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FIC: Flipped, Book 2 (8/10)

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)

Note: *sighs* Yes, I did see the odd font change. Happens when I cut and paste, trying to save time. Didn't work so well, I guess.

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


(Chapter Note: This one was almost deleted during my revisions, but I figured that the changes were good ones compared with the original and might bring a smile to TM's face, so in the end I kept this short chapter.)

Dealing with children was nothing like dealing with grown people. Like some of the supposedly grown, they reacted more on instinct than intellect, and their actions were driven by primal emotions. It was even more complicated with highly intelligent children because they might be able to reason and recognize patterns and inconsistencies in how the authority in question acted or spoke.

This was all fact to David Noble. He had cousins on his father's side, and there had been many neighborhood friends. He had seen all ages from an early age, and he was one to watch what happened around him. He had looked after younger children as he grew, earning some extra money toward projects and learning. Never mind that Ella and Josh were showing signs of being just as perceptive.

So to find himself the only person who could save 2012 London – with the Olympics ready to start that night – from an alien inhabiting a little girl whose drawings had trapped many people within her paper – including the Doctor and the TARDIS – was unnerving. But he could not fail.

Nor could he frighten the little girl. She was terrified of the memory of her dad, he knew that from what her mother did and didn't say. He could not do the same.

What he did next was probably the boldest act of his entire life.

They had visited the Webster's home, and learned that the alien was called the Isolus, parted from a huge family traveling in their own individual pods. Chloe's loneliness attracted the Isolus, who yearned for the four billion siblings out in space near Earth. Chloe's own fears about her late father had probably not helped the current situation.

The Doctor started making some gizmo to detect the pod, which had crashed six days earlier. She was convinced a weak heat signature would still exist.

David wasn't willing to wait. Especially when the Doctor suddenly thrust a stick of gum at him. “What's that for?”

“I need to keep two things together, but the connection needs to be breakable later on. Gum works, but I can't chew it. My saliva will destroy it.”

David grimaced, not crazy about what chewing gum looked like to others. He didn't like the dental gums that were suggested among some circles. It might have been as much a result of being raised in the family he had been. “No, how about we ask that bloke Kel if anything weird happened six days ago? Tar would be a heat source, right?”

She blinked, then grinned. “Of course! Brilliant idea! He has to get them looking just right, so a crash landing, even one as small as the Isolus' pod, would create something needing covering up. We might have to destroy some of his work.”

David thought the Doctor looked a little too eager at the prospect.

As they had walked, the Doctor speculating wildly about the energy source the Isolus used to trap everyone, David had been as much in thought over what they learned at the Webster home. He knew that he had not caught the alien's attention, so he had a little time to look for clues on how to handle her. He had stayed on the sidelines as the Doctor asked Trish Webster for a moment with Chloe. While the Doctor did, he asked Trish questions about their lives as they sought to gather all of the pencils and any possible drawing implements to keep them out of Chloe's reach, ensuring that they were not overheard. Even when the late Mr. Webster was mentioned.

He thought about what happened when they convinced Trish to let the Doctor approach Chloe the second time. She made the Vulcan salute the Doctor taught her, and then the Doctor used a mind meld to get Chloe into a sort of sleep-state so they could safely talk. It was an enlightening experience, and suggested that the drawing of the dead father might be able to come to life.

Which might mean their job in getting the Isolus to let Chloe go might be harder. He hoped that once she did all the trapped people would be freed and the drawing of the dad would become merely that.

Of course it was long past time the alien encountered a Human adult who was not afraid of her. Although it was strange watching the Doctor throw the Isolus, a name they got while Chloe was unconscious, further by asking all sorts of questions about her life. Where was she from? Did she have any siblings? Who were her parents? What did she do with her time?

It was all to let the alien know she was being heard, and to give her an alternative to her present course of action. If she listened.

He did wish as they hurried to Kel that he had a portable way to have the TARDIS controls at his disposal to scan his surroundings. He now knew enough to read the Gallifreyan screens of the consoles, thanks to insisting that the Doctor teach him properly – not that it meant he knew a little more about who and what they were dealing with. The Doctor has provided him with his own Sonic Screwdriver, as a surprise for his birthday, and he quickly learned the basics of using it. And the Old Girl could give him psychic hints if need be, but he had checked a little manual the Doctor had put together.

And while the Doctor's worked on more of the Sonic side, his fed into his mind via psychic channels. His Human mind wasn't designed to translate sonic frequencies. Which made him wonder about the Gallifreyan biological ancestors.

But just as they discovered the exact location that fit the pod's crashing was the very pothole Kel had filled and just refinished, the Doctor suddenly vanished.

David paled. He aimed his Sonic back in the direction of the TARDIS, but there was no answering buzz. He knew what had happened.

Chloe had slipped away and seen them briefly enter the TARDIS. Obviously they hadn't confiscated everything.

But if he was still there, then the Isolus hadn't seen him as a threat. Which meant he had a chance to make things right. He grabbed a pick axe from the van Kel was using.

Whoa, wait, wait, wait,” Kel protested. “You just removed a council axe from a council van.”

I'm well aware of that!” David snapped. “You can try reporting me to the council later, but if I'm right, there's something buried in this pothole that we need to get out of it. And now!” He started digging it up. “People will continue to disappear if I don't do something, and we need the item that crashed and ruined your earlier work!”

Kel was silent. He didn't want to challenge this commanding man.

David had to work carefully, uncertain if he might damage the pod. But he got it out intact. He took it in his hands and looked at it.

What is it?” Kel asked.

The key to saving the day,” David declared. And then he ran for the Webster home.

Kel was on his heels, struggling to keep up. All the time spent with the Doctor had ensured that David was a better runner than ever, and here he had no time for niceties.

He burst into the Webster home, still carrying the pick axe – just in case the door was blocked – and only giving Trish the warning, “We didn't get all of them!”

The woman paled and followed him.

He didn't need the axe to fly into the room. The first thing his eyes saw was a drawing on the wall of the TARDIS, the Doctor wildly trying to get his attention. Only he had to contain the danger first. He dropped the axe and knelt by Chloe's side, holding the pod right in front of her.

She just blinked at it. She recognized it, but made no move to leave Chole's body.

Isolus, your pod just needs more heat. I can get you back to your journey, the one all your siblings were taking with you, and then you won't need all these people you drew.”

It needs more than heat,” Chloe said flatly. “And you just want to stop Chloe Webster. If you stop her I'll release him.”

Chloe,” came the voice that seemed out of nowhere. “I'm coming to hurt you. I'm coming.”

David took both of her arms, not paying attention as Kel joined them and stared in horror at the moving child's drawings. This was going to be a challenge, trying to sort of reason with someone who acted on the level of a child who was too young for reasoning. But he had to try, to use what the Isolus feared to convince her that she had to stop.

Why did you choose Chloe Webster?”

Chloe blinked and stared at him. “She was lonely, like me.”

And you believe that taking all those people will fix that? Do they want to be there?”

If they knew what loneliness feels like they'd thank me!”

But they can't feel how you feel, can they? They can only feel how scary it is to be somewhere they don't understand, be taken against their wishes. Do you what that feels like? Does Chloe?”

The Isolus went silent and still at his pointed look. It was how he looked at either of the twins when they did something naughty, and they usually figured out quickly that they had to not do that again.

She trembled. “I'd never hurt Chloe.”

Does she know what your drawings do? Did she want you to draw her dad? A man who hurt her in life and now should only exist in her dreams? Your drawing could bring him back. Is Chloe terrified that he might come back?”

There was his hope. Use the primal emotions to get the Isolus to see that she was hurting the person she said she loved. Reason with her with what she knew, what she felt.

Or scare her into stopping. He didn't like the option, but it might be the world's only hope.

The trembling grew stronger, and Chloe's eyes widened. “She's... scared. He scares me.”

Chloe,” boomed that voice. “I'm coming to hurt you. I'm coming.”

Trish shouted. “She's my baby! You're not going to hurt her again!”

David interjected to avoid any further outbursts. “You hear Chloe's mum? She loves her, wants to keep her protected. She's been scared by what you're doing, but she did the only thing she could think of: protecting Chloe. Why did you never draw her?”

She threatened to,” Trish whispered. “More than once, every time I tried to caution her about attracting attention. I'd back off every time.”

Chloe whimpered. “I wouldn't have drawn her. It would've hurt Chloe. I said it to make her stop.”

Do you see, Isolus? That's exactly what you've done to all these children, all the people and pets you drew. You took them from what they knew and keep them locked away. Can you imagine how they feel? They can't feel what you feel, or help you. The loneliness is still there. Chloe can't help you. She's too scared. She's a little girl who doesn't know why the things around her are happening. Not since you've come, am I right?”

Chloe burst into tears.

Although David hoped he got through to her, he couldn't count on it. There was too much at stake. Who knew what she might try to draw next? “Here,” he crooned. “Here's Chloe's mum. She'll hug you, protect you both from that memory. Let her love for Chloe ease that loneliness until I fix things for you.”

Trish took his place and wrapped her arms around Chloe. “I'm here, love. Your dad's never going to touch you again, you hear me?”

The only thing that will help is if I get your ship working again. So... what else does it need?”

But Chloe, or the Isolus, was too distraught. Or seemed it. Trish kept whispering the promise.

David stood and stared at the pod. “A special heat source? What does it need?”

Kel's voice interrupted his out-loud thinking. “That one moved! The one of the ginger!”

Turning on a dime, he frowned. “That wasn't there before.” The Doctor was pointing at an Olympic torch, drawn in a different style compared with the Isolus' other works. “The Doctor drew that, but why? What's so important about the Torch, Doctor?”

She kept pointing at it frantically, and mouthing words. The trouble was that given Chloe's skill he had a hard time working out the exact words.

He rubbed his neck. “Why the Torch? It symbolises the dreams of countries, individuals; it's a beacon of hope, of the rewards of dedication, and the love that-”

He cut himself off when the Doctor nodded vigorously. “Love? That's what the pod needs? A heat source that represents, among other things, love?”

The Doctor nodded again.

David closed his eyes. “Oh, this will be fun. Kel, lead me to where the Torch comes closest to the Close! Trish, if that voice comes back, sing that song! Get Chloe to sing it!”

And he flew down the stairs and out the front door. He paused long enough for Kel to catch up and point in the right direction, and then bolted. Luckily it was close by.

He only slowed when he came to the crowds lined up to watch. He hated people who pushed their way through crowds, but he had no choice. How close did he have to be to get it to the Torch? Cross the line? Risk getting arrested?

But he was saved as he felt and heard the pod chittering as the bearer approached. He smiled and held the pod with both hands. “Feel the love. Heal.” He threw the pod in the air, aiming it toward the torch. It suddenly flew the rest of the way, the force of it flying into the torch making the bearer stagger before carrying on. The gathered crowd murmured in confusion, but the police didn't seem to pay David any heed, which was a relief.

David watched, listening for any sign that it worked. It was completely out of his hands now.

Suddenly he could hear cries of names from behind him. Names he recognized as those of the missing children. Then what looked like a lightning bolt came from somewhere behind him and struck the torch. The bearer staggered and started collapsing.

David sucked in a breath. What did it mean if the Torch hit the ground? Could one of the previous ones carry on in time? Or would it cancel everything?

But someone rushed forward, grabbing the Torch from the bearer's hand and keeping him from face-planting. Someone with a familiar head of ginger hair.

“Oi!” cried the Doctor as she carefully got up and approached the nearest policeman. “You, get the Torch to the next spot! And someone call an ambulance!”

The policeman was in too much shock to do anything but obey. He also spoke into his radio, calling for whatever guidance he needed. His colleagues began to provide more crowd control as one began checking the bearer.

In the commotion, the Doctor was able to slip to David's side. She tugged him back the way he'd come. “You did it!” she whispered in glee. “You and only you saved the world!”

The relief he felt was enough, once they were through the crowd, to make him throw his arms around the Doctor. And it was more than strong enough that he had to bite back that line 'I could kiss you' that people bandied when something went right finally.

He hoped the Doctor had not noticed his near slip.

She did not seem to, mercifully. Instead she hurried him and Kel back to the Webster home. And that was a good thing, because they saw a red glow coming from Chloe's bedroom. And they couldn't get in even with the power of two sonics.

But it faded, and soon Trish and Chloe came to let them in. Chloe hugged both David and the Doctor, much to David's surprise. He had thought that the girl would want to avoid them both.

They stayed long enough to see the future Olympic hopefuls each light the flame, and see the individual flames rise to become one large flame. Then they saw a light shoot into the sky. The Isolus had gone home.

The commentators were remarking about that odd light, and what had happened to the one bearer. They were also speculating on where did that ginger angel disappear to when the world wanted to thank her for saving everything.

David knew the Doctor would start on a tangent, and so he did the only thing he could to silence her. Well, the only thing he felt he could as a man. He flicked her ear, like a boy might.

“Oi!” The Doctor glared at him.

He just gave her his patented Don't look. The one that stopped the Doctor – whether this one or the one before – from doing many stupid things.

“Well,” she began, “shall we go and watch the Games? We came to see them, after all.”

“You wanted to come to see them. I would rather wait until it's naturally time to see them.”

She groaned. “You and your insistence on waiting for the natural time for things. Have you ever thought you might miss out on wonderful events because you wanted to wait until the 'natural' moment?”

He simply made his farewells to the Websters and left. He knew the Doctor would follow shortly. She didn't like to leave him alone for long, which he didn't want to examine too closely. Not when their hug had revived the need for me-time, as he decided to call it.

Chapter Nine: The Return of the Roboforms


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 22nd, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
So David is feeling a little...elated...eh? Poor bloke, needing me-time. *chuckle*

I'm surprised flicking the Doctor's ear didn't make her want to thump him. Or is it only me that would react in that way? ;)
Dec. 23rd, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yep. And so your icon is fitting. ;D

Well, he had to derail her thinking, but he had to use something that he wouldn't feel too awkward about doing. And I'm sure he had some female friends or cousins who triggered his juvenile side on a regular basis. Hence my choice. And the Doctor could probably figure out why he did it. But I don't blame you.
Jan. 13th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
It'll make me smile? Ok, after the last line of chapter 7 I'm sceptical now. What have you got in mind?

*cringe* The gum... o.o

Actually, the Human mind IS wired to understand sonic frequencies. There is technology that turns photographs into sound, which blind people can understand and describe what the photograph is of. So that's not entirely accurate.

More 'me-time', eh? Not a surprise. I'm beginning to wonder if 'us-time' with ever happen.
Jan. 13th, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, that may need Flipped 3 to explain. Which still needs HEAVY revision.

Really? Hmm. Do I need to revise anything here?

Wait... There's still more story. Even after Chapter 10.
Jan. 14th, 2014 02:18 am (UTC)
But it is in the works. That's the main thing. Gives me hope. :D

It's an emotive thought on their part about sonic frequencies. I'm pretty sure submariners know them too, like charting a map under the sea and knowing what objects are nearby and how far and big they are. But to explain that within the character's frame of reference would be daft. The Doctor would know he's capable, but David is not as confident in his abilities. I think he would be very surprised by how he takes to it. Perhaps a mention of that surprise later on?

Oh good. Not seen chapter 10 yet. :D
Jan. 14th, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
Just wait. I'm working on it. :)

Hmm... Will look for the right place for it.

And now you have. ;D
Feb. 11th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
(Another episode I was "meh" about in canon)

I was reading along quite placidly, wondering what I would have to write about in the comments. And then the last line slapped me right in the face: "She didn't like to leave him alone for long, which he didn't want to examine too closely. Not when their hug had revived the need for me-time, as he decided to call it." "Me-time". Oh sweet Jesus. Images running rampant through my pervy little head. Poor David is going to have to stock up on lubricant, at this rate. All that...activity...could cause chafing. (lock me away now)
Feb. 11th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'd never lock you away. I'd lose all those lovely fics I'm hoping to see from you, and who would crack me up or delight me with reviews? *hugs*
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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