FINDING GALLIFREY

Chapter Twenty One

(An hour earlier at the Doctor's house…)

"Hope? Hope!"

Hope's eyelids slowly fluttered open. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, blinked and saw Twelve standing over her.

"Hello, Other Daddy," she said sleepily.

"Good morning. Your Daddy Daddy asked me to get you up so you can get ready to go to…Gran's house."

"Aw, I want to come with you," Hope whined.

"Your daddy said it was out of the question and he said this to me because he knew you'd beg to come along. So get dressed so we can go, yeah?"

Hope sat up and put her arms around Twelve. Twelve hesitated for a moment before returning the hug and patting her back.

"Go now," he said gently. "Go and get dressed."

He smiled when Hope kissed his cheek before she let go of him. Twelve watched while she took her pillow and blanket and headed back upstairs and to his surprise, he did feel a fatherly affection and protection towards the little girl. He let out a long wistful sigh, thinking of his own children and Susan, gone for centuries now. He still had his misgivings about this place and how real it actually was but if it wasn't real, he was happy to play the part of second father for a bit to this little girl that seemed to love him.

Hope walked into her room and quickly got ready to leave, going through the morning routine and getting dressed to go over to Jackie's house. She was done with everything except putting on her shoes when the Doctor appeared at her door.

"Thank you for not arguing with the other Doctor," he said to her. "I know you want to go with us but I'm not sure they'll allow children to come. We'll make it up to you, I promise."

"Is Other Daddy and Clara going with you?" Hope said as she sat down on her bed and began to put on her shoes.

"Yes. And we decided to get Adam and Duer. I sent Alan and Clara and the other me to go and get them."

"I like Other Daddy," Hope said to him as the Doctor watched her tie her shoes.

"I noticed. You like everyone though," the Doctor said to her as Hope tied her other shoe. "You inherited my talent for being friendly and putting people at their ease. Vital skill, that. If you're going to be a Time Lady and travel."

"Yay!" Hope yelled as she finished tying her shoes.

The Doctor chuckled, beckoned to her and put his arm around her when she came to him.

"Come on, I think Gran will have something special for you when you see her," he said as they headed towards the stairs.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The Doctor did a double take when he saw Adam and Duer at the spaceport.

"Why are they dressed like that?" he said to Alan as he pointed to their dressing gowns.

"You said to get them and come quickly to the spaceport," Alan said.

"Yeah but I was going to allow them to get dressed," the Doctor said.

"Thank you," Adam said. "Alan nearly jerked my arm out of its socket while he told me we had no time to dilly dally."

"He said much the same to me," Duer said.

"Sorry, I thought it was urgent," Alan said to them with a shrug.

Clara glanced at Twelve. He'd turned his back and she could tell he was hiding a laugh as Adam and Duer glared at Alan's sheepish expression. Twelve and Clara looked over when a woman approached dressed in Time Lady regalia. She was flanked by two men wearing Gallifreyan guard uniforms who were carrying laser blasters in holsters around their hips. The Doctor walked up, bowed to her and turned to Twelve and Clara.

"May I present, Councilor Xashon. This is the new Doctor and Clara Oswald," he said.

"Pleasure," Twelve said, stepping forward and bowing.

"Yes, it's a pleasure," Clara said, stepping up and following Twelve's lead.

"You may have noticed we have more than our share of Doctors here," Xashon said, indicating the Doctors and clones nearby.

"Yes, I learned that the first day here," Twelve said while Clara chuckled and nodded.

Xashon beckoned to them and they followed her and the guards through the spaceport. The spaceport was modern looking, polished steels with arched windows evenly spaced throughout the building. There were several terminals leading off to different landing pads when they reached a waiting area and each corridor that led to the terminal had the number underneath an etched carving of Rassilon's Seal. Xashon led them straight on into another waiting area. This one didn't have any passengers waiting for flights, instead there were several more corridors but under the seals were Cargo Bay 1, Cargo Bay 2 and so on. Xashon led them off to the left into Cargo Bay 3's corridor and they walked down it towards a large black spaceship. It had been powered down and the ramp had been lowered so it rested at the very end of the corridor.

"This way," Xashon said to everyone before going up the ramp into the spaceship.

The Doctor, Rain, River, Adam and Duer followed her. Alan was about to go up when Clara suddenly grabbed his arm and jerked it roughly. Alan turned to her.

"Yeeees, Madam Arm Jerker Breaker De Sockets, is something happening that causes you to cause me great pain and discomfort?" he said to her.

"Is it safe, going in there?" Clara said.

Alan looked at Twelve.

"She's a bit skittish at times," he said to Alan.

Alan came down to her level and put his arm around Clara.

"Breathe in," he said to her.

Clara glanced at Twelve before breathing in deeply.

"Hold," Alan said, holding up his finger.

Clara held her breath.

"And release."

Clara let it out.

"Now get your tiny arse up in that ship, Munchkin, and stop being a namby pamby wussy pussy!" Alan said, thrusting his finger at the entrance.

He let go and Twelve giggled when Clara flipped the vees to Alan's back before following him up into it.

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