Chapter Twelve

"Are you joking?" Charlie asked as they walked toward the TARDIS and the Doctor took the gold key out of his pocket, unlocking the door.

"No, I'm not joking," the Doctor said as he opened the outer then inner doors and stood back so they all could look inside. Travis led the way as the others followed him up the ramp and Alan carefully carried the dog inside. The TARDIS scanned the dog for any signs of lice, ticks or fleas and destroyed any parasites as Alan headed up the ramp. The Doctor snapped his fingers as the doors closed and Alan walked closer, adjusting his hold on the dog.

"I'll take her to the medical bay," he whispered and the Doctor nodded his head. He then looked over at Dawg and Alan got what he had in mind. "Oi, Adam, you think Dawg would like to come help take care of the dog?"

"It's up to him," Adam said as he knelt down in front of Dawg and Dawg looked at him while gently pulling on Adam's finger. Adam pointed at Dawg then at Alan and Dawg looked at him. After thinking for a few seconds, Dawg smiled then nodded his head and Adam stood up. Picking Dawg up, he walked toward Alan and they left the control room.

"Where are you taking my kid?" Charlie demanded as she stormed over to the Doctor and he sighed, rolling his eyes. "I'm not going to let you do some sort of freaky alien experiments on him!"

"I would NEVER do anything to hurt a child!" he growled when Duer walked over and stood between him and Charlie.

"Look, I understand that you're scared, but I want you to back away from himů.NOW!" Duer said loudly and Charlie snorted, heading for the back door. She grunted as she hit an invisible wall and turned, glaring at the Doctor.

"I KNEW we shouldn't have trusted them! They lured us here so they could take us to their alien masters!" she shouted and Travis looked at the Doctor.

"Is that true?" Travis asked when he drew his gun and pointed it at the Doctor.

"No, it's not true. The reason my TARDIS put up a force field is to prevent her from going after Dawg," the Doctor said and Travis lowered the gun.

"You're keeping me away from my child?" Charlie asked.

"Yeah, and that's because you keep hurting him!" Hope said with her hands on her hips.

"Shut your lip, Brat!" Charlie snarled and Rain looked at her with wide eyes.

"Oh, that was a BIG mistake," Rose said and Marion nodded.

"Latara, don't," the Doctor thought and Rain walked to Hope, took her hand and led her to the console.

"Now, Travis, if you wouldn't mind, let's see if we can find out what else is roaming around out there," the Doctor said as they walked to the console and the Doctor started typing on the keyboard.

"This sort of reminds me of what you told me about Te'vanos," Adam said while holding Dawg in his arms and they walked inside the med bay. Te'vanos was a basenji that John had rescued during the time the Doctor, Duer and John's brother, Amato, were going into exile.

"Yeah, but she wasn't this bad," Alan said as he placed the dog on the examination table and stroked the dog's head. "Sh, it's ok."

Adam and Dawg watched while Alan looked at the screens and Dawg pointed at the dog. Adam wasn't sure if Dawg understood the images he was sending into his mind as he looked at Adam and Alan walked to the cabinet, opened the door and brought out some clear plastic bags.

"I'm going to start her on a hydration drip then a drip with high sugar, minerals and vitamins," Alan said then placed a pair of rubber gloves on and Adam placed Dawg on the chair near the examination table. Kneeling on his knees, Dawg watched while Adam held the dog's head steady and send love and comfort into the dog's mind. The dog whimpered while Alan shaved some of the hair off her front legs then placed the needles in and taped them down with some gauze and medical tape. Placing the clear plastic bags on the metal poles near the examination table, Alan stroked the dog's head as she licked his hand and he smiled. A blue light came from the ceiling as the blue light moved over the dog then vanished and Alan looked at the screens. "Well, other than being half starved and dehydrated, she is in pretty good shape."

"How old do you think she is?" Adam asked.

"She's about two years old," Alan sighed then looked at Dawg, who was stroking the dog's fur and Adam noticed the look in his eyes.

"Ok, come clean. What's really bothering you?" Adam thought and Alan softly smiled at him.

"Brother thinks it would be better if we took Dawg with us after we figure out what's going on around here," Alan thought and Dawg smiled at him.

"That does sound like a great idea. I mean he's not going to live long if we leave him here with his so-called mother. I understand she's young, but that is no excuse for beating him, even if he is deaf."

"Yeah, and the fact that she tried to drown him makes me sick."

"Um, I was thinking."

"Oh, don't do that. It gives you a headache!" Alan thought and Adam flipped him off in his head.

"Ha-ha! No, I was thinking that maybe we should have the TARDIS check Dawg out. He might have some other injuries other than bruises."

"I should be able to if you can get him to lay down on one of the beds," the TARDIS thought to them and Adam looked at Dawg, who had climbed onto the examination table and was carefully holding onto the dog.

"Great. How do we do that?" Alan sighed. Adam thought for a few seconds when he tapped the top of Dawg's head and smiled. He pointed to the bed then at Dawg and Dawg frowned, blinking his eyes a few times. He didn't seem to understand when Adam held his arms out and Dawg let him pick him up. Placing his head on Adam's shoulder, Dawg watched while Adam and Alan walked to the bed and Alan pulled the bedding down. Adam gently sat Dawg on the bed while Dawg swung his legs back and forth and Adam removed the near black sneakers off his feet. Alan patted the bed as Dawg looked at him then shrugged and laid down on his back. Adam smiled while running his finger up and down the bridge of Dawg's nose and Dawg smiled at him.

"Now comes the tricky part,' Adam whispered when the blue light came down from the ceiling and Dawg looked at it. Both of them were surprised as he laid still and watched the light swirling around him. The blue light faded as Adam and Alan both ruffled Dawg's hair and he sat up, holding his arms out. Adam lifted him off the bed while Alan looked at the screens and Adam could see the anger in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" the Doctor thought after sensing Alan's anger and Alan set up a privacy block.

"Well, first off, the dog's going to be fine. She's just starved and dehydrated. I have her on a few drips and might try some soft puppy mush once she's a little more stable. What's gotten me really pissed off is we ran a scan on Dawg," Alan thought and looked at the screens.

"Is he alright?"

"Yes and no. According to the scans, he is five years old and there is ninety-eight percent hearing loss in his left ear and a ninety-five percent hearing loss in his right ear. This was caused by underdeveloped ear drums and nerve damage. He has also suffered from hairline fractures to his ribs, which have healed, and there are signs of a healed concussion to his frontal lobe. His right wrist had been broken and set at some point and his left leg has been broken and set. He's suffered five broken and set fingers and two broken and set toes and there is fresh bruising on his right kidney. It's not damaged, but I bet it hurts," Alan thought and felt the Doctor's anger roaring through his mind.

"Rassilon, I don't care what she says, I am not allowing Charlie to get her hands on him!" the Doctor thought an Alan sent love and comfort into his mind.

"I'm going to use the rejuvenator on him then take him to the kitchen for a snack."

"Ok, but make sure that he doesn't run off."

"Aye-aye, Captain!" Alan thought as he saluted in the Doctor's mind and the Doctor laughed, letting go of Alan's mind.

"Well?" Adam asked while Alan walked to the cabinet, took the rejuvenator out of the drawer and walked to the bed, sitting next to Dawg. Dawg watched while Alan gently picked up Dawg's right wrist and turned the rejuvenator on. Dawg went wide eyed as the bruises slowly vanished and he smiled at Alan. Alan handed the rejuvenator to Adam when Adam used the rejuvenator on Dawg's left wrist and the bruises vanished. Dawg made little noises as he held his arms out to them and each one took turns removing the bruises from his arms. A few minutes later Dawg's bruises were gone and both Adam and Alan were shocked by the scars and large bruises on Dawg's chest and back. After putting the rejuvenator away, Alan watched as Adam picked Dawg up and they walked to the door. The TARDIS told them that she would watch the dog as the lights went down in the med bay and they walked down the hallway, heading for the kitchen.

"You ok?" Duer asked after walking toward the Doctor and saw the anger in his eyes every time he glanced over at Charlie. Charlie was talking with one of the other women and the Doctor looked at the screens, loudly tapping his fingers on the console.

"Alan did a scan on Dawg," he whispered then told Duer what the scans showed and a low growl bubbled from Duer's throat. "Brother, calm down. I'm not going to let her have him. In fact, I'm going to take him with us. Like I told Rain, with proper guidance and care, Dawg might flourish and become a bright, loving young man. All he needs is the right home and someone who has the patience to teach him how to behave. He also needs to learn sign language so he can talk."

"I think I know just the person," Duer said with a smile and glanced over at Marion. "She told me she volunteered at a school for special needs kids while living in her universe and Adam used to go with her when he wasn't working."

"Then you agree that we should take him with us?"

"Against leaving him somewhere where he might not live to see his sixth birthday? Hell yeah," Duer said, glaring at Charlie. Suddenly the console beeped when the Doctor and Duer looked at the screens and saw several green blips heading toward the TARDIS. Pushing the buttons on the console, the Doctor watched as the video screen clicked on and he looked at the large pack of half-starved dogs heading toward the TARDIS.

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