A/N: I know my dedicated readers probably aren't expecting this as my triumphant return, but I promise I will return to my Kingdom Hearts stuff just as soon as I dispell the DW plot bunnies that have taken over my mind.
Because I love Jenny. And because we all know that BBC can't create a daughter for the Doctor, let her live, and then never show her again. So just some drabbles of the Doctor adjusting to life with his new little Time Girl.
Disclaimer: I'm not even British, and yet I own the coolest TV show to ever be made by that country. (btw, not only am I American, but I'm from Tennessee, meaning I'm not even speaking English by that point. So sorry if I accidentally use an American English term for something instead of the British English term at any point.)
Daddy's Little Girl
She had been born a soldier, but Jenny was still very much a girl.
It just took showing her the wardrobe to figure it out.
Jenny may have been programmed to punch things and shoot guns and roundhouse kick Hath, but she was nevertheless a woman and it seemed therefore that there was an inherent part of her biology that made her attracted to things that sparkled.
Her eyes grew wide and a funny little smile tickled the corners of her lips as she fingered ancient gowns and futuristic blouses; holding up in front of herself flapper dresses and poodle skirts and skirts made of neo-cotton from Egypt in the 68th century. It seemed there was a part of every little girl that liked to play dress-up.
Jenny's sense of style took some developing. She was used to khaki and cargo and camo. There really hadn't been much opportunity or need for her to stop and read fashion magazines in the past, and with no one around who could teach her anything about how to put an outfit together (because goodness knows he couldn't; whenever the thought crossed his mind he reminded himself that he had once donned a vegetable as part of his everyday apparel) she had been left mostly to discover a sense of style for herself.
The results were everything from innovative to humorous to just plain pathetic.
There was always the basis of practicality in her choices; she knew they would be running and probably getting into danger and therefore she factored that in to her daily dressing. Other than that, just about anything could happen. She saw something she liked and put it on and then tried to find other things she liked that might look good with it. The resulting ensembles were interesting amalgams of various eras and planets and cultures that could only be described as outfits that matched because they didn't.
Luckily for the Doctor's vanity, after several weeks of clashing colors and odd combinations, Jenny's personal sense of style started to show its formation. She discovered jeans as "the perfect clothing item" declaring that they were 'practical and posh'. Leather jackets and denim vests and the funny midrift vests that came into style on Earth in the late 36th century; she loved those. Her usual mode consisted of jeans, or shorts, occasionally cargo pants, t-shirts of bands she'd never heard of with vests or cropped jackets of denim or leather; combined with surprisingly feminine jewelry (she liked things that sparkled)--the long strings of pearls worn in Earth's flapper era, and the long pendants and necklaces of the early 21st century that mimicked them, multiple bracelets all piled onto one arm as long as they didn't jingle and compromise stealth. She wore Converse sneakers now and again to tease him, but secretely she saw why he liked them, and started to wear trainers almost as much as she wore boots. At the Doctor's suggestion Jenny tried on a pair of shoes that looked like someone had stuck a pencil into the heel and proceeded to declare shoes with high heels to be "the most preposterous, impractical, and ridiculous objects ever to be invented for the purpose of being placed on a humanoid foot!"
The height of her jeans never quite stayed in the same place. One day she'd wear the straight-leg, waist-high jeans of the days when women first started to wear them; the next she'd be wearing low-rise bellbottoms, the next she'd be wearing the jeans that rose all the way to the bust line which had been staples of the 'Whoopin 40's' era in the 64th century. He hoped she didn't acquire a lasting taste for the fashions of that era. It was generally agreed that the 6340's were worse than the 1980's.
Even with a closet of her own everyday clothes, Jenny never seemed to get tired of trying on new things (or doing some damage at various interstellar boutiques with the psychic paper) in the vast expanses of the wardobe. She'd come down dressed in the huge hoop skirts of American civil war Southern Belles; or the odd metal collared balloon suits of Sto's Feminist Revolution. Then one day she found a dress of gold trimmed with lightweight red tarulite jewels and came down to the console room to show him because it fit her so perfectly.
"Oh Dad, it's gorgeous! Where'd you get it?"
Silence. Don't make her think you don't like it. "Can't remember." And he turned away, flipping a few obsolete switches on the Tardis console so he would look like he had something to do.
Jenny didn't seem to notice anything was amiss. "It's awful fancy. What's it for?"
The Doctor closed his eyes tightly, breathing in deeply. "Bridesmaid dress."
"I like it. Fits like a dream. What do you think?"
And she can't figure out why there is such a hurt look in his nevertheless honest eyes when he turns to her and says, "You look beautiful."
Susan had worn it.
In a wedding.
His second eldest son's.
The first child he lost.
And now Jenny was wearing it too. And it fit her perfectly.
"So, why're we going to this…Torchwood, again?" Jenny called from the wardrobe upstairs. She was still getting used to having her own room and her own closet, and had taken to going through the wardrobe when she got dressed every day and then leaving the clothes she liked in her bedroom, gradually building up her own collection.
"Because," The Doctor began, flipping several switches to avoiding denting the 1980's…again, "The Cardiff branch sits on top of a rift in space and it is a wonderful little fueling station for the TARDIS. Thought we might pop in on Captain Jack while we were at it. Make sure Torchwood hasn't managed to crack open any parallel universes lately."
"Right." He heard Jenny call, from much closer this time, and he turned to see her entering the room, dressed and ready to go. Or so she thought.
"Uh-uh. No way. You are not going to Torchwood dressed like that."
Jenny looked down to inspect her apparel. "What's wrong with it?"
The Doctor kicked a lever on the console before taking a breath and relaxing against it, fixing his daughter with a wry frown. "The amount of skin that shirt is showing and the general lack of excess fabric on those jeans."
Jenny stared at him, incredulous. "Where're we going, the middle ages?" She eyed her short sleeve cropped denim jacket and purple tank top. "For twenty-first century London, this is perfectly modest!"
The Doctor flicked his eyebrows upwards and returned to the controls. "Not when you're meeting Captain Jack Harkness."
"Doctor! You couldn't park that thing somewhere where it wouldn't be in the middle of our operations?"
The Doctor rolled his eyes at the outcry of a certain Captain Jack Harkness. "Weeeell, for one thing you don't look like you're actually doing any operations at the moment. And I wouldn't have to park down here if I actually could find the entrance."
The two men glared at each other for a moment before Captain Jack broke into a smile. He held out his arms. "Doctor!"
The Doctor smiled, but remained where he was. "I'm not hugging you."
Jack dropped his arms but kept smiling. "Resilient as ever, I see."
"Right, well. One other thing to tell you, while we're here." The smile on the Doctor's face was quickly replaced with a subtly threatening frown. "I have someone to introduce you to. BUT--" The Doctor said loudly as the corner of Jack's mouth quirked upward in interest. The Doctor pointed a warning finger at Jack. "You are not, you hear me, not to think of her in the capacity that you normally think of every living creature that enters your line of vision."
Despite the list of witty remarks Jack thought about making in response to the Doctor's orders, he decided that perhaps sarcasm was not the best thing to put on the table when the Doctor had that dangerous gleam in his eye. For lack of a better response, he replied simply with, "Alright."
The Doctor's serious face promptly disappeared as his normal nonchalant smile took its place. "Good. Because if you do I'll find a nice black hole for you to spend the rest of your eternal life in." He then turned, still smiling and banged loudly on the door of the Tardis. "So! Colony planet, light-years away plus tissue sample stolen at gunpoint plus progenation machine, equalsah," the Tardis door opened and a blonde-headed girl stepped out, smiling. The Doctor threw an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "Daddy's little girl."
The girl smiled and held out a hand. "He's had me standing there for five minutes just so he could be dramatic. Now," she gave the Captain a once over. "You must be Captain Jack Harkness." Her father raised an eyebrow as her smile turned funny. "I'm Jenny."
The Doctor leaned inwards, whispering, "Don't, just, just, don't."
"Progenation, huh?" Two immortal men and one very mortal Martha Milligan sat across from each other at a small table, all three of them doing little more than staring at the now-cold tea that Jenny had insisted on attempting to make for them before she had run off to see the sights of Cardiff---Gwen and Ianto having been volunteered by Jack to be chaperones.
"Yup." Suddenly Jack started snickering and the Doctor looked up from his cold tea.
Jack shook his head, still chuckling. "Just, the thought of you being a dad. Can't quite picture it."
The Doctor looked up, his brow creased. "Why does everyone always assume that I've never done this before? None of you have ever considered that in nine hundred years I've ever had a family. I had all that, once. I was married. I had kids, I had…grandkids." His nodding ceased and he took a shaky breath, looking away quickly. "Had all of that…" His face fell further. "'Had' being the operative word, of course."
Martha saw the sadness beginning to creep into the Doctor's eyes and internally voted to steer the conversation in a different direction. "But, what I don't understand is, how is she alive? She died, I saw it. But here she is, alive and well. I mean, obviously she didn't regenerate, because she still looks the same."
"Fifteen hour regenerative cellular energy reserve. Triggered by the Terra-forming process awakening the dormant Time Lord DNA that had been suppressed by the human-soldier programming." The Doctor replied quickly.
Martha and Jack blinked.
The Doctor rolled his eyes and sighed. Humans. "First fifteen hours of a regeneration cycle, or…birth…cycle in Jenny's case, Time Lords can heal injuries without completely regenerating. For example, heal a gunshot wound or," he held up a hand and waved at Martha, "regrow a severed hand."
Martha rolled her eyes and Jack snickered. "But she was dead. Why didn't she heal immediately?"
The Doctor sighed again. "I told you, the machine programmed her to be a soldier, and that programming was suppressing the regenerative abilities in the Gallifreyan DNA. I reckon the terra-forming sphere broke the programming and allowed her DNA to take effect."
Martha shook her head. "So...the sphere...thing brought her back to life?"
"She's alive, can we leave it at that?" Jack announced, as the Doctor sat and steamed at the ignorance of his former companions. Honestly, it wasn't that complicated.
The trio was silent for a few moments, before finally Martha spoke.
"I heard about Donna," She said quietly.
"Her grandfather got in touch with everyone, that is, us, Mickey, Sarah Jane; just to let us know unless we ever ran into her." Jack added softly. The Doctor remained silent, staring intently into space.
"So how are you holding up?" Martha prodded gently, laying a hand on the Doctor's arm.
"What do you mean?" Martha sighed.
"You know what I mean."
And the Doctor did. Love of his life in a parallel universe with a human version of himself; best friend unable to ever remember him or the fun they'd had; typical drama that came with being the last of the Time Lords.
The Doctor looked up. "I'm good."
Martha and Jack gave him disbelieving looks. The ancient Time Lord grinned. "Honestly, for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say, I'm good."
He could tell they still didn't believe him.
"I've got Jenny." He stated simply. "I mean it's not the most conventional way of becoming a parent…" The Time Lord sighed. "But she's all I've got. And I don't know what I'd do without her. I mean, she's brilliant, and she's clever, and she's witty, and she's really quite funny, which I wouldn't have thought, since she was born to be a soldier and all, but…it's good. It's hard, but it's good." The smile faded. "I mean…it's different, I never had to raise a kid on my own, really. First time around I had help. And of course…she reminds me of them."
It was relieving to know that Martha and Jack didn't have to ask who 'they' were.
He sighed, looking up at his friends with a smile, a rare, genuine smile. "But it's good. I'm good. And Jenny, well, like I said, she's brilliant. And she's…she's," The Doctor's smile fell away as his brow creased and his concentration shifted, "she's…about to get herself arrested. I'll be right back." And he jumped out of his seat and sprinted towards the exit.
Jack raised his eyebrows and stared after the Doctor. "How do you know that?"
The Doctor turned around and tapped his temple. "Telepathic link. Makes fatherhood a little bit easier."
And off he went, to join his daughter in a little more running.
"Did you spin that green thing?"
"Then flip those switches to your right and---"
"Pull those things," Jenny acted as she spoke, fiddling with the necessary doo-dads on the Tardis console as she helped her father keep from falling out of the time vortex, "turn that, and," she kicked the lever beside her left foot. "Ha!" She stepped back as the Tardis's shaking stopped. "There we go."
The Doctor grinned proudly at her. "Yeaaah. That's my girl! You're really getting the hang of this. Well done, Jenny."
And she grinned at him, pleased.
He turned away quickly, fighting to keep his smile in place lest she notice something was wrong.
It was when she smiled like that that he felt it the most. He could see her, every time; another little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Another little quick learner. Another little girl who had seen time more keenly than anyone who had yet to look into the Untempered Schism ought to be able to. Another little prodigy.
Another little girl who loved to run; and he could see her running every time he looked at Jenny, running through fields of red grass and he could hear her begging him to take her up to the mountains because she loved to run in the snow.
And he can't help but think of her every time Jenny smiles, because he wonders if this young woman in front of him might be something like what that little girl would have looked like if she'd been allowed to live past four years old.
And it hurts, every time he looks at her smile. The pain that filled the hole his children left being dug up every time she smiles or hugs him or calls him 'dad'. The hurt that accompanied acknowledging that whatever the resemblance, she wasn't the little girl who'd run along red hillsides, and she never could be.
And yet, there was something good about that. She wasn't what he'd lost. She was Jenny. Every day with her got a little bit easier. It was like she was digging the pain out of the hole so that she could fill it up with herself. He hadn't thought he'd be able to stand it.
And he'd never been happier to be wrong.
A Shared History
"They always get that wrong. Why do they always get that wrong?" The Doctor shook his head at the pages of his book and sighed. Historians. They were worse than archeologists.
"Dad," a soft voice came from the doorway of his bedroom. The Doctor looked up from the printed massacre of the events of the French Revolution to see his daughter standing a tad nervously in the doorway, looking rather adorable in her slightly-too-big green and blue polka-dotted pajamas.
The Doctor surveyed his daughter. "What are you doing up? I thought you were going to get some sleep; it's been a few days since the last time you got any shut-eye."
Jenny smiled. "Look who's talking, I thought you were going to get some sleep, too."
Her father shrugged. "I'm not sleepy; I mean I'm tired, but I'm not sleepy." He held up his book. "Thought I'd read a little and maybe it'd help."
Jenny nodded silently and stared off into a corner. She remained like that for a few more moments before the Doctor asked, "Jenny?" She looked up at him. "Did you need something?"
"Oh, um," she shifted her weight from one foot to the other and began nervously fiddling with a strand of her white-blonde hair. "Well, I've been doing a lot of reading lately." She said simply, not quite meeting her father's eyes.
"Have you?" He asked casually, still trying to deduce where she was going with this.
"And, well, I've deduced that there are a multitude of societies and cultures where it is something of a tradition, although I don't know if it held true on Gallifrey, for parents to tell their children stories or tales of some form before they go to sleep."
The Doctor marked his page in his book and set it aside, now anticipating the point Jenny was going to make.
Jenny didn't notice he was already shifting sideways in his bed as she was still staring into the distance and playing with her hair. "And, of course, while I'm not a child, it just seems like this bedtime story thing is something of a fundamental ritual of childhood and necessary for the development of any properly educated individual." She nodded at the point in space that she'd been staring at. The Doctor wondered how long she had spent coming up with that sentence.
"Jenny," He called softy, and his daughter raised still-nervous dark eyes to look at him properly. "Would you like me to tell you a bedtime story?"
She pursed her lips in an attempt to hide her eager smile but it bled through at the corners anyway. "Oh yes, please." She said, her tone betraying her excitement. The Doctor reflected that Jenny may have been born as an adult, but there was something in her that still inherently yearned for a childhood. She'd never been a kid, and despite her soldier programming, there were many times when it was clear that she very much wanted to be.
The Doctor smiled at her and patted the bed beside him where he'd made room for her. Jenny smiled and climbed into bed next to him, snuggling up next to her father as he wrapped a loving arm around her shoulders. "So," he began exuberantly, grinning at his little girl. "Anything in particular? Classic Earth fairy tales, perhaps?"
Jenny shook her head vigorously. "I read a book of Earth fairy tales the other day. They all seemed rather…warped. Little girls and their grandmothers being eaten by wolves, and princesses being forced to sleep on a bed one-hundred mattresses high, and girls being poisoned by apples, egg-people being pushed off of walls…all seemed rather inappropriate for children, actually."
"I suppose they are rather sick, those tales." The Doctor mused.
His thoughts on the even more gruesom fairy tales that would become popular on Earth around 705,400 were interrupted when Jenny next asked, "What about something about Gallifrey?"
The Doctor's smile faded and he looked down to see the curiosity on Jenny's face. He didn't like talking about home, but if there was one thing Jenny yearned to know more about, it was the place she came from. She wasn't born on Gallifrey, but she was still Gallifreyan, and that left her desperate to know about her heritage.
The ancient time traveler sighed and gave in. She was all that was left of a dead civilization, and the least he could do was ensure that his planet lived on in the mind of its last child.
"Alright." Jenny smiled.
The Doctor sighed and began. "Once upon a time, there was little boy, a very lonely little boy, who lived in a house in the mountains, near a hermit who used to talk to him."
"What was his name?" Jenny asked.
"No, the little boy! I mean, it sounds like he's the main character, and typically you're supposed to be told the name of the main character."
The Doctor smiled a secret little smile. "It's a secret."
Jenny gave him an incredulous smile. "What do you mean, it's a secret? Can't you tell me?"
Her father gave her a strange look that to Jenny seemed to encompass nine-hundred years of mystery. "Maybe someday I can."
Jenny shrugged, satisfied for the time being. "Anyway," he continued. "One day this lonely little boy made a friend."
"What was the friend's name?"
"That's a secret, too."
"Can't you tell me his name, either?"
"Not anymore." And again Jenny was satisfied. "Anyway, these two boys became the best of friends and they stayed that way for years. Then, when they were eight years old, they were taken to the academy, to look into the Untempered Schism, to look into Time." He paused, looking down at his daughter. Her eyes were closed, but she was not yet asleep. He smiled at her, using his shoulder as a pillow, and continued his story. "That's where it started. The boy's friend looked into the Schism, and the infinity and majesty and terror of time drove him mad, and he would spend the rest of his life trying to stop his ears from hearing the pounding in his mind of the sound of his two hearts beating—thump-thump, thump-thump; thump-thump, thump-thump. It just drove his mind out of his head."
Jenny hummed in interested pity. "Did the other little boy go mad?" She mumbled sleepily. The Doctor let his head rest against Jenny's, feeling sleepy himself. And in this way the Last of the Time Lords continued his tale, determined to keep the story going until both he and his daughter were asleep.
"Not all who look into Time go mad. Some are inspired. This other little boy, whose name is secret, he looked into Time, and it terrified him, and he ran. Oh, he ran and he ran and he never stopped running. It took five senior Time Lords nearly two hours to finally track him down and bring him back." He felt Jenny's sleepy shudder of amusement against his shoulder. "He just kept running, all his life, running, running, running. Across Gallifrey, and then across the stars. He just kept running; and I don't suppose he's ever really stopped. All across the stars, he's still running…"
But the little boy isn't lonely; not anymore.
A/N: So, first attempt at writing for Doctor Who. Feedback would be appreciated, as long as it isn't hurtful. Constructive Critism is one thing, 'OMG YOU CANT WRITE THIS SUCKS' is another. Btw, I can't take credit for the thing about The Master's hearts being the drums--but unfortunately I've forgotten where I read that take on it...