Sometimes Martha would wake up in the middle of the night, not remembering where she was. Then she would listen to the whirring sound of the Tardis engine, or catch a glimpse of a phantom green glow that seemed to come from inside the walls. It seemed to her that the Tardis really was alive in those moments, actively comforting her and sheltering her from the flood of confusion and emotion that inevitably came with every waking moment.
Because he was here. In the next room, probably. Maybe tinkering with something inside of the Tardis console. He never slept—not that she could tell. He was always clattering about, somewhere in the ship, chatting with the Tardis, chatting to himself, chatting to thin air.
She'd sneak around, watch him when he didn't know she was there. On nights like these, when the Tardis's whirring was less of a comfort and more of a nervous humming through her veins, all she could think about was him.
She sat up, pulling a sweater over her shoulders and setting her feet down on the warm Tardis floor. She was staying in one of the many bedrooms on the "upper level" of the ship—bedrooms that just seemed to appear and disappear at random. Ever since she had arrived, however, her room had remained fixed. Only occasionally would things go missing, only to turn up elsewhere. She wasn't sure if the Doctor was fiddling with her things, or (more likely) the Tardis was playing with her. Nevertheless, she was comfortable there, and enjoyed the semi-privacy. Now, however, she was wishing that she had her own kitchen unit. Leaving her room meant the potential of running into the Doctor, and all she really wanted right now was a cup of tea and a biscuit.
She shivered a bit, not from cold, but rather from a sense of anxiety. Creeping to the door, Martha looked through the crack. Below, the Tardis control room hummed and throbbed pleasantly, sleepily. She had a mental image of the Tardis napping, running on a sort of lazy autopilot. The Doctor was nowhere to be seen.
Warm air brushed against her face when she stepped out onto the catwalk. She considered for a moment just going back to bed. But then she thought of a cup of tea—just what she needed to calm her restless nerves. Why did it seem that the Tardis was watching her as she padded down the stairs? She had never before had such a sense of being under observation. Maybe it was just a reflection of her own sense of anxiety.
It didn't make sense, how much she loved The Doctor. In a way, she hated herself for it. Martha Jones should be stronger than this. Logical. Move on, she told herself constantly. He doesn't love you.
And now, in the gentle green light of the hallway, with the Tardis alive and humming all around her, Martha felt more certain than ever that she would have to leave soon.
It had been on her mind for a while, leaving. Not that it was what she defaulted to—usually, Martha was a "stick it out" kind of girl. She was loyal to a fault, and she knew that. She also knew that it often opened her up to being hurt terribly. But it was time to give up, it seemed. Time to pull herself away from this beautiful dream, the traveling, the adventure. Time to go back to the real world and her family and her job and her life.
She ran her hand along the porous wall of the Tardis' hallway—she always thought of it as a wall of coral, and it seemed to breathe under her touch. The kitchen, if she remembered correctly, was just down the hall here, to her left maybe.
The light was on, glowing soft and gold. That wasn't unusual. Sometimes the Tardis seemed to sense what she needed before she did.
She stepped into the little kitchen area, bare feet finding comfort in the coldness of the floor. She padded over to the stove, and she stopped. The stove was already turned on, and a kettle set to boil. Even as she approached, a faint whistle escaped through the cap. Martha frowned and started to reach for it. Could the Tardis really—?
"Hang on, let me get that for you!"
He came up behind her, not even noticing her startled yelp as she leapt to the side and stared. The Doctor whisked the tea kettle off of the stove and poured two cups of hot tea. He was still in his blue suit, but his collar was loosened a bit, and he was barefoot. Turning, he gave her the cup of tea and held out a tray.
Martha blinked. "Doctor, how did you know?"
He was munching contemplatively, gazing at the ceiling as if thinking very hard. "How did I what, Martha?"
"How did you know that I wanted…tea and biscuits?"
The Doctor gave her a look. "Martha, I'm not a mind-reader. Wellll, at least not in this particular case." He grinned that stupid proud grin of his and sipped his tea. "But tonight just seemed like a night for making tea, and I always make enough for two."
Martha arched her eyebrow, took a sip and winced at the hot liquid on her lips. "That's good to know. Thank you, Doctor."
"Martha Jones, you are most welcome." He smiled and gathered up a pile of biscuits, stuffing them in the pockets of his suit. Then he headed for the door. "Get some sleep—big day tomorrow!" he called over his shoulder, clattering down the hallway.
Taking a careful sip of the steaming liquid, Martha allowed herself a little smile. The kitchen was warm and humming with cozy energy, the Doctor was fiddling with his beloved Tardis, and she had a warm drink between her hands. This was as much real life as she had back at home. And, if she was honest with herself, the Tardis was as much a home to her as the house where her parents had once lived together.
Maybe she couldn't be with the Doctor forever. Maybe she would not be the last person that he made tea for. But she could be that person right now, and she could be with him, be his friend and his companion. And if that was all that he ever needed from her, so be it. Someday she would move on. For now, she would continue to live with the Doctor.
It seemed, as she walked back to her room, that the Tardis was singing her to sleep.