Chapter Nine

After the Doctor came back downstairs, he walked over to Rose and John.

"Get rid of the pest?" John said.

"Yes, the mother finally got ahold of Miss Ps and Qs and gave her a distraction. However, she asked me to ask you a question and I have a question of my own."

"And the questions are…" Rose said.

"First, Lori's question. She's fixing supper for everyone since they'll be gone tonight. She's going to bake some chicken and some potatoes and wanted to know if you think you'd feel up to eating some so she knows how much to make."

"Oh God, that sounds good," Rose groaned. "I would risk being sick just to have some of it. I wanna risk it, please."

"And so do I," John said. "After that slop they fed us in the camps…chicken and potatoes sound too tempting to be ignored. I will also risk vomiting for that."

"Okay, I'll tell her. Now my question. Back there in that room is a toilet. Now, I don't know how strong you are or whether you could walk to it. If not, I have a portable toilet chair we could sit by the bed."

"What'd ya think?" John asked his wife.

Rose thought for a moment before she slid back the blanket. The Doctor came near while she slowly put her legs over the side of the bed. He started to assist her when Rose held up her hand.

"Not yet, let me see if I can stand on my own first," she said.

The Doctor nodded but stayed at her side, watching while Rose tested her feet. She stood up but instantly wobbled and the Doctor steadied her while she let out a curse and sat back down.

"Bollocks!" Rose said, letting out a frustrated sigh.

"It's alright, Rose. After all we've been through, it's gonna take time," John said.

Rose nodded.

"I think we need the toilet chair," Rose said.

"Okay. And would you like to change into a nightdress and jimjams? I could get you some and bring them out with the chair."

Rose and John thanked him and the Doctor helped Rose back into bed and covered her up before heading for his TARDIS. He came back ten minutes later with Jack and Donna. He carried the toilet chair, Donna carried the clothes and a couple of rolls of toilet paper on top of a wooden chair and Jack carried a black lacquer folding screen. Rose and John watched while Jack set up the folding screen a few feet from the bed and Donna put the chair and clothes behind it while the Doctor set the toilet chair by Rose's side of the bed.

"Folding screen is for privacy and the chair is so you can sit while you change," the Doctor said while Donna brought him the toilet paper. "Donna will help you get changed when you're ready but do you need to use the toilet first?"

Rose nodded and the Doctor helped her sit on the side of the bed and steadied her as she stood. Donna took the toilet paper and opened the lid while Rose pulled up her hospital gown and pulled down her underwear. The Doctor helped put her gently on the toilet and Donna put one of the rolls on the bed beside her. She used it while Jack looked away and the Doctor walked over to John's side.

"While we wait, let me have a dekko at your eye, mate," the Doctor said.

John sat still while the Doctor leaned in close and gently pulled down his lower lid a bit.

"Any idea what they used on you?" he said to John.

"No," John said.

"Bastards," the Doctor said.

"Yeah, my sentiments exactly," John said.

"Well..I could try nanomites. That would work no matter what they used on you," the Doctor mused while he leaned back up. "That would be the fastest cure as well…Are you done?" he asked, looking at Rose.

Rose nodded and the Doctor asked Donna to help her walk behind the screen. Donna helped her stand up and waited while she pulled up her pants before slowly walking with her to the screen.

"Do you want to get changed as well?" the Doctor asked John.

"Yeah," John said.

"Well, you have a choice of helpers, me or Jack."

"You! Not Jack!" John said, pointing to the Doctor.

"What?" Jack said while the Doctor bent over laughing. "I would be professional about it, sheesh!"

"Your reputation precedes you, sorry," the Doctor said, patting his shoulder. "Could you go tell Lori that they want to try to eat though so she can finish cooking."

"Sure thing," Jack said before turning and heading upstairs.


After getting Rose and John comfortable and making sure their needs were taken care of, the Doctor and Donna went back to the TARDIS med bay so he could prepare an injection of nanomites for John.

"This should work," he said, putting an empty syringe in a small metal box while Donna stood beside him and watched. "Nanomites will fix anything, regardless of what those bastards used on his eye."

"What about Rose?" Donna said.

"Dunno. I don't think her injuries are severe enough for nanomites…"

"No, I mean do you still care for her?" Donna said.

"I'll always care for her," the Doctor said, glancing at her.

"You love her still?"

"Yes. But she's with John and I'm with River and I won't muck with either relationship. I gave her to John and I'm not gonna be a bastard and demand her back. Not after all they've been through."

"I didn't think you would, I just wondered if you still loved her as much as you did."

"I do and I always will," the Doctor said.

Donna nodded. The box buzzed and the Doctor opened it and took out the syringe. The syringe was now filled with a grayish liquid.

"Inside this solution are the nanomites," the Doctor said to her. "I'm going to inject it into his IV tube and the nanomites will fix any problem he has with his body. And even though you didn't ask it, I will check Rose as well and if she needs the nanomites, I will prepare another syringe."

"Are you going to listen to the story tonight?" Donna asked him.

"Yes, I'm going to make myself listen because I still hold myself responsible for what happened to them, even if Rose doesn't like it. I want to know what happened to them and the extent of their injuries."

"Why so you can beat yourself up over and over again and think what you would have done if you'd been there?" Donna said angrily. "You did what you thought was best!"

"Yes, John said that but what if it wasn't the best thing I could have done?" the Doctor said angrily. "I dumped them out when I was angry and left them there. I wasn't thinking clearly and to be honest, I hated John for existing because I felt I had competition, not to mention his genocide was unsettling to me because I was thinking of doing the exact same thing and have thought about doing it thousands of times. I acted in anger, irrational anger, and because I didn't stop and think first, they suffered for it. So yes, Donna, it is my fault!"

"Okay, it's your fault then. So what now?" Donna said angrily. "Are you going to go find this Brotherhood and take your rage out on them and destroy them in revenge?"

"Oh, believe me, nothing would give me more pleasure," the Doctor said. "But I doubt if we can. They took another big risk coming over the void and I don't want to take that same risk. That universe isn't under my protection like this one is. I would love to be able to protect every universe but I'm only one man and protecting this Earth is taxing enough. Every universe is slightly different and in that one, the Earth is conquered and enslaved. The Time Lords had the technology to travel back and forth over the void safely but I don't. So unless something monumental happens, I have to turn my face away from Pete's World and leave it to its fate and worry about John and Rose and helping them get back on their feet again. I have to do this and leave them like I left Pompeii to its fate. I know you hated it when I did that but I told you before, that's the burden of a Time Lord and now you're one so you should understand that better."

Donna nodded and the Doctor patted her on the shoulder. He smiled fondly at her before he took the syringe and they walked out of the med bay.

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