Author's Notes: This was actually written just before Last of the Time Lords. But, to my suprise and joy, it wasn't entirely Jossed (Made AU) by the season final! However certain bits of it, such as the Doctor's reactions as regards the Master, may seem not-quite-right, and several of the details may seem a tiny bit off. As such I'd ask a bit of patience and tolerance on behalf of the reader. The basic 'thrust' of this fic remains unchanged and I hope they will make allowences for it's nature. I also beg that, if you enjoyed this humble little story, you leave a review. Thank you.
DISCLAIMER: Unsuprsingly Doctor Who does not belong to me any more than the Tardis belongs to the Master. Like the Master, I am merely borrowing the Tardis to create my own, fun little paradox for your sadistic enjoyment.
Well Lived In
The day after the fall of Harry Saxon, AKA the Master, Martha and the Doctor finally managed to disentangle themselves from the world in general and make their way back to the Tardis.
The Doctor strode in, throwing this long coat to one side and gazing, thoughtfully, at the Paradox Engine. He made a few little clicking and humming sounds, pulling at his ear lobe thoughtfully and stalking round what remained of the central column, the ruddy-red light giving the place an eerie feel.
Martha, meanwhile, quickly plonked herself on the floor and opened up her new laptop. It had been a gift from the Doctor, a repayment for the one he had taken apart earlier. It was new and shiny and state of the art and it would probably take a while to work out. She'd managed to back up some of her work and given time she was sure she could get it working to her specifications. Martha Jones was no great wiz at computers, but she knew her disk drives from her mega-bites and felt more than up to the task of formatting her new machine.
A deep sigh distracted her and she turned to see the Doctor looking at the wrecked console with a resigned expression. She felt a twinge of sympathy. He had a much harder task than she did.
'Can you fix it?' she asked.
'Mmm… oh yeah. Well… probably… hopefully… it's just a matter of where to start.' He jammed his hands in his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels, frowning. 'I know!' the sudden yell made her jump.
'Tea!' the Doctor clapped his hands together, grinning, 'a good old blend of caffeine and tannin, spiced with a bit of sugar!'
'That'll get the Tardis working?' said Martha, sceptical.
'No but it might get my mind going,' said the Doctor, unperturbed. 'How about it Martha? Fancy a cuppa?'
She smiled despite herself at the drawn out way he said, 'cuppa,' as if delighting in the world for its own sake. A cup of tea did sound very good. The last time she had managed to sit down peacefully with a nice, warm, fresh cup of tea had been... oh... ages ago. Really, if one didn't count paradoxes, it hadn't been since just a few minutes before her flat had exploded. A cup now sounded absolutely delightful.
'Go one then,' she said, 'if you're making.'
'Of course, Miss Jones,' said the Time Lrd merrily, 'hold on one tic and it'll be through directly!'
He bounced off through the other door, which led to the Tardis main and Martha went back to the task of configuring her computer.
Five minutes past and she was about to begin installing Microsoft Windows when the Doctor strode back in, without tea.
'Where've you been?' she asked.
'The Master,' spat the Doctor, looking rather annoyed, 'he's gone and rearranged the kitchen!'
'Oh,' said Martha, blinking. Trust a bloke to panic at something like this. 'Well… the mugs and stuff must be somewhere. Have you tried looking in that sorta hidden cupboard? Near that wizzing… thing?'
'No, Martha, you misunderstand,' said the Doctor, patiently. 'I can't find it.'
'The Master's gone and changed the layout of the Tardis,' spat the Doctor, 'I can't find anything! Trust him to be that childish.'
Martha bit back a comment along the lines that the Doctor wasn't always exactly the model of maturity either. Instead she said, 'Can he do that?'
'He had eighteen months to get settled in. I don't see why he couldn't.' The Doctor sounded gloomy. 'The interior of the Tardis has always been sorta… malleable. It'll take ages for me to find everything again.'
'Well the kitchen must be somewhere near.' Said Martha, hoping to cheer him up a bit. 'The Tardis can't be that big and even the Master needs to eat, right? I mean… your people do…?'
'Oh yeah,' said the Doctor offhandedly, 'it's just a matter of where. It's probably within a mile radius.'
'The Tardis is a big place,' the Doctor was looking worryingly cheery, 'it could take hours to find it and who knows what else we might discover on the way, There are rooms in here even I don't know about. Fancy a bit of an adventure, Martha Jones?'
Martha considered the Doctor, then considered her new laptop. She measured out her options carefully. God knows how long on she'd been the run, the constant battles and general stress had left her tired, bruised and utterly exhausted. She'd managed to catch a quick nap and a change of cloths before coming back into the Tardis but that wasn't enough, wasn't nearly enough to put her at an even keel. All she wanted now, truth be told, was half an hour alone, quietly, with a cup of tea and her new computer.
'Doctor,' she said carefully, 'don't take this the wrong way. At any other time I'd love to go exploring the depths of the Tardis with you but, right now, I just want a cup of tea and a sit down.'
'Oh, right,' said the Doctor, not even attempting to hide his disappointment, 'that's OK. I understand… I'll just go on my own then.'
'If you wouldn't mind?'
'No, no… that's fine… I'll just take my coat with me and I suppose I'll see you later.'
'Ok,' said Martha, turning back to her lap-top.
'If I'm not back in a few hours then don't worry. I never get lost.'
'But if I'm not back in a few days then you might want to send someone after me.'
'Sure. See you in a bit.'
'Oh and if the Tardis starts making any odd noises you may want to get out. Quickly.'
'I will. Bye.'
'Good… erm… right… see you.'
She heard the Doctor grab his coat and mooch out, trainers thudding sulkily on the griddling.
She was just about to start up the installation process when the Doctor came back, his chirpy voice making her jump.
'Had an idea!' he said. 'Hold on!' He dashed towards the mutilated console and pressed a few buttons, seemingly at random.
'I don't see why he would have interfered with this,' he muttered to himself, before taking out his trusty sonic-screwdriver and speaking into the tip.
'Testing. One two three testing.'
The sound of his voice reverberated around the console room, causing Martha to bring her hands to the side of her head, wincing with the sheer volume.
'Sorry,' chirped the Doctor, 'had it a bit loud. He fiddled a bit, 'There, that should be better. I can use this to keep in contact with you as I explore. Just yell out if you want to talk to me.'
So much for a bit of peace and quiet.
'Great,' Martha said, wondering if her smile looked as fake as it was. 'Fantastic!'
'It is, isn't it?' said the Doctor, seemingly oblivious, 'I'll be back soon.' He bounced out, holding the sonic screwdriver up high.
Martha sighed and returned to her work, already tensed up for the oncoming commentary.
Never the less his first words made her jump again. 'I've found the living room!' his voice, quieter this time but still loud, echoed round the chamber.
Martha frowned, 'We have a living room?'
'Yeah, forgot all about it myself. But it's… oh no!'
'What?' asked Martha, a little worried.
'He's gone and raided the drinks cabinet! I had some Solarion Scotch in there and he's gone and nicked it!'
'Oh,' said Martha, not sure exactly how to reply to that.
'And the Andromeda wine! That was good stuff to… oh hell, he's gone and spilt some on the carpet. That'll never come out!'
'Erm,' said Martha, not quite sure how to phrase this, 'If the Master can rearrange the entire interior of the Tardis, can't you… change the carpets?'
'Well yeah, of course but it's the principle of the thing!'
'Right,' drawled Martha, soothingly. She never knew the Doctor could be such a home-body.
'I'm going on,' said the Doctor, sounding a little sulky. The connection clicked out and Martha's attention returned, once again, to her laptop.
A few moments later- 'I've found the bathroom!'
'That's nice,' said Martha, frowning at her screen. Damn Windows! Why couldn't anything be simple!
'Everything looks alright in here.' the Doctor sounded happy once again, 'It's still clean too. Oooh, he left us some toilet paper! Quilted stuff too! In'that nice, Martha?'
'Yeah. It's great.'
'And there's some new toiletries. What's this…?' a pause and then, 'Eugh, doesn't taste good. Some sort of… lubricant. Skin cream maybe? Well, he looked like he used it. You don't get complexion like that without a little help, I'm telling you. Oh, it's Vaceline! There you go. Wonder what he wanted that for? Oh well, moving on!
Click! And the connection was gone.
Martha shook her head and did her best to concentrate and finishing the installation. She was almost done now.
She was just trying to work out what this new version of windows actually did when the Doctor came back on.
'I've found the library,' he said solemnly, 'but he's messed it all up. The books are all out of place. The Data chips look alright though. Oh, and he left a copy of his book.'
'His book?' Martha was intrigued despite herself.
'Yeah, Kiss me, Kill me. Sounds salacious.' A pause, the faint sound of flicking pages. 'It is salacious!' The Doctor sounded worryingly thrilled, 'Some hot stuff in here Martha. All made up of course. Well… most of it.' The Doctor's voice trailed off into silence. There was the sound of pages turning.
'Doctor,' said Martha, a little impatient. 'Are you going to go get that tea or what?'
'Huh? What? Oh yes. Yeah… I'll come back later. Hold on.'
Martha sighed and shook her head as the Doctor signed off once again. She clicked on a few icons then cursed when it did something different to what she'd been expecting. Where the hell was the manual for this anyway? Oh yeah, the Doctor had binned it claiming that she wouldn't need it. It was only a simple computer system anyway.
Simple! Ha! He'd evidently never touched Microsoft before.
'I'm in the garden!' The Doctor sounded a little breathless.
'We have a garden?'
Martha looked up from her work, frowning. How did you get a garden in a spaceship anyway? Oh well, this was the Tardis.
'Is it OK?' she asked.
'Oh yeah, it's fine. The Master hasn't touched it but it has gone a bit- augh! Back! Back! Get off me!-' There was the sound of vegetation moving and a squeal from the sonic screwdriver, '-a bit wild.' The Doctor finished, panting a little. 'I'm moving on.'
The comms clicked out again and Martha chewed her thumb thoughtfully. Perhaps she should have gone with the Doctor after all. She had no idea the Tardis could be this-
'Martha?' The Doctor's voice sounded speculative.
'I don't supposed you've ever wanted a cat?'
'Erm… no, not really. Why?'
'Oh, no reason.' The Doctor's voice was worryingly high pitched. 'Carrying on.'
Martha got to her feet and began to pace. Was it too late to go searching for him? Probably. There was no use in them both getter lost and it sounded like the Tardis was truly massive. She'd known it was big but…
'Martha!' This time he sounded full of urgency, more so than any of his other broadcasts.
'My bedroom! The Master he's… he's had sex in my bed!'
Martha paused. 'What?' she said.
'Sex, Martha! Sex! In my bed! He's gone and… copulated in my bed!'
'Er… how do you know?'
'The sheets are all ruffled and it smells like… and there are… things… in it.'
He used the word, 'things,' in the same manner Edger Alan Poe might.
'Oh… well…' said Martha, not quite sure how to respond. 'It's just a bed. I'm sure once you clean it up, straighten it out…'
'Martha,' the Doctor's voice was deeply solemn, 'this bed will never be clean again.'
'Well then we'll get you a new one! I mean there's got to be other bedrooms in this place, if it's so big!'
'Of course there are other bedrooms!' the Doctor scoffed. 'But this was my bed, Martha. I liked this bed. I had some good times in this bed. Now I won't be able to touch it without thinking of… him… doing… things… in it.'
'Well you can sleep in the console room until then. I've seen you do it before. I'll even lend you my sleeping bag.'
A pause and then, 'Can't I sleep in your bed.'
Martha's jaw dropped open. She would have been scandalized/thrilled if the Doctor's tone hadn't been so entirely innocent.
'Just…' she stuttered, then sighed. 'Just get that tea and then we'll talk about it.'
'Alright,' said the Doctor, before signing off once more.
Martha slouched back to her computer and began work once again. Slipping in disks and putting on some of her old stuff. A surprisingly good while later the Doctor's chirpy voice sounded out round the console room again.
'I've found it!'
'What?' Martha couldn't hide the annoyance in her voice. She'd just been getting into her task as well.
'The Kitchen,' reminded the Doctor lightly. 'Mind you, doesn't look like the Master was big on washing up, but it's not too bad. There's some clean mugs. The Earl Grey has been all used up but there's some PG Tips left. I suppose that'll do. Oh, and the milk's been left out.'
'Has it gone off?'
'It's practically sentient.' There was the sound of door opening and closing, 'Not to worry, there's some still in the freezer.'
'How old is it?'
'Two, maybe three thousand years, but it's been in suspended animation so it'll be fine.' There was the sound of mugs clanking and cutlery tinkling.
'One lump or two?' said the Doctor at last.
Martha frowned, a little puzzled. 'I don't take sugar.'
'I meant milk.'
'I… think I'll have mine without, thanks.'
'Suit yourself.' said the Doctor. And then, 'Ooooh, he left some ginger biscuits!' Another pause, the sound of crunching, 'Mmm, and there're still good. Want some, Martha?' the Doctor's voice was a little indistinct due to the fact he probably had his mouth full.
'Er… sure,' said Martha. At this point she was simply relieved he'd found his way to the kitchen. 'Will you be alright getting back?'
'Yeah, I'll be there in five minutes.'
The communication clicked off and, surprisingly enough, five minutes later the Doctor returned, a tray in hand, with two cups of tea and a plate of ginger biscuits on it.
'I'm back!' he remarked cheerfully, putting the tray down and plonking himself next to Martha and her computer.
Closing up the laptop, Martha took her mug of tea and had a sip, grateful for even a slightly cool, black, and cheap cup of tea.
'So,' said the Doctor at last, after he'd taken a few sips out of his own tea (not to mention eaten half the plate of biscuits) 'Can I sleep in your bed tonight?'
Martha nearly spat out the tea. 'What?'
'You said we'd talk about it when I came back with the tea. I have, so we're talking about it. Oh come on Martha! You can't make me sleep out here! Not with the Tardis like this…'
'I've spent a year on the run!' protested Martha, 'I've not slept in a real bed for… for ages! At least you were comfy!'
'Hardly,' scoffed the Doctor, his eyes turning dark. He shook himself. 'Oh come on Martha!' he pleaded. 'For me?'
'No!' said Martha decisively. 'Sleep in your own bed!'
'You sleep in my bed!' retorted the Doctor. 'I can't even look at it! Oh please Martha! He's hardly done anything to your room, but mine's an absolute mess! I can't sleep in a bed that my worst enemy has gone and… bred in.'
'Listen-,' said Martha, determined to put her foot down. Then she did a double take and said, 'What do you mean? Hardly touched?'
'Wellll,' drawled the Doctor, waving one hand airily, 'Theres a few bits and bobs moved. Not much. Your underwear drawer was left open.'
'My… underwear drawer?'
'Yeah. And some of it looked worn too. Funny that…'
'Worn? You mean… he…?'
'Well, him or his wife. Oh, and he left your diary out on your bed. But I put that away for you. Second drawer on the right, under the secret panel, right?'
'He… you…?! He read my diary?' Martha spluttered, almost beyond words.
'He left annotations too. Quite interesting really.'
'Annotations? He annotated my diary?'
'Yeah, and a few diagrams.'
'Anatomically correct diagrams actually. Very…' the Doctor paused, 'salacious,' he finished. Swilling the word about his mouth like fine wine, then grinned cheekily.
Martha spluttered then staggered to her feet. Ignoring computer, tea and biscuits she raced out of the room.
'Straight on! Second left, then right, then left at the column then through the third door on your right!' yelled the Doctor helpfully as she fled the scene.
Settling back with his tea and biscuits the Doctor sighed happily. It felt more like home already.