There were, apparently, many things about living with the Doctor that were, in Donna's estimation, completely unacceptable. It was something that the Doctor became accustomed to on a daily basis, hearing the things he did wrong. As he tinkered with some bits on the console, working on their next trip to Corophorax, the planet of shoes. Why were they going to the planet of shoes? Well, firstly, he needed a new set of plimsoles. Secondly? Well, he was traveling with Donna.
Her footsteps echoed noisily down the hall, clomp-clomping with a sense of purpose. Damn.
This could only mean disaster. He let out a brief sigh, keeping his eyes on the console. What would it be first? That he was a terrible mess?
"What is this?" Donna demanded, holding up what appeared to be a frilly pink thong.
The Doctor glanced around, "Uh, it's not yours?"
"It was just sittin' there in the middle of the floor! You had a girl over and didn't clean up?"
Where the hell had he gotten a pink thong from? Oh, right, Jack had dropped by earlier that week. "You have out-gayed me, Harkness," he muttered with an affectionate grin.
"What did you say?" Donna snapped.
Damn. "No, uh, no, those are, uh, mine."
"Yours?" Insert The Look from Donna. "Oh, don't even try it, I know you wear manpants."
Time to attempt to shut her up? Naturally. "What do you mean manpants? I wear girlie knickers and am PROUD of them!"
"These are pink!"
"Pink is my color!"
Donna snorted, and the thong ended up thrown in his direction, to land in a most undignified manner on his shoulder. This shouldn't have been as commonplace as it was, but...once again, he was traveling with Donna. Everything seemed so...peaceful with other companions.
"You were my favorite Companion, Mickey Smith," he mused quietly, thinking on somewhat better times.
"What did you say?"
"You said something! What did you say?!"
The Doctor spun around, beaming brightly (and incredibly forcedly) at her, "I was just thinking about how I was hungry. You should go grab me something from the food dispenser, yeah?"
"You're just trying to get rid of me!"
"I am not!"
The Doctor let out a rather loud sigh, "Reinette! Damn it, woman, where's my dinner?" The words were said with the most over-the-top annoyance he could muster, in a vain attempt to make her laugh and get over her stupid temper for his silly mistakes.
Of course, that was bringing up a whole other mistake: Him calling her other companion's names. His eyes went immediately to the console to keep away from the look of hurt he knew would be there---she, like Rose before her, wanted so desperately to be special to him, and there was no way he could make her anything but the latest in a long line in his mind.
"We're nearly to Corophorax, Donna," he said, quickly.
"Remember my name, then, did you?"
"Look, I'm sorry."
"Sorry? You're hardly competent."
He sneered, and glared over at her, "Right, Donna, you're right. I'm not competent. In fact, I'm the one who went off and drank half a pint of hypervodka last night for no reason 'cept it was there. In fact, I'm knackered. You drive the TARDIS, Donna, you're so bloody competent in comparison to me."
"All right, already, I said I was sorry for last night!"
"You tried to undress me with your tongue!"
"I was knackered!"
"And you were drooling!"
"Whatever. Whatever." She crossed her arms and stood there, scowling. It was so pathetic, he had to admit it was almost cute. Then he remembered the night before, and cute was replaced by a horrific decision for a companion.
"It's so bloody quiet in here, Doctor, don't you got any music or anything?"
The Doctor sighed, then flipped on a station. Something random. Ooooh, a song he knew. He mumbled along.
" I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
And when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
Donna's hand flipped across the console, changing the station instantly.
"I think that song's degrading."
"It's---" the Doctor gestured a bit in Donna's direction, "Complimenting the female form! You should enjoy it!"
"Why should I enjoy it? You saying I have a big butt or something?!"
Oh, dear. This was not going to go somewhere the Doctor liked.
"Oh, look, we're on Corophorax! You'll love it here, Donna. Wonderful weather, sunshine, bright lights and large cityscapes all across a six-moon plane. Beautiful, you'll love it." He tossed the pink thong onto the floor and snatched up his jacket, throwing it across his shoulders.
"Think they got anything resembling feminism here?" she asked, snorting a bit.
The Doctor looked like he might explode from all the effort he was putting in to keep his mouth shut. Despite all of his intense affection towards Donna, she was so grating to be around sometimes. In fact, she reminded him of Tegan in so many, many ways.
"So much for sunshine, eh?" Donna crossed her arms and motioned out of the TARDIS, and, to the Doctor's dismay, she was right. There was no sunshine, no anything. Just a dark, vast hallway with scrawling, Gallifreyan writing. Ancient Gallifreyan writing. And that could only mean---
"Oh my God! They repossessed the TARDIS!"
"They what?" Donna's head poked out of the door, "Repossessed what?"
"My TARDIS!" the Doctor snapped, "Look at that writing, that means 'vile', which is probably the name of the repossessors, they always call themselves something mean and nasty like 'vile' or 'rude', to try to scare people into giving them more money."
In a very him-like fashion, Donna scratched her head, "Hangabout, I thought you said your race was destroyed or somethin', wannit?"
"Yes, yes, but the debt collectors they had still hold to their laws, even decades---nay, centuries after those who wanted the money have died." He shook his head, "Don't even think I've nearly enough money to make up all the backpay I owe on her parking fines."
He gave the side of the police box a pat, "It's all right, old girl. You know I won't let them take you. I love you."
"Quit bein' all affectionate to the ship, wouldja, it's creepy as all hell." Flipping her hair, Donna trotted down the hallway, glancing around, "And are you sure this is a debt collector's? It seems a bit dark and dirty."
The Doctor closed the door of the TARDIS and trotted up behind her, stuffing his hands in his pockets, "Oooooh, I should imagine so. Can't see why the TARDIS would land in a place like this otherwise."
"Well, you did program her."
"Yeah, for Corophrax."
"Yeah, but you programmed her."
The Doctor gave his companion a look, "Are we going to have to talk about drooling again?"
Donna rolled her eyes and kept looking around. Dank hallways, more Gallifreyan writing that said 'vile'. Donna continually asked what it meant, even though it always said the same thing. Not that bright, but at least she was trying. She wasn't as enthusiastic as his other companions had been, but she was an excellent reprieve from thinking about---
"So, what happened with you and that Rose girl?"
That was Donna's magical gift: her extreme nosiness. She kept pushing his buttons, trying to get him to tell her all about The Rose That Got Away, as if it made some sort of void in her life after Lance so much easier.
How to shut her up? "Rose Tyler knows how I feel. That I love her. I'm certain of that." His voice was dripping with over-the-top emotion, "Loving her is something I never expected. And is near impossible to express in words. Cause it hurts so much. But just to see her beautiful face once more. I'd kiss her. And tell her how I truly feel. I'd say those five magic words: 'Would you be my bride?'"
Donna looked like she might swoon from the sentiment, "Would you really?"
And her face fell ten feet. "Oh."
Deeper into the maze they went, and the deeper they got, the stronger the chemical smell that emanated from the walls. And the stronger the Doctor's feeling that they were not where he said they were.
"Doctor, I don't think we are where you said we were." There was a definite note of panic in her voice, and the Doctor thought to ease that as best he could.
"You know where we should really go next, once we've sorted this repossession thing out?"
Donna's eyebrows hit her hairline and she glanced at him in shock. "What?"
"Right, Doctor, if you're just going to insult me, at least do it right---"
"No, no, I mean we should go see your mother! Your mama. Don't they call them 'mama' or something?"
A laugh emanated from Donna's throat, and he felt immediate relief at the sound. A laughing companion was miles better than a panicked one. "Right, uh, no, no, Doctor, that's not exactly what that means." Well, at least she smiled. He still didn't understand why that was funny, though. He put 'look in Human colloquialism booklet' back on his list of things to do.
Deeper and deeper and the strength of the chemical smell only seemed to grow. Eventually, the slim corridor made way to a large antechamber, domed up and polished smooth, with computer monitors and various tubes of living and dead creatures preserved and grotesque. A science lab of inhumane proportions.
"God, Doctor, where are we?" The horror was evident in Donna's face, and the Doctor could not blame her one bit. It was the kind of thing he hadn't seen since the Time Wars.
Oh, great, and he thought his day couldn't get any worse.
The Doctor's head turned sharply and the familiar shell of a Dalek sat before him, though spliced open with the insides of the creature within exposed and vunerable.
The Doctor's initial reaction to push Donna behind him for protection melted instantly with the Dalek's words. Headed his warning? 'Vile'. Perhaps the only word the Dalek knew in the Doctor's language and he tried to use it to warn him. But why?
"Doctor, what is that thing?"
"It's a Dalek, the most hated enemy of my race, the Timelords. Exposed. Made...weak."
"The-Da-leks-are-su-per-ior! We are not WEAK!"
The Doctor took several steps towards the creature, glancing in at it's sliced up and burned insides with something very nearing pity, "Ooooh, but I'm afraid you are. You've had some cowboys in here, haven't you, Dalek? Looks like we've got a sick scientist wandering 'round here, apparently a rather tough one, too, to have been able to catch you. The question is, why would you want to help me, hmmmm?"
The Dalek was silent for a long moment, and the Doctor felt Donna slide up behind him, shivering a bit with terror. He understood that, the situation was far from a pretty one.
"Creation? What's that supposed to mean?" the Doctor demanded, crossing his arms.
"Your DNA was-extr-act-ed-when-you-ent-ered-this-r
"Dual hybrid? What? With...." The Doctor turned his head to the main specimen on the wall, growing quickly, it's cells regenerating and forming. It had the tentacles and body shape of a Dalek, but beneath it's transparent skin beat two hearts.
"Dual hybrid, how...?" The Doctor took a step towards the glass.
"What the hell is that, Doctor?!" Donna demanded, now apparently too terrified to stand anywhere still.
"Donna...it appears that...and you're not going to believe this, the Dalek and I are expecting our first child." He watched in awe as the cells on the creature split and grew. It was aging at an incredible rate.
"What, it made a baby from you and it?" She stepped towards the Doctor gingerly, "Why? Why do that?"
"Presumably to see what it would create," the Doctor replied, his eyes glued to the thing that was growing, "No one has ever seen a Timelord/Dalek hybrid."
"What, that sort of thing doesn't happen?" Donna asked.
The Doctor turned around, giving her a rather disgusted look, "Would you fornicate with a simian? Some things just don't happen in nature!"
He took a breath, then pointed at her, "I'm going to head up, see who's working the controls, stay here, and don't talk to the Dalek, all right?"
"Wait, you can't leave me!"
"Back in a tic!" And with that, he leapt up the ladder beside the tank, climbing up to the top and glancing down. Time excellerator attached to the top. Whoever was pulling the strings wanted the thing to grow quickly, mature and age.
But...why? It made no sense, none at all. To create such a vile creature from the DNA of two sworn enemies.
Pulling out his screwdriver, he pressed the tip to the accelerator.
"I've seen such wonderful things," he said to the hybrid within, "Supernovas, black holes, monsters, so many things you would never believe. There's nothing like it out there and..." The accelerator sped up and the creature aged excessively and died without warning. "You'll never see it."
For the best. It had to be for the best.
"DOCTOR!" A booming man's voice came from below him. Not the Dalek, but someone else. Presumably that someone else who was pulling the strings.
The Doctor slid down the ladder, landing easily on his feet. Before him was a grand sight: The dying Dalek, his companion, tied up and quite unhappy looking, and a large, Minotaur-like scientist, in a white coat, no less.
"You must be the one in charge here, then?" the Doctor said. As an aside, with a bright grin to the gagged Donna, "And look! There's my companion, staying exactly where I told them to. So well behaved!" It could only happen when they were bound. Ah, sweet silence.
"You are the Doctor!" the Minotaur boomed, "I have searched the lands for you! And I have created your child with your sworn enemy to unite two races, and you have destroyed it!"
"Searching for me? Me, really? I can't possibly imagine why!" The Doctor tugged on his ear and circled 'round the creature, "I'm just me, nothing all that special."
"You are the Doctor!"
"Yes, that's my title, but what's in a name, right?" The Doctor shrugged, " You wanna know the real reason why I call myself The Doctor. Besides the fact that it's really cool and mysterious. My real name sucks. That's why."
The Minotaur growled, "Stop your foolishness, Doctor, you are attempting to distract me."
"My real name is Theodorehenryedwarddereckoctaviuscolinte
"Enough of your deceptions!"
"Actually, I'm really Romana."
"Silence!" The Minotaur's tone held a distinct note of finality, "Or else I shall kill the human." It grinned, "Slicing a woman's neck is like slicing through warm butter."
The Doctor stopped his circling right behind the Dalek, "Oh, I wish you hadn't threatened me like that."
His screwdriver went to the Dalek's side, and he repaired the creature's damaged weaponry instantly.
"NO!" The blue ray shot to the Minotaur, and the creature all but exploded from the pent-up force of the angry, dying Dalek. It's insides, all pink and rotted-smelling, flew across the room, splattering all over the Doctor, the Dalek, and Donna.
Without hesitating, the Doctor dropped behind Donna, untying her hands and gag. "You know, Donna," he said, grinning despite the decrepit entrails all over them, "Pink really IS my color."
"And you're sure it's dead?"
"Verymuch so," the Doctor replied, toweling off his hair as he returned to the console room in a pair of comfortable---and clean---jim jams.
Donna twisted her wet hair up into a bun as she lounged in the captain's chair in an obnoxiously fluffy robe, "And the Dalek?"
"Final blast power must've killed it," the Doctor sighed.
"Must've done genetic mutations, too," she theorized, "To make it want to help. Didn't you say they wouldn't help?"
The Doctor shook his head, "Allow me to explain something about Daleks. They don’t care. They don't love, they don't feel anything, except for an intense need to be pure. Better. Think...your planet's Nazis. That's the Daleks. They don't want a Timelord/Dalek hybrid. That's...vile, in his word."
He shook his head, flipping a few controls and resetting coordinates. Donna seemed uneasy, but...well, the Doctor was uneasy himself. The whole situation was so quick, so fast, and so...sudden. He'd planned a holiday, got his TARDIS repossessed (or not), met a Dalek, had a son, killed the son, saved a Dalek, got entrails splattered all over him, and watched a Dalek die all before tea. Not bad, for a day's work.
"TARDIS isn't repossessed, then?"
The Doctor sighed, glancing up at Donna, "You better listen. Cause I never say sorry or admit to making any mistakes. But, I'm sorry. It's hard to admit, but I was wrong."
Donna's face was split in two by a grin. Oh, how she did so love to be right. How...annoying. But endearing. All at the same time.
"Sooooo," the Doctor grinned back, flipping coordinates, "To your mama's then?"
"My mum's, and do we have to?" Donna asked, looking a bit pathetically at him, "I only just got used to traveling.
"We could do Christmas!"
"I hate Christmas."
"But, I really like Christmas dinners with large families!"
"No, you don't."
The Doctor smirked, "No, you're right, I don't. Soooo, where to next?" He glanced at the monitor, "Let me see...I've grown weary of England. Let's visit Canada!"
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 2,970