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Chapter 12

They materialized outside of the Pond residence once again. Even though it hadn't actually been very long since their last visit, it felt like forever to River, who couldn't wait to see her family again. The Doctor was sure to land so that about six months had passed since the last time they had visited.

He walked up to the door and continued to knock enthusiastically until Amy answered yelling, "Just leave the stupid package-" She was cut off as soon as she saw who it was. "Doctor! River! Rory, come see who it is!"

The four of them exchanged lots of warm greetings before the Ponds noticed who was standing in the background. Amy turned to whisper to the whisper to the Doctor. "Um, do you know that person standing by the TARDIS?"

He smiled and answered proudly. "As a matter of fact, that is our daughter, Rain Song."

Amy looked confused. "Wait, she looks to be about eighteen. Are you telling me it's been eighteen years since you've come to visit us?" This question was directed at River.

"It's a long and complicated story. Anyway, you probably don't want to hear it."

Amy shrugged. "Well, there's no point in standing around all day. Why don't you all come inside for dinner?"

River and the Doctor gladly accepted, following Rory into the sitting room. Amy paused to look back at Rain, who was still standing near the TARDIS, eyes downcast. "Rain? What are you waiting for?"

She didn't look up. "Oh . . . um, I think I'll just stay out here."

Amy looked confused but didn't argue with her. "Okay . . . Well, our doors are open whenever you want to come in."

Rain nodded. Amy walked back inside and rejoined the others, still thoroughly confused. "River? You said Rain is eighteen, right?"

"Yes."

She hesitated before continuing. River had said it was a long story, but if something was wrong, she wanted to know about it. After all, this was her granddaughter. "So where was she for the last eighteen years?"

River sighed. She knew that she would have to explain this sometime, but she had hoped that it wouldn't have to be tonight. "To put it simply, she had the same childhood as me."

Both Ponds gasped, looking completely terrified. Rory was the first to respond, a note of desperation in his voice. "What do you mean? You did save her before any damage could be done, right?"

Neither the Doctor nor River said a word. Their silence was the only answer required. Rory gulped. "So what now? Won't she be trying to kill you?"

The Doctor answered this time, certainty in his tone. "No."

"How can you be so sure?"

River and the Doctor exchanged glances before he answered. "Let's just say, we would both bet our lives on the fact that she is completely trustworthy."

The Ponds were slightly calmed by this, but still wore expressions of uncertainty.

***

Rain walked slowly down the street. It was a nice evening. The cool wind blew just enough to balance out the heat of the sun. For some reason, though, the streets were deserted. She didn't exactly know where she was going, but soon she came upon an old park and stopped.

There was a broken slide and a lopsided jungle gym, but Rain sat down on one of the rusty swings. She really needed some time to herself, to think. After all, her entire life had just changed in the course of mere weeks. Last thing she knew, her whole purpose revolved around killing the Doctor. Now, however, that thought repulsed her.

So what was her purpose, then? Surely it must be more than traveling around in a blue box with her parents. She needed to have her own life. Then again, she hadn't seen her parents at all as a child. What could be the harm of staying with them for a while? After all, the Doctor did have the entire universe at his fingertips.

Her musings were interrupted by a nearby noise. Somebody was climbing the broken slide a few yards away. It was a man that appeared to be about eighteen as well. At first, she thought nothing of him and continued with her thoughts, still watching him out of the corner of her eye.

The man sat down at the top of the slide, his back facing the side, the railing of which had long since been broken off. Rain now assumed that he was meditating just as she was; however, for some reason, he now had her full attention, even though he was oblivious to her presence.

He laid back, his head and shoulders dangling off the edge. His eyes were closed, and his face showed an expression somewhere between torment and indecision. He bent his legs, preparing to push off. It was clear to her now: this man was going to push himself off and land on his head and neck. He would die.

Rain shot up off the swing and ran over to the slide yelling, "No! Wait, stop!"

He didn't sit upright or back away, but rather, opened his eyes slowly as if he had known she was there all along. His response was calm. "Why?"

She didn't know what to say. What was there for her to say? After all, she was a trained assassin. Her entire life was spent preparing to deal with the issue of death calmly. "I . . . I don't know. I don't know what you know, but what I do know is that it gets better. Trust me, I doubt your life could have been worse than mine, but here I am."

This seemed to upset him, but now he sat up, raising his voice. "How could you possibly know that your life is worse than mine? I've got no one, absolutely no one left. What could possibly be worse than that?"

Rain answered calmly. "You could have been kidnapped as a child and brainwashed to be an assassin specifically trained to kill your father."

The man was unsurprisingly rendered speechless at this. "I . . . I'm sorry, I didn't know."

"It's okay. It all worked out in the end. Well, sort of," Rain shrugged. "But my life isn't the point right now. What can I say to make you come down from there?"

The man laughed, but it was sarcastic. "Well, I guess you would have to say that you have a new family waiting for me."

"Okay."

This caught him off-guard. "Wait, what?"

Rain shrugged again. "I said okay."

He looked at her suspiciously. "I thought you said you didn't have a family."

She shook her head. "I said I was trained to kill my father. So was my mother. But neither of us made that choice."

At this, the man slowly came down. He stood in front of her a little awkwardly. "Sorry about all that. I didn't mean anything personal."

"It's okay," she said holding out her hand. "My name's Rain, by the way."

He shook her hand cautiously. "I'm Jet."

"Jet? I like that name. Well then, Jet, I suppose I promised you a family," she said with a warm smile.

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