Chapter 6, Seeing the Universe

Martha listened to the news report, while she got dressed for Leo's party.

"Eyewitness reports from the Royal Hope Hospital continue to pour in," the announcer said, "and it all seems to be remarkably consistent." Martha had refused an interview, trying to keep up with Rose and the Doctor, but they'd somehow slipped away. "This from medical student Oliver Morganstern," the announcer continued.

"I was there. I saw it happen," he said, "and I feel uniquely privileged. I looked out at the surface of the moon." Martha smiled, remembering how amazing it had been, despite the terror. "I saw the earth, suspended in space, and it all just proves Mr. Saxon right. We're not alone in the universe. There's life out there: wild and extraordinary life."

Martha shook her head, wondering if she'd ever see that crazy pair of space travelers again.

--

Martha's Mum had finally snapped, so now they were all following an angry Annalise out of the party and into the street. The insults and indignant replies were flying mercilessly.

"Clive," Annalise complained to Martha's Dad, "that woman is disrespectin' me. She's never liked me."

"Oh, I can't think why," retorted Mum, "after you stole my husband."

"I was seduced," screeched Annalise, "I'm entirely innocent! Tell her, Clive!"

"And then she has a go at Martha," Mum continued, "practically accused her of making the whole thing up."

"Mum, I don't mind. Just leave it," Martha pleaded, but no one was even listening to her.

Back and forth she watched, helpless, until Annalise finally declared, "Oh, I'm never talkin' to your family again!" and stormed off into the night, Dad trailing after her. The rest of them followed soon after, leaving Martha alone on the sidewalk.

Glancing up the street, Martha was surprised to see Rose, smiling at her, and nodding for her to follow her into the alleyway.

Martha followed, turning the corner to find Rose and the Doctor, leaning against a blue police box.

"I went to the moon today," she said, coming up to them.

"A bit more peaceful than down here," commented the Doctor, looking towards the street.

"You never even told me who you are," Martha said.

"The Doctor and Rose," he answered, as if it were obvious.

"What sort of species?" Martha asked. "It's not every day I get to ask that."

"I'm human," said Rose, "from earth, London, just like you."

"And I'm a Time Lord," the Doctor answered.

"Right! Not pompous at all, then," Martha laughed.

He ignored the comment. "I just thought," he said, "since you saved my life, and I've got a brand new sonic screwdriver which needs road testing," he flipped the shiny new screwdriver in the air, with a smile at Rose, "you might fancy a trip."

Martha was shocked. "What, into space?"

"Well--" he began.

"I can't," Martha answered, her heart heavy at her own reply. "I've got exams. I've got things to do. I have to go into town first thing and pay the rent, I've got my family going mad--"

"Did he mention," put in Rose, "he can also travel in time?" Rose gave the Doctor a secretive kind of smile at that, which he returned.

"Get out of here," said Martha, convinced they were pulling her leg, just seeing how far they could push after the day's events.

"I can," insisted the Doctor.

"Come on now, that's going too far," Martha said.

"I'll prove it," he said, walking into the police box, Rose following in behind him.

Martha watched, amazed, as the box vanished in a mix of wind and an unearthly whooshing sound. She put her hand into the space where the box had sat, pulling it back just as the sound picked up again, and the box rematerialized.

The Doctor and Rose stepped out, the Doctor now dangling his tie from his finger. "Told you!" he said smugly.

"I know, but . . . that was this morning! But--did you--" They were smiling at her. "Oh, my God! You can travel in time!" she exclaimed. The Doctor put his tie back on. "But hold on," Martha asked, "if you could see me this morning, why didn't you tell me not to go into work?"

"Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden," he told her seriously.

"Except for cheap tricks," added Rose.

"And that's your spaceship?" Martha asked, stepping up to the police box with a newfound respect.

"It's called the TARDIS," the Doctor told her. "Time and Relative Dimension in Space."

She touched it. "Your spaceship's made of wood," she told them. She looked around the back, seeing that it really was as shallow as it had seemed. "There's not much room. Aren't you two cozy?"

The Doctor pushed open the door. "Take a look," he told her.

Martha stepped inside, was confronted with a huge, domed room, and backed out again. "Oh, no, no," she muttered, circling the box. "But it's just a box," she said. "But it's huge! How does it do that? It's wood," she said, knocking on the outside. "It's like a box with that room just rammed in." She stepped inside, taking a few steps up the ramp. "It's bigger on the inside," she said, in awe.

"Is it?" the Doctor asked from behind her.

"I hadn't noticed," said Rose, walking past Martha, and up to the mushroom-like console in the center of the room.

Martha heard the doors close behind her, then the Doctor ran up to the console, next to Rose. "All right, then," he said, "let's get going."

"But," stammered Martha, her mind brimming with questions, "is there a crew? Like a navigator and stuff? Where is everyone?

"Just us," said Rose.

"Just the two of you?" Martha repeated.

"Well, sometimes we have guests," answered the Doctor. "Like you! Now, just one quick trip to say 'thanks', sound fair? Then you'll be back home before anybody knows you're gone."

Rose muttered something only the Doctor could hear.

"Sounds fair," Martha answered, walking up to the console.

"Well, then," said the Doctor, "close down the gravitic anomalizer," he moved a lever, "fire up the helmic regulator," he nodded to Rose and she operated another control as he walked behind her, "and finally . . . the hand brake," he said, releasing, well, a handbrake. "Ready?" he asked Martha, his hand poised on yet another lever.

"No," she said, honestly, but unable to keep from smiling.

"Off we go," he said, throwing the lever, causing the entire ship to pitch and shake. Rose let out a shriek that could have been surprise, but seemed more like delight, and the Doctor was thrown against the seats behind the console, before regaining his feet and holding on.

"Blimey, it's a bit bumpy!" Martha yelled, holding on to a bit of the console between Rose and the Doctor.

"Welcome aboard, Miss Jones," he said, ignoring the comment and offering his hand.

She shook it. "It's my pleasure, Mr. Smith," she said, since the pseudonym just seemed appropriate, somehow. "Mrs. Smith," she said, turning carefully to shake Rose's hand as well.

Yeah, they weren't "Smiths", Martha thought, or married, but they were still wearing their rings.

--

The end :)

Tune in next time for "The Shakespeare Code" (Sorry, Gilari, another unimaginative title.)