A/N: I think this simply-titled chapter is the one everyone's been desperate for…
Rose buried her face in her hands. It had been several days since Leanne had accused the Doctor of not being her 'real Dad', and the girl had tearfully apologised the moment the Doctor had come home again. She'd spent much of the rest of that Sunday evening curled up on the sofa, eventually falling asleep with her head on the Doctor's shoulder. It had been at that point that the Doctor and Rose had very quietly decided between the two of them that they needed to sort out whatever it was that was affecting Leanne. And then, on the Monday night, the Doctor had received a somewhat worrying phone call from Ollie, who told them what he, Christian and Naomi believed to be wrong with Leanne. Now, Rose was sat at the dining table, laptop in front of her and face in her hands as she took in what she had just read on the webpage. With a big sigh, Rose reluctantly uncovered her face again, looking at the screen again. At the top of the page, there was the sentence 'Anorexia Nervosa: what you need to know'. She was now kicking herself for not noticing the symptoms sooner, all the clues had been there. But Leanne had seemed rather happy in herself, often playing video games with Noah and James, and she'd seemed to be getting on alright at school. Of course, rather naively, Rose hadn't even considered her adopted teenage daughter developing anorexia, because the girl was fairly skinny anyway. With a deep breath, Rose got to her feet and headed out of the room, making her way upstairs. Noah and James were in the front room, happily watching TV, but Leanne had disappeared upstairs after arriving home from school. Heading straight for Leanne's room, Rose knocked on the door before entering.
"Hiya, Lea, could I have a chat?" Rose asked the girl, hoping to sound casual.
Leanne frowned slightly, but nodded and sat up on her bed. Shutting the door behind her, Rose made her way over to the bed and sat down.
"Ollie phoned us on Monday night," Rose began carefully "he said that you hadn't been eating much at school, and that you'd joined the gym."
"Yeah, and?" Leanne asked, although Rose could see fear in her eyes.
"And Ollie suggested that it might be due to the bullying that's been going on."
"Does it matter if it is?" she asked.
"Yes," Rose answered gently "the Doctor and I are going to see Mr Albertson tomorrow."
Leanne's eyes immediately widened at that.
"You really don't have to," Leanne protested quickly.
"We do, Lea." Rose told her calmly, resting a reassuring hand on the girl's shoulder "We need to stop this before it goes too far."
"I just can't believe we missed all the signs," Rose sighed, resting her head on her husband's shoulder.
"It can't be helped, Rose," the Doctor told her quietly "we were sending her to school with a packed lunch every day, and she was coming back with an empty lunchbox. She wasn't eating much of her dinner, granted, but she'd also been insisting that Ollie had been bringing sweets into school."
"But how did we miss it? I mean, looking at her now, she's lost so much weight!" Rose murmured.
The Doctor opened his mouth to reply, but stopped when he saw Leanne in the doorway. It was almost eleven at night, and all the kids were supposed to be asleep, but it was evident that Leanne wasn't.
"Can…Umm, can I speak to you?" Leanne asked nervously.
Rose and the Doctor both nodded immediately, and Leanne made her way over, sitting on the floor.
"I, uh, I figure I owe you an explanation." Leanne began nervously.
The Doctor immediately moved on the sofa, and tugged Leanne by the arm to sit between him and Rose.
"When did it start, Lea?" Rose asked the girl gently.
"The bullying?" the teenager questioned, eyes bright with unshed tears.
Mutely, Rose nodded.
"A few days after I started at Edmonton Academy." She admitted quietly.
The Doctor's eyes shut briefly, and he took a deep breath while Rose bit her lip.
"Why didn't you say anything before?" the Doctor queried, brow furrowed.
"Because I thought I could handle it." Leanne admitted with a shrug. "It was stupid things at first, like name-calling, or putting chewing gum on my chair. Then… then they started calling me fat, started going in my bag to steal my lunch. They took my phone too, at one point. Only to copy down my mobile number. I didn't even know it had been gone. Then they began texting, stuff about how I was fat and how I should be starved…"
Leanne trailed off, taking a deep breath, and Rose pulled the girl in for a hug.
"Was that what that text was the day Ollie came for tea?" Rose asked softly.
"So you began exercising and cutting out food?" the Doctor asked.
Again, Leanne nodded.
"I'm not anorexic, though." Leanne said suddenly, looking up at her adopted parents "I know I've lost weight, an' I'm not going to deny that it's because of the bullying, but it's not that bad."
"It is, Lea," Rose told the girl quietly "you weren't big to start with. You were, what, a size 10? And now you've lost more weight…"
Leanne bit her lip and stared at the floor. They were wrong. She had needed to lose the weight, she'd been eating so much junk… She didn't care, she couldn't go back to eating three big meals a day, she simply couldn't. But then she looked up at the Doctor and Rose. At her parents. And they looked so worried, so concerned. So, she decided to humour them. If they wanted to help, they could. It wouldn't make any difference.
"I'm sorry," Leanne murmured, leaning into Rose's side again.
"We just want you to understand that you need help, Lea," the Doctor urged gently "surely you must be feeling the effects of not eating enough. Tiredness? Lack of periods?"
Leanne scrunched her nose up at that, but reluctantly nodded. And then it hit her like a freight train. The Doctor's concerned expression, Rose's worry, the tiredness she'd been feeling for weeks now… Biting back a sob, Leanne looked from the Doctor to Rose.
"Mum? Dad? I think I need help…"