By Enola Jones


"Well," Ezra sniffed. "Isn't this a fine state of affairs."

The TARDIS had landed on Earth, 1955 and had stubbournly refused to take off. The erstwhile mech-tech had been working for four hours straight, but seemed no closer than he'd been four hours ago.

And on top of all that, he felt like pure hell. Sniffling, feverish his head hurt like a son-of-a-chardash, and his hearts were beating too fast.

But the TARDIS was acting strangely. He was all they had. He was the only mech-tech they had.

He couldn't get sick.


But maybe a nap wouldn't hurt.

"Hey.... Ezra?"

No a nap really sounded good.


He thought he'd just....


.....lay down for a few.....



Nathan blinked as a slender back impacted the doors of the TARDIS's infirmary. "What the --?"

Vin raced in, carrying an unconscious Ezra. "He collapsed!"

"Put him on a bed," Nathan ordered. He sent up a prayer of thanks that he'd had enough trust in Josiah to sit under a machine and have the knowledge of how to run the infirmary downloaded into his brain.

He'd been apprehensive about it but Josiah had proved once more he was no liar. The knowledge had come without harm.

Just in time, too Ezra was clearly not well. Vin kicked a toggle and a bed slid from the wall. He laid his stricken friend on it and jerked his hands back as a transparent shield lowered.

There was a hum, then Nathan's eyes widened as he studied the readouts. "Vin, get the others."


"It's Cartosian Flu," Nathan said without any preamble. "He's probably been incubating for a month of so. He's been running himself ragged skimping on food, skimping on rest..."

"So why are we stuck here?" Buck asked.

"Near as I can figure," Vin said, "the TARDIS is makin' Ezra rest. So he can get well."

"If that's so, think you can persuade her to get us somewhere where we can rest?" Chris asked.

"I'll try," Vin said, sighing. "I'm just a 19th century cowboy, remember? Ezra's the Gallifreyan mech-tech..."

Chris put a hand on Vin's denim-clad shoulder. "Yeah, but you've been his second since you came on board. You know just as much about how she works as anyone here -- and she likes you."

Vin snorted, but was smiling as he headed back to the control room.

Fifteen minutes later, the TARDIS re-materialised on a pastoral planet on the other side of the Milky Way.

And there, the Seven remained until the stricken mech-tech had recovered.


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