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FIC: Mothers Protect Their Children



Title: Mothers Protect Their Children

Rating: T

Genre: Doctor Who

Author: tkel_paris

Summary: One innocent question from Donna leads the Duplicate on a path of self-discovery, and she realizes the depth of her responsibility toward her accidental child. Only she can stop him from becoming a true Neverwere, the scourge of his father's people. Will her love and instincts be enough?

Disclaimer: Given how many things we the fans keep finding wrong with the show, I'd say that proves who owns what. Sadly.

Dedication: tardis_mole. The idea came to be while I beta read a work involving the Duplicate. Unlike most of the plot bunnies I've created through such work, I took this one.

Author's Note: I was going to wait to write this, but I watched the Broadchuch finale and was shaken even though I suspected who the killer was after watching episode seven. I felt this need to see a parent-child relationship go right from the start. Well, almost the start. Let's remember who we're talking about.

I suppose I should explain the original plot bunny. I had asked TM questions about Neverweres, to better understand what they are and who did we see who were ones. In the process, it was clear that the Duplicate counted as one, but his dual nature gave him the ability to think about who and what he was, providing him with the best chance to be his own person and overcome the problems. However in canon the Doctor forced him to accept being dumped with Rose, suggesting that the root source can exert control over the meta-crisis. So... what if Donna had acted to shield him from the worst of the Neverwere nature before the Doctor felt the need to command him? This was my Muse's result, with some tweaking from TM.




Mothers Protect Their Children

Started September 25, 2013
Finished October 21, 2013

“Stop it!” Donna ordered, sensing that another round of “Ois!” would serve no purpose. “How can you have a Human heart? You’re not Human!”

“But I am... No, wait, I’m... part Time Lord, part Human. Well, isn’t that wizard?!”

A random thought made her eyes widen further, even more than him using one of her words. “If you're part both me and the Doctor... then what does that make you? Our son?”

The Duplicate stood in place a moment, thinking. “Um... yeah. It does.”

She reached out to touch his chest. She felt that single heartbeat he was complaining about moments before. “One heartbeat. I kept hearing a noise, a heartbeat...”

“That was me. My single heart, coz I’m a complicated event in time and space. It must have rippled back and converged on you.”

Something wasn't making sense. She remembered things a little differently. She swore she'd heard a double heartbeat. She decided to let that go for now. “But why me?”

“Coz you’re special.”

“I keep telling the Doctor, I’m not!”

He looked at her, dismayed over her insistence. “But you are,” he insisted strongly. “You’re... my mum. Oh. You really don’t believe it, do you?” he spoke softly. He absently pressed his fingers to his temple, as if they could help him think better. “I can see what you’re thinking. All that attitude. All that lip. Coz all this time... you thought you weren’t worth it.”

“Stop it,” Donna begged him, suddenly realising he had access to all the pain she had ever felt, being sidelined and overlooked and ignored and put down.

“Shouting at the world,” he continued. “Coz no one’s listening. Well, why should they?”

Donna flinched at that, hurt that he was voicing her innermost thoughts and self-dismissal. “Stop it.”

He looked at her, approaching her with infinite tender kindness. “But look at what you did. You made me. You saved my dad's life so many times, you've... No, it’s more than that, it’s like... we were always heading for this.” His face began to light up, showing his growing amazement. “You came to the TARDIS. Like a moth to a flame. You being targeted wasn't a coincidence. You were meant to be there, to stop my dad. Then you found my dad again. Your Granddad!” he cried in astonishment, fingers of both hands to his temples as he began pacing slightly, not noticing her growing alarm at his hyperactivity. “And then your car! Mum, your car, you parked your car right where the TARDIS was going to land. That’s not coincidence at all. Oh we've been blind! Something’s been drawing you and Dad together for such a long time! And all of it for this moment, for me!”

Donna frowned at him. “You’re talking... destiny. But there’s no such thing. Is there?”

The Duplicate’s eyes drifted off into the distance, reading the timelines, the fixed points, all in a pretty row like a string of Christmas lights. So beautiful, so arranged in a pattern. And his Dad, the Doctor, hadn’t even noticed because he was part of the events. Like looking through a misted window, he hadn’t seen it. “It’s still not finished, like the pattern’s not complete yet. The strands are still drawing together... But heading for what?”

“Let me get this straight. You’re my son; literally, my son. And you have a Human heart... from where?”

“Well, I should have two. To handle this much information in your head, you need Time Lord genetics.” He looked inward, trying to figure out his body. “No, it's like something went wrong. I'm missing something. Half myself isn't in me.”

Donna frowned. “Then where is it? Because I know I heard two heartbeats earlier.”

“There're only two places it could be. In the jar is one, but it's clearly too broken. The other...” His eyes widened in obvious horror. “Oh my god!”

“What? What's wrong?”

“It's in you.”

“Me?!” She felt her chest. “But I only have one heart!”

“The energy is inside you. It touched your mind, copying it into mine, but it was a two-way meta-crisis. Oh, we have to hope you don't get shot with an electrical charge – that could either kill you outright or fire my dad's mind in yours.”

Donna's eyes widened. “Wait, I'm checking. All that knowledge he's accumulated from... however many centuries or more he's been alive, in my little Human head?”

“Yeah, and that'd be bad. Because there can't be a surviving Time Lord/Human meta-crisis.”

She gasped. “What does that mean for you?”

He thought a moment. “I might not survive long,” he whispered. Then he sucked in a breath. “But even if I can live a long life, I'm a dead man.”

“Why?”

He didn't answer. He started hyperventalating. “No, I don't want to be executed!”

She grabbed his arms, stopping his panicking squeals and forcing him to sit in the Jump Seat. “Listen to me. I need answers because we might be the Earth's last hope against the Daleks. Why would anyone execute you? You haven't done anything.”

“Yet.”

“What do you mean?”

He took a deep breath. “It's because of how I was created. It makes me something my dad's people reviled, and had to destroy.”

Donna knelt beside him. “I don't understand. What does being born inside here, from a severed part of your dad that I touched because you called to me, have to do with that?”

He swallowed. “Dad never told you about the last days of the Time War. He never told anyone. A former companion unleashed two sets of unnatural creations on Gallifrey. Meanwhiles, those who should never have been born, were bad enough. But the other kind were far worse. Created from DNA from people who already lived, who were from another universe, or who had died years before. In the heart of a Time capsule. That changes the fundamental nature of the person. They're incredibly susceptible to suggestion, particularly nasty ones. They believed they were the real person, even acted like them, but they used their reason to argue that destruction was the only way. They could be turned into assassins, used as weapons. And so many took advantage of that. Neverweres are the great scourge of the Time Lords, their worst creation. They have to be killed.” He shed a tear.

There was silence.

Donna slowly broke it. “You're part Human. Would that have any effect?”

He took a shuddering breath. “I don't know. The Doctor only ever encountered one that wasn't created from Gallifreyan DNA. You met her. River Song.”

“How did he know?”

“Her scent. Neverweres give off this smell: decaying time. Imagine every last foul thing you can think of and put them all together. Now multiply that by a factor of ten.”

Donna barely avoided throwing up at the thought.

“That's what I am. Being part Human might make my scent less offensive, but it doesn't change anything else. Dad will have to kill me.”

“Why him?”

“Because the root source, if it still lives, has to do it. It cancels out the damage to the timelines. And you'd never hurt your own child.”

The utter despair in his eyes made hers water.

“No, there have to be other options. You're not thinking of them yet.”

“But Mum-”

“Are Neverweres aware of what they are?”

“No. They're usually convinced they're the real person. In the case of ones created just from the presence of a temporal field within in an anti-chronon shell, they think they're perfectly normal. I wonder if that's made River Snog so smug.”

She found a tiny chuckle over the description. “Well, how come you know what you are and that you're not the Doctor?”

His eyes, wet and barely able to see her face, widened. “Your mind. Your memories, your way of thinking. I have all that in my mind too. I'm two people in one, and one side is more self-aware.”

Her eyes widened and she smiled. “Then that's the key. My Human instinct, that spark that might be what keeps drawing your dad to pick Human companions, is your hope. I want you to try something: only listen to me, not to anyone else. You will run any thought by me. If I say no, you will obey me and think of an alternative. If any thought runs toward the negative end, I want you to immediately seek an alternative.”

“I don't know if that'll work, but I'll try. One other thing about Time Lord Neverweres: we can't lie.”

“How do you explain River Song?”

He cringed. “She was a Human Neverwere. Somehow they can lie. Makes her more dangerous than any of them, because she could be turned toward more evil than anyone else.”

She sighed. “Right then. Okay, we need to find a solution that gets your dad, Jack, and Rose out.”

He cringed. “Rose. You need to know something: she took on aspects of a Neverwere when she broke into the TARDIS. It ultimately cost Dad his last self, and led to the events that severed his hand.”

“So... she smells of decaying time now?”

“Yeah.”

“And he kept her with him? He let her live despite that edict?”

“Timelines. She needed to be there for certain events. He won't go against the call of Time.”

“So... the 'Bad Wolf' is something very bad then?”

“A foretold Time Demon, predicted to cross my dad's path one day. He dreaded that.”

“And it broke his hearts to realize it was the girl who saved his life at his darkest moments?”

“Yeah. Emphasis on girl.”

She knew that already. He'd mentioned her age. Including what he figured out was her real one. But that was for later. “Ignore her when you see her again, and forget about her for now. You have to-”

The console beeped.

Minutes later, they were left staring at the screen as the realization of what the Daleks planned to do hit them. Both were stock still.

Donna found her voice first. “We need something to do. Something that doesn't kill. You have your dad's mind. What do we have that can work?”

He started at the sound of her voice, and then thought a moment. “The thing is, we have to be sure they can't come back. If they find a way to escape in droves...”

“Killing is the last resort. Can we disable them more than long enough to stop their plan?”

He thought again. “Well... I'd thought of a z-nutrino catalyzer.”

“And what's that when it's at home?”

“The TARDIS has Darvos' DNA on file. It's running through all the Daleks. It's basically a gun that, when fired on Darvos, would set the destruction solely on the Daleks. But it doesn't prevent them from killing us until it does.”

“What if it could disable them instead?”

He blinked. “Yes... change it to a shock directly aimed at Darvos' DNA, and it sends him and the Daleks into spasms. It could buy us time to disable the bomb by sending the planets home.”

Donna smiled. “Then-” She cut herself off as a thought hit her. “Do you see what just happened?”

“What?”

“Your first thought was of destruction, but you did nothing.”

“You said I can't do anything without your approval, and I gave you my word.”

“There! You see? There's hope for you, love.”

He beamed at her.

/=/=/=/=/

They had it ready. They scanned the room where Davros was, trying to locate the source of the power for the event. It seemed to be in the same room, along with the Doctor and Rose.

The Duplicate had to snort. “Daleks. They don't learn from their mistakes sometimes.”

“Good thing for us,” Donna remarked airily, trying to cover her own nerves. “So... we can land really close to the Magnetron. We'll use this bond you helped create between us. I'll disable the equipment, and you holding that gun should shock them enough into not reacting.”

“But Mum, if he shoots you, it'll kill you! Either immediately or when Dad's mind starts swamping yours!”

She took a deep breath. “If I die, you stop them, but remember my instructions. And then tell your father that you were ordered to listen to him, to follow his orders for your own protection.”

“Mum, he might decide to leave me somewhere.”

“Tell him that the only place I want you dropped is home, with my mum and gramps. You're our son, and he'd better honour my last wish. And you're to listen to them, let them guide you into becoming your own person, able to think safely for yourself.”

“But if you die... Dad once said there's not a boy alive who wouldn't tear the world apart to save his mummy. I might tear the Daleks apart to avenge you, and I don't think even Dad could stop me,” he whimpered.

She hugged him. “My brave boy.” She touched his cheeks. “He'll see you're more than anything he thought possible. He'll love you. He needs to be a dad.”

He sniffled. “Maybe he will... because he loves you.”

She blinked, and swallowed. “You what?”

“It's true. He's just quite the coward at telling you.”

She took a deep breath. “I'll deal with that later. I think we're on a deadline.”

“Yeah. I just wish for one thing.”

“What's that?”

“That I could've had a real childhood, been a real boy.”

“Let's see about that after we save all of Creation.”

He nodded, and together they set the controls and flew to save the day.

Moments later, when Donna ran out, the shock to the room that the TARDIS was far from destroyed wasn't enough. She was shot by Darvos on her way to the equipment.

“Donna!” screamed the Doctor.

“Mum!”

The louder scream was unexpected, but the energy hitting Darvos was even more so. The Dalek creator screamed, and his nearby minions also wailed, unable to move.

All eyes able to move turned and jaws dropped at the sight of a man in a blue suit who looked identical to the Doctor. He was the one who just shouted, and his face was contorted in rage as he focused on his target.

“That's my mum you shot!” he shouted over the noise.

“What?!” squawked Rose, utterly bewildered how there could be another Doctor, never mind one calling Donna Noble his mother.

The Doctor immediately figured out who and what he was. It still shocked him. “Stop!”

The Duplicate did. He listened to the countdown and turned to disable the machine before Davros and the Daleks recovered. But halfway there he stopped suddenly, eyes widening.

The Doctor opened his mouth to demand why, but then he saw a familiar hand reach up and press a button.

The countdown stopped.

Everyone, even the still twitching Davros, stared as Donna stood up, smiling, and announced, “And... closing all Z-Neutrino relay loops with an internalised synchronous back-feed reversal loop. That button there!”

The Duplicate nearly cried in relief. “Mum! Are you okay? Your brain's okay?”

“Never been better,” she declared as her fingers kept moving and racing to do things. “That two-way meta-crisis is brilliant! And you Time Lords don't know what that Human instinct can do. I can think of ideas you two could never think of in a million years! The Reality Bomb is disabled forever!”

“But we still have to stop the Daleks before Davros can-”

“Oh, I don't fancy being shot again. So I gave him a bio-electric dampening field with a retrogressive arc inversion. His little minions? Used a self-replicating energy blindfold matrix in a macrotransmission of an Kfilter wavelength to block their weapons. And a vaccum transfer web across the vocalisation port to stop them from communicating. And then there's this... Spin!”

The three Daleks suddenly all spun in one direction.

The Doctor's eyes widened even further. “The Doctor Donna,” he breathed.

“And the other way!”

The Duplicate laughed. “That's brilliant!” He turned to her. “You're sure-”

“Well, let's return the planets in a hurry, put these Daleks were they can't hurt anyone, and then we'll worry about saving me before your dad's mind can burn me. Holding cells deactivated! Now you skinny boys in suits! Shake a leg!”

The Doctor didn't need to be told twice to race over to one of the three consoles. The Duplicate however paused a moment, wondering why his mum would want him to do that until his Human side reminded him it was a saying. Then he joined them.

“And those were tests. Let's also send the trip switch all over.” She paused. “Did I ever tell you? Best temp in Chiswick. 100 words per minute!” She slammed her hands down and typed, faster than ever before. The Doctor and Duplicate could keep up, but had to focus a bit harder to do it.

They ignored the sounds of the companions around them, even as they blew their way through the trip switch and then sending the planets back.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Dalek proved able to halt their efforts. Mercifully, Jack had thought to get his Defabricator back and destroyed him. But it left Earth still present. The Doctor hurried inside the TARDIS to stabilize the planet.

The prophecy must complete, Doctor,” Caan declared.

The Duplicate looked at his mother. “He's mistaking me for Dad.”

Donna took a deep breath and joined him at his console. “Think. Is there another way?”

I have seen the end of everything; it must surely happen, Doctor. And one of them will die...”

“The problem is if they ever get out, they could finish what they started. They could wipe out the universe!”

“Can we lock them away back in the Void?”

“I don't know if these controlls will hold long enough! And there are Rifts! They could spit at least some out anywhere in history! Especially on Earth!”

Donna thought, using the Doctor's knowledge. The picture was grim. “We can't commit genocide without searching for other options! Doctor!”

He was locking the controls in place, having listened to everything with alarm. But the Duplicate, who he expected to enact Caan's admonition, was waiting for Donna. He barely managed to get outside. “Donna, even if we do, if we're not careful it could destroy Earth and the TARDIS!”

She blanched, eyes widening further. “Oh my god. The controls are losing power. Son, step aside.”

“Mum!”

“No, I'm not putting this on your shoulders. Even if I have to destroy an entire species to save the universe. Not that it won't mean that some Daleks won't keep appearing, but it'll save Creation.” Her voice was grim as she pushed her son away so she could set the controls. “Setting them to contain the explosions.”

“Wait!”

Donna turned to yell at the Doctor as he joined her, but her words died at the pained look.

He put his hands over hers on the controls that would start the end of nearly all things Dalek. “Together. I won't have you shoulder this alone.”

It was Pompeii all over again. Only he was supporting her.

Together, they pressed the buttons and flipped the switch.

/=/=/=/

A few hours later, the celebrations inside the TARDIS were well underway. Everyone hugged everyone else, because it was the thing to do.

Finally, as the talking began to move to exchanging mobile numbers, the Duplicate went to the Doctor's side. “Dad, you have to save Mum. I don't care what you do to me, but you have to save her.”

Sarah Jane was nearby and turned. “What's he mean, Doctor? Save Donna from what? Your mind? And why's he saying you might do something to him?”

That silenced all talking.

Donna moved to her son's side. “Don't speak like that! I told you, we'll find another way.”

“Donna,” the Doctor said. “He's a-”

“A Neverwere? He told me. He's also a child in a man's body. Of course he's going to be suggestible.”

The Doctor's eyes widened. He looked at his Duplicate. “How do you know what you are?”

His son shrugged. “Mum's Human legacy. I can look into myself, see what and who I really am, and think outside the typical paths of a Neverwere. Don't mean I don't think of the same things, but Mum found a way.”

“I made him run everything even remotely destructive by me, and if I say no he's to obey that. And he has. He didn't make that catalyser until I okayed it.”

The Doctor looked at his Duplicate in a bit of awe. “You are something new.”

The Duplicate smiled sadly. “But does it make me any less dangerous?”

“Stop it!” his mother snapped. “You are not going to meet the fate of all those copies from your dad's past. You're our son, and we're going to protect you.”

“Son?!”

Jackie grabbed Rose's arm. “Be quiet! I want to know what's going on! And don't act so shocked. They said it: two way meta-crisis, whatever that means for him. It means that second Doctor is half the Doctor, half Donna. What else would he be other than their son? I didn't raise a complete idiot!”

“Mum!”

The Duplicate giggled. “No, just a half-wit.”

The Doctor groaned, cutting off Rose's indignation and Jackie's thank-you glare. “Stop that! It's not Time Lordy!”

Donna narrowed her eyes. “And what do you call that one time on-”

“Okay, okay, okay!” the Doctor conceded, not wanting to revisit that one in public. He painfully aware that at least four people in the room were very curious what she meant. “But there's still a problem. Your idea has worked so far, but there's a painful truth: neither of you should be lasting this long. And the Human mind can't hold a Time Lord consciousness inside it, there's not enough space. And this one-hearted body can't provide enough oxygen to sustain the Time Lord brain. He's dying.”

Donna looked at her son. “Did you know?”

The Duplicate looked sadly at her. “Yes. I decided even before you ordered me about that I would give my life to save yours.”

The Doctor sucked in a breath. His son, he was truly something different. He deserved a chance to live just as much as Donna did. And the meta-crisis had made Donna his...

He was getting ideas. He wasn't sure if any of them had a chance in hell of working.

Jack cleared his throat. “Anything the peanut gallery can do to help?”

Mickey let out a tiny groan, but nodded. “Yeah, we're feeling a little left out here. What's going to happen if we do nothing?”

The Doctor didn't take his eyes off his family. “My mind will swamp Donna's, making her burn up. She'll die. And our son, his cells will slowly die as they fail to get enough oxygen. He'll die of hypoxia within a year, maybe two.”

“So he needs another heart,” Martha mused aloud. “Can we separate your mind from Donna's?”

“Neither he nor I could. We'd have two copies of my mind in our heads. Neither of us could handle that. Even I'll be killed stone dead, never mind him.”

Caan's final words hung over the room.

The Duplicate sighed, clearly having made a decision. “Mum, let me save you.”

“I'm your mother! I'd give my life to save you!”

“And what happens to Dad when you're gone? He survived without Rose, even though he thought he couldn't take being alone again. After you said no, he managed and found Martha, even though he failed her in so many ways. But you? He's a better man for you being here. You know this, Mum. If it's in his head, it's in yours.”

Donna thought about what she could tell. And her eyes opened wide as she looked at the suddenly sheepish Doctor.

“See how he was following your lead? He lied to be sure you'd join him. He wanted you as a companion at Christmas two years ago, was devastated you declined. And now you know his name. That makes you his wife. What do you think a broken bond will do to him?”

She swallowed. “He could do things so stupid that they hurt time, people...”

The Doctor lowered his head, thinking of all the times he barely hung on in the nine hundred years before he met Rose. And how in retrospect he'd not done so well with her. She hadn't really known how to stop him. Donna did.

“How long would it take him to find someone else?” the Duplicate continued. “Someone who could stop him? Will he even feel able to take another companion? Knowing him, he'll shut down. And then when this him dies, god help the universe and the next one's companions. And there's the not-so-little matter of the Spoilers woman in his future. There are ways to explain her, but he's liable to do the one she clearly believed. So... you can't die, Mum. And he wouldn't let you just die. He'd try to give you a chance at living again, but what kind of a life would it be? A shallow, half-life. Worse than CAL's, because who knows how long it would be before that wonderful Human mind made a connection that no defense mechanism he could create could overpower? Human memory isn't the cleanly delineated thing that a Time Lord's is.”

The Doctor paled. Oh god, he'd forgotten that. He would just be delaying her painful death. He thought for a moment of how many people were at the failed wedding, how many she met through her journeys with him, and then there was the matter of her being the most important woman in the whole of Creation. Some species would try to thank her, and the damage done by the mechanism he had in mind might cause a war waged against Earth. Oh what could he do?!?!

Donna's started weeping. “But it'll kill you!”

“Mum, let this little boy tear himself apart to save his mummy. You protected me from Dad and the universe. Now let me protect you and the universe from his foolish ideas.”

The Doctor couldn't speak. He had nothing he could say in his defense.

Donna cried outright. “I love you, Benjamin.”

The Duplicate's eyes watered. His last moment alive and he was named. “Love you, Mummy.”

And he put his fingers to the contact points on her head, and activated the link.

Within moments, there was a glow in Donna's eyes and strain in Benjamin's face. Everyone could see he was fighting with the meta-crisis inside Donna to get it to let her go. Both were crying out as the glow inside Donna turned sinister, trying to take over her mind and make her claw at her own child.

But Benjamin held firm. Having a man's body and some Time Lord strength, not to mention the memory of the discipline that the Doctor had taken far more time than he would ever admit to acquire, he kept going. He would succeed or die trying.

Finally, the glow flowed freely into him, relinquishing its hold on her. He let her go with a cry, just as she cried out, and he collapsed, the glow fading as he hit the ground.

Donna held her hands to her head instinctively, and then looked at Benjamin's lifeless form. She burst into tears. “My baby!”

Suddenly, he glowed again.

The Doctor burst into motion, dragging Donna away, “Get back!”

The others barely did before Ben suddenly burst into flame, just as his father had.

“Oh my god!” Rose cried as she covered her eyes.

The Doctor was the only one able to watch without covering his eyes. “I was wrong! Regenerate, son! Come on! Regenerate!”

Slowly the flames died off, leaving what looked like just the Doctor's spare blue suit behind.

Everyone was silent, motionless.

Jackie risked speaking. “Where'd he go?”

A cry filled the air. It sounded like an animal.

Donna gasped and rushed to the suit, tugging at it until she exposed a newborn's upset face. His face was scrunched, as cross as his hair was ginger.

The room exclaimed in shock, but she acted immediately. “Oh, love, you did it!” She adjusted the shirt around him as she picked him into her arms. “You became a real boy!”

His cries lessened, blinking briefly at her before closing his eyes again against the light. His tiny hands seemed to reach for her through the shirt.

“It's all right, love,” Donna crooned, resting him so he could hear her heartbeat and kissing his forehead. “Mummy's here.”

While the rest of the room stared in stilled shock, the Doctor slowly approached. He risked scanning the boy with the sonic, half-surprised that Donna didn't warn him about bleeping. The boy's cries changed pitch at the noise of the sonic. “Sh-sh-sh,” he soothed as he tried to make it fast, trying to also check Donna in the process. His eyes widened as the results came back. “He got it all out of you, Donna. He has two hearts now. And he's no longer a Neverwere. It burned away with the regeneration. That's unheard of! Oh no! It might mean that given the right death, some of the Neverweres might've been saved! Maybe.”

Donna knew the signs of a self-induced guilt trip, especially from him. Thankfully she had the best tool to combat it: a beautiful distraction that happened to have the ginger hair she knew he admired for reasons that escaped her. “But he'll be all right now?” she asked. “No more fearing stray nasty thoughts?”

He grinned at her. “No more. He's fine. Better than fine. He's perfect. And look at that ginger hair. My face, your hair.”

Donna laughed through her tears. “Hope he grows into both.”

“He will.” The Doctor kissed the boy's forehead, drawing a sleepy blinking look from the boy. Unable to resist, the new father touched his son's hand with his pointer, and found the tiny fingers clutching the tip. He saw Donna's smile over how he clearly melted over that, and they watched a moment as the little one yawned and then went to sleep. Then the Doctor wrapped his arms around Donna, whispered to confirm she still knew his name, and gave her a tender kiss that she melted into.

The others looked at each other. Some understood what happened better than others. Some however just struggled to remotely comprehend what might happen next.

All Rose knew was that there was no longer a place for her in the TARDIS. The Doctor was too besotted with the changed Duplicate him, and hadn't said Duplicate called Donna the Doctor's wife?

Her eyes drifted to the Preacher she'd brought, but a little shock hit her through her feet. She risked a slight step in its direction and a worse one ran through her. She barely avoided crying out.

It was the TARDIS. The ship was warning her to not do anything to incur the Doctor's wrath. Or hers.

She stayed still, waiting for the moment the Doctor would drop her and her mum back on the parallel world. She didn't know how she knew. She just did. Although she didn't know that Mickey was staying here, or that he intended to ask Martha Jones out at the first opportunity. The most she knew was that Jack and Sarah Jane might be honorary uncle and aunt to the boy.

Only making sure her child didn't do anything foolish kept Jackie at Rose's side. Otherwise she would go closer for a closer look at the baby. Instead she'd wait her turn.

Not that the new family was aware of that. The Doctor was too busy gently holding Donna and baby Benjamin against him, bathing them mentally with love before he went back to what he had to do.

Never mind that it was a delay in facing Sylvia and her axe.

THE END

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
jennytork
Oct. 21st, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
How wonderful!!!! Thank you!!!!
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Welcome. And thank you. :D
(Deleted comment)
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
The final images of the Doctor, Donna, and Benjamin were good, weren't they?
dm12
Oct. 21st, 2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
So sweet, and a much better solution than the Doctor had thought of.

I loved the last sentence about Sylvia and her axe! I'd love to see him try to explain the situation to her. Still, better to explain this than what he had to explain in canon... that was truly awful.
starseeker32
Oct. 22nd, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Best the Doctor leave out the alternatives when explaining things to Sylvia. Somehow I can't see, "Lookie! You have a cute grandson! And I'm married to your daughter, but it could be worse. She could have died, or I could have given her a lobotomy, but she's fine. Saved all of Creation, she did. We're all fine. Did I mention the cute grandson? He's ginger! I love ginger!" going over well. :-P
dm12
Oct. 22nd, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
No, he should skip the worse alternatives. Just focus on the grandkid! Sylvia has always wanted one of those....
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
Amen. :)
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:08 am (UTC)
And yet he's such an outer space dunce that he just might've said that. Unless Donna slapped him in the middle of things. :P
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
It was. On all counts. No wonder I felt compelled to write it after watching the Broadchurch finale. *sighs*

*snorts* And I think I second the other comments to this. :D
serenityslady
Oct. 21st, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC)
The Duplicate as a Neverwere. (Or would that be a Neverwas?!) Very interesting concept. Will you hold it against me that I had no doubt Benjamin would end up as a Time Tot?? But at least he's not a twin!! :DDDD

I really liked this. And I admire you for handle Rose more gently that I would have. She showed at least a little maturity in accepting the obvious.

But I think I enjoyed the discussion of River Song as a Neverwere the most. There was just something so wrong about that woman.
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:12 am (UTC)
TM has done it, and I've taken a lot of inspiration, as you can tell. Sometimes I take things a bit further in one direction in comparison, which is a good thing. Oh, yes. This and "Regression" and "Handy Tells Rose (and the Doctor) the Truth". Might be the only times since my first DW fic where Handy didn't become a twin. :D

Well... she did have to be prodded. I wasn't as gentle as I could've been, I suppose.

Do we start above or below the neck with what's wrong with River? :P
serenityslady
Oct. 22nd, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
I really thought at first you were going with the tried-and-true "Donna's got a other half in the oven" route. (The “It's in you.” was one indicator.) I'm glad you didn't. Makes for a refreshing change. :D

Did that prod involve cattle, perchance?! (I am a bad person.)

Oh, I'll just start with a basic premise: SHE IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE THE DOCTOR'S WIFE!!! The rest is icing.

tkel_paris
Oct. 23rd, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
But he pulled it out of her, so that changed things. :)

Just a TARDIS shock. ;D

Amen. And I think there's canonical evidence to back it, which the Moff either didn't notice or he has some secret plan that might be shown in November.
serenityslady
Oct. 23rd, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
It did indeed.

Which, given the right motivation, would be quite enough! ;D

My, my. Aren't you being kind. I think he just didn't give a rat's ass about canon!
starseeker32
Oct. 22nd, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
I may be biased because I'm a fan of fix-its and Alternate Handy stories (as well as Ginger Time Tots), and this story has it all! I am not too familiar with Classic Who, but I have a basic knowledge of the Meanwhiles and Neverweres. Integrating that mythology with the events of the meta-crisis and the existence of River Song is a really cool take! I want to note, too, that the callbacks to "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" as well as the one to "Fires of Pompeii" are nice touches to an emotional story.

You tie up a lot of loose ends in a very creative way. Acknowledging the "if it's in your head, it's in mine" aspect of the meta-crisis and connecting the dots to explain how a broken bond can affect the Doctor is a much more satisfactory explanation than what RTD gives us, as sad as it is. Thank you for acknowledging TenTwo's fate as well. To assume he'll be fine while Donna deteriorates never made sense to me.

I always enjoy stories where TenTwo is seen as the son of the Doctor and Donna and not treated like a clone. I'm glad Benjamin gets a new start as "a real boy" because the repeated theme within the series of parents losing children is absolutely heartbreaking. I've read some of your other Alternate Handy stories, so the ending you chose isn't a surprise, but it is lovely all the same. The Doctor and Donna deserve some happiness, and Ginger Time Tots seem like they can bring a lot of joy! Well done!

Edited at 2013-10-22 12:51 am (UTC)
tkel_paris
Oct. 22nd, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
Nearly all of my Classic Who knowledge is from fanfiction and emails with other fanfic writers. Thank goodness I found some who want accuracy and tell me when I've goofed and didn't know it. Some things just fed into each other, I suppose.

It makes more sense. The longer Ten had to deal with it, the worse he got. I only hope for a canon acknowledgement of it. Other than Donna being the most faithful companion (as said in Caan's prophecy of the DoctorDonna's death). Of course, I read that as saying the Meta-Crisis dies, meaning both of them since you really can't undo one. Unless you go my route. And yes, the implications of one heart and a Time Lord mind came from TM, too.

The real boy thing is another theme with Handy. Came out in stories where he DID appear as a boy. Some are mine. Some are TM's. Hope you read all of my Handy stories. And thank you. I feel good to have finished this one. :D
alimoseby
Oct. 22nd, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I have to say, this was a much better explanation than what the show did. I prefer this. Donna and the Doctor should have gotten to raise the Duplicate and their child in their happy family. *nods*

Brilliant.</p>

~Ali ♥

alimoseby
Oct. 22nd, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
*as. This iPad apps drives me bonkers...
tkel_paris
Oct. 23rd, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
Of course they should've. And thank you.

(And that's part of why I won't get the Andriod app. Too many bad reviews.)
bas_math_girl
Oct. 23rd, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
The image of the Doctor, Donna and baby Benjamin at the end is beyond cute! I love this fix-it, especially how you used Nine's quote and the reason why River Song was dismissed by Ten. Plus, I admire your restraint by letting the TARDIS deal out any necessary punishment. :D
tkel_paris
Oct. 23rd, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I wish I could draw. I'd draw that imagine of besotted Ten grinning at his sleepy son holding his fingertip while Donna looks on happily. Add in the other Children of Time (and Rose) standing to the side in various expressions. :D And thank you. Your icon is sweet. :DDDDDD
roisin_7116
Oct. 29th, 2013 07:37 am (UTC)
Awww...that was so emotionally heartfelt. At one point (when ben is will to die for his mummy) I actually started to tear up! :'( but it had such a sweet ending! :)
tkel_paris
Nov. 3rd, 2013 04:36 am (UTC)
Thank you.
luinel
Oct. 31st, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
You're definitely harsh on Rose! And people think i'm mean. But the sad thing is that this really isn't OOC for her. I just try to think the best of her.
tkel_paris
Nov. 3rd, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
At times I try. I just feel very disappointed since she had potential and wasted it by not being willing to really better herself. Never mind that it smacked of the fantasy of being able to escape your life by running away. I'll fill that out when I get around to writing down my feelings about why Rose is not a great companion but a failure - ultimately. *shrugs* And that doesn't get into the continuity issues I see that paint Rose in an even worse light.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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