A/N: Apologies for any spelling and grammatical errors in the chapter. I've had a busy week with graduation during the week and over 300 miles of driving ahead of my today to get back home. I hope you all enjoy it.
The Doctor and Amy were hanging around the console room, both of them watching the monitor with great interest. "Well?" Amy asked, finally breaking the silence with her Scottish accent.
"I'm not sure." The Doctor replied, letting out a sigh. "Yes, yes I suppose so."
A smile stretched across Amy's face. "See, he was right, she just needs some time and some space, Doctor. She's not on her own, someone is with her, so if she wants to talk about it then she can." She gave him a little nudge, trying to get him to smile at least. He had done nothing but worry and spy on Kari the whole time.
"I know, I know." He sounded tired, very tired, and no matter how much Amy told him to just stop worrying and go get some sleep, he wouldn't. "I just worry, Amy, I always worry. She is always so strong, through everything, even if she does cry. She puts so much trust and faith in me, and I let her down."
"Doctor, you did not let her down. Look, I don't know everything that happened, but I know you would never let her down." Amy had been making sure not to push the Doctor to tell her more about what had happened, about going into the details of what Kari had been through. If Kari didn't want to talk about it, then why would the Doctor? That was her reasoning, but she was willing to listen if he did want to explain it to her more.
"I should have listened to her. We should have turned around and left. She didn't want to stay there, she warned us, and I didn't listen to her." The Doctor rubbed his forehead with his hand as he leaned against the console. "I should have listened to her, she was scared."
Amy knew that she had to try to get through to him, because he was blaming it all on himself and that just wasn't going to help anyone. "She knows a lot of what happens in the future, and we all know how much she hates it sometimes. She knew what was going to happen, and it scared her, but she didn't run away and hide, Doctor, you know she would never do that."
"She wouldn't even tell me why she was scared."
"Doctor, you really need to snap out of this. Kari is going to be fine, she has her big brother to look after her. Now stop this, right now." Amy told him firmly, getting very fed up with him not listening to anyone. "You are not helping anyone, you aren't helping yourself and you certainly aren't helping Kari by acting like this. So stop it, Doctor."
All he did was nod at her as he watched the screen. He could see Kari curled up with Jack on the sofa in their special room. He was glad that they had the room, because the contents of it really did seem to help calm her down and get her to relax. Waterfalls, they always seemed to just send her into a sate of relaxation. He never understood that, and he had never asked if there was any sort of connection for her to waterfalls, like somewhere she had been or something that had happened before.
But he was rather jealous. Jealous of how close Kari and Jack looked, at how much more she seemed to trust that man than himself. It was frustrating for him, to have to watch her smile and joke around with Jack, and to know that she wanted to avoid him. But it wasn't just frustrating for him, it was hurting him as well, in so many ways and for so many reasons.
"Doctor? Hello?" Amy called, waving her hand in front of his face, trying to get his attention. "Anyone home?"
He blinked a few times before turning and looking at the red head, a bemused look on his face. "Sorry, what?"
She rolled her eyes at him and pointed to the screen. "Kari's fallen asleep, why don't you go and take her to… uh, a room, so she can sleep properly." Amy didn't really know what to say, she didn't know if the Doctor even had a room and she knew it was complicated to get in to Kari's room.
"Yes, right." The Doctor said, shaking those lingering thoughts out of his head. "Yes, you're right. She could do with some proper sleep somewhere, and I'm sure Jack doesn't want to keep being her pillow." There was that hint of jealousy again, the fact that Jack was her pillow and not him.
"And Doctor, do not question her. Got it?" She called to him as he started to make his way out of the console room.
He turned his head back and looked at her. "Yes, Pond." He replied, giving her a slight salute before making his way to the room where Kari was with Jack. I knew he needed to pull himself together, to push all those feelings he was having to one side, because Amy was right. The Doctor knew that the way he was acting was not helping anyone, he wasn't helping Kari, and that was all he wanted to do.
When he reached the room, he gently knocked on the door, not knowing if the ship was actually going to let him in or not. It appeared that she knew why he was there, and approved, as the door clicked open. Jack had to turn his head to see who was there. "Hey, everything okay, Doc?" Jack asked him quietly, not wanting to disturb his sleeping Princess.
The Doctor nodded at him. "Yeah, thought I might take her off your hands and put her to bed." He said, wandering over to the couch where Kari was still peacefully sleeping.
"Yeah, sure. Give me some time to get to know that fiery red head you got hanging around here." There was a smirk on Jack's face as he said that, one that the Doctor did not like.
"Jack, don't." The Doctor warned him firmly. "Kari isn't the only one who's been through a lot. Amy has lost her fiancé, and she doesn't even know it. He fell through a crack and…"
"Now she can't remember him." Jack finished at the same time as the Doctor. "Yeah, I know, Kari told me. It's okay, I'm not going to flirt too much with her." He told him, allowing the man to gently shift Kari into his arms. "I just thought we could trade storied about you and all your little quirks."
The Doctor just ignored his comment as he finally stood up straight with Kari in his arms. "How's she been?" He wasn't even looking at Jack, all his attention was set on the woman in his arms.
"Grumpy." Jack told him simply. "She really doesn't want to talk about it, Doctor, and she's got it into her head that you aren't going to leave her alone until she does."
"I'm not going to pressure her about it, all I've been doing is pushing her away by doing that." The Doctor finally admitted. "Did she say anything else?"
Jack shook his head. "Nope. But there is definitely something else going on in that head of hers." He admitted. He had seen it, more than once, that there was something else going on, something that she wasn't telling anyone, something other than what had happened. "I got no idea what, but there is definitely something else."
The Doctor smiled at him a little and nodded. "Right, thanks, Jack. I'm just going to go and take her and get her to bed."
"Stay with her, Doctor. The nightmares are bad, she needs someone there." Once again the Doctor nodded at him, before exiting the impossible room in the impossible ship and heading to his own room.
The moment he reached his room the door clicked open and he nudged it with his foot, opening it all the way. His feet took him straight over to the large bed, where he pulled the covers down slightly before carefully settling Kari down. Lucky for him, she had been walking around without any shoes on, clearly not having any plans on leaving the TARDIS. Instead, he took his boots and jacket off, before cautiously getting in the bed over the other side.
Once he was settled, he gently reached over and pulled Kari closer towards him. She let out a slight groan, causing him to tense up, fearing that he had disturbed her to the point of waking, but he hadn't. Kari simply reached out with her hand and grabbed at the Doctor's shirt, bunching a section up as she held it tightly in her hand.
That wasn't anything new to the Doctor, she had done that before when she had been sleeping, and he didn't mind it at all. "Sweet dreams, Kari." He whispered to her, lightly kissing her lips before settling back and closing his own eyes. He wasn't planning on sleeping, he was just going to rest his eyes while he let her sleep.
"Well, someone once told me that this was a promise ring. A promise that they would always be there for me, no matter what, and I know that they will always keep that promise." It was difficult for her to find the words, to put together everything she wanted to say to him.
"Okay, I'm with you so far." He told her, giving her his full attention.
"My whole world was turned upside down. I met a mad man with a box and we travelled the stars together. A mad man that I had adored since before I ever even met him. And then something happened, something I never dreamed would happen." She told him as she gazing into those ancient eyes. "I fell in love with him."
She didn't let him speak, and quickly put a finger against his lips. "I fell in love with him, and he was already in love with me. So much has happened in what seems like such a short time. I don't know how long I have been with him, how long I have been jumping for. I've been through so much with him, and every time we have gotten out alive. He is so much more than the man I thought he was."
"No one can live forever, we both know that. But while we still live, while all four hearts are still beating, I want to be with him. Forever." She said, a few tears swimming in her eyes as she confronted all the feelings she had and what she knew to be the truth.
All he could do was gaze at her, knowing that it had been so hard for her to say all of that to him. Now there was only one thought running through his mind, the same one that had ran through it for centuries. He knew what he had to do now, what he wanted to do.
He gave her a gentle kiss, making their lips touch for only a second, before shifting himself from the sofa and planting himself on both his knees in front of the woman. "My beautiful, brilliant Kari. I have never met anyone as brave as you." He told her, taking both of her hands in his own. "Or stubborn. Or talkative. Or moody, sarcastic, secretive, and sneaky. But I have also never met anyone as caring, considerate, fearless, funny, honest, sincere, or loyal, as you. You have saved me so many times, and I know you will keep on saving me." Their eyes locked and the rest of the room just seeming to dissolve away around them like they were in their own little world. "I've waited a long time for this day to come. Kari, will you marry me?"
Kari shuffled closer to the Doctor, a small smile on her face as she slept. She didn't realise she was doing it, she just subconsciously moved closer towards the man beside her. The Doctor didn't even know she was still sleeping when she done it, as he himself had fallen asleep. In his sleep, his arms tightened around her, like they would at any other time when he was holding her. They were both completely unaware of their surroundings and the fact that things were far from perfect.
A smile spread across his face as she said that. "We could go get married now, if you want?"
Her head shot up, her eyes almost popping out of her head. "Uh, no. I don't think so. Like I said, I only agreed to it a couple of days ago. Besides, there are people I want there, and we haven't met them yet. Well, you mainly haven't met them. Nope, you're going to have to wait a little longer, I'm afraid."
She expected his smile to fade a little, but it didn't, it stayed firmly put on his face. "Okay. I can wait. Just make sure it's not a few hundred years that I have to wait."
"I'll make you wait as long as I want to, mister." She told him, giving him a very firm look. "You've waited a few hundred years already, I'm sure you can wait a few more. And beside, you haven't even asked me to marry you yet."
He rolled his eyes at her. "Well, I haven't. Another me has. But if you want to, I can ask you again." He told her, before once again shocking her by getting out of his seat and kneeling down beside her.
"Doctor, what are you doing?" She hissed at him, noticing that people had started looking at them again. "Get up, you idiot."
He just ignored her and cleared his throat. "My beautiful, brilliant Kari. Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" He asked, holding her left hand tightly in his own, twisting the ring that was already there.
She couldn't help but notice the silence around them, and it was making her feel very nervous. The Doctor who asked her, the Doctor who asked her first, he had done it in the TARDIS, away from all those prying eyes. But now, they were out in public, and she could feel a lump forming in her throat. "I can't believe you're doing this." She mumbled, noticing the smirk on his face. "Yes, I'll be your wife, you big idiot."
"Hmm, yeah, you're a big idiot, with big ears." Kari mumbled, smiling and chuckling to herself a little.
"Who's a big idiot?" A voice called softly next to her, making her not only jump out of the bed and land with a thud on the floor, but also scaring her out of her skin. "You okay down there?" The Doctor asked her, poking his head over the side of the bed and looking at her.
She nodded at him, a confused look on her face. "Uh, yeah, it's just… I was with Jack, how'd I get here?" Kari asked, pushing herself up off the floor and straightening herself up. She couldn't remember going to the Doctor's room, she couldn't even remember seeing the Doctor. Last she knew, she was in her special room with Jack, the room that was a meant to be a Doctor free zone.
The Doctor just smiled at her as she stood there. "You fell asleep. I popped by and brought you here to sleep properly." He wasn't entirely sure how she was going to react to that, so he was slightly nervous.
But she only nodded at him. "Oh, okay. Thought maybe I had started sleepwalking now as well. Really don't need to be adding that to my list of weirdness." It appeared that the Doctor wasn't the only one that was nervous. "So, um, did you leave Jack and Amy alone? Because that really isn't a good idea."
That was when the Doctor realised that even he had dozed off, and he had left Jack and the red head together. "Oh… oh, no." He leapt off the bed, grabbing his boots and quickly shoving his feet into them. He didn't bother to lace them up before grabbing Kari's hand and dragging her out of the room and off to find out what was going on in their ship.
Kari had to refrain from giggling as she was pulled around. It was just like everything used to be, how it should still be, and although she wanted it to be like that again, she just didn't see it happening. But she quickly shook all of that from her head, knowing that it was more important to make sure that Jack and Amy were behaving themselves.
"Seriously? No way, I don't believe it." Amy's Scottish voice was floating out of the console room as they approached.
"I swear to you, right in the face. I didn't know what to do. Honestly, I was standing there in shock." At the sound of Jack's voice, the Doctor sped up, wanting to find out what they were talking about and possibly put a stop to it.
"Oh, I wish I had been there to see that." Amy said with a slight laugh. "I can't believe she would do that. I mean, I've seen Kari angry, but she punched him? In the face?"
Jack's chuckling became louder as they stopped outside of the console room, the Doctor signalling with his finger for Kari to remain quiet. "Oh yeah, it looked like she wanted to kill him right then. Trust me, you never want to get on the wrong side of her."
It seemed like Amy remembered a little story of her own. "Yeah, I know. I kind of tried to kiss the Doctor, she made sure to warn me off and scare the living daylights out of me." Kari just let out a sigh, resulting in the Doctor giving her hand a bit of a squeeze. "She was definitely angry. Her eyes… I didn't know what to think."
"Yeah, first time I met her, she got angry with someone, her eyes just seemed to burn gold." Jack informed her, remembering that day fondly. "I realised then that there was something totally different about her, something special. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here today."
This time, Kari let out a growl and stormed into the console room, dragging the Doctor along with her. "Spoilers, Harkness." She said, giving him a glare. He quickly held his hands up in defence and watched her pull the Doctor over to the main console. "I take it you've been swapping stories? Did you tell Amy about the time you almost destroyed the human race, for a con?" There seemed to be a little hint of spite in her voice as she spoke. "Because that was just a barrel of laughs. And Amy, have you told him about the time when you looked into the eyes of an Angel and they almost killed you on a crashed spaceship in a maze full of deadly statues?"
Both of them just looked at her, seeing that she was far from impressed that they had been talking about her while she hadn't been there. "Okay, I'm sorry, Princess." Jack said, being the first to get up and apologise to her. "We were originally trading stories on the Doctor, I guess we got a little carried away."
"Yeah, I guess you did." There was still a hint of anger in her voice as she spoke to him. Kari didn't even know why it was bothering her so much, they really had just been talking about things that had happened before. All she could do was assume that it was because they were talking about her, and something that she couldn't control.
Suddenly she felt a pair of arms around her. "Hey, it's okay, Kari. They didn't mean anything by it, they were just talking, that's all." The Doctor whispered to her softly as he held her.
It was only then that she realised that her cheeks were wet. A few tears were rolling down her cheeks, tears that she had not wanted to see. "Yeah, course. I'm good, I'm okay." She told him, reaching up and quickly brushing at her face to wipe away the evidence. "I'm… I'm going to go and… uh, have a bath."
The Doctor just looked at her, trying not to let the worry seep out of his eyes. "Okay, and when you get back, we can go off on an adventure, what do you say?" Kari just nodded her head at him, before turning to walk back to her room. But the Doctor stopped her, latching onto her hand tightly and pulling her back a little. "Don't be too long." He added, before giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
Kari half smiled at him. "I'll be as quick as I can. See you in a bit." She said, before rushing out of the console room and to go and get herself together. She was angry with herself for getting emotional, for letting it get to her when she really shouldn't have. She had been keeping it together so well, and now she had let something stupid get to her.
The Doctor just stood there and watched her go, before spinning around to face Jack, his face showing how unhappy he was. "Really, Jack? Did you really have to talk about Kari like that?" Now he was letting his anger slip out. "You know that she is sensitive to that, what happens to her eyes is something that has always bothered her. Before she heard you, she seemed better. She didn't have a single nightmare, and on the way here, she was struggling not to laugh."
"Doctor, I'm sorry. I didn't know you guys were standing there listening, did I? Neither of us did." Jack said in protest. "Honestly, we didn't know."
The Doctor looked over at Amy and the look on her face told him that she was sorry as well. "Right, well… just be more careful in future." He warned them, starting to dash around the console. "Once Kari is back, we're off out, so make sure you're ready to go."
Amy cleared her throat a little. "So, she didn't have a single nightmare?" She asked the Doctor, remembering something that Kari had said to her back at the spa. All the man could do was shake his head at her, as far as he knew she had not had any nightmares when she had been sleeping. "Well, Kari did mention something about that to me."
The Doctor looked at her with a frown on his face. "What did she say?" He was curious, especially since he knew that Kari had nightmares at the spa, and Amy had been shouted at afterwards.
She simply smiled at him before telling him. "She said that she sleeps better when you're around. At the spa, you weren't there, and she had a nightmare. When she was with Jack, you weren't there, and she had a nightmare. Do you see the pattern here?"
The two men shared a look, and both of them understood what Amy was saying. "It makes sense, Doc." Jack told him, thinking about it all. "When you're there, she feels safe and secure. You stop the nightmares for her, and that's a good thing."
"But she doesn't want to be around me." He replied, letting out a sigh. "She wouldn't have willingly let me stay with her while she slept. She would have stormed back to her room and made sure that I couldn't get in. Kari knows that the only person that can go in there is Jack."
"Yeah, how does that work?" Amy asked him. "You said that her room is on her timeline, and you can't go in there unless you are at the same point, where she isn't ahead of you." She remembered him explaining that to her once, how Kari's room was special and linked to her.
"Ah, well, Jack's different." Amy frowned at him, while Jack rolled his eyes. "The TARDIS, she knows that Jack is her brother, she knows he can be trusted. He's been in her future, which just adds to the complications."
Amy nodded, slightly understanding the situation, but not completely. There were so many questions that were floating around in her head, but she didn't ask them. There was something going on that Amy didn't know, she was sure of it. The way people were acting not just around Kari, but around her as well. Something just felt off, but she simply couldn't put her finger on it.
It didn't take Kari long to get herself together and head back to the console room. She had quickly jumped in the shower to wash away the tears, before grabbing whatever clothes she picked up first. Her head was still in such a mess, even if she had managed to sleep without having any nightmares. What she heard Jack and Amy talking about hadn't helped, they were talking about her and what happened to her eyes, knowing that she couldn't control it. That had only brought back memories of what had happened before the whole mess with the Master.
As soon as the Doctor saw her, he grabbed a hold of her hand and yanked her around the console with him. "I know the perfect place, I've been itching to go there for ages, so we might as well go there now." He announced, pulling down the lever and sending them plunging through the time vortex. His hand was still clinging onto Kari's tightly, and when he looked up at her, he saw that there was a tiny little hint of a smile on her face. Seeing her smile actually made him smile as well.
"So, uh, what is this place you've been itching to go to then, Doctor?" Kari asked him, waiting for the shaking to stop and for them to land. She was still annoyed with Jack for mentioning what happened with her eyes to Amy, yet another thing in her life that she couldn't control. Kari didn't know why it happened, and as far as she knew, neither did the Doctor.
The Doctor beamed away at her. "Ah, if I told you, then it would ruin the surprise." The moment he said that, she let out a groan, which he heard clearly. "Yes, I know, surprises are dangerous, but I promise that you will love this surprise."
All Kari could do was roll her eyes at him. "Hmm, yeah, of course I'm going to love it." She ended up saying with very little enthusiasm. "Because your flying is always so perfect, and we always end up in the right place and the right time, don't we?"
The Doctor looked at her, and although it sounded like she was having a little bit of a moan at him, he saw that there was a slight smirk working its way onto her face, even thought she was desperately trying to keep it at bay. "Well, my flying may not be perfect, but our ship is incredible. Always remember, if it wasn't for her, you wouldn't be here with me. And Jack, and Amy."
It looked like Kari wanted to protest, the expression on her face just showed that she was thinking, trying to find something to say back to him. But she failed and let out a sigh. "Yeah, okay. You win, Doctor, but only this once." She admitted, wagging a finger at him as she did. She wasn't pleased that he had used that fact against her, not since she was the one to have used it in the first place such a long time ago. But that hadn't happened for him yet, so he didn't know that.
Everything shook suddenly, followed by a loud thump. That was when they knew that they had landed. "Right, come on then." The Doctor called, yanking Kari along behind him as he charged towards the doors of the impossible ship.
"Are you going to tell us where we are now, Doctor?" Amy called, moving across the console room quickly to catch up to him with Jack right behind her.
The Doctor simply smiled at her, his hand on the latch to open the door. "Oh, you're going to love it." That was all he said, before twisting the metal latch and pulling the door open, a grin on his face as he did so. He was so confident that Kari was going to enjoy it, that she was going to be just as amazed now as she was when he had taken her for dinner on that space station so long ago.
Kari was dragged out of the TARDIS with the Doctor, and she had to try and contain her glee when she saw where they were. Before her eyes stood a gigantic Ferris wheel, with hovering bumper cars next to it. She managed to control the smile that was on her face so that it was minimal.
"This, is the greatest carnival in the universe." The Doctor said proudly, having noticed the way Kari was trying not to smile. He knew her, he knew what she was like, and he could see how badly she was trying to suppress that smile. "People come from all over, because it only happens once every ten years." He explained, watching as different aliens wandered past them. Kari recognised a few, as did Jack, but there were so many more there that she had never seen before.
"Why every ten years?" Amy asked, taking in the sight herself. She had been begging the Doctor to take her to Rio, to go and join in the carnival spirit there, but this just made her forget all about going to Rio.
"Well, something like this takes time to plan, and I don't just mean a few months, it takes years. They promote it for years, because of how far some people have to travel to get here." The Doctor told her, knowing that Kari was still listening to him. "Some of these people have probably been travelling for ten years just to get here for this one, maybe even longer."
Kari frowned at that, because she just didn't see why they would travel that far or for that long just for a carnival. Sure, carnivals were great, but she didn't really see the appeal of it all. "Why?" She asked, grasping the Doctor's attention. "Why bother?"
Both Jack and Amy looked towards the Doctor, wondering what he was going to say. They were curious as to what his answer would be. "Why not?" The Doctor just asked her simply. He waited for her to answer, but all she could do was shrug her shoulders at him. "This carnival is the biggest in the galaxy, the best in the universe, and it runs for only one week. One week, every ten years. There are fairground rides from all over, some old and long forgotten to everyone else, but not to them, the people who make this all happen." It was clear from the way he was talking that he was getting more and more excited. "Old style bumper cars from the 1930's, all the way through to now, the 73rd century. Now, they are able to hover, which makes the bumping all the more fun."
"I still don't see the point in travelling all that way just for a few rides." The Doctor looked at her sadly. The Kari he knew, his Kari, she would be excited, already dragging him around to all the different rides, wanting to try all the different foods. She was definitely not herself.
Jack suddenly cleared his throat behind them, getting their attention. "Well, instead of just standing here talking about it, why don't we actually go and enjoy a few of these rides and do a little exploring?" He suggested, trying to break a little of the tension that was building in the air. Even he could see how Kari was just trying to be stubborn to hide her feelings. "And then we can decide if it's worth bothering with or not." Jack didn't give Kari the chance to protest, as he grabbed hold of her hand, in turn taking the Doctor with her, with Amy hanging on his other side. He didn't care what it took, he was going to make sure she smiled and had fun at some point.
A/N: Next chapter is going to be better, I promise! I keep getting carried away with what I'm writing, and when I look I realised that I've added more than I was planning to. But either way, I hope you enjoyed it.
I would like to say thank you to everyone who has favourited/followed the story, it's nice to see that new people are reading it and enjoying it as well. Also, as usual, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to review, you guys are awesome.
I will be working on the next chapter when I get home, after a 6 hour drive. But right now, I am going to go and have something to eat and hit the road, while I think about what else Kari is going to go through.
Until next week!