Hey guys! I'm still alive! Anyway, this is as slightly AU for Amy's Choice. Because I saw this great Deviation on Deviantart .com/#/d2s0khc and I got the idea at four in the morning and my muse wouldn't let me sleep until it was written AND posted. So please, forgive any errors. I wrote this not only to appease the muse, but to also fatten up the sad lack of Eleven!whump stories out there! Everybody loves whumping Ten, but what about Eleven? I write this in the hopes of serving my fellow whumpers and getting other Eleven lovers out of hiding!
When Amy woke up the first thing she did was look for Rory. All she could think about was that pile of ash that had been her husband—her boyfriend—her fiancé. Though she was almost too cold to move, she reached out a hand to touch Rory's shoulder, just to feel the solidity of his flesh under her hand. She saw his eyes blink open slightly, she saw the crystals fall from his lashes, and she watched as he took a deep breath. Watched the comforting rise and fall of his rib cage as his lungs drew in the icy air—letting it out again in a warm cloud of fog.
As she got stiffly to her feet, embracing Rory desperately, her feelings numb, the last thing she was thinking about was the Doctor. Her senses were filled with Rory—his warmth as his surprised arms wrapped around her, his breath as it tickled her hair and neck, and his heartbeat as it thumped gently against her chest. He was alive, he was alive and with her and the last thing on her mind was the Doctor- and the fact that he hadn't woken up.
The Doctor was at peace. At first he had been confused, sure, but now he didn't care. He should have been confused about the fact that when he and Amy committed suicide he hadn't woken up in the frozen TARDIS, but rather on Gallifrey. Maybe the TARDIS had been a dream after all—maybe all of it had been a dream. All of those lives and adventures and aches and tragedies—all just a bad dream. Because as convincing as the TARDIS and Leadworth had been, this was so much more solid, so much more real.
Here, he could smell the rich red grass, he could see the bright, bright reflections of the sunlight off of the silver leaves, he could feel the wind toss his hair gently, brushing over his skin like the caress of a lover. His ears found the faint trains of music from the singing fish in the rivers, and the feeling of a million other minds like his surrounded him in a comforting embrace. Falling back under a giant silver tree, he closed his eyes, soaking the warmth of the suns deep into his body—he was finally home.
"Fair's fair. Time to warm you up." And the nightmare was gone. Blinked out of existence.
Almost immediately the TARDIS moved away from the cold star and began to warm up, the lights flickering back on and glowing with a warm gold. Amy and Rory embraced in relief, only breaking apart when both realized how very quiet it was. Far, far too quiet. The Doctor hadn't said a word.
Rory broke from Amy's grasp, his nursing instinct taking over immediately. "Doctor?" He called uncertainly, his eyes falling on the still form on the TARDIS floor. Though the rest of the TARDIS had already started to thaw, the Doctor's body was still covered in a thin layer of frost, and unlike Amy and Rory, showed no signs of waking from his slumber. Worried, Rory crouched next to his fallen friend, slipping a hand under the Doctor's head and gently turning him on his back.
"Doctor, can you hear me?" Rory said to the comatose figure, resting two fingers against the Doctor's throat. A sluggish double pulse beat under Rory's hand.
"Doctor?" Amy called, concerned, kneeling next to her fiancé. "Rory, what's wrong with him, why hasn't he woken up?" She asked anxiously, her worry about Rory now replaced by a very real fear for the Doctor.
"I don't know Amy." Rory said calmly, gently checking the Doctor over for injury. "But he is hypothermic, go and see if you can find any hot water bottles or thermal blankets."
Amy nodded and jumped up to look for the requested items, praying that her choice hadn't cost the Doctor his life.
Rory stayed by his patient, trying to assess the Doctor's true condition. If the TARDIS was warming up, why wasn't the Doctor?
Gallifrey was the most beautiful planet in the galaxy, the Doctor was sure of it. In his dreams he had seen hundreds of other worlds, all with an exotic beauty, but nothing compared to the orange sky, or the glistening reflection of the glass dome capping the capitol spire. Spreading his limbs out in the soft red grass, the Doctor was suddenly surprised to come in contact with another person. Sitting up quickly, he found himself face to face with someone he had lost in his dreams, someone now sitting as she always had, legs tucked under her like a proper lady, hair flowing down her back, but the rebellious jerkin and trousers covering her strong frame instead of the usual dress for a lady of Gallifrey. His hazel-green eyes met her sparkling blue ones, and his hand reached out for her hesitantly. "Elraina?" He breathed, hand caressing her soft cheek.
"Theta." She smiled, brushing back a lock of his hair. "Welcome home."
"I have the blankets," Amy said, running back to Rory and the Doctor. "And the bottles are heating." She added, kneeling next to her fiancé and looking worriedly at the Doctor. "They were frozen unfortunately."
Rory nodded. "I wish we had a medical bay!" He said, frustrated. "What he really needs is a warm intravenous drip, with the way the frost is clinging to him it's obvious his internal temperature dropped much more than ours did. And if we warm him up too quickly on the outside, the uneven temperature of his blood will be a shock to his heart—he might not make it if that happens." He said worriedly, checking the Doctor's pulse again. It was disturbingly slow, and it seemed weaker than before. Without hesitation, Rory began to un-do the Doctor's bow tie and shirt, working him out of all of his clothing except his boxers. "Bugger I wish there was more I could do!" He exclaimed angrily, slipping off his own shirt and shivering slightly. Though the TARDIS had warmed up, it still wasn't comfortable.
Amy watched Rory hesitantly. "Um, Rory, I know you are the medical professional and all, but what are you doing?"
"Survival 101 Amy, if there is no other alternative, body heat is the only thing to cure hypothermia. Sorry about this Doctor." He added, stripping all the way down to his boxers as well and curling his body close to the Doctor's. It was obvious by his expression that he felt extremely uncomfortable about the whole situation, but his medical instinct was too strong to let him back down from helping someone any way he could. "Amy, could you drape the blanket over us please? And then go and check on the water bottles?" he asked, trying to ignore the situation he was in.
If it weren't for the gravity of the situation, Amy would have taken the time to remind her boyfriend how he was NEVER going to live this down, but she was far too worried about the Doctor for that. She only nodded and covered them before hurrying away, casting one more glance back at her boys before she did so. She loved both—she knew that now, but it was her future husband sacrificing his pride for her best friend and she knew why she loved him.
In the arms of Elraina the Doctor had never been happier. They were cuddled close together, the warm winds of Gallifrey toying with their clothes and hair as the twin suns set over the horizon, turning the sea of silver forests into a lake of white fire. Elraina stroked the Doctor's hair, her fingers tracing soothing trails down his scalp and spinal cord as he held her close, facing her on his side. Though he wasn't entirely sure why, there was a terrible ache in his chest, and ache that could only be numbed and healed by the feeling of not one, but two hearts beating next to his own. As Elraina began singing softly to him in Gallifreyan, her fingers trailing soothing strokes down his tired back, the Doctor was filled only with thoughts of his true past, his past as a young student at the academy, his past with her, his past in the seas of red grass and silver leaves. His eyes became heavy and started to drift shut, his body becoming warmer even than before.
Holding the frigid body close to his own, Rory hoped that the Doctor would pull through. At the rate his heart was beating, the nurse wasn't optimistic. "Please hurry with those Amy, please." He pleaded silently, pressing a hand again to the Doctor's throat to monitor his fading pulse. "Hold on Doctor." He said pleadingly, tightening an arm around the Doctor's chest. "Hold on. We'll get you warm again."
Amy raced back through the TARDIS, almost sliding to a halt in front of Rory. "I have them!" She said anxiously, holding up four hot water bottles. Rory nodded, lifting the blanket and helping her to place the bottles before getting up and getting dressed again.
The nurse tucked the Doctor's form in with the bottles and moved him a little closer to the TARDIS console, hoping the familiar sound and the heat from the rotor would help him.
"Isn't there anything else we can do?" Amy asked desperately, feeling far too helpless as she gazed down at the motionless body. "I mean, we're on a ship that can travel in time and space that has a swimming pool in the library, surely there is some sort of first aid kit somewhere."
Rory shook his head. "What he needs is a fully outfitted hospital room. Apart from that, we just have to pray that the heated blood doesn't stop his heart." He said gently, taking Amy into his arms and holding her close, trying to comfort her.
Under the soothing touch of his mate, the Doctor quickly succumbed to much needed dreamless sleep.
"Doctor?" Amy suddenly shouted in a panic, breaking from her boyfriend's grip and falling to her knees beside the Doctor, fumbling at his neck for a pulse. She found none. Though his skin was no longer icy and pale, there was no rush of lifeblood under her fingers, no sign of life still inhabiting the Doctor's young body.
Rory was next to Amy in a split second, similarly checking for a pulse before scrambling to place his hands above the Doctor's heart, quickly compressing the Time Lord's chest in a series of useless compressions.
Amy watched Rory work in a stunned panic for a moment before she reached out and grabbed his shoulder in a vice-like grip, halting him in his movements. "STOP! He doesn't have a heart, he has two." She said suddenly, pushing Rory's hands further to the left on the Doctor's chest.
"Amy—how could he-"Rory started to protest, but Amy cut him off.
"No, trust me. He's an alien Rory, and when I hugged him before I felt two heartbeats. He has two hearts. One on each side."
"Are you sure? Absolutely sure Amy? Because if you are wrong he will die." Rory shouted, panic at the precious moments being lost gripping his chest.
"And if you don't trust me he'll die!" Amy shouted back, wild panic filling her eyes. "I already lost you today Rory, don't let me lose him too!"
The Doctor's dreamless sleep didn't last long. Before he could truly even begin to enjoy the freedom from nightmares, images from his false past began to bleed into his consciousness. A beautiful blonde woman named Rose, the only one of his kind—his home burning, burning, burning…a tear leaked from his eye as he buried his mind deeper. He didn't want to dream. He didn't want to remember….
Rory fought for ten minutes to keep the Doctor's hearts beating. The moment he got one going, the other one would stop. Amy sat by and gave the Doctor breaths as he needed them, taking over for Rory when his arms got tired from the compressions, both companions praying that the Doctor would come back to them.
But he didn't want to come back. Here was home, here was real, and if it wasn't real, if it was just a memory, he didn't want the real world anymore. If the real world was the world of his nightmares, the Doctor wanted no part of it. No part of the cold, and the pain and the loss and the fire—the endless, endless fires consuming his life and his history and his family and his people.
Though the Doctor was warm and the TARDIS was safe, panic would not release its hold on Amy's heart.
"I don't understand, we've been warming him gradually for an hour and he's gotten through the worst of it, his pulse shouldn't be this slow—it should be improving." Rory said, a tired note of near defeat in his voice as he removed the thermometer he had found from the Doctor's mouth. During the course of their wait the tired TARDIS had brought up some scans of what was normal for the Doctor in terms of temperature and pulse, and the Doctor's temperature was back to normal.
"Maybe his hearts were damaged by the cold." Amy said softly, hugging herself for warmth against the idea.
Rory looked up at his fiancé, sadness showing in his eyes. Though he hadn't wanted to say it, it was a distinct possibility. Taking the stethoscope he found in the Doctor's jacket, Rory carefully listened to both of the Doctor's faintly beating hearts, and although the beats were few and far in-between, they by no means sounded damaged. They just sounded—well, tired. Rory shook his head, timing the beats to his watch.
"No, his hearts sound fine, other than the fact that they won't beat any faster or stronger than this. Which obviously is not enough. Honestly Amy, with as quickly as he's warmed up, I'm wondering how cold he had gotten to begin with. A lot of these factors don't add up. The fact that he's an alien might just be throwing me off, but he honestly should not have been any worse off than us after the cold star." Rory sat back, looking worriedly at his patient. "If I didn't know any better, I would say he just gave up living." He said quietly.
Unnoticed by both Amy and Rory, a single tear escaped the Doctor's closed eye and trickled down his cheek.
More visions of fire licked at the Doctor's consciousness, and he fought them tooth and nail. He didn't want to remember. He didn't want to leave Gallifrey, not again. He didn't want to see her burn over and over and over in an endless personal horror movie. If that meant the false darkness, the false Gallifrey, so be it. He was old and so tired. Maybe it was time to stop.
The Doctor's hearts ceased to beat again, and again Rory's tired ministrations fought to keep the Doctor grounded in the real world.
"Doctor." Amy whispered as Rory continued the crushing compressions to the Doctor's chest. "Please." She begged, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Please come back to us."
Back to us Theta! Back to us!" The Doctor heard his boyhood friends echoing in his memories, and just as he turned to face them, their playful cries turned to ones of anguish, and they melted before his eyes, hungry flames licking them clean of life. "NO!" He shouted, squeezing his eyes shut against the horrors. Why did he have to keep on fighting, could he not just be at peace at last? Flames licked his eyelids, and soon he had no lids lift and he was forced to watch, forced to witness again and again the massacre of his home. Turning away, the Doctor found himself surrounded by the scarlet flames, and in despair he fell to his knees, clutching at the flames in front of him. These flames though, did not burn his hands, and as he gazed down in wonder he realized they weren't flames, but hair.
Beautiful, long, ginger hair. He held the hair close to his chest like a lifeline. "Please. Please come back to us"
"Amy" The Doctor whispered. He had to get back to Amy. Amy and Rory and the TARDIS and the wide, empty universe. In a moment of infinite agony he felt his hearts torn in two. He wanted to live for Amy and Rory, but he didn't think he could stand the pain of loneliness again. He was home at last, and yet there were people that still needed him.
With a scream of muted pain the Doctor tore free of his illusion and blinked blearily up at the TARDIS ceiling.
"Doctor!" Amy exclaimed, the relief evident in her voice.
"Oh thank God." Rory breathed, propping the Doctor's head up gently on his rolled up jacket. "Take it easy Doctor, you're going to be fine." He reassured his disoriented patient.
The Doctor only lay still, his soul excruciatingly aware that once again, his were the only Time Lord hearts still beating, and his was the role of the only Time Lord left. Another tear trickled from his eye, and as he took a begrudged breath into his aching body, the Doctor allowed himself one more moment of longing before swallowing the truth again. He was alone, but he would keep fighting. Because, as he gazed up at the relieved faces of Amy and Rory above him, there was so much to live for.
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