Author's note: Occurs in my AU, where we have a fourth member of the TARDIS crew. The full story of her presence will be told in my other story called "Isn't Worth Living". OK, plug over, this is a one-shot for my birthday and it's dedicated to my best fried who's made it the best birthday ever and my brother, who helped and gave me this idea. Enjoy.
Oh, and to read the later story of Jack's present, check out my brother's story Tuesday, he insists that I give him a plug because I nicked his story idea (sorry Rick, but I'm better than you.)
Jack wandered into the main room of the TARDIS with his hands in his pockets and flashed a strained smile at his friends, "Jazz isn't feeling very well, I'm going to stay with her, you two go and have some fun, we'll join you if she's feeling better later. And call us if you need us."
The Doctor looked worried, "Is she OK, do you want me to go and check on her?"
"Nah," he shook his head and shrugged, "she's fine, just, you know… We'll be fine, you go and enjoy yourselves."
"If you're sure…" but he couldn't finish his sentence before Rose had dragged him out of the TARDIS. Jack stood in the doorway to see them off as they wandered arm in arm through an alien market and he smiled to see the Doctor looking so happy. He was still smiling as he made his way back to the room he shared with his girlfriend not far from the TARDIS kitchen. He pushed the door open to find her surrounded by balloons and wrapping paper, "Do you think we've got enough balloons?"
She grinned, "I hope so, Rose's room's full of them too." Jack stifled a groan as she picked up an armful of the balloons and passed them to him. "Come on, I don't know how long she'll be able to keep him away."
Jasmine was setting up the cake on the table, complete with quite a lot of candles, when her phone rang in her back pocket. Jack fished it out as he passed and winked at her as he did so and answered with a laugh, "Heya, Rose. How are you doing?"
"We're just heading back, how's Jazz feeling?"
His grin broadened and he slid his hand back into his girlfriend's jeans pocket, successfully distracting her from tying up the last balloon, "She's fine, up and about again. How long until you get back?"
"Five minutes, see back there."
He hung up and pulled away from her reluctantly, "That was our five minutes warning. Come on, we've got a lot to do before he gets back."
The next five minutes were a rush, tying up balloons, secreting party poppers around the place, falling over each other constantly, but by the time the door opened and the Doctor strode in they were hidden out of sight and the room was ready.
He stopped in his tracks when he saw the balloons and the streamers everywhere, staring in shock as Jack, Jazz and Rose all screamed together, "Surprise!"
Rose and Jazz ran and hugged him, then stood back as Jack hesitated before doing the same. They laughed at the two men, especially at the Doctor who appeared to be in shock. "Happy Birthday!" Jazz laughed
"What?" He spluttered out, struggling to find the right words to convey his surprise, happiness and slight fear at his friends' party.
"Well, after the party you all threw for me, and then the time we all went out and got drunk for Jack's birthday, and going back to Rose's Mum's for her birthday, we had to do one for you too." Jazz explained, "And we don't know when your birthday is, so we picked a date and went for it."
"Cos we figured that time is relative and all that, and every time we've asked you you've said that you don't know, so we eventually decided to believe you."
"And we picked one year to the day from me meeting you, because it felt significant."
"Guys, I don't know what to say. Thank you. You humans, you're fantastic." He hugged them all in turn again and was surprised to find that he had tears in his eyes, "You're absolutely fantastic."
"We know." They chorused, and dragged him off to eat a cake shaped like the TARDIS, jelly and ice cream and those little cocktail sticks with cheese and pineapple. Underneath the table was a pile of presents, from the three of them and some of his past friends whom Jack and Jasmine had tacked down over the last few months; a chronopathic watch from Jack, a new jacket from Rose, a set of Gobstones from Jasmine, a model of the solar system from Liz Shaw and a pair of socks from Jackie Tyler ("Only your mother, Rose! Only your mother.") Amongst many others. And, for the first time in a very long time, the Doctor finally felt like he belonged. And all it had taken was one date, picked out of three hundred and sixty five others, to latch on to for all time.