daylight_darknight: (Plot Bunnies)
[personal profile] daylight_darknight
Not the Doctor Who fic I'm supposed to be working on but at least I finished something. This fic had one objective: get the Doctor into a bath. It was not as easy as I thought it would be.


Title: Of Frozen Time Lords and Rubber Ducks
Characters: 11th Doctor, Amy, Rory
Rating/Warnings: G
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Humour
Word Count: 4800
Spoilers: None
Summary: What to do with a delirious hypothermic Time Lord.

Of Frozen Time Lords and Rubber Ducks
By Daylight



“Rory!”

The sound of his wife’s voice echoing through the console room made Rory jump to his feet sending both his book and tea cup flying through the air. The book landed with a dull thud. The tea cup cracked in two spilling Darjeeling across the glass floor.

Rory had really been hoping for a nice, quiet day. The type of day that was very rare when you spent your days travelling through time and space in the Tardis. He’d wanted it so much he’d decided to stay behind when the Doctor and Amy had gone to see the dancing mountains of Klasim Tarzoo III, the dancing mountains with their echoing rock chimes and violet coloured glaciers. The Doctor had insisted that it was perfectly safe, that Klasim Tarzoo III was a peaceful, uninhabited planet, but Rory knew the Doctor was capable of finding trouble in even the most unlikely of places. Amy had protested, said he’d be missing out, but determined to be the stubborn one for once, Rory had stood his ground, and eventually they’d left without him.

Relishing the quiet solitude, he’d headed to the expansive Tardis library with its stacks and stacks of ancient tomes and had settled himself down in a cosy corner in an extremely comfortable, floral-printed armchair with a cup of Darjeeling tea and a copy of The Colour of Magic.

It had taken five minutes of peaceful silence for him to start to worry, ten minutes for him to grow restless and unable to concentrate on the book in front of him. By the time fifteen minutes had passed, he had left his comfy chair in the nice bright library and was sitting in one of the hard leather seats in the dim console room looking up every few minutes to check the scanner screen.

Despite this, he still managed to be caught off guard by his wife’s sudden and loud return.

Following the sound of his name, Rory turned to see Amy dragging a soaked and shivering Doctor through the Tardis door.

“What happened?” he said, his nurse’s brain already taking in the Doctor’s pale skin and blue tinged lips. Hypothermia, he diagnosed automatically.

“We were watching those damn mountains,” Amy started to explain sounding short-of-breath as she helped the stumbling Doctor, “when this giant avalanche of wet snow came down out of nowhere.”

Rory’s eyes widened as he rushed over to give her a hand. “You got caught in an avalanche?”
“Not quite,” Amy said shaking her head.

Together they managed to lug the Doctor up the steps to the main part of the console room where they dumped him in the chair Rory had just vacated. The Doctor slumped down in the chair and shivered some more.

“We managed to out run the avalanche,” Amy explained, “found a sheltered spot behind some rocks where we’d be safe.”

“So how did the Doctor get wet then?” Rory asked as he bent down to get a closer look at the Time Lord. Not only had the colour drained from his skin but his eyes seemed cloudy and unfocused. “Doctor?”

The Doctor didn’t respond. He had Amy’s coat draped over his shoulders as well as his own but they didn’t seem to be helping much as he continued to shiver violently. Rory could actually hear his teeth chattering.

Amy gazed worriedly at the Doctor as she continued. “There was this beast behind the rocks, a big, blue, furry thing with a long tail and tusks, kind of like a reversed, blue woolly mammoth. I guess he’d gone there to shelter too. The Doctor insisted it was some type of herbivore, but it was really big and didn’t seem to like us much.”

“So I’m guessing you ran again.”

Blanket, thought Rory, blanket, blanket, blanket. Where were those damn blankets? Remembering, he dashed over to the chest in the far corner of the room and pulled out two of them before returning to Amy and the Doctor.

“Yeah. We managed to lose him though when we got to the forest. The trees were too close together for him to get through.” She helped Rory wrap the blankets around the Doctor and they began rubbing his limbs trying to both dry him off and warm him up. “Unfortunately, the trees didn’t seem to like us either. The Doctor called them Tanglewood trees. All the branches kept trying to grab a hold of us. We had to fight our way out.”

“And then?” Rory took a moment to press a hand against the Doctor’s forehead trying to gauge his temperature. He knew the Time Lord’s normal temp was lower than a human’s but right now he felt frozen, almost literally. There seemed to be ice crystals forming on his face.

“Well,” Amy said, “We came out into this place with all these ice covered boulders. We were trying to make our way across them back to the Tardis, and that’s when…” She coughed. “That’s when the Doctor slipped and fell into a lake.”

Rory gave her an incredulous look. “Only the Doctor,” he said. He placed two fingers against the Doctor’s neck trying to get the carotid pulse when the Doctor blinked and his eyes finally focused on him.

“Stop fussing,” the Doctor said, his voice slurred and stuttery. A hand emerged from the blankets and slapped weakly at Rory. “I’m fine.”

Both Rory and Amy breathed out sighs of relief. Neither had been willing to admit just how much the Doctor’s silence had worried them. A silent Doctor was never a good thing.

“You’re not fine,” Rory said. “You’re hypothermic.”

“Pfff,” the Doctor said with a somewhat drunken role of his head. “I’m a Time Lord. We’re made of tough stuff. You really think a little thing like hypothermia could…..” He trailed off and blinked slowly several times until his eyes fully closed and his head drooped forward.

“Doctor!” Amy and Rory yelled in unison.

The Doctor’s head snapped back up and he glared at them. “Ponds,” he grumbled.

“You have to stay awake,” Rory explained. He checked the pulse again. The double beat seemed ridiculously slow and the respiration wasn’t any better. This was much more than a minor chill. “How long was he in the lake?” he asked Amy.

“Not that long,” she replied. “He managed to scramble out pretty quick. He seemed perfectly fine at first, but then halfway to the Tardis, he started stumbling and shivering.”

Rory frowned. “The water must have been really cold.”

“Not the water,” the Doctor mumbled.

“What?”

“It wasn’t the water,” he explained still sounding half asleep. “It’s the microbes in the water.”

“What microbes?” Amy asked after several seconds when the Doctor didn’t elaborate.

“Cute little things,” the Doctor slurred, “for microbes anyway. They live off the body heat of other living beings. Work pretty fast too, zap up all your heat in one big gulp.”

Rory gazed at the Doctor’s still damp clothes and the small puddles of water throughout the console room. “Um, should we be concerned about these microbes?”

The Doctor waved a hand dismissively. “The Tardis will have neutralized any that got inside. She’s good at that sort of thing.”

A sudden warm breeze blew passed them.

“Thanks, dear,” the Doctor said gazing fondly at the time rotor.

The temperature of the room had increased several degrees since Amy and the Doctor had returned. It didn’t seem to be enough though as the Doctor was still shivering if somewhat less violently than before.

“We need to get him into some dry clothes,” Rory said.

“Go and find some then,” said Amy. “I’ll try to get him out of these ones.” She began untying his shoelaces.

“Um…” An old bit of jealous flared up and Rory said, “Shouldn’t I be doing that? I mean I am the nurse.”

Amy rolled her eyes. “Just go. I can handle it.” She leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek before waving him on his way and returning to the shoelaces.

“Right,” Rory said, and after another moment of hesitation, hurried from the room.

Of course, it was only after he’d run into the grey passageways of the Tardis that he realized he had no idea where the Doctor actually kept his clothes. He’d never even been able to establish whether the Time Lord had his own room or not. It didn’t really matter though what the Doctor wore as long as it was dry and warm, so he headed for the wardrobe room. He found it quite quickly despite the fact he was sure it was normally located much deeper within the Tardis, and when he dashed inside, he was immediately drawn to a neat pile of clothing sitting on a nearby table.

He cast a glance at the ceiling. “Thank you,” he said and grabbed the clothes before dashing back out of the room.

The scene he was greeted with when he returned to the console room was not as promising. The Doctor was no longer swaddled in blankets. He was up and about leaning over the console as he fumbled with the controls. It seemed Amy hadn’t gotten very far with removing his clothes only having managed his coat, his boots, one sock, and his bow tie. She now hovered beside the Time Lord anxiously biting her lip.

“Amy, what…?” Rory exclaimed. “Why is he up? We need to keep him warm.”

“I know,” Amy said testily. “He just got up and started mumbling about needing to get away. I couldn’t stop him.”

Putting down the clothes he’d brought, Rory took a couple cautious steps towards the Time Lord. “Um, Doctor?”

The Doctor muttered something incoherent under his breath as he continued to fiddle with the controls.

“Doctor!”

“Not now, Jack,” the Doctor snapped peevishly. “I promised Rose I’d take her to see the whatsit, the… you know, the…. ah…” He looked up in confusion. “Where were we going again?”

“To the medical bay?” Rory suggested feeling it was high time they did so. The Doctor was obviously worse off than he’d thought.

The Doctor waved a hand weakly. “No, no, that’s not it.”

He stepped to the side and reached out trying to get at a control on the far side of the console but he leaned over a bit too much. Amy only just managed to catch him before he fell over.

“Are you sure?” she said as she righted him.

The Doctor held up his still shaking hands and wiggled his fingers in front of his face. “Why can’t I feel my hands?” he asked staring at them in confusion.

“That would be the hypothermia,” Rory said. “The reason you need to go to the medical bay.”

Gazing at him indulgently, the Doctor patted him on the shoulder. “Now, now, Jaime. I wouldn’t go as far as all that.” He casually flipped a couple switches and turned a few knobs, and a nearby screen lit up as a bunch of data flew across it. In one corner of the screen, it said ‘Doctor. Full body scan in progress.’

“See,” the Doctor said gesturing to the screen. “Perfectly fine.”

Rory eyed the flow of data. He wasn’t able to catch everything, but what he did was enough to make him blanch. The Tardis flashed a warning across the screen: Core Body Temperature Dangerously Low. But the Doctor’s attention had already been drawn elsewhere.

“Onwards and upwards,” he declared, and then began teetering to the side once more.

Amy grabbed hold of his arm to keep him upright.

“Romana?” the Doctor said gazing at her with unfocused eyes.

“No, I’m Amy,” she said. “Remember? Me Amy. Him Rory,” she added pointing at her husband.

“Romana,” the Doctor continued having apparently not heard a word. “Have you seen K-9? I need his help to retune the Tardis’ heating system. It seems to be on the blink again. I’m sure he’s around here somewhere.”

He swivelled his head around several times before dropping rather ungracefully to his knees and crawling under the console.

“K-9? Here poochie, poochie, poochie.”

Amy turned to Rory. “Why the hell is he acting like this?” she demanded, worry evident under her anger.

“Confusion, forgetfulness, delirium. It’s all part of hypothermia,” Rory explained though admittedly he’d never seen delirium quite like this before. “We need to warm him up.”

They peered under the console. The Doctor seemed to have given up the search for his former dog and was curled up on his side, his eyes half-closed. Amy and Rory knelt down beside him.

“Doctor?” Amy said tentatively.

“Mmm?” was the Doctor’s sleepy reply.

“You can’t be very comfortable there,” she continued in a soothing tone. “How ‘bout we take you somewhere nice and warm?”

“But it’s nice and warm here,” the Doctor said sounding like a petulant child.

“On the floor?”

A lazy smile spread across the Doctor’s face. “Nice and comfy and warm.”

Amy let out a huff. “Alright, that’s enough.”

She reached forward and grabbed one of his arms. Rory grabbed the other following her lead.

“You, mister, are coming with us,” Amy said.

Together they began to pull the Doctor out from under the console. He was dead weight at first, surprisingly heavy for such a thin, gangly limbed person, but then he suddenly pulled back squirming out of their grips.

“No, no,” he cried, his eyes large and wild. “I have to stay here.”

“No. You have to go,” said Rory. He tried reaching for the Time Lord again, but the Doctor backed further away out of reach.

“I have to stay here,” the Doctor insisted. “I have to stay and warn the Brigadier.”

“Warn him about what?” Amy asked playing along.

“The Ice Warriors!”

Amy and Rory both gave him blank looks.

“Don’t you see.” The Doctor began speaking very fast. “It’s been the Ice Warriors all along. They’re the ones who’ve been playing with the temperature. They function best in cold climates because that’s how it was back on Mars. I have to tell the Brigadier so we can stop them before they lower the temperature even more and kill everyone, because if they kill everyone, then, well, everyone will be dead, and I’ll… I’ll…”

“It’s okay,” Rory interrupted. “It’s okay. There aren’t any Ice Warriors.”

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed. “You’re sure?”

“We promise,” Amy said taking his hand. “No Ice Warriors.”

The panicked look faded from the Doctor’s face and he smiled. “Ponds,” he said fondly.

“So you recognize us now, do you?” said Amy raising her eyebrows pointedly.

“’Course, I recognize you. How could I forget my Ponds? I love my…” His voice grew slower until it finally trailed off and both his head and eyelids began drooping once more.

“Not again,” Rory said. He grabbed the Doctor’s left arm and Amy his right. “Up you come, Doctor.”

This time Rory and Amy managed to get the Time Lord all the way onto his feet. He stood there swaying and blinking sleepily. He would have undoubtedly ended up right back on the floor if he hadn’t been leaning heavily on Rory’s shoulder.

“Grab one of the blankets,” Rory told Amy.

She quickly got one and they arranged it around the Doctor’s shoulders before they began leading the Doctor out of the room.

“My legs don’t seem to want to work,” the Doctor said frowning as he stumbled.

“’S alright,” Amy said. “We’ve got you.”

“Good to know.” He stumbled again. “You know I’m really beginning to think something’s not quite right here.”

“You think?” Rory said shaking his head.

Amy and Rory bore much of the Doctor’s weight as they walked. He didn’t seem to have any strength left of his own. Getting down the stairs to the rest of the ship was tricky but they managed slowly taking one step at a time.

“Where are we going?” the Doctor asked once they were in the corridors.

“The medical bay,” Rory reminded him absently. He was busy going over the contents of the medical room in his head trying to remember what all the alien equipment did and whether or not any of it would actually be of any help. The Doctor had explained some of the things but only those few things they’d needed on the rare occasions someone got hurt. Hopefully, there was some magic gizmo that would instantly warm up the Time Lord, and hopefully by the time they got there, he would be lucid enough to point out which one it was.

Unfortunately, lucidity didn’t seem to be something the Doctor was able to hold on to at that moment. He stopped suddenly throwing his weight back and almost knocking them all onto their backsides.

“I don’t want to go to the med bay,” he declared.

“Why not?” Amy said almost growling in frustration.

“I don’t like the med bay. It’s like a hospital and I hate hospitals.”

Rory frowned absurdly feeling the need to defend the place where he normally worked. “And what’s wrong with hospitals?”

The Doctor leaned towards him and whispered, “They’re full of doctors.”

Rory was very tempted to roll his eyes.

“Well, you’re the only doctor around here,” said Amy.

“Not going,” the Doctor said. He pursed his lips and crossed his arms across his chest. This picture of stubbornness was somewhat ruined by the fact he was still leaning against Rory. Not to mention his damp clothes, the blanket he wore like a cape, and his still far too pale skin.

Amy and Rory exchanged looks. Sometimes it really did feel like they’d adopted a fully grown, millennia-plus-old, alien toddler.

Rory supposed he and Amy might be able to drag the Doctor to the medical bay if necessary but he didn’t want to think what might happen if the Time Lord decided to fight back. They could always wait until he was unconscious, which he would inevitably be at this rate, and carry him, but Rory really didn’t think that would be a good idea. His shivering had stopped, but considering how low his temperature must still be, Rory knew this was a bad sign not a good one. The Doctor needed warming up sooner rather than later.

While Rory was pondering what to do, Amy leaned towards the Doctor and in a sweet singsong voice as if she were really talking to a toddler said, “How about a nice, warm bath?”

The Doctor’s eyes lit up. “Bath?”

Amy nodded. “Doesn’t that sound good?”

“Wait, wait!” said Rory holding up a hand, his nurses training rising up again. “What he needs is hot water bottles and blankets and maybe a heated IV or something. A bath might be too…”

But the Doctor and Amy ignored him.

“With bubbles?” asked the Doctor.

“Of course,” said Amy.

“And rubber ducks?”

“Lots of rubber ducks and I’ll even get you some hot chocolate to drink too.”

The Doctor grinned.

Rory sighed and gave in. After all, a warm bath was better than nothing.

With the promise of a bath, they were able to get the Doctor moving again. Rory still kind of hoped that with the Doctor in the state he was in they’d be able to trick him into going to the medical bay anyway, that the Doctor might simply forget all about the bath, but before he knew it they were standing in front of an open doorway leading to a elaborately decorated bathroom with a large claw-footed tub which was already filling with steaming water.

“Bathtime!” the Doctor declared happily.

Rory and Amy helped the Time Lord across the room and settled him on the marble floor by the tub where he flopped bonelessly in a contented stupor. Worried that a too sudden change of temperature might be too much of a shock to the Doctor’s system, Rory checked the bath water to make sure it wasn’t too hot but was pleasantly supplied to find that it was just right. It seemed the Tardis knew what it was doing.

“Don’t forget the bubble bath,” Amy reminded him.

“And the rubber ducks,” the Doctor mumbled drowsily.

“And the rubber ducks,” Amy repeated.

“Do we really have to…,” Rory began but Amy stopped him with a look.

This really wasn’t how Rory had expected to make use of his nursing skills. Sighing once more, he went in search of the bubble bath and rubber ducks. He opened a cupboard and found a large collection of bottles: big bottles; small bottles; tall, thin bottles; short, round bottles; plastic bottles; bottles of blue, green, and red glass. Some of them had fancy elaborate labels. Some didn’t have any labels at all or labels in languages the Tardis didn’t deign to translate for him.

Rory eventually decided on a pink bottle with a picture of bubbles on the front. Bubbles did begin to appear when he poured it into the bath, surprisingly bright pink bubbles.

Meanwhile, Amy was trying to disrobe the Doctor once more but so far had only managed to get his other sock off. The damp clothing was clinging to the Doctor’s body and he was too weak to be of any help. The delirium also seemed to be getting worse.

“Where’s my fez? I’ve lost my fez!” he suddenly cried out patting the top of his head in search of it.

“It’s okay,” Amy said placatingly. “We’ll get you a new one.”

“I think I forgot to reset the Tardis’ thingamy with the whatsit.”

“You can do it later.”

“I can’t forget or the doodahs will fizzle and then go kaboom!”

“Then I’ll be sure to remind you.”

“You’re sure there are no Ice Warriors around?”

“Quite sure.”

“You’ll tell the Brigadier when he comes.”

“Of course, I will.”

“I like your fingernails. Did I ever tell you that? They’re a very nice shade of blue. I like blue.”

Amy patted him gently on the shoulder.

She’d have made a great mother, Rory thought feeling a sudden twinge in his chest. Turning back to his search, he scouted the room for a yellow duckling. He opened several more cupboards until he finally found them.

It was not so much a cupboard as a large walk-in storage closet and it was full of rubber ducks: yellow ducks, pink ducks, green ducks, blue ducks, red ducks with horns, ducks with sunglasses, ducks with sailor caps, ducks dressed as pirates. Tucked away in a corner there was even a rubber duck that was over six-feet tall.

Rory just stared at them a moment wondering if this was the Tardis’ idea of being helpful; then he grabbed an armful and took them back to the bath dropping them in amongst the bubbles.

“Can you give me a hand here?” Amy called out. She was still struggling to remove the Doctor’s tweed jacket.

The Doctor’s eyes were half-closed and he was mumbling something about Krotons and bees.

It took a lot of careful manipulation but Rory and Amy eventually managed to get the Doctor out of his wet clothes leaving, after a quick mutual decision, boxers on. Getting the lethargic gangly limbed Time Lord into the bath was another difficult task, but they managed it, displacing a lot of water out of the tub and onto Amy and Rory as they did so.

The Doctor seemed to calm down once he was settled in the bath and grew quiet.

Amy carefully propped him up so he wouldn’t slide under the water. “You okay, Doctor?”

The Time Lord gave a contented smile. “Nothing like a good soak,” he said sleepily. He waved a hand under the water and the ducks bobbed about amongst the pink bubbles.

Reaching over, Rory checked the pulse at his neck. The double-beat had sped up enormously undoubtedly from the sudden increase in temperature, but it soon began to slow down until it reached a more reasonable pace. He let out a sigh of relief and slumped down beside the tub. Amy, looking just as relieved as he felt, slumped down next to him and leaned her head on his shoulder.

They stayed that way in silence for a moment until Rory heard a sniff from beside him.

“He’ll be fine,” he said wrapping a reassuring arm around Amy’s shoulder.

“You’re sure?” she asked.

“’Course, he will,” Rory replied. “We just have to make sure he doesn’t go and drown himself while he warms up, and he’ll be right as rain in a bit. Time Lords are made of tough stuff, remember.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “I just wish he wouldn’t keep…”

“Me too,” said Rory giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead.

Giving one more sniff, Amy sat back up and wiped her eyes. “Hot chocolate. I promised him hot chocolate.” She turned back to the Doctor dozing in the tub. “You still want hot chocolate, Doctor?”

“Mmm,” the Doctor replied affirmatively without opening his eyes.

“Better make it three,” said Rory.

“Good plan,” Amy agreed. “Keep an eye on him,” she added as she left.

“I will.”

Fully intending to keep his promise, Rory took a moment to grab a towel and dry himself off a bit as well as hang up the Doctor’s damp clothes before sitting beside the tub again. Surprisingly, the Doctor already seemed to be looking better. His skin was no longer quite so white, his lips no longer so blue. Rory placed a hand on the Doctor’s forehead to check and it did seem a fair bit warmer.

At the touch, the Doctor turned to look at him with half-mast eyes. “You’re a good man Rory Williams,” he said drowsily.

“And you’re obviously still delirious,” Rory replied.

“No. Well, yes. Maybe a bit, but it’s still true.” One of the Doctor’s hands emerged from the bubbles and began steering the pirate duck along the surface of the water. “I guess even a Time Lord can get a bit muddled when suffering from extreme hypothermia. Just how much damage have I done to my dignity?”

Rory chuckled. “Considering the sort of things you get up to when you’re perfectly lucid, not much.”

The Doctor snorted. His other hand emerged and grabbed the red duck with the devil horns; then he began leading his two ducks in a bizarre dance amongst the bubbles while making strange whooshing noises. Rory just shook his head as he sat back and watched.

“Hot chocolate’s up,” declared Amy when she finally re-entered the room carrying a tray with three steaming mugs.

“Amelia Pond,” the Doctor said flicking some pink foamy bubbles in her direction. “Took you long enough. I thought you were making hot chocolate not Baluvian cocktails.”

Amy stopped and stared stunned by the Doctor’s sudden improvement in health but she quickly recovered. “Maybe next time I’ll let you make your own, shall I?”

“Maybe you should.”

“Well, if you don’t want it I guess I’ll just…” she began turning as if to leave.

“Don’t you dare, Pond,” the Doctor replied tossing more bubbles at her.

Grinning, she turned back around. “What’s the magic word?” she said holding out the mug for him.

“Ostenaliciacambraocious,” the Doctor replied with perfect seriousness.

She handed him the mug; then handed one to Rory taking the last for herself. They all took a moment to savour the sweet, warm taste of the hot chocolate.

“Nothing like drinking hot chocolate in the bath,” said the Doctor. “Hot chocolate should always be drunk in the bath. You know on Alaplass VIII they actually take baths in hot chocolate.”

“Hopefully they don’t drink bathwater,” Rory said.

The Doctor raised his eyebrows but said nothing.

“So, you’re going to be okay?” Amy asked concern briefly returning to her features. “I’m mean really okay? Because if you ever do something like this again…”

“Oh, Pond,” the Doctor said fondly and handed her the pirate rubber duck. “Of course, I’m okay.”

Amy chuckled, and then scooping up some bubbles placed them atop the Doctor’s head.

He didn’t seem to mind just arranged them slightly and tilting his head back, said, “How do I look?”

“At least it’s better than a fez,” Rory replied.

What followed involved a lot of splashing and the tossing of bubbles and rubber ducks.

Later after they’d finished their hot chocolate, the bathroom had been redecorated with foam and ducks, and the colour had completely returned to the Doctor’s features, the Time Lord turned to Rory and said, “Sorry I ruined your peaceful day.”

“That’s okay,” Rory said thinking about the comfy chair in the library with his book and the Darjeeling tea, and then taking in the pink bubbles, the assorted rubber ducks, and most importantly Amy and the Doctor. “I think I like this better.”
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