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Chapter Text

— 16 months old —

"Do you want to help me pick flowers, Freya?" The Doctor asked, with Freya in his arms, holding her as he walked to a spot of the backyard in the shade.

She gurgled and wiggled in his arms and he took that for a yes. The sun was high in the sky and the birds sang in the trees, Freya’s ear pricked up at the sound and she giggled in glee.

The Doctor smiled tenderly, "Yes, it’s birds." He said the word distinctly for her and she squeaked, mouthing the word as well as she could.

Coming to a good spot, the Doctor dropped Freya to her feet and sat down beside her. 

"Look at the flowers here," He pointed a finger at the flowers at his feet and Freya turned her attention to him. "Those are daisies, they’re very cool flowers. You can pick them and make a bouquet, that is even more cool."

Freya crouched adorably and began to pick the flowers one by one, carrying them in her small hands until she couldn’t carry anymore. With a frustrated grunt, she walked to her father and dropped the flowers in his lap, her eyes telling him that he had to look out for them. She continued to pick out flowers, crouching every now and then until her hands were full.

When she dropped her second bouquet of flowers onto his lap, he got an idea. "Freya, do you want us to make a flower crown, like the princesses in your books?" She looked up at him, intrigued. He smiled and beckoned her at his side. "Come on, I’ll teach you."

Freya toddled to his side and gurgled as she dropped to her bottom.

"Here," He said, taking a flower in hand. "I’ll make the hole in the stem, this is the stem," He showed the green part beneath the flower. "And you can put another flower in the hole I made." Freya nodded quickly in understanding. The Doctor handed her the flower in which he made a hole. "Now put a flower in it." Freya took another flower with clumsy hands and did as told. The Doctor chuckled at her action, "No, the other end of the flower."

With her tongue between her teeth, she succeeded in placing the flower at the right place and the Doctor congratulated her cheerfully.

When they finished the flower crown, the Doctor placed it on top of Freya’s curls and she gurgled in glee. "There, you’re a princess now. You’re my princess." He grinned and bent down to place a noisy kiss on her chubby cheek. She giggled at the action. "Here, do you want to do something for me?" He asked after a second and Freya’s eyes went wide, she nodded vehemently and babbled nonsense. He picked a dandelion from the grass and showed it to her. "Do you want to give this to Mama?"

"Mama!" Freya squeaked and the Doctor nodded with a grin.

"Yes, it’s the prettiest flower and the prettiest is always for the queen." He placed it in her hand and made sure that she would not squish it. "You’re a princess now and the queen is her mama. That’s her crown." He pointed to the flower in her hand. "You go to her and tell her it’s from Dada. Okay?"

Freya gurgled with a nod and began to toddle away from him. He kept an eye on her as she toddled quickly to River. 

The latter was seated on the step of the terrasse with Amy. The both chatted together as they enjoyed the sun over their face. River saw Freya approaching her at a quick pace and she feared she would fall on the grass. But she didn’t and nearly run to her in her toddler fashion.

"Mama!" Freya squealed as she stopped at her side and River placed a hand on her small body to keep her balance.

"Freya, sweetheart," River cooed and grazed her fingers over her flower crown, "That’s a very pretty crown you’ve got here. Did you make that yourself?"

Freya nodded and gurgled, "Uh-uh." Then, she pushed a flower into her hand, a bit squashed but pretty nonetheless, a cheerful shriek on her lips. "Dada!" She exclaimed and pointed a clumsy finger at him before pointing her finger to River’s chest, "Mama!"

River smiled down at her, "Oh, it’s a gift from Dada?" She asked and Freya nodded gleefully. River looked behind Freya’s shoulder and caught the Doctor’s eyes. She smiled tenderly at him as he grinned and threw her a wink. She rolled her eyes with a small snort. Looking back down at Freya, she placed the sole flower into her hair and stroked Freya’s soft curls. "Now we have the same crown." 

Freya nodded with a squeak, River bent down to give her a kiss on her rosy cheek.

"Can you give the same kiss to Dada from me? It’s to say thank you." River said, stroking her hair absentmindedly. "When someone gives you a gift you have to say thank you, or show a thank you." River placed another kiss on her cheek and Freya giggled.

Then, she began to toddle in the direction of her father, feeling full of responsibility as to deliver gifts and thank you gifts. Over her head, River threw a look at the Doctor and she saw him smile fondly at her, almost besotted. 

And she felt herself falling a little more in love with the father he was.