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FIC: Flipped, Book 2 (7/10)

Title: Flipped, Book 2
Rating: heavy T for most contents, but it earns an M for occasional scenes and subject matter
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: David Noble has the biggest challenge of his life ahead – taking care of the new Tenth Doctor. Of course, it's harder because his male friend who was in love with him is now a gorgeous ginger woman... who's caught his eye. Sequel to Flipped, Book 1. Written for tardis_mole.
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?

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. 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 slightly AU version as a future present. 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. Enjoy the sequel. :D Happy Belated Birthday, TM! :DDD I really jope you like this. I finally had to start posting because the uncertainty of whether I did well enough was getting to me.

Oh, and if you haven't read Flipped, please go back and do so. As in right now. :)

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

Chapter Note: I'm going to try to get caught up with what had been my posting plan. I had intended for today to be the last day posting this story. So... I'll shoot for everything up by tomorrow night. Because I have someone special to help pick up from the airport. :DDDDD



Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five / Chapter Six






CHAPTER SEVEN: THE DEVIL INSIDE

Mickey had to return to his studies, but the real trigger for his departure were the calls and texts from none other than Rose Tyler. She had moments where she refused to accept that he had dumped her despite them no longer being 'them' for over a year, and it seemed to align with when Jackie got her nerve up and placed limits on Rose. Of course, the anger probably had as much to do with Rose having no choice but to go back to school and finish what she had skipped in favor of holding a job to earn the money to buy her own clothes.

But not before they went back in time to see Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. And instead had to stop an alien menace that somehow took people's faces away. And yet they still lived without noses or mouths. Mickey endured it, and that contributed to his yearning for his normal life. Neither David nor the Doctor faulted him.

So once it was just the two of them again the Doctor took David on another mystery tour to the future. But within moments, they both found cause to be concerned. It appeared to be a space station, but there were words that the TARDIS was not translating. That should have been impossible, since the TARDIS knew more languages than the Doctor, and the combined knowledge of the ten lives meant that she knew over nine billion.

“What could they possibly say?” muttered David. “And what does that one bit mean by welcoming us to Hell?”

“Let's find out,” she promptly decided.

And so they met the humans running the Space Station overlooking the Impossible Planet. It should not have existed, and it was terribly dangerous to be mining from it. And yet leave it to humans to attempt it.

David did not know whether to be proud of his species or embarrassed at their potential for recklessness.

He had even less of an answer when they met the workers who managed much of the Station: the Ood. Called servants to humans, they seemed without independent will. He could think of some prejudiced people from his time who would have loved to see this happen to certain groups in the world, and it sickened him.

“I can't understand how such a being could evolve, much less survive,” David muttered quietly to the Doctor, not quite willing to trust any of the Humans on the Station. “They have to have minds of their own, or at least did before some sort of lobotomy. Doctor, where did the Ood really come from? Are there any free Ood?”

The Doctor was stunned that someone thought to ask. “It didn't occur to me,” she admitted with some shame.

“Well, let's find out.”

Not that any of the Humans seemed to know the answer. Or if they did they didn't want to admit it.

Only a bigger problem promptly emerged. Something was taking over the Ood, making their eyes glow red and kill their Human masters. A term the Doctor flinched over using, David noticed. Even though she had not asked about their plight, she seemed to harbor no love toward the sadly commonly used word and its relations.

And something even more frightening happened. The ground shook violently and the TARDIS fell into an crevasse, seemingly lost.

The Doctor stared after her ship, motionless and unable to even think or speak. Something that seemed unnatural in this body.

David, as horrified as he was, reached out to draw the Doctor into a hug. “Can you still sense her? Is she still alive?”

It took the Doctor several moments to realize he had spoken, and a few more to be able to speak. “Yeah. Yeah, I can still feel her.”

David exhaled in relief. “Then we can still get her back.”

“I don't know how.”

“We'll make it up as we go along. Aren't we good at that? And don't you have a history?”

She managed a tiny smile, and snuggled deeper into the hug. “What would I do without you?”

He quirked a grin. “I don't know. Have to get a mortgage?”

She shuddered.

He laughed, just a little. “I'm teasing you, you know that. No one who knew you would ever ask you to make such a huge 'human' thing.”

Relieved, she squeezed him one more time for support.

It would seem a distant memory to both when they were parted. A broken cable wasn't easy to fix without a TARDIS, and there were too many things happening at once.

/=/=/=/

She could have used his support when she had to face the creature that was behind the possession of the Ood and one of the crew. She chose to descend into the pit, do whatever she could to stop the madness and contain the creature that did seem to know things about each one of them that it shouldn't have. And she had to release the last caribiner when they ran out of rope. She gave Ida some final instructions, and fell. She landed with a surprising air cushion, but removed her helmet since its faceplate broke.

She also heard a rocket, which suggested that the others were making their escape. And so she walked along to meet Fate. Or in this case, the most terrifying creature she'd ever seen.

With its red body and horns out of its head, it looked like the male devil depicted in so many Earth movies and paintings. It appeared to have been defeated and chained, which was just as well. And it had claimed to predate things the Doctor thought were the beginning of the universe. It wanted her to question everything she ever thoughts was true.

Such thinking was the path to being defeated, so she refused to let him see her be baited. Even when she was stunned by the idea of it predating everything she knew of.

“I had to destroy my own planet to protect the universe,” she had retorted tightly. “I became a warrior to try to save lives, stop the War from spreading. I used the ultimate Moment when I knew I had no other choice. I've avoided using weapons whenever I can, because there's usually another way when most would believe that it appears they have no choice. But if it came down to my companion or the universe, he would be the first to make the choice. It'd be the universe. He nearly gave his life to save me once, but I didn't let him, and I will not let him die now without a fight.”

The being might have been able to sense the thought hurt, but he would know that he couldn't use it against her. She would do whatever was the right thing, no matter the cost to her. Her words were proof she'd done it before.

“Yes, the Oncoming Storm. Tell me, Doctor, do you believe in anything?”

She had refused to answer at the time. But now, she spoke of what she had to do, sacrificing David in the rocket and probably herself as well, to make the creature die. She knew that once she smashed the second urn the gravity would start to suck him in, rocket and planet with him. She took a deep breath. This would sound utterly cheesy, as David might say, but it was the truth. “So, that's the trap. Or the test, or the final judgment, I don't know. But if I kill you, I kill him. Except that implies in this big grand scheme of Gods and Devils that he's just a victim. But I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods, and out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing... in only one thing... it's what he taught me because he's been the best friend anyone could ask for: everyone always has a choice.”

And she smashed the urns, taunting the creature back with the reality of its fate.

But then, when the Doctor was thrown by the disintegrating planet, her back hit something, keeping her upright. She turned, and saw the Old Girl standing proudly beside her. She laughed for joy. And relief. Then she rushed inside, managed to scoop Ida Scott to safety, and they dematerialized.

She ripped Ida's helmet off. The Human woman was unconscious, and needed treatment for hypoxia. But she didn't have time to do more than transport her to the infirmary so the TARDIS could start treatment. She had to save the rocket.

/=/=/=/

David never even contemplated going into the army like his granddad. The simple fact that he never heard any real details about what Private Wilfred Mott saw on duty starting in Palestine was enough. Never mind that he had read about the World Wars, especially the 'Great War'. If anything it strengthened his desire to be a healer.

In this case, all his choices seemed a matter of finding the best way to bind an open wound long enough to permit a sort of amputation – without harming the rest of the survivors. That was what working with Zach, Danny, Jefferson, and Toby to hold off the Odd felt like. And Jefferson could only hold them off, asking for oxygen to be cut so he didn't die at the hands of the Ood.

A terrible choice, but what else could they do? He did understand the concept of a mercy killing, but the closest he had ever come to even witnessing one was seeing a terminal patient be taken off life support. Which was more like no longer putting off the inevitable.

Then Zach ordered them all to get to the rocket, after Ida Scott reported that the Doctor had dropped herself the rest of the way into the pit. David had managed to get the key information out of her, with the prompt, “What exactly did she choose and say?”

“She made the choice to cut the cable and fall the rest of the way. Said she was the only person who could stop this being. She said to tell you, 'Thank you for everything. Good luck, and...' Well, she said you knew the rest.”

He did. He knew that the Doctor was keeping it quiet out of respect to him. He felt gutted, but he knew that Zach was right: they had to escape. So he did something that he didn't normally do: he made the sign of the cross, in the direction he knew the Doctor and Ida were, and silently prayed that God would protect them all.

Then he followed the others in silence, unwilling to speak unless prompted. He owed it to the Doctor to escape with his life, and then find a way to blend into this future world. Only a fool would try to stay for the Doctor, in what had to be suicide. Not that he thought a captain like Zach would let anyone stay behind.

He sat in the back of the front area with Toby, buckled in and watched in silence as the trio worked to use the gravity funnel to escape. Which they seemed to be doing.

He didn't dare voice his disbelief. A creature that had been able to cause that much trouble and it was letting them escape? Never tempt fate. That was something he'd had to remind the Doctor of more than once.

Suddenly the rocket shook, and Zach called out that the funnel had collapsed. They were falling into the black hole.

David didn't need that explained. So he escaped multiple forms of brutal death to experience death by spegettification?

Never had the word he thought of when he first heard the theory behind what happened to anyone falling into a black hole seemed so horrifying. His body froze.

But it woke into action when Toby was suddenly possessed again, spouting about never dying and even blowing fire. Zach and Danny freaked. But David saw the bolt gun. He knew there was no choice. He grabbed it, aimed at the front screen, and, with his other hand on Toby's buckle release, said, “Forgive me, Toby.”

He fired and released the buckle at the same moment. Toby's possessed body flew out and those remaining struggled with the sudden lack of air until a metal shutter sealed the hole. He'd stopped the creature, but it was small comfort.

Suddenly the rocket stablized. David blinked. “What happened?”

“We're turning,” said Zach in disbelief. “We're turning around. We're turning away!”

Then the communications system blipped. “Sorry about the hijack, Captain. This is the good ship TARDIS.”

David nearly passed out from relief. He covered his mouth to keep from making an undignified sound.

“Now, first thing's first,” continued the cheery voice. “Have you got a David Noble on board?”

“I'm here! What about Ida?”

“I've got her! Bit of oxygen starvation, but she should be all right. I couldn't save the Ood,” she added, her voice turning grim. “I only had time for one trip. They went down with the planet. Anyway, I'm towing you home. Gravity schmavity. My people practically invented black holes.”

He had to laugh. Even as the Doctor protested it was the truth.

The TARDIS had landed inside the rocket's hold. David, as soon as they were back in normal space, rushed out to check on Ida. There was little they could do to help the three survivors once Ida was treated, but they were well equipped to handle it and bring the right news with them. He paused to hug the Doctor, still in her spacesuit, before he checked on Ida. He later helped bring her into the rocket, and helped the Doctor bid them good luck and farewell.

The human and the Time Lady stared at each other for a long moment. David finally had to break the silence. “Nice spacesuit. Is that the typical style in this era? Was it thick enough to protect you against any elements?”

“Well, it isn't comfortable. A, it was designed for a man, and 2, it's squashed my boobs.”

David chuckled slightly, feeling a little tension drain from his body.

The Doctor looked at him carefully. “Are you unharmed?”

He nodded. “Physically. What I saw...” He shook his head. “I don't know how to begin to make sense of it. I had to eject Toby from the rocket. He was possessed again, and Zach and Danny were panicking. I... I had to fire a gun and release his belt to force his body to exit the ship. The others couldn't. If the ship didn't have an automatic repair and force field system...”

The Doctor felt heavier. For a physician, the goal to do no harm was supposed to be paramount. For David, it was part of his psyche. Every moment he had to take part in the death of one person, let alone more than one, it seemed like it was a poison to his system. She normally did not initiate the hugs between them, but this time it seemed right. She hugged him tightly, and he slowly returned it like she was a life preserver. Or a sanity preserver. The latter was strange for them, but today it might be fitting. Even if he was more likely to be in the role soon enough.

Until the memories of the previous moment forced their way back to the forefront of David's thoughts. “I had to kill a man today.”

The Doctor broke the hug and took his hands. “I had to confront a creature that claimed to be the basis of the depictions of evil across the universe, had to condemn it and the planet while thinking the action would destroy us all. He tried to make me doubt everything I ever thought was a fact about the universe. The past – I don't know how to reconcile what it said when what I know. The TARDIS couldn't translate the language, so what if-?”

He cut her off by squeezing her hands. “Doctor, something I've noticed about evil: it feeds on our weaknesses. Ignorance, self-doubt, fear, hatred, lack of self-restraint – take your pick, and I think you can find it was a leading cause in some major tragedy in history. Probably true across the universe. The question is whether you're going to let him win. Even if there's a mystery left unanswered, maybe we have to accept that some of them are going to remain that way. Trying to find the answers could cost us the things we hold dearest, and maybe destroy ourselves. Is it worth the risk to yourself?”

The Doctor noticed that David kept himself out of the question. He surely had not forgotten the past months, but he was trying to keep the distance to ensure that she assessed the matter without considering him. The problem was that he factored into a lot of her decisions, for better or for worse. The same had been true as the Ninth Doctor. So David's effort was not exactly going to work, but it was thinking along the right lines – trying to ensure that reason was applied as much as possible.

She slowly smiled. “You know, if I'd been alone or with someone who encouraged me in my old instinct of burying things that I didn't like to face, I might've answered one way. But... you're right. Some things, as much as you might be curious, aren't worth prying into. If the answer comes my way later on, we'll see.”

“Well, let's hope we've seen the last of that creature.”

“Yeah, but I suppose if I ever need a gravity well to throw something into, we know where to go.”

They shared a quiet chuckle. Peace was re-established between them. And not too soon, because Curie strolled in, looking for her favorite biscuits and to lick both their faces. Soon the Doctor was laughing – a big change from the first reaction to Curie's slobber.

But they were both avoiding talking about what the creature had said about David. It had described him as someone who would see his dearest wish destroyed before his very eyes.



Chapter Eight: The Gentle Disciplinarians

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Dec. 23rd, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
You have to admire David for the way he always reacts to the Doctor; he's such a lovely bloke. And he didn't try to force that mortgage onto the Doctor...
tkel_paris
Dec. 23rd, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yes. And amen...
tardis_mole
Jan. 13th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with the use of anoxia, rather than Hypoxia, here. Hypoxia is treatable. Anoxia is non-survivable or at the very least causes limb loss and organ failure. Other than that, anoxia is usually used to describe water that has no dissolved oxygen.

BTW, Private Mott wasn't in the Great War. He was in Palestine for the End of the Mandate. The Great War (WW1) ended more than a decade before Wilfred was born.

Where did David see a patient taken off life support? That's not done in England on grounds of 'mercy'. It's illegal here. If it was legal, people like me and Steven Hawking would have been murdered years ago. Under British law, the only reason life support is switched off is if the brain has no electrical activity, meaning brain death. Back in 2006 when this was set, it wasn't even legal in Belgium or the Netherlands either. I'm guessing he was in Switzerland, where they've had legal euthanasia for many years? Britain is, thankfully, a lot more civilised and considerate towards their sick and disabled.

That must have been a horrible thing for David to do, to kill someone. For a doctor that, goes against every instinct and every line in your training and oath. Which is why I am so against euthanasia. But in this case I think David must have realised that there was nothing of Toby left to save. In effect, he switched off the Devil's life support.

That last line sounds ominous. I'm guessing David and the Doctor will not get together after all.
tkel_paris
Jan. 13th, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC)
*groans* What if anything needs to be revised? This is why I don't like to get into details about certain things when I can't go to you for corrections. *grimaces*

Well, the Devil said that Rose would die in battle. Not exactly what happened, was it?
tardis_mole
Jan. 14th, 2014 06:13 am (UTC)
A simply switch of spelling would suffice for anoxia to hypoxia. The life support thing could be clarified by suggesting he was on a student exchange in Switzerland. I was on Exchange in England, worked at Guys Hospital to learn keyhole surgery, a discipline that was unavailable in Germany at the time. You could mention it later, during conversation between the Doctor and David. At some point they will need to clear the air and talk about things, otherwise David's deepest desire prophecy will come true.
serenityslady
Feb. 11th, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
"David did not know whether to be proud of his species or embarrassed at their potential for recklessness."
Oh, don't we all?! We're a sad, stupid species sometimes.

"if I believe in one thing... in only one thing... it's what he taught me because he's been the best friend anyone could ask for: everyone always has a choice.”
That makes SO much more sense than the actual line from the show. What did P&Y ever do that was worthy of the Doctor's belief??? Brava, Doctor!

" She said to tell you, 'Thank you for everything. Good luck, and...' Well, she said you knew the rest.”
Ah, nuts. I was hoping for a different ending to that sentence. But I think I understand why you didn't go there. They both haven't come to terms yet with their feelings and weren't sure what the other felt. So yeah, it wasn't the time. Pity.

"he was trying to keep the distance to ensure that she assessed the matter without considering him."
"The problem was that he factored into a lot of her decisions, for better or for worse."

They both have it bad. Really, really bad.
tkel_paris
Feb. 12th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
That line was mine all the way through. It seemed that someone like David would have mixed feelings about his species before he met the Doctor, and they'd be heightened by their adventures. This pair of episodes was BOUND to do that to him.

Oh, that line took a bit to rework. I might've gone through three different versions. In the end, the Doctor couldn't simply say that she believed in him, because that would to too close to an admission that she would not make before the Devil. (And amen to the rest.)

Yes. I wanted to, but it didn't fit. Not with what happened and is to come. But he would know what she meant. My attitude is that for Rose to think he meant that he loved her is a cop-out on his part - he needed to learn that you have to actually say things once in a while, or at least do something that ANYONE would agree meant only one thing. And this Doctor has had lessons in dealing with humans that previous Doctors missed. :)

Yes. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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