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FIC: Ginger Goddess, Part 3 (1/?)

Title: Ginger Goddess, Part 3: Drama in Venice and Spacial Multiplicity
Series: none – first part belonged to “There's The Door!”
Rating: M (there be smut inside in more than one spot, or at least some adult thoughts or implications)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Unaware of the Doctor's intentions even after months of traveling with him, Donna confronts her own feelings when the Doctor is arrested and in danger of execution. She and Martha need help, and only the man the Doctor was mistaken for can save the day: Giacomo Casanova.
Disclaimer: RTD clearly missed on some of the subtext created by the dynamic of Tate and Tennant.
Dedication: bas_math_girl, for her birthday. Love ya, Online-Mummy! (blows a kiss) Also to tardis_mole and cassikat for extremely helpful beta advice. :D But especially to TM, since I'm sort of writing about an ancestor. (It gets confusing when fiction is mixed into history and the distortions therein.)
Author's Note: This started as a one-shot, but quickly grew into a story and a sequel. And another sequel. :D And there will be one more story after this one. Maybe two. And a possibly a DVD extra. ;)

And before we begin, a note about Casanova's life from one of his descendants, my good friend tardis_mole:

Casanova was Venetian by birth, back when Venice was an independent city state. He was the youngest child of an actress, and I mean actress in the true sense - that is a woman who sells her body in order to earn a place on stage. As a small boy he often saw her with a number of men, none of whom were his father. He was an elective mute and was abandoned at young age at a boarding school. It was a young maid who worked there that gave him his first lesson in sexual arousal. It quickly became obvious that he was a polymath, spoke several languages and had a photographic memory.

At the age of fifteen, during his training to be a priest, two sisters visited him. With them he lost his virginity, but he learned a powerful lesson - listen to women. In those days, women had no voice in anything, right down to what they wore, where they went or the marital bed. The age of consent at that time was 12 and girls were a commodity to be sold, shared and bartered. He rescued a few, showed them how a woman should be treated, with kindness and gentleness, and tried to change social attitudes. He was adopted by the Chevalier family, but promptly arrested and imprisoned on false charges by someone who disagreed with the decision. He remains the only successful escapee from that prison tower.

Contrary to popular belief, Casanova was not polygamous, nor did he have sex with children or men. He had several lady friends, some of whom he had sex with, but the relationships did not last long. He had one true love, but she was owned by a rich and powerful man who had blackmailed her and her family and Giacomo had no choice but to let her go. He was married briefly to Bellino, a singer, who then left him. He met her again much later when she beguiled him with a young girl, but didn’t tell him it was his own daughter until afterwards. He spent his later life as a librarian in exile and lived with a common law wife. He was never told that his exile had been revoked and died in Bohemia, which was then also an independent country, and his grave was unmarked.

His few vices in life were chocolate, which was a powder back then to make a thick drink which you half-ate with a spoon, and oysters. He had several children, including one with my greatx6-grandmother, but he was the first to invent a way to lessen the risk of pregnancy. Lemon juice. He hated condoms, because they were made of sheep’s intestines and were so thick that a man could not feel anything during sex to the point of not being able to maintain an erection. He was also the first to make a connection between sex and the transmission of syphilis (or as the Italians still call it, French Pox). Condoms at the time were more like sex toys than a useful device and often made of linen and tied on with ribbon.

At parties, Casanova blew up sheep’s gut condoms, and at the ball held at the meeting between Reinette Passon and King Luis, he blew up several, tied knots in them and called them balloons (Note: this is what the Doctor meant by the French really know how to party in TGitF). He also invented the National Lottery. He had a great many friends, one of whom was Voltaire, although they disagreed on many things. Casanova’s memoirs were written in Venet, the language of Venice and still spoken today. They were translated into Latin, French and Polish, but never into English. He wrote the original Don Juan opera, but Mozart, for whatever reason, changed the dialogue, which hurt him deeply. On seeing the opera, he left without a word and never spoke of it.

Thank you for being so kind as to make sure I gave him fair treatment. I did my best in the original drafts, but your help made the final one the best it could be.




Ginger Goddess, Part 3: Drama In Venice and Spatial Multiplicity

Started October/November, 2012 – New File Started December 4, 2012
Finished September 2014

CHAPTER ONE: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK

It was not the journey the Doctor had expected when he asked Donna to come with him, and when she finally said yes.

No one could have told him that Donna would not hesitate to note if he needed to make some adjustment to the TARDIS. It started with noticing that he had a coat rack, so why didn't he use it? So he had to start remembering to actually hang up his coat. Although she was willing to let him get away with a quick toss in the midst of getting them out of a place in a hurry or if they had to find something in just as quick a hurry. But once the danger was gone she reminded him, suggesting that his ship deserved a measure of respectful treatment, and he really should quit slamming her with that mallet.

“God, it's almost like you have a relationship with one or both of them!”

The TARDIS was silent to human ears, but giggling in the Doctor's mind. He had to restrain himself from reacting, which would have only looked like a child's temper tantrum. She had made the remark that quite a few of his times when he raised his voice in complaint did not come off like they were made by a mature person. Never mind what actually happened on some of their adventures.

First was the Ood Sphere. She had teased him, playfully mocked the TARDIS (which somehow the Old Girl did not take offense to), and showed a compassion that he wished he'd had with him the last time he met the Ood. It was because of her perspective that he realized that the Ood were enslaved, and that they needed a particular form of compassion. Although she had nearly asked to go home. Something that horrified him. They hadn't even had their second adventure yet. The universe couldn't frighten her off!

Pompeii was more interesting. She had managed to challenge him, demanding that he try to save people. Of course the stranded Pryoviles created a challenge, but together they met it. He had liked the toga more than he would dare admit to, and prayed that she hadn't noticed he got a look down her chest. He also knew he couldn't ever permit her to know that her proximity and compassion when they had thought they might die (even he worried that Time itself was going to betray him) had left him needing alone time once they parted ways inside the TARDIS to bathe and change into clean clothes. Twice.

Well, not any time soon, he couldn't. Let her know, that is.

But it was the universe's latest trick on him that took the cake. Everywhere they went, they were mistaken for an already married couple. Donna reacted strongly to that in negation, and he had no choice but to go along with it for her feelings' sake. She was clearly nowhere near ready for him to even court her. And it kept happening! The Ood Corporation representative who died by an angry Ood's translator ball, the father in Pompeii, three separate people in the Edifice – everywhere they went, someone seemed certain that they already acted married.

He wasn't sure if he could take any comfort in that. No matter how like a couple they might seem, it only broke his hearts because each time Donna forced him to hide his wishes.

He was glad that they were able to have several adventures after that. She had been willing to accept traveling with him, and was hired officially by UNIT as his assistant. The pay and the advance he argued given her treatment at the hands of Torchwood London (a payment he discovered Jack had authorized) helped her family make up for the cost of the wedding, and also pay for some needed medical treatments for Geoffrey.

But it didn't take away from the pain that happened shortly after the New Year. Eileen Mott, as she had expected, died on January 3rd, 2007. The call came that she was fading after their time at the Edifice, leaving Donna in tears and forcing the Doctor to convince Sylvia to tell him the exact date. Donna had refused to leave her granddad's side, and the Doctor ended up helping care for the family and then look out for Wilfred by walking him to look at the stars. He would ask the man to tell him stories about Eileen, so her memory could live on in him.

It helped the family, and did a lot to earn Wilfred and Geoffrey's trust. Sylvia remained somewhat uncertain at first, but he proved such a rock that she was unwilling to hold it against him. Especially when he held firm against her rant that if he was such a powerful alien he could have saved her mother.

“Sylvia, my people were not gods. We were often mistaken for them, but it was foolish for us to act like it. My people wanted to subjugate the 'lesser species', mostly by dropping in every so often and leaving marks on the planets we visited. But otherwise we left things alone, even when something ought to have been done. I challenged the status quo, making changes for the better and even encouraging them to develop on their own. I paid for that, and now I'm the only one left. And our medicine had its limits. We had our own versions of cancer, and one very like what your husband has took my first wife's life.” He wasn't going to admit that he was grateful when she died. “I can't say that we were close, as ours was an arranged marriage and we had barely tolerated each other. But I still see my children's pain when she wasted away and we found nothing worked. If I could have saved Eileen, I would have. Family is precious, and I will do whatever I can to protect Donna's.”

If she had wanted to challenge him, she was too upset and even moved to do so. Still, she merely wiped her eyes and told him in a whisper, “Don't push it, Doctor.” She turned back to handling the processes involved in burying family. Which the Doctor had to assist in before she broke down as the stress became too much. He managed to get Geoffrey to come and hold her, while he did what he could for the planning. He avoided calling Donna in to settle things unless he felt he needed an opinion and hers was the only one he felt could work.

He stayed with Donna and her family, not traveling at all until after the funeral. It was a lovely service dedicated to Eileen's long and varied life. She had done so much in her life, and tried to enrich the lives of her only surviving child and only surviving grandchild. (Two details that explained a lot to the Doctor, especially when he learned that Donna's late siblings had been boys.) She had believed in a woman's right to choose and also in the balance needed to protect family life. She had bemoaned in life the lines that she felt women were being fed since her daughter was a little girl, lines that she felt harmed the fabric of society. Lines that she felt had hurt the females in her family – especially her granddaughter, who suffered the most from the growing societal tragedy. The vicar's words, taken from the stories given to him by her family.

The Doctor feared that not enough people would listen to Eileen Mott's wishes from beyond the grave, that too few would start to understand that ginger was just another hair color, and not worse than anything else. He also doubted – much to his dismay – that enough would listen and start to change their own contributions to the status quo.

He had to stay to the side at the funeral, not permitted to stand with the family as he was just a friend. Even Lance's parents were allowed to be closer since their son had been about to join the family. He could only watch as Donna wept silently as every well wisher came by, and when she was allowed to stand to speak about her gran:

“Gran was a force of nature. I never saw her ill until just this last time, only I know now I must not have gone near her when she was sick before. She was a proud woman, who never showed weakness publicly. I know it passed on to each generation of women in the family. I can only hope that it will continue, somehow. What I remember was learning about what I could do at her knee, hearing the family history and learning that whatever the law thought women were already at least the equals of men. Some legal changes she was glad to see, but others she wasn't so certain about. She made her opinions clear, but she never raised her voice at anyone unless someone was in danger. I can only hope to emulate her one day.”

She couldn't speak anything else. She turned back to her family and sat again, taking her silently weeping granddad's hands. The Doctor watched helplessly from the back, waiting for a moment to comfort her – even if only a little.

It was a long wait, handling the well wishers and the wake. Some remembered him from the wedding and asked what he was doing there. He mentioned that his office had hired Donna as his assistant, and he had met Eileen when he brought Donna home. He'd liked her, and been sorry he never got to know her well. He wanted to help, that was all.

If some didn't believe him, he didn't care. He hardly ever cared what anyone thought of him, but he definitely cared what people thought of Donna – and he would step in the way of anyone who seemed to be bent on hurting her or her feelings.

He could only hope that didn't include certain family members. Especially Nerys, who Donna seemed to hold in some affection despite her words. They were related on the Noble side from what he heard, but somehow became more like rivals than family. He wondered how that had happened, but was not about to bring it up at a wake. Even when Nerys started trying to chat him up. It once again brought the memories of Rose to the forefront, but he had to credit Nerys with actually using her brain to make something of herself even as she flirted her way around. She also dressed her age, and to flatter her appearance – which was refreshing to see. He finally got fed up and excused himself curtly with the excuse of checking on Wilfred.

In the end, sitting with the old man was perhaps the best thing for both of them. Donna had to keep busy making sure the attendees all kept the peace, with her father helping. Her mother was moving things along by keeping certain things on a strict schedule, aware of how far some of the family and friends had traveled to attend. So the Doctor asked Wilfred to tell him about Eileen and their history, to share his favorite memories of their times together.

He was treated to a colorful collection of tales, which soon featured Donna quite a lot. Enough that the Doctor wondered how much Eileen had shared with him before her death and how much was due to the old man's noticing the Doctor's attentiveness to Donna. He wasn't sure if it was a good sign or something to be worried about. It seemed a little too domestic, but – as he had realized when Donna had extended the Christmas dinner invitation – it was one more thing he would have to learn to live with in order to be part of Donna's human life.

For that was all they would have, no matter what he could do to extend her existence. Her human life.

Donna finally had a moment alone after all of the visitors had left. Her parents had retired to their room, needing some peace and quiet, and Wilfred had insisted on being brought home so he could be surrounded by Eileen's things. The Doctor understood the instinct, and went with Donna to drive him, borrowing her mother's car.

It was a silent drive, each consumed in their own thoughts, which suited the Doctor's mood and likely the others'. He looked at Donna often, hoping he was concealing it well. How much pain would the universe send their way before they could have even a little happiness together?

/=/=/=/

Donna was grateful that the Doctor, who had seemed like he could hardly stop his gob, remained very quiet on their journey to Acton. He had wished her granddad well, even let the old man hug him, and promised to be a willing ear if need be. Her granddad had been too choked with emotion to do more than nod and thank him.

Once again she was thinking about the Doctor's actions since he came into her life. He remained solicitous of her well-being, had confronted multiple people on her behalf, and stood by her family in the past week. She had finally had enough of the silence, not yet ready to drive.

“How mundane must this be to you?”

He was startled by her speaking. “What?”

She snorted. “Is that your favourite word? Because you said it three times when we met.”

He cleared his throat. “No, that's merely instinct when I'm surprised. What was the question?”

She rolled her eyes. He had a knack of listening too well to her words, but she was going to give him the benefit of the doubt this time. “I asked how mundane these human rituals surrounding someone's death must seem to you.”

“Oh. Well... truth be told, they do bring to mind what we did on my world when someone died for the final time.”

It was probably for the best that they hadn't even pulled out of Wilfred's drive yet. She might have crashed had they been on the road. “You what?! What do you mean, for the final time?!”

He flinched. “Ooh... I didn't mean to admit to that this soon.”

“You'd better explain that, Spaceman.”

He sighed, avoiding her gaze at first. “My people... the subset I was born to, we had a way of sort of cheating death. A few times happening in the wrong places at the wrong times led to the legend of the Phoenix.”

She blinked rapidly. “The bird reborn from the fire of its own death? There's something of truth in that myth?!”

“Yeah, that's sort of what happens. At the moment the body dies, it burns – but doesn't take out anything other than living tissue. That moment is called regeneration. When the fire calms, a new body is in place of the old. The memories remain, although they can become confused depending on the manner of death and how violent it made the regeneration. Then comes a period of settling into the new body, with its quirks and new personality. Again, it depends on how violent the regeneration was. The more unstable the death, the more unstable the person resulting is. One of mine went very badly, and the friend I was travelling with at the time... she nearly paid with her life because I was... completely twisted at first by it. Oh, you would have hated that me, and I would've deserved any and all slaps you wanted to land on me.”

She looked at his face, seeing no hint of lying. “That's... but it must be so painful.”

“It is.”

“You've... done this how many times?”

“Nine... officially. Not counting the transformation that signals the entry into Time Lord life. The first regeneration is more the beginning of adult life as part of Time Lord society.”

“Wait, what do you mean officially?”

He tensed, and face-palmed himself. He had to get hold of this knack of revealing things too soon to her! “Um... my eighth regeneration virtually died in a crash, trying to save a life. Only she didn't want to be saved, because my people were known for their cruelty and lack of caring for 'lesser' forms. By then the Time War had already been in effect, and I'd been trying to hide from it, not wanting to perpetuate the violence. But I was given a second chance by exiled members of my people, who foresaw that I had to survive to protect the universe. They said the war would destroy everything unless I lived to ensure it ended. It meant drinking a potion that revived me and induced regeneration. I changed, Donna. I had to become a warrior who wielded weapons, sometimes against my own kind to stop them from annihilating numerous innocent races. And I unleashed the worst weapon of all on my own planet, the worst thing to do to a Time sensitive: I locked them away from the universe, never to feel the passage of Time again. Just... existing, always destroying each other. Again and again. But there was nothing else I could do.”

He knew there was more to the events, but the memories were also locked. He had the distinct feeling that this version of him had played a role. And perhaps there was one more version of him also there. He would not remember fully until they happened within each part of his timeline, and somehow he did not look forward to knowing.

And yet one thing had become rather obvious. The longer he was away from Rose Tyler the more he remembered about the events surrounding the Time War. Specifically about the Moment. He now wasn't entirely sure he had used the weapon after all, but had prevented anyone else from doing the same.

If he hadn't, then Rose Tyler was mistaken when she thought she was the Bad Wolf. Which meant Rose may have been a pawn in the sentient weapon's revenge on him for not using her. A selfish and inconsiderate pawn, but a pawn nonetheless. He could only hope that now that she had been away from the TARDIS for over a year any hold on her was broken. He had certainly taken measures to protect Earth from her actions.

Donna's mouth fell, watching the tears building in his eyes. She could barely move her mouth from the shock of his words. All she knew was that he wasn't lying to her. He had never lied to her, even when he'd had the opportunity and she might have been too frightened to know better. It took her a long moment to find her voice. “Your own people? You're all alone? Is that why you tried to save the Racnoss? Because you know what it is to be the last of your kind and you don't wish that on anyone?”

“Among other reasons. The other is ever since the Time War I try to not kill. Killing changes you. Don't do it if you have the choice, Donna.”

“I doubt I'll ever have to make that choice.”

He looked balefully at her. “I hope that, too. Too many have chosen to kill. I don't know how many might have been able to make a different choice, because the circumstances... were always terrible.”

“Gramps always said that war changes you, forces you to make decisions you'd never contemplate otherwise. He went, just barely old enough to get in. He never talks about what he saw. But I know one thing he probably doesn't know that I know. He keeps a pistol hidden, one that was supposed to be surrendered years ago. He always said he feared that a time would come when it'd be all he had to protect his family. See, he has these dreams sometimes. One of them, it led him to meet Gran. Another led him to get that house. Mum dismisses them, but... especially since I've met you, I've wondered if there's some explanation for them.”

The Doctor frowned as she spoke, listening and calculating possibilities. If Wilfred Mott was barely seventeen when he went in, how old did that make Sylvia when she had Donna? She had to have been a teenager when she had Donna, a teenager too young to marry. So what did that mean for how Donna had been treated?

He decided to not dwell on it. Donna would tell him when the time was right. “Well, he could be psychic, despite it being more prevalent in females.”

“You mean psychics really exist?”

“Yeah, but few of the ones who claim to be really are. Most of them are charlatans who can be exposed easily. It's the ones who can't be exposed, they know they're in danger. Few of them who speak up are still free. Most with the gift have been killed by... medical intervention.”

He knew the feeling. He had been. Although unlike those poor Humans he could come back as a new person.

Donna sank in her seat. “Why do you come to Earth, Doctor? What is it about the Human Race that you like? We're capable of so much violence.”

“Not all of you. Most of you are good people, and some of you become extraordinary.”

She fixed a skeptical look on him. “Like me, you're going to say?”

“Yes, like you. And don't argue, because your gran thought so.”

“And to argue with her memory would be insulting,” she muttered, cutting off any additional comments. “Okay, I'll let it go. But I still don't understand why you want me in particular around. Not going to complain, since it has opened the universe to me. Did all of your companions or assistants know the dangers they were getting themselves into before they joined you?”

He thought a moment. “Well, some of them travelled with me because they lost their home or family. They were young and needed someone to look after them. Others joined as much because they had to hide from one of my enemies, and so I had to look after them, too.”

She sighed and started the car, asking questions about his previous companions. He found the walk down memory lane comforting in a way, and decided that he would have to show her images of each person he spoke of. It'd be easier if he could just show her telepathically, but he knew enough to know she wasn't ready for that at all. So the long path it had to be. He wondered how long the long path would take.


Chapter Two: Enter a Complication

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Carolyn Harrison
Sep. 4th, 2014 06:53 am (UTC)
Ginger Goddess
Two updates in one day? Yes! Thank you! I love this story so I was really excited to see that you had updated it. It was a sad chapter in that it dealt with Eileen's death, but I thought you handled it well. I liked the Doctors' thoughts on Nerys. Basically, he has no interest in her at all, but at least she dresses well for her age.

I'm so glad Donna knows about regeneration now. Hopefully something will happen in this story and the Doctor and Donna will have more then just her Human lifespan to spend together.

Donna being Sylvia's only serving child, and only girl, makes sense in the way that Sylvia treats Donna. Especially if Sylvia never wanted a daughter.
tkel_paris
Sep. 4th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Ginger Goddess
Well, I had to post something on my online mummy's birthday. Even if the story is incomplete as a whole. She's the one who "tricked" me into writing Doctor Who, after all. :)

Yeah. I felt bad about having Eileen die in the first chapter, but it's turned out to be an important catalyst for future events. Along with Donna's childhood. Stay tuned... and thank you for commenting on both posts!
dm12
Sep. 4th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
It seems the Doctor is telling Donna things he never imagined he'd reveal. It's good she knows about them, and her reaction was pure Donna-- full of compassion and worry for him. Then again, the Doctor was there for her with her Gran's death.

I'm glad you're continuing this series. I've been wanting to know how they reach the point they did at the beginning of the story, so in love and full of life.
tkel_paris
Sep. 4th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
And they'd just taken care of seeing her Gramps home safely. So her reaction seemed natural.

Oh, yes. Getting back full circle. That's my goal, too. :)
alimoseby
Sep. 4th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
This is very very good, I have to say. It did deal with a sad event and all, but still so much was told here. I love it.

~Ali ♥
tkel_paris
Sep. 5th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Yeah. Sets up a lot, though. Once I have the time to sit down and finish writing and polishing.

As always, thanks for commenting. :)
anyagotr
Sep. 5th, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
The very best, that is why he tells her things he never told anyone else.
Looking forward to do much more!
tkel_paris
Sep. 5th, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :D
anyagotr
Sep. 5th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC)
Of course, and always. :)
starseeker32
Sep. 8th, 2014 01:09 am (UTC)
Yay! I've been wondering what happens next!

Ooh, interesting take on The Moment and Bad Wolf. I thought Donna would have been a better conscience for the Doctor than Rose. Or, y'know, have Jimminy Cricket come out of the box. Kidding. Though that could be a crack!fic or crack!vid idea for a later date. :-)

It'd be easier if he could just show her telepathically, but he knew enough to know she wasn't ready for that at all. So the long path it had to be. He wondered how long the long path would take.

I'm glad these two are taking a long respectful path, though I am always interested in the extent of the telepathy between these two (two halves of a whole). Can't wait to read the rest of the journey!
tkel_paris
Sep. 8th, 2014 03:25 am (UTC)
Jimminy Cricket. Oh, he would've been a helper. Which might help influence a different, non-crack idea on the backburner. :)

The journey is coming. Please bear with me. RL is picking up fast, or so it feels like. And today I was unexpectedly wiped out. I guess previous lack of sleep finally caught up with me.
bas_math_girl
Sep. 10th, 2014 08:15 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this! *hugs*

Yes, funerals are very sad affairs but they are also very cleansing (if that makes sense) and allow family to display their best aspects. The Doctor's level of respect was wonderful here, when he must have been to get travelling again with Donna. At least he managed to tell her about regeneration in plenty of time. I can't wait to see how this story progresses. :D
tkel_paris
Sep. 11th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
Welcome. *hugs back*

It does make sense. Only the cleansing... Well, it might take some time. Yeah, he showed a lot of restraint and patience in sticking around to help with everything, didn't he? :)

Next chapter was ready, so I decided to post it. :D
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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