To those who may have had something in their eye while reading the summary and may have a pet peeve about reading things out of order: This is the THIRD part of an ongoing fanfiction, preceeded by Fountain of Youth and Onwards. Please read those first if you wish to avoid being utterly confused.
Okay I am sooooooo sorry it took me so long to put this up. I've had quite a bit going on lately. Last week I got both my paycheck and tax return on the same day, and bought an ASUS laptop to replace those two malfunctioning Gateways I was using before, and a brand-new 32 gb iPod to replace the 1st generation I owned previously that had a spastic battery. So I spent most of last week transferring iTunes stuff and important documents from the old computers to the ASUS, restoring and wiping clean the old computers-which was a hassle in of itself-and trying and failing to restore the old iPod (basically, it's fried. And it wonders why it was replaced...). Then I had to create backup discs for the ASUS since computer companies today are lazy butts and don't bother to include a backup disc anymore lol.
On the plus side, I no longer have technology that's out to get me. And the iPod has a TARDIS background. Holla.
Also, new laptop means less problems, which means chapters will be easier to write and post. Now lets hope my procrastinator gene doesn't kick in...
Hope you enjoy, please review :)
Rory sat back in the doily-adorned armchair, sighing as he kicked off his hospital-approved orthopedic shoes.
"How was your day, dear?"
Lorelei was there in an instant, offering him a cup of tea, which he took gratefully. The past ten years of their marriage had done little to mar her picturesque features, the laugh lines at the corners of her eyes the only indication of age. In an effort to play the part of a housewife, she had her long blond hair pulled back into a neat bun and had even added an apron.
"Long. Mr. Trout's still insisting he has a herniated disk, even after we've shown him the x-rays proving he doesn't. Where are the kids?"
Lorelei began to answer, but her words were cut short when no less four hooligans, ranging from nine to six, stampeded into the room, their entrance heralded by a cacophony of "Dad!" repeated over and over. They all attacked him at once, bony elbows and knees jabbing him on all sides. Despite this he laughed, hugging each of them best he could.
"Dad! Dad! I lost a tooth today!" The youngest, Bridgit, announced proudly, smiling to reveal the gap between her teeth.
"That's nothin'. Check this out, Dad," Bridgit's twin Simon, who was older by two minutes, spoke up. He pulled back his sleeve to reveal a large scab just behind his elbow.
"Honestly you two, he doesn't want to see any of that stuff," Mia, the eldest, scoffed with a roll of her eyes and a toss of the blond hair she had inherited from her mother. "Hey Dad, did you see my school marks? They're on the fridge. My teacher says I'm top of the class!"
"Oh come off it, Amelia. No one cares about that," stated Michael, the second eldest, who was already getting a prominent nose like his father's. Mia glared at him; no one was allowed to call her by her full name aside from her parents. "Dad, I caught a frog today, wanna see?"
"No one cares about a stupid frog, Michael," Mia shot back.
"Amelia! Michael! Enough of that. Now go help your mum with supper, and then we'll talk about the missing tooth, the scab, the school marks, and the frog all in turn," Rory ordered.
With a dejected chorus of 'awws', the children sulked off towards the kitchen. Bridgit made the biggest show of dragging her feet as if there were shackles attached to them. Rory shook his head as he watched her, a smile tugging at his lips.
Leaning back in the armchair, he closed his eyes and was about to take a short before-supper nap when he heard it. The sound that, if he lived to be a hundred, he would never forget.
Rory jumped to his feet so quickly the chair tipped backwards on two legs and nearly toppled over, deciding to come crashing down on all four legs at the last minute. Not even phased, Rory raced for the door, wrenched it open, and dashed outside.
The TARDIS, inevitably, landed on the healthiest patch of geraniums in Lorelei's garden, fading in and out of view until fully materializing in all its ancient blue glory. The door swung open moments later, and the Doctor appeared, his eyes darting around the garden.
"Excellent! Landed in the right place. Oh, and on the geraniums…again. Dear me. Rory, mate! Been a little while, hasn't it? You're looking…old." The Doctor beamed as if this was the greatest compliment anyone could bestow. He hopped out of the TARDIS and grasped the nurse's hand, shaking it vigorously in salutation.
"Thanks…I think. Haven't seen you in ten years. You look…the same," Rory replied, unsure of a better way to respond to the unusual greeting.
"Ten years, really? Well, I was aiming for a bit earlier, but that really isn't too shabby, all things considered."
"And Amy? Is she still with you?"
The Doctor's smile faltered for a moment. "Yes, of course! Why wouldn't she be? And doing smashingly, I might add."
"Mind if I see her?"
"Erm…this probably isn't a good time…she's sort of indisposed, you see…having a lie-down." The Doctor did his best to make himself sound nonchalant, but it was difficult to remove all concern from his voice.
"Is she ill?" Rory, apparently, was not as unobservant as he looked.
"What? No, no, she's just…Lorelei! Just the siren I wanted to see!"
Lorelei, drawn by the wheezing noise the TARDIS made, had come up behind Rory, having removed her apron in the kitchen. She was just as excited about the appearance of the time machine as her husband had been.
"Hello again, Doctor. How are Amy and the baby?" Lorelei inquired with a welcoming smile.
"Fine, fine. The eldest one, at least."
"The eldest one? There's more than the one?" Said Rory, surprised.
The Doctor coughed awkwardly. "Yes, well, just one more."
"Is that what's wrong with Amy?" Rory wasn't looking as friendly as he had a moment before. His jaw clenched.
"I already told you, she's fine. Just recovering, but still fine. And oi, you're one to talk." The Doctor jabbed his thumb towards the house, where Rory and Lorelei's own brood could be heard taking advantage of the lack of supervision by playing a wild game of tag. They had not yet become aware of the presence of the big blue box in their back lawn.
Rory didn't have anything to say to refute this, as the Doctor had expected.
"So what brings you here, Doctor?" Lorelei asked, mainly to relieve the tension.
"Something very not good at all, I'm afraid. It's my daughter—mine and Amy's. She needs an injection of siren blood or else…she's not going to make it. And she's only a few days old. I realize it's an odd request—"
"Of course it isn't. I'll do whatever I can to help," Lorelei promised compassionately.
The Doctor grinned, relieved. "Won't you come in, then?"
Upon entering the TARDIS, the Williamses couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the familiar sense of awe. It was only their concern that kept them from stopping and staring like children in a candy store. The Doctor led them to the medic bay, where River was watching over Jenna's unmoving form. The woman's gaze lifted when they walked in, her worried blue eyes curious.
"River, Rory and Lorelei Williams. Rory and Lorelei, River Song. River is my daughter's godmother," The Doctor introduced hurriedly.
River studied the man who had once been engaged to Amy. Good Lord, what a nose, she couldn't help thinking. But she also noticed the concern in his eyes, the gentleness that softened them when they fell on Jenna.
"Now, Rory, I could use your help," the Doctor said, barely allowing time for greetings to be exchanged. "I understand you have some experience with injections."
Rory resisted the urge to snort over the usage of the word 'some'—after all, he'd been a nurse for more than ten years now—realizing time was of the essence and was best not wasted on a meaningless disagreement. "Quite a bit, yeah," he said instead.
"Good man." The Doctor smiled and rifled through a drawer, pulling out a syringe. He handed it to Rory, who took it and sterilized the thin needle.
"This is going to pinch a little," the nurse told his wife apologetically as he wrapped a hospital-blue latex tourniquet a few inches above the crook of her left arm.
Lorelei nodded, trying to look indifferent. Her eyes betrayed her uncertainty, however: sirens had no need for human vaccinations, and because of the foreignness of her blood, she was careful to ensure that it was never drawn. This would be the first time a needle ever pierced her skin.
Fortunately, Rory located the vein without any serious complication and slid the needle in, making Lorelei inhale sharply. She averted her eyes during the process, and in less than a minute the syringe barrel was full of a silver substance that was undeniably alien.
"Are you sure this'll work?" Rory asked dubiously, removing the syringe from the vein and examining it. He still couldn't believe the liquid could be used as an inoculation.
"About ninety-nine point nine percent sure. Siren blood has a rare healing quality to it; just don't go spreading that bit of information around to your neighbors." The Doctor lifted the plastic lid off the incubator and stroked his daughter's burning cheek.
"If you say so." Rory wondered about that point one percent, but once again held his tongue. Taking extra care, he changed the needle out for a thinner one, flicked the barrel to release any air bubbles trapped within, and inserted the point into Jenna's upper thigh, due to her arms being far too small to even attempt it.
As soon as the last drop of siren blood had been injected into Jenna's bloodstream, the newborn suddenly didn't look so near death. A healthy glow was returning to her skin.
The Doctor checked the machine that was keeping track of her vitals and exhaled in relief. "She's normalizing," he announced resting his palms on the edge of the incubator for support. He hadn't realized how much strain the ordeal had put on his own body.
"Oh thank God," River breathed. She'd been watching the scene anxiously, fearful that something might go wrong.
Rory pulled Lorelei to him, stroking his fingers through her hair as if to let her know he was proud of her. He looked back down at the child and was surprised to see her eyes had opened, finding himself staring into mismatched irises. No longer the deep, midnight-blue of her birth, one had lightened to the pale cerulean possessed by her father, and the other was the unmistakable emerald belonging to Amy.
"Doctor, look at her eyes," River remarked, mystified by the quick transformation.
"Ah, yes, well. That can sometimes happen with siren blood transfusions; just a side effect, nothing to worry about. Well, that and comeliness. Not like she's going to need any help in that department, though. Blast. Maybe I'll confine her to the TARDIS for the duration of her teenage years or something."
"She looks so much like Amy," Rory noted.
"Yeah, that's the problem." The Doctor removed the oxygen tube from his daughter's nose and lifted her over his shoulder, where she drowsily burrowed into his neck, sighing. There was no mistaking the paternal gleam present in his eyes.
"Speaking of Amy, we should probably let her know Jenna's alright. If we can wake her, that is," said River.
"What do you mean, 'if we can wake her?'" Rory narrowed his eyes at the Doctor. "I thought you said she was fine; only resting."
"She is. She just had a bit of a meltdown over Jenna's illness. But I'm sure she'll wake any moment now."
"You can't be sure of everything." Rory couldn't help being protective. She may not be his wife, but she was still the best friend he had grown up with, the closest thing he had had to a sister as a child. He had no clue how many dangers she had risked in the time since he'd last seen her.
The Doctor sighed. "Fine. Come along if you must."
The Williamses were led down the hall to the room where Amy slept. Jack was currently in the nursery keeping an eye on Ian, but Jenny had remained with Amy, watching over her health in case it declined further.
"She hasn't aged a day since we last saw her," Lorelei commented.
"Er, hello. I'm Jenny." Jenny stood up and held her hand out for Lorelei to shake.
"Lorelei Williams. And this is my husband, Rory."
"Oh yes, I've heard quite a bit about the both of you," Jenny said with a pleasant, well-meaning smile. "Jenna! She's all right, then?" She added, noticing the miniature bundle her father was carrying.
"Seems to be. And it's all thanks to Lorelei here."
"Sure, just ignore the person who actually administered the injection."
The Doctor rolled his eyes. "And Rory, of course."
The Time Lord shifted the newborn's weight and settled down beside his wife, threading the fingers of his free hand through hers and squeezing it. He bent down and brushed his lips tenderly against her troubled brow. "Amelia, my love. Jenna's better now; she's completely healed." When he received no response, he grasped her hand tighter. "Please, Amy. Come back to us."
A full minute passed before Amy's eyelids fluttered. Her eyes squinted as she tried to focus, as if even the dim light of the room was too much for them to handle. But as soon as they alighted on the Doctor, everything sharpened. She pushed herself up, her movements jerky yet determined. She poked the Doctor square in the chest.
"Don't ya dare do that to me again," the ginger threatened.
"Believe me, I don't intend to," said the Doctor, kissing the tip of her nose. He laid their daughter in her arms, and she hugged the child close to her. Feeling as if they were intruding on a private moment, Rory and Lorelei began to back out of the room, but not before Amy caught sight of them.
"Rory! Lorelei! What are you two doing here?" She asked, surprise, curiosity, and a touch of apprehension permeating her tone. Ignoring the Doctor's attempts to keep her in bed, she stood up and approached them, wobbling slightly.
"Lorelei's blood is what saved her—er, Jenna's—life," Rory explained, smiling as the infant wrapped her little fingers around his much larger ones. Her gaze on his was steady and intense, and he was once more reminded of the girl who was her mother. A girl who would forever be a girl, no matter how many children she had.
"Thanks so much. How can we ever repay you?" Amy asked.
"You don't need to worry about that; I was happy to do it." Lorelei smiled. "Although…you could join us for supper, actually. And I'm not taking no for an answer."
"Course we will," Amy replied without hesitation.
The Doctor and Rory looked at each other warily, knowing full and well the awkward evening that awaited them.