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13 March 2007 @ 03:56 pm
Fic: 'Two Doctors, Rose & a headache.'  
Title: Two Doctors, Rose & a headache.
Fandom: Doctor Who.
Rating: (G)
Time Period: Between Father's Day and The Empty Child.
Summary: Lots of planets have a north!

Author's Note: During research for the ninth Doctor, I ended up with the tenth running around in my mind and they started arguing - this is where this 'fic came from: their arguing. They didn't go away, leaving Rose and I to deal with it - I as the author and Rose within the 'fic. It's been a very interesting experience trying to balance them, and it's not one I desire to repeat soon.

This is the second of the request 'fics and I hope that it meets the expectations of the requestee.

Disclaimer
All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of the BBC; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by them.


_______________________


“Look what I was. A man whose accent doesn’t come from anywhere.”

“Oi, watch it! It’s from the north!”

“But what do you mean the north? The north of where?”

“Lots of planets have a north!”

“Yes, but where? You’re not making sense and for me to say that, it means you’re not making sense. Like a chip!” He paused, brown eyes regarding the older version of himself. “Obviously, I regenerated into a more highly evolved being.”

Rose sat on the stairs, watching them. She adjusted her feet so they rested on the bottom step while there was a lull. The oncoming storm, the Daleks had called him. He didn’t look very storm-like right now, she observed, as he argued with the boyish looking man dressed in a black pinstripe suit.

Those sneakers looked rather ratty, didn’t they? As the thought occurred, she tucked her feet behind the step they were resting on – her trainers weren’t that much to look at right now after raking through the gloop that’d been that last planet’s equivalent of mud. At least, she assumed that’d been mud. Had to’ve been mud, right? He would’ve … no, he wouldn’t’ve and she knew it.

“I’m smarter than a chip! Or a legume, for that matter.”

“Are you sure of that?”

“So,” Rose untangled her feet from the stair and slid between them before sonic screwdrivers came out of pockets – she’d recognised the pocket the Doctor had furtively slipped his hand into – and her head tilted, blonde hair sliding over a shoulder, arms crossed, “who’re you then? And that,” a finger poked the stranger in the chest, “was rude.”

“I guess that was rud—”

“How was I rude!? He just appeared in my TARDIS —”

Your TARDIS?”

If there was ever a time for having a ‘face falling into hands and gritting teeth while trying to count past five’ moment, this was that time. “STOPPIT!” Her hands rested on their chests, ready to push them away from each other and four hearts were felt …

Hang on, four!?

“Rose, what’re you doing? You’ve gone daft as y’mum, haven’t you?”

“Oh, so you’ve met Jackie?”

“And Ricky.”

“Mickey.”

A hand reached up and waved at them both to shut up while she listened to their chests; first the Doctor and then the other. She’d definitely felt four hearts.

But, what’d that mean? That the Doctor wasn’t alone? The younger one’d mentioned regenerating. She knew what that meant. Maybe. It was hard to think while they chattered, moving from argument to forming a bond about her mum and boyfriend (was Mickey still her boyfriend? They’d never formally broken up, had they?) and …

“How do you,” her finger jabbed into the suited chest of the younger man, “know my mum?” She’d never seen this man in her life before he’d just arrived in the TARDIS while they spun through time and space.

“I’ve met her, haven’t I?” He eyed her very closely, as though she’d just stepped in something particularly smelly and sticky, which she had back on the planet they’d just left; it made her feel as though it was on her teeth, the way he was staring. “Always good for a cuppa and don’t worry about that, because that’d be rude.” Over Rose’s head, however, his hand made a chattering motion, fingers rapidly tapping his thumb to indicate the speed.

Which was fast. And a lot.

The Doctor smiled. Brilliantly grinned, in fact, until Rose spun around to face him upon hearing the slight snorts of snickering that he was trying (not very) hard to conceal and the hand of the other whipped behind his back before she turned back to him. They’d both earned a glare but, the younger was being eyed, suspiciously, because he. Knew. Her. Mum. And Mickey, although most people knew Mickey from that time everyone thought he’d killed her.

“How’ve you met ‘er when I’ve never seen you before?” She knew everyone her mother knew – well, obviously not the people her mum’d met while Rose’d been travelling with the Doctor – but that wasn’t the point.

Somehow, there was a man in the TARDIS whilst they were in the middle of travelling, who knew her mum, Mickey and her and she had no idea who he was. The Doctor, she suspected, might know but probably wouldn’t tell her since he was busy trading insults with the other man. She was going to have to gather the facts and muddle through it on her own.

Right. Four hearts because they had two each. The Doctor was the only one she knew who had two hearts and looked human but was really an alien. Maybe she should call her mum on her mobile that the Doctor had fixed up and check into this guy’s story that he knew her. That was a plan because it was obvious the Doctor wasn’t going to be much help.

“It’s a long story and what do you mean your TARDIS?”

When wasn’t there a long story involved? Rose wondered.

“Yes. My TARDIS. It’s mine. You’ll get it later.”

My TARDIS. Your TARDIS. Regeneration. Four hearts. He. Knew. Her. Mum. But, she’d never get it worked out if they kept arguing.

“Enough, both of ya!” Rose rested her hands on their chests, again. The Slitheen hadn’t had two hearts, had they? No, she remembered. It’d been a suit they’d worn, those human skins. Not that she’d ever really been close enough to check the number of hearts they’d had before being locked in the meeting room of Downing Street but, she knew he wasn’t one of the Slitheen; he wasn’t farting and that’s what they’d always done – fart. “You,” she looked up at the younger man, “take the first left—”

“… second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs etcetera,” he recited as his hands dove into the pockets of his trousers, pushing his brown coat back. “I know the way. I’ll have,” he beamed, “myself to talk to while you discuss where I came from and what to do with me, never mind wondering how,” he bounced on the balls of his feet, “I. Know. Your. Mum.” Then, he gestured over his shoulder. “How about I take first right, second left …? Oh,” he sighed disappointedly as Rose stared at him. “I know. First left, second right …” His hand returned to his trouser pocket as he strolled in the direction he’d been instructed to go.

“You didn’t have t—”

“Don’t you start!” She rounded on the Doctor once she knew the man was through the door and possibly out of earshot. “He knows my mum, me, you and Mickey and you know him.” It was a succinct summation after which, usually, he’d tell her she was stating the obvious were this an ordinary occurrence like talking, purple winged cats being chased by reptilian frogs under an orange sky.

“Yeah, I do.” The Doctor hooked his thumbs in the beltloops of his jeans. “Wasn’t hard to work out.”

“You told me you were the last!”

“I am!”

“He’s got two hearts!”

“I’m not the only alien with a binary cardiopulmonary system.”

She’d known that he’d use big words and with how her head currently throbbed, patience wasn’t a virtue she possessed in full. “Look, is he like you or what?”

“Or what,” he affably replied. “You look like you need something for a headache.” He stepped over to the console where lights flashed and pulsed; a good sign. It meant everything was normal. Well, as normal as any day in the TARDIS could be. “Now, where’d I put it? H for headache or head?” He muttered to himself as he pulled out small drawers.

Rose sat on the steps and rubbed an eye with a finger. “So, while you’re trying to find whatever you’re lookin’ for, you can tell me what ‘or what’ is.”

“It’s easy, even for you.” He pretended to be unaware as she narrowed her eyes at him because she knew he was referring to her humanity. Stupid apes, he often called her kind, including herself very recently.

“Look,” wafted the other man’s voice as the Doctor riffled through a drawer, “has Rose worked out yet that I’m you, you’re me and that I really do know her, me, Mickey the schoolgirl and her mum?”

With her arms resting on her knees, Rose sighed and her breath flicked strands of light hair from her face. “He’s you?”

“Yeah.” The drawer in his hand was slid back into place. He’d have to rethink his filing system. Or, the thought occurred, he shouldn’t have one at all! Easier to find things that way.

“How is he,” her head tilted toward the source of the voice, “you? And,” she added, “do you realise how mental that sounds?”

“It’s boring back here!” Followed, a moment later. “Ooh, maybe I should’ve tried that scarf.”

“All right!” What little patience she’d had snapped and her eyes focused on the Doctor. “One of you better start explainin’.”

“Do I have to?” Preceded the younger man as he nonchalantly strolled back into the main room he’d been banished from earlier. “This isn’t my TARDIS, as I’m reminded,” he directed a pointed glance at the Doctor, “so, I don’t have to explain.” His eyebrows waggled briefly as he sat next to Rose on the stairs. “You should’ve looked under P, for painkiller,” he suggested helpfully to the Doctor.

“I thought of that,” the Doctor grumbled to their visitor.

“That’s what happens when you’re you.”

“Watch it!”

“Don’t start any of that again.” Rose’s gaze flickered between them, pinning each man in place. Standing, her hands pushed her hair back. “Two hearts each, your TARDIS,” she turned toward the Doctor, “and your TARDIS.” She glanced over her shoulder at the other man. Perhaps if she did what the Doctor did – gather the facts she had and reach a conclusion or plan – then she might be able to work out what was going on. “You know what?”

Both waited, curiously. The weight of their combined gazes was particularly heavy. In the pink hooded sweatshirt she wore over the silver tee that peeked from under the warmer shirt, there was no missing her. A brightly coloured moving target for their attention.

“This is all mental. Completely mental.” She pulled a band from the left pocket of her jeans, caught her hair and tied it into a ponytail. Loose and messy, strands of blonde hair framed her face. “But, I’ve got facts which means there’s an answer in all this somewhere.” An answer that was probably as mental as the situation itself.

The Doctor crossed his arms, leaning against the console; the pride in his grin would only be difficult to miss if the person watching was from Kyoot and therefore not a person at all! His eyes watched her movements, following the train of her thoughts before she voiced them.

“So,” Rose paced, “two hearts each, you know each other and know me and my mum.”

“Don’t forget he knows Ricky, too,” the Doctor interjected.

“Mickey.”

“Yeah, yeah,” the Doctor waved off the other’s correction.

“Anyway,” Rose interrupted before further arguing could begin. “You,” she pointed at the Doctor, “claim to be the only one of your people left and yet, here one is.” She gestured to the seated younger-looking man. “Yet,” she continued, enthusiasm sneaking into her words, “he says you’re him and he’s you.

“And the TARDIS seems to like him,” she concluded. “Otherwise, it would’ve chucked him already.”

“It was good until the part about the TARDIS because it won’t chuck him out.”

“You try workin’ all this stuff out when you’ve got a headache.”

“I don’t get headaches,” the Doctor sprightly informed her. He wasn’t chastened by The Look she gave him, but he subsided. The other man cheerfully smirked at the Doctor since The Look wasn’t directed at him. “You were onto something,” the Doctor encouraged with extraordinary patience, ignoring the other. “Give it another go.”

Rose sighed, hands on her hips. “Last shot,” she agreed. “But if I don’t get it, one of you have to explain. Got it?” She watched closely as they hesitated until the Doctor nodded, slightly.

“Good. Now,” she stood, to watch them carefully, “you know him and he knows you.” It was a beginning and one that felt very, very familiar. “You both have two hearts and know me and everyone I know.”

“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell,” the youthful man broke in, “I don’t know everyone you —” He was stopped by her hand that’d risen in front of him. “… know,” he finished quietly.

“And you,” that hand now pointed at him, “know your way around the TARDIS and the only person who really knows their way around that well is the Doctor and …” Her sentence trailed off, fading to nothing as understanding settled in her mind with a cocktail in hand. “That’s impossible!”

“Is it?” The Doctor leaned toward her. “After all you’ve seen and done, is it really impossible?”

Her gaze flickered between them. Old and new? But … “How is it possible? And how do we sort it?” Astonishment softened her questions. “Did this happen because of me, what I did?”

“No.” He stood, actually stepping toward her and there wasn’t any hesitation in his actions or voice. “This isn’t your fault.”

“Y’don’t know that! It could’ve happened because of that whatsit.”

“Ooh, good technical term that,” the suited man murmured. He was torn, at the sight of Rose’s distress. He wanted to comfort and reassure her that what’d happened wasn’t her fault. But this wasn’t his time nor was it his place. “Got to remember that.” Bounding to his feet, his hands were once more in the pockets of his trousers. “Now that we’ve got it sorted who we all are, we should discover what happened and fix it.” He peered at the column in the centre of the room, reaching from the console to the ceiling. “It’s not meant to look blue there,” he nodded at the light as the Doctor darted to the monitor and peered into it.

“Fluctuation!” He proclaimed as he studied the monitor closely before looking at the blue light. “That’d be why the TARDIS rocked —”

“— and I appeared which means we either accidentally occupied the same space at the same time, which’d be daft since space is quite large, or one of us brushed on the edge of something, tossing me over and you should change your jumper.”

“What’s wrong with the jumper? It’s new.” The Doctor demanded indignantly.

Brown eyes regarded the Doctor intently. “A lot, with those jeans and that jacket?” He shook his head slowly.

“And you’re better in your pinstripes and brown coat?”

“Well, yeah.

“Enough, the pair of y’!” Rose looked at each of them. “No sonic screwdrivers —”

“Not even at twenty paces?!”

“No,” she reiterated, “sonic screwdrivers. No arguing. Got it?”

“Why not?”

The Doctor – her Doctor – was silent as though he were cowed by her words but she knew he wasn’t, in the least. “Because I’ve got to pop to the loo and I don’t want to come back and find someone sonic’d to bits or the TARDIS in pieces. Got that?” In that moment, she reminded the two of them of Jackie.

That, they concluded privately to themselves, was a horrifyingly domestic thought. As one, they shuddered and Rose shook her head at them as she left, hoping they wouldn’t dismember the TARDIS or each other while she was on the loo.

“So,” the slightly taller man glanced to his younger self who, paradoxically, looked older, “we turn the TARDIS about, fly through it or try to recreate the fluctu—”

He was gone.

The Doctor wandered purposefully, once the TARDIS stopped rocking, to the space where his future self had just been standing and shook his head. “There’s nothing wrong with my jumper,” he muttered with a sniff.

Silence greeted him, slightly bored.

He grinned, suddenly, as he glanced cautiously around the main room to ensure he was on his own. And when he was certain he was?

“Fantastic.”
 
 
 
Armchair DM: Igor: Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!armchairdm on March 13th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC)
Oh this is perfect! The Doctor lives! In fanfic!

Actually, what this fic does show is that Eccleston did breathe new life into the show; as does Tennant.

Onto comments on the actual fic. /Loved/ the mention of the scarf. It may, or may not, be Tom Baker's scarf, but given that 10 did grab that scarf briefly and almost adapted it as part of his costume till he thought better of it, it probably was.

The sniping was perfect - reminded me very much of Troughton (No. 2) and Pertwee's (No. 3) sniping at each other during The Three Doctors.

Rose handled it better than any other companion in history, with the exception of Romana. But she has an unfair advantage. And the fact that this probably -would- be how she handled it - though I'm not entirely certain she could figure it out considering the difficulty she had accepting it when she saw it happen - just adds to it.

The problem being, now I want more Doctor Who general fic, for both doctors. (And the majority of the other seven as well actually). I might have to restart my doctor who fic - plus the older ones I have from a few years back if I can find them.

Err, that's it.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 13th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
This has to be the longest comment I've seen you write on anything I've written, either non-fiction or fiction. I'd perhaps say it was scary but I'm spending the next few minutes (next several, in fact) enjoying the peace that having only one Doctor in my mind entails.

Before I continue - thank you for your kind words. It's not a 'fic that I approached with any sense of accomplishment. Doctor Who hasn't been a fandom I thought I'd write in until recently, with the advent of Eccleston and Tennant as the Doctor. It is only courtesy of them that I would've dared to write fanfiction within this genre. You can find some Doctor Who friendly communities at time_and_chips and nine_love (good starting places) and see what else you can find from that.

The problem being, now I want more Doctor Who general fic, for both doctors. (And the majority of the other seven as well actually).
To be honest, I was never enthused by the classic Doctors but there might be more 'fic of Nine and Ten. I especially enjoy Tennant, to be especially honest. He has such an enthusiasm for the role and brings a mercurial aspect to the Doctor's character that I can really sink my teeth into, as a writer.

The sniping was perfect
Thank you - I wasn't certain if it was 'right' or 'proper' within the Doctor's overall personality but it was easily pictured; not every incarnation of the Doctor, I've noticed, has the same fashion sense. Thankfully, because I don't know if I'd like the Doctor in those damned cricket whites that one of them has.

/Loved/ the mention of the scarf. It may, or may not, be Tom Baker's scarf, but given that 10 did grab that scarf briefly and almost adapted it as part of his costume till he thought better of it, it probably was.
I was thinking of the Christmas Invasion, that scene near the end where he's trying on various clothes and peering in that very large wardrobe and the audience had a chance to see the scarf. A foreshadowing moment in this 'fic, perhaps, but I loved the scarf from that episode.

Rose handled it better than any other companion in history, with the exception of Romana. But she has an unfair advantage. And the fact that this probably -would- be how she handled it - though I'm not entirely certain she could figure it out considering the difficulty she had accepting it when she saw it happen - just adds to it.
Rose has the intelligence to work out what happened, but, she has to have a chance to think about it, I've found. She's learned to adapt to situations swiftly, I've observed in the two seasons of Doctor Who she was in, and with the facts staring her right in the face, she was bound to get it eventually.

To be honest, I was more concerned with remaining true to the character of Rose and how she handled the situation is, basically, my interpretation of her character.
Armchair DM: Matt's Cats: New Toy!armchairdm on March 13th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
You can find some Doctor Who friendly communities at time_and_chips and nine_love (good starting places) and see what else you can find from that.

Thanks for these. Though of themselves I don't think they're for me; one of them does have a lovely list of other communities which would be useful.

To be honest, I was never enthused by the classic Doctors but there might be more 'fic of Nine and Ten. I especially enjoy Tennant, to be especially honest. He has such an enthusiasm for the role and brings a mercurial aspect to the Doctor's character that I can really sink my teeth into, as a writer.

Whilst part of me is obviously disappointed; there probably is enough out there for the earlier ones from other writers - and if you don't like them, your writing will suffer for it; as will your enthusiasm. I'm actually realising I prefer Eccles; I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that I prefer the more obviously alien doctors - T. Baker, Pertwee, Eccles, compared to the more humanish ones - Hartnell, Davison, Tennant. I'm actually finding it very hard to seperate my top 4 now.

Thank you - I wasn't certain if it was 'right' or 'proper' within the Doctor's overall personality but it was easily pictured; not every incarnation of the Doctor, I've noticed, has the same fashion sense. Thankfully, because I don't know if I'd like the Doctor in those damned cricket whites that one of them has.

I'm reminded of 'Fancy pants' and 'clown' that that pair used to call each other. *groans* I hated those cricket whites. Yes, I know they were appealing to the cricketing public at a time England was doing well in cricket. Thus all the mentions in earlier incarnations that he could have played cricket for England. But still.

Rose has the intelligence to work out what happened, but, she has to have a chance to think about it, I've found. She's learned to adapt to situations swiftly, I've observed in the two seasons of Doctor Who she was in, and with the facts staring her right in the face, she was bound to get it eventually.

I'm really not sure about this. It's not a matter of intelligence, so much as experience. Buuuut, that's a matter of perspective; and the character was true. See; it's one thing for alien life to exist, and time travel, and all the millions of other things. But full bodily regeneration? To a man completely different? That's... yeah. But that's just a quibble.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 13th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for these. Though of themselves I don't think they're for me; one of them does have a lovely list of other communities which would be useful.
You're welcome; I came across them during rustling about in LJ.

See; it's one thing for alien life to exist, and time travel, and all the millions of other things. But full bodily regeneration? To a man completely different? That's... yeah. But that's just a quibble.
To each their own. However, there are also clues that Rose picked up on and that's obvious throughout the story itself. She doesn't know that he regenerates and like she said, she had a headache and was trying to sort through everything. As she said, it's impossible for it to happen, but there it was.

And sometimes, people take a leap of intuition and their minds don't always fill in the gaps. Perhaps that's what happened here. We don't know, nor will we know. (Actually, I do but, then, I wrote the story.)
rabbitmagerabbitmage on March 13th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
I have never been so completely amused by a fandom I have no understanding of.

Well done!
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 13th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly for such words.

As for lack of understanding - check your TV guide, check into perhaps renting the DVDs because both recent seasons of this show have been released to DVD or, failing that?

Google is your friend.
rabbitmagerabbitmage on March 13th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Google is a good thing! I'm still intending to catch a few episodes on the SciFi channel here. Ah, SciFi, how I love thee.
lost and found and lost againhoneysuckleblue on March 14th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
I agree with this. I have a couple of friends in the fandom, so I have a cursory familiarity with it, but that's it. Luckily, this story is one that can be enjoyed for its own merits. A better understanding of the fandom would probably make for a deeper enjoyment, but funny stuff is funny stuff and doesn't need an explanation.
F. J.: Christmas Candlesmorethanacandle on March 14th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Thank you kindly for your comment!

I'm pleased that it can be enjoyed for its own merits although it's only now that it's posted that I can truly appreciate the humour in it.