– Anything up to Parting of the Ways
Category –Angst, Drama, a little Action and a little Romance
Summary – At age eleven, Beth's father decides its time she went to stay with her grandma. This is not something that makes Beth happy. She likes her grandma, but life in London, 2017, is nothing compared to travelling on the TARDIS. However fate is about to throw them all a surprise.
Disclaimer – Can I have TARDIS? Just for a bit? No? All right. I don't own Doctor Who, or its associated themes and characters.
Notes – Hi! This is being updated as a present for a friend. With any luck I might actually finish the damn thing!
WARNING: this was started well before "The Christmas Invasion", well before Tennant appeared on screen as the Tenth Doctor in anything other than the final moments of "Parting of the Ways". Much of it was written in the time between up until the start and just into Series Two. As such it is now so wildly AU it isn't funny. More AU than I am usually comfortable with in fact.
Just a few notes:
The Doctor and Rose returned to Satellite Five for Jack
Jack is not immortal
Everything else should be self-explanatory
Beth's mother had died when she was two and a half. Since then it had only been her father, her Uncle Jack, and herself on board the TARDIS. She could vaguely remember another presence, a soft one, beautiful with a smile just like Beth's, her sung her to sleep every night.
Beth's father said he hadn't known that her mother could sing until Beth was born. Then he'd discovered that she'd had a voice to rival the Sirens of Haijanas, the most beautiful singers in all of time and space. He was always so sad when he spoke of his wife, but he did so whenever Beth asked because he said she should never forget.
Not having a mother had never really bothered Beth that much. Sometimes she wished she could have someone who understood girl things – someone other than her grandma, who was always fussing about something – someone other than Uncle Jack to tuck her in at night – his stories were are little strange. It would be very nice, Beth thought, to have someone who would give her a hug whenever she wanted one, and would make her tea so they could talk about their day. She could always go to her dad, but somehow Beth got the feeling it just wasn't the same.
Most of the time, though, she was all right, travelling through the universe, through time, with her dad and uncle. She knew she got to see things that other kids her age – in any time or place – didn't. Then there was the TARDIS, which even though Beth had lived there for nearly eleven years, always had somewhere new to explore.
She had a good life, and she knew it, so one night when she got up to get herself a drink of water, she was surprised to hear her dad and uncle arguing in the kitchen about her. The arguing wasn't all that strange, they did that from time to time, and Uncle Jack had once left for a few months because they had been fighting too much. It was what they were fighting about that bothered her.
"She's growing up, Jack."
"I know, children have a tendency to that, sometimes," she could almost hear Uncle Jack roll his eyes as he often did at the Doctor when they argued. "Look, Doctor, you can't just send her away—"
"She'll be a teenager soon."
"Again, that is not exactly surprising, Doctor." Beth had secretly being looking forward to being a teenager. "But—"
"Yes, but have you ever thought about what it might mean having a teenage girl aboard the TARDIS with only her father and her uncle for company?"
There was a long pause, where Jack seemed to be trying to work through what the Doctor was saying to him. In the corridor, Beth was confused, not understanding – what was wrong with being a teenager on TARDIS, surely the ship herself wouldn't care, right? And who was her Dad sending away, the only girl aboard was Beth…
"You mean puberty?" Jack asked.
"I really think Beth should go live with Jackie for a few years," he sounded unhappy, but Beth was too upset to hear that, too upset to react. He couldn't send her away, could he?
"You can't do that to her, Doctor. TARDIS is her home." Uncle Jack's answer, pretty much covered Beth's reaction.
"Not for long, just a few years, until she's fifteen, maybe sixteen." To a ten-year-old Beth that was a long, long way away.
"What makes you think she'd be better off with Jackie?"
"Other than she's a woman? Beth needs a mother." Beth didn't need a mother. Beth sometimes wanted a mother, but she had neverneeded one.
"Do you really want to leave your daughter with Jackie?" Jack asked, and Beth could hear him starting to waver. He uncle quite liked her grandmother, and was always the one to take Beth to see her, while the Doctor usually stayed away. Beth quite liked her grandmother too, but she didn't want to live with her, she was happy where she was.
"No!" she screamed and rushed in to confront her father. "I won't go and live with Grandma! I want to live here on the TARDIS with you!!"
"No! You can't make me!" she backed away from her father when he started towards her. "I'll hide!" she threatened. "And you'll never find me!" Beth was sure she could, too. TARDIS was a big place.
"No!" she shouted and then turned to run out the door, and make good on her threat. Strong arms grasped her before she could get through the door, and she was pulled around to see her Uncle Jack, his forehead wrinkling into a frown. She fought against him, but Jack was a strong man, and had fought plenty of fights against people much bigger than a ten-year-old girl.
"Sweetheart," he said gently, "maybe we should listen to your dad. He doesn't often steer us wrong."
Beth sniffed and grudgingly nodded, but made no attempt to look at her father, instead staring at the floor by his feet. The feet moved forwards, but Beth moved back until she bumped into Uncle Jack, so the feet stopped.
"Beth. You're growing up—"
"So?" she snapped.
"So, in a few years you're going to want a…woman to talk with things about."
"What things?" Beth asked suspiciously.
"Woman…things." Her dad sounded funny, and Beth risked a glance up to gauge his features. He was making a face, and looking down at the linoleum. "Jack and I aren't very good at that."
"Speak for yourself," Jack said, his hands resting on Beth's shoulders. She glanced up at him, and could see the smile her grandma always referred to as 'roguish' on his face.
"Jack," her dad said warningly. It was one of those things that Beth didn't understand yet, but had something to do with the long string of girlfriends and boyfriends that Uncle Jack had everywhere, or the people who occasionally stumbled out of the TARDIS when it stayed overnight anywhere.
The Doctor turned back to his daughter, this time coming and standing right in front of her, putting his hands on her arms. "Beth. I know you don't want to go. I don't want you to go, but it'd only be for a little bit. You'll want your grandmother around, there'll be questions you have—"
"I can look them up in the library," she told him stubbornly.
"Not these ones." He reached up and stroked her hair away from her face.
"I don't want to go."
"I know, but it'd only be for a little bit," he repeated.
"Don't make me go away, Daddy," she said starting to sob.
Her Dad pulled her into his arms and held her tight, stroking her back. "I am sorry, my love, I'm so sorry." Neither noticed when Jack left the room, the Doctor just stayed there rubbing his daughter's back and rocking her slightly in the middle of the kitchen.