Don't ask me where this idea came from. But I really like it. It sort of makes sense to me, in a way. And yes, the telepathy thing is canon. The Doctor in question here is 11, if you can't tell.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
| Planet Earth, 6015. The Silence's Spaceship, America. |
It wasn't until her third real adventure that Jenny realized just how difficult it was to save the universe.
She had made the decision - mistake? - of coming to Earth. It wasn't the 21st century; it was four millennia later and her "father" was nowhere to be found. She had hoped to see him again, but all she had to go on were whispers and legends. They weren't exactly useless, but they didn't help much either.
Jenny, having only rumors and word-of-mouth to go by, had made the (definite) mistake of landing in America. While it was true that aliens had been discovered and accepted for many years, America had a civilisation living under the dirt that was more menacing than anything she could have imagined.
They called themselves the Silence, when she was looking at them. When she wasn't, she couldn't quite remember how she got into this strange room and onto this platform, only that the console in front of her bothered her for some reason. Its red lines and strange shape made little sense to her. She had a weird itch in her head when she looked at it, like something was definitively wrong somewhere. It didn't make sense, but perhaps it was her Time Lord genes.
The wraps around her arms and legs were made of a material she had no knowledge of. The room stank of the creatures, though she couldn't remember them most of the time. They barely fed her, opting to keep her malnourished and semi-conscious. No sun touched this place, so it was impossible to say how long she'd been here when she was saved. She had been roused from her sleep by the sound of gunfire and running feet. Raising her head from the platform she was strapped to gave her a picture of her hero: a woman in clothes that did not belong anywhere near this century. "Hey... Hello! Can you... help me?"
The woman holstered her gun momentarily, running across the room. "That would be why I'm here, sweetheart." She reached forward to touch the straps, then thought better of it and used the hem of her shirt instead, pulling the constraints off the blond Time Lady. The woman brought the cloth to her nose and sniffed, quickly holding it away from her face. "Disgusting smell," she frowned. "Dermal anaesthetic, those cheaters."
Jenny rose from the makeshift bed and staggered under her own weight. The woman was at her side in an instant, supporting her with an arm around her waist. "How did you... find me?"
"I saw your ship," the woman said with a sly smile, brown-blond curls framing her face like a halo. "All I had to do was follow, well... My head!" She yanked her blaster from her waist and shot the four Silence that had entered the room while they weren't paying attention. The beasts, for Jenny could think of no other word for them, fell with a horrendous screech.
"Your head?" Jenny mumbled, itching at the places on her arms where the constraints had cut into them.
The woman grinned, helping the girl cross the bodies of the Silence that were scattered about the room. "Time Lords have this little trick with telepathy. We can connect and find one another over long distances. Awfully convenient, don't you think?"
"Time... But you're not a..." Jenny made the mistake of looking one of the newly-arrived Silence in the eyes and immediately turned her head away. The post-hypnotic suggestion kicked in faster than she would have expected and she felt her mind slip away as she fell unconscious.
| Planet Earth, 6015. Jenny's Spaceship, America. |
An hour or three later, Jenny stirred from her sleep. Carefully opening her eyes, she gazed up at the ceiling of her ship. She sat up and felt her head dizzy with weakness. She fell back on the pillow that she didn't remember being quite this soft. She rubbed her temples in pain.
At that moment, the woman with the hair (which was amazing, she had to admit) came into her line of view, wringing her hands out in a towel. "Well good morning, sleepyhead."
"It's morning...?" Jenny frowned, still unable to see anything from her tiny space-cot. "I haven't seen this solar system's sun in... I don't even know how long."
"Judging by the dust on the console, it's been a lot longer than even I thought," the woman said, sitting on a corner of the bed that was unoccupied. "I can get you some food, but I think you probably have questions first."
"Questions..." Jenny trailed off, then suddenly remembered her most burning question of the lot. She gasped, then burst out, "You said you were a Time Lord!"
The woman laughed musically. "I'm half Time Lord, but it still counts."
"Half... Are you my sister?" Jenny squeaked.
This question seemed to actually catch the woman off guard and she practically roared with mirth. "No, dear. But you do know my husband, I would think."
Jenny's face lit up. "You married my dad- err... The Doctor? Do you know where he is? I've been trying to find him for ages..."
"He's around," the woman smiled. "Always around. He's told me all about you."
"He has?" Jenny said, a bit surprised. Her "father" hadn't been exactly welcoming of her presence until the very end. "He hasn't... forgotten me?"
"Oh Jenny..." she said gently. "The Doctor never forgets anyone. Not really. Even if he sometimes pretends."
"I want to see him," she said determinedly, pushing herself into a sitting position. Her head spun, but she grit her teeth against it.
"Hold on," the woman replied, laying a hand on Jenny's shoulder. "You're in no condition to go anywhere. You need rest and food. Then I promise, I'll take you to the Doctor."
Jenny paused in thought, then nodded. "Alright. What... What do I call you? I mean, what's your name?"
The woman smiled sweetly. "My name is River." Her smile then turned from sweet to a bit of cheek. "But you can call me Mom if you like. It will drive him mad."
| The Time Vortex, Sometime or Another. The TARDIS Control Room. |
The Doctor danced around the TARDIS's console with a rare burst of happiness. The Ponds were back - not forever, but for now - and he was no longer alone in this huge TARDIS by himself. He loved his ship, to be sure, but the lack of talking depressed him. And he always did like people along to ask him questions and let him be clever.
A sizzle of light caught the Doctor's gaze and he watched as his wife - he still wasn't used to that - popped into existence. Her face held the same mischievous grin as it always did, and she stood by the stairs with-
He blinked. There stood Jenny. She wore a different outfit, had her hair up in the same ponytail, and she was Jenny. It was a long moment before he could bring himself to speak. "But... you're dead. River, what did you do?"
"I didn't do anything," River said innocently. "She never died. You just thought she did."
"It's true... Dad," Jenny said timidly. "The Source, the terraforming device, it saved me." She smiled sheepishly as The Doctor carefully approached her, walking down the stairs in that sideways manner he always did. Warily, he roughly poked a finger in her shoulder. "Ow!" she said, furrowing her eyebrows at him and poking him back. "What was that for?"
His face turned from confusion to wonder. She was alive. "Ha!" He swept her into his arms and she yelped in surprise. He swung her around, then deftly put her down on the bottom stair. "I can't believe it. You're alive!"
Jenny grinned, then said, "You look different. Mom explained it all to me, though."
"Ah, I was wondering when you- wait, what? Mom?" He turned an incredulous gaze on River, who was grinning like a fool.
"Technically, I'm her stepmother," River supplied. "But since she doesn't have a proper mother..."
"Oh no!" The Doctor crossed to his wife and wagged a finger in her face. "I will not have you corrupting my daughter!"
"Our daughter," River correctly firmly.
At that moment, before the Doctor could speak again, a voice came from the top of the stairs. "Doctor, we're trying to sleep... Oh, River! Hello." A thin, ginger woman in a white nightie descended the stairs, watching the newcomer warily. "And who is this?"
"This is Jenny," the Doctor said, a stupid grin plastered on his face once more. "She's my daughter."
Amy's eyes widened. "You... she's my... You got my daughter pregnant?"
The Doctor immediately backtracked as River began laughing her head off. "No! No no no... Um, ah... It's hard to explain! Yes, that's it..." He clapped his hands together once. "Let's all go get a cuppa, and I'll tell you all about it. Where's Rory?"
"Not happy that you impregnated his daughter, that's what," Rory mumbled, appearing from behind Amy and wiping sleep from his right eye.
"Rory, I didn't... do that... And anyway, she's my wife. It's perfectly legal," the Doctor added quickly, before rushing off to the kitchen before Rory or Amy could protest or say one more word about it. Jenny quickly followed her father with a grin on her face that matched his own.
River watched them all go, choosing not to follow. Jenny was back where she belonged, travelling with her father. By the nature of her and the Doctor's relationship, she had seen Jenny many times in her past and she had known when exactly she was meant to save her. Back-to-front with yet another time traveller. She remembered all the wonderful times the three of them had, and even more times when her parents had been present. She wouldn't have traded any of it for the world.
Now that her rescue of Jenny had passed, she doubted that she would ever hear the girl call her "Mom" again. She allowed a single tear to fall down her face before she hit the button on her vortex manipulator and disappeared.
| Planet Messaline, 6012. The Human Underground. |
River burst into existence, letting a shiver go down her spine. Time travelling with a vortex manipulator was so exhilarating sometimes. She knew the Doctor didn't like it, but she found it... fun, in a way.
She gazed about her surroundings and was pleased to find that she was exactly where she meant to land. The human versus Hath war was raging on and had been for six days now. The Doctor would be here soon, according to his story. She had to move fast.
No guards were currently patrolling the area, but that would soon change. She found the only Progenation Machine within a mile and began to work.
It was early in her own timeline - so early - that yesterday had been the first time she had met Jenny. Though the Doctor had loudly proclaimed no spoilers, she had gleaned enough information from the girl excitedly calling her "Mom" to tell that she had been the one to save Jenny from an unnamed threat. The girl seemed very grateful and almost... loving. It was an odd, wistful feeling.
River re-wired the machine from the inside out, changing its main objective to one only slightly different. The Doctor had yet to experience it, and she could never forget, but they had once - only once - consummated their marriage. She loved him with all of her being and was a bit surprised to learn that he loved her in return. He had managed a long rant about how absolutely infuriating she was and how her hair was brilliant, all ending in those three little words she had longed to hear.
A bit surprisingly, she had become pregnant on the first try. It was an accident, as they had both firmly decided that a child on the TARDIS was a terrible idea. But despite contraceptives, they had indeed created a new life. River's pregnancy had been a harsh one; half human did not prevent any of the typical pregnancy symptoms from hitting her full force.
Almost four months after the child was conceived, River called the Doctor from her newly purchased home. The Time Lord had insisted that she live in a place, a house, safer and more accommodating to an expecting mother than the TARDIS. The phone call was full of tears dotted with screams of pain. The Doctor rushed to her side, the TARDIS actually being on time for once. He rushed his wife into the time machine, but there was nothing they could do; River had miscarried their baby.
The Doctor had mumbled something about her body rejecting the child for a reason they could not discern. He theorised that it was the human half of her DNA, rejecting what they discovered would have been an almost full Time Lord child. River had been created in the TARDIS with the machine to guide her conception. Their child had been conceived elsewhere, in the most expensive and beautiful honeymoon suite in the universe. It did not have the stability that the TARDIS afforded River when she was created.
But in the end, it was only a theory. They did not know and River did not care. Their baby was gone.
After much deliberation, the Doctor conceded to River's request to know the child's sex. After a simple blood test, they had determined that the baby had been a girl. The Doctor had never seen River so sad and he saw her heart break before his eyes. He had only seen her cry twice before: their pyramid wedding and the day that she had sacrificed her life for those 4,022 people in The Library.
And now she was messing with this Progenation Machine, determined to at least make something right. Perhaps it would be messing with time too much, but she wasn't sure that she cared. In the long run, it wouldn't change a thing. She saw bits of herself in Jenny - the girl's spunky personality, the way that she liked to tongue-tie her father with logic - that could not have been anything else. She was Jenny's mother, in more than just name.
She heard the next round of guards coming, their feet thudding softly on the dirt. She plunged her hands into the machine and cringed in pain when it took a tissue sample from her hand. She had re-wired it to only accept a second donation of DNA if said DNA was Time Lord in origin. The Doctor, according to his account, would be here this very day.
The machine was set to only match Time Lord DNA with other Time Lord DNA, to create a child that was a full Time Lord, one that could regenerate properly and live a long, healthy life. Half Doctor, half River.
The guards were getting closer. She checked the machine's settings one last time, then set her vortex manipulator for home.
She would never tell him. Except, perhaps, in her diary.