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If you must, then by all means

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

September 28th, 2011

Living the High Life - Part 1 @ 09:03 pm

Feeling: busy busy

I suppose it's a blessing and a curse what happened as I've not written anything in months, but I popped over to the summer fic a thon on then_theres_us to see some of what people had done and one of the unused prompts just started to fill in my mind and this poured out over the last 3ish hours. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come for this coming weekend/week as I planned to do much writing. :)

Title: Living the High Life - Part 1/5
Rating: PG -PG13
Genre: Drama, Comedy (or trying for anyway), and some Angst
Characters: Ten, Donna, implied Ten/Rose
Word Count: 3,625
Summary: While traveling with Donna, Ten accidently injests 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: Summary adapted from the original prompt by coffeecupcakesx
On any other planet, the sight of a woman dragging a man down a trodden dirt path of the village might have been an unusual one, but for the Qu’lix tribe of Viridian Five, these things often happened at half three and they barely gave the pair a glance – much less offer the muttering red haired woman any assistance.
“Would only be polite you said. Don’t want to make enemies on the first peaceful planet you finally managed to bring me to you said,” the red hair women sniped as she came to a stop in front of a large blue box. Releasing the body of a man clad all in brown from her hold around his torso, she rummaged in her pocket before quickly pulling out a key and inserting it into the box. “You said it was always trouble,” the woman remarked to her self with a resigned sigh, “Should’ve known that was going to apply to the good places as well.” With a twist of the key, Donna Noble pushed open the door of the barmy blue space ship she currently called home before bending down to take hold of her companion’s arms, and resume dragging him along.
“As soon as you wake up spaceman, I’m getting you to write down all the things that can knock your skinny arse out like this ever again! You hear me?” she scolded with a few grunts and labored breaths as she pulled the man’s dead weight up the inside ramp; dropping his arms once she’d placed him next to the console of his beloved ship. Panting slightly from the exertion of a day that for once did not include running, Donna worked on catching her breath as she walked back down the ramp to lock the blue doors. She returned to stand by his side, glaring at him for the inconvenience of having to drag him back here even when he wasn’t conscious enough to know she was doing it.
With a final deep breath Donna assumed the familiar half bent position once more, wrapping her arms under his properly this time, and giving a grunt as she felt the weight of the Doctor’s prone form strain her back. “Now where is that bleedin’ med bay you nattered on about? Better not be far or you’ll have to just deal with a sore backside from lying on this grating. Would serve you right if I did just leave you here after the pain my back is feeling, you big dumbo.”
Sometime around noon that day
“Oh come now, where’s your sense of adventure gone Donna Noble?” The Doctor gave her a wide close lipped smile that she’d come to recognize as him teasing her. She pursed her lips at him and placed her hands on her hip giving him her best ‘You are in no way cute or clever’ face.
“Left it on the Tardis thanks. You’ll do well to remember that you said I wouldn’t be needing it here. Just a bit of fun yeah? A nice pleasant day?” Donna crossed her arms in front of her chest now as a physical testament to her refusal.
The Doctor’s smile started to grow into a grin for the briefest of moments before he replied, “Exactly! A perfectly pleasant planet – oh I like that alliteration there – and turning down such hospitality would be down right rude, and I know a thing or two about being rude-“
“Oh I am well aware of that.”
“-so you’ll just have to take my word on it when I say that refusing to partake of the p’linou could very well lead to us being chased out quite angrily on your pleasant no running day.” Acting like he hadn’t heard her interjection, the Doctor gracefully accepted the wooden bowl from the loin cloth wearing blue skinned alien, and held it before her now. She glared at the contents for a moment before directing the look back to the Doctor where it belonged.
“I still say it looks like moldy porridge with berries and can’t taste pleasant in any way,” she stated, but the Doctor remained smiling and hopeful as he waited like he had all the time in the world for her to stick her fingers in the goop – really now, was a spoon that hard to invent? – and eat the nasty looking plynew off ‘em.
“Now you’re just exaggerating Donna. It smells nowhere near as bad as all that.”
The almost naked alien who’d been holding the bowl before spoke up as her hesitance drew out, “We only wish to share happiness, honorable Donna. Please, partake with us.”
Donna pursed her lips again as she flicked a glance between the bowl and the Doctor once more. He smiled back at her, “When in Rome.” She wanted to bite out a remark about how well that trip had gone for them, but she knew that really would be rude and tasteless so she let out a sigh of defeat. Really, the worse that could happen is she might be sick and it would just serve the silly spaceman right if he had to deal with her then.
Lifting a hand over the edge of the bowl, the Doctor smiled wildly at her as he raised his own towards the mixture with her. “That’s more like it! Have to embrace the cultures Donna Noble. Why travel if you don’t want to experience new things, yeah?”
“Yes, yes, you don’t have to rub it in,” Donna mumbled and she couldn’t help returning his smile a little as now that she had resigned herself to eating the mush, she had to it admit it was a bit exciting to try something so strange and unfamiliar. The mush was thankfully warm as Donna stuck a single digit into it a scooped up what she deemed to be a respectful taste before sticking it in her mouth. She made a surprised noise once it hit her taste buds as the dish was quite sweet with the berry she’d snagged adding a nice bitter touch to balance it. Not bad at all really!
Looking back at the Doctor, whose two fingers in his mouth implied a much more adventurous taste; she could see that brain of his analyzing everything as he gave off a pleasant hum. “Oh that’s really quite lovely isn’t it? Base grain sweetened by whatever that moldy looking plant is, which has a similar chemical composition your sucrose plants on Earth, and some local berry mixed it. Brilliant addition that. Really crunchy, and tangy and I’m not quite sure I’ve ever had it before.” He went in for another heaping two fingered scoop, being sure to snag lots of berries, and continued analyzing the components of the dish. “It tastes so familiar though, what is it?” he spoke entirely to himself but the blue alien on her right took it as an address to him and happily answered the Doctor’s question.
“They are not yet fully ripened p’linef berries, from our sacred fields,” Bluie smiled, “Used only for making p’linou to share the happiness of their essence with our guests.”
The Doctor’s eyebrows rose at this revelation as he plucked one more berry from the dish, clearly comparing it to a memory as he nodded in agreement with the man’s words. “P’linef berry, p’linef, p’linef - where have I heard that before?” His face scrunched up as he recalled more of that memory, tugging on his ear for a moment before he froze so completely that Donna began to panic ever so slightly.
“Doctor…” she ventured, “Is everything alright?”
His gaze snapped back to the present then and he glanced at Donna before returning the bowl with a small smile and a bow. “Thanks ever so much, really, it was just lovely; lots of happiness our way to be sure. In fact, I think we should respond in kind, don’t you Donna? Quick pop back into the Tardis to find a suitable little gift for them eh?”
Donna didn’t get a chance to reply however as the Doctor had grabbed her wrist and quickly not quite ran out of the hut they’d been standing about it. “Oi!” she objected and promptly yanked her arm out of his grasp just a few meters away from the hut, “Where do you get off man handling me like that?”
“Look I’m sorry Donna but we’ve got to get back to the Tardis as quickly as possible,” the Doctor insisted, turning back to place a hand on her shoulder now instead to guide her along but she just rolled out of it and blocked his path instead.
“I’m sure whatever you have in mind to give them will be lovely and not going anywhere so why don’t you just explain to me what’s going on instead before I smack you one,” she insisted.
The Doctor ran his hands through his hair in frustration once before blinking and giving a little stumble. Concern flooding her, Donna moved to steady him, but he brushed her away. “Doctor?”
“I’m fine we just, we need to get back to the Tardis, quick as we can,” he insisted. He stumbled once again after just a few meters and didn’t lose his balance, but Donna hovered near by all the same.
“Why?” she inquired as they walked, “What is it? What’s wrong? You went all weird once you heard about the berries. Are they-“ She gasped and stopped before him once more, “Are they poison or somethin’? Am I gonna die?”
The Doctor blinked several times as if trying to focus on her while giving her a look as if she’d just dribbled on her shirt. “What? What? No! Why would you think – no we’ll be fine. Well. When I say we I mean you, in the immediate future anyway, you should be fine, no harm at all, but I. I need to get to the Tardis med bay.”
He tried to walk forward again, but only got a few steps towards Donna before swaying again. “Oh my god, are you poisoned?!”
“What is with your sudden obsession with thinking I’ve been poisoned?” he inquired; his squinting at her in confusion.
“Well pardon me if I happened to get concerned with you suddenly acting like your drunk and can barely walk five feet without needing to have a rest,” she scolded him.
Waving off her concern again, the Doctor continued on his path towards the Tardis, “Which is why we need to hurry Donna as I’d rather not pass out in the middle of the street.” While not pleased with his brush off and unsure whether a dirt path really could be described as a street by any definition, Donna kept pace with him as they slowly trekked towards the Tardis. Hovering closer as his pauses and swaying increased.
“So what is it about these berries then? Why are they affecting you like this?” she inquired, hoping that by making him talk he’d be able to concentrate properly.
“The Time Lords, we, we used those berries in certain medicinal treatments…but rarely, very rarely, as their potency often produced…hallucinogenic results. The flavor is dramatically diluted in the larger ripe ones, which I’ve had before… which is why I didn’t recognize them, or I wouldn’t have eaten them in the first place.” His response was filled with gaps and pauses and he attempted to fight whatever the berries were doing to him. Certainly explained why he was having trouble focusing if he was hopped up something that sounded like Novocain.
That thought made her pause and she replayed what he’d just said back in her mind, “Hang on, hallucinogen? You gonna start seein’ things?”
“Possibly, which is why, why we need to get back,” he swayed once more and didn’t push Donna away when she caught him from the side. “Back to, to the Tardis. I. I can counteract their effect. We just…” But whatever it was they needed to do she would never know as the Doctor went from being a constant pressure on her side to a dead weight in her arms.
“Oh bloody hell,” she murmured and shifted the alien into a more manageable position with her arms around his chest. Donna noted while she did so that for all his string bean size he wasn’t half heavy, and that she was now quite grateful he wasn’t larger. Looking over her shoulder towards the direction they were headed, she could just make out the blue box shape that was the Tardis about one hundred meters down the way. “Of course,” she moaned and hefted the Doctor up as much as she could, though still dragging most of his lower half in the dirt, and began to slowly make her way towards the spaceship.
Proving there was some claim to the Doctor’s talk of his ship being sentient; Donna found a medical looking room that was most likely what the Doctor was talking about immediately off the hallway after the console room. Giving a mental thanks to the ship, she hefted the Doctor onto what looked like a dentist chair that was practically flush with the floor. The little foot lever next to it serving the hoped for purpose of raising the flat seat off the ground once she had the Doctor situated.
With this task done, Donna was now at a loss for what she was supposed to do with the unconscious Time Lord. He’d said it wasn’t poison, but his reaction wasn’t terribly reassuring so far. Seeing a stethoscope near by, Donna did the only thing she could think of and at least checked his hearts. Carefully placing the metal disc on one side and then the other, Donna sighed and placed the tool back on the counter where she’d found it.
“Well they’re both beatin’, if a little fast I suppose, but it’s not exactly like I know what I’m doing now is it? Who would I ask anyway?” she spoke out loud to herself. An idea came to her then and she sheepishly checked to make sure the Doctor was really out before clearing her throat and standing a bit straighter. Thinking of all those Star Trek episodes her granddad watched, Donna addressed the room, “Computer, or erm, ship. The Doctor ‘s eaten these berries err, plynew or plynet or somthin’. Can you show me what I need to give ‘em to err, counteract it?”
She waited for a breath for something, anything, to happen once she spoke. But the ship remained as silent as ever. “Right,” she sighed, “Don’t know why I thought that would work. His madness must be catching.”
Huffing in frustration, Donna crossed her arms and looked down at the alien next to her. He’d said she wouldn’t be affected by these things but he’d been wrong before hadn’t he? What if she ended up going loopy like he might? Donna shook that thought away. No, she had no reason not to trust him about this. She was just panicking was all. ‘Course if the bloody alien actually talked to her about the important things and didn’t natter on about nothing all the time she wouldn’t be standing here worrying about bugger all now would she?
Just as she was starting to gain steam about all the things she would be giving the man an earful about when he woke, the alien in question abruptly took in a large gulp of air and sat straight up. Anger was temporarily washed away with concern as his eyes, wide and alert, looked around the room with a clarity she hadn’t been expecting given his earlier comment. “Doctor?” she steadied the man with her hands on his shoulders, “You alright? Nothin’ seems weird or anything does it?”
“What?” he blinked and looked at her now, “No, everything seems fine. Should there be a problem? Is that why you brought me here?”
They stared at each other in apparently equal confusion as Donna tried to decide if he really was just fine, but…shouldn’t he remember why they’d needed to come to the med bay? The again it would be like him not to mention that memory loss was another effect of those damned berries. Something was different about him though, of that she was sure. Something in his face maybe? Perhaps she should try to jog his memory? “Yeah, you said the berries might make you crazy, or see things, or something I don’t know. Can’t you ever just warn a person properly before the problem happens?”
He smiled so openly at her then, like he was sharing some personal joke with her and she’d never seen him look so, well, happy that she couldn’t even build up her anger so that she could dig into him about all those things she’d thought of a moment ago. The transformation that smile brought about his face was nothing compared to what he did next. With nothing but reverent tenderness, the Doctor removed her hands from his shoulders and placed the lightest of kisses on the back of each of them, like an apology. It was completely innocent and something she’d done to reassure family in the past, but right now, with that look of, of, such warmth in his gaze, Donna couldn’t help but feel like this was suddenly the most intimate moment of her life. “Time Lord. It’ll take more than a few berries to muck up my advanced biology, Rose Tyler.”
God this felt so wrong on so many levels. This had to be the effect he was talking about with the berries. The Doctor was never like this with her, or even Martha. In fact the only person she could see him acting like this would have been- Donna’s jaw dropped slightly in shock as she processed what he’d said not a few seconds ago. “Rose,” she stated, “You called me Rose.”
The Doctor continued to smile at her and she had to fight not to squirm at the intensity of having his entire focus solely on her, “Well that’s who you were last I checked, unless…you had a different name you want me to call you?”
There was a slight bashfulness to his gaze now and she felt him intertwine his fingers with her like it was expected, habit even. Oh but this wasn’t half embarrassing. By force of will alone she kept the blush from rising to her cheeks and made herself respond. Focus, focus on the problem Donna. His brains addled and he thinks you’re his lost love or girlfriend – and she really did not want to find out just how far that relationship had progressed – you’ve got to snap him out of it.
“It’s not that. It’s just,” she hesitated, remembering the pained look on his face when she’d first met him and he’d lost her, but steeled her nerve and ploughed on, “I’m not her. I’m not Rose, Doctor. It’s those berries, alright? You’re seeing things.”
He stood up then, removing one of his hands from hers and gave Donna an intense look over. There was a squinting about his eyes at one point that gave Donna hope but it was quickly replaced by that smile he’d been giving her again. The Doctor moved into her personal space and lifted a hand up to caress her cheek, having the opposite effect of what he no doubt intended as she tensed under his unfamiliar touch. “I’ll run a few scans on myself while your sleeping if you like but I assure you, there is nothing wrong with me and you, you are most definitely Rose. My lovely pink and yellow, Rose,” he said her name like it was a caress and salvation all in one and Donna was so torn between shock, embarrassment, and confusion that she could only stand there as the Doctor leaned in and gave her another one of those feather light kisses just to the side of her mouth.
There was a grin on his face a mile wide when he pulled back from her flustered face before he bounded off with, if possible, double the amount of energy he normally displayed. “Come on then,” he beckoned on the way out, “I’m famished and there’s no better cure for that than some good old London chips! Allons-y!”
Donna meekly nodded as her brain was still trying to not only process what was going on but just how different the Doctor was. The Doctor beamed at her again with that single minded focus before he dashed off ahead of her. What was she to do? A large part of her wanted to just smack some sense in to him as this kind of attention was unwanted and unwarranted...but that just seemed so cruel when he was clearly so happy; happier than she ever remembered seeing him really. It occurred to Donna quite suddenly then that while she would do everything in her power to set him back to rights again…doing so would most likely turn him back into that shell of a man she was beginning to realize he’d become in Rose’s absence.
And it broke her heart that little bit more for him.
After taking a minute or two to gather her emotions, Donna came up with an idea. She flipped open her cell and pulled up the only person she could think of that could possibly help her. The call rang twice before the person on the other end finally answered.
“Hey Donna. Didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. Everything alright?”
“No, everything is not flippin’ alright,” she hissed into the phone, “The Doctor’s gone bonkers Martha he thinks,” she swallowed her nervousness. “He thinks I’m Rose.---------------------------------
Part 2 - A matter of perspective
Part 3 - The Art of Companionship
Part 4 - Living the High Life
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Date:September 28th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
I know absolutely NOTHING about Dr. Who.

That said...
a) your wordcrafting seems to me as excellent as always...
b) would you mind if I pointed this at someone I know who IS a total Dr. Who fan?
c) very nice, now get back to "CuriouserAndCuriouser", damn it! You left Hatter & Alice at odds, and Remus snooping terribly!

OK C) might have been the Sky Cherry Vodka talking, but still... ;p

[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 28th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Lol I love your drunk posts, they are full of awesome. XD

a)This means a lot since you've read my other stuff and makes me excited for when I kick back into writing this weekend.
b)I don't mind at all! Please so :)
c)Lol, that's the plan Kaz. Trust me. All three issues will be dealt with next chapter as well and if I was able to knock this piece out in 3 hours then I have hope for CaC doing well when I sit down for it. ^_^
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 29th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
aaaaaaaaaaah! can i just say how much i love you for taking this prompt? i know it was long and you can adapt it however you like, but it was one of those ones i just had to add!

and you've done it brillantly! i love it and i can't wait to hear the rest. and when i was writing the prompt i didn't even think about bringing martha into it and what that would add to the mix ... oh please update soon, i can't wait to read more! xD
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 29th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
LOL, I can imagine that by this late you figured it would never be done yeah? Immediately after I read it the dialog for it just started flowing in my mind and I had to grab a pencil (since I was at work XD) and jot it down so I wouldn't forget.

:D Words cannot describe how happy it makes me that you like it so far! As the originator of the prompt your opinion carries the most weight IMHO. I've placed this just after the episode with Jenny (so before the SitL) and it just seemed the most logical leap for me of who she would go to for help. I'm trying to keep angst/pain to a minimum by having Donna not just slap him and based on how she treats the Doctor during 'Rose' moments I think that's fairly in character for her.

Speaking of Martha, we'll obviously see her next part and since she knows so little about Rose, it seems logical that she would contact to the only other person she knows who knew Rose as well...I'm sure you can guess who I mean ^_~ I should have time to work on Part 2 tomorrow slight maybe tonight but I'm planning on striking this while the iron is hot since I know it won't be horribly long.

Oh, and since I know you like I'll be posting all of it on time and chips now as well. Make it easier to find ya know? :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 30th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Interesting and tragic premise! I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going. I love the Doctor & Donna relationship in this and how competent she is. I'm sure she's going to get a lot of insight into the Doctor from this adventure.

Though I do feel terribly bad for her as well. :P Obviously you wants your best friend to be happy, but having them try to make out with you is a bit above and beyond the call of duty.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 30th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Isn't it though? I couldn't help but run with the idea. :) So glad you're enjoying their relationship as I worry about keeping them in character. Like I mentioned before, new to writing whofic and while I think I have their voices, only readers like you help me makes sure I do. From my mental outline, she'll be learning a lot about not just the Doctor but some things about herself as well.

Per the prompt request I'm doing my best to keep this as angst free as I can, but I agree. Poor Donna (In a this is hilariously awkward way), and you can believe she will be doing her best to prevent said make-out sessions from happening. ;)

Thanks for the comment and part 2 should be up this weekend.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 30th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you think after reading it that it was gem worthy really. Thank you for the lovely compliment! :)
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Date:September 30th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
I am intrigued and my heart bleeds for the Doctor when he, ah, returns. More soon please.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 30th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm doing my best to keep this as angst free as I can but, yeah, that part is likely to be an emotional one. Thanks for the comment and part 2 should be done and posted this weekend. :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:November 3rd, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
The summary alone made me snorfle.

...Oh Doctor. You ridiculous alien with your big brain. And of course he had more than a couple as he was trying to figure them out, didn't he??
[User Picture Icon]
Date:November 3rd, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
And of course he had more than a couple as he was trying to figure them out, didn't he??

Well...one must be thorough about these things, yes? ;)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:November 3rd, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
I was going to blame Ten's oral fixation, but that works too. ;)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 14th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)

Yay! Finally getting around to reading this!

Donna is such an awesome friend and I feel so sorry for her. (It is hilarious though! Must be so awkward for her...)

I'm worried as to how the Doctor will react once he snaps out of it. :S

If you must, then by all means

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