A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
I'm Still Alright to Smile by samfeasor [Reviews - 1] Printer
Author's Notes:
This is based on a discussion a friend and I were having over what the Doctor would give Jenny for Otherstide. I consider it "non-canonical" as far as my series of Jenny stories goes, since she has no contact with her father, but I'm archiving it here since it could still fit in if you just ignore that little bit. Quoted material is used with permission of the original author, Rickmaniac101.


By her ninety-ninth day (tomorrow is one hundred!) Jenny has learned patience. After all, she hasn't found her father and Donna yet. She hasn't figured out time travel. She's only listened to the music of seventy two different cultures, and there are still millions left to go. Billions! One day at a time, she has learned, and each day brings with it new adventures.

But you can never rush adventure. War should be rushed. War should be fought and won as fast as possible, so the soldier can get on with the reason she was at war in the first place: living. But adventure and life and learning, Jenny thinks as she opens the door to the cockpit, you should take your time with!

"Good morning," she says to the computer, as she does every morning (it never answers). She moves to sit at the controls, which is when she notices a small lump of something in her spot. Under the small lump of something is a piece of paper, with a note written in very small, very neat handwriting that reminds her of a mathematical formula.

Happy Otherstide, Jenny! Figured it's about time you got one of these of your very own. What is it, you might ask? Why, it's a TARDIS! Well, it's a growing chunk of TARDIS, freshly given from me and my TARDIS to you. In about three hundred years or so, it'll be ready for carving, then it'll start to grow its own console room, then eventually its own rooms! Just be patient, make sure to bathe it in Huon energy once a week, feed it the enclosed TARDIS feed every day, and make sure you play it Barry Manilow at night, I find that helps TARDISes develop a very loving personality.
Drop me a line if you have any questions.
Love,
Dad.

Suddenly the lump of something becomes so much more. A TARDIS. Part of the Time Lords. Part of her people. "Does this mean... am I a Time Lord now?" She runs her fingertips gently along the coral, and strains her ears as if it would let her hear some kind of response. All she hears is the hum of her engine, and the soft sound the computer makes while it's working.

It's not as though she really expects an answer. TARDISes can't talk (can they?), and even if they could, it'd be like talking to an egg. Jenny met a race of people last week, on her eighty-eighth birthday day, that are descended from birds. Their children ware eggs for nine months. One of the hens had explained to Jenny that eggs are the non-primate form of wombs. Jenny has never been in a womb, even though she appears to be a primate, so she imagines eggs to be something of a slow progenation machine. She doesn't understand why any species takes so long to procreate, but that's not really any of her business anyway. Regardless, the bird parents would talk to the eggs, to keep them company, but the eggs never talked back.

For a long time, the last ten days at least, Jenny has thought of her shuttle that way. She speaks to it so it knows its not alone, but it never talks back. She realizes now that she's not exactly right about her shuttle. Her shuttle is intelligent (she's met smarter, but it'll do) but it's not alive. This thing in her hands, this little piece of her father, is living and growing and changing, even as she holds it. "You're brilliant," she tells it.

Jenny reads the note over and over again, until she's completely memorized every last word. Some of it is foreign (Barry Manilow? Otherstide?) but that's nothing a little research won't fix. She doesn't like research very much (it's dreadfully boring to sit in one place for so long), but she can do it when she needs to.

In the meantime, she lifts the proto-TARDIS from her chair and sits, resting it gently on her lap. "It's okay, I know I'm not really a Time Lord yet." She punches some keys to begin her daily route calculation, and then goes back to addressing the new addition to her family. "Maybe by the time you're ready to be carved, I'll be ready to be a Time Lord! Dad'll know. I'll have to ask him next time I see him."

Jenny has never doubted that she'll see her dad again. Receiving this gift from him makes her absolutely certain. He can find her! She figures that he's just letting her stretch her legs in the galaxy, because that's what she'd do if she were a father. And one day, in a few hundred years, they can travel side by side: the last of the Time Lords in their TARDISes, having adventures and saving planets.

"I can't wait!" she tells her TARDIS, but she secretly knows she can. After all, what greater adventure is there than being a Time Lord? And adventures should never be rushed.
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