Summary: The end of „Turn Left" gave me a silly idea. Spoilers to that episode!
I start at the end of the episode, so you better have watched it. I'll continue from there like it came to my mind when I saw those last moments. It's silly and nonsense, but perhaps some of you will like it anyway.
Disclaimer: All official Doctor Who stuff belongs to BBC etc. - I only borrow it for this story.
Donna spoke those two words as if she had to use a foreign language. They were nothing to her.
To the Doctor this term meant more than a universe. Actually he was instantly aware that this just couldn't be, because this one and a certain parallel universe – and probably even more – would be in great trouble if his current companion somehow had met her.
Without bothering to answer Donna's question about the meaning of those words, he darted out of the room and into the streets of Shan Shen.
'Oh no no no NO!' The Doctor's thoughts raced as he ran back to his Tardis. All around him he saw the signs of Bad Wolf. They were everywhere. It was impossible to turn your eyes away from them.
'How could this happen?' Just like the last time, the Time Lord had no clue how such a powerful and wide spread alternation of time and space and reality could have happened unnoticed by him. But right now the 'how' wasn't really the question that was troubling him. He was far more concerned about the 'why' and 'what'.
'This CAN'T be true!' As soon as the Doctor turned around the corner where he and Donna had arrived in the Tardis, he slowed down. His eyes went wide with shock and disbelief. If his mental connection with his ship had not told him that this actually was his ship, he would have been certain that he stood in front of another's vessel. But the song of the Tardis inside his head was still recognizable, although it too had been altered mercilessly.
The most unnerving thing about Bad Wolf was that its signs settled in as if they had been there all the time. Only few persons even noticed something strange about it, even if it was pointed out to them. The Tardis had been marked by it once before, but not like this.
Just like all signs and writings in the streets had changed to those doomed words, so had the illuminated letters above the entrance and the text on the phone panel of the police box. It was far worse than any graffiti ever could be.
By the time Donna had caught up with him, the Time Lord had steeled himself enough to open the blue door and enter his ship. However, as soon as he stepped inside, he felt a ridiculous relief that she had at last maintained the general outer appearance of his beloved Tardis.
All of the inside was bathed in menacing red light. The Doctor couldn't tell for sure if this was her doing as well, or if it was the reaction of the ship to this crisis. For a moment he felt sick, remembering how the Master had turned it into a Paradox Maschine and thus had caused the year that never was.
But this was different, he realized as he slowly approached the central column. The Tardis had not been abused like that this time. Nevertheless, the sound of the Cloister Bell echoed through it, signaling an immediate threat as well as the ship's distress.
Donna closed the door behind her and stared in confusion at the changed control room. When she asked again what the words 'Bad Wolf' meant, she finally got an answer from the Doctor: „It's the end of the universe."
After a few seconds the dumbfounded Time Lord snapped out of his state of disbelief and started to check various readings and settings on the console. Only then he realized that Donna demanded an explanation and was getting quite outraged, because he had ignored her.
„This shouldn't be happening. You shouldn't have met her. All of this is wrong!" This was all he could tell her right now, because none of his instruments helped him to understand what was going on.
The redhead considered the man for some moments: there was a deep frown on his face, and despite his glasses he bent very close to the monitor. Obviously he really had to figure this out for himself first.
Another booming stroke of the invisible bell sent a shiver down Donna's spine. This sound and this strange, red light clearly were driving her crazy. „Can't you at least stop that noise?" she shouted and gestured irritated at the control room's ceiling.
The Doctor was running around the console now, flicking switches and pulling handles. After some seconds of delay he regarded her, as if his companion's words had reached him only then. He answered her expectant look by leaning far to his left to manipulate some controls. Suddenly all was silent.
Donna sighed and stepped a bit closer, but made sure she didn't got in the way. The ominous light was still there and she wondered why he hadn't switched that off as well.
„What?!" The Doctor straightened and retreated a few steps, his hands running wildly through his hair. Screeching sounds and new colours filled the room as the central column started to move up and down.
„Where are we going?"
His brown eyes still had much of the same shock in them, but now there was some sort of anger, too. „I don't know, Donna. Neither when nor where." He looked back at the console an then seemed to stare at a place beyond the here and now. „Something else is controlling my Tardis."
The landing wasn't any softer than the Doctor's usual stops, but at last the ship seemed to return to normal then. He was immediately checking everything, while his companion approached the door.
„Everything appears to be working properly again", he stated, sounding quite relieved. Donna could swear he was more bothered that someone else had been 'driving' his precious Tardis, than that both of them just had been sort of kidnapped.
„Well, where are we now?" she asked impatiently.
Looking up, the Time Lord answered with a slight, but rather confused frown: „On Earth. Around your time." He didn't notice when Donna opened the door and stepped out, he was too busy with brooding.
It was a nice little park and late afternoon. There were no other people to be seen, but some rather large shrubbery prevented a clear view. A street with cars seemed to be nearby, and the occasional shrill chime indicated bicycles not far away.
With a last look at the still open door of the Tardis, Donna decided to explore the little path at last as far as the next corner. However, she soon stopped in her tracks as a distinctive blue-white flash illuminated the hedge to her right. Without hesitation she called loudly: „Doctor! Doctor! You better get out here! Now!"
'Well now, you mysterious blondie. This time I won't let you out of my sight before I got some answers!' The resolute companion was determined to find out what was going on. The nightmare-like horror of her recent parallel-universe experience still clung to her bones. And this woman, who always appeared out of nowhere and seemed to know so much, was a part of it. Only, that she was here now – in the real world. If this was real at all ...
Soft crunching sounds were the harbinger for the now familiar blonde in jeans and a dark-blue jacket. Just like the last few times Donna had seen her, she seemed to have been running and looking for something. But she stopped as soon as she spotted the older woman, a knowing smile enlightened her face – although it somehow appeared rather sad, too.
„We have met before, haven't we? Will you tell me your name this time? What was all that about? I mean, was it real? And ..." Donna noticed that she was talking to deaf ears. At first she was furious and horrified, because she thought that the girl was staring at her back again, just like when she had this terrible, alien beetle sitting there. But when she heard a little noise behind her, she realized that the Doctor had stepped out of his Tardis.
He looked as if he had seen a ghost or worse. And curiously he seemed quite angry, too.
„Hello Doctor, it's been a while."
The young woman spoke in a clear, but somewhat shy voice. Donna eyed her questioningly and wondered what had happened to the self-confident attitude she had shown towards her. And, of course, she was burning to learn how she knew the Doctor and what their connection was.
A few long moments passed in silence, and the redhead turned towards the Time Lord. „What's going on here? Who is this?" And why didn't he greet the girl back and just stared? This was rude, but perhaps he had good reasons? „Is she alien?"
In a toneless voice he finally said: „Rose Tyler."
It was impossible to tell what he tried to hide by acting like this. But those two words were enough to make Donna regard her with completely new eyes.
Rose cringed a little at the Doctor's cold greeting. That wasn't exactly how she had imagined their reunion. With a quick glance to the other woman she wondered what he had told her. Then she allowed herself to look again at the man who still stood a ridiculous distance away and didn't even blink.
It had been so long since they had been separated. What had happened to him in the mean-time? He seemed somewhat to be older and much graver. She wondered if he found her changed, too.
His tone wasn't as emotionless as before, in fact he sounded rather accusing.
It had been such a hard time without him, especially when this new threat had appeared. But till now she had believed that every bit of strength it had cost her to find him again was worth it. Now, Rose wasn't so sure anymore. Something was terribly amiss, and he gave her the feeling that it was her fault.
On the other hand, she actually had changed. It had not been only for her own benefit that she wanted to find the last Time Lord again."Didn't Donna tell you? All universes are in danger. I needed to warn you, and ask for your help." Rose prepared herself to match his strange attitude. If this was how things were now between them, she wouldn't demand anything else from him. For now she could focus on saving the world, later she could try to deal with the cold pain that began to settle inside her.
„No, why did you do this to my ship?"
Now it was her turn to stare, as he pointed casually over his shoulder to the Tardis.
Donna was as baffled as Rose for a moment. But then the younger woman noticed the slight change in the Doctor's bearing and seemed to understand something that was still a mystery to the redhead.
Obviously it was something contagious. Her brown eyes began to sparkle, just as his had become a little bit lighter. A smile was spreading on her lips that seemed to have it's origin in the little smirk which softened his features now. Slowly, Rose began to approach him. She didn't seem shy or intimidated anymore at all.
„I had to catch your attention somehow. You didn't seem to notice the more subtle hints."
She stopped an arm-length away from the Doctor. Till now they hadn't broken the eye-contact. Donna observed the whole spectacle with a bemused grin.
„Well then ..." Rose closed her eyes for a moment and then fixed them on the Tardis. When she opened them again, however, they had a strange golden glow in them. She raised her hand and waved it gently, as if she wanted to brush some dust from an invisible object. Donna didn't know what that meant until the Doctor turned towards his ship.
She gasped and watched speechlessly as the letters of the many Bad Wolf signs on the blue police box gained a life of their own. They swirled and blurred until they reshaped and rearranged themselves to their original form.
„Better now?" asked Rose, who looked normal again.
Those two words seemed to lift a spell from the Doctor. He laughed and pulled his friend in a tight embrace, which she happily shared. For some moments they just held onto each other, as if none of them could really believe that the other was real.
„Yeah, much better now!" he finally agreed when they let go just enough to be recognizable as two individual beings. The Time Lord encouraged Donna to come closer. She is surprised but pleased to see tears of joy in his eyes.
„Listen to me, Rose Tyler ... Bad Wolf ... whatever ...", his pause was only for show, he just couldn't conjure up his poker-face again right now, „I don't care how many universes are in danger from whatever, or what you have to do to cross an impossible barrier like the Void ... never ever again change something about my Tardis!"