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Title: The Doctor's Top 10 Lessons for Getting and Keeping a Mate
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Claiming 904 years of experience, the Doctor has some guidelines for anyone seeking assistants, friends, companions – or more.
Disclaimer: Never saw the point of the canon pairings. Therefore, I own nothing.
Dedication: tardis-mole. I believe this one started as a joke between us, and I decided to use it.
Author's Note: There's a story in here somewhere. Try to follow the plot-line – whatever comes out. Told completely tongue-in-cheek. Oh, and Journey's End never happened. This is very much an alternate universe story. With plenty of appearances by all sorts of characters.

BTW, two extra comments. I need to think my liking "redneck humor" for part of this story. Say what you will about Jeff Foxworthy - he sometimes has really good ideas.

Also, these two fics will help me wish a Belated Happy Birthday to nini_cuddles. Would've written something for you during my May Story a Day challenge if I'd remembered to ask what you enjoy reading. Hope you had a great day.

Donna's Top 10 Lessons here.

The Doctor's Top 10 Lessons for Getting and Keeping a Mate

Started May 30, 2012
Finished June 4, 2012

Yeah, thank you, Donna. I think I need to stop your mouth for a bit.

Oi! I just kissed my wife, not saved a planet! I don't want applause in either case! Please sit down!

Now! Everyone have a cup of tea or coffee? Yes? Good! Oh, you already had one? Well, there's other things in the corner. Smells like fizzy pop and juice. None made from real sugar, but I digress. As usual, I'm told.

Welcome, again. I'm not usually the type to give this sort of talk, but when I realized what Donna was going to talk about I knew that I could contribute. After all, I certainly have a wealth of experience, having lived 904 years.

Donna, Jack, please stop snickering. Alright! And some, but I won't go there!

Oh, am I going to have the peanut gallery commenting throughout this talk? Fine! I'll keep talking, then!

I'm here to help the blokes of the universe – in whatever form you are – see how to better deal with those who think differently than they do. Early 21St Century Earth is rather limited in how gender is defined, but I can see strides made on a daily basis. I'll make it simple and speak mostly to anyone who considers themselves blokes – or non-females. Starting with the more personal ones and then moving on to the interaction items.

And I will try to be direct. I do know I have a gob, but I'm trying to work on that a bit. Donna will be happy to tell me if I'm digressing.

So, let's begin!

Lesson 1: Accept that you're different from those around you.

This used to have a different meaning for me. It meant that I was a renegade among my people who kept being exiled. They thought Earth would be a suitable punishment. But, as proud and stubborn as I was, I managed to make contacts and friends. I learned to adapt, and sometimes I even fit rather well with Earthlings.

That said, I don't always fit in as well as I'd like. That's why I need companions and assistants to help me know how to not behave in order to avoid unwanted attention.

Mind, that relies on them being mature enough to know the difference and to respect my own other than human habits. Rose not included, as it turned out.

Lesson 2: Avoid those who mock you and dismiss your problems.

Don't mind that gasp from Rose. She's here as part of her community service for her sentence for opening the TARDIS and killing my Ninth self. She can't believe that I turned her in to the Shadow Proclamation. I'll get to that later on.

No one likes having their problems dismissed. Catered to isn't always fun, either. You've all heard of hypochondriacs? Well, you need to acknowledge the fears and perhaps hint that there's a solution, depending on the person and who you are. You don't dismiss them, and you don't add to them.

I'm the lone survivor of a bitter, massively lethal war. My planet was lost, and I...had a hand in it happening – to protect the rest of the universe and time. And how did the first person I told that I'd lost my people react? By saying “you've got me.”

Yeah, not what I wanted to hear. But...that leads into the next big point.

Lesson 3: Don't settle for the first person who really helps you in any way.

Not following that lesson explains the whole of my time with Rose. I remembered her silly mind managing to save my life, and I thought her innocence would be what I needed to function better.

Well, it wasn't innocence. It was immaturity. I'd been on my own long enough that I'd forgotten the difference. And believe me – shell-shock does a lot of damage to one's perceptions of the world around them. You don't want to know what it does to someone who carries the burden of seeing all of time at one moment.

Yes, Donna, obviously not all of it. Otherwise I could've known to leave Rose when she first turned down the offer to travel.


Lesson 4: When someone needs a what-for, don't wait to give it. Delaying only makes things worse sometimes.

Exhibit A right there, everyone. A blonde teenager who thinks nothing of flirting and playing males off each other, who sought a meal ticket rather than try to better herself. And she thought I was that meal ticket. Especially after she opened the TARDIS and left me no choice but to die to stop the Bad Wolf.

I was worried that the Shadow Proclamation would try to exert a punishment on Earth, or on Mickey and Jackie for helping Rose. And I was feeling guilty over the thought of her possibly dying when I'd seen enough death to last a hundred Time Lord life-times. And that spans all thirteen lives!

Turns out I should've just got it over with. I had a penance to pay for not turning her in immediately – a penance for not taking actions that could've prevented more deaths resulting in one way or another from her thoughtless behaviour.

Fortunately, that penance was over by the time of Adipose Industries. And no, only Donna will know what it truly was!

Stop your whining, Rose! Or I'll have Jack gag you! Don't make him think of anything close to bondage if you have even a bit of affection for him!

Oh, that would've silenced you before? Have to tell your jailers that.

Moving on! Although I also should have done that at the reception started without Donna. Her mother, the people who call themselves her friends, and her lying fiancée all should've received a dose of the Oncoming Storm. Oh, I'll admit I imagine what I wouldn't done had I been thinking about it. But Sylvia and I have had words, and we've made a peace. An uneasy one, but I think my helping her become a gran is softening her.

Lesson 5: Be very careful when using insults to try to drive people to bettering themselves – it's a double-edged sword.

Mickey Smith, I was trying to help you see that you had a genius-level IQ when I called you an idiot. I wanted you to figure that out for yourself. And you did – you turned yourself into a computer genius. You would have figured it out by yourself anyway, but I hoped to help you get there quicker.

Oh, don't go on about how “Oh, a time machine and its short-cuts!” I did help you find a good wife!

That said, name-calling is a risky action. You can just anger a person, leaving them insulted at best and deeply scarred at worst. Bad words can cut a person so completely that it can take years for them to heal. Especially when those cutting words come from family.

I know this because I'm still helping Donna. And she's helping me. We're a sort of partners in being hurt by those we cared about. Or still care about. You have no idea how her being insulted in sexual terms when she did nothing to earn them hurt her. Or how I hurt from being accused of being in the wrong when I wasn't.

Also, I've learned that what you say about someone is attached to people's perceptions of you. If you insult others and it's not immediately obvious that you do it because you don't take that person seriously, then people can get the wrong impression of you. One more reason Donna endured a lot that she shouldn't have.

Lesson 6: If you're a bloke or a non-female then you're bound, sooner or later, to do something worthy of being slapped.

For the record, I'm rubbing my cheek because it tingles uncomfortably just from me thinking about the times Donna slapped me. And in case you were wondering, she's only done it twice – both on the day we met. Looking back on it, I deserved both of them – I was talking a storm when she was terrified and convinced I'd kidnapped her, and then I was acting all energetic about something that she suddenly suspected could kill her. She was justified both times.

Blokes aren't necessarily good at reading emotions, and we're really bad at reading women. And yes, I'm probably the only one willing to outright admit that! Rory, I can see you nodding and grimacing. Yeah, I'll bet every male in this room can think of at least one time that they wish they'd been able to read a situation better regarding a woman – even if you're not attracted to them. So we're going to mess it up. Acknowledge that, and the rest becomes a bit easier to deal with and to forgive yourself over.

Helps if your mate knows that, too. Still, there's a follow-up to this for when you do mess up.

Lesson 7: Have a method for making it up to your mate when you've done or said something stupid.

I didn't think about this one enough when Martha was around. I'm still paying her back for 1913, for 1969, and for walking the Earth alone. Given how I behaved the rest of the time, I'll probably still owe her for years.

Anyway, I have a suggestion about this, to nip problems in the bud. I got this from one of my and Donna's travels to America. We happened to finish one “saving the day without anyone realizing it” adventure, and she wanted to explore a bit more. So we ended up overhearing an American comedian's performance, and he had a fantastic idea for when you don't yet know what you did wrong: offer to put yourself in a time-out in another room.

Don't give me those looks. It works. Deflates some of the anger and frustration by showing that you know you did something stupid and probably insensitive, and you're trying to figure it out on your own. See that smile on Donna's face? That proves my point. It goes a long way.

Lesson 8: Encouragement and genuine praise are very important.

I've seen this with companions, assistants, and even people around me on my various journeys. Kind words re-enforce the things you want to see, and sometimes people need to hear honest praise of their abilities. My wife being the prime example.

And yes, Donna, I might need it sometimes, too. I only accept it from you because I know it's utterly the truth as you see it. Had enough people tooting my horn over the years.

Jack, please refrain from making any jokes. Please.

Anyway. Help your mate learn new things. Gives your more chances to give encouragement and praise.

Letting Donna learn to fly the TARDIS was one of the most frightening things I've done. Maybe I've let a companion touch a singular button before, but never permitted them to do anything important. Well, Donna told me flat out that she intended to travel with me for the rest of her life, so she thought she should know how to help fly the Old Girl – who actually agreed with her. That was a first.

Oh, she learned. Extremely well. I think it was one more reason to be in love with her.

Lesson 9: The best things can happen when you're not looking for them, or think you're not ready. Don't let them slip through your fingers.

I had the sense that Donna would become important to me and to the timelines from the moment we met. That was a very confusing time for me. I'd finally dumped Rose on the Shadow Proclamation since she nearly caused a Cybermen invasion. Okay, indirectly, but it was enough. I was feeling guilty and conflicted, so I wasn't in the best mood to react to a bride showing up in my TARDIS when she shouldn't have been able to and I was also an absolute prat to her at some moments.

I'm lucky she ultimately went looking for me. She was right to say no after all I did. But I sometimes wonder that if I'd been more considerate of her, tried to help her feel less afraid, if she might've said yes instead. I can't see what could have been. As much as I've tried.

Lesson 10: If you're going to talk about your feelings, don't hide them behind talk about someone else. Don't make things any harder on yourself.

Yeah, this one might be the most important one. If you do like someone, make sure they know it! I managed to go months before I finally made sure Donna knew. Well, after making sure she wasn't going to slap me because she wasn't interested in “that nonsense,” as she put it.

No, I'm not going to say how we got to that point. That's only for our children and grandchildren to hear. If they're interested. We're not going to force the story on them.

So...that's my lessons for everyone. Take what you can from it, and think of your own methods. Thinking is an important activity, and-

Oh, excuse me. I'm digressing. Well, best be off to get Donna's cravings satisfied. Martha, we might want you to check a few things.

And Jack? Can we bother you to take the whining prisoner back? Thanks.

Oh, yes! Class dismissed!



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
"I can't see what could have been. As much as I've tried".

For someone reason, that line just really leapt out at me. Maybe because it is kinda sad and poignant.

At least they've got each other now.
Jun. 5th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
It didn't dawn on me how sad that line really is. Whoa...

Thank you for the kind words. :)
Jun. 5th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
I loved this,and though I found it very humorous I didn't see it as crack!fic at all. There were a lot of touching,loving and romantic moments in the things they said about each other(and to each other).
LOL about Rose! I see we share the same opinion of her. I wish the Doctor had done in canon what he did in your story. I could picture her pouting and sulking while waiting to go back to prison and it made me laugh.
I like the interjections and observations of the other characters as well-especially Jack(who can say so much with just a look!).
Jun. 5th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
It was intended as so far tongue in cheek as to not have a prayer of happening in canon. As much as I wish it had. ;)

So many times when I aim for humor, I end up with additional things mixed in. Guess it worked well here.

Yeah. You'll probably love some of my other fics then. Rose isn't looked at favorably in them, let's put it that way.

Yes, Jack can, can't he? Makes him fun to write. :D Thanks for commenting!
Jun. 5th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, where do I begin?

Rosie. Dear Rosie. FINALLY got what she so deserved. The Shadow Proclamation! YES! For crimes against the TARDIS! Amen! Alleluia! You know I'm right there with ya, right?

Every man (or non-female!) ought to read this. There are quite a few gems in there:
1) "So we're going to mess it up. Acknowledge that, and the rest becomes a bit easier to deal with and to forgive yourself over."

2) "you know you did something stupid and probably insensitive, and you're trying to figure it out on your own."

3) "Help your mate learn new things. Gives your more chances to give encouragement and praise."

4) "If you do like someone, make sure they know it!"

And lastly, two questions. What was the Doctor's punishment? (I'm again intrigued.) And what did he mean by "And that spans all thirteen lives!" Thirteen???

Well done!

Jun. 6th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
Your guess is as good as mine. :P

Not just against the TARDIS. :)

1. That and the realization that we think differently.

2. Bless Jeff Foxworthy! :D

3. Amen! Driving your spaceship? That's just the start! :D

4. He needed this one early on. ;D

Haven't figured that out yet...
Um... there's a Classic Who info I heard that suggests Time Lords can only regenerate 12 times, meaning 13 lives. Anyway...

Jun. 6th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
Her crimes against the Doctor (and the Universe) were a direct result of her crimes against the TARDIS. She really was a menace, wasn't she!?

1) Yes, we do. And we women need to remember that too sometimes.

2) I love the entire Blue Collar group. "Here's yer sign!"

3) It amazes me that so many people can't see what a monumental thing it was that he taught her how to fly Her. I so wish Donna and Idris had met. Hmmmm. *Warning: Potential Story Idea* *goes to make a note*

4) A bit slow, that one. :D

When you figure out the punishment, let me know!!

Thirteen lives. I had heard that. I don't buy it for a second. Time Lords are craftier than that. It was probably one of those little "mis-directions" they used at the Academy to keep them from regenerating on a whim, or taking needless chances.

More! More!!

Jun. 11th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
Well, I'd add a few things that were BEFORE she ripped the TARDIS open. Just saying.

Ooh! Or one bigger: Idris based her appearance on Donna. Someone once did that, although the potential implications and emotional fallout for the Doctor weren't explored.

Maybe. Of course, I'm sure they found other ways to discourage needless chances. Not that it always worked. The Doctor is the perfect example of this - and I believe Romana "wasted" one or two regenerations. Or so I've heard.
Jun. 11th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
Well, there is that whole "let's see how many men I can play off each other to boost my own ego" thing!

I like that! *scribbles additional note* I need to write more about Eleven and his memories/encounters with Donna. I think they'd be a hoot!

Time Lords were a manipulative bunch. No telling what they did or said!

Jun. 6th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
I actually want to read a fic with exactly what happened so the Doctor would "give" Rose to the Shadow Proclamation.
also, the Doctor is SO spot-on. brilliant, really.
Jun. 6th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
That makes three of you... :)

Thank you! :D
Jun. 6th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
And I loved this one too. I even told hubby about lessons 6 and 7. Tee hee.

Again with the pokes at Rose. *giggles* Ah, she's a prisoner of the Shadow Proclamation. =D

Again, lovely...

Jun. 6th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
I refuse to be held responsible for the consequences! :P

Oh, you too wanting a story about that? ;)

Thank you, again, so very much. :D
Jun. 6th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
I finally made sure Donna knew
I'd love to know how/why he did that...if you are taking prompts. ;D
Jun. 11th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Oh you too?! Gah! Even with the May story a day challenge all but over, I've got enough story items to keep me busy for a while! Wanna try your hand at making guesses? :)
Dec. 23rd, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
What in the world started this? This and Donna's lessons was hysterical! I especially love all the little rose digs. Bravo!!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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