Title: The Universe's Plan

Author: MacGateFan

Disclaimers in Part 1

Chapter 9: All's Well That Ends Well

Amy stopped half way to the bed as she watched Martha and Rory. She wondered if he would end up changing again. Finally, the seizure stopped and Amy released a breath she didn't even know she was holding. She slowly took a step towards them taking Rory's hand in hers. He looked at her with a tired smile. Before anyone could say a word, the Doctor's eyes snapped open and he sat up.

"Everyone all right?"

"Us?" Amy asked, willing her heart to stop beating so fast. "What about you?"

He smiled. "Oh I'm excellent! I admit I'm still a bit tired and probably will be for the next few weeks, but the seizure helped to clear the cobwebs and dispel the rest of the toxin in my system."

Everyone exchanged glances and Rory said, "Well I suppose you were right about helping Donna now instead of later and not just for her."

"Oh yes. Didn't I mention that?" the Doctor asked. "I knew that going ahead with the plan would help me out as well."

Amy shook her head. "Only you, Doctor. You're brilliant but sometimes you can be a bit absent-minded."

"I've heard that before," he replied with a smile.

Everyone began talking to each other at once about the Doctor, what would happen next and all that, but the Time Lord removed all the connecting equipment and slipped away. Amy realized she was the only one who saw him. She looked at him and he nodded towards the door. She knew he wanted to check on Donna and he wouldn't be able to with everyone fussing over him. Instead, she waited until he was gone to "notice" he had given them the slip.

The Doctor still felt a bit sore and weak but nothing was going to keep him away from Donna a moment longer. He wanted to apologize for his stupidity, even though he already had. If he hadn't been such a basket case of emotion, he wondered if he could have saved her sooner. He found her sitting on the pilot chair, Shaun and Wilf standing protectively nearby as she told them how she helped the Doctor save the Earth from the Daleks.

He stood there quietly, letting her tell the story. She was an amazing story teller his Donna. His best mate. Oh, how he missed her! The Doctor was startled when he felt a hand on his arm. "Donna!" he said.

"Are you all right? You look a bit pale," she told him, pulling him towards the chair. "Sit down."

He obeyed even as he replied, "I'm all right."

Donna shook her head. "You can be such a pain, Doctor. Let someone take care of you for a change. Something tells me you shouldn't be up yet." He shrugged. "What's wrong, Spaceman? This new incarnation of you is harder to read than your last one."

"I want you to know how sorry I am about everything that's happened. I was too... I don't know but I should have let you choose what you wanted. I could have spared you all that pain."

"You don't know that," she said him.

The Doctor was quiet for a moment before he replied, "Maybe I could have, maybe not. I still feel guilty about it."

Donna pulled him into a hug. "You're daft, do you know that? Why do you have to take on such enormous responsibility for everything?" She paused and added, "You've gained weight."

"Oh Donna, you are wonderful, he said with a laugh.

She smiled. "Don't I know it!"

After a nice dinner courtesy of Martha and Mickey, the Doctor and his companions bid one another farewell. Martha took Amy and Rory aside while the Doctor spoke to Mickey. "Make sure you get him to rest. If you don't trust him to go somewhere and do that then keep him in the TARDIS. He's less likely to get into trouble in there." Amy glanced at Rory then all three laughed. "All right so that may not necessarily be true," she said. "I don't have to tell you that the poison put a strain on him. He's very good at hiding his physical pain as well as his emotional pain in this incarnation it seems."

Amy gave Martha a hug. "We'll keep him safe, I promise!"

"That seems like a tall order," Jenny said with a laugh also giving Martha a hug. "But of course we will try."

Mickey waved to them and soon they were all back in the TARDIS. "Just drop us off at Mum's, Doctor," she said. "Oh, and you have to come in with us."

"What?" the Doctor said, eyes wide.

Amy chuckled. "Oi! You faced Daleks and Weeping Angels, why are you so afraid of Donna's mother?"

"You haven't met her yet."

She still didn't understand the Doctor's hesitation regarding Mrs. Noble. With a shrug she and Rory followed everyone out of the TARDIS. An older woman with blonde hair came rushing towards them. "I was wondering where you'd gone off to!" she exclaimed. She looked past the Doctor to see the TARDIS and if it were possible her face became bright red with rage. "Where is he?" she growled.

The three looked at her and they realized why the Doctor was afraid of her. She was scary. "I'm right here," he replied ever so calmly.

Mrs. Noble looked from Shaun, to Wilf, to Donna, then back at the Doctor. She shook her head and addressed her daughter. "Where is he? He knew better than all of us to come back and try to have you remember! Is he trying to kill you again?"

"Mum, just relax and let me explain first," Donna said, taking her mother's hand. "That's the Doctor. When he's close to dying his race changes their appearance to save themselves. He did it to save Gramps and I went with him because I knew he could help me and he has. I can keep my memories from before. I can tell you all about them. The amazing things I did, the things I saw. I want to share all that with you. The Doctor's the one who saved me. Who saved Gramps. Who saves the whole bloody world all the time and no one knows!"

Amy waited for another outburst from the Mrs. Noble. She looked over at Shaun who nodded and smiled as he took Donna's hand. Suddenly, she rushed to the Doctor and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug. Amy sighed in relief because she was waiting for the woman to punch him when she realized it was truly him. When she pulled herself from the Doctor, Mrs. Noble smiled and kissed his cheek. "I hope you can forgive me. I was just..." she looked over her shoulder at Donna.

"I know," he replied. "She's the most important person in the universe."

"You are too, you know," Mrs. Noble told him.

"I wouldn't go that far."

She nodded. "I would. You and those amazing companions of yours. All of them are important in the universe. You just need to remember one thing, Doctor."

"What's that?"

"Don't be a stranger."

Mrs. Noble turned on her heel and left him standing there staring after her in stunned silence. Wilf chuckled going over to say good-bye. "I know you have these two here, but I'll still look out for you every night if that's all right with you."

The Doctor blinked and nodded. "Thank you, Wilf," he said. Shaun went over to shake his hand and soon it was just Donna standing with him. "Well I never thought I'd see the day Sylvia Noble would give me a hug or a kiss."

"Yeah, that was pretty unbelievable for me too. But she's right you know. There's no need to be a stranger and don't just come around if you have a problem, right?"

"Right, Donna Noble. Take care of yourself."

She gave him a hug. "You too."

With a wave to Amy and Rory, Donna headed inside. He just stood there for a few minutes and Amy let him. After a bit, though, she and the others noticed that he was leaning too much to the right and rushed over to him. "Doctor!" she said, taking his arm.

"Careful, Pond. It seems my adrenaline is finally wearing off."

She winced. "Your shoulder then? Well, I think it's time to head back inside and get that sling back on," Amy told him as the entered the TARDIS. "Nurse?"

"Sounds right to me," Rory replied.

Jenny nodded. "And me was well!"

"I don't think it's very fair that the three of you are ganging up on me," he muttered.

Oh dad we only do that because we care, Jenny said, giving in him a peck on the cheek.

The Doctor gave her a look. Isn't that supposed to be my line to you?

She smiled. "Not today."