The Doctor was down. Amy was bleeding. The horde was advancing. River and Rory stood in front of the others, their backs to a cliff.

"How's he doing?" Rory asked over his shoulder. Amy shifted behind him, the Doctor's head in her lap, a large purple knot showing on his forehead.

"He's breathing, but he won't wake up," Amy said, looking pale herself, she was holding a bloody hand over her equally bloody thigh.

The alien savages clambered up over the boulder strewn scree in front of them. Rory looked up at the slight overhang over their heads, barely two feet deep. "At least they won't be able to throw things down on us."

River tossed him a sword she'd taken off one of the aliens. He caught it without thinking. "It's a good defensive position," River agreed, checking the charge in her gun. She only had a couple of shots left, she'd spent the rest getting them this far.

Rory settled himself into his balance and squared his shoulders. River pulled out another sword from the stash they'd collected from the currently dead aliens at their feet.

The aliens were 6 feet tall, four armed, and covered in tribal tattoos. Their chief mode of dress seemed to be leather fringe. And their chief attitude one of cannibalistic aggression. And their chief, didn't like the Doctor. Except as an entrée.

"So what do we do now?" Amy asked from behind them. She couldn't stand with the gash in her leg, and she'd lost enough blood to be woozy if she tried.

"The gravity is lower here than on Earth, not much, but enough to allow us an advantage," River said. "You concentrate on waking the Doctor, we'll handle the tribe."

"They can't all come at us at once," Rory said. "And the angle's not good for throwing. Although, I still wish I had a shield."

The first alien launched itself at them. Rory cut off the hand holding the spear, River beheaded it. "Rory, you're a genius!" River yelled over the sound of war cries. She picked up the spear and threw it back into the mob, an alien fell. Rory picked up the other sword.

"Why?" Rory asked, he slashed at an alien who was charging, when it dodged he kicked it in the hip, toppling it back into the tribemate behind it.

"Keep them busy!" River said. Rory nodded, firming his jaw and shifting more toward the front.

River turned, "Amy, rifle the Doctor's pockets, find the sonic screwdriver."

Amy nodded and started rummaging through his tweed jacket, leaving bloody smears on the cloth.

River shot an alien that was creeping up behind Rory. She pulled out her computer pad as Rory slammed an alien in the face with the hilt of his sword, he whirled and sliced another one that was getting too close. Drove another back with a feint to the face and slashed another across the chest on the down stroke.

River took a second to admire her father in action. He'd entered that unthinking place where motion took the place of thought. Where a warrior knew that life or death hung on his ability to set his mind aside, and simply become an efficient wall of death between his enemy and his loved ones.

He kicked, he spun, his blades whirled, he ducked and dodged and was everywhere at once. Two thousand years of battle training refined into a calm face, and lethal grace.

"River! The sonic!" Amy thrust the device into her thigh, breaking River's trance of appreciation. She looked down and grabbed the screwdriver. She stepped back out of Rory's range, and snapped open the back of her datapad. She pried out the battery, peeled open the hilt of the sonic screwdriver with her teeth, kicked an alien in the face, attached a lead from the computer into an input in the sonic, held the sonic in her teeth, jammed the battery back into the computer over the wires, programmed it with her thumbs and yelled, "Cover your ears! Rory move!"

He turned, saw her, and dove to cover the Doctor and Amy.

River pushed a button on the sonic and a huge pulse of sound blasted out, a wavefront of energy that knocked the horde down like wheat, rolling the farther ones down the hillside.

The rocks above them trembled. The sound blasted tree leaves into the air like confetti.

Rory raised his head. Amy stirred. River looked down in time to see the Doctor start to wake up. Rory mouthed something at her. She shook her head.

Her ears rang, but that was all she could hear.

The Doctor snapped his fingers next to River's ear, she flinched at the loud click. "Ow! Yes, they're working again." Her eyes squinted in the bright white light of the Tardis sickbay.

She had a sick headache, but she knew it would fade. It was worth it to have everyone home and safe. She blinked and looked up at Rory, who was tracing a tissue regenerator over Amy's thigh.

Her mild mannered father. The nurse.

"You know," River said, rubbing at her tender ears. The Doctor slapped her hands away, she glared at him, then ignored him. "I never thought to wonder how you could spend 2,000 years as an Auton yet still arrive in the 20th Century with all your limbs attached," River remarked.

Rory looked up. "Just lucky, I guess." He tested the pink scar on Amy's thigh and grunted in satisfaction. He swiped away the blood with a sterile cloth and set it aside in the metal dish beside him.

River shook her head. "That's not luck. That's skill." He turned to look at her and sat down on the next bed beside Amy.

River cocked her head. "In fact, as I remember it, you didn't have a mark on you."

"Oh, I had a few," he said.

"After 2,000 years, only a few?" River said, impressed. He'd survived over a thousand years of bladed combat, unable to heal, any damage permanent. With only a few scars.

Rory grinned and crossed his arms, looking smug and unusually confident. "What? You thought you got it all from your mother?"

For more stories by this author click on "betawho" at the top of the page.

Please take a moment to leave a review. Thank you.