Prompt: "Handy comes into being as we saw him, but he's really a kid in a young man's body."
Warning: this is NOT a Ten/Rose fic, so please do not think it is. In fact Rose fans should maybe skip this story altogether.
Summary: Set after the events of JE, where Donna left the TARDIS with the Duplicate Doctor in tow, the Doctor runs into his best friend.
Disclaimer: I own the DVDs but not much else.
A/N: this started as another light-hearted film rip-off and then veered into something else entirely different for the Alternative Handy Fic Challenge set by tkelparis.
A/N2: You might be able to detect a strong reference to my days as a massive Mel Gibson fan…
Just Around The Corner
The Doctor was on his way to Jervon-D when the TARDIS went funny hat on him and threw him completely off course. Stepping out of the TARDIS he was shocked to find himself standing outside Wilf's shed on his allotment, having narrowly missed a particularly fine row of parsnips.
Not only that, but Wilf was standing looking back at him with an equal amount of shock on his face before a large smile broke out on his aged face.
"Doctor? Is that you?" Wilf asked with glee; almost dancing a little jig. "Hello lad!"
"Hello, Wilf! How is everyone?" the Doctor answered in return, grasping Wilf's offered hand and shaking it firmly.
"Not so bad, thanks! It's been a bit quiet since Donna and your son moved out; but as I said, fine," Wilf instantly offered.
Son? "Donna and who?" he demanded to know.
Wilf waved a hand vaguely as he tried to recall the correct words. "You know… your Tim! He's a case, isn't he? Gets up to all sorts of tricks, making Sylvia laugh at his antics. I don't think I've ever seen her laugh so much."
"Do you mean the metacrisis when you say Tim?" the Doctor queried bluntly.
Wilf looked confused for some moments, and then exploded with joyous understanding. "Of course, you wouldn't know what Donna named him!" he realised. "My girl has been such a good mother to him; said she wanted to make it up to him for having to leave you."
The Doctor spluttered his protest. "They did not have to leave; they chose to leave! There is plenty of room onboard the TARDIS; they knew that!"
"They also knew that your Rose was staying with you. Donna said she can be a bit possessive," Wilf countered conspiratorially, in their defence.
His Rose? The Doctor moved his head from side to side, grimacing as he fought to disagree. "Oh, alright! Yes, she is a bit possessive, and wanted them out; but she didn't insist on it!"
"Donna knew she felt that way nevertheless," Wilf pointed out, feeling that he ought to continue to defend her decision. "The pair of them couldn't stick around knowing they weren't completely welcome with your Rose."
The Doctor guiltily dropped his gaze. Had Rose made her misgivings that evident? He'd honestly thought Donna was merely being over sensitive to Rose's possessive streak. "She wouldn't listen to reason where they are concerned; but I'm working on it," he quietly promised.
"Yes, I can see you are," Wilf tritely replied, but he wasn't one to bear a grudge. He patted the Doctor consolingly on the back. "I suppose you could do with a cup of tea. Come down, and I'll fill you in with all the details."
A couple of hours later the Doctor found himself standing outside an imposing office block, waiting for Donna to emerge as she went on her way home. He really hoped Wilf had got it right, and that she would be willing to talk to him. He was just pondering the probability of that when Donna appeared in front of him, clearly experiencing mixed emotions at seeing him. He had wanted to instantly hug her but felt he'd better not in the circumstances, especially as he didn't fancy a repeat performance of their first ever meeting. "Hello, Donna… How are you?" the Doctor stammered out.
"Older," she answered. "And you? Still picking up random women?"
"Oh... you know, just meeting people," he answered vaguely.
"What's her name?" she asked knowingly.
"It was erm…" He suddenly looked sheepish. "It was Martha again for a while; but now it's… erm…just Rose."
Donna quirked a sceptical eyebrow. "I'm surprised Rose let Martha anywhere near you. Is she still as jealous of anything that crawls?"
"No! She's just trying to make a difference in the universe. She has ambitions," he defended her.
"I bet she does," Donna replied sarcastically. "So come on then, what sort of ambitions does she have that doesn't involve tying you to her?"
"She erm… she wants to be a singer. And she quite fancies trying to make it big as an actress," he supplied.
Donna snorted her derision. "I wish her luck with that. Unfortunately every other remotely pretty girl wants to do all that, but at least she has you to influence people."
"I can but try," he answered. "I'm disappointed in you though; it isn't like you to be so mean about someone!"
Donna's anger visibly deflated with a sigh. "I know; you're right. I'm sorry for sounding so off. It's cheap and I can't help being angry about her." After some moments, she added, "You're still looking the same. Not exactly a shocker that one…"
"Thanks. So… What about you? What have you been up to since I last saw you?" he asked.
She fixed him with a beady look. "No doubt Gramps has told you all about the fun Tim and I have had. I had to move him out of Mum's place because he kept breaking stuff; and I have to use camping crockery and cutlery because I've never known anyone who can destroy things like he can. To think I thought you were accident prone!" she said with a fond sigh.
"Can I see him?" he softly asked.
"I don't see why not," she told him. "You have the right to see your own son once in a while. Just don't build his hopes up; that's all I ask."
The Doctor offered her his arm in invitation as they walked. "Why, what's the problem?"
"I suppose I ought to warn you, he's not as you last saw him. He wasn't quite all the ticket then but he deteriorated rapidly when we left the TARDIS, as if he left behind a vital part of his cognitive processes," she added the last part reluctantly to her explanation. "I suppose having your link with her torn away like that; and then having to deal with my mental shenanigans would have caused more than a few brain cells to fry."
"Why didn't you tell me? I could have helped him!" the Doctor grumbled loudly at her.
"I did!" she spat back. "I left message after message on your phone; and the only time I ever got a reply it was Rose telling me to stop harassing you."
"She did?" he asked, clearly stunned at this revelation as he halted their progress. "I'm so sorry, Donna. I didn't know; I swear I didn't."
Donna raised a sceptical eyebrow at him. "Yeah, well you can explain all that to Tim when you meet him. Do you want to come home with me to pick him up from where he works at Currys?"
"Try stopping me," he told her sincerely. "In fact, let's go now."
The Doctor stood back as Donna waited by the rear door of the shop. The door swished open, held there by a middle-aged man. "There you go, Tim," he said to someone to his side.
"Thank you, Mr Prescott," a familiar voice replied. A man who still looked like the Doctor but wore a blue and fluorescent purple uniform, bound out whilst waving cheerily at Donna, and then embraced her fervently. "Mum! I'm so glad to see you. Today has been absolute rubbish!" he declared in petulant tones. "I had to re-stack the computer games three times and an old woman accused me of being too cheeky."
Donna hugged him back, and lovingly kissed his forehead after sweeping back his long fringe. "Never mind, love. Tim, I've got a nice surprise that might make it all better for you," she said fondly.
He beamed happily back at her as he released some of his tight hold. "Are we going to McDonald's for dinner?" he eagerly asked. "I can ask if they're got the Transformer I want."
"No, that isn't the surprise," she said as she laughed, gripping his hands. "Hopefully you'll think it's even better than that!"
Judging by the expression on his face there wasn't much else that could be better. "I don't know, Mum. Where are you taking me?" he asked cautiously. "You aren't taking me back to that horrible Dr Kennedy, are you? I don't want to go back," he whined.
"Don't worry! I said I'd never take you back there and I meant it," she soothed him with a tender touch to his shoulder. She then nodded her head towards a point behind her. "Your surprise is over there, Tim," she told him.
Confounded, he looked to where she had indicated, and spotted the Doctor standing some feet away. "Dad! Is that really my dad?" he wondered in awe. He risked a glance at Donna to see if he was seeing correctly and then sprinted towards the Doctor. "Dad! Dad! It's my Dad!" he yelled out in excitement; and engulfed the Doctor in a huge hug.
The Doctor fought to stay upright whilst he chuckled at his enthusiasm, and returned the embrace. "It's me, Tim," he finally confirmed. "It's definitely me."
Tim let out a happy squeak and increased his hold. "Mum said you probably wouldn't come back now, but I told her you would," he said, and then turned his attention onto Donna. "Didn't I, Mum? I said Dad would come to see me."
She smiled reassuringly back at him. "Yes, you did."
Tim let out a little sob, and Donna was instantly at his side, wiping away a tear or two with a handkerchief she had produced from her coat pocket. "I've got my dad back," he proclaimed in a wavering voice, and promptly burst into tears.
Donna gently shushed him, and drew him into her arms. "It's alright, darling. He won't go away and leave you again for ages. I promise," She told him in soft tones, and tenderly kissed his cheek. "Do you believe me?"
Tim nodded his agreement, not trusting himself to speak.
"Should we get him into the car, Donna?" the Doctor asked. He still had a hold of one of Tim's hands, unwillingly to let go of this broken soul or let him feel any embarrassment.
"Come on," Donna said to Tim, trying to cheer him along. "Shall we make this even better and use the drive-through?"
"Can we?" he asked in a small, delighted voice. "Yes please! I bagsy the front seat!" And he grinned with happiness all the way there.