AN: For the fairytale_thon pinch hit on LJ. Written based on the prompt 'Stranded somewhere cold, the old cuddling-together-for-warmth situation' because who doesn't love the classics? XD

For once in her life, Amy Pond really regretted wearing a skirt.

She looks back to the TARDIS, a small blue blip in the distance, and desperately wishes she had listened to her instincts and changed into something warmer before the Doctor had a chance to drag her out to investigate. It hadn't been cold over there, it only looked cold. The same could not be said about where she is currently standing.

"It's a bit nippy out here," she comments, rubbing her hands together and blowing cold air into them. Even the breath in her lungs has probably turned frozen by this point, she thinks.

The Doctor turns to her, smiling, "Ah, it's not cold. It's all in your head." Tapping her on the tip of her forehead, he watches, amused, as she rolls back on her heels. She fixes him a glare.

"It is cold out here. You promised me sand. You promised me warmth. You promised me Rio. This." She waves a hand around, damp and cold and ice, "This is not Rio. This is the opposite of Rio. This is..."

He leans towards her, "Do you want to tell me where you are so you can shout it at me to prove a point?"

"Yes." She begrudgingly admits.


Amy blinks. Repeatedly.

"Yeah... I'm not saying that."

Why can't planets ever have simple names? Like Pop or Drapper or Planet. Why couldn't they land on a planet called Planet? Or what about Rio, for once? Just once, she wishes the Doctor would actually land where he intends to, not where the wind blows him and definitely not places called Cohudel... or whatever it was.

"I don't blame you. Hard word to roll off the tongue." He straightens, suddenly, and tilts his head ever so slightly.


"Ssh, ssh, ssh." He places a finger on her lips, without looking. Amy quietens. "Did you hear that?" He asks, and she follows his wild gaze around the cave as he strains to hear something, what she doesn't know, but she's learned by now to trust his hearing.

The silence lingers on for more than a minute, and she waits for him, waits for what he's waiting for but it doesn't seem to be coming and she's never been good with quiet time.

With an exasperated sigh, she breathes out, "I don't hear anything."

He frowns. Looks at her. More silence. Then, "I don't either." He waves his hand around, "But I swore I did. Hear something that is." He looks around panicky, searching for a phantom sound that Amy still doesn't seem to hear. "There it is again."

He bends down, flattening himself out on the floor. His ear presses up against the cold surface. His eyes widen when the noise sounds again, louder this time; loud enough for Amy to hear it. She knows it's coming from below them. That in itself isn't a comforting thought. Nor is it when the Doctor cautiously stands. He doesn't do cautiously. He's all for sudden actions. This, Amy knows well, so if she's a little worried, she finds it understandable.

"Amy..." the Doctor asks tentatively, "You did hear that, didn't you?"

She nods.

"Good. Not going mad. Now I think it would be best if we slowly moved away from the ground."

"To where?" she demands.

"Anywhere away from this particular patch of ground."

His hands are moving as their feet slowly step backwards, one step at a time. He's sizing up the dangerous area, at least she thinks he is, because his hands are framing the earth beneath them and he's thinking. She can tell by the line on his forehead, thrown deep down, practically at his nose.

A thump breaks, pushes up the tension of the room.

"Let's move a little quicker, shall we?" The Doctor begins. There's heavy concern in his voice, and panic. Oh, that she knows too well.

His hands are on her shoulders and now they're practically running but it's still not enough. There's a final resounding thump, and next thing she knows is that she's falling, feet pulled underneath her as the ground gives way. She feels the Doctor's hand brush against her arm, skin scraping against skin, before he grips her hand hard and desperate.

They fall together, as they always do.

Amy lands on a tumbled heap above the Doctor, and she groans out loud along with the Doctor's own chorus of moans. At least, she think in comfort, she had the Doctor act as her cushion. It's something, at least, but her fall was not without injury Amy realises as her side starts to slowly throb.

"Alive?" The Doctor asks, sitting up. She nods as she rolls off of him. "Good. We've really got to stop with this falling business."

She watches him stand and do a check that all his appendages are still attached. He starts at his legs, working his way up and, of course, he ends at his bowtie. Once assured it's there, he goes on to straighten it, and then – and only then – does he take in where exactly they've landed.

"Amy," he begins, after a moment, "Remember that no panic rule I instigated?"

She narrows her eyes at him, and warily replies, "Yes..."

"Well, it's time to put it into practise."

"Doctor, where are we?"

"The freezer." He sounds frustrated with himself, hands digging into his skull. He lets his hair go with a irritated sigh, "We were always in the freezer. And now we appear to be in the sub-basement freezer."

There's a moment where there's simply silence, and he can see the emotions run across her face, slowly, each one plain enough for him to see and decipher. He knows those emotions well, and when she finally rests on anger, he isn't surprised. She then raises her hand, fist clenched save for a single index finger and pokes him so hard he has to take a step back from the impact.

"You said the cold was in my head!" She practically shouts.

"Technically, you'll find it is; it's just in a few other places in addition to your head. But no reason to worry, we'll find a way out."

"How do you know that?"

"We always find a way out; we're tenacious like that."

He grins, then spins on the spot, eyes taking in everything. His eyes light up as he spot a door, heavy and grey and metal. Amy doesn't see a handle, but she traces the line at its edge with a finger. The Doctor already has the sonic screwdriver out, scanning it.

"You can sonic us out, yeah?"

He brings the sonic close up to his face, wrist flicking, it extends out and then his eyes start scrutinising the data.

His shoulders slump, "I can't."

"You sonic us out of everything else!"

"Everything else that doesn't have a deadlock seal!" The Doctor shouts, agitated. It sounds like a crack as he forces the sonic to shut, "The sonic is ineffectual! Utterly useless!" For a moment she thinks he's about to throw it across the room, but he calms himself, and slides the sonic screwdriver in his pocket again.

"Why would a freezer have a deadlock seal?"

"No reason."

Amy narrows her eyes at him. He answered that far too quickly. "You're hiding something," she states, with almost absolute certainty.

"No, I'm not. What gave you a ridiculous idea like that?"

"You did. I can tell when you're lying so zip it and tell me."

He frowns for a few seconds, before leaning towards her and whispering, "Am I meant to be keeping quiet or telling you?" His eyebrows rise, as he leans back, "You're giving very mixed signals, Pond. It's very confusing." She glares at him, throwing up her hands in frustration. It rolls off of her like waves. "This might have been a trap of some sorts," he admits, rather sheepishly, but he quickly flicks his hands away as if making the problem go away, out of mind and out of sight, "But enough about that. We are not going to sit down here and wait. Come on, get up, Pond. We've got lots to do. I'm going to try this door again. You look around, see if there's another exit." He grins at her, "If anyone can find one, it's you."

He pats her reassuringly on the arm and then rather awkwardly, unsure of what to do with himself, turns back towards the door.

A part of Amy wants to ask what exactly it is she's supposed to be looking for seeing as the door is out of the question. They've already found that. Maybe a back door, she half-heartedly thinks, but that seems doubtful.

She looks at him, mouth almost opening to say something, but she quickly closes it again.

His hands are busy smoothing over the door now. His left ear is pressed against the metal. His eyes are closed in concentration.

Amy leaves him be, and turns to look around the room.

There isn't much, and whatever is there is covered in snow and ice. She shivers and once again questions her choice of clothes. She knew she should've stayed in the TARDIS to get changed, but the Doctor had promised her they were only going to look around for a minute. And now they had gotten trapped in a freezer of all places.

Amy feels her way along the wall, checking for anything that isn't just frozen ice. She can make out in some of the nooks and crannies in the ice, streaks of blood. She wonders who's been there before them, and if they even have a chance of getting out of here alive. If she shivers again, it is simply because she is still so very cold. That's all.

She ignores those red streaks, just keeps moving across the room, and in the corner, hidden amongst a pile of snow covered boxes, she makes out in the wall, a weak spot. Bracing herself, she lifts her boot and kicks it, hoping it's hollow. Her smile screams her delight when the wall gives way enough for a small hole to emerge.

"Doctor!" She shouts behind her, "I think I've found a way out."

He spins, delighted, "You have? Wonderful. I was getting nowhere with that door. It's shut tight, locked up, no way out." She motions to the small hole she's made, "Oh, you really are brilliant, Pond. Absolutely marvellous, you are."

She rolls her eyes, picks up one end of a heavy wooden plank and shoves it in the hole. "I know I am." She smiles self-satisfied, "Now give me a hand widening it up. There's no way you'll be able to fit through otherwise."

"Are you trying to imply something?"

"Of course." She smirks at him.

Narrowing his eyes, he reaches up with a wavering hand to point at her. Amy can tell there are words on the tip of his tongue as he desperately tries to think up an apt response but he clenches his hand in defeat and ultimately lowers it.

"Ok, push."

The place their combined weight on the plank, and the hole widens, its edges crumbling white. They keep going until it's wide enough. The plank drops with a thump, and the Doctor's already poking his head into the hole. When he removes it again, he's smiling.

"There's a tunnel. A big wide tunnel." His head goes into the tunnel, again, sonic scanning, "Oh." She hears him mutter.


"It's not entirely structurally... safe."

"I'm sorry, what?" She pulls him out by his braces, "Are you saying it'll collapse on us?"

"It's a possibility, but if we're careful enough, we might be able to make it through."

"Right..." She nods, more to herself than to the Doctor, "Right. Let's go." She's climbing into the hole before her rational mind can talk her out of it. Act first, think later. It's all she has at the moment. "Come on Doctor."

It's only once she's crawling in the tunnel that she realises he's probably got a good view of her from the behind. Then again, he's probably about as interested in it as he is about a wet stick. Sometimes she wonders if he's ever had sex because really, she just can't tell with the amount of attention he pays to these things.

She stops, wanting to test the theory, and looks back at him. He meets her eye and nothing else.

"Hurry up, Pond, haven't got all day."

Yep, she thinks, he really is an alien.

Crawling through the cold ice is not the easiest of things. Painful pinpricks settle on the palms of her hands; her legs already feel like they've gone numb. Her whole body is shaking now, frozen to the bone, but she keeps moving forward slowly, determined to see the other end.

What she'd do to be lying on a beach in Rio...

Amy jumps when cold sludge hits the back of her neck, and slips down into her shirt. When it happens again, a minute later, she gets annoyed. When it happens a third time, about ten later, she thinks there's something wrong, because underneath her fingertips she can feels the smallest of vibrations.

"Doctor, what is that?"

"I don't know." Amy turns to look at him, but all she can see is the back of the Doctor's head. "Keep going."

It only takes her a few feet before she's realised the Doctor isn't following her. "I'll catch up," he calls, "I just want to take a look to see if anything's coming."

The vibrations that rattle her skin grow intense, and the snow from above slips down fast, pelting her. She hears the rush of feet, and the ground shakes again, violently this time. Suddenly the Doctor cries out behind her, but his hands still push her up, shove her onwards. Faintly, she swears she can hear the sonic screwdriver followed by a loud screech, something high pitched and piercing that she has to cover her ears from the sound of it.

"Keep going," he calls before she can question what's wrong, "I'm fine. Keep moving, Pond, before this collapses in on us. We can't-" His voice cuts out with a sharp cry, and she whips her head round. She can barely see him in the dark cramped space, but a green dot lights up the tunnel for a moment before it fades as the Doctor is dragged forcefully away.

"Doctor!" screams Amy, and she twists her body, bending awkwardly as she makes a grab for the sonic screwdriver. The Doctor is being pulled further away from her, descending into the shadows, so she aims and presses. Faintly she can see his face light up an eerie green.

Then a screech pierces the air, and it feels like her eardrums have burst. Although the desperate urge to cover her ears is strong, she doesn't move her hand away, just keeps aiming even though she feels she might pass out.

It takes a few more moments before whatever's holding on to the Doctor lets go, and he crawls up towards her and she can only make out his mouth forming words she can't make out. Her ears are still ringing, but when he pushes her with his hands, she gets the point he's trying to make.

Once they're far enough ahead that the vibrations settle, Amy forces herself still, and looks back at him. His face is pale, expression haggard.

"What was that?" She demands.

He remains silent.

"Tell me!"

"It's nothing, Pond." His voice snaps at her, "Just move. Otherwise we're both going to die here."

Amy moves then, because she knows he's being stubborn. He'll tell her eventually what's wrong, but they don't have time for this. He's right. The tunnel might collapse on them, that creature might come back, and the pain in her side is worsening. She's not sure how much further she can go on. She has no time to rest, not yet.

They push on, until she sees a pinprick of colour ahead. It's not light, but it's lighter than the dark tunnel they're currently in so she quickens her pace. Her side tingles, but she pushes herself to go further. They're nearly there, they're nearly out. It overwhelms her, gives her enough drive to ignore the pain.

The Doctor still has a way to go when she manages to get out of the tunnel. It surprises her, because he's moving so slow, slower than he normally would go. She ignores her surroundings for now and focuses on his shape as he approaches.

He collapses on the ground, breathing heavily, and she finally can see why. The leg of his trousers has been torn to reveal that the flesh at his thigh is slit open. The blood has pooled open, bleeding fast and it pushes its way across the snow underneath him, inching ever so slowly. She drops to her knees.

"Your leg." Her expression is cross as she looks at him, "Why didn't you tell me?"

He opens his eyes briefly. "Didn't want you to worry," he reveals softly.

"Well, that was stupid thing to do."

"Always is."

She gently places her hands at the edges of his ripped trouser leg, easing the fabric open to get a better look. Her lips press together in a tight thin line.

"I'm guessing it's not good?"

"Blimey..." She breathes out, covering the back of her hand with her mouth.

"Make that definitely very not good."

"What did this?" She questions, as she pulls off her jacket, and rips the arms off with a bit of difficulty. She wraps it tightly around his leg. She does the same with the other sleeve, because the wound is large. It's not much, she thinks, but it should help.

"A Dolitz." The Doctor pulls a face, as she presses her fingertips into the skin. "Terrible creatures. Great big brutes. Sharp teeth, let me tell you, they'll rip you apart as soon as they can hear you. It explains the freezers though."

"They're traps for those Dolitz things, aren't they?"

"Yeah, and we just got caught up in one. Of course. I should've realised. That's why the doors were reinforced, a creature like that could tear through anything less than that. Smart people, whoever made it, the ground above acts like a lure. Those sounds that you couldn't hear were above the hearing range of humans: ultrasonic. It all makes sense now."

"Oh, it making sense now is very helpful."

Her hands are hovering over his leg. She thinks, really thinks, but she doesn't know what else to do. She doesn't have any medical knowledge, but then she remembers when she was on Polo, a planet that actually had a hole, and she had fallen, torn open the skin of her palms. He had cauterised her wound; it might not have been a big one, definitely not as bad as the wound on his thigh, but she thinks it's worth a shot. Anything will do at this point.

"Sonic!" She shouts out.


"Your sonic, can it heal your leg?"

"No..." He frowns, shakes his head; even that seems to take effort, "The wound's too deep, but... it should be able to stop the bleeding, or slow it down a bit." He says, and then he pouts, "Why didn't I think of that?" He asks her, and fixes the settings on his sonic.

"Can't think of a reason why?" She enquires, trying to lighten the mood slightly, "The loss of blood might be a clue, Doctor. Ever think of that?"

He hands her the sonic wordlessly, and she presses it over his wound and haphazardly waves it about in its general direction. The bleeding slows and after a few minutes finally seems to stop. She breathes out a sigh of relief.

"Where are we?" He asks, and his words are slurred ever so slightly. Amy helps him lean against the wall, and she slides down until she's sitting beside him. She lets herself rest. Her side is still aching.

"I don't know, really. Another room?"

"No, no... no, doesn't fit the profile. Rooms have more... stuff. This. This is a cave, I think, or a cavern. Or a lair." He fixes the screwdriver up, fiddles with it and presses the button. He scowls, "I can't get a good reading of it from here."

"Give me that!" She plucks the sonic screwdriver from his hand and fiddles with the thing for a moment with numb fingers then she pulls herself up and edges her away around the room, uses it like he does. It buzzes and the sound comforts her in its familiarity.

"What does it say?"

"15x30 feet. No manmade structures. A tiny draft from northeast." She turns in that direction and walks a few steps ahead; the writing on the sonic stays the same so she keeps reading what's already there, "Air is breathable. No alien life forms. Also no... bananas?"

Amy stares. "Oh. Ignore that, Pond." She continues to stare, "I was hungry earlier." She raises an eyebrow, "I had a craving." She shakes her head and mutters to herself, words that don't quite reach his ears. "Stop it."

"Stop what? I'm not doing anything."

"Course you are, no one can do nothing." She sticks out her tongue at him to which he musters a smile, "Scan the wall." He asks, hoping to change the subject. She opens her mouth, but he's already beaten her to the question. He has a knack for doing that. It irritates her sometimes, but looking at his tired form, she just can't quite muster any irritation for that particular habit right now. "Just hold it up to the wall. It'll scan it automatically."

She reads out what she sees, "Water: 30%." The following word makes her pause. Amy really hates when there are words that don't appear to be in English; she hates it even more when she has to speak them aloud. She usually gets it wrong. A lot. "Pistorna Magliphide: 62%. Unknown: 8%."


"Ah?" echoes Amy.

"Ah." He says, again, but the dent in his brow has deepened this time. His voice is worried when he speaks again, "Amy, give me the sonic. Don't press it. Don't touch it. Just move carefully towards me."


"Pistorna Magliphide is an explosive."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"It's an explosive." He repeats, louder this time, and adds, "On this planet at least. Bit dangerous." She gives him a look that says 'oh, really?' which he ignores, "Bit volatile. The sonic might react to it. We need to be careful, which is why you need to move towards me. Slowly."

Her footing is light, careful. And she holds the sonic between the tip of her index finger and her thumb. She feels like she's holding a bomb, and holding her breath comes naturally. When she's by his side, she slowly extends her arm towards him and he cradles the sonic carefully, holding its tips with the palms of his hands.

"Right. Here we are." He fiddles with the controls.

"What are you doing?"

"Decreasing the sonic's levels." He presses the sonic again, and Amy jumps at the noise, expecting an explosion. All she hears it the Doctor's ragged breathing and her own heartbeat jumping in her ears. "A bit less, I think, would be safer."

Amy doesn't answer, because she knows that information wasn't meant for her. He's talking aloud to himself. He does it a lot in the TARDIS, she notices, when fixing the console, mending the toaster, trying to find the bins. She simply leans against the wall of the cave, and waits.

She presses her lips in a tight line to stop the chattering of her teeth. It doesn't work, not really, but the cold is affecting her; she just doesn't want the Doctor to know.

When she starts tapping her fingers against her bare arm, he turns his head slowly, looks her over then turns back to working on the sonic screwdriver. A few minutes passes before he does it again, only this time after much scrutinising, he finally asks, "Are you cold?"

"Of course I'm cold. We're in a freezer."

He shrugs off his jacket and proffers it to her, "Here, take this. You need it more than me."

She feels a bit guilty, but she pulls it on gratefully, and slides down to sit beside him.

"Won't you get cold?"

"Eventually." Turning his head to her, a smile playing half-heartedly on his lips, as he admits, "Time Lords have a lower body temperature than humans. It takes a bit longer for my lot to be affected." He leans towards her, and his smile turns into a smirk, "Plus it's tremendously helpful when I don't go around in a skirt."

"Shut up!" The Doctor chuckles and Amy slaps him lightly on the arm.

"I probably don't have the legs for it anyway." He continues, and he draws up his uninjured leg before stretching it out again as if he's imagining how it would look. Amy rolls her eyes, trying to will away the image. "What do you think?" He isn't helping in willing away the image, so she slaps down his leg so at least he would stop moving it about as if he were examining it, actually putting effort into the inane thought.

"Tell me more about the Time Lords. You never talk about them. What else is different about you?"

"About me?" She nods and he pauses a moment to think, forehead crinkled. She can hear the sonic screwdriver in one hand tap lightly against the other, "A lot of things." Is what he eventually says.

Amy waits. He doesn't continue.

"Is that it? That's all you're going to tell me?"

"Yeah. What wrong?"

"You didn't tell me anything, for starters."

He puts on his thinking face again, then, "I have two hearts. How's that for starters?"

It sounds like he's trying to impress her. She hides it well, but it kind of does.


Amy leans into him, the palms of her hands sliding up the fabric of his shirt until she could hear the steady rhythm of one heart; she can't find the other. The Doctor's hand curls around her left wrist and pressed it a few inches over until under two hands his two hearts pulse two separate beats.

She looks up at him, the smile on her lips curling in delight. For a moment, she forgets that they might die, and closes her eyes, relishing in the sound of his heartbeats. He looks so human, but she looks Time Lord, she supposes, but still he's an alien and she just loves it.

"You're shivering." He says, and his hands are warm as they frame her face.

"Of course I am. We're in a freezer and I'm cold. I can't help but shiver." She opens her eyes, and he looks concerned, worried, which in turn makes her worry, "Do you think we'll get out of here?" Her voice quivers, just barely.

"Come here, Pond." He wraps an arm around her, and she leans into his body, her head at his shoulder. She'll take all the comfort she can get, because she's scared. She doesn't want to die, not here, not in a freezer on an alien planet. The voice whispering comforting words in her ear is like an anchor that she clings to, desperately, "We are going to get out of here. I don't know how, but I promise you, somehow we will."

They don't do much but wait for a long while. The Doctor is drained and her side is aching, and they allow themselves to rest and think, just for now. It's still freezing, but the Doctor is a good warmth of heat. He feels warmer that her own skin at the moment, so she allows herself to cuddle against him, hands touching his chest as she reassures herself that both of his hearts are still beating strongly.

"Any idea what we're going to do?" Amy asks much later when the minutes have dragged on far too long.

He doesn't respond.

Amy nudges him with her elbow. His eyes pop open. "Ow. Don't do that, Pond. It's not very nice." He mumbles, "Still thinking."

"It looked like you were sleeping."

"My thinking face does give that impression, but rest assured, I was thinking."

"Can we use the..." She tries to remember how to pronounce the words she read off the sonic, but saying them the first time gave her enough difficulty so she finally settles on saying, "explosive stuff in the air to blast our way out?"

"It's possible. I've been thinking of how to use it safely."

"And?" She probes, even though she has the sneaking suspicion she's not going to like the answer she gets.

"I can't think of any way to use it safely."

Turns out she's right on that one.

"Do we have any other option?" she asks, and the sneaking suspicion only expands.

"No, probably not."

Once again, she's right. It feels as if hope has snuck away from them. They only have this, she realises; explode and fall and hope for the best.

"We don't have any other choice, do we?"

He shakes his head. "No," he whispers softly, "I don't think we do."

There's a small draft by their side as they stand, facing each other. They might not make it home tonight to their blue box. This might kill them. She might die. All those stars and planets and impossible things she's wants to see with the Doctor, they won't matter anymore because this is the only thing that matters now, this moments.

The Doctor senses it. She knows.

"Amy Pond, I just want you to-"

"Don't." She interrupts, her green eyes staring wide into his, "Don't say that. We are getting out of here. I know we are, so don't even bother with goodbyes, Doctor." She leans up and hugs him, arms wrapping tight around his body.

She breathes in his ear, eyes wide shut, "Gotcha."

There's a breathy laugh then. It tickles the nape of her neck with the only thing warm in this frozen hell, "Gotcha." He breathes back, and she feels like she's still alive. It's enough for her, this moment. It's enough, as long as she has the Doctor by her side.

The sonic fires up, and they're falling again, the Doctor and Amy Pond, clinging to each other as cry of 'Geronimo' sings their downfall.

Hands are framing his face, feather light touches that shake his world like the wind exhaling a breeze. He awakes with a start, breath misting around him, and his body sending out pins of pain as the cold rocks through his body, pushing alive his previously numbed nerve endings. He lets out a groan.

"Doctor." A voice says from above, somewhere in the darkness there was someone out there. He can't see, but through the pain he could just feel the slight touch of pressure on his ankles. His right leg screams in pain, but he can't make a sound, "Doctor, can you hear me?"

"Amy..." He intends to go for a shout, but his voice comes out cracked and low, so much of a whisper that he can barely tell if he's actually spoken it aloud.

"Open your eyes, yeah? Look at me."

He does so. Green eyes opening slowly. The sun, bright white, stings his eyes and it's only when he blinks that colour bleeds through, bright and vibrant like the fiery red of Amy Pond's hair. He reaches up to run a hand through it, and watches as her face contorts into confusion.

Not merely a vision of his mind, but reality.

"Amy Pond..." he mouths, and a smile plays on his lips. He reaches up and for a moment, Amy panics because she thinks he's going to kiss her, but his cold lips touch her forehead affectionately. It is only then she relaxes, and tries to qualm the small slice of disappointment that strikes her.

"Knew you'd come," he continues, voice brittle and croaking, "Wherever I am, you always seem to find me. And vice versa. A good thing, I find. Cuts down on the need to GPS co-ordinates; those would help though. Don't you agree?"

She looks at him as she helps him stand and finally says when he manages to stop talking, "Shut up, Doctor. You're delirious."

He is silent on the trip back to the TARDIS, not that it's much of a walk, but she can see how he winces with every step. Now they're here, back home, safe and warm, and he still hasn't spoken, not one word. She can't help but grow worried. It isn't like him.

The Doctor limps over to the TARDIS, flipping switches and pulling leavers, and the ship doesn't seem to jolt as they dematerialise like it normally does, as if it knows he's injured. Amy's been told enough times that his ship is alive; still she finds it hard to believe, but she's learning.

"Are you okay?" Amy reaches for him, her hand brushing against his shoulder briefly before he brushes it away. It's always like this, she pushes and he pulls.

"Oh, fine." He smiles tiredly, hobbles a few steps to the right, waving a hand in her general direction, "Don't mind me, I'm just tired. Long day. Long, long day."

"But you're okay, yeah?"

He turns to look at her, eyes questioning. And she looks back, curious, but he's still staring, silent and solemn. When he wraps his arms around her, she breathes him in, head buried in her neck. For a moment she thinks back to when they were trapped and the comfort she got from his embrace. This is nicer though, warmer too. That's always a bonus.

"Thank you for your concern, Pond, but all I need is a good long sleep." The TARDIS hums, and he looks up, attention gained. "Alright dear," He pats the console lightly, "I get it."

"I'm just going to let her wander in the vortex for a few hours." He tells Amy, and turns towards the console once more. He presses a few more buttons and gives the zigzag plotter a final zag before he steps away. "Now, don't you go wandering off," he informs the rotor, "If we end up on Cushing Isles again, then... I'll do a thing. A thing you won't like."

"That doesn't sound like much of a threat."

"Yeah... Right, never mind the threat. Medi-bay first. Sleep later. Exploring after that."

Amy hooks her arm around his, "Sounds like a plan."

"Ah, look at that. Brilliant job." He stands, and falters. "Ok, no standing for a while yet."

He watches Amy as her eyes briefly flit down to his leg, now bandaged up and slowly – and quite painfully, if he's honest – healing. He can sense her worry, so he gently takes her hand, and kisses it, "Don't worry about me, Pond. I'm fine. Nothing can stop me, and this," He motions to his leg, and almost goes to pat it. He checks himself before he goes through with the act, "This only slows me down a little."

"I don't want to be here anymore."

The Doctor looks up at her. His face is blank, expressionless.


"I don't want to be here anymore. It's depressing in here. Come on, let's go to the library. At least it's colourful in there."

"Oh. Right. Yes." He nods, unable to stop a smile from slipping on his lips, lighting up his face.

"What did you think I meant?"

"Oh, nothing. Nothing at all."

"Liar!" she exclaims, "Did you think I meant I didn't want to be on the TARDIS anymore?" He doesn't say anything, but the look on his face says it all. She punches him lightly on the arm, "You did! Come on, Doctor, you know me better than that. Can't get rid of me that easily. You and me, we're in this together, yeah?"

The grin on his face is palpable. Relief is etched across his face like a child's glee, and he laughs. They know the answer already. They stick with each other, an unbreakable team; the Doctor and Amy Pond. Their hands are clasped together, fingers laced, and when they fall, they fall together. As they always do.

The End