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NEW: A Different Threefold Man (4/11?)

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

This chapter gets a special dedication to cassikat, as she was practically begging for this to be posted. It expanded so much that it had to become two chapters. So more stuff to enjoy!

And yes, I'm still figuring out how to include pictures to show just how young I see the twins as looking. Will do that when I can.

Oh, and I definitely was inspired by MAAN in this part. Those in the know will spot them. But let's just say I...added to it. :P

Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3

Chapter Four: The Oncoming Husband, Part 1

Donna kept her hands over her face, wishing she could move back. But her son wasn't letting her. She would've yelled at him, but she didn't trust her voice after what her daughter exposed.

The Children of Time watched, unsure what was about to happen. Rose certainly wanted to do something to challenge what those brat clones were saying, but Jack and her mother decided to interfere!

The Doctor wished he could see Donna's eyes, but her posture spoke volumes. For the first time in his long life, he had no idea what might happen because of the moment's events, but there was only one thing his soul would let him do – and for once, it was exactly what his hearts wanted. He took a deep breath to fortify himself. Then he leaned in close to her left ear and whispered.

Donna felt someone lean in, and tensed. Then she heard and felt the whisper in the Doctor's voice, and something new entered her mind. She realized she could hear thoughts that weren't her own. Thoughts about her, concerned for her, and filled with- Her jaw dropped when she realized that she had heard something that wasn't English and yet she understood it. What's, she thought, happening?!

The Doctor felt Donna's insecurities and fears flood into his awareness, and tried to let her sense his own feelings. Donna, it's me. The Doctor.

She tentatively lowered her hands to see his eyes, needing the visual part of the explanation. How-?

Our minds are linked, bonded. Right now we can hear pretty much anything the other is thinking.

Donna tried to think in the way he seemed to be in her head, aiming it at him. What, like for a few hours?

He managed a tiny smile at her nervous question. At the moment, it's a bit overactive, but...it's for life.

She blinked at him. That sounds a lot like-

Marriage? That's because it is a marriage bond. I told you my name.

Donna stared at him in astonishment. He'd reluctantly told her once about how Gallifreyan marriages worked, and she'd felt awful that he'd had to be bonded to two different women he didn't want. Had he willingly told her?! You...actually want this? You actually want...me? Loud, opinionated, plump me? She shook her head, not trusting that she wasn't suddenly dreaming. That seemed more likely than her deepest wish coming true; that never happened to her.

He looked as deeply into her eyes as he could, feeling ready to jump from the nerves hitting him from every angle. But the sadness in her mind brought tears to his eyes. Donna Eileen Noble, you're the only woman I can truly say...I love. There was no forcing in that. You were just you, and I need you.

The rush of feelings, the images floating into her mind weren't things Donna's most fevered moments of imagination could create. She wasn't dreaming. It was really happening. He really did mean it. She gasped, choking on a flood of tears and a slew of emotions.

The Doctor felt his hearts breaking over her tears. Please don't cry. But he knew his plea wasn't going to halt the flow. Only one thing could. So he quickly and gently cupped her face and kissed her tenderly, trying to delicately wrap her mentally in his love.

Tears fell anyway, but Donna's heart wanted to take flight. She could never have pictured feeling such hope and peace in her soul. She slowly returned the kiss, feeling him deepen it as she became more and more engaged in the act.

Martha and Sarah Jane were stunned at the intensity of the moment before them. Mickey and Jack's eyes widened at the sight of the Doctor acting on his own feelings, being so clearly devoted to someone. Jackie, for all she had wanted her daughter to be happy, was relieved to see that the Doctor was smart enough to not want Rose, that he had chosen a woman for his mate – her daughter just wasn't mature enough for anything serious.

Rose, meanwhile, was frozen from shock. The horror of seeing the Doctor just snog anyone was bad enough, but this the ginger who all the time-lines seemed to converge upon, who'd produced two clones! What did this mean?

The Duplicates beamed at each other. They moved closer to bump knuckles. We're good, he said.

We certainly are! She nodded smugly.

The Doctor's arms wrapped around Donna as hers slid over his shoulders, fusing their bodies tighter than a zipper could two sides of a jacket. The shared feelings were a whirlpool of sensations and thoughts, drawing them further away mentally from the world around them. Her fingers tangled in his hair, which nearly drew a groan from him, compelling him to deepen the kiss enough to make her knees unsteady.

Aware as she was that the scalp was a sensitive area for men, she hadn't thought it would be even more powerful for him. He had no idea of any of his erogenous zones, so the shock was immense. Not that he was complaining – this was a journey of discovery that he was eager to begin with her!

Jack would've gladly let them carry on, but when the kiss passed the thirty-second mark, his time senses told him that there were things the Doctor had to do. But how to interrupt what had to be the most beautiful moment of the Doctor's life? He figured it would probably be when Donna's human lungs couldn't give her enough air.

Although he noticed the Duplicates starting to look a bit uncomfortable watching the moment. Yes, seeing your parents as sexual beings could be very awkward.

Unfortunately, Rose found her strength at that moment and managed to shake the hands off her mouth. “Doctor!”

Her voice sort of breached their moment, mostly from the surprise of suddenly hearing something when there had been silence except in their shared mental state. Their lips parted, and they stared at each other in a happy, dazed shock. But they didn't let go. Instead, he slid an arm around her shoulders as she grabbed that hand with hers, tightening her other arm around his waist to keep her balance, and his free hand slid into his pocket as he turned slightly to face the agog Children of Time. The Doctor finally managed to turn his head to talk. “What? Did someone speak?”

His voice was higher-pitched than normal, and the look on his face spoke of interrupted ecstasy. Donna's was that of a woman whose wildest dream – and fantasy – had just come true, and she was exhaling through her mouth as thought it would help corral her reactions.

Jack couldn't suppress his laughter. If he hadn't witnessed the whole thing, he would've sworn that the Doctor and Donna had just made love.

Which they clearly had – without the other aspects.

Everyone looked at him strangely. The nature of the strange looks varied. The newlyweds were still too dazed to be offended, the Duplicates were almost glaring at him for mocking their parents, Mickey was trying to hide his own amusement over the Doctor's expression, Sarah Jane was a little disgusted over the thought of laughing at such a beautiful moment, Martha was losing her own amusement, and Jackie was giving Jack a you're-not-helping glare.

Rose, on the other hand, was appalled. “What's so funny about the Doctor kissing someone? He's practically swanned off with another woman! She's just a temp!”

That snapped the Doctor out of his dazed mood, and firmly settled a grim one in its place. “Donna Noble,” he answered tightly, pulling her closer against his side to re-enforce his words with touch and emotion toward his wife, “was never 'just' anything. And may I remind you, Rose Tyler, that you were a shop girl. I think that makes Donna technically higher on the social ladder than you, if I'm not mistaken. And I rarely am when it comes to hierarchies.” Because I hate them so much, he added silently to his wife, drawing a grin and a mental snort.

Rose flushed – stunned that her Doctor had reminded her of how boring her life had been, and horrified over how he was defending the ginger, even ranking her higher socially. And worst of all, he still wouldn't let go of her!

“And,” the Doctor added, each word measured to restrain his irritation, “I never swanned off with anyone. That assumes I was with someone else to begin with.”

“But you were!” Rose's eyes were wider than a child's in a giant candy shop. “You were with me!”

The Doctor blinked. When had he said that?! He knew he'd never said that!

Doctor, Donna reminded him, remembering something else as she tried to send him calm energy, you said that Jackie was pregnant the last time you saw Rose. Don't we have to get them home?

It wasn't that she felt threatened by Rose. Not anymore – that was impossible since she'd felt his feelings, and knew exactly where each of them stood with him. But the longer the girl was allowed to think the Doctor still loved her...if he ever had since regenerating...the worse the reaction would be.

Yeah, he sighed, grateful she reminded him. Dimensional retro-closure, since the Reality Bomb never happened now. He looked into her eyes. Feel up to helping bring the TARDIS to the parallel world while I deal with Rose?

Gladly, Spaceman. She smiled at him, understanding that forcing Rose Tyler to grasp – even remotely – why she was being left behind was going to be one of the most unpleasant tasks of his long life. And then we'll put our trouble-makers into their place.

Oh, yes. Making the Duplicates pay a bit for embarrassing us both in front of my friends. He grimaced. Yes, we'll need to. But first things first. He stole a quick and intense – but loving – kiss, mentally grinning at her lack of surprise. Not to mention her enthusiasm in returning it. Fortification for his next actions.

“That's enough, Doctor!”

The kiss broke, drawing the couple to glare at the indignant blonde's cry.

Rose couldn't pull away from Jack, but she shook her mother off. That kiss had to mean nothing to the Doctor, she swore to herself. “You've let her down gently with a kiss. Now it's time to send her home!”

“Excuse me?!” shouted Jackie. “How could those kisses possibly be let-downs for Donna?! Especially not that first one! That was probably the most romantic and steamiest I've ever witnessed,” she added, making the couple in question blush from the compliment. A few snickers escaped the peanut gallery.

“Well, what else could that be?” Rose couldn't believe her mother – of all people! – was on Donna's side. “She's not even pretty, she's ginger, and she's fat!”

Donna, as boosted as she was from knowing she was loved as she was, couldn't help the flinch over words spoken many times over her life.

“Rose!” Jackie was mortified over her daughter's words. She opened her mouth to shout, trying to quiet her, when the Doctor interrupted.

“Let me deal with this, Jackie.” The Doctor mentally and physically hugged Donna. Go get things started, my love. As she pulled away to help (with a smile at his name for her), he looked at his other companions. “Martha, Mickey, Sarah Jane, you're needed at the Controls.”

The three went eagerly, glad to be out of the line of fire. They were willing to follow whatever instructions the Duplicates and Donna had for them. Basically holding levers steady and watching some readings, but the promise of doing more was mentioned. It meant that all six stations would be manned.

Rose was relieved that Donna walked away from the Doctor, but puzzled. “How can Donna know what to do without you, Doctor, or those weird twin clones telling her? Didn't you say that she's stupid?”

Anger flared deeply inside four people over that, and one of them walked to within a few feet of Rose. “Clearly,” the Doctor interrupted, as he heard and felt the TARDIS – loudly grumbling with her own negative feelings – preparing for flight, “I called the wrong person Idiot.”

She blinked. “Excuse me?!”

He thrust his other hand into his pocket, keeping them firmly at his sides. He no longer trusted, even with Donna's calming influence in his mind, that he wouldn't lower himself in anger to hitting Rose. Ungentlemanly as it would be, the urge was growing, but he was determined to be better than that. He groaned loudly, although it didn't muffle the TARDIS' whirred growl, or Donna calling out, “Releasing the handbrake!” The ship took off, forcing the four not holding on to anything to stabilize themselves against the wobbling, but the journey leveled out quickly – although the shaking remained a steady backdrop.

Once things had leveled out, he continued his thought aloud. “You heard me. Back in the Vault, I didn't touch the force field, but you did. I told you to not even try to come back, but you did.”

“Because I love you and you love me!”

All eyes were on her. None could quite believe their ears. Although the Doctor and the twins weren't as shocked as the rest. “When,” he ground out, “did I ever say that? The closest I ever came was reacting to what that one Dalek thought.”

“But he was right! You gave up a life to save me!”

That was one of the last things he wanted to think about. He shrugged. “I've given up a life to save another companion. A woman.” Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration where Peri was concerned, but Rose didn't need to know that.

Meanwhile, Donna and the twins – who managed to whisper through the bond about Peri's story to their mother – were quietly giving instructions and trying to ignore the train wreck taking place so close by. But most bipedal beings are attracted to watching awful events, and this one promised to explain a lot to each of them.

The matter-of-fact delivery – not to mention the additional proof that she wasn't special – threw Rose, but only for a few seconds. “And then you said you'd imprinted on me!”

“Post-Regeneration Sickness,” he promptly retorted. “Can't take anything I say seriously until I've recovered. I've done some insane things under its influence, even for me. That was me acknowledging – in a very stupid way – that I still remembered you.”

Rose blinked, but wasn't deterred. “You woke up when I whispered 'Help me' in your ear!”

He sighed, shaking his head. “The Old Girl had already alerted me. I happened to recover enough energy just as you did that. Coincidence, Rose.”

Her mind jumped to the next moment. “But you kissed me on New Earth!”

“That,” he snapped, shuddering, “was me kissing the person who'd possessed your body in a foolish effort to free you. Waste of my time, it turned out.” And yet another moment, he silently added, where I perhaps should've thought about dropping you back home, or worse...

That dismissal stung, but Rose supposed the memory of being possessed himself was the source. “You freaked out when my face vanished!”

“Anyone who cared about another's welfare would've been alarmed!” he snapped. “I still haven't figured out how those people survived without noses or mouths!”

Rose couldn't remember such sharpness directed at herself. Others, yes, but never her. Still, more moments came forward, supporting her beliefs. “Well, your alarmed face over my saying we'd have to get a mortgage? You'd just realized that you needed to marry me!”

Donna spluttered, which created a slight bump in the ride. She managed to correct it, with the others' help.

The Doctor felt bile creeping up his throat, and the Storm building inside his hearts. “I'd just lost my most faithful companion ever, my dear ship, and you practically dismissed my grief! And not for the first time. When I told you that I'd lost my homeworld, you acted like I should move on with your help! Nothing like sympathy or empathy from you! Oh, no, you had to act like you were more than enough to help me! And marry you?! I was getting tired of traveling with you, and the very thought of being stuck without the TARDIS and with you made me sick! I'd have sooner tried to shag Davros!”

Even Jack gagged at that thought.

Rose struggled harder against Jack's grip, trying to break free. Surely her touch would snap him out of this madness! “But over that link! You were going to say you loved me! That was how that sentence was going to end! It had to be! You screamed my name as I fell toward the Void!”

The Doctor took a long breath to compose himself so his words would remain calm. This was worse than he'd thought – she wasn't really hearing a thing he said that contradicted her beliefs. Now he had to wonder if he'd truly gotten all of the Bad Wolf out of her. “That screaming was shock. The Void isn't a place I'd wish on anyone. As for that link, what I was going to say was, 'Rose Tyler, thank you for the good times. I hope you grow up and have a good life.'” He hadn't been able to make himself say the harsher things she really deserved – he was hoping that being trapped in the parallel world would force her to grow up. It obviously hadn't.

She shook her head. “No, this has to be Post-Regeneration Sickness. You can't mean any of that!”

“That cannon,” he said, changing the subject. “You've been using it for a while. How long?”

Not that she listened. Again. “Doctor, this Donna has done something to you! Surely you can-”

“How. Long. Have. You. Been. Using. The. Cannon?!”

The shout rendered Rose speechless. He'd never snapped at her!

Jackie groaned. “Oh...she was looking into building it ever since your message, Doctor.”

Which made him face-palm himself. Oh, he was an idiot!

His wife held even her mental tongue, thanks to being told how to put up walls to keep things private despite the newness of the bond. Although she would say something to him later!

“So she flirted her way to getting people to help her build this thing, and then test it. As for actually trying to travel by it?” Jackie sighed miserably. “I'd say off and on the past three years.”

Now the Doctor let a bit of the building Storm come out to play. “That might explain how Dalek Caan found his way inside the Time Lock. It wasn't just the barriers between the universes that were breaking down. It was also the ones that really shouldn't be broken down – not without endangering the whole universe just by coming back.” He glared at her. “I should've stuck with my words after my battle with the Sycorax. 'No second chances. That's the sort of man I am.' How many second chances did I give you? Far more than anyone else, and for what?!”

Jack's eyes widened. This was more serious than he'd thought. He had the feeling that Rose was about to face some home truths that weren't going to be happy for anyone. Although the Duplicates might take a grim pleasure in hearing it, if the way they were occasionally shooting a nasty glare toward Rose was any indication.

The thing was he couldn't blame them. He found it extremely difficult to like someone if he heard them call another person a clone. Not just because it was rude, but...well, he hated to think about it. Now he wondered how Rose would react to him if she knew the truth, and he didn't think he really wanted to know. So he stayed silent, feeling his opinion of Rose sinking to a point unworthy of a gutter, and regretted refusing Donna's hug earlier – if the Doctor's reactions were anything to go by, she gave lovely ones.

“I know you overheard me talking about how travel between the worlds would hurt the fabric of space. I even told you that you couldn't see me again, and how did you react? A dismissive 'So?'! And you used a device that shoots people through the universe! A tryst isn't worth the death of the universe, and the only person I would get a mortgage with? I just married her.”

Rose spluttered. “Married! I didn't see a ring or a minister!”

“You don't need them when you're a Time Lord,” the Duplicate Doctor snapped, not bothering to look back her way.

His sister didn't look away from her tasks to deliver her own hit. “Face it: he was never into you! Get told!”

“Oh, shut up, you little-!”

“You shut up, Rose Tyler!”

Chapter 5: The Oncoming Husband, Part 2


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Most excellent. The kiss. The telling off of Rose, or the start of it. The others thoughts. Loved it.

Eagerly awaiting more. =)

May. 1st, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
I hope it lives up to your expectations. :) Thanks for the kind words. :D
May. 1st, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
ooo lovely! I love that even Jackie is on Donna's side. And is it wrong for me to hope that since the Doctor can't slap her Donna takes care of it?

May. 1st, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jackie's firmly on Team Donna, so to speak. :) Oh...just you wait. ;)
May. 1st, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
Oh God. this is the happy ending that i want <3

PERFECTION <3 i can die happy now.
No wait. I'll wait for the honeymoon first asdfghjkl;

May. 1st, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Happy ending?! We're not there yet! :P

Glad you find it perfection, though. :)
Sure, I'll write the DVD extra. :P

Let me finish the edits. :D
May. 1st, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
I so love it when the Doctor tells off Rose. It just warms my evil little heart!

I wrote a similar tale of the Oncoming Storm for an "extra" to bas_math_girl's "The Girl From Beyond" series. Amazing how we think alike!! Great minds and all that.

And there are 7 more chapters?! Allons-y and Geronimo!
May. 1st, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
You're not evil! Just feeling a bit angry at a certain character. ;)

I know! I reviewed it! :D

Might be 8 more. I'll only know when I get closer to finishing it. The final part might need three chapters instead of the two I currently have planned. :)

Thank you for reviewing! :D
May. 1st, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
No. It's more than anger. :D In fact, I was showing a friend of mine the New Who (he's an old Tom Baker fan). He asked, as a point of reference, how many series Rose was in, and I found myself telling him, as we started Series 2, "Oh, Rose is gone by the end, and good riddance to bad rubbish!"
(He of course thinks she cute!)

Yes, I remember now! But as I said, great minds! And really. What else can one say to Rosie?!

I understand that completely. When I started my "Conference" story, I thought it was going to be a short little thing. Now it's 5 chapters!
May. 1st, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
*rubs hands together* Excellent. And that kiss, dear gods. Put me on the Time Lord waiting list... (Or just hop a couple seasons and send Rory my way, but. *cough*)
May. 2nd, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Amen. Watching that MAAN kiss the first time, through spoiler footage from someone who slipped a camera into a show... I was jumping up and down, nearly choking from trying to not squeal and squee out loud. I'm kinda shocked I didn't trip over something. :P But it powered me to crack 50,000 words for my NaNo story that morning. :D

I'm on that list. I'm waiting to see if a Rory or a Mickey comes my way. ;)
May. 2nd, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Aieeee! Wow what a kiss! With foreplay like that you HAVE to pony up and write their wedding night!

MORE soon please!
May. 2nd, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
I knew my fellow MAAN-obsessed Whovian would catch it! ;D So glad you read this! *squees* How have you liked the rest of the story?

Believe me, I know. And it will be written. After the rest of the story, as I don't want to make everyone wait for the rest just because I'm trying to also write the wedding night - not to mention one OTHER smut moment. ;)

Let me see how quickly I can oblige. :D
Mar. 14th, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
Oh, that was SO BEAUTIFUL!!! I loved the very quiet 'marriage' & the way the doctor just leaned over and gently whispered in her ear. I loved the way the bond formed so quickly and so intimately.
You really drew out the emotions, the comfort, the love and the joining of their minds in this chapter. SO wonderful! Now I want a time-lord, too *pouts*
The kiss was mmmmmm mmmmmmm. Hot, but not overdone. Thankyou so much, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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