The Doctor found the room dark. Un-lived in.
Something wasn't right.
"She was right," a man said, turning. It was the King of France. "So much time has passed and not a day of it on your face."
The Doctor smiled slightly.
The King reached into a drawer, handing the Doctor a letter, going on to tell him other things.
Then he walked to the window. "... Leaving Versilles for the last time." He sighed, and looked to the Doctor. "The letter, what does it say?"
The Doctor carefully placed the delicate and fragile sentimate, the last words of Reinette to him, and only him, inside his pocket. They were her words to him, and his alone.
Not even the King of France could take them from him. It was all he had left, aside from memories.
Precious and valuable as they are.
The King nodded. "Quite right." He cleared his throat, and met the Doctor's eyes. "There... is something else."
The Doctor creased his brow, as if to say, 'really? well, what then?', but instead he said only, "Oh?"
The King nodded, and motioned a hand.
A maid led a little girl inside the room.
"Her." The King said, motioning for the maid to leave.
The Doctor looked at the girl. His eyes widened slightly, but, nonetheless, he was quiet. Unusually quiet.
"Doctor," the King said, a bit reluctantly, "As you may very well know, Reinette..." He took a deep breath and swallowing, trying again. "Well, she always told me that you were the only man she ever loved, save me. But I never did believe her." He looked at the Doctor again. "She loved you more."
The Doctor swallowed a lump in his throat that shouldn't have even been there, he told himself.
The King continued, "As jealous or evnious as I may be, there is no denying the truth, much as I'd like to." He cleared his thoat. "Be that as it may, I cannot find the courage, the will, nor the heart to keep this secret from you. She would have wanted you to know, though she never did tell you, she would have wanted you to know." He looked pointedly at the little girl.
"Barely five years old," the King spoke.
The Doctor eyes widened in final understanding. "Oh, my..." He trailed off, at a loss for words entirely.
"She is your child, Doctor. There is no denying it. She has two heartbeats, as Reinette told me you do."
The Doctor felt the lump in his throat again; it wasn't leaving anytime soon.
Finally he spoke. "Thank you," he said, sounding as if he hadn't spoken in years. But he was solemn in his sincerity. "Thank you."
"Of course," the King of France replied, looking again out the window. "And I am sorry."
"As am I," the Doctor said. "As am I."
The little girl looked at at the King in confusion. "Where am I going?" She asked.
"With him," the King replied. "Where you belong."
The Doctor, stunned beyond many words but still finding his heart open to his child, smiled, looking down at her. He knelt down on one knee and put her tiny hands in his. "Home. You're going home." He grinned widely. Part of him was ripped apart, yet... he looked at this little girl, and suddenly all reservations were out the window.
She was his child, for always. His and Reinette's... and he wasn't letting her go.
"What's her name?" The Doctor asked quietly, turning to the King, who answered, "Angelique."
"Yes." He replied. "Reinette always called you her angel." He added, wistfully.
The Doctor nodded, looking down at the young child. "Well," he said,"Angelique, it's time to go.. to go home." He choked back a few annoying (to his mind, anyway, for emotions weren't habitual to him) tears, and rested his hands on Angelique's shoulders lightly. "Is that alright?"
Angelique nodded. "I suppose, if it is home." She looked questioningly at the King. "It is home?"
The King nodded. "It is home."
Angelique looked back at the Doctor. "Then I should like to go."
The Doctor smiled. "Oh, I'm very glad!" He grinned. He was happy, but still a little part of him hurt, and he didn't understand how emotions could hurt so much.
At least, now, a part of Reinette was going to see the stars.
She was their daughter. His and Reinette's daughter.
Angelique was going to see the stars... for the stars were her home.
"Who are you?" Angelique asked the Doctor softly. He debated mentally what to tell her, and knew that under most circimstances he would have told her he was the Doctor, but also that these were not normal circimstances. His grin lighten a bit, but he was still smiling. "I'm... Angelique, I am your father." He said, nearly choking on the words.
"My mother told me about you. She said you were an angel."
"Well, I don't know about that," the Doctor said dissmissively.
But Angelique kept on. "She said you were also so very lonely. Well, you do not have to be lonely anymore."
"I know." The Doctor replied. But somehow he still was... if only a little. But a part of him had never felt more complete.
And with that, he stood up, and lifted her into his arms, casting one more look behind him, before he made his exit through time and space and the fireplace where he had once met a little girl named Reinette.
He had grown to love her dearly as she's grown older, and now he had a child, thir child, to rear alone.
A daughter... a thought suddenly entered the Doctor's mind. His wasn't the last of the Timelords anymore.
He wasn't alone.
But there was another, just ever-so-slightly minor detail to work out.
Just exactly how was he going to explain this to Rose and Mickey...