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< /TR>




TO CATCH A TIME BANDIT


Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the BBC, all I have is my Microsoft word...




Back when they first met, Martha had always been fascinated by the fact the Doctor looked so human, despite being an alien. The Doctor is not human, she'd tell herself, at least twice every day, usually when he did something mad, like swallow a sun, or absorb huge amounts of radiation, or stop one of his hearts, or lick a wall...

Well, you get the picture.

So, one day, she decided to start a list, not a list of all the things that made him alien - because, quite frankly, she didn't think that list would ever end - but of the things that made him seem like an ordinary bloke. As lists go, it was pretty disappointing. She had come up with exactly two things: he left the toilet seat up, and he liked the sound of his own voice.

Today, however, Martha thought ruefully, she could now add a third; the Doctor was never interested in calling ...until you were no longer available.

"Doctor, I've told you not to materialise the TARDIS in the bedroom!" she scolded, as she pulled on her robe.

"Who's he?" the Doctor asked, ignoring her protests.

"I'm her boyfriend; who the hell are you?" Tom spluttered, still half asleep. "And how the bloody hell did that thing get in here."

The Doctor and Martha exchanged a look.

"Old college prank," Martha said firmly. "John here was always a terror for pulling them... so, how long are you in town, John."

The Doctor gave her a slightly confused look. "Um, yeah, just passin' through," he said, dragging his fingers through his hair. "Have to keep going, really, bit of an emergency." He stared suddenly at his shoes, a frown gathering on his face, which was always a bad sign. It usually meant something big was going to happen, and it probably was him.

Martha sighed. "Kitchen," she said, looking at the door pointedly. He didn't get the message. "I'll meet you there," she added.

"Oh, Right. Kitchen!" he said, a manic grin brightening up his face, as he backed into the TARDIS. "I'll put on the kettle."

"No, Doctor, I meant the other–" Martha sighed as the door clattered shut, and she looked at Tom on the bed.

"This is going to be one of those really long stories, isn't it?" he asked. "Like that one about Jack."

Martha grimaced as she remembered the tall tale she'd fed him after a certain incident involving Gwen and Ianto leaping through her kitchen window, armed to the teeth, and taking out her couch just before Tom sat on it.

The couch wasn't really her couch, of course. It was a shape shifting, man-eating alien, who was about to make Tom his lunch. But try explaining that to your boyfriend, whose idea of having a stressful day at work, doesn't usually involve people trying to kill him. Not unless you included the hospital canteen workers, that is.

Martha remembered how he'd been, during the year-that-wasn't, and felt a brief moment of nostalgia for that short time they'd had together, when they had understood each other's world perfectly "You don't want to know," she said eventually, truthful, for once. "I'll be right back."

Tom started to laugh. "You're not about to follow him into that thing, are you?"

"Just one second," Martha said, as she nudged the TARDIS's door open with a hip.

"Shit, you are," he said, suddenly sitting up straight. "Martha, who the hell is this guy?"

"One second, that's all, then he'll be gone," Martha promised, as she let the door close between them and rested her forehead against the familiar wood of the TARDIS.

Why did he have to turn up now? Just when her life was beginning to make sense again?

"Ready?" the Doctor called out, from the console platform. "We don't have to wait and explain it to him, or something, do we? Coz we can, but I'd rather not. Domestics, never been good with 'em. Always being slapped by mothers and stuff."

Martha felt the anger coil up inside her. "You," she said flatly, as she swerved on her heels and glared at him, "Have to be the most self absorbed, egotistical man I've ever met! Why couldn't you have just knocked, like everyone else? Oh no, can't have that, now, can we? That might be misconstrued as normal! What are you going to do now? Dematerialise the TARDIS right in front of him?"

He looked at her, as if she had gone completely mad. "Don't be stupid," he said. "I was going to wait, until, you know, you got rid of him, or something."

"Got rid of him?" Martha bit out. "He's my boyfriend, not a stray puppy!"

"Oh, yeah, Todd..."

"Tom!" Martha snapped. "His name is Tom, not Todd...and what, the hell, are you doing here, anyways?"

"Oh, right, sorry, got distracted," he said. "Jack's just been arrested by the Judoon. Got scooped up just outside the hub this morning. There's an outstanding warrant, apparently, something to do with temporal antiques fraud in the Hereon Minor solar system. Could do with some back up. You in?"

Martha sighed. "I'm in," she said; of course she was in, it was Jack.

"Brilliant!" he said, his face brightening like the sun, as he raced around the console, prodding the panels and pulling levers. "Just a quick trip, he won't even know you're gone."

"Uh, Doctor, what are you doing?" Martha asked. "Tom's still in the bedroom."

"Was in the bedroom, I'm afraid," he said - rather smugly, Martha thought - as he tapped the monitor. "He's just thrown his clothes on and left, looks in a right strop, too. He's got a bit of a temper doesn't he?"

This coming from the man who throws people into fiery pits, Martha thought wearily, as she watched the flickering lights of the monitor throw harsh planes on the Doctor's face. "Look at me, Doctor, see what I'm wearing?" She pointed at her robe and bare feet. "Doesn't this tell you something?"

"What?" he looked at her, his face contemplative. "Oh, right, well never mind, there's plenty in the wardrobe, have a look around." He paused. "You left that yellow frock behind," he said, sounding hopeful.

"Not exactly the right outfit for out running Judoon," Martha said dryly.

He pulled a face. "Don't see why not," he said. "As long as you wear sensible shoes. Besides, you–" He stopped. "Never mind," he muttered, as he pulled a lever, setting the TARDIS on its course.

Martha glared at him, but he was too absorbed in the lights and levers of the TARDIS to notice. She made her way to the wardrobe, her feet pattering lightly on the metal grid work. "Nothing personal, old girl," she said, giving the wall a pat as she entered the wardrobe room. "I just wish I wasn't here, right now."

She looked around, spotted the yellow frock, and passed it by. Sensible shoes, or not, it wasn't going to work. She rooted around, and eventually pulled out a pair of jeans, that fitted well enough, and a vest top. She found one of her old jackets and pulled it on too. Eventually, she tracked down a pair of runners that stayed on with the help of a couple of pairs of socks, and wriggled her toes experimentally. Something told her there was going to be a lot of running in her near future

"I'll have to get myself one of those overnight bags," she muttered to herself as she left the wardrobe and went in search of the Doctor.

He was slumped into the Captain's chair, staring into the distance, when she joined him. "We're here," he said, as she climbed the ramp. "But it's got a bit more complicated." He looked at her, with that little boy lost look he saved up for special occasions, like imminent death. "Sorry," he said.

Martha folded her arms. "Spill."

"He's been handed over to the Hereon Minor judicial system, the Judoon are out of the picture."

"But that's a good thing, right?" Martha said, puzzled. "Should be easier to spring him."

"Not exactly," he muttered. "They use a special tracker collar on their suspects; deadlock sealed. Can't get it off without it blowing the suspect's head off, same with removing him."

"That might be a problem. He's hard to kill, but surviving without a head might be a bit difficult, even for him." Martha nudged him, moving him over, and sat down beside him. "Any way of getting our hands on the collar's key?"

"Keyed to the Judge's DNA and voiceprint, one is useless without the other."

"Paranoid, aren't they? It's as if they set up their security measures with you specifically in mind."

The Doctor looked suddenly uncomfortable. "Had a different face, back then," he muttered. "Shouldn't be a problem."

Martha felt a grin form on her face. "That bad, eh?"

"No...well, yes....more like embarrassing, really," he admitted reluctantly. "I wore celery, back then; only to be expected."

"Celery?" Martha drawled.

"'S god for you," he said defensively. "Like tea; all those antioxidants, and tannins, and stuff.

"Methinks the Timelord protests too much," she teased.

"Methinks his companion shouldn't take her Shakespeare in vain."

"Why not? He wouldn't have minded."

The Doctor smirked, then his face sobered again. "We're going to have to prove him innocent," he said.

"You say that like it might be a problem," Martha said softly.

"Could be, could be," He pulled a face. "Jack's had a colourful life, been in a few scrapes; even been a con man, in his time. Could get a bit hairy."

Martha felt a knot of worry form in her gut. "What's the punishment if he's found guilty?" she asked.

"Life imprisonment, no parole."

"That's a long time if you're immortal," Martha said flatly.

"A long time for anyone," he said, he sighed and sprang to his feet. "Come along, Miss Jones–"

"Doctor."

"What?"

"It's Doctor Jones," Martha said. "Passed my exams."

"Really?" He grinned and offered her an arm. "Well, come along, Doctor Jones, we've got a crooked Time Agent to save."

"That's one to put in my memoirs," Martha said, taking his arm. "Right up there with walking on the moon and seeing cat people."


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~



Arms crossed, Jack looked at them through the glass, a half smile on his face. "I didn't do it," he pronounced.

"You sure?" the Doctor countered. "You could have forgot, or bumped your head, or... somethin'..."

"I. Didn't. Do. It," Jack said.

The Doctor and Martha looked at each other.

"We've seen the evidence file, Jack," Martha said eventually. "If you haven't done it, it's a pretty good fit up."

"The best," Jack agreed, his smile growing wider.

The Doctor's eyes narrowed. "You know who did it, don't you?" he asked.

"Let's just say I've a pretty good idea," Jack said. "Goes by the name of Hart, Captain John Hart. We used to work together in the Time Agency, back in the day, and we had a run in recently. This would be his idea of a joke."

"Time Agency, well, that would explain how he could pull it off," the Doctor murmured. "Both the fit up and the robbery."

"Robberies," Jack corrected him. "John's not the type of guy to stop at one."

"So what kind of guy is he?" Martha asked.

"Homicidal, greedy, no moral compass, likes to fuck," Jack shrugged. "Typical Time Agent, really. Or, at least, a typical Time Agent who has spent too much time in the field."

"Lot like you, then," the Doctor said, a touch sharply.

"Glass houses, Doctor," he said.

Martha stirred in her seat; uncomfortably aware she was missing most of the meaning of their exchange. "So, where do you reckon we'll find him?" she asked.

The tension on Jack's face eased. "In the past," he said. "He tends to stick with a formula if it's worked before. So he'll go back to where he did his last successful haul. See if he can't get some more, and sell them on a future market."

"Ancient Greece" Martha said. "That's where the file said he committed the robbery; he nicked some coins."

The Doctor rubbed at the back of his neck. "I should be able to narrow it down a bit," he said. "Especially if he uses a vortex manipulator like yours."

"Standard issue," Jack said. "He still had it, last time I saw."

The Doctor nodded. "Right then," he muttered under his breath. "Allons-y."

"Martha!" Jack called out after her.

She turned, and gave him a tentative smile. "Yeah?"

"Don't let him kiss you," he said. "No matter what."

The Doctor frowned disapprovingly. "One track mind," he muttered, under his breath.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~



"Well, here we are, Fifth Century Athens, the height of the ancient Greek culture, lots of good thinkers, and olives, and loot for the unscrupulous time traveller" he grinned, having rediscovered his good humour, as he basked in the Athenian sun. "Could be fun. Socrates was always good for a giggle...well, until the end, that is. Hemlock, bloody depressing!"

Martha grinned up at him, as she smoothed down her long tunic. "What do you think?" she asked, giving him a twirl.

"Very nice, very in keeping with the time period; you'll fit right in, you should!"

"Not with you at my side, I won't!" she said dryly, as her eyes took in his brown suit, and long coat.

"Ah, well, I'm your scholar slave, barbarian from the north. Trust me, they won't blink an eye!"

Martha looked at him doubtfully. "Scholar slave?"

"All the rage," he assured her. "Eighty percent of Athens' population are slaves. It's the norm, here."

"Slaves," Martha echoed flatly. Now that she thought of it, it rang a bell, but she'd been so caught up in the excitement of visiting the birthplace of Homer, Aristotle, and Socrates, she shunted it to the back of her mind.

"All kinds," the Doctor continued on blithely. "Not like in the later centuries, of course. Most of them in Athens are house servants, or teachers, or artisans. Unless you were captured in war, then it's the olive groves and silver mines for you. They even got some rights, although not as many as free citizens, of course. Just the hand life's dealt them, that's all."

"U-huh, sure," Martha drawled, not at all convinced.

The Doctor shrugged, then looked annoyed. "Can't stand here nattering," he said. "We've got to find this bloke, and get back to Jack before he's put before the Judge - the appeals process is a bugger there; takes years, and paperwork, and he's not getting any younger."

"Not getting any older either," Martha observed. "Which might raise a few eyebrows, if he's there too long."

"Yeah, there is that, I suppose; bit of a problem." The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, and adjusted its settings. The screwdriver beeped insistently. "We've picked up his trail."

They walked along the stone paved street, Martha nodding at the curious onlookers, who stared at the Doctor and the screwdriver. The Doctor ignored their looks, as usual.

"Nearly got him," the Doctor said, as they turned a corner onto a square.

Martha shaded her eyes and looked around. "I think I see him," she said wryly, as she pointed at a trestle table under an inn's canopy.

"Really, how can you be sure?" the Doctor asked, peering in the same direction.

"Because it's either that, or we have another barbarian scholar on our hands." Martha looked at the elaborate military jacket he wore, and the guns at his waist. "Make that just a barbarian," she amended. "He's armed."

The Doctor's gaze sharpened. "Might be a problem," he said. "Quick, you distract him."

"How am I supposed to do that?" Martha asked.

"Think of something," he said, irritated, and then added, as an after thought. "But remember what Jack said."

"I'll try to restrain myself," Martha drawled, as she lifted the ends of her tunic, and approached the inn.

Quiet settled below the canopy, as she stopped at the Captain's table, and Martha was suddenly aware of all the male eyes looking at her. Oh great, just great, for all she knew, she'd just broken some big taboo by walking in here. .

"Hi," she croaked.

He looked up at her, a lazy smile spreading across his handsome features. "Hi back," he drawled. "You really aren't from around here, are you? What time period?"

Martha slumped "What gave me away?"

"Oh, the little things, you learn to pick them up along the way, if you travel long enough," he said. "Drink?"

"Um...wine?" Martha said, as she down across from him. "They have that now, right?"

"Yeah," he said. "Although they have a tendency to put salt in it." He laughed at the expression of disgust on Martha's face. "Maybe we should skip the drink, and move onto why you're here," he suggested, as he stretched in his seat.

"I...uh...I'm here about Jack," she said lamely, seeing no point in lying.

His smile grew and Martha found herself smiling back, despite herself. "So you're a friend of Jack's, are you?" he drawled. "Well, he's always had good taste." His hand reached out and picked up hers, his thumb stroking her palm suggestively.

"We're not like that," Martha said softly

"Would you like to be?" he countered, his eyes dropping to her lips, and Martha felt her mouth go dry. What the hell was he doing?

What the hell was she doing?

He leaned across the table, his lips brushing hers, and Martha leaned into the kiss, suddenly hungry for it, as he plundered her mouth, harsh and demanding.

"Bloody hell, it's endemic!"

Martha broke off the kiss, and looked up at the Doctor's annoyed face.

"We're supposed to be capturing him, not snogging him," he said grimly. "And what did Jack say?"

"Not to–" But the rest of the words didn't come out as her voice faded, leaving her speechless. She felt a strange heaviness in her limbs, and the Captain laughed lowly, as he stood up from the table.

"I'd get her to a med bay, if I were you," he said. "It's quite deadly if left untreated for too long."

Martha tried to stand, but felt her legs go from under her. The Doctor caught her just before she fell to the ground.

"Oh, Martha," he said softly. "Let's get you back to the TARDIS, eh?"


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~


The Doctor leaned against the wardrobe's mirror, curiously silent, as Martha raved at the air.

"I can't believe I fell for it!" she said, as she tugged at her robes. "I'm such a bloody idiot. Jack even warned me and I didn't see it coming, I just got caught up in the moment and.... I can't get this bloody thing off!" she finished, angrily.

"C'mere," the Doctor said, as he pushed away from the wall, and Martha stood there, impatiently, as he pried at the cords of her robe, tongue stuck out between his teeth as he peered at them over the rim of his glasses.

"Ah, got it," he said, as the knot undid, and Martha caught the fabric before it fell to the floor.

"Right," she said. "Thanks. Now turn around." The Doctor looked at her silently, with a expression in his eyes that she couldn't quite pinpoint. "Doctor?"

"Right, turning around," he said softly. "Sorry." He slowly turned on his heels.

"I've got a boyfriend," Martha said suddenly, as she pulled on her vest, and jeans.

"Lovely bloke, I know, Todd," he said, over his shoulder

Martha let the mispronunciation go, too worried about her new revelation, as she searched around for her runners. "No, you don't understand. I have a boyfriend, and this is the first time I've thought about him since I snogged you-know-who. I mean, shouldn't that have been the first thought in my head? 'Oh my God, I've snogged a guy behind my boyfriend's back'.... And what was I doing snogging him anyways?"

"Passing the time?" the Doctor ventured, warily, as he turned to look at her.

Martha stared at him. "I don't know why I'm even bothering discussing this with you," she said. "It's not as if you'd understand."

"Don't know about that," he muttered, looking suddenly hurt. "I like people."

"Well, yeah, Rose, of course," Martha said. "But I never met her, did I? So I don't know what you were like together."

He shrugged. "Not so different from us, really," he said

Martha laughed. "Yeah, right," she said. "Pull the other one, it's got bells on... now where is that bloody sock?"

Silently, he held the missing sock up, and Martha snatched it from his fingers. "Thanks," she said. "Where to next?"

He blinked at her, surprised. "What?"

"Where to next?" Martha looked at him, hands on hips. "You did get a fix on him, right? When he used his Vortex Manipulator?"

"Oh, right, yes... about that..." He took a deep breath, and Martha looked at him suspiciously.

"About what?" she asked.

"Well, I was thinking." he pulled at his ear. "I could do this alone, you know, drop you home."

"What!" Martha scowled at him. "Don't you dare, Mister; I'm going to catch this bloke, by hook or by crook. He tried to kill me!"

"Yeah, well, that's the point," the Doctor muttered. "He nearly succeeded. If the TARDIS hadn't figured out the correct serum, you'd be dead now."

Martha stared at him, flabbergasted. "This is a joke, right?" she said. "Come on, this was nothing! Remember the Judoon, the Daleks, the year-that-wasn't? Compared to that, this is small potatoes, a mere blip on the radar. I'm going after him, and that's final!"

The Doctor sighed. "You're not going to like it," he warned her.

"Try me!"

"Seventeenth century France."

Martha pulled a face. "It's corsets again, isn't it?"

"'Fraid so."


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~



The TARDIS materialised in front of the Notre Dame.

"Not exactly inconspicuous," Martha said, as they stood in front of the box.

"They'll forget it's there, in a moment," the Doctor said breezily, as he rolled onto the balls of his feet, and looked over the heads of the passing Parisians.

"Right, the perception filter," Martha said. "Pity I didn't bring along my key."

"Oh, we'll be all right," the Doctor told her, as he hooked his arm through hers. "Come on, let's go find us a time bandit."

Martha's lips twitched. "You do know that's the title for a movie, don't you?"

"Really?" The Doctor grinned smugly. "Fancy that." He took out his screwdriver and turned it on. "This way, it seems."

They followed the signal until they reached a large, townhouse, and the Doctor and Martha looked at each other.

"I'm not being a housemaid again," Martha said firmly..

The Doctor grinned as he watched a cart pull outside the house, and a host of servants pour out of the house to empty it. "Why would you be, when you're the magnificent and noble Lady Martha DeJones, newly arrived from Freedonia, and the new sensation in Parisian society?"

"Huh?"

The Doctor jerked his head in the direction of the cart. "They're throwing a party, want to crash it?" He looked at her, up and down. "You know, I think I may something in the TARDIS that'll be perfect... just your size, too," he said.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~



"Do you have to pull it so tight?" Martha huffed, as he pulled at the laces, squeezing her tightly into the corset.

"You're the one who didn't want to be a servant," he pointed out. "I'd have been quite happy going in the back door."

"That's because you're never the one who ends up scrubbing the floors," Martha said.

The Doctor shrugged, but didn't answer as he tied off the laces. "There, now for the dress..." It took the two of them to get the delicate layers of silk and lace into place, but the Doctor stepped back eventually, satisfied. "See, I told you," he said. "Fits perfectly."

Martha looked at herself in the mirror, tweaking at the ivory and gold sleeves. "I'd never thought I'd be wearing something like this in a million years...should I do something with my hair, like wear a wig?"

"Nah, they haven't really taken off yet, give 'em another few decades," the Doctor said. "We'll just put it up, stick a few pins in it."

"You seem remarkably good at this," Martha observed.

The Doctor snorted. "Grew up with it," he admitted. "You should have seen the ceremonial robes even the men had to wear, all embroidery, and brocade. As for the women..." he shrugged. "Well, this is nothing."

Martha gave him a measuring look. "Is that why you refuse to wear the clothes from this period?" she asked. "They remind you too much of home?"

He dragged his fingers through his hair. "I'm wearing a cravat," he said defensively. "See?" He pointed at the scrap of silk he'd tied around his neck, in lieu of a tie.

"It has polka dots on it, Doctor," she said, noticing how he'd sidestepped the question, but not calling him on it. "And little question marks. Not exactly from this time period."

"Well, it's not as if they'll be looking at me, anyways," he countered. "They'll all be too busy looking at you to even notice I'm in the room."

Martha did a double take; had that been a compliment?

"I've moved the TARDIS into one of their upper bedrooms," he continued. "So getting in the door won't be problem...ready?"

Martha smiled. "Ready," she said.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~



They wandered through the candlelit room, Martha on the Doctor's arm, and toured the dim corners.

"I don't see him," Martha murmured.

"Oh, he's here somewhere," the Doctor muttered. "The TARDIS picked up his signature, he's in the building."

Martha nodded. "Just remember, stay back; he ran for it, last time he saw you...guess he recognises trouble when he sees it."

The Doctor grimaced, but didn't deny it. "Just remember, don't let him near your lips."

"Oh, don't worry," Martha said archly. "There will not be a repeat performance, but I may have to play along a bit, to get him upstairs."

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Just don't do anything stupid, Martha–"

A polite cough interrupted them, and Martha turned to look at the elderly gentlemen beaming at her. "Good evening, ma petite," he said. "I'm Francois DeBergerac. Would you do me the pleasure of accompanying me in this dance?"

"Um, I'm not really sure if I can follow all the steps," Martha said, throwing the Doctor a desperate look; but he only grinned back in answer as he let the elderly gentleman take her hand.

"Have fun," he said. Martha stuck out a discreet tongue at him as the elderly aristocrat patted her hand and led her away.

"Such a pretty little thing, like you, doesn't need to know the steps," Francois pronounced, as he led her towards the dancing revellers, but Martha eyed the complicated steps warily. She was going to kill the Doctor, she really was. They lined up opposite each other, and Martha straightened, not wanting anyone to see how nervous she was, as the music started up again.

"Mind if I cut in?" Startled, Martha looked up to see Captain John Hart's face as he neatly pushed Francois to the side and took his place in the dance

"I was looking for you," Martha said, recovering.

"Had a funny feeling that might be the case," he said.

"You could come with us quietly," she suggested. "Maybe we could cut you a better deal if you turn yourself in."

"Hmm, got to say, that proposal doesn't really interest me," he murmured.

She looked up at his handsome face. "And what does, exactly?" she asked.

"Well, you, for starters," he purred, his hand caressing her waist, as he side stepped around her, imitating the other dancers' moves, if not their reserve.

"We're in the middle of a dance floor," she reminded him

"It's Paris, where's your joie de vivre?" he twirled her through the steps, pulling her closer than the dance strictly allowed. She felt his arousal, pressing against her.

"You really don't give a rat's arse, do you?" she said, looking up at him in fascination. "You just do what you please."

"And do who I please, too," he said, diving in for a kiss.

Martha ducked her head back. "Oh no you don't," she said. "I'm not falling for that a second time."

He grinned at her. "Worth a try," he said unrepentantly. "Tell you what, I won't kiss you on the lips as long as you promise to ride me dry."

Martha pretended to consider it. "I could see a few logistical problems with that one," she said. "Namely the fact that you tried to kill me and frame someone I care about for a crime he didn't commit."

"Oh, trust me, love, Jack's done his fair share of petty crime, and much worse," he drawled. "A few decades, cooling his heels in the chokey, won't do him any harm and, as for the other, well, that was business...this is personal."

"Oh no, it's still business," Martha drawled back.

He quirked an eyebrow. "Care to debate that in private?"

"What makes you think I won't haul you back to the future, the moment we're alone together?"

He smirked, as his hand traced her collarbone, "I'm willing to take that chance."

Martha suppressed the shiver that ran through her. I have a boyfriend, she told herself, I have a boyfriend, waiting at home for me, who isn't a psychopathic nutter trying to kill me with his lip-gloss.

He grinned down at her, as if he knew what she was thinking. "Who's your friend? I didn't catch his name, last time."

"You didn't catch mine, either," she said dryly.

"Actually, I believe I did. He called you Martha, didn't he? He looked rather upset when he said it... a bit like he does now, come to think of it"

Martha looked over her shoulder, and spotted the Doctor bearing down on them, a glower on his face. What had happened to the plan?

"He doesn't look happy," John observed. "Let me guess, he's your lover?"

Martha threw him a dirty look, and John smirked knowingly. "Oh, it's like that, is it? Never mind, I'll be more than happy to fill his place if he's not interested."

"I'll just bet you would," Martha muttered.

He pulled her closer, his hands roaming downward. "Oh Martha, what fun we could have; imagine us, living the high life, flitting through the centuries and taking what we want... taking what you want."

"You know what?" she said back. "You really are an egotistical jerk."

"Maybe so, but at least I wouldn't leave you wanting. Look me up, once you're tired of waiting around for his scraps." He pushed her, shoving her back, and she crashed into the Doctor just as the familiar glow of the Vortex filled the room.

"See you soon, Martha," the Captain said, grinning as he stepped into the light. "I'm looking forward to tasting the pleasures of the Orient with you."


~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~



They were barely inside the room they'd parked the TARDIS, when the Doctor turned on her. "What the hell were you thinking?"

"What was I thinking?" Martha countered. "What happened to the plan? You were supposed to wait until I brought him to you!"

"Well, I had to do something," he said. "You were groping each other in the middle of the dance floor!"

"It's Paris, they're used to it," Martha shot back. "And it was working, wasn't it? A few more minutes and I'd have had him upstairs and bundled into the TARDIS before he knew it."

"Well, either that, or he would have tumbled you into the bed and drugged you again!"

"I don't believe this," Martha said, frustrated. "You're acting like a twelve year old. What is wrong with you?"

He glared at her, dragging his hands through his hair. "There's nothing wrong with me!"

"Oh yes there is," Martha insisted. "You've been acting funny since you picked me up at home... and, come to think of it, what was that 'you could go home' speech in the TARDIS?"

"That was different," he said. "That was about safety and such."

"And what is this about?" she asked. "What are you trying to prove by chasing away that psychopathic idiot, before we bagged him?"

"I wasn't trying to prove anything," the Doctor said. "I was trying to stop him...stop him...just stop him, right?"

"Just stop him," Martha repeated, hands on hips. "That is your great reason? And what about stopping him from buggering Jack's life up royally?"

He glared at her, like a child who wanted to call her bad names, but couldn't screw up the courage. "It's more complicated than that," he said weakly.

"I'm a doctor, not an idiot, I think I can deal with it."

"Not sure you can, really," he muttered under his breath.

Martha felt a moment of worry, as she spotted the conflicted expression on his face. "Doctor, are you okay?"

He looked at her, with something like desperation on his face. "Martha, I...." He drifted off. "Um, never mind."

He started to turn away, and Martha grabbed his arm. "Doctor, just tell me–"

He cut her words off, capturing her lips with his mouth, and Martha felt something flutter inside her as his hands dropped to her waist, pulling her against him. He was kissing her; the Doctor was kissing her...why now?

She wrenched away, stumbling back, and looked at him incredulously, as he stared, back, silent. "But you're not interested," she told him.

"I never said that," he said.

"You implied," she snapped. "And I–"

"Have a boyfriend," he finished for her, in a not so nice tone of voice. "Yeah, you've mentioned that."

They stared at each other warily, the silence dragging on. "Since when?" Martha asked eventually.

"Since when have you had a boyfriend?" he hazarded, looking puzzled..

Martha hit him on the arm. "No, you idiot, since when have you wanted to sleep with me?"

"Oh, right, well... since always, I suppose," he said, studying the floor as he shrugged. "It was just the other stuff that made it difficult."

"Other stuff?"

"Well, yeah..." He glanced up at her, his eyes darkened with lust, and Martha shivered as he took as a step towards her. "It's all sorted now," he said. "Timey, wimey, blah, blah, blah..."

"Blah, blah, blah..." Martha echoed hoarsely, as she studied his eyes, looking for some sort of clue.

"Yeah, sort of." He curved his hands around her waist again, and pulled her closer.

"For a Timelord, you've got bloody awful timing," she said weakly.

"Been told that before."

"This is such a bad idea."

"Been told that before, too, still want to shag you, though," His hands roamed the harsh constraints of her corset, before dropping to her skirts, and Martha felt the last dregs of her commonsense fall away.

"One shag, that's it?"

"Well, maybe more than one," he muttered, against her skin. "Maybe more than two, actually. I've got quite a few in mind, been storing them up."

"But I've got a–" He kissed her, stealing her words again, exploring her mouth, and Martha swayed against him as their tongues danced.

He pulled away, resting his forehead against hers, desire and want blazing in his eyes as he looked into hers, and then a cheeky smile suddenly lit up his face, as if he'd just had a brilliant idea. "Want to do this the old fashioned way?"

"We shouldn't be doing this any which way," she reminded him hoarsely, but she didn't stop him as he pulled up her skirts and petticoats and bunched them over her hips. "What is the old fashioned way?"

He pulled at the ties of her drawers. "Standing up, of course," he said, as he pulled the laces free. "Do you know how long it takes to get a woman out of a corset? Don't think I can wait that long, how about you?" The drawers pooled at her ankles, and Martha stepped out of them, knowing, as she did so, that there was no going back. This was actually happening.

"What about the boots?" she asked, as she leaned into him, parting her legs for his fingers.

"Leave them on," he said, stroking her, pushing her gently backwards. "Never know when we may need to make a quick getaway." He lifted his fingers to his lips; licking off her juices as he angled between her hips, and Martha heard the zip on his trousers just as the wall pressed into her back.

"Christ," she gasped, as he slowly slid into her, and pinioned her to the wall.

"Sorry, different bloke," He rolled his hips, making himself comfortable inside her, and Martha shivered, pressing her face into his neck as he slowly built up a rhythm, stroking her with his upthrust, his fingers clutching at her thighs, lifting her up against him.

"We shouldn't be doing this." The words came out breathlessly. "Why are we doing this?"

"Because we want to," he said, into her ear. "Because this might be our last chance, and I haven't had a lot of those,"

And Martha fell silent, not knowing what to say to that, as he shifted, angling deeper. She held onto him, her arms and legs wrapped around his narrow, absurdly strong body as he fucked her against the wall. Desire curled, burning hot, and Martha moaned into his throat, as she felt him tense under her hands, like a coiled spring

She bit her lip, trying to hold on for that little bit longer, but the orgasm rushed over her, and she shuddered and grasped at him, as he held her, his hips still bucking. She came again, in a wave of pleasure that throbbed through her, and this time he came with her, tense and shivering, his come trickling down her thighs.

They slid to the floor, and the Doctor grunted, laughing softly to himself.

"What's wrong?" Martha asked, as the first chill of reality crept back.

"Nothing," he said. "Just thinking how crazy we are. This is bloody stupid, I'm bloody stupid."

"And so am I, apparently," Martha said stiffly, as she pulled away and clambered to her feet.

He caught her hand. "That's not what I meant Martha," he said softly. "That's so far from what I meant, it's not even in the same universe."

"I'd thought I'd gotten over you, you know," Martha said, pulling her hand away gently. "I have a job worth doing, a boyfriend who cares for me, and I thought... I thought, this is good, Martha, you have a life, a real life, one that matters, with people who care for you..." She took a long breath, blinking back the tears. "But now, here you are again, back in my life, being your old, wonderful, annoying self, and buggering up my world even more royally than before."

He stood slowly, tidying his clothes. "Didn't mean to" he murmured. "Sorry."

"What did you mean to do, Doctor?" Martha asked, exasperated. "Why this? Why now?"

"I missed you," he said simply. "And I had time to think... didn't really have that before, everything kept happening in a jumble. I lost Rose, and then there was all this stuff, so I never really sorted it out in my head, and then you came along, and I started feeling all guilty, coz I wanted you around, so then I...." He paused. "I'm a bit of a prat, amn't I?"

"Just a bit," Martha agreed, with a small, surprised laugh.

He took a tentative step forward, and caught her hand. "I'll try not to be, promise."

She looked up at him, at his brown, sincere eyes. "It may not be enough, you know."

A smile hovered on his lips. "I know."

"And I've got–"

"A boyfriend, Todd, yeah, I know."

She gave him a look.

"Tom," he amended softly. "Seems like a good bloke, you probably should stay with him."

"Do you want me to stay with him?" Martha asked.

He pulled a face. "Not a case of what I want," he said.

"It kind of is, you know," Martha contradicted him gently. "Because, you see, I've always known what I wanted. I just didn't think there was any point in hanging around to see if I could get it."

"I'm not very good at this stuff," he mumbled.

"Yeah, kind of already figured that out," Martha said dryly, giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. "It's okay, I think I have enough of a handle on it for the both of us. I just needed to know where I stood."

A shadow of his usual cocky grin spread across his face. "Oh, well, that's all right, then," he said. "Because I happen to know you're absolutely brilliant, Martha Jones!"

Martha felt an answering smile spread across her face. "Really?"

"Really, truly, absolutely," he declared, pulling her into a hug.

With a smirk, Martha did something she'd always been secretly tempted to do, every time he'd hugged her. She copped a feel of his arse, and squeezed as she felt him stiffen in surprise.

"Ladies prerogative," she told him primly, as he looked down at her, with an inquiring eyebrow.

"You've been spending too much time with Jack."

"What makes you think it isn't Captain John I'm spending too much time with?"

He glowered down at her, and Martha bit back a laugh, as she realised the idiot was actually a bit jealous. "I reckon he's in China, you know," she told him. "He wants me to meet him there."

"Is that so," he said grimly.

She nodded solemnly. "Care to tour the Orient? I hear the Ming vases are a steal."

He looked at her, wry amusement showing in his eyes. "You're an awful woman, Doctor Jones," he said. "Remind me never to get on your bad side."

"Oh I will, Doctor Smith," she said. "Early and often."


~~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~~



"Right!" He declared, as she walked into the console room, back in her normal clothing. "I've tracked down the time period and place - the nineteenth century, in the Forbidden City!" He grinned manically at her.

Martha smiled back as she leaned back against the rail. "We'll have to stop him hopping around like this, or we'll never catch him."

"Already on the case," he said, and she watched him as he tinkered with the TARDIS's console, his fingers flickering over the buttons. Her mouth went dry as her mind flashed back to the Doctor licking those same fingers free of her juices, and she shivered, as a surge of heat grew between her thighs. Oh God, what had she gotten herself into?

She felt a moment of misgiving, as she wondered if she was doing the right thing, getting involved with the Doctor. She still didn't know how she was going to break it to Tom. Things hadn't been going so well for a few months now, but that had been her fault, not his, and she'd been trying to work it through. How was he to know that the Tom she'd been initially attracted to was one forged in the fires of a hellish, dying Earth, and not in the corridors of an A&E department?

Oh dear, she was going to a special kind of hell, for this mess.

The Doctor pulled a final lever, and the TARDIS groaned to life, as he whirled around and pulled the monitor towards him. "Martha, come and look at this!"

She joined him, looking over his shoulder as he tapped at the screen and let her see the blazing chaotic patterns that swirled across it. "What is it?" she asked.

"The Vortex," he said, "Or a mathematical representation thereof. I'm going to use the TARDIS's navigational system to block his manipulator, using the screwdriver as a carrier. All we have to do is get within three feet of him to cancel out his signal wave, and we can then take it off him. Problem solved!"

"Shouldn't be a problem," she said. "At least the three feet part."

He gave her a look, and Martha grinned at him, unrepentantly. "Can't help it if he finds me irresistible, now, can I?"

The Doctor huffed. "That idiot would find a pet poodle irresistible," he complained.

She pouted, mock hurt. "Are you saying you don't find me attractive, Doctor?" she asked, teasing him.

A startled look crossed his face. "Am I?" he asked. "When did I say that?"

"Why, just now," Martha told him solemnly.

His eyes widened. "I did?" he repeated, "No I didn't, did I?"

Martha almost felt sorry for him; he was so clueless, sometimes. She sighed dramatically. "And here I was, thinking we were going somewhere," she said, trying not to laugh as the panic spread across his face. Hmm, maybe she was enjoying this a little bit too much. It seemed she still had a few issues to sort out with the Doctor.

His eyes suddenly narrowed, and Martha smirked up at him. "That wasn't funny," he said accusingly.

"Oh, it was pretty funny from where I'm standing," she drawled.

A glint showed in his eyes. "Is that so?" he said, his jaw tilting up, like it did when he was annoyed.

"You're not going to scowl at me, are you?" she asked lightly. "So much for the honeymoon period."

A reluctant smirk passed across his face. "A honeymoon period," he said. "Never had one of those, I pretty much skip to the part where they start taking the Mickey out of me, apparently."

She grinned at him. "You're cute when you're jealous."

"I'm not jealous," he protested. "Besides, if I was going to be jealous, I'd be harping on about Todd, wouldn't I?"

"Tom," she corrected him automatically. "And being passive aggressive counts too."

He tilted his head, looking at her knowingly. "And what about horny?" he asked slyly, changing the subject, "Does that count?" His hands snaked around her waist.

"Hmm, probably," Martha told him, her eyes sliding closed as a hand wandered under her vest and stroked the small of her back.

"Oh, well, then."

She felt him pull away, and her eyes flashed open as she grabbed him by the lapels. "Don't you dare, Mister!" she said.

His lips twitched. "Say Uncle?" he asked.

"What do I get, if I do?"

He reached out, and silently unbuttoned her jeans, cocking an eyebrow at her.

"Cheeky bugger," she mumbled, as he toyed with her knickers underneath.

"Rude, too," he agreed, as his hand travelled upward, sliding along her ribs, stroking the curve of her breast. She leaned into his touch, letting out a long sigh as he brushed a finger over its sensitive peak. His lips brushed against her ear. "Is that a yes?" he asked.

"God, yeah," she breathed,

He grinned triumphantly at her, pulling her knickers and jeans down and curving his hands around her hips. "Up you go," he said, as he lifted her onto the edge of the console, and slipped off her sneakers. He paused, looking at her feet in puzzlement. "Cold toes?" he asked.

"Big shoes," she countered, as she pulled him out of his jacket and started in on his shirt, her hands slipping underneath.

"Oh, right," he said, his eyes darkening as he tugged off her jeans and ran his hands up the soft skin of her thighs.

Martha arched into him, her hands wandering lower, grabbing his hips and pulling him closer. "Always wanted to do it here." She fondled him through his trousers. "Used to fantasise about it, actually."

"Is that so, Doctor Jones?"

"U-huh," she unzipped him, and reached in, tugging his boxers down. She took him in her hand, felt his fingers dig into her hips.

"And what else did you fantasise about, Martha?" he asked, his voice hoarse as she squeezed him gently, flicking her thumb over his tip.

Martha felt herself blush, which was stupid, considering what they were doing. "I'll tell you later," she promised as she guided him inside her.

Their pace was slow, achingly so, and Martha moaned against his mouth, wrapping her legs around him, as he moved in and out, sliding inside her in long, teasing strokes. The TARDIS hummed underneath her, the cool metal under her skin warming to her touch.

The Doctor moved against her mouth, sliding his tongue in, as he traced his hands along her hips and up her spine, entangling them in her hair. She felt him stir inside her, a gentle yet relentless rhythm, that brought her close to the edge, and held her there, aroused, wanting.

"You never said it," he murmured against her lips.

"What?" Martha asked, dazed

"You never said Uncle." His hips ground into her, and heat flared up inside, a moment away from pleasure. Realisation struck.

"You bastard," she declared. "I am so going to make you pay for this."

He smirked. "I look forward to it," he promised. "But first you have to say Uncle." His rolled his hips, teasing, and Martha gasped, as the sensation flared, then settled into a deep burning ache.

"This is so not fair."

"You started it," he pointed out.

"Bastard," she said again.

"Fucking bastard," he agreed, as he loosened his hold on her hair and pinned her thighs to the TARDIS "Say Uncle." He moved inside her, and Martha bit her lip, as she felt her orgasm hover just out of reach.

"Uncle." He whispered it against her ear, as he slowly, oh so slowly, pulled out. "Just say it, Martha, say Uncle."

The word became his mantra, low and insistent, and Martha let out a whimper as she felt him dip slowly back into her, and out, and in. The aroused ache between her thighs became almost pain, and she felt something inside herself loosen as the world narrowed to the sound of his voice, the grip of his hands, his cock inside her...

"Say it, say Uncle, Martha, say Uncle, say–"

"Uncle." Her voice was a hoarse whisper, barely heard. "Uncle, Uncle, Uncl–"

He thrust in, and Martha cried out as the pleasure rushed in, sweeping her away as she came, hard and swift. He trembled against her, holding himself deep inside, before he drove into her again, and again...

And then his face blanked, and he shuddered, and she felt his release inside her, the cool slick of it along her thighs, and she came again, quaking around him.

"Rassilon's staff," he muttered as he collapsed on top of her. "I could get used to this."

"You get off on it, don't you?" she said, as she fought to catch her breath. "Being the one in charge, giving the orders?"

He raised his head, his eyes suddenly wary. "Yeah," he admitted reluctantly. "No point in denying it, at this stage, is there?" He tilted his head, studying her. "Is that a problem?"

She laughed. "Shouldn't be," she told him, before adding slyly. "Of course, it's only fair that I get my fair share of being on top, too. A girl likes to take charge, every once in a while."

He quirked an eyebrow, a slow, easy grin covering his face. "Sounds rather good to me," he said lowly, and Martha felt her desire flare again.

The TARDIS shuddered, and the Doctor pulled a face. "We're here," he said, as he slowly disentangled himself.

Martha sighed, as she sat up and slid off the console. "Let's hope he stands still long enough, this time, for us to capture him." She said, as she tottered around, picking up her clothes.

"I wouldn't bet on it," the Doctor said flatly.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~


"The Forbidden City; inner court...looks like," the Doctor mused, as he looked around the ornately decorated room. "Nineteenth century, before the opium wars, should be quiet." He grinned, whipping out his screwdriver and turning it on. "Well, sort of quiet, as quiet as it can be, really, with us here. Come on! He's this way."

Martha shook her head, as she watched him bounce off, nearly knocking down an elderly woman, who had just stepped into the room.

"He should be taught some manners!" the elderly lady huffed.

"I keep trying, but they don't stick," Martha said wryly, following the Doctor through the doors before the elderly woman could think of anything else to say, like: who the hell are you?'

"Palace of Earthly Tranquility," the Doctor muttered, looking at the walls. "Used to be the Empress's rooms, mostly shrines now.... funny place for him to hole up."

"Maybe he saw something he liked the look of?" Martha said.

"Hmm, well, yeah," the Doctor drawled, pulling at his ear. "Problem is, the Forbidden City is a bit of a treasure trove, really, all sorts of shiny stuff, especially in this time period. Centuries of gathering and collecting, and nobody's dipped their sticky little fingers into the kitty yet... he could be after anything."

"No," Martha said. "Not anything, it'll be small, easy to transport, and expensive."

The Doctor looked at her. "Well, yes," he admitted. "But that doesn't really narrow down the field much, does it?" He waved at the corridor, at the delicate vases on the narrow tables, and the watercolours hanging on the walls. "This is the Qing dynasty, they specialised in small but precious things."

Martha sighed. "So we're back to following the screwdriver, then..."

"'Fraid so," he said.

The corridors seemed endless, as they passed through door after door, but eventually the sonic screwdriver flared brightly, and the Doctor grinned as he pointed at a door to their right, and handed her the screwdriver. "Three feet," he mouthed.

Martha nodded and pushed opened the door, then halted in her tracks as her eyes took in the tableau in front of her.

"I wouldn't come any closer, if I were you," Hart drawled, as he dragged his rucksack onto his back. "I've set the bomb to the same frequency it would take to cancel out my manipulator."

Martha stared at the small, terrified girl, who stood in the middle of the room, the bomb strapped to her waist. "How did you know?" she asked softly.

Hart shrugged. "It's what I'd do," he said. "You're sort of predictable, really."

Martha glared at him. "Actually, no, we're really not, not unless you knew exactly the kind of technology we had, and what we were about...which you did, didn't you?" she added, as things began to click into place. "You knew all along who I was, who the Doctor was... let me guess, Torchwood's files?"

"Give Jack some credit," he drawled. "No, it was UNIT, actually, things got a bit messy at the office during that incident with the Valiant - I like where you live, by the way, and the boyfriend is cute."

"You leave Tom out of it," Martha said sharply.

"Sorry, no can do. "Hart's eyes flickered over her shoulder, and Martha heard the Doctor step up beside her. "Because let's face it, you're just going to keep coming, aren't you, unless I get myself a real big bargaining chip..." his words trailed off, as his eyes went from her to the Doctor. "Of course, it looks like poor old Tom's ranking may have slipped a bit...?"

Martha felt her cheeks heat up. "That is really none of your business."

Hart grinned as he tapped at his Vortex Manipulator. "Oh, I don't know, I think it's about to become it, don't you?"

And Martha shielded her eyes as the Vortex lit up the room, and Hart stepped into it.


"I'm gong to kill him," Martha said flatly, as the light dimmed.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "I don't think the Hereon Minor have the death penalty, actually, and neither do we."

"You know what I mean," Martha grumbled. "C'mon, back to the TARDIS."


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~


The TARDIS hummed around her as she stepped out of the bath, and she rolled her shoulders, sighing as she felt some of the tension ease away. It seemed like an age since she'd stepped into the TARDIS, dressed in her robe, but in reality it had only been a day or two, or a century or two, they tended to run into each other, a bit like a ...and, oh my God, she was beginning to sound like the Doctor.

Martha stared at the towel in her hands in horror, then snatched up the yellow dress she'd brought from the wardrobe, and dragged on the pair of Docs she's found in the wardrobe, her concession to any sudden running she'd need to do.

The resultant outfit was a bit weird looking, but the vest and jeans were beginning to get a bit whiffy, and the dress did at least fit her; the Doctor had bought it for her on Arkon. Martha grinned to herself as she tied her hair back, remembering their breakfast at 'Tiffany's' and how there hadn't been a New Yorker in sight. Apparently, the Doctor hadn't seen the Audrey Hepburn version....

"The good old days," Martha murmured to herself. "Before the year-that-wasn't." Her mind flitted to Tom, and the predicament she'd gotten herself into. "Let's face it, you probably deserve it," she told her reflection in the mirror. "But Tom doesn't."

She made her way to the control room, the boots making a satisfying clumping sound; and Martha indulged in a brief fantasy, involving kicking a certain Captain where the sun doesn't shine. Yup, these boots were definitely made for kicking.

"Oh, you're wearing the yellow frock!" the Doctor said, a pleased look on his face as she strode into the room. "And look, sensible shoes! Ace was always good for those. "

Martha stopped in her tracks, and glanced down at the black Doc Martins she was wearing, wondering about the woman called Ace, whose boots she wore. Did all the clothes in the wardrobe harbour ghosts? "Who's Ace?" she asked.

His eyes slid away. "Oh, someone I used to know..."

Nine hundred years old, Martha reminded herself silently, he's known a lot of people, most of them dead. She wondered if she should go back and change again but she was sick and tired of the jeans and vest she'd been wearing, and the Docs were a better fit than the sneakers.

She joined him at the console, watching as he stared at the monitor, a frown of concentration on his face as he watched the data scroll and dance on the screen, over the top of his glasses.

"He's going to my place, isn't he?" Martha asked.

"Yeah," the Doctor muttered. "But that might work in our favour...it's empty, right? Todd - Tom -won't be there?

Martha shrugged her shoulders. "Depends on what time he's finished his shift," she admitted. "He has a key, he might drop by."

He tapped his fingers on the console. "Okay, that might be a problem," he eventually said.

Martha felt the frustration well up inside her. She felt so useless, just standing there while the Doctor did all the tracking and the... She had an idea.

"Where's the phone?"

"What?"

"The phone, the mobile, the one I gave you?"

"It's here," he said, tapping the front of his jacket

"Give it here!"

"What are you doing, Martha?" the Doctor asked, as Martha pulled her old mobile out of his pocket.

"Calling Ianto."

"Who?"

"Jack's lover," Martha explained impatiently. "Works for Torchwood. I'm not taking any chances, we need back up."

"You really care for him, don't you?" the Doctor asked softly.

"Who, Ianto?" Martha asked distractedly.

"No... Tom."

Martha examined the blank expression on the Doctor's face, as Ianto's phone rang at the other end of the line. "Yeah, I care for him," she admitted. "He's a good man, better than even he knows. He's brave and kind, and better than I deserve, I suppose...I just don't feel for him the way that I should and–"

"Martha?"

"Ianto, thank God," Martha said. "I need your help. There's this guy from the future called John Hart–" She paused, pulling her ear away from the phone, as Ianto cursed down the phone line. "You've heard of him, then," she said dryly, once he'd calmed down.

"What's he done? Has he something to do with Jack's disappearance?"

"And then some; Hart's at my place, and I think he has Tom. I don't suppose you could–"

"We're on our way," he said. "Where are you?"

Martha gave a half laugh as she looked around her. "I'm on my way too," she said, knowing better than to even try to explain.

"Right, see you there."

The phone line went dead, and Martha sighed, as she tucked the mobile back into the Doctor's pocket.

"You know, technically I don't need it any more," the Doctor said, peering down at her, over his glasses. "Sort of pointless, really, with you already being here, in the Tardis, a few steps away, kind of being within arm's reach."

Martha heard the question in his voice, and smiled slowly at him. "Yeah," she said. "I'm within arm's reach, all right."

He grinned back, and they stood there, just looking at each other, as the TARDIS spun through the Vortex.

"So," he said, as he rolled onto the balls of his feet, his grin becoming a smirk.

"So," she said, raising an eyebrow.

"On our way, off to the rescue," he drawled. "Off to see Todd."

"Tom," she said, automatically. "And yeah, seems so..."

He stepped in closer, a breath away from touching. "Could do something to liven the trip up a bit." He ran a finger under her dress strap, pulling her in.

Martha bit her lip. "How long 'til we get there?"

"Time machine," the Doctor reminded her. "Short cut, scenic route, all the one, really."

"And what's the scenic route like?"

"Ladies choice," he murmured, catching her eyes, holding them, and Martha felt the warmth grow between her thighs.

"I get to be Captain," she said huskily, nudging him back.

"Captain?" he asked, puzzled, as he let her guide him away from the console. "Which one?"

"Why yours, of course," she told him, steering him into the Captain's chair. He fell into it, and Martha straddled his lap and took off his glasses, tucking them into his pocket.

"And what is the Doctor's Captain going to do with him?" His hands crept up under her dress, and glided upward, stroking her skin.

Martha smiled down at him lazily. "Why, take him out for a test drive, of course," she said, tugging at his zip. "What else can a Captain to do?" She wrapped her fingers around him, feeling him thicken and harden against her palm, and he leaned back against the rail, his eyes darkening, his own fingers exploring, stroking her through the fabric of her panties.

"Knickers are in the way," he murmured, tugging at them

Martha slapped his hand away. "Oy, who's the Captain here?"

"You, apparently," he drawled, amused.

"Right then, I say when the knickers come off!!" On impulse, she slipped off his lap, and prised his legs apart, grinning at him as she knelt down in front of him. "Just stay very still," she told him, and she lowered her head and slid her lips over him, her fingers curling around his base as she took his head into her mouth.

"Martha–" She looked up, watching the various emotions dance across his face. Arousal, fear, and something she didn't quite have a name for yet....

She slid her tongue across his head, and felt him fight against the instinct to buck into her mouth as she tightened the grip of her fingers and slowly pumped him. She licked and sucked, feeling the texture of him under her tongue, the coolness of his skin, and closed her eyes and gave into the rhythm of it, using her fingers and mouth, bringing him off.

He tensed under her, his breath coming in short gasps, and Martha braced herself as the Doctor came in her mouth, coating her throat. She swallowed him down, tasting him, not that different to a human.

Martha looked up at him, as he softened in her mouth, at his flushed face, and dark eyes. "You're just going to keep doing things like that to me, aren't you?" he said.


Martha raised her head, licking off the stray beads of come, as she crawled up him. "That's the plan."

"You humans," he murmured, as she sat on his lap, but there was no heat to it.

"Yup, that's me, human," she said, noncommittally, as she wondered what he was thinking. "Are we nearly there?"

He tilted his head, as if listening to something that she couldn't hear, and sighed. "Yeah," he admitted.

Martha's face grew grim. "Good, I want this over with, one way or another."


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~



The TARDIS materialised in her living room, and Martha carefully opened the door and peeked outside, only to be faced by an armed and gobsmacked Ianto; a rare occurrence in itself.

"Ianto," she said, with a wave of her fingers.

"Martha?" he said, under his breath, as he lowered his gun. "Nice...box?"

"Thanks, but it isn't mine," she told him, as she stepped outside. Gwen nodded at her, from her position outside her bedroom door. "What's up?"

"He's inside and he's got Tom..." Ianto's eyes narrowed as he looked over Martha's shoulder. "Hello?"

"Hallo," the Doctor said, as he closed the TARDIS behind him. "Ianto, isn't it?"

"Uh, yeah... and who would you be?"

"Oh, sorry, I'm the Doctor."

Ianto stared at the hand the Doctor had stuck out to him. "The Doctor?"

"Yeah, that's me."

"The Doctor?"

The Doctor preened. "Could put it like that, yeah."

"As in Jack's Doctor Doctor?" Gwen said, joining in.

The Doctor's smile faded slightly. "How many times am I going to have to say this, exactly?"

"Oh, sorry," Gwen said. "It's just that I was expecting someone...bigger?"

Martha hid a grin behind her hand, as the Doctor's eyebrows went up. "Sorry to disappoint," he said.

"Sorry," Gwen said, turning a bit pink. "It's just that when Jack talks about...well..."

"I sound bigger," he drawled.

"Can we please have this conversation another time," Ianto broke in. "Crazy man from the future in the other room, remember?"

Martha eyed the bedroom door. "Does he know you're here?"

"Oh, he knows all right," Gwen muttered. "Nearly took off my head with one of his pistols. "He said he wouldn't let anyone but you in the room."

"Martha," the Doctor said warningly.

"I'm going in," Martha told him.

"Just get him to move from the bed," Ianto said. "Owen's on the roof across the road. "He just needs one good shot."

The Doctor's eyebrows shot up once more. "Typical Torchwood," he muttered. "If in doubt, shoot them."

"Actually, I don't have an ounce of doubt," Ianto shot back. "But I'm still only using a trank gun - I assume we need him alive in order to get Jack back?"

"It would make things run smoother, yeah," Martha said.

Ianto nodded. "Yes, well, good to go."

"Well, nearly," the Doctor murmured, as he took out his screwdriver and turned it on. "Just in case he decides to slip out the back door again," he added, as Ianto and Gwen looked at him. "It's a ....timey wimey....thing..."

"Is he always this articulate?" Ianto asked, out of the side of his mouth.

"Don't get him started," Martha said, as she took a deep breath, pocketed the screwdriver, and pushed the door open.

"Hello, Martha, nice of you to join us," Hart drawled at her, as it swung open. "I'm just getting acquainted with Tom, here, hope you don't mind?"

Martha stared at them, disbelieving, as Hart leaned back against the headboard, holding a pulse pistol against Tom's head. "So cute," he drawled, as he dragged the barrel against Tom's temple. "So twenty first century. No enhancements, no extra strength, just plain old fashioned human DNA." He paused. "Bit boring, actually," he said. "Kind of losing interest here. So how about you turn that screwdriver of yours off, and let me be on my merry way?"

"Martha, who is this guy?" Tom breathed. "What's going on here?"

"It's okay, Tom, everything is going to be okay," Martha said softly as she stepped into the room.

The Captain tsked under his breath. "I wouldn't believe her, Tom," he drawled. "Got a bit of a cheating heart, that one. One minute she's snogging me, the next she's getting off with him over there... he's not even human, you know, don't know what he is, actually, but his readings are way off."

"Timelord," the Doctor told him flatly, from the doorway.

Hart raised an eyebrow. "That so? I thought you guys went and talked yourself into non-existence, a while back."

"Not quite," the Doctor said, his voice dangerously even.

"You'd be better off just giving yourself up, John, "Martha said, as she took another step.

"Stop right there."

"I'm not armed," Martha said, raising her hands.

"Liar," Hart drawled. "You may not be carrying a gun, but you're still armed."

"Martha, is this true?" Tom asked.

"It wouldn't hurt him, Tom, just stop him from escaping again."

"Speaking of escaping," Hart murmured. "I think it's time we leave...hold on, Tom, this may be a bit bumpy."

"No!" Martha cried out, jumping forward.

Hart's eyes narrowed, as nothing happened when he tapped the Manipulator at his wrist. "Where is it, in your pocket?" he asked. "Step back, or the boyfriend gets it."

"And what happens to him then?" Martha countered.

He smirked. "Well, then I let him go, safe and sound."

"He's lying," Gwen said. "He likes to kill."

The Time Agent grinned, and leapt up from the bed in one fluid movement, dragging Tom with him.

"Heavy Worlder," the Doctor murmured.

"Has its advantages, " Hart said, as he tapped at the Manipulator again. "Well, as I was sayin–" A sharp pop resounded in the room, and the window cracked, as a dart suddenly appeared in Hart's neck.

"What the hell?" Tom staggered away, looking at Hart in amazement, as he fell to the floor.

"Sorry, no time, Tom," Martha said, as she quickly took the Vortex Manipulator off Hart's wrist and nodded to Ianto, who grabbed the Time Agent's other arm. "I'll talk to you when I get back."

"But Martha–"

Martha threw him an apologetic smile over her shoulder as she helped Ianto get Hart through the TARDIS's doors.

"And my day just gets stranger and stranger," Ianto murmured, as he paused and looked around him.

"TARDIS, bigger on the inside than the outside, moves through time and space," Martha explained hurriedly.

"Want to come along for the ride?" the Doctor chimed in.

Ianto quirked an eyebrow as he helped Martha drag Hart up the ramp. "You serious?"

"Might as well," the Doctor drawled.

"Uh... no, thanks," Ianto said reluctantly. "Maybe another time but, uh, could you...?"

"Drop Jack off?" the Doctor suggested.

"Yeah, that would be it," Ianto murmured, as he snapped a pair of handcuffs on Hart, secured him to the rail, and threw the key to Martha.

"You'll barely remember he'd been gone in the first place," Martha promised, with a grin.

"Oh, I always notice," Ianto murmured, giving the TARDIS, a last, lingering look, before he let the door shut behind him.

"Right then, Hereon Minor solar system, other side of the galaxy, here we come!" the Doctor pronounced, as he ran around the console, pulling and tugging at it, as the central column sprung to life,

And Martha laughed, as relief bubbled up inside.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~



"And so, it is our judgement that Captain Jack Harkness is innocent of all charges," the Judge intoned. "And, furthermore, Captain John Hart has been deemed guilty of the charges handled, today. Therefore, we conclude that Captain Harkness should be released immediately, and Captain Hart should be held, in full custody, until a proper hearing can be held!"

Martha leaned into the Doctor's one-armed hug, as Jack had his cuffs taken off. "So that's it. Jack goes free, and Hart ends up in prison for the rest of his life?" she asked.

"Pretty much, yeah, or until he figures out a way to break free," the Doctor said.

"Hey, guys," Jack said, as he joined them. "Gotta say, I hadn't expected you to drag him in here so...efficiently. What was it you used to knock him out with, again?"

Martha laughed. "One of Owen's concoctions," she told him.

"Ah," Jack said, as he rubbed his wrists. "And that explains more than I actually wanted to know, I think. Can I get a lift, or do you two want to spend some more 'alone' time together?"

The Doctor and Martha looked at each other.

"Okay, I give up," Martha said. "How did you know?"

"He's being playing with your hair for the last five minutes, and you haven't even commented on it, never mind slapped him," Jack drawled. "It's the little things that give it away."

The Doctor let out a small laugh, as his hand moved to his own hair. "Right," he said. "Come on, we'll get you home to that Ianto bloke."

Jack raised an eyebrow. "My, my, you have been busy."

"Jack."

"Yeah, yeah, I know, stop it."


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~



Tom was already in her kitchen, nursing a cup of tea, when she came back to Earth. "I figured I'd skip the Dear John letter, and have it in person," he murmured.

"How did you know I'd be here?" Martha asked.

He smiled humourlessly. "I figured it wouldn't be long before you came back in search of a decent pair of shoes," he said, waving at the boots.

Martha smiled at that, as she slid into the chair opposite him. "They are funny looking with the dress, aren't they?"

"Who is he?" Tom asked, and Martha marvelled at the irony of it. If it hadn't been for the Doctor, they wouldn't have met in the first place.

"He's an old friend," she said. "Back in town for a few days. I'm thinking of going with him."

Tom snorted a laugh. "Back in town," he said. "Now there's a euphemism if ever I heard one. Will you be gone for long?"

Martha looked at him. "Don't wait," she said gently.

He nodded, scraping the chair back. "Good luck, Martha."

"You too, Tom," she said softly as he closed the door behind him.


~~~~~*~~*~~*~~~~~~



"So," the Doctor called out, from his perch beside the console, as she lugged a suitcase through the door of the TARDIS.

"So," she called back. "Where to next?" She let the suitcase fall to the ground and sat on it.

"That depends....short cut or scenic route?" He dug his hands into his pockets.

Martha made a great show of debating the matter. "Well, I hear the future is nice this time of year," she mused.

"Yes, well, everything is nice this time of year," he pointed out. "It travels though time, you know."

"Oh, does it?"

"And also through space," he said, strolling down the ramp.

Martha laughed. "Fancy that!"

"Oh, didn't I mention it?" he asked, as he held out his hand.

"Hmm, the subject may have come up, once or twice," she drawled, as she put her hand in his. "But perhaps you should explain it to me again, in great detail...while we take the scenic route.

The Doctor smiled.

Martha smiled back.

"The future it is, then," he said softly.


~~~FINIS~~~



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