"I have to admit," Martha said, "I'd never expected to get a chance to practice my medical skills while working in a china shop."
"Ever so sorry," the young man said, applying pressure to the cut on his head as directed while Martha checked his pulse. "I was just trying to reach that teacup, a present for my gran. I'll pay for the damage, of course."
"No problem, I'll just make up some story. That's an awfully expensive amount of china you broke, for a sailor's salary. I'm a bit surprised someone so clumsy would be allowed on a ship, I have to say. What's your name, then?"
"Harry Sullivan," he said, holding out his hand.
"Martha Jones," she replied, shaking it. "And based on your wincing there, I think you've definitely done some damage to your hand. Let me see."
"Very grateful, Miss Jones," Harry said, wincing again as Martha tested out his hand. "Bit sore there, I'd say."
"Well, I don't think you've got any broken bones, but let's tape up a few of those fingers just in case."
"I say, where did you learn how to do that?" Harry asked, watching in fascination as Martha expertly taped his fingers. "And where did you get that kit — there are some lovely bits of equipment in there."
Martha hastily pushed the small first aid kit she'd taken from the TARDIS aside. "Just some odds and ends," she lied smoothly, "and I've trained to be a doctor, though I haven't passed my exams yet."
"Imagine that!" Harry said, "a girl of your age! I've been through training as well, though in the navy I mostly work on sailors." He frowned as Martha laughed.
"Sorry," she said, "couldn't help it. And yes, a girl of my age! Well, things are a bit different where I'm from. Here, come on, I'll fetch the broom and you can take out the trash with the broken bits."
Harry stood up gingerly as Martha walked off; he couldn't see her smile.
* * *
"Met a lovely boy at the shop today," she said that night as she put supper on the table, "clumsy as an oaf, but awfully sweet. I got to bandage him up — you should try injuring yourself more, Doctor, so I can stay in practice."
"Hardly enough practice," the Doctor replied, ignoring the food as he tried to jam a square peg into a round hole.
"I suppose," Martha said, sighing. "How's the timey-wimey detector coming along?"
"Just fine," the Doctor replied, as the machine let out a high-pitched squeal.
* * *
"I did say I needed more practice, but this is a bit much, Doctor Sullivan!" she said, checking his pulse again.
"I try my best," he wheezed, but he laughed as well. "It's not my fault you came round that corner so recklessly!"
"I was on a scooter, Sullivan, it's hardly anything too fast or dangerous. You were the one crossing against the traffic."
"I was just coming back to the shop to start paying for the damages. I saved up over the week. Oh my. I might need a bit of help getting up."
Martha laughed, and helped Harry get to his feet. "I told you, I covered that up — just told the owner a bird had flown in and knocked things over in its panic to get out. It was only a few things, and you should see the wages us shop girls get — it's criminal."
"Well then," Harry said, suddenly going a bit pink, "I find myself with a bit of extra money, Miss Jones. Would you be so kind as to allow me to buy you a lunch to recompense you for your care and medical attention?"
Martha cocked her head. "You asking me on a date, then?"
"Er," Harry said, "maybe?"
"I could go for lunch," she said, "sounds lovely." She took his arm and smiled; Harry blinked rapidly.
"We'll be off then," he said. "Er, slowly, if you don't mind."
"Come on," Martha said, "hop on the back of my scooter; there's just room enough for two."
"Only if you promise to drive like less of a lunatic," Harry said, getting on the bike carefully. Martha laughed, and kicked it into gear.
"Hold on tight!" she said, zooming off. Harry shut his eyes and grinned.
* * *
"Lunch with the lovely boy today," Martha said that evening, watching a sci-fi show on their little television. "He's very funny, especially for someone in the service. He had very good stories about naval battles that probably weren't true and he only stuck his elbow in the butter dish once. Might be a bit gay, but I've been known to be wrong."
"You're never wrong," the Doctor said, nodding. "Oh dear."
The timey-wimey detector started smoking rather a lot.
"I'll open the window," Martha said. "So, I'll hold off on asking how it's going until tomorrow, then?"
* * *
"Harry Sullivan," Martha said, "did you manage come by my shop and ask me for a date without breaking a single thing — or a single bone?"
Harry laughed, inching away from a very fancy vase. "It was a lovely lunch," he said. "I was wondering if you would like to go to the cinema?"
"Sounds great," Martha replied. "Should be a good cultural experience, the Doctor hasn't taken me to the films yet."
"Another doctor?" Harry asked. "How many do you know?"
"Long story," Martha replied, laughing. "Come on, let me get my coat. Oh, thank you, that's very kind. I'm not used to that sort of chivalry."
Harry paused as he helped her slip on her coat, frowning.
"No worries," Martha said, smiling, and she reached up on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek.
"I say, that's a bit bold," Harry said, colouring a little around his neck.
"Oh, you haven't seen anything yet," Martha said. "To the cinema!"
* * *
"Martha," Harry said, "Martha, I don't know."
"Come on," Martha replied, kissing him again. "It'll be fun. I swear."
"Martha," Harry said again, "I'm shipping out tomorrow." Martha laughed.
"Aren't boys supposed to use that line when they're trying to talk a girl into sex, not the other way around? And besides, there's something I've really, really got to tell you. I might be shipping out tomorrow — I could ship out at any moment. And I'll never be coming back."
"You're really not from here, are you?" Harry said. "I mean, I've thought so, the things you say and do, but really and truly."
"No," Martha said, leaning in to kiss him again, "definitely not."
"Where, then? You can tell me," Harry said a few minutes later. "I rather think we're at the honesty stage of the relationship, if you ask me."
Martha laughed as Harry ran a finger across her nipple, and she shifted against his hip, causing him to groan.
"I'm from the future," she said, "I travel in time and space only we're stranded here, but my companion, he thinks he's got his machine fixed. Oh, that's lovely, there."
"How far in the future?" Harry asked as he propped himself up on top of her. "If we're going with such a patently ridiculous idea, of course."
"We're into the two thousands now," Martha said, "oh, please, I want you, I really want you, Harry." She shimmied her hips and he groaned again, and slid inside her.
"Tomorrow," he said again, moving somewhat anxiously against her, "I'm so sorry, Martha, oh, oh."
"Shush," she said, "just hold on and fuck me. Oh, don't blush — I told you, I'm from the future."
"Absolutely disgraceful," Harry said with a grin. "I should have you keelhauled for that language, miss, oh, Martha, oh."
"Easy, tiger," she said, leaning forward to kiss him again. "You said tomorrow. Don't rush it. The future will come when it comes. Oh."
* * *
There was only a note on the pillow in the morning; a note with a phone number on it that didn't look like it was local. He read the note and smiled, and got out of bed to reach for his wallet. He'd put the note in his safe deposit box before going to the pier; he hoped the paper wouldn't disintegrate before the thirty-odd years it promised passed.
He was about ready to leave when his telephone rang; he answered it with a frown.
"Doctor Sullivan," the voice on the other end of the line said, "Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart here. We're looking for a medical doctor to be seconded to our division. Have you heard of UNIT? Can't say too much on an unsecured line — it's all a bit hush-hush, strange things, the paranormal, the unknown."
"Strangely enough," Harry said, "I think that might suit me just fine."
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