Rose was making a cup of tea; while the Doctor put Jenny down to sleep. She thought again about their strange conversation in the car. What had he wanted to talk to her about? Was she supposed to wait for him to bring it back up, or ask him about it herself? Her thoughts were interrupted by his presence. He leaned against the doorframe and remained quiet – never a good sign.
He opened his mouth, but no words would come out. What was he supposed to say to her, Rose Tyler the girl that had loved him unconditionally for so long now? How could he tell her he had hidden something from his past; when, he’d promised her that she knew everything she’d missed? He realised he was stood there with his mouth hanging open, so he promptly snapped it shut, cleared his throat and tried again.
“About before,” he began, but was suddenly lost for what to say again.
“Doctor?” Rose responded, worry coating her words.
“It’s just there’s something I need to tell you—about before— something I didn’t tell you,” he forced the words out, cringing at how they felt as he said them, but at the same time feeling relief, as a fraction of the burden from his secret disappeared.
“From before? But you promised that you’d told me everything I’d missed.” Rose’s voice caught in her throat, she had been sure they were 100% honest with each other now.
“I didn’t even consider this when I was telling you about before, my mind can only contain so much information. This was something I’d hidden away; it was only brought to the forefront of my mind when Jenny was born.” The words spilled out, and he hoped she would let him explain completely before she started asking questions, or shouting.
“Why would Jenny bring this memory to light?”
Rose was getting panicky; she could feel the stinging in her eyes that let her know she needed to try to contain herself while he explained everything to her.
“Because, I had a daughter while you were trapped. It’s not how it sounds, my DNA was taken against my will, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. She was created, fully matured and I didn’t know her long before she die-” the Doctor stopped, his voice breaking as a single tear dropped from his eye; his shaking hand reached into his hair, and his eyes stared blankly into thin air.
Rose stepped towards him, pausing briefly to gauge how damaged he was, before pulling him into her arms and holding on tightly. She pressed her face against his shoulder and took a deep breath to steady her own emotions. He didn’t need her to be breaking down right now; he needed her to stay strong and be a shoulder to cry on so he could let out all his repressed angst.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” he stuttered out, shaking more as he said the words, but his hands fell from his hair and rested against Rose’s back, pulling her closer.
“Why are you sorry? I don’t blame you for not telling me. You were trying to hide it from yourself.” She spoke soothingly to comfort him. She began to rub small circles into his back and taking a few more deep breaths and steadying herself.
“Because, she was called Jenny too...” He trailed off not sure how to continue, and too caught up in his grief and sorrow.
The circles stopped. She gripped his shoulders and pulled back. She looked deeply into his eyes, he couldn’t quite read the emotion hidden there, but the look on her face terrified him.