A/N: So I was totally going to leave this as it was, but then I couldn't sleep. So I blame this on Kels. :D Nothing you recognize belongs to me! Enjoy.
Martha Jones was not pleased. She was stuck with the Doctor but without a TARDIS in the year 1969. It wasn't that she had anything against the sixties, except that there was still quite a bit of racism hanging about and also her qualifications were useless (as she was legally not born yet) and the hospital where she'd been studying had yet to be built. So instead of utilizing her medical skills and knowledge she was currently folding shirts so that at least one of them made enough money to keep a roof over their heads. The Doctor, of course, was absolutely rubbish at anything approaching the dreaded label of 'domestic.' Sometimes Martha wondered how he managed to dress himself, but she was pretty sure that the TARDIS picked his outfits (she had no other explanation for some of his ties, or the fact that he wore converse with everything).
He, of course, could not be expected to hold down a steady job as he was working on closing the time loop that would allow them to get home. That was all well and good, Martha thought, but he'd made the recording and given it to Billy Shipton (who was rather nice and she felt more than a bit sorry that he'd have to wait his whole life just to deliver a message) and they were no closer to leaving than they had been three months ago, when they originally landed.
So she was folding shirts in the meantime while the Doctor puttered around their tiny, dingy flat and waited for the TARDIS to reappear. Honestly, she thought that she probably would have gone crazy weeks ago if she hadn't met Marion. Her full name was Marion Prentice, and she'd been employed at Henrik's department store for nine months when Martha had been hired. She was a bit taller than Martha and blonde, although not naturally, and she had a broad south London accent that made an appearance when she was angry or upset. Like Martha, Marion was waiting for something, well, someone. She was meeting a bloke, she said, but she didn't know when he was coming. He was, apparently, not the most reliable of men but she loved him anyway. She never said as much, but Martha could tell. Living with the Doctor for several months had fine-tuned her emotional radar. And Marion—she looked like she was waiting, sort of—drifting. She jumped at almost every loud noise although Martha noted that she looked resigned when she did so, like she'd been looking for a long time. It couldn't have been that long, though, because Marion couldn't have been more than a year older that she was.
For three months Martha's life was a steady (if slightly claustrophobic) pattern of get up in the morning, eat breakfast with the Doctor, go to work, come home, make dinner, go to sleep whilst the Doctor tinkers in the living room, repeat. And then one morning when she was elbow-deep in polyester paisley trousers she heard a sound, the most wonderful sound in the universe—the sound of the TARDIS materializing. She wanted to jump up and down. She wanted to swagger up to her supervisor and tell him to take that job and shove it. She wanted to run into the TARDIS and never look back—but before she could do anything, she had to say goodbye to her friend.
Martha nearly ran into Marion. The blonde girl's eyes were wide and fixed on something she carried in her hands, something that she kept close to her body like she was afraid it was going to disappear.
"There you are!" Martha exclaimed.
"Sorry Martha," Marion replied. "But it's not the best time." A wide grin split her face. "He's back."
"Your man?" Martha asked. Marion's cheeks tinged a faint pink but she nodded. "That's amazing!" the black girl exclaimed and hugged her friend. "My ride is here as well. It's finally time for us to go."
Marion's eyes narrowed slightly. "That's—that's a bit of a coincidence."
Martha shrugged. "Life is strange," she replied with a laugh.
"Oh, don't I know it!" Marion laughed with her, but then she sobered. "Listen, Martha, it was great knowing you, and before I go, I just wanted to say that my name isn't really Marion. I mean, it is, yeah, but it's my middle name. I thought it would be nice for someone to know who I am properly before I get the hell out of dodge." She smiled and held out her hand. "It was nice to meet you, Martha Jones. My name is—"
"Rose?" a familiar voice asked. Martha gaped and Marion froze. The Doctor was standing next to the counter in all his pin-striped glory, wearing an expression that was caught somewhere between joy and dread. "Do you see her there, Martha? There's a pink-and-yellow human standing in front of you, correct?"
For a moment her mouth worked but no sound came out. "Yeah, Doctor, she's standing right there."
His face relaxed just a bit and the dread was replaced with a flash of biting pain. "Oh good, I'm not hallucinating." He paused. "But really, this is bad, and I mean b-a-d with a capital 'B' bad."
Marion—Rose—gave a shaky little laugh. "Not exactly how I imagined our reunion, Doctor."
"Nor I," he replied quietly. "Because we didn't ever get to 1969. We tried, once, but then—"
"Torchwood," she finished. "And Queen Victoria and the Werewolf." She raised an eyebrow. "You still owe me ten quid."
"I think the fate of the universe is more important than a bet," he sniffed. "Because if you're here than the walls of reality are collapsing again."
"Hold on a tic!" Martha exclaimed. They both turned to regard her curiously. "This is Rose," she began, "Rose who used to travel with you? Rose who I'm not replacing?"
"You know my name," Rose commented, as if it was some sort of marvel.
"Well yeah," Martha continued. "He never stopped talking about you."
She turned to the Doctor. "You mentioned me."
He took her hands and smiled at her, the sort of tender, joyful smile that Martha wished he would turn in her direction once in a while. "Of course I did," he told the woman he loved, the woman that Martha had wanted to hate ever since she set foot in the TARDIS, the woman who ultimately had been her friend and confidant for three months. The universe had a twisted sense of humor, she decided. "How could I not?"
"This is beautiful and all," Martha intruded once again, "but I think the TARDIS would be a better place to finish this conversation. I, for one, have had quite enough of 1969."
"Quite right!" the Doctor declared. He released one of Rose's hands, but threaded their fingers together with his other. "Rose Tyler," he began, grinning. "Run!"
Martha watched them dash off like loons, laughing and beaming. She followed at a slightly slower pace, one that would attract much less attention, and shook her head despairingly. They were completely and totally mad, and completely and totally happy.