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Chapter 11

Two weeks had gone by. The threesome had traveled to several different planets in this time, but as of yet, none had been life-threatening. This was probably best, considering the Doctor and River were keeping dangerous company.

Lyra hadn't done anything detrimental yet. River could understand this. When she had first met the Doctor, she had wanted to get to know him a little better too. But she didn't think that this was Lyra's intention. From what she could tell, Lyra was just waiting for the right time to make her move.

As much as River loved her daughter, she couldn't help but feel resentment, not towards her, but towards what they had made her. Was this how she had seemed to the Doctor? And what would happen if she did try to kill the Doctor? What if only one of them could live? River tried to shake these thoughts away, because the fact was, she didn't know the answers to any of them.

***

It was late at night. Or in other words, it was late according to the clock in the TARDIS. The Doctor was on his swing under the console fiddling with some wires. Lyra was sitting on the pilot's chair, arms crossed. River was tired, so she called "goodnight" to the Doctor and went off to bed.

She had barely sat down on the bed when there was a knock at the door. River figured it was the Doctor. "You can come in." But instead of the Doctor, it was Lyra. "Oh . . . hello." River was surprised to see her and was still having trouble adjusting to the fact that this girl was her daughter, especially when she seemed more like an enemy.

However, now Lyra didn't look very harmful at all. Her eyes were downcast, and her features showed a look of deep confusion. River motioned for the girl to sit down next to her, but she refused. "Is something wrong?" It felt strange talking to her as if she was just a normal eighteen year old.

"You said you were brainwa- . . . trained by them too?" she asked, and as far as River could tell, she was sincere.

"Yes."

"Did you ever get the chance to . . . to kill him?" she continued hesitantly.

River sighed, trying not to bring back the memories. "Yes."

Lyra paused for a moment. "What did you do?"

"I killed him," River answered calmly. She could see the confused look on the girl's face, so she continued. "I killed him, and then I sacrificed everything to bring him back."

There was another long pause. "Why?"

"I fell in love with him. I saw that he was the opposite of everything they had told me, and I simply had to save him. He's not a murderer, but a hero. Even as he was dying, he loved me, and love is the hardest thing to see through the haze the Silence forces on your mind."

Lyra said nothing for a while. It was obvious that this was a defining moment for her. In this instant she would choose who she wanted to trust and who she wanted to believe. After this, she would either kill the Doctor or risk her life to save his whenever he needed saving.

But she said nothing. She simply got up and walked to the door. Maybe she chose to kill him, River thought incredulously. But then Lyra paused and placed something on the desk before walking out the door and down the hall to her room.

River waited until she was gone, and then went over to see what it was. Sitting there on the table was a sharpened dagger. She picked it up and sniffed it. Sure enough, it held the sickly stench of poison. River set it down carefully back on the desk. There was only one reason Lyra would leave her only weapon: she must have chosen not to kill the Doctor. This realization almost brought tears to her eyes. Almost.

She heard a tiny creak outside the door, and her head swooped around. Looking behind the door, she saw the Doctor standing there. "Exactly how much of that did you hear?"

"Um . . . all of it."

"Well, then you should be relieved. She doesn't want to kill you anymore."

The Doctor didn't look relieved, though. "I know. It's just . . . wanting to kill me was the only reason she stayed here. Think about it. She's eighteen. She's spent her entire life in a cell. She won't be content to just stay here with us, even if we do have the whole universe."

River smiled, trying to keep herself from laughing. "So I tell you that your daughter doesn't want to kill you anymore, and you are only concerned that she's going to leave?"

"Well . . . yes."

This time she couldn't keep herself from laughing. "Oh, Doctor. We have a time machine. We can visit her whenever we want. It'll be kind of like when I was in Stormcage. Anyway, right now she doesn't have any reason to leave. She hasn't even seen Earth yet."

The Doctor sighed. "I guess you're right. But if she finds some alien boy, I have to approve!"

"Yes, Sweetie," River said through her laughter.

The next morning, they all met in the console room as usual. "So where to this time?" the Doctor asked as he swirled around the controls. "Lyra, how about you choose a planet this time."

"Rain."

"What's that?" he asked.

She spoke with conviction in her voice. "Rain. My name is Rain."

The Doctor smiled proudly at her, and she almost returned this gesture. "Well then, Rain, where do you want to go?"

"How about Earth?"

River giggled, and the Doctor rolled his eyes slightly as he dialed in the coordinates to Earth. "Next stop, the Pond residence!"

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