"Oh, not again!" The Doctor groaned, giving the newest arrival a quick once over. The girl (why was it always a girl?) jumped at the exasperated statement and quickly turned around. "I only just got rid of the bride. Who are you? The flower girl?" Taking in his aggravated tone, the girl winced and backed away from him.
"Oh, dear," he sighed under his breath. "Was I being rude again? That tends to happen; it's nothing personal." The girl stared at him but said nothing, so he stared back. She looked oddly familiar, but he was sure he'd never seen her before. She didn't look older than seventeen or eighteen.
"Hello," he tried again, this time taking the edge out of his voice. When he reflected on it, he thought he sounded a bit too nice, perhaps even soppy. He normally frowned upon such forced niceties, but it looked as though he'd given the girl quite a scare, and he felt bad. At any rate, she still wasn't talking to him.
"I'm the Doctor, and this is the TARDIS," he introduced, holding a hand out. "Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you." The girl stepped tentatively forward, looking between his hand and his face. Suddenly, she threw herself into his arms, hugging him tightly around the middle.
"Mum!" she exclaimed.
"This is remarkable," he laughed, staring intently at the monitor. "No internal organs. No blood. Not even detectable DNA! How are you alive?" He'd asked the question rhetorically and was surprised when she answered him.
"The TARDIS," she murmured softly. It was the first word she'd spoken since she'd attached herself to him like a baby duck. The Doctor nodded.
"Yes, this is the TARDIS. Very good," he said, a bit patronizingly. The girl furrowed her brow and tilted her head to the side, as if trying to decipher his tone.
"I live through the TARDIS," she clarified. "I am a being of supercharged free ions, centered around the time vortex manipulator."
"Oh, very good, indeed!" The Doctor grinned widely. "Structured super ions! And you're sentient! That's amazing! Do you have a name?"
"No," she answered. "I am merely a collection of free ions in the TARDIS Zone."
"Well, that's a proper mouthful," The Doctor commented. "I can't very well call you that. Imagine what would happen in an emergency. A bit like the children's book with the little Chinese boy in the well. That's good advice, there. Never play near a well. All sorts of terrible things happen near wells. Fall in and drown. Fall in and get stuck. Occasionally get attacked by a scary, Japanese girl. No, sorry. That's The Ring. Good film, that. A bit predictable though, if you don't mind me saying…"
"Mum," the girl interrupted. "What are you talking about?" The Doctor paused at the question, realizing that he wasn't exactly sure.
"Oh, right! We were talking about a name! Well, you don't look like a Jennifer or an Annie or a Morgan. You do look like someone that I've met before, but his name was Jack, and we can't call you that because that's a boy's name, and I'd get confused if you were ever in the same room. Not that I expect that to happen any time soon," he paused once more, catching the bewildered look that the girl was giving him. "Right, a name for you. A collection of free ions in the TARDIS Zone. Free ions in the TARDIS Zone. Free ions: TARDIS Zone. Oh, look at that! F.I.T.Z.! Fitz! That's a cute name, don't you think? Nice and Irish sounding. You look a bit Irish, mind you."
"Fitz," she repeated, testing the sound of the name, giving the first smile he'd seen out of her. "Very good."
"I wouldn't say that it's the weirdest thing that's ever happened," The Doctor commented as he waited outside of the dressing room. The girl had arrived in a plain, sack-like dress that looked every bit as comfortable as it was elegant, and "elegant" wasn't the word that he would apply to the garment. "There was that one time with that one bloke in that one place, but I think this comes pretty close. I've been a father before, but I can't say that I've ever been a mother." He stepped to the side as a garment sailed over the top of the stall door.
"You don't like the dresses, I take it," he noted, picking up yet another dress and replacing it on its hanger. Fitz didn't reply, instead opening the stall and stepping into view.
"How does this look?" she asked. She was wearing a maroon suit that looked to be several sizes too large for her, accented by an almost violently colorful scarf that was so long that it hit the floor. The Doctor smirked at her choice, fondly recalling memories of past adventures.
"Well, I think it's a bit too big for you," he commented tactfully. Fitz looked down at the suit and grinned sheepishly. "It's a nice suit, but it's a bit tricky, running away from a hungry Hoix when you're tripping on your trousers." He watched as nodded and made her way back into the stall, struggling with the too-long trousers.
"I've got a few question for you," he mentioned casually.
"I've got time," she replied, giving him the green light to ask away.
"First of all, why do you call me your mum?" The odd address had been a source of curiosity ever since she'd first uttered it. The Doctor paused. Perhaps "uttered" wasn't the right word. When he thought about it, it was more of a delighted squeak.
"It's your TARDIS," she said softly. "When I was created, the TARDIS imprinted your data onto my consciousness. Why? Do you not want to be my mum?" The Doctor quickly picked up on the worry in her voice and found himself quickly clarifying.
"No, no. That's not what I meant," he reassured. "I was just curious. That's all." She poked her head out of the stall, revealing a bright smile.
"Is this better?" she asked, allowing the door to swing open. She was wearing a lime green jumper with detached sleeves and a simply pair of blue jeans.
"I like your shoes," he remarked approvingly, nodding at her feet to draw attention to the lime green trainers, reminiscent of his own. Looking back up at her, he suddenly paused, as if noticing something for the first time. "Oh, that's not fair!" Fitz was confused by this latest exclamation. She tried to follow his gaze.
"What's not fair?" she asked.
"Your hair!" he replied, nearly whining.
"What about it?" she asked, starting to worry.
"It's ginger!" The Doctor exclaimed, directing her to a stand-up mirror. Fitz hadn't bothered looking at the mirror before, and she was surprised to see a pair of blue eyes staring back at her. She gingerly moved her fingers through her hair, noting that it was a soft, reddish brown, falling in a sort of medium length bob at the middle of her neck.
"Oh, that is so unfair!" The Doctor continued, missing out on her curiosity at her own appearance. "Ten forms! Ten! And what am I? Apparently, rude and not ginger! And then there you go, first try, and you're ginger!"
"Is that what I look like?" Fitz asked, pointing at the mirror.
"Well, I should think so," The Doctor laughed. "I understand, though. It's a bit odd, isn't it? Seeing yourself for the first time, I mean." She nodded, taking in her features. There was a nagging voice in the back of her head, telling her that she was rather good looking. Identifying the voice as vanity, she dismissed it, briefly wondering where she'd inherited that trait. Behind her, The Doctor put a hand on her head and playfully ruffled her hair.
"So, Fitz. When and where do you want to go first?"
"It's alright," he promised for what seemed like the fiftieth time. "Just step outside." For her very first trip, he'd picked London. Nothing too bizarre, but bustling with enough life to be interesting. Apparently, it was a little too bustling for Fitz. The Doctor made a note that she was a timid little thing as he tried to coax her out of the TARDIS. She shook her head and backed up a step.
"Come on, Fitz. I'll be here with you the whole time; it's alright," he repeated, gently pushing her forward. She reflexively turned and hugged him round the middle, clinging tightly and burying her face in his chest. He stared down at her, shaking his head.
"Alright, then," he shrugged. She was standing on top of his feet, but she was light enough that he could still walk with ease, which he did, closing the door behind him. "See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" Fitz slowly opened her eyes and looked around, relaxing her grip and eventually taking a few steps away from him.
"Welcome to London!" The Doctor announced enthusiastically, resting his hand on her shoulder, watching for her reaction. For a moment, she stood completely still, stunned by the sights and smells and sounds. She glanced up at him, smiling from ear to ear.
"This is amazing!" she finally exclaimed, jumping with excitement. Her newfound bravery quickly vanished as a man walked by, and she ducked behind the Doctor, clutching his coat like a security blanket.
"We're going to have to work on that," he muttered with amusement, waving as the man passed.
"I still have questions," he remembered as they walked down the sidewalk. Fitz had relaxed enough that they could walk around without her trying to hide from everyone, but she was still holding his hand tightly, using the other to hold the ice cream cone. The Doctor had been eating his own ice cream, wondering if they could build a cone so that the ice cream didn't drip on his hand as it melted, when he suddenly recalled the volume of unanswered questions he still had. She didn't protest, contentedly eating her ice cream as she waited, so he launched into a recap.
"Okay, so you're structured like a human, but you don't have any internal organs or blood. You were born through the TARDIS, and you're sentient," he summarized. "But how? The TARDIS has never done anything like this before."
"Cardiff," Fitz answered distractedly, trying to stop the melting ice cream from dribbling onto her hand. "The energy from the rift stimulated the ions surrounding the vortex manipulator. The TARDIS basically siphoned off the excess energy and built a brain and filled it with information."
"Wait," The Doctor raised a hand to halt the explanation, raising an eyebrow at her. "You're saying that you were born in Cardiff?" Fitz nodded matter of factly.
"Blimey," he laughed. "I've got a daughter, and she's Welsh!" He seemed amused by this bit of information, the reason for which went right over Fitz's head.
"I suppose you could say that," she shrugged. "Along with the technical data I gained from the TARDIS, I also absorbed the DNA of my dad."
"You've got a dad?" The Doctor interrupted.
"Doesn't everyone?" she asked in turn, genuinely curious at the question.
"Well, who is it?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," Fitz admitted. "I'll know when I see him, but right now, all I know is that it was whoever had the most dominant DNA."
"Someone had more dominant DNA than me?" The Doctor interrupted for a third time, sounding put off by the notion. Fitz missed it completely, nodding in confirmation.
"And that's why I look like I do. I took the physical traits from the parent DNA and used them as a pattern, so to speak." She seemed to be gradually becoming more comfortable with speaking to him, or at all for that matter.
"So, if you were formed from the rift, then you were actually born during my last regeneration, which means that you've been here for ages! Where've you been?" The Doctor asked, furrowing his brow.
"Creating life takes a phenomenal amount of energy," Fitz started, pausing momentarily to catch a bit of ice cream before it toppled off of the cone. "You left the rift before I collected enough energy to create a physical body."
"Oh, I see," he picked up, "You free floated in a sub-space dimension. That way, you preserved your consciousness while conserving energy to form a body. Very clever, Fitz. You get that from me, I think." Fitz giggled at the comment.
"But, there's another question. If you didn't have enough energy, how did you get here? It would take years to gather enough energy from the excess of the TARDIS. She's an efficient vessel."
"You burnt up a sun," she reminded. "I don't know why you burnt up a sun, but that's where I got the necessary energy to manifest." She noticed that The Doctor had gone very quiet, and the grin had dropped from his face. She didn't ask if she'd said something wrong; she was pretty sure that she'd done that. She felt bad. She'd only just met her mum, and she'd already gone and made him sad. It made her upset when she realized that she didn't know what to do. Suddenly, he gave her hand a comforting squeeze, jarring her from her thoughts.
"Hey. It's alright. I was seeing a friend. It's fitting that you should come about because of that," he said levelly, the smile quickly returning to his face. "Young lady, I think you ought to know that you're like an episode of Lost. I get one answer, and five more question come up. If you manifested after I burnt up that sun, then where were you during all of that Racnoss business?" Fitz blushed, looking down.
"Honestly?" she asked. The Doctor nodded. She took a deep breath. "I was hiding because I was scared. That Donna lady was really loud." The Doctor chuckled.
"Yeah, she was that," he agreed. "Come on. Let's get back to the TARDIS. It doesn't look like anyone here is in dire need of our help." As the words left his lips, he was aware that he probably shouldn't have said them. As soon as he was finished speaking, the ground rumbled.
"Oh, I just had to go and say it," he mumbled to himself, scanning the area for a possible source. Fitz tugged on his sleeve.
"Not now, Fitz," he muttered. "I'm trying to figure out what's going on. This isn't an earthquake. There's a rhythm to it. Earthquakes don't have rhythm."
"Mum," Fitz started, tugging on his sleeve once more.
"Fitz, hold your horses," he said dismissively. "Almost like something it walking. But something that big? We'd be able to see it."
"Mum," Fitz repeated more urgently.
"What is it?" The Doctor snapped. Fitz gently put her hand to his face, turning his head to the left.
"Oh," he said simply. "I suppose that the very massive, very angry looking reptilian creature could be responsible."
End chapter one!
I hope you guys enjoy this. It's my first Doctor Who story, though I hope to write more in the future.