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FIC: What Did You Just Say? (1/1)

I hesitated about posting this given how my f-list seems to be taking Robin Williams' passing, but I've been trying to knock my WIP list down before I even consider writing a new fic. With this fic, I'll have taken three off my list since moving to Arizona. (Not cross-posted to doctor_donna since there's not enough Donna in it.)

Title: What Did You Just Say?

Series: The Many Things to Never Say to the Doctor

Genre: Doctor Who

Rating: T

Author: tkel_paris

Summary: Rose's “You've got me” line gets an almost immediate reaction. Just not to her liking.

Disclaimer: Seriously, she got away with this line? There, there's proof I own nothing.

Dedication: My big trio of betas/friends: cassikat, tardis_mole and bas_math_girl. And alimoseby, to cheer her up.

Author's Note: The series is the result of thinking of the kinds of things companions and others should learn to never say to the Doctor, no matter his incarnation. This series is for now only with Nine, Ten, and Eleven. If I get more comfortable with the earlier Doctors, I'll add in the rest one by one.

Yes, I did this before, but I wanted to expressly do something to highlight why saying such a thing is instantly a bad thing. And I wanted the Oncoming Storm, via Nine, to come out to play. When I work through my frustrations with Rose that I'm no longer tempted to write stuff like this, I might actually want to write more favorable fics. (If I can find enough material that I find believable to work with, Peter Davison and sons' opinions aside.) Although this had to be revised because cassikat was actually feeling sorry for Rose, something she hadn't felt in over six years at least.

What Did You Just Say?

Started May 10, 2013
Finished August 13, 2014

Never assume that you are enough for the Doctor. He won't like the insult to his memories of his planet or people, and you can't predict his reaction. Push him too far, and the backlash could be trouble with a capital T for you.

The Doctor felt her take his hand in hers, and he turned to look at her, waiting to see what the young Human would say. This girl who'd saved him, assuming nineteen was a woman and she was telling the truth about her age. Would there be some understanding and empathy for his pain? A recognition that he had told her something deeply personal?

You've got me.”

He froze. That could not have been meant as coldly as it sounded. And that expression didn't have a hint of teenage smugness, did it? “What did you just say?”

Rose blinked. “Well, you do.”

Matter of fact. Like she was ignoring what he really said. “Are you saying that you're an acceptable substitute for an entire planet, its people, and my family?”

She hesitated. “But you need someone to hold your hand. I'll be that someone.”

No 'can' or 'could be'. Just 'I will'. His face transformed into a scowl. Little ape was going to play it that way, especially after conveniently forgetting who she was talking to when she said, 'They're so... alien'? Or did she want to think of him as Human because she couldn't take the knowledge? He had given her more credit than she deserved. Should he have suspected given her saying that any deaths that happened because she told about him would be on his head?

Well, he knew how to handle someone who dared to presume too much. He stormed off to the TARDIS.

Rose squawked like a giant talking parrot as she ran after him. “What do you think you're going?”

He ignored her cry. He no longer cared if she attracted attention. Not when she was practically saying he wasn't allowed to go anywhere without her now. He did wait until she caught up to him, stopping her from beginning a rant. “Are you truly nineteen? I doubt it, with that reaction.”

She stiffened as she hurried, nearly tripping over her own feet and barely avoiding a face-plant. “What are you talking about?” The look on her face was pure horror, like he had uncovered her deepest secret that she wanted to remain buried forever.

Even making allowances for teenagers of this era being allowed to mature at a slower rate than ever before in human history you're far too immature for nineteen. That's what I mean.” He led her to just outside of the TARDIS and stopped before opening the door to glare at her. “You just dismissed my pain, my loss. I confided in you, and what do you do? Act like you're enough to make up for the loss of things your stupid ape brain could never hope to comprehend! Speak like my pain is nothing now that you're here. How could you? Do you have any idea how long I've been alone? How long I've had to live with being the last of my people?”

Rose stood stock still trying to find something to say, but her mouth failed her.

The Doctor nodded grimly. He thought for a moment to assess the timelines critically. “Well, it's your current time. Sort of. Eh, I think I either got the dates wrong or the Old Girl was wiser than I've ever given her credit for. Either way, see you never.”

You're not leaving me here!” She ignored his glare and tried to push her way inside.

He pushed her back, not caring enough to be gentle anymore. “Watch me!” And he entered and closed the door behind him before she could open her mouth to protest. Then the engines kicked off, and the TARDIS vanished.

Rose stared at the formerly occupied space, trying to make sense of what had just happened to her.

Come and get your paper!”

The old man's call dragged her attention back to her surroundings. Oh, god, what was today? If she'd been gone longer than overnight... what would happen? She hurried to stop by the kindly man's stand so she could check the date.

Of course, she had to buy a paper. Not too much of an ask since the elderly fellow with the red woolly hat bearing the wings of a paratrooper was so nice when he said, “Fifty pence, sweetheart.” He reminded her a bit of her Granddad Prentice, so she gladly drew out some money that she had on her person. He gave her a grandfatherly smile as he gave her her change and the paper. “There we are, darlin'.”

Thank you,” she said with a smile, and walked away to look properly.

She didn't notice his eyes widening as she walked away. Nor his grabbing his mobile to place an urgent call.

She paled and slowed to a stop. March 1, 2005. She'd been gone almost a year. And had nothing to show for it except stories that she knew she couldn't say one word about.

Worse still, her eyes caught sight of a flyer tacked up nearby. Her face on a missing poster, with a missing date given as the day she left with the Doctor.

She was still standing there when a policewoman came by to ask whether she was Rose Tyler. And that was only the beginning of her bad day.


Several months later, a mobile rang as it lay almost forgotten near a kitchen.

May I grab it for you?” asked the same kindly old man of the younger-looking man leaning back on the couch. Worthwhile question since the ginger woman lying in the man's arms, wrapped in his leather jacket, would make getting to it difficult. When he got a nod in approval he answered. “Hello?” He listened for a moment. “Oh, he's here. I'll hand it over. Shall I say who's calling?” Then he stilled, straightening even as he walked over with the mobile, nearly saluting the caller on reflex. “Yes, sir.” He offered it to the man. “Says he's Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Sounds like he knows you well.”

He does.” The Doctor accepted the phone, otherwise neither moving nor relinquishing his hold on the woman. “Alister, as much as I like hearing from you I assume this is not a simple friendly chat. What's happened...? Yes, I knew her. What exactly did she say about me...? Well, that's a mix of truth and her own imagination. I saved her life at Hendrick's. Auton attack... Yeah, I set off that explosion. Why call about it now...? Oh... No, she shouldn't have to pay the price for something she didn't do. Her crime was running away from her life when I foolishly offered her a place in the TARDIS... Well, how was I to know I had the date wrong?! She didn't tell me the truth about her age! Had she tried that at the time I thought it was you'd be getting me out of being arrested for pedophilia...! She had the lottery money in her possession? Okay, I see why the Hendrick's people would want her to pay a price, but she had nothing to do with the explosion itself... Yeah. They're right to hold those trials at night. Mobs would be an issue otherwise... Well, here's my idea. Since she's been handed over to UNIT, put her in hard labour and let her try to earn her way into something like a position of respect... She's her mother's only child. I wasn't fair to the woman and I owe her the chance to see her daughter make something of herself... I have every reason to be that generous...! Yes, it wasn't rubbish. First time in my long life it wasn't for me. Donna is a trooper for putting up with me... Keep me up to date on her progress. I'm hoping for a little quiet until after my own big day... You, too, old friend.”

Donna lifted her head as he hung up. “What was that about, Theta?”

He had to smile despite the news. What a difference in tone and expression. She was concerned about him, needing to know whether she could help in any way. He put his mobile back in his pocket and wrapped her closer to his hearts. “The last girl who travelled with me. I took her on one trip, but she was a liability, not an asset. Mind, a lot of my assistants over the years kept getting captured. So I was willing to let it go. But when I admitted that Gallifrey is gone she didn't show compassion. Just assumed she was enough to make up for losing my entire race. She was so taken aback by the various alien species she saw that she didn't want to think of me as an alien. I'd had enough and left her back on Earth. Trouble is, I'd thought it was March 2005 when we left.”

The Hendrick's explosion? That was 2004, mate!”

And I figured that out quickly when she disappointed me. Not that I didn't have warnings. She... reminded me of a face that's always been on the tip of my tongue, one I wanted to swamp with better memories. Bad idea. So I had to leave her behind before things got worse. Never occurred to me that traces of the explosive residue would transfer from my hand to hers.”

So she was held as a terrorist? Isn't that a little too long a wait for a trial?”

Crown Court trial held quietly to prevent mobbing. The police couldn't tell what kind of residue it was and called in UNIT to check. They confirmed the alien properties and seized her under the Conspiring With Aliens laws. The Sycorax coming actually helped the civilian authorities cooperate for a change. She wasn't talking before about where she was, which sort of surprises me given the things she had said when she was trying to get answers from me. Her silence ensured a conviction. Only today when a UNIT colonel accused her of conspiracy with aliens did she tell where she'd been and who with. They called me to check.”

So... you're not helping her?”

She was not listening to anyone and is on a path of self-destruction that would have taken me down with her. Forcing her to accept responsibility for something, anything is the greatest gift I can give her. And the most important way I can make it up to Jackie Tyler.”

Tyler? Rose Tyler? The girl who was missing for almost a year?”

He nodded.

You could've saved yourself the trouble and not taken her with you at all.”

I was lonely and wanted to swamp some memories. And she'd saved my life. You studied a little psychology. You can answer why.”

Donna snorted. “If you could make that sort of mistake then how did you manage to get me like this?”

He smirked lazily, moving a hand to rub a finger over her wedding ring that he had just placed there, matching the one she had placed on his other hand. “You proved to me that I can do some domestics. It was merely a matter of who with, and whether they could respect me as not of their own kind. You have no idea how much of a gift you are, Donna.”

She blushed, like she always did when he praised her. “Daft Martian.”


I hope this brightened your day, or at least took your mind off RL matters for a little bit. I feel better getting this one off the list.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
I loved this. Thank you. =) Rose gets what should have come to her, and Donna gets to be with the Doctor. Awesome sauce all around. =D
Aug. 14th, 2014 06:24 am (UTC)
:) Means no Ten for now, but... I doubted you'd object. So you're welcome. *hugs*
Aug. 14th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
If only this was canon!!
Aug. 14th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had some anger to get out. If only, indeed. :)
Aug. 14th, 2014 09:34 am (UTC)
OMG- Nine and Donna? Can you imagine the inevitable little lovers' spats? The Snark-o-meter would go completely offline from the strain. This was a sweet little diversion this morning. Thanks, as always, Dearest One.
Aug. 14th, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Snark-o-Meter. Well, they'd have enough things happening that it would get a break sometimes. After all, Donna would need to point things out to a down Nine and cheer him up at times. I figure the cumulative effect would be the ending I presented. :D Welcome!
Aug. 14th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
I'm back in bed again, so this cheered me up no end. Thank you! There's nothing like a spot of getting rid of Rose and giving the Doctot some Donna to love when you're in the mood.
Aug. 14th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Aw... I'll make sure your birthday and Christmas presents this year are special.
Aug. 14th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Ooooo! Nine and Donna!! I love that idea. (In fact, I have notes for an as-yet-as-unwritten fic about the two. Several, in fact.)

Donna would certainly tame The Brute (as I affectionately call Nine), but in a totally different way than The Pink One. And marriage so soon! Nine doesn't mess about, does he?! :DDD

The only regret is that we now no longer have Immortal Jack. And as horrific a thing that was to do to him, it does make for interesting scenarios (see my most recent fic). And, of course, no Ten. But I can see Donna accepting the change easily if/when it happens.
Aug. 14th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
Notes, eh? I'm trying hard to avoid writing one just because I have so many other fics to finish. Although once the one currently in beta reading is posted I'll have knocked my WIP list down by six fics. (I sent one to the discard bin mentally. Decided it wasn't worth finishing.)

I think we can argue that Rose did no worthwhile taming. In fact, in light of the Moment we can argue she didn't do any at all. He didn't act like the guide he should have been, the father figure Rose BADLY needed. In contrast, Donna wouldn't have wandered off nearly as much and would've corrected Nine when he really needed it. And he wouldn't have been afraid to tell Donna when she was wrong, even if he got slapped for how he said it. Marriage? Ah, well, when you find the right person... ;D

Who says? It's not impossible. Just would happen under different circumstances. Means no Ten until much later. Which means no Eleven for a LOT longer, which I find I'm very okay with. (Apologies to all Eleven fans on my f-list. He got the worst ends of the stick in so many ways.) And Nine would have prepared Donna for the change, which he never did for anyone.
Aug. 24th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Why don't I have any Nine icons? Seriously, given some of my projects, I NEED at least one! *L*

And you didn't have to revise it just cos I actually felt sorry for the teen menace, y'know. :) I mean, it turned out lovely with Nine and Donna all snuggly and Rose getting comeuppance that would provide for self-improvement if she'd let it...but the original was just as good :)

And I know that means no Ten for ages, but Nine never had enough time. Never. That's why I've got two projects with him in the works. :D

Now I'm gonna go run off and daydream about the relationship between Nine and Donna. *gigglefits*
Aug. 24th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC)
I only have two. Not enough. And I don't have icons for all of the doctors yet. :(

Well, you had points. Which meant the story needed revising to become stronger. So... you did me a solid feeling sorry for the teen menace. :)

Yeah, it's entirely possible Ten doesn't get to be with Donna if Nine's careful. But given the events that come I suspect that Donna will be the one to take care of the skinny streak.

Daydream away. I have stories to work on and cleaning to do. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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