A/N: I had an idea in my head for the longest time, even before the Doctor's Wife, that the TARDIS was her own being and loved the Doctor in her own way. And then I thought, well what if the TARDIS, in all it's wonderful glory, was actually the driving force behind everything? And then I thought I should write a story about it, and decided to dedicate the new unnamed Companion of the unnumbered Doctor to one of my best friends and secret muses. M'love, this is for you. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own ANYTHING (except, perhaps, a stack of vinyl records and a horribly purple afghan).
She truly loved him, Her Doctor.
She had been with him since the beginning; well, not really the beginning beginning, but since he found Her sitting in Marnal's garden, gathering exotic pollen from imported plants and singing softly to Herself as She waited for Her Time Lord to return to her. He never did, sadly- his mind had long since cracked under the trials of time travel and now sat in his study, laughing and giggling and flicking game tokens at a reflection of himself. Her Doctor had sashayed in with Susan and had asked Marnal if he minded if he took the TARDIS out for a bit, just a spin, and Marnal laughed bitterly and declared Her "as good as his, because She's of no use to me now!" and sent them off with the key and a small hammer to use "in case of emergency, like when the old girl gets into some of Her mood swings again", and She never saw him again.
She had heard him scream as Gallifrey burned, though, and She wept with Her Doctor as they watched the entire world scorch and die. She wrapped Her mind and Her love about him like a blanket, because it was all She could do for now.
It had come to her one night, when she felt alone and abandoned in that dirty scrapyard on Earth that the Doctor and Susan used to call home. She alone was, and would be, his eternally faithful companion and friend, his mother and sister and aunt and love, all rolled up into one big blue box that was bigger on the inside and sang the songs of Gallifrey in his head when he thought she wasn't paying attention, and she would laugh silently at him when he pouted or scowled particularly hard at something, as a giddy little schoolgirl would do at her older brother's confusion or younger brother's antics.
It was after the first Adventure, as She liked to call it, when the Doctor and Susan brought those two humans aboard, that She decided that She liked new lifeforms on board, even if they were a bit organic, and that more would have to do, because they could cheer the Doctor when She couldn't, and he was truly Her biggest concern, and so She began to look inside the Time Vortex, which was something all the other TARDISes warned each other about – never muck about with history or the internal workings of things, because there's no telling if the silly little organics could truly fix them, the magnificent and more amazing TARDIS lifeforms.
It was her that saw all the time lines and the ways they twisted and turned and moved about; it was truly her who picked and chose where they landed and when. While the Doctor would brag to his human and sometimes not-human-but-still-humanoid companions about how magnificent his ship was and how brilliant his driving skills were... She let him brag and think he flew them incorrectly when She would pick the correct spot, because while he may still have kept that bloody mallet from Marnal, She alone was the true pilot and pioneer of Time, and he could very well skulk in his bedroom for a month because She was not stupid enough to let him go willy-nilly over the Universe- bad enough he thought he had that power; if he actually had it, then She would probably fall apart at the seams from all the strain he'd put Her through, and She'd let him do it too, because She loved him that much.
And because She loved him that much, and knew him that well, She knew that now was the correct time to pick a new companion for him. He was alone and saddened after the latest "loss"- she thought he had been so sorely devastated after the loss of the Pink and Yellow Girl, and then almost destroyed when he gave up Her own daughter, Her Golden Bad Wolf, that she had given him a new girl almost immediately, and that had turned out rather... interestingly, and so she kept the new companions and adventures coming, to try and help him and make him heal and make him whole again. However, She knew the Time Vortex within Her was whirling and chiming, and that meant that her lovely and beautiful and quite brilliantly fantastic Daughter had figured something out, or done something so amazing that she would be the stuff of legends in that world of hers- and She knew, in no uncertain terms, that one day, after the Doctor passed (because She was not stupid, She loved him too much to lie to either of them when it came down to it, and when it came down to it he was a bloody brilliant and fantastic man and would die to save the lives of millions because he could and should and would)- She knew that one day She would have Her Golden Bad Wolf back in Her console room and back in Her Heart, because that was what Her Golden Bad Wolf was meant to be- a new race of Time Lords, half-human, half-Gallifreyian, and all brilliance. And until that Day (the Golden Day as She privately called it as She hid it away from the Doctor), She would find him new companions and new Adventures until the Very Last Adventure, and the time for a new companion was now.
With a secretive smile that translated into a series of flashing lights and chiming bells, the TARDIS looked through the Time Vortex for the correct time and place-
And laughed harder as the Doctor looked up in confusion from his post at the controls, shouting "What the bloody hell are you doing, you infernal girl?" only to end up sprawled against the cool glass floor of the console room as She landed with a bit of a thud.
With a final chime, She felt everything inside settle and laughed silently as She proceeded to hide from the Doctor, only letting Her instruments tell him what he wanted to know, telling him nothing Herself.
"What in blazes was that about?" he muttered, staring in confusion at the monitors. "I know I set the destination to Barcelona, and this is decidedly not Barcelona. What are you about now, you clever old thing?"
With a chime in reply to his exasperated question, She opened the doors and let the light from outside stream in-
And a very startled human woman stuck her head in through the opening and demanded, "What in hell are you doing in my flat?"
The Doctor stared in amazement at the girl who was currently seated next to him on the loveseat- which in reality, was not a loveseat, but rather a cheap futon with a horribly purple afghan covering the back and bright red and blue throw pillows tossed about. She stared back at him over the rim of her tea cup, green eyes bright and curious as she sipped her tea rather calmly- too calmly, he thought, and was rewarded with his expected response when she finally set her cup down on a rather beat-up coffee table that was covered with knitting and bits of yarn and string.
He had noticed her anachronistic style of dress almost immediately, the long, light and flowing skirts with a short sleeved shirt under a Celtic-styled bodice. Her hair was long and reached to her waist, and was caught up in braids and beads and pinned up in a bun that was coming down, and a shawl was wrapped around her waist- an odd style for someone who lived in the 20th century and had all sorts of technology- although he hadn't seen vinyl records stacked up like that since the late 1980s.
"So... you're an alien then." she nodded. "Okay, but question for you, mate- out of all the places in this world to land, let alone this city, why on earth did you pick my living room? You're lucky my loom was out of the way, your bloody box would have crushed it if I hadn't put it up earlier to clean!"
She took a deep breath after her little outburst, and before she could continue the Doctor held up his hand. "Firstly, I didn't pick your living room, or your flat, because I may have issues driving and parking sometimes but I've never landed in a living residence on accident before, so please excuse me for that, I do believe the TARDIS is having a bit of a fit-"
He stopped and glared at the chiming, flashing time ship in the middle of this poor girl's living room, who had apparently decided that now was the best time to contradict him and then turned back to the girl, who was still watching him with those decidedly odd eyes of hers.
Not that green eyes were odd, no, he had a special affinity for green eyes, after all, his Eight incarnation had green eyes, and he was especially fond of green eyes with ginger hair, but this girl's eyes were odd. It was like she was smiling and sparkling at him with excitement and amusement, but right now her entire face and posture were livid and her fists were clenched-
And then he looked deeper and saw it.
This girl, as human as she seemed, had been touched, briefly, by Time. The sparkle in her eyes was similar to that of the Time Lords, certainly, but not quite there- there was a lesser sense of age, and no smell of Time on her, but it was still there, that little bit of all-seeing, all-knowing Time sense that permeated every Time Lord he had ever met, including himself.
It had been a good thing he hadn't accepted the tea she offered.
"What are-" he cleared his throat, realizing he could not barrel his way through this, and this incarnation was so bloody impatient and rude, almost as bad as his Ninth was, "I'm sorry, but this was not something I'd want to do, especially to such a young lady such as yourself, but as soon as I can, I will be out of your way. I have to ask you, though... have you ever had anything odd happen to you?"
Whatever the girl had been expecting, that was was obviously not it. "Er- beg pardon?"
"Have you ever had anything odd happen to you?" he repeated, "Anything at all? Like seeing aliens or being abducted or having government-run testing-"
"I've had my wisdom teeth out and tend to get hurt by extreme clumsiness, but other than that, no." she answered quickly. "Nothing odd."
"Strange. Who were your parents then?"
"Who were yours?" she shot back, gathering her empty mug and moving towards the kitchen of her tiny little flat to put the cup in the sink.
"Alive and kicking, thank you very much, and very proud owners of guns who would have no problem shooting nosy aliens who pop into their daughter's flat and refuse to leave!" she countered, hands on her hips.
She had stared at him with a bit of fury and exasperation, and he had to concede her point of the fact that he had pretty much refused to leave, and now that her oddness was so in front of him and there-
He had to take her with him. It promised to be fun.
"Are you certain I can't convince you to leave?"
"Are you certain that you can?" he countered, leaning against the futon mattress and wriggling about to get comfortable. "Besides, the TARDIS is currently running diagnostics and then we should be-"
"There is no we." the girl cut him off. "There is you, and your big blue box, and you both are going to be leaving, no matter what either of you say."
"Wait, what?" he was up and on his feet in seconds. "What either of us say? You can hear her? You can hear the TARDIS?"
"Hear it? More like it won't shut up." she grumbled. "Look, I don't care what you need or what your ship says, I'm not shipping out with you, and dear god that was a terrible pun." she groaned, closing her eyes and sagging against the wall in defeat. "Look, I just think it's best if you both leave."
"What day is it?" he demanded, ignoring her request.
"April 30th, soon to be May 1st, why?" she queried. "I thought you had a time ship."
"I never said I had a time ship." he stated, advancing slowly towards her. "I've only called it the TARDIS in front of you, and that is all you should know. In fact, you know many things you shouldn't know, and I've just about figured you out, missy."
"What are you-"
"Talking about? You see, a long time ago, I met a girl named Gwenneth. She grew up on top of a Rift, you see, in Cardiff, and had what people then called 'the Sight'. She died, died because I was an idiot, but it was because of her gift that she had been targeted by the Gelf, and I foolishly let them use her. And Gwenneth was a smart girl, a lovely girl, and she saved me and Ro- my companion, and she used her gift without realizing it, and saw things she shouldn't have seen. And because of that, I can't help but think, is part of the reason she died." He didn't have as great of a voice as he used to have, he reflected, as he told her this story. His Ninth incarnation had a great voice; hell, he'd even take his Second Incarnation's voice over this one- but he could still feel the power and impact his words had on her as she backed away and against the wall. "And I can't help but see that same spark of knowledge and awareness in your eyes, so tell me again, girl- have you ever had anything odd happen to you?"
He saw the answer in her face before she opened her mouth to tell him her story, and he knew then that this girl would come with him and enjoy every second of it, because his life was just that fantastic and wonderful and brilliant, and she'd learn from that brilliance and become brilliant herself, but now he had to focus and listen to her speak-
"-and it's not like anything special happened, really, I've just always been able to see things and know things. Mum's got a touch of it too, only hers is only related to disasters. Mine, I read emotions and people and sometimes I get these dreams, only they're not dreams because they seem so real and then-"
"And then they come true, don't they?" he asked, smiling sadly as she nodded. "Ah, my dear girl, you'll have so much fun with us- I promise, I'll bring you back within the hour of your leaving, and we'll stay out for as long as you like, and go wherever you wish- there's a whole universe out there and I've seen almost all of it, but it's constantly changing and moving and living and-"
"I think I get it," she laughed, sitting down on her futon-turned-loveseat again, "But I can't guarantee I'll be safe with you, mister- She's told me as much." she said, nodding towards the now-humming TARDIS. The light on top flashed in amusement, and the girl laughed again. "Cheeky, isn't She?"
"I still don't know how you can hear the TARDIS, it should be impossible." The Doctor shook his head, running his fingers through his hair. "She shouldn't-"
"It's cause of the stars." the girl said, abruptly standing and moving towards a door the Doctor hadn't noticed before. "I hear them sing, so it makes sense I hear Her sing- they're one and the same, you know."
"You're not making any sense."
She cocked her head to the side and studied him with those too-green eyes, bright and curious and shining with the golden touch of Time. "Neither are you, but I assume we'll remedy that soon enough."
And with another laugh, she opened the door and pulled out a hideous carpetbag- where on earth had she gotten a carpetbag, he wondered, they had stopped making those original carpetbags years ago-
"And with a bit of packing, I'll be ready in a bit. You got a turntable in there, sweetheart?"
The Doctor started. "Swu-sweetheart?" he blurted. "My dear girl, I hardly think that we've known each other long enough for such endearmen-"
"I was talking to your magic box, mister." The girl laughed again as she crammed summery dresses and long socks into the bag, followed by shawls and scarves and a small bag that clinked and chimed when it whacked against her leg. "Anyway, I'm almost ready, just need one more bag to carry the unmentionables and we'll be off- and I want a bloody promise that we'll be back in time!"
"My dear girl, you'll have nothing to fear!" The Doctor grinned broadly at her, this slip of a Time-touched girl who wore clothes far too old and acted far too young. "When you step inside my magnificent Time Ship, you'll see just what the stars have to offer, and time travel just happens to be one of those many, magnificent things."
"Not very eloquent, are you mister?" she smiled, cocking her head to the side again. "Anyway, I've got all my things- so, what do we do?"
"Well first off, how about you tell me a name to call you." The Doctor smirked rather rakishly at her, and she laughed with delight.
"Gypsy will do fine, mister, and what should I call you?"
"Just the Doctor will do. Doctor if you're in a pinch."
"I think I like mister better." she said, wrinkling her slightly large nose at him. "But really, how do we go about this time traveling business?"
"Just step inside, my dear girl, and be amazed." He swept open the door for her, laughing with the TARDIS as she chimed and hummed and sang to the little Time-touched girl.
With wonder glowing in those too-green eyes, the girl tightened her hold on her bags and stepped inside, her skirts swishing as she brushed past the Doctor for the first time of many-
And the TARDIS smiled to Herself, because Her Doctor would be whole again for a while, and this new little one promised so much fun, and so much wonder and joy for them both. She wasn't the Golden Daughter that the TARDIS missed so dearly, but she was a close enough replacement that the TARDIS knew, knew that She would keep her safe and sound, and return her home to her mother, who was still "alive and kicking", and apparently loved her little Time-touched girl very much, judging by the family pictures the girl had stuffed into the first bag when the Doctor was studying a beaded curtain.
Humming and twirling as the Doctor set her dials and pulled levels and pushed buttons, the TARDIS laughed and sang as She danced out into Space Time, and whispered words and ideas to the new companion-
Oh yes, She mused, this would be so much fun.