They'd been living in the new house for a couple of months before Rory found the books. They were piled on a shelf in the cupboard under the stairs, where he'd gone to find some towels. He wouldn't have thought anything about them, there was lots of new stuff in the house the Doctor had given him and Amy, but something about these books called to him.

Maybe it was the titles, "The Doctor's Journal," "The Doctor's Helper," and "Biology Notes." They were thick heavy books bound in red, blue, and green leather. He hefted them down, forgetting the towels, and took them into the dining room.

He wondered why they'd been left in the cupboard. He'd found the Doctor had stocked him a whole library of medical texts in the library upstairs. All the latest of everything, including a few things he'd realized weren't published yet, once he'd checked the copyrights.

So why where these left in a closet?

He pulled open "The Doctor's Helper" the blue one. Inside, the pages were all blank. With a frown he flipped through the book quickly, there was nothing but pristine white pages. Maybe it was supposed to be a journal. Something for him to write his own notes in.

He turned to the front page and got a shock. There, in big, loopy, unexpectedly clear writing, was a note:

"Rory, I need your help."

Rory sat down with a thump in the dining room chair. He quickly scanned the note, afraid something had happened to the Doctor.

"I'm sorry about my abrupt departure," it said, "without saying goodbye. But I knew I had to force myself to leave then, or I never would.

I dropped the two of you off, because I couldn't stand the thought of what might happen to you if you kept traveling with me. My life is a dangerous one, as you know more than most.

I'm not ready to face my fate yet. So I'm running. But I'm running alone. I won't put anyone else in that kind of danger.

But, I'm the last of my kind, Rory. Gallifrey no longer exists, she's a myth to most people, if they remember her at all. We were a hearty people, strong, tough, able to handle most anything the universe could dish out.

But as you know, I'm a bit accident prone."

Rory barked a laugh, a bit surprised to find that he was crying. He hadn't realized how much he missed the crazy Time Lord. He wiped the tear tracks off his cheeks and kept reading. Wondering why the Doctor was telling him this now, when he'd rarely been willing to say anything about his people before.

"I need someone I can count on. I have no doubt that it'll be a while before I'm ready to face whatever you saw at Silencio Lake. And while the Tardis can take care of most things, and I can regenerate if things are too bad (although that might cause a paradox considering you saw me, this me, killed at Silencio Lake, then... well, best not get into that.)

The thing is, Rory, I know you take your calling as a nurse seriously. And I was hoping, if you'd be willing, to be my nurse.

In case something happens that the Tardis can't handle, or if I'm separated from her somehow, I need to know there's someone out there with knowledge of Time Lord biology that I can trust.

These three books are as concise a summary of Time Lord biology as I can make. One is an anatomy text, one is a listing of various diseases and conditions, and the other is a handbook of various procedures, medicines, and side effects to look for.

I know this is a lot to ask of you. And I'll understand if you'd rather not have anything to do with it. But there's no one I'd trust more in the universe with this knowledge. The books are all written on psychic paper, so only you can read them. Here's hoping you never have to use them. But if you ever do, I know I'm in good hands.

Love,
The Doctor

Rory sat back with a thump in his chair. He blinked at the water in his eyes and scrubbed them away irritably. He'd always thought the Doctor considered him a bit of a loser. Just someone who followed along after Amy.

But this. He was always so reticent about giving out knowledge about his people. Boasting, yeah. But nothing as specific as this. It was as if he felt the need to hoard it, keep it safe. Keep the knowledge out of the wrong hands.

Yet he'd trusted it to him. Rory.

Rory looked at the three books arrayed on the shining wood of the dining room table. He felt the weight of them. He looked down at the book before him, he turned the page.

"Oh, and ignore the stuff about the Looms," said the note scribbled on the next page. "I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with how River was made, or any kids she might, well... nevermind...

The line trailed off, but Rory wasn't fooled. He choked on a laugh.

"Oh, you manipulative bastard."

He turned to the center of the book and watched as anatomy diagrams bloomed on the blank page.

Amy found him there several hours later. "What are you doing?"

"Studying," Rory said, not looking up. "Seems there's a couple of Doctors that need a nurse."


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