Title- Driving Lessons
Characters/Pairings- 10/River and Jenny, with a couple extremely subtle references to others. Bonus points if you can guess who!
Summary- There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a father. The one the Doctor was NOT prepared for? "Dad, can I borrow the TARDIS…?"
A/N- Just a bit of ridiculous Doctor-as-father fun. With just a hint of River Song thrown in there for good measure, because only the delusional are still clinging to Rose/anyDoctorbut10.5 when River's around!
"Dad, can I borrow the TARDIS for a bit?"
The Doctor looked up from where he was sitting, perusing a telepathic novel by a 50th-century Samoan author. "What?" he asked, taken aback.
Jenny shrugged. "The girls and I were talking about popping off to Alvega for a bit; trouble is, Earth technology's not gonna catch up to the point we need if we're gonna catch a hyperspace shuttle for another two-thousand years."
It was one of the few times the Doctor had actually been rendered speechless. "I... you..." he spluttered. Over the course of three years, Earth-time, he'd adjusted to having something like a home. Maybe not a really permanent one, but... a place to come back to on the rare occasions when he really had just had too much.
He thought he'd also adjusted to the notion of having a daughter. Most of the time, Jenny was practically a Time Lady Errant (actually, she reminded him a bit of a woman he'd known what felt like a million years ago- and at more than one point had been). And then there were times when he couldn't distinguish between his clone/daughter and a typical human teenage girl. It was more than a little terrifying.
"It's a pretty simple question," Jenny said, biting her cheek to keep from smirking at his bewildered expression. "Yes or no?"
The Doctor blinked back to the present. "I, uh... Absolutely not!"
"Daaaaad," she whined.
"No!" he insisted. "Last time I let you take her out for a spin, you nearly crashed the Hindenburg!"
"That would've happened anyway!"
"Yes, but no need for it to happen six months early!"
Jenny crossed her arms and raised her chin defiantly. Despite her short stature, she cut an imposing figure. The Doctor made a mental note to tell her to save those blazing eyes for people who actually needed terrifying out of their wits.
"It's just a quick teleport, not even two galaxies over!" she protested. "Nothing fancy! No time travel, no actual flying if we can help it. Just teleportation. Simple."
The Doctor debated with himself for a few moments. Then, against his better judgment, he relented.
"Fine. On one condition," he cautioned, preempting her delighted squeal, holding up a finger. "I'm giving you lessons before you go. You're way overdue for TARDIS-training."
Jenny smiled. "Thanks, Dad!" she exclaimed, hugging him spontaneously.
With a surprised chuckle, he hugged her back. This girl was a constant surprise...
"No, no! Blue button!" the Doctor shouted, hanging on for dear life as the TARDIS lurched wildly through Russian airspace. "Not that blue- GAH! THE OTHER ONE! Okay, now spin the... Yeah, that's it... No! No, don't do that! Just pull the little thingamajig there and we'll set down nice and easy, right. Like-" He broke off with a yelp as the time machine spun in a dizzying circle, throwing him to the floor.
With a resonating crash, the TARDIS slammed onto the rocky shore of a remote Scottish loch.
Jenny bounded lightly out the doors, grinning. The Doctor stumbled after her, coughing from the smoke being expelled from the console. "It's not supposed to do that!" he exclaimed. "The smoking... that's bad! That's very bad!"
She glanced back through the doors with a slightly concerned expression on her face. "It's just the forlax capacitator," she said, nodding as the worry cleared away. "A bit of duct tape and it'll be good as new."
"Are you actually trying to suggest repairing a centuries-old living time ship with duct tape...?"
At that moment, a third voice interrupted them: "Oh hush, you two."
The Doctor obediently fell silent, and Jenny's brash attitude dialed back several notches. There was only one person in the universe who could command such immediate respect and attention from both the Doctor and his daughter...
"Hi, River," the Doctor said, a nervous smile lighting up his face.
Jenny flashed the older woman a knowing smirk as the oblivious Doctor grinned madly. "River, would you tell Dad he's being ridiculous?" she asked.
"And that's different from usual...?"
Jenny giggled. "Right. He's being a dictator about the TARDIS. One little incident with a twentieth-century airship and suddenly I'm a menace. A teeny scratch on the forlax capacitator and he's going on like it's the end of the world!"
"Well, he is very protective of that ship," River pointed out.
"If I weren't, who would take care of her, poor thing?" the Doctor piped up.
"Forlax capacitator, you said?" River asked, shooting him a look. "That's an easy fix."
"That may be," the Doctor grumbled, "but how can I just hand the TARDIS off to her and let her fly off to god-knows-where with virtually no training whatsoever to get into every imaginable kind of trouble...?"
River shook her head, grinning. She stepped closer to him, causing the Doctor to take a step back. "You know what I think?" she asked.
"W-what?" he stuttered.
"I think you're too attached to that ship," she said coyly. "I think you're too used to having an easy escape route if things get a bit... intense." Her voice was laced with innuendo, and she took another step back. The Doctor backed away again, but he was now pressed up against the TARDIS and there was nowhere left to go. He gulped.
River leaned in a little closer. "Stick around here with me for a few hours. It won't kill you to stay still for a bit."
The Doctor nodded dumbly.
Her lips ticked upward in a bright grin. "There now," she said, turning away and leaving the Doctor bewildered and pink around the ears. "That wasn't so hard, was it? Now, as for the TARDIS, what do you say to a quick repair and then some lessons from someone who really-" She shot the Doctor a smirk over her shoulder. "-Knows how to fly this thing?"
Jenny, who had been trying to hide her laughter behind her hands throughout the exchange, nodded. "Thanks, River."
Twenty minutes later, the doors of the TARDIS had closed on the little blonde anomaly and the ship silently disappeared (River had refused to let Jenny leave until she promised to take the parking brakes off, much to the Doctor's chagrin).
The Doctor stared at the spot where the ship had been, a strange expression on his face.
River lay a hand on his arm. "She'll be alright," she assured him.
"You know, she's got the body of a grown woman, but really she's just a kid most of the time."
"She's a part of you. She's brilliant like you," River said firmly. "She'll be fine. If anything goes wrong- and it won't- she's in the best possible place. The TARDIS is imprinted with your exact genetic code. That's what she's built from- your DNA. The ship will protect her."
Finally, he looked down at her, and reluctantly, a small smile twitched at his lips. "Thank you," he said.
The tender moment lasted all of twenty seconds. Then a wicked look came over River's face. "Well, the kids are gone for the night, Doctor," she said. "What do you say to a little grownup fun?"
The Doctor turned scarlet, but didn't protest when River took his hand and led him away.
A/N- Reviews = love and we all know it!