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FIC: Flipped, Book 2 (9/10)

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





CHAPTER NINE: THE RETURN OF THE ROBOFORMS

It was June, and time for yet another adventure. This time the TARDIS had pinged something in David's own backyard – for all intents and purposes. What was catching the TARDIS' attention was unclear, but she definitely felt that something was not right with a company called H C Clemmens.

So they slipped uncover to investigate this company that dealt in securities and locks of various sorts. What did catch their attention was when they looked up the owners. Torchwood. Specifically the London office seemed in charge given who signed off on the purchase.

The Doctor had paled. “Jack can't be behind this. He would have kept a better eye on things.”

“Wait. Jack? Who's Jack?”

“You remember him. Jack Harkness. He's on Earth, and apparently has come into command of the Cardiff branch. He's exerting some control over the other offices, but London seems determined to remain free from his influence.”

Torn between relief that the Boe-Kind was safe after all and confusion about what was going on, David chose to focus on the latter. “Why is this a bad thing?”

“After Queen Victoria's actions, I remembered that the whispers emerging after the Sycorax's attempted invasion about an Earth defence known an 'Torchwood'. I looked them up. There are four branches: London, Cardiff, Glasgow, and what UNIT appears to refer to as Fourth Group Securities. Jack found his way to Earth, and managed to find some understanding people who worked him into the Cardiff office – effectively hiding him there. Our being so respectful towards Queen Victoria gave her directive a respectful tint toward me... but not everyone agreed with her. Of course no one would dare say it, but they had to act secretly. I guess Cardiff and Glasgow being in hands friendlier to me isn't a surprise – they would be inclined to not listen as much to London given everything their countries have endured, to be freer thinkers.”

David flinched. There was a great deal of his country's history he was not proud of, which he supposed any decent person would find in their own country's history. After traveling with the Doctor, he wondered what had not made the official records, what was still happening because no one would let the truth get out and because those affected did not yet have a way to speak out. He really wondered.

“Apparently, Jack became head of Torchwood Three – that's the Cardiff branch – over New Years in 2000. It's looking like he's established an alliance with the sole bloke who composes Torchwood Two in Glasgow. But London wants dominance, and it looks like Fourth Group is an enforcer of sorts. Blimey, given how big both those branches are it's amazing Two and Three are so independent!”

“Why didn't they establish one in Ireland?”

“Doesn't look like they had the time. Too much dealing with the uprisings and terrorist activities. The scary part is that if you wanted someone to write a manual on how to wage a successful terrorism campaign, you need look no further than Michael Collins. Modern counter-terrorist thinkers and planners should be grateful he never did.”

David took a deep breath. “With time travel possible, I'm not sure I'd hold my breath on that one.”

She paused a moment. “Point taken.”

“So what do we do? Contact Jack?”

And they did. Rather, David started the call. The end was filled with mixed results. Jack was glad to hear from them, demanded an explanation of his treatment, and then was bowled over to learn the Doctor had turned into a woman. But his flirting stopped rather quickly with the Doctor, and did not take off at all toward David.

Knowing what he did about the Boe-Kind, David took that as conclusive proof that the Doctor's feelings from the previous life were unchanged. He still did not know what to do about that. But not even a hint toward himself, even after the last Doctor's warning? What did that say? Should he wonder about it at all? Was it healthy for him to even think about it?

The Doctor sighed once she was off the phone. “Well, he can't get us in. London branch will recognise anyone associated with Cardiff or Glasgow. But he did have ideas on how to slip into H C Clemmens without being detected as spies.”

And that was how they used fake identifications to pass as inspectors on a routine call. He had been concerned since this was in his backyard, in a sense, but it was the only way. Besides, working with UNIT – who technically the Doctor still worked for – provided opportunities for cover stories should anyone ask what he was doing there. So his physician status could be used for their purposes.

They split apart to question various members of the secretary pool. Although the Doctor spent more of her time speaking with the supervisors, and dealing with the head of HR. She declined his offer of coffee, claiming she was only a tea drinker. Which she was. She lost the taste for the addictive human drink with regeneration. Not a loss. Although some teas had as much if not more caffeine.

David was stuck speaking with the newest member, Kathy Newman. She was uncertain of her place, but grateful to have a willing ear to bend – and its belonging to a handsome man was a bonus, however short the moment might be. As he sat, she moved the mug on her desk toward him. “Coffee? I was offered this by the head of HR. I didn't want to tell him that I'm cutting back, and I already had my fill for the day. I mean, you never know. No one ever gets coffee for a secretary on her first day.”

He grinned, not wanting to spoil her romantic fantasies about that HR man yet although he would gently keep a distance himself, and accepted the coffee. A cup would be okay, since he had had none so far. Admittedly, he avoided the drink as much as he could, but sometimes caffeine was the only way to ensure an urgent project was finished, and he did take more of it in university than he really wanted to admit to. And here it was a measure of politeness to accept.

/=/=/=/

Back at David's house they went to the TARDIS to set the scanners. “I need to break in to their computers,” the Doctor declared. “There was something fishy about that Lance Bennett. He was hiding something, but good at covering his tracks.”

“What gave him away?”

“Slight twitches in his facial expressions, and some failures to react in a concerned manner when I raised some of our good questions about the securities aspect.” She would have continued as she went to the console except it started beeping oddly.

They both stopped. “Didn't know that was part of her vocabulary,” David remarked.

The Doctor checked the controls. “What's wrong, Old Girl? What have you just detected?”

Another beep, this time sounding confused and a tiny bit uncomfortable.

“Wait, it's like she's starting to recalibrate! Like she's... digesting?! But it's not much, just enough to cause a change.” She touched the rotor. “What have you eaten? What are you trying to tell me?”

David, despite all the times he had teased the Doctor – particularly the last one – about touching the ship, instinctively pat a non-button area of the Controls. “I thought she didn't eat anything but rift energy.”

“That's the thing. Temporal or rift energy should be the only things she should be eating now, the only things she would have at her disposal. Everything else has been destroyed over the eons.”

He blinked. “We didn't get exposed to something at H C Clemmens, did we?”

The Doctor's eyes widened, and she grabbed her sonic. She scanned herself first, waved it slowly up and down. “Nothing.” She did the same to David. It chirped loudly, making both of them jump. She listened to the readings. “That doesn't make sense! Those have been erased from existence for a billion years!”

“What's been erased?!”

“The TARDIS... says it's a small amount of active huon particles, but that has to be wrong! My people eradicated them. They only exist in the heart of the Old Girl now.”

“Wait... could this be left from when I took her into my mind?”

She pursed her lips. “I hope so. But perhaps something triggered them today, because the Old Girl's never reacted like that before. Probably because they weren't active in you before. Did you notice anything strange while we were at H C Clemmens today? Unusual lights, smells, or people? Did you eat or drink anything?”

David paled and facepalmed himself. “Eat, no. But I did accept a coffee from the secretary I questioned, and she said she got it from the head of HR.”

That caught the Doctor's attention. “Lance Bennett gave it to her?”

He shrugged, starting to feel ill from the thought that he had done something possibly stupid. “What she said. Sounded surprised, and I do believe that it's highly uncommon for someone higher up to get one of the secretaries coffee at all, never mind on their first day.”

She looked back at the sonic, forcing her attention on that to not let him see how uneasy she was. “So... Lance Bennett probably lied to me, and he may have dosed a coffee that you ingested. Do you think it was intended for her?”

“Had to be. She said he motioned to her while he was holding the pot and an empty mug. He came over with it moments later.”

“So she was the intended target. We need to break in tonight, see what's going on with their coffee and what they're really up to.”

“Can we take the TARDIS?”

The Doctor checked the systems, and grimaced. “Right now I'm not sure she can fly properly given how she's reacting to the small amount in your system. But we'll find a way to get them out, I promise you.”

David stopped the Doctor from exiting, and caught her eyes. “Doctor, you said your people got rid of them. Why?”

The Doctor swallowed, face falling, “Because they were deadly.”

He started shaking slightly, eyes turning into saucers.

She grabbed his shoulders. “David, don't panic. I'm not about to lose you. There are things we can do. We just have to locate the new source of huons, figure out how exactly they got into you, and stop them. We have the time for that because I doubt you could possibly have enough in you right now to be deadly. For there to have been enough in that cup to be deadly, you would have thrown up almost immediately because of the shock to your system.”

He started breathing a little easier.

“Trust me,” she pleaded. “I'm going to save you. I'm not going to let the most important person in my life die.”

The force of her words made them both blush. It was dangerously close to a declaration to his face.

The Doctor cleared her throat and stepped outside, sonic in hand and ready for danger.

David gulped. Well, awkward as it might be, at least he knew he had the best chance possible.

But as he stepped toward the exit, he noticed that the Doctor had stopped and was staring in the distance. He leaned out to see, and blinked. They could see figures in cloaks, moving rather like the robot Santas did.

The Doctor held out her sonic toward the TARDIS. “Cover your ears, David.”

Eyes wide, he did, hoping that the Doctor would not damage the neighborhood.

Pressing the sonic, the Doctor used the TARDIS to fire a powerful sonic beam at the roboforms. The boom shook the windows in the vacinity, but none broke. The roboforms twitched violently before falling apart and collapsing.

David followed the Doctor, ears ringing from the noise. She got to her knees and examined the rubble. “More pilot fish?”

“Maybe. Only...” She paused and pulled out a remote device and a few hand baubles that looked like tree ornaments. “These are deactivated explosives. And this... I don't think they're scavengers anymore. Someone's taken possession and wants to use them to capture you.”

“Do you think it's because of what I ingested?”

“I'd bet on it. We have to investigate now, get you away from here to avoid anyone else getting hurt. I want you to grab as many of the baubles as you can find. We might need them to defend ourselves later on.” She grabbed one of the heads and listened to something only she could hear. Suddenly she raised the sonic to the sky. “The signal's from the space above us!”

“Right above?”

“Not sure.” She muttered something that the TARDIS did not translate. “I've lost the signal!” She let go of the head and helped grab the remaining baubles. She stuffed them all into her pockets. “Your car ready for another adventure?”

He sighed.

/=/=/=/

High above, the Doctor and David's faces were on a black and white monitor. A red bony pointed object tapped the screen. “Clever little women,” hissed a female voice. She muttered commands in an alien language. “The man was not the intended key, but he shall make a fine one. Perhaps I shall descend this very night, and shine!”



Chapter Ten: Journey to the Beginning of the World

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
tardis_mole
Jan. 13th, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
A nod towards Scottish and Welsh history, there. I like it. As an aside, did you know Noble is actually a Scottish name?

It's H C Clements. One M and a T.

Meh, am getting tired. Will have to read the final chapter tomorrow.
tkel_paris
Jan. 13th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Huh. That puts a twist on Donna's history. It'll have to be used one day. :)

Man, I originally had it that way. Where did I get the impression it wasn't right?

Sleep tight. I'm about to post Chapter Five of Seals, since it's ready.
tardis_mole
Jan. 14th, 2014 06:21 am (UTC)
Good luck with that. I thought of it, but then didn't write anything.

Might have been in emails with me. We discussed way back.

Thanks. I did. :) Oh. *perks* I shall be adding them to memories. :D
serenityslady
Feb. 12th, 2014 12:12 am (UTC)
So we're skipping Canary Wharf altogether, I see. Good. Although I was kind of looking forward to reading about Rosie poking her nose in again and getting suck into the Void! :DDD

Interesting start. I have to go read the final chapter so see where you take this.

“ 'I'm going to save you. I'm not going to let the most important person in my life die.'

The force of her words made them both blush. It was dangerously close to a declaration to his face."

Oh, we're moving forward slightly, aren't we?? *rubs hands and giggles*

tkel_paris
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
Well, without Rose there I doubt Canary Wharf would've happened. Or could've. After all, Queen Victoria didn't exile them, did she? :DDDD Oh, Rosie will stick her nose into things. Just not yet. :DDD

Am curious to know what you think of that one. :DDDD

A bit, but that's for Flipped 3 to see. :DDDDDDDDD
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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