At first Jenny did her best to ignore the two small shapes pressed into her back. She was very good at doing this. They were irrelevant to the cause at hand and her ingrained knowledge mentioned nothing about them so she'd elected to ignore them all together. Thankfully they caused no distraction so she could focus.
It was only after the events surrounding The source that she ever stopped to think about them. It was curious. No one around her seemed to have this problem and there were no traces of anything like them on anyone she could see, so what was different? Was it because her father was different from these people? But there was nothing on his back either, so what was wrong with her?
They weren't a problem but she was curious about them. Her background upbringing, courtesy of the machines she came from, discouraged curiosity in light of them being used in military purposes but she knew better now. By the light she knew better now.
So she decided to just ask.
"Dad?" She came wandering into the room she assumed the Doctor would be in but didn't find him there. Instead there were the two who were traveling with him, Donna and Martha, chatting quietly with each other. They turned to her when she called.
"He'll be back in a moment, not sure where he is now though" Said Donna nonchalantly "what's up?"
Jenny sighed a tiny sigh but decided that it couldn't really hurt to ask them "there's something on my back. I wanted to see if he knew what it was"
She saw Donna flinch just a fraction at her phrasing but Martha came forward "I can check it out if you want?" She offered
"Yes please" She accepted gratefully. She's been told Martha was a medical doctor so she was bound to know what was wrong.
She perched herself on a tall stool and turned to face away from them both. After a moment or two she felt the back of her shirt being tugged gently upwards to reveal what was there, just enough to see. The air felt cold on her skin but now she could feel the shapes more distinctly, pressed tightly to her back, at around her shoulder blades.
There was a small sharp inhalation of breath behind her and she wondered what that was about.
Martha knew the Doctor had wings. She'd seen them while they traveled together, he stopped hiding them from her quite soon after they began, though they weren't visible during this past day. Not causing chaos and all that, it was for the best.
They'd though Jenny didn't have any though. She didn't seem to, maybe the machine didn't know what to make of them, having been primed for a human template. It was true that she had two hearts, yes, but that's where the glaring differences ended as far as they could tell for now.
Apparently they were wrong because there, revealed from under the swamp green fabric of her shirt, were two small wing shapes.
They weren't fully feathered, covered mostly with silver fluff that baby birds have, and having just a few tiny feathers poking out. Maybe the machine really couldn't do anything substantial enough with them, so they weren't fully grown yet, or maybe it was a Time Lord thing and they were supposed to grow over a longer period of time than they got.
Whatever the reason, they were just two slightly fuzzy shapes for now. But they were there.
She heard Donna gasp quietly somewhere over her shoulder.
"What's wrong?" Jenny asked, not concerned but curious. The shapes twitched, just a tiny bit, and settled back into being folded tightly.
"Is that?" Donna asked in a voice just over a whisper, probably unable to believe her eyes as much as Martha was.
"I think so" Martha said, raising her hand to touch one of the wings very gently. The fluff was soft and silky and the skin under it was warm to the touch. The wing twitched slightly away from her touch and Jenny sat up straight, mildly alarmed at the sensation.
"What's that?" She asked.
"You… You have wings, Jenny" Martha told her, hearing a smile in her own voice.
"What? Why?" The girl asked, her voice rising to a higher pitch, trying to crane her neck in a way that would allow her to see them. It didn't really work.
"The Doctor has them so you do too" Donna explained, slightly out of it.
"But i've not seen them on him" The younger girl exclaimed, abandoning her attempts to see her own back
"He hides them" the red haired woman continued "ask him when he returns"
"Ok" The girl replied, in a sort of wonder, looking just over her shoulder.
Martha reached to prod at the wings again. They were wound tightly but gently she was able to coax one of them to unfold. It seemed that Jenny wasn't fully in control of them at the moment, which would explain how she didn't know they were there. The girl seemed to go still, to feel out her apparent new appendages, or so Martha suspected. Slowly, ever so carefully, the two shapes seemed to relax.
They didn't even reach over her back at the stage they were in. The fluffy silver feathers were messy and almost stood on end like hair that dried out without being brushed afterwards. It looked almost cute.
"What's goin' on here then?" She heard from the direction of the doorway and turned back round. The Doctor was just strolling through like he owned the place, in that confident yet nonchalant way that used to fascinate her so much. She smiled at him despite herself, not even sure why she was smiling, for the memories or for what was happening in the moment "I hope you didn't get too bored, had to make sure the whole Source business got sorted without further… complications"
She nodded, trying to find words to say what she was going to have to say. Alas she didn't get to, as Donna spoke up.
"We have something for you as well" She winked conspiratorially, making the tall alien look between all three of them in confusion. He raised an eyebrow as Martha moved out of the way for him to see.
Jenny heard her father suppress a gasp and stop breathing all together. It wasn't obvious, but when she was listening for it she could definitely hear it. She looked at him over her shoulder and saw that he was so very, very still, like any movement might ruin the moment. Then slowly he made his way into the room proper, past Donna, past Martha, and then finally to her.
He still didn't seem to be breathing as he reached out towards her back and she felt his fingers brush against the shape of one of her wings. It was an incredibly odd sensation, she couldn't quite track where exactly she felt it, but it wasn't… alarming. It was gentle. It was right. She looked up at him "dad?"
His eyes refocused and he took a shaky breath "I-i" He choked out "i'm…" He sighed and stopped trying to speak.
There were shapes behind him now, she didn't need long to parse what they were. They were a dusty brown, matte in the dull lighting of the room, but there, just over his shoulders, peaked the tops of his own wings. She saw them twitch and unfurl for a moment before being swept up into a hug.
He swirled her round and round and laughed, a loud, joyful noise that she couldn't help but second. There was such genuine happiness in that noise. She heard the other two women laugh as well and when they stopped spinning they joined into the hug, bundled up by long brown feathers.
He looked at them all, at her, and she saw that there were tears in his eyes. She didn't really understand that. She felt… nice. Warm. Safe. So she smiled up at her father and hugged him tighter, and felt the embrace around her, his arms, and Donna's and Martha's, tighten as well, just a bit, just enough.
She felt a warmth within her, a kind of soft tingling sensation that she couldn't quite understand. She didn't quite know the words for it, but in the moment she felt… happy. Yeah.
Happy was a nice feeling.
The Doctor was ecstatic.
They said their goodbyes to the soldiers, who were still adjusting and mildly confused but in good spirits overall, and made their way back to the Tardis, and on this way back he seemed to almost skip as he walked. A pep in his step, so to speak.
Donna could understand that. The whole ordeal ended surprisingly well, goodness only knows what would have happened if Cobb's shot didn't go wide at the end there. But everything turned out alright.
And now they had Jenny. And Jenny had them. And they had the whole universe. She smiled to herself as they reached the battered blue box, a familiar sturdy shape in the ruins of the rest of the scenery.
Martha, somewhat unsurprisingly, elected to just be dropped off in her time. She's had enough traveling for just the moment. They part on only a slightly bittersweet note.
And then it was just the three of them and Donna was smiling, looking at Jenny, who in turn was still facinated by the time-space-ship, now even more that she's seen it in motion, somewhat. There was a wonder in her eyes as she takes it in, this wonderfully unfamiliar territory.
"So" Said the Doctor, mirroring the excitement Donna felt "whole universe. Where do you wanna go?"