It’s a funny feeling, regeneration.
Donna Noble is still musing on this fact as she feels the last of the energy burst that changed her die away.
It’s not bad exactly. Just rather unnerving and a bit scary and —
Dear Lord, why did it take her so long to think of that?!
If she’s got a different face, she’s going to kill the Doctor!
Probably his current and next regenerations, just for good measure!
That is, unless her mother gets in first…
Throwing off the sheet lying across her face, which someone placed there after the Doctor left, she scrambles to her feet, feeling as the life slides back into her arms and legs.
Her clothes don’t feel any tighter than she knows they did before.
But she doesn’t spend any time musing on that. Instead she looks around for a mirror. Not finding one immediately, she finally shoves things off the reflective surface of the wheeled tray beside the cot she’s just leapt up from and stares down at the somewhat distorted image.
And it’s with a huge sigh of relief that she eyes her familiar ginger hair and blue eyes.
Although — has she slimmed down a bit?
She’s not sure.
Still, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world!
Ooh, she’s a bit unbalanced though. And a moment later, she realises it’s because only one heart is beating in her chest. She can feel the other one sitting there, not quite doing anything about pumping all that extra blood around her brand new binary vascular system.
However, as she focuses on it, she can feel the reluctant muscle pulse into life.
She presumes she’ll get used to the feel of the second throbbing pulse in her body.
She may take a little longer to get used to reaction of other people to the fact that she’s still alive. A draught causes the light above Donna’s head to swing and she turns to see that the door is open, a young girl standing framed in the doorway. There's a dull clank as the clipboard in her hand drops to the floor, and then she spins on her heel and disappears.
Behind her, the door swings closed and clicks shut. Donna dashes for it, only to find that it won't open to the pressure of her hand. Balefully, she eyes the swipe-card lock to one side of the door, knowing she won't be able to get out until someone lets her out.
For the first time, she wonders how she's going to be able to explain what happened.
And not just to the staff here, who probably aren’t too used to their clients walking out.
Donna also wonders how — if — she'll have to convince the Doctor about the truth of what happened.
But even as she begins to think about this, a voice in the doorway makes her jump.
She looks up with a smile, recognising the American accent, relieved that, for now, at least, no explanation will be necessary.
“You’re not human.”
Donna’s jaw drops and she stares at him for a moment in disbelief before replying. “Jack Harkness, that’s a terrible thing to say!”
The Captain shrugs. “Fact of life, I’m afraid. You’re not — not anymore.”
“What am I then?” she demands rhetorically, but before he can speak, she realises that he’s right.
It’s a disconcerting thought.
It’s only been a few years since she was able to accept the idea of aliens, and now she is one.
Without thinking, she places her hand on the right side of her chest where her second heart is beating.
Nope, definitely not human.
Not quite Time Lord either though.
She suspects that, when she finally finds the Doctor, they’ll probably have to come up with a new term for her.
“How did you know?” she demands of Jack.
He grins. “Pheromones.”
Donna wrinkles her nose. “That’s disgusting.”
“We-ell,” Jack arches an eyebrow, almost leering at her, “I could have said that it was because I immediately notice every tiny detail about any attractive woman who crosses my path, so the fact that you’ve changed so dramatically is obvious, but then,” he continues, before she can express her outrage, leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands behind his head, “you’d say I was a stalker or something, so I’ll say it’s pheromones.”
“Don’t,” Donna says warningly, holding up a hand to stop him. “Just don’t.”
“What?” Jack holds his hands up in a gesture of innocence. “I didn’t do anything! I said I wasn’t saying that.”
“Oi!” Donna is about to argue when she notices the black leather strap peeking out from under Jack’s shirtsleeve and points at it. “What’s that?”
“What, this?” Jack pulls the sleeve back down. “Nothing.”
“No, it is.” Donna leans forward. “That’s your vortex manipulator, isn’t it? The one that the Doctor deactivated?”
“So what if it is?” he snaps.
She tilts her head to one side, watching him through narrowed eyes. Somehow she can understand his frustration at not having managed to repair his time-travel device.
“Can I borrow it?
“Be my guest!” Jack says with surprising willingness, removing it from his wrist and placing it on the desk between them. “But,” he adds before she could pick it up, “I don’t know how you’re going to fix it. I’ve been trying ever since the Doctor broke it, but I haven’t managed it yet.”
“Thank you, Jack.”
Donna reaches out and picks it up, strapping it onto her wrist before fishing her newly created sonic screwdriver out of her pocket. She glances out of the corner of her eye, watching Jack's eyes widen as she applies it to the vortex manipulator.
“Hey — um...”
“You promised,” she says cheerfully as she feels the device hum against her skin, knowing that she's fixed the damage the Doctor caused.
“Well... yeah...” Jack drawls slowly, and she's amused that she's caused him to lose his composure. “But...”
“Thanks again, Jack,” she says quickly, finding the right buttons on the device and pressing them before he can change his mind, watching as the world in front of her dissolves away.
And as soon as her feet hit the ground, she begins looking around for the Doctor.
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