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FIC: Flipped, Book 3 (4/12?)

Title: Flipped, Book 3
Rating: heavy T, with some M/MA
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: David Noble thought he had come to terms with the strange feelings the female Doctor inspired, and it seemed to be helped by Martha Jones joining them. But when the Aubertide threaten the Doctor, protecting her requires a cover that will test his sanity and his ability to find the right thing to do. Written for tardis_mole.
Required Disclaimer: The summary should be enough to tell you I own nothing.
Dedications: My good friend tardis_mole, for helping me discover my talent at editing and for being an inspiration. You've challenged me to go beyond what I previously thought I would like, and so this is the farthest I've gone from my comfort zone so far. Who knows where I'll go next?
And another important shout-out: sykira, whose LJ post about John Barrowman's comments about how Doctor Who could eventually go was the ultimate spark for this idea. So I suppose that means the ultimate blame for this lies with the Barrowman. I can only imagine what he would think, although I suspect he would heartily approve. :P
Author's Note: Originally spawned from a different idea that split into three, this is a new version of one of those ideas revived as a birthday present. And it's spawned a slightly AU version as a Christmas present. The original prompt from TM boiled down to this: “The Doctor and Donna in a situation that's never been done before.” Ask and ye shall receive, my friend. Enjoy the second sequel. :D A VERY Belated Happy Birthday, TM! :DDD

Special Disclaimer: I refuse to be held responsible for any $2000/₤2000 lattes, spit-takes, fainting spells, workplace/school gaffes, or falling against/from things that might happen if you're not careful while reading this story. Especially in certain chapters. Read at your own risk. (I put this in because I was warned by one of my betas, cassikat, that my emails should come with a spit-take warning. So I'm looking out for y'all. ;D)

And TM, be careful that you don't hyperventilate from reading some of the sections. I know you. :P And so sorry for the delay. At least I have a legitimate excuse for not working on it last year; we had our balrog to work on. :D

Thanks to cassikat and bas_math_girl for betaing. Couldn't have done it without y'all.

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three

Flipped, Book 3

Started July 14, 2013
Finished December 31, 2015


David knew he was cutting it close for intercepting Nerys and Emily before the latter left for work, but he couldn't spare a thought about how cutting it close he was. They did live just close enough that he wasn't going too far out of his way.

Mind, he still had to hurry. He did have work to arrive on time for.

He did not let them have a chance to speak, unlike that Christmas where they accidentally caught him off guard as he looked after the unconscious Doctor. Not even to update him on how close Nerys was to giving birth. He launched right into a whispered shorthand of what happened and how critical it was for them to not even breathe a word about the Doctor or who 'Donna Noble” truly was:

“Listen, something's gone very wrong. My friend I've been travelling with is in grave danger and has to hide as a human until the danger passes in about three months. She... doesn't know anymore what she really is. She thinks she's human just like us. So the... ship... has hidden her not only as a human, but... as my wife. No, you have to let me finish! Yes, she's provided the passport, the license, and everything else to show proof of an identity. Josh, Ella, you have to call her 'Aunt Donna' for now. If anyone even breathes a word of what she really is, someone could be led to her and the people she's hiding from could find her, and bad things will happen. Got it?”

He was not worried about them not listening to him and honoring his pleas. It was the matter of suddenly dropping an 'aunt' on the twins and what would they possibly think once things went back to normal.

David really did not want to think about it. And it was not helpful that the twins proved surprisingly calm about it, like they were on a mission as spies with and for their uncle. Other than concern for the Doctor, which they disguised by asking questions about 'Aunt Donna', which were capped by 'When can we meet her?'

He had no idea how to answer that one. He was lucky that Emily decided to cover by saying that they needed to give Aunt Donna a chance to adjust to moving in to her new home.

But given how the twins were suddenly eager to welcome her once they returned from school, he worried that he'd have to find a way to get a warning to Martha to expect a possible invasion.


Martha had delayed as much as she could at David's house. She tried to find things that could be cleaned, give ideas for how to integrate two people's systems (without actually going into the personal space of a man she'd had a massive crush on, as she was positive that was an invasion of privacy that would never be forgiven), and pick Donna's brain to learn just what she thought her life story was.

Apparently, Donna Noble nee Smith was born to parents who'd moved from Ealing, and had travelled a lot as a child. Somehow she never lost the West London area elements to her accent, although she must have been exposed to fair number of people from more East London – banks, if Martha heard the temping history correctly. She had trouble in school because she got bored easily and wasn't challenged enough, and had to retake her A-Levels for reasons that were not entirely in her control.

Personally, given that David sometimes accused the Doctor of not fully passing TARDIS flying lessons at the Academy that was sometimes mentioned, she had to wonder how much of the Doctor's actual past had been folded into something a human would understand and believe.

'Donna' had quite a temping background, and Martha witnessed proof that Donna could type at least 150 words per minute. She also knew the Dewey decimal system backwards and forwards, and definitely seemed a master at organization. A cover job might be easily obtained, if they could find something that wouldn't get her into trouble – which might be a tall order, but they had to make the effort to protect her.

As for how she met David, that was interesting and very telling. Seemed the TARDIS revised the Nestene events into an Earth-bound, non-alien story. Factor in how they kept meeting again and again through events that sounded very like the ones she heard tales about, except filtered through more human lenses, and it almost seemed like the Doctor was not so far removed from this cover.

But would David believe it?

Of course once Donna got it in her head that a Tesco run could not be put off, Martha had to tag along. She didn't feel right leaving her on her own yet. Besides, she did promise to help.

It would've been a lot worse if she hadn't kept hearing advice that made sense. Much more than the Doctor usually did.

She wondered how offended the alien would be if that was voiced once she returned. Might be worth finding out, just because.

And so she trailed Donna as she wound her way through the shop on a mission. Martha had to admit that she probably learnt about fifty things about making shopping time more efficient. It was a shock given how inefficient the Doctor could seem most times.

She also worried about how she was going to handle things if Donna started talking about what she was doing there. Now there was a problem. David was highly regarded and well known in his community. There would be no hiding that he had “married” and likely no stopping Donna from shutting down any potential threats to “her man”.

Was this one of David's concerns? How to explain it if they had to “divorce” all of a sudden? Yes, that would be a major headache. Still, was it worth focusing on when they had to get through the present danger?

She was distracted by that and trying to answer questions about the area when they nearly ran into a woman and two young children.

Donna stopped her trolley in time. “Oh! So sorry! My bad, I was trying to plan dinner for my husband.”

Martha froze for a different reason. It was Emily and the twins.

Emily swallowed, clearly hoping it wasn't obvious that she recognized them. “No harm done. Children, you need to watch where you're going.”

They nodded, but their attention was on Donna. They recognized her.

It was Martha's turn to swallow nervously. This could turn into a train wreck so quickly and she might be powerless to prevent it.

Then Donna recognized who they were. “Oh, you're Emily! David's mentioned you in the highest terms! And these two must be the twins he's godfather to.”

Martha released a little of the tension she carried when she saw evidence that Emily did know what was going on. It was that hint of someone knowing more than they wanted the person they were talking with to realize. But would the twins have that kind of restraint?

“Um, yes. And I would be a little unclear who you are except for the last time I spoke with him. He seemed a bit distracted, but said he would have a little surprise to bring home. Also said he was sorry we couldn't be there.”

Martha hoped that didn't collide with anything the TARDIS had created.

“She wears a ring,” Ella said, pointing at Donna's left hand.

“Yes, I am. Do you know what kind it is?”

“Yeah! A wedding band.”

Josh blinked and his eyes widened as he smiled. “Did you marry Uncle David?”

Donna giggled slightly. “Yes, I did. Is that okay with you?” Her face fell, and her uncertainty shone through. “I mean, it is sudden. He wanted you there, but we just had the opportunity and couldn't pass it up. I know he wants to make it up to you somehow.”

The twins exchanged a look, and shrugged. “We don't know you yet,” Josh said.

Ella added, “But if Uncle David loves you, you must be good.”

Martha felt a little relief. They'd heard and were going to honor their favorite uncle's words. As long as they never slipped, that would be good. And Emily apparently could be trusted to keep a level head. Nerys might be another matter, but her loyalty to her ex and the gratitude for what he made possible had to overcome that.

“Have you met Martha? David and I met her through work, and he's become a mentor. I feel like I've gained a little sister.”

The future physician laughed awkwardly. And prayed that it was not obvious to her shopping companion how uncomfortable she really was.

Emily found a genuine smile. “Not yet, although he's a good judge of character. If he's seen something worthy in you, then I'll be happy to get to know you.”

For the first time in hours, Martha found a warm smile came easily. It was a relief.

“Oh, this is brilliant. They feature in so many of his stories, and so do you and Nerys. You know, he mentioned wanting to teach them a bit of Latin. I have a talent of picking up languages and speak nine. Would you like me to help teach them some languages?”

“Oh, that'd be lovely.” Emily's tone was pleased, although Martha could pick up on the worry and tension hiding within.

“Just tell me a time.” She pulled out a paper and quickly wrote on it. “Just call this number.”

“Thanks.” Emily put it away and then took one each of her children's hands. “Sorry to cut this short, but we need to finish shopping for dinner, and it looks like you're doing the same. Wonder how quickly David's going to adjust to no longer having just Curie in that house.”

“He mentioned that when we got married. I want to make this whole transition easy for him. I haven't had a real home since I was a child, so marrying someone who has so many people he calls family around him is a blessing.”

Martha tried to not look as curious as she felt. Emily did a better job of hiding it as she smiled, choosing to not comment at the moment. “Pleasure to meet you. I'm sure we'll see you soon, and perhaps for looking after the twins. With Nerys due almost day now it might be soon. Martha, may we exchange numbers as well? I'd like to chat sometime.”

She didn't miss the significant look that flickered so quickly a less attentive person would have missed it. It was to have another opinion on this whole situation. “Of course.” The exchange was quick, and the goodbyes a little less quick.

The two ladies, back on track, were mostly quiet. At least Martha was, apart from giving short answers to various options for dinner for when David got home that Donna was torn between. The medical student was too busy trying to think of ways to inquire more into the history that the TARDIS created for this human Doctor. “Donna?”

“Hmm?” She was distracted by comparing labels.

“You really haven't had a home since childhood? What has that been like? How have you managed?”

Donna looked distracted and distant, lost in a memory. Or a constructed one. She waved that she wanted to wait until they were outside and away from prying ears.

The wait turned out to be until they were back in the house, and given while they were putting away the purchases. “I... I've spent so long trying to move past it that it's hard to think about it now. I remember my parents were distant. Well, my father was. My mother cared, more than was acceptable to show. She taught me things that were not well known, and the knowledge was not something you wanted to acknowledge knowing. Losing her was much harder than losing my father, as bad as it is to admit that. I promised myself that I would never let any child of mine endure anything like what I did. I guess it's part of what attracted me to David. He's so open and caring, and then there's how he speaks of his godchildren.” She paused. “How much has he told you about them?”

Martha wondered where this was going, and decided to take a calculated risk with her whisper. “You mean why they look more than a bit like him and how their eyes look like his? I noticed that from the pictures I've seen, but I wasn't going to ask.”

“What did you think when you saw them?”

“Well, knowing that they had two mothers, I wondered if he had donated to make his friends into mothers.”

Donna nodded. “Yeah. He admitted to that before we married. That he was a constant presence in their lives and I had to be ready to care for them as my own if the need ever arose. It was the biggest thing I can imagine someone who wanted children of his own so much could do – give freely of himself so two good friend could start a family. He won't tell me if it's ever caused him pain to think about, but you'd never know it from the pride in his voice whenever he speaks of them. He passes it off as an avuncular pride, but you can tell the truth if you listen carefully to what he says and how he says it. He is simply the best man I have ever known.”

Might that be true if I had asked the Doctor, Martha pondered. And did the Doctor wonder about children? She pushed aside the questions that could not be answered at the moment and focused instead on one that would be telling. “So you want to have kids?”

“Oh, yes!” Donna brightened even more. “I hope it'll happen soon. I mean, I'm not saying I'm old! I'm only thirty-four, after all! But I read the science journals. Time is not my friend. I need to get started sooner rather than later if I want to have the best chances. We could afford medical help if need be, but it's so much easier if you don't need to go that route, don't you agree?”

“Yes, I do.”

It was certainly food for thought. And kept them both quiet as they returned and put away the purchases.

Martha noted the time and cringed. “Well, I have to be off. I really need to study some more, and tomorrow afternoon I resume classes. I'll have another rotation soon, I'm sure, and I'd better get prepared to be back at the hospital.”

Royal Hope was still being repaired, and only parts had been reopened to the public. Even after a month – as far as Earth was concerned – of traveling with them.

“Oh, good luck!” Donna hugged her impulsively. “When shall we see you again?”

“Um... tomorrow morning I'll stop by. I think a few of your husband's friends will be dropping by to visit planned for a few weeks now, and I'm invited. Apparently there's this one young friend of his that I must meet.”

“Ah, that probably means Mickey! Well, I certainly hope you two will get along.”

The tone suggested that a little matchmaking had been planned. Martha wasn't entirely sure what David's motives were or what the Doctor knew, but she supposed that he might've been looking out for a friend. In any case, the meeting did need to happen. He had three local or semi-local friends who all knew the Doctor and would be needed to help protect her when she and David couldn't. “We'll see,” Martha equivocated. “See you later.”

She left for the bus stop, which was a safe walk. It would also give her time to compose a short text to David to warn him. If, she remembered, he could access his phone. From what he said about his schedule, he was likely to not look at it all day.

Bugger, she had to hope he would read it in time to know that he would have an eager-to-get-pregnant 'wife' at home!

With the door closed, Donna looked at the curious Curie with a smile. “Well, it's just us now, love. Time to make dinner for your dad. I must do something extra nice for him. He's done everything for me, bringing me here and opening his world to me. He should have a reward for everything he's done so far, for all his hard work.”

Yes, she thought. Her husband worked very hard, and he was awfully tense. She would treat him tonight. His favourite dinner would be a lovely start, but what kind love didn't deserve something extra?

As inspiration struck, Donna grinned and clapped her hands. “Yes, I have just the thing to make him very happy. Oh, proper wedding night, here I come!”



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ooh... proper wedding night! I think we slept through ours.... there was always the morning, though!

Poor David, he's not going to know what hit him! Donna really really wants a baby.... this is going to be hard for him. Somehow I get the feeling he's not going to be able to resist forever, not even three months. I guess your next chapter title says it all!

Edited at 2015-12-28 02:20 am (UTC)
Dec. 28th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, and he's worrying about what she thinks happened. ;) Ooh, well, sometimes you're just too tired. *hugs*

Gee, what does a Robert Palmer song have to do with anything? ;) You'll see... tomorrow... *evil grin*
Dec. 28th, 2015 12:38 am (UTC)
Well, he'll have a whole other set of worries...

After a long busy wedding day... tired is good. Mornings are better...

Can't wait!
Dec. 28th, 2015 12:40 am (UTC)
True. On all counts.

Working on that. Making sure all is clean on two different stories, this and the gift for sykira. :)
Dec. 27th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
gosh, wow, thanks hon!! I haven't had time to read this yet, I'm afraid the best I can do is open it in one of my many many tabs and hope! I didn't get any time off for Christmas but all the work had to be done for it anyway, so I'm brutally exhausted. I am so hoping 2016 is going to be less crammed! but THANK YOU and I sincerely cannot WAIT until I get to read this and the MAAN delights awaiting me! ♥
Dec. 28th, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
Ooh... so glad to hear from you! And so sorry life feels overwhelming. I've been there and am trying a new tool to see how 2016 can be my best year yet. I'll let you know how the Passion Planner works for me.

Know that you have more than a few posts to read when you have the chance. And... please... please comment on each one you read. *Puss eyes*

Hope Christmas was good to you, and many wishes for 2016!
Dec. 29th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
Nerys is pregnant?! Blimey, you snuck that one in. Is David the donor this time around too? I bet the twins absolutely adored the whole situation of having to call the Doctor "Auntie Donna". Nice save, Emily, with the phone numbers.

It's strange how that London accent never leaves you, despite working with different sounding people. ;)

That's it, Donna. Treat your husband tonight, and ease away any of his worries about any pending 'divorce'. We wouldn't want anything like that to get in the way, would we. Not when you deserve a wedding night. Hahahahahaha!
Dec. 30th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
Um... I had Nerys pregnant at the end of Flipped 2, although I've clearly meddled with the time-lines to make her still be pregnant here. *coughs* Oh well.

I think a lot of things never leave you. :)

Knew you'd enjoy that. Speaking of... any new stuff coming our way? Maybe... Blue or Forbidden Lover? Or something else? :DDDDDDD
Jan. 1st, 2016 09:27 am (UTC)
Oh boy. This has all the openers for a major disaster. On the other hand, antics are afoot. :D
Jan. 3rd, 2016 03:44 pm (UTC)
You think? On both counts? *evil grin*
Jan. 3rd, 2016 04:46 pm (UTC)
Well, that clarifies things. :D
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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