I Lied

By Kate Carter

I lied.

I'm sorry, Doctor, I'm so sorry. I had to. After we solved the problems with Chloe, and you got to carry the Olympic torch, and talk about your edible ball bearings, you told me about your family. You had never talked about them before, and as you described your children, and I heard the pride and the sorrow in your voice, I wanted to give you what you'd lost, at least in some small part. But I would never guess that what we did that night, the beautiful, wonderful act between you and me, would do that.

I blamed the fact that my cycle hadn't come on the stress of losing you. It never even occurred to me until I'd been away from you for two months that I could be pregnant. And when I looked at the test, and it was positive, I sat down and sobbed. I finally had your child - and you were gone.

It was six weeks after that when you said goodbye. I'd been here for three and a half months, and I was fifteen weeks pregnant. I was so happy to see you, and then so upset, that the thought never crossed my mind to tell you until you mentioned Mickey. And when I said there were five of us, the look on your face convinced me in that instant not to tell you. So I lied, said it was Mum. And when you said that phrase, "the one adventure I could never have," I knew I did the right thing.

I did the right thing.

How could I tell you that I was pregnant with your child? The child you could never see, never hold, never know any details about the existence of. You wouldn't know if it was a boy or a girl, if it had my eyes or your nose, if it loved history or science, if it took after you or me. The memories of how you were when I met you were so fresh to me, still. You were so raw and angry. You'd just lost everything you knew and everyone you loved. I couldn't do that to you again. I couldn't see you become that man again.

So I lied.

And the next night, I lay in bed, and I realized that the slight fluttering I felt was it kicking. I don't think human children kick that soon, but maybe when they're a quarter Time Lord they do. I guess they must. And the memories were still so fresh, so raw, that I cried until my voice was gone and I had no tears left. Every time I felt our child kick, it ripped open the wound again, and I wanted you so badly. Who cared if the universe exploded? My child was going to grow up without the wonderful man I'd fallen in love with. Their father was never going to know they existed.

Oh Doctor,,,my Doctor. I spent the next twenty-five weeks alternating between rejoicing at the life I felt inside me, mourning you, and cursing you. You should have been there for me when my feet swelled up and I needed someone to rub them. You should have been there to tell me I was beautiful when I felt fatter than an elephant. You should have been there when the contractions took my body over with more pain than I'd ever had before.

And now, just three hours ago, I gave birth to our son. He's perfect, Doctor. I wish you could see him. He's a fine, healthy baby, quite large. When he was born, he started complaining – not quite crying, just a loud, irritated babble – and I know he's inherited your gob already. He's got your hair, and I don't know if he has your eyes or mine; the doctor said they could get darker, but they're definitely brown. I'm not sure what I'm going to name him. I wish you were here to help me.

But you're not.

And I lied.

And I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

And I love you, my Doctor.