Sick and Tired
Entering the flat like as if he belonged there, the Doctor stood by the door until Rose looked his way. He showed off his new outfit, a brown pin-striped suit and long coat and was soon being hugged by Rose.
He had walked in at the right time by the looks of it, as the three humans had been dishing out plates of food. For once he actually felt up to eating some of Jackie Tyler's cooking.
For one, it looked appetising. For another, he found himself absolutely starving. He had to eat to gain back some kind of energy. The regeneration of his body, followed by using quite a bit of his reserved residual energy to regenerate a new hand, and he found himself not only hungry, but tired.
It didn't help that something had gone wrong with the regeneration to begin with, which had unfortunately had everyone worried.
Well, at least they now all knew it was definitely him, though he didn't think they would warm up to him as fast as they had. Especially Jackie.
A detour from food was made as they went outside to watch what was left of the spaceship and Sycorax fell to the earth in the form of ash. And the silly humans were laughing and playing in it. Well those who weren't around him when he had told them what it really was.
Rose had decided to stay with him, despite both of them not knowing if the other wanted to stay or not. It made him feel light and happy. He liked that feeling; it was not often nowadays he felt it.
They went back inside when he found himself beginning to shiver. He really needed to eat something. Thankfully the food, as he suspected, despite everyone's warnings, was actually good. He suspected that Jackie was looking at him just to see if he did eat 'normal' food.
They had a fun night with the dinner. Crackers were pulled and by the time Mickey left, even Jackie was wearing a paper crown (hers was yellow) and the jokes had kept them laughing for a good while. Of course the cheap wine they had been drinking might have helped with that, though no more than two glasses were drunk by any of them.
It had left him feeling a weird sort of contentment. He was full, he was warm and he was sleepy.
Lifting a hand to his mouth as he yawned, he stood up and begun walking towards the door. He was stopped by a loud "Oi!" from Jackie. He turned to look at her and she grabbed him and pulled him away from the door.
"You're not going anywhere without Rose. She'd never forgive me for letting you wander off to that ship of yours in the middle of the night."
Rose was standing right next to her, and she was currently covering her mouth to try and hide the smile that he could tell she was wearing.
"I wasn't going to go anywhere except to my bed. This regeneration was a bad one. I'm tired Jackie."
She pushed him in the direction of the small two seater couch. "Sleep there! Breakfast early in the morning. Proper English one at that. You eat enough to feed an army!"
This body he suspected to be too tall to sleep too comfortably on the couch, but he couldn't turn down the offer. If he did then Jackie would turn into the rampaging bitch he was so used to that slapped unsuspecting aliens around for the fun of it.
He curled up on it, surprised to see that he was rather quite more flexible than before. A pillow and blanket were soon passed down to him, and he took them with a smile and nod towards Jackie. Rose had watched this all with a smile on her face that she had given up trying to hide.
Right, first thing in the morning, after breakfast, they would leave to go to Barcelona. He had been taking her there when is head started going all funny before. And then he remembered something and dropped his head to the arm of the couch and groaned.
Rose was immediately at his side. "Doctor, what's wrong?"
"The TARDIS! Some of her circuits were fried when Mickey dropped the tea on her. It was what got my brain back in order and brought me around, but I don't know how bad the damage is."
Jackie let out an exaggerated sigh and threw her arms up in the air. "All you care about, the TARDIS."
The Doctor frowned. "She's all I have now. My home, my world, my vehicle. I think I have a right to care about her. Plus she'll get all angry with me if I don't fix her as soon as possible. And believe me Jackie, the last thing you want is Rose in an angry machine."
That quieted the older woman down, and made Rose frown. "How long, you think?"
"Don't know. A day, a few...a week, could be a year if the damage is too bad. Depends on what shorted and if I have the pieces to fix it. If not, I'll have to find some things on this planet that will do as replacements for the time being."
Something in the disappointment he could see on Rose's face made him smile. Either she was worried for the TARDIS herself, or she really wanted to go see those noseless dogs. He wanted to see them. If they didn't make such a mess, he would get one as a pet. Perhaps it was time he made a new K-9. A Mark 4...wow, he was getting old.
Talking stopped as he lay down and got as comfortable as he was going to get on the couch. There was the sound of Rose and her mother going off to their respective bedrooms for their own night's rest, and his eyes closed nearly automatically with the exhaustion of the day's events.
He woke up the next day groggy, his body aching, a headache pounding in his temples and his stomach felt sore and tight. The smell of cooking bacon and sausage reached his nose and he sat up bolt straight, scrabbled out of the blanket, raced off to where he knew the loo was and found himself bent over, vomiting up what felt like his entire stomach.
He had always thought that one was supposed to feel better after throwing up, but he just felt bad. His stomach now ached fiercely from the cramping it had just gone through to void itself of its contents, his head pounded more fiercely than ever and he was feeling slightly hot.
He was also feeling a hand rubbing his back. "Think 'm sick..." he muttered, his head still firmly over the toilet in case he was to be sick again.
"I think you ate too much last night, mister," Rose stated, rubbing circles in a nicely relaxing way.
"No...Needed the food. Energy. Lost too much. My immune system was down. Probably caught a cold. No need to worry."
He bent further over the loo as his stomach spasmed again, and he lost more of the turkey he had eaten the night before. "Yet again, I really did need to digest this food properly..."
He laid his head on the cool seat of the toilet and closed his eyes, reaching out blindly with one hand to flush away the mess. Whatever was left in his stomach really needed to stay there, and the smell of vomit really wasn't helping with calming his stomach down. "Anti-emetics. Need anti-emetics..."
"Something to stop me from vomiting up any more of the contents of my stomach. I really need the food."
Rose shook her head. "I don't know anything about those. You can get them from hospitals I think, but there aren't any here."
"Not that I know of."
He let his head be pulled into her lap and let out a long mournful sigh. "Alright...there might be something on the TARDIS, but I really don't feel up to walking anywhere, I feel terrible."
He closed his eyes and gave himself a slight self examination to see what his symptoms were. Headache, joint and muscle aches, well both of those could be from the regeneration process going wrong, his nose was beginning to run, as were his eyes. He felt nauseous still, but not like he was going to throw up again right that second, he felt hotter than normal, so he probably had a slight temperature. Thinking that was it, he was taken off guard when he felt his throat began to itch and hurt and he started coughing.
He put two and two together. One of Rose's neighbours had been coughing and spluttering about last night. That man must have been getting better from the flu but still was contagious. Damn. He really was sick.
"Influenza...I caught the bloody flu. Don't know what strain."
And then Rose had the gall to giggle at him. He glared at her.
"Well, for all intents and purposes, right now I am quite contagious."
Rose poked her tongue out at him and grinned. Usually he found that quite a nice look on her, but right now it was irritating. "Ah, but last time I was home I had the sense to go get my vaccine. Went with mum. You stayed in the TARDIS tinkering away like always."
He blinked. So, he was stuck in his misery unless either her or her mum's immune system was as compromised as his had been. That...truly did make his day.
He let himself sit up, going slowly in case he got dizzy or something and ended up losing more of the turkey. He began to feel a bit too hot in his own skin. "Is there a thermometer anywhere in the house? Preferably one used at the ear."
Rose nodded, which quite surprised the Doctor, and she got up to rummage about in the mirrored cupboard above the sink in the small room they were in.
She came back with a thermometer, unfortunately it was an old mercury one used through the mouth. Great, two minutes of sitting around waiting for it to show the right temperature, instead of a few seconds.
He chucked it in his mouth and pouted, though he swore to Rose when she asked if he was that he wasn't. Two minutes later and he scowled at the readout it gave him. 18 degrees Celsius. He had a fever. Of 3 degrees. Damn it.
"Fever. No wonder I feel hot."
"Fever? What is your normal body temperature?"
"15 degrees Celsius core body temperature. That's the reason I feel cool to your touch."
"Oh, I wondered about that."
The Doctor huffed and slowly got to his feet. "I'm going to go get some water to drink, and lie down. Hopefully I don't get sick again. Can't really lose any more. Think I already said that haven't I? Got anything mint? Tea, snacks...anything?"
"You'll have to ask mum."
He sighed, and slowly made his way out of the bathroom and towards the couch he had slept on that night. He curled up on it, trying to get comfortable, but finding it impossible. His whole body ached, his head was pounding away, and he felt too warm to get under the blanket which would have made him a little more inclined to sleep to let his body rest it off.
Rose asked her mum, found out that no, there was no mint, and so went off to go look in the TARDIS.
Jackie stayed near him, wondering out loud about his unique physiology and just how absolutely alien it was to her, even though she knew damn well that the reason for that was because he WAS an alien.
By the time Rose got back, a pack of peppermint crowns in her hand, he was ready to whip out his sonic screwdriver and make a kill mode on it.
He threw one of the mints in his mouth, chewed it, swallowed, and shoved another two in after it to suck on. It should help with calming his stomach down enough to get down some real food without losing it again minutes later.
After they worked their magic on him, he got Jackie (telling her what to do always made him smile normally, but right now he was really too sick to care about what he was doing or saying) to make him some toast. Unfortunately she refused to give him marmalade and just put a bit of butter on the slices she made him.
He ate them in silence, glad when it didn't bring back the grinding nausea again.
After he had eaten, he laid himself down and closed his eyes, only to be poked and prodded by Jackie. "Not there you don't. Come on, up you get. You can sleep in my bed like you did when you were ill yesterday with your head."
Grumbling about humans and their insane need for poking sick people and getting to move when their bodies ached, he managed to get back onto his feet and slowly made his tired and aching way over to the bedroom he had spent most of Christmas Eve and morning unconscious.
He stumbled into the room, catching himself on the ruined doorframe and winced. He really needed to replace that for Jackie. It was his fault after all. Well in a second hand kind of way. He hadn't purposefully done it, and he definitely hadn't done it unconscious himself, it had been the pilot fish Santa's which had been after him for his energy.
Let them try it now, he thought to himself as he practically fell onto the bed, forgetting to get under the covers, which would just heat him up anyway and lay there half in a daze.
He was having trouble thinking. He didn't like that. His brain was still trying to fully heal from the regeneration gone wrong.
He felt a hand at his forehead, checking his temperature most likely, and felt a rush of cold when a wet face cloth was put on his forehead. He yelped at the suddenness of it, and felt himself blush under the fever.
Too. Damn. Hot!
He didn't really remember a lot, he must have fallen asleep, only that he woke up with Jackie fussing over him a few hours later. He could barely move, but he didn't feel like throwing up which was good. He would need to eat again now that he was up. The more energy he got from food, the sooner he would sweat, the quicker he would shed the fever, the quicker he would get better, meaning he could then go to the TARDIS, fix her up and get away from the estate he was stuck at.
If he didn't get away soon, he was going to go completely mad...
He managed only a couple of bites before turning away. Not because of nausea, but because he felt so completely not hungry that he was afraid if he did eat more he would make himself sick.
He was feeling absolutely miserable.
"Burning... oh god, I'm burning. Burning! Help! Oh no, no, no, no, no! Can't die, no dying. Don't want to die."
Jackie changed the face cloth on his face for a nice cool one and he calmed a bit at the slightly wet feeling and the cold that was coming off of it.
"You're not going to die, sweetheart, neither me or Rose would allow that. You'll get better, you'll see."
"No energy. Can't 'gen'rate 'gain..."
His wet hair was lifted out from where it was sticking to his face, and he noticed like as if he was far away from his own body, that not all the wetness was from the cloth. He was crying? No, he didn't cry.
"You won't need to do that again, Doctor, don't worry. You'll get through this alright. Then you and Rose can bugger back off and do whatever it is you do through time and space on that ship of yours."
"TARDIS...injured. Circuits... burning. Everything is burning! No! Stop it! Make it stop!" And then he knew he was crying, because he could feel himself shake and sob as the feeling took him. It was like he wasn't only just watching and feeling it once like last time, but over and over like all the others. Oh god, he was going to burn to death.
He didn't know how long he was out after that. He remembered shivering wildly and screaming as he was submerged in the bath. It had felt so damn hot to him, and it felt as though it was going to burn off his skin, but it was just a cool bath, not even cold. But it had helped to get down his temperature and for that he was grateful for afterwards.
He had woken two days after getting sick feeling better, and his fever going down. He had learnt that he had been force fed and watered during his... lapse in coherency, lapse in general communication, and his big lapse in self control.
He was embarrassed that he had been raving on about things from his past, calling both Rose and Jackie names from some of his past companions, or even worse, enemies. He remembered saying something nasty to Jackie about the Rani, but didn't want to even think about what language or way he had said it.
He felt right ashamed of himself with the other things that he had did or said. Apparently if he was too out of it, he went on speaking in his home tongue, and had been scaring the pants off of the two women with it. Neither of them after all knew his language, nor did the TARDIS translate, as it was her original language too.
It was the only thing she didn't translate that she knew.
It had been rather startling he supposed. But at least he was once again sane enough to remember where when and how he was.
Didn't mean he was well though, just that the delirium was over with.
He was sweating profusely now, in a way of cooling down. The good news was it was working. The bad news was he felt all sticky. His body was still aching, but he managed to heave himself up onto his feet and make his way into the bathroom.
He stayed under the shower for a half hour, cool water running down his back for most of the time, before he felt ready enough to go out and face the two Tyler women. He didn't get dizzy or nauseous along the way either. He did still have an itchy throat though, and coughed a bit along the way form the bathroom to the lounge room.
He slumped onto the couch, his head turning automatically to the television, and caught the looks of Jackie. "Rose just went out to visit with friends, love. She'll be back later. You look better."
"I feel better. Sort of. Sorry for being such a pain. I didn't know I'd regenerate on you, let alone get sick after the normal sickness of that process was over. You're rather lucky there. Sometimes I get sick like that for days. Still, guess this bloody disease made up for it..."
Jackie looked at him in her typical fashion. That is, she thought he had gone nuts. "You go into comas every time you regenerate?"
"No, it's different every time. Usually there's a bit of a problem with the brain though. On one occasion I could barely keep time straight and kept getting everything wrong. Umm, I mean, I couldn't remember things properly."
"Oh, well, what exactly happened this time?"
"I did the biological version of blowing a fuse. Too much power. That's odd, usually I'm lucky to have enough at all, but given the circumstances of why I regenerated, it does make much more sense for why that happened this time."
Jackie looked at him, and he knew right then he hit the topic she really wanted to talk about. "Ah. You want to know how it happened and why?"
"Yeah, might be a bit helpful."
He took a deep breath, and ended up coughing for a minute. After he calmed that down he looked at her with a grin. "Alright, but you're probably not going to like it...or, considering, you'll like it too much."
"Get on with it, Doctor."
"I regenerate when my body is close to dying. Like I said to Rose, it's kind of a Time Lord way to cheat death. I can only do it so many times though. I have now gone through nine regenerations, now on my tenth life. It is a process in which my body, sensing death, reconstructs the cells and makes them new again. I can't control the process or what I will look like. It's just pot luck. It's like...trading in an old model for a new one, because the old one has had it."
"Oh yeah, I get that. You're like our telly then."
He gave her an offended look, until he realised she was cracking a joke and wheezed out a laugh. "A bit like that, yeah. If it needs fixing just tell me."
"Nah, its fine. So, you regenerate when you're going to die?"
"Yep. In essence, this time around, I gave my life to save Rose. She did a very stupid thing to get back to me. She looked into the heart of the TARDIS. No one is supposed to do that. It's like all of time and space in there. A human can't live with that knowledge in their heads for too long. So, I got it out of her, and took her death into myself. I could survive it, just not staying the same. Rose would have been dead in less than a minute."
Jackie actually looked surprised to hear that, and she patted his arm and gave him a nice smile, before he yawned, exhausted just from having talked for a few minutes. "Ugh, I'm going back to sleep. Still very low on energy right now. I need food, but I don't think I'd be able to stay awake long enough to eat anything if you need to cook it..."
She got up quickly and he sighed, thinking that was that. He was then getting himself ready to get off the couch, when a banana appeared in front of him. "Here, eat this then. Rose said you liked bananas."
He quickly grabbed it, unpeeled it and ate it, before he ran out of time to do that before sleep grabbed him again.
He was asleep sitting up on the couch shortly after, and he was glad when he woke a few hours later that Jackie hadn't tried to move him. Instead she had gotten him lying down and chucked a blanket over him.
He was feeling better already.
A few more days and he could go about fixing the TARDIS and while doing that, learn anything and everything he could about this new body of his.
A few more days, and he'd be very nice to Jackie for looking after him both times he had been sick.
It was the only thing he could really do to pay her back.