Summary: Mothers always knows just how to make you feel well when you're sick. And River's mother is no different.
Disclaimer: The Doctor and all other characters mentioned do not belong to me. No profit made from this work, no infringement intended.
Notes: I wanted to do a sick!fic but not the normal little Melody, little Amy or Rory kind. So I did a timey-wimey one instead. Hope you liked it! Reviews most welcome.
"Let's go visit River," blurted out Amy suddenly.
"River? River River?" spluttered the Doctor, clearing his throat and missing a lever as he tried to nonchalantly lean against the console.
"No, the River Thames," said Amy, rolling her eyes. "Yes, River River. It's been ages since I've had a woman around to talk to."
The Doctor opened his mouth, his hands twisting around themselves aimlessly.
"And don't say we can't just drop in on her, because we both know she wouldn't care. Besides," she cut him off with a smirk, "I'm sure your Mrs. Doctor wouldn't mind getting a visit from her husband when there is no life-threatening danger now and again. And I'm sure you know exactly where to go."
The Doctor glared at her, sighing before putting coordinates in.
"Don't call her that," he grumbled crossly.
Amy squealed, clapping her hands and giving his back a hug as they landed, excited to have some girl time, finally.
"Oh, don't be so grumpy; it'll be great!" she remarked, running out the doors and calling River's name.
She halted when she took in the sight before her.
There, in the cell straight ahead, lay River Song. Sweating and coughing, and clearly very, very ill.
"Doctor!" shouted Amy, running forward and trying to figure out how to get through the bars to the woman on the cot.
The Doctor ran out, a flippant comment on his tongue before he too stopped at the sight of the incapacitated woman.
"River," he whispered worriedly, so fearful and quietly Amy was sure she wasn't meant to have heard it. He fumbled with his screwdriver, opening the door and setting off the alarms, which Amy was quick to turn and disable for fear of waking the sick woman before them. She turned back to return the Doctor's screwdriver, but he had already gone to pick up River, who he was now gently cradling in his arms, lifting her delicately and carrying her reverently into the TARDIS.
He laid her down in the console room, staring at her in concern, slightly at a loss.
"Her fever's really high," Amy pushed him aside, feeling River's head gently. She began pulling off River's boots. "We need to break her fever. Go run a bath and I'll put her in it. You get a bed ready for her."
The Doctor hurried off to do as he was told. Amy finished undressing River, whispering worried reassurances to her as River began mumbling deliriously. She opened her eyes briefly, said something about no aspirin, and went back into her fever-induced hallucinations.
Amy managed to get River into the tub, taking a rag and dabbing at her skin, gently washing off sweat and trying to cool her body down. After a while, she wrapped River securely in a very large towel and called the Doctor to carry her out. The Doctor laid her down carefully before he was once more shooed from the room by Amy, who dressed River in clean clothes and applied cold compresses to her neck and forehead.
The Doctor came in to sit with Amy as they watched over River, taking turns changing the cool cloths and not saying much as they kept watch. At one point, the Doctor made Amy so uneasy with his anxious fidgeting she sent him out of the room. He came back in hours later, telling her she should go to bed. She shook her head, reassuring him she was fine as she bent over the woman in the bed, wiping sweat from her brow and gently brushing the stray curls away from her face.
She looked up anxiously at the Doctor, biting her lip in worry, fear on her face.
"She's gonna be okay, right Doctor?"
"'Course she will. Just a fever. No silly old fever's going to bring down River Song."
River moaned again in her delirium, eyelids fluttering before she found Amy's face with exhausted, wary eyes.
"Mummy?" she managed quietly, a small, hopeful sound, as a weak smile threatened her lips.
"No," the young woman replied, shaking her head in sympathy and surprise. She grabbed another cool cloth to lay on River's forehead. "It's Amy. Amy Pond? Your friend. You've a fever, but don't worry. I'll look after you, River. I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
River beamed, sighing contentedly as she nodded off under her mother's watchful care, finding at last a peaceful slumber.
Her fever broke completely early in the morning, and Amy breathed a sigh of relief, calling the Doctor back to reassure him with the news.
River finally awoke to a steaming mug of tea and a large bowl of chicken soup on a hovering tray next to her. She looked around in confusion for a moment, then spotted Amy curled up in an armchair by her bed. She smiled, making to stand and cover her mother, when the Doctor came in, clapping happily at seeing her awake and alert. She glared at him as Amy stirred, turning to face her.
"You're awake!" the Doctor said a little too loudly, his wide smile not able to convince his future wife for a moment that he'd not been more than a little worried about her. She reached up, stroking his face lightly in silent reassurance. So swiftly he could deny it if he wanted, he turned his head, kissing her palm before making way for Amy.
"How are you feeling?" she asked quickly, rushing to River's side to check her forehead once more.
"Hmm, I'm better, now. I had a magnificent nurse." She smiled, realizing his absence meant her other favourite nurse had apparently yet to marry her mother. "Thank you, Amy," she said, gratitude and love coursing through her veins.
"Hey, I helped!" the Doctor pouted childishly, wishing River would at least acknowledge his contribution.
Amy rolled her eyes as she turned and slapped him on the shoulder, making him yelp.
"This isn't a contest, you idiot. The important thing is River's okay."
"Yes, but I made the soup!"
"You warmed up the soup. And brought it in here on a tray after the fourth time dropping it."
"Still- can't get better without soup. I'm sure that's a rule somewhere."
Amy shook her head, smiling down at River.
"You should eat. Everything should be hot. Fifth time's the charm..." She turned the tray so it hovered over River's lap, helping her to sit up.
"Thank you, dear," said River, letting the warm liquids warm and comfort her. "Now, Amy, don't tell me you stayed here all night over a fever?" She lifted one eyebrow suspiciously.
Amy shrugged. "You needed me," she said, looking about the room instead of River's face. "You- you began calling for your mum when you saw me and it... guess I remind you of her or something, but it just wouldn't have set well if I'd left. Like... I don't know... I was the next best thing. Sounds stupid now that I say it out loud." She frowned in reflection.
River reached out, squeezing her hand as she smiled faintly at her, seeing past the mother who wasn't yet hers on to the little girl who grew up so very alone and without a mother of her own to tend to her fevers.
"No," River said firmly yet softly. "It sounds beautiful. And you were magnificent. Would've made my mother proud." She chuckled quietly at her little private joke, sipping her tea and enjoying the moment.
"Well, if I hadn't stayed, you would have been stuck with him." Amy laughed, nodding toward the Doctor, who'd just tripped going out the door, spilling the now- tepid water they'd been using to cool River down as he tried to tidy up the room.
"Mmm. Well, as someone who's been stuck with him before, I can assure you there are definitely worse things in the universe." River watched her husband go fondly, knowing just how much it terrified him when he felt she was suffering any sort of damage.
Suddenly, Amy yawned, the restless night finally catching up with her.
"You should sleep," River instructed, patting her hand.
"Hmm, good idea, could do with a short nap," agreed Amy, curling up into the large armchair once more. "Remember, I'll be right here if you need anything, River."
She was asleep by the time River whispered with a faint smile, "Always, Mum."