And finally, here it is, the last chapter.
"Sweetie, there's something I need to show you."
They dressed quickly, fueled by the anticipation of what was to come.
"River, what…" He asked her, fumbling with his bowtie.
Smiling mischievously, she took the tie from him and adjusted it. "Spoilers." She whispered. "You'll have to see for yourself."
"Geronimo." He said with a smile.
River led The Doctor back down the hallway. She stopped at a door on the right and opened it slowly.
The Doctor stepped in to the room and looked around. He gasped with wonder: It was a nursery. The walls were painted in the image of the universe: stars, constellations, star liners, spaceships, the TARDIS and the most beautiful planets. His eyes were drawn to one planet in particular, large and red; it floated peacefully over a replica of the Doctor's old cot.
The Doctor approached the cot slowly, his hearts pounding in his mouth.
A smiling baby girl sat in it, playing with her toes and gurgling. She had gorgeous golden curls and bright blue-green eyes; just as he remembered.
"Hello Sweetie." River whispered to their daughter as she wrapped her arms around her husband and rested her head against his shoulder. They watched Freya adoringly as she stared with wonder at the star mobile that twinkled above her head. She laughed with glee, kicked her feet happily, and reached her chubby little fingers upwards, waving them madly as she attempted to grasp the stars. Falling slightly short in reach, Freya then rolled herself forwards, up onto all fours, and by grasping the sides of the cot, managed to shakily stand up. She bounced with amusement, for the mobile now rested atop her golden head, tickling her little nose and twinkling in her eyes.
The Doctor looked at his wife; she met his gaze, beaming with happiness, as she held him closer to her. Tears ran from their eyes.
Freya giggled at the sight of her father. Holding onto the side of the cot, she jumped with excitement, her baby cheeks rounded by her smile. She held her arms out to her parents, asking them to pick her up.
"Oh, yes my love. Yes, you love your Daddy, don't you?" River cooed, lifting her daughter out of the cot and kissing her affectionately on the forehead. Freya gurgled happily in response and took a fistful of her mother's hair to play with.
"You saved her…" River whispered to her husband, all the while attempting to prevent Freya from pulling on her scalp too hard. "That day she died, this is where you went…you came to The Library and you saved her." She smiled at the baby in her arms as kissed her cheek. Freya squirmed with delight and returned the favor with a big, sloppy, wet baby kiss of her own. "CAL came to me, holding Freya." River continued. "She said that you had appeared with Freya's data ghost stored in your screwdriver, begging her to save our daughter…and she did. Oh, you brilliant, impossible man, you never stop do you?"
The Doctor smiled at the floor and ran his fingers nervously through his hair.
River tilted his chin so his gaze met hers. "Thank you." She said so sincerely that tears filled her eyes.
She kissed him deeply, but shortly, because after a moment of being squished against her parents, baby Freya started pulling on the Doctor's shirt.
The Doctor laughed at his daughter's tiny little hands grasping the fabric. "Come here, you." He said, and River handed her to him.
He kissed his little girl, thankful he could hold her in his arms once more. She blew raspberries, her attention now on the bowtie around his neck.
"I didn't think it would work." He whispered, holding his daughter close to him as she wrapped her little arms around his neck.
"But it did, my love." River cried softly. "And she's with me now; she's safe."
The Doctor smiled and nodded his head slightly. He held out his free arm to River and she rested herself against his chest, beaming from the fact that her family was together once more. Freya snuggled up against her parents, her little balled fist reaching out to pat River on the face. They both laughed at the sheer adorableness of their child, and Freya echoed their laughter, clapping her hands together with glee.
"I love you both so much." The Doctor whispered. He kissed his wife and daughter and breathed a silent thank you; he was so grateful that his plan had worked. From the moment that he had seen his screwdriver light up, he knew that this was Freya's only chance.
Freya could be happy here in the data core. She would have every book ever published in the universe at her disposal. She could grow up and have a life; have the most wonderful adventures with her three adopted siblings. He wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of his days in the data core with his wife and daughter, watching Freya grow up before his eyes, but he had the universe to think about. He would visit as much as he could, but he knew he couldn't stay.
What mattered most was that Freya would be safe. Safe with River. Safe in her mother's arms until the end of time.
Well, that's all folks. I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Your encouragement and enthusiasm for my work really means so much to me! Thanks especially for putting up with me and my endless cliffhangers! ;)
Reviews are always appreciated. And if any of you have any questions, suggestions, or requests, don't hesitate to PM. I can never have too much inspiration!
"The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant."