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FIC: Flipped, Book 1 (5/8)

Sorry about the delay. Thanksgiving was one BUSY day, and yesterday I was wiped out. Will catch up with the posts today, I hope. :)

Title: Flipped, Book 1
Rating: heavy T, for author's paranoia and uncertainty about rating rules
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: The Ninth Doctor saves two people at Henrick's. One is Rose Tyler. The other is a man who will change the Doctor's life forever. Written for tardis_mole's birthday.
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? ;D

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. Thank you, you treasure! :D

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 significantly AU version for what I hope will be a Christmas present. If my NaNo story doesn't sap my writing energy for the rest of the month.

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. :D Happy birthday! :DDD

Special, Critical Disclaimer: I refuse to be held responsible for any $2000/2000 lattes, spit-takes, fainting spells, workplace/school gaffes, falling against/from things, or any other distracted spazzing off 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)

FYI (mostly for American readers): At the time this story starts, March 2004, the age of consent in Britain was apparently sixteen. That's been since changed to eighteen everywhere because of medical information on unintentional sexual injuries. And there are multiple opinions on what happened between Rose Tyler and Jimmy Stone, the person she left school because of. Here I decided to go with cassikat's idea, which you'll see in chapter 3. :)

Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4


Earth. There was his planet, looking like it had when he knew it. But it was empty of humans, or whatever humans had become in 5 billion years. He was under no illusions that his species would stay the same, that aliens would even look like humans.

Although enough of the ones he saw walked like humans. More than he was expecting.

Still... Tree-people, a small person – who thought spit was a gift – needing a hovering chair to move around, dinosaur-like beings, masked people, blue-skinned... servants, and a human so determined to not blend in or die that she became a sideways trampoline. His mind was spinning.

Enough that he could only focus on the sight outside. He'd needed to walk away from the main area, and he couldn't stand to be surrounded by things he couldn't understand. Not when he had too many things to swallow at once. It was certainly a good thing Curie was running in that garden room the Doctor showed him – she would have not known what to do, and he could only imagine the smells she might have detected.

Had he made the right decision agreeing to come? The question haunted him, and it wasn't comforting to know that his doubts sounded like his mother. Not that nagging seemed wrong to him, but that he was still hearing questions about his off-the-beaten-path choices in his own head was not something that would help anyone's mental state.

“Aye aye!”

The words were his granddad's, but the voice wasn't. He glanced behind him blankly. “Noticed I walked away, did you?”

“Of course. Not always safe for a companion to walk off on their own, and it's your first trip via the TARDIS.”

“Then you should've told me first, not head-danced to some song from my childhood.” David paused, not commenting on the offended look he got in return. “Oh, wait. That was a cover of something originally sung by a woman, wasn't it? Ooh, that makes the whole thing weirder, even though that was probably the best version.” He groaned, shaking his mood off. “Not something I want to think about. I'm in the future, about to see my own planet die.”

“There is that.” The Doctor exhaled sharply, joining him by the window. “So... what do you think?”

David thought a long moment. Then he thought again before settling on something he could articulate. “I spent a lot of my childhood nights looking up at the stars with my granddad, talking about what aliens might be like. I thought we came up with some crazy ideas, but I never imagined what I'd see today. And that Cassandra, for all her claims to be human, is the most alien of them all. I don't see anything human in her.”

Shrugging, the Doctor tried to challenge his thinking. “She's had a lot of surgeries.”

“Then she's worse than the most plastic-surgery obsessed people of my time. And I'm not going to go there,” he added in disgust. “I wouldn't be able to not comment if I knew them. Why would anyone... mutilate themselves like Cassandra has?! I understand if you have something that really stands out that could be corrected, if there's one feature you really don't like, or repairing the results of an injury – those are normal reasons. She's... I'd rather be dead than live like that!”

The Doctor looked at his disturbed expression and grimaced. “How about we discuss something else, since I can't think of something that you might want to hear about her. What about the others? Or the psychic paper?”

“Oh, that's just weird. I could see the drivel you had it show the Steward. You're gonna be in trouble if you ever run into someone who can resist it.”

The Doctor shifted uncomfortably. “No one's ever challenged the Psychic Paper before, but how could you see it and yet know it was fake? You must be psychic yourself and have latent resistance.”

That was an odd answer, which he'd check on later. “As for the rest... well... I am curious about one thing. How come everyone is speaking in English – in dialects I understand perfectly, no less?”

No – you just hear English. It's a gift of the TARDIS. Telepathic field, gets inside your brain – translates.

David pushed off the wall, and into the Doctor's face – making his slight height advantage seem like a towering difference with his posture. “And you didn't tell me? How much do you not tell your... companions?! Is that just because you're so old that you think you know better in every possible situation?”

The Doctor opened his mouth to answer, but wasn't given a chance.

“Another thing, who are you really and where do you come from?” His face and eyes shined with annoyed frustration.

He tensed. “Right now? Everywhere.”

“That's not an answer.”

“It's the only one that matters,” the Doctor snapped, folding his arms. “I belong to nowhere right now. Just to my TARDIS.”

David thought about that phrasing. “You mean there are more ships like her?”

The Doctor turned toward the dying Earth. “There were.”

The tone said to not ask further. David had heard that before, too. In patients he had seen in medical school, where the past was so painful it was hard to face. He wondered if he'd made the smart move in agreeing to go, once again. “Fine... I won't ask for the moment. But understand this, Doctor: if you insist on a lot of secrecy, you'll drive people away. Including me. I will insist on you leaving after you drop me off.”

The look of horror in the Doctor's eyes was unmistakable, and it gave David pause. “Unless you're willing to tell me a bit about why you're reacting the way you are. I took the chance because I couldn't resist the opportunity to visit another planet or some point in either the future or the past, but I'm willing to ignore the urge if I don't feel like I can trust you.”

He turned back to the window, shutting down the conversation. He could feel the Doctor staring at him for a long moment, absorbing the words. He let him for a bit, until he couldn't resist a quip. “Take a-”

The platform rumbled a bit.

The Doctor grinned. “That's not supposed to happen.”

David's eyes widened. “What?!”

Things quickly went from bad to worse. Three near-death experiences in less than 36 hours was a lot for anyone to deal with, after all.

The Doctor walked along Piccadilly Square, looking around. All for one person. It was hard even for him to focus with all the noise and smells and sights of a busy human street. He hadn't seen this much activity around him in hundreds of years. He'd avoided busy places whenever possible, leaving as soon as whatever disaster caused by the Time War had been averted.

He hoped he would find David without looking conspicuous. His new companion had told him to keep away for a bit, to not interrupt what he had to do. So he had... until the worry that David had seen too much was too overpowering and he had to check on him. Trouble was that David and Curie weren't at the house. So the Doctor had to resort to walking. The TARDIS couldn't get him any closer than this.

Fortunately, he found David sitting on a bench, and obviously people-watching. A bag of chips was in one hand, seemingly forgotten even as it was plainly still warm. Curie sat beside him, content as her owner stroked her side absently. She turned and barked pleasantly as the Doctor strolled to join them. “I was hoping to find you,” he began.

David slowly looked up, frowning a little. “I suppose being a Time Lord could help you. Maybe the TARDIS tracked me?”

“Well, she's good, but not in that way.” The Doctor sat next to him. “I actually had to base it on what I do know about you. Especially since my ship decided to not tell me if she had heard anything you thought.”

“Hmm. Nice of her.” The tone was disinterested, but a brief smile flashed across David's face. “I told you I had things to do today, so why are you here?”

“I could ask what you're doing here, sitting in a public place when you might be doing... whatever it is you do as an inventor. And don't you have patients?”

“I work with partners, and we arranged so that I have additional time for creating inventions that might help our patients. I checked with the office, and they're fine.” David sank in his seat, sighing. “I needed to think, to be around things I know. Things I... took for granted before you showed me how my planet will die.”

The Doctor nodded slowly. “You think it'll last forever. People, and cars and concrete. But it won't. One day, it's all gone. Even the sky.”

As they both looked up, David found that he couldn't suppress one question any longer. “Doctor?”


“Before Jabe helped us save everyone, before she nearly burned and before we knew what was happening, she said something about... how her computer denied your existence. That she knew what happened and that she was sorry. What did she mean?”

The Doctor was silent for a long moment. Could he speak of this? He had said nothing of it since the Moment, tried to not think about it in a few hundred years. Until Jabe reminded him with her empathy. He took a deep breath. “My planet's gone.”

“What?!” David squeaked, barely keeping his voice down.

It's dead,” the Doctor continued numbly, still staring upward. “It burned like the Earth. It's just rocks and dust. Before its time.”

What... what happened?”

There was a war. And we lost.”

Somehow, it didn't seem smart to ask who the enemy was. “But... weren't there any other survivors? You might find them someday.”

“No, there aren't. I could feel them, but there's nothing. Just utter emptiness in my mind. My people... we could sense and hear each other across time and space. I've had a gaping hole in my mind for 900 human years. My family died on the front lines, none of them safe. Even my granddaughter who married a human man – she and her children were dragged to the war, her husband killed when he tried to protect them.”

He wasn't sure why he said so much, but it seemed natural to do so. This man somehow seemed like he could be trusted. Although how far remained to be seen.

David's mouth was completely slack. Of all the things that could have been what kept this alien so private and guarded, his imagination hadn't thought of this. He was silenced for a long moment, trying to wrap his mind around the idea. Now Jabe's words made sense. He forced his mouth to work. “I'm... I... saying I'm sorry feels inadequate, but it's the only thing appropriate to say. Anything else is insensitive.”

The Doctor looked at him, smiling ever so slightly in gratitude for the quiet lack of questions. “So... will you consider another adventure?”

David pursed his lips. “I guess you really do need a friend.” He slowly shrugged. “Fine, give me a few days to feel that I've settled some things. Then we can go somewhere in the past. Got any rulebooks I should read?”


“You know, a guide to what to do and say to not make waves. You've travelled with others before. I know I'm not the first person to come aboard. Unless that colourful chest in the corner of the Control Room is yours.”

The Doctor flushed. “That was Susan's. My granddaughter.”

David noted the tension in the tone. “She was one of yours companions?”

“The first.”

And the one whose departure was the most painful, David thought. He looked down a moment, and then at the bag. “If your planet's gone, how do you eat? Can you even handle Earth food?”

The Doctor looked, sniffed the air, and grinned. “I learned over my life. Had two different exiles to Earth, so I've developed a taste for some Earth foods, like chips.” He reached to grab right from it.

“Oi!” David drew it away before the Doctor could touch it. “Did anyone teach you about manners? You don't just grab from someone's bag, especially if they haven't offered. And I don't know what kind of germs Martians carry, but I'm no mood to find out personally.” When the Doctor al-but pouted, he sighed and rolled his eyes. “Let's try this again. Would you like some chips?”


“Then hold out your hand.”

Confused and a little offended at feeling like he was being treated like a child, the Doctor did. He watched as David poured about half the contents left into his hand, forcing him to use the other to not let any drop to the ground.

“There. Now let's enjoy the sounds of Earth while the shops are all open. Let's see how much you actually know about blending in.”

The Doctor thought about that, and decided to not argue the point. He preferred to just chat with his new friend. “You're bossy.”

“Pot, meet Kettle,” David immediately retorted, without looking at him, and ate a chip.

That made the Doctor laugh a bit as he ate. Fine, learning more of human customs might even be fun with this friend to teach him. He could live with this.

One of the Doctor's favourite things was making companions wear period clothing. Usually it was the women and girls, but the males and boys were sometimes fun. Making this skinny human he now called friend was amusing, and he had needed a good mental laugh. Even the Old Girl admitted that the look on David's face when he was told he had to wear a period piece was a picture.

He wasn't entirely surprised to be waiting – some of the male attire for the 1800s could be rather complicated to put on. Even for someone as intelligent as David. Actually, the self-described geek nature might help him.

He heard footsteps and grinned, looking up. And promptly froze solid.

The TARDIS had gifted David with something that reminded the Doctor of something he hadn't seen in years. Almost exactly nine hundred, in fact. The last time he'd seen that outfit, he was putting it away after regenerating into this current body. Well, it could never have be his Eighth self's chosen clothing – he'd been about .11 metres shorter compared to David. No, the TARDIS had found something close in an evening suit and managed to tailor it to his frame – perfectly.

David groaned. “God, I haven't worn a costume in years. The TARDIS seemed to be telling me to wear this. This seems like formal wear, if all those Victorian era dramas my family watched over the years are accurate. Will it do?”

The Doctor couldn't answer. He was too busy staring in shock at the surprisingly pleasing picture before him. He barely kept his mouth shut – it didn't seem a good idea to admit to that. Humans males of the early 21st century could be rather insistent on what they did and didn't like to hear, and he wasn't keen on driving David away.

Frowning, David looked up. “There's something wrong about it?”

Shaking his head, more for his own benefit, the Doctor managed to grin. “Nope! You look like a gentleman, which will help us get into anywhere we want.”

David heaved a sigh a relief, plucking carefully at the edges. “Feels weird, that's all.” Then he noticed the Doctor's attire. “Didn't you change?!”

“I changed my jumper!” And he had. It was obvious that David hadn't looked carefully enough.

He scowled. “Next time I have to wear period clothing, you'd better too!”

The Doctor shrugged. Not worth arguing with him. “Fair enough. Shall we?”

“What, are you having me go out first? Should I be worried?”

That made the Doctor laugh heartily before leading his – rather distracting – friend outside.

David was happy to be out of the restraining clothes, but even happier to be away from that time. Oh, meeting Charles Dickens was a treat, and he got some questions answered. Yet his joy was tempered by the knowledge that the Doctor hadn't had to tell him – Dickens would die soon after that day.

Although he'd rather think about Dickens and all that the man might have done than what he ultimately saved him and the Doctor from. Today he saw another consequence of the war that the Doctor referred to, the one that destroyed his planet. In a way, it was the Nestene Consciousness all over again. Only this time, it was more sinister than that – this time he'd been fooled, along with the Doctor.

He'd professionally sworn an oath to do no harm, and personally vowed to go beyond that to ensure that he made things better for those he treated. But the Gelth were beyond help – so far twisted by the loss of their corporeal forms that they would lie to anyone they met in hope of crossing over. They nearly succeeded. And no one would ever know how the servant girl tricked into helping them ultimately contained and stopped them.

David left the wardrobe – which spanned several stories, he'd noticed when he first entered it – back in his own clothes and feeling utterly drained. He had supported the Doctor's wish to help, thinking that he could give his alien friend some measure of peace. Instead, it all went pear-shaped.

He shuddered. He hated the phrase more than he hated the fruit.

A familiar whine reached his ears, and he saw Curie strolling to him. “Hi,” he breathed, smiling for the first time since he'd watched the look on Dickens' face as the TARDIS dematerialised. He knelt and hugged her, smile increasing when she licked him. The look on the Doctor's face when he'd complained about her doing the same to him make him snicker. Since the alien admitted he wasn't allergic to dog saliva, David told his new friend to quit complaining – it did come off with washing.

He nearly went straight back to the Control Room, but he felt a need to be away from there for a while. Instead, he walked in the opposite direction. If the TARDIS liked him as much as the Doctor claimed she did, then he was probably safe wandering the halls. “Is there a kitchen or anything like it around here?” he asked the ceiling.

The lights flickered off to his left.

Curious, he and Curie followed, seeing the lights stop flickering as he passed them and start further down. He noticed a lot of doors along the way, and wondered what they respectively contained. He decided to investigate this ship a lot more – it was like an entire world existing inside the police box.

The flickering guided him to one of those doors, and he opened it. He blinked. It was a bare bones room, with something in the corner that looked like it might have been the inspiration for the Star Trek food replicators. Although which series was a good question. It did seem a bit larger than he remembered any of them being, even on The Original Series.

He walked around the room. The walls were Spartan, almost completely absent of knick-knacks. There was a sink, but no recognisable dishwasher could be spotted. Cabinets existed, but who knew what was in them. The chairs and table, however, seemed something out of one of those regency dramas that David's mum and gran loved. Especially those Jane Austen adaptations. Or was it one of those Gothic things that Miss Austen poked fun at with one of her novels? Sighing, he looked at the ceiling. “Where the hell do you get a cup of tea or coffee around here?”

“I'll show you,” said the Doctor, entering the room.

David flinched as he turned. “Blimey, I shouldn't be surprised that you might turn up anywhere, but you move quieter than my granny’s cat.”

The Doctor grinned as he approached the object that he overheard David pondering aloud. “I developed excellent reflexes.” He pressed a few buttons. “Now, this is my replicator – and yes, somehow Gene Roddenberry found out about them. I usually use it for food replacements, but I use a special setting for boiling water for tea. Had lots of practice, since Earth has a lot of good tea.” He soon produced two mugs, and held one out to David.

David stared at the tea for a long moment. It smelled a little different from what he was used to, and he tried to place the scent. It was fruity, but it wasn't citrus or a berry that he really knew. Smelled a bit like what he could imagine raspberry lemonade would smell like if it was hot. His sceptical gaze flickered toward the Doctor.

“You don't have it on Earth,” the Doctor explained as he put a plate down and pressed commands into the replicator. “It looks like what's called a Jamacian tangelo or ugli fruit, but smells more like across between raspberry and a lemon. It's from the planet Perahta – that's the transliteration since it means 'glorious' – in the thirty-seventh century.” The machine finished whirring and he turned with a plate holding what looked like dog biscuits. “Humans had just made contact with the Perahtans, and their various teas will become famous across the galaxies.”

As David watched the Doctor put the plate down near the table, he slowly shook his head. “You know, sometimes I think you're talking complete nonsense.”

“Oi, I'll gladly prove it. Try some? It's perfectly safe for humans. More than one of my companions loved it. And before you ask, those are just like what they look like. Go on, Curie.”

David frowned, but accepted the cup. He watched as Curie approached the plate, sniffing. She clearly didn't find anything wrong because she took a bite off one of them, and proceeded to sit and eat happily. Sighing, he blew on the steam, and took a cautious sip. His eyebrows popped to his hairline. “That is good.”

The Doctor grinned, pleased with himself. But he lost his smile when he noticed that his friend's mood was barely lifted. “What?”

“I'm sorry.”

“For what?”

“I...” David sank into the chair closest to Curie. “I feel like I should've been more sceptical, but I wanted to believe the Gelth. I've never been lied to like that.”

The Doctor sat next to him with his own cup. “I've met many liars in my life. I've trusted when I shouldn't have, and barely escaped with my life. I've spent the past 900 years fighting to right the problems caused by the Time War, trying to find survivors. So much has gone wrong... I wanted to believe that I could right something.”

“Well, I guess we were fooled together. Misery loves company, I suppose? Better to be happy with others, but...” David drank more of the tea. “What do you to blow off stress?”

“Hmm.” The Doctor had to think. “Haven't let myself take breaks. Just go off from one place to the next. If I don't pause, I can run.”

David eyed the down-turned mood of the alien. Here was something important. “Running from the loneliness, the memories, or both?”

The Doctor remained silent, shifting in his seat.

David finished his tea, letting the Doctor have a moment to recover. “You've lived as eight men before this one. What did they do to relax? A person can't run on empty. You need something to unwind – a good book, some physical activity not involving running for your life. Is there a gym or something on this ship? Blimey, if there is, I could go and exercise without being bothered! Had to give up my membership 'cause all these bloody blokes and bints kept bothering me. I'd like to learn some new ways of exercising. Got any?”

The Doctor's eyebrows raised, intrigued. He grinned. “Ever heard of Venusian Aikido or what's called Martian Karate?”

David raised an single eyebrow, although the other joined it quickly. “You have my attention.”

Ah, the Doctor thought with a grin, this was more like it! What could go wrong with teaching a companion new forms of exercise?

Chapter 6: Earthlings and Invasions (of the Mind)


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2012 12:59 pm (UTC)
Haa!! head-danced Hahahah.

This is still good :DD
Nov. 27th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
It's a good descriptor. Think I got it from you. ;D

Nov. 28th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
You did, yeah, but it was still funny. :DDD
Nov. 27th, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
My, David wheedled a lot of information out of the Doctor here. Yay!!

And I keep thinking about that period costume David wore. I haven't found the perfect picture yet, but I'll keep looking. :D
Nov. 27th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
He's a persistent bugger, isn't he? :DDD

When you do, email it to me!!!! :DDDDDDDDD
Nov. 27th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, this may be my favorite chapter yet. You're right, the Doctor is willing to do many things and leave his comfort zone just to please David, just so he'll stay longer. There were hints of it before but there's more in this chapter. It's why i love it so much! Nine is so desperate for a friend and David, as you describe him, is perfect for the job. He'll help him heal.
Nov. 27th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
The Doctor really needed a friend, and he got Rose in canon. Boo, RTD. Just... boo. :) Yes, David will help immensely. :DDD
Feb. 6th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
I will never understand what the Doctor was thinking bringing anyone to watch the death of their planet. How would this ever be a good idea?!? I remember thinking, the first time I saw it and heard Rosie's "The aliens. They're so...alien", What the hell do you think the bloke standing next to you is?!?! David doesn't have the problem.

The fact that he felt sorry for the Gelth just goes to show how much more depth David has. And his sympathy for the Doctor's tragedy.

I would, however, love to see him in the Regency clothing!! That body takes to costumes well. :D

Feb. 6th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
Have you read the first part of "The Noble Girl: The End of the World"? Jenny thinks like you do. :) And yes, the whole "they're so... alien" thing is something she needed knocking out of. No, David doesn't have that problem, but he IS overwhelmed by LOTS of aliens in one place and the whole Earth-is-about-to-die thing.

Amen. I'm having a little trouble with that for "The Noble Girl".

Wish I could draw. D:
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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