< /TR>


Jack groaned as the noise permeated his aching head. As usual, he heard them before he saw them. He was beginning to suspect they never shut up. Maybe he shouldn’t have drunk so much of that Namaran wine… and why weren’t the pills working?

“So, let me get this straight, the TARDIS is alive?”

“Oh yes!”

“Like, really alive?”

“As much as a trans-dimensional being
can be, yes—”

“Does she have a central nervous system? Does she have higher functions? Is the whole TARDIS a living ship, or only the core?”

“It’s a bit more complicated then that—“

“How much more complicated?”

Jack couldn’t help but grin at the grilling Martha was giving him. The way she tried to pin down his answers was hilarious He almost felt sorry for the doctor… well, not really.

Despite himself, Jack compared their relationship with the one the Doctor had with Rose. He remembered the gentle, almost tender, banter between Rose and the old Doctor; the one he always referred to, in his mind, as the original…until the Doctor informed him the other day, ever so casually, that it had been his ninth incarnation, actually.

And that was another thing that had changed; trying to get information out of the old Doctor was like pulling teeth. Not this one, this one shouted from the rooftops…at breakneck speed.

Except when it came to Rose; he never talked about Rose. Sometimes, it felt like Rose Tyler hung like a spectre around the Doctor’s thoughts, until Martha snapped him out of it with yet another barrage of questions.

He was beginning to suspect she did it on purpose, to pull him out of his brooding. A brooding Timelord was never good; that way led madness and destruction, and banana plantations…

Jack leaned back in his chair and smirked as they boldly walked into the room, too immersed in their ‘discussion’ to even notice he was sitting at the table.

“Trans-dimensional?” Martha echoed, hands on hips as she cocked her head and arched a perfectly plucked eyebrow. “So, we’re not talking about a corporeal being here?”

“Not as such, no,” the Doctor said, grinning slyly. “But she does have a sensory system.”

Jack’s eyes bobbed from one face to another as he idly wondered if they were sleeping together. Probably not, this Doctor may be more open than the last, but he was still the Doctor. A pity, this version was even cuter than the last one, and a good shag would probably do him some good… all that bouncing around must have some root in sexual frustration.

A delicious picture popped up in his mind, and Jack grinned. He’d always liked threesomes.

Martha’s voice pulled him out of his daydream. “What are you smirking at?”

Jack grinned at the knowing look on Martha’s face. “Sorry, that comes with a censorship rating.”

The Doctor snorted. “Some things never change,” he declared dramatically as he hauled out a chair from the table and flopped onto it. “How’s your noggin? A bit tender, is it?”

As if on queue, the dull throb in the back of his skull began to hurt again. “You could have warned me,” he complained.

“Oh, sorry, was don’t drink the local plonk, it’s got worms in it not warning enough?” the Doctor drawled. It seemed sarcasm was the one trait he had preserved from the last incarnation.

“You could have mentioned that the worms were still alive,” Jack complained half-heartedly.

“Now where would be the fun in that?” the Doctor said, throwing a sideways glance at Martha.

Martha pursed her lips as she tried to stop her grin from spreading across her face. “No fun at all,” she agreed.

“You two set me up, didn’t you?” Jack realised suddenly.

“Who, me?” the Doctor said, looking, for all the world, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. “Don’t be silly, I’d never do something like that. Would I, Martha?”

Martha tried to pull a solemn face at the Doctor’s enquiring look, but fell into a fit of giggles a moment later. “Oh…God…” she gasped eventually. “Look at his face…”

“It’s his bowels he should be worried about,” the Doctor observed lightly, “Nasty buggers, those worms.”

His eyes widening, Jack pushed back his chair. “You can’t be serious?”

“Well, no,” the Doctor admitted. “I made that last part up.”

“No, stop, I can’t take anymore,” Martha said, holding her side as she tried to catch her breath. “I’m going to check on the TARDIS…”

“No checking under the hood,” the Doctor said, his voice suddenly sharp. “And don’t tell me you weren’t thinking it, because I know you were.

A flash of disappointment crossed Martha’s face, but she nodded reluctantly. “No checking under the hood,” she said as she drifted out the door. “Got it.”

The Doctor sighed as Martha’s steps faded away. “She’s forever poking and prying,” he complained, but there was a curious note of satisfaction to his voice and Jack looked at his face suspiciously.

“What game are you playing, Doctor?” he asked.

“I don’t play games, Jack,” the Doctor said solemnly. “I thought you’d already realised that.”

Jack studied his face as his mind stretched back to the night before. Parts of it were a bit hazy, but he did remember entering the Namaran camp and, later, twirling arm in arm with Martha as they danced around the fires with the locals. Martha was quite a good flirt, and a great dancer… Jack’s eyes narrowed as it all clicked into place. Well, well, well, that was a turn up for the books. “I thought you didn’t date humans,” he said dryly.

“Don’t be silly, of course I don’t; Timelord, remember? Not exactly compatible,” the Doctor said briskly, grinning brightly as he stood. “Now, where has that girl gone to? I’d better go check on her. Give her enough time and she’ll convince herself that a peek wouldn’t do any harm…”

Silently, Jack eyed the Doctor’s departing back as he leaned forward in his chair. The Doctor may not be dating, but he definitely wasn’t sharing either.

He’d keep that in mind.


Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the Beeb, not me...