Genre: Drama, angst
Summary: Rose deals with a difficult situation.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Author's Notes: to JennyLD for the beta.
Quickly wiping the tears from her cheeks, Rose smiled at the Doctor and squeezed his hand tighter. His eyelids fluttered open and her breath caught in her throat as she tried to stop her sobs from breaking free. "Hey," she whispered, smiling wider when he focused on her face.
"Hey." The skin under her palm stretched as he gave a half-hearted smile back. His eyes, sharp as always, took in the moisture in her eyes, the tears spilling down her cheeks despite her best efforts to keep them contained, and her trembling lip. He lifted his hand with obvious effort, swiping at her cheek with his thumb. "What's wrong?"
His hand dropped weakly to the bed.
She shook her head. "Nothing. Everything's fine now." Smoothing his cheek with her own thumb, she felt her smile fading. "Take another kip, you laze-about."
He was asleep again before she'd even finished her sentence. Letting the tears fall more freely, she leaned down to lay her head on his chest.
When the door opened a few minutes later, Rose snapped her head up and brushed the tears away, feeling a moment of panic. She hated this, being here, in this place, on this planet. Hated having to stay here while the Doctor healed.
The man slipped inside the room, cutting off the light from the other room when he shut the door behind him.
"Elgin," she greeted, standing to face him. She slid her hands into her pockets, then pulled them out and crossed them over her chest, before letting them drop to her sides.
"How is he?" Elgin asked, nodding toward the Doctor's still form. He pulled a packet of herbs from his tunic, shook it into a mortar and added a little water before grinding it with the pestle.
Shrugging, Rose glanced down at the Doctor. He looked so peaceful and relaxed, so different from hours before. "He doesn't remember."
Elgin looked up at her with a small smile. "Good. The herbs are working." His smile slipped off of his face when he turned his gaze on Rose, looking her over, making her fidget under his scrutiny. "And you?"
"I'm fine," she began, her usual answer when things had gone badly, but Elgin, though he'd known her only a few hours, wasn't buying it.
With one last look at the Doctor, she crossed the room to where the medicine man waited solemnly. Pulling out the chair at the table he was working at, she turned it so that it faced away from the Doctor, sat down and lifted off her shirt.
Fisting the material in her hands, she stared over Elgin's shoulder. "It's healing."
Without even looking at her, Elgin continued making his paste, then set the mortar and pestle down, and knelt in front of her, removing the cloth from her stab wound. "How do you feel?"
"Liar." His voice was mild, the look on his face equally as mild, but she knew his chastising voice only too well by now and it only served to anger her.
She winced as he checked the sutures and applied the paste to the wound, but didn't make a sound of discomfort. "How should I feel?" she snapped, fighting the urge to move away from his prodding fingers. To stand up and move across the room. To go to the Doctor and wake him up and help him back to the TARDIS so they could be gone from here.
"You should feel how you feel. But do not lie about it." Sticky fingers sliding along her wound, he breathed deeply and focused on his task. "They are your feelings, so..." he smiled kindly, "feel them."
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Rose glanced over her shoulder at the Doctor. "And him? How should he feel when he wakes up?"
Elgin stood, ignoring her sarcasm, and wiped his hands on a cloth before tossing it to the table. "He will be as you remember. As he was before--"
"Yeah," she interrupted, standing and shoving her arms into her shirt, holding the garment down as tightly as she could, but he didn't stop, didn't halt his words as she'd hoped.
"--before he killed your attacker." Eyes settling on the Doctor's form, he folded the top of the packet over and put it back inside his tunic. "He'll have no memory of your abduction." Gaze returning to her, he blinked in the dim lighting. "He will be fine."