Two: Light my Fire
There are no more annoying creatures than Weeping Angels, Martha decided sourly as she made it to her and the Doctor's flat, having found a job finally. It was Day Three of their enforced sojourn to the year 1969, and the Doctor spent most of his time trying to build some kind of detector which would allow him to track down time travelling activity in the area. From spare parts. At least, he cooks, and pretty good, she snickered at the thought. For someone who insisted on not doing domestic (which she suspected having to do with the way potential in-laws tended to treat him, and being used to a very different society), he was more than good at pulling off the stunt. It was just a week since their time in 1913, and the fateful kiss in the Console Room, and thus, with their history, they were treading lightly, it being a little high in soul-searching for such a young relationship, and light on the whole romance side. Then again, this relationship comes with more issues than most, and not all are his, she shook her head as she turned the key in the lock. "I'm home!" She immediately noticed three things: The place was immaculately clean (it was still ratty though), the Doctor was not moping around the living room, and an irresistibly delicious smell permeated the air. Walking into the kitchen, she noticed that something apparently sat in the oven.
She nearly jumped when the Doctor came up behind her, hugging her to his chest. "Welcome home," he smiled into her hair, pressing a kiss on the top of her head. "Hungry?"
"Ravenous," she admitted, surprised as he went through all the motions – taking her jacket, pulling out her chair at the kitchen table (which was set properly, and wiped spotless), and finally, presenting her with a serving of Lasagna alla Calabrese. "You didn't have to do all this. Cleaning this place, dinner…"
"Maybe. But I wanted to," he grinned crookedly, sitting down at the opposite side of the table. "I mean…" he sighed. "We tripped the Angels deliberately to get past that madness, and all I do is moping about being tied down, alternating with laying my biography at your feet, and then moping even more. And you… you go and…" He stopped before he could manage to make it sound wrong again. "The least I can do for you is showing you how much I appreciate you."
She smiled, bending over the table to press a kiss to his lips. "Thank you." After dinner – it was something akin to a mystery how he managed to make good food (mostly stews and casseroles) out of what they could afford – he insisted on cleaning up, telling her to take a shower instead and meet her at the door. Standing under the spray, she couldn't help but wonder about his total turnabout in behaviour towards her, although she knew that a good deal came from the fact that the TARDIS used her newfound ability to project an avatar to nag her favourite thief to no end. Just after they had returned from 1913, just before the insanity with four things and a lizard when Sally Sparrow had handed them the folder, he had admitted that a part of him had actually trouble with women who didn't need him constantly: a Grade A irony if you took into account who gave birth to him. That's actually maybe why – they never measured up. Sure, it was easier for him to be the needed party – saving damsels in distress and what not – but, as he said himself, he was well aware it wasn't what he needed, not in the long run. On top of that, he still didn't know what to do about them, but, as tonight showed, he was willing to try. Finishing, she redressed and got to the front door.
The Doctor awaited her in his coat, and held out her jacket. "Miss Jones, will you accompany me on a walk?"
Smiling, she slipped into the garment and took the offered arm. "Mister Smith, I will."
Strangely enough, the place they had managed to get was in the London Docklands, just off the Isle of Dogs, an irony both had taken with a swell of semi-hysterical laughter, both for the same reason (pretty much). He hadn't told Martha the details of that doomed day yet, but, with being in viewing distance of what would become Torchwood HQ, the memory was there, and, with Martha's insistent, stubborn nature making up for the lack of familial telepathic-empathic bonds, he knew that telling her was as sure as a fixed point in time. Shaking off the gloomy train of thought, he led them down to the Thames. With a smirk, he made a game out of pointing out places which didn't exist yet, but were well there in Martha's time. Quickly, she picked up the trail, and thus he started pointing out places which were not there any longer while she pointed at places which would come to be. Finally, they reached a bench on the river bank and sat down, as close as it was possible without her sitting in his lap. "I'm glad you're here with me."
"You'd go nuts alone, wouldn't you?" she teased, leaning into him as he put an arm around her.
"And worse. And I am not sure if Rose could have handled me here, or in 1913," he admitted, surprising himself. Being free of his Time Lord burdens for two months had been an eye opener to say the least. "You however, you did that with beauty and grace." He kissed her gently on the lips.
"You're welcome," she grinned. "Why do you think that though?"
"Let's say I was about as silly as it can get with her after regenerating into this form," he shook his head. "She was so young. And she never made a point to understand. Neither what I do, or what I am." He frowned. "You do understand I am not human, don't you?"
"You're mother said it, I'll repeat it. You're rubbish as a human. You are The Doctor, a Gallifreyan Time Lord, and that means you are different from what I am. I got that the moment you survived a 5000% Roentgen radiation output and made a fuss about burning out your sonic."
"Oh? I thought the two hearts gave it away."
"There are more possible reasons to that than being an alien," she countered. "I'm a med student."
He chuckled, knowing exactly which kinds of conditions she meant. "True enough."
Night fell, and they went back to the flat, and back to a slightly awkward situation. I. e.: The sleeping arrangements. "So," he said.
"I…" He made antics to walk to the living room again (which couldn't be comfortable given his height).
Placing a hand on his arm, she stopped him. "You can stay. I won't mind. Besides…" Martha blushed. "I really don't want to be alone."
He dropped the blanket and wrapped her in his arms. "You don't have to."
On Day 10, Martha had the day off, and they found out that the half-finished 'Timey-wimey detector' (a name which was more or less a rather horrid translation of a Gallifreyan generic term for temporal incidents) had the side effect of boiling eggs due to the spare parts of an egg boiler being used, and that at a speed it caused the eggs to explode. They spent the day in Hyde Park, first walking, and, after some rather racist idiots made the mistake of a few misplaced remarks, sitting on a park bench, engaged in a rather scandalous session of PDA, just to say "Screw you".
On Day 32, the finished detector (now containing parts of a telephone, a radio, a video projector and the egg boiler) went off, and they found DI Billy Shipton, just zapped from 2006, sliding down the wall.
"Welcome," the Doctor grinned, the phone handset against his ear as they approached him.
"Where am I?" the black police officer groaned.
"Nineteen sixty-nine," the Time Lord answered. "Not bad, as it goes. You've got the moon landing to look forward to," he continued nonchalantly.
"Oh, the moon landing's brilliant," Martha grinned. "We went four times, back when we had transport," she shot her, well, significant other, a pointed look. It had been a spectacularly frustrating day for both of them (and it didn't help that their sexual tensions weren't resolved yet – the detector just had to go off in that very moment).
"Working on it," he defended. It wasn't like he didn't understand her frustrations – they were his own! Tied down, no transport, and being interrupted the moment they… well. It was somewhat of a miracle he had managed to put on his tie straight again.
The pair confused the hell out of Billy. "How did I get here?"
"The same way we did. Touch of an angel," the Doctor mused, climbing through the metal cordon to sit down beside him. "Same one, probably, since you ended up in the same year." As Billy got ready to get to his feet, the Time Lord stopped him with a hand on his shoulder before sitting down. "No, no. No, no, no, don't get up. Time travel without capsule or shields. Nasty. Catch your breath. Don't go swimming for half an hour."
Shaking his head, Billy stuttered, "I don't… I can't…"
"Fascinating race, the Weeping Angels," the Doctor mused. "The only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely. No mess, no fuss, they just zap you into the past and let you live to death. The rest of your life used up and blown away in the blink of an eye. You die in the past, and in the present they consume the energy of all the days you might have had. All your stolen moments. They're creatures of the abstract. They live off potential energy."
"What in God's name are you talking about?" Billy groaned again. He felt like he'd been run over by a bus while having a hangover the size of New Scotland Yard HQ.
At the familiar reaction, Martha couldn't help but grin, despite the sexual frustration. "Trust me. Just nod when he stops for breath out of common courtesy. It takes long to get used to it to make sense."
"Tracked you down with this." The Doctor held up the red casing of a radio, filled with the rather mad assortments of spare parts, including, oddly enough, a postcard. "This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes bing when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at thirty paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learnt to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."
"I don't understand. Where am I?"
"1969, like he says. Just opposite of Canary Wharf," Martha summarised.
The Doctor sighed. Now came the part he really would prefer to avoid, but that was a paradox for you – either follow the order of things or end of the universe when you didn't have a time breaker on you. Which he definitely didn't – the last he met was his mother, a fixed point in fate (which was a half-fixed point in time, a sine qua non). "Normally, I'd offer you a lift home, but somebody nicked my motor. So I need you to take a message to Sally Sparrow. And I'm sorry, Billy. I am very, very sorry. It's going to take you a while."
After managing to get Billy set up in a spare flat under the roof of their tower block, two highly frustrated time travellers shuffled back into their own flat. Martha had barely time to lock the door behind them before she was downright assaulted by the Doctor, who pressed her against said door, his arousal evident against her stomach. Not that she complained – she was too busy snogging him senseless. A breather, and she managed to peel off both his jacket and his coat (her jacket had been the first to go); then, she pulled off his tie, sending it flying. While he kissed, sucked and bit along her jawline and neck, she unbuttoned his shirt, hoping to get at the cool, freckled skin below, and was met with a brief sense of frustration as she found his purple t-shirt underneath it instead. It didn't stop her though, hands pushing and roaming over him while she sucked at his clavicles. Only when her hand made contact with the door handle, she couldn't help the thought that they never made it far past the entrance, and snickered against his skin.
Ticklish as he was, he stopped at the sensation; it sent shocks through his body. Struggling, he tried to have his brain catch up with the rest. "What?"
"Nothing. It's just… the front door?"
He laughed. "Trust me, after the last few days, that's pretty much of an afterthought." Nonetheless, he turned her around, kissing her again.
Day 33 was a Sunday, and if one would have entered the tiny flat in Canary Wharf, one had a pretty good guess of what happened at night, with a trail of clothing leading straight from the front door to the only bedroom. Martha woke up just in time for the Doctor to walk in, carrying a breakfast tray, earning him a good-morning-snog.
On Day 38, they recorded the Easter Egg.
"Just a question. What kind of paradox is this anyway we're living through?" Martha wondered.
"Oh, why in all of time… Temporal Mechanics is not my specialty, but then again, those whose it is suffer from perpetual scatterbrain…"
"Sorry to say that, Doctor, but you are pretty scatterbrained too."
"Not as much as a Valeyard. Well, I think you lot call it a Bootstrapper's paradox. It is like a Predestination paradox, but unlike that, the timeline loop is not caused by the actions of a time traveller, but the existence of an object or information," he explained, wrapping an arm around her midriff. "In our case, Sally Sparrow's folder."
"That reminds me, we still have to write on that wall in Wester Drumlins. Do you think the Angels will be there?"
"I don't think so. Otherwise, there would be far more reactions on the Timey-wimey detector," he shrugged, pulling out a few spare pounds. "Let's get some paint and some really hideous wallpaper."
On Day 92, the detector went off just after dinner and some more horizontal dancing.
A Bing! announced another temporal event, but somehow, even Martha could tell that this one was different. And it was not the fact the Doctor was practically tumbling out of the flat. "It's the TARDIS, isn't it?" she called as they raced down to the backyard.
"Only a ship running on vortex energy causes that big a reaction," he called back, and stopped dead in his tracks as the familiar blue box materialised in front of them. Dropping the now meaningless detector, he hugged the blue box. Well, attempted to. "Rassilon I missed you."
Martha laughed and joined him, hugging a corner of the time-and-space-ship, and was rewarded as the wood warmed under her touch. "Good to see you again, old girl." Letting go, she turned around. "I'll pack up and cancel–"
The Doctor stopped her with a hug from behind, kissing the top of her head. "I'll do that. You go and have a nice long soak."
Turning around, she pressed a kiss to his cheek. "Feel free to join me later," she winked.
15 minutes to terminate and move out a flat. That's got to be a record, the Doctor grinned inwardly. Deep down, he knew it was due to the special motivation from Martha. Dumping the bags in the console room (if he knew one thing about his TARDIS, it was her tendency to control the living arrangements), he snuck into Martha's bathroom.
When they finally left the bath, they didn't end up in Martha's room again. "Err…" Martha wasn't sure what to make of the TARDIS' intentions, for the room they were in was definitely the Doctor's suite, well-ordered chaos, upstairs study and all. What was different was that now an ebony dressing table set occupied a corner of the room, her hairbrush, toiletries and jewellery box sitting on top of it.
The Doctor looked around, taking in the changes, and smiled gently. It felt good with the feminine additions, more complete, not as empty as before, when his only mistress had been books and longing. He walked over to the walk-in wardrobe, and was not really surprised to see the originally empty right-hand shelf now occupied by Martha's clothes, her shoes lining up on the ground. Turning around, he grinned. "Looks like the TARDIS made up our minds for us."
"You don't mind?" She still had somewhat the feeling of being an intruder.
"As I told you before, I love you, and as I have next to zero of an idea what to do about it really, I'll just go with what I feel," he smiled. "Come here, you." Enveloping her into a hug, he buried his face in the crook of her neck. "This room was lacking things for far too long. And to be honest, as long as it lasts, I wouldn't like to stay in here alone anymore. Do you like it?"
"I love it," she smiled into his robe. Feeling a little bold, she pushed him towards the bed, causing him to fall backwards onto the sheets. "And I love you, Theta."
Reaching out, he pulled her down to kiss her. "I love you too, Martha Jones."