Ah, reviews are wonderful things. Thanks to Emela for the poking.
Jack patted the Tardis console affectionately, "I know he's pretty thick for a 900 year old Timelord, but he really needs your help. We have to to find out what's wrong with him… what was wrong with you." Talking to a machine again Jack, his mind tutted at him, you've lost it. But he needed all the help he could get, and the comforting murmur of the Tardis engines reminded him of his old ship. Admittedly his old ship could talk back, But if it works for the Doctor… "Could you tell me where the med bay is?" he asked experimentally.
The Tardis hummed beneath his feet, and the doors to his right buzzed open. He was a little startled, and jerked a clarifying thumb at the doors, "this way?" he asked. The Tardis thrummed in reply, which he took for a yes.
He could almost feel her sigh in gratitude when he stepped through the doorway; heading in the direction his feet guided him.
The Tardis did her best; Jack would almost swear that she flickered lights on, as if marking a trail for him to follow. The corridors seemed to have changed as well, shorter, almost sloping downwards. He easily ran the length and, in no time at all, found his way into the med bay.
Jack sighed, finding himself at home amongst the technology, and marveling at how much junk the Doctor had managed to accumulate over the centuries. Sure, most of this stuff he didn't even recognise, but most of it looked like it was bungled together from a toaster and a pair of tongs.
The old fashioned way is always the best, he reasoned. If he couldn't scan the Doctor because he was too stubborn to get his butt in here, then he'd just have to take some of the Timelord's blood and scan it into the mainframe. Maybe then they'd find out how on earth he'd gotten so sick in the first place, and more importantly, how they could cure him. Snatching a pad of antiseptic and a sterilized syringe, he turned on his heel.
The sooner he did this the better.
"Doc?" Jack stepped out of the Tardis easily, swinging the door shut and widening his eyes as he took in Rose and the limp frame of the Doctor sprawled out on the living room floor. "Err, everything all right?" he asked with an eyebrow raised. "Did I miss out on all the action again?"
Rose nodded, inclining her head slightly to the Doctor who lay slumped in her arms. "He just… he's all right." She said softly, still holding the Timelord close to her, despite the fact he was obviously unconscious. There were drying wet marks on Rose's top, from where the Doctor's head had been cradled, but Jack merely eyed them for a moment and said nothing. "Did you find anything?" Rose asked in a hushed voice.
Jack held up the syringe menacingly, "Need some blood."
"He's not gonna let you take any." Rose answered, dark eyes flicking from the needle to the sleeping Timelord.
The Doctor had always been adamant that no needles were going into him, and no bodily fluids coming out. Unless he was the one doing it of course. But seeing as he wasn't in the land of the living right now…
The menacing look on the ex- time agent's face deepened, "Well… he doesn't have to know, does he?" he said as knelt quietly beside Rose, rolling the unresisting Doctor over and frowning slightly at his paleness.
"He said he felt sick earlier," Rose told him anxiously, "I think the symptoms are getting worse."
Jack sighed, so they may have to deal with a grumpy Doctor when he woke up. If taking some blood could save his life, then he really couldn't care less. Grumpy Doctor or no.
Without another thought he stuck the needle into the Timelord's forearm and drew a small amount of blood. The red fluid filled the syringe easily, "That'll do for now Rosie," he whispered, as if sure the Doctor would wake up any second and give him hell with the sonic screwdriver. But of course, he didn't. Just lay peacefully sleeping, while Jack removed the syringe and stood up. "I'll go get it analysed." He gave Rose a wink, "And hey, no funny business while I'm gone. I always end up missing out on the good stuff!"
The Doctor woke with a strange throbbing in his arm; he frowned, shifting to take the weight off the offending limb. He must have landed oddly when… what had happened? He opened his eyes, blinking unsteadily.
The nausea was growing again, and he groaned hunching over where he sat. He was so dizzy.
So dizzy, so tired, so unexplainably ill.
Where was that human… the girl… the flower… he shook his head frustratedly, why wasn't his brain working properly? His vision spun faster and he gripped the carpet beneath him with white fingers. Rose? Was that her name? She made him feel better, she always did. She could help; she could take away the pain. "Rose?" he choked out. "Rose?"
"Doctor, what is it?" And suddenly she was there beside him, smoothing back the hair from his forehead in that relaxing way, her fingers cool and calm against his skin.
Had she been there all along? "Rose…" he mumbled, a million thoughts tumbling inside the mess that was his mind. Rose could help, she could make sense of it all. He'd just tell her. If only he could get his thoughts in order… What was it he wanted to say? "I want another bath," he garbled, having a strange feeling that that wasn't what he wanted to say at all, "that was nice, but with a duck this time, it's more fun."
Rose just looked at him sadly. "We can get you another bath when Jack gets back.'
"Mm, bath…" he muttered. No, not bath at all, something else. "And why do I feel sick?" His eyelids were inexplicably heavy, and he frowned, "My arm hurts. Did I sleep on it?"
"You must have done."
And for some reason that simple sentence made him sit up.
Rose had never been too good with lying; it was one thing that stuck in his mind. Rose + Lies destruction of small planet. So he could conclude that his arm hurt for an entirely different reason than him having slept on it, and she didn't want him to know about it. He opened his eyes fully, centering his attention on Rose who was still fussing over his hair for some reason and avoiding his gaze.
He focused his thoughts. He needed to know why his arm hurt.
"Why does my arm hurt Rose?" Her fingers continued their idle fiddling of his hair, and he wondered what on earth it looked like now that Rose had taken her anxiety out on it. The young human girl pretended not to have heard him, and he found that odd cold feeling of unease settle into his stomach again.
He took the opportunity to examine the damage, pulling the pyjama sleeve up his forearm hastily and inspecting the skin with dark eyes. There was an unmistakable puncture mark, and the skin around the small hole was slightly inflamed, leading him to believe that his companions were incredibly stupid and had taken a sample of his blood without his permission.
His expression darkened, and he could feel Rose stiffen beside him. His voice was cold. "Where's Jack?"
The Doctor burst into the med bay with all the force of raging Cyberman.
He was angry, Jack could tell that much, still clad in white and blue striped pyjamas and trembling as he made his way over to the ex time agent.
Jack never wanted 'that' look directed at him, that was the look the Doctor reserved for crazed egocentric aliens, and emotionless human beings threatening to take over the planet, and Daleks, and murderers, but definitely not him. His gaze was smouldering, dark and furious. It was terrifying. The whole of the universe's anger was coiling in those eyes, and it made Jack's hair stand on end. He made a mental note never to get on the wrong side of the Doctor ever again, even if he was trying to save his life.
Jack lifted his head doing his best to look surprised, "I thought you said you weren't going to come in here?"
Maybe he could play it safe. Escort the Doctor out. Pretend he hadn't done anything wrong. Yeah right.
"Jack," the Doctor panted, eyes hot and dark with anger, "for someone who's lived as long as you have, you are incredibly stupid!"
Jack blinked, and then frowned. "Hey now, I haven't -"
But the Doctor just jumped right in.
"You took my blood! How could you do that? I warned you not to, I told you about the Tardis. You've got to stop." The anger was fading now from the Doctor's eyes, and the exhaustion returning. Jack could see it in the slump of the Doctor's shoulders and the way his hands were shaking as he gripped the med-bay bed for support. "You're an idiot."
"Well I'm sorry if we're concerned about you." Jack retorted angrily, "How did you think we were going to help if we didn't have something to work on?"
"Jack. The Tardis." The Doctor started, but he didn't get very far. He leant heavily on the bed, gasping for breath as white hot needles of pain worked their way through his head.
And just like that the world started to dissolve before his eyes.
Strong hands on his arms, holding him up.
An American accent, half scared, half angry, swirling.
It was so hazy, so fuzzy like static on a radio.
He clawed his way back. Opening his eyes wide as if that would stop them from closing again. He was on the med bay bed, shivering and curled in on himself, and
Jack was hovering over him uncertainly.
This was all wrong, he had to stop this!
"Jack… have you scanned my…blood yet?" The Doctor managed, grabbing hold of the other man's hands to stop his fussing. Why did humans always insist on fussing? There were more important thing to deal with. "Have you started to scan my blood?" He asked more urgently. Maybe there was still hope, if Jack hadn't -
"Yeah, the Tardis' databanks are analyzing it."
It was too late.
"No. Get it out of there. Please." The words barely left his lips before the Tardis groaned. A deep echoing groaning that reverberated through the flooring. The Doctor squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head.
"What?" Jack asked, perplexed, "What is it?"
Humans. So stupid. They'd never understand. "Jack, the virus was in my blood. The Tardis... She's taken it."
"But how can that help? That just makes both of you sick!"
"She's trying to make a cure." His voice was soft, impossibly dark eyes scanning the ceiling above him, "She's taken my blood, she's taken the virus, her databanks are in overdrive trying to make a cure. Can't you feel it?" he breathed, "She's in pain. She's trying to help, but she's just going to end up killing the both of us. Silly thing." He closed his eyes, "Silly old thing."
"What do you mean she's taken the virus? Doctor?" When the Doctor failed to respond, Jack grasped his shoulder and shook him lightly, "Doctor? You still with me?" He wasn't. Jack tried to quell the growing feeling of panic in his stomach. The Tardis had taken the virus back, and even if that wasn't his intention it was still his fault.
He shook the Doctor again, "Doctor please, tell me what to do!" The Doctor's head lolled forward, his face extremely pale and skin warm under Jack's fingers. "Tell me what to do!" He pleaded, knowing that the Doctor most definitely couldn't hear him.
Jack gritted his teeth. It was his fault. He didn't know what to do. There was nothing he could do. Except wait. Wait for the Tardis to come up with a cure, wait for the Doctor to wake up.
How did this happen? He'd just managed to make things worse.
The Tardis groaned, lights flickering and dimming above Jack's head. The machinery sparked and hissed, Jack swore loudly, realising that if they didn't get out of here soon, they wouldn't be getting out at all.
And then there was a voice, inside his head. A soft calming voice. It didn't speak, there weren't any words, but Jack could feel it. It was telling him to get out. Help the Doctor, take him with you, get him out. It seemed to say.
He glanced around him, was he going crazy? "What?"
Take the Doctor, get him out. A whisper on the edge of his mind.
Jack closed his eyes tight for a moment, thinking. He knew he had to get the Doctor out of here, but there had to be something here that could help.
He raided some of the cupboards for medical supplies, plastic wrappers and cotton buds flying. If they couldn't cure the Doctor at least maybe they could bring down his fever, make him comfortable, take away some of the pain. He growled at the thoughts in his head, he didn't want to make the Timelord comfortable, he wanted to get him well again! But all he'd managed to do was aid the Tardis into dying as well.
This was ridiculous!
He snatched a few bottles of what he assumed was medication, labeled with some ridiculously long names and symbols. The Doctor could tell him which ones could help when he woke up.
If he woke up.
He bent and lifted the Doctor as if he were cradling a toddler; the Doctor's head rested on his shoulder, and Jack noted the heat radiating off him with concern.
Another bout of fever.
Thanks for all the feedback, and I am so incredibly sorry for the ridiculously long wait for this chapter. And also sorry for the shortness of it, and the crapness, let's be honest. Thanks for reading.