Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
The Doctor is about to enter the console room when he overhears his two companions conspiring in hushed voices. "Hurry up, Zoe!" urges Jamie. "The Doctor could walk in here at any moment!"
"I'm working as quickly as I can, Jamie," replies Zoe with a slight edge of frustration lacing her tone. "I don't want to ruin it!"
Oblivious to Zoe's irritation with him, Jamie nudges her side and points to the section of the paper that she's writing on while instructing, "Don't forget the part that we talked about last night, it goes right here."
Zoe rolls her eyes and responds curtly, "I know, Jamie!" She grinds her teeth together before muttering, "Heaven knows we discussed it long enough!"
"Okay, that's good," nods Jamie in satisfaction as he surveys her elegant scrawl. He points again and notes, "And then right here…"
Zoe finally loses all patience as she rounds on him and cries, "Jamie, enough! I know what I'm doing!" She turns back to resume her work to find a smear where Jamie had previously been pointing.
Her eyes flash fire as she accuses, "You've smudged it!" She bats him away and orders, "Now leave it alone before you ruin it completely!"
Jamie immediately jumps back and holds his arms up defensively against Zoe's small flailing hands and soothes, "Alright, alright, no need to get violent, woman! You don't have to tell me twice!"
Zoe only ceases her assault once she deems Jamie far enough away not to cause anymore damage. "No, I agree, twice is never enough for you! It's more like three or four times!"
Jamie pulls a face before moving to another area of the console and arranging the presents that they had for the Doctor. "I hope he likes what I made him. It may not be very attractive but at least he'll find it useful."
Curious, the Doctor hazards a peek around the corner but is unable to see anything in his limited view. He listens intently as Jamie wonders, "I'm still not sure about the sweets though. Are you sure that we should have mixed them?"
He manages to pop one into his mouth and chews it thoughtfully before Zoe grabs the bag off of him with an exasperated glare. "What?" he asks innocently. "I'm just checking to see if mixing them affects their taste." He offers her a cheeky grin. "It doesn't."
With a shake of her head, Zoe finishes off the note and proudly declares, "There, all done!" She hands him the pen and directs, "It's your turn to sign it, Jamie."
She takes her own turn to rearrange the items that they left on the console to her own preference and fusses, "Oh, I do hope he'll appreciate what I bought for him. I thought of him the moment that I saw it."
His interest peaked once again, the Doctor cranes his head out around the corner as far as he dares but finds that he is still unable to make anything out.
Jamie stares at the object condescendingly and remarks, "I don't know if he'll appreciate your choice in gifts, but he'll definitely appreciate the thought. No matter how patronizing that thought might be.
Zoe completes her arrangement and faces Jamie. "I still can't understand why a man who constantly dismisses the passing of time even bothers owning a calendar."
Jamie's eyebrow arches sagely as he inquires, "And what makes you think that it's his?"
Zoe reasons, "Of course it's his calendar, Jamie. Today's date was circled in red and neither you nor I did it. Who else's would it be?"
Jamie pats the console affectionately while he reminds her, "I think that you're forgetting one member of our family."
Zoe huffs in disbelief as she crosses her arms across her chest. "Honestly, Jamie! Sometimes you're worse than the Doctor when it comes to this ship. It was one time that a roll of toilet paper appeared next to an empty dispenser and you act as if the TARDIS saved your life!"
The Doctor grins broadly as he looks up at the ship's ceiling and then grins even wider at Jamie's response.
Jamie counters, "Ach! You're from the future, lass! You don't appreciate these high quality luxuries the same way that I do!" Jamie smiles at the console and coos, "Does she, girl?"
Zoe's stare is incredulous as she vows, "Jamie McCrimmon, I swear that if you start stroking bits of the TARDIS like the Doctor does then I'm leaving."
Jamie tosses a wink in her direction and teases, "Aw, come on Zoe, you know that I always save my sweetest touches for my best girl."
Zoe offers no verbal reply but merely shakes her head with a soft smile in response. Meanwhile, the Doctor groans inwardly and concludes, Oh, Jamie that was terrible. I knew that you were spending too much time with Ben.
Jamie grins slyly and adds, "Are you jealous, lass? I can write a special note just for you if you'd like."
Zoe gazes back at him in bewilderment as she questions, "Why would I need to be jealous of the Doctor? I'm much smarter than he is."
The Doctor's expression contorts into a sneer while Zoe's mouth suddenly quirks upward and her eyes shine with amusement. "Besides, your 'special' notes always turn out more like limericks than actual love letters. No doubt from the influence of that sailor that you told me about."
"Well, Ben may not have been the best of romantic advisors but he was still able to win the heart of a Duchess," he chuckles as he recalls Ben's nickname for Polly.
He moves closer to Zoe as he croons, "I, however, prefer a human computer myself." Unfortunately, Jamie's teasing reminder summons up the memory of a crueler taunt and it's to Jamie's surprise when Zoe's smile morphs into a frown.
"You mean a human computer with no heart," murmurs Zoe forlornly.
Jamie grimaces in disgust at the memory of that particular remark and asserts, "Zoe, no of course I didn't mean that! I'd completely forgotten about that until you reminded me!" He lifts a hand to cradle her cheek while he gazes intently into her eyes. "That Gemma woman had no idea what she was talking about Zoe."
He takes her free hand and places it over his heart. "Zoe Herriot, your heart is filled with as much love and warmth as anyone else. Your problem is that you simply manage to hide it better than anyone I know." When he sees the hint of a reassuring smile, he continues, "You know, just like the Doctor."
The Doctor's face scrunches up in distaste at the well intentioned remark while he silently grumbles, Thank you, Jamie.
Zoe's response on the other hand is much more generous. "Thank you, Jamie. That's very sweet of you to say…and so logical too!"
"Well," boasts Jamie, "I do tend to have my moments." He tugs her against him and nuzzles her cheek. "Perhaps you'd care to reward me with a kiss?"
Zoe instantly pushes him away as if scalded and firmly insists, "Not while we're in the console room! Last time you kissed me here, the switches and knobs gave me bruises for weeks!"
Jamie manages to appear sheepish and filled with manly pride all at the same time, at least until the Doctor exclaims, "Last time?"
Startled by the Doctor's voice, the pair quickly moves into action. Zoe grips Jamie's hand and asks, "Jamie, did you hear that? The Doctor's coming! We need to leave before we spoil his surprise!"
"Yeah, come on, lass! He wouldn't want us around here when he sees what we did for him; he's bound to get emotional."
They speed down a corridor hand in hand and the last strains of their conversation that the Doctor hears is Jamie suggesting, "Let's go and try out another broom closet…"
Once he's sure that they're gone, the Doctor enters the console room while wondering, What on Earth do they need with a broom closet? They both know that the TARDIS is self-cleaning.
Filled with excitement, the Doctor claps his hands and rubs them together before rushing over to the console to view his assortment of gifts.
He smiles as he picks up and considers the first item while murmuring to himself, "This must be what Jamie made for me." He inspects the long rectangular leather pouch roughly sewn together with leather thongs and assumes it's to hold his beloved recorder.
The Doctor removes his recorder from his coat pocket and slides it into the pouch, pleased to see that it is a perfect fit. As he tucks his newly encased recorder back into his jacket, his eyes fall up a rather large object wrapped in TARDIS blue wrapping paper and surmises from the feel of it that it must be a book.
He eagerly tears into the paper and discovers his guess to be completely accurate when he reads the title, 'Astrometrics For Dummies'. Glaring at the offending tome, the Doctor growls, "This reminded her of me? Why, the cheek of that girl!"
He stoops down and shoves the book under an open section of the console that he had been working on earlier in an effort to stabilize the base of the time rotor. There, he thinks with satisfaction, at least it's good for something.
His gaze searches the console for his last treat and soon spots the bag full of candy. He opens it to find a colorful combination of jelly babies and gobstoppers and immediately dives into it, full of delight.
"Mmmmm. Oh, these are good…mmmmm…now what's this?" he questions as he spots the folded note that's addressed to him.
He scans the note as he chews and he has to force himself to swallow as he finishes reading it. Then he pulls the handkerchief from his breast pocket and dabs at his eyes before blowing his nose.
With a deep sigh, he presses the note against his chest, between his two hearts and neatly re-folds it before placing it in his inner coat pocket.
Staring off into space, he thinks about the two young people who have worked their way into his hearts, the children who have become his family. He chuckles softly as he realizes no, not children, not anymore. He may be an old man of four hundred and fifty but he can still recognize the stirrings of young love.
Distracted at times he may be, he still has noticed the soft glances, increased hand holding and longer than necessary hugs. Although to be fair, their constant bickering did make it more difficult to ascertain the signs correctly.
He watched with fondness and pride as their relationship had changed, blossomed and eventually grew into something more mature, even though they had chosen to keep it hidden from him. Whether it was due to their desire for privacy or not wanting to exclude him, he wasn't sure, although he did feel it was the latter.
Lately, they had traveled from one adventure to the next without a moment to catch their breath and today had actually been the first chance in a good long while that they had to rest. He was incredibly touched by the fact that instead of choosing to take care of themselves that they had instead thought solely of him.
Though they hadn't complained, he was well aware that Jamie and Zoe both needed a break from all of the non stop running. More than that, they deserved one and he knew exactly the place to take them.
Clearing his throat, he calls out, "Jamie, Zoe, could you please come into the console room?" His reply arrives in the form of a muffled pair of voices and the slamming of a door.
Ignoring Jamie's ruffled hair and Zoe's smudged lipstick, the Doctor announces, "First off, I want to thank you both for all of the lovely gifts that you gave me. They mean a great deal to me, as do the two of you. Secondly, I would like to show my own appreciation by taking the two of you out to celebrate this very special day."
He gazes at them with an impish gleam in his eye and inquires, "How would you feel about modern day Paris, France? You may have heard it referred to as the City of Lights or a city for young lovers."
Catching the enthusiastic gleam in their eyes, he poses, "I happen to know of a quaint little café with the most extraordinary cuisine and then I thought we could all go for a leisurely stroll through the Louvre." At Jamie's questioning glance, the Doctor explains, "That's an art museum, Jamie."
A flash of excitement lights the couple's eyes as they both nod their heads in agreement. Exhilarated by the mere thought of recreation, no matter how brief it was bound to be, Zoe clasps Jamie's hand and exclaims, "Oh, that sounds just wonderful, Doctor! Don't you think so, Jamie?"
"Aye," agrees Jamie wholeheartedly, "It's just what the Doctor ordered, you might say!"
Shared laughter and a few flicks of switches and presses of buttons moments later soon find the travelers in modern day France. Verifying the correct era by double checking the coordinates and the monitor before he allows anyone to exit, the Doctor claps his hands in delight and declares, "We are most definitely here!" He extends his arm out grandly and asks, "Shall we?"
"After you, Doctor," declares Jamie just as grandly and with a bow.
"No, Jamie," he replies stubbornly. "After you."
They all exit the TARDIS while the Doctor pulls his recorder out of its new pouch and he begins to play a merry tune, a tune that is joyful and full of heart and in reflection of a very special note that he will always carry with him, throughout each and every life.
These simple gifts can never repay you for what you've given us, but they do come from our hearts. When we met, you offered us travel and adventure with the bits of trouble in between. But in the end, you gave us a family and a home. We will always be grateful for everything that you have given us and for all that you have shown us. Happy Father's Day.
Jamie and Zoe