Chapter 6 – All's Well That Ends Well
The Doctor rang the doorbell of the neighbour's house five minutes later, jaw set. He was ready for a fight.
The door opened to reveal a short black-haired man, seemingly incredibly annoyed at the Doctor for just being at his door.
"What?" he asked thinly.
"Hello!" the Doctor began cheerily. "I think I may have found your son... Has he been missing?"
"Yeah, about two months since I saw him." He didn't seem to care about that. "Who have you found?"
"He's named Alfie, about 10-years-old, red hair, brown eyes..."
"Yeah," the man grunted, not all at sounding interested. "That's him."
"If you'd like to come next door," the Doctor said, gesturing to his own house. "He's in there fast asleep at the moment."
"Oh, send him over when he wakes up then," the man said, and made to shut the door.
The Doctor frowned, and reached out instantly to stop the door closing. "Sorry, maybe I'm reading you wrong here... But you sound very nonchalant for a man whose son has just returned after disappearing for two months."
"Get your nose out of my business," the man said angrily, making to close the door again.
The Doctor stopped it again. "Sorry, can't help it, got an exceptionally large nose I like sticking into other people's business when it's obvious there's something very wrong with their business."
"Who the hell are you, anyway?" the man challenged.
"I'm the Doctor, what's your name?"
"The Doctor, what kind of name is that?" the man spat.
"It's my name," the Doctor replied, as calm as ever.
"Are you the police?"
"Well if I was with the police wouldn't I be called the Policeman?"
"You're very annoying."
"Yes, I am," the Doctor agreed. "What's your name?"
"Damien, what of it?"
The Doctor winced and pursed his lips to consider this. "How extremely appropriate."
"What the hell are you trying to say? Do you want a fight?" Damien challenged seriously.
"Oh, put a sock in it," came a new voice from behind the Doctor, and the Time Lord turned to find Donna striding towards them both down the garden path. "Who the bloody hell do you think you are, treating your son like that?"
"I don't remember asking your opinion on how I raise my son!" Damien grated.
"Alfie is a really sweet boy and you're trampling all over him! You are a streak of poo on the bottom of the shoe of humanity, mate, if I wasn't nice I bloody punch you in the face right now!"
Damien laughed. "As if!"
"Believe me, she will punch you at some point in the next ten minutes," the Doctor assured him in an overstated undertone.
"This is harassment! If you don't leave I'm calling the police!" Damien suddenly shouted, his face turning red.
"Hmm, let's see," Donna began sarcastically, weighing the imaginary options up in her hands. "Minor harassment, child abuse and neglect! Minor harassment, child abuse and neglect! Minor harassment, child abuse and neglect! Which one'll they go for, I wonder? Doctor?"
The Doctor grinned at her. "Not sure Donna, shall we phone them and ask?"
Damien stood their, nostrils flaring. "Alfie is my son, I have never harmed him!"
"Why don't you start treating him as a person, then?" the Doctor said sharply, staring straight into Damien eyes.
"He's not normal," Damien said, suddenly defensive. "You wouldn't understand!"
"You won't believe me."
"Well then, let me hazard a guess. His mother was an alien, a Gerixian from the Yugular system. Am I heading in the right direction?"
"How do you..."
"Been there a few times. Now give me one good reason why you're neglecting your son."
"His mum just upped and left one day when he was a baby. I never saw her again. She just left me with this alien boy I knew nothing about..."
"So your response to that was to completely ignore him?" the Doctor spat. "He is part Gerixian, that means he's highly telepathic and extremely sensitive. He was so unhappy in your care that he quite literally created a make-believe world for himself where he felt safe. A world where he was alone. Away from you, and away from all people. If you can't start taking care of him then I'm going to take him away from you and find his mother, and if I can't find her I will take him to someone who will actually take care of him."
Damien stared at the Doctor. "So you're going to fly to Gerix in your little spaceship?" he said, laughing.
"You bet I am," the Doctor grated. Damien's cynical expression fell. "You're the most selfish man I've ever met, and believe me, I've been all over the Universe. You don't seem to care that he'd disappeared for two months. You are sick. This is abuse, and Alfie deserves a lot better than you."
"You can't take Alfie away from me," Damien challenged. "He's my son."
"Just call me intergalactic social services," the Doctor responded gratingly. "I won't bother bringing him to say good bye."
Damien just stared, utterly speechless.
The Doctor broadened a smile. "Well, I think we're done here, Donna. We're taking Alfie back to Gerix."
"Good!" Donna said happily.
"I'll kick your ass, dickhead!" Damien yelled, and made to punch the Doctor.
The Doctor evaded with ease and raised an eyebrow at him. "Really?" he wondered. "What are you fighting for, exactly? You don't even want Alfie. We'll take him to a place he can be happy and you don't have to think about him ever again. We all win."
"Get out of my face!" Damien yelled, and made to slam the door again. But it was Donna that stopped it this time, and in three seconds she swiftly raised an arm and punched him in the face. Damien yelped and collapsed backwards onto the floor.
"Told you," the Doctor said to the man lying on the floor. "Now, I wouldn't normally approve, but I'll let that one go. Donna?"
He held out his arm to Donna, who linked her arm in his and smiled happily as they both strode off down the path and back to their house.
"I feel bad," Donna admitted.
"Don't be, I quite liked that punch," the Doctor assured her as they reached the front door of their house.
"No, not that. It's just people like him. They bloody ruin humanity. You must think we're all heartless," she said as they went through the door.
"Nah... I think you're mostly harmless," the Doctor told her with a grin, closing the door behind them.
Donna laughed at that as they strode into the living room, were Alfie was sitting up rubbing his head. He saw the Doctor and Donna, and smiled happily at the sight of them both.
"What happened?" he wanted to know.
"Oooh, got a good story to tell you I think you might like the end of," the Doctor told him, sitting down on the sofa next to him. "Let's get some tea first though, eh?"
Jack picked them up and drove them back to Torchwood, where the TARDIS was just about to finish repairs. The Doctor filled Jack in on the goings on and finished just in time for the TARDIS to unlock.
The Doctor, Donna and Alfie all bidded farewell to Jack and the Torchwood team, before the Doctor flew straight to Gerix. Within four hours they had tracked down Alfie's mother, who was beyond overjoyed to see him, smothering Alfie and the Doctor and Donna in kisses and hugs.
When they finally sat down and Alfie was off looking at his new room, the Doctor explained all that had gone on.
"Thank you so much," she told the Doctor and Donna. "I missed him so badly. I knew Damien wouldn't take me leaving well."
"Why did you leave?" Donna asked.
"The War," Alfie's mother told them. "I had to fight to defend my planet, and I didn't want to tell Damien I might never return; he was already beginning to lose interest in me. After the War ended I found myself with no money and permanent paralysis to my legs. I could not travel, and I could not contact them."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Donna said gently, taking the Gerix woman's hand in comfort.
"It does not matter," she told Donna, smiling. "You've brought Alfie back to me, and that is all I ever wanted. Thank you, both of you."
"You're welcome," the Doctor said.
"Oh, I will need to buy him lots of toys!" she realised, laughing.
"A lot," the Doctor confirmed, thinking for a moment. "Hold on." He dug into his pocket and brought out a slim white stick etched with alien markings, holding it to her. "Here's a little something to get you started."
Alfie's mother stared at it in utter shock, not taking it. "This... This is a Million Gredit Bar! I couldn't possibly..."
"Please," the Doctor insisted. "This has been in my pocket for about 300 years, I'll never use it. And I'll be insulted if you don't take it."
She looked at him. "Are you sure?"
"Very sure," the Doctor said, placing it in her open palm. "You take good care of Alfie."
"I will," she assured him, her eyes shining. "You are welcome back at any time, I'm sure Alfie would love to see you."
They both nodded happily in return, bidded their good byes to both Alfie and his mother, and left to the TARDIS.
"Looks like there was something going on in the street," Donna finally admitted to him. "Sorry I didn't believe you, but you know, you were being a bit bonkers."
The Doctor shrugged it off, fiddling with the TARDIS controls. "Doesn't matter. I think I was going a bit mad anyway."
"Human life not for you, then, alien boy?" Donna asked, laughing.
"Nope," the Doctor replied, grinning back as he twiddled a dial. "I never want to do that again, thanks. I'm happy with my alien ship, and my alien life and my own little alien ways. If you turn on the vidbox I'll make us some kronkburgers on the heat flare."
Donna looked at him for a moment. "You do realise that a vidbox is a TV and a heat flare is a cooker?" she pointed out.
The Doctor stopped moving and looked at her, a little winded. "Don't... just... don't."
A/N: That's yer lot! How random was that. Anyway, shall be review replying for this one so feel free to ask me anything. Something aboutt he stories, something about life, something about cheese, something about the way I do my hair... Anything! :D