This is STILL not the promised sequel to Through the Looking Glass. Actually, it's a sequel to Bad Wolf Baying. carlvs convinced me to add a new chapter: what happened when they discovered that the walls had closed while the catfight was going on. Unfortunately, I couldn't for the life of me make it a comedy, so I'm simply starting a new story. A whole lot of material has popped into my head, though, so I think it might go on for a while.
This first chapter is indeed an exact repeat of Bad Wolf Baying, so those who read that one can just skip over it. I included it here so readers who missed it don't have to go searching to figure out what's going on.
Disclaimer: *checks the lottery numbers* Nope, still not mine.
Bad Wolf Baying
On a bright summer day in western Norway, the white sands of Bad Wolf Bay lay sparkling in the sun, soaking up the warmth against the long winter. Flocks of gulls and terns were scrawking about the cliffs, diving down to the water in hopes of catching an afternoon snack, while their nearly-grown young were showing off their new feathered finery to each other.
The only human in sight was a lone man, sitting in an old jeep parked on the sand, halfway to the water's edge, just waiting and watching. He looked like he'd been there for a while. The remains of a packed lunch were scrunched into their paper bag on the floor of the jeep, and the second thermos of coffee was almost empty. His laptop computer lay on the back seat where he'd placed it an hour ago after checking his email for the third time. Now he was just sitting, watching the gulls fight the terns fight the fishes.
Suddenly the peaceful scene was interrupted by a most unexpected noise: an eerie, futuristic whoosh, whoosh, coming from up the beach, and a large, wooden blue box began to materialize from nothing. The man sat up and grinned, then climbed out of the jeep and began walking towards it, stretching stiff muscles.
The door of the police box opened, and a pretty blonde walked out, followed by several others. The blonde was already in mid-complaint when she spied the man from the jeep. "Fat lot of good this is – back of beyond. Bloody Norway! I'll have to phone your.... PETE!!!" And she began running to the man, who laughed and scooped her up, twirling her around.
"Oh, good, he got my message!" smiled the Doctor, the last one out the door.
Rose's jaw had dropped when she saw Pete, and now she whirled on the Doctor, hurt comprehension dawning. "But this is the parallel universe!"
"You're back home." He replied. Not unkindly, but not exactly apologetic, either.
Donna spoke up, "And the walls of the world are closing again, now the Reality Bomb never happened. It's a dimensional retroclosure - see, I really get that stuff now!"
Rose shot her a glare, while the second Doctor grinned. She turned back to the Doctor. "No, but I spent all that time trying to find you. I'm not going back now!"
The Doctor stiffened his resolve. "But you've got to. 'Cause we saved the universe at a cost, and the cost, is him. He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He's too dangerous to be left on his own."
The man in blue narrowed his eyes. He wasn't having any of this "he" stuff, like he wasn't there, or like he was someone entirely different from the Doctor. "You made me!"
The Doctor wasn't backing down, though. "Exactly. You were born in battle. Full of blood and anger and revenge." He turned back to Rose. "Remind you of someone? That's me, when we first met. And you made me better. Now you can do the same for him."
She shook her head, not accepting the challenge. "But he's not you!"
"He needs you. That's very me."
Donna broke in again. "It's better than that, though. Don't you see what he's giving you? Tell her, go on!"
The second Doctor smiled at Donna, then tore his eyes away and looked at Rose, pleading his case. "I look like him. Think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except.. I've only got one heart."
"Which means?" asked Rose.
"I'm part human. Specifically, the aging part. I'll grow old, and never regenerate. I've only got one life, Rose Tyler. I could spend it with you.... if you like."
She stared at him, considering, tempted. Then she turned back to the Doctor. "But.. what about you?"
"Oh, I'm all right!" he said, easily. "I've got madam!"
No, you don't, thought the second Doctor. You know what's going to happen as well as I do. Why are you going through this charade?
Donna had been speaking: "Human with a Time Lord brain, perfect combination! We can travel the universe forever, best friends! And equals. Just what old skinnyboy needs, an equal!"
Rose turned her glare on Donna full force, disgusted. "Shut. Up. You could never be his equal, not in a million years."
The redhead's jaw dropped, along with everyone else's. Then she shot back, "More of an equal than you, blondie."
"Oh, yeah? Who was it that managed to hop realities, not once, but several times, when he said it was impossible? Was that you? Oops! No, it wasn't!"
"Oh, right, you'll do anything to chase after a man, won't you? I saw you with that great big honking cannon you were toting around. Who's compensating for what, now?"
They were inches from each other now, shouting; the other four just gaping, with varying degrees of horror and delight.
"Speaking of compensating, who was it that had to compensate for YOU being such a screw-up that you went and got him KILLED, and created a whole new timeline, that I had to go talk you into fixing again! And wasn't that just a fun time! How many times did I have to contact you, following you all the way up to bloody LEEDS -"
"Oh, right, you had to go do all that, sure! You could make up anything about that time, couldn't you, 'cause nobody remembers it but you! Doesn't that mean it didn't happen, then?"
Rose's eyes got even narrower, and she hissed, "Are you calling me a liar?"
"If the army boot fits, sweets!"
And that's when Rose hauled off and bitchslapped her.
Complete silence reigned on the beach for about ten seconds, as Donna staggered back, jaw dropping, hand to her cheek where Rose's handprint was already showing in bright red. Then all hell broke loose.
Donna slipped ahead of everyone else by a fraction of a second, screeching and lunging forward to shove Rose back into the sand. Rose didn't go down, though; she'd been in a few too many scraps to be caught off-guard. She dug her heels into the sand and shoved back. "Oh, not too Time Lordly now, are you?"
The Doctor broke out of his shocked paralysis and made to get between the women, calling "Hey, whoa , what the -" before finding his way blocked by another arm.
"Why don't you just let them work it out, for once, instead of barging in all superior and arranging everyone's lives for them like you always do, like you were doing a minute ago? Maybe the rest of us don't feel like following your little plan this time." The Doctor stared, shocked, at his twin's snarling face, as the fight swirled on around them. Just how different was he?
Donna had left off shoving, and reached up to grab a handful of Rose's hair, yanking it with all the disgusted rage she'd previously reserved for Nerys. "More than you, Peroxica! I don't know how you managed to go saving the world, spending all that time at the hairdressers getting bleached! Did you really think he'd go for something that obvious, rather than brains?"
Rose grabbed Donna's wrist and yanked her hair out of her grasp, then twisted the arm down and around with a swift movement, ending with it high behind Donna's back. "Brains? What brains? The only brains you've got are the ones you stole from him!" she hissed, and then shoved Donna away again.
Donna screeched again and launched herself at Rose, incoherent. Slapping, punching, pulling hair, the two women went down in a tangle of arms and legs, rolling in the sand. Donna managed to roll on top and pulled herself up, raising her arm high to slap the daylights out of her opponent.
"Oh no you don't!" And another blonde joined the fray, Jackie grabbing Donna's raised arm and yanking her off her daughter in the sand. Rose jumped up and made to grab Donna's other arm, positioning herself for a good swift kick to center.
The Doctor pushed by his twin, then, and got in the middle, trying to stop it. Which, in retrospect, may not have been such a bright idea. So that's what it's like to be on the receiving end of TWO Tyler slaps in a row, he thought giddily, head spinning. The two blondes shoved him back out of the way and turned back to the redhead.
All three women squared off, then, Donna facing the Tylers side by side. Panting hard, they glared at each other, gearing up for a mutual rush.
The three men glanced at each other, and without a word agreed that this had better end now, before major damage was inflicted. Enough was enough. The second Doctor dashed around behind Donna and grabbed her around the waist, pulling her back, just as Pete grabbed Jackie and did the same, both men calling out to their captives to "stop, just stop, calm down, let it go."
The Doctor found himself trying to contain an enraged Rose, who continued to struggle for a minute before seeming to realize what she was doing and who was holding her. She dropped her arms to her side, then, and stared at the sand, chest heaving, red-faced with anger, fading quickly to humiliation. The Doctor didn't let go, though, finding that he just didn't want to – but not willing to examine that impulse too closely just then.
Nobody said anything for several minutes, as shock and anger slowly wore off. Finally, the Doctor made himself drop his arms and say, "Well. We've got to get going – this universe is going to be sealing itself off." He couldn't quite manage to meet anyone's eyes as he said it, or make himself move away from Rose.
"Go where?" asked the second Doctor, still lightly holding Donna. He shook his head, disgusted, and repeated aloud his earlier thought. "You know what's about to happen as well as I do. Why don't you just get it over with right now?"
Everyone turned to look at him, then back to the Doctor, confused. "What are you talking about?" asked Donna.
The Doctor had taken a step away from Rose, and dropped his eyes, looking at the sand. He didn't say anything.
"Answer the question!" demanded his twin.
Finally, slowly, the Doctor raised his eyes, and looked... at Donna. His eyes were tragic. She flinched away from his gaze, still bewildered. "What....?"
He spoke so low that the others almost had to strain to hear him over the waves and the seabirds. "There's never been a human Time Lord before. And you know why. If the knowledge of a Time Lord is within your brain, you know why."
Donna began shaking her head, frantically, denying her knowledge. It was Rose who broke the silence. "Because there can't be. A Time Lord mind in a human brain will burn it up. That's why you had to take it from me back then." All animus forgotten, she looked from the Doctor to Donna, horrified on her behalf, heartbroken for what she was about to lose, the only one in the worlds who understood, who'd been there.
"No... No, no, no!" Donna began to moan. She held her hands up to her head, where the incipient headache she'd been aware of for the last hour had been building to nuclear potential while she was distracted by the fight. The human Doctor gathered her tighter, turning her so she faced him. Suddenly, she took a deep breath, and pushed away from him, holding her head high. "No, I'm all right. I'm OK. I'm fine! Nothing wrong with me!"
She whirled away from him to face the Doctor. "I'm FINE. I can handle it! There's nothing wrong with m... m... m..." Her eyes grew round as saucers with fear. She began again, enunciating carefully, fiercely. "There's. Nothing. Wrong. With. MeeeeeeEEEEEEE!" Voice rising to a shriek, her hands flew to her head again, and she sank to her knees in the sand, feeling as though her head were about to literally explode.
The human Doctor lunged to catch her, holding her tight against his chest. He glared at the Doctor. "Well, DO IT, dammit, before her head explodes! I can't take it from her, I'm too human now myself."
The Doctor walked sadly over to them, and sank to his own knees in front of Donna. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
She looked at him, sobbing. "I want to stay. I was gonna be with you forever. Please, don't make me go back."
He shook his head again, heartbroken. A single tear escaped his eye, streaking his face. "Oh, Donna. We had the best times, didn't we? I'm so sorry. But I have to do this, to save your life." He put his hands on her temples, then, and her eyes closed, tears still falling, then she collapsed back into the human Doctor's arms, unconscious.
The Doctor stood up, slowly, and stepped back, turning to stare out to sea, his back to the others. After a long, shocked pause, Jackie spoke up. "What now? What are you going to do with her? Are you just going to leave her here, too?"
He answered without turning. "No. I'm taking her back home, to her mother's house."
His twin looked up. "No, you're not. You're taking US back there." As they all stared at him, the Doctor turning back, he went on. "I'll take care of her. She's part of me, I'm part of her. It's the right answer. And if – when – her memories start to resurface, I can change them to memories of her and me, larking about. I'll keep her safe." He looked up at Rose. "I'm sorry. It wouldn't have worked, you know. I belong with her. And you... I'm not the one you want, and we both know it."
Rose nodded, sadly, letting him go. She reached forward to help as he stood up, cradling Donna's limp form to his chest, and carried her into the TARDIS for the trip back to their own universe.
Jackie reached a hand towards Rose. "Come one, sweetheart. Let's go home."
Rose stared at her, incredulous. "I'm not staying here, Mum. I'm sorry. I can't."
"You're leaving? Again?"
"MUM!!" Rose was suddenly furious again. "I've BEEN leaving, for the last three years! The last FIVE! You've got to let me go!" Fury gone, as quickly as it had come. "Mum, I'm sorry." She walked over and reached out to hug Jackie. "I'm sorry. But this is my life. This is what I choose, what I chose a long time ago. I love you, I always will, and I'll always, always miss you. But I've got to go, and you've got to let me go!" She gave her Mum a last, quick squeeze, then swiftly turned back to face the Doctor.
He was incredulous, staring. "You still want to come? Even after all this? After what I just..."
She walked up to him, emotions still dangerously out of balance. She shook her head. "Doctor. You are, without a doubt, the most.. Aggravating. Infuriating. Brain-dead. Clueless. Alien. EVER!" And with that, she grabbed his lapels and pulled his mouth down on hers, snogging him thoroughly. Then she broke it off, and pushed him back into place with a last exasperated growl, then turned and stalked through the TARDIS door, leaving him staring after her, mouth dropping open, utterly gobsmacked.
Several long seconds passed, and then the Doctor, shaking his head, turned back to Jackie. And flinched back, though she was still several feet away. She was staring at him with utter fury and contempt. "I ought to slap you into next week!"
A high-pitched, hysterical giggle escaped from the Doctor, then he just shook his head, wordlessly, and turned to enter the TARDIS.
As he closed the door the last time, she heard him mutter, "Yup. Still got it."