Chapter 15

Donna shouted for help a full minute before she realized that there wouldn't be anyone around a deserted quarry at stupid o'clock in the morning. At least, not anything human. The Doctor was out cold. There was nothing much that she could do for him but wait until he had regained consciousness. Donna removed her parka. Bunching it up, she gently placed it under his head.

Skinny bloke though he was, the Doctor was still too heavy for her to carry back to the TARDIS. All she could do was try and make him more comfortable. Donna was on her own, shivering in the dark. The cold wind was dagger sharp. She cursed under her breath as a sudden gust kicked up, plunging its icy knife through her now unprotected body.

Then Donna realized she heard something. Something familiar. A wheezing groan. She shook her head. It was a trick. The night wind. A wishful thought. The noise grew louder. The wind blew stronger. Donna's jaw dropped. No way! It couldn't be!

Before her eyes, just a few meters away, another TARDIS began to materialize.

It was but a moment before the door creaked open. Out stepped a middle aged, dignified looking gentleman in Victorian-style dress. He gazed around him with the same delighted expression she'd so often seen on the Doctor's face.

Of course! Donna stared down at the unconscious Doctor. It must be one of his other selves he'd been nattering on about in the TARDIS. She hadn't taken him seriously, of course. When he'd explained that there were nine other versions of him out there, she'd thought he was taking the mickey again. Yet here was another, nearly identical TARDIS. She couldn't deny that reality.

Then again, Donna frowned, how was she to know if this was another version of the Doctor? Since travelling in the TARDIS, she'd learned not to take everything she saw or experienced at face value. She thought to herself, look what doing that did for Mr. Halpin on the Ood Sphere. If he'd not been so wrapped up in outward appearances, maybe then he'd have realized that there were far bigger issues out there, than male pattern baldness and corporate sales figures.

"Hullo!" Said new arrival, interrupting her thoughts. He was stood gazing down at Donna and her version of the Doctor with a curious look. "What have we here?"

"Well don't just stand there and gawk." Donna replied, shaking her head at him and rolling her eyes. "We're not some tourist attraction. He's hurt! I could use a little bit of help here, mate."

"Yes of course. Quite right, my dear." The man said ruefully, rubbing his chin.

He knelt down, putting an ear to the Doctor's chest. His eyes widened in surprise, as he trained his ear to the other side of the Doctor's chest. Straighting up, he had an astounded face.

"By heavens, he's one of us!" The man exclaimed. "Another Time Lord."

"If you're the Doctor, then he's you." Donna told him. "And if you're not the Doctor, then I'm warning you right now, mister. I can show you a very effective defensive move I learned from a certain Sontaran." She bluffed, still not entirely sure she wanted to trust this man.

For one thing, this 'Doctor' reminded her slightly of a rugby player she'd once dated. The bloke was polite enough. Yet, he also treated her like some helpless female. He'd found out otherwise, when he tried his own version of a rugby tackle on her, in the front seat of his car one night. Donna knew those little pliers she kept in her bag would come in handy, one day.

"I'm the Doctor, alright. Nothing to fear from me, I promise you." He responded with an annoyingly patronizing smile. As he pulled out what appeared to be a simpler version of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, he said, "And whom, may I ask, might you be?"

"Donna. Donna Noble. Human." She said to him shortly. "What one are you, then?"

"Pardon?" He asked, momentarily taken aback by the question. "Oh. I see. You mean which regeneration, don't you?"

"Well I don't mean what shoe size, sunshine. Can you help him, or can't you?" She nodded to the prone figure on the floor.

"To answer your first question, I've regenerated twice. Which I suppose makes me number three. As for this young fellow, I think I can help him, yes. What happened?" The other Doctor said to her.

"We were walking along and he tripped or something." She shrugged.

"How embarrassing!" The other Doctor smiled. "Thank goodness I didn't regenerate. I'd never live that down. Right then, let's see if this will work, shall we?"

Donna watched as the other Doctor—whom she began to think of in her mind as, 'Doctor Dramatic', pressed his sonic screwdriver. against the fallen Doctor's temple. She thought his sonic looked rather lame compared with the version she was used to. To her, it looked more like a cross between an electric toothbrush and a tyre gauge. Pressing a switch, the sonic abruptly gave off a shrieking noise. Donna's Doctor immediately sat bolt upright.

"No!" He shouted, wide-eyed. "Not the enema probe!"

"Relax, my good fellow! You're quite alright, I assure you." The other said.

Coming to his senses, Donna's Doctor looked not a bit surprised to see the older version of himself. In fact, he looked a bit piqued.

"Oh no. It had to be you, didn't it?"

"I say," the other Doctor said wryly, helping Donna's Doctor to stand, "your regeneration is very young this time. I'd hoped I would have avoided a mid-life crisis. It's a wonder you didn't redecorate the TARDIS interior as well, while you were at it."

"Erm—" Was all a suddenly uncomfortable Doctor could say, as he stood up.

"And what happened to your hair?" The other Doctor questioned. "Did you accidentally electrocute yourself?"

Despite the bizarre situation, Donna sniggered. The 'young' Doctor shot Donna a dirty look as he snatched the parka up from the ground and thrust it at her. Shoving his hands into his coat pockets, Donna's Doctor then stalked off towards the nearest cliff face, without so much as a backwards glance.

"Come on, you two." He huffed. "Save the chit-chat for tea time. We've got people to rescue, universes to save, yadda-yadda-yadda. Alonz'y!"

"Oh dear. He's speaking French, as well." The other Doctor sighed, politely taking Donna's arm. He looked at her. "Am I a poof, now?"

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