Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I still don't own Doctor Who. But I'll keep you updated on my progress towards my goal of being best friends with Matt, Karen and Arthur.
This chapter is dedicated to my fellow Australian Nerdfighter Doctor/River shippers, Kaitie, Natalie, Lucette and Natalie because they're amazing.
Chapter 9: Friends and former companions
Jack looked up at them when he had finished scribbling. "So, back to the reason you came here in the first place, because I know you, Doctor, and I doubt it was a social call, or just to update me on your life. Rory said something about a ring?"
"Do you have any recommendations for where I should go to get the ring made?" the Doctor asked, his eyes turned on Jack, who was startled to see a hint of pleading in them.
"Not personally, but I think I know someone who can, and you're in luck, because she arrived to visit me only about an hour before you arrived, and—"
"Jack?" a familiar voice called from the hallway.
"Speak of the devil," Jack smiled.
"Jack, why is the TARDIS parked in the middle of the—" Martha's eyes widened as she stopped dead in the doorway, at the sight of the man in the tweed jacket and bowtie. She stared, mouth agape.
The Doctor took a step forward, pushing himself off from Jack's desk. "Martha Jones," he smiled warmly, spreading his arms wide. "Or is it Jones-Smith? Or Smith-Jones?"
"Smith-Jones," she said hoarsely, stepping towards him tentatively.
She glanced at Jack, who nodded once. At this, her posture relaxed, and she grinned. "I definitely preferred the suit, Doctor," she laughed.
"Come here, you," was his only response, as he closed the gap between them and embraced her.
"No, really, Doctor, I definitely preferred the suit," she laughed as she hugged him. She pulled away wrinkling her nose as she looking pointedly at his bowtie.
"Bowties are cool," he muttered sniffily, straightening the strip of cloth around his neck self-consciously.
"Martha, this is Rory," Jack said, indicating the man next to him.
"Nice to meet you, Rory," she smiled warmly, shaking the centurion's hand. "So what brings you here, Doctor?" she asked, turning to face her old friend.
"The Doctor needs to get a ring cut, and he came to us to ask if we know any good places," Jack smirked.
"Oh, sure I know some up in…wait, a ring? Like, a wedding ring?" She raised her eyebrows, and looked between Jack and the Doctor in disbelief.
"Yep," Jack responded his grin wide, and his eyes twinkling. He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at Martha, who hit him playfully on the arm, before throwing her arms around the surprised Doctor's neck, and squealing, "Congratulations!"
"What's all the commotion about in here, eh?" Mickey poked his head around the door, and his eyes narrowed, as he caught sight of the two unfamiliar men, and his wife wrapped around one of them. "Who're you, then?" He asked, crossing his arms defensively across his chest, and glaring at the Doctor.
"You always did get a bit freaked out when my face changed, didn't you, Mickey Smith?" the Doctor laughed, gently extricating himself from Martha.
"Doctor?" Mickey asked, stunned, as the man gripped his shoulders in a friendly hug. "What – what're you doing here?"
"The Doctor is getting married, and he wanted advice on where to get the ring made," Martha explained with a grin. "Although why he came to Jack for advice on wedding jewellery is beyond me," she continued playfully.
"She's got a point, Doctor. What on New Earth possessed you to think that I would be the most suitable advisor for this?"
The Doctor merely shrugged, scratching his face and avoiding eye contact with his friends and former companions.
Jack grinned, "Just wanted an excuse to come and see me, then?" he teased.
The Doctor's mouth opened to protest, and his arms flailed before him expressively, but as his mouth opened and closed, no sound escaped. He blushed, and they all laughed.
"So," Martha said, "Are you two going to join us for dinner? We were just about to head off."
"Yes, sure, dinner! I love dinner!" the Doctor exclaimed, clapping his hands and rubbing them together in anticipation. "Rory, are you up for dinner?"
"Your ride, your choice, Doctor," Rory shrugged.
"Well, then, dinner it is!" the Doctor grinned. "Lead the way, Doctor Jones!"
The Doctor sniffed the contents of his glass. "It smells sweet." He wrinkled his nose. "If it's wine, why does it smell sweet?"
Martha sighed. "It's dessert wine, Doctor. It's meant to be sweet."
He nodded, swirling the pink-white liquid in his glass, before taking another sip. He gulped loudly, and replaced the glass to the table, regarding it thoughtfully. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the sweetness." He smacked his lips. "It's great!"
"Yeah, he also likes tequila sunrises, and strawberry daiquiris, for that same reason," Jack muttered to Rory under his breath.
Rory snorted. "How many has he had?" he asked, keeping his voice low.
"Not many," Jack smirked, watching the Doctor, who was now giggling uncontrollably at the sight of a scantily-clad woman who was making their way into the restaurant, on the arm of an old, and apparently incredibly rich, man.
"Fine establishment you've recommended for our dinner, Jack," Mickey remarked, grimacing at Martha.
"Hey! We had a wonderful, three-course meal and the best of the best wine, didn't we?" Jack defended himself. "And besides, there have only been a few of those…" he paused, choosing his words carefully, "brands of dinner guests. Everyone else has been frightfully above-board, if you ask me."
Martha shook her head at Jack, though her disapproval was betrayed by the fond smile playing about her lips. "Someone should probably get this old man home," she said, indicating the Doctor, who was now feeding himself his chocolate cake by pretending the fork was an aeroplane, noises and all.
"Probably," Rory laughed, observing the Doctor's drunkenness with amusement. He checked his watch. His shift at the hospital began in an hour. "Oh, crap, we've got to go," he announced. "Give me a hand with this one, will you?" he grinned at Jack, indicating the Doctor.
"Sure, if you'll give me a hand with something else later," Jack winked, returning the grin as he stood from the table.
"Umm…" Rory glanced around desperately to avoid eye contact with Jack, the heat rising in his face.
Jack laughed at the other man's reaction, and reaching into the pocket of his long trench coat for his wallet, which he tossed at Martha. "Fix the bill, for me, hey, Jones? We'll meet you out front."
"Alright, up you get, buddy," Rory sang, like a parent speaking to a four year old, as he grabbed the Doctor's arm, and hoisted it over his shoulder.
"For a skinny fella, he's sure got a bit of weight to him, hey?" Jack remarked, as he gripped the Doctor's waist, and threw the man's arm over his shoulder.
After a bit of pushing and pulling from Jack and Rory, and a fair bit of grumbling from the Doctor, they got him out into the fresh air, and loaded him into the front seat of Jack's car. After Martha and Mickey joined them in the car, they zipped quickly through the streets of Cardiff.
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(Y'know, apart from chocolate, Australian Nerdfighters, Matt Smith's face, and Alex Kingston's hair)