Author's Note: The Doctor's PMT (Post Metacrisis Tension) and the idea for MiDonnal are mentioned in Good Things Come To Those Who Wait. The Jack and Donna in this story are based on the original universe but being parallels, they will be different. This will be a multi chapter story, I have planned out seven chapters. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Chapter 1 Old Faces, New Friends
BOOM! The Doctor and Rose's gazes instantly seek each other out as an explosion from outside rocks the floor of their building. Shouts of 'The parking lot's on fire' and 'It must have been a bomb' ring throughout the office. The Doctor's expression becomes horror stricken as he realizes, "My car!" He grabs Rose's hand and they run full speed to the parking lot.
The parking lot is full of smoke and chaos and it's Rose who pulls the Doctor over to Jake, who is busy issuing orders to several Torchwood agents. Jake spies them before they reach him and before either of them can ask, he tells them, "We're not sure what happened yet. We think it was a bomb. Something went off under that Citreon over there."
The Doctor screams, "Oh no!" He runs halfway down the lot to his parking space where he finds his car…in perfect condition. He immediately falls to his knees and clasps his hands together in relief. "Oh, thank Rassilon! It wasn't my car!"
"No!" screeches a voice from behind that he'd thought he'd never hear again. "It was mine!"
The Doctor looks behind him to see Donna Noble, and behind her is his Rose, who seems just as bewildered as him. "Donna?" he whispers. Then he throws his arms around her waist and clutches her tightly. "Donna! How did you get here?"
"Oi! Get off me you pencil necked freak!" yells Donna as she pushes him away from her. "How do you think that I got here? In my car!" She stares forlornly at the smoldering wreckage of her car and grumbles, "Or what's left of it."
The Doctor is still on the ground trying to contemplate the sudden appearance of the woman before him. He murmurs "But how…?"
Rose comes up behind him and pulls him to his feet. She whispers in his ear, "Parallel world, Doctor. Remember?"
Pete and Jake are walking towards the group as they discuss the current situation. "What's the status, Jake?"
Jake replies, "It's all over but the screaming, Pete." He nods his head to indicate Donna. "Mostly from her."
Pete taps a despondent Donna on her shoulder and inquires, "Miss Noble?" Donna glances behind her shoulder and she instantly straightens up and becomes all business as she sees the Director of Torchwood, her new boss.
Donna introduces herself as she holds out her hand. "Director Tyler. I'm Donna Noble, but please call me Donna. It's a pleasure to meet you. I apologize for delaying our meeting but as you can see, I've been detained."
Pete smiles warmly and responds, "Please call me Pete. No apologies are necessary, Donna. From what I've gathered from your reputation, you're well worth the wait. I would like to apologize for the current condition of your car. Please don't worry, Torchwood will make full restitution for your vehicle."
Donna offers Pete a slight smile and states, "No worries, Pete. It's all par for the course in our line of work." A barely audible sigh escapes her lips as she casts a glance over at her car.
The Doctor steps forward and gives a little wave of his hand. "Excuse me, I'm the Doctor and this is my fiancée, Rose Tyler. I've been restoring my Citroen, excellent choice of car by the way, and I'd be more than happy to assist you in repairing your car."
She surveys the Doctor's car with a scrutinizing eye and questions, "That's your car?" He nods proudly. Her eyes widen as she spies the Doctor's license plate, 1PESACRP. "Interesting license plate," she muses.
The Doctor flushes a bright red and hurriedly moves in front of the license plate to block her view. He tugs at his collar as he tells her, "We're changing it as soon as we can."
"I'll bet," says Donna with a smirk.
The Doctor pats the hood of his car and asserts, "It was the only drawback to the car. Otherwise, it was a steal."
"Are you sure that it wasn't a giveaway?" quips Donna. Rose is the only one to hear Donna's remark and she has to bite her lip to refrain from laughing. She knows that she likes this Donna right away.
"Well, Donna," interjects Pete, "why don't we go check out your new office?"
The Doctor tugs on Rose's hand and urges her to follow them as he's not quite yet ready to let Donna leave his sight. They make their way inside the building to the elevator and Rose is very intrigued to note that they head straight to the top floor.
Pete leads them to one of the newly remodeled executive suites at the end of the hall. The office they enter is wide and spacious and the blinds are drawn back to reveal a large window that runs the length of the wall, and a door that leads onto a balcony.
The Doctor looks around and whistles softly. "Wow, Donna! You've done well for yourself! Not bad for a temp, eh?"
Donna whirls around to face him. "Oi! What are you talking about Spaceman? Get your head out of orbit! I'm not a temp!"
The Doctor's confusion intensifies as he questions, "Then what are you doing here?"
Pete shoots the Doctor a warning look and explains, "Doctor, Rose…Donna is our new Director of Alien Artifacts."
"Director?" squawks the Doctor.
Donna slowly approaches the Doctor and enunciates each word as if she were speaking to a small child. "Yes. I am the new Director of Alien Technology. I understand that you're a frequent visitor to the department. In the future, if you want to requisition anything, you will have to go through me."
For once, the Doctor is struck dumb. Both Pete and Rose glance at each other in amusement. She may be Donna's parallel, but the Doctor having to answer to any version of a former companion? Priceless!
Pete clears his throat and indicates a huge stack of papers on Donna's desk. "Your secretary received the message that you left on his voicemail and pulled out all of the forms that you requested. I passed him in the parking lot right before the blast and asked him to take care of a few things for me. He should be returning shortly."
Pete cautiously side-steps the Doctor and begins to walk backwards to the door. "I'll leave you to sort things out with the Doctor and then I'll meet you and Rose by the elevator."
The Doctor and Rose watch Pete spin on his heel and rush out of the room. They turn their attention to Donna who is watching the Doctor with a predatory smile.
Donna takes him by the elbow and leads him over to her desk. "Doctor, these forms are for you to fill out. They cover all of the previous items that have been removed from Torchwood's archives without permission or notification."
The Doctor gapes at the sight of the paper stack, his mouth repeatedly opening and closing like a fish. Finally, he is able to gasp, "What?"
Donna replies, "I'll need every form filled out on both sides and in triplicate."
"What?" cries the Doctor.
"And please make sure that my secretary receives them all by the end of the day", she orders.
"What?" he asks in a petulant whine.
Donna offers him a saccharine smile as she breezes past him and walks over to Rose. "Shall we join Pete?"
Rose looks back over her shoulder to offer him a sympathetic smile and then leans toward Donna and whispers, "I think that I'm going to like working with you, Donna Noble."
Donna flashes a wide smile before linking arms with Rose and exiting the office, leaving the Doctor behind with his daunting task.
****Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock****
Tap. Tap. Tap. The Doctor taps the pen repeatedly on the desk before he continues to the next section. Tap. Tap. Tap. He gazes at the clock and finishes the last section.
As he places the paper into the 'finished' tray and reaches for the next one, he pulls his hand back with a growl and watches blood drip onto the desk. Another bloody paper cut!
Drip. Drip. Drip. Blood. Anger. Revenge. All of them present but the last one. At least not yet, he thinks with a smirk.
Requisitions. Protocol. Bureaucracy. Somewhere out there, the Brigadier is laughing at me. He sighs.
How could Donna do this to him? His Donna never would have done this to him and enjoyed it. Oh, well, maybe she would have but then they would have laughed about it and she would have helped him! Super Temp. The Doctor Donna. He missed her.
The office door suddenly swings open and the Doctor looks up hoping to see Rose ready to assist him. Instead, he sees her carrying a styrofoam container. The Doctor's face instantly sports a grimace and he greets, "Oh. It's you."
"That's right," she returns with a smirk, "it's me. It is just my office after all. How are you coming along with that paperwork?"
The Doctor decides to take the high road and pushes his glasses up on his face as he studies the next form. He curtly answers, "Slowly."
Seconds pass before the Doctor promptly jumps out of his chair and with eyes flashing, he bellows, "I am much too important to be stuck with this paperwork, Donna Noble! I have saved civilizations and universes in the time that it has taken me to fill out this pile of forms! Our world might need saving and we'll never know it because of this seemingly ceaseless, never-ending pile of bureaucratic malarkey that is taking ages!" He slams his hands down on the desk at the end of his speech to emphasize his point.
Donna merely stares at him, places her hands on her hips and informs him, "It's only been ten minutes!"
The Doctor slinks back down into his chair, inch by inch, as Donna having lost all patience with him, finally explodes. "I can't believe that a scientist of your caliber is unable to summon up enough patience and determination to work his way through a stack of papers! Papers, mind you, that would not have needed to accumulate if you had simply documented their retrieval every time that you nicked something!"
She straightens up to look down at him and asks with a sneer, "What's with the attitude anyway? Suffering a bit of PMT, are we?"
The Doctor stares at her, blinks once and then answers, "Oh, right. Thanks for reminding me." He reaches into his suit pocket and pulls out a small vial and dumps two tablets into his hand. Mmmm. I knew the MiDonnal would go down easier with a chocolate coating. Hmmm. This is keyed into Donna's DNA. I wonder if I could slip them into her coffee and tell her that we use mocha creamer.
The Doctor hasn't looked away once from Donna during his inner monologue, leading Donna to assess his manner and mental status and quickly arrive at only one conclusion. Weirdo.
The Doctor comes back to himself and asks, "So, will you be staying long? I could really use some help."
Donna almost looks sympathetic as she says, "No, sorry. I just had to grab a few files before I head off to a lunch meeting. You better hurry up if you want to grab any lunch at the canteen. It's a zoo down there. I just managed to grab the last piece of banana cream pie."
She gives him one last glance over her shoulder and says, "See you later."
Eyes alight with The Oncoming Storm, the Doctor grits out, "Not if I see you first." Tap. Tap. Tap.
****Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock****
Once again, the office door opens but the Doctor is too exhausted to raise his head. A timid voice asks, "Excuse me? Doctor?"
The Doctor wearily looks up at the man behind the voice and sees…Jack Harkness! This truly is the day for shocks, he hopes that his one heart can take it.
"Jack?" he questions softly. "Do you know who I am?"
"Of course I do, Sir", replies Jack with a warm smile as he shifts an armful of files and his lunch bag into one arm so that he can shake the Doctor's hand. "Miss Noble left a message for me that you would be working in here today."
Oh,yeah. Of course. Parallels. Right, recalls the Doctor. He pushes his disappointment aside and musters a smile as he takes Jack's hand. "Pleased to meet you, Jack."
Jack notes that the Doctor's manic mood that Director Tyler warned him about is absent and in place is a sullen and defeated expression. He smiles kindly and offers, "Can I help you with that?"
The Doctor looks up with pleading eyes and begs, "Please! This task is insurmountable! I've lost all hope, all pride!" He clutches the hem of Jack's suit jacket as he steps closer and whimpers, "I will grovel at your knees if you will only help me!"
Jack sets his lunch and files on the desk and then gently pries the Doctor's hands off of him. He reaches for the finished stack of papers to judge his progress and replies, "Not a problem, Sir. I'll be glad to assist you. How long have you been working on these?"
The Doctor drops his head onto the desk and mumbles, "Forever." He raises his head with a glassy-eyed stare and states, "Rose promised me her forever. Instead, I got this."
Jack looks at him with concern before noticing the start time that the Doctor scrawled on the first form. He takes a quick glance at the clock and puts the papers back in the tray. "Sir, it's been twenty minutes."
A blank stare his only response, Jack declares, "Well, that's enough time for any man to go mad."
With hair sticking out in every direction and his wild-eyed stare meeting Jack's gaze, he exclaims, "Exactly! Finally! A man who sees reason!"
Jack walks around the desk and pulls up another chair to sit alongside the Doctor. His eyes are shining with gratitude as he clasps both of Jack's hands and utters, "Bless you."
Jack laughs softly and says, "No worries. I'll have this sorted out in no time. I'll just need a few details here and there and your signature on each page."
"Oh, I see," says the Doctor in a disheartened voice. "So I still need to be here then?" he asks in obvious disappointment.
"If you could please," answers Jack rather dryly with a pointed stare. "It really is the only way that we'll be able to accomplish everything."
The Doctor looks put out and huffs, "If I must." He looks pitying at Jack and inquires, "So have you met Donna yet?"
"Miss Noble?" replies Jack with a small sigh. "Yeah, I met her at orientation. We attended the same training sessions but I still haven't been able to make more than a passing acquaintance."
"Well, just be on your guard. When it comes to Donna Noble, she has more bite than a Plasmavore."
Jack's brow furrows at that reference and he remarks, "I don't know what that means but I agree with you about her bite. She had several confrontations with the instructors during the training sessions and there wasn't much after she was done with them." Jack shudders at the memory. "She was magnificent!"
"Excuse me?" asks the Doctor as he is sure that he must have misheard him.
Jack shuffles through the paperwork and states matter-of-factly, "She's the most amazing woman that I've ever met. Frankly Doctor, I fell in love with her at first sight."
"What?" sputters the Doctor. "How is that even possible? You're so, so, so…," the Doctor waves his hands around trying to indicate Jack's calming nature and gentle mannerisms, "and Donna's so, so, so…," shaking his fists angrily in the air.
"I know," replies Jack dreamily. "Her forceful nature reveals her fire, spirit and passion." He continues to separate the paperwork into shorter and more manageable stacks. "She's incredible."
The Doctor watches Jack in stunned silence. Unbelievable. He's so different from the Jack in our old universe.
"Plus," Jack confides with a slight blush, "I kind of like the way she scares me."
Okay, concludes the Doctor. Maybe not so different after all.
The Doctor finally notices the brown bag sitting on top of the files and realizes that he's causing Jack to miss his lunch as well. "Sorry to interrupt your lunch, Jack. I really do appreciate all of your help."
Jack assures him, "It's honestly not a problem, we'll be done here in about an hour." He frowns in concern and questions, "Have you had anything to eat yet?"
When the Doctor shakes his head in the negative, Jack grabs his bag and opens it. "Here, we can share it. I hope that you like banana cream pie."
The Doctor beams as he takes the pie off of him and regards it with deep longing. "Jack Harkness, I think that this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
****Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock****
One hour later, minus the paper cuts and panic attacks, the Doctor places the last finished form in the tray. "We're done! We did it! Everybody lives!" he shouts as he bounces around the room.
Jack laughs out loud at the sight of the Doctor dancing around the room, he's glad to see him so happy. The Doctor runs over to his desk and hops up to seat himself on the edge.
The Doctor slaps his hand down on the desk and proclaims, "Jack, you're a lifesaver! I don't know what I would have done without you! If you ever need anything, please let me know."
Jack shifts uncomfortably in his chair and timidly glances up at the Doctor. He clears his throat nervously and refuses to meet the Doctor's eyes as he tells him, "I don't have all that much experience with women. In fact, when I say not all that much, I mean basically none at all."
The Doctor's eyebrows practically shoot up into his hairline at this statement but he nods his head and urges Jack to continue.
Jack, flushing with obvious embarrassment, mumbles, "Could you please give me some advice on women?" He lifts his head and displays the same pleading expression that the Doctor wore not one hour ago. "I'm just so desperate to win Donna's heart."
The manic grin that Jack has heard so much about finally makes an appearance on the Doctor's face. He lays a comforting hand on Jack's shoulder and states, "Well, I'm not exactly Cassanova, but I think that together we can figure something out."
Something akin to hope flare's in Jack's eyes while he watches the Doctor tug on his ear as he gazes at the ceiling, lost deep in thought. He's heard great things about this man, he hopes that he's as brilliant as they say he is.
"Jack", announces the Doctor suddenly, "I don't usually have a ready plan but I do believe that I have some ideas to win a lady's heart." He leans in closer and they begin to conspire. "Now here's what we're going to do…"
Next Chapter: Meeting The Family