Okay guys, this is the LAST CHAPTER of Onwards. I will be starting the third part of this trilogy very soon, so either author alert or keep checking back on my profile. Thanks for staying with me thus far; we've come a long way since the TARDIS dropped in on 16th century Florida :)
Reviews always welcome.
It was Jenny who met them at the door, her lack of miniature charges indicating it was naptime. The instant she saw the bloodstains on Jack's shirt, she froze, her expression distressed.
"Jack! What in the world happened?" The girl rushed over to him, her fingertips ghosting carefully over the wound.
"It was nothing, really. Just a little harpoon hook; nothing to worry about."
"Just a harpoon hook? Jack, are you crazy?"
"Jen, you know I can't die."
"Yes, but what if, one of these days, something goes wrong? I don't...want to lose you." Jenny bit her lip, her watery eyes giving away her concern.
"You won't, I promise. I swear I'll never leave you." Jack pulled her into a comforting embrace, his fingers rubbing circles into her back.
"So where's Amy?" The Doctor interrupted, accidentally-on-purpose bumping his daughter hard enough upon entering that she stumbled out of Jack's arms.
The Doctor's eyebrows shot up. "You can't be serious."
"I am. She's been out like a light since you left; I've been checking on her every ten minutes. She really did need the rest after everything that happened."
"So let me get this straight. She hasn't stepped one foot outside the TARDIS since we three left."
"That's right. Or out of bed, for that matter."
The Doctor couldn't quite believe it without seeing it. He took the steps that led to their bedroom two at a time and raced down the hallway. When he reached the door, he opened it a crack and peered inside.
Just as Jenny had said, Amy was lying motionless on the bed, her fingers curled around the sheets. A wavy lock of hair was draped over her face, and, approaching her, the Doctor brushed it aside to reveal a contented smile on her crimson lips and a complexion that was slowly getting its color back. The gesture roused her, and her eyes opened, liquid-green and more alluring than ever. She yawned.
"Hallo again," she greeted, her voice an octave lower due to fatigue but no less beautiful to the Doctor's ears.
"Sleep well, Pond?" The Doctor asked, smiling, the corners of his eyes crinkling. He sat on the edge of the bed and took her hand, caressing it with his thumbs.
"Like a rock," Amy answered, breathing deeply. "Speaking of rocks, how'd it go?"
"Quite well, actually. They agreed to a parley. Love saying that word, by the way; parley. Very French."
"Is everyone alright?"
"Of course they are. Well, there was a bit of an incident with Jack jumping in front of a harpoon gun to save me, but he's right as rain now."
"Someone shot at you?" Amy's entire manner transformed. She was looking just as perturbed as Jenny had about Jack's wound.
"Yes, well, the Atlantean Chief Senator's a little trigger-happy, unfortunately. Or should I say, ex-Chief Senator. But Jack's fine."
"Oh I know Jack's fine; he already told me about the whole not-dying bit. But what if he hadn't gotten in the way? What about you?"
"I'd figure something out."
"Would you have…regenerated?"
The Doctor hesitated. "Possibly, depending on where the blades hit. Would it bother you?"
Amy focused on his hands, which were still enclosing hers. "A little, maybe. I've gotten pretty familiar with this particular body, if you know what I mean." Her fingers danced down his leg, tracing patterns in the material. "But as long as you were still the Doctor, I think I could get over it. But would you…lose interest in me?"
"Never, and don't you forget that." The Doctor didn't think even a change of personality could override the love he felt for Amelia Jessica Pond. She wasn't in the least like apples or yoghurt, or bacon, or even beans or bread and butter. It was like she was a part of his very essence, as permanent as his twin hearts or his brain.
"Although it would be kinda strange if you regenerated into a much older-looking bloke. So try to keep this face long as you can, got it?"
The Doctor chuckled. "I'll do my best," he murmured, leaning down to kiss her.
They were interrupted suddenly by River bursting into the room. Considering she usually knocked first—she'd learned her lesson well after the 'incident'; some things could never be unseen—this was very unusual indeed.
"River? Is something wrong?" The Doctor asked, noting the woman's flustered behavior.
"It's Jenna. She's not breathing."
For a split second, the Doctor and Amy looked at each other, horror reflecting in their eyes, their hearts beating furiously. The next second, they were both on their feet.
"No, Amy. I'll take care of this," the Doctor said, trying to ease her back down onto the bed.
"Oh you can bloody well believe I'm comin'. That's my daughter!" Amy shot back, wrenching herself free with the help of strength derived from maternal instinct. She pushed past him and rushed after River, leaving him no choice but to follow.
They found Jenna laid out on the changing table in the nursery, looking far too much like a corpse. Her long-lashed eyelids were closed, revealing the spidery red veins that fanned out over them, and her skin was pasty. Jenny was trying to revive her, alternating between half-breath resuscitation and chest compressions using only two fingers. It didn't appear to be working. The chaos woke Ian, who seemed to have had it in mind to throw the best tantrum he could until Jack scooped him up.
"What happened?" The Doctor demanded.
"I don't know. She was fine fifteen minutes ago. I just came to check on her again and she was like this," Jenny responded, her eyes full of fear. Amy choked back a sob.
The Doctor took charge immediately. Jenny moved aside, and he bent over and pressed an ear to the child's chest, listening. Her hearts were beating still, albeit weakly, the beats growing further and further apart.
"Okay, we're going to have to move her to the medic bay," the Doctor said, masking the panic in his voice. He picked up Jenna and put her over his shoulder. His eyes met Amy's, and he saw the tears welling up in them. She was swaying slightly, the color she had only just gained slipping away little by little. This couldn't have been good for her.
"Jack, I'm going to need your help with Amy," the Doctor announced, tilting his head towards her.
Jack nodded, transferring Ian into River's waiting arms and starting for Amy.
"No. No, I need to be with her. I have to be with her!" Amy was borderline hysterical, her nails cutting into her husband's arm. Her eyes pleaded with his.
"I'm sorry, Amelia, but you're in no condition to deal with this. I promise she'll be fine."
"No! Please!" Amy clung to him, but Jack wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back. She fought against him, tears pouring down her face, until the remainder of her strength dwindled at last and she slumped in his arms, unconscious.
Knowing he had wasted enough time already, the Doctor sprinted off in the direction of the medic bay, holding Jenna tightly against him.
"Poor Amy. She's been through enough as it is," River commented solemnly as Jack picked up the immobile ginger and carried her back to bed.
"I hope Jenna makes it. I don't think either of them could handle it if she…" Jenny left her sentence unfinished, and it hung in the air, imbuing a sense of dread worse than if she'd come out and said what was on both their minds.
The hours that followed were agonizing. The door to the medic bay remained shut, and still River, Jack and Jenny waited on tenterhooks for any sort of update regarding the newborn's health. They didn't speak, as if they were afraid saying anything at all would seal Jenna's death.
Meanwhile, Amy slept. Her slumber was not a pleasant one, however; her brow was furrowed, and she muttered nonsensical words at random. Her cheeks had become flushed, blotched by tear tracks. Concerned for her health, Jenny kept a vigil over her, laying damp towels over her forehead to cool it.
Within the walls of the medic bay, the Doctor rummaged through every cabinet that housed the medical stores, leaving a mess in his wake. He was looking for an antidote; the one thing that would restore his daughter to her full health. At the moment she was lying in an incubator of sorts, an oxygen tube in her nose. He had discovered the cause of her unnatural sleep: a small, red bug bite on her back, left by some sort of tropical mosquito. The Doctor had run diagnostics and discovered the mosquito had been carrying a rare form of malaria, one that would have caused immediate death if Jenna had not been part Time Lord. Regardless, she was unable to breathe on her own.
There was a tinkling noise as an empty bottle, thrown in frustration, collided with the wall and shattered. The Doctor sank onto the gurney, face in his hands. That vial had been his last hope, the medicine that would fix everything. Without the liquid it had once held, his and Amy's second child would die.
The Doctor's grief was suddenly interrupted by a low yet firm knock on the door, and without waiting for an invitation, River entered.
"So what's wrong with her?" She asked tentatively.
"Rare form of malaria." The Doctor had to all but choke the words out.
"Is it incurable?"
"No. It's gone, though. Every last drop."
River didn't need to question what he meant. Her eyes fell upon the pieces of the vial scattered across the floor. She crouched down and, using her long red fingernail tips to sort through the glass, extracted the label that had encircled the vial.
"Hemoglobin Sirenis. What's that?" River asked, reading the ingredient information on the label.
The Doctor's head shot up. "Did you say Hemoglobin Sirenis?"
"Yes. Now are you going to tell me what it is, or do I have to go find a medical dictionary?"
The Doctor whooped, taking River by surprise as he hugged her. Without answering, he bolted for the door, but River cut him off.
"Doctor! Tell me!" She demanded.
"Two words, River, and two words only. Siren blood."
And with that, the Doctor whipped around her, racing against the clock for the console room.
Dun Dun Dun!
Note- the parley thing was a nod to something Captain Jack Sparrow said in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Not sure which one. But it was funny.
I would like to state that if anyone gets any ideas, I have hired a bodyguard on loan from the Italian mafia specially trained to ward off cliffhanger-haters with guns and sharp pointy sticks. You have been warned.
Oi, that means you too, person with the nunchucks.
Part 3 coming soon.
Thanks for reading!