to not happening... and I wouldn't have known...

“I came too close to giving in to Mum that day,” Donna whispered, although it carried throughout the room. “I think only my own stubbornness pushed me through, and I wanted to give that job a try. Also, a stranger I ran into the previous day encouraged me to follow my instincts. Wish I could thank him.”

He quickly knelt in front of her, and took her hands – putting the tea to the side. This, he felt, had to stop now. “Donna, look at me.” It took her several long moments to manage to look up, tears blurring her gaze. “Believe me, I know better than anyone what it's like to have flashes of what could have happened, but you have to let them go or they'll hold you back. I didn't realize how much I was doing that until you came along and slapped sense into me. Literally.”

That drew a laugh from Donna, but she still couldn't talk. So he continued, “You taught me that we have learn from what we did wrong, let go, and move on. Otherwise, we aren't living.” Then a thought hit him, and he said it silently: Are you feeling unworthy of all this?

The tears resumed and she dropped her head. Oh, love, you deserve every good thing in the universe. As he tightly hugged her again, he tried to remind her that she wasn't alone in feeling uncertain, of how frightened he was that something would go wrong and take away what made him happy; the universe had a nasty habit of that...

She could only clutch him back.

Then some beeping came from the TARDIS. Jenny interrupted them. “Um, Dad? I wonder if Mum's dreams are connected to these readings I'm seeing.”

Donna sniffled aloud. “What, does that mean I'm physic?”

The Doctor tugged her gently to her feet. “All humans are very slightly physic. Some just get a heavier dose of the ability. What's going on, Jenny?”

Jenny's brows were tightly knit. “It's as if the time-lines are shimmering. Like something's threatening the very existence of everything.”

That drew her father in, with her mother tagging along. He put on his brainy specs, and froze at the readout. Jenny looked him, alarmed, as she explained what she thought she was seeing. “It looks like it's because someone has blasted holes between our universe and another.”

The Doctor felt his mouth go dry. “This shouldn't be happening.”

Donna, managing to move a bit past her nightmare, asked. “Well, what's causing it?”

Jenny sighed. “There's this one reading I keep getting. More like a related phrase.”

Lee spoke up. “W-Which is?”

Jenny frowned. “It translates to two English words: 'Bad Wolf.'”

Donna felt the horror through the bond as the Doctor stiffened completely. Then she felt a bit of guilt seep through. “Doctor,” she exclaimed, “you don't have a hand in this!”

“This could be the end of the universe, Donna,” he whispered. “And, if I'm right, it is my fault... All because I couldn't express what I really felt. Said the things that I ought to have said.”

The others were baffled, but Donna immediately made the connection. It meant Rose Tyler had found a way to cross over, and it was threatening the existence of everything. Which meant she'd ignored his warning at Bad Wolf Bay...




Things quickly turned from bad to worse. A quick visit to Sylvia and Wilf, on what turned out to be a Saturday, only showed that the bees were acting funny. A quick explanation of what was worrying him, including a few comments about how a certain blonde might be involved, was given before the TARDIS sounded an alarm. The Doctor brought his family back into the TARDIS, making Wilf promise to call if anything else happened... and then Earth disappeared from underneath them.

It was Jenny who realized that the debris they saw was actually from various space programs – and not from Earth itself. “Which means something moved Earth,” she thought aloud. “Who could do that?”

Her father suddenly remembered, “Someone tried to move Earth a long time ago,” but soon added, under his breath, “It can't be.”

Donna hated to say it, but it had to be said. “I think we may need to rethink what's impossible here.”

He turned to face her, but she didn't need to see his face to know he was getting very scared. “That someone was trapped in The Time-Lock.”

Yeah, Donna realized, that was grounds for the last Time-Lord to be frightened almost to the point of needing nappies again.

A visit to the Shadow Proclamation was necessary, and the whole thing was an enlightening experience for Jenny about the other difficulties in being a child of Gallifrey and dealing with other authorities. She and her dad were proud of Donna for demanding equal treatment to the Gallifreyans, and of Lee for helping with ideas. It was Donna's questions, of course, that allowed them all to see that the planets were stolen to create a powerful engine. Jenny found the implications deeply disturbing; her military mind was coming up with all sorts of bad possibilities for its use.

Fortunately, her military mindset came in handy when the Proclamation wanted to use TARDIS in their assault. Jenny reminded them that time was of the essence, and the best solution was for them to rally their forces and wait for the signal from the Doctor's family, who would go as a reconnaissance guard. Her father was very impressed with her babbling skills, and more so that she talked them into agreeing.

But there was a caveat that the Architect insisted upon: “If you are able to solve this on your own, then bring any surviving culprits to us. These crimes must be answered for.” She demanded that he give his word, and he reluctantly did. They needed to get going, after all.

He suspected that he would soon have to live with the consequences of not thinking things through, and it would drive things home better than Donna's slaps. Because if his instincts were right about the ultimate cause of all this, then he knew who he'd have to take into custody...




Things were not going well for Rose Tyler. First no sign of the Doctor, and now Donna Noble's family had no clue where he was or how to reach him. This had to be the second worst case of the universe operating against her, after being separated from the Doctor for over two years.

Well, maybe his last words before the link cut were the worst: “I'm sorry, Rose. We weren't meant to be.” How could he say that? Trying to comfort himself because he believed it was impossible by then?

No, she'd thought, I'm going to prove him wrong! And once she'd managed to dry her tears from Bad Wolf Bay, she started working on just that. Everything else could wait. It wasn't like she was going to stay in this universe forever...

Through operating the Dimension Cannon, she had started to hear a name in connection with the Doctor, over and over again: Donna Noble, of Earth. This struck her as her... father... had hired a woman of the same name – near as she could tell, this universe's version of her! – to work in the office aspects of his company. A woman who'd lost her entire family to the Cybermen incident. A woman who was just going through the motions of living without really enjoying them, and tried to fill the void by going out with girlfriends.

So she got her transferred to help sift through patterns to make the Cannon more reliable. Her mother worried that she was working Donna to the bone. Rose thought she was just giving Donna things to keep her going, and actually work her rather brilliant brain. Although she did admit that the older woman wasn't eating enough, and had to break her own efforts to give eating reminders; she didn't want her to collapse from exhaustion, as that would delay things further.

Finally having the settings right, the astronomers were detecting things going very wrong out in space, and what time sensors were available on Pete's World also suggested that it was originating in another universe. Rose just knew it was happening in the Doctor's universe, and grabbed one of the guns designed to work against creatures like the Daleks.

Fortuitous, it turned out as she emerged on Earth.

It'd taken longer than she'd liked to locate the Noble home, and then she had to wait around – until Wilf had detected a hidden video exchange. She recognized Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane Smith, and Harriet Jones, but not any of the others: Jack's co-workers at Torchwood (strange, she thought, to think of them as good guys), and a subsequent companion and her mother. All she, Sylvia, and Wilf could do was watch as a plan formed, until the supercharged phoning of the Doctor was hatched. “Find me,” she whispered as she raised her own phone, trying to push aside a sinking feeling that wouldn't shake.

Which had been growing stronger since the Nobles were acting rather cagy about saying things about the Doctor or Donna. She tried to explain it away as stress from fear, but something wouldn't let go.

She flinched when Harriet Jones was killed, but there wasn't much time before that fourth section was taken up by the Doctor – and Donna. Rose was so relieved, although she wondered who the other two people with him were. The others knew, and just focused on giving him updates. “Add the Brig,” the Doct commented, “and we'd practically have the whole team. Everyone who's supposed to be here.”

“I'm here,” she whispered, mind reeling over the line. What did he mean by that? He can't mean that I'm not supposed to be here! Doesn't he miss me?

Of course, once the Doctor had to flee when Darvos, whoever he was, broke into the conversation. So it was time to move on, and try to locate him again. Sylvia stopped her on the way out. “Miss Tyler, I see that you've gone to a lot of trouble to return, but I think I've got to warn you. From the way he spoke about how you were sent to the other universe, my father and I got the impression that travel between the universes is a very bad thing – especially now. Please be careful, and follow his lead.”

It was a mother's concern speaking, and – missing her own mum – she nodded. Though she had to ask, “What's going on?”

Wilf interjected, “A lot has happened to him since Carney Wharf. We've heard a bit of it because our Donna demands he be honest with her, but I don't know what he wants you to know and we're not about to make any assumptions. We won't go over his head. So wait and let him tell it, okay?”

Rose nodded. Something about Wilf was trustworthy, so she just said, “I'll wait and see, when I find him.” Donna Noble, she thought, is very lucky to have such a wonderful grandfather...

As she walked away, she missed a quiet exchange between Sylvia and Wilf. He worried, “Did we do the right thing there?”

Sylvia whispered back, “That girl has invested too much in returning to listen to any of us. Only he can snap her out of it, if she can be.” And she added, vividly remembering how they'd met, “Besides, angering a girl with a big gun isn't a smart idea, anyway.”

It wasn't too long until Rose heard the TARDIS engines, and, after walking a bit toward the sound, she saw him. He really didn't look much different from when she last saw him. Maybe the hair was a bit shorter, but nothing had changed.

She'd forgotten how disturbing it was to be reminded of how alien he really was. She'd also forgotten that not looking different was part of that alien nature...

He was talking energetically to Donna – standing awfully close to her, she thought – while the other two were standing around with small handguns, keeping watch. The blond woman, who didn't look much older than herself, spotted her, and suddenly raised her weapon. “Identify yourself!” Rose knew enough to know raising her gun would get her shot. The woman acted like a natural with weapons.

The Doctor and Donna turned to look, and he froze. Rose's heart sank as she saw anger flash across his face. What happened to him? Why isn't he happy to see me? She walked briskly after Donna forced the girl to lower her gun. “I made it back, Doctor,” she said, excitement shining through. “I found a way.”

After several long seconds, he stormed toward Rose. “Didn't I tell you to not even try to come back?!”

Rose stopped, chilled to her bones by his coldness.

“You thought you could just ignore my warnings – again – and things would work out the way you wanted them to-”

Multiple screams erupted as a Dalek appeared and shot him. Rose didn't see Jack appear in time and kill the Dalek. She just ran to the Doctor, crying – as were the others. Donna reached him first, panicking, and near sobbing. Rose was almost there... when a fist struck her face and knocked her over. Then a gun was against her temple and a hand gripped her throat. “You've cost my father another life!”

Father?! Rose went into shock, but before she could react, Jack yanked the blond off her. “Jenny, no! Take her gun and guard our way into the TARDIS!”

“We're not taking her!” The girl sounded mortally offended at the thought.

“Yes, we are! Now, quit arguing and protect your father!” Rose struggled to absorb that detail as Jack pulled her to her feet and dragged her backwards – based on the way he was walking. Through the pain of a broken nose, she could feel the animosity radiating off the blond. Donna and the mysterious man had already rushed the Doctor into the TARDIS.

Inside, Rose saw Donna fussing frantically over the Doctor, but no words were exchanged. How could they talk, Rose thought, when their lips aren't moving? She tried to go to him, but Jack held her back – and she didn't see how the other man had to hold Jenny away from her. She watched Donna slowly back off, crying, “I'm not ready for you to go! We were gonna have a lifetime together!”

Rose couldn't focus on anything else after that. Even as she had to look away as the regeneration energy burst, she tried wrapping her head around what she was witnessing: a clear, deep emotional intimacy between HER Doctor and this universe's Donna Noble.

She couldn't handle the thought that his face would change again. But seeing an intimacy she couldn't remember existing between herself and the Doctor existing between him and another woman?

One worry cleared after the Doctor sent his excess energy into his hand (oh, she vividly remembered that day!), and then babbled a bit about his hand. Donna and Jenny rushed into his waiting arms in relief. They looked like a family, Rose suddenly thought in horror. A happy family.

No! “Doctor!”

Jenny whipped around, and Rose felt like the Oncoming Storm she'd been warned about when she first met the Doctor was brewing. “Oh, shut up, immature teenager! You have no right to talk to my dad! Your travels with him ended at Carney Wharf. He even told you it was the end – although he should never have burned that sun to say good-bye. Better to have never given you any ideas.”

Jack, quite alarmed by the building tension, kept his hold on Rose and interrupted Jenny's rant. “Hey, hey, hey! Wait a minute! Earth's in danger here! Anyone remember that? Can we put a lid on this blame game until we've kicked the Daleks' asses?” As happy as he was to see Rose again, he knew that he'd better help keep some distance between Rose and Jenny; if a cat-fight broke out, Rose would have no chance. He had no doubt that Jenny felt that Rose was a significant threat to her mother, and that the former soldier could kill with her bare hands if driven by enough anger.

Unfortunately, the Daleks detected them. Rose had never seen the Doctor so distraught and yet so full of rage without an outlet as he was when the TARDIS was sent into the abyss of the Dalek mothership – with Donna and Jenny still in it. She had no doubt that he would have gladly taken their places (he always put himself into danger to protect others, which she'd both admired and been frightened by), and tried to offer a comforting touch. But he shook her off, growling, “Don't touch me!”

She nearly jumped back, and even Jack was silent as the restrained fury of the Oncoming Storm focused solely on Rose. “Whatever happens next is your doing, Rose Tyler. You and your damned Dimension Cannon and your loving to ignore whatever I tell you to do!”

Rose Tyler was in too much shook to see that the Doctor was never hers to begin with. That it was all her own feelings talking. And that commissioning the Cannon might have been a big mistake...

Which ought to have been hard to not realize when the man you loved looked like he might just have sacrificed you to save others if he were offered the chance...




Meanwhile, on board the TARDIS, Jenny suddenly sensed that the lock that held the ship in this dimension was gone. She wasn't sure if Donna was injured, but she rushed through sending the shell-shocked TARDIS into the Vortex. She just hit the last lever when some Time-Lord sense flared, and she saw Donna touch the container holding her father's hand. And golden light erupted.

“Mum!” Terrified, she rushed to pull her away, and found herself in worse pain than when she'd been shot. Some of the regeneration energy seeped into her body, sending shooting pain through her skull.

She was barely aware of when she and Donna were released from its hold, and then held her head in agony. It seemed like every Time-Lord sense was sharpening, and it was a painful process. But then something else registered: the container had broken. The hand, she realized, had gone across the room and was growing... into a full person. She ad Donna watched in shock as the light materialized into... the splitting image of the Doctor. Except...

Jenny covered her eyes immediately. “Oh, my God! Please go put some clothes on!” She would've run to the bathroom, but her headache was too strong. Thank God TARDIS made a bucket appear...



Chapter 17: One Journey's End, Another's Beginning


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
missdoctordonna
May. 21st, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. Love the last line and Jenny's shock at seeing her "Dad" naked.
tkel_paris
May. 21st, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a pretty big shock. Can you believe that it took me a while to realize that moment could happen? It wasn't originally part of the story.
sykira
Jun. 13th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Oooh! Creative use of Jenny! My favorite part of this whole fic so far though was the Doctor's caring nurture of poor Donna after her nightmare, sighhh just lovely!
tkel_paris
Jun. 13th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Thanks! I hadn't originally planned Jenny being in the TARDIS during the meta-crisis moments, but the opportunity was too golden to pass up. And yes, the Doctor was really touching with how he takes care of his Earth Girl when she's hurting. So sweet...
Carolyn Harrison
Apr. 3rd, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC)
I loved it when the Doctor comforted Donna after her nightmare.

Yes! Jenny got to punch Rose! Thank you!

Sylvia was actually smart in this chapter. It is a very bad idea to anger someone with a gun.

I don't know why, but I just love the Shadow Proclamation. I think Rose deserves to be handed over to them just as the Architect demanded, and the Doctor, how ever reluctantly, agreed to.

I love the fact that the Doctor told Rose not to touch him! Rose was right about one thing though. If given the chance he would have gladly sacrificed her for Donna and Jenny!
tkel_paris
Apr. 6th, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC)
I didn't want to actually go through Turn Left, so the nightmares worked well as a substitute.

Welcome. It was satisfying. :)

I'm positive Sylvia must have had some good influences on Donna. We just weren't allowed to see them in canon.

That explains why you liked some of my other stories so much. :)

Sadly, this was one of the rare moments where Rose actually showed signs of growing up in my stories. And to think I had much worse for her in store in later stories...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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