Summary: The Doctor has everyone worried.
Notes: Written for QuailFence
Susan's worried shout had Ian and Barbara running to her side. When they entered the console room they found her kneeling beside the Doctor, who was lying on the floor, unconscious.
"He just collapsed," she cried, as Barbara put an arm around her.
Ian focussed on the Doctor, kneeling beside him and watching his chest. After a few seconds he was reassured by its even rise and fall. "He's alive at least."
Beyond that he wasn't sure what to do. If a student collapsed at school he'd get the school nurse. If someone collapsed on the street there would be a phone box nearby to ring for an ambulance. But here there were only the four of them. And he wasn't sure the Doctor was even human.
Barbara caught his eye, her expression as worried as he felt. "Maybe he's just been overdoing it."
"He has been in the console room a long time," Susan said thoughtfully. "He's been trying to work out how to get you home. The Ship just doesn't end up where he tells it to go."
Ian had his own opinions about that, but now wasn't the time to voice them.
"If we put him to bed he might wake up after he's had some sleep," Barbara suggested.
Susan nodded and wiped her eyes. "I'll sit with him."
That plan meant Ian was the person who'd have to carry him. Picking the Doctor up was easy enough, but as he settled him across his shoulders, the Doctor felt heavier than any other person he'd carried this way. Certainly heavier than his bony frame suggested he would be.
Ian had only made it a few steps before he was wondering how far he would get. He'd never seen a stretcher in the Ship, but maybe there was one somewhere. Before he could ask Susan the Doctor woke up and wriggled. Ian nearly dropped him.
"Unhand me at once!"
It was impossible to keep hold of the Doctor when he moved about so much, so Ian dropped to his knees and let him go.
Barbara came over, still looking worried. "Are you all right, Doctor?"
Ian winced and stretched out his shoulders as the Doctor stood up.
"Aside from being carried over Chatterton's shoulders like a--"
"You passed out." Barbara rested a hand on his arm. "Susan was worried about you."
Which turned out to be the right thing to say, as the Doctor stopped glaring at Ian and turned to Susan, putting an arm around her and pulling her close. "Don't worry about me, Susan."
"But I do Grandfather." Her expression was earnest as she peered up at him. "You work yourself too hard. Let me look after you for a bit."
"I suppose I could take a break," he said reluctantly. As he allowed Susan to lead him out of the console room, Ian exchanged a glance with Barbara, who shrugged.
This was the way their life went now. And probably would do until the Doctor either got them home, or stopped thinking of them as interlopers.