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. Thanks for the great response to this.
Luckily Martha was used to the Doctor’s madcap escapades and had learnt very early on not to wear shoes that she couldn’t run in. Even so, by the time the Doctor stopped running, her calves were beginning to ache and she figured she should spent a little more time on the treadmill and a little less with Grey’s Anatomy in her lap.
Panting hard she looked up at the wrought iron gates that looked so imposing. They framed a large white mansion with at least three wings. The drive held two cars and she could even see a gardener trimming hedges somewhere towards the back.
“Wow, serious money.” She brushed at her trousers feeling a little grubby.
“Yeah.” The Doctor was breathing heavily but it was from excitement and not from the running. He reached up and scratched his ear, pausing briefly at the main gates. They did look imposing but less like the forbidden ‘we’ll kill you if you come in here’ variety and more like ‘we know your breeding you dirty little urchin, wipe your feet and don’t touch anything’.
He automatically swiped his fingers against his coat.
Martha prodded him. “Earth point two calling the Doctor. I said do you know who lives here?”
“Used to … I hope.” His voice was quiet and he shook himself seeming more like the confident, cock-sure Doctor that she was used to. “Right, enough of this hanging about. Let’s go and meet the neighbours, lovely couple. Well, when I say lovely I mean loud. When I say loud I mean shrill.”
He pushed the gates and bounded up the drive, waving wildly at the bemused gardener. “Look a gardener! I always wanted to meet a gardener named Gardener, Mr and Mrs Gardener, the gardeners. Brilliant.”
Martha politely waited for him to finish his rant before she pointed to the huge, imposing doorbell in the shape of a—was that a banana?
With a deep breath he rang the bell and Martha could hear it echo deep inside, emphasizing the size and grandeur of the mansion.
He bounced on his heels, waited ten seconds and then rang the bell again.
“Stop it!” Martha slapped at his hand as it reached for the bell a third time. “It probably takes them about a week to get the front door. Hanging off the bell is just going to annoy them!”
He poked his tongue out at her and smoothed down his red tie. The door creaked open and a matronly woman stood there with black and white serving clothes on.
“Yes?” One eyebrow rose questioningly and it made Martha feel young and grubby and in the way. It was like being back at home with her Gran and mum.
The Doctor was immune to the power of the eyebrow and he beamed. “Hello, I’m here to see … the
“Hwhich?” she said with an upper-crust ‘h’ attached to the start.
“Oh, any. All. Although if …Uh. Yes. I’m a … old friend of the family.”
“I see.” She gave him a once over, proclaiming her disbelief that anyone dressed like him would be a friend of her superiors. “Mr. Tyler is not at home at present.”
He didn’t care. He’d only liked this Pete because he was proactive and seemed to make Jackie happy. The Doctor could remember the heart-broken look on a certain face as her daddy turned away from her. He understood, didn’t mean he didn’t hold a grudge.
“What about Jackie? Uh, Mrs Jacqueline Tyler? She in?” He bounced on his toes again, nerves starting to show in his voice.
“Mrs Tyler is resting at present. I will tell her you called.” She started to shut the door and the Doctor’s hand reached out, slamming his fist against the wood.
He was close. So close, after seven years and he wasn’t going to be denied now, especially not by some primitive ape with delusions of grandeur. He glared at the woman who seemed to shrink under the fury of his gaze.
“I’ve travelled a long way,” the Doctor said slowly, “and I wish to see Mrs Tyler.”
“O-of course, excuse me.” The woman stepped back, her eyes wide as thunder rolled in his expression. “Let me show you to the parlour.”
The parlour was every bit as impressive as it sounded, done out in pale gold and cream. Martha appreciated the décor, the Doctor thought of gold hoops and pink tracksuits.
“I will wake Madame Tyler and inform her that Mr…” She waited for him to supply a name.
He licked his lower lip, suddenly worried that he wouldn’t be welcome. It had been seven years after all. “Just an old friend.”
“An old friend is paying a social call.” She walked away, her footsteps echoing on the hardwood floor.
The Doctor laughed out loud and turned to Martha. “How scary was she?” he mimicked her accent. “Trust Jackie to find someone scarier than she is. Paying a social call!”
“More like a call of nature!” Martha said as she watched him bounce again on his heels. “Shouldn’t you have gone before we left the TARDIS?”
“Just because you humans have an inferior physiology doesn’t mean that we can’t all hold our digestive tracts in some kind of order. Slave to your biology you lot are.”
“Well, we can’t all have two hearts,” Martha sniffed, still annoyed about that one. “So how do you know this lot anyway? You said you can’t travel through to alternate worlds.”
“No, I said shouldn’t, and we shouldn’t.” But they did and they had and damn it was brilliant.
Seeing that she wasn’t going to get any kind of sensible answer she walked over to one of the huge metal shelving units. It was a display cabinet for professional portraits, like the kind she’d seen before in grand houses in Derbyshire. Almost like some kind of gallery for the family. There was one in the centre that showed a tall man with thinning hair with his arms wrapped around a beaming blonde woman with a baby in her arms. A younger blonde woman stood just to the side, smiling softly at the baby. Several pictures held the baby in various stages of growth, all professionally shot and there was one or two of the young blonde, her smile soft and pretty.
“I suppose they keep the real family pictures somewhere more private than the parlour,” Martha mused aloud and the Doctor walked over, peering at the picture from over her shoulder. His face softened as he saw the large family portrait and his fingers reached out to touch it, almost of their own volition.
“You know them?”
Her words broke the spell and his fingers froze and were shoved back into his pockets quickly, his face shuttered.
“Yeah, knew them, ooh seven, eight years ago or so. Great family, really, really.”
There was a noise from outside and Martha heard a very shrill voice command something. She winced and turned to the Doctor.
He suddenly spun around and his hands went to his tie, smoothing it down.
“How do I look?”
Martha was so taken aback by the random and completely un-Doctorlike question that she answered honestly. “Scruffy.”
“Right!” He didn’t even hear her as he raked a hand through his messy hair and brushed it away from his eyes. “Should’ve got it cut.” He ran his hands over his coat and straightened his tie again, checking his buttons and pushing his hands into his pockets.
Martha just gaped incredulously as he pulled them out again and straightened the lining of his trousers. “Did you just … preen?”
Any answer he might have given was cut off by the very high pitched voice that came from the hall.
“—bloody early and I tol’ I’m I wasn’t ‘aving anyone at the house!”
Martha watched the Doctor’s face as it hurtled through a mix of emotions; worry, nerves, optimism, anticipation, amusement and finally settled on a hopeful smile.
“If ‘e can’t even be bothered to be ‘ere to welcome people he’s invited, when I know I said there was plenty of room at the hotel still, then I ain't havin’ it. Old friends my foot, old scroungers more like—”
The voice got closer and every nerve in the Doctor’s body seemed to hum with tension.
“—with all the preparation for tomorrow the last thing I need is to be playing hostess, I said to ‘im—”
What she had said was lost as she walked into the room and saw the Doctor.
Martha had the image of wavy blonde hair, perfectly set and elegant with dark make-up and a healthy tan. It was the same woman who was in the picture with the baby, only in the picture her eyes hadn’t been wide and her mouth open.
To the Doctor, Jackie Tyler hadn’t aged a day in seven years. Oh, there were new lines and wrinkles carefully concealed, but happiness and the lack of worry about money had taken a weight off and she looked good.
Shocked, but good.
The Doctor grinned. “Hello Jackie.”
Jackie Tyler’s hands drifted to her open mouth as she saw the beaming smile of the Doctor. She squealed loudly and Martha winced at the pure volume of the voice.
“Doctor!” Then Jackie threw herself at the Doctor, grabbing him in a strong embrace, her arms wrapped securely around his tiny body.
The Doctor closed his eyes, remembrances of Christmas trees, burnt potatoes (his fault—apparently) and drunken conga-lines, fresh hot tea and long chats filling his mind. His hands tightened on her waist registering absently the slight tautness to her muscles. Jackie had herself a personal trainer. He grinned against her neck.
“Miss me then, did you?” He managed as he hugged her back.
“Come ‘ere you!” she said and planted a kiss on his mouth. The Doctor laughed and tried to extricate himself from her enthusiastic welcome.
“Jackie!” He pushed at her but she was having none of it and held him tighter.
“Oh, no, you don’t. I’m not letting you go that easy, Mister!”
Martha couldn’t help it, the desperation and yet delight in his expression as he simultaneously tried to push her away and hold her close was enough to make her laugh. A snort of amusement burst out and that was enough to make Jackie look up.
She met Martha’s eyes and Martha swallowed, feeling like a deer caught in head-lamps.
“Hi.” She waved slightly.
Jackie let go of the Doctor, who struggled to right himself again. Her gaze swept over the woman from head to foot and Martha rewrote her first impression of this woman. She may look like an air-headed socialite but there was something hard and unrelenting under that softness.
The Doctor felt oddly as he had when they’d met Sarah-Jane again; new meeting old with all the scary connotations that that could bring along with it.
“Jackie, this is Martha Jones, she travels with me.” He introduced, straightening his shirt and looking between the two, waiting for Jackie to get out the claws.
But she had obviously mellowed and just smiled.
“Hello.” Jackie offered a hand of greeting.
Martha was relieved and held out her own hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“You travel with himself, do you?” Jackie gripped the Doctor’s lapel and tugged him into a one armed embrace.
Martha nodded and Jackie laughed.
“Good luck to you, bad penny, this one.”
“Oi!” He protested but couldn’t help the amusement that bubbled up at hearing that one; that was him all right, a bad penny that just keeps turning up.
Martha turned to see if the Doctor was offended but, to her surprise, that twinkle was back in his eyes; the spark of life that she hadn’t seen before. He seemed almost delighted by the slight.
“Martha this is Jackie Tyler she’s … she’s my…”
What exactly? My old companion’s mother? My nightmare? My self-appointed mother-in-law? My friend? My saviour? The best maker of tea in three universes?
Jackie looked up at him as he floundered and searched for a way to describe their odd relationship and she reached over grabbing his hand.
He looked down at the bombastic woman and a slow, sweet smile graced his lips.
That is what they were. In an odd sort of way that is exactly what they were. In taking on her daughter they’d become family; his self-appointed mother and care-giver and mother-in-law and friend and all that it entailed, both the good and the bad and everything in between.
But mostly she was family.
“Yes.” He couldn’t say anything else; his throat was too tight, emotion filling him.
Jackie squeezed his fingers tightly, knowing how he felt. “Ooh, what d’you say to a nice cup of tea?”
He laughed in pure, unabashed delight. “Tea!”
“Or coffee?” Martha asked plaintively. “We’re out again.”
“Always out of something, that one.” Jackie said conspiratorially as she gestured them to follow her. “The times he had to stop off for a hand out. I swear he did more time shopping than he did travelling. Practically cleaned Tesco’s out for jelly-beans.”
Martha couldn’t help but like the woman as they traipsed behind her down the long hall and bright furnishings. Somehow though, Martha thought, she seemed out of place; like she’d been slotted into a life of luxury that she didn’t quite fit in with.
Jackie was talking away a mile a minute to them as she led them down the impossibly long corridor.
“—I thought I’d need a map to find my way around ‘ere. The amount of times I got lost. And then there’s that bloody dog. Pete seemed to find it funny but I told ‘im it had to go. That was our first big row here, if you don’t count the one we had at Torchwood.”
“Torchwood?” Martha paused as they reached the kitchen. “You were in Torchwood?”
The Doctor sniffed. “Martha had a cousin who died in the battle of
“All right,” Jackie said slowly, heading over to the kettle. “Mickey said it’s very different in this universe. You’re not public enemy number one, for a start.”
“Good to know.”
Jackie reached over and flicked the kettle on, fiddling about with bits and pieces to set up a tea tray. As the china rattled the serving woman who had answered the door entered and her eyes widened.
“Madam Tyler, if you had rung for tea I would have been more than happy to—”
“Oh, give over, Hill,” Jackie said with a roll of her eyes. “You’ve got more than enough to do with the party tomorrow. I can make my own tea.”
“If the guests require—”
“I’ll ring or see to it myself,” Jackie interrupted again. “Now go on, it’s just tea.”
The woman huffed, glared suspiciously at the Doctor and marched out.
The Doctor grinned. “She doesn’t like me.”
“Hill doesn’t like anyone,” Jackie agreed with a nod. “She’s a marvel in the kitchen but she’s a right snooty cow. If she didn’t keep this place in ship-shape I’d have fired her ages ago. But she’s got a soft spot for Heather and so I just let ‘er get one with it.”
“Heather?” Martha asked politely.
“My little girl,” Jackie clarified. “She’s six going on forty. It’s her birthday tomorrow and she asked me for her own credit card!”
Martha and the Doctor both laughed as they were supposed to, but Martha noticed the Doctor’s look of anticipation as he rocked back and forth on his heels.
The Doctor’s gaze spun around the well kept kitchen with its shiny gleaming black surfaces and silver metalwork. It was classy and expensive and driving him crazy. He couldn’t hold it back any longer, he had to know, had to ask.
“And, uh … will she be celebrating with her sister?” He bit his lip and looked at Jackie who poured water into their mugs.
“No, herself won’t be back by then. Doesn’t spend that much time here.” She turned to look at him, handing him his tea. “Tell you the truth, Doctor, I think I saw her more when she was with you than I have in the past six years.”
Martha looked between the two of them wondering who they were talking about.
“Really?” he frowned.
Jackie laughed. “Gave her the travelling bug, you did. Last time she called she was halfway up
The Doctor sagged. After all this time, she wasn’t here. He’d thought up their reunion, oh, mainly in his sleep; it didn’t do to dwell on the impossible while he was awake.
But he’d considered every eventuality; pondered sweet kisses and hugs and bitter recriminations, blank looks and nervous silences. He’d pictured her fat and married with kids and thin and drawn and missing him. He’d envisioned her working for Torchwood as director and being footloose as a socialite.
But he’d always seen her there.
He wrapped his fingers around the mug and took a long sip, smiling at the taste.
“Best tea in the universe,” he sighed. “Actually two universes.”
“Good coffee too,” Martha held up her own mug. “Thanks.”
Jackie watched them both and suddenly smiled widely. “Oh, it is good to see you again.”
“You too,” he confessed. And it was.
“Listen, I don’t know how you got here, since you said it was impossible, but you’re not going. Right? You can stay?”
“Well, I don’t know how long the TARDIS can … will …” The Doctor stared at her. Seven years. “No. We’re not going yet.”
“Grand!” Jackie beamed. “It’s Heather’s birthday tomorrow and we’re having a huge party. Pete’ll love to see you and Mickey and Jake and—” she bit her lip as she trailed off, thinking hard. She suddenly reached over and picked up the phone, dialling quickly.
“I don’t do parties.” The Doctor shook his head. “Jackie—”
“Hush!” She motioned at him to be quiet. “I wasn’t the one who started the conga-line on New Years.”
Martha stared at him in bemused disbelief. “You did what?”
The Doctor reached up to scratch the back of his head. “Well, it wasn’t my fault. I had just regenerated and you poured whisky in my tea which is a mean thing to do to anyone whose nervous system had just burned.”
Jackie just rolled her eyes and then stiffened. “Hello? This is Jacqueline Tyler. I need to speak to Rose. Yes, now. It’s an emergency.”
Rose? Martha’s eyes widened as the Doctor stilled. Rose? As in the Rose. The Rose who’s name made the Doctor pale and drawn. The Rose who was mentioned with hushed breath and heartfelt sighs of longing. The Rose who was the embodiment of all that was amazing and fun and fantastic. That Rose?
Suddenly her coffee was less than appealing.
Jackie rubbed her hands together as she waited. “Yes, Rose? It’s me.”
The Doctor’s whole body thrummed with tension and he strained his hearing for any hint of her voice but even with his superior organs he couldn’t hear anything as Jackie spoke.
“It is an emergency. I need you home right away. No, Heather’s fine. Rose, listen. No, love; just listen. I know I told you I wouldn’t call unless it was an emergency. It is. No, I didn’t call to remind you about Heather’s seventh, although you could have made the effort for your sister’s birthday, she barely remembers she’s got a sister, amount you see her.” She rolled her eyes and the Doctor couldn’t help the smirk that crossed his lips.
That was his Rose.
“Look, I really need you home, love. It is an emergency else I wouldn’t call. I’m sending Pete’s jet out for you. Where are you?” A look of confusion crossed her face. “Well, where the hell is that?
Martha leaned over. “It’s in
Jackie stared at Martha. “Well, what the hell are you doin’ there?”
The Doctor grinned.
And that was his Jackie.
“Whatever you’re doing it can keep. You’re comin’ home and I’m sending the jet. Be ready.” She clicked off the phone and grinned. “Ooh that’ll make her mad.”
“I’ll be sure and hide then,” said the Doctor. “Slitheen, Daleks, Cybermen, all nothing when you’ve seen Rose Tyler in a bad mood.” He looked over at Martha as Jackie rang for Pete’s jet and ordered it to fly out to pick her daughter. “You think you’re bad when you don’t get coffee? Once we ran out of PG Tips on the TARDIS, Rose single-handedly put down a revolution on Traxis by slapping the President and told her that if she didn’t get some tea, she’d kill everyone.”
“And that stopped the revolution?”
“For five minutes,” the Doctor smiled, “until everyone recovered from the shock and then they tried to kill us. But the moral of the story is,” he pointed at her, “don’t get near Rose when she’s mad … or don’t run out of PG Tips.”
“Me too, jet’s on its way and Pete’s on his way home and he’s bringing Mickey too. Proper family reunion.”
“Throw in a Jagrafess and call it a party.” The Doctor cringed but couldn’t quite pull off the distaste as his lips curved of their own volition.