Story Summary: The last thing Dr. Theodore Smith expects to receive upon his return to the country is a handwritten note from his ex, Melissa “Missy” Masters, inviting him and his wife, River Song, to tea. And yet she expects them to join her, her wife Jo, and their two children to break bread. Well he could hardly say no, now could he?
Note: This is the second and final part of the story. Read part one first if you haven’t already!
Chapter Note: Hey, surprise! This fic is not abandoned. But I don’t actually remember what I was planning to do with the second chapter lol. So if this chapter feels like it has a wildly different tone and energy, that is why.
Rainbows, Scones, and Other Things of Importance Part II
Niko was not sure what to expect when she first encountered her father.
She knew who he was, of course. Her mum had never hidden it from her that her father was the famous and eccentric professor, Dr. Theodore Smith. Dr. Smith was a world-renowned scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and would be a billionaire except for the fact that he was constantly giving money away. His astronomical work had been crucial in proving that there was life outside of Earth, and his inventions and relief efforts had fundamentally changed the quality of life for people across the globe.
His wife, River Song, was one of the most prominent actors and musical artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. She had performed on Broadway and the West End, starred in multiple Blockbuster films and her albums were consistently at the top of music charts across the globe. She had gotten to the point in her career where she had her own production company and music label, and also directed multiple successful films. And neither of them had yet hit fifty.
This was not to say that Niko’s mothers were not impressive. Her mum was a writer. As a matter of fact she was one of the most experienced and prolific writers that their country had produced. Her own books had grown so successful that she was given control over a publishing imprint called “Melissa Masters Presents” which she used to give voice to marginalized authors writing fantasy fiction. Mo owned one of the most popular independent bakeries in London. Her shop, “Custard Crumble” had been featured in numerous magazines and on various television shows, and was a tourism hotspot.
Many people were often surprised at the fact that her mum and mo were a couple, not because they were both women, but because their personalities seemed so different. Mo was forever cheerful and friendly to everyone who approached her. Many people perceived her as wearing her heart on her sleeve, and she was often willing to lend a helping hand. Her Mum, on the other hand, was all sharp edges. She was forever polite and her writing was evocative, pulling at the heartstrings of anyone who read it. No one could read one of her books and not realize that she had heart, passion, and soul beneath her hard exterior. Yet she was nevertheless ruthless in many respects, and many people found her a hard person to be around.
Niko knew her mothers better than most, however, and so she knew that beneath the soft exterior Mo had almost as many sharp edges as her mum did, though she made the conscious choice not to engage with them. She knew that her mum was softer than many believed, that both of them were incredibly gentle with their children.
Niko knew that neither she nor her brother had ever been for a second unloved by their mothers. Yet she could not help but often wonder about her father. Sasha had it much easier than her — his father was their uncle Harry, who had always been like a father to Niko as well, but Niko could not bring herself to call him dad the same way that Sasha did.
As soon as she was old enough to form the question into words, she asked her mum where her father was and why. The simple answer she received confused her, but she nevertheless accepted it because, at the time, her mother’s word was all she knew to trust. “He does not know you exist.” And that was okay, for a while. But then Niko started to wonder about the why . About the how . And so she asked her mother more and more questions about her father. How did they know each other? How did they meet? Why hadn’t she told him about her?
It all led to the fateful day in October where her mum had invited Dr. Smith and Dr. Song — because apparently along with all of her successes in the entertainment industry, River Song also had a PhD in archaeological studies that she got just for fun, Niko swore she wasn’t human — over for tea. And they looked at her with friendly smiles, but they looked at her like she was a stranger. Niko had expected to feel… something when she met her father and step-mother for the first time. But all she felt was empty as her mo pulled her and Sasha into another room to clean the paint off of them, and Sasha whispered excitedly about having celebrities in their garden.
Sasha was seven, only two years younger than Niko. But those two years were making a huge difference now, especially as she realized that no one had told Sasha the reason that Dr. Smith and Dr. Song were there.
After she came downstairs, freshly-showered and paint-free she found her mum and Dr. Smith waiting for her, and the reunion was painfully awkward, but Niko could tell that there was regret and guilt coming from both of her biological parents. The following days, weeks, and months required an adjustment period, as much to Niko’s surprise, Dr. Smith did not immediately run for the hills when he realized that he had a surprise child.
Given that he and his wife were both celebrities, he was naturally anxious about announcing her existence. But he also made it clear that he was not ashamed of her, and that he had no intention of abandoning her or staying out of her life unless she wanted him to.
Niko had always had a dad in her uncle Harry — he was the one who had done all of the traditional “dad” things in her first nine years of life. But Theo — and he had very quickly and firmly put a stop to her calling him “Dr. Smith” had not had a choice about missing those moments. And he did his best every day to make sure that he was making up for lost time.
What actually won Niko over, and what made her realize that he was serious about stay in her life, was that he did not just spend time with her, but also made sure to invite Sasha along as well whenever her brother wanted to come. She treasured the alone time that she got with her father, but the fact that he made sure that her brother was always welcome and comfortable too was what really made her love him.
Soon enough both he and River were part of their weird, chaotic, convoluted family, joining them for every holiday and birthday party, and that first summer after they met, Theo and River invited Missy, Jo, Niko, Sasha, Harry, David, John, and Rose to spend two weeks at the beginning of August with them at their lake house in Vermont which soon became a yearly tradition.
It was nearly six years after she met her father for the first time that a fifteen-year-old Niko stood on the shore of the private beach, water just inches away from her bare feet in the grass. The stars were blazing bright above her, the sky clear and the new moon invisible. A warm hand settled around her shoulders.
“What are you doing up this late?”
“Couldn’t sleep. My brain was running around in too many circles and I couldn’t keep up.” Niko turned to look at her father. “What about you?”
“You and I are very much the same,” he replied with a crooked smile. “Why don’t you stargaze a little with me? I brought a blanket.”
“Of course you did. I swear, your bag always has everything in it. You’re like Mary Poppins.” Niko laughed.
“Your mother is the one who likes to dress like Mary Poppins.” Theo pointed out.
“Sure, dad.” Niko rolled her eyes, and couldn’t help the small smile as she saw Theo’s grin. She knew that he enjoyed hearing the moniker, and she did enjoy saying it. Though it had taken her a bit of time.
They settled down on the blanket and Niko looked up at the brilliantly clear sky. She never saw stars like this in London. They looked silently for a moment, soaking it in, before Niko spoke again.
“Do you think we’ll make it there, some day? To space, travelling amongst the stars?”
“Oh, I’m sure of it. It’s only a matter of time, really. We have the tools, we just need to keep improving them, making them better. That’s why we need more people like you, my dear.” Niko laughed as Theo poked her jokingly in the arm.
“If all goes according to plan, yeah. But there’s no guarantee that any astrophysics programmes will take me.” she sighed. “Besides, I don’t know if I will ever be good enough for any of them. I’m not as smart as you or mum —”
“Aht! Don’t talk about my daughter that way. You are just as smart as both of us, if not more. The scores you got on your GCSEs? Put my grades to shame. And even if that were not the case, grades are not everything. You’re bound to do fantastic things. And not because you are my daughter, or because you are your mothers’ daughter. Because you are you.” Theo softened and Niko smiled softly.
“It’s what I’m here for.” He smiled, pulling her into a hug. Part of her felt like she was too old for cuddling, and another part of her recognized that she had missed out on too much of her childhood to begrudge herself this small bit of contentment.
“I’m glad you’re my dad,” she murmured quietly, already half asleep as she nestled into his chest.
Theo’s smile was more fond and more bright than all of the stars combined.
Author’s note: Re: Sasha’s parentage, this is not a Simm!Master/Thirteen fic, he is a science baby for whom Jo (Thirteen) and Harry (Simm!Master) combined their genes because Jo & Missy and Harry and David (Ten) wanted a kid and they decided that this was the best combination.