aibhinn_fics: (DW Ten  Lover-Friend)
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Title: Family
Author: [livejournal.com profile] aibhinn
Rating: PG
Pairing: Ten/Rose
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not making any money. Please not to sue me.
Summary: Sometimes there's no word in any language to properly describe joy.
Author's note: A very short fic for [livejournal.com profile] jlrpuck, who stumped me in my "Stump the Author" meme on my "normal" LJ. She wanted the Language Lessons 'verse, with the word 'child' as a prompt. Darn you, Jen, I swore I'd never write this type of story in this 'verse!


"Doctor?"

"Hmm?" He opened one eye and glanced down. Rose sat between his legs, her back to his chest, idly playing with the bubbles in their bath. The hot water had relaxed him until he thought he might just fall asleep—rare for him, especially as he'd just slept two days ago.

"I was reading today—" In Gallifreyan, she meant; otherwise she'd never have mentioned it. "—and the book seemed to be saying that names on your planet usually meant something. Like, I dunno, American Indian names or something."

"Quite right." He ran a hand up and down her arm, feeling the satin of her skin beneath the slightly oily texture of the bubble bath. "Usually ridiculous things like 'He lives for the glory of his clan,' or 'Honor and glory to the House of Lungbarrow,' or some such rot."

"Is that why you changed your name?" she asked with a grin, craning her neck round to look at him.

"Sort of. I never got on well with my family, really; I was always the odd man out. Ended up being disowned, in fact. So I decided, why use a name that announced my affiliations to all and sundry, when they didn't even want to acknowledge me? So I changed it."

Her brow was furrowed. "They disowned you?" she repeated, aghast. "That's awful!"

"Not really, when you look at it in context," he assured her. "Though it was a bit of a wrench, I'll give you that. Still, when it came down to it, it was a bunch of stiff-necked old cardboard cutouts who had no interest in me as a person, only as a reflection of them. And when I wouldn't kowtow to them, they tossed me away like so much garbage." He felt a familiar twinge of pain between his hearts, and shoved it away. "Family isn't only your blood relations, anyway," he said more quietly, resting his chin on top of her head. "More often than not, I've found that my friends are more family than my House ever was.

"But you miss having one," Rose said softly. One of her hands twined with his, where it rested just below her breasts. "Your wife, your children, your grandchildren…."

More pain flashed through him, and he closed his eyes. "My Susan," he murmured. "Yes. Yes, I miss her. I miss them, strangely enough. I miss not being alone in the universe."

Rose pressed backwards into him, in a sort of reverse hug, and he tightened his arms around her. "But I've got you," he murmured, tilting his head and resting his cheek on her hair. "And I can never be thankful enough."

Rose was silent for a moment or two, then said, "I learned a new word in Gallifreyan today."

He smiled; how like her to try to change the subject to make him feel better. "You did?"

"Yeah." Her other hand twined with his free one. "Naddan."

He chuckled. "Of all the names you might call me, Rose, 'father' isn't particularly appropriate." His voice deepened. "It may have escaped your notice, but my feelings towards you aren't in the least paternal."

"Oh, I noticed," she returned, a note of humour in her voice. "But I wouldn't be the one calling you that." She lifted his hands, shifted them down to cover her lower abdomen. "She will."

It took a moment for the Doctor to understand, and when he did, the joy nearly blinded him.
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