To say that Brian Williams was confused would be an understatement. Confused didn't even begin to cover what he was feeling.
Had he heard right? Did he say Grandmother?
Brian looked to Amy, to Rory, River, The Doctor; round and round again in search of an answer. Every set of eyes he made contact with showed nothing but fear, shock, embarrassment, and in River's case, the tiniest trace of anger. And yet, no matter how much he gaped at them, nothing changed.
The Doctor was fidgeting nervously; running his hands through his hair and tugging at his bowtie in an attempt to avoid his wife's fixed gaze. Amy seemed completely oblivious that she still held Freya in her lap; she just stared wide-eyed at Rory. Brian's eyes then too shifted to his son. Rory looked back at him with a guilty expression, his chin rested in steepled hands.
"Rory, what is going on?" Brian asked quietly. He knew that there was something he was missing.
Rory looked sidelong at Amy and exhaled deeply. "Dad, you better sit down." He said, gesturing to the chair across the table from him.
Brian obliged. "Well, do get on with it." He said after moments of silence.
"C'mon you numpty." Amy said to Rory through gritted teeth. She hit her husband on the arm. "Tell him!"
Rory opened his mouth, but nothing came out but a strange squeaky sound.
So, it was Amy who spoke first. "Brian, um, you know how Rory and I went traveling…" She took her husband's hand in hers.
"Throughout all time and space…yeah." Brian added, looking around at The Doctor, who still stood behind him, leaning anxiously on the kitchen counter.
"Well, um, Dad," Rory continued, finally composed, "I'm not really sure how to tell you this, but…" He scratched his head apprehensively. "We, um, had a baby!" He said with a reflexive upwards swing of his arms. The pitch of his voice went up at the end of his sentence, giving the tone of shameful enthusiasm. He stared nervously at his father, waiting with baited breath to see how he would take the news.
"When?" Brian gasped, looking to Amy. "Is it-" He said, pointing to Freya.
"Oh, um, no. It was years ago." She clarified, pulling loose strands of hair behind her ears as she did so.
"How did I not know?"
"It's kind of a long story, Dad." Rory answered.
"I was pregnant during our adventures on the TARDIS." Amy added, "It wasn't more than a few minutes in your time..."
This made Brian even more confused.
"Brian," River spoke softly, reaching her hand out across the table towards him. "It's me. I'm their daughter. I'm your granddaughter."
"H-how?" He gaped, his jaw dropped as far as it could go.
River smiled. "Time travel." She said with a shrug of the shoulders.
"It's my fault Brian," The Doctor stated, approaching the table, shaking his hands madly. "My fault entirely."
"Doctor, no." Amy protested.
"Oh, sweetie…" His wife breathed with a mixture of pity and despair.
"Amy. River." He cut them off as he sat down next to Brian.
The Doctor tapped his fist nervously against the table. "The reason why you did not know of your granddaughter, that you missed out on all those years, is because of me. River was kidnapped as a baby and taken back in time…I am so sorry, Brian."
"I-I-I…" Brian stammered, looking at the curly-haired woman before him. His brain obviously needed time to process everything.
"Dad, we didn't want to shock you." Rory said with immense concern in his voice.
"Yeah, it would have been a bit weird, you know?" Amy added, "To say we had a kid, but…" She couldn't continue.
The Doctor hung his head in shame.
"Doctor…" River said as stood and walked to her brooding husband's side. She crouched next to him and took his hands in hers.
"Now, you listen to me, husband." She whispered sternly, yet tenderly. "I am fine. No one kidnaps me and gets away with it." She placed a gentle hand on his cheek. "I never want to hear you say things like that again. I love you. And you are always and completely forgiven…"
The Doctor smiled faintly at his wife's words and kissed her palm.
"I knew you looked familiar!" Brian suddenly exclaimed, breaking the silence and shocking everyone in the room.
"What?" The Doctor sputtered, glancing up.
"River! Rory," Brian said enthusiastically, looking to his son, "she looks so much like my mother! I knew it! I knew it!"
He rose from the table and circled around to River.
"I have a granddaughter!" He said, throwing his arms out welcomingly.
River stood; there was a warm smile on her lips. Brian pulled her in for a slightly awkward hug.
"I am so very, very happy!" He nearly cried. This was possibly the best Christmas surprise ever. He pulled back and looked at River with wonder, as if he were seeing her for the first time.
"Amazing, time travel." He whispered.
River nearly blushed. "Hello Granddad." She said with a chuckle.
"Don't forget this little one, Brian." Amy added, bringing Freya over to him.
"Ah, yes, hello Freya!" Brian exclaimed, as he took the child from his daughter-in-law. "My great-granddaughter!" His voice was filled with happiness as he bounced Freya in his arms. She giggled with glee, her gold curls rebounding against her face.
"Dad, you're taking this remarkably well." Rory stated.
"Why shouldn't I?" He said, kissing Freya on the forehead. The baby nestled against the crook of his neck. "I'm a granddad twice over! This is better than any Christmas present, this is! More brilliant than the dinosaurs!"
The Doctor's face brightened at Brian's joy. "All the Ponds together!" He said with a clap of the hands as he jumped out of his seat.
"I'm not a Pond." Brian repeated.
"Yes you are, Dad." Rory said. "We all are."
"Just go with it, Brian." Amy added, patting him on the back.
Brian shrugged in defeat and proceeded to dance goofily around the kitchen with Freya in his arms.
The Doctor let out a giggle of happiness. He wrapped his arms around River's waist and placed a kiss on her cheek. He was grinning from ear to ear. His whole family was together at Christmas. And that was the best present he could have ever asked for.
What do you think? More chapters? Christmas dinner, perhaps?