Chapter One

Hope slowly opened her eyes and a smile spread over her face. Today was her ninth birthday and she was so excited. In the past, her family always threw her a huge party with lots of gifts, food and fun and she was looking forward to more of the same. She sat up in bed and swung her legs over the side of the bed, pausing a moment to listen for her mother and father's voices. She frowned when after a minute of intense listening, she couldn't hear anything. The house was completely silent, even the dogs were silent. Hope looked at her Little Mermaid clock on the table beside her bed. It was just after eight in the morning on a Saturday. Normally, her mother was fixing breakfast and laughing and joking with her father. She got out of bed and dressed herself quickly, choosing blue jeans and a light blue t-shirt with a rainbow on it. She walked downstairs, expecting to see her parents but there was still no sign of activity anywhere in the house. She paused at the bottom of the stairs and looked around before heading towards the garage door. Opening it, she stepped into the garage and noticed the TARDIS was gone. Her heart sank when she realized her parents must have taken it somewhere. Her parents had recently allowed her to be alone while they were out on short errands and she enjoyed the fact that they put so much trust in her. Still, she wished they could have let her know in case she wanted to go with them. She headed back inside and shut the door behind her. She walked through the house until she walked into the kitchen and noticed a note on the kitchen table. She walked over to the table and picked up the note, recognizing her father's handwriting.


Mum and I took the dogs to get their yearly checkup at the vet. Be back soon. Behave.

The Doctor.

P.S. I forget to mention. Uncle Alan is coming round to get some papers in my office that I left for him. Probably will be at the house at eight past. Let him in. Love you.

P.S.S. Have some cereal and milk and juice for your breakfast. Still love you.

Hope put the note back on the table. Going to the veterinarian sounded boring but still, she missed hearing them say happy birthday and getting good morning kisses from them. And her father didn't mention her birthday in the note. She knew he could be forgetful at times so she hoped he hadn't forgotten her special day. She walked to the fridge and opened it, pulling out the milk and juice. She was fixing a bowl of Cheerios when she heard a knock at the door. She walked to the front door and opened it.

"Busy, busy, busy, can't be bothered to chat," Alan said, tapping his foot and eyeing her. "Must retrieve the secret plans to the Doomsday Device so step aside."

"Doomsday Device? Seriously?" Hope said as she stepped aside to let him in.

"I am always serious," Alan said imperiously as he stepped into the house. "Now! Where is your parental unit's office?"

Hope closed the door behind him. Instead of answering, she stood there and waited for him to acknowledge her birthday. Alan stared back, his foot tapping on the carpet.

"Have you gone deef, woman? I said, where is the office?" he said after thirty seconds of silence.

"You forget something?" Hope prompted.

"Um…Apparently, I forgot to smack your head to get you to move towards the office," Alan said. "Otherwise, why would you be standing here in front of me being inert and nonproductive?"

"What's today?" Hope prompted.

"Your funeral if you don't get movin' and retrieve the papers I require."

"No! It's my birthday!" Hope said.

"I know that, you silly goose. Now get moving and get what I require!"

Alan smirked at the exasperated expression on Hope's face and he caught her up in a huge hug.

"Ah, happy birthday, little one!" he said as Hope held him tightly. "Many happy returns of the day. Now will you get the papers I require?"

He put Hope down and he walked with her to her father's office at the back of the house.

"Daddy and Mummy took the dogs to the vets this morning," Hope said as they walked. "They were gone when I woke up so you're the first to say happy birthday."

"Goody! I like being first!" Alan said happily. "So I s'pose we'll have to have a huge shindig for you tonight?"

"I hope so," Hope said.

When they reached the closed door of her father's office, Hope opened the door and both of them went inside. Normally, she wasn't allowed inside because her father was usually preoccupied with developing new ideas or building things. There was massive clutter everywhere and she wondered how her father knew where everything was. They walked over to a large oak desk and Hope saw a large grey folder on the desk in the middle of it. Alan's name was printed on the front of it and Hope handed it to Alan. Alan thanked her and opened the folder, perusing the printouts for a moment while Hope watched.

"Is it a doomsday device?" she asked him.

"No, it's a spanking machine. We're gonna build it and use you as the test dummy," Alan said.

"Yeah, right," Hope said, rolling her eyes while Alan giggled.

"No, it's just a few ideas your old dad had for projects. You know we're always inventing stuff and nonsense," Alan said, closing the folder.

Hope nodded. She knew her father and uncle traded ideas back and forth about different ideas, theories and projects, especially when it came to helping make their home world a better place to live. She followed Alan out of the office and closed the door behind them. Her heart sank when she realized Alan would probably leave and go back home and she would be alone and bored until her parents got home. But Alan stopped by the kitchen doorway and stared in at it in thought. Hope walked up beside him and noticed he was staring at her cereal, milk and juice on the table.

"Is that what you were eating?" he asked, pointing to it.

"Yeah. They told me to have cereal for breakfast," Hope said.

"On your birthday? Unacceptable! You shall join me in Daisy and we'll find a nice restaurant. You need a proper birthday breakfast."

Hope grinned from ear to ear. Alan told her to wait for him while he went to his house and dropped off the file and retrieved his TARDIS. When he left, Hope put some plastic wrap on top of her cereal bowl, saving it for later. She hurriedly gulped down her milk and juice while she waited for her uncle to arrive and washed out the glasses, putting them on the counter beside the sink. She was going to head into the living room before she decided to leave a note for her parents. She found the notepad and pen beside the fridge and jotted down a quick note.

Mum and Dad,

Uncle Alan is taking me somewhere for a birthday breakfast so I'll see you soon. Love you.


She put the note on the table next to her parent's note and hurried into the living room to wait for her uncle to arrive.


(One hour later…)

The Doctor opened the garage door and stepped aside to let their corgis enter.

"Alright, inside, you lot," he said to the yapping dogs before he and his wife entered the living room. "Good job you both are in perfect health so I don't have to spend extra credits on your care. You eat us out of house and home as it is."

"Hope! We're home!" Rain called out as the Doctor shut the door.

They stopped and listened for a moment but they heard nothing. The Doctor looked at his wife and shrugged.

"Sleeping in?" he said.

"Yes. Well, it's time to get up and come have breakfast," Rain said before heading upstairs.

The Doctor headed towards the kitchen, wondering if his daughter had seen the note and let Alan in. Alan would have let himself in if she'd still been asleep. But all the same, it seemed strange that she was sleeping in since she loved to rise early and join them in their daily routine. He walked into the kitchen and froze when he saw the second note. He picked it up and read it, freezing when he saw the word birthday.

"She's not in her room," Rain said, entering the kitchen. "I don't know where she is."

"It's her birthday today?" the Doctor said, handing the note to her.

"Yeah, you didn't know that, Thete?" Rain said as she took the note from him and read it.


"You forgot," Rain finished for him.

"Well, I'm always traveling and I sometimes forget what day it is. Blast, if I'd known, I would have woken her up before we left and wished her happy birthday," the Doctor said with an angry sigh.

"Don't sweat it, hon. We'll see her when she gets back," Rain said, setting the note down on the table. "In the meantime, relax and do whatever you need to do. I'll feed the dogs and get some breakfast going."

The Doctor nodded and smiled when she kissed his cheek. He sat down at the kitchen table and focused his mind on his daughter, reaching out and connecting to her.


Hope sat beside Rose while they watched Alan fly his TARDIS. They were headed to a secret destination, something Alan had selected for a birthday breakfast. Hope was brimming with excitement and wondered where they were going. While she watched him, she suddenly got an image in her mind's eye of her father's remorseful face.

I'm sorry I didn't wish you happy birthday. I forget, he thought to her. Forgive me?

I forgive you, Daddy. I gave Uncle Alan the stuff in the folder and he's taking me and Aunt Rose somewhere for my birthday.

Good, we'll be here when you return and all of us will do something fun, he thought to her.

Hope felt a warmth in her mind as her father sent her some mental love. She had been correct about him forgetting her birthday but she knew he was busy with many things and had many responsibilities and had many things weighing on his mind. She knew he and her mother would more than make up for it when she got back home. He may be forgetful sometimes but she knew he loved her and he was upset that he didn't think of her birthday without her help. Her father told her to have fun before she felt his mind pulling away from hers. Basking in the aftereffects of the love touch, she settled back against the seat and waited for Daisy to land.

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