Summary: For two days the Doctor isn't himself, in fact he is his future self!
Disclaimer: Squeakity squeak squeakum squeak. So back off RTD/Moffat/BBC!
A/N: This originally was supposed to be a drabble, but it sort of grew; quite expectedly as it happens. And you might spot an old Star Trek reference.
Just Say No To The Doughnut
Donna stared at the Doctor in utter shock. "What the hell happened to you just then?" she demanded. "It is you, isn't it?"
"Of course it's me!" he snapped back. "Who do you think…?" He paused and gripped his throat. "I sound different! My body feels different! Donna, what do I look like? Have I changed?" he sounded a bit panicky to her ears.
"If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, and you weren't wearing the same clothes I'd have never believed it!" Donna exclaimed. She pointed to the top of his head, "You've gone all floppy. And your face has gone squarer." She stepped closing and stared into his face, "Your eyes are different too. They've gone blue."
"It has? They have?" he desperately tried to pull down a tuft of hair.
"Remind me not to walk through doughnut-shaped arches, if I ever feel the need," Donna told him before dissolving into a fit of giggles. "You look ridiculous! That face and that suit do not go together!"
"I'll remember that," he retorted. "Have you got a mirror?" he suddenly asked, almost leaping into her face.
She scrabbled in her bag, and thrust an item at him, "Here you go! Have a look. It should give you a laugh!"
He snatched the small mirror out of her hands and examined himself closely; grimacing as though he were shaving or something. "I don't look too bad, do I? What do you think, Noble? Do I look half decent?" he desperately asked.
"Erm…," Donna held back her natural need to completely take the 'p'. "Half decent just about sums it up I'd say." She swept her gaze over him again. "Very different. Shame you can't go back through it and reverse things. Does it have an 'undo' button?"
He eyed the arch suspiciously, and tried walking back through it the other way. Nothing happened. He tried it again; but with the same result. "Donna! I can't change back! I'm still different. What do I do?" he moaned as he danced about in front of her.
"Will you keep still!" she ordered him. "Anyone would think you have ants in your pants! You haven't, have you? Got ants in your pants I mean."
"Of course I haven't, Noble," he griped. "Why would I do that?"
"I don't know! I'm not from Mars, remember," she pointed out. She also noticed that he had pocketed her mirror!
"Nor am I, Noble; though why you feel the need to keep pointing that out… Ah look!" he found some writing engraved on the arch.
Donna peered at the smudge he was examining. "Looks like squiggles to me made on a Spirograph. What does it mean?" she asked him, still trying to convince herself that this truly was the Doctor standing in front of her.
"Now if I were clever, and I am, I would deduce that is a machine that refracts time and allows the body to exist in a portal that coexists within a given structural frame of reference," he beamed happily at her, expecting her to grin back with gratitude and acknowledgement of his reasoning powers.
"You what? Ports and frames? What are you going on about, Spaceboy? Are you trying to tell me this is a body swop with the King of the Nerds?" she glared at him for his stupidity. As if she understood or believed half of what just came out of his mouth!
"Ooh! You are brilliant, Noble! This is indeed a form of body swop; but with myself, a future version of myself as I've never looked like this in the past," he danced about a bit more as he prodded and poked the arch.
"So this is a weird version of 'How to Look 10 Years Younger'? Isn't that wizard!" Donna exclaimed. "I'm stuck with another idiot who sounds even worse than normal. How long is this going to last?"
The Doctor looked back at her distractedly, "No idea! Isn't that fun?"
He bounced away from her, and she huffed with exasperation, "Fantastic! And I now get to live with Tigger! All I need now is for someone to think he's my son!" She walked over to the doughnut arch and gave it a kick as punishment.
Back in the TARDIS things calmed down at times, and sometimes went silent. But Donna was vigilant. She kept notes to depict the patterns of his behaviour, and there were some, that much was true. He was still the Doctor; but she missed her Doctor. In particular she was angry with him for messing things up. Why did he have to go and change like that? It had taken a lot of energy to keep up with him before but this was wearing her out! Even in the 'night' she worried about what he was doing, what he was getting up to now, so she checked up on him every so often.
"Still the same!" she would call out as she wandered passed him, no matter where he was or what he was doing. 'Bugger! Still the same' is what she thought, but she would never have said it that way to him. She was his friend after all, and friends support each other no matter what! She chuckled to herself when she wondered whether Martha would still find him irresistible; she'd love to find out.
The Doctor eventually cornered her. "Why do you keep writing things down? Am I a prize specimen now?" he made eye to eye contact, making her feel uneasy.
"No! Of course not!" she lied. "I'm just keeping a record for future reference for when… you know… you want to change back." She tried smiling at him, she honestly did, but she knew it was more of a grimace.
"You don't like this me?" he looked crestfallen back at her.
"How could I not?" she managed a real smile this time, and pulled him into a hug. She was relieved when he squeezed her back. He wasn't too different after all.
"I'll remind you of that later, Noble," he grinned as he released her. "Now tell me… what have you discovered?"
"Erm…," she squeaked. This could get tricky. She fought to calm her thoughts down. "Well, for a start you don't hug for as long as normal, you act as though you've eaten five bags of Jellie Babies all in one go, and you change direction with your thoughts faster than a rat up a drainpipe. And what is it with the Jammie Dodgers? Since when did they become king of the biscuits? I seriously worry about your sanity at times!"
"Nice to see you haven't changed much," he retorted. "Look over here! I could use that setting on the console to bio-feed the…"
"Doctor! You're doing it again!" Donna griped. "Why the return of all the techno mumbo jumbo? I thought we agreed you wouldn't do that anymore!"
"And I did! Well, a previous me did; but I don't think that holds true now that I've changed," he reasoned.
She stilled his manic hands by grabbing hold of his wrist. "Still trying to get clever with me I see," she glared at him. "Back to enjoying it while I look on and suffer."
"Are you, Donna Noble? Are you suffering?" he gazed straight into her soul.
She gasped. "No, not yet. And if you think you can get rid of me that easily, just because you've turned into Justin Bieber's older brother…," she saw his slightly pleased look and quickly added, "…his older, uglier brother, don't mean I can be cast aside!"
"And why would I do that?" he softly asked.
"D'uh!" she pointed at her face to illustrate her point.
"It's a face; surrounded by ginger hair. What's not to like?" he pondered.
She huffed, loudly. "How often do you travel with someone who looks older than you?"
"Well…I… I don't," he admitted eventually. "But…"
"Yeah, spare me the details!" she demanded. "I'm off to make tea. Do you want one?"
"Yes please," he readily replied, and watched her progress towards the kitchen with keen interest.
He joined her at the kitchen table. "Donna, I know it's been almost 48 hours but you must be warming up to this new face by now," he posed.
"I suppose so," Donna reluctantly agreed. "The change in clothing is a bit hard to get used to though."
"Why?" he pushed, "What's wrong with this new outfit?"
"You are kidding me! How can you not be conscious of wearing that ridiculous tie?" she mocked.
"Bow ties are cool!" he insisted.
"Keep telling yourself that, Sunshine! Somebody might believe you one day, but don't count on it being me," she told him.
"I thought of adding a hat," he replied conversationally.
"A hat!" she giggled loudly. "What on earth makes you think you can get away with a hat?" She pointed to his new hairstyle with glee, "A hair clip would come in handy; but a hat! This I have to see!" She snorted into her cup.
"I… you…," he shot her a hurt expression, and took a sip from his own cup. "Possibilities; all possibilities," he mumbled to himself in reassurance.
"I can still hear you," she crowed at him, smiling mischievously.
He disappeared into the wardrobe, desperate to find a suitable hat that would make her believe him. And then he found it: a beautiful red fez with a navy tassel. He proudly presented himself to her as she sat reading some trashy magazine in the library. "What do you think?" he beamed, holding his arms outstretched before he did a slight twirl.
He did not expect the reaction he got. "OMG!" she shrieked with laughter. "Please tell me you are wearing that for a bet!"
He gingerly lifted his hand to his head. "I thought…"
"Where's my camera?" she scrambled about in her pockets. "I've left it in my bedroom. Don't move! Stay right where you are! Gramps will love this!"
Not quite sure what Gramps would love about this situation, the Doctor stayed in the library patiently, going through counter arguments in his head in support of his headgear.
Donna appeared two minutes later, sporting her camera-phone and looking as pleased as punch. "Right, where were we? Can you…," she stopped in her tracks and her eyes went wide. "Spaceman! You're back! Thank goodness!" she yelled. She launched herself at him with enthusiasm.
"I take it I look my normal self?" he grinned down at her. "Nice to know you're so pleased to see me!"
"Pleased? That doesn't begin to cover it!" she grinned broadly back at him, and gave him another hug.
"So you genuinely like this me?" he asked.
"Oi! Don't start fishing for compliments, 'cos you won't get them!" she warned.
"Didn't you get on with my future self?" he asked hesitantly.
"Oh, we were okay," she reluctantly admitted, "but it wasn't the same. I didn't quite fit. I felt too much like his carer rather than his companion."
"And what about me? How do you feel now I'm back?" he asked, obviously pushing for something from her.
"You?" she peered into his face, and closely examined his eyes, almost in the same way he'd first looked at her many months before, when she wore a wedding dress. She gave him a special smile, "You're my best friend. What can be better than that?"
"Ooh! Donna Noble!" he swept her into another hug. "Nothing! Nothing at all!"