"And it just blew up!" the Doctor threw his hands into the air with an exasperated "Spooshing" motion.

"It was a controlled detonation, Sweetie," River said as she walked past him.

He turned and glared at her, "Oi, who's telling it?!"

She shrugged, "Fine, Sweetie, but you're telling it wrong."

The Doctor turned back around and glared grumpily at Martha. "Spoosh!" he said again, his hands expanding. The motion half hidden from his wife by his body.

Martha grinned and bit her lips, staring at that young, mobile face. She'd been invited in for lunch, when she'd walked into the break room and found the Tardis taking up most of the space.

"We're out of cream, dear," River said as she crossed back across the Tardis kitchen behind him, carrying a pair of dishes.

"There's more in the larder," he said, without turning around. He leaned forward toward Martha across the table to regale her with more of their most recent adventure.

"Hold on, why is she doing the cooking?" Martha asked, giving the Doctor a stern frown.

He sat back with a surprised look.

River leaned over the table with a grin. "And I thought you wanted to survive dinner," she said.

The Doctor frowned repressively at her, completely ignoring the lovely decolletage that showed over her frilly apron.

He turned back to Martha. "Beef Stroganoff is her specialty," he said in explanation.

River plunked a cutting board and a handful of shallots in front of him, she placed a knife in his hand. "Here, chop these, Sweetie."

"You're giving him a knife?" Martha said with surprise, and a bit of alarm.

"Oi! I'll have you know I'm perfectly well capable of using a knife!" He punctuated the statement by waving the knife around. Martha leaned backward out of range.

He huffed at her, and quickly pulled the green topped little onions toward him and chopped them with a zip of superfast reflexes that reminded Martha that he wasn't human.

No sooner did he finish than River was back. He smoothly scraped the mound of shallots off the edge of the cutting board into the bowl she held ready, as if they'd done it a thousand times before.

He set aside the knife and pushed aside the cutting board as River moved away to continue her preparations, he leaned back forward into his tale as if there'd been no interruption.

"Wine, Sweetie," River called.

He huffed out a breath, "River," he said, holding out his hands toward Martha, "I'm trying to talk here."

"Martha would probably like a glass of wine, I know I would. Besides, getting the wine won't stop you talking," River said as she sauteed the strips of beef and shallots in a pan at the stove.

He sighed again, but levered himself up. Martha covered her mouth, smiling at the put upon look on his face, and the twinkling eyes River flashed at her, grinning behind his back.

"Well, anyway, there we were, on the peninsula, cut off from the majority forces..." he continued talking a mile a minute as he yanked out a bottle of white wine and went rummaging through the cabinets looking for wine glasses.

River patted him on the bottom to move him out of her way, and he jumped. Martha wanted to lay her head down on the table and laugh, but she didn't want to miss any of the show.

It was totally impossible to be jealous of him and River. "Here you go, honey," River lifted down three wine glasses and handed them to him. He frowned and yanked the cork out of the bottle. Leaving most of the cork behind, and nothing but a crumbling screw of aged wood hugging the corkscrew.

River rolled her eyes, and went back to her saute pan.

Martha giggled silently to herself as the Doctor dug the cork out of the bottle, chunk by chunk, reminding her so much of Mickey that she couldn't wait to tell him all about this when he got back from the op.

The Doctor finally pried the last of the cork out of the bottle neck, then poured each of them a glass of white wine, through a strainer he pulled out of a drawer.

River gave him a kiss on the cheek as he passed her her glass. He looked so pleased. Martha felt her eyes tear up, trying so hard not to laugh out loud.

"Anyway," he said as he handed her her drink, and sat down "I had this brilliant plan to stop the..."

"Dishes, Sweetie!" River caroled from behind him, draining a pot of noodles at the sink, steam wreathing around her making her hair kink even curlier.

He didn't even protest this time, but got up and collected plates and flatware. He efficiently set three places at the table and went to pull cloth napkins out of another drawer. He folded them into complicated shapes and set one by each place setting, talking the whole while, "I was going to..."

"It wouldn't have worked, Sweetie," River said as she placed a bowl of noodles on the table. The Doctor served up a heaping serving onto each plate as she went back for the skillet.

"How would you know?" he argued as he ground a pepper mill lightly over each pile of noodles.

She came back to the table stirring the beef tips in the skillet, deftly folding in the cream. The smell was enough to make Martha's mouth water. She took a sip of wine and watched the two of them bicker, hiding a smile.

River scooped out the Stroganoff over the noodles on each plate, then sat back and took up her glass of wine, sipping delicately.

"My plan worked better," she said as she set down her wine and took up her fork. She winked at Martha. Martha stiffled a laugh.

The Doctor waved his hands in a big explody motion, fork waving. "Boom!" he mouthed silently at Martha, rolling his eyes.

She did laugh then.

The Doctor shovelled a heaping forkful of dinner into his mouth, briefly shutting him up.

Martha took a bite. The Stroganoff was to die for, the beef melting on her tongue, the noodles firm and perfect.

The Doctor chewed and bounced delightedly in his chair, wiggling like a five year old. Making humming, yummy noises.

When he swallowed he reached over and picked up his wife's hand and kissed her fingers. "Delicious! Wonderful, Honey." He grinned at River and stuffed another heaping forkful into his mouth.

He grinned happily and chewed. As soon as his mouth was clear he started talking again.

"Anyway, the explosion startled the horses - which weren't really horses, but these sort of big blue ostrichy things - and..." He gestured with his fork between bites, swirled his wine glass in dangerous spirals as he emphasized his point.

River refilled their wine glasses, using the same strainer the Doctor had earlier, and interjected her own corrections to his narrative, eliciting a round of arguements about who had been right, and who's plan was better, and please pass the pepper, and...

It was a lovely dinner.

She couldn't wait to tell Mickey.

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