Show- Doctor Who. Ten/ Rose, Martha.
Disclaimer- I am falling for Peter Davison. Sad but true.
Summary- The Doctor makes a mistake in his travels with Martha leading him somewhere not entirely new.
A/- Everyone and their dog has done one--my turn. I wrote this before season 3 started so my Martha is more post-Rose than the actual companion she turned out to be. But hey! No spoilers.
The TARDIS gave a sudden jolt and Martha went flying, slamming her elbow into the central control panel with a strangled yelp of pain.
The Doctor sped over to the pulsating column and his hands raced over the controls, but before he could do anything another shudder wracked the ship tossing him to the floor like a rag-doll. The Doctor sprawled in an undignified heap as the TARDIS trembled, like she was being shaken from the outside.
The central column started to pulsate harder and louder, the noise building like a wailing beacon on a sinking ship.
The Doctor struggled to his knees and leaned over the controls, trying frantically to determine what was wrong. His deft fingers flicked at the switches and flipped the levers and he groaned as a piece of wire stuck out randomly.
“Right!” he muttered brightly. “Have this all done in a jiffy—quicker than a jiffy—” His words were cut off as the TARDIS gave a bang, a lurch and started to spiral out of control, spinning them round and round until Martha gave up trying to get up and just held on for dear life.
“Bugger, bugger, bugger,” the Doctor swore as he tapped at the controls and suddenly ducked under the central panel, grabbing wires and re-routing them.
Martha watched as he all but disappeared under the console, only his blue-clad legs waggling from underneath.
There was a spark of light, a flicker of blue and then, as if someone had switched off all the lights, the TARDIS stopped, shuddered once and then fell silent.
“Ah, so that’s what that one is for.”
The Doctor slunk out from under the console with a sheepish grin. “See, knew it had to be something to do with the temporal spatial …” he trailed off as he registered the icy glare Martha was giving him.
“This,” Martha said coolly, “is entirely your fault.”
The Doctor brushed a lock of unruly brown hair away from his face and looked down at his companion sprawled across the TARDIS floor, her elbows stuck out as she lifted her head to glare at him. “My fault?”
“Yes.” She maintained as she lay back on the metal grating. “Totally and completely.”
“I have not … never have … oh, all right,” he sagged. “Maybe you have a point.”
He stroked the console and staggered to his feet. “So trying to ride a Vortex back-wave was a bad idea. Who knew?”
Martha allowed him to help her to her feet and she brushed down her black trousers, getting rid of century old dust, deciding not to dignify that with an answer. “So, where are we, then?”
The Doctor drew in a breath and reached over, flicking the viewing monitor on. One quick glance told him all he needed to know. “
“Great,” Martha reached for her coat. “We’re out of coffee.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Tea, Martha, Tea!”
“Coffee!” she insisted, their old argument eliciting a twitch from her lips. “Coffee contains chemicals needed to maintain alertness and decrease heart attack.”
“Tea contains chemicals needed to win a sword fight and banish aliens.” He smirked and reached for his coat still firmly wrapped around the railing.
Martha blinked. Okay, that was a new one.
She grinned as she watched him try to put on his coat, chasing around the elusive sleeve that he never seemed able to reach. She’d told him once that he looked like a dog chasing his own tail when he did that and he got that odd look in his eyes and muttered something about Barcelona, before charging off on another mad-cap adventure.
He was a hard one to read and even after eight months together she still couldn’t decipher his moods. Manic one moment and dark the next, sometimes she wondered if she’d ever know him.
“Come on then, and I suppose you’ll want to see your brother again.” He rolled his eyes at the thought of the annoying youth. “Tell him that if he puts his greasy mitts anywhere near the TARDIS I’ll jettison him onto Justicia!”
And he would too. Irritating little brat actually offering to put the TARDIS on eBay! Or whittle it down for parts. It was lucky that he was so against needless violence or Leo Jones would have found himself very, very hurt indeed.
Martha shook her head with a wince at her brother’s behaviour as he continued. “Oh, and tell your mum thanks for the cakes. I love those edible ball-bearings…” his words trailed off, as if he was remembering something and Martha sought to bring that smile back to his face.
It was a hard task and she only managed it occasionally, but each time was a triumph that she savoured. Really he needed to smile more.
“You could always come with me, you know. Mum would love to see you.”
But that obviously wasn’t the way to get him to do it.
“No.” He stated adamantly, his face hard and features set. “I don’t do families, or domestic.”
“It’s just meeting her!” Martha wheedled, but she knew it was no good. They’d had this argument many times and she’d finally come to realise that the Doctor was serious. He wouldn’t meet her mother and he’d only met her brother because he inflicted himself on them. Leo had a habit of doing that.
“No.” He gave her a very pointed look, one that reminded her of every conversation they’d had on this subject.
“I don’t do families. I’ll take you home to visit, but don’t expect me to be there.”
“I’ll wait for you but I’m not coming in.”
“I don’t do domestic.”
“Leave it, Martha, I’m NOT coming to Christmas dinner. I said no. Now stop asking or I won’t come back.”
Martha nodded at him and he sniffed, changing the subject. “Let’s go then.”
“Okay,” she agreed zipping up her red leather jacket. “But you get the coffee and some donuts too.”
“Ooh, donuts!” The Doctor followed her to the door and outside.
He took his time stepping out onto the grass verge, waiting until Martha had moved. She didn’t jump out onto each new planet like it was new and exciting, she waited and watched, making sure it was safe … which was a very logical thing to do. Sensible too, really. Martha was very sensible and had a way of calmness about her.
But he often got bored waiting for her to look around and classify everything before they could start on their adventures.
She didn’t leap in, but that was okay, different but okay and he’d been in a lot less trouble with her sensibleness.
Well, a little less trouble.
Okay, same amount of trouble, they just saw it coming faster. He smiled as the door clicked shut behind him, the sound of the TARDIS taking a breather.
Martha squinted into the bright sunshine, wondering when they were. It felt like early-summer and she wondered whether to leave her jacket inside the TARDIS.
“I love donuts, me,” the Doctor was saying behind her. “Always wondered how they got the jam inside, you can’t ever really see a seam can you? And then of course there’s the American version with crème filling inside—”
After months of practice Martha managed to tune him out and lifted her head back to feel the sun on her face. That was when she stopped.
“—or even lemon filling. I mean apple and toffee, yes, but lemon? Who thought of that?”
He was still fiddling with his jacket buttons and didn’t look up. “Hmm?”
“Just how we left it?”
Martha stared up. “And that includes the Zeppelins?”
Her words seemed to have a magical effect on the Doctor as his head snapped up to look at the sky and his face went carefully blank.
“Maybe it’s a festival,” she suggested. “Like those Budweiser ones they have over in
He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down. “No.” His head shook once and then again frantically. “No, no, no, no, no.”
His hands dug into his jacket pocket for the key to the TARDIS and Martha frowned, suddenly worried by his pallor as the colour drained from his face. She watched concerned as his hands trembled and his fingers fumbled as he couldn’t quite get the key in the lock.
“Doctor, what is it?”
He slotted the key in the lock and rammed the door, flying across the room before it had even opened properly.
This wasn’t possibly, it simply wasn’t possibly … oh, it was possible but uncertain and inconceivable that it’d be the right one, there were billions and billions and it couldn’t be! His hands grasped the iconical dial and twisted it to reveal the memory bank log, his eyes scrolling through time and space co-ordinates like they were lottery numbers.
Martha tentatively edged into the doorway as he flipped some of the console switches and grabbed at the monitor. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his glasses, peering closer at the screen, muttering wildly to himself.
He reminded her of when he was at his most creative, like when they were stuck in a cell about to be cast into the acid sea of Bugblat or when the Terraformers of early Atlantis decided that he was an alien and they wanted to dissect him or even when the silk farmers of Sihnon needed a way to rid the planet of derrin bugs. It was times like this when he was at his most manic, most energetic … and most dangerous.
Martha bit her lip, casting another look over her shoulder up at the crowded skyline.
“It can’t be, it just can’t be…” mumbled the Doctor, his voice rising in volume as he dashed about the control room. “It’s impossible. Impossibly … fantastic! We are. It is!”
His eyes found Martha and her jaw almost dropped as they sparkled. He looked so alive, so animated. He was practically bubbling over with enthusiasm and Martha had never seen him so happy.
Gone was the brooding, somewhat dark and scary man that often travelled with her and here, in his place, was a young man with a light air and a beaming smile.
He jumped off the console platform, landing next to her with feline grace. “She followed her own shadow, of course she did.” His words bubbled out of his mouth, too quick for him to tame, even if he had wanted to, and he didn’t.
For the first time in a long time he felt something inside him wake up and he wanted the whole universe to know it. “See, the TARDIS leaves a faint trace and she homed back in on it, back in on her own tracks, basically she retraced her steps until she was standing in the same spot—fantastic isn’t the word. It’s brilliant, it’s beautiful. It’s …”
“Earth?” Martha offered.
“But not as we know it!” He grabbed her, grinning insanely, before his eyes opened wide as a thought struck him. “Date!”
Martha blinked warily. “No offence, but you’re not my type.”
He rolled his eyes at her obliviousness. “The date, Miss Jones. The date. When are we?”
He reached for her sleeve and tugged her out of the TARDIS again, slamming the door behind him. He searched the surrounding area, ready to grab anyone to tell him when he was, cataloguing all the changes that had occurred since the last time he was here, and all the similarities.
Martha couldn’t see much different than her usual Earth. Things looked a bit more shiny and metallic, had they gone into the future a bit? Were the Zeppelins some form of future transport? It would be cleaner energy than the fuel emissions that was for sure. The air looked cleaner and the streets were all but free from litter. Martha bit her lip, a smile emerging. Maybe the future wouldn’t be so bad.
She turned to ask the Doctor how far they’d have to wait before this happened only to find that he had run off.
Rolling her eyes, she followed the flap of his coat to where he’d stopped in front of a newspaper stand.
A fat man with greying hair stood with his arms folded staring down his nose at the weird bespectacled man who’d raced up.
“Can I help you … sir?” he added politely.
“Date! I need to know the date.” The Doctor urged, bouncing on his heels.
Not that date, you stupid— The Doctor managed to stop himself. “Year? What year?”
The man edged back, eyeing him a bit more cagily, as if he were a wild animal about to attack.
The Doctor felt like it too. He wanted to attack, to jump on him and demand to know what date it was, what year. When was he? That year, two years? Ten, twenty? Was she—they already dead and buried. When was he?
Martha stepped in, in her usual calming way. “Please, just humour him. He’s going back this afternoon. Aren’t you, Doctor?” Her earnest nod and comforting pat to the Doctor’s shoulder had the man nodding in understanding and sympathy.
Great, now he was on day release; although it didn’t feel too far off.
“Right,” the man said. “Well, it’s 2013, of course. Had the Olympics last year.” He added kindly. “Expect you watched it on the view-screen or holo-vid com? Have one at the home do they?”
The Doctor ignored him, his mind racing and hearts pounding in conjunction.
Martha noticed his distraction and answered with a nod. “All mod cons. Err … view-screen, computer, the lot.”
“Computer?” the man gave her a funny look. “Bit behind the times; don’t they have pod-cases there or holo-sets?”
“That’s what I meant,” she amended with a smile. “Old habits.”
“2013, seven years.” The Doctor rubbed his mouth, looking down, his shoulders stiff.
The man suddenly looked far more sympathetic. “Ahh, casualty of the war were you?”
“War?” Martha said before she could stop herself and the Doctor’s attention was suddenly fixed on the man.
“The robot-wars?” the newspaper man prompted wondering whether the girl was the one who should have been in a home. “Cybermen and Cybus Industries, huge scandal. Earthwide invasion? Ringing any bells, love?”
Martha, realising that she was just giving herself away nodded and patted the Doctor’s still shoulders. “Come on, Doctor. We’d best be getting along. Thank you for your time, sir.”
Deciding he was better off without the odd couple the man just nodded pleasantly. “No problem, Miss.”
The Doctor allowed himself to be led away and his feet moved away from the TARDIS and towards a destination that had been etched in his memory.
Martha managed to pull the Doctor’s attention to her as they walked away. “So we’re in the future and there was a war?”
“We call it the battle of
“Where are we?”
Her question made the Doctor look up at her and then up at the zeppelins.
Where were they?
They were … exactly where he’d wanted to be for ten months, seven days and fifty three hours give or take a minute or two. They were in his wildest wish and even if seven years had gone by, he didn’t care.
They were here.
The smile that had glowed briefly in the TARDIS came on again and bloomed brighter. “Where are we? We are in the proverbial gingerbread house. Come on!” He grabbed at her sleeve and yanked it, pulling her with him.
Martha sighed and started to run to keep up with him, the familiar adrenalin starting in her system and an answering grin lighting up her face, making her features look pretty.
The Doctor jogged alongside her, occasionally darting in front and then behind, side-stepping and generally acting like a kid on a sugar-high.
“Martha Jones, welcome to Earth point 2 or Pete’s world. This is Earth but not as we know it; a parallel dimension. An alternate universe.”
Martha shot him an odd look. “Alternate world? I thought that was just science fiction.”
He paused briefly, his hands going to his hips. “We live in a space-ship that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside and you were propositioned by JFK only yesterday. Our whole lives are science fiction.”
Martha blushed at that. “Okay, sorry.”
He couldn’t quite keep the smile down and started to run again. “No, no this is reality as it could have been. See there are different worlds stacked up alongside each other. It used to be simple to get from one to the other but—” he stopped briefly, a haunted look passing over his face but then shook his head, “—the walls closed up and travel between them was made all but impossible. We shouldn’t be here.”
“But we are.”
“Yes we are and thank you universe!” He bounced up and punched the air in triumph. Martha laughed.
“I know and it’s fantastic.” It was. Insanity had been his saving grace more than once and now it was not only his saving grace but his hearts desire. Insanity had never looked so good.
“So, what’s so great about this alternate universe?” She said, getting into the spirit of things as he knew she would. Careful and considerate, was his Martha but she could be damned fun too—especially after two or three white wine spritzers; just ask the Jakaneze. “They make tea in chocolate flavour or make jelly-beans in tea flavour or, I know they cured cancer?”
“Better, so much better!” He stopped and stared up at the sky in thanks. “They grant dreams.”