Lucy was playing with her fingernails, ignoring the heated argument that was currently taking place in the kitchen of the house where she used to live.
She chewed on her lip, and sighed, and hummed quietly to herself as accusatory phrases and what sounded like plea-bargains floated past her. She knew she should be paying attention, but for some reason, she was beyond caring.
Maybe it was because she knew her dad would win the argument eventually anyways, that this was just a pretense. Or maybe it was that she knew no matter what that she'd be getting her way. At times like these, she definitely showed signs of being an only child.
It was a moment before she realized that everyone was quiet, now staring at her with various expressions of annoyance, concern, amusement, and consternation.
"Are we boring you?" asked her father dryly.
"Mm, only a little bit," she said sincerely. The Doctor shook his head and repressed laughter.
"What do you want to do, Lucy?" asked Michelle warily; she seemed to have trouble saying her daughter's name, as if it caused her pain to place it with this new face. "Stay here, or go with him?"
Lucy paused, caught over a precipice. It seemed easy; all she had to do was say that she wanted to go with her dad. But in doing so, she knew she would break whatever was left of Michelle's heart.
"I—," she stopped short, unable to continue her thought. She bit her lip, shifted in her seat, fidgeted. She couldn't say what had been on the tip of her tongue for years. It was finally the time to speak out, and she was choking.
The Doctor seemed to sense her discomfort. "Lucy, whatever you have to say, just say it. Don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings. Okay?" Lucy nodded slowly, not looking at him. She took a deep breath.
"I… I want to go with dad," she mumbled, not looking up the entire time. She heard her mother's intake of breath, and glanced up warily. "Mom… I have no life here. You know that as well as I. I didn't really before, and I certainly don't now that I'm not even human. Come on! We'll visit. We will! But don't you see? I have to go. There's nothing left here for me."
Her mother sighed deeply, looking bone tired. She studied her daughter for a moment, saying nothing. Finally, she nodded, looking as if she'd been defeated.
"Will you at least stay here tonight?" she asked in a small voice. Lucy nodded, trying to fight back tears. Lucy bolted from the kitchen table, quick as a flash, and headed upstairs to her old room. She stayed there the rest of the night, ignoring all attempts to coax her out from her hiding place.
"She's having a bit of a rough time of it, isn't she?" muttered Rose to the Doctor after the third time of trying to convince her to come out.
"Adolescence," replied the Doctor, shrugging.
It was much, much later, nearly two in the morning, when Lucy finally left her old bedroom. She wasn't really quite certain herself why she'd stayed holed up there for so long. She just hadn't felt like dealing with anything for a while.
She got herself a glass of water and leaned against the counter in the kitchen, sipping it and studying her blue toenails. Suddenly, she heard the baby—Charlie—start crying. She froze, waiting a moment, but no one came to help him.
She set the glass in the sink, and tiptoed down the hallway, edging the nursery door open. Charlie had pulled himself up by the bars of the crib, and was standing there, wailing pitifully.
Lucy awkwardly picked him up, and slowly began rocking him back and forth, making what she hoped were reassuring noises. Eventually he quieted, but she continued rocking him.
"Oh, Charlie. We're quite a pair, you and I," she whispered sadly. "I'm your big sister, you know? It's true. Well, sort of. We don't have the same dad—and I don't like yours, or so I'm told—but I'm still your big sister."
She smiled slightly, humming a little. The baby cooed, waving his arms around.
"Do you have any idea what it's like to wake up and not be yourself? To look in the mirror and not see the same person you've seen all your life? And what's worse, to barely be able to remember your old life? Well, I'll tell you, it's the weirdest feeling in the world. Somehow both absolutely heartbreaking and completely liberating at the same time. I could be anyone now! Anyone at all.
"Well, not anyone. I can't be a wife and mother, if I ever wanted to," she laughed bitterly. "I'm not even human anymore."
"But no matter," she said, shaking her head. "Anyways, listening up, kiddo. I'm here for you. I promise. No matter what, no matter where I am in the universe, if you're in trouble, just call me and I'll be here as soon as I can. Don't let your jerk of a father get you down, okay? Oh, and stay out of my room." She smiled sadly. "I always wanted a younger sibling. It's kinda cool. I'm a little sad that I won't be here to see you grow up. But I know you'll be great." She sighed and looked at her brother.
"Well, I see I've bored you back to sleep, so, um…goodnight. I'll…I'll see you around." She gently placed the baby back in his crib.
Sniffling slightly, she hurried back to her own room, not even noticing her dad standing back in the shadows as she passed. He smiled proudly after his offspring. Proudly, yet sadly.
The next day dawned gray and cold as Lucy said her stilted and dreary goodbyes to her old family, and made her way to the TARDIS with her new one.
"Where to now?" asked Lucy once they were inside, trying not to sound sullen.
"We've got a school to investigate," said the Doctor gleefully, waggling his eyebrows. Lucy laughed slightly, leaning against the console.
"Well, get to it! Allons-y!" she shouted, grinning. The Doctor returned the gesture, and flipped a switch, throwing the TARDIS into motion.
A/N: Woo. Two updates in three days? Coolness. I'm tired, I'll keep it brief. Enjoy!