“So let me get this straight-” Carla, Daniel, and the Doctor sat in the living room. There was a tray of tea, milk, and sugar on the coffee table that Carla recently had set as the smell perfumatimg the room as they began to talk.
“-My step-daughter is an alien-” Daniel continued.
“Yep” replied the Doctor.
“-who comes from a race of time-travelers-”
“-The last of its kind, and she’s your her last living relative-”
“So you’re saying you want to take custody of her?” Daniel asked, a bit on edge. The Doctor leaned forward, folding his hands together. “I’m not saying that,” the Doctor explained, “When I brought her to Carla, Gallifrey was at war. Her parents had been killed in that war, along with everyone else. I couldn’t take care of her. I knew that growing up as the last of her kind, in a police box at her young age was unhealthy.”
“So that was it then? All those dreams she had, all the pictures she drew, that was from Gallifrey?”
“I used a device in my Tardis called the Chameleon Arch: it would allow Timelords to conceal their memories and DNA coding to become a completely different person. I used it on her, concealed her memories in the fob watch, and gave it to Carla…” The Doctor frowned. “I had intended not to come back. Life as the last of your kind…, no child should ever have to experience that, and I didn’t want it for her. But I can see that it was wrong for me to stay away so long…for her to physiologically suffer all those years, dazed and confused…” The Doctor looked at Daniel eye-to-eye, fully serious and firm. “I’m not asking to take your daughter away from you. I’m asking if I can be in her life again…”
Daniel leaned back into the cushions of the couch, crossing his arms across his chest, thinking. Carla watched nervously. Her hands and shoulders clenched up. Finally, Daniel turned to his wife.
“Why didn’t you tell me this? Any of this?” He demanded.
“You wouldn’t have believed me,” Carla replied, firmly, “Not until now. How could you? So many nutters blundering about on this planet, rambling about alien conspiracies, you don’t know who to trust is sane or insane!”
Carla leaned in closer, and took his hand.
“Darling, look me in the eye and tell me you would have believed me.”
Daniel didn’t answer as he bit his lip. As much as he hated to admit it, she was right. He would have thought she was joking. Finally, he said: “Well, I’m most certainly not gonna tell you to not see her again. I’m grateful that you entrusted her care to my wife,” Daniel decided, “I’m glad that Piper has found her Mystery Man, and I want her to be happy. However, I must ask, Doctor: Is there any way you can promise me, that she will be safe with you?” The Doctor looked at Carla. Carla gave him a look. Both her and the Doctor knew he couldn’t promise that, and he couldn’t lie. Because Carla was right: the world of the Doctor was full of peril. But they couldn’t take out the wonder that Piper would experience out there, that no one else on Earth could. The Doctor straightened. “I will do everything in my power to keep her safe. That much, I can promise.” he responded, slowly, and calculated. Daniel nodded. “Okay then.”
Raiden had stayed in Piper’s bedroom while Piper herself was in the bathroom, changing. It took a few minutes to find something to wear, considering nearly her entire wardrobe was too small for her to wear (as she was previously a skinny toothpick of a teenager), but she finally found a baggy pair of linen, pink pajamas that her mother had given her years ago she had stashed away. After grabbing a red stuffed dragon from the bin in her closet, she was finally able to get to bed. She practically collapsed onto it and quickly snuggled into the sheets. “You comfortable?” Raiden asked. “Mmhmm” Piper mumbled, her eyes closed. “Do you…want to me to stay, or are you alright?” Piper peered one eye open, a bit dazed. “Mmm, just a little while” she replied, innocently. Raiden nodded. He lowered the shade over the window, then took the chair from Piper’s desk, and moved it over to her bed to sit down. Just then, his phone buzzed in his back pocket. He jumped a little. He had forgotten all about it. He reached into his pocket and pulled it out. His phone read: “Dad.” Raiden refused the call. Then, another message popped up saying, “Dad. 4 Missed Calls. 3 Missed Messages.” Piper’s bed creaked slightly as she turned to lay on her stomach. Raiden silenced his cellphone and put it back in his pocket.
“Is that your dad?” Piper asked, drowsily, not opening her eyes.
Raiden smiled. “Don’t worry about it. It’s fine” he cooed, “Just go to sleep.”
“He’s probably worried about you, Raiden. You should at least send him a text…”
Raiden was a surprised to hear that statement. There were plenty of times when he didn’t answer his cellphone when it was his dad. He just didn’t want to deal with him, not when half the calls were his father slurring nonsense. Raiden knew he was trying hard to be a good father, but he just couldn’t handle it. Piper was very understanding of Raiden’s situation, and often told him that his father “would just have to deal with it. Maybe then he’ll learn a lesson.” But this Piper didn’t fit with that. She almost sounded like she sympathized with his father. However, Raiden couldn’t be mad at her. He cared about her too much. He sighed. “Alright” he said. After a few minutes, Piper stirred again, and, in her disoriented sleepiness, reached for Raiden’s hand and grabbed it. Raiden’s heart almost stopped. “Thanks for being here with me, Raiden” she slurred, calmly. Slowly, Raiden put his hand on hers. “You’re welcome.”
She opened her eyes to some soothing, soft humming. She tried to move. She felt immobilized on the bed, unable to move an inch. She should have been freaking out. But she wasn’t. She felt very calm. A figure came into view. It was a woman. She was wearing a red velvet robe with gold trimming running down it. The woman had long, beautiful, curly red hair, baby blue eyes, and scarlet red lips. “M-Mummy?” she asked. The woman gently shushed her. “It’s alright, sweet girl. I’m here” said the woman. She bent down, and gently started stroking her hair. “I miss you, Mummy.” The woman smiled. “I miss you too, my sweet little Piper. But it’s okay. I will always be with you…my dearest daughter.”
Piper awakened suddenly to the smell of something cooking. She could see the sunlight from behind the blinds desperate to shine in. Piper yawned and stretched her limbs as far as they could go. She looked over on the side of the bed. Raiden wasn’t there, and neither was the woman. Then, her heart suddenly raced when she remembered everything that had happened. Piper pounced out of bed and ran to the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. She had to know if she was dreaming or not. Then, she sighed in relief when she looked into her reflection, and saw her long fiery-red hair on her head. It wasn’t a dream. Piper combed her fingers through her hair. “That’s gonna take some getting used to…” She thought out loud. The smell of food was wafting back up into her bedroom tickled her nose as she tried to figure out what it was. Whatever it was, it smelled magnificent. She put on a robe and slippers, before creaking the bedroom door open. The smell become much more potent once she did. “Bacon and sausage!” She observed, excitedly. She walked cautiously down the stairs and into the hallway. As she got closer to the kitchen, she could hear sizzling. When she got there, she saw her mother in front of the stove, with a spatula in one hand, and her other stabilizing a frying pan that had back-Brit bacon cooking inside. Mrs. Dominique turned around and saw her. “Piper! You’re finally awake!” She cried. She put the spatula down and ran to embrace her daughter. “How long did I sleep?” Piper asked. Before Mrs. Dominique could answer, Daniel Dominique came walking into the room. He smiled and embraced her as well.
“Heya, kiddo. Good morning!” He greeted.
“They’re acting like I’ve been in a coma for the last decade!” Piper thought. Then, a strange thought came to her: Regeneration was an unpredictable thing. Maybe she did sleep for a decade…
“Please tell me I haven’t been asleep for the past twenty years!” Piper exclaimed.
“Nah, more like…three weeks” Mr. Dominique replied.
Piper whistled. “Blimey! Sorry ‘bout that! Regeneration: Can be very nasty!”
“Yeah, the Doctor told us.”
Piper snapped. How could she forget!? “Where is he?” She asked. Mr. and Mrs. Dominique looked at each other. That worried her. Did he leave? He promised he wouldn’t leave! Her hearts started to race. “Mum, Dad, where’s Uncle Doctor?” she asked again, “Where did he go?” Before they could answer, Piper ran to the front door in a blind panic. She flew the door open to the cold wind surging through the hallway from outside. The Tardis was no longer in the front yard. Where did he go? “Piper, it’s okay, he just-” Her mother started. Piper interrupted. “He promised he wouldn’t leave!” she exclaimed, “Even if he starts to leave for seemingly a few minutes, he could end up leaving longer!” Piper raced back to the kitchen to check the backyard.
Just then, she saw a man in a blue suit and red tie, floofy brown hair, and brown eyes stepping out from the garage. Piper sighed in relief. When the Doctor saw her, he was surprised by her pale, fear-stricken face. “Piper, you alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost” he remarked. Without another word, Piper ran to him and embraced him. “You scared the heck out of me! I thought you left!” she hissed. “Hey, it’s alright” he replied, pressing her head onto his chest, “All I did was park the Tardis in the garage. Didn’t want her to sit ominously on the Dominiques front lawn.” Piper took a deep breath and exhaled, now calmer. “I’m sorry, I…” Piper broke his hold. “I freaked out for nothing.” “That’s alright. I understand” the Doctor responded, sweetly.
“You hungry, kiddo?”
Piper turned to her father and grinned. “Starving” she corrected. “Well, your lovely mother decided to make a full English breakfast this morning. So you can have all you can eat!” Piper beamed. “You’re staying, right, Uncle Doctor?” Usually, the Doctor didn’t like hanging around during family gatherings, even when it was just a simple meal. He would never say why, but he would think of any excuse he could to get out of it. However, he put his hands in his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels. “Yeah. Alright.” Everyone sat down at the kitchen table. Carla Dominique put a huge plate of grub in front of each person, along with both a tea and a coffee pot. A typical full English breakfast like the one Mrs. Dominique prepared would be Back Brit Bacon (which was a mixture of pork belly and pork loin meat), eggs (either over medium or scrambled), sausage, baked beans (which were quite different from American beans, with cocoa an tomato sauce, rather than molasses), Toast, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and black pudding (a blood sausage). However, Carla left out the black pudding, since she herself was the only one that liked it. Everyone had began to eat except for Piper, who stared at it for a moment. “You okay hun?” Mr. Dominique asked. Piper looked up, a bit unsure. “Well, I’m not the blue-haired sheila that I used to be. Am I even gonna like half this stuff?” she wondered. The Doctor shrugged. “You’ll never know unless you try” he said. Piper nodded. Slowly, she started eating. Everyone was waiting for her response. She wasn’t complaining. She grinned, and gave a thumbs up. “Yep! Still got it!”
“So, what am I gonna do now? About school, I mean.”
“Well, I’m pulling you out of school. I shouldn’t have put you in there to begin with.”
“However, in the Fall, I’m going into look into online classes. You’ll be home more.”
Piper frowned and sulked into her seat. “You do realize that I’m too smart for all of that stuff, right?”
“Mmhmm, yeah, you think you know everything.”
Everyone couldn’t help but chuckle.
“It never hurts to refresh your memory, Piper” the Doctor reminded.
“So, what happens until school starts, then?”
The Doctor raised his eyebrows while sipping his tea. He put it down. “Well, your mother, father, and I have talked about it,” he said, getting a mischievous glint in his eye, “I thought…you and I could go on a little trip…” Piper’s eyes lid up as soon as “little trip” left his mouth. “Really!?” she exclaimed, “In the Tardis!?”
“We get to go anywhere in the universe at any time!?”
Piper was doing everything she could not to just squeal in delight, right then and there. Instead, she turned to her parents. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” she exclaimed. “We believe you deserve a break,” Daniel Dominique explained, “and I firmly believe your uncle will take good care of you.” -He glanced at the Doctor at that line. The Doctor and Piper exchanged glances, and gave each other big, nerdy grins. Like uncle, like niece.
Raiden Conroy stepped out into the cool, Spring breeze. The air was moist, hinting subtly that it was going to rain again. It was April, three weeks after the Argonigo incident. Piper had been sleeping non stop. Eventually, he had to go back to school. It was much more lonely without her. There was no one to sit with him at lunch, no one to talk in the halls with, even no one to do homework with him. Just like Piper, he too, was an outcast.
As the breeze blew again, shifting through his unkept brown hair, he could hear the muffled sounds of grinding gears. Raiden turned to where the grove of maple trees grew near the highway where Queen Anne sat. Slowly, he could see a blue police phone box, fading in and out into view. Raiden’s spirits lifted a little as he trotted over to the grove, his pack beating against his back. The Doctor stepped out into the green lawn. But he wasn’t alone. A girl, about a foot and a half shorter than him, with fiery red hair, walked out. It was Piper. Piper had her hair tied back into high pigtails, making it shoulder length. She wore a black tank top, a khaki sleeveless vest with multiple pockets, khaki shorts, black leggings, and tennis shoes; and around her neck, was a beautiful, glistening golden key. Raiden smiled. Even when she regenerated, she still looked just as beautiful, only more sunny. Piper grinned.
“What do you think?” She asked.
“You look really good!” Raiden replied.
She glanced up at the Doctor, who smiled and nodded.
“Um,” Piper said, slowly, “I’m going to be…away for a little while. Uncle Doctor and are going to do some traveling…Until school restart.”
She was expecting Raiden to be upset.
However, he nodded. “That’s great! I’m happy for you.”
“You’re…You’re not mad?”
“No, not at all! I’m happy for you! You deserve it! You leaving now?”
Piper nodded. “Yeah. But-!” She pulled out a cellphone out of her pocket. “Uncle Doctor gave me a cellphone. You’ll be able to call me anywhere in time and space. So, if anything goes wrong, please call me, okay? You want me home, and I’ll come running.” Raiden’s cheeks went a little warm as they turned rosy-red. He was a bit embarrassed that Piper had to see him like this, but he didn’t turn away. “You sure you’ll be okay?” Raiden laughed. “I’ll be fine! Stop worrying! Just go have fun!” Piper embraced him tightly. Raiden was slightly startled. Then, he wrapped his arms around her. He looked up at the Doctor. “Take care of her” he mouthed. The Doctor nodded. “I will.” Then, the Doctor opened the Tardis door and stepped in. Piper broke the hold and started her way inside. “Goodbye Raiden.”
Piper closed the doors, then eagerly ran to the control boards where the Doctor was standing. “So,” the Doctor said, with a mischievous grin, “Where do you want to go first?” Piper grinned back. “Space. I want to go on a space station!” She replied. “I know just the place!” The Doctor flipped a couple switches at the Tardis started to rumble. Piper held onto the rails and squealed, excitedly. The Doctor beamed and marveled at her excitement. “And…We’re off! Allonsy!” He exclaimed.