Not Missing Out
Set in the SwitchVerse.
"Pete!" Jackie dropped to her knees at his side, cradling his head in her hands. "No, not again, please."
The Doctor rushed to her side. "No, this is not happening." He yanked his tie off, tying it tightly around Pete to exert pressure on his wound. "We have to get him in the TARDIS. Rose, help me lift him." He hooked his arms underneath him and with Rose's help hauled him into the TARDIS.
"Jacks." The wounded man groaned. "Where's Jackie?"
"I'm here, sweetheart." She grabbed Tony's hand, pulling him along as she followed after them. "Pete, I'm here."
The Doctor sped up slightly. "Come on old girl, medical bay." They brought Pete across the console room and straight into the bay thanks to the TARDIS's considerate rearrangement.
Jackie let go of Tony. "Stay here, sweetheart." She ran through after the others and went straight to her husband's side, cupping his cheek to make him look at her. "Hey." She rubbed his cheek. "It's alright; you're gonna be alright, just stay awake."
"Pete." The Doctor began to cut away the makeshift bandage, pulling open his shirt to get to the wound. "Pete, look at me." He pressed his hand to the wound and was met with a responsive groan. "Sorry, this is going to hurt, but you're tough. Fight and you'll live. But you have to stay awake." He looked across to his mother-in-law. "Jackie, I need you to press here." She replaced his hand with hers, hushing Pete as he cried out in pain. The Doctor grabbed a syringe from the nearby surface. "This should help with the pain." He released the contents of it into the side opposite to the wound. "Jackie, keep him talking."
He shook his head. "Anything! You could talk for the planet and now you're stuck with what to say?" He grabbed a medical device off the surface behind him, fiddling with the settings on it as he spoke.
Pete choked out a chuckle. "Come on, love."
"Just talk." The Doctor urged, priming the device and putting it in place over his skin. "Tell us how you met Jackie, anything." He picked up a second instrument and tossed it to Rose. "Dial one, setting five. Dial two, setting two."
Pete looked up at his wife, reaching up to wrap an arm around her neck, fingers gripping her clothes. "It's nothing unusual. Saw her across a crowded room, she was just sitting by herself, thought she looked lonely." He winced as the Doctor pressed a button on the instrument he had pressed against the wound. "Told my friend I was gonna go and cheer up my future wife. He didn't believe me, not sure if I believed she'd be so stupid either." He smiled up at her, ignoring the pain. "He was my best man."
Jackie wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. "Oh, I love you. Keep going, keep talking."
"Just walked right up to you, told a rubbish joke, made you laugh, though I think it might have been at me." He sucked air in through his teeth. "Refused to ever let you go."
"Yeah." Jackie brushed away his tears, pressing a kiss to his forehead. "Well don't give up on me just yet either."
"Never." He shook his head a little, fighting to keep his eyes open. "Never giving up on you. But this…"
As he trailed off the Doctor looked over him concernedly. "No, no! No you don't. Jackie, wake him up, now!"
"This what?" She tapped his cheek. "Pete. Listen to me, focus on my voice."
"Jackie?" He opened his eyes and soon found the Doctor peering over him too.
"Don't you dare." The Time Lord was practically growling at him. "I am working as fast as I can, so's Rose, but you have to fight too. This is not happening again." He activated the instrument again to knit together the next part of the torn muscle. "I know it's hard and it hurts and you're tired but you've already missed out on Rose's childhood, you are not missing out on Tony's too."
He looked up at him but gripped onto Jackie tighter, using that feeling to focus on reality. "Doctor."
"I don't care how hard it is, I am not letting that happen." He let Rose use the instrument she'd finished setting up, grabbing the monitor that was leant up against a box in the corner. "Just keep talking, talk about something you can focus on."
"Jacks." He rubbed the back of her neck.
"Yes, Jackie, talk about Jackie. Talk about, I don't know, something, falling in love with her, realising you were in love with her."
He blinked furiously, fighting against his heavy eyelids. "We were at a party, I was feeling down, she spent the whole evening cheering me up, just making me laugh. We got bored; she said we could go home." Jackie rubbed his cheek, helping him focus back on her when he began to drift off. "To your home; watch my favourite movie. It was midnight before we got there; middle of the street, stars out, I kissed you at midnight then told you I loved you." He smiled, the pain was lessening and it felt a little easier to stay awake. "We'd only known each other three weeks." He tried to blink back the tears in his eyes but Jackie was already wiping them away. "But I knew you were the one."
"Oh, sweetheart." She grabbed his hand and squeezed. "I love you so much and we're gonna make so many more happy memories, you hear me?" He nodded slightly, letting his eyes drift shut. "Pete, come on." She looked worriedly over at the Doctor who was still busy working with Rose on Pete's injury.
"We're almost there, Jackie."
She peered over him. "Hear that? Not long now, you can do it." She fought back the tears that were threatening to overflow, knowing that if she didn't keep fighting her emotions she'd start full on blubbering. "Please, Pete." She stroked his forehead, smiling a little as he opened his eyes. "Tony needs you, he needs his dad."
"I need you too." She squeezed his hand tighter. "Rest of our lives together, you said."
"I know, love." He breathed deeply through the pain, shifting his hand from her neck to cup her cheek. "Don't." He brushed his thumb across her cheek to catch her tears.
"Pete." The Doctor spoke up to draw his attention away from her. "You're doing great, we're really almost done. Just the last tiny, crucial bit now; you've got to keep fighting, just for a minute or so more."
He slightly shook his head. "Don't think I can."
Jackie was almost crushing his hand. "'Course you can, don't say that."
The Doctor adjusted the instrument in his hand. "She's right, Pete. You're tougher than you think. I can get this wound to heal but you have to meet me halfway here; there's only so much the TARDIS can do to help."
"I'm just so tired."
Jackie nodded. "I know, I know it's tough, but I'm so proud of you." She leant down to kiss him. "Please. You've just got to stay awake, for me yeah?"
The Doctor glanced at Rose, smiling weakly when he saw how worried she looked, then rapidly returned his attention to the patient. "Pete, look at me." He was firm. "Just because you'd give up your life for your family, doesn't mean you're going to. Not twice."
Jackie looked away from her husband as their son caught her attention; he was standing in the doorway, silent tears streaming down his face. "Oh Tony, come here, gorgeous."
He ran up to her and wrapped his arms around her middle. "This is my fault. Is he gonna die?"
Pete let his hand drift from his wife's face onto his son's head. "Not your fault. I love you, Tony."
The Doctor looked across at the little boy as he held the instrument in place over Pete's side, letting it do its work. "Tiger, he's not going to die. He's gonna be just fine, I promise you, and it's definitely not your fault it wanted to hurt you and your mum." He flicked a switch on the medical device. "Just a few more seconds." He pushed down a lever and held it there, after a few agonising moments he released it, taking the instrument away and putting it back on the side. "There! All done."
Jackie sniffed as she looked across at him, cuddling Tony closer and squeezing her husband's hand. "Is he gonna be okay?"
"Yeah, he's gonna be just fine."
She finally let herself look at where he'd been injured. "But that's amazing, you can hardly tell."
"Good as new! Well, not quite, but well on its way. Had to sort of give it a boost, coax it into healing. It's like starting it off, healing some of it so his body can do it properly. It works to stop the effect the wound was having on him, shock, pain, blood loss especially. But it's amazing what the human body can do if you give it the chance."
"Thank you." She reached across, grabbing hold of his face and kissing his cheek. "Sorry." She stretched out her palm, displaying the blood on it that had created a handprint across his cheek.
He shook his head as Rose settled into his side. "Don't thank me. I wouldn't have been able to do it if he wasn't so strong. I needed the time that he fought for so I could give his body time to heal."
She looked back at Pete; he was still apart from his heavy breathing and the motion of his thumb as he repeatedly stroked his son's hair. His eyes focussed on her as she stepped closer. "Thank you for fighting so hard. I love you." She softly kissed him; feeling tears forming in her eyes again as she let the emotions she'd been fighting run over her. He smiled up at her but didn't speak, clearly exhausted. "Thank you, just thank you."
He reached across with his free hand to hold hers. "Stop."
She smiled, looking down as she squeezed his hand. Rose watched them for a brief moment then took a clean bandage out of a cupboard, moving to dress her father's wound. "Just let me put this over it then we'll leave you to rest."
"Thanks love." He let go of Jackie's hand and reached up to stroke his daughter's hair, smiling as she pressed a quick kiss to his forehead. His smile widened as Tony climbed up onto the medical table beside him, wrapping his arms around his neck and burying his head into his chest, almost lying on him. "Hello."
The child sobbed. "Sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Don't be." He wrapped his arm tightly around him. "Not your fault at all. I'm just glad you're both safe." He looked up at Jackie as he spoke, tears beginning to prick his eyes again. "You're my world." He squeezed his son tighter. "All of you, my entire world." He pressed a kiss to the side of Tony's head. "I love you so much."
The Doctor nudged Rose, tilting his head towards her mother; she looked like she was going to cry. She slipped her hand into his and led him closer to the door. "Tony." She waved him over as he looked across at her. "Come on, Mum and Dad need some time alone." She wrapped an arm around him when he was close enough and took him out of the room, the Doctor following close behind them.
Pete looked up at his wife. "Jacks, are you alright?" She repeatedly shook her head, unable to find the words to express herself, that in itself being enough of an indicator to him that she was incredibly upset. "Oh come here, love." He coaxed her closer. "Sit down." She pulled the stool out from underneath the table and did as he suggested. He cupped her cheek and pulled her closer, softly kissing her. "I love you." He kissed her again. "Relax, I'm okay."
She shook her head again, beginning to cry. "I nearly lost you."
"But you kept me fighting." He brushed her fringe out of her eyes.
"It could have been Tony."
He shook his head at her. "I'll never let that happen."
"I just… I don't know…" She couldn't think straight let alone choke out any more words.
"Shh." He rested her head on his chest, stroking her hair and kissing her forehead. "I think we both need some rest."