AN: Sequel to 'Ghosts'. They won't all be one-shots, by the way, eventually we'll deviate from canon entirely (round about series four) and they'll get longer.
I do like Martha, mostly. It's just that Bad Wolf doesn't. Well, can you blame her?
Three's a Crowd by Alexannah
The Doctor squinted, as if somehow that would enable him to understand the plumbing better. "I can't work out what's wrong. Pass the screwdriver."
Martha handed over the sonic screwdriver, and stood waiting patiently while the Doctor took apart the pipes, examining them bit by bit and then putting them back together. "Looks like it's working fine."
"So how come I can't get any hot water?" Martha folded her arms. "When you said you had a spaceship that could travel through time and space, I'd have thought something as fundamental as a hot shower would be a piece of cake for the TARDIS."
"I've never had this problem before," he insisted. "Are you sure you didn't just have it on the wrong notch?"
"Oy! I'm not stupid! It was on 'Hot', definitely."
The Doctor sighed. "I don't know. Look, let me figure this out, go and use one of the other showers in the meantime."
"It's not just the shower either," Martha called over her shoulder on the way out her bathroom. "My bedroom's freezing!"
The Doctor continued to search for the problem in Martha's bathroom, until he was distracted by a shriek. He sat bolt upright, almost banging his head in the process.
"Martha, you all right?"
"This one's freezing too!"
"It can't be, it was fine half an hour ago!"
"Maybe the TARDIS just doesn't like me," Martha said grumpily once she had dried off and stood shivering in her dressing-gown.
It had been a joke, really, but she hadn't expected the Doctor's eyes to widen and a slightly guilty look to appear on his face. "Doctor?"
"What?" he said innocently, now carefully avoiding her eye.
"I was joking," Martha said uncertainly. "The ship doesn't have anything against me ... right?"
"Of course not," the Doctor said. "I'm sure she loves you." There was a pause. "Excuse me a minute." He left, shutting the door behind him.
"Okay, Rose," the Doctor said softly once he was in an empty room. "What's going on?"
He was greeted with silence. "Come on, talk to me. What's with the cold showers? And the broken heater. And the cockroaches in her cupboard."
Still silence. The Doctor sighed. "If you don't like Martha, please just say so, stop messing with her."
"Fine," Bad Wolf spoke at last. "I don't like Martha. Happy?"
The incredulity was obvious in her voice. The Doctor sighed, berating himself silently. Bringing Martha on board had clearly not been the smartest move. He and Bad Wolf had travelled together, just the two of them, for a while, but he had to admit he missed having someone able to venture out with him, explore with him, run with him. So he'd, eventually, invited Martha.
"Yes, why not? You'd like her if you gave her a chance."
"I don't want to give her a chance, it wasn't my idea to bring her on board in the first place."
The Doctor closed his eyes. "She saved my life, Rose."
"Yeah, so you promised her one trip. I was okay with that, although it still hurt you didn't consult me first. And suddenly she's a full-time resident. You never even asked if I was okay with it."
Well, it was a bit late to rectify that now. He could hardly kick Martha out, he'd only just given her her own TARDIS key. Besides, what would he say? 'Sorry, my ship doesn't want you here'?
"So ... you're mad at me."
"Okay, so if you're mad at me, why is Martha the one getting cold showers?"
"I was ... sort of hoping I could make her tired of it so she'd leave."
But not talking with her about that beforehand ... yes, that was probably one of the more stupid things he'd done. Especially since Bad Wolf was still smarting at the kiss Martha had mentioned. And Rose's personality was the jealous sort. He remembered Sarah Jane, he remembered Reinette. But he refused to admit he was in the wrong, because as far as he was concerned, Bad Wolf was just as much.
"I don't want her here, Doctor, I preferred it when it was just us. Now you've got her and she's got you and I'm the third wheel."
"What? No you're not!"
"Yes I am. I can't go outside, I can't run with you, I can't hug you or hold your hand. She can. When you two go off having your adventures I'm the one left behind. I miss the way things used to be."
"I know. I do too."
"I'm sorry," Bad Wolf said.
"It's not me you should be apologising to."
"Well even if I could communicate with Martha, I'd probably give her a heart attack. All right, I'll leave her alone."
She still sounded unhappy. The Doctor sighed. "Rose. You know you still come first with me, don't you."
"Yes, of course you do. Always. I love you."
"I love you too. And I'll leave Martha alone on one condition."
"No more kissing. Her, or anyone."
"I wouldn't anyway."
"You did kiss her."
"Genetic transfer, and I couldn't think what else to do at the time."
"No more genetic transfers then. Promise me."
"All right, I promise."
"And you'll spend more time just the two of us? I miss you."
"Cross my hearts. We'll make it work, Rose."
Once Martha had finished dressing, she went in search of the Doctor, who seemed to have disappeared. She found him in the console room, his back to the doorway. He was standing with a hand resting on the column in the middle, almost caressing it.
"I really am sorry."
Martha paused uncertainly. Who was he talking to? He stroked the column, and she began backtracking quietly. "So, can Martha have her hot water back?"
She didn't hear any response, but the Doctor obviously heard an affirmative because the sliver of his face she could see in the blue light split into a grin. "Brilliant. Tonight, I promise, just the two of us."
"Love you too," he finished quietly.
Martha finished backtracking and hurried back to her room.
To be continued in The Sound of Screams
PS: Merry Christmas!