Chapter 12

With the total darkness came utter, complete silence. Rory shivered involuntarily, drawing his denim jacket closer about him. He couldn't hear the Doctor breathing. And he still had no idea if he was in mortal danger from that loose wire. Taking a chance that he wasn't, Rory leaned down and reached out with his hands to feel for the Doctor's body.

"Doctor?" He asked tentatively. There was no answer. "Mind you," he said to himself, "there have been times when I wished you would shut the hell up. However, right now isn't one of them."

"Rory! How positively rude!" Came the Doctor's voice so suddenly and so close to his ear, that it caused Rory to yelp, giving him a momentary start of fright.

"Er—sorry, Doctor." Rory quickly apologized, with a sigh of relief. " OK?"

"I'm not sure. It is rather dark in here, isn't it?" The Doctor observed unnecessarily, "Perhaps I shouldn't have bought that dodgy top up card from that market stall on Chan Chen."

"Wait just a sec." Rory told him. "I have a torch."

"Is that a torch in your pocket Rory, or are you just happy to..."

"Don't say it, Doctor. Please." Rory pleaded, digging a small torch from out of the pocket of his jeans.

Slide the switch on the torch to the 'on' position, Rory shone it around the TARDIS control room. The entire ship seemed to be dead.

"Not working, is it?" The Doctor sniffed. "Flat battery. Didn't bother to check it first, I gather. I bet Amy's the one who repairs all the fuses in your house."

"No, Doctor." Rory shook his head patiently. "The torch is on. See?" He said, shining the light briefly on the Doctor's face. Only, the Doctor didn't react at all. Didn't even blink.

Keeping the torch trained close to the Doctor, Rory waved his hand in front of the Doctor's eyes. There was no reaction.

"Erm—I hate to be the one to tell you this Doctor, but..." Rory began.

"I'm blind. Yes. I did sort of manage to suss that out on my own, Rory." The Doctor replied. "Never mind, though. At least I don't have to worry about power cuts...except for when the football's on. Then I'd have to go back in time, find a pub and catch the original broadcast. You know how cranky the TARDIS can get about short trips. Last time I did that, I ended up in some cowboy bar in Texas. Nearly got into a bar fight because they thought I was gay. Seems I forgot to put trousers on under my chaps. On the bright side though, I did show them how to ride a mechanical bull with a certain amount of panache..."

"When that wire shorted out, it must've damaged your eyes somehow." Rory interjected, attempting to steer the topic back on course. "Where's the med kit?"

Suddenly, there was a bright green glow around the Doctor's face. A gentle hum told Rory that the Doctor had gotten his sonic screwdriver out. He appeared to be waving it around his eyes. The light cut out again as the Doctor turned it off and held the device towards Rory.

"Never mind about that." He said impatiently. "What's the reading on my sonic?"

"Not sure." Rory muttered, squinting at the device in the light of his torch. "Can't see that well. Hands are shaking a bit. It's getting pretty chilly in here, in case you haven't noticed."

"Concentrate then, Rory!" The Doctor commanded. "We haven't much time. I've got to get the oxygen back online. If we don't freeze to death or get sucked into some black hole first, that is."

"Of course! How stupid of me." Rory answered sarcastically, "I'd completely forgotten that we could both die at any moment. Cheers for the heads up there, Doctor. Right. Give me a sec." Holding the torch in his left hand, Rory held the sonic up close to his face and squinted at it. "OK. The reading appears to be 101960.27B. What's that mean?"

"Good." The Doctor said, his voice sounding relieved. "Means that the damage to my retinas is probably only temporary."

"Probably? What do we do in the meantime, Doctor? You can't expect me to sit here in the dark twiddling my thumbs while Amy's out there." Rory complained.

"I love a good thumb twiddle too, now and then. But now's not the time. We have to rescue Amy. You need to get your priorities straight, Rory." The Doctor chided him.

"No, I meant...oh what's the use? Never mind. What are we going to do then, Doctor?" Rory sighed.

"You'll have to be my eyes for a while, Rory. I'll have to tell you how to repair this ship." The Doctor paused. Said to himself, "Now there's a scary thought. Never mind a dead TARDIS and the end of all life as we know it..."

"Uh—Not entirely sure that's a good idea, Doctor. Remember what happened with that power coupling a while back." Rory told him uncertainly.

"How could I forget?" The Doctor smiled ruefully. "However, there's nothing to distract you this time. So you should be fine, knock wood. Oh. There's no wood here, is there? Damn. Never mind. Just pitch in and do your best, Rory. Remember, you're British."

"I'm not sure about this, Doctor. How are we going to fix the TARDIS, if you can't see what I'm doing? Isn't that dangerous?" Rory said, worried about the idea of fixing a machine he knew little or nothing about.

"I suppose I could make myself a seeing eye K-9. Unfortunately, I'd need my sight to do that. Which means you're going to have to become my seeing eye human."

"Yeah., I suppose. We don't have much choice, do we?" Rory admitted hesitantly, shining his light on the dark TARDIS controls up on the console deck. "One thing, Doctor."

"Yes, Rory?" Came the Doctor's impatient reply.

"If you expect me to bark, I'm outta' here."

The Doctor nodded and smiled. "Oh, alright. Deal."

Sighing, Rory got up and helped the Doctor to stand, guiding him towards the steps

"But I can I ask you to fetch?" Came the Doctor's hopeful voice in the darkness.

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