An: Just a little random angst/hurt/comfort/romance ficlet. Actually how I reckon the Doctor may genuinely feel. This is set a little after the end of Amy's choice- but immediately after.

The only difference is that the Doctor does go and do those lengths, and then, exhausted by their psychic experiences, the group decide to get some rest.

Amy, distracted by the momentous choice she's made, wakes up and begins to explore….

DISCLAIMER: Don't own Doctor Who- but if they gave me Tennant and Matt smith on a leash, I really wouldn't mind… :p

This is a bit similar to: 'A moment of weakness.' By 'Impossible for you all.' Which is a really great story, but it's really not supposed to be anything like it.

Ok, here we go…


The TARDIS hummed around Amy as she stepped out of her room, her bare feet brushing the floor, soft lights warming to life around her. She looked left and right, deciding to go right, and began to explore.

As she walked, she thought about what had happened. About the nightmarish dreams, and the way she'd felt when Rory had died, had left her- and she'd realized if she ever returned to normalcy she'd be left alone.

Maybe that was love- knowing your life would be empty without that person. But then, she couldn't see living in Leadworth as a real life anyway…

And the Doctor- how much did he really detest himself? How much…and, Amy paused as another thought occurred to her. All those hints….all those suggestions….did the Doctor, care about her?

Amy froze completely, her foot in the air. 'How could he have felt?' Her voice was barely a whisper, and she felt her heart stutter nervously. Because truly, how could he have felt? Alone, when they woke up, in the cold and dark. And he'd…proven to himself he couldn't have her. That she didn't want him, that she'd rather die….

Amy's hand flew to her mouth to muffle a half formed sob. How much could she have hurt him?

A sudden, strangled whimper made her glance up, her eyes flickering to the side. Next to her was a dark painted door, in the middle of which was an old brass letterbox.

The Doctor's room.

Frowning, Amy stepped closer to the door, putting her ear to the wood. For a while there was silence. Then a gasp, followed by a moan of pain. Eyes wide in alarm Amy pushed the door open, unthinking, only knowing the Doctor was hurt and she'd had enough of it.

Definitely his room. That was her first thought as she picked her way past the carefully arranged, fantastical clutter piled on the floor, on shelves around the room, everywhere. The only lighting was the image of a strange yellow moon on the roof, glowing softly in the dark.

She looked across the room, squinting through the shadows, and as her eyes began to adjust she saw him. Her raggedy Doctor. He lay on a huge, old fashioned double bed made of something like mahogany. His sheets were twisted around his body and he was curled on his side, his face twisted in pain. His fists were clenched in his blankets as he writhed, moaning, occasionally flinching. He wore slightly scraggy, grey tracksuit bottoms, and his chest was bare, half covered by his blankets.

Amy wandered closer, her own chest aching in pity for this brave, lonely man. She sat on the edge of his bed, carefully, as if it was made of porcelain. The Doctor, oblivious, hissed in pain and this time Amy was horrified to see a long cut split up his arm. Eyes wide she looked more closely, noticing the dark bruises forming across his bare chest, and the cuts and, were those burns? All kinds of red, sore welts over his skin.

The Doctor flinched and somewhere in the general area of his ribs something cracked. Amy was terrified for him by now, the Doctor jerked and her hand flew to her mouth as tears ran from his eyes.' No….don't make me….no!' He cried- and the fear and pain and panic in his voice struck straight into her heart.

There was a loud, violent sound and the Doctor let out a strangled gasp as his leg suddenly, literally, snapped, his shin bending in two. Amy couldn't sit there any more, but she didn't know what was going on, and she was becoming very afraid.

So she did the only human thing she could do when someone was having bad dreams. She tried to wake him up.

Gently, she ran a hand through his hair, then carefully took his shoulders, feeling her fingers get wet with his blood. Unsure if she really wanted to, Amy peered over, and felt sick when she saw long red welts split along his back, as if he'd been whipped.

The Doctor whimpered again, writhing in his bed, his eyes still tightly shut, and Amy felt herself starting to cry. Panicking she shook him by his shoulders, unable to be wary of his injuries.

Suddenly, unerringly, his hand shot out, touching the side of her face. Then her eyes were shut and she was in his dream.

The Dream Lord was there too, dressed as he had been before. He gave her a lewd, greasy smile as she 'came in'. 'Hello Amy.'

Amy stepped back, looking around. They were in a white room, with white walls and a white floor. It was completely empty, except…

On the floor, gasping, lying on his side, his hands cuffed together, was the Doctor. He was bleeding profusely, covered in bruises and burns like before- though they were so much more obvious in this harsh, white room. Amy cried out, and went to help him, hold him, do something.

But on her second step she crashed into some kind of invisible wall. Stretching her hands she felt a barrier encircling her. She was in some kind of column, barely a metre in diameter. It completely encapsulated her, and Amy banged her fists against it furiously before turning to the Dream Lord in fury.

'.Go.Now' She spat, and the Dream Lord laughed, pulling a face and holding up his hands.

The Doctor tried to sit up, but once he was halfway he felt his weight on his broken leg and collapsed back down, eyes tightly shut, gasping. Amy looked at him, stricken, and banged against the wall harder, her voice rising to a shout. 'LET ME OUT!'

The Dream Lord walked right up to the edge of her cage, smiling congenially. 'But, it's not me who put you there. I can't let you out.'

Amy frowned, 'But, there's no one…' She broke off as the Dream Lord gestured at the only other person there. The Doctor rolled a little, looking at her with pained, pleading grey- green eyes beseeching her to understand. To just once listen and leave things be, and let him be in charge.

Amy shifted a little, no longer pounding the walls of her trap. 'But…why?' Her voice sounded quiet and young, a little afraid.

The Dream Lord interrupted, his voice braying and bizarrely cheerful. 'To protect you of course,'

Amy frowned, from what? And the Dream Lord answered her thought, 'From me!'

He laughed, drawing a red hot poker from the air around him.

Swinging the poker through the air, it's glowing tip whistling a searing arc through the dream room, the Dream Lord walked over to the Doctor, grabbing his hair, pulling him to his knees, ignoring his cries of pain and Amy's panicked, furious protestations. The Dream Lord forced the Doctor to look at Amy, crouching to his level. 'You know, Doctor, the brilliant thing about your little companion is that she doesn't want you.'

Amy shook her head vigorously, 'No! Doctor, that's not true!' The Doctor, his chest heaving, blood trickling over his skin and into the grey cotton tracksuit bottoms he was wearing, remained silent.

The Dream Lord laughed in delight. 'You know, don't you Doctor? You lost and left all your friends, or they left you, ' A malicious smile at that, 'And all you're left with is her- and she doesn't want you.'

Amy pounded against the walls, trying to get out, to catch the Doctor's eyes. 'That's not true!'

The Dream Lord rolled his eyes. 'Oh shut up, you made your choice.' And then he took the poker and drew it down the Doctor's open wounds from some kind of flogging.

The Doctor let out a strangled scream, falling forwards onto his hands and knees, his bloody, bruised chest heaving, hands fisted, his eyes clenched shut. Amy could see the dark angry wound, and as the Dream Lord, laughing, drew the poker slowly across the Doctor's back, again and again, and the Doctor struggled to contain his screams, she fell to the ground, crying as she watched this monster torture her raggedy Doctor.

'BUT YOU'RE HIM!' She screamed, ' YOU'RE ONLY PUNISHING YOURSELF! I DON'T UNDERSTAND!' And she collapsed into sobs, her hands pressed against the invisible wall as she watched him fall, as if in slow motion, to the ground, sweat, blood and tears dripping off him, his face fallen in…not defeat, but resignation almost.

Grinning the Dream Lord kicked him viciously and the Doctor curled in on himself, groaning. He kicked the other man again, and then kept kicking, laughing whilst Amy cried and the Doctor writhed, trying to protect his broken ribs.

Finally, the Doctor stopped moving, becoming limp on the ground. The Dream Lord spat in his face before walking over to Amy, smiling. 'Do you really not understand?' His tone was patronizing and a little sad. 'He wishes he was hurt this much. Wishes he was hurt as much as he's hurt others, wishes to be punished. I'm just a slightly more…malicious version of that side of him.'

Amy shook her head, trying not to think about those words. 'Just leave him alone. Please, just leave him be.' She was crying and begging and she didn't care. She just couldn't see him hurt any more. It was so much worse than Rory's death, in so many ways, and suddenly she realized that she could never love Rory more. She could never lose either of her boys- but the Doctor- It was him she really loved. Amy closed her eyes, feeling a sense of dread settle in her stomach, even as she felt her heart fit to burst.

The Dream Lord brought her out of her reverie. ' I will. I have already. He's not in this dream any more.' Amy looked with the villain at where the Doctor had lain, and the creature was right, he was gone.

The Dream Lord reached out, but his hand met with Amy's barrier and he smirked. 'But he's still protecting you. Honestly, he doesn't know when to give up. He never has.'

Then he got up and walked away, swallowed by the light, in spite of the shadows of his soul.

Amy watched him go and then, suddenly, felt a wave of exhaustion wash over her. She shut her eyelids, just for a moment, and woke in reality, staring into the Doctor's sad, hurting, beautiful eyes.

She slowly sat up, touching the tear tracks encrusted on her cheeks. He watched her silently, still curled on his side, his hand no longer on her face. She looked at him for a moment longer, seeing the wounds still patterned across his skin, and then she burst into tears, ever-so-carefully wrapping her arms around him, and pressing her face into a bare patch of unharmed skin on his shoulder. Shaky, tense, the Doctor's arms wrapped around her in return. He let out a long, shaking breath, and whispered fervently in her ear.

'I'm sorry Amy.'

Amy almost choked on a strangled laugh mixed with a sob, pulling back to stare into his face. 'For what?'

The Doctor's eyes fell from hers, glancing at the sheets, stained with his blood. 'I- I made you…I brought you into that, and I let him beat me…and…'

Amy's hand flew to her mouth and the Doctor broke off as she began to cry again. The Doctor broke off and frowned in concern, starting to push himself up, barely concealing his pain, 'I'm…sorry,-- did I—' He broke off again as she gently pushed him back down, rubbing her eyes with her free hand.

She leaned down, her hair falling around her face, and gently pressed her lips to his forehead, as he had so many times for her. 'You have nothing to be sorry for,' She whispered fiercely. The Doctor closed his eyes, and she watched as almost all the tension left his body.

Eyes still closed, he said, quietly, 'Thankyou.'

The moon faded on his roof, to be replaced by a glowing sun, lighting the room, and his collection of nic-nacs, books and clothes, probably priceless somewhere. A compartment behind the Doctor's head slid open and a huge box with a green cross on it was pushed out onto the bed.

The Doctor awkwardly reached over and dragged the box closer, patting the wall of the TARDIS affectionately. 'Thanks dear.' He tried to twist to undo the clasps and, tutting, Amy reached over and took it off him. Chuckling a little, the Doctor watched her unclasp the box.

Amy paused before she lifted the lid, looking at the Doctor, unable to let her eyes linger too long on his horrific wounds, and deciding it was entirely inappropriate to be thinking about how lean and muscular he was. 'Inappropriate'…I sound like the bloody Doctor! She thought incredulously, looking down as a flush heated her cheeks, not noticing the Doctor's look of amusement, and something else.

She looked back up, meeting his eyes, 'But what I don't get is how he could hurt you physically? I mean, he's just a dream. Unless we're in a dream now..?'

The Doctor shook his head. 'No, this is reality. The Dream Lord is me, and, ah, how do I explain this? The pollen gave him more strength in my mind- our minds work differently to yours, they're bigger ,more powerful,'

Amy raised an eyebrow and the Doctor rolled his eyes. 'We are, in spite of appearances, a different species. I can…regenerate- my mind, generally subconsciously, has complete power over my cells.'

Amy frowned. 'Yeah, still not getting how that relates to this.' She gestured to the Doctor's weak, bloody form.

He sighed. ' Basically, it took control of my subconscious and used that ability to kill off, superheat, and break apart the cells. So that dream was the visual commands for my body to tear itself apart. It shouldn't have been able to take over.' He sounded frustrated and Amy placed a soothing hand on his arm, careful to avoid any cuts, burns, or bruises.

His eyes flickered upwards to hers, and she smiled at him a little, 'Lets get you fixed up, eh?' She opened the box, and her eyes widened at the huge array of things inside. She gave him a look, 'It's bigger on the inside.'

The Doctor laughed. 'Most of what I own is. Here, let me,' He turned the box round and withdrew an array of bandages, gauze, creams, pills, tapes, clips and ointments. Amy hovered as he began unscrewing caps and rubbing creams over his injuries. Somewhat preoccupied, he glanced at her whilst he struggled, hissing between his teeth, to put a support round his ribs. 'You can go if you want to now, it's ok.'

Amy blinked, then rolled her eyes. She took a pot and glared at the alien writing on the side before giving up and looking at her Doctor. 'Which cream can I put on your back?'

The Doctor smiled and gave her the right pot, and together they set to work.

X

After an hour or two they emerged into the console room, the Doctor leaning heavily on Amy for support. Seeing them come out together, the Doctor's arm round Amy, Rory, who'd been waiting for his fiancée to wake up, leapt to his feet.

However, when he saw the Doctor's weakened condition, the multiple bandages and gauze wrapped around him, the boy's first thought was one of concern. He was a doctor after all.

Well, a doctor in training.

Amy and the Doctor looked at him, Amy seeming a little guilty- but the Doctor just smiled. 'Sorry Rory, we had a bit of an issue. All sorted now though.'

Rory raised an eyebrow. 'Yeah, right. Sit down.' Rolling his eyes, the Doctor let Amy help him to a chair by the console while the human nurse quickly checked him over.

He sounded amused when he asked, 'Do I pass?'

Sighing in defeat, Rory rocked back on his heels. 'You seem to have sorted yourself just fine, if a little shabbily, except for this.' He took the Doctor's hand, turning it sideways. There was a long, peculiar welt on the side of his hand- it looked incredibly painful, and Amy wondered how he'd come by it.

She looked at Rory first, 'What is it?'

Rory frowned, and glanced at the Doctor, not letting the other man withdraw his hand. 'I'm not sure, I mean, it looks like frostbite burn…'

The Doctor took his hand back forcefully now, wincing as the movement jerked his ribs. ' The dreams could hurt me. This was the frozen TARDIS, I woke up alone, and my hand was slightly stuck to the floor, it just burnt a little.'

Amy felt a sickening lurch in her stomach, remembering tucking Rory in, and just looking at the Doctor. Not even thinking…

But then Amy and Rory frowned at each other.

'That's not a little burn. That's 3rd degree at least,' Rory said.

'And anyway, if the dreams could harm you, why didn't you die in the TARDIS and the van?' she finished.

The Doctor looked at them and shrugged a little. ' Even my evil subconscious can't fight my basic survival instinct- that, at least, was just a dream. Anyway,' He struggled to his feet whilst the humans rolled their eyes at each other, going to help him. ' Where do you want to go now?'

Rory shook his head. 'No way Doctor. I might be just a nurse, and I might just be human, but you need to rest.'

The Doctor tilted his head to the side. 'You're actually that bothered?'

Rory shrugged. 'Course, apart from the fact, you know, you saved the world, you're alright anyway when you're not putting Amy's life in danger.'

The Doctor glanced at said redhead, eyebrows raised, and Rory laughed, putting his arm around her waist. 'I know I was pretty insecure- but now I know what your relationship is, it's ok. I mean, she chose me.'

The happiness in the human's eyes was not something the Doctor could face, and so he turned and stumbled a little, back up the stairs. He paused in the doorway to smile down at the two of them, his eyes unreadable, and said simply, 'I know.'


Ok, ok, crazy amounts of angst etc, you can decide what she chooses in the end, now she understands her choices a little better. I hope you enjoyed it, please review, I really appreciate it.

Kat