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If you must, then by all means

...but if I must, then I want a new leader

October 2nd, 2011

Living the High Life - Part 2 @ 10:51 pm

Feeling: thoughtful thoughtful

Title: Living the High Life - Part 2/5
Rating: PG -PG13
Genre: Drama, Comedy (or trying for anyway), and some Angst
Characters: Ten, Donna, implied Ten/Rose
Word Count: 3,765
Summary: While traveling with Donna, Ten accidentally ingests an alien hallucinogenic that makes him believe Donna is actually Rose. Forced into an awkward situation with a suddenly happy and bestotted Time Lord, she will have to make a decision that could involve breaking his heart all over again.
Notes: Thanks for all response for that first chapter! I'm pleased that other people besides myself and coffeecupcakesx are enjoying the idea. I hope you all enjoy part 2. :)

Chapter 2: A matter of perspective
Martha Jones was having an excellent Saturday afternoon if she did say so herself. Tom was on one of his tours helping impoverished towns in third world countries, her parents were off on an impromptu holiday, and her brother and sister were otherwise occupied as well. Rather than spend the day working on wedding plans as she knew she should, Martha decided she had earned a well deserved break on this rare family free day. By one o'clock she had already taken in a tour at the National History Museum, enjoyed a relaxing trip to the salon, and was just contemplating where she would like to dine out for lunch when her mobile rang.

Given that she knew her family was busy that day, she pulled the mobile out of her pocket with no small amount of curiosity; smiling when she read the name on the display. It seemed oddly appropriate that her new friend and current companion to the Doctor would call her after she'd spent the morning thinking about time at the museum. Still, as she flipped the phone open, she couldn't help but worry slightly. The Doctor and Donna had been on Earth no more than a few weeks back and while the pair of them had chatted by mobile since their departure, it was often to talk about whatever trip the Doctor had been able to muck up for Donna. Even if that was the case though, it would take more then that to ruin her good mood and all around lovely day.

"Hey Donna," Martha greeted brightly, "Didn't expect to hear from you so soon. Everything alright?"

"No, everything is not flippin' alright," Donna hissed into her ear, "The Doctor's gone bonkers Martha he thinks..." Martha held her breath during Donna's pause, trying not to assume the worst. Surely Donna would sound more than just peeved if the Doctor had actually gone mad?

When her new friend replied though, the anger from a moment before had been replaced with a type of anguish, "He thinks I'm Rose."

Martha could feel her brain actually shut down for a moment as she attempted to process what Donna had just said.

Five seconds later the best she could offer up was a disbelieving, "What?"

"Oh you know who I mean," Donna huffed now, "'Her name was Rose.' 'I lost her.' Used to travel about with him? That Rose."

Martha felt the shadow of her old jealousy towards the woman rise up at Donna's words, but they were easily swept aside. She'd long since gotten over her crush on the Doctor and jealously over a woman that was, by the Doctor's own words, impossible to get to was just silly. "Yeah," Martha finally felt her brain kick into gear once more now that the shock had faded, "I know her, or I know who you mean anyway. What do you mean he thinks you're her? How is that possible?"

"After all the traveling we've done to date I'm beginning to wonder what isn't possible," Donna remarked, "Short of it is though that we were suppose to visit this nice peaceful planet, got treated to some nasty looking porridge as a welcoming gift, but of course the berries in it are some type of medicine on whatever planet spaceman comes from and he barely gets out a warning that they might cause him to hallucinate when he up and passes out on me! I had to drag that streak of nothing all the way back to the Tardis, awkward limbs and all, and what do I get as thanks? Himself thinking I'm his lost love and acting like personal space is not a concept that exists in that brain of his!"

"Wow," Martha blinked before developing a small smirk on her face from Donna's rant, "Tell me how you really feel then yeah?" Sensing this might take a bit to resolve, Martha walked over to a secluded bit of wall that she could lean against and talk on the phone in relative privacy.

Donna sighed, "Sorry, I didn't mean to go on like that it's just…I don't know much about this Rose, just that he lost her, and if you could just see how he acts now that he thinks I'm her…"

"Does he remember you at all?" Martha asked. Her mind had already been brainstorming what could be wrong with the Doctor from Donna's limited information, and she didn't want to make any assumptions without gathering more facts. Her medical knowledge of a Time Lord was limited of course but, that didn't mean she couldn't pinpoint a drug that had similar effects for humans based off his symptoms.

A frustrated huff came from her ear piece. "I just told you, he thinks I'm Rose," Donna stated.

"Yes, I know that. What I mean is, did he ask about you, Donna, separately, or is he acting like you're not even there at all?" Martha pressed.
"I'm not really sure," Donna admitted slowly, "He hasn't asked about me personally yet, but he wasn't in here for long before running off saying he wanted to get chips from London. Probably shouldn't really chat much longer come to think of it. I get the feeling he'll be wondering why I've not followed along after."

Knowing it would be best for her to see the Doctor's symptoms first hand; she encouraged Donna to along with that plan, telling her the current date and time to try and aim for. "If he's taking you to the chip shop that he liked to visit with me then I can be there in thirty," Martha informed her, pushing off her bit of wall and making towards the nearest bus stop. "Call or text me when you land so we can meet."

"Alright, I can manage that," Donna confirmed.

"And Donna, don't try and force him out of the illusion," Martha warned, "People that suffer from visual hallucinations aren't typically thinking properly alright? I don't know how it is for Time Lords but if they're anything like humans then he could react violently if you act too strangely or try to physically pull him out of his delusion."

There was a long pause of silence from the other end that concerned Martha, but before she could voice her fears of what Donna might try, her friend spoke up. "I'll try," the woman replied, "Telling him I wasn't Rose didn't do anything earlier of course but I've no idea how to act like his Rose, and I'm not sure I can take it if he gets all handsy with me. Did you know her at all?

The old Martha would've given almost anything to be in that position of course, but now she just felt pity and concern for her newest friend. "Never met her either," Martha informed her, "Can't say I know much about her except what I learned from-" An idea came to her then and she almost hit herself for not thinking of it sooner. Seeing the bus pull up to the stop, she started jogging slightly so she could catch it and quickly wrapped up her chat with Donna. "Look I've got another call to make, but hopefully I'll see you in a bit. Bye."
Donna frowned as she closed her phone. It wasn't much to go with, but it was certainly a start. Not wanting her absence to noticed, she quickly made her way to the console room. It was further down the hall than when she'd brought the Doctor inside about an hour ago, but she didn't think about it for long as the Doctor turned to look at her as soon as she walked in.

His smile was wide and the joy of her just walking in the room was reflected in his eyes. Donna couldn't think of any time a man had actually looked at her like that before and it was with a pang to her heart that she acknowledged that she really still hadn't. The smile she offered back seemed pale and forced by comparison, but the Doctor didn't seem to think so. "Come along Ms. Tyler," he beckoned her, drawing out the title so that it buzzed teasingly, "Saved my favorite navigator a seat right up front." The Doctor gave the captain's chair a light pat that made Donna smirk in amusement.

"Right, 'cause it's not like it isn't the only chair in the whole room or anything," she retorted, giving his form a wide berth before plopping herself down in said chair.

"All part of my master design," the Doctor grinned back before giving her a cheeky wink. Donna had to bite her lip to keep from out right laughing. Was this how it had been for them? All teasing and smiles? It gave her the distinct feeling that they'd been one of those nauseatingly happy couples from the outside. Still, it certainly explained why he felt his little comments and jokes were cute. Rose had clearly been his enabler in that regard.

Thankfully, further thoughts on the Doctor's relationship was cut off as the man in question began a slightly more energetic dance around the console as the ship began to take flight. Having no idea how to get the Doctor to land on the date she need them to go in order to meet Martha left her with quietly pleading with the ship to get them where they needed to be. Asking in the med bay hadn't done her much good earlier, but she was willing to give this communicating with the ship one more go after having a room moved around while she'd been in it.
There was a severe shift in gravity that left Donna giving out a yelp of surprise as she was thrown from her position on the chair – only to be swiftly caught by the Doctor's arms. The position he held was not a stable one though and as he pulled one last lever, the pair of them ended up crashed on the floor; Donna secured on top of him by a firm grip on her hips. All she could think about was how she really hoped that was one of his boney hips sticking her in the side as he winked saucily at her again, "What'd I tell you, all part of the plan."

Donna was frozen by the fact that he was actually flirting with her long enough for him to lean up towards her face for a kiss. Alarms went off in her mind, and she quickly rolled off the alien with a forced laugh, "So you did." She brushed off imaginary dust as she stood, reigning in her mess of emotions as she did so. A glance over at the Doctor showed his confused form looking up at her from the grating, and Donna grasped for anything to help change the topic. "I believe you, uh, said something about chips," she offered up with a mental cringe. This was going to be much harder than she thought if he kept putting her in these situations.

"Right," the Doctor leapt off the floor in one smooth motion, "I know better than to get between you and your chips." The smile he gave her wasn't as large as some of his others, but had an upbeat note to it that made her feel better about her topic change. "Off we go then," he remarked as he moved past her down the ramp and opened the door. As Donna stepped out behind him, closing the door as she did, she almost jumped out of her skin when she felt his chilly hand intertwine with hers. Right, well that answered one of her questions from earlier. Still, this wasn't bad. Hand holding. Fine, she could go with that. Kissing? …well he'd better not try it again was all she had to say about that.

As they walked, Donna tried her best to figure out what the date was. A few blocks down, a man on the corner reading the paper made her sigh with relief. She was never going to call that crazy ship of his silly or inferior ever again. It was just the day she need it to be. The Doctor was rambling on about something or other about London as the walked the short distance to the chippy and Donna did her best to smile and nod along where appropriate. He seemed to by buying her act for the most part, but there were a few occasions where he would shoot her an inquisitive look like she wasn't reacting quite like he thought she should.

By the time they got a table in the chippy, Donna was finally able to glance at a clock to see what time it was. Half one. Martha should already be here then. With the Doctor leaving to place their order, she did her best to casually look around the place. It was just past the lunch rush but still fairly packed and Donna found herself twisting about in her seat to try and see around everyone. Sadly, no view of her friend could be found by the time the Doctor, orders in hand, returned a few minutes later with a smile that clearly said he was right pleased with himself.

"Here we are Rose," he placed her styrofoam container down with a flourish, "One order of hot chips. Even got the newest batch fresh from the fryer."

Donna did her best not to scowl down at what she was guessing was Rose's favorite food. Food that was likely to go to her already big enough hips thanks. Giving the Doctor her best smile, she opened her container and popped one of the greasy bits of potato in her mouth. There was no need to fake her sound of appreciation at that first bite as Donna had to give the Doctor credit, these were brilliant chips. His beaming smile was back in place as he dug into his food as well, liberally applying vinegar after his first few bites. Between the food and the busy atmosphere of the place, Donna was finally able to relax a bit as she didn't feel the need to put up an appearance for the first time in a few hours.

This was of course when Martha decided to slide up from behind her and nearly scare her out of her seat.

"Rose!" The woman smiled widely, "Fancy running into you here. How are you?"

Donna held a hand on her chest to steady herself, "God Martha. Give a girl some warning next time would you?"

"Sorry, I couldn't resist," Martha teased, even going so far as to steal one of her chips. Donna did nothing to hide the scowl she gave her friend. There was no need for Martha to play it up this much, was there?

"Friend of yours?" the Doctor inquired, and Donna looked at him for the first time since Martha had shown up. He was smiling pleasantly and looking at Martha with a casual curiosity. There was absolutely no hint of recognition at all.

"Er, yeah," Donna offered lamely, "My mate, Martha. Martha this is the Doctor."

Martha grinned mischievously, "Oh this is your Doctor eh? Don't know why you don't bring him around more often; he seems like a bit of alright to me."

"Martha!" Donna scolded her and she was about to rebuke her under her breath for taking things to far…when she caught sight of the Doctor out of the corner of her eye. He was actually preening from the complement! Donna felt her jaw drop for a moment before she gathered her wits. Right, now…how to get the Doctor away from them so they could chat about how to fix things.

Figuring it was best to give Martha a taste of her own medicine, Donna batted at her friend's arm, "I'll thank you to keep your hands to yourself, and I'm not just talking about my chips."

Martha smiled and held her hands up in surrender before looking over at the Doctor, "I know I'm barging in on your lunch Doctor, but is it alright if I steal Rose for a little while? We haven't seen each other in awhile, thanks to all that traveling you take her on, and we have got some gossip to catch up with."

She caught Donna's eye as she raised her left hand for her to see, and it took only a few seconds for her to catch on to the one sure fire way to get rid of any bloke. "Oh my god you're engaged!" she gasped dramatically before pulling her friend into a hug, "You have to tell me all about it. Who is he? What's he like?"

The Doctor made a small grimace, though he hid it quickly, before standing up to leave. "Right, Rose, I'll just be…," he made a vague waving motion with his hand towards where she knew the Tardis was parked, "fixing things for a bit, but feel free to stay and chat."

Donna watched as his mask of nonchalance fell back into place at his acceptance of having to leave her side and after seeing him at his happiest these past few hours, she decided to throw him a bone. She quickly stood, blocking his path, "Thanks Doctor. I won't make you wait long." Then, before she could chicken out on it, she rocked forward on her toes and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. His face was lit with that wide smile again once she pulled back, which after a moment he then turned on Martha, giving her a slight tiling of his body over the table in a mock bow.

"Lovely to meet you," he remarked in parting before making his way out of the chip shop.

Once he was out of her line of sight, Donna slumped back into her chair. "Please tell me you have better news than I have to pretend to be Rose for the rest of my life, cause I don't think I can take it," she begged, munch on some of the now cold chips, "I'm already gonna need to soak for a week just to feel clean again with the way he's been acting with me." Donna had a dreaded suspicion that hand holding and kisses on the cheek would not last her long if that display in the console room was anything to go by.

Martha moved to sit across from her while she'd moped, and the sad look on her face did nothing to reassure Donna's fears. "I can't be exactly sure," Martha started slowly, "But from what you've told me and how he was acting, it sounds like the effects of those berries for Time Lords are similar to diphenhydramine for humans. Visual, audio, and reinforced - thanks to your physical presence - tangible hallucinations. 'Course I've no idea if it's exactly the same or not but if it is, then you're looking at no more than few days until it works completely out of his system." Donna watched her pick off the last few chips before giving a soft chuckle, "I do not pity what you might have to go through until then, 'cause you were right you know. He's just so…"

"Happy?" Donna offered and Martha nodded in agreement, "I know. It's the only thing keeping me from slapping him if he tries to get handsy with me like he did earlier."

Martha's eyes widened, "He tried to-"

"Oi!" Donna broke her off with a scowl and a pointed finger, "Nothing that filthy I'll thank you! I could just do with less of his intimate touches and attempts to kiss me is all."

"I don't know," Martha smirked with a mysterious twinkle in her eye, "He's not a bad kisser. You might like it."

Donna's face screwed up in disgust at the idea before shaking her head, "Mad Martha is what you are. Don't know how you could ever fancy that bit of nothing." Giving a sigh she looked back across at her friend, "So is there any good news you can give me? I've no idea how to act like Rose, and I know he could tell something was off when we were walking over. I don't think I can do this for more than a few hours, let alone days."

Her friend smiled widely at her and stood up from the table, motioning for Donna to follow, "I do actually." Curious as to where they could be going, Donna was on Martha's heels as the young woman led her out of the chippy and in the opposite direction of the Tardis. "Remember how I said I don't know much about Rose?" Martha began, continuing when she saw Donna nod in acknowledgement, "It's not 'cause the Doctor never mentioned her when I was aboard. She was the ghost that haunted all our interactions really. Things like, 'Rose would know what to do' you know?"

Donna scoffed, "I would have smacked him if he said something rude like that to me."

Martha sent her a quick sad smile before looking ahead again. "I suppose I should've yeah but, anyway, I didn't learn much about her when we were traveling. What I do know," she turned to push open the door of a pub, "I learned after I came back to finish my doctorate and had a few meet ups with another acquaintance of the Doctor's."

"Really?" Donna asked, surprised that Martha had even met another of the Doctor's companions. If she hadn't been introduced to Martha or told what little she knew about Rose, Donna wasn't sure she ever would've known the Doctor had traveled with anyone else before.
Her fellow companion smiled and stopped before a booth in the back of the pub, gesturing an arm at the sole occupant inside. The man wore a blue coat of some sort and was relaxing with his arms over the back of the booth cushion. When she locked eyes with him, he shot her a grin that caused butterflies to jolt around inside of her. Strong chin, devilish good looks, gorgeous eyes, and a firm build from what she could see – now he was a bit of alright.

"Hi," he almost purred at her, extending a hand for her to grasp, "I'm Captain Jack Harkness."

Part 1
Part 3    Part 4
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 3rd, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm really enjoying this story! I can't wait to see what role Jack will play in all this!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 3rd, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm enjoying writing it ^_^ Oh Jack. He'll be doing what he does best of course. ;)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 3rd, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Things just got better! I'm curious to see what Rose and the Doctor's relationship was, in your story. Were they just becoming a couple, was the Doctor just initiating things with 'Rose' when he and Donna fell? What? I'm so excited to see that you've posted again! Can't wait for more!
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 3rd, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
I was actually a little worried when posted this how people would react since I don't feel much happened so I'm glad you enjoyed it! Per the guidelines of the prompt, Doctor/Rose relationship was to be a fact, but yes, as to where they were in that relationship...well you'll just have to wait a bit to find out. ;)

Planning on detailing and writing part 3 tomorrow so the next one may be up as early as Wed. Depends on how my week goes...
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 5th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)

Ugh, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing an intelligent story featuring all three of the New Who ladies without character assassinating any of them for the shake of shipwars. Such a breath of fresh air!

Anyway, lovely chapter. Clever of Donna to reach out to Dr. Martha, and Martha is asking all the right questions! Although you gave us some clues in Martha's questions and the subsequent convo between all of them, I'm curious to see which direction you decide to go in. The fact that he doesn't recognize Martha and hasn't mentioned Donna points to his hallucination turning back the clock, but I don't know if that's because the hallucination returns you to your "happiest time" etc or if it is just a simpler solution for his hallucinated brain than trying to come up with a way for Rose to miraculously return after Doomsday. The attempted kissing is also interesting, because it could either that him and Rose actually did have a physical relationship at that point, or that the Doctor wishes they had, so he is inserting it into his hallucination/fantasy. (that would be SO SAD!)

Love how quick witted Donna is with this, and how patient/gentle she is with the Doctor. If I were hallucinating, I would want Donna to be my BFF! It is a bit sad though, that all of the Doctor's longing glances are reminding her of the lack of romance in her life. :(

And Jack! I'd say I love to see Jack, but really, who doesn't? I am excited for his "Lessons on how to act like Rose in Season 1", which hopefully don't involve ideas from Jack's secret D/R fanfiction. I hope Jack is excited to work with the Doctor's hot redhead companion. She deserves some attention from someone she finds attractive after having to put up with the Doctor pawing at her!

Also, loved this line: Donna scoffed, "I would have smacked him if he said something rude like that to me."
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 5th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
Okay, starting in the wrong order your review made me equal parts happy and snorting with laughter! XD Indeed, Donna would not have been amused by his emo, we clearly saw this in The Runaway Bride.

So, more in order now.

You're very welcome. I'm a fan of Harry Potter and I just get so tired of finding a fic plot that seems interesting, but then has bushing for what seems like NO LOGICAL REASON, other than to super enforce their chosen ship or becuase it's 'popular'. >.< It's a lot of do not want for me ever and I strive instead to represent the characters as they have been given to us. I only strive to keep them realistically in character in that regard so I am very happy that you are enjoying everyone so far!

I actually did some research while I wrote part one so I knew what type of drug effects I should be going for, and to see if hallucinations this vivid can be accomplished without being schizophrenic. The drug Martha mentions is the one I'm using, though I am tweaking some information to suit Time Lord physiology. ;)

I would so want a BFF like Donna to help me out in this situation! Doing what they need to help you and then releasing their frustrations out when you are not around. That's a great friend. Like the Doctor said, Donna is brilliant. ^_^

Clearly everyone loves Jack! And I was so excited that I had a plausible reason to bring him into this little bit of fiction. I see much bonding happening in this next chapter with the companions (aka The Doctor's worst nightmare) and allowing me to give Jack and Donna some of the marvelous flirting they were denied in the show. XD
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 14th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
I only just found this, I'm terribly behind with the responses from that ficathon. Please tell me there'll be more soon though? I can't wait to see how you resolve all this :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 15th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
Well mine was sort of outside the time window anyway so don't worry about it :)

There will be more soon, I wanted to finish it within a week but classic art dragged me back to it's corner so I didn't get much beyond the story and chapter outlines done. As long as I have time to write part 3 will get done before Sunday is out, with 4 and then finally part 5 following the rest of the week.

Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you're enjoying it :D
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 15th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Meh, I'm the last person to ever try to hold anyone to a deadline, mainly because I'm crap at then, lol.

But I'd love to see where you go with this. So, I can friend you, yes?

[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 15th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
Heh, yeah I know the feeling. XD

Of course! +Added in return :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 15th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
oh I am THE worst when it comes to writing to a deadline, which is why I've never even tried to do a TTU.

My fics come when they want to, and in their own sweet time, and that seems to work for me.

But........I might pester you just a little to finish this, lol.

What can I can say? it has me hooked, so I want to see where you take it and how you resolve it
[User Picture Icon]
Date:October 17th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah...deadlines...goals...my long running Alice/Harry Potter piece still hasn't seen an update in 3 months. This piece seems to be kicking my writing drive back into gear. I've just not had much time to type anything. DX

Feel free to pester all you like! I've set aside time today to write so here's to hoping Part 3 is done in a few hours like the last two parts. :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 14th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh. Poor Donna! XD I'm all "heeeeeeeee!" at the Doctor being to happy and I can't help but laugh out loud at Donna's reactions.

ROFL!!! I KNEW Martha had called Jack. Maybe a bit of flirting with Jack and this will all be worth it? ;)

If you must, then by all means

...but if I must, then I want a new leader