Length: 1,050 words
Summary: Doctor Who AU. Written for the comment_fic prompt AU Journey’s End, Jack remains in the TARDIS instead of Donna when the Dalek Supreme attempts to destroy it, causing the cloned Doctor to have characteristics of Jack instead of Donna.
“I like him,” says Donna, blowing across the surface of her tea to cool it.
It’s taking a bit longer than anticipated for the TARDIS to tow the Earth back home to its proper place and she’d been dying for a brew.
“You would,” the Doctor replies leaning against the kitchen counter and staring into his own cup of tea moodily.
“Oi! What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well, he’s Jack,” says the Doctor. “Everyone likes Jack.”
Donna raises her eyebrows.
“You sound a bit jealous there, spaceman.”
“Me? Jealous? Of course I’m not jealous. I’m never jealous.”
He gulps down the scalding tea, draining his cup. Donna winces and hopes that his Time Lord tongue is immune to burns.
“He looks like you,” she says quietly, moving to stand next to him, shoulder to shoulder like they have been so many times before.
“Yes, well. He has my DNA.”
The Doctor leans against her ever so slightly and she sips at her tea to hide her smile.
“And Jack’s,” she says.
“You called?” says the man in question walking into the kitchen with a blinding grin closely followed by the new Doctor.
“We really didn’t,” mutters the original Doctor.
He reaches out to one side and places his empty cup in the sink before folding his arms. Donna elbows him in the ribs. Gently, in respect of the fact that he’s skinny and a proper elbowing would probably do damage. The Doctor pouts anyway.
The new Doctor – the human Doctor with the blue suit and the charming manners – perches on the edge of the kitchen table facing them and smiles. Jack stays in the doorway, watching them all.
“Don’t get too comfortable,” the Doctor tells his mirror image.
“Oh, I know. You’re going to send me packing to that parallel world with Rose.”
“What?” Donna looks from one to the other and back again. “That girl built a dimension canon thingy to get back here and you’re just going to send her back? With a human you as a consolation prize and without even asking?”
“It’s alright,” says the blue-suited Doctor, still smiling. “She can’t stay here. She’s clever, our Rose. She knows.”
“Oh?” The brown-suited Doctor frowns. “Talked to her, have you?”
“Of course. Haven’t you?”
The Doctor stood next to Donna unfolds his arms, shoving them in his trouser pockets, and Donna can tell that he hasn’t.
“I’ll take care of her,” the new Doctor insists. “You know I will.”
“Oh? Like you took care of the Daleks?”
The smile slides off the new Doctor’s face. He looks down and scratches at the back of his head with one hand, a study in awkwardness.
“You know that isn’t fair,” says Jack. “He’s part me and Daleks killed me, remember? And he’s part you.”
The brown-suited Doctor looks down at the floor as well. Donna surreptitiously presses her arm firmly against his where they’re already touching.
“Do you want me to bring up the Time War?” Jack continues and both of the Doctors look up at him, a slight panic in their eyes. “I’ve got you knocking around up here now you know,” he says, tapping his temple with an index finger.
“And I hate to bring it up, but that’s really not good,” the original Doctor tells him. “There’s never been a Human-Time Lord metacrisis before, Jack, because there can’t be.”
“Because the Human brain can’t cope with a Time Lord consciousness.”
“Well I’m not exactly human,” says Jack, crossing his arms and grinning.
“What?” says Donna again, nearly dropping her tea.
“Long story,” says the Doctor.
“Basically,” says Jack, “I died and Rose brought me back with the power of the time vortex and now I’m immortal.”
“He still dies,” the new Doctor says, correcting him. “He just doesn’t stay dead.”
“So the stuff in your head will still kill you?” Donna looks at the Doctors, hoping to be proven wrong, but neither of them meet her eyes and she turns back to Jack. “It’ll kill you over and over again?”
“It’s better than the alternative.”
“They’re just memories,” says the original Doctor softly.
“No,” the blue-suited Doctor protests, standing up straight. “Memories are important.”
“I’ve lost two years before and it nearly drove me mad,” says Jack. “You’d have to take away every memory I have of you, right back to the beginning. That’s over a thousand years ago for me now. And with me being immortal I’d be bound to cross my own timeline or crash into you again, which would undo it anyway.”
“I wonder.” The human Doctor steps away from the table and comes to stand in front of Jack, who lowers his arms to his sides. “Metacrisis. Excess energy. Rennard’s Theorem.”
“Oh.” The Doctor tilts his head to peer at the two of them. “That could work.”
“What?” says Donna, getting tired of having to ask.
Jack and the new Doctor watch each other for a moment, then the new Doctor slides his hands into Jack’s hair, pulling the other man’s head towards his, and slams their mouths together. Jack’s hands grab his hips, bringing their whole bodies in line, and joins in with enthusiasm.
Donna swears there’s tongue action going on.
She shifts away from the Doctor by her side and says, firmly, “Don’t even think about it.”
“Good, because once was more than enough, thank you very much.”
“I’ll have you know I’m very good at kissing.”
His counterpart removes his lips from Jack’s and something gold shimmers in their last shared breath. Jack leans in again and presses a chaste kiss to the corner of the new Doctor’s mouth.
“Alright, that’s enough,” says the Doctor and they let go of each other. “Problem solved then.”
“Right.” Jack laughs.
“Right,” says Donna. “So, nobody’s dying anytime soon I take it?”
The Doctor shakes his head and smiles at her. It’s a proper smile, not the manic delight of running away or running to or running around, but the comfortable kind of smile he sometimes has at the end of an adventure when everything’s turned out okay.
“Right,” she repeats, and puts her now empty teacup in the sink next to his. “Now that’s all sorted, let’s get back to returning the Earth then, shall we?”