Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who and gain nothing from the creation of this story
AN: Welcome all to the third installment of the Dimensions of the Universe series! Your reviews made this series happen so please continue your support.
The church was just as it should be on the day of wedding, light coming in through the elegant windows, guest eagerly waiting for the bride and music filling the air. At the back of the church a woman stepped out into view with her father, ready to give her away. She smiled nervously as the guest took her in but happiness radiated from her. At the front of the church her tall, black husband to be took a deep breath and turned in time to see her begin to glow. Guest muttered as the glow increased until she screamed and vanished in a cloud of golden particles.
The Doctor grinned at Rose, relishing in the smile that had returned to her face. Ever since they had left Jack behind on Marinar Minor she had been worrying about him and distracted. If he didn't know from Rose herself that she thought of Jack as a brother he might have been jealous, might have been. At the current moment, however Rose was standing in the open doorway of the TARDIS taking in the sight of the Pleiades star cluster. "Not bad." Rose turned and looked at him,
"Not bad at all." They shared a smile for a moment until the Doctor finally cleared his thought and looked back to the controls.
"Right then, where to next Rose? Any requests?" Rose grinned even wider and shut the doors of the TARDIS before waltzing up the console.
"Even if I did you know we'd get it wrong"
"Ungrateful ape." The Doctor grumbled, enjoying her smile in the corner of his eye. "Alright then, go clean up, we'll touch down on Peladon soon. I've been meaning to revisit there, now there we'll get a peacefully welcome"
"You always say that." Rose yelled over her shoulder before dashing out before the Doctor could retort. Remaining in orbit around the star cluster, the Doctor began to set in the coordinates for Peladon but a small sound drew his attention and he looked up to find a woman in a wedding dress standing only a few feet from him.
"What?" The Doctor asked, his face paling with confusion. The woman turned, looking just as surprised and making a small noise of shock. "What?!" The Doctor repeated, already trying to understand the insane appearance of this woman.
"Who are you"
"But-" The Doctor began, trying to get a thought formed.
"Where am I?" She didn't wait, "What the hell is this place." The Doctor leaned against the TARDIS controls, starring stunned at her.
"What?!" The Doctor blinked at her and looked back at the controls, "You can't do that. We're in flight, that's impossible"
"Tell me where I am?!" The bride demanded, taking a step forward. "I demand you tell me right now, where am I!?" The Doctor took a step back, surprised by her anger and confusion.
"Inside the TARDIS." He responded, still staring at her.
"The TARDIS!" HE snapped turning to the controls, "This place is called the TARDIS." Before she could respond he looked back at her. "How did you get here"
"Obviously when you kidnaped me." The bride snapped angrily. "Who was it, who's paying you?" Ingoring the confusion on the Doctor's face she pressed, "Was it Nerice? Oh my God she's finally got me back. This has got Nerice written all over it!"
The Doctor just stood there in stunned silence as he took in the woman as she continued to ramble. Trying to clear his head he took in a few things: one this woman had no clue about him or the TARDIS, two she wasn't alien and three something had allowed the impossible to happen and the TARDIS to be entered during flight. After a moment he shook his head and tried to reenter the conversation as she started yelling about being halfway up the aisle before he drugged her. "I didn't do anything!" He yelled to the bride before checking the scanner to see if it had picked up, well anything. The bride followed him around the console.
"I'll have the police on you. Me and my husband, well just as some as he is my husband, we're gonna sue the backside off you." Seeing the door past the Doctor, she rushed past him, towards it. Spotting her the Doctor returned his attention to her.
"Wait! Wait!" She didn't listen and she threw the doors open to see the star cluster.
The Doctor sighed as the woman froze, all he wanted was to show the star cluster to Rose before taking a break on a nice little planet where he was a hero. Was that so much to ask? After a moment he followed the bride down to the door and stood behind her. "You're in space, outer space." He paused, not really wanting to say this to a human but he had no choice, "This is my... spaceship. It's called the TARDIS"
"How am I breathing?" She asked quietly, sounding short of breath. The Doctor, while he didn't believe in any deities silently begged that this woman wouldn't faint.
"The TARDIS is protecting us." After a long moment the woman glanced at him,
"Who are you?" She then turned her eyes back to the sight outside the doors.
"I'm the Doctor and you are"
"Donna." She all but whispered. He looked her over, now confident in his original assumption.
"Yeah. Is that an option"
"It is for me."
Donna didn't seem to know how to take that and instead stood them stunned for a moment, moving her mouth in shock. Finally she said, "You're an alien"
"Yes." He got the feeling she wouldn't take it as well as Rose had. Instead she just said,
"It's freezing with these doors open." The Doctor closed them quickly before returning to the controls.
"This shouldn't have been able to happen." Looking back at her for a moment he shook his head, "There is no way a human being can lock itself onto the TARDIS and teleport itself inside." He moved to the scanner and started trying to scan Donna but she just punched his arm. "What was that for"
"Get me to the church!" He nodded and leaped in action.
"Right I don't want you here! Where is this wedding"
"St. Marys, Howell Road, Chiswick, London, England, Earth, the Solar System." Donna took a breath and then spotted one of Rose's shirts that she had left hanging on the rails. The Doctor meanwhile was trying to set into the place. "I knew it! Acting innocent!" Donna grabbed the shirt and walked up to him. "I'm not the first am I?! How many women have you aducted?!" The Doctor blinked at her and frowned, rapidly losing his patience.
"That's Rose's." He blinked, "Where is she?" The Doctor ignored Donna for a moment as he looked into the halls of the TARDIS. "Can't imagine she didn't hear you yelling." Donna glared at him. "Rose!" He paused for a moment, "Rose! The TARDIS isn't that big!"
Rose Tyler shook her head as she heard the Doctor's call, when she stepped out of the wardrobe room, she kept feeling like that room got bigger each time she went in. Maybe the TARDIS was just expanding her fashion horizons, Rose did get the feeling the ship liked her. Grinning she set off for the console room but stopped dead in her tracks as soon as she stepped in and saw Donna. They looked at each other for a moment before both voiced their question at the same time, "Who is she?!" The Doctor crossed his arms and took a breath to calm himself down before dealing with the two women staring at each other.
"Rose this Donna, Donna Rose." He looked to his companion who was giving him an odd, "Don't look at me like that Rose, she just appeared here. One minute nothing and next there she is, wedding dress and all"
"What are you?!" Donna asked, jumping back. "Just get me to the church I'm getting married." Seeing the Doctor was running short on patience Rose took a step forward and said calmly,
"Tell you what Donna, while the Doctor gets us moving for the church why don't we get you a cuppa? Calm you down a bit." Donna considered this carefully,
"What are you?" Rose reminded herself to stay friendly,
"I'm human. I'm from Earth, from the year 2006." Donna relaxed slowly.
"Me too, Christmas Eve 2006." Rose looked to the Doctor who nodded and turned back to the controls. Rose motioned for Donna to follow her to the kitchen which the irritated woman slowly did.
"So you haven't seen anything strange." Rose recapped after questioning Donna, "Nothing at all." Donna shock her head and took another sip of her tea, now grateful for it. Seeing the woman was still distressed Rose took her hand.
"It's okay Donna, I know the Doctor is a bit of a shock at first but he's a good bloke. He'll help you, we both will. Don't worry, whatever caused this to happen he'll figure it out and fix it." Donna nodded and took another deep breath to study herself.
"So you and your boyfriend-" Rose blushed and shook her head,
"He's not my boyfriend. He's just the Doctor, my best mate. I travel with him, see the universe and help people but he's not my boyfriend." "Sorry." Rose smiled,
"It's alright." They sat in silence for a moment.
"So this bloke you're marrying. What's he like, what's his name"
"Lance." Donna said with a smile. "He's wonderful. He work together and he brings me coffee everyday." She grinned, "He's smart and funny. We get along so well"
"Sounds nice." Rose said as she took a sip of her tea.
"And you?" Donna asked for a moment, "Anyone waiting for you to come back on Earth?" Rose nodded after a moment,
"No boyfriend or anything like that but my Mum and a good mate of mine, Mickey"
"Too bad." Rose shook her head,
"No I like it that way." Donna tilted her head to look at Rose.
"So you don't want to get married and have a family, nothing like that."
Rose looked at her tea and considered her answer for a moment. "I don't think so, I mean this life with the Doctor is all adventure and never standing still but I like things that way. I don't really have an interest in settling down in one place, the Doctor never will." Donna smiled slyly.
"Your sweet on him." Rose shook her head.
"No I'm not." Donna laughed.
"Personally I don't know what you see in that martian. Seemed rude to me." Rose snorted,
"He's not from Mars." She laughed, "But he can be a bit rude"
'Where's he from?" Rose paused,
"I don't know it's name but it's gone now." Rose didn't add anything else but instead stood up and stated, "We'd better go rejoin the Doctor."
They stepped out onto a street and Rose blinked as she looked up and saw a new store where the Hendriks used to be. "They rebuilt." The Doctor chuckled.
"Yeah your lot usually does." He looked around and Donna began to freak out. "You got it wrong! I said St. Marys!" She looked at her watch, "I'm gonna miss the wedding! My own wedding!" Rose pulled out her phone.
"Here call them and have them send a car for you." Donna took a breath and the phone while the Doctor gave Rose a grateful look. He couldn't get a read on this woman. Donna dialed and they waited, at least Rose did. The Doctor on the other hand was becoming aware of the santa band on the other side of the square that was slowly moving towards them. Rose noticed glanced at him and then looked back, seeing the concern growing on his face, she followed his gaze to the band and shivered. Behind them Donna snapped, "No answer! I vanish and they all go out for tea!" The Doctor's eyes widen as the band pointed their instruments straight at them. Grabbing Rose's hand tightly he looked at Donna and Rose.
"Run!" Donna screamed as the santas opened fire, sending the crowd ducking for cover while the Doctor, Rose and Donna dashed back into the alley for the TARDIS. In the back of his mind, the Doctor was aware of Donna screaming while they ran but he tightened his grip on Rose's hand. He only released it when they dashed into the TARDIS and Rose slammed the doors shut behind Donna who was panting heavily. Rushing to the scanner screen they could see the santas opening fire on the TARDIS.
"What are they!?" Donna gasped in fear. The Doctor activated the scanner.
"Robots." He said simply. "Someone making them come after you." He looked at her for a moment but Donna wasn't having it.
"Get us out of here!" The Doctor didn't argue with her and rapidly set the new location before they were off. Rose gave Donna a small smile as they landed and checked the screen.
Stepping outside Donna took a deep breath and the jacket that Rose offered her. She sighed when she looked down at her watch. Rose stepped up next to her, trying to ignore the chill of the English winter herself. "Did we miss it?" Donna nodded and Rose gave her a apologetic look.
"Sorry about that." The Doctor said joining them after checking on the TARDIS controls.
"It's not your fault"
"That's a change." Donna smiled and chuckled. They stood in silence for a moment.
"Wish you had a time machine." Donna said looking at the Doctor. "Then we could go back and get it right." Rose glanced at the Doctor who simply looked out over the city from the rooftop he had set them down on.
"Even if I did I can't change someone's personal time line." Donna didn't say anything but just sat down, pulling Rose's coat more tightly around herself. Rose joined her and the Doctor noticed Rose's goosebumps. Shrugging off his coat he dropped in gently onto his companions shoulders. Looking up at him as he sat down, Rose smiled gratefully despite her slight surprise.
"Oh!" The Doctor reached around Rose to get to the right hand pocket of his coat, Rose smirked at bit at his actions and blinked when he pulled out a ring. "Donna put this on." He handed it to Rose who in turn handed it to Donna.
"Do you have to rub it in?" "This is a biodamper. It will keep you hidden." After a moments hesitation while she gave her two new 'friends' a long look, Donna slid the ring on and sighed.
"For better or for worse." No one said anything until Rose grinned.
"I can see my house from here." She raised her arm and pointed. "Powell Estates right over there." The Doctor and Donna smiled at her. "I wonder how Mums doing"
"You really know how to ruin a good mood." Rose elbowed the Doctor lightly.
"It's Christmas, that means it has been a whole year since she's seen me"
"What do you mean we were here not too long ago"
"Yeah to help Mickey with investigating that school but somehow you forgot to visit my mother"
"Don't know how I could have forgotten that." The Doctor muttered. Donna laughed,
"I take it the Doctor and your Mum don't get along"
"Cats and Dogs." Donna laughed and Rose grinned.
"Fine after we figure out why Donna teleported into the TARDIS and stop the robot santas we can go visit your mother."
The Doctor paused and looked past Rose at Donna, "Which bring us back to the question of what would robot mercenaries want with you and how did you get inside the TARDIS?" He considered this while the two women looked at him. Grabbing his sonic screwdriver form the pocket of his jacket he began to scan Donna. "What's your job"
"I'm a secretary." The Doctor frowned deeply.
"This makes no sense, I can't understand it and I understand everything. You're not strange in any way, you're completely human." He handed the sonic screwdriver back to Rose who asked,
"What kind of secretary"
"At H.C. Clements." She smiled at Rose and the Doctor nearly rolled his eyes. "That's where I met Lance, it was so posh and wonderful. I was so worried I'd never fit in but then Lance made me a cup of coffee, me a secretary. Lance is the head of HR, he had no reason to bother with me." The Doctor stood up, still listening but becoming uncomfortable with the conversation and the gushing over a guy. Especially with Donna telling Rose. "But he was so nice and funny. That's how it started me and him, one cup of coffee."
Smiling Rose nodded and then after a moment asked, "When was all this"
"Six months ago"
"That's kinda fast don't you think." Donna looked a bit uncomfortable for half a moment.
"Well he insisted." In reality of course she had asked him. "And he nagged and he nagged me." She had nagged him. "And he just wore me down until finally I gave in"
"What does H.C. Clements do?" The Doctor asked from behind them, reentering the conversation. "Security systems. You know entry codes, ID cards that sort of thing. If you ask me, it's the posh name for a lock smith." Donna sighed, "Enough about me come on time to face the consequences. Oh this is going to be so shaming." She turned to look at the Doctor behind her. "You can do the explaining." She stood up with Rose's help and handed Rose's coat back to her, to Rose's disappointment. Reluctantly but not showing it, Rose removed the Doctor's large leather coat and gave it back to him. He pulled it on as Donna entered the TARDIS sighing. "I had this big reception all planned out, everyone is going to be so disappointed."
Everyone wasn't disappointed, in fact as they walked in they weren't even noticed. Rose bit her lip softly, feeling pity for Donna as her friends and family partied without her. Next to her the Doctor shifted, uncomfortable in the same realization. After a moment Donna walked to the edge of the dance floor and everyone began to notice her as she crossed her arms. On the dance floor, Lance was the last to stop dancing and look at her. "You had the reception without me"
"Donna," Lance began stepping forward, "What happened to you?" Disbelieving Donna repeated herself,
"You had the reception without me?!" Donna turned to look at Rose, "They had the reception without me." Rose nervously nodded.
"Well it was all paid for, why not"
"Thank you Nerice!" Donna hissed at the blond woman who had been dancing with Lance.
"Oh what were we supposed to do." Walking forward confidently Donna's mother looked at her daughter. "I got your silly little message in the end." Donna's jaw went slack, "I'm on Earth very funny but what the hell happened?!" The Doctor and Rose stepped back as everyone crowded around yelling out questions at Donna who after a moment began crying. Lance stepped forward and hugged her, leaving the Doctor and Rose standing in the background very uncomfortable. Applause filled the room at what everyone seemed to consider a touching scene.
The party was back into full swing only fifteen minutes later with Donna happily dancing with Lance. Rose stood in the corner with the Doctor by the bar, "Any thoughts"
"No, nothing about this makes sense. She's not special, she's not smart or gifted or"
"Be nice." He looked at Rose and grinned which she happily returned. "Sorry about Peladon." Rose shrugged.
"Well how often have we gotten to where we're trying to go. Cosmic conspiracy remember." The Doctor nodded and though for a moment. "Cell phone." Rose quickly pulled out her phone and handed it to the Doctor. He pulled out his sonic screwdriver and typed in H.C. Clements. The screen whirled wildly when the Doctor used the sonic screwdriver on the phone as Rose peeked over his shoulder. They both frowned in confusion when the screen read. H.C. Clements Sole Prop. Torchwood.
"Doctor I've heard that name before. It was a question on Weakest Link." Rose shivered thinking of the name.
"It was also the name of the estate where Queen Victoria was attacked by the werewolf." They looked at each other as the Doctor handed her the cell phone. "Coincidence?" The Doctor asked, Rose shook her head, a small smirk on her face.
"I think not."
Up Next: The Runaway Bride II