Epilogue / Fundamentals

Elements n. 12. Fundamentals: the rudimentary principles of an art, science, etc.: the elements of grammar.

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In all the Doctor's long, long history on Earth, this had been without a doubt the most joyous Christmas he'd ever had. He'd spent many quiet happy hours simply talking with his mother, for the first time in his life reaching understanding about so many puzzles from his childhood, and his people. There were so many things she was able to explain, especially about the latter, having lived through the Time War and all the centuries' events leading up to it from inside the Council.

Mike sat in on many of those talks, and for the first time the brothers really felt like brothers, rather than weird, warped, flawed mirror images of each other. The ease with which Lady Toshana – who had decided to anglicize her name to Hannah Smith – accepted Mike as her son, after finally hearing the entire story of his genesis, still caused him to shake his head in wonder.

The kids were all abuzz about their new Aunt Hannah – the adults deciding that trying to explain her real relationship to their respective Dads was just a bit too much for them to handle at the time. Wilf and Sylvia took it in stride, welcoming her to their expanding family. The more the merrier.

Hannah knew she was in for a huge adjustment – anything one could say about it was bound to be a ludicrous understatement – learning to live as a human on Earth. Mike set himself the task of guiding her along the way, starting with English lessons; sooner or later the TARDIS would no longer be nearby with its constant helpful translations. The kids all gleefully helped out; being the teachers instead of the students had them all in stitches regularly. The adults smiled conspiratorially at each other, forbearing to point out to the youngsters that they were learning as much as their Aunt.

A few days after Christmas, the Doctor recalled the Search he'd set Davey on Mars, and asked for the results. The boy proudly brought out the list he'd compiled over the preceding days, grinning ear to ear when his dad admitted he hadn't missed a single definition. He chose hot fudge sundaes for everyone as the prize, and only pouted a little when he had to wait till after dinner.

Very late that night, the kids all tucked into bed, the various adults asleep or in solitary pursuits, Rose snuggled closer into her husband's side in front of the fire they'd set in the TARDIS library, and made a confession. "Actually, I do know of one definition he missed. I was holding back."

His eyebrows quizzed her, and she smiled, quoting, "'Mathematics: an infinitesimal part of a given quantity, similar in nature to it.'"

"And do you have an appropriate example, Madame Assistant Professor?"

She dragged it out a beat, gazing into her beloved's warm brown eyes. "Love. Of all the love in the universe, throughout all of time, part of it is my love for you."