I know I've sort of skipped over Series 3 and 4 to write this, but if I ever get around to it, this'll be part of the rest of the series. Blame the plot bunnies--they've got nasty, big, pointy teeth!!
Um, CONTAINS SERIES 4 SPOILERS! If you couldn't tell.
This is written as a far-flung sequel to "Through the Gloom and Doom", and has nothing to do with the AU series I'm writing.
Disclaimer: Surprise, surprise, I don't own Doctor Who. Nor do I get anything from writing these stories--except wonderful, constructive reviews! Wink, wink; nudge, nudge ;)
Chapter 1, Regenerated Anomaly
The new Doctor watched Donna leave the med bay, a smile on her face and a spring in her step. "You're not going to tell her?" he asked the Doctor.
"You know her better than I do," the Doctor answered. "You think she'd believe me?"
The new Doctor thought a moment, then shook his head. "Not until it actually started falling apart."
The Doctor finished putting away the exam instruments. "You should take this," the Doctor said, reaching into his breast pocket.
"Don't you dare," hissed the new Doctor, quietly, as the Doctor pulled out the ring. He swung his legs off the exam table, and stood, facing the Doctor. "You heard her," he said. "You saw her when she thought we were going to regenerate, and even after, when she thought you might have changed."
"How did you--" the Doctor asked.
"Donna," the new Doctor answered, tapping his head. "But I have changed," he continued. "I can feel it. She needs you, not whatever Caan made me into."
The Doctor sighed. "It wasn't Caan."
"What wasn't? He looked into time--"
"He saw time, he didn't change it except for influencing Davros. You were made from Donna and me, but you were made by Bad Wolf."
The new Doctor was shocked into momentary silence. "What makes you say that?" he asked, at last.
"When Rose first came back for us," the Doctor explained, "we were going to let the Daleks win, all so that we didn't have to be responsible for genocide, again. But she came back, and she destroyed them all. What did you do, when given the choice?"
The new Doctor was silent, not meeting the Doctor's eyes. All the Daleks--gone. Genocide. But it had to be done, didn't it?
"You've changed, yes," the Doctor continued, "but you're not only what Rose needs, you're what she designed. She may not realize it yet, but she will." The Doctor pressed the ring into the new Doctor's hand. "She created you to do what I couldn't. And I don't just mean with the Daleks."
The new Doctor closed his fist tightly around it, glancing out towards the corridor. He thought of Rose, of how long he'd carried the ring, how often he could have asked her before she'd been lost, of all the reasons he'd hesitated. Now, most of those reasons were a non-issue for him--well, for this him, anyway. He nodded to the Doctor. Then, "You're just going to give her up?"
"You shouldn't even have to ask," the Doctor answered. He took a heavy breath. "I was going to lose her again, eventually," he said, swallowing back the tears they both refused to acknowledge. "Just you don't go leaving her alone," he warned the new Doctor. "This is your only body; you'd better make it last."
"Yeah." The new Doctor tucked the ring into his own jacket pocket. "Pete's world, then," he said.
The Doctor nodded. "She may have left her family for us, but she loves them. Now, she'll have the best of both worlds."
"She's not gonna like it," said the new Doctor. "How do you know she'll even believe I'm me?" Or that she'll want me, he failed to add.
"Like I said," answered the Doctor, "she made you."
"Right." the New Doctor reached out to shake the Doctor's hand, and tried not to think about the irony of the action, considering their hands' respective histories. "I'll take care of her, I promise."
To be continued.