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Title: Soldierly Ramblings
Series: Riverlets Through Time
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Private Wilf(red) Mott always looked to the sky, sure he'd find aliens one day. He never thought ones would be part of his family. Not that he minds... Seventh in the “Riverlets Through Time” series.
Dedication: nini_cuddles. I'm still at it! :D
Disclaimer: This isn't called a fix-it for nothing. It means it didn't happen in canon... (sighs miserably)
Author's Note: Wilf... Man, I love the character! He so had to be in the Doctor and Donna's corner, and would've been the first to congratulate them. So this was fun to write – even the not so happy parts.

Bridal Fears
Diverging Truths
Truth Shines Through
Flowers of Time
Handy('s) Story
A Mother's Awakening

Conflict was something Wilf Mott was extremely familiar with, although he thought he'd left it behind once he left active duty. Family life soon proved that wrong. He shouldn't have been surprised; he married an opinionated woman with Irish blood in her, and their daughter – their only child – inherited every bit of her mother's fire.

Not that he minded; it made for interesting times, and Sylvia's drive was a good thing, he believed. Why should women not use their minds and even run things? Eileen certainly could've been a good general in her own right, and he suspected that Sylvia would've done just as well.

In fact, he wished Sylvia remembered more of what she'd been like as a child. She might've better grasped where Donna's behaviors came from...

Oh, his little general! He and Eileen had absolutely adored her hair, which came down from his wife's grandmother. It was simply the loveliest shade! Now if only the rest of the world didn't have problems with gingers...

So he had to spend a lot more time than he should've needed to shoring Donna's confidence up as a kid. The other children were mean to her far too often, and he hated it the few times Donna had gotten so upset that she'd dyed her hair. Once blonde, although she'd decided it made her look too much like her mother. The others, she tried for darker shades, which just didn't go well with her pale skin and freckles. Right about in her late teens, she gave up on that. Unfortunately, she focused more on her weight...

Wilf had to sigh a lot over all of the diets Donna put herself on over the years. All the girls wanted to be too skinny. Donna's figure was healthier, as Eileen always said.

It was so sad that she'd fallen so ill. Influenza. It took her only a few years ago. Wilf still missed her terribly. So did Donna. And he knew Sylvia did, too, although she was rubbish at showing it.

He felt much, much worse when Sylvia lost Geoffrey – bless him – to that dratted cancer. They'd thought he'd beaten it and would have many more years... He was Donna's other ally, who also wondered what else he could've done to help her feel better. If Donna had felt better about herself, had more confidence, then she would've excelled. So many people did well in life that didn't do well in school. He'd figured that out, and wished Sylvia grasped it, too.

He fell into the newspaper thing. It let him meet a lot interesting people. Like that bloke who was there the day all the people were evacuated... He had no idea he would see that man again...

Donna could still make her own way as much as Sylvia had, Wilf was sure of it! She needed the right opening to make it happen. But it seemed like life – or fate, or whatever – was determined to make her struggle for it. He got where his daughter was coming from, but sometimes life simply gave you a bad hand. He wished that Sylvia could've been more supportive and helpful. Donna might've actually had a career then...

When Donna was going to marry Lance, Wilf and Geoffrey, despite their reservations, decided to trust that Donna knew what she was doing. They did badly want things to work out for her. And then Wilf fell sick. Not horribly, but enough that he had to miss the wedding. He was unhappy!

When he heard all about what went wrong from Sylvia, he was aggravated. Oh, he wished he'd gone anyway! He would've liked to see those alien things! And that Doctor man sounded interesting. But Donna wouldn't talk about it at all... He thought she might've said something to her father before he died, but only she and Geoffrey knew...

His heart ached for his girls, even as he got them in his life daily again. Wilf hated to admit it, but his daughter might be right about Donna needing a job. If for nothing else, there'd be some peace in the house since Donna would move out! Oh, he'd miss her, but he sensed that Donna needed to live elsewhere sometimes. Of course, it'd better be with someone good enough for her!

That one night on the hill... She'd come closer than ever to admitting to what really happened that Christmas, but still didn't. He finally had an answer for why she was acting the way she was... even if it was incomplete...

Mind, he didn't buy her denial one bit! There was a sparkle in her eyes as she spoke about him, and Wilf just knew that his granddaughter had lost her heart more than she ever had before. He really hoped she'd find him again...

So it was a huge shock to see that blue box Donna had mentioned, and see her waving from it! And then there was that man from that day! He was the one! Donna had found what she was looking for! Oh, he danced himself silly around his telescope, overflowing with joy for his little general!

Yes, he had to try to calm Sylvia, which didn't work very well, but she did drop the yelling after an hour. Though he knew she was just saving it for whenever Donna returned, which he knew would happen; she loved them too much to vanish without contact...

It did take several weeks before he saw her again, walking down the street and then running into his arms. She seemed a bit distracted, but happier than he'd ever seen her before. Yes, this Doctor was a good man for her.

But not a man! He was an alien! Well, that explained that day! Oh, he was clearly good to her, so that was all that mattered. Wilf could only hope Sylvia would see that... Especially when the Doctor arrived and checked on the family's car... which did turn into something that almost killed Wilf, but it wasn't the Doctor's fault. It was some bad group of aliens, for sure!

Mind, it was a good thing Sylvia bought the axe; who knew it would come in handy? And there was no way he would try to separate Donna from the best thing that had ever happened to her! His daughter could deal with it!

Yes, the clouds keeping them inside were very scary, but Wilf refused to let it show. He was an old soldier of a generation that hid its feelings; it was undignified to do otherwise. So it helped him hide that he could hear that Donna was nervous in her call... Good thing, because that allowed him to just keep encouraging her in her visit afterward, and ask her to bring a little of the stars back for her Gramps. And his sweet general promised.

The only contact they had with her afterward, until that dratted day with the planets and the pepper pots, was one phone call from a planet called Midnight. Donna had seemed happy during the call, but when Wilf later asked about the visit, Donna and the Doctor blanched so much he thought they'd both pass out. Okay, things obviously went poorly after the call, so don't ask about it again...

He knew that planets mess involved aliens before the pepper pots arrived and starting shooting people, taking others. Seeing that got his blood up, and the old soldier was going to fight again! His daughter followed him, frightened out of her mind and trying to talk him out of it. He had a moment of regret when his paintball gun didn't work, but that Rose Tyler appeared, saving them. The relief was enough to overcome any misgiving he might have had about talking to her about Donna, but he was worried too much. And if the girl had anything to share...

But she didn't. Not until they stumbled onto the subwave network. The girl tried so hard to log in, but they lacked a web cam, so she couldn't be seen or heard. She'd been heartbroken, and gasped as they all watched Harriet Jones being executed.

Then Donna and the Doctor appeared on the screen! Wilf and Sylvia were so relieved! Although he knew she was just as curious who the sweet-faced blonde was who looked a bit like she could be related to them – and whose expression reminded him of the Doctor. But what got his attention? How Donna was hugging the Doctor tightly, leaving no trace of personal space between them. It looked to Wilf like they'd gotten past all that just mates nonsense, and he was thrilled for them!

Mind, he was worried over Rose's reaction. When the screen cut out, she'd turned pale and rushed out to find the Doctor. Her eyes spoke of feeling like the Doctor was hers, which alarmed Wilf. Especially since she carried a big gun...

They sat in the house, worried (and Sylvia impulsively snipping over the smallest things) – even after Donna's call and Earth's return – until Donna's key was heard in the lock. Wilf happened to be first to reach her, although Sylvia practically pushed him aside to hug Donna, too emotional to even nag her. But the sight of their visitors silenced Wilf as well as his daughter. There was His Lordship, carrying an unconscious Jenny, and a younger man who looked just like him!

The story was a big one, and it boggled Wilf's imagination, but he was willing to accept anything the Doctor told him. Especially if Donna backed him up on it. However, the story about the planets wasn't the biggest deal. Jenny and Ben were close, but hearing that Donna and the Doctor were married? That, alone, made the day seem worthwhile! Mind, being a Great-Grandy was something he'd been looking forward to for a while, and now he was one three times over! (That the third wouldn't technically arrive in the world until next Christmas, sixteen months away, was a minor detail.) And his Donna was finally as happy as she'd always deserved!

Thank God Sylvia felt the same way... He'd worried that his daughter would find fault in the situation, but it seemed that, between the horrors of the day and seeing her daughter so happy, Sylvia Noble had melted. Wilf had to wipe tears away over seeing his girls embrace for the first time in real affection since Donna was a little girl.

It was just like his daughter to promptly determine a cover story for her grandchildren. And it made a lot of sense. He knew exactly when she was thinking of, and Donna was just of an age where she could have had two now twenty-years-old kids. The Doctor looked a little on the young side for it, but Ben's looking like he could pass easily for a teenager would help there. Poor Doctor, he looked like he'd need someone to do more than hold his hand through all this mundane human stuff!

Mind, Wilf's attention was quickly on getting to know his new great-grandson, and helping the lads bond a bit with Sylvia. Ben didn't need any help as it turned out, but the Doctor clearly remembered how Sylvia had treated Donna in the past, and was ready to defend her if need be. Thankfully, Jenny woke and that defused more of the tension. Sylvia practically swallowed the girl into a hug, murmuring about how grateful she was to her before noting all of the features she had that they could pass as family resemblance.

Indeed, when Wilf took his turn to hug her and gush over her, Jenny did look like family in many ways. Were they sure, he had to ask, that she didn't have any of Donna's blood in her? The Doctor shook his head. He'd scanned Jenny in the TARDIS when they got her back, and she was full Time Lord. Although he admitted that if he'd held hands with Donna before his hand was pushed into the machine, it would've been entirely possible for some of Donna's skin cell DNA to get mixed in there. Of course, they probably would've had an entirely different child on their hands...

Eh, it didn't matter. Time to celebrate two birthdays! Wilf nixed the idea of leaving the observed birthday as Christmas, which was technically true for Ben; why only have one day to celebrate if you had the choice?

Jenny was confused about the whole thing, but Ben grinned. He took it upon himself to explain the concept to Jenny while they had dinner.

The next months passed rather quietly for the family. Earth recovered, the Doctor used some of his back pay from UNIT to help repair the house and cover the mortgage payments (a pretty big deal for someone who admitted he nearly got a panic attack when Rose had suggested getting one), and Jenny and Ben were inducted into all the local customs possible. They had such appetites for knowledge, especially Jenny, and were astonishingly fast learners! Wilf wondered if either or both should be sent to school, but the Doctor hesitated over making such a commitment. Eventually, their lack of regular aging would be noticed, so it seemed unwise to have them in the same place for long. Not when everything was so up in the air.

Of course, there was the bus madness, and the Doctor and Donna were caught up in it. They solved it, but Donna had given him what-for over getting them trapped on an alien world while she was pregnant. Fortunately, slapping him on the arm a bunch of times during the madness – and a lot of yelling – was apparently enough for her to vent her anger at him and then forgive him. Though Wilf could've laughed over how repentant the Doctor looked and how much he did afterward to placate her!

Wilf wasn't laughing a few months later when the children started freezing. The Doctor, Donna, Jenny, and Ben were frantically helping Martha Jones and that nice Mickey Smith seek answers. When all was said and done, a bunch of UNIT soldiers and various government workers were dead, but so was the creature who killed them. Wilf and his daughter nearly fainted when they heard what the creature was seeking: ten percent of the world's children to use as a drug for his species. The Doctor had heard of them, and apparently – once the danger was passed – sent a message to someplace called the Shadow Proclamation (outer space police, he'd explained, but ones that it was best for him to avoid actually dealing with for the time being) to alert them.

Wilf overheard the Doctor tell his family that he didn't like sending the Judoon after anyone, but he had to do something, and beings that would just use another sentient species like that had lost the right to expect compassion. Donna had tried to talk him out of it, to find a solution. His reply? He had found one, but they wouldn't take it. That, Jenny had muttered, was a good reason to send the walking rhinoceros goons after them...

Things seemed to calm again after that, but he found out that the Doctor had made a slip into the past. Something about checking after the events before Christmas 2007. Then he'd returned, making a frantic call to his friend Jack about getting Lucy Saxon transferred to a secret location – not letting anyone have official record of where she was. When Sylvia demanded answers, they heard who Harold Saxon really was and what had actually happened to him. They also heard about River Song, her whisper to the Doctor, and her warnings. This Doctor was looking into the final one:

Recover the Master's ashes and scatter them. Failing that, hide Lucy Saxon where she cannot be found. If the Master revives, he will break the Time Lock, and this you will die. And so will others...

The others, the Doctor explained, were Donna and his sons. They all had some of his DNA directly in their cells, and if this him died before they did, then who knew what would happen to them. Which meant he had to be extra careful with this life.

Wilf didn't need confirmation that the ashes weren't there anymore. Torchwood 4, the Master's secret service, was still around and had recovered them. Lucy Saxon, however, was within a maximum security prison. But the Doctor had ordered her transferred into Jack Harkness's Torchwood. Mercifully, that Torchwood's headquarters had escaped destruction during what was now known as the Children Of Earth Mess, and so she was hidden away... But the Doctor was afraid that someone would figure it out, despite the measures taken...

Even with his nervousness, the Doctor watched with fascination and excitement as Donna's body blossomed, and Wilf had to laugh over how eager the alien was to make sure Donna was happy and content. It reminded Wilf a bit of himself when Eileen was pregnant, and also Geoffrey's fussing over Sylvia (which she'd secretly loved, despite her grumbling about still being able to take care of herself). Good memories...

Several days before Christmas 2009, Donna went into labour. Ben was sent to fetch Martha Jones to help deliver the baby, Sylvia assisted, and Wilf sat in the Control Room with his great-grandchildren to wait. With Mickey Smith, who tagged along for the ride with Martha.

Delivery was mercifully short. Donna's curves, which so many had decried as too much, helped her have a smoother time than a slender woman would've. Wilf had the pleasure of being introduced to little Tommy Noble, the Doctor in miniature. Donna was particularly happy to know what this Doctor would've looked like as a baby; Tommy was absolutely adorable. Wilf snickered – accompanied by Jenny, Martha and Mickey – over the Doctor and Ben's indignant protests that they were not cute, thank you very much! The protests were silenced into mortification when Jenny asked whether her mother was the final authority on such matters. Even Sylvia chuckled under her breath.

Although the new baby didn't distract Wilf from the nightmares about a face... Harold Saxon's face. He told the Doctor after the first one, which he had after learning about that awful time for the Doctor, but now it was back. Repeating night after night... The Doctor paled more and more with each time. It meant that the events that River Song was trying to prevent in warning him were still at risk of happening...

And soon, Wilf and Sylvia had to make sure Tommy was hidden inside the TARDIS. Word came from Gwen and Ianto that Torchwood 4 had captured Jack Harkness, and were looking for the Doctor.

Lucy Saxon actually offered to turn herself into bait to lure them out, and Jenny quickly became reflective; she had an idea from her Time Lord knowledge combined with the military download that could use Lucy's offer to their advantage. A calculated risk was taken, and Wilf found himself armed again for one last battle. This time, it was for his family's future...

UNIT's information told them who was left in Torchwood 4, and they had likely locations. The Doctor took Gwen, Ianto, Martha, Mickey, and a few select UNIT members to back up his family. (Sylvia stayed in the TARDIS with Tommy, although she could relay information to them.) On the fourth try of allowing Lucy to seemingly wander alone, she was grabbed...

The group was ready for it, stunning the members before they knew what had happened. Martha called UNIT to tell them where to send the re-enforcements and clean-up crew, (Torchwood 4 was a danger to the world's safety, after all.) and they moved in carefully, gaining entry into the secret location. The resulting chaos nearly led to the mark on Lucy being used... but Ben shot a chemical into the Master's ashes that broke the remaining chemical bonds and turned the ashes into harmless vapor. Well, not to the two members next to it when it went off...

The remainder of Torchwood 4 went ballistic and set off their defenses without thought. Careful planning on the Doctor and Jenny's parts prevented any deaths, but a stray shot from one member hit the Doctor... triggering the start of his regeneration cycle...

Wilf shared in his grandchild's panic. What now, she cried, after all the effort to prevent this?! Jenny and Ben were equally frightened, and the other two people who were there for the discussion over how to save Donna paled. (Jack was dead at the moment, and so couldn't help.)

But then that wonderful ship of the Doctor's called to him and his children. They left the mess in Martha and Mickey's able hands, rushed him inside and the TARDIS into the Vortex... and when he couldn't hold it in... the TARDIS controls opened, connected with his energy, and drew away every bit that he didn't need – letting him heal. When the Doctor gasped in relief, he managed – over the excited shouts of his family – to say that the Old Girl had healed some cracks in time with the energy.

But the celebrating stopped when the ship lurched suddenly. Wilf helped Sylvia clutch Tommy in his protective seat, and they hung on for dear life as the others fought to bring the TARDIS' movements under control. It seemed they were heading somewhere, and could only hope to control the landing...

TO BE CONTINUED IN “The Girl Who Created Nicknames”


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2012 08:00 am (UTC)
The ending...my brain just played ominous cliffhanger music.

I love Wilf. Love him. Ben is still my favorite, but I seriously have some big Wilf love going on. =)

Jack was dead at the moment, and so couldn't help. Don't ask me why, but I just started laughing at this line. O_o It just seemed kind of funny the way it was just put out there, like it's a common occurrence. It probably is with Jack so...

All in all, great read.

Mar. 10th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
Wilf is such an easy character to love. He's just awesome! And so clearly knew the Doctor loved Donna. :)

I love putting in these little almost asides of humor. They kinda make the story for me. :) Poor Jack. :D

Feb. 28th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
If this story doesn't induce major Wilf-love, then I don't know what will!! Plus: baby Tommy!!! :D
Mar. 10th, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
*squees over your icon* Where did that icon come from again? :D
Mar. 4th, 2012 12:14 pm (UTC)
I loved this so much. Wilf is such a perfect character and *hugs Tommy*
I didn't think about what would happen with the Master arc and all that in your universe, and I adored what you did with it.
Mar. 10th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was one of the things I figured River would've warned Ten about. Aware as she was made about what happened to Donna and Handy and the baby, once she made the decision to warn him, she'd go all the way. And yes, I love Tommy, too! :D Thanks!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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