A Dying Story

A Tale Forever Told

The next morning Ruby found the two curled up next to each other. She smiled and tapped their shoulders. When they didn't respond, she began to shake them gently.

"John, wake up. Breakfast is here." She said, gently shaking his shoulder. "John? River?"

Her voice rose, and the parents came out of the side room, looking at her with confusion, and saw the two still down. The other children were sitting up confused by why Ruby was making a fuss.

"Ruby, whats wrong?" Her mother asked

"John's not getting up! And neither is River!"

A nurse came in, hearing the fuss and it was time for the morning check ups anyway. She went over to John and River first. She checked their pulses. Nothing looked good. After a minute, she sighed heavily, and looked up at the parents standing- waiting. She shook her head and Jenna melted down to the floor. River's mother, Jessica, went down with her. They were sobbing loudly and uncontrollably. Ruby looked up at the nurse, teary eyed.

"I'm so very sorry. John and River didn't make it."

"No. You're lying! They're just asleep! You're lying!" Ruby shouted, running out of the room, tears streaking down her face. One of the nurses who would hang out with the children caught her in the hallway, and Ruby just hugged her waist.

"Ruby?" The nurse asked wrapping her arms around the small girl before kneeling to her height.

"J-John." She whispered through sobs. "Nurse Emma...John..and River."

Shock hit the nurse's face and a few of the nurses nearby over heard. They liked the children, and had paid attention to their story. One nearby had to get up and leave, and nurse Emma pulled Ruby into her arms and hugged her gently.

"Shhh" She cooed gently, rubbing Ruby's back. Everyone knew it was hard on the children with the deadly disease, but they also knew it must be worse for the family. Emma let go of Ruby. "Sweetie, why don't you stay here with Sydney?"

Ruby nodded, moving slowly to the nurse on their right. She was another favourite nurse, and she welcomed Ruby into her arms. Emma walked backed to the children's room, she found a room of upset people and in the bed in the corner, John and River laid close together. Neither were going to awake from their slumber. She closed her eyes to fight the tears as she knelt beside the children's mothers. A few other nurses came to move the children's bodies to new locations while others escorted the mothers away. Nurse Emma walked back to find Ruby when she heard Sydney talking gently to Ruby.

"God will take good care of them, sweetie. They're safe now." Sydney said.

"Did God think they were needed up-up there more than here?"

"I don't know, hon, but they're not sick anymore. They are healthy and safe up there with him."

"But won't they miss us?" She sniffled.

"Of course they will, love, of course they will, and they'll be watching you, making sure you're okay. They love you and their mum's." Emma knelt beside the two.

"Ruby, just think of it like this. John was hurt and so was River. Their angels decided that they wanted to let them feel better. You want John to feel better right?" Ruby nodded. She replied quietly.

"Why couldn't he feel better here?"

"He was just too sick here."

"I've got school..." She answered softly and slowly got of Sydney's lap. The nurses sighed softly, wiping their own tears away.

Ruby didn't say anything as she grabbed her backpack and walked down to meet her aunt, who hadn't heard the news.

At school, nobody knew what had happened that morning. Everyone was playful as usual. A few of John's friends came up to say hi, but didn't stay long. Ruby sat in class and didn't talk, smile, or participate. The teacher noticed she wasn't herself as well as her class mates.

"Ruby?" Mrs. Johnson knelt down beside her at her table during reading time.

"Yes Mrs. Johnson?"

"What's the matter?"

"I don't-"

"Ruby, I can see you're upset. You're not yourself today." Other children in her class began to glance in their direction. Ruby's eyes began to water, but she held them back.

"John.." she whispered. "My little brother.."

Mrs. Johnson had gotten an email from Ruby's mother, explaining reasons why Ruby may not be in class. She'd gotten word that John was hospitalized and sick. But Ruby never brought it up.

"Is he alright?" Ruby shook her head and tears fell down her cheeks as she looked up to meet her teacher's gaze.

"He-he di-died..this morning and s-so did R-river." though Ruby was quiet, the whole room heard.

"Oh sweetheart, why didn't you stay with your mum?"

"She doesn't know I came to school." Ruby was sobbing. "We never finished the story."

"The story?" Her teacher began to rub her shoulder gently, as Ruby pulled out a large notebook and a few composition notebooks. She held them up to her teacher. Each page of each notebook was filled, front and back. "Ruby, did you write this? All of this?" Ruby nodded, every child had put their book down, and was facing their classmate and teacher.

"Ever since John went to the hospital. It started because I wanted all the kids in that room to be happy. Every time John had a seizure or some attack, the Doctor would regenerate. And he had companions. The other kids from the hospital were in the story. The Doctor and River were just at the singing towers of derillium. River was supposed to go to the library. She died there, in the library in the story, but she was a time traveler, they were, so she lived." Ruby closed her eyes, and took out one last notebook. She hadn't given it to her teacher, because the story wasn't finished. She opened it up, it was the middle of the notebook, and starred at the spot where she'd left off. Mrs. Johnson rubbed her back, and put the notebooks onto the table.

"Pick up your books, we're going to go to Mrs. Charlestons room." She announced, getting the attention off of her student. She put Ruby's notebooks back in the bag and helped Ruby up. She led the students next door and had them all take a seat on the rug, as the other students had already been seated at the tables. Ruby was told to stand by the door as her teacher made the other teacher aware of the circumstances. She took Ruby to the office and called her aunt.

A couple weeks later, following the funeral of her brother, Ruby went back to school, she continued to carry around the notebooks and everyday during reading time, she'd write in them.

"Mrs. Johnson? Can we hear about the Doctor?" Samantha asked, one of Ruby's friends. Ruby looked up, putting her pencil down. Samantha had been watching her friend write nearly every day and was curious as to the story she was writing.

"If it's alright with Ruby." Her teacher said, glancing at Ruby. She smiled a little, the first smile since she'd gotten back to school and grabbed the first notebook talking a seat at the story-time chair. Mrs. Johnson invited two other classrooms in, as she'd read some of what Ruby had written. Ruby sat down as the kids drew in closer, and others flooded into the room. She wiped the tears from her face.

"Doctor Who?" She started. "By Ruby Smith." She smiled a little as she began the story. "As a young boy, on a distant planet called Gallifrey, the Doctor had no idea of the man he would inevitably become. He was a time lord with a magical box called a TARDIS. The TARDIS could change shapes and looks just so it'd fit in." She continued her story, pausing to answer a question.

"What's a TARDIS?"

"It's a shape shifter machine. It stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space." She replied, matter-of-factly. As she read, students'faces lit up and the teachers were amazed. She finished what she thought would be a great ending spot for the time being. She had a few questions from the audience. A few were hard for her to answer. Ruby had to leave the room temporarily and Mrs. Johnson explained to each child, from her class and the other two classes that the story was made because of cancer patients, one being Ruby's little brother. When Ruby rejoined the group to answer a couple questions, she was asked about her brother and all she had to say to the question was "My brother John will still live on... in the Doctor."

Years Later

As Ruby grew up, she had told many of the story she had written. She had finished it by the time she was fourteen, editing it since then. She, under the help of some of her teachers, sent it in for publishing when she was sixteen. And after quiet a few rejections, she finally made it through with one publisher. And in the forward she wrote:

To the kids from the hospital who made this story begin. Rose Tyler, Donna Noble, Jack Harkness, Martha Jones and her friend Mickie, Sarah-Jane Smith, Amelia Pond, Rory Williams, Clara Oswald, Nicole Vashtra, Robert Strax, Jenny Margaret. And most of all my little brother, John Smith, and River Song. I hope you rest in peace. I miss you all greatly. Love, Ruru Smith.


Thank you to the one I got the idea from, Cosmo-gyral, and thanks for reading.

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