The Doctor's Daughter
When she's born, she doesn't cry. She doesn't even squirm and Rose sees the looks on the nurses' faces and panic floods her. The Doctor squeezes her hand like she's been doing to him for the past three hours and they both hold their breath. But then she opens her eyes, and she looks around the room in her tiny version of panic because for the past nine months she's been living right next to her Mummy's heartbeat and she suddenly can't feel it anymore, and then baby Leila begins to cry.
The midwife holding her, hands her to Rose and as soon as she does, Leila's wails cease. The Doctor and Rose coo over her for a moment, but then the same midwife takes their baby away, and Rose makes the conscious decision to dislike that woman and the Doctor agrees because no one will ever take their daughter away from them.
While the baby is being tended to; weighed, cleaned and given the once over, the Doctor tends to Rose. She's sore and she's tired and frankly she's astounded at how other women manage to make it through days of labour when she only had to do it for a few hours and she thought she might die.
When Leila comes back, she's asleep, and looks far more like a baby now that she's all wrapped up in a pink blanket and a little pink hat. The midwife places Leila in Rose's arms and leaves. Then something weird happens. Within the context of their lives and everything they've seen over the years on-board the TARDIS and then working at Torchwood, it's not really all that strange, but here, it's certainly unexpected. Baby Leila, less than half-an-hour old, opens her eyes, searches her surroundings and then stares at her mother. Her eyes are huge in her tiny face, huge and unexpectedly green, bright green.
"She recognises you." The Doctor says curiously, because he is very aware that babies shouldn't really be able to focus on anything, never mind recognise someone, this early in development. Leila's eyes dart to the place where the sound of her father's voice is coming from and she takes a moment to stare at him before looking back at Rose. They are both very aware that this is not normal, but don't get a chance to dwell on it, as Jackie come rushing into the room with a pink balloon and an uncomfortable-looking Pete.
She's only three days old when she smiles for the first time; properly smiles, because she's happy, not because of wind or anything else they can pass off as an excuse. The Doctor is making faces and stupid noises at her while she lies in Rose's arms, and she just smiles. The Doctor and Rose look at each other and it seems as though they're sharing the same expression: an odd mixture of bewilderment and concern. Not the expression expected to be seen on the faces of two parents whose child has just smiled for the first time. They know that isn't normal for a human child.
She laughs for the first time two days later.
It continues like that. Leila doesn't grow any quicker than a child of her age should, but her firsts come a lot quicker than they should. At first the Doctor and Rose just try to hide it from people that don't know them well. They tell Jackie not to brag about her three-week-old granddaughter who is already rolling over, and then they even stop telling Jackie about the early milestones.
Some things they can't hide, though.
At four months Leila starts saying words. She never babbles or even utters 'mama' or 'dada'. One day she just decides to talk, and very clearly says "Mummy, Daddy". She giggles at their shocked reaction and shouts loudly "Mummy, Daddy!" When she sees Pete and Jackie she calls for them too, and when Tony comes in from school she smiles and says "Tony, school".
Within two weeks she's forming sentences, and the Doctor can't quite get over how well she's talking each time she says "Daddy, I'm hungry." Rose thinks it's almost frightening, and she knows that this is definitely not normal, when Jackie doesn't even ask if she can tell her friends about it.
It's two and a half months later when Rose is in her office looking over some photographs from a horrific murder scene which is very obviously alien, but seems to be framing humans, when the Doctor calls to her from the living room. He's struggling to conceal the panic in his voice so she runs in from the office to see him sitting on the floor. He turns to look at her before returning his gaze to the other end of the room. Rose follows his eyes and gasps.
Leila is in her own little world, throwing a small purple ball in front of her, then chasing after it at a run and repeating the process. She laughs as she kicks the ball towards the Doctor and follows it, running into his arms.
He looks up at Rose. Neither of them smiles. "She just got up and ran." He says.
The walking, or quite frankly, running, a seven months is something they can sweep under the rug fairly easily. It isn't unheard of for a child so young to begin to walk, though they are very aware of just how rare it is. But they joke about how she ran before she walked because she is after all the Doctor's daughter and of course she would run first. But when it's just them two, the Doctor and Rose Tyler, they worry.
Rose asks if it's something to do with her being the daughter of a Time Lord, but the Doctor shakes his head because he just doesn't know. He's technically human now, she technically she should be human too, and she is. They've checked; twice. Done every test Torchwood has just to make sure and each one assures them that Leila is 100% human. But they're not convinced, and then they can't talk about it anymore because Leila is awake again. Because that's another thing, she hardly sleeps.
On her second birthday, the Doctor and Rose throw her a party with a few of their family and close friends and their children. Most of these people they don't see that often or when they do it tends to be in very formal situations; never with children. As normal as they're trying to keep things for Leila by giving her a party and cake and pass the parcel, it's difficult. She reads all of her cards, and thanks the guests for her presents individually and hands them a hand-written thank you note. And when they ask, "Who wrote these?" she replies "I did, of course" and Rose watches the guests sneak away to whisper in groups and she gets a surging feeling of hatred for these people who are gossiping about her daughter.
It's things like these, which upset Rose. And they never really stop.
Leila starts school at the age of four, and they're nervous, very nervous. The Doctor and Rose have spent months discussing what to do about school because she goes to pre-school five days a week and she seems to be doing fine, but whichever school they choose, she's going to be there for seven years. They've got enough money to send her to a public school, and there's a good one not too far from where they live. An all girls' school for ages 4-18 and they're seriously considering sending her there when the topic of home schooling comes up. They could do it. They know they could. The Doctor is perfectly capable to teach her everything she needs to know and more, but they want to make life normal, and school is just one more step on the way to doing that. In the end, it's not even them who decide.
Leila comes bounding into her parent's room at half here in morning, because of course, she doesn't sleep for any longer than three hours at a time, with a list of two-hundred and eighty- seven reasons why she should go to the state school rather than the public school. She climbs in bed with them and snuggles up to Rose before beginning to read. The Doctor lets her get to "Number twenty-seven: Tony will be at the same school so we can car-share" before he makes the executive decision and tells her she can go.
They still worry.
Her first day goes well, and for perhaps the first time ever, the Doctor and Rose are genuinely happy and excited about one of their daughter's firsts. They take photographs of her in her new uniform: red jumper, white polo-shirt and grey skirt, and Rose does her long blonde hair in French plaits on either side of her head. They get emotional as they watch Leila enter the school with all of the other four year olds for the first time. And it's all so…normal.
And when she comes home, they eat their tea and listen to her excited chatter about her first day as she speaks at a million miles an hour, because she is after all the Doctor's daughter. She tells them about her new friends, and about her hook with her name on where she hangs up her coat, and about how she ate her lunch out of her new pink lunchbox and about how she saw Tony with his friends in the playground and how he waved at her. And they cannot stop smiling at how happy she is, and how happy that makes them. Then she tells them about how her teacher let her choose a book from the older children's library and she had to read it out to her, and she gave her some maths work from a year six class for her to do, and how her teacher said she was way ahead of the other children. The Doctor and Rose look at each other but don't smile; silent agreement to discuss this later. And they do.
Rose takes Leila to bed and waits until she's sure she's fallen asleep before leaving her bedroom and going back downstairs to find the Doctor. He's fiddling with the sonic screwdriver mark 28 or whatever he's up to, and when he hears her coming he spins around on the office chair. They waste no time in talking about how they're going to deal with it when the school inevitably contacts them about Leila, knowing she'll be awake before they know it. The Doctor and Rose decide on a plan, something they can stick to when it happens.
And it does.
It takes longer than they'd anticipated. One week and three days after Leila's first day at school is when they get the call. The meeting is organised, and when they arrive, the Reception class teacher and the Headmistress greet them. It begins with small talk but quickly they bring up what the Doctor and Rose were sure they would, and they refuse. The Doctor politely but firmly informs the teachers that Leila will not be moving into a class of children several years older than her, and that is final. So a compromise is reached. She remains in the Reception class with her peers, but will receive work more suited to her abilities. It's a fair compromise, Rose thinks. And it seems to work. At least for a few years, it works.
At seven, Leila is still not sleeping for any longer than three hours at a time and if she gets five hours in a 24 hour period, it's a good day, but they've managed to develop a routine. The Doctor and Rose take turns putting her to bed, which is the most taxing thing. Sometimes they'll join forces and lie on either side of her in her double bed, but most of the time, at least one of them has some sort of work that needs to be done for Torchwood, and so they alternate.
They lie in the bed next to her, telling stores of their travels throughout time and space and she becomes transfixed and demands tiny details so that she too can see what they've seen. Rose is the best at telling her exactly how it felt to be in each place, and the tiny little differences between each of them. The Doctor tells her all about the statistics of the planets or the times, and tells Leila about all of the people who have travelled with him on the TARDIS. She likes hearing about her Mummy and Daddy's friends. She likes Mickey and Jack, and occasionally they'll catch her pretending to be Martha or Sarah-Jane with her Barbies, or drawing pictures of Donna and the TARDIS. The Doctor also draws for her. Rose often watches him sketching out landscapes of places they've visited so that he can show their daughter what it was like. Rose takes to drawing the people they've met, old friends and even the Doctor himself in his previous incarnation.
About an hour and a half of stories usually has Leila dropping off, but they always know to wait another thirty minutes or so before leaving, just to make sure she is in fact asleep. By the time they get to bed, it's usually after eleven, and for seven years they haven't have one nights sleep without being disturbed.
Leila never makes it past two in the morning and as much as she tries to entertain herself with books and toys in her own room, she is eventually forced to go looking for some company. It's usually around three when she wanders into her parents' room and wakes up her dad because she knows Mummy needs more sleep than he does. Rose still wakes though, and gives Leila a few minutes cuddle time before the Doctor takes her back to her room. He can usually get her back to sleep for another hour or so, but she is always back in their room by half past five, and their day starts there.
As she gets older, the Doctor and Rose worry less. The only real issue they have with Leila is her sleeping patterns, which have never changed, but around ten years old she stops pestering them through the night and they start having their first full nights sleep since she was born. Leila finds new ways to keep herself entertained through the night without her parents, and they put that all down to the decision to buy her a dog for her birthday.
She's been asking for a dog practically since she could talk, which is a long time, and they toy with the idea but always end up saying no because they're busy people and they're out of the house during the day and who would walk it? And who would feed it? And then Pete tells them they're being stupid and maybe a dog would be really helpful for her and he's right.
The Doctor and Jake put the grey Great-Dane puppy into a pink box and after Rose intervenes and puts some sizable air holes in, they wrap a bright blue ribbon around it. When they give it to her and she opens it, they can tell by the look on her face that she didn't have a clue, which is saying something because keeping secrets from Leila is near enough impossible. She calls him Mickey and they later discover that her thought process behind that was that he's a bluish-grey, and reminded her of the picture her dad had drawn her of K-9, and how Mickey had often claimed he as not the tin-dog. She had thought that Mickey was a perfect name for someone who was going to be her best friend. That had made Rose emotional.
It's only a few weeks after getting Mickey that Rose and the Doctor realise Leila is sneaking down to the kitchen every night to get him out of his crate and bring him upstairs to be with her. It's only a few weeks after that that they realise they are unable to stop her and that putting a bed in Leila's room for Mickey is going to be the best option.
That is when the Doctor awakes early one morning at four and thinks it strange he has not been awakened. He and Rose pad along to her room and peak inside to find Leila lying with Mickey on his bed, wide-awake, just petting him softly. They go back to bed without her seeing them and the Doctor makes a mental note to give the dog some extra treats in the morning.
Leila starts secondary school at eleven and it all seems to go far too smoothly than they're used to. It is agreed beforehand that the work Leila will do will be better suited to her abilities, while still remaining in a class with kids her own age. The Doctor also agrees to supplement her curriculum with extra work to make sure she never gets bored in classes. And this works. She goes to school and she makes friends and she joins clubs and they even buy her a trampoline for the garden because she's on the school team now and she's winning too, and then she discovers she's really very good at football and running and of course she's good at running she's the Doctor's daughter and she even starts sleeping more. First it's four hours at a time. Then five. Then six. Then before they know it, Leila is going to bed at ten and waking up at six every day and they suddenly let themselves hope that after twelve years of sporadic napping, she's finally settling.
And for almost a whole year they don't worry about her. They start going out as a couple like they used to, and for the first time in a very very long time, Rose isn't tired, or stressed, or concerned. She's happy. And the Doctor is happy. It's all so fantastically blissful that they forget what it was even like before.
Then she hits thirteen.
It starts with the odd letter home. First from her English teacher, then from her geography teacher and before they know it, Rose and the Doctor are being summoned to the school for a meeting.
It could be worse. They're concerned about her home life because Leila hasn't been handing in any of her homework for any of her classes, and her head of year claims that the teen is showing no desire to either. Rose assures the teacher that her daughter's home life is just fine and that she's sure it's just her teenage rebellious streak coming through- which she's sure it is. They part on good terms with the teacher, the Doctor assuring him that he will personally make sure Leila gets all of her homework done, and Rose feeling somewhat relieved it wasn't anything horrific.
They try to talk to Leila about it, but she brushes them off, so they try being very parental about it all and grounding her but she doesn't seem all that concerned so they just try to make sure her homework gets done. The Doctor checks what homework she has every night, and sits her down in his office where he can keep an eye on her and waits until she's finished before checking it. And they continue like this for a few weeks, and it works, and they get a call from her head of year assuring them that everything is going great, and then the Doctor starts to notice things.
Little things. Like the way her feet can't keep still under the desk. And the way she's chewing on the ends of her biros for the first time in her life. And even the way her eyes seem to constantly dart around the room, as if searching for something that isn't there. Leila sits across from him with her exercise books in front of her and he has to keep telling her to concentrate and he has never had to do that before, and as the months go on, it gets even worse. Her concentration gets so bad that the homework which originally would take her half an hour, is taking her over three and it's not just while doing homework that she can't concentrate.
Calls from the school are becoming a daily occurrence and they have no idea what to do because technically Leila isn't doing anything wrong, she's just getting bored in her lessons and therefore distracting the other kids, and they honestly have no idea what to do. And they are trying. They're really trying, but they're at a loss. She doesn't seem to be able to sit still for any prolonged length of time, and when she and Rose take Mickey for a walk, Leila climbs four different trees because she somehow can't bear to just remain on the footpath and walk in a straight line.
She stops sleeping. Her sleeping doesn't just get worse like it was when she was younger. She literally stops sleeping all together. And it's frightening for Rose and the Doctor, because before they could explain away her odd slumber patters to being the Doctor's daughter, but even he has to sleep sometimes. They make her go to bed every night, even though they know she won't sleep, because what else can they do? The situation is mental and scary and when they begin finding her up trees and in the disused stables and four miles from home just wandering around a park at four in the morning, they know something has to be done.
They pull her out of school and she doesn't protest. They still have to work so they decide to take her to Torchwood with them, hoping there's enough in the building to keep her mind occupied. There is. But she's fourteen now and apparently that's old enough to hack into the high security floors of the tower and take a sweep around the armoury. They catch her before she can use any of them, but when the Doctor asks her if she was planning on using the alien high intensity laser gun she simply replies, "Yes." And when Rose asks why she says honestly "I'm bored."
They alternate working days after that so one of them can stay a home with her. And it becomes a constant struggle to make sure she's safe.
Rose can't sleep at night. The Doctor manages to stay up as well, but will eventually doze off in the early hours, she never does. She can hear Leila moving about in her room, and Rose can't help but think about what she could be doing. They had to put bars outside her window to make sure she didn't try to climb out. She needs a lock on her door because she keeps leaving the house and running off, but Rose cries every night thinking about how her daughter is becoming a prisoner in her own home, so they don't put one on.
The constant noise of movement from Leila's room stops, and as unnerving as the noise was to Rose, she has become so accustomed to it over the past few months that the silence is haunting. She begins to count the seconds of silence and she gets to thirty-six before realising she needs to breathe and beginning to pant. The Doctor awakes at this as asks if she's okay, but she doesn't get time to reply.
The scream is horrendous. It's a pained and agonizing wail. They both bolt from their room and down the corridor and the scream never stops. She never stops for breath its just a constant cry. And light streaks under the door of her room and bursts into the hall as the Doctor opens the door and Rose charges in. Mickey is cowering in the far corner of the room, his back pressed against the wall.
She stops screaming but continues to cry. Leila is crouched on the floor, her hands balled into fists, pulling on her hair, eyes tightly clenched, crying to the carpet. Rose rushes forward, but the Doctor holds her back. At first Rose think's it's herself screaming in defiance at being held back, but as the blinding golden light emanates from her daughter's eyes, and she slowly stands, Rose realises it's Leila making the noise.
Neither of them knows what to do, as now fully standing, eyes no longer green but a brilliant gold, Leila stops screaming, and crying and making any noise whatsoever, and smiles. Her head tips to the side as she grins at her frightened parents and the cowering dog that has moved cross the room to be with them.
"Who are you?" the Doctor asks dangerously, and she giggles. "Where's my daughter?!" he yells and Rose lets out a sob.
Leila tilts her head to the other side and smiles. She looks from the Doctor, to Rose and back again, never blinking.
"I am the Bad Wolf, I create myself." Rose recoils in horror and fear and the Doctor just shakes his head in panic and disbelief. "And your daughter, never left."
All traces of golden light leave Leila's body and she slumps to the floor, pale, unmoving.
And it dawns on them. She was always the Doctor's daughter, but she was something else too.
Something far more important.
She was Rose Tyler's daughter.
She was the Oncoming Wolf.
And when she howls, the storm begins.