Merciful darkness greeted the Doctor as he woke up curled to a couch. He had woken from a nightmare, one of fire, faces long gone, people he had loved and people he had let down. His own face was drenched in sweat, his hands were shaking, there were tears in his eyes.
He took in a steadying breath and tried to get a grip, it was just a nightmare. The Doctor didn't sleep much for this very reason, in fact, it was unlike him to remember his dreams, as he was good at blocking them. As his nerves calmed, the tired man took in his surroundings. A warm blanket was draped over him, his head hurt, and his mouth tasted rather foul, like he had eaten something he shouldn't have.
Having no sense of what was going on, the Doctor sat up straight on the couch, taking in the dim room around him and fending off a dizzy spell that hit with the sudden movement. Where was he?
Slowly his mind began to work. He was in one of the many living room areas on the TARDIS. A bowl of half eaten chicken soup sat on the tabletop in front of him, a TV remote sat next to the bowl. However the telle to the remote was switched off.
Next to the couch was a recliner where Rory and Amy lied. Amy was slumped in Rory's lap, her messy hair sprawled on the nurse's shoulder, and Rory held her close like a teddy bear. The Doctor considered waking his companions and asking them what was going on, but the pair looked more like a sleepy children than the aged Roman and battle-worn woman the Doctor knew them to be. So he decided to let them sleep.
The Doctor stood from the couch, he shivered and fumbled when he did, finding the air around him to be unreasonably cold. Maybe he had to fix the heating. He draped his previous blanket over the sleeping pair and stretched before walking for the door. His mission was simple; get some air. As for where to get some air, well, he would have to see. Any number of planets to take a walk on, and any number of adventures to distract him from his dreams. As he made his way to the end of the room, he suddenly sneezed.
The sneeze left him dazed, and he found himself leaning against the wall to regain some form of balance. He rubbed at his eyes. The Doctor felt like his whole face should hurt from the sneeze, but he was only met with a dull pressure and a sort of dizzying effect. The dizziness, he knew, should be puke inducing, but it was more lulling than anything, his body felt heavy and sleepy, he suddenly found himself fighting the urge to just lie down in the hall and pass out. He then remembered the taste in his mouth, and the odd feeling began to make some form of sence, he was sick, and he had taken cold medicine. He really hated cold medicine.
Some defiant part of his mind mocked the cold medicine, did it really think it could bring the Doctor down? No. Cold medicine can't think, it doesn't have sentience, or at least, no sentience that the Doctor knew of. Silly un-sentient cold medicine.
Deciding to simply ignore the sleepy feeling and the fever burning at his brain, the Doctor went on with his quest, stumbling from the room, coughing as he went. He didn't much like being sick.
As he drunkenly wandered through the halls, however, the time lord was met with a problem; the TARDIS seemed to be looping the hallways, making the Doctor wander in a circular maze, unable to find his way back to the control room. There were few doors offered in this maze. His own room was the first, the living room area the second, one of the bathrooms, one of the kitchens, Amy's Room, Rory's room, and River's room. The lights were dimmed to lessen the headache the Doctor felt.
"Really?" The Doctor muttered to the ever humming TARDIS, "You're constricting my room choice now? Honestly, I'm sick, not a child." He reasoned.
In response to his reasoning, he felt a sort of amusement from the TARDIS pull at his psychic link to her. She seemed to be urging him to find a room to sleep in and just go back to bed.
"Well I don't want to sleep." He answered with a cough and a yawn. "Too many things to do, too much stuff to see, and far too many people to meet. Just, let me go somewhere, I'll take it easy if that's what you want me to do! I swear, no more than one life threatening situation!"
The TARDIS answered with a feeling of annoyance, and the Doctor got the idea that she was telling him now rather than urging him. 'Just go to bed.' He could imagine her saying.
The Doctor gave an exasperated sigh, which, turned into a sneeze, "Fine. I'll go to bed" he huffed, "You win. Happy?"
The TARDIS gave no response.
The Doctor picked the first bedroom he could find, it was River's room. Was she here too? Possibly taking care of him well he was sick? He couldn't really remember. Oh well, he was about to find out.
He opened River's bedroom door and tip toed into the pitch black room. He could see his love curled into a cocoon of blankets and a worried look lit his features, he could hear her labored breaths and see her shivering. He watched her for a minute, the medicine causing him to space out. At times River would stir, tossing and turning in her bed. She was sick too, the time lord noted, wracked with whatever fever induced nightmares her sickness brought. It was strange though, River wasn't a person he could really ever imagine as sick.
The Doctor shook his head and made his way into the room. He crawled into bed with River, snuggling under her sheets and resting his head on her pillow, well, it was mostly his pillow, as generally he was the only one who used it. The Doctor didn't sleep much, but at the end of those exciting adventures that took place whenever River was around, the two of them would often find themselves sharing a bed. (Honestly he spent more time in here than he did in his own room.)
However, The Doctor in his sickened state almost forgot to duck. A fist swung by his head and he dodged it, but only barely. Right, river had battle reflexes, even when sick. It was never the best idea to crawl into bed with her. Plus she had a gun under her pillow.
River snapped awake, shrinking backwards and reaching for the gun, but the Doctor was quicker, acting on instinct and nabbing the gun away, placing it on the bedside table before grabbing his wife's arm and hugging her close.
"Shh, shh, shh, just me just me." The Doctor said quietly, holding his love close.
River was breathing heavy from whatever dream she had had, but she eventually untensed and relaxed into the Doctors embrace.
There in the dark it was almost silent. The twos ill breathing mingled, their combined heat and deadly feeling of cold warming each other, comforting one another by pressing themselves close. They sat, with their legs twisting beneath the covers and their arms gripping at the other like a breaking life line.
River was the first to speak, "sorry." She breathed.
"it's okay." He said back. "I'm used to it." He said the last bit with his lips pressed to her forehead.
The two didn't let go as they sunk beneath the covers, both too tired to even speak, both with dizzying medicines pressing on their brains. Not a word more was spoken as they drifted off.
Neither of them had anymore bad dreams that night.