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Chapter 34

Storm Song walked down the deserted streets of Upper Leadworth, just as he had on many such occasions before. Today, the summer sun reflected brilliantly off of his wavy golden locks, which flopped around his head in much the same way as his father's.

He rather enjoyed his appearance, though. Some people would smirk as they saw him, what with his floppy hair, bowtie, and suspenders. However, he thought he looked very cool, especially for a sixteen-year-old Time Lord. In fact, he was quite glad that he hadn't had to regenerate yet. Not just because it meant dying, but because he would undoubtedly lose at least a little of the natural charm that he had inherited from his parents.

These thoughts all swam through his mind as he navigated the winding pathway up to the front door. As he did so, he glanced back over his shoulder to make sure his parents were following him. He made this a habit after the last time they had accidentally left him on Earth.

Luckily, they weren't very far behind this time. River was just having a rather difficult time trying to adjust the Doctor's bowtie, as he kept stubbornly swatting her hand away, insisting that he could do it himself, which always made it worse. Storm couldn't help but chuckle at this all-too-familiar sight: River and the Doctor in another one of their petty arguments. After all, the sight was fairly comical.

Once at the door, Storm paused to allow his parents to catch up with him. As he did, he glanced around the porch that he had seen many times before, noticing that it still hadn't changed. There was still an old "Welcome" mat lying on the doorstep, still the rusting iron bench, and still the tiny mailbox that read "Carson."

Finally, River and the Doctor approached the door as well, having given up on the whole bowtie issue. He gave it one last tug before reaching out to knock on the door to the Carson residence. Within seconds, Rain opened the door, smiling brightly to the family that she so desperately missed. From behind her, Storm could hear the sound of footsteps making their way to the door.

However, before he had the opportunity to see who the footsteps belonged to, Storm once again jolted awake, sending him into a fit of screams and tears. From their room just down the hall, the Doctor and River were now awake as well. The Doctor mumbled something under his breath about how the TARDIS was purposely amplifying the crying so they would hear it.

River just lifted her pillow onto her head, turning over as she said, "It's your turn."

Slowly, he sat up to speak with incredulity in his voice. "My turn? It's been my turn for the last two weeks!"

Now she turned over to face him. "Sweetie, we've been over this. Either you can accept that it's your turn, or I can take out the hallucinogenic lipstick. Your choice."

The Doctor rolled his eyes. She used this same trick every time, and he always told himself that it wouldn't work the next time. However, they both knew full well that it would.

So now the Doctor grudgingly slid out of bed, throwing on his jacket as he did so. Once he was safely out of the room, River smirked to herself. It really was too bad that she had left her lipstick at Stormcage. Oh, well. What the Doctor didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

At that moment, the Doctor trudged down the hallway, eyes practically closed as he mechanically took the steps toward Storm's room. Once there, he didn't bother to turn on the light. In fact, he didn't even bother to check what stood two feet in front of him, as he found himself on the floor only moments later, courtesy of a stray toy that had been tossed on the ground.

For a moment, the Doctor just stayed sprawled on the ground, but the incessant screaming coming from Storm eventually prodded him to get up. So, using the crib for support, he was able to make it onto his feet again.

"Shh," he whispered as he picked up his son. "It's alright. Nothing to be afraid of. It was only a dream." It hadn't taken long to figure out what the problem was, as the Doctor did speak baby. However, he could only tell that the trouble had been a dream, not what the dream was about. So, using what little he knew, the Doctor again tried to comfort Storm.

"Don't worry. Dreams aren't real. They can be anything you want them to be. You control them." This seemed to calm Storm down slightly, so he continued speaking. "That's kind of how life is too, really. You can choose to be whoever you want; whether or not you travel with us is your decision. It's all up to you. And you're a Time Lord! You have much more time than most people, so make the best of it. Later you will have to choose your paths, but for now, just know that your dreams are in your control." He stopped talking now, realizing that he was rambling once again. However, Storm was now fast asleep, so he must have done something right.

Carefully, he set the boy down in his crib and made his way back to his bedroom, making sure he had decent footing this time. Right now, River was facing away from him on the bed, probably enjoying another night of not having to get up. The Doctor smirked as he thought of how to exact his revenge.

He took a couple steps back now, in order to give him a running start, and then took off at a run, jumping as high as he could into the air once he was only a couple feet from the bed. The force of his landing was enough to catapult River Song a good two feet above the bed before falling once more.

The Doctor couldn't stop laughing at the piercing glare that River was shooting at him. Normally, a glare like this would send him running to the nearest jewelry shop, but he knew that she wouldn't do anything this late at night, especially not if it ran the risk of waking Storm (which gunshots would most likely do, River added mentally).

However, it is hard to stay mad at someone who won't stop laughing, and so River eventually found herself joining in as she continued to formulate a plan. Once the laughter had died down, River asked, "Sweetie, would you mind getting me a glass of water?"

"No problem!" he answered, still in a good mood from his latest bright idea.

River listened to the point where she could no longer hear his footsteps before closing and locking the door and settling back into bed. A few minutes later, the Doctor returned, only to find that the doorknob wouldn't budge. "River?" he called. "River, did you lock the door?"

Smirking, River answered, "Yes, Sweetie, but don't worry. I'll let you back in after a few more hours."

He stood there with his jaw dropped, preparing to make some sort of remark, but in the end, he decided that any of his attempts to reason with River would be in vain, so instead he decided to spend the night on the rocking chair next to Storm's crib. "Well, Stormy," he whispered, being careful not to wake him up, "I have a feeling we'll be spending lots of time together."

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