A/N: Second in 'The Making of Theta Tyler' series. Theta is five and is just starting school here.
Theta tugged at the sleeves of his jumper as his Mummy straightened up from putting his shoes on him.
"There you go! Looking very smart!" Rose announced, grinning at her son.
Theta grinned at his Mummy. Today was five year old Theta's first day at school. This, of course, meant that Gran and Granddad were round too, as well as Uncle Tony- they seemed very insistent on taking photos. As much as his Mummy had tried to tame his hair, Theta's hair was still sticking up at angles, but other than that he looked very smart in his (slightly too big) dark blue school jumper, white polo shirt, grey school trousers and black shoes. Theta had a brand new dark blue lunch box and a school bag, and was eager to head to school for the first time.
"Shall we get going then, yeah?" Rose suggested, helping Theta pull on his black coat.
The five year old nodded eagerly.
Keeping a tight hold on his Mummy's hand, Theta headed into the playground. The school looked huge, and there were lots of children older- and taller- than Theta running around the playground. Gran and Granddad and Uncle Tony were behind him, and he could hear the adults talking excitedly. Theta refused to let go of his Mummy's hand until the bell rang, signalling the start of the school day. Rose led Theta to his new classroom, encouraging him to say goodbye to his Gran, Granddad and Uncle Tony. However, Theta refused to enter the classroom. No matter what Rose or his new teacher said or did, Theta wouldn't move. Eventually, his Uncle Tony stepped forward.
"What's up, Theta?" Tony asked gently, leading his nephew to the corner of the room.
"What if nobody wants to play with me?" Theta asked sadly.
"And why would that happen?" Tony asked.
Theta shrugged. "I dunno, but what if it does?"
"Then you'll just have to show them that you can have a lot of fun with or without them, won't you?" Tony told him, smiling.
"How do I do that?" Theta asked.
"You be yourself, Theta. And if they don't like you for yourself then they don't deserve to be your friend." Tony told his nephew, smiling gently.
Theta nodded and hugged his Uncle tight.
"Come on, you, your teacher's waiting," Tony whispered.
Tony and Theta headed back over to the others and Theta kissed his Gran, Granddad and Mummy goodbye before heading into the classroom.
"How was your first day at school, Theta?" Jackie asked her grandson, watching as he flopped down on the sofa.
Rose was working at the restaurant still, so Jackie had had to pick Theta up.
"It was great!" Theta yelled excitedly, clambering to his feet and jumping on the sofa.
Pete gave his grandson a warning look and Theta quickly dropped back down onto his bum, knowing he shouldn't be jumping on the furniture.
"Did you make any new friends?" Pete asked.
"There's this boy, Alex, he seems nice," Theta admitted "he let me play with his yellow digger!"
"I hope you said thank you," Pete told his grandson, smiling.
Theta nodded excitedly. Then, he turned to his Gran excitedly.
"Gran, I'm hungry!"
Jackie sighed, but smiled anyway, and stood up. Ushering Theta out to the kitchen, she had just let him select a packet of crisps when Tony came through the front door.
"How was your day, love?" Jackie asked as her son wandered into the kitchen.
"Fine," Tony replied, heading straight for the fridge. "Were you alright at school today, Theta?"
The little boy grinned at his Uncle.
"Yeah! A boy called Alex let me share his yellow digger!" Theta announced, grinning from ear to ear.
Tony smiled softly at the boy, wondering how his sister coped; Theta's smile was an exact replica of his Dad's, and even now it sometimes hurt Tony to look at his nephew and see so much of his deceased brother-in-law in him.
"Told you it'd be alright, didn't I?" Tony told his nephew, grinning.
Theta frowned as his Uncle ruffled his hair.
"Hello, baby!" Rose exclaimed, dropping to her knees to hug Theta as he barrelled into her.
She stood up and swung the little boy onto her hip.
"Thanks for picking him up for me, Mum. Has he been alright?"
Jackie just smiled and nodded.
"Any time sweetheart," Jackie told her "do you want to stay for dinner?"
Rose thought for a few moments before shaking her head.
"Nah, this little one" she nodded at Theta, already wriggling in her arms "will probably want to tell me all about his first day of school and he's gonna be all hyper and loud and stuff,"
"If you're sure then, I'll see you Saturday, yeah?" Jackie replied just as Pete strolled out.
"Not staying for dinner then, Rose?" Pete asked, watching Rose help Theta with his coat.
"No, this little one's gonna be running around and you've already had to deal with him for an hour!" Rose replied, grinning.
Just over an hour later, Rose was sat at the table in her kitchen diner, eating dinner with Theta.
"So you enjoyed yourself today after all, yeah?" Rose asked, watching her son.
"Yeah!" he announced, his mouth full of food.
Rose simply looked at her son, giving him the look she always gave him when he was doing something he knew he shouldn't be.
"Don't eat with your mouth full, Theta," she reminded her son.
Theta quickly swallowed the food.
"Sorry, Mummy," Theta mumbled, eyes downcast.
"That's alright, sweetheart. But you had fun at school today?" Rose continued.
She couldn't help but grin as Theta beamed at her and nodded enthusiastically again.
"So are you excited for school tomorrow?" Rose asked.
"Uh huh! We're doing finger painting tomorrow!" Theta declared.
Rose smiled fondly as she watched her son finish off his dinner.
"What was it that Uncle Tony said to you this morning to get you to go into school?" Rose asked eventually.
Theta blinked, and scrunched up his face as he tried to remember.
"He…He told me to be myself," Theta announced suddenly.
"Why did he tell you that?" Rose asked, frowning in confusion.
"'Cause I was worried I'd have no friends," Theta answered, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Rose felt her heart break, and she slid out of her chair, kneeling beside Theta.
"Why's that, baby?" Rose asked.
Theta just shrugged.
"You listen to me, sweetheart; you take Uncle Tony's advice, yeah, because you are the kindest, sweetest little boy I know, and if some kids in your class don't want to be friends then that's their loss. Don't you ever change just because someone doesn't want to be friends with you, ok?"
Theta nodded, smiling slightly.
"I love you, Mummy," Theta told her quietly, flinging his arms around Rose's neck.
"Love you too, baby," Rose told him softly.
It was times like these that Rose felt the Doctor would have been an amazing father- he'd have been so quick at reassuring Theta that the thought of people not liking him would have barely flitted through his mind, and Rose found that she had never been so grateful that Theta had Tony.