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FIC: A Different Threefold Man (12/12)

Title: A Different Three-Fold Man
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Not even Caan could see every possibility. The Hand was far more aware than anyone gave it credit for, and it transformed itself into something different. Now Donna Noble and the Doctor have their work cut out for them.
Dedication: tardis-mole. This was provoked by “Another Fine Mess.” You'll have to read it all the way through to have any clue why. And yes, I beta read that story, so in a tiny way I'm tooting my own horn in addition to TM's. ;D And thank you, my friend, for the chapter titles! :D
Disclaimer: Rose Tyler wouldn't have been anywhere near Series 4, and therefore this probably couldn't have happened, had I anything to do with owning these characters. I've lost all respect for the character, I freely admit it. Which means I've lost some respect for her creator. Shame, since he also created characters that I adore.
Author's Note: A new entry for the Alternate Handy Fanfiction Challenge. Nope, we haven't mined this one to death. Not at all! :D And there are still other possibilities! :D

And at last... the final chapter. :DDDDD

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

A Different Threefold Man

Chapter 12 - Bonding Time
Finished October 30, 2013

Jenny sat down at the top of the stairs and leaned against the wall. She tried to make sense of what she was feeling, painfully aware of how little she knew about life.

Was how she was born the cause of her not being able to hear her family? Was that why her dad hadn't sensed she wasn't really dead? Did the progenation machine make her something less than her siblings? Did none of them feel her as part of the family?

She felt wetness at the corners of her eyes. She reached to feel it, and saw what looked like water on her fingertips. Crying, her mind filled in. Based on her adventures, she had learned this was called grief.


She looked up slowly at the sound of her dad's voice. He hadn't bothered to put a shirt back on. He looked at her with alarm, concern.

What's wrong?”

Oh, she would have given anything for him to look at her like that before she thought she was dying. She tried to form words, but couldn't.

The Doctor knelt next to her and touched her shoulder. “Tell me what's upset you. You look like you don't know what's happening.”

Jenny swallowed. “Mum just went through so much pain for something so small, so helpless. You look at her, going through that four times in one day and she's still beaming at the end. She put so much effort into growing them, and now in caring for them... What am I? I'm not even her daughter. I came from a machine, from a sample of stolen DNA. Maybe she was right... Maybe I'm not real. You certainly didn't care about me at first, and left me behind. I wish I was one of those babies, that someone loved me enough to go through all that for me. I wish I really had a mum.” She broke down into tears.

At the bottom of the stairs, Wilfred and Mickey were still waiting for news, and stared up at them in shock, having heard every word. They looked at each other, not knowing what to do or say.

The Doctor closed his eyes and shook his head, ashamed that it came to this. He waved for Wilfred and Mickey to come up the stairs before he tugged Jenny to her feet. “Come on,” he insisted, guiding her right back into his and Donna's room.

Jenny saw a sea of worried faces looking at her. Martha stopped putting away equipment, and the others were still – each holding a baby. Sylvia was now holding the older girl, and Martha waved Wilfred forward to take the younger girl. Donna was gently bundled in the bed, two blankets draped over her. Her face was the most alarmed, driven to tears of her own.

When the Doctor saw everyone was in the room, he sighed heavily. “Did I tell you that I came from a machine?”

Jenny slowly looked up at him, blinking. “No.”

Well, I did. All of my children born on Gallifrey came from a Loom. Their mother came from a Loom, and so did all Gallifreyans, They hold bad memories for me, even though Donna's pain made me wish for a few seconds that we still had them, to spare her from it. But only for a moment – the Looms meant no emotional connection between the parent and child, because there was no physical connection and because emotional connections were discouraged. Anyway, I didn't know exactly what it was, but I knew something was missing from my life and how my people lived. It was the memories as much as the forced aspect of your creation that made it hard for me to accept you. That and the shock of another Gallifreyan being alive after I was alone for so long, having lost my entire species. I'm set in my ways, and I needed someone like your mum to knock me out of them.”

Jenny thought back to what had happened on Messaline. “Yes, she did snap at you a lot. But she and I don't have any DNA in common.”

Jenny,” the Doctor stressed, “DNA can mean nothing. Just because you have a shared genetic code doesn't mean you and the other person will get along. Sometimes the closest familial relationships are when there's no genetic connection whatever. That's called adoption, children being raised by another family. But I'm no longer sure you aren't related to Donna.”

What?!” Donna exclaimed from the bed.

He rubbed his neck thoughtfully. “Jenny didn't sense her second heart, or realise that she was anything other than human even after we told her she had two hearts. They took DNA from my hand, and I'm positive that we'd touched hands before then, very close to that moment. If even one of your skin cells was present over the spot they scraped off then Jenny has some Human DNA in her. Maybe even half of her DNA is human.”

Jenny's mouth went slack. “But that's... is that possible?”

He nodded. “Even if it isn't, she named you and you clearly imprinted on her – like a baby bird.” He paused, flinching as a memory came to mind. “Well, a baby animal. Not necessarily a bird.”

Jenny wondered why the twins and their mum were narrowing their eyes at him.

The Doctor cleared his throat. “Anyway, there's nothing less about you than any of our other children. All that's missing is the family bond, and that's easily fixed.”

She looked at him in shock, and in building hope. “It is?”

He sighed. It was so far past time it wasn't funny. He stepped forward and raised his hands to her contact points. When she flinched, he paused. “It's safe. Just imagine me knocking on a door in your mind. See yourself opening the door and letting me, and your family, inside.”

Jenny was dubious, but she nodded. She was willing to try almost anything to experience the bond her siblings and dad spoke of, to feel like she belonged.

The Doctor connected with her mind, feeling hers open.

Jenny gasped as a waterfall of images flooded her mind. She saw Gallifrey and the House of Lungbarrow, the Academy, the memory of seeing the Untempered Schism, the extended family, the expectations thrust on her father. She saw her now-deceased siblings, nephews, nieces, and cousins. She saw the emotions from their deaths, especially Susan and her family being grabbed and forced into fighting on the frontlines of a world they had not seen and a war they knew nothing about. She also saw glimpses of what had combined to convince her father to leave her body behind, including the pain added from recent years. That included a glimpse of the face of the blonde girl who had killed both the Doctor and Donna, the girl whose meddling with things beyond her comprehension allowed Ben and Bella to be born.

Then she felt something hit her mind, and realised she was hearing another mind. She shook from the shock, and she felt her father's hands move away from her head. She stared unblinking at her father. She saw his tears, but also his smile.

He looked at her. Jenny, this is the bond.

Her mouth opened and closed. She shook her head. “I don't understand.”

This is telepathy, part of a bond that cannot be broken. Especially between family and bonded spouses. Can you hear it, feel it?

Jenny's breathing quickened. She could hear her father's mind, feel the love that she had thought wasn't there toward her. She could feel his pain caused by her belief that she hadn't been loved.

Can you hear your siblings? Your mum?

She then noticed that she could hear other feelings and thoughts, and they weren't her father's. She looked at her siblings, and saw smiles that she could feel. She looked at Donna, and as her smile increased Jenny felt a wave of love wash over her. She burst into tears.

The Doctor tugged her into his arms. “It's okay. You were always part of the family and now you're fully bonded to us. Is that okay?”

Jenny didn't answer. She just clutched him in relief, still sobbing.

Wilf and Sylvia were in tears, hugging with the little girls between them.

Martha had to stop her work, she was so moved. Mickey touched her arm, and ended up with an armful of weeping Martha. Not that he found it unpleasant – not at all.

After a long moment, the Doctor gently encouraged Jenny to turn to look at her immediately younger siblings. She slowly let go and accepted one-armed hugs from Ben and then Bella. She briefly touched the babies in their respective embraces, feeling the confused minds touching hers.

The Doctor smiled. “They're just puzzled because they've never heard your voice before. But they know you're family.”

Jenny paused a moment to let that sink in, and nodded slowly before accepting emotional hugs from her gran and great-granddad, then touching the babies' hands. “She's so tiny,” Jenny whispered, noting how utterly dwarfed the youngest seemed by the adults.

Donna smiled. “She'll bounce back. She probably has my and your dad's stubbornness. Now come here and give me a proper hug, you.”

Slowly she moved to sit on the bed with her mum, feeling a need to be careful. Only Donna wrapped an arm around Jenny and tugged her to lie with her.

Jenny found herself with her head resting on Donna's shoulder, and blinked from surprise. She slowly hugged her mum for a long moment – carefully since her arm was rather close to the belly that was now a bit deflated. A smile crossed her face when she felt her mum kiss her temple, proof that Donna would've gone through that pain for her if circumstances had been different. Jenny sagged happily into the embrace and closed her eyes to savor it.

The Doctor exhaled in relief. “Seven children,” he mused aloud. “We're going to be busy. Good thing I can work on less sleep.”

The mention had the twins suddenly yawn. “Bedtime for us,” Bella muttered.

Yeah, school tomorrow,” Ben added.

No,” Sylvia stated. “We'll call and say you're staying home because of a family emergency. The school knows the babies were due at any time. Besides, we need to figure out Jenny's cover story and get her into that school. If there's space, and that's not up to us.”

Ben flinched. “Oh, Dad? I need to tell you now. Mrs. Manton knows we're aliens.”

The Doctor's eyes went wide. So did all the other adults'.

Bella explained, “Seems she worked at UNIT during the Omega mess.”

Oh.” The Doctor thought about that, and sighed, grimacing. “Must not have told enough people to keep quiet about what happened through the 'black hole'. Well, we'll figure that one out in the morning if it need be. Let's get through this first night first.”

Wilfred looked at Jenny. “And where are we going to put Jenny?”

Donna interjected softly, “I think we should ask her. Jenny?”

There was no answer. It was quickly apparent that the girl born on Messaline had fallen asleep against her mother's warm body.

Donna smiled indulgently before looking up at her husband. Do you think she's slept at all?

He smiled back. Doubt it. He turned to Wilfred. “We'd better pull that spare camp bed out and set it up in Bella's room until I can get her a proper bed. Love, you don't mind sharing your room for now, do you?”

Bella grinned. “Oh, having a sister to share things with sounds like fun! All the things we could do when we're not tired... Forget the 'for now' part. She can share my room for good.”

Her declaration made the rest of her family, and the present friends who were practically family now, smile. And made the Doctor determined to finish his plans to finally include Sylvia and Wilfred in the family bond. They deserved to not be left out.

Jenny didn't hear any of the quiet discussions about her future or the babies'. Her exhausted body was soaking in the physical and mental benefits of being surrounded by family and love. And if she reminded Donna of the Doctor when he was asleep, she didn't say. He might have spotted some aspects that were more like her, after all.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
Wow, seven children! That's crazy, but they will manage. I'm glad the Doctor completed the family bond with Jenny, and it looks like Wilf and Sylvia will be let in, too, if they want. I guess Sylvia has come to terms with everything, all those grandchildren must make her very happy indeed. As for Wilf, I bet he's beyond thrilled to have seven great-grandchildren.

Lovely story! Thank you for completing it!

Edited at 2013-11-01 02:41 am (UTC)
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:26 am (UTC)
Wilf would be dancing a lot in joy. Especially as the great-grandchildren hit their milestones. :D And Sylvia might not stop smiling for a while.

Thank you. It feels good to have this one done. :)
Oct. 31st, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
So glad to see more of this series! I read chapters 11 and 12 in one go and held my breath, hoping all the Time Tots would survive. Four of them?! Yeesh! I cannot imagine the shock and fear (and pain!) Donna and the Doctor felt. You captured Jenny's confusion and sense of separation very well. She was very much the observer, on the outside looking in on her family throughout the birth of her brothers and sisters. All she could do from the sidelines was watch, wonder, and worry about what everyone seemed to know but refused to say as they actively participated in the event.

The last chapter made me weepy! I'm so glad Jenny properly bonded with her family! It never occurred to me that some of Donna's DNA could have been involved in Jenny's creation...though it probably should have seeing as how touching Ten's severed hand was enough for Donna to create Ben (and that whole process was more wibbly-wobbly and less sciencey-wiencey). What a great way to connect those dots! Including Sylvia and Wilf in the family bond is a lovely thought as well. Yay for a huge happy Time Family! Thank you for another great series!
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
Ah... that's why I don't have comments on Chapter 11. Readers jumped straight to this one. :) And yeah. They're going to have to regroup. But they'll manage. She's SuperTemp, after all. :D And yes, Jenny's outsider status became more and more clear as I wrote it and worked through the bugs with my betas. Didn't help that quiet was needed and she lacked the mental bond to know what was happening.

Well, think about it. Why would Jenny NOT NOTICE she has two hearts? Wouldn't that sound off even to her download? So it makes sense that she has some human DNA in her, and why not have it be Donna's? They certainly held hands often enough. And again. thank you. :)
Nov. 1st, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
Ack. *sob* Jenny broke my heart. She's bonded thought now so it's all good.

Four time tots? Ow. Just...ow. So glad they all lived.

This is one of the greatest stories ever. Definitely be rereading it.

~Ali ♥
Nov. 1st, 2013 11:24 am (UTC)
It is heartbreaking. She deserved better than what she got in canon. And here she did.

Yeah. Ow. More so the way they had to get the last one out. Thought it made a more dramatic method than a fetal transport or the like.

Aw... thank you. :)
Nov. 3rd, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
Awwww, what a sweet ending to your story, love! Jenny deserves to be incorporated in this way (and I adore the idea of Jenny getting some of Donna's DNA). Four babies though... it doesn't bear thinking about, but at least the family bond would make it miles easier guessing what's wrong with them when they cry and there are loads of helping hands.
Nov. 4th, 2013 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you. And yes, a bond would make many things easier. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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