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NEW: A Different Threefold Man (2/10?)

Title: A Different Three-Fold Man
Rating: T
Author: [info]tkel_paris
Summary: Not even Caan could see every possibility. The Hand was far more aware than anyone gave it credit for, and it transformed itself into something different. Now Donna Noble and the Doctor have their work cut out for them.
Dedication: [info]tardis_mole. This was provoked by “Another Fine Mess.” You'll have to read it all the way through to have any clue why. And yes, I beta read that story, so in a tiny way I'm tooting my own horn in addition to TM's. ;D And thank you, my friend, for the chapter titles! :D
Disclaimer: Rose Tyler wouldn't have been anywhere near Series 4, and therefore this probably couldn't have happened, had I anything to do with owning these characters. I've lost all respect for the character, I freely admit it. Which means I've lost some respect for her creator. Shame, since he also created characters that I adore.
Author's Note: A new entry for the Alternate Handy Fanfiction Challenge. Nope, we haven't mined this one to death. Not at all! :D And there are still other possibilities! :D

There's a set of paragraphs in this chapter that I read aloud to members of my NaNo writers group. One, who isn't a Whovian, liked the sound of it. Another, who is a Whovian who likes the Ten and Donna dynamic but isn't a shipper, grinned over it. The set is capped by a line I'm very proud of. Am wondering how many will spot it. :D

Chapter 1

Chapter Two: Twice the Work

The Doctor knew his pleas were useless, and he couldn't meet the gazes of any of the Children of Time. They didn't understand his shame, his horror, his realizations. It was all too late. The Daleks would destroy everything, then kill his companions one by one (except for Jack – he'd keep coming back and they'd keep killing him), and then...keep him as something less than a pet. Drive him insane by forcing him to confront every one of his mistakes and crimes at once. Destroy what was left of the universe after the Reality Bomb with a paradox.

And he would be left cursing Rose Tyler for using the Dimension Cannon. Which a part of his dusty, overwhelmed mind was already doing. It had to have contributed to weakening the walls between not just the universes, but the important ones between the Time Lock and the rest of Reality. And then there was the last time Rose met Caan. Had her actions under the influence of the Vortex energy – with the power trip she was so clearly on from it – contributed to today?

Who knew what would keep happening to Jack, though. He might wind up witnessing the Doctor's mental slide into a point of no return. Bad enough the Daleks would see it. A friend was worse, especially one who you had to keep a lot of secrets from.

But then a sound burst into the countdown. A sound the Doctor thought he'd never hear again. The TARDIS! Appearing like an angel of mercy! But... His mind churned. How had Donna flown away?! He knew she'd learned the piloting mechanics well, but he wasn't sure he'd taught her enough to escape. And what did she think she was doing?!

The doors opened, and out came the biggest shock of the Doctor's life. Himself, in a blue suit! And right behind him- Wait, when had Donna ever changed clothes in the midst of a crisis?! Had her clothes been singed so much that she changed into the outfit she wore when they had arrived in 1926? And when did she ever go barefoot if she wasn't about to go to her room for sleep?!

His Duplicate – had to be from his spare hand, he realized, but how did the hand grow into him? – rushed forward, carrying something that looked alarmingly like a gun. Behind him, Donna looked to the side and rushed toward a set of controls.

Davros shouted and raised his arm toward Donna, but the Duplicate raised his weapon – drawing the Dalek creator's fire instead. He dropped his weapon, and was quickly encased in one of the fields, flinching over the shock and pain. “Stop the female!” Davros cried as Donna vanished behind the controls.

Several Daleks moved toward the controls, but suddenly stopped. Then the countdown halted as something massive clicked. Then the Doctor watched as Donna stood up, smirking. “Aaaand, closing all Z-Neutrino relay loops with an internalised synchronous back-feed reversal loop. That button there! And you Daleks can't move because I created a macro-transmission of a K-filter wavelength blocking Dalek weaponry in a self-replicating energy blindfold matrix.”

The Duplicate laughed delightedly. “Too late, Davros! We've stopped you!”

The Doctor and the rest of the Children of Time watched in shock. They noticed that the Reality Bomb had been stopped. It was impossible to ignore the shouting of the Daleks up above and especially of the Supreme Dalek.

Davros shouted in dismay, “You will suffer for this!” He raised his arm again, but the bolt he was preparing ran up his own arm instead, forcing a scream out.

“Sorry,” Donna said, not sounding it at all, “My-bad. Bioelectric dampening field with a retrogressive arc inversion. Simple stuff! Easy-peasey pudding and pie!” She hit something else and the force fields vanished. “There, that's the rest of you free now!”

The Duplicate rushed over to help her with the controls. “Time to send those planets home!”

The Doctor was pulled out of his stupor, stepping forward a bit. “Wait! Donna, how can you know all of this? You can't even change a plug.”


The shout came from the TARDIS. All heads with mouths turned and saw Donna Noble, in the same clothes as she had been wearing before their capture, standing in the TARDIS doorway with her arms folded under her chest and glaring at the Doctor. His eyes were the widest of the bunch, and his jaw tried to slam against his chest. “But, but, but, but-”

“Listen, Spaceman!” Donna's eyes held a fire that she'd only held a few times in her life, always with cause. “Just because I say something about myself it don't mean you have the right to repeat it! Leave that junk to my mother!”

“And Gran,” the Duplicate retorted, helping the other Donna flip levers, making the Daleks spin without their permission and ignoring all of the cries of dismay, “doesn't know what a blessing she has! Dad can tell you that, Mum!”

Rose's eyes went wide. “'Dad?!' 'Mum?!' 'Gran?!' What are you talking about?! Who are you two?!”

The two by the Controls ignored her. They looked at the Doctor, noticing how he wasn't reacting much to them calling or referring to him as Dad and said as one, smirking, “You gonna stand there like a dumb skinny boy or are you going to help us turn the Daleks into spinning tops and then send the planets home, Doctor Daddy-Dad?!”

The Children of Time all thought their eyes would pop out. What?!

The simultaneous exclamation stunned the Doctor and the words shocked him almost senseless, but his feet carried him over. The universe did need to be set right. Even if he really wanted to know how these two were coming up with what they did. Which just about beat out the wish to go back to bed and start the day over. Couldn't safely go back on his own time-line, unfortunately. At least, not without a time crash. And those were bad enough with different selves; an earlier this him would be much worse. Actually, given the presence of someone who brought Reapers upon Earth through idiotic selfish desires, he had better stop that line of thought quick smart.

He looked at the two up close and realized they had just forced the Daleks all over the ship to spin – first one way, then the other. “How did you two think of that? That's brilliant!”

The two smirked, glancing at each other before looking at him pointedly. “You mean why didn't you think of that?” Their grins turned positively wicked.

Donna, the one in the clothes the others had seen earlier, sighed. Up to her to explain things to the other companions, preferably before her rascals started acting all Spacepeople. “He” she pointed at the Doctor “had a spare hand in a jar. Ghastly sight, but he swore he needed it where it was. Anyway, there was this heartbeat I was hearing, starting inside the Shadow Proclamation, and again inside the TARDIS. It kept me inside, and I was trapped. When I thought I was doomed, it seemed to call to me for help, glowing inside its jar. I didn't know what else to do, and so I touched it.”

“And boom!” the Duplicates cried as one. “Instant Human-Time Lord biological Meta-Crisis!”

The Duplicate Doctor took up the tale. “We finally had enough genetic material to become a full person, but it was a little confusing trying to balance. We had two sets of DNA, each telling us to be something different. Nearly turned us into a chimera – a person with two different sets of DNA.”

“So,” the Duplicate Donna picked up immediately, “to resolve all the energy, we split apart. One heart each, which is unfortunate, but viola! Two half-Human Time Lords. Each in appearance identical to one of our parents!”

“Parents?!” The cry came from Rose, but the thought was coming from all of the Children of Time.

Not that the Doctor heard Rose. Instead, he took a careful look at them and could see that they both looked much younger than he or Donna. Rassilon, they did look like teenagers! They were wearing their clothes – which were much too big for them since they were shorter – and as full of cheek as him and Donna combined. Oh, blimey, he thought as he remembered the antics he got into at that comparative age. I'm in trouble!

Of course, it was the same kind of trouble he would've been in had Jenny lived, but not to this extent! She was at least physically the equivalent of twenty-something. Eighteen at the youngest.

Donna sighed. “Half him, half me. That makes you and me, Sunshine,” she added at the Doctor, “the proud parents of two instant teenagers. Mind, they definitely have the energy of a horde of little kids with the ability of teenagers to listen to their elders.” Her eyes glanced in Rose's direction, but she said nothing else. Why draw her ire any more than she already had, just by being around the Doctor? “Which makes them unbearably like you, Doctor.”

The Doctor was still frozen over the thought of being a father again. With Donna. To two people that came from his own hand. With Donna! The idea was sending strange flutterings through his chest – a brand new sensation, but not an unpleasant one. I have kids with Donna!

The thought was such a squeak in his head, especially on her name, that no enemy of his would've ever again taken the Oncoming Storm seriously had it been voiced.

“The Doctor-Donna,” he murmured instead. “The Ood foresaw this.”

Donna shrugged. “Perhaps they saw our son coming. Our kids got a lucky glimpse of the future, and altered events. Means I can be this improved, more mature me still.”

The Doctor didn't think there was anything wrong with her, even. She just needed a chance to shine. But there was something far more concerning nagging at him. “But if you touched the Hand while it was filled with regeneration energy-”

“Oh, relax, Dad!” the Duplicate Donna snapped. “Our energy did touch her mind, which gave us her memories as well as yours. But we suddenly sensed that if our energy touched her mind too long-”

“She'd have too much of your mind in her head,” her brother interjected, “and would be at risk of burning up from too much Time Lord regenerative energy inside her. So we managed to withdraw from her mind, healing her in the process-”

“And which probably gave us an extra dose of her genes,” his sister finished. “Thus, how we look!”

It was all too much for even the Doctor to deal with. Mind, he'd deal with all that later. First to save the planets, then stop the Daleks. Or perhaps vice versa. Only then could he deal with two brand-new Time Lord teenagers, their irritated Human mother, and a bunch of confused companions – one of them extremely upset and irrationally jealous.

And completely unaware she was heading right back where she came from. Donna's report about that parallel world was alarming enough. Rose's lack of concern about Donna and freaking out over the twin Duplicates was an even worse omen. He'd asked Donna a slew of questions as they traveled today, trying to piece together how Rose might've crossed over.

The pieces he'd compiled, he thought as he helped his children send the planets home, didn't paint a good picture of Rose's actions. He knew that the machine Donna said Rose created was a result of murdering a TARDIS, something he couldn't forgive no matter the motives. He questioned whether Rose would understand that since he hadn't punished her for raping the TARDIS before.

He'd had a moment, he remembered as he and his children sent the planets home, where he thought about letting the Vortex energy burn her, but the persona created to control it was dangerous – especially having given Jack far too much life energy. He'd felt disappointed enough by her actions toward Mickey and Jack when they'd met, but the realization that she thought nothing of genocide – when she could've used the Vortex energy to send the Daleks somewhere where they couldn't harm anyone – to get back to him killed his love for her.

If she tried to say anything to him at the moment, he would've pushed her aside with a Not Now command. Fortunately, she was busy enjoying pushing the Daleks around with Martha and Sarah Jane. Donna meanwhile was keeping an eye on Davros and looking out for other trouble. And, he realized when he heard Mickey call out a warning to Davros, instructed the men to grab the weapons inside the TARDIS to make the Dalek creator think twice about trying anything.

The Doctor was stunned to learn that Caan was the one responsible for all the manipulated time-lines, but concealed it behind a grim manner. If he'd had more time, he would've applauded the Dalek. Only he could've left Davros inside the Time Lock, so point against him. Especially after Earth was left when the Supreme Dalek disabled the Vault controls. So he raced to prepare the TARDIS...and was struck numb when he felt the Crucible start its self-destruction.

He didn't need the twins to say they'd fulfilled the prophecy to know what happened. He sensed it in his mind – the thoughts of other Time Lords finally filling those empty spaces in his soul. He felt crushed as he ordered everyone inside the TARDIS, knowing that he had to lay down a punishment this time. He couldn't let companions or anyone else commit genocide again.

And he offered Davros ones last chance, wanting something good to come out of this mess. But he should've known that the Creator's mind was too twisted by the Time War. "You!" Davros raged. "Never forget! You did this. I name you, forever: Destroyer of worlds!"

Donna suddenly grabbed the emotionally over-burdened Doctor, dragging him toward the TARDIS. “That's your title, Reality-Hater!” she screamed.

“It is complete,” Caan said, motionless but absolutely at peace despite the flames and heat around him. “The threefold man at the end of everything... with the Children of Time, and now none of them will die."

The Doctor swallowed, unnerved. But Donna slammed the doors shut. “Get us out of here and save Earth, Spaceman!”

Leave it to her to remind him of what was important. He flashed her a tiny thankful smile and rushed to the controls. Worries about punishments, brand-new teenagers, and problematic companions could wait. He had to protect Earth from a slew of shrapnel.

The TARDIS was flying Earth back home. The Doctor was guiding five of his companions through guiding the Old Girl through the motions. He gave important tasks to all. Except for Rose. Hers was the least necessary, but it kept her occupied.

Or ought to have. He kept having to call out corrections for the others to make. She spent too much time looking at him with a smile, which he ignored by focusing completely on his tasks. He couldn't wait to have the TARDIS to himself and Donna again...

Donna and Jackie stood nearby, watching the action. The former periodically looked over at her children, who were monitoring something along the sides until the Doctor said they didn't have to. She worried about the Doctor's gutted look when he realized that his own children had set off the chain reaction that would kill all of the Daleks and destroy the Crucible. She remembered the Racnoss all too well, and how he regretted having to kill an entire species to protect Earth, but what else could've been done here? She didn't like the idea of killing any more than he did, but if those controls were losing power as their daughter had said they were, then there could've only been a matter of time before they lost the ability to keep the Daleks frozen. Then what?!

And there was the matter of Rose. She had done her best to ignore the twins, and stuck practically to the Doctor's side once he came back inside as the Crucible was going up in flames. Donna no longer saw Rose's coming back as a good thing, and she could tell that the Doctor felt the same. Truth be told, he was hiding his thoughts rather well for someone rubbish with feelings. Whatever happened next would turn into something not what Rose had clearly expected, and so Donna prepared herself to stand between her children and the woman who was – in a sense – responsible for the circumstances of their creation.

Meanwhile, the Duplicates stood grinning, watching the expressions of joy on the faces around them. It was an occasion! Their smiles stood in place until they felt a flicker of grimness from their father.

He's not happy with us, he whispered to her, making sure the words didn't reach their father. Doesn't he realize we were running out of time to stop them?

His sister shook her head. He's confused. He knows that it's a necessary violation of galactic laws, but he worries about us being the cause. He's thinking that we might be punished if he's not careful.

His eyes widened. Oh, don't tell me he's thinking of exiling us as a so-called protection!

She flinched. Knowing him, if he hasn't yet, he will soon. And I can guess where to...

Oh, no! Not Pete's World! Not under Rose's so-called care! I can see into his memories of Rose's reactions to the Reality Bomb! He knows that Rose might've helped cause some of this!

Or did, you mean? See how he's avoiding her gaze? He definitely suspects she's at fault.

Or at least made it worse! So how can he think of leaving me with her?! Oh, my God! He doesn't think I'd eventually be her husband, does he?! That's disgusting! Foisting someone who wanted to be your lover on your son?!?! So what if I set off the explosions! Look at all the things she's done! All the feelings and concerns she's trampled over!

Do you think I like the idea?! That daft bint was a teenager dissatisfied with her own life and boyfriend when she met him! Dad's Ninth self was a ticket out of a boring existence, and did she ever show remorse for causing his death?! For drawing the energy out of the TARDIS without the Old Girl's consent?! Never mind killing the TARDIS in the parallel world! Just because time had to be reset it don't mean murdering a sentient ship is the answer! We need to remind Dad of how unfit she is to look after anyone! Someone who glared when he hugged Mum out of relief when he didn't regenerate is a possessive, obsessive psycho!

Even if we do owe our existence to her... His eyes narrowed over the unhappy truth. Whatever good Rose did is completely overshadowed by her unfeeling actions. Well, we do have that bit of human spark in us. Let's use that to provoke Dad, Mum and Rose. Make Rose react immaturely, to remind Dad of what his feelings really are – that he was better off without her!

She grinned. And make Mum react so powerfully, so protectively that he won't dare think again of parting us from her! And then...

His grin matched hers. We make them admit to each other what they really feel. That'll make Rose lose any pretence to being a fit companion!

Mentally shaking hands, they prepared themselves for Operation Stay-Home-and-Bond-Mum-to-Dad. Just get through the celebrations first...

Chapter 3: Twin Speaks


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
I love this! I'm so entertained by the Duplicates, you have no idea:) And I especially love that they're scheming to put all right in the world.
Apr. 27th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can imagine. I'm entertained by them! :D The idea of the adventures of a teenaged Ten and Donna sounds interesting. And just wait for they have in mind! :D
Apr. 27th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
oooo that sounds really, really promising! Can't wait :)

Does it make me a bad person if I'm really looking forward to whatever comeuppance you've got in store for Rose?
Apr. 28th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
No. Just another person who's become utterly frustrated with how the character turned out, and with her arc with the Doctor.

Am working on the edits to later chapters. So give me a day or two. :) Again, thanks for reading and reviewing.
Apr. 27th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
"Oh, blimey, he thought as he remembered the antics he got into at that comparative age. I'm in trouble!"

Now those are stories I want to read!!

"Operation Stay-Home-and-Bond-Mum-to-Dad"

With the Doctor's mind and Donna's "Super-Temp" abilities, D/D have no chance whatsoever!

I am loving this series so much. Very well done.

Edited at 2012-04-27 10:46 pm (UTC)
Apr. 28th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
I'll let you know when I think of them. :P

More to the point, they have their parents' memories and haven't locked anything away yet. ;D

Thank you! :D
Apr. 28th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
I'll be here when you do!

Oh, lordy! They are in trouble!
Apr. 28th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
I'll be here when you do!

Glad to hear it! :D

Oh, lordy! They are in trouble!

You have no idea... *snickerfit*
Apr. 28th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
I can't wait!
Apr. 28th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
Tis up! :D
Apr. 28th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC)
Oh boy do I love the idea of teenaged versions of Ten and Donna running around. =D

The Doctor better let them stay. I can't imagine Donna would be easily separated from her children anyhow, so...


Apr. 28th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
It's a great image, isn't it? :D

Do you really think that a Donna unencumbered by the Meta-Crisis would've let Handy go in the original universe? The Doctor has no idea what's coming - but neither does Donna. ;)

Thanks! *hugs*
Apr. 28th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I adore the twins here! And for some reason “Parents?!” The cry came from Rose still makes me smile enormously!!!! [Nope, can't think why. ;D ]
May. 26th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
Nope, can't think of a reason either. ;D
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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