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A Dying Story

By LissaJoan

Other / Children

Ruby Smith


"AU in which the Doctor is a very sick little boy lying in a hospital bed in a coma and his universe is just a dream. Each of his companions represent the kids in the beds next to him and when they die or leave the ward, they die or leave in his head. Regenerations represent times he nearly woke up or nearly died and the TARDIS represents his life support machine."

"Mum, what's wrong with John?" Ruby asked.

"Why would something be wrong with your brother?"

"Because he's laying on the floor."

Ruby's mother turned from her, slightly confused, and rushed to John's bedroom. She found him on the floor and noticed bruising on his pale skin. She knew something had to be wrong. As she picked him up gently, he whimpered and Ruby watched, unsure.

"Ruby, get John's blanket and get your jacket. Come on now, hurry."

Ruby was eight years old and John was six. She had taken to protecting her little brother from anything she could. It was harder than she thought. She ran to get her jacket on and she grabbed John's favourite blanket and even stopped to grab his favourite plushy. She followed her mother out to the car, and got in, sitting in the backseat. She put the blanket over John and gave him his toy before buckling herself in as her mom started the car.

"Mummy, whats wrong?"

"I don't know sweetheart. We're going to find out."

She drove to the emergency room, luckily it wasn't very busy. A doctor came out and brought them back to the examination room within ten minutes.

"Hi, I'm Doctor Stewart. And this is...John?"

"Yes, my son." Ruby watched as her mother set John on the hospital bed and she climbed into a nearby chair.

"Right, and what seems to be wrong with our little friend here?" The man held the clipboard, and didn't seem to even look at John.

"Um, well. My daughter, Ruby, brought attention to the fact he seemed weak, and then I noticed bruising on him and his skin, it's much too pale."

"Right, we'll do some blood work, a few tests, and we'll see what's going on."

For about an hour, Ruby watched as John was poked and prodded with needles and taken through a bunch of tests. She wouldn't leave his side most of the time because she was supposed to be watching him. She wasn't supposed to let anything happen to him.

"Right, it'll take a few days for lab reports to come in. I suggest you take John home and watch him closely." Doctor Stewart said. "I'll call you when they come in, Mrs. Smith."

They nodded, and Ruby's mother picked John up once more, Ruby quickly grabbed the stuffed toy they'd brought in with them.

Back at home, Ruby noticed her mother was nervous. She tried to hide it but at this point, she just was anxious to know if her son was just going through an illness or if it was going to be something much more serious.

"Mummy, we should make soup. Soup helps." She smiled up at her mother who smiled back down at her. Children didn't understand the depth of certain things, but she agreed and they made some chicken noodle soup. She let Ruby carry it over to John, and Ruby went so far as to help John eat it. Maybe they'd be alright. Maybe it really was just a small sickness that would fade away.

Four days later, the phone rang and Ruby was the one to pick it up.

"Hello?" She answered.

"Hello there, is your mummy home?"

"Yeah." Ruby carried the cell phone to her mother.

"Hello, is this Jenna Smith?"

"Yes, it is. May I ask who this is?"

"Hello Mrs. Smith, it's Doctor Stewart. The tests are in..."He seemed hesitant, and she grew worried. "Your son has leukemia. And it's progressing quickly."

"There are treatments for leukemia, though, he may be alright?"

"There are, Mrs. Smith, but the results are not always perfect. You should bring him in. We've decided, for him, it'd be best for him to stay in the Children's Hospital for a bit."

"Okay... Do I bring him now?" She stood, anxiously, her eyes darting to her young son, napping on the couch.

"Get some belongings packed. His favourite toys, favourite movies, blankets, pillows. Even a few pictures. Then you're going to go to the Children's hospital, they've already been made aware of the circumstances and they'll be expecting you in just over an hour."

When her mother hung up the phone, she was rushed. It was confusing to Ruby as her mother didn't stop to explain.

"Ruby, sweetie, can you get John's favourite things? Toys, movies and bring them here. We're going to put them into my suitcase."

Ruby didn't ask questions as she began grabbing anything that was John's favourite or things he loved. She had six toys, five movies, and she grabbed a pillow that John slept with every night, and his baby blanket. She put them next to the bag, and saw that her mother had grabbed another pillow of his and a soft blanket. The suitcase had clothes in it, hers, her mothers, and John's. 

"Get some of your stuff from your room, darling. We're not going to be home for a few days." Ruby nodded and went to her room, putting some books, notebooks, some of her homework, and toys into her own backpack, then she grabbed her blanket and pillow, ready to go.

She wandered back out to her mother who zipped up the suitcase and smiled softly to her daughter. "Love, can you take this out to the car or is it too heavy?" Ruby went and tried the suitcase, but it was definitely too heavy for her. She shook her head. "Okay, help your brother outside then." Ruby smiled, waking her brother up gently before picking him up and carrying him to the car. She dropped her stuff on the ground so she could get John buckled in, and then she put her stuff on the floor in between their seats. Arriving at the children's hospital, her mother told her to leave the things in the car. They took John upstairs to a room with about six beds and curtains that could be pulled whenever. The room was huge, but all of the beds occupants were silent. They put John on the farthest bed, the one closest to the window, and told Ruby to stay there with him while her mother and the doctor went outside to speak. A girl across the room sat up weakly, and smiled. Ruby smiled and walked over.

"Hi, I'm Ruby" She introduced. "What's your name?"

"I'm Donna." The girl answered. "You're not sick, are you?" Ruby shook her head, and looked back at her brother.

"No, but my brother is." She replied.

"Then you're staying, right?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, the people with siblings tend to stay too. So I figured you might be staying."

"I stay with my brother so yeah, I'm staying."

With that said, Ruby looked around and noticed the other kids had sat up, and smiled at her. One by one they said their names. Donna, Martha, Rory, Rose, and Amelia. John went and then Ruby as the last one. By the time the doctor walked in, every child in that room was smiling, and some even laughing. 

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