Germs

by nostalgia [Reviews - 3]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Humor



The Doctor pulled the thermometer from Clara's mouth and looked at it. “Ooh,” he said, shaking his head.

“What?” asked Clara, trying to sit up, “is it bad?”

He held a hand out to stop her. “Don't get up,” he said, “I don't want you spreading your germs all over the place.”

“There's only me and you here, and if you're going to catch whatever I've got then you've probably already got it.”

“I'm a Time Lord,” he said with dignity, “I'm immune to most diseases.”

Clara settled back down in her bed. “What do I have?”

“I don't know. Some sort of virus, I assume. Or maybe bacteria, could be bacteria.”

“I thought you were a doctor.”

He shrugged. “You think all sorts of things, they can't all be true.”

“So you don't know what's wrong with me?” She felt a bit sicker all of a sudden. “Do you think it's serious?”

“Well,” he said, considering, “there are an awful lot of diseases out there, and some of them can kill you. I'm sure you don't have one of those,” he added a bit hastily.

“Thanks.”

“You're welcome.” He turned to leave the room.

“Where are you going?” she asked, propping herself up on her elbows.

“The library, there's a book I want to read.”

“A medical book?”

“No,” he said, confused. “Why would... oh, I see what you're thinking. No, it's a murder mystery.”

Clara hated him sometimes. “Aren't you supposed to comfort me? Mop my fevered brow and bring me cups of tea?”

“I'm not a nurse.”

“I'm not asking you to be a nurse, I'm asking you to be my friend.” She coughed, then said, “I'd look after you if you were sick with space plague.”

“Really? That's very kind of you.”

“So...”

“Oh,” he said, realising. “I see.” He sat down in the armchair next to the bed. “What should I do?”

“Keep me company, sympathise with my suffering, that sort of thing.”

He nodded. He looked bored already. He fiddled with the cuffs of his shirt. “Are you feeling any better yet?” he asked after a pause.

“Not really.”

“Okay. How about now?”

Clara sighed. “Could you make me something to eat?” she suggested.

The Doctor looked uncertain. “Are you sure it won't come back up all over my nice clean floor?”

“Fairly sure. Nothing too fancy, maybe just some toast.”

“Okay,” said the Doctor, eager to leave the room and do something more interesting.

He returned fifteen minutes later carrying a steaming bowl of something. He handed Clara a spoon and held the bowl for her. “This might help,” he said, smiling.

Clara tried a spoonful and spat it back out immediately. “What the hell is that?” she demanded.

“Chicken soap,” said the Doctor, “it's supposed to help you feel better. Eat up.”

She handed the bowl back to him. “Soup,” she said, “chicken soup.”

“Ooh,” said the Doctor, realisation dawning, “I thought it was an odd thing to feed to a sick person. Must have been a typo.”

“You're rubbish at this,” said Clara miserably.

The Doctor set the bowl of soap down on her bedside table. “I'm just out of practice. My recent travelling companions have been a bit more robust than this.”

“So now it's my fault for being ill. Charming.”

“Sorry,” he said, looking like he probably meant it. “I'd take you home but you might sneeze and wipe out the population with space germs.”

“I thought you said it wasn't deadly!”

“I hate when I get caught in a lie,” he said almost to himself. Then he said, “You're fine, really.”

“That's another lie, isn't it?”

“It's only a lie if I know you're not fine. It's really more of a guess.”

Clara sat up in bed and swung her legs round.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting up.”

“But you're sick!”

“And there's nobody to look after me so I might as well look after myself.” She swayed a little as she stood up.

“Really,” said the Doctor, and then, “Oof!” as Clara fainted on him.




Clara woke up with the Doctor at her bedside reading a book. “Did I faint?”

He snapped the book shut. “You're awake!”

“How long was I asleep?”

“Three days.”

“Three days?”

He nodded. “You were right, it was something serious. Sorry I doubted you.”

“Three days,” said Clara. “You must have been bored out of your mind.”

“Actually, no. It was a lot more interesting when I thought you were going to die.”

“Well, at least someone was enjoying it,” she said bitterly.

“I was worried,” he said. “Then you got better and it was just a matter of waiting for you to wake up.” He held up a jumper with two neck-holes. “I made you this.”

“I don't have two heads.”

“I didn't have a pattern for a human,” he said, apologetically.

“Wait,” she said, a bit slow but who could blame her all things considered, “you can knit?”

“Why is that surprising?”

“Because you're not an old lady?” She managed to sit up. There were a number of empty teacups by the armchair, and an empty packet of Jammy Dodgers. “You were here a while, I take it.”

“You were through the worst of it yesterday, but I thought I should wait until you actually woke up. Just in case.”

“Thanks,” she said, meaning it.

“Nothing you wouldn't have done for me. Well,” he said, thinking, “I suppose if the situations had been reversed I'd have died and you'd be sitting weeping over my corpse wondering how you were going to get home.”

“You're so Scottish,” said Clara.

“Anyway,” said the Doctor, “now that you're up you'll probably want a bath.”

“Do I smell?” she asked.

“Of flowers and rainbows. Clara, you've been lying there almost dead for three days, of course you smell. Don't worry, I'm used to it by now.”

“Yeah,” she said, getting out of bed, “I'm going for a bath.”

“And then,” he said, “I'm getting you vaccinated. I don't think I could face another knitting pattern.” He passed her something yellow and greasy.

“What's this?” she asked, sniffing it carefully.

“Chicken soap.”

Clara stared at him, then remembered and laughed. “Thanks.”

“Any time.”