A/N) Just a one-shot I wrote a while ago. If you like Doctor-whump, you'll probably like this. But yeah, anyway, what after-effects did the Doctor suffer after his possession on the Midnight bus?
Pain of Midnight
Laying flat on his back on the hard floor of the Crusader 50, the Doctor breathed heavy sighs of relief. They had tried to kill him - the humans, the species he admired so much. He knew he should understand why they had done it, but he was so disappointed in them. They had intended to murder him. He had been so afraid, completely paralysed by the entity that had taken his words… it was not something he had ever thought he would experience.
Sometimes, the universe just kept surprising you.
He had warred with it in his mind, trying to stop it controlling him, but it had been too strong. The creature had literally frozen him to the spot, and he had been helpless at the feet of a monster.
No one had spoken to him since the air hostess had saved his life, sacrificing her own in the process. Maybe they felt ashamed at the way they behaved? Yes, that was it. They couldn't bear to look at him in the eyes and tell him sorry for what they had nearly done to him.
He lifted his head from the floor intending to sit up in a more comfortable position, but a sudden spark of pain rushed through his shoulders and down his spine which caused his entire body to spasm. At the same time he let out a yell of pain as his head began to throb which sounded like the beating of drums against his skull. He ensured that he laid still on the floor, resisting any movement, hoping that the pain would vanish, but it continued to reside at the back of his head, a dull thump thudding at his skull. It was as if something was trying to get out. Whatever that entity had done to him, his brain was not coping well with the restoration of control of his body.
Then he felt a hand on his shoulder. Carefully he looked upwards. It was Dee, the girl who had thought something was up but had been shouted down by the others. Out of all the humans who had survived, she was the one he was the most proud of because at least she had tried to make sense of the situation.
She crouched down next to him, a concerned look on her face. "Are you okay?"
The Doctor winced in pain as he moved his head slightly. "No. It hurts too much when I move. That thing… whatever it was… has affected my head."
"Like a migraine?" piped up Professor Hobbes from where he sat, watching his young student.
"It's a lot worse than that," the Doctor managed to grunt. Even talking was giving him pain. He gritted his teeth, scrunching his eyes shut as a sharp, stabbing pain erupted in the front of his head. He let out a strangled cry, grasping Dee's wrists tightly.
"At least you are in control of your body," said Dee lightly, "unlike before when you were completely powerless."
He hadn't wanted to be reminded of that. He could still hear the entity's voice in his head… forcing him to speak his own death sentence. His hearts began to beat faster and faster as his mind went into overdrive.
He felt a hand on his chest and he jerked so suddenly that immense pain tore through his entire body. He screamed, one of piercing agony. He heard a pleading voice; someone was trying to reassure him, telling him to try to calm down, but his mind was gripped in the throes of terror. He couldn't control his reactions. He was aware of one thing and that was the all consuming pain that wracked through his body.
"Please, Doctor! Calm down! You're safe!" It was Professor Hobbes, who, like Dee, was kneeling beside him.
"It hurts…" slurred the Doctor, scrunching his eyes together.
"I know, I know it does, but you must be calm!" ordered the Professor.
"Please," the Doctor rumbled, darkness tugging at the edges of his vision, "don't touch me. It hurts so much… oh my head, my head!" He let out a gurgled cry, nearly choking on the saliva that trickled down his trachea. The drumming in his head was too much - he briefly wondered if this was what the Master meant when he had told him that it had never stopped.
"What's happening to him?" asked Jethro, from where he sat, his eyes wide with fascination.
"What that creature did… it must have done something," analysed Dee. "Just messed up his brain… his body is trying to get back to normal, possibly."
"But that thing's gone!" roared Biff, the passenger who had made it his goal to throw the Doctor out of the airlock. "How can it be back?"
The Professor raised his hand. "Please don't shout. Whatever possessed him managed to override his movement, his thoughts, and his ability to think for himself. His mind and body has suffered trauma. It is natural he would react this way, as his system tries to recover itself and restore to normal."
The Doctor coughed, trying to speak through the pain he was drowning in. "It's gone… the creature is gone… but the pressure on my mind is too much. I was fighting for control… it took a lot out of me… poisoned my system against me… its left its mark on me… it wants me to die…but I can't die… I just can't…" he groaned.
"You won't die," promised Dee, gently patting his forehead. She looked anxiously up at the Professor. "He's burning up."
Val had stayed silent throughout the exchange, but now she perked up. "I've got water in my bag… and a small sponge. Would that do?"
Dee nodded, reaching for the items that Val unpacked for her. The sponge was nothing more then something that you would use for make-up, but it would serve its purpose of trying to cool the Doctor down. Carefully, Dee flicked open the top of the bottle, and poured a tiny bit onto the small, round sponge, soaking it completely. Then she placed it on the Doctor's forehead, scraping it across, wetting his entire face.
A slight smile came to his face as droplets of water trickled down his face. "That's nice."
"Good," soothed Dee.
"But it still hurts."
She smiled, laughing lightly. "You don't give up do you?"
"No. I never do," he replied, closing his eyes. "I think I need to sleep… maybe that will help?"
The Doctor woke with a gasp of pain as consciousness flared back into his mind. The rest had not helped, his head thudded more painfully then it had done before. He could hear voices to the side, obviously talking about him. Dee was still sitting beside him, but her attention was turned towards the discussion. He strained, trying to pull himself up, despite the pain he was in. Dee noticed and gently motioned for him to lie still.
"What's going on?" he managed to rasp.
"We've told them about your condition. We're trying to figure out a way to move you without causing you grievous bodily harm," explained Dee. "How are you feeling?"
The Doctor tried to smile but failed as a spark of pain leapt into his being. His back buckled upwards and his mouth opened in a strangled cry. "ARGH!"
People turned to face him, walking slowly towards him. Humans. Two men, dressed in white with the word 'Medicare' etched onto their clothing bent down, looking him in the eyes. "You appear to be in a lot of pain. You look quite ill. We have two choices to get you aboard our ship. We can drug you up so that you are not aware, but it depends on whether you are allergic to anything."
"Aspirin," the Doctor managed. "Anything like that, I can't have."
The second medic bit his lip. "The drug we have contains Aspirin."
"Aspirin kills me instantly," replied the Doctor, struggling to ignore the pain that was shooting throughout his system. He bit his lip, stifling a scream. "If I have to, I'll stick with the pain."
"Are you sure?" asked Dee lightly. She looked up at the medics, concern written on her features. "Isn't there anything you have that can help him?"
"No. There are drugs back at the hotel that doesn't contain Aspirin. It's the common drug to sedate people with… but it is very rare that anyone is allergic to it," said the medic. "Right, I think, what would be best would be to lift you onto a stretcher. Can you move at all?"
"I can…but it is painful."
"Do you think you'll be able to stand it?" enquired the second medic.
The Doctor nodded slightly. "Should do." He gritted his teeth as a spark of pain erupted in his back.
It was minutes later that the medics bought through a stretcher into the mini-bus. They had already directed the rest of the passengers into the medic bus, leaving the Doctor lying on the floor. They laid the stretcher by the Doctor's feet. Then, with one stepping over him and the other by his feet, they attempted to pick him up, hoping to avoid the pain that he was experiencing.
The Doctor gritted his teeth, pain hitching its way up his body. How much more agony was he going to go through before this stopped? He had realised that, despite the entity being destroyed, or at least ejected from the transport, a part of it still resided in him and was trying to get out. Reaching down past the pain he connected his mind to the entity. It wasn't strong enough to stop him moving and completely own him just like the 'parent' had done. He swallowed. The fact that a part of the creature could survive without the majority of it made him realise this was how they bred. They separated themselves. There must be other life-forms out there that they were all unaware of, otherwise the entity wouldn't have been able to survive… so he was just the vessel. It was a child, too weak to take him completely but could gain in strength…. That's what the entity had wanted via Sky! His death and instant vaporisation would have ensured the arrival of the creature fighting to survive inside him.
His head was starting to spin from the knowledge of it. The question was: how could both he and the infant survive? He knew it was still tiny particles running around his blood stream, but it had an intent and purpose. His body was treating it as an infection and it was winning, but only barely. The more he fought to rid himself of the life form inside, the more pain he got as the creature fought for its right to survive.
Now that he knew the extent of the reason behind his pain, the Doctor wondered if it was right for him to survive while the innocent died. After all, the entity probably had no idea that its survival meant the death of its host.
As if it knew what he was thinking the entity's cells made for his heart, constricting his muscles as he fought to stop it. Its intention was clear. It was not an innocent at all. It was young, but hardly innocent. Immense pain flared in his chest, the exact moment the medics set him down on the stretcher. His mouth opened in a silent scream, as his arms flayed in all directions, his legs shaking, and his head throbbing harder than ever before as he suffered a heart attack. His eyes rolled into the back of his head as the world darkened instantly around him.
As soon as she had heard the news of the bus's breakdown Donna knew something bad had happened. It always did when the Doctor said 'what could possibly go wrong?' But she couldn't help but worry for his safety. Still dressed in the robe she had donned to sunbath, Donna sat by the arrivals area waiting for the bus to return. The only thing that she had learnt, as per regulations, was that the company had dispatched an engineer to the scene as well as medics to the scene as a precaution. No contact had been made since the initial call for mayday and com silence was not a good thing in those situations, or as Donna perceived them to be. She knew the company that ran the tour was deeply concerned for the silence of the crew and that was partly why the medics had been dispatched. Usually they would have been unneeded.
She was hoping her fears were unfounded, but deep down she knew the worst had happened: with the Doctor onboard it was bound to happen.
Whatever had occurred probably wouldn't have happened if Donna had been there. Inevitably that was just what she hoped, but regardless of her being there it probably would have happened. After all she wasn't special, despite the Doctor's protestations on that front. Her presence there would not have stopped it from happening.
She waited anxiously for the transport to arrive back, chewing at her bottom lip as nerves took over. It was two hours later that she finally heard the distinct noise of the clamps being put in place on the transports that she realised that they were back. She stood from where she sat, turned and looked out onto the platform from her viewing gallery. Her mouth dropped open as she took in the appearance of the transport. It was in ruins, with only one part of it remaining together: the passenger compartment. The cockpit of the transport had been completely ripped away and the top of it had a very large dent in it. Electrical wires stewed from the end where the pilots would have sat.
Wrapping the gown tightly around herself, Donna made her way to the visitors entrance and entered the bay where the passengers were debarking the rescue transport, which had towed the battered bus in. There was no sign of the Doctor among them. Fear increased in her gut. Where was he? As they walked past her, they gave her sad looks as if they knew something she didn't. She wanted to ask where he was… he had to be in there… he had to… how would she ever get back home if he was dead?
Then, through the doors to the transport out came a stretcher, being pushed along in the air by two medics. A trolley with a very large machine on it was attached to the stretcher. There was a still figure laid on it. Donna's hand went right up to her mouth, horror in her eyes as the stretcher stopped beside her. She looked down and saw the Doctor. He was deathly white and an oxygen mask covered his face. His chest was rising slowly. Donna felt sick.
One of the medics turned to face her, her sad expression on their face. "Do you know him?"
Donna nodded numbly. "He's my friend. I travel with him." She glared sharply at the medic. "He will be alright, won't he?"
"We need to run a few tests on him… we can't make a correct diagnosis now. We'll take him to the med-centre, once we've analysed his test results then we can tell you."
"Okay," swallowed Donna. She watched as the Doctor's prone body upon the stretcher was steered away from her. Just as she was about to leave her view, a finger twitched on his hand. Whatever ailed him, he was fighting it. She could only hope that he would pull through. She had faith that he would.
Once she had changed into something a lot more respectable (trousers and a t-shirt) Donna made her way to the medical wing, but before she got there she was stopped by a small black girl who had donned a knitted top and black trousers. She had large glasses perched on her nose and an intelligent spark glinted in her eyes.
"Are you the Doctor's friend?" the girl asked.
Donna hesitated, wondering what to say. Could she trust this girl? There was no reason saying she couldn't. "I am."
The young woman seemed to shuffle on her feet, obviously feeling uncomfortable. "I'm sorry about the Doctor. I hope he gets…"
"What happened?" Donna cut her off sharply.
The woman was silent, but then began to speak in a forlorn voice. "Something caused the transport to break down. No life should exist outside but something does. It made it onto the transport via fear, we think. It infected Sky… another woman who didn't make it back. It started to learn from us… repeated everything we said… as we argued it kept repeating every word… and then suddenly it began to speak at the same time as us, as if it knew what we were going to say before we had even said it. It had synchronised itself with us."
"And then what?" probed Donna.
"It stopped doing that to us, apart from the Doctor. It then somehow overtook him… took his voice so he could not speak… only when the creature was. Nearly everyone had thought the creature had passed into the Doctor and that Sky was free. The entity forced him to say things… his own death sentence… another passenger decided to throw him out, to murder him. It was encouraging them… But it was only when, whatever it was, spoke words that the Doctor had used before that was identifiable to him that the hostess sacrificed herself to save him. She grabbed Sky and threw her out the other airlock, killing herself. The Doctor was freed as soon as she was gone. If that entity had succeeded in goading us to kill the Doctor, we would have slowly turned on each other…"
"And you would have killed each other until this Sky was left," finished Donna.
The woman nodded. "Yes! After that the Doctor was in pain, but we couldn't pin-point why. Whatever that thing has done, has left its mark on him."
Donna was speechless, her mouth hanging open. These people had tried to murder her best friend! At least one of them had the decency to own up to their mistake! "Thank you," she breathed, "for telling me."
The girl turned, nodding. "I thought you should know. I'm Dee by the way."
The girl gave her a sad smile over her shoulder. "You have a wonderful friend, Donna. Don't lose him."
"I won't," she promised. And she truly meant that.
The Doctor was stable but still unconscious when Donna arrived in the med bay. There was still an oxygen mask on his face as well as two intravenous drips inserted: one into his right arm, the other into his neck. There was also a feeding tube stuck up his nose. She sat by his bed, beside a monitor which showed lines going up and down. She couldn't figure out what they meant. His face now had a little colour in it allowing her (at least) the peace that he was slighter better than he had been when he had been brought from the bus. She a lifted a hand and stroked his left one. At least she could comfort him by sitting beside him as he fought the battle crusading throughout his body.
The nurse in charge of the Doctor's care came to look at his results and progress an hour after Donna had arrived.
"Are you a relative?" the nurse enquired politely, eyeing Donna up and down.
"No, I'm not, but I'm travelling with him," replied Donna, and then she snapped: "And stop staring! I'm not a lesbian you know!"
The nurse didn't reply but gave Donna a scathing look. Truth be told, Donna had probably over-reacted. She blew her cheeks out and attentively asked: "How is he?"
"Getting better," the nurse replied. "His hearts have returned to normal or as far as we can determine to be normal for his species after his heart attack."
"He had a what?" exclaimed Donna, shocked.
"Yes, he had a heart attack. However his functions have returned to normal we believe. They have been steady since he's been brought in. His brain activity is quite active." She motioned to a machine that, on its screen, a red line going up and down rapidly. "It's as if he's fighting for something… Throughout his body, all his cells that we can tell are regenerating over and over… whether that's normal for him we don't know - but in accordance with all things we must wait until he regains consciousness before we can assess whether he will be alright."
Donna stared at the Doctor's prone form. "When will he wake up?"
The nurse bit her lip. "I cannot guess. It could be hours, days, week, months…"
"Years…" finished Donna.
"I'm sorry." The nurse patted Donna on the shoulder. "We just have to hope. Medically he is fine but it is just when he decides to wake up."
"Okay, thanks," smiled Donna, although she felt numb inside. So the Doctor appeared to be in a coma. Not good. Looking at her friend she begged him to wake up, not knowing whether he had heard or not.
Two weeks passed and still the Doctor had not woken up. She had kept vigilance by his bedside day and night, sleeping in a chair beside his bed. She had noticed the brain monitor was showing less activity, but a more steady rhythm. Donna took that as a good sign. On the third day of the second week Donna finally decided to go and find a comfy bed to sleep in. The chair was too uncomfortable. She informed the nurse in charge to wake her immediately if there was any change in his condition.
Forty-five minutes later, a junior nurse came to her room, telling her that the Doctor was moving. Heart filled with hope she had returned to the Doctor's side, but he didn't wake up, however he was moving his arms and legs as if he was in a nightmare. The nurses said the movement was a good sign and if he didn't wake up that night he soon would.
Two days later Donna was beginning to wonder if the Doctor wasn't waking up because of her. She dismissed that from her mind.
Another five days later, Donna came to the ward, to find all the staff smiling at her. She couldn't bring herself to hope. After all she'd had several false alarms that week. But when she opened the door to the Doctor's room, she found him sitting up in bed, reading a book, his glasses perched on his nose. He looked up at her as she stood, open-mouthed, in the doorway. "Hello Donna!" he grinned broadly.
"You're AWAKE!" she shrieked, her eyes burning fiercely.
"You make that sound as if it is a bad thing," he said.
"It might be," she retorted, but then she sagged and plumped herself down in the chair she had so frequently occupied. "When did you wake up?"
"Oh…about six hours ago."
"WHAT? Why didn't they wake me? I told them to!" she yelled at him.
"I told them not to."
"Why not?" Donna demanded, giving him a steely glare.
The Doctor shrugged. "You needed your sleep."
He sighed. "I know you've been sitting by my side, lacking sleep. I was conscious but not."
"That makes no sense and you know it!"
"Okay, I knew you were there but I didn't want to wake up until I knew for sure I would not relapse. I kept myself in that coma. Whatever that creature was I didn't want it getting out of me. Somehow it can pass into you. I couldn't endanger others by waking up. At precisely 5.44am this morning it died, starved of a living vessel to survive on. I stayed in that coma as it was the only way to make it realise I wasn't going to let it out. I wasn't living in the way it wanted me to and this morning it died. If I had woken up I would have relapsed and been unable to move without causing myself harm."
"So, let me get this straight. You had this thing inside you?"
"To put it bluntly," confirmed the Doctor.
"Technically you were pregnant then. That woman, Dee, told me there was a creature in this other woman, but she died, so how did a part of it survive in you?" enquired Donna.
The Doctor smiled. "When the creature that was in Sky was killed by ejection, the part of it that was latched onto me trapped itself in my body, surviving on my pain. Technically it was a new life-form, a new one, a baby monster. This one was easier to handle as it hadn't matured into the adult that could stop me moving and speaking. It tried but failed. If I'd woken up it would have taken me over completely eventually. Setting myself in the coma gave me all the strength I needed to fight back against its influence."
Donna was silent. Once again the Doctor had protected others. By his actions he had prevented an evil from getting out into the world. It's the most she could have expected from him really. He always put others safety before his own. That was one of the things she admired about him.
"We'll be able to leave later today," the Doctor said. "Once my stuff has finished drying."
It was then that Donna noticed he was still wearing a night gown that the nurses had first put on him when he had arrived. "Haven't you got like the same suit like twenty times over?"
"Yeah," he scratched his ear. "But this one is special. It's the first."
"Oh right," sniggered Donna.
"What?" he sounded indignant.
Donna was laughing. "Oh, nothing. You're just the same as you've always been."
"I take that is a good thing?" he raised his eyebrow.
"YES!" Donna slapped him on the arm. She smiled warmly at him. "It's good to have you back."
"Me too," he replied.
Please let me know what you think!
Not my best work, I must admit, but it was something I wrote a while ago.