The Doctor sat in a chair next to the TARDIS console, his head in his hands. He tried to stop the flow of tears, but it wasn't working. No matter what he did, he couldn't get her out of his mind.
Today was the day. Today was the day his wife died. It had been nearly impossible to say goodbye to her, knowing he was sending her off to her doom. Knowing that he past him would give her no comfort at all; that he would only break her heart. That she would die wishing for him to be with her; to know who she was.
He sobbed quietly into his hands. He would never see her again. He couldn't take it.
"Daddy?" He heard a soft voice say. The Doctor looked up. His four year old daughter stood behind him, wearing her red footsie pajamas and clutching her star-covered blanket. "I can't sleep…"
The Doctor sniffed back his tears. Every time her mother went away, Freya couldn't sleep; nervous that her mummy wouldn't come home. It was his fault really: his timing was so horrible that sometimes he would miss days, weeks, even months of their lives, so River was the only constant person in their daughter's life. And ever since she could realize what being alone felt like, Freya was terrified her mother would do the same thing as him and leave her…
The Doctor sighed deeply. "Hello cutie pie. Come here." He said, patting his knee. The four year old waddled over and climbed up into her father's lap. He pulled her mess of gold curls out of her face and kissed her forehead.
"Daddy, where's Mummy?" His Freya said, leaning on his chest.
"Oh Freya, she told you, remember? She's going with some friends on an adventure to the Library."
"But we have a library here in the TARDIS…why did she have to go to another one?"
"Because, this isn't just any library." He said. "It's THE Library. It's an entire planet of books."
"But when is Mummy coming home?"
The Doctor bit the inside of his cheek and closed his eyes to hold back tears. He exhaled deeply and lifted himself and his daughter out of the chair, and held her tightly in his arms.
"Where are we going?" Freya said, resting her head on her father's shoulder.
"Just wait." He said.
The Doctor stopped in front of a portrait in the library. He pointed to the woman painted on it dressed in Egyptian garb. "Now, who's that?"
Freya giggled. "That's Mummy. She's very pretty." She said, the thumb in her mouth mumbling her words.
"Yes, she is." The Doctor said, sentimentality overriding his solemnness for a moment. "Your Mummy is the most beautiful women in the universe."
"Can you tell me a story, Daddy?" Freya whispered into The Doctor's ear.
The Doctor smiled. "Hmmm, let's see. How about one about your mum?"
He felt Freya nod against his shoulder in agreement, so he sat down in a nearby chair and began.
"Well, your grandma Amy and I were in a museum during one of our many adventures, and inside one of the display cases was a very old box from one of the biggest and coolest space ships ever…and on that box were the words 'Hello Sweetie…"'
"That's what Mummy says before she kisses you." Freya giggled.
The Doctor chuckled. "Yes, and your Mum wrote that on the box. So, I flew the TARDIS back in time and space to right when your Mummy needed me. She soared through space and landed right on top of me."
Freya laughed. "Mummy's silly."
"Yes." He said sentimentally. "But she could also defeat hundreds of evil Silent and save your dear old Dad all by herself. You know, she saved me from dying twice."
"She kissed you." Freya said with a giggle.
"Yes, and the second time, you helped." He said, booping his daughter on the nose.
She tightened her grip around his neck. "I love you, Daddy."
"And I love you, Freya." He said in response.
She sucked her thumb and smiled. "Tell me why you love Mummy." This was Freya's favorite thing to ask her father; she loved to hear his answers.
Even though the thought of River should have saddened him, knowing that taking of her made Freya feel better lessened the pain. He leaned back in the chair. "Well, let's see: I love Mummy because she is beautiful, smart, amazing-"
"And pretty, don't forget pretty…"
"Yes, very pretty. Mummy makes me laugh, she's very brave…"
"She can fly Sexy!" Freya said, excited to contribute.
"Yes, that too. But you know what I love most about your Mum?"
Freya nodded enthusiastically.
"And what is it?"
"Me." She said.
"Yes, exactly." He said, and kissed her forehead. "She gave me you."
"Freya," The Doctor said, now quite serious. "You know that Mummy loves you very much."
Freya nodded slightly, noticing the change in her father's tone.
"Where is she?" She said, her lip quivering. "I miss her." She muffled into his jacket.
"Oh, Freya," he said, patting her back soothingly. He couldn't hold out on telling her any longer- it would just cause her to worry unnecessarily. So, with a heavy heart, he looked into his daughter's eyes, the same as his wife's eyes, and said, "Mummy…Mummy's not coming back."
Freya burst into tears. "No, but she has to." She sobbed.
"Freya…Freya…your Mummy loves you so much…"
The TARDIS seemed to know what her two most important passengers needed at that moment. The hologram screen flickered and whirred to life. A woman's laughter echoed off the pool's water.
Freya looked up from her father's shoulder at the hologram. "Mummy?" she sobbed.
The hologram was of River, from years ago.
She sat in bed, smiling at the baby she held in her arms. "Hello sweetie." She cooed.
"Freya, do you know who that is?" The Doctor whispered.
Freya shook her head, her jaw still hanging open.
Freya stared at the hologram with wide eyes.
River looked up at the camera and smiled. "What are you doing?" She asked, her voice filled with joy.
"Just trying out my new hologram camera…cool isn't it?" The Doctor's voice replied.
River chuckled. "Well, come here, look." She said, beckoning him over. "She's got my finger."
The hologram jiggled as the Doctor walked over and zoomed in on baby Freya. Sure enough, her tiny hand had River's finger in quite a tight grip.
River laughed and kissed her baby's knuckles. "Oh, I love you Miss Freya." She said.
The baby giggled.
"Yes…yes I do!" River cooed back.
And the hologram went blank.
Freya's face was wet with tears.
"Freya, there is something you need to understand."
"I want Mummy…" She cried.
"I know you do, I do too…listen, you need to know that your Mummy was so brave. She saved hundreds of people. She was amazing; brilliant. And just think, time is all wibbly wobbly, so any time you look at the stars, I want you to remember that at some time, your Mum is out there having adventures and saving people. She will always live on in one time or another, but there is a fixed point where she will always remain alive."
The Doctor carried his crying daughter back to her room. He hated that she was in such a state. No child should lose their mother, especially at this young an age. But she had to know- she couldn't spend the rest of her life thinking her mother had abandoned her. No, she needed to know just how wonderful River Song was. How special and important she was. River Song- the woman who made a Dalek cry for mercy, the child of the TARDIS, the woman who married the Doctor, and the mother of a Time Lady. River was a gift to the universe. The one thing he wanted more than anything in the world was for her to be alive and well, but there was no way that it was possible. She was right: if he had died, she would have never met him, nor would she have existed in the first place. She was his bespoke psychopath, after all. She knew that no matter how horrid their lives were at times, that the good wasn't always overshadowed or made less important by the bad. He had run throughout time and space with her, and he was the better man for it. And they had the most beautiful daughter in the universe: a Time Lady with the eyes and golden blonde hair of her mother, and the wonder and intelligence of her father. The universe would be a better place with Freya in it, he knew. But right now, that little girl, the daughter of River Song and the granddaughter of Amy and Rory, was clinging to his jacket, crying her eyes out for her Mummy.
The Doctor bent over her bed and tried to lay her down in it, but she wouldn't let go.
"It's okay, Freya, I won't let go." He whispered soothingly, and he lay down next to her.
Freya cuddled up next to her father and sobbed quietly. He lay there, rubbing her back and whispering calming words to her. After a while, the tears abated, and Freya lay sound asleep.
The Doctor sighed and pushed curls tenderly away from his toddler's face. She looked so angelic while she slept…so young for heartbreak. He was no stranger to it, and didn't wish it upon anyone, especially his daughter. He knew what it was like to be alone, to be left behind, the last. But he made a promise then and there that Freya would never feel this alone again. He would never leave her, he would always be there for her when she needed him and he would never let her down. She would always have him. He'd show her the universe: every star and all of time. He'd teach her about the Ood, about the Moon of Poosh, about Cleopatra, Winston Churchill, the Silurians, and her grandparents. The last two Time Lords: father and daughter, running across time and space, living in River's memory. Freya would love it.
And she'd be amazing, just like her mum.