Title: Keeping Up With the Joneses
Notes: Marthathon fic for doyle_sb4
, who wanted "The Doctor interrupts a Jones family gathering."
Martha had been quite clear on one thing, and the Doctor would later claim that he had honestly tried to remember it and to follow the instruction to the letter.
"Don't," she'd said, leaning against the TARDIS as he locked the door, "embarrass me in front of my mother."
"I've never done anything to shame anyone in the eyes of their mother," he'd protested. "Well, I say never. Rarely. Almost never." He pocketed the key and thought for a moment "Mostly people don't let me meet their mothers. I've occasionally wondered about that."
"You don't have
to meet my mother. You could just stay here. Really."
"No, I want to. I've had some wonderful experiences with other people's families. Jackie Tyler and I might not have got off to the best start, but by the end there I really had grown to... not actively dislike her."
"Right," said Martha. "Oh, and if she asks? You're gay."
"Did you name her after Indiana Jones?"
Martha closed her eyes for a moment, and opened them to discover that the Earth had failed to open up and swallow her whole.
Francine looked at her daughter with an expression of mild horror. "Where did you find this one?"
, it seemed to say.
"No, she didn't," said Martha. "Did your mother name you after-" She realised where they were, having somehow momentarily forgotten that they were in a sitting room that had become the ninth level of hell. "After... John... Smith?" she finished weakly.
"After the beer on which she and my father were drunk when I was conceived, yes."
"Oh, you're so funny sometimes," said Martha, trying to laugh convincingly. "Isn't he funny, Mum?"
"If you say so."
Martha stared at the Doctor with as much significance as she could muster. She wished they were telepathic. That would make life so much easier.
"I think you're wonderful, Mrs Jones," said the Doctor, helpfully. "Martha's always telling me how wonderful you are. You have a lovely house, and this tea suggests a keen talent for boiling water, and you're very attractive." He suddenly remembered something. "I'm gay, though, so I'm not really able to judge."
"He has a... medical condition," said Martha.
"Martha's my doctor," he agreed.
"She's not qualified yet," said Francine, who was quick with such things.
"I'm not that ill yet, so we're a good match." He took Martha's hand, then dropped it. "Sorry, gay. Forgot about that for minute."
"It's a new thing," said Martha. "Each student gets a patient to look after until the final exam."
"Like those little flour babies," said the Doctor. "Only this is to teach doctor-patient interaction rather than to stop Martha getting pregnant at fifteen."
"I see," said Francine, who didn't quite. "Is it working out for the two of you?"
"Oh, yes," said the Doctor, warming to this latest lie. "We get on very well. There's always a very quick response to cries of 'Help me, Doctor' or 'Get this thing off me, Doctor.'"
"Yeah," said Martha, "you're always getting yourself into trouble. You'd be useless without me around. It's a wonder you can tie your own shoelaces."
"It is," he agreed.
And okay, so her mother thought the Doctor was a mental patient on day-release, but at least she wasn't likely to ask if they were getting engaged. It could have been so much worse.
"Wes Hall, now there was a bowler."
"And so handsome in his youth," said Lucile.
"Wow," said Martha, interrupting to to stop herself falling asleep, "who would ever have thought that you two would get on so well? Can I talk to you in private for a moment, John?"
"You never said your grandmother likes cricket," said the Doctor as Martha towed him into the kitchen.
"I didn't think it was important? Besides, I've never seen her talking to someone who has some freakish encyclopaedic knowledge of West Indies cricket teams of the 1950s and 60s. Strangely, such people are not common among my peer group."
"You young people," he sighed, hopping up on the counter next to the sink, "have no appreciation of sporting history."
"Are you about to launch into a rant about mobile phones and how music is just noise these days?" She frowned. "You're older than my gran. That's so weird."
"Can we take your gran to see the West Indies play Pakistan at Kingston in 1958?"
"My grandmother," said Martha, "is not allowed to travel in time."
"She's my gran! She's seventy-eight years old!"
"But she'd love it!"
"We'd probably end up on Mars. Even if we didn't, what am I supposed to say? 'By the way, gran, my new friend has a time machine'?"
"You told your mother I have a medical condition."
"You do," said Martha, fetching two cans of coke from the fridge. "You have two hearts." She eyed him thoughfully as she handed him a can. "I'd love to get a good look at that chest of yours sometime."
"I don't do that with women." He adopted a kicked-puppy expression. "Are you really that ashamed of me?"
"I just don't want my mother thinking you and I are... you know."
"At it like rabbits? Is that something she assumes a lot?"
"She says I should at least be cohabiting by my age. She's started asking if I'm a lesbian."
"But we do cohabit. Technically."
"I don't want her knowing that!"
"It's not you, it's her."
"I like your gran, though," he said, filing the subject of mothers and boyfriends under Things That Make Martha Do The Sulky Face. "She's really good. Are you sure she can't come with us?"
"Do you fancy my gran?" she joked.
"Not much, I just like talking to her."
Martha was quite horrified by this. "What do you mean 'not much'? She's my grandmother!"
"I've always liked younger women," he said, casually. "Most women are younger than me, but I didn't want to pick a preference that was too exclusive."
"Right," said Martha. "I'm never bringing you to visit my family ever again."
Some people would suspect that this outcome was indeed the Doctor's intention all along. But those people are so cynical, and have no appreciation of sporting history.