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Title: The Noble Girl – The Unquiet Dead

Rating: T

Author: tkel_paris

Summary: Jenny's random joke possibly triggered the TARDIS to take them to the Victorian Era. The historical aspects – and the clothes – are amazing, but they weren't expecting to actually see Charles Dickens surrounded by ghosts. At Christmas. Written and posted for cassikat's birthday.

Disclaimer: Hugely AU. So no, I own nothing. Also, involves racism and other nasty things.

Dedication: cassikat, of course. Happy birthday, my friend! :D And tardis_mole and bas_math_girl, for beta-reading.

Author's Note: This idea was floating around in my head because I thought that a certain character looked more like another character than the one who was her (sole) parent in canon. And I know cassikat wanted a Nine story without Rose. So we both get our wish here! :D

Everyone has had the idea of taking a character and putting them into a different family situation. So, take one character from Who, transform the circumstances of her birth into something normal (or as normal as one can get in DW), and give her a different family. What do you get? Possibly this story. If you eliminate one other character...

Also, working on this fic made me realize how sheltered the companions who were – well, not of a “different race” appears to be the term even though I don't like using it – were. As if Mickey didn't have enough to deal with in canon; being ignored by his girlfriend for one, the Press that denied his place as the first Black companion, being called an Idiot when he was only playing the fool (which actually makes two things), then he chose to escape the girlfriend by going to a world that had to be at least as intolerant as the one he fled from, and who knows what he dealt with while Rose tried to work that Cannon. Here, I have faced the ethnicity issue head on and... well, read on. You may want a pillow to punch at times, as I have kept it true to the era in which this episode was set. Fair warning.

And as always, please review first with the idea that this was New Who airing for the first time. Then compare. :D Oh, and make sure you've read the whole series, starting with "Jenny". It'll help. A lot. ;D

The Noble Girl: The Unquiet Dead

Started June 8, 2012

Finished August 7, 2013

Chapter 1: New Job, New Journey – Into Chaos

I've got to go to the latest job now! Is that alien of yours going to show his face anytime soon?!”

Jenny sighed, running a hand through her hair and wanting to tear some strands out as she followed her mother out to her car, with Sylvia on their heels. “I've been expecting him for days now, Mum! I don't know why he hasn't come! Not after all the effort he took to convince me and Mickey to travel with him.”

Sylvia groaned. “It's hard enough to believe that this... alien is actually paying you and Mickey. Calling you his assistants, you said?”

Yeah. And you've both seen my bank balance. Equivalent of a month's wages from the shop added within days of meeting the Doctor. I saw him making a change to his account so we're paid weekly here on Earth, no matter how little or how much time passes for us while travelling through time and space.”

You didn't come home last time until your mum was due home!” Sylvia snapped. “That was three weeks later! And now it's been almost two more since you came home!”

Donna laughed. “Time and space. I can't get over the idea of you being a space and time traveller. My daughter! You're living your dream of being an explorer!”

She sounded wistful, which was a huge change from when she first heard about it. Her only child, exploring time and space with some alien? Never mind that Mickey was there, it seemed too dangerous! But it seemed that Donna's wishes for herself ran along those same lines. If she couldn't travel like she wanted to, she wasn't going to stop her child from doing it.

Of course, her own horror and tirade had stopped when she realized how like her mother she sounded. Besides, her daughter was more than good enough for the United Kingdom Space Agency, wasn't she? She could handle anything. Which was sometimes a scary thought.

Oh, don't you go thinking about going with her!” Sylvia exclaimed. “You have a business, lady!”

Jenny grimaced. Her gran using the word 'lady' was never a good sign. More like belittling.

Oh, please!” Donna's eyes flashed at her. “If you must know, I've no intention of leaving my business behind. I want to make sure Gramps is comfortable in his own home, with the mortgage paid off, and has some extra for however long he's got. And my daughter is too practical not to think of these things.”

Jenny had to restrain her expression. She knew she wasn't entirely practical. (As if running off, even if her boyfriend went with her, with a complete stranger, and then telling her family he was an alien from space and she'd travelled across time and space, was practical? Or even believable? Her mother had thrown that at her early on, making her wonder how much everyone other than her great-grandy truly trusted her about this.) It was a learned behaviour from her mother, but it had served her well. She couldn't understand where she got the wild ideas and crazy thoughts, so she supposed she needed the reminders about life.

Donna's phone chimed. She groaned. “I have to go. You tell that Doctor that I'd better meet him sometime soon! I don't like the idea of not even having the chance to meet the flipping person who takes my only child away from me.”

Mickey pulled up in his car as Jenny nodded. “He seems to think he'll like you. He sounded delighted to know that you're ginger.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Nutter.” She opened her car door and carefully put her bags inside. “Take care, sweetheart. Hello, Mickey!”

The young man waved, carrying a backpack out of the car. They all watched Donna drive away moments later to the latest booking of her skills.

Sylvia sighed, folding her arms. “If that dratted alien can travel through time, why can't he arrange to meet your mum?”

Jenny shrugged. “Believe me, I'll make sure that introduction happens. His ship seems to like me, so I bet I can talk her into ensuring that he doesn't get cold feet.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Not that I imagine he would – he almost acted like he has a thing for gingers.”

Mickey coughed.

Before Sylvia could do more than drop her mouth in shock, they heard the engines churning and wheezing. The TARDIS appeared on the pavement, and seconds later the Doctor emerged, frowning.

Sylvia found her voice. “Where the hell have you been?! You said you'd come back to meet Jenny's mum, and you just missed her!”

He glared at her. “It wasn't my fault. I asked my ship to help me get here in time, but she seemed to encounter a few time eddies.”

What?” Sylvia was unimpressed.

Time eddies,” the Doctor repeated. “Like a sea-faring ship hitting unexpectedly rough weather. It happens sometimes, throws my aim off. I'm also the only pilot, and TARDISes are meant to have six pilots.”

Jenny found a grin growing. A challenge! “May we learn?”

The Doctor was positive his eyes had never tried to leave his head before. He'd thought those cartoons with the wild bulging eyes were exaggerating what a person could feel. Now he knew it wasn't as far off the mark as he'd thought. “It's highly complicated,” he evaded. “I'm not sure your human brains could handle that kind of knowledge.”

Mickey snorted. “Telling my woman she can't do something means she'll want to do it anyway.”

Sylvia exhaled tightly. “That trick never worked when she was a kid, Doctor. It still doesn't. She has to at least try to make it work.”

The Doctor folded his arms and thought about alternative reasons to convince his young companion that she was asking too much. “Jenny, it's nothing like driving a car. And you're too young to do that anyway!”

I can see that. Are you so frightened by the thought of someone else touching your precious controls that you're feeling threatened? Why not at least see if we can help ease your burden.”

He blinked. “We?”

Well,” Jenny explained patiently, “you said six people are ideal. You have two companions, right? Why not see if Mickey and I can help you by learning to handle two stations at a time? You'd like that challenge, wouldn't you, Mickey?”

The young man looked intrigued. “It'd be a good challenge, wouldn't it? Yeah, I think I would like to learn.”

The Doctor flinched. Two humans handling the controls? But then he felt the TARDIS reach out to him.

Jenny displayed her best pout. “Please, just let us try to learn?”

Between the ship's sounds in his head and that precious silent pleading, the Doctor visibly melted. “I don't know why, but the Old Girl seems to think you can learn and even wants you to learn. She's never trusted anyone this much, and she can't explain it any more than I can. Or won't. Fine. We'll start lessons as soon as we're in the Vortex.”

Jenny punched her fists into the air. “Yes!!!” She threw her arms around Mickey, who was also beaming. Even Sylvia had to laugh over her grandchild's enthusiasm.

The Doctor hoped his ship knew what she was doing.

Now,” the Doctor began, pointing at the Controls, “push that button to keep the forward motion stablised.”

Mickey pressed it, and looked at the lever he was keeping stable. So far it seems pretty simple, he thought. He smiled as he saw Jenny's eyes shining as she learned more.

Okay, so that's the basics of this console,” Jenny noted. “What about-?”

The TARDIS lurched suddenly. All three had to hold on tight. “What's what, a time eddy?!” shouted Mickey.

The Doctor's eyes went wide. “Massive disturbance! We'll need to land, and it'll be soon!”

Two human pairs of eyes managed to beat his for imitating dinner plates as the Control Room sounded more like a train wreck waiting to happen.

A bald man lit one of the the gas lamps inside a dark room, enhancing the candle-lit glow. Behind him a younger man walked up to the coffin, which was flanked with dried white roses and Old World Poppies, with large sprigs of rosemary all over the room to mask the smells of death. He was immune to the details of his Chapel of Rest, especially as he blew out the stick and dampened the remaining flames with his fingers. He turned and spoke to his client. “Sneed and Company offer their sincerest condolences, sir, in this most trying hour.” His accent was thick, of the area he practiced in.

The younger man stood in shock. The era did not permit much showing of emotion, but his were nearly at the surface. “Grandmamma had a good innings, Mister Sneed. She was so full of life. I can't believe she's gone.” His accent was nothing like the elderly man's. It sounded more refined, fitting with his garments.

“Not gone, Mister Redpath, sir. Merely sleeping.”

Mr. Redpath reflected a moment on that as he looked at Mr. Sneed and tried to make his voice work. “May I have a moment?”

“Yes, of course. I shall be in the next room, should you require anything.” With that Mr. Sneed walked away.

Mr. Redpath gazed down the corpse of his grandmother, leaning with his hands resting a distance apart on the coffin. He smiled as he remembered everything she had taught him and all the memories that were attached to her. As Mr. Sneed closed the door, Mr. Redpath closed his eyes.

The grandmother's face suddenly turned blue for a moment. It repeated, going in and out as a blue gas fluttered suddenly about her face.

Then her eyes opened. She grabbed her relative by the throat and knocked over a vase.

The crash and sounds of gagging brought Sneed back in, and he silently groaned. “Oh, no. No.” He hurriedly freed the suddenly lifeless Redpath from the woman's grasp. He dimly noted that it sounded like she had broken Redpath's neck. He forced her down and tried to put the coffin lid on. “Gwyneth! Get down here now! We've got another one!”

Unfortunately, the vigorous corpse pushed the lid off, knocking Sneed out, and kicked her way out of the coffin side.

Soon she glided out of the room and was walking down the otherwise empty snow-covered street, groaning. Blue vapour escaped from her screaming mouth.

(Opening Credits:

Christoper Eccelston

Georgia Moffet

Noel Clarke


The Unquiet Dead”

based on the episode by Mark Gatiss)

Chapter 2: How Good Is His Driving?


Aug. 8th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
(Interesting choice of music! I thought I was the only one who listed to Christmas harp music!!!)

I have now caught up again with all the chapters and I am just loving this!! Nine is a totally different being with Jenny. And the loving relationship between Jenny and Mickey just tickles my romantic little heart. SOOOOOO different than *cough* elsewhere. Even Sylvia is a different person, which I, again, love.

I am very intrigued by the TARDIS' near-missing the meetings with Donna. A little voice is whispering in my head that they aren't supposed to meet until he is in a different body. Crossing timelines, maybe??? And Jenny being like a daughter??? Hmm. You needn't confirm nor deny. I just like speculating!

(BTW, I have a nebulous idea for a fic in which it is Nine and Donna who meet Charles Dickens!)

Edited at 2013-08-08 05:23 pm (UTC)
Aug. 8th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
It's special to me because this album has one of my friend's playing and singing. Her voice can be heard in two tracks, including singing a Gaelic version of Silent Night. She was something special before, but after two years at this Irish Harp school she was giving me chills she was so amazing. If you can find "A Christmas Collection" by Janet Harbison and the Irish Harp Orchestra, get it. It's beautiful.

Well, I can certainly talk about how different having Jenny and Mickey here makes this Series 1 adventure. And how the different families also influence matters. That's fun, isn't it? And how did you like "The End of the World"? Feel free to leave comments on that. ;)

*giggles* Well, that would eliminate Donna's line about meeting Charles Dickens "and he's surrounded by ghosts. At Christmas." ;DDDDDDD
Aug. 9th, 2013 05:27 pm (UTC)
I will definitely have to look for that. I have a bazillion different Christmas CDs on my Ipod.

I did read all of "The End of the World" but was so enthralled and was in such a hurry to get through it, I neglected to comment :( Sorry! Will try to remedy that.

Hee Hee! The conversation could have gone like this then (my changes in bold):

DONNA: No, but isn't that a bit weird? Agatha Christie didn't walk around surrounded by murders. Not really. I mean, that's like meeting Charles Dickens and he's surrounded by ghosts at Christmas.
DOCTOR:(looks at her with one eyebrow raised)
DONNA: Okay. But still! It's not like we could drive across country and find Enid Blyton having tea with Noddy. Could we? Noddy's not real. Is he? Tell me there's no Noddy.
DOCTOR: There's no Noddy.
Aug. 9th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
*snickers* That's one way. Could also go like, "First Charles Dickens and he's surrounded by ghosts. At Christmas. Then Shakespeare's being tricked by witches. And now this!" *giggles*

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