I do not own anything, Doc Martin belongs to Buffalo Pictures!
This story takes place approximately four years after Series 5. I hope you enjoy.
Chapter One: All Grown Up
Louisa sat alone in her office, scanning through pages of endless information on the new curriculum for the newly begun year. Each flick of a page seemed as though the necessary notices were slipping through her tired brain without leaving any imprint for it stick in her memory.
She took a deep breath in and blew it back out again, creating a deafening whistling noise the silence of the school. For Louisa, it seemed that the love of teaching was simply thrown out of the equation when it came to the entire paperwork concept. However much she really hated it, the ambition to get Portwenn Primary School to be one of the best in the North of Cornwall was too much of a opportunity to go a miss. The importance of being a Headteacher was that each child was dependant upon the teaching quality addressed at the school and it was up to Louisa to ensure that that was happening. Of course being the Head was rewarding in the fact that the monthly pay was almost equal to a junior doctor and also the reassurance that you had made a starting point in a child's education for it to be developed in their future ambitions.
Another flick of a boring page about the selection of Year Four topics, Louisa glanced over at the time, suddenly realising that it was nearing five o'clock in the evening. It immediately became apparent that she had been sat there reading through the curriculum notices for the past two hours. She couldn't afford to waste any more time.
Louisa gasped and hurriedly jumped up, throwing all her vital folders carelessly into a large bag. She grabbed a pile of thirty yellow exercise books, which were fairly weighted and shoved them into the remaining space in the bag. Her desk was not exactly tidy and ordered, but it reflected the effort that she put into the job. The computer took ages to shut down, so Louisa decided to leave it allowing the morning hassle to sort it out.
Peering outside the tall thin pane window, she saw that the sun was still sharing its heat with the village, casting its rays upon the incoming tide as it glittered spontaneously. There were a few fluffy white clouds hovering in the air contrasting with the bright blue sky behind them. The weather lately had been fortunate for the start of September and the pupils at Louisa's school were still allowed to wear their white polo shirts for a few more weeks until the weather turned on its head into a dull, rainy season. The change of uniform into shirts and ties would be explained in a formal letter to the parents and guardians.
Louisa almost ran out of her office, shutting the door forcefully, leaving behind her overcrowded office. Another sigh, she locked her door with one of the keys attached to another load of identical keys hanging from around round her neck along with her identity badge. Louisa needed to make sure that all the confidential and important files were safely out of harms reach. That was one thing that most people were unaware of, being Headteacher there were also many private concerns that were not to be unleashed to the village's population.
Once Louisa had arranged the heavy three bags in her hand, she began pacing through the deserted corridors and past empty classrooms, until reaching the main entrance finally. The reception staff had gone home to their families, gearing her up to desperately wanting to go back to her own.
With yet another sigh, she clambered out through the large front wooden doors, awkwardly placing the bags on the concrete floor. At last she was free in the fresh air.
"Louisa," a familiar voice echoed across the still playground.
Louisa turned round and immediately smiled at who she saw. A tall man stood, wearing his usual attire of a suit, with short cropped grey hair and a stern expression spread over his face had his hand rested on a small boys shoulder. The small boy had features of this man, but as he beamed up at Louisa, there was a definite indication that he had some relation to her as well. He stood proudly wearing a green jumper pulled over a bright white shirt, completed by a green tie hanging from the collar. He bounced on the heels of his new black shoes, before shouting,
The young boy began to run towards Louisa and once collided together wrapped his arms tightly around her. She stood up, lifting her son in the air and swaying slightly from side to side.
"Oh my little boy how was your first day at big school?" she exclaimed, leaning back so that she could look at his face.
"It was really good!" he laughed and was placed back down onto the floor, where jumped up and down enthusiastically.
Louisa crouched as to stay level with him, smiling at his excitable face,
"And, and…" he began again, catching small breaths in between each word, "Mrs Hadland is really nice!"
"I told you she would be," Louisa smiled and removed some of the dark brown hair from his forehead, of which was forming a small fringe, so that she could kiss him, "Oh I am so proud of you James!"
Her attention was then drawn to a figure moving towards them both. Louisa's eyes moved away from her son over to Martin, who seemed overwhelmed with the excitement in the air that James was spreading.
"Sorry, hello Martin," she sighed, slowly straightening herself, so that she could reach up and give him a small kiss on the cheek.
His expression softened and he appeared appreciative of the gesture.
"Let me just lock the door" she told them both, as she fumbled around with the bunch of keys, knowing that if she didn't lock them, the useless caretaker wouldn't anyway.
She then bent down to try and pick up the distributed bags with the contents almost wriggling out of the compact space. Martin immediately saw her struggling to carry the awkward shaped bags and crouched down to help her, of course lifting his trousers a little before so not to crease them.
"Let me help you," Martin mumbled, lifting two of the heaviest out of the three, "Gosh Louisa, what an earth have you got in here?"
"A ton of bricks," Louisa answered, sarcastically and smiled to the confused look Martin had on his face, "I know, I've got a lot of things to do for this year."
James took Louisa's free hand as they began to walk together towards the blue gates the sun beaming over them.
"How was your first day?" Martin asked Louisa.
"Oh it was all right; I had to finish off that curriculum thing. It's a nuisance!" she explained, adding a relieved sigh that she was no longer stuck at work.
"You've been reading that all over the summer holidays" Martin stated, lifting a small latch to push the gate open, "and I told you not to work overtime, Louisa."
"Yes, well you've seen how long it is," she said, "I thought you didn't look too impressed."
"Well, I just don't want you to overdo things, you've only just returned to work. Your maternity leave was productive enough. As I've already explained –"
"So James, what did you do?" Louisa asked, ignoring Martin, as she wasn't in the mood for a debate to erupt.
Martin sighed at the evasion and walked ahead, turning towards the direction of his surgery.
"Mrs Hadland read a book with characters called Biff, Chip and Kipper. They were looking for a lost key and it was really interesting and then we painted pictures," James explained, happily, taking in a deep breath before hurrying along with his next sentence, "I painted one of you and Daddy, but it was all wet, so Mrs Hadland said that she needed to keep it in the classroom."
"That's really kind of you James. Is it the best one in the class?" Louisa asked.
Martin overheard and rolled his eyes, he didn't see the reason in trying to be competitive all the time.
"Yes," he nodded, "but William is really good at painting, he did a picture of a house"
"Did he?" Louisa said, smiling.
Many villagers pointed towards James in his little uniform as they passed, all saying how grown up he looked. Of course, Martin grunted and walked faster up Roscarrock Hill than he ever had before, while Louisa on the other hand stopped and politely talked with them for a few seconds.
"I am on orange table!" James added, as they continued to stroll up the hill enjoying the warm weather.
"Wow! That's the best table!" exclaimed Louisa, more excited than James about him starting school.
"Well, well," a voice sang as Bert climbed up the steep steps of his restaurant.
He leant against the flowered archway; his rounded tummy rose and fell again rapidly as he tried to catch his breath. Martin muttered something quietly and continued his way until he reached his car.
"Bert! I'm in Reception now!" James immediately said, loudly.
"All grown up now, are we? Well I must say you do look smart," Bert chuckled, and looked over at Louisa, "My Al was the same, never could get him to stop talking about his day, that was of course when he was a little tot like James, here."
"Yes," Louisa nodded, politely.
"Now he's gone to work for that computer company over in Bodmin, I told him that he'll end up Bodmin if he continues to stay there for a long time," Bert sighed, "Well, how about a nice meal at our restaurant to celebrate?"
Martin grunted and the sound of the automatic opening of the car was an indication of his opinion on the invitation.
"I can get you the biggest ice cream in the world, eh James?" he tried, persuasively.
"Yeah!" James excitedly rejoiced.
"Sorry Bert, we've got to pick up Ava from Ruth's and we've got something planned," said Louisa, sympathetically and felt guilty as she witnessed disappointment overcast Bert's face.
"Oh well, I forget that you have a family of your own now, Louisa," Bert said, sadly, "It seemed only yesterday that you were following your father around the village asking for ice cream yourself and telling everyone that you'll be a teacher one day."
Louisa bit her bottom lip and kept eye contact on James rather than Bert's expression, which would just make her feel bad and end up booking a table for the next fortnight.
"Just trying to make a living you know," Bert attempted to guilt trip her.
"Sorry, maybe another day?" she suggested, hopefully.
"I suppose," Bert nodded, looking down at the floor.
"James!" Martin called from his car, as he stood with the back door open ready for him to jump in.
James let go of Louisa's hand and obediently hopped into the car, where Martin helped him put on his seatbelt.
"I best let you go, your husbands waiting," Bert said, "Strange calling him your hubby now."
Louisa laughed a little, "I'll see you later."
"Cheerio!" Bert mumbled, and began prodding his way towards the red van, parked hastily at the side of the road, still displaying the printing of "Large Restaurant" on the side. Before he got into his driving seat, he took a glance at the writing and shook his head.
"Maybe you'll miss me one day and come back Al," he choked, "Always Large and Son, ever since you were little James Ellingham's age."
With that he tapped the large printed word of 'Large' and then shuffled his way into his seat.