Lilith was sitting in the kitchen, eating a banana of all things, when Rose came in. “You’ve been awfully quiet lately,” she said. “You’ve gone almost two days without teasing the Doctor. I think that’s a new record.”
Lilith shrugged. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”
Rose sat down across from her. “About what?”
“Memories. Timelines. Family. Friends. Take your pick.” Lilith sighed.
“What about our family were you thinking about?”
Lilith studied Rose. “It’s your future. If I tell you, I’ll have to go into your head and make you forget.”
Rose smiled. “Clearly you want to talk about it, so talk. Tell me about our family.”
Lilith sighed. “There’s six of us; you, Dad, Darkel, Nyx, James, and me. Nyx and James are the youngest, they’re twins. They were born during Dad’s eleventh life.”
“His tenth, but she was only five when he regenerated.”
“I think you told me about that once,” Rose said. “Before I knew it was the Doctor you were talking about. You said something about floppy hair and him almost falling out of the TARDIS.”
Lilith nodded. “It was a particularly violent regeneration. The force of it pretty much tore apart the console room and almost killed you, Darkel, and me. It caused the TARDIS to start crashing, he fell out the door and had to grab onto the edge. Looked like he was having the time of his life.” Lilith laughed. “He yelled ‘Geronimo!’ It’s his thing, kinda like ‘fantastic’ was.”
“What does he wear?” Rose asked.
“Bowties,” Lilith responded in a snap. “He keeps trying to convince us and the others to let him wear a fez.”
“Why a fez?”
“Because fezzes are cool.”
Rose let the explanation sink in. “And he’s the version who sent you back here?”
“But we had to have told you about our adventures, yeah? You already knew everything that was going to happen,” Rose accused.
Lilith shook her head. “He put a lock on my memories. I don’t remember anything until it’s already happened to me. The only thing I know for sure…”
“Is that you have to leave?” Rose guessed. “That’s why you’ve been so quiet. You’re leaving.”
“As soon as I pack up,” Lilith confirmed.
“Does this have to do with the storm the Doctor was talking about?”
The Time Lady refused to meet her mother’s eyes. “I can’t be here when the storm hits. If I was, I don’t know if I could stop myself from changing the outcome. I’ve already changed the past.”
“You’ve done what?”
Lilith had the decency to look guilty. “I sort of, kind of, maybe sped your relationship with Dad along.”
“You did what?”
“The stupid looks you were giving each other were driving me insane! So I worked extra hard to piss him off and get him to kiss you.”
“Oh, don’t pretend you didn’t like it,” Lilith snorted. “Besides, I barely changed anything. It’s not like I convinced him to have sex with you.”
Rose’s cheeks turned the color of her namesake.
“Oh, Rassilon, please tell me you didn’t have sex with him.”
“We didn’t do anything like that! I swear!” Rose insisted, still red with embarrassment. “I think we’ve strayed from the point of this conversation.”
Lilith frowned. “What was the point of this conversation?”
“I have no clue.”
The two girls laughed. Lilith was the first to stop. “Rose, I wanted to let you know I really had fun traveling with you. These last two years have been amazing and I…” she choked up and Rose pulled her into a hug. “I don’t want to go.”
“I know,” Rose said quietly. “But you have to.”
Lilith eventually pulled away and gave Rose a shaky smile. “I’ll see you around, Tyler.”
Lilith knew that the Doctor was standing in the doorway for five minutes before he said anything. “So, you’re leaving.”
She sighed and zipped up her bigger on the inside backpack. “Yeah. And we need to talk.”
“What about?” he asked, sitting on the bed next to her.
Lilith bit her lip and chose her words carefully before speaking. “We had a conversation back in your last body after the misadventure in 1987. I accidentally revealed something about your future and you demanded an explanation before having to forget.” She paused. “I’ve been lying to you, Doctor.”
“Lying?” the Doctor repeated.
“You asked me awhile ago why I call you Doctor now, instead of Uncle.”
“You said it’s because you’re not used to me being in this body. You’ve only seen regeneration once before,” he recalled. “But that’s not true?”
“No, it is. It’s just…” Lilith looked at him. “When I was a time tot, you wore a brown pinstriped suit and white converse. You had frankly fantastic hair and went around acting like you were constantly on a sugar high. But the reason I don’t call you Uncle is because it doesn’t feel right. Not when,” she swallowed, “not when I called this you ‘Dad’ for fifty years.”
Silence settled over the room for a moment. “You’re my daughter,” the Doctor said blankly. Lilith nodded. “Why are you here then? Being with me before you’re born? The timelines—”
“Are being preserved,” Lilith interrupted. “I’m only here because you remember me traveling with you. And you remember me telling you the truth and leaving today.”
“So,” the Doctor said after a moment, “is there a reason your dressed like my previous self?”
Lilith looked down at what she was wearing. Black leggings, a blue shirt, a black leather jacket, and laced up combat boots. “A dress isn’t really practical for where I’m going.”
“And where’s that?”
She cleared her throat. “I’m, ah, going to find Jack. I think I’ll stick with him until it’s time for me to come back.”
“You’re coming back then?” the Doctor said, sounding doubtful.
“Of course I am. I promise, this isn’t the end. No matter how much it may feel like it, no matter how much it may hurt, today isn’t the end.” Lilith Jacqueline Tyler-Lungbarrow hugged her father, walked out the door, and left the TARDIS.
She shouldered her backpack, wiping away a tear, and headed off to find the entrance to Torchwood Three.
Today isn’t the end.