A/N: Thanks to you wonderful bunch who reviewed the last three stories I put up. The one shots might dwindle away a bit as I'm working on something pretty big that I didn't want to put off for any longer. So yeah, I'll probably knock out a couple every now and then, but something massive will be heading this way in the next few months (cos I'm absolutely awful with massive things). Oh, and apologies for the lack of Ps in my last A/N, something was stuck under the key and it wasn't letting the Ps come out. Anyway, enjoy.
The Third of December.
On the third of December, 2008 Doctor Martha Jones finished her shift at the Royal Hope Hospital at five o'clock. She was home by five thirty, and was in the shower by five thirty-five. By six o'clock she was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a sparkly blue top, hair still wrapped in a towel. By half past six her make-up had been applied and her hair had been dried and styled.
As seven o'clock rolled around, Doctor Martha Jones was to be found waiting with her mother, father and sister outside a restaurant in north London. Leo finally graced them with his presence five minutes later, and they all went into the restaurant.
At ten o'clock, Doctor Martha Jones was on her way home, laden with numerous birthday cards and presents, her stomach full of with an expensive starter, main course and sumptuous dessert. She had also come to the conclusion that birthday meals were really quite enjoyable, even for one as anti-social as herself.
At ten fifteen, she turned her key in the door of her flat and stepped inside. She put her bag and presents down on her desk and slung her jacket over the back of her desk chair, letting out a sigh.
At ten sixteen she turned around and almost fainted.
"Happy Birthday," he said, holding out a bunch of exotic looking flowers. "Probably best to fill the vase with lemonade, they don't have water on Savalahoori." He looked around the room nervously when she didn't respond, before finally saying, "I heard you passed your exams, congratulations."
At ten eighteen, Martha Jones let out a shaky sigh and stepped towards the man she hadn't seen for eight months, wrapped her arms around him and held him in a tight hug. He put the flowers onto the sofa and encircled his arms around her in return, chin resting on her shoulder, eyes closed peacefully.
By ten thirty, they were both sitting sideways at opposite ends of the sofa, feet up and resting on each others' laps, both with a glass of red wine in hand, courtesy of Leo. The exotic flowers were sitting on the mantelpiece in a vase filled with lemonade and the room was filled with the sounds of chatting and laughter.
When the clock chimed eleven, Martha decided that this had been her best birthday to date. After all, even her eighteenth would not have been able to compare with sharing a bottle of wine with a time travelling alien as the night drew to a close.
The next time the clock chimed, Martha sighed. The fourth of December. It felt like she was Cinderella, and as soon as the clock struck twelve, the spell had broken, the magic disappearing. Her prince was still sitting at the other end of the sofa though, so she supposed that was something. "We can always go back in the Tardis, relive the day elsewhere." Martha shook her head.
"That's cheating." She drained the last of the wine from her glass and grabbed the bottle, topping up the Doctor's glass before filling her own. They sat in companionable silence for a while, drinking their wine quietly.
At twelve fifteen, she glumly told him that she had work in the morning, and he nodded, smiling sadly. "See you later, Martha Jones," he said as he stood up, arching his back slightly to stretch it, and squatted down beside her, placing a cool hand on her jaw and pressing a soft kiss to her lips. "And happy birthday."
At twelve sixteen, Martha sighed, gulped down the last of her wine and went to bed.
It was seven thirty-two when she awoke on Christmas morning, there was an envelope lying on the pillow next to her. Her name was written on the front in neat, loopy writing. She opened it, smiling when she saw the cartoon penguins on the front of it. On the inside of the card was the same loopy handwriting.
Miss Jones, I do hope you enjoy your silly little ape tradition, and if your memory is as good as you claim, I would avoid the pork and apple stuffing. Stick with sage and onion and all will be fine.
From your ever-marvellous Doctor.
P.S. I apologise for my shoddy wrapping, I don't really do presents.
P.P.S. It's under your tree, you stupid, materialistic ape.
Martha grinned and threw the duvet covers off her, wandering into the living room, making a mental note to top up the lemonade in the vase – they seemed to drink the stuff by the gallon, but they were still alive, so she supposed that was all right – and knelt down by the Christmas tree, grinning when she saw a present that hadn't been wrapped in her own snowflake-covered wrapping paper. She laughed when she realised what his definition of shoddy was, possibly a piece of sellotape which was wonky by a fraction of a degree, or the gold ribbons not having the same amount of curls on each strand. She opened the present carefully, and grinned when she saw the contents. She grabbed the box and got to her feet, dashing into the bathroom.
By seven forty-six, Martha Jones was in the bath, enjoying the delights of Fallubian bathing treats, a huge smile stretched across her tired face as she mentally prepared herself for spending the forthcoming day with her family.
On the third of December, 2009, Martha Jones finished her shift at the Royal Hope Hospital at half past ten in the morning. She was home by eleven o'clock, and by eleven oh-three, she was tucked up in bed, wearing fresh pyjamas, setting her alarm clock so it would wake her at five o'clock that afternoon. As she laid her head on the pillow at eleven oh-four, she decided that night shift would ruin them all. At twenty-five years old, Martha Jones felt it entirely inappropriate to be in bed at such a time.
At five o'clock, the alarm clock on her bedside table began to buzz demonically, and Martha Jones reached out a tired hand, slapping it haphazardly in an effort to turn it off. It wasn't until she grabbed the thing and examined the buttons that she remembered that she had to flick the switch on the left to get the infernal thing to silence itself. By five oh-five, she had managed to get herself out of her bed and into the shower, eyes closed as the hot water cascaded down her back, serving as an effective way of waking her up properly. At five oh-eight she grabbed the shampoo bottle and squeezed a small amount into her hand, before lathering it into her hair.
At six twenty-five, Martha Jones walked into the kitchen of her flat, grabbed a bottle of red wine that had been sitting on the counter untouched for a good few weeks and decanted it into a jug, thinking that even if she came home and had no one to share it with, at least she didn't have to work the next day, and would therefore not feel guilty in downing the lot and wallowing in disappointment, berating herself for getting her hopes up that this birthday would be just as good as the last one.
Martha Jones opened the door of her flat at exactly ten thirty-eight, wishing that she'd ordered the chocolate torte, like Tish had, instead of having the thoroughly disappointing lemon meringue pie. Still, there was always next year.
At ten thirty-nine, Martha Jones smiled as she was handed a glass of red wine and sat down on the sofa, resting her feet in the Doctor's lap while he picked up his coat, searching rapidly through the pockets, before pulling out a smartly wrapped present and card. At ten forty, the Doctor moved her legs gently from his lap and got onto his knees, shuffling forward so he could fasten the necklace around her neck, telling her it was handmade in the eighty-eighth century by the same people who made the twenty-third set of crown jewels. Martha hadn't known what to say except thank you, which could have been a result of just not knowing how to respond to the Doctor, or due to the fact that even though he'd finished fastening the necklace twenty-eight seconds ago, his cool hands were resting on her shoulders. She tried not to think about it as she said a belated thank you for the Fallubian bath treats he'd got her at Christmas. She gulped audibly when he asked her if she'd had a nice, long, hot bath with them, and although she couldn't see him, she could tell he was smirking wickedly.
She wasn't sure how it happened, but by the time ten forty-five came around, she was lying on the sofa, Doctor on top of her, his lips locked with hers, both of them breathing heavily at whatever chance they got. At ten forty-seven, he groaned as she grabbed a fistful of hair, pulling him impossibly closer and deepening their kiss.
At ten fifty-two she was pressed against her bedroom door.
At ten fifty-three she was tugging impatiently at his shirt.
At ten fifty-four, the pair of them fell backwards onto the bed.
At ten fifty-five, she let out a sigh.
At ten fifty-six, the world melted away.
On the fourth of December, 2009, Martha Jones smiled sleepily into her pillow at eight seventeen. She opened her eyes at eight eighteen to find she was quite alone and her tired smile vanished. At eight nineteen she let out a sigh as she realised her sheets smelled of him. At eight twenty-four, she berated herself for being so pathetic that she had sunk to the levels of hugging a pillow, even if it did smell gorgeous. She allowed herself one last blissful inhalation before getting up and stripping the sheets from her bed, jamming them into the washing machine in what was meant to be a positive step. She sighed, knowing that no matter how pleasant the smell of her fabric conditioner was, she'd be disappointed when she got into bed that night.
At exactly one o'clock on Christmas morning, Martha Jones was awoken by the sound of the sonic screwdriver, buzzing outside her front door. She got up from the sofa, put her cold cup of coffee down – which she had been very close to spilling all over the laminate flooring in her unconscious state – and opened the front door.
"That, is cheating, Miss Jones. If Father Christmas catches you awake-"
"I won't get the new Barbie doll that I've been wishing and hoping for?"
"Well exactly! No Christmas treats for you, Doctor Jones."
"What, so all the good girls get Father Christmas sneaking around their homes, and all the bad girls get you? Seems like I made the right choice."
"Maybe you did," he replied, smiling cockily.
By five past one, the Christmas present he had brought Martha lay forgotten on the sofa, along with his coat, jacket and tie, his burgundy trainers at opposite ends of the room. When he was collecting his clothes at four thirty-seven, he grinned as he saw a present under the Christmas tree with his name on it.
At four forty, he left with the box tucked under his arm, wondering if he should go back to the Tardis and head straight for her twenty-sixth birthday.
At four fifty-two he turned his key in the lock of the Tardis and decided it was unfair. Instead he set the coordinates for Judica, some time around the seventy-fifth century. They had a fabulous shopping centre there, and he couldn't very well turn up on her birthday without a present, could he?
On the third of December, 2010, Martha Jones finished her shift at the Royal Hope Hospital at midday. At twelve oh-five she was pushing open the glass door of the hospital, smiling as one of the nurses wished her a happy birthday. It hadn't even reached twelve oh-six when someone stepped in front of her, blocking her way. She noticed the light blue converse on his feet and was pleased to note they did match the pinstripes of his suit. "You like them then?" she asked, nodding at the shoes.
"Like them? I love them! Absolutely fantastic! Now come on, you're coming to have lunch." He took her by the hand and guided her along the pavement, weaving through busy office workers on their lunch break, some of whom had a bottle of water in one hand and a bagel in the other.
He led her to a small café which was tucked out of the way of the busier streets, red and white checked table cloths covering the round tables inside. They sat down and Martha laughed slightly to herself, not able to contain it for much longer. "Is there a problem, Miss Jones?" the Doctor asked evenly, a smile playing at his lips.
"Nothing. I just expected that the thought of having lunch, in a café, on my birthday would have you running for the hills. It's a bit domestic, isn't it?"
"Yeah, but so's birthday presents and Christmas cards and all that malarkey, I think I can make it through a meal. Well, I hope so, because I've got you a quality present this year, and frankly I want to be able to give it to you without having suffered any domesticity induced panic attacks. It's from the shopping centre on Judica, absolutely brilliant, even if I do say so myself." Martha raised her eyebrows momentarily, smiling as she looked at the menu.
"I look forward to it," she told him, eyes travelling down the menu, "the chicken risotto sounds nice, haven't had chicken risotto in a long time."
"I'm gonna have the steak sandwich, fantastic, had it last time I came here. Granted that was getting on for fifteen years ago, but fingers crossed it'll be just as good." Martha tutted and set the menu down on the table. "What?" he asked indignantly.
"You know, for someone who likes to insult us humans every waking moment, you are such a bloke."
"Excuse me?" he asked, not really understanding what she was trying to say.
"Well, you might as well order a pint and start talking about who's playing who tonight and what channel's showing what match."
"Oh don't be ridiculous. I happen to like sandwiches, and I happen to like steak, the chips on the side are a welcome bonus, and do you really think I'm that much of an oik that I'd order a pint? I'm a fine wine connoisseur, and I'll thank you for not having such a low opinion of me." Martha pursed her lips before breaking into a soft laugh, the Doctor joining in after a few seconds.
At twelve forty-seven, they began to tuck into their meals.
At twelve forty-eight, the Doctor scowled as one of his chips was stolen.
At twelve forty-nine, she rolled her eyes as he told her that whether it was her birthday or not, it was entirely unacceptable for her to steal chips from him.
At twelve fifty, a piece of chicken was stolen from her risotto.
At ten thirty-two, Martha Jones opened the door to her flat, glad that she had remembered to choose the chocolate torte over the lemon meringue pie. At ten thirty-three, she told him he should have come with her, that he'd have liked the spaghetti, because it tasted quite like the spaghetti they'd had in that restaurant in 2286. He told her that he ended up watching Mars Attacks, and had got really into it, despite the blasphemous assumptions and mistakes that had been made by the producers. She laughed and sat down next to him. "You still haven't given me that fabulous present," she told him, poking him in the side with her index finger.
At ten thirty six, Martha Jones' eyes widened as she opened her present.
"I thought seeing as your purple one got ruined when we went to Malagaxor-" she cut him off with a kiss, and it took him no time at all to place his hands on her waist, cool fingers making her skin tingle as he returned the kiss, feeling that if decent presents got this sort of reaction, he might have to go shopping more often.
Eleven twenty-six and he was smiling against the skin of her back, one hand resting on the curve of her waist.
Eleven twenty-seven and she let out a small sigh as he began to kiss her neck softly.
Eleven twenty-eight and she rolled over so she was facing him, eyes fluttering shut as his lips brushed against her own.
Eleven twenty-nine and she was holding onto him tightly, fingers digging into his back.
Eleven thirty and she was sure he'd been sent from heaven.
Eleven thirty-one and the room was filled with her breathless whispers, saying his name over and over.
It was one thirty-four in the morning on Christmas day when he crept into her bedroom. She was sleeping soundly, still wearing her clothes. It looked like she'd been so tired she'd just collapsed onto her bed, not bothering to set the alarm to wake her up for when she expected him to visit. He set down the collection of DVDs she'd bought him (including Mars Attacks, he was pleased to note) and tip-toed over to her bed, sitting down on it and leaning sideways, elbow resting against the mattress, his hand supporting his head. "Martha," he whispered, moving his hand forward to tuck her hair behind her ear. Her eyelids fluttered open and she smiled at him wearily, stifling a yawn as he smiled back at her. "Just wanted to say merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas," she replied quietly. He bent down and kissed her softly on the lips, thumb stroking her jaw gently.
"Go back to sleep," he told her, and she closed her eyes, sighing contentedly as she did so. He smiled and got off the bed, picking up his DVDs on his way out of the room.
One forty-one and she was fast asleep.
One forty-two and he closed the front door quietly behind him.
It was twenty past six when they saw the huge space ship hovering over London. "Always Christmas," her father said, "Why is it always Christmas?" Martha smiled and looked up at the ship longingly, knowing he was on board somewhere, fighting for their planet.
He had surpassed himself, because it was only six fifty-one when the space ship began to fly off into the distance, and Martha watched it until it was just a speck in the darkening sky. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and decided to send a text.
Five minutes later and Martha opened the front door, laughing as he pulled her into a hug. She moved away from him and frowned as she saw a large bruise on his cheek. "Ah, nothing to worry about, their leader just had one hell of a right hook. I mean literally, a hook, like in Peter Pan, except this one was made of gold, where they come from it's like water, can't get away from it. I mean obviously it doesn't rain liquid gold but all the ships are made from gold and sprayed-"
"Come and have some Christmas pudding," she said, interrupting him before he got too involved in his rant. "Mum was asking about you when I said I invited you."
"Good or bad? Cos I'm really not up for a slap today."
"Good of course, she likes you, honest."
"Well that's all right then! Lead the way Miss Jones! Christmas pudding will go down just nicely. Oh and I watched Independence Day, by the way."
"Maybe," he said, smiling slightly. "C'mon, I'm starved."
It was getting fairly close to midnight when he left. Martha had shown him out and had been about to go back inside when he grabbed her, pushing against the outside wall of the house, kissing her deeply before he pulled away and grinned at her. "See you next year," he said. He winked cheekily before striding down the path, disappearing into the dark. Martha hung around outside for a while, only going back inside when she heard the noise of the Tardis, dematerialising a few streets away.
Twelve oh-one, she noted.
On the third of December, 2011, Martha Jones sighed as she woke up, glancing at the clock and noticing that it was two minutes past eleven. She had definitely made the right choice when she'd opted not to work on her birthday, or the day after. She smiled to herself, some deranged part of her enjoying the guilt that she felt when she wasn't working,
At eleven oh-seven, she decided to get up.
At eleven oh-eight, she was still curled up in her duvet.
At eleven oh-nine, she promised she'd get up at ten past.
At ten past, she mumbled "five more minutes" into her pillow and rolled over, sleep consuming her once more.
When she awoke again, he was standing in the doorway, watching her. "Oh, Martha Jones, lazy bones," he said, smiling at the rhyme. Martha smiled back and he walked over, hopping onto the bed and landing heavily on it. "It's twelve oh-four, so sleep no more," he said in a sing song voice.
"Who d'you think you are?" Martha said, sitting up and rubbing her eyes tiredly. "Dr Seuss?"
"Get out of bed, you sleepy-head." Martha shoved him and he over balanced, almost falling off the bed but managed to grab the headboard just in time. "Careful!"
"It's my birthday; I can shove who I want, when I want."
"Not this alien, you can't," the Doctor argued as he shifted his body on the bed, resting back against the pillows, a deep frown on his face. "I was going to wish you a happy birthday, but seeing as you so callously pushed me to my possible death, I shan't say it now."
"Shan't? Blimey, I haven't used that word since I was six and my mum told me to tidy my room!"
"It's underrated, I'm bringing it back." Martha laughed and he glanced at her, allowing his own face to fall into a smile, his overly exaggerated frown disappearing in an instant. He leaned over and planted a quick kiss on her lips before wishing her a happy birthday. He handed her a card and she opened it, smiling as she read and then put it on her bedside table. "Oh, and these were in with the post," he handed her a few more coloured envelopes and she raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"Collecting my post? Thinking of moving in next, are you?"
"We both know you love it," he retorted.
"If you think the best part of your visits are when you turn into my personal postman, you really need to get your head sorted."
"Cheeky," he said. She flashed a grin at him and opened the cards, three from non-work friends, one from her nan, another from her aunt and one from her cousin.
"Do I get another wonderfully amazing present this year?" she asked, having set all the cards on her bedside table.
"Yes, did you expect anything else?" he asked. Martha shook her head. "Thought not," he replied. He got off the bed and walked out of the room, returning just as the clock ticked over to eleven minutes past twelve with a large rectangular package. Martha opened it and found that it was a pop-art style painting. A painting of the two of them, standing outside the Tardis. There was a signature in the corner.
"Litchtenstein," she said, "You got Litchtenstein to paint this?"
"Yeah, he owed me a favour anyway, he had a dodgy infestation and I sorted it for him a couple of years ago. "Where do you want me to hang it?" he asked, taking his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket. Martha just stared at him.
"You have got such an unfair advantage over everybody else," she told him. "You're the only person in the universe who can give me impossible things, while everyone else can only go to Lush and get me some bath bombs, which are not a patch on the Fallubian ones by the way, even if they are probably the best you'll get around here."
"Yeah well don't act like I've got an easy job. Had to hang around with Roy for six weeks to get him to do that! Had to keep nagging him. And I actually think about it too, cos let's face it, if I gave you some Braxian warrior armour, you wouldn't be too impressed, would you? I mean, you'd be impressed with the fact that it'd probably come from the year 73564, and that I'd crossed twelve and a half galaxies to get it, but you know, you wouldn't be impressed with it as a present."
"I never said you did have an easy job. But thank you. Seriously, thank you." She set the painting down, leaning it against the wall and shuffled over to him, resting her hand lightly against his jaw so she could tilt his face towards her. She kissed him softly and he let out a breath as she pulled away. "Again?" she asked. He nodded and she leaned forward and kissed him again, a little more forcefully this time. She got onto her knees and moved in front of him, swinging one of her legs over his own so she was straddling him. He ran his hands along her thighs as she broke away and he leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "I missed you, Martha Jones." She kissed him again, that seeming to be the appropriate response to anything he said or did that day.
Twenty-one minutes past and she pulled his tie off.
Twenty-two minutes past and she gasped as a cool hand ran along her back.
Twenty-three minutes past and they were starting to get sweaty.
Seven forty-three and she couldn't believe that she'd convinced him to come. Tish had smiled at her knowingly but Martha had just frowned in return, hopefully giving an 'I don't know what you're talking about' impression. She was quite sure it wouldn't work on her sister, and fully expected to receive an interrogating text the following morning, which she would, as expected, completely ignore.
The chocolate torte was just as wonderful as it had been last year, and she swallowed down the last spoonful before sighing, leaning back in her seat and drinking some of her wine.
It was eleven oh-six when the pair of them stumbled into Martha's flat, the journey home taking much longer when they were unable to walk for more than a few minutes without one pressing the other up against walls and buildings and fences, hands and lips wandering all over the place before they finally regained their composure and returned to their journey. It had surprised Martha that the Doctor had initiated most of these five minute adventures, but she supposed he'd been driven to insanity by the meal with her family, and that was one of the side effects.
By the time she awoke the next morning, (ten thirty-seven) he had gone, his smell still lingering on the sheets.
She decided not to wash them straight away.
She got home on Christmas morning at three twenty-three and closed the door behind her quietly, so as not to wake the people who lived downstairs. She had to fight to stay awake when he hugged her, for she could feel herself falling asleep on his shoulder, her arms wrapped loosely around him. She opened her eyes briefly when he picked her up, but they were too heavy to stay open, and as soon as he laid her down on the bed, she was gone, not even stirring when he pulled her shoes off for her. He lay down next to her, wrapped an arm around her and allowed himself to drift off.
He was still there when she woke up at five eighteen, but when she next opened her eyes, it was nine forty-four and all that was next to her was an indent in the sheets where he had been laying. She knew she probably wouldn't see him again that day.
On the third of December, 2012, Martha Jones finished her shift at the Royal Hope Hospital at six thirty, and went straight to North London to meet her family for her birthday meal.
She finally got home after a pleasant meal, at ten twenty-eight, and sank onto the sofa, disappointed that there was now only one hour and thirty-two minutes left in which she'd get a visit from the Doctor. She switched on the television and flicked lazily through the channels, not paying much attention until she flicked onto the news.
At approximate nine forty-eight, there had been an explosion at a factory in south London. The place had been closed all day, and then quite suddenly, had burst into flames that evening.
A short while later, (ten thirty-nine, to be precise) there was a knock at the door. Martha switched off the television and got up, opening the door and finding him standing on the other side of it, looking a little worse for wear. His shirt was untucked and stained with soot, his tie loosened and jacket held loosely in one hand. There was a nasty cut on his forehead and his hair looked more dishevelled than ever.
"Innocent people got caught up in it...but I had to...I couldn't let them...they were going to..." his eyes fluttered shut and he swallowed a lump in his throat. "I think your present might have got a bit singed." Martha pulled him into a tight hug and reached out a hand to push the front door closed. She wasn't sure how long they stood there, it could have been a couple of minutes or it could have been a couple of hours, she just didn't know. "Happy birthday, by the way," he whispered, and kissed her gently, allowing himself to forget the day's events as she kissed him back, the nameless and lifeless faces vanishing from his mind as she blindly guided him back the bedroom, her hands gripping the sides of his shirt.
Twelve minutes past eleven and she could think of nothing but him.
Thirteen minutes past eleven and he was pulling her shirt up, over her head.
Fourteen minutes past eleven and she reached out a shaky hand and switched off the lamp.
Seven fifty-seven and he placed a light kiss on her shoulder.
Seven fifty-eight and she rolled over in her sleep, twisting to fit against him more easily.
Seven fifty-nine and she opened her eyes.
Eight o'clock on the fourth of December and he was still there.