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Lullaby

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Rose awoke around three in the morning to the sound of singing. Blinking to adjust to the darkness, she turned her head to see the Doctor sitting up in bed, head against the wall, eyes closed. It took her a moment to realize that he wasn’t singing in English. It had taken a while, but the TARDIS translation matrix had finally worn off, so whatever the language was, it didn’t translate.

She poked his side lightly, “What’re you doing?”

His head jerked over, startled, “Oh! Sorry, sorry. Did I wake you?”

She smiled at his concern, “No, well, yes, but I don’t care. What were you singing?”

He seemed to struggle for the right words, “It was a nursery rhyme. A lullaby of sorts.” He paused. “From Gallifrey.”

“Oh, really?” She reached for his hand, “Who’s it for?”

He half-smiled, “You know exactly who it’s for.” He glanced at the rising curve of Rose’s belly.

“Who?” She asked teasingly, slowly guiding his hand so their hands could rest lightly together on the baby bump.

“She doesn’t have a name yet.”

Rose laughed, “Oh, so it’s a she now?”

“Of course she is.” A teasing smile flickered across his lips.

They sat in silence for a bit, caught in that relaxing state halfway between waking up and falling asleep. After catching herself nodding off for the third time, Rose asked the question she needed to ask before she went back to sleep.

“Why were you singing in Gallifreyan?”

“Huh?” He must’ve been dozing off too.

“The lullaby. Nursery rhyme. You know.”

“Oh that.” He finally moved his hand to rub his eyes. He settled under the covers and flipped on his side to look at her properly. “She needs to know the language.”

“Again with the she!” Rose giggled, “But, in all seriousness, why does she need to know?”

A little sigh, accompanied by a remorseful smile, “So it stays alive.”