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The Belted Doctor, Chapter 12

Title: The Belted Doctor, Chapter 12

Author: tkel_paris</lj> , aka KendraC

Rating: High T, borderline M for (very) naughty humor, and some hints... Consider yourself warned.

Summary: A crack!fic inspired by a line from “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and run for its life with. The Doctor is left with a very uncomfortable “protection” against unwanted advances. But will he find the one who is foretold to release him from his... prison?

Disclaimer: Mel Brooks owns “Men in Tights.” The BBC and others own “Doctor Who.” 'Nuff said.

Author's Note: Writing this chapter proved to me that I have an ax to grind against River Song, both conceptually and as she is. Which means my ax to grind against RTD is a bit bigger than I'd thought... Anyway, I have to give an inspiration shout-out to a story of XaBlackRoseX. I'm sure some of you can figure out why. Just... please don't say anything until a later chapter...

Also, this chapter is the start of some major angst before... the big finish, shall we say... We are more than half-way done with the story, folks!

P / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11


The Doctor had never thought that a house of books would turn into his worst nightmare. Books were knowledge, and knowledge was the greatest weapon of all.

Now he might never be able to avoid shuddering at the mere mention of a library.

As a time traveler, one had to expect that sometimes things could happen out of linear order. He'd seen it with Sally Sparrow, after
all. But to meet someone who apparently had experienced a whole array of adventures with you that hadn't happened to you yet?

What writer, he thought, would come up with a story like that? Wouldn't things get boring after a while, or the “backwards” traveler would become irritating to the readers with the inevitable smugness from “knowing” that things would work out?

If he'd needed any more proof that the Universe hated him, this would have been it. Alas, it wasn't done giving him proof...

The Doctor wasn't sure what it was, but River Song had triggered some strange reaction from some corner of his brain from the moment she stepped into his sight. Had to be a bad sign, he was positive. And he was even more aggravated, given the danger they were all in, when she showed her face, grinned, and said, “Hello, Sweeties.”

He'd immediately pushed those thoughts to the side as much as possible. There was no time for dealing with this professor's – fine time for an archeologist to show up, he thought – antics or how she might know his family when there was the biggest Vashta Nerada infestation he'd ever seen threatening everyone's lives.

Felman Lux had made it onto the Doctor's personal shit list for bringing his expedition when the Library had been trying to shut itself off from the universe. And River Song he actually had the thought of slapping over her callous smugness over everything. Though his curiosity drove him to ask pointed questions of her.

But she skillfully dodged them, or only gave a bit of an answer. “Spoilers,” she kept saying.

The Doctor got very aggravated, and demanded, “How can you be such an expert at avoiding saying anything when you talk all the time?”

River's smug smile turned fond, with a strong sadness. “I learnt from my father. He... was the best at it. Mum always lamented that I got practically all of his bad habits and only a few of the good ones.”

He had never been more baffled in his life. Although he finally understood how his companions must have felt whenever he did the same to them, or even pushed them aside. He made a vow to remain as honest as possible with Jenny, Donna, and anyone else who made the cut to become a companion.

Although nothing was more confusing than River saying, about not signing Lux's contract, “I'm getting worse than you.”

Of course, after Miss Evanelista was killed, he had bigger concerns than figuring out River Song. Once Proper Dave had two shadows, he needed to get Donna and Jenny to the TARDIS, but the only way was the teleport system. He told them that he figured they'd be able to help from inside the ship. What he really wanted for for them to be safe; he'd been nearly driving himself mad trying to keep them both away from the shadows.

That would haunt him for a long time.

When that one Node kept rotating, and showed their respective faces on either side, he finally understood what people meant when they said the world fell out from under them. Not even losing his own people had drained him so much.

In that moment, staring at Donna's face, another truth hit him. Romana's belt might be keeping his urges in check, but it hadn't stopped him from falling in love...

He spent the whole rest of the struggle reeling from the discovery. He finally knew that he desperately wished that Donna could have been the One. She made him a better person, made him want to be a better person, and he couldn't imagine any other woman as a mother to his children...

Which made River whispering his name in his ear that much more horrifying... He knew he had to trust her, but it made his stomach and whole being feel sick. Not even the glimpse he'd caught of Donna and Jenny, in some domestic setting that he didn't recognize, could lift him from that slump that River's whisper sent him further down. It dawned on him that she made him think of what Rose Tyler might have been like had she been a Time-Lady.

It wasn't a comforting thought. And proved that there were a lot of things about his people he preferred to not remember...

When River screamed at him over his idea to save all of the people, he let her have it. “Donna and Jenny are my reasons for living! I don't know how you know what you do about me, but I know that I don't like it. I would give all of my lives for them; they are my anchors and I'm lost without them. You are nothing to me, so you go take Luxy-boy to help make the transfer run smoothly!”

It'd shocked her into silence, except for a growling curse that he – in his angry, Oncoming Storm mindset – didn't recognize as Gallifreyan.

It didn't prevent him from challenging the swarm that finally killed Anita (such a good woman, he mourned). But it did keep him from realizing River could knock him out.

When he woke, cuffed to a post and saw River sitting in the chair, preparing to be the memory space, he was livid. “River Song, get out and let me do it!”

She glared at him. “I'm not letting my dad kill himself!”

That shocked him still. “What...?”

River started crying silently. “If I let you do this, then I'll never have been born. Never mind the rest of Jenny and my siblings. And you'll never have had a truly happy existence post the Time War.”

Then... his were the bad habits she mentioned?! “But who-”

Her next words came out in a near crying rush as she fiddled with the settings. “You know what this means? You, Mum, and Jenny have known all along – from the first moment you knew I was coming into this universe, and that was apparently quite the moment in and of itself – what my fate would be. It must be why you were never as hard on me as you were the others... It must also be why I sometimes saw this sad look in each of your faces when you looked at me...”

He could barely take this in. It was more overwhelming than when he'd realized what an idiot he'd been toward Rose.

River continued, lost in her memories – even as she kept looking right into his eyes. “The last time I saw any of you, you and Mum brought the whole family to my doorstep – including my kids, who you'd been taking care of after my husband, whose name I took, died in an attack and I was wrapped up in too much grief to care for them – and swept us all off to Darillium to see the singing towers. Oh, what a night that was! The towers sang, and Mum and you and Jenny... and a few others... cried. None of you would tell me why. You just hugged me tightly at the end, and told me to not take whatever you said the next time I saw any of you personally. I was so worried about the whole thing, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. Mum even gave me a special Screwdriver. That should've been a clue."

He heard every word, but one detail wasn't there... “But how could you know my name? Time-Lords don't tell their children that!”

River laughed through her tears. “Massive spoilers, Dad. But don't you worry. You, Mum and Jenny will have plenty of adventures with me. Good times, lovely memories... and some not so great. You watch us run. Oh, I left my Screwdriver with one part facing up. You said to remind you to open it after I... Well, you said 'leave.' I know now what you meant...” She looked him right in the eyes as she drew the headpiece down, and brought the plugs next to each other. “I love you all.”

The Doctor was blinded by the white light, and once it vanished, he was left staring at her empty spacesuit. Remorse seeped into his consciousness, and he actually lost track of how much time passed until he managed to free himself.

He moved almost as stiffly as the possessed spacesuits had – though crawling made things more jerky – to that sonic. He opened the compartment, and found an oddly empty space. He didn't understand it – until he noticed that it was the perfect size for the communicator on River's suit – which was still blinking a strong green.

He was barely aware of detaching it, inserting it into the sonic, and then uploading River's awareness into the computer. He saw CAL smile as River joined the memory base. In time, he would find comfort in knowing that he'd given his child a rather nice retirement, but his mind was filled with too many questions and feelings.

And with the painful awareness that Donna wasn't the One. After all, how could a child of his and Donna's turn out like that...? He couldn't see Donna letting it happen.

So he dragged himself away from River's tomb and to the main Library to find his family. Weighing him down was the knowledge that he had to keep his realizations to himself; he couldn't let Donna know that he'd broken the Cardinal rule of their partnership. He should've figured it out back when Donna shocked him for detox; that kiss had been amazingly pleasant – even under the circumstances – and he'd been stunned that her hand actually managed to pinch his arse. The Belt was more flexible than he was comfortable knowing...

Meanwhile, Donna leaned semi-limply against a wall as she watched Jenny frantically searching the Library's database of the people who were trapped on that day. The young lady's eyes flickered up to scan the people gathering as the transports were coming. Poor girl, Donna thought through her own hazy mind. She's fallen in love for the first time, and she's not sure if he was real...

She was grateful that Jenny hadn't endure what she had. A possibly imaginary love was bad enough, but to experience a life of love and marriage with the image of your best friend?

Donna sort of understood why the computer had created “John Smith.” She and Jenny carried so many memories of the Doctor that using them must have seemed suitable to keeping them from realizing where they really were. But the life she experienced with Jenny's “father,” raising two children of “their own,” and being a family...

It felt natural. Right. As close to perfect as humanly possible.

Which made her realize something else. That skinny, blokish, pompous, bonkers alien had grown on her so much that her feelings had grown into the deepest love for him. Had to have been happening for a while. Had the attraction began back on that fateful Christmas Day...? Or was it that Detox kiss, when he had looked rather cute from being thrown for a loop by her actions...? She wasn't sure. All she knew was that she had to keep this to herself; she didn't want to become another Martha to him – in any way.

So she had made Jenny swear that she'd never speak of the details of their experiences. The Time-Lady had hesitated, but the shared grief got through to her. Jenny didn't know about the prophecy, and it would hurt enough for Donna to have to step aside for another woman. I finally understand what Martha meant when she said she couldn't do this anymore...


The whisper floated to her ears, and she whipped around, gasping from shock. There he was – and he looked as pale as she felt. Oh, God, how much must he have suffered thinking Jenny was lost forever to him. The hug they shared was instinctual; she couldn't stop herself from trying to comfort him – even through her own jumbled feelings.

“Dad!” The scream was promptly followed by a rush of blond in green and black running to them. He opened an arm for her, but kept Donna in his other. Why he wouldn't let her go, Donna couldn't figure out, but she accepted the small comfort of his embrace.

Jenny let go far sooner than he clearly liked, but she was all, “We have to see that everyone gets out. And there's someone I'm looking for.” She went right back to her previous tasks, not letting her father have a chance to answer.

To stop him from asking too many questions, Donna managed a brief explanation of Jenny's experience in the illusion world. Even in his own dazed state, the Doctor was frowning over the thought of his girl falling in love. He clearly hopes the man is a creation of the computer, Donna noted. He's not ready for his little girl to be fully a grown woman... Not that any dad gets a choice...

She dodged his questions about her own experience by saying that she had had a family – and they disappeared before her eyes when she realized the illusion of the children. “I guess I'm not meant to be a wife or a mother,” she finally said.

Donna felt the Doctor grab her hand. “You're a mother to Jenny.”

“You know what I mean.”

And he did. He just didn't know how to comfort her without giving away his new, biggest secret. So he just held her hand gently.

“Oh, my God! You're real!” Jenny's shout made a lot of activity stop, and even more stop as she ran toward a dark-haired man, who started meeting her halfway for a huge hug.

Donna had to put her free hand over the Doctor's chest to stop him from moving or speaking. “Let them figure things out. He's had as much of a hard time as we have, being trapped for so much longer. Who knows what dreams he was placed into...”

She also knew that “Lee” would be joining them. It might be a good thing for keeping this secret, she thought.

And she was right about one thing; Jenny insisted that Lee come along. Donna did expect more of a fight from the Doctor over a man who was clearly interested in Jenny coming on board, but the Doctor was so exhausted from his own experiences that he merely gave the man a hard look and a warning of “no funny business” before letting him come along.

After settling Lee – apparently a nickname – into a room that happened to be a little ways from Jenny's (Donna supposed that the TARDIS knew to humor her pilot's strange mood given what happened, and she felt the ship being a bit protective toward her female travelers), Donna fled to her own room and straight for a bath that probably wouldn't be very relaxing – but had to be attempted. Something needed to be done to recover enough balance to remain the rock that her Spaceman needed.

She was so distraught, she didn't even notice what the TARDIS had put on her nightstand until the next morning... Even with the ship trying to gently prod her...

Chapter 13: Darkness Threatens All


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Carolyn Harrison
Apr. 3rd, 2015 06:54 am (UTC)
Even with the fact that River is their daughter in this story I still don't like her. It sounds like they knew she would die at 'The Library' so the Doctor, Donna and Jenny all spoiled her. Which makes her disturbingly like Rose.
I love the fact that both the Doctor and Donna have realized that they love each other, but think they need to hide it from each other.
Apr. 3rd, 2015 07:25 am (UTC)
I still have trouble with liking River, even though I will freely admit to being one of the loudest to cheer her on when she made that Dalek beg for mercy. The problem here is that her family knew how she would end up and the kind of antics she would get up to, and so they were a little confused about how to handle her growing up. That said, they would NEVER have allowed her to get away with a tenth of the things Rose did. They were strong enough to hold her to standards, even if the details might have been a little less strict than on the others. Wibbly wobbly, et al.

Can you tell this was my first DW fic?
Dec. 27th, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
OMG these two are so flippin dense it makes me want to scream!! For two such brilliant people they sure are dumb.

I do not like river. Silence in the livrary was my first ever episode of Doctor Who and I hated her instantly. Subsequent rewatchings only cemented that loathing. She was a complete b*tch to ten, treated him like garbage, was dismissive and downright horrible to him because he wasn't HER doctor and therefore was only worth her contempt. Having just watched the xmas special I was a little mollified that at least 12 was finally able to return the favor but just barely. This is an interesting take on their relationship and far better than the crap Moffat forced on us but still curious as to where and if we will see her more. I can see that they may have completely overcompensated for what they knew her future to be and so she still ended up the witch in the end. Thank YOU though for not allowing her to be his future wife. Yayayay for that!
Dec. 28th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC)
12 returned the favor a bit? Well, thank goodness for small miracles. Not enough, given that SM has admitted what some of us have suspected all along: that she may not actually be his wife after all. Frankly, if she's bonded to the Doctor she shouldn't be going around "dating" so much. I don't believe a word she says anymore. Rule Number One should be, "River Song always lies". Anyway... enough of that... :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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