Leaning against each other, Jenny and the Doctor stumbled through the TARDIS door.
"Like I said…" Jenny murmured softly, "never… do…that… again."
"Too right." The Doctor muttered in reply. They'd gone eight days without sleep. Eight days. That was a bit much, even for them. He took Jenny's arm carefully, avoiding the burns that peppered her skin.
"Let's get off our feet. Med bay, I think. C'mon, not far."
Walking slowly, they made their way to the opposite door. The Med Bay was the first door on the left. The Doctor pushed it open with a sigh of relief. Leading Jenny to the main bed, he let go of her arm.
"Take a load off for a mo, I'll get us fixed up."
"I'm fine, let me-"
"Just for once let me act the parent, will you? Sit still." He pulled a small cylinder from a drawer.
"These are nasty unusual burns, the usual dermal repairs won't do the trick. Let's just get this salve on."
Pulling the cylinder open, he applied the primary layer, then the secondary salve, on the largest burn across Jenny's bicep. The salves combined on contact, shading the skin an interesting green, but he could see it beginning to knit. He nodded to himself.
"There. Let that sit for a bit. Budge up." He took a seat beside his daughter, muscles screaming. He had to admit, sitting down felt so good.
"How bad is that one on your back?" Jenny asked quietly.
"Oh, not bad. But you can give me a hand with it, 'cause it's going to sting like mad. We can get each other doctored up."
"Not much we can do for your hair though." Jenny said, wincing as she bent her right leg. The Doctor glanced up from the burn on her wrist.
"What's wrong with my hair?"
Jenny giggled. "It's been all singed on the left side."
Surprised, the Doctor ran fingers through his hair. Bits of ash came away in his hand. "Ah. Nope, nothing we can do about that. Ah well. I was due for a trim, I s'pose."
With small winces and gasps, they treated the dozens of burns that ran over their upper bodies and the soles of their feet. The Doctor sat back, flinching as he pulled on his rather hole-filled shirt.
"There's that then. Better sit here for a bit an' let that work."
"Yes Father." Jenny said softly. She leaned against his shoulder.
For a moment, father and daughter leaned against each other, content in warm exhaustion. The Doctor could hear Jenny's slow breathing. He sighed. So tired.
"Next time we go to a fire festival," Jenny murmured, "Let's not do one with sacrifices."
"Right. Got you a chance to show off, though."
She snorted against his shoulder.
"Defensive tactics. Not showing off."
"You say potatoe, I say potato." The Doctor quipped.
He shook his head slightly.
"Never mind. How's that leg?"
Jenny's head nodded further into the fabric of his shirt.
"You trusted me. Out there. To act on my own. To get it…you know."
The Doctor smiled down at the bright top of Jenny's head. "'Course I did. And you got everyone loose. I know I can pretty much trust you. You've proven that."
Jenny's hearts beat a slow percussion tattoo against his side. He could feel muscles slowly loosening, relaxing from the days of strain. A good hot shower would help the process along later. But right now, he had no inclination to move whatsoever. Tomorrow he would feel terrible, and he would need to take care of quite a lot. But just here, just now, the world was warm and close and safe.
"Thanks Dad." Her voice was barely above a whisper.
The Doctor's eyes widened. She called me Dad! He turned his head, opening his mouth to reply. But Jenny's eyes were closed. His daughter was fast asleep on his shoulder.
He sat for a long moment, holding open heavy eyelids to watch her. For all that she could be maddening, terrifying, make him feel like his hearts were going to stop on a regular basis, she looked so peaceful when her eyes were closed. The Doctor smiled slightly. Tomorrow, they could face the universe. Tonight they would sleep. His head rested on hers, dark against bright.
Author's Note: And that sums up the first year. Thanks to everyone for the reviews.