The House Call, by jinxed_wood

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Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the Beeb, all I have is my Micro soft word, and an overactive imagination...

The Doctor was at her kitchen counter, fixing himself a cup of tea, when Martha got home that night. “There is something just plain wrong about that,” he muttered, as he peered at the string attached to the bag “Sugar?”

“Cupboard above you,” Martha said, throwing herself onto the couch. “Make some for me, while you’re at it.”

He held up a second cup, a tacit sign he was already on the case. “How was work?”

“Tiring,” she said, as she watched the Doctor navigate her small kitchen. He seemed too large for it, for all his gawky limbs and skinniness. “You?” she asked.

“Quiet.” He took a sip of his tea, made a face, and added another two spoonfuls of sugar.

She relaxed back into the couch and eyed him. “So…what? You just thought you’d pop in for some tea and biscuits?”

“Ooh,” he said, brightening. “You have some? I could murder a Marietta.”

Martha sighed. “Ginger nuts, in the biscuit tin, on the counter,” she said dryly, watching as the Doctor pried the lid off and helped himself. She put her feet on the coffee table, and slipped the shoes off her aching feet. There was always a reason for the Doctor’s visits; you just had to wait for him to tell you in his own time.

“Umph umph ooooh umph,

“The correct sequence is chew, swallow, speak,” she said dryly, taking the cup he waved in front of her face. “And don’t make me say that again. I sound like my mother.”

The eyebrows went up: superior look one hundred and forty seven. It didn’t fool her for a moment. “You’ve got crumbs on your tie,” she said, with a grin.

All dignity was lost as he scrabbled to get rid of the offending crumbs, holding the half eaten biscuit between his teeth. “I hurd de bwigadeah ped…”

Martha bit her lip, trying not to laugh as she stood and relieved him of the biscuit. “What was that you were saying?”

“I said, I heard the brigadier paid you a visit today,” he said, his voice clipped.

“He sends his regards, by the way.”

He retrieved the biscuit from her hand. “Are you going to say yes?”

“Do you want me to say yes?” Martha countered, as she snatched the biscuit back.

“Do I get the cookie, if I do?”

“This is not a hostage negotiation.”

“Fine then,” he said; he hooked another ginger nut from the biscuit tin and bit down. The biscuit crunched, filling the silence for a few moments, before he took a slurp of tea. “He’s a good man,” he said eventually, his tone grudging. “Bit too quick to shoot first and ask questions later, but I wouldn’t hold it against him.”

“He told me the same about you, except the other way around,” Martha said, with a smirk. “Said you always knew the right questions to ask, though, so he didn’t mind it so much.”

“He never changes,” the Doctor said. “He was retired, you know, had to come out of it after that cock up in Downing Street a few years back. They lost a lot of their top people that night.”

Martha nodded. “So he said,” she said wearily.

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed. “Martha...” He left her name hanging, like a question.

“Just not sure if I’m up for it, is all,” Martha said, at last. “It’s funny, you know. Life has gone on, same as always, but... oh, I nearly forgot, I passed my exams!”

The Doctor’s face lit up. “Doctor Jones,” he said gleefully. “Brilliant!”

Martha laughed. “The hours are horrendous, but I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

“And then the Brigadier comes along, and offers you an alternative lifestyle plan,” the Doctor nodded, suddenly understanding.

“I’ve already turned down Jack,” Martha admitted. “I know why he’s so keen to have me on his team, it even makes a kind of sense. I know the drill, for one; he wouldn’t have to baby-sit me.”

“But you said no.”

“My mother would have a heart attack if I joined Torchwood; we’ve already lost a cousin to them. My aunt still hasn’t gotten over it.”

“Yeah,” the Doctor said flatly. “Bad day.”

“Better than a bad year, I suppose,” Martha said. The Doctor flinched, but said nothing as he took another sup of his tea. She looked at him. “You want me to say yes, don’t you?”

“You’d do them good,” he admitted. “They’ve kind of lost their way a bit, over the last few years. One of the reasons Torchwood got so powerful, so fast.”

“I’ll think about it.”

The Doctor nodded. “All I was asking,” he said, putting his drained cup in the sink. He pointed at the biscuit tin. “Can I take one with me?”

“There’s a Sainsbury’s down the road, you know, you don’t have to raid my biscuit tin every time you’ve a sweet tooth.”

The Doctor looked guilty. “Figured that out, did you?”

“That you’ve been raiding my kitchen when I’m not about? Well, it was either you, or the cookie monster had come a calling…” She caved under the pressure of his eyes. “Oh, go on, then, take a biscuit.”

He took two.