Title: "Great Hair"
Author: Guess, genius (hint: look up)
Characters, Pairings: Ten, Martha, Ten/Martha, Tardis
Summary: What was the point of doing impressive things if there was no one around to be impressed? The Doctor scours the Tardis for Martha, and meets mishaps head-on.
Warnings: AU, I suppose.
Rating: PG-13 for a TINY BIT of sexuality
Notes: So I got the idea for this literally months ago, but I got distracted with um…certainly not Eleven/Amy, let's just say schoolwork, shall we? Anyway, it happened upon me when I was—God, this is embarrassing—looking up tidbits in fashion magazines on how Freema does her hair so I could replicate it, because let's face it, her 'do is rockin'. I came across this and read: "Freema usually dons a smooth look, which means she's an avid fan of straighteners and blow drying." And then this happened!
"Martha!" the Doctor called. He ceased his traipsing for a moment or two to await a response, but all that graced his ears was the echo of his own voice bouncing about the never-ending (and he meant that quite literally) Tardis hallway. Damn, he thought to himself, I sound rather whiny, don't I? He quietly hoped the next voice box wouldn't be altogether so blather-y.
Continuing on his way, he turned on his heel at a hallway that appeared out of nowhere on his left. He marched down the hall purposefully, growing more and more irked with each wrong turn he made. What was the point of doing impressive things if there was no one around to be impressed? Fixing the Tardis' central conjunction control panel wasn't a task for any uncouth man, you know!
"Martha!" he barked, snippy now. Letting out a sharp, gruff breath of exasperation, he ran his fingers through his hair with aggravation. Sure, the voice box was atrocious, but he had to admit his hair the tenth time around was sheer brilliance.
Discovering himself suddenly in a hallway of mirrors, the Doctor tilted his head up to see himself reflected backwards and forwards ten thousand times. He thrust open a glass door at random and immediately recoiled as something sinister snapped at his hand—an Abyssian, alligator, perhaps? Hopefully!
As he turned around, the Doctor found himself in what appeared to be a school hallway, with linoleum floors and lockers lining the walls.
Groaning in utter frustration, the Doctor threw his hands up in surrender. They fell back down to slap onto his hips sassily.
"Well?" he growled to no one in particular. "Care to help out a bit? Hm? D'you mind?"
With a subtle huff within the walls, a new passageway appeared at the end of the hall.
"Thank you," the Doctor grumbled, not very thankfully, one might add. He marched down the long hallway, his footsteps reverberating off the school ceilings until he reached the foot of the hall.
He made to turn, and then—
Suddenly the junction was a few feet away. A tingling somewhere close to a chuckle rebounded across the narrow space.
"Oh, funny, veeeery funny!" the Doctor howled, stomping forward a few more steps, only to have the left-turn surge forward again, the equivalent of a car lurching ahead just before its potential passenger reaches the door-handle.
"Look at me, I'm just cracking up, I am!" the Doctor griped, finally permitted to turn left down the hall. "Someday I'm going to have you fixed, you hear that? Then we'll see who's laughing!" he warned as he flung open various doors haphazardly.
The Tardis chortled on, only because she knew he never would.
And then at last,
"Martha! There you are! I was—"
"Augh! Get out, get out!"
The door was slammed hard in his face, and it hit his head—nose, especially—with a resounding thwack.
"Oowww! Oh, ff—sweet Gallifrey, that hurt!"
Martha was before him in an instant, on her knees and wrestling his flailing arms away from his face.
"Oh my God! Oh God, I'm so sorry! Did I break it? Oh God, I think I broke it. I'm so sorry—now—now stop moving, Doctor, let me look at it, I am a doctor after all, now if you would just—stop—thrashing—about—I could—" She finally got a firm hold on both his wrists, and yanked them away from his face. A moment of stillness passed, and Martha slowly released her grip on him.
"There now," she soothed. "Now let me just have a look…" She leaned over his knees, which were curled up to his chest, and though his eyes were squeezed shut the Doctor could feel her breasts leaning against them. He could feel her heart beat against him, and her breath and body were warm as she got closer. She brought her hands up to his cheekbones, then carefully slid them over to the sides of his nose. They felt cool and smooth against his hot, bloodied skin.
"Ow ow ow ow ow!" the Doctor gasped, wincing violently.
"Doctor," Martha said, "I haven't touched it yet."
"Oh…Oh, right, yes, I knew that. I was just…preparing. For the—the pain that's sure to come."
"I'm touching it right now."
"Oh. Oh, well that's not so ba-ow!" With a sudden movement she set his nose back into place, and his hands flew up to shoo her away so as to properly nurse his wound the old-fashioned way, by shielding it with his palms and moaning. "What the bloody hell did you do that for?"
"I was resetting the bone!"
"Well, you could've given some sort of warning! It's not as if I can look at you, ey?"
"Yeah, about that…why are you closing your eyes, Doctor?"
He shifted uncomfortably, bringing his knees even closer to his chest like a child. "Well, because, you're, you know…"
"What? I'm what?" Martha prodded, flabbergasted.
"Well, I came in and you screeched at me to get out and then nearly killed me, so I assumed you were…"
"What? I was what?"
"You know…naked," he hissed conspiratorially.
Martha laughed. She laughed some more. She laughed so hard tears leaked out of her eyes.
"You…thought…I was…and your reaction was…!" she wheezed through her guffaws. "Oh, Doctor, that is good, that is really, really good…"
The Doctor peaked through one eye to see what she found so very humorous in their given situation, and was immediately surprised to find that she was entirely clothed.
He sat up straight as a board, eyes wide.
"But you're—you're not—"
"No, Doctor, I'm perfectly decent, I assure you. Gave you a right scare there, didn't I?"
"Then what were you—why did you—"
Martha's face immediately clouded over, and she slid her legs underneath her on the cold floor, drawing her jacket closer around her body self-consciously. One hand went to her head.
"It's my, um…my…"
All at once the Doctor's jaw dropped, and he stared at her in awe. Leaning closer, his eyes rounder than flying saucers (and Martha'd seen a few), his sight slid up to past her forehead, and he exclaimed,
"My God, Martha, your hair!"
She ducked her head down shamefully, her arms wrapping round her head in defense. Her voice was muffled, coming through somewhere around her elbows as she explained,
"I wasn't done styling it, see, and I don't exactly like people to see me when my hair's not…done."
"I mean, what's happened to it? Has it been sonicked? It's so…" He pulled her arms away from her head to inspect it further, a concentrated frown on her face. As per usual, he sniffed it. It smelled like coconut, not nefarious alien formula. How bizarre! He gaped.
"Big, I know. There's nothing I can do to tame it except major heat styling and manipulation. The curls, they just get so…frizzy, you know? And I—"
"It's beautiful!" the Doctor proclaimed, a gigantic grin spreading across his face.
"I just—wait, what?"
"Lovely! Splendid! Fantastic!"
"I'm sorry, hold on…" Martha said, tilting up her head to meet his eyes with her own narrowed, skeptical brown ones. "You're saying that you…like my hair. My natural hair. My crazy-enormous, frizzy-curly-wavy, afro-dome hair. You like it."
"Oh, I love it! It's simply spectacular! I mean, look at it!" the Doctor gushed, gesturing towards her head as though this would explain it all. He was smiling like a madman, which Martha had to assume he was if he liked her like this.
"You're crazy!" she finally concluded, and this time she couldn't help a laugh. She shoved him playfully, still in disbelief that he wasn't kidding.
"No, I'm not! I mean…wow. Can I…can I touch it?" he asked her solemnly, looking at her with a face of utter gravity.
Martha gave him an I-can't-quite-believe-you're-not-mentally-insane look, but shrugged and conceded,
"Knock yourself out."
He scooted closer (broken nose woes forgotten) and like a chimp cautiously grooming his friend, he descended upon her head of wild and crazy locks.
"It's so springy!" he exclaimed with glee, demonstrating this fact with a particularly bouncy curl.
Martha giggled bemusedly and bent her head down further. "All right, then," she said.
"Martha," the Doctor said, releasing her hair, and she looked up at him, realizing that she'd misjudged the distance and they were actually only inches apart. His nose (the blood around the edges still dried on) was nearly touching hers, and his lips were about at her eye level. He didn't seem to notice, as he said with the same unironic seriousness as before, "you have the most extraordinary hair of any companion I have ever had."
Martha's first impulse was to seize the compliment, store it away, mull and obsess over it, spread it through her pulse until it consumed her, as she so often did with any of the scraps of affection he allowed her. But this time…she frowned.
"Is that what you're going to remember me by?" she asked. "Great hair?" And despite everything, everything she'd ever wanted from him, she pulled away, increasing the distance between them. It felt to her like a chasm.
"No, no, that's not what I'm saying at all—" the Doctor began, a crease forming between his eyebrows.
"Really? 'Cause that's what it seems like you're saying. A lot of the time, actually."
"What? That you have great hair?" he asked, genuinely.
Martha sighed. "No, Doctor. No."
The Doctor let out a deep breath, and tipped his head back against the wall, allowing his heavy eyelids to fall shut again. This had not gone as he'd planned. It never did with Martha.
"Martha Jones," he said, and he forced his eyes open, forced himself to meet her hurt and bitter gaze, the one he knew somewhere deep inside that he'd created, and he said, "you are truly magnificent, and you should believe it. You're brilliant, you are, and I don't want to leave you." He brought his face close again—he was never one for personal space—and he whispered, "You've left your mark, and great hair is the least of it."
Martha searched him fervently with her suspicious eyes, trying to root out any untruthfulness, any sarcasm, trying to see if he was only trying to get a moody female off his back or if he really meant what he said. It was getting harder and harder with each passing day to allow herself to hope for the latter.
But this time, it was true.
She smiled, and it was beautiful, the Doctor thought.
Maybe even more beautiful than her hair.
Even I almost thought they were going to kiss. Wish I had it in me!