Martha's cell phone rings. Sighing to herself, she rolls over from her vague, nap-like moment of peace and fumbles for it next to her pillow. Muttering something half-coherent about how no one in her family can solve anything alone—and she knows all about solving things alone, thanks very much—she lifts it up and squints at the screen.
Plenty awake after just two words, she shoves the blanket back, sits up, swings her legs over the bedside, hits the button, and raises the phone to her ear.
"Doctor?" she prompts.
"Even better," a familiar voice proclaims brightly. "Donna."
"Hi, Donna," Martha manages, pushing a hand through her hair. "What's going on? Is everything all right?"
She can't imagine what circumstances would lead the Doctor to give Donna the phone—actually, that's a lie; she can think of a thousand scenarios. The Doctor could be sick, and then it'll be like old times, and she'll be banging both fists down on one of his hearts… except that Donna doesn't sound worried, so maybe his hands are full—or maybe he's wrangling the TARDIS, and they need a travel recommendation, or he wants some Earth fact checked, and she's been officially demoted to Wikipedia gofer.
"Everything's fine," Donna scoffs, just as Martha starts considering alien toxins and/or hypnosis.
"Where's the Doctor?" Martha asks carefully.
"Sleeping," Donna declares.
Which probably sparkles.
"Mr. Spaceman went and got himself poisoned again," Donna explains, and Martha checks that one off in her head. "But he said he'll be as right as Verstör rain after he hibernates for a while." She pauses. "He said Verstör rain goes to the right because they have this, like, permanent windstorm that always blows clockwise around the planet." She pauses again. "That was about when he passed out on the floor."
Martha applies palm to forehead.
"But he's breathing fine, and both hearts are going, and he's even still got color in his cheeks, so I just left him on something that looked like his bed."
Martha can all too easily imagine Donna dragging an unconscious Doctor around the TARDIS's back rooms, grumbling all the way.
"All right," she says slowly. "What can I do for you, then?"
"Start by looking out your window," Donna suggests.
Martha pauses, then swivels, then bats the curtains aside and stares down at the street in front of her new flat. The TARDIS rises jauntily from the sidewalk, bright blue and glaring among tactful hedges and squares of cracked cement, and Donna is lounging in its doorway, the phone to her ear. She grins up at Martha and waves.
Martha blinks—oh, God, she hates that word—and waves back.
"You want me to take a look at him?" she asks.
"Yeah," Donna decides, tossing shining copper hair over her shoulder. "Come on down."
There's a truly indescribable and utterly unique kind of wistfulness to being in the TARDIS. It's like visiting an old friend, and Martha can never help but to remember how hard it was to leave that friend the first time. The air is different in here—cleaner, softer, better for gasping in and laughing out, always the perfect temperature. Martha thinks maybe it came from Gallifrey.
She stands up and sets the stethoscope aside, refusing to let her hand linger over the place where the sheets are drawn up over the Doctor's chest.
"He seems fine to me," she tells an attendant Donna, "but I can't exactly call myself an expert in Time Lord physiology."
"You're the closest anybody is," Donna points out. She grins slyly. "But that's not really why I called."
Martha frowns. "Are you all right?" she asks.
"Never better," Donna answers airily, "because he's been teaching me to drive the TARDIS."
"Not in a million years," she decides.
"Now," Donna counters, sashaying past her to return to the engine room. "Come on—where do you want to go?"
"We can't," Martha protests, hurrying after her. "Not without the Doctor…"
"Why not?" Donna asks. Martha realizes first that she's grinning back and second that she has no reply. Donna winks and hauls a lever into place. "Where she stops," she sings out, "nobody knows!"
"I'm not sure I like the sound of that," Martha says, laughing already as she throws her arms around a beam, serenaded by the good old grinding purr.
In a matter of fourteen hours, Noble and Jones have saved the Raxif-10 Supreme Priest, attended high tea in the capital, foiled a regicidal plot, foiled the counter-foiler revenge plot, enlisted the aid of the Princess in defusing a chain of explosives rigged to blow up the entire planet, convinced the Raxifan people that women make better rulers anyway, and celebrated the first annual Donna-and-Martha Day. Donna-and-Martha Day celebrations so far involve little girls tying orange and black ribbons into their hair and running around trying to foil as many small-scale plots as they can manage, and parents are encouraged to set up plot-like treasure hunts that end in the tearoom.
On the way back to the TARDIS, the half a dozen plotters who have thus far avoided arrest track them down and start waving guns, knives, and a signpost around. Anyone who can pull a signpost out of the ground and employ it as a weapon has Martha worried, so she suggests running.
Fortunately, Noble and Jones both rather like the running bit.
There will probably be foot-races during future Donna-and-Martha Days.
They hurl themselves into the TARDIS—bullets pinging off of its impervious exterior, one narrowly missing Martha's elbow—fling the doors shut, and lean against them, panting.
The Doctor chooses this moment to emerge into the control room, stretching both arms over his head and releasing a tremendous yawn. He fluffs thoughtfully at his hair and muses, "I had a dream that there were these things, right, nasty things dressed in boilersuits, and one was called Janet—"
He realizes that he is, in fact, talking to two people, not just forgetting which one of them he is talking to at any given moment, and stops, the majority of his hand having disappeared into his hair. He cocks his head, blinks at them, listens to the gunshots, the shouting, and the resonating clung of the signpost battering against the TARDIS's roof, and then he turns around and starts back the way he came.
"Where the hell are you going?" Donna demands.
"Back to sleep," the Doctor calls over his shoulder. "I think I'll take my chances with Janet, thanks."