One More for the Road.
"What do we do?" Martha whispered urgently. The Doctor shrugged and Martha sighed exasperatedly.
"Just – just follow my lead," he told her, standing up to greet their visitor. Martha did as she was told and stood up too as the door swung open, revealing a young man with a clean white shirt in his hands. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, unsure of what to say to these newcomers, but the Doctor made things easier for him.
"Hello!" he said cheerfully, moving forward to shake the man's hand. "I'm the Doctor, and you are?"
"Gamma Seven – I mean – Jerry, my name's Jerry."
"And what species are you, Gamma Seven?" the Doctor asked, completely ignoring the false name that had been so haphazardly provided.
"Tedrian," he answered. Martha thought this was all too easy, but she supposed, if he was Gamma Seven he wouldn't be too high up on the list of importance, and getting information from him would be like taking candy from a baby.
"You're Tedrian!" the Doctor exclaimed delightedly. "Oh brilliant! I haven't seen one of you lot in a good few hundred years!"
"I think I should get Mr Sinatra," Gamma Seven said hurriedly before he rushed from the room.
"Well, I think that went well, don't you?" the Doctor asked, turning to Martha.
"Depends, what's the next move?"
"Blimey! You don't half need to learn to live in the moment! All this 'what do we do now' stuff, it's not good for you, you know."
"Well someone's got to think ahead, and I know it won't be you. So what are we going to do?"
"I thought you were the one thinking ahead," the Doctor commented. Martha glared and he continued. "Well, I'm sure I could get their ship up and running again, if they're nice, that is."
"And if not?"
"I'll give them the benefit of the doubt – ah, Frankie! Or should I say Alpha One?" Gamma Seven had returned with Alpha One, who offered a tight smile.
"Doctor, this is no business of yours, you should leave before things become messy."
"Oh come now! That's no way to speak to a man with a Sonic Screwdriver! Whatever's wrong with your ship, I'm ninety-nine percent sure that this little baby can fix it," he waved the Sonic Screwdriver in front of Alpha One's face, and his expression changed rather abruptly.
"And what would you know of Tedrian technology?"
"Only just about everything," the Doctor replied with only a slight bit of arrogance.
"And how have you come to know this?" Alpha One asked, rather than demanded, as he had when he'd asked the previous question. Martha grinned. She loved watching the Doctor mess with hostile people as though they were plasticine, moulding them into rather amiable folk with just a few polite words.
"Oh, well, the short answer is that I'm brilliant!"
"And he's had an extra dose of egotism today," Martha commented.
"Oi! We can give Isle of Wight a miss if you like!" Martha held back a smile as his voice catapulted into the higher and more indignant notes and the Doctor turned back to Alpha One, a disapproving frown on his face.
"Right, Alphie, can I call you Alphie?" the Doctor didn't wait for an answer, just slung his arm around Alpha One's shoulder and led him off down the corridor, discussing plans for fixing the Tedrian ship, leaving Martha behind with Gamma Seven.
"So...what's it like where you come from?" she asked curiously.
"Oh it's wonderful, Miss. The sky is golden and the winged ones soar through it all day long and we all watch them from the ground." Martha smiled.
"Tell me more," she said.
Half an hour later, Martha was sitting next to the Doctor on a bus which was heading out into the desert. All of the Tedrians had been loaded onto it after Alpha One had flagged down another Tedrian who was working as a bus driver during their stay.
"Has this ever happened before?" Martha asked.
"Has what ever happened before?"
"You know, you offering to help them get home and they take you up on the offer. Always seems like they refuse and you have to teach them a lesson."
"Well...it's rare, but it does happen sometimes. Makes a nice change, don't you think? And they even apologised for drugging you! Turning out rather nicely, isn't it?" Martha reached into her bag and pressed a packet of mints into his hand.
"Seriously, have one of those or I'm moving seats."
"Oh it's only whiskey! You're a big girl, you can handle it!" Martha leaned away from him as he spoke to her.
"Not when it smells like you've been swimming in the stuff, how many did you have?"
"Ohh...only a few," the Doctor answered, tearing the paper away from the tube of mints so he could get one out easily. Martha raised an eyebrow. "Well maybe it was a bit more than a few, but it doesn't matter, cos it doesn't affect me like it affects you lot." He tossed the mints back to Martha and she caught them, putting them back in her bag. "Ooh, we're slowing down," he noted, the mint obscuring his speech slightly.
"Are we?" Martha asked, squinting out the window to try and see any sign of a spaceship in the darkness.
"Just a tiny bit, yeah...must be drawing close." He looked over to Martha. "You won't be able to see it," he told her, "they'll have hidden it away properly, especially if there's still Tedrians on board." Martha turned away from the window and let her attention fall on the Doctor, who was crunching his mint loudly.
"Can I have another one?" he asked after swallowing down the minty fragments of his previous sweet. Martha smiled, handed over her bag and watched as he rummaged through it for the mints.
"No, the red one." Martha passed over a fat red cable and the Doctor connected it to a large piece of machinery.
"It's a bit chilly for the desert, don't you think?"
"They have to keep it cool for the Tedrians in the stasis pods," the Doctor told her as he took off his jacket and threw it to her before crawling under a generator of some sort.
"What d'you want me to do with this?" Martha asked, holding his jacket up even though he couldn't see it.
"Put it on, you said you're cold."
"Oh," Martha replied, slightly surprised as she slipped the jacket on. She'd not expected that. She thought he just wanted her to hang it up so it didn't get oily, but apparently it was a gentlemanly gesture. Martha committed it to memory – this particular sort of gesture didn't make frequent appearances. Her attention was caught by the Sonic Screwdriver as it skidded out from under the generator.
"Setting twenty-two, go along the black cable coming out of this with it, I think there's a loose connection in there somewhere..." Martha did as she was told, finally springing back from the cable in surprise as the generator burst into life. "Oh a round of applause if you please!" the Doctor said happily as he emerged from under the generator, a broad smile spread across his face, bow tie undone and hanging loosely around his neck. "Now, just have to give the engines a quick once over, check the fuel replicator and they'll be all set to head off home!" Martha grinned and followed him over to the engines as he rolled his sleeves up, unable to do much but watch or follow the odd simple instruction every now and then.
"Blimey, these engines are retro! I love it!"
"Is that a polite way of saying they're old and out of fashion?"
"Yep!" the Doctor replied. "But I've never been one to follow fashion anyway – argh!" His yelp was followed by a few choice words in a language the Tardis hadn't translated for her.
"What's wrong?" Martha asked, squatting down so she could see him better. He wriggled out from the small gap under the engines holding his hand.
"It cut me! Those flipping engines are rubbish! A complete and utter death trap!" Martha smiled fondly as she pulled a packet of tissues out of her bag. After she had wiped away the small pool of blood that had collected in his hand she looked around the maintenance room for something she could clean his cut with. When nothing presented itself to her, Martha spat into the tissue in the most lady-like way she could and began to clean the Doctor's cut.
"Miss Jones, are you not a medical student?"
"It's retro," she told him innocently.
"And how do you know I don't react badly to human saliva?"
"You didn't react too badly to that genetic transfer..." Martha told him distractedly. She pulled a fresh tissue out of the packet, laid it across the cut before taking her hair band out of her hair and tying it around the tissue to keep it in place. "There, that'll have to do until we get back to the Tardis, now be careful! I'm not a travelling first aid kit, after all." The Doctor grinned and shuffled back under the engines, ready to finish what he'd started and get the ship up in the air.
Finally, after he had completed his work on the engines and fixed a few glitches with the fuel replicator, the Doctor took Martha by the hand and led her back to the stasis room, where the Tedrians were preparing to transfer back into their original bodies. Alpha One stepped forward.
"Thank you, Doctor," he said, shaking the Doctor's hand. "And you too, Miss Jones. We can now go back to where we belong after far too many years of being out of place."
"Oh it was nothing, Alphie; you have a safe journey back."
"We hope to, Doctor. It's probably best if you wait outside whilst the transfer takes place, it can be damaging to human eyes."
"Will the people be all right?" Martha asked, "Will it hurt their eyes?"
"No," Alpha One answered, "They will be in stasis while the change takes place, they will not be harmed." Martha seemed satisfied with this answer but had another question.
"But what about their memories? They won't just wake up in the desert with no recollection of the last few years, will they?"
"They will keep their memories, and I'm sure the Doctor will inform them on the importance of keeping their silence." The Doctor nodded, gave a small smile, and led Martha from the ship, out into the desert where they would wait on the bus.
People soon began to drift back onto the bus looking slightly worse for wear, but nevertheless unharmed as promised. Once the bus was full, the Doctor stood up to address the passengers. "Oi! Listen up!" Everybody stopped talking at once. "Now look, I know this has all been a bit...well, out of the ordinary, but don't go blabbing, eh? Everyone's fine and you can go back to your lives and carry on as normal, all right?" There was a small murmur of acceptance from the passengers. "Fantastic! Now we've got that sorted, we can start to head -"
"Doctor, it's taking off!" the Doctor ran to the window which Martha was peering out of and they watched happily as the spaceship took off in a blinding flash of light, shooting up into the sky at impossible speeds. The Doctor began to laugh triumphantly as it became a pinprick of light amongst the stars.
The bus driver, now with his own original mind returned, drove them back towards the city. Martha had expressed concerns to the Doctor about his capability to drive after what had happened, but the Doctor had brushed them off saying that at worst they'd crash into a cactus.
When they arrived back at the club, everybody got off the bus quickly and milled around outside, unsure what to do next. "Well I think there's a show that needs to be finished," Dean said loudly, looking towards his fellow performers. People began to smile and made their way into the club, anxious for some relaxing music after their ordeal. Martha stepped forwards towards the club, but the Doctor held her back. She turned to look at him quizzically and he shook his head, before guiding her back to the alleyway where the Tardis was parked.
Martha yanked her hand out of his and walked ahead, annoyed that he had pulled her away from the fun. She slammed the door of the Tardis when she got inside and paced around angrily, waiting for him to join her. When he did, he hadn't even closed the door before she started on her rant.
"You always do this! You never hang around to enjoy yourself! You save the day and then you're off to another place in another time. Are we so boring that you can't stand being with us for that long? Are you so arrogant that you can't enjoy a bit of music after you've saved the day? Oh no, you're the Doctor, you have much more important things to be -"
"D'you think any of them were going to give a good performance?" he asked her, his tone even. Martha didn't say anything. "I didn't want your last memories of the Rat Pack to be of some dodgy out of tune song where they're all getting the words wrong because their heads have been messed with. I just thought...well, doesn't matter." Martha looked at the ground, feeling slightly ashamed of herself. She slipped his jacket off and hung it over the rail, not knowing quite what to say.
She didn't need to say anything though, because the Doctor flicked a few switches and the silence was replaced by the sound of a piano. He walked over to where she was standing and took her hand in his makeshift-bandaged one, leading her away from the railings so they had room to dance. Martha let her head rest against his shoulder and noticed that he smelled faintly of alcohol.
"You still smell," she told him.
"Probably," he replied.
It's quarter to three
There's no one in the place
'Cept you and me
So set 'em up Joe
I've got a little story
You oughtta know
We're drinking my friends
To the end of a brief episode
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
I got the routine
Put another nickel
In the machine
Feeling so bad
Can't you make the music
Easy or sad
I could tell you a lot
But you gotta be true to your code
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
You'd never know it
But buddy I'm a kind of poet
And I got a lot of things I'd like to say
And when I'm lonely
Won't you listen to me
Till it's talked away
Well that's how it goes
And Joe I know you're getting
Anxious to close
So thanks for the cheer
I hope you didn't mind
My bending your ear
But this torch that I've found
Has gotta be drowned or it soon might explode
So make it one for my baby
And one more for the road