So here is the first of the missing scenes from An Unexpected Family. If/When I go back and do a massive edit of that story I will definitely add this chapter back in. This was honestly one of the most difficult things I have written for my AU, sorry it took so long to get it done.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who but I am glad that the BBC lets us play around in the Universe.
Adere Seven February 2005
The TARDIS landed with a soft plop and the boys were bounding towards the door. Tony was thirteen and it was Rory's sixth birthday. This trip was his birthday present. Adere Seven was the home to the best circus in this galaxy. One of the best in the Universe, in fact.
Rose looked up at the Time Rotor silently asking if this place was safe. The original TARDIS had a tendency to occasionally drop them someplace that at first glance appeared to be safe but in fact had a seedy underbelly.
After the ship had assured Rose that they were indeed safe, she allowed Tony to push the door open. Immediately their senses were overloaded with bright lights and loud music. Her boys loved it and Rose loved it, too.
"Mummy, can we go see the show?" Rory pleaded.
"I don't see why not." Rose beamed and started moving them towards the booth.
"Already taken care of," a new voice said from behind them. Turning around, Rose came face to face with a very pretty woman who looked to be middle aged (in Earth terms) with incredibly curly hair. "Hello, Sweeties. I was here roaming around, heard the TARDIS and figured I'd pick up ring side seats for everybody."
Rose turned to her husband, he seemed to recognize her. "Good to see you again, River." The woman pulled James into a hug and then did the same to Rose.
"This must be the early days for you then, the boys are so young." River ruffled Rory's hair.
"Very early," Rose mumbled, suddenly uncomfortable. In the back of her mind she knew that today she had to tell this woman the Doctor's name and send her to her death. River Song was a complete stranger at this point yet it still made Rose's heart ache knowing what was going to happen.
"Dad, who's this?" Tony asked.
"Sorry, where are my manners? Rose, Tony, Rory, this is my friend, Professor River Song." The Doctor rocked back on his heels as he introduced the family.
Tony extended a hand. "Lovely to meet you, River."
The woman's face fell for a moment. It carried an expression of despair for a moment before River schooled her features and shook Tony's hand. "For me too, Tony." Letting go of the older boy's hand, River dropped to a knee in front of Rory. "And you are the birthday boy, aren't you?"
Rory nodded enthusiastically. "I'm six years old. Mummy and Daddy brought me here for my birthday. I love the circus."
"Me too," River said, affectionately ruffling his hair before standing. "So, ring side seats? I'm assured they are the best in the house and the show's about to start."
"Thank you, River. That sounds brilliant." James said with a genuine smile on his face. Gracefully he picked up Rory and began his normal babble of all the facts on the circus to the boys. River smiled as she watched them pass.
"Are you alright?" Rose asked, looping one of her arms through River's and pulling her in step behind the boys.
"Me, I'm always alright," River said dully with a forced smile.
"Liar," Rose said back gently. "Married to that one, I know exactly what that phrase means. And I know that we travel in opposite directions so I know what today must mean for you... I'm sorry."
River couldn't help but smile. "Always taking care of your strays, Rose Tyler. Even when you barely know us. It's good to know that never changes."
"Come on, let's enjoy today for what it is," the blonde said, trying to give River a winning smile.
"Yes, let's celebrate today." River said and they hurried to catch up to James and the boys.
The seats were indeed the best in the house and Rose thoroughly enjoyed the show. Not as much as Rory and River did, though. She spent her time pointing out acts and giving him a brief history lesson on various aspects of it. It was clear to Rose that the two of them would have a special relationship in the future. How River would have a special relationship with all of them, as they got older and River got younger.
And today would be the last time, presumably, that River would see them. All of their time together was coming to an end for her and just beginning for everyone else. Unless of course they figured out a way to save her. The Doctor was brilliant so of course he would figure a way to save her.
Rose already felt a connection to the other woman. It was hard to explain, but the woman just seemed to naturally fit into the family.
"Penny for your thoughts, love," her husband said very close to her ear.
"It's just this is the last time she'll see me and the boys. She'll meet you again, but that's at the Library." She laid her head on his shoulder.
"We'll figure out a way, promise." He pressed a kiss to her temple.
Almost too soon it was time to go home. The show was over and the family had spent hours on the midway. Every single one of them was laden down with the biggest prizes the carnival had to offer. As the group approached the TARDIS, James turned to River. "Can we offer you a lift home?"
Tears were pooled in her eyes. "No, thank you," River said with a small shake of her head. "I'd better go." She turned to Tony and Rory. "It was lovely meeting you. I know that we'll meet again soon." Quickly she hugged both boys, her hand brushing Rory's hair back and lingering for a moment.
"It was a brilliant day and we're so glad you were here," James said, pulling River in for a hug.
"Until we meet again, Doctor." River's voice caught on the words.
"Can you give us a minute?" Rose asked her husband with a slight tilt of her head in the other woman's direction. He nodded and ushered the boys and their prizes inside the ship.
River gave a small wave but as the door shut her hand dropped to her mouth to stifle her sob. "I'm sorry."
"Never be sorry because you're sad, sweetie." Rose said, stepping closer and brushing a strand of hair out of River's face. "This isn't the end. Trust me, please? I know it's a sad day, but it's not the end."
River slowly nodded. "I trust you Na..." She swallowed. "I will always trust you, Rose, always."
"Good, now I need to tell you something. A secret you must guard, always." Rose leaned forward and whispered a melodious sound into River's ear.
The curly haired woman stepped back in shock. "Was that...?"
"The Doctor's name, yes, or at least a part of it." Rose nodded.
"That's not my secret to keep." River protested.
Once again pulling River into a hug, Rose said, "I know but it is vital that I told you and you will know when to use it. I trust you to protect it."
"With my life." River agreed and pulled Rose into another hug, this time not bothering to hold back the tears. "I love you, Rose. I know you don't know me well enough to return the sentiment but..."
"You have no idea how wrong you are, River. For what you have done for my family in my past and for who I'm sure you will be to our future, I love you too."
"Thank you," River said, pulling back and wiping the tears from her face. "I have to go while I can still make myself leave."
"This isn't goodbye, this is I'll see you later." Rose said, giving her another quick hug and going back into the TARDIS.
Without waiting for the ship to dematerialize, River walked away, programming her Vortex Manipulator to take her home. "I hope you're right, Nan. Dear God, I hope you're right," she said just before she disappeared from Adere Seven in a flash of light.