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Running On Crutches

Title: Running on Crutches
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters/ships: Ten, Martha (no real romance, but some one-sided)
Rating: K+
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, gen
Beta: None
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to BBC. Hamlet belongs to Shakespeare. Anything else the Doctor rambles about belongs to whoever it belongs to, which is not me. I do, however, own a life sized cardboard cut of the Tenth Doctor.
Notes: Written as the first chapter of something much longer, which never got finished. The second chapter is on FFN if anyone is interested, although that gets much more adventure-y, and it feels a little worse that I could never find the rest of the plot. I'd still love to finish it, but if I do, it'll probably just go on from here instead anyway. I think that this opener works as a standalone, and that is how I am posting it now.

"Well... it turns out that having blue and red in the same outfit is a dishonour to the gods on this planet, punishable by being whacked over the head exactly twenty three and a half times with an object that looks oddly like an oversized metal cricket bat... run" the Doctor grinned sheepishly at Martha. It had started off brilliantly, visiting the beautiful planet and eating the yellow and green ice cream. The scenery was gorgeous, all in bright colours that still seemed to compliment each other perfectly. For once, the randomiser function on the TARDIS wasn't getting anyone into any trouble. Instead, it brought them to a planet the Doctor had never been to, but seemed to be exactly where he wanted to be. The amusement park was incredible, using anti-gravitational technology perfectly for the roller coasters. They had perfectly made drinks that tasted oddly like purple banana daiquiris, and the locals were so incredibly friendly to the foreigners. Well, until Martha, who was wearing blue jeans, put her red jacket back on. Then they noticed the subtle red pinstripes on the Doctor's dark blue suit, and his bright red converse sneakers. That was five minutes ago. Now the Doctor and Martha were running for their lives. Maybe the brown suit really didn't need a wash after all.

On the bright side, the hillside they were running through was very pretty, violet grass against a deep golden sky. The Doctor was a bit ahead of Martha, his long and skinny body was built for speed, and he had over nine hundred years of practice. Still, as he raced away from the deeply offended locals, his running was barely controlled. He was running manically, long limbs waving wildly. The wind created by his speed only made his already messy deep brown hair even more gravity defying, and his long brown coat billowed out behind him. Martha was only a few paces behind the him, running at her top speed in an attempt to keep up with the hyperactive time lord. The TARDIS wasn't far now, just past the bottom of the hill the time travellers were currently running along. They were far enough ahead of the alien mob to not be too worried, though there wasn't enough distance to stop for breath without the danger of having them catch up. The Doctor's warm brown eyes were gleaming with intensity, his only focus on reaching his ship and safety. For both himself and Martha. He knew full well enough her mother wasn't fond of him already, and getting Martha's head bashed in on an alien planet wouldn't do much to remedy that. Besides, he liked Martha. Looking over his shoulder for a brief instant to make sure she was still behind him, he didn't notice the knot on one of his well worn red converses loosen and undo itself.

Only seconds after the shoelace became undone, it found it's way under the Doctor's foot. He didn't realise he was falling until he hit the ground. The running was enough like barely controlled falling that there was hardly a difference. Once he was falling though, he was really falling, rolling head over heels down the grassy violet hill, his lanky body and the mercy of the planet's gravity. It took a few moments for it to register in Martha's mind that her friend was tumbling down the hill. However, she was soon running even faster through the purple grass, following him down the hill. On the way down she picked up one faded red trainer where it had fallen off his foot. The lace was undone, and muddy from having been stepped on. Well, that's what caused him to fall anyway. When Martha reached the Doctor at the bottom of the hill, he was sitting up where he'd landed. He had grass in his hair, and purple-ish stains from it on his suit. The dark blue fabric had a few cuts in it, and the Doctor had a few scratches himself, but from what Martha could see, there wasn't any blood. "Are you alright?" She asked, and received a nod in response. Still, better to make sure of that herself instead of letting him do more damage to himself by ignoring an injury. "Just going to check you out, okay?" She asked, kneeling down next to her alien best friend, and getting a grin in response. If he'd hit his head that would be the worst, and she'd always been told to start off with the worst in school.

The Doctor's warm brown eyes were focused and alert, intently watching his human travelling companion as she checked him over. Every few seconds they flitted up to the top of the hill to see if the alien mob was coming close. They apparently hadn't seen him fall down the hill, and were now off the trail. Well, that was good. Better to not have people, well slightly orange-ish people with three eyes, but still sort of people, in active pursuit to hit him and Martha round the head. His eyes were sparkling, drawing Martha in to all of the fire that burned behind them. She saw sadness in his eyes, that she'd always seen, even when he seemed to be at his happiest. Rose. Martha didn't know what exactly had happened to his ex girlfriend, but she knew it destroyed him on the inside. She could see the pain in those beautiful brown eyes, even though he was smiling, though she couldn't tell if it was the same emotional pain or if he'd hurt himself. Carefully, Martha slid her hands through the Doctor's hair, along his scalp. As she checked for any bumps or cuts she couldn't see though his thick, messy, brown hair, she brushed the purple grass from it. Thankfully, at least his head seemed to be unharmed. Still looking in his eyes, she could tell it wasn't uncomfortable for him. She withdrew her hands from around his head, brushing the side of her hand across a lightly freckled cheek as she went. "Think I'm all right Doctor Jones?" He asked her with a wink, putting emphasis on the title. She nodded, and he grinned. "Back to the TARDIS so we can stay that way then?" He suggested, glancing up at the top of the hill again and the alien mob who still seemed oblivious to their location.

The Doctor scrambled to his feet without assistance, but fell back to the ground with a scream of pain after less than a second of standing. He clenched his teeth, whole body tense with agony. He was hunched over, facing the grass, every muscle tightened as he cried in pain. Martha was at his side in an instant, rolling him gently onto his back. His eyes were shut tight, and he held one leg protectively against his chest. "Let me see," Martha asked him, and when the time lord didn't respond, she pried his hands from the site of the injury. Immediately she saw what was hurting him so much. His bare foot had swollen to more than double it's healthy size, clearly broken. The Doctor shivered as Martha gently pushed his pant leg up, revealing more of his skin. Moving up, things didn't look any better. He'd badly sprained the ankle, and she could feel the bone move beneath her fingers. It also looked as if he'd broken the leg in at least two other places. How had he not felt it until he stood? The Doctor started to sit, propped up on his elbows, looking much more relaxed. "You broke it," Martha told him, though she knew he had already figured that out. He attempted to get back up, leaning heavily against her this time as not to put any weight on the injured limb. She pulled his arm across her shoulders, and began helping him back to the TARDIS. She was very nearly carrying him, a challenge seeing as he was a good deal bigger than she. Martha had practised this sort of thing many times before in school, at role plays and things. One student would play the injured person, and their partner would have to help them. She'd seen pictures of this type of injury in books, but nothing truly prepared Martha for helping her friend back to his ship.

The Doctor was the one to actually open the door to the TARDIS, and as Martha pulled it closed, he collapsed into the captain's chair. He spun the chair around so he was facing the console, and then quickly moved the time ship into the vortex, and nearly fell off in the process. TARDIS travel was something he was used to doing standing up and running around, though that didn't seem to be an option at the moment. It wasn't as if he was trying to get somewhere, just away from the planet. There was no way that the people who'd been chasing them could have gotten into the TARDIS... but he didn't want them whacking his ship. Besides, if they saw it, they might recognise him, and he liked that planet. Well... until the locals wanted to bash his head in, and then he broke his leg on the hill. Things like that made a place a little less appealing. He leaned forward against the console, staring absently at the dials."Doctor?" The Doctor turned his head at the mention of his name, looking up at his companion. "Where's your infirmary?" Martha asked, the concern obvious in her voice. "You need to take care of that," she told him, looking at the injury. He obviously hadn't felt the breaks until he tried to stand, and she knew that there could be some other injuries he hadn't noticed yet.

"Down that hall..." The Doctor gestured at one of the hallways off the TARDIS console room, "Then take a left at the fork, interesting name for a split in a hall isn't it, eighth door on the right, just past the billiard room," he informed her, talking quickly. "It's not very close to the console room because I don't use it much..." He grinned sheepishly, realising that putting his med bay way in the back of his ship worked against him sometimes "You know... it's all hospital-y. Not hospital gift-shop-y, I like those, but hospitals just smell like... sterile-ness. I really, honestly do not know what it is with medical places and smells. There was this one planet that came out with scented disinfectant though, their hospitals were brilliant. I bought loads of the banana scent at their gift shop. Oh, that was a brilliant shop Martha, I need to take you there sometime," The Doctor babbled contently as Martha began to help him up. "They've got great replicas of the biopatterns of most species. Whole realistic skeletons you can buy! I got a replica human skull there... he's called Yorick. Good name for a skull, Yorick, Shakespeare came up with that one all by himself. I should take you to Hamlet too, there was a brilliant one summer of 2008... that's next year for you, right? They used a real live, well, not live, it was very dead skull by then... but it was alive once! I knew him, Martha, a fellow of infinite jest. Well, that's not true, but the lead actor me touch the skull! He had great hair... the actor, not the skull, skulls don't have hair, except for this one race of in the chrllyntyi nebula who are just skeletons with hair! They looked like something out of... OW!" The Doctor cut himself off mid thought with a cry of pain as Martha's hand accidentally brushed against one of the breaks. She shifted her grasp on him, and he relaxed for a second. "No, ow, that hurts too, sorry, that... what are you doing?! I'll just... OW... stay here... MARTHA!" The Doctor screamed through clenched teeth, his whole body contorted again in pain and he would have fallen to the floor if Martha hadn't been holding him tightly. He was still somewhat dazed from the pain as Martha lifted him fully into her arms, which was awkward as he was much taller, and even though he was rail thin, he had quite a bit of weight on her. At first he squirmed in her grip, not wanting to be carried like a baby. "No, Martha, I can walk!" He protested, but she ignored him, knowing it wasn't true. After a few more seconds of attempting to be let down, he settled down in her grip, and allowed her to carry him all the way down the hall to the infirmary.

Martha tiredly let the Doctor down onto a bed in the med bay. "You can get yourself undressed, right?" She asked him, and got a nod in return. The TARDIS infirmary was much like a normal hospital, which seemed odd for the Doctor. It didn't have the customary TARDIS grating on the floor, and the walls were painted a somewhat off white. There were quite a few different scanners and pieces of equipment in the room, not entirely organised. Most of them she recognised, but some she didn't. The room smelled like a bad air freshener, presumably the banana scented disinfectant that the Doctor had been talking about earlier. It was a little messy for a hospital room, and she noticed a few things laying around from previous times it had been as she looked for something she could use to help him. A note in red pen laying on an examination table caught her eye, and she glanced at it. Doctor-just getting you a cuppa if you wake up and don't see me xoxo, Rose. There was a circular stain on the note that looked as if someone had put a cup on it, probably the tea that Rose had mentioned. Underneath the stain was a response she couldn't quite make out. The card had a coat of dust on it, it had probably been a long time ago. Martha had heard all about Rose, but seeing the note hurt a little. Just made it even more obvious what she already knew. The Doctor and Rose had loved each other, and whatever had happened to the latter (Martha didn't really want to ask), it obviously hadn't changed for him. A scream of pain from the direction of the Doctor brought Martha away from the notes. She was looking through his stuff while he was hurt. Immediately Martha ran to the Time Lord to help him out, and saw him sitting up on the bed with his hands around the injured leg. He'd been trying to set it himself, and it was clearly too painful for even him to do alone. "I'll do it, you shouldn't," she told him, and without any protest, he moved his hands back. With a mix between training and adrenaline, Martha set the bones, trying to block out the sounds of the man she loved crying in pain. After what seemed like forever, it was done. She then found some bandages and plaster and went about making sure he couldn't move it, with a little coaching and assistance from the Doctor himself.

Around an hour later, the Doctor was standing somewhat unsteadily against the wall, holding a pair of crutches. He was wearing his brown pinstriped suit, with a white shirt and crimson tie underneath. It was a little ruffled as always, and his tie was a bit crooked. One trouser leg was the way he always wore it, with a single cream coloured converse double knotted on his foot. The other trouser leg was bunched up at his knee, revealing a plastic brace above the cast. A white sock covered in little pictures of bananas was also slightly visible. A little childish, but not too surprising for the Doctor. He was leaning on the wall more than the crutches, and was fiddling around with the sonic screwdriver to come up with a way he could both use them for support and keep his hands free, mumbling under his breath in the process. He'd come up with quite a few rather humorous solutions that didn't quite work, the best being using the screwdriver as a remote control, so the the crutches moved without him. After making them dance around the console floor a bit, and fetch him a cup of tea, he gave up on that idea for another more useful one. Not that fetching tea wasn't a useful thing. It was very useful! He was addicted to caffeine in this regeneration after all. Something to do with drinking about 36 cups of it within 24 hours his most recent regeneration. After another fifteen minutes of fiddling, the Doctor was a little frustrated, and abandoned the project, and slid down the wall so he was sitting on the floor. "I look daft in one shoe... already told you that, didn't I?" The Doctor commented, staring at his feet but talking to Martha.

"You'll get used it. Cast's going to be on for months with those breaks," she told him, knowing it wasn't really helping.

"No, nowhere near that long!" The Doctor retorted, deeply insulted at the idea. HIM?! In a cast for months? If that was going to be the case, he'd probably just regenerate. Well, maybe not. He loved this body, wouldn't give it up for anything. He'd just go to sleep until it healed, which would make it quicker. Silly thing to think about anyway, the only way he'd be on crutches for that long is if he'd gotten his leg blown straight off.

"How long do you think it'll be?" Martha asked her alien friend, out of curiosity more than anything. She'd been travelling with him for a few months now, but was still mystified by how his body worked.

"Oh, it depends. If I sit perfectly still and don't move it at all, it'll be all better in a couple days... but... more likely, about a week. One week and there will hardly be a trace I ever broke it to begin with," The Doctor answered quickly and with a small degree of pride at is advanced timelord healing.

"One week... for that many breaks?" Martha replied incredulously. She'd never heard of anyone recovering from several fractures so quickly. Then again, there were a lot of things she'd never heard of before the Doctor came into her life that she now knew to be true.

"Yup! Seven days!" The Doctor flashed a trademark grin, popping out the p at the end.

"So... you'll be resting up in the TARDIS for the next week?" Martha guessed, though she couldn't entirely picture him sitting still for that long. Knowing him, he'd be attempting to run around long before he got the cast off, even though it wasn't a good idea.

"Oh, no, that would be boring! Why would I want to do something like that?" The Doctor replied, almost offended at the suggestion. "There's this planet I'd love to take you... purple sky and eighteen moons of every different colour!" He grinned as he spun the dials and grabbed the console tightly to avoid toppling over. When the TARDIS had stopped shaking, signalling their arrival. The Doctor grabbed the crutches from where they were laying nearby and headed for the door. He flung it open, and stepped onto the planet's beautiful surface with Martha just behind him.

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