"Lucky for me."
"Word ‘round the universe is that you make the best lemon squares.”
*muse whines loudly for Rose*
*…and Phi, and Victoria, and Donna, and Irene, and Sherlock, and…*
//Sorry this took so long! I lost the muse for it more than once and had to stop and start again. I’m finally more or less happy with it—don’t kill me! I love you!\
Phi Gamma was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little devil of a darling. Only a few years out of the loom, and mentally only that old, she was just as uncoordinated and floppy-limbed as a young child inside a gangly adult body. And just like the toddler she was, she craved attention. She usually found it in the company of her siblings, mainly her patient and kind brother, who had a symbolic name but—by the time she was born—had alerady begun to call himself Nyx. But even the most patient of people cannot be saints all the time, and Nyx sent her away far more often than she was content with. Her mother was often reachable but, having no biological bond to her, Phi found her company no more entertaining that that of her siblings. In fact, less so, because mother never really liked to play. If there was one person she really loved to be with… it was her father.
True to the laws of the universe, Phi always wanted that which she was not allowed to have. Her father was a tall, thin man with coffee-colored hair that did not participate much in the family affairs. He had gone through Academy but not passed, and so his petition to recieve a TARDIS was not going so well. He often sough solace in solitude, and—as with many human households—he had a rule about the bedroom.
On more than one occasion, Phi bounded into the room, caught herself and her fingers on the doorframe, and shuffled back out again. On this particular night, the rich brown of the clouds was absent, and you could see every star.
”Fa!” Phi chimed in the doorway, careful to keep even her line of sight out of the room. “D’you want to come see the stars?”
”Of course I do.” Her father’s response was formal, yet bitter, and a very clear “no,” though the words he said seemed to consent. With a cheerful beam, Phi skipped outside, and waited.
She fell asleep with her back cushioned against the lush red grass, waking to the sunrise alone.
Phi was disappointed, but not angry. She didn’t even bring it up. Though she got the message. She sought her father’s company less and less often, to the point where, to her, he scarecely seemed to exist. As she started to mature, she left her siblings to their leisure without interruption. She was lonely, sure, but her father could enjoy being alone, so why couldn’t she?
She was curled up in bed one night when she was about six, when it happened.
There was a tap against her doorframe as the shaft of light from behind the door widened.
Unable to sleep, she lifted her head immediately, not sure what to expect. She definitely hadn’t expected to see her father there. She propped herself up on her elbow, sliding her legs against the sheets to rustle them so he knew she was attentive in the darkened space.
”Phi,” he said, his voice a clear whisper. “…Do you want to come see the stars?”
Phi nodded vigorously and swung her feet off the edge of her bed, but padded quietly and slowly to the door. She clasped her hands in front of her, smiling up at him, and he nodded for her to lead the way.
As she passed, he clasped her hand in his.
Phi paused, looking up at him with wonder in her eyes. It was a small display of affection, but it meant the world to her. The whole of the seven systems. His soft smile cemented the meaning of the gesture, and with a girlish beam glowing on her face, she proceeded to lead her father as she’d been instructed to do.
It was a very short walk once they actually got into the yard. Phi was immediately spellbound, craning her neck so far backwards her mouth gaped open, staring at the stars. It took a fair amount of her father’s guidance to get her to sit down in the plush grass and lay back on it without toppling in unintended directions.
It was two years until she went to Academy yet, but she already knew the names of every star. She and her father pointed them out to each other, naming them, making up their own constellations, giggling at the silly names they gave them and then seriously working their brains to remember the real ones.
”And what is the major planet in that system?” the Doctor asked, pointing, testing her knowledge yet again after a long moment of silent observation, which he was not too fond of.
”Androzani Major and Minor,” the young blonde responded immediately, picking up on the trick question with ease. He gave her hand—which he had never really let go—a squeeze, and she tore her gaze away from the heavens to see each little star reflected in his eyes as he scanned for another question to ask her. She made a promise to herself then, that she would become as brilliant to him as every one of those stars, as she squeezed his hand in return…
Phi woke, curled in on herself, with her fist clenched in the bedcovers and the ache of loneliness in her hearts worse than it ever had been.
"Oh, you’re still alive?"
"You’ve never sounded more excited."
"Is it just me or is it chilly in here?”
"I know. Hence multiple sets of godparents." A pause. "I’m going to need help, Doctor, if I’m going to do this."
"Backup godparents, that’s smart." He laughs. "Mm? Do… what?"
"Well, if it isn’t my favorite mysterious man! How are you, love? Getting on nicely with your coat and your hair?"
"I should hope not! I’d be lost without my good looks."
"I’m proud to say that I’m ninety-five percent trouble free! Still occasionally finds me on it’s own, but there’s not much I can do about it other than skip towns. I’m not quite what I used to be, but I think I can live with what I am now. ‘S difficult, but I do love a good challenge. Gosh, it’s been ages, Doctor. I’ve missed you."
"Ooh, well, everyone needs at least five percent of trouble in their lives. It’s healthy. Makes things more interesting."
"I’ve missed you too. Something tells me we’ve got quite the catching up t’ do."