Title: Human Practices

Summary: What happens when the Doctor hurts his foot before the fun actually begins but doesn't notice it until later? Will Rose be able to make him feel better? Doctor whump. Hint at Ten/Rose kinda sorta. I haven't decided if I'm going to have them get together or not yet.

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: Not mine, I'm just borrowing. The first six paragraphs or so are straight from the episode "Rise of the Cybermen" so they are not mine AT ALL.

Spoilers: Begins in the beginning part of "Rise of the Cybermen" and is mostly A/U from there.

Author's Note: I got an idea for stretching out the WEE bit of whump that I saw in the ep "Rise of the Cybermen" and decided to write a story about it. Nothing too intricate – just whump and comfort. ;)

"Oh so it's just Rose then, nothing out there to tempt me?" Mickey retorted more than a little offended.

"Well I don't know I can't worry about everything," the Doctor answered immediately, his anger already leaving but in it's place frustrated annoyance. "If I could just get this thing to-" he cut off, ramming the side of his foot into the console before he passed it.

"Did that help?" Mickey asked patiently, following behind the Doctor as he walked around the main console of the TARDIS.

"Yes," the Doctor responded frustrated.

"Did that hurt?" Mickey asked again after noticing the slight limp with which the Doctor was walking.

"Yes," the Doctor answered as he sat down in the closest chair. He pulled his right leg onto his lap and started rubbing at the sore foot with an, "Ow."

That had been hours ago and it wasn't until Rose asked, "Doctor are you alright?" that he realized his foot was still throbbing. He winced at the reminder but kept a smile in his eyes and face as he replied, "I'm always alright."

A guest of Jackie and Peter Tyler's passed them, grabbing a drink from the Doctor and an hors d'oeuvre from Rose.

Rose was about to push the subject more but clapping from the foyer drew her attention to where her father was talking to a crowd. She walked over in awed curiosity and the Doctor allowed her to go. He had other things to do.

Rose walked into the TARDIS with tears still streaming down her angelic face. She attempted to hide them as the Doctor passed her since she didn't really want him to see her crying. Tears and human emotions made him more than a little uncomfortable even though he often expressed both himself.

However she didn't have to worry about it. The Doctor was currently bouncing about the TARDIS flipping on switches and checking power levels. She noticed with amusement that he constantly kept one hand on a part of the TARDIS at all times, stroking the metal lovingly.

Her amusement dimmed when saw the Doctor grimace and it wasn't until then that she saw that his normal frantic bouncing was tampered by a limp as the Time Lord attempted to keep more and more weight of his right leg.

"So, where to next?" he asked keeping up his excited energy and plastering on a smile. He knew that she was more than a little upset by the alternate universe experience and he no doubt knew exactly where she wanted to go.

Rose didn't answer. Instead she allowed her eyes and the longing within them to speak for her.

The Doctor nodded solemnly before flipping around and punching in the coordinates to the Powell Estate and Jackie Tyler's flat.

They arrived in no time and Rose flew out the door, straight to her mum. The doctor leaned against the doorway of the TARDIS. He watched as Jackie kept asking her daughter, almost frantically, what was wrong and what happened but Rose had no words and could only hug her mum tighter with every question.

The Doctor slipped quietly back into the TARDIS, taking solace and comfort in the time machine that he had thought he had lost. Jackie and Rose really didn't need him watching them and he really didn't want to be slapped again by an irate and concerned mother.

He faltered with a pained hiss as his right foot went out from under him. Using his hold on the TARDIS' railing to hold himself upright, the Doctor continued his trek to the console where he would wait for Rose to return, leaning on the railing the entire way.

Are you alright? The TARDIS asked with a concerned hum.

He smiled though he knew the machine couldn't see him do it. It felt so good to hear her in his mind again.

The door to the TARDIS opened, admitting a bleary eyed but much happier looking Rose.

"Better?" he asked her while he used the console to hold him steady.

"Yeah, thanks," she said walking up the ramp. "So, where next?"

A twinkle came into the Doctor's eyes that never boded well for Rose. "How about a surprise destination eh? We haven't had a good one of those for awhile. Weelll," he corrected, dragging out the word, "we just had one with the alternate reality but I wouldn't exactly count an alternate London fun."

Rose laughed, "You don't count running away from Cybermen and saving three quarters of London fun? Are you feeling alright?"

The twinkle faded and anger and pain replaced it. "Those Cybermen were people and I had to kill them to save the rest." He turned away from her in an effort to hide his true feelings but Rose understood perfectly.

The Doctor was a peaceful genius. He hated violence of any kind and avoided it at every length he could. He'd discovered long ago what it felt like to kill people, to take what humans would call a military approach and kill the few to save the many.

Granted the few in this instance had been an entire planet, his entire planet. The pain, loneliness and anger that had filled his heart after the destruction had threatened to consume him, dragging him down into a river and drown him.

Rose saw the effect Gallifrey's destruction had on the Time Lord almost every day and it hurt to see a man whom she had come to think of as a good friend torture himself over the decision he'd been forced to make in order to save the universe.

A pained hiss drew her attention from her thoughts and she looked up to see the Doctor limping rather heavily around the console, instructing the TARDIS to take them where she would wish.

The time machine gave her a gentle nudge in the Doctor's direction. Rose felt the nudge change from encouraging to concerned in almost an instant. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the ship was worried about her pilot and wanted Rose to help.

"Doctor, are you alright?" she asked, coming up the ramp quickly. She got there in time to catch him before he fell as he pushed away from the panel and attempted to walk out of the room.

He hissed again which only served to make her worry increase but she remained patient as she waited for him to answer. "Ow," was all he said as she lowered him onto one of the chairs which served as passenger seating in the console room. The Time Lord brought his right leg up, folding it so that his foot was in his lap, and began rubbing intently at his blue Converse covered foot.

"What's wrong with your foot?" she asked, realizing that he wasn't planning on directly answering her.

"I kicked the TARDIS when I thought she was dead," the Doctor answered. A grimace briefly crossed his face and his hand withdrew from its massaging motions.

There was a rumble of angry around them and Rose smiled, "She hates it when you do that you know?"

Yes SHE does.. The TARDIS reminded angrily in his head.

Oi, does it make you feel better to know that it hurt my foot to do it? The Doctor grumbled at the only thing he knew he could and would love unconditionally.

Yes, the TARDIS answered sternly but the Time Lord could hear the slight concern that lay underneath.

Rose waited patiently, realizing that he was communicating with the TARDIS. When she was sure they were done she instructed, "Come on, let's get you to the med bay."

"No I'll be fine," the Doctor argued, "Besides, the TARDIS doesn't have enough power yet to do much more than light the place. All I need is a good cuppa and I'll be good as new."

His body however chose that moment to betray his assurance. When he stood off the chair and began to make his way to the kitchen, his foot once again went out from under him stubbornly refusing to support his weight.

"Yeah I can see that," Rose answered skeptically as she stood up and slipped under the Doctor's right side. "Come on, off to bed you get."

The Time Lord narrowed his eyes at his companion, sizing her up efficiently. "There's no talking you out of this is there?"

"No," Rose answered already leading him there with help from the TARDIS. She hadn't made a habit of going to the Doctor's bedroom and therefore wasn't familiar with where it was. Thankfully the time machine was just as much of a mothering hen as her mother and willingly conspired against her Time Lord to take care of him.

They walked quietly, neither really knowing what to say to the other. The events on London 2.0 had unnerved Rose and the Doctor was a little frustrated with his friend for doing exactly what he told her not to – not that it wasn't understandable.

Rose felt the Doctor inhale sharply, but silently, every time he put his weight down on his right leg and tried not to wince in sympathy. The Doctor wasn't the kind of man that had a high tolerance for pain but he certainly wasn't a wuss either. She knew that he had to be in a considerate amount of pain in order for him to be limping as much as he was.

Her memory rewound to her friend's actions from the time she'd asked him if he was okay and felt her heart sink under the weight of guilt as she realized that he'd been doing a fair amount of limping throughout the entire excursion. She knew that he wouldn't have allowed her to help him out or try to "mother" him when the human race was in trouble but that knowledge didn't help lift the guilt any.

After helping him onto his bed, Rose knelt before him, untied his shoe then slipped off his sock, wincing in sympathy.

A bruise incorporating the rainbow covered the instep and spread tiny tendrils of purple and green up to his ankle and over the top of his foot, ending just below his toes. "Screwdriver," she demanded holding her hand out.

She felt the cylindrical object being placed gently into her waiting hand, the Time Lord's fingertips lightly brushing hers, sending shivers through her. Setting the screwdriver to 43, she went about scanning his foot and ankle. "This didn't come from just kicking the TARDIS," she voiced as she scanned.

The TARDIS rumbled her agreement and a hum that felt a mixture of anger and concern filled the room, soaking their skin in it.

The Doctor however put an innocent face on then mixed it with a smile, "So where do you think she's taking us? Oo maybe Barcelona, I've always wanted to go but haven't had the time-"

I'm keeping us in the vortex until after you've been seen to before I decide where to take you, the TARDIS interrupted mentally, her tone indicating a mother talking to a child.

Rose had finished her scan during his mini-rant and was now sitting on the floor reading the results. She could feel the TARDIS reading them as well, using what her brain translated as the printout. A smile crossed her face at how concerned the time machine was.

Most just thought of the TARDIS as a machine and nothing more but she knew different. She knew that it was sentient and always managed to communicate with her occupants; even if it was only mentally.

"Well Nurse Tyler, can I go?" the Doctor asked clearly anxious to be up and about. He actually attempted to get up but was quickly forced down by the TARDIS tipping on her side, forcing the Time Lord to sit back down.

"You sir," Rose said as she got off the floor, "are going to stretch out on your bed with a pillow under your foot while I go get some medical supplies."

"So not good then," the Doctor surmised.

"S'nothing that you won't recover from in a few days," she answered, waiting for him to follow her orders. "You've got a few hairline fractures, a deep bone bruise and a sprained ankle."

"You're kidding!" the Time Lord exclaimed stunned.

"I'm afraid not. I'm guessing that running around for hours on a weakened foot isn't optimal," Rose answered sarcastically with a smile on her face. She rolled her eyes before continuing, "The TARDIS says that you fell twice before I came which probably gave you the sprained ankle since you were walking mostly fine when we got to my mum's."

"Nonesense, Time Lords don't injure that easily and even so it's not to worry about. I'm fine. Well I'm not fine," he rambled quickly, "but I'll be fine by tomorrow."

"Famous last words I see," Rose teased as he made his way through the door sporting a pair of grey crutches. Though her tone was light, her eyes still held the compassionate sympathy she'd expressed the night before.

She'd had to all but wrestle her friend onto the bed then threaten him with bodily harm if he moved from his spot. Gently she placed a pillow underneath his now swollen foot before she left to go get her "medical supplies" which basically consisted of a couple of compression bandages and a bag of ice from the kitchen. She'd wanted to give him something for the pain but having usually used a deep, healing sleep to heal himself and being allergic to aspirin there wasn't much on board.

When she walked into his room she saw pain in his eyes before he quickly replaced it with a happy smile. It was then that she decided to ice the foot and ankle before she wrapped them ensuring that she would cause as little pain as possible.

As she waited for the ice to take effect, Rose had gone to grab a cuppa for both her and the Doctor who kept insisting that that was all he needed.

"Quiet you," he instructed lightly as he crutched over to where a fresh pot of tea and some eggs were waiting. Thankfully the kitchen, while always remaining fully stocked, was small therefore allowing him to easily transfer his plate of eggs and cup of tea from the counter to the island which often served as their eating table.

"How are you feeling?" she asked as he sat down with a wince, "And don't lie. The TARDIS isn't going to take us anywhere until you tell us the truth."

The Doctor raised and eyebrow. "You two ganging up on me now eh?" he inquired as he leaned back into his chair and folded his arms.


"I feel better," he answered finally. Rose raised an eyebrow indicating for him to continue. He returned the look, adding a smile and a happy glint in his eyes.

As he remained closed off with Rose, he opened his mind to the TARDIS allowing her to feel around in his mind and experience what he felt. He hid nothing from his precious TARDIS though he did his best to hide everything from Rose.

The ship rumbled with both happiness and concern. While she was pleased that he had finally admitted how he felt, even if it was just to her, she wasn't all that happy that he was still in pain – enough pain that he was willing to use the crutches which meant something for the man who hated to slow down.

A warm hum filled the air as the Doctor assured his ship that he'd feel better by tomorrow, all he needed was a few hours' time off his feet and rest. She knew that he truly believed that and it comforted her to know. She nudged him, insisting that he tell his companion.

"Oh alright," he conceded though whether it was to Rose or the TARDIS' quiet insistence.

Rose jumped at his vehement announcement. Deciding it was best to be more specific, she asked, "How's your foot?"

"It still hurts but you know, getting better and all that. How do you humans deal with little nuances like this?" he answered quickly, wholly uncomfortable with talking about himself.

"Have you never sprained an ankle?" Rose asked astonished though why she was, she didn't know.

"Not that I can remember. Of course it's hard to remember every injury over 900 years. I've been: shot, stabbed, burned, whipped, beaten, attacked psychically, speared, sliced," he trailed off, his eyes looking up at the ceiling, "I think that's it actually."

"What no torture?" Rose asked sarcastically. Her mind wandered over every injury, providing in-depth, high def pictures of her friend in pain. She cringed at her imagined sight.

The humor in the Doctor's eyes faded and turned cold, "I didn't say they were one at a time."

The room automatically chilled as the TARDIS remembered what her Time Lord had gone through. She'd felt more rage than a machine should be allowed to when he'd returned so broken, bruised and bleeding so badly he was barely alive. If it hadn't been for her desperate need to revive her pilot, she would have blown up the beings who had done it so that the explosion of Gallifrey was nothing but a spark.

Rose shivered from the change in temperature bringing the Doctor out of his haunted memories. It took him a few minutes to register that the temperature in the kitchen had gone down more than a few degrees.

He ran a loving hand over the table. Hush ol' girl, it's alright. I'm alright, he cooed soothingly. Soon the temperature began to rise back to acceptable levels and he ran his hands together. "Sorry about that," he said as cheerily as he could, "she tends to get upset about those memories."

Easing himself out of the chair, the Doctor grabbed his crutches and started to leave. He froze only briefly when he heard Rose whisper, "She's not the only one."