Challenge: Written for Summer of Whump 2021. Prompt: Day 3: Drowning.
Disclaimer: I don't own Dr Who, its character or any associated property. I do not make any profit from this work. This work is for entertainment only.
Pairings: Ten/Donna friendship (or plutonic, if you want to view it that way).
Warnings: drowning, character death(Ross), attempted murder, actual murder, panic, trapped under water, car drives into water, injury, shock, sensory overload, sensory bad, stuttering.
AN: Autistic Ten, ADHD Ten, Ace Ten, Aro Ten, Autistic Donna, ADHD Donna, Ace Donna, Aro Donna
Summary: Set during Sontarin Stratergin S4, E4. Instead of managing to stop the car from crashing into the river, the car crashes into the river with 10 and Ross (The UNIT guy) inside it. Donna, Martha and UNIT save the day.
The car drove straight into the river, ignoring The Doctors frantic commands. Tens hearts were beating furiously as he tried to control his panic. He still had Ross beside him, the only thing keeping him from a full on panic attack. Ross looked pale and was definitely scared. He was definitely one of UNIT's less experienced soldiers, he still had his humanity intact. More of a kid playing soldier than an actual one just yet. It pained The Doctor to think that Ross might become like his colleagues, ready to let his commander do the thinking as he fired his gun at a living target.
There was a sudden coldness and Ten knew they had entered the water. The cars metal was cooling rapidly causing the cars interior to become freezing. Ten could feel Ross's eyes on him, begging the timelord to save them. Ten forced his brain to work, he was rapidly crossing out options for escape. With the car deadlocked, his sonic was out of the question. The doors would not open. He kicked a window in frustration, and it didn't even crack slightly. He turned to Ross, who didn't need ordering. The young soldier kicked the window, his heavy boots hitting it hard. Together they both kept kicking the window, desperately. Poison gas was filling the car anyway. The timelord could survive without breathing for awhile, but Ross was not okay. Ross found energy and kicked anyway. I mean he would die anyway, be it the gas or the water but he would die fighting. He would die fighting to save The Doctor.
Finally the window cracked slightly, one final kick from the timelord broke it. He winced as he felt glass cutting up his leg. But that was the least of his troubles. Water rapidly filled the car. The car had also sank to the very bottom. He grabbed Ross's body and he pulled opened the door. Determinedly he forced his arms and legs into motion. His lungs burned, he needed to breathe. Only problem was that there was nothing but water around him.
Despite his best efforts, his body decided to cough. Water filled his lungs, not air. He tried to fight it, but his body wasn't listening. More coughing, more water. It was terrifying. His hearts raced anxiously and he couldn't help it. He panicked. At some point he dropped Ross, who sank. Tens vision started to blur. He remembered vaguely thinking that he was freezing and that he had to save Ross.
The thought acted like a jump start and he looked for him. With renewed energy he swam to where Ross was. Carrying Ross, a feat that was usually easy, was difficult. He would make it to the surface way easier without the extra weight, but that just wasn't an option. Finally he broke the surface of the river and forced himself to the shore. He managed to get Ross to land but it had taken much of his energy. He barely managed to get himself on land. When he did, he realised how painful his leg was...his whole body was painful really. He coughed and coughed and coughed, expelling the water from his lungs and replacing it with oxygen as he finally breathed air again. The process strained his exhausted body. His vision was blurring again. This time he had no energy to fight it.
Donna was out of the jeep before the soldiers. The jeep that The Doctor was in had been sending out a distress beacon. She saw both Ten and the UNIT soldier that had been attached to him on the rive bank, neither were moving. The jeep had also vanished.
She ran to Ten, he was wet. Like he had been swimming...she checked his breathing and pulse. He was alive. Weak but alive.
She pulled herself away from him to check on the UNIT soldier. She realised sadly that he was dead. He had seemed such a kid!
She pushed away the anger and returned to The Doctor. He was alive, she had him. Someone had survived at least. A freezing wind ran through the clearing and she shivered, but if she was cold, what about him? Without even thinking, she put her jacket over him.
The next thing she knew, Martha was with them, barking orders at the men. Medics joined them and were wrapping a blanket around both her and Ten. An oxygen mask was forced onto his face. They tried to take her to a waiting ambulance, but she glared at them. She didn't hear what she had said but the medics didn't try moving her after that. Nor did any soldiers. She allowed them to work, watching them help The Doctor. Then they were touching her wrist, but she didn't feel any of it. She had pulled Ten into her chest and was holding him tightly. No one dared stop her, they merely checked that his mask was still in place.
He woke, feeling warm. Almost feverishly warm. He opened his eyes but quickly shut them again, it was bright. He tried to remember what had just happened. It was hard to think with the unpleasant hard plastic thing over his nose and mouth. The plastic, no matter how soft human would have found it, dug into his skin. It took a few minutes, but it came back. Then he was more alert. Well, slightly more. He realised he was against someone else. So he opened his eyes to see Donna, terrified but fierce Donna. She held him close, like she might never see him again. She had a blanket around her too. Shock, he realised, looking at her pale face.
She must have felt his movement because she was looking at him now. He expected anger. He expected yelling. But instead she smiled at him softly and pulled the blanket back over him. Her mouth moved but he didn't hear anything. Still he grinned like a mad man, he was alive. She was alive. He knew everything would be okay now.
Now that he knew he was okay, he turned his attention to his discomfort. His suit was a sodden mess. He didn't want the blanket anymore. He hated this thing on his face. Donna was relieved to see him awake, even if he was still out of it. When he started shifting uncomfortably against her, completely distracted, she moved to hold him still. He was undoing the buttons on his suit and shirt, growling and whimpering. She softened. "Settle, Honey. Just settle. It will be okay. Settle" she soothed softly. He didn't need to use up his energy like this.
It seemed to work, he settled and turned to her. She could see that he felt miserable. "What do you need, Honey?" She asked softly.
He looked relived now. Still there was frustration in his eyes. He pulled the mask off his face. "Ne...ne..n...n..n.." he attempted before angrily glaring.
"Now now Honey, just say what you can. Okay? I can guess and you can nod or shake your head" she said.
He sighed. Then nodded. "Ho..h..h..hot" he managed, his eyes pleading for her to understand.
"Overheating, Honey?" She asked.
She smiled gently. "Give me a minute, okay?" She replied softly. She took the blankets off him. Then peeled off his wet suit jacket. The relief was immediate. "Better?" She checked.
She put the mask back on his face. He pulled a face and refused to cooperate. She smiled at him kindly. "Look, you need the oxygen mask. I'm sorry, but you must. I know its uncomfortable, but Honey, I can't fix this one. Please? For me?" She gently convinced him.
He gave in and allowed her to fix the mask in place. He exhaustedly lay against her, smiling slightly.
She took this as a sign he would be okay.
When he woke again, he was in a warm bed. Wilf was sitting beside the bed. He frowned, where was Donna?
As if reading his mind, Wilf answered. "Donna's resting, I had to make her. She made me promise to stay here in her place and wake her the exact minute you woke." He explained. "Which reminds me, I'll be right back" he excused.
Ten stared after him, feeling oddly touched.
He heard her impatient foot steps before she even appeared. She looked better, he noted. She looked pleased to see him. "You seem better" she commented.
"You too" he replied.
They both relaxed. "Hows the leg?" She asked.
He shrugged. It was stinging abit but as long as he stayed off it, he would be fine. "Did they find Ross?" He asked instead.
"Ross? The Unit soldier that was with you?" She asked.
Her face looked pained. "I'm sorry, he died. Drowned" she replied.
He sighed heavily. "I figured as much. Still, he helped me escape. The least they could do is give him a medal for bravery above and beyond the call of duty, posthumously of course. His family should be proud" he commented.
She nodded, "I'll pass that on."