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FIC: Flipped, Book 1 (7/8)

I owe an apology for the delay. My NaNo was being a right pain, and I had some time-critical things to do. But I can offer the final two parts today. :) Now I can start writing the sequel. Some of the scenes are playing themselves out in my head already. ;D


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 was in chapter 3. :)



Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6





CHAPTER SEVEN: ALIEN AND FUTURE MATING PRACTICES

Dealing with a stupid kid who would've been a sucker for a pretty female face? Easy, if annoying.

Dealing with a Time Lord who didn't want to stick around to give important guidance on turning a society back around instead of going on a worse path? And more to the point, refused to stick around despite his own arguments? Aggravating beyond measure.

Dealing with someone who flirted with him and the Doctor – almost in the same breath? That was a new one.

That what was normal on Earth – certainly within the vicinity of London, England – wouldn't be normal on other planets or even on Earth in the future (never mind the past) was something David understood. It was hubris and ego-centric in the worst way to assume that whatever you were familiar with was the right way, the only way to do things. And he had not been disappointed – so many different traditions, and some did alarm his sensibilities. Being spat in the eye by an alien dignitary was decidedly not a high point of his adventures. Still, he tried to keep an open mind.

But he hadn't counted on meeting an alien who looked and sounded like an American from his own time. The person who called himself Jack Harkness was forcing him to reassess many assumptions he hadn't even realised he held.

Although he'd known since he was a teenager that he wasn't gay – not even slightly. Hard to not know given some of the offers he'd received over the years.

Of course, he had gay friends. All sorts of friends. Some of them drove his parents – especially his mother – crazy. He found it interesting that his grandparents were more relaxed about it, but he supposed it was partly due to his mother's drive to raise their circumstances. Appearances and all. Still, his mother had accepted most of his friends ultimately – and even become a strong supporter of some of the “strays” he brought around. Her words, not his or anyone else's in his family.

But then he and the Doctor found themselves in 1940 London, during the Blitz, and running into what the Doctor called a Time Agent – someone who was sworn to help keep time flowing properly. Evidently, the knowledge that the Time Lords couldn't watch over time had been disseminated, and some technology had fallen into the hands of people with some time senses – including the Boe-Kind.

According to the Doctor, they were probably descended from the only known Time Lord and Human hybrid. He'd reluctantly admitted that the human mother had been a companion, and probably hadn't survived the birth – it had been during the start of the Last Great Time War. Something about a lot of manipulation that went into making it possible to freeing the Time Lords from a great curse of sterility.

Now that was something David could imagine driving people crazy. He'd seen it in fellow humans, and he could easily believe that the Curse had stopped all development in Gallifreyan culture and society. Not that he knew a lot, but what little the Doctor did say told him a lot more than he figured his friend knew.

But back to Jack Harkness, as... disconcerting as he could be. Or the Captain, as he called himself. Which told the Doctor, who'd told him when they'd had a moment to speak, that he'd taken some human's identity to blend in. Which had made David worry about Jack's character until the Doctor promised that he fairly certain the alien wasn't a murderer – just probably took the identity of a man who died.

In any case, it was a long journey dealing with a bizarre alien threat to London. Now he understood why Albion hospital was closed down, which his grandfather never had. He wondered if he could tell him. But then it led to discovering that Jack's ship was about to self-destruct, and they rescued him, thereby welcoming him aboard – with the bag of the original Jack Harkness.

All in all, a long journey. And to top it off, Jack was still flirting with both of them. He'd even managed to kiss David... after kissing the Doctor. David had shoved him away in shock, spluttering and wiping his mouth. Jack had been stunned, but danger quickly forced them to focus on other things.

Now that they were all safe, Jack had a look like he wanted to try again. “Watch it, mate!” David snapped, at the end of his rope over the unwanted attention. “I got no problem with you as a person, but you're barking up the wrong tree. Even try to kiss me again and I'll slug you.”

Jack sighed, and looked at the Doctor. “Does that mean you'll hit me if I kiss you again?”

The Doctor turned back to the controls. “Not keen on being kissed, thank you. And how do I know you wouldn't accidentally unleash your saliva?”

That got David's attention. “What's so important about that?”

“Boe-Kind have a toxic saliva,” the Doctor explained. “They can use it or not. It's enough to paralyse a person. Certainly a human.”

“I don't use it,” Jack retorted. “Not without cause. Say someone's trying to kill me.”

David raised a sceptical eyebrow. “Well... that could be useful. But I don't see why you're flirting with us when I know I also saw you flirting with one of those nurses. What kind of species are your people?”

Jack's eyes lost their light. “Boe-Kind... We're the ultimate result of the only known successful hybrid between a Human and a Time Lord. I believe the human was one of the Doctor's companions.”

“Leela,” the Doctor breathed, every suspicion confirmed. “What happened to her?”

“It was a rough pregnancy, and the Last Great Time War was starting, so that didn't help. She... lived long enough to see the child moved to the Boe-Shane colony. From there, things slowly worked toward the biology and physiology that I have.”

“Which is?” David pressed, medical curiosity engaged.

Jack hesitated.

The Doctor took a deep breath. “The details are intensely personal, and I'm betting a bit shaming to Jack here. If he really comes to trust you, he'll tell you. But otherwise... let's say that a lot of medical intervention was needed to keep the species alive.”

“That's one way of putting it,” Jack muttered, trying to shake off the sourness of the memories.

David eyed him, puzzled by the mystery, but more than willing to let it be for now. “But why are you not picky about who you flirt with? It seemed like you'd do it with anyone. Isn't that risky?”

Jack forced his mood to brighten. He did have a tough nut to impress. “Boe-Kind are pan-sexual. We can be attracted to any species or gender. In fact, we are multi-gendered as well. It was bred into us to be ready for sex at any moment, and to be ready for whatever our partner needs. And yes, we are experts at protection from disease.”

That made David's mouth move silently for nearly a minute. “So... tell me if I've got this wrong. Is jumping anything or anyone that can flirt back a viable mating strategy? Or is that how things are in the 51st century? Sex all the time? Don't feelings factor into anything?”

“Oh, they do. Believe me, we might look like we have flings all the time, but we do best when we have a permanent partner. And love is kind of instant for us.”

David's eyebrow lifted over his narrowed eyes. “Love or lust?”

Jack chuckled. “Wise man. We're a bit different from humans.”

“Obviously.” David rolled his eyes. “Look, perv from a distance if you must, but leave me alone! I'm going for tea. Anyone else want some?”

“Please,” the Doctor added, forcing an even tone. “You choose the variety.”

“I'll have whatever you two are having.”

David groaned, tossed the 'piss off' gesture at Jack, and left the room. He wanted to snap off a witty remark, but he was too fried to think of any.

The Doctor watched and waited for David to be completely out of earshot. This had to stop.

Jack grinned. “He has a cute ass.”

The Doctor whirled toward Jack, making the Boe-Kind step back in surprise. “Doctor?”

“I know you can't help your nature on most things, but that's my very best friend ever, and he's straight, so I'll thank you kindly for keeping your flirting to yourself! He's apparently dealt with enough advances over his life from gay men. He doesn't need a Boe-Kind openly perving over him.”

The words were delivered in the deadliest tone that Jack had ever heard. Not one of his numerous would-be executioners managed to scare him with a tone or a look before. Oh, that last one had been close, but he'd flirted his way into their bed – thus saving his life.

But this was a Time Lord, one of his great-grandfather to the x power's friends. (Or whatever term they used.) He was the last of his kind, a feeling that Jack knew well – although he suspected that a few other Boe-Kind had escaped the final destruction caused by the Last Great Time War. So that meant the Doctor might feel he had less to lose by threatening people who got in his way. This one had all the scent and psychic markings of a person emotionally scarred by war, and thus you needed to be careful to not trigger some PTSD reaction.

So why was he so protective over David Noble? And why did Jack suddenly sense that the Doctor was emotionally unavailable? As in, already taken?

He nodded slowly, and moved away to sit on the jump seat. He started to listen to the ship's sounds, hoping he'd catch some clues that would clue him in. And perhaps give him clues about how to live as peaceably with these two hot men and their sentient ship.

Because he had the feeling that the TARDIS considered David hers as much as she did the Doctor. Which seemed interesting given the human had only spent not even two years travelling. But maybe the sweet ship needed the extra company just as much as the Doctor did.

Well, he could sit and wait for a while. He had the feeling that the human needed some time to recharge his emotional and mental batteries. Not that he could blame him – it wasn't exactly the best of days.

He blinked when a Red Setter appeared beside him. He hadn't heard her coming. She stared at him and sniffed him. “Hello.” He extended a hand to let her smell it. “Who are you?”

“Madame Curie,” the Doctor answered. “She's David's. I let him bring her with us while we're on adventures.”

Jack smiled as the dog let him pet her fur as she rested her head on his knee. He decided to remain silent and think about what might be happening between the dog's owner and the Doctor – giving Curie some attention all the while.

The Doctor was grateful that Jack backed off. Evidently the Oncoming Storm look was enough to make a point, but he had to back it up with words. Good to know that he could make that impression with someone who couldn't help flirting – it did take attention away from Boe-Kind and direct it to others, something that probably was a lingering consequence of the lack of social markers that emerged thanks to the cloning that enabled the Boe-Kind to remain alive for as long as they had.

Now he could focus on flying them through the Vortex. He probably needed to bring the TARDIS to some-place where she could recharge and refuel. Which required rift energy, and a rift that wasn't outrageously dangerous. Ah, he remembered their adventure to Cardiff in 1869. A rift existed there then, and it was probably still there. In fact, the Old Girl had seemed better-off after that trip.

That settled it in the Doctor's mind. Spend a little time in the Vortex, and then refuel by landing and opening the engines to let her soak in the rift energy. Oh, and bring David back for whatever he might need to do. His friend did good work, and it was important to ensure he didn't miss a day. But he had, after a little convincing, arranged to make it look like he was travelling on business – which the Doctor had had to help make believable.

Oi, the hassles of dealing with a companion who had his own life outside the TARDIS. Not to mention a family he had to stay in contact with – and not just because they were still alive, but because he loved them.

The Doctor marvelled at all he put up with to make David happy, to help him reach his goals. This had to be love – how else could he explain how very domestic he practically acted.

There was only one way to be more domestic. Well, more than one, but they tended to be connected in his thoughts where David was concerned. And Jack was now going to ensure he had to wait to deal with the consequences of dealing with thoughts along one line.

But then he flinched at the chance in the TARDIS' humming. He glared at the ceiling, silently begging her to stop it.

The Boe-Kind, having drifted in his contemplation, blinked as he listened to the change. “Hey, Doc, why's your ship laughing at you? What have you done?”

“None of your business!”

Jack was eyeing him carefully, and what he saw made him grin. “Is that a blush I see?”

The Doctor kept his mouth shut. Saying anything might egg Jack on. Not that the Boe-Kind needed it most of the time.

David walked into the room, carrying three mugs and large kettle of peppermint tea. He looked from the Doctor's flushed face to Jack's intrigued expression, and frowned. “Did I miss something?”

The blush definitely grew. “Nothing! So, where do you want to go next? We'll need to visit Cardiff sometime soon so the Old Girl can refuel, but if you need to stop at home first we can arrange that.”

Jack's grin turned triumphant. Suspicions confirmed! “You're awfully considerate.”

David rolled his eyes. “Jack! Stop harassing the driver!”

The Doctor flashed a relieved smile. He didn't have a clue, and yet he saved him from an ugly moment.

Jack definitely felt he'd pieced things together. Now the Oncoming Storm's earlier warning made perfect sense. Poor Time Lord... in love with a man who was straight. Jack knew the feeling well. In fact, he had two potential people to put him into that situation if he wasn't careful. He stood, giving Curie one last affectionate rub. “I'll be a while. Sounds like the sweet TARDIS needs to soak some more Vortex energy for a while.” He gently stroked a railing before accepting a mug of tea from a cautious David.

The TARDIS's sounds changed their tone again.

David blinked. “Is she purring?!”

Rolling his eyes, the Doctor pointed at Jack. “Stop flirting with my ship!”

Jack snorted. “You're ruining all my fun.” Still, he nodded at both men and saluted before stepping out of the Control Room. Only Curie followed him after a moment. “Oh, you want a run?” they heard Jack ask. “Well, let's go find wherever you like. Show me.”

David narrowed his eyes as the footsteps faded. “He's gone from flirting a mile a minute with me to nothing at all in the space of mere minutes. That's... weird.”

“You're complaining about him stopping something that made you uncomfortable?”

He sighed. “It's not like what happened with Rose. She didn't see anyone else's feelings. Not even Mickey's. It's why he finally ended things with her.”

The Doctor glanced at him. “And when did you hear about this?”

“He's one of the people I call and see when I go home. He tried giving her one last chance, mostly out of respect for her mum, but she just wouldn't work at improving herself. They were done before the Slitheen invastion. He hasn't mentioned her since.” He shook, a little like Curie did after he bathed her. “But enough about that bint. What happened just now? I suppose Jack can't help the flirting in a way, but no one does that big a turnaround without something giant causing it. What the hell happened?”

The Doctor lowered his gaze, hoping he could regain control over his face before David turned back and noticed anything amiss. “Maybe he just realised that it was for the best to leave you alone.”

David thought he heard an odd undertone in the Doctor's voice. “Did you order him to stop it?”

Damn, he was too observant when he wanted to be! The Time Lord was just grateful that for some things, David Noble remained ignorant and oblivious toward. “Might have,” he hedged.

He groaned. “Damn you bloody Spaceman! I could've handled it myself!”

“Yes, but why should you have to deal with it any longer than necessary? Boe-Kind emit pheromones that can make people do weird things on occasion.”

“And I'm pretty sure he's been emitting them full-force toward both of us almost since we met. If neither of us has been taken in by now, I'd say we're both immune.”

The Doctor hoped he was right. He knew he personally was immune to Jack's pheromones. As for David's...

David shook his head. “Don't fight my battles for me, Doctor. You don't want me fighting yours, right?”

The Time Lord closed his eyes. Caught again by his own logic!

“You know, Doctor, it just dawned on me. We'd better either make sure the TARDIS distracts Jack, or not have any exercise sessions while he's roaming.”

The Doctor had to duck to avoid showing a blush that would surely have been spotted by a blind person. He forced himself to take extra time working with the TARDIS controls, concerned that he'd hit the wrong lever from distraction if he wasn't careful.

“You sure you're immune to Jack's pheromones?”

That brought the Doctor up short. “What?! Of course!” Where the hell did he get the idea that he might be? Hadn't he been watching?!

The force behind the denial made David wonder if the Doctor was protesting too much, but he figured his friend needed prying as much as he did right then. “Are you going to take some tea now, or should I put it in a cup-holder? You've got to have one with all the odds and ends sitting in this Control Room.”

He took a deep breath. “I'll take it now. Need something after this day.” He accepted the wordlessly offered mug, and took a brief swig. “Thanks.”

“Not since my medical school days have I felt this drained. You deal with all sorts of people there, and I saw patients who really tested your limits – and it almost always wasn't their fault they acted the way they did.”

“Boe-Kind... and don't tell Jack I told you... also encountered a fair bit of genetic engineering. It's why they have the toxic saliva and the fancy pheromones.”

David frowned. “That sounds more like a curse than a help.” He looked at the Doctor. “Is he also telepathic and time-sensing? 'Cause he said he could smell that we're time travellers.”

“Yes. Gifts from the Time Lord genetics still there. Not that there are many.”

“How many generations ago was that? Surely they'd be gone by now. Unless they managed to get more Time Lord genetics in there from donors or something.”

The Doctor checked with his ship as to where Jack was, and was satisfied with the answer. Still, he leaned in to whisper. “Just never use the word 'clone' around Jack. Okay?”

David's mind churned over that, and his face slackened. “Oh... damn.”

“Yes.” The Doctor placed a hand on the console, stroking the side in response to a rumble from the TARDIS.

Eyeing the action, David first focused on what he'd deciphered based on Jack's answers. “So... Jack's like you? The last of his kind?”

“Perhaps. He acts like he is, but he might be like me – holding out for hope that there's a survivor or two he just can't sense yet. No matter how unlikely it is.”

David gripped his shoulder in support. “No wonder you're so fond of the TARDIS, and vice versa.”

The Doctor looked oddly at him.

“Well, you said you two have a... symbiotic relationship, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Then there's a deep love there. After all, you've been together how many centuries? Hundreds, maybe?”

The Doctor squirmed slightly.

“It's okay. I know you must be much older than 900 years old, but I won't pry. Gotta let a person have some secrets, eh?”

It was moments like that that made the Doctor really wish that David could return his feelings. But it was a hopeless cause. Given how much the universe hated him, he'd probably see David's death and still be this daft warrior with the big ears.


Chapter 8: Shock and Sacrifice





Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
tardis_mole
Nov. 27th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
I love you. Thank you for using pan-sexual. The correct term. Still a little annoyed that RTD called us omni-sexual. And strictly speaking, you can only be dual-gendered, unless you have more than one helix in the DNA. So, I'm guessing you have the species inheriting full Gallifreyan genes. I like it.

By kettle, I presume you mean teapot? Noticed that a couple of times. I thought it was only the Chinese and Turkish who made tea in a kettle. :D
tkel_paris
Nov. 28th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
You're welcome. This one I was nervous about because I WANTED to get it right. I know how important it is to you. Yeah, and I guess that would involve a LOT of genetic manipulation to ensure full Gallifreyan genetic expression.

:P
tardis_mole
Nov. 28th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
For all of us, the need to be accepted for who we are rather than being forced to conform to what society wants us to be.

The reason why I love Boe-Kind. They deliberately manipulate their genetic inheritance and then live a life of shame to hide it. Ehe. If I was half Gallifreyan, I'd be proud of it. I have two hearts, but it's not quite the same thing. :D
bas_math_girl
Nov. 27th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
Poor Doctor caught out by his own yearnings! *hugs him*

Although I ought to also say poor Jack! Boy did that man get a rum deal.
tkel_paris
Nov. 28th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
Yep. To both. *hugs Nine and Jack*
yellow_craion
Nov. 27th, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Poor Nine :( *hugs him*

But Jack! He's here! *hugs Jack too* And I see you changed some things. “Boe-Kind... We're the ultimate result of the only known successful hybrid between a Human and a Time Lord." This is just genius! Way to use Classic Who canon! :D

I love this :D
tkel_paris
Nov. 28th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
Yeah. He needed a lot of hugs... from people who demanded nothing of him except the truth.

Well, it explains a fair bit, I suppose. :D
serenityslady
Feb. 6th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, my heavens! The TARDIS must be swimming in testosterone!!! And I love that she responds to Jack's caresses. The Old Girl needs love too! ;D

tkel_paris
Feb. 6th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know about swimming, but she's being bathed in it for sure! :DDDDDD

Amen. :DDDD
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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