Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who.
Beautiful In Blue
A/N: The poll is now closed, and will not be available on my profile anymore. Thank you to the four people who voted and the final results are 3 votes for a girl and 1 vote for a boy. So yeah, they're having a girl.
An extra huge thank you to InvisibleBlade, James Birdsong, ceeare, Alix Cohen, iPinkNinja, Paper Crease, Orchidellia, SmithDawgEleventy and all of the anonymous reviewers. You guys have encouraged me so much and I appreciated each and every single one of your reviews.
Chapter Thirty Five
Despite her short span of experience as a fully qualified nurse, Lorene liked to think of herself as very professional. And a professional should appear calm and unemotional at all times, or so she'd always been led to believe, but Lorene couldn't help but grin at the baby in her arms as she suctioned its lungs so it would start breathing. The baby hiccupped a few times and then wailed loudly.
"That's it, have a nice big cry" she praised as she cleaned off the amniotic fluids with a soft damp cloth, "you want your mummy, don't you? She's a girl, and congratulations" Lorene told Anna, wrapping the baby in a soft white towel and settling her in Anna's arms. Anna supported her daughter's head in the crook of her left elbow, and stroked it gently with her right hand. "Hello there. Oh, look at you…you're the most beautiful thing I'll ever know" she whispered, her voice hoarse.
The sound of Anna's heartbeats and the comfortingly familiar sense of her mind soon lulled the baby, whose nearly ear splitting wails lowered in volume. Lorene put on a stethoscope and placed the disc on the baby's chest; she shrieked at the coldness of it. "Sorry, love" Lorene winced sympathetically, "I should've warmed it. Okay, let's see…her breathing's regular…hmm. Her heartbeat is a little too fast" she said thoughtfully.
"If it's her left heart you're listening to, then yes, that one does beat faster than the right one" explained Anna, only for Lorene to stare at her in confusion. "She…she has two hearts?"
Anna nodded. "Or at least she should do. Hope is a Gallifreyan, like the Doctor and I" she told Lorene, who nodded in understanding, before shifting the stethoscope to listen to Hope's second heart. Sure enough, she could hear the lub-dub, lub-dub of the extra organ, and a fainter, quicker lub-dub-lub-dub in the background. "That's amazing. Why is the left heart faster? If you don't mind me asking" Lorene inquired, taking away the stethoscope disc.
"Nonsense, it's the least I can do. You see, when Gallifreyan's first evolved, they were essentially identical to humans inside and out. Then they were exposed to the Time Vortex, which increased their life span and brain size. Bigger brains led to faster heart rates to keep them supplied with blood and oxygen, but one heart can't beat fast enough on its own, so they evolved a second one" Anna explained to the fascinated nurse.
Lorene found a scanner and checked Hope's blood pressure, body temperature, weight and length. "She has a lovely name" she complimented. Once she was satisfied that Hope was healthy, and the baby had calmed down, Lorene offered to fetch the Doctor, and Anna gave her directions so she wouldn't get lost.
River was showing Madame Vastra some of the TARDIS' inner workings, Strax was still immersed in the armoury and the Doctor was pacing back and forth. Jenny tried to reassure him. "I'm sure she's just fine, Doctor" she said, "besides, you have a link with in her in your mind or something, right? At least that's what Professor Song says. So if Anna was in trouble you'd know, right?"
The Doctor smiled wistfully. "You're right, I'd know if she needed me" he agreed. It wasn't entirely a lie, but the whole truth was that he could barely sense Anna's mind in his own. She had raised her mental barriers so he wouldn't feel her pain, the ridiculous wonderful woman.
, They all looked up as Lorene came into the console room. "Doctor, I thought you'd…oh. Oh, my…" she paused on the edge of the ramp and stared around the console room in awe. The Doctor grinned. "It's impressive, isn't it? Sorry, what were you saying? Has something happened? Is Anna okay?" he questioned. Lorene tore her eyes away from the console and smiled reassuringly at him. "She's fine. They're both fine".
Lorene's smile became a grin. "Come and meet your new daughter" she invited, beckoning him to follow her, before turning on her heel and walking back down the corridor. The Doctor just stood there, mouth agape, trying to turn her words over in his head. "What?" he said blankly. With an exasperated roll of her eyes, River walked over and ushered him up the ramp after Lorene. Jenny and Madame Vastra followed them.
As they neared the medical bay, the Doctor felt the little tickle of the baby's mind on the edge of his own. Anna was sitting in bed, looking dishevelled and exhausted and utterly delighted. She beamed up at the Doctor, letting her mind melt into his. The Doctor hurried over and perched on the edge of the bed, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.
He peered down at Hope's sleepy visage, and gingerly stroked a finger down her little arm to her tiny hand. Her small, chubby fingers curled tight around his longer one as she yawned and opened her wide blue eyes. She was real. He'd hardly been able to believe it at first, but here she was, real and alive and…his daughter. He giggled softly. Anna reached up with her free hand and wiped away a tear from his cheek.
The Doctor smiled and pressed a tender kiss to her forehead. He looked up at Lorene. "Thank you, for everything. If there's anything you need, anything at all, just let me know" he told her. "Your daughter" said Anna, "you agreed to work for Kovarian to get her back. The Doctor can get her back for you" she explained. Lorene looked at the Doctor hopefully, and he smiled. "Of course I can" he promised, "I just need to know your daughter's name".
Lorene pulled out a prayer leaf from her pocket and showed it to him. 'Lorna Miller' was stitched onto the leaf. "I named her after my cousin" she explained. The Doctor sighed sadly as he remembered the brave young Cleric who'd died trying to help him. "Lorene Miller, I promise you, I will find a way to let you be with Lorna" he said gravely.
"That's very kind of you…back in the Gamma Forests, we have a tradition. You're helping me, so I'll return the favour, and spread the word" announced Lorene. The others looked at her in puzzlement. "About you, I mean" she reiterated, gesturing to the Doctor. "I'll tell my people you're not a warrior, not the man they all think you are".
"Thought I was" the Doctor corrected. "We need to stay in the shadows. So by all means spread the word, Lorene Miller, but keep it in past tense, okay?" Lorene nodded and laughed. Madame Vastra hadn't wanted to interrupt the family moment, but she couldn't help asking, "What is the child's name?"
Anna and River answered at the same moment. "Hope" they both replied, before looking at one another in surprise. Anna laughed and River joined in, followed by the Doctor, Lorene and the rest. Hope gurgled indignantly, not wanting to be left out, and that just made the adults laugh even more. Madame Vastra was the first to recover. "Come on my dear, we should be returning home; but first we must find Strax, we can't have him wandering around the ship" she reminded Jenny.
Thanks to Anna moving the armoury room closer to the medical bay, it didn't take them long to track down their Sontaron ally. River offered to take the three of them and Lorene home, but the Doctor did so instead. It would give him the opportunity to work out how to reunite Lorene with Lorna. "I'll stay with Anna and Hope then. Listen, when you've dropped them off, can we visit my parents? I want to introduce them to my new niece" said River.
One clumsy salute and teasing "Yes ma'am, Auntie River!" later, the Doctor had ushered the others out of the med bay. River slid into a chair on the right side Anna's bed and smiled down at Hope. "She's a lovely baby" she complimented. Anna sighed contentedly and kissed Hope's forehead. "Yeah, she is" she agreed.
River smiled, and gently talked to Hope. Hope blinked up at her, just a few hours old and already curious. "You're a lucky baby, Hope. You're the only kid in the universe who'll be able to say they were conceived and born in a TARDIS" River joked. "But really, you are lucky. You have a very large home, universally large in fact, and brilliant parents" she added, smiling at Anna. Anna smiled back.
It was Saturday, and Amy was working from home. In actual fact she wasn't working, but instead sitting in the bathroom clutching a thin white stick. Her emotions ranged from delight to longing to fear and more. "Amy? I'm back, love" Rory's voice floated up the stairs. Amy heard him dump shopping bags on the kitchen counter, and then he called "Are you okay?"
"I…I'm fine. I'm in the bathroom" she called back. Rory noticed the slight tremble in her voice, and he knew his wife well enough to know that something was up. He trudged up the staircase and peered around the door, half expecting to see an Ood sitting on the toilet seat. Instead he saw Amy sitting on the lid, looking up at him through her fiery red hair.
Rory crossed over and knelt down in front of her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "What is it?" he asked. Amy held up the pregnancy test. Rory went cross eyed trying to focus on it; at first all he could do was gape. "That's…is that a...?" Amy nodded. Rory gulped. "Is…is it positive?" he asked, hardly daring to hope. Amy burst into tears. "Oh, Amy. It's going to be alright, I promise, we'll work through this…wait. Hang on, this reads positive" Rory said in confusion, looking at the test himself. "If it's positive then why are you crying?"
She stopped sobbing and glared at him. "Because I'm all hormonal, stupid face; now shut up and kiss me!" she demanded. Rory pulled her to her feet and obliged. Inside he was jumping up and down for joy. They broke apart at the tell-tale sound of the TARDIS materialising downstairs. "He'll want to know about this" said Amy, suddenly too excited about giving the Doctor her news to be angry about his long absence from their lives.
Rory had a bone to pick with the Doctor. When they came downstairs, and the Time Lord rushed from his box with a cheery "Hello, Ponds!", Rory answered his greeting with a punch in the jaw. The Doctor nearly fell back inside the TARDIS, his arms windmilling and grabbing at the edges of the door. Amy rounded on her husband with fire in her eyes. "What the hell was that for?"
"That was for breaking my little girl's heart" he replied. The Doctor, who had managed to regain his footing, shook his head and then winced. "I didn't…Rory, I don't know what she told you but River divorced me, it was her idea!" he protested, rubbing his jaw. Amy's eyebrows flew up. "Divorced? Why, because of Anna?" she asked.
The Doctor frowned. "River and I divorced because otherwise my loyalties would've been divided between both River and Anna. I care about both of them, Amelia. Divorcing was the only way that I wouldn't have to choose between them in the long run" he explained. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and turned to Rory. "I understand you're upset, I don't blame you. But I swear I'd never do anything to hurt River, she's become as dear to me as the both of you have".
Rory looked at him for a moment, judged that he was being truthful, and then nodded. "Sorry about the punch" he apologised, "that was stupid of me, and petty. So err, what brings you here? You seemed rather excited about something before I, uh…" he trailed off awkwardly. Before the Doctor could divulge his good news, Amy beat him to it. "The last time we saw you, Anna was pregnant. She's given birth, hasn't she?" the redhead asked excitedly.
"Pond, you ruined the surprise!" protested the Time Lord. "Yes, Anna gave birth. Hardly an hour ago, in fact. I have a daughter!" he told them, smiling widely and bouncing on the balls of his feet. Amy squealed in delight and threw her arms around his neck, and Rory clapped him on the shoulder in congratulations, all three of them grinning like loons.
At Amy's insisting, bordering on pestering, the Doctor led them to the medical bay to see his daughter. He doubted he'd ever get tired of thinking, saying or hearing those words. His daughter! When they entered the bay, Anna and River were chuckling over some anecdote. The Doctor walked straight over to Anna like he was magnetised. He dropped into a chair on her other side and smiling at Hope upside down (from her perspective). "Did you miss your daddy?" he asked. Hope gurgled. "What do you mean you didn't know I was gone?"
River stood up and embraced both her parents. "Hello mummy, hello dad. I take it the Doctor has told you about Hope" she surmised, moving aside to let them near the bed. Rory recognised the adoring expressions on both new parents' faces; he realised pretty quickly that the young woman cradling the infant was Anna. "It's nice to see you again, Anna. I see you've regenerated" he said politely.
Anna looked up at him, smiling broadly, her amber eyes shining with joyful tears. "Hi, Rory, Amy. I'd like you to meet our little Hope" she said fondly, cuddling the baby close to her. Hope's unfocused gaze slid over them, and they both aww'ed. "She's adorable" smiled Amy. Rory nodded in agreement. "You should have come to us sooner; I could've helped deliver her…come to think of it, who did deliver Hope? Because I don't really believe that the Doctor did" he said, jerking a thumb in the Time Lord's direction. The Doctor pouted.
"He didn't" confirmed Anna. "You remember Lorna Bucket. Hope was delivered by her cousin, Lorene Miller. It's a long story"…
Anna sighed in her sleep and the Doctor pulled her in closer. He'd lost her before by leaving her and now he was loath to do so again. He heard a whining cry coming from the nursery next door, and extricated himself from the bed to go and investigate. As the Doctor stepped through the arch way that connected Anna's bedroom, technically also his bedroom, with Hope's nursery, the cries became louder.
Hope was lying on her back, squirming and crying. She stretched her little arms out, grasping reflexively for someone to hold her. "Shh, hey, shh" the Doctor whispered. "It's okay, it's alright sweetheart, it's me, your daddy, and I'm here". He picked her up, cradling her against his chest, and opened his mind to hers. He received a strong impression of confusion, anxiety and most of all, hunger. "You're hungry, okay, and upset. That's it, shh. I'll take you to mummy, yeah?"
He carried her into the bedroom and balanced her in one arm, using his free hand to shake Anna awake. She stirred and mumbled sleepily, before hearing Hope's whines and sitting up properly. "What's wrong?" she asked. "She just woke up, she's hungry" explained the Doctor. Anna yawned and pulled off her loose shirt, and then sat with her back against the headboard.
She looked at the Doctor expectantly, and he passed Hope into her arms, blushing. Hope began to feed straightaway, and her high pitched whining cries were reduced to mere snuffling in a matter of seconds. "How long have I been asleep for?" asked Anna. The Doctor did a quick calculation in his head and replied "nine hours".
"In that case, I'll stay up with Hope. I don't think she likes sleeping on her own in the nursery" said Anna. The Doctor shook his head worriedly. "No, I'll stay up with her, you need your rest" he protested. Anna smiled and proposed, "tell you what, why don't you bring her cot in here, and leave it by the bed?" The Doctor nodded and went to fetch the cot.
When Hope had had enough of feeding, and her eyelids were heavy with sleep, Anna laid her down in the cot and rocked it gently. Their little girl curled up and fell fast asleep in moments. The Doctor stood by the cot, smiling fondly down at the slumbering infant and at Anna, who had laid her head on the pillow and closed her eyes once more.
He doubted that everything would be plain sailing from here on out, but he was so very happy.
A/N: The story has ended, but the series never…okay, the series probably will end, but not for now! If you want the story to continue, go to my profile and read 'Hope's First', 'Connection' and 'A Second Chance'.