Chapter Seven

“So, yeah, I’m still traveling with my friends,” Martha said.

She was walking down the TARDIS corridor talking to Tom Milligan on her mobile. She smiled.

“Oh, I miss you too,” she said. “How long ya gonna be in Africa?”

Just then, the Doctor came around the corner.



The Doctor stopped short and feigned anger while Martha went back to her conversation.

“So, are you swamped?” Martha said into the mobile. “You have enough help, yeah?”

Interested, the Doctor strolled over and leaned in. Martha shot him a look and tried to wave him away.

“Is that Tom?” he asked.

Martha nodded.

“HI TOM!” the Doctor screamed.

He winked when Martha let out an exasperated sigh.

“Yes, that was the Doctor,” she said.

She paused a moment and then looked at him.

“Tom says hi back.”

“Yay, I feel so loved,” the Doctor said happily.

“You are such a goof sometimes, you know that?” Martha said as he snickered.

There was another pause.

“Oh no, you’re not a goof. I mean the Doctor is a goof,” she said hurriedly. “He just walked up and he’s being his usual pesky self.”

The Doctor gave her a hurt look and then grinned. He gave her a concerned look when her face fell.

“Oh, do you really have to go?” she said sadly.

She sighed softly.

“Oh, okay, I guess I’ll have to let you go then,” she said.

The Doctor leaned his head against her shoulder. Martha fought to keep from laughing when his bottom lip trembled and he gave her doe eyes.

“Okay, just call me back soon, please? I miss you so much!” Martha said.

She bit her lip when the Doctor put his cheek against hers and mimed crying.

“I love you, Tom. Be careful, alright?” Martha said, trying to walk away. “Okay, I’ll talk to you later, bye.”

She hung up the mobile.

“You are worse than a kid, you know that?”

“What? I’m sad. I like Tom and I hate that you and he are separated. I was just sympathizing with your plight.”

Martha rolled her eyes and smiled.

“Well, thank you for echoing my feelings,” she said, giving his cheek a pinch.

He grinned.

“So, how is Milli Vanilli, is he taking good care of himself?” he asked.

Martha raised her eyebrow.

“Milli Vanilli? Only you would think of that,” she said.

“What? I don’t mind them. They were talented. Or rather…the vocalists who sang for them were talented…still, can’t deny the songs were catchy.”

Martha smiled when the Doctor began to croon the chorus ‘Girl, You Know It’s True’, to her. She applauded lightly when he finished.

“Nice, very nice,” she said.

“Thanks, I pride myself on my musical abilities. So, anyway, how is he?”

“He’s fine. He’s still in Africa with Doctors Without Borders helping run a children’s hospital that just opened.”

“Well, good for him. I’m glad he’s helping to make a difference in the world,” the Doctor said.

“Yeah, me too. He’s a great guy.”

“Yes, he is. Second only to me.”

He snickered when Martha gave his arm a playful slap.

“Welll, Miss Jones, I’m so glad I ran into you because I have been gathering up the troops for a little celebration.”

“Really? What’s the occasion?”

“Founder’s Day.”

Martha frowned.

“Never heard of it.”

“Yes, well, I figured that. It’s a Gallifreyan holiday honoring the three founders of Gallifreyan society as I knew it. Rassilon, Omega and the Other.”

“The Other? That’s his name?”

“Um…well, no. No one really knows his name. It’s been lost to history, so everyone just calls him the Other.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

“Anyway, I haven’t celebrated in years and I suddenly feel very nostalgic. Actually, it’s quite a party. Fireworks, dancing, feasting and speechmaking, all into the wee hours of the morning. Today is the day, so care to join me in the merrymaking?”

“Sure, I’d love to see what a Gallifreyan holiday looks like.”

“Wonderful! Oh, we are gonna have a blast! The TARDIS helped me out by preparing some traditional Gallifreyan food and providing the fireworks for tonight.”

“Are we going to some planet?”

“Oh no, we’re doing it in here. I have a camping room that is nice and big and will do just fine. So, if you’ll accompany me to the wardrobe room, we’ll meet up with Rose and Donna, get you all dressed and get the shindig goin’”

“Dressed? We need to get dressed?”

“Yes, all of us need to dress up. It’s tradition. So, follow me.”

Martha took his hand and he led her to the wardrobe room.

“You have got to be kidding.”

Martha looked down at her outfit. She and the others were dressed in Time Lord robes. She looked at her friends. All of them were dressed in bright orange robes and silver skullcaps. The Doctor was the only one who wasn’t uncomfortable and sweaty.

“I am not wearing this,” Donna said to him.

“You have to, it’s tradition,” the Doctor insisted.

“I am not spending the night in this thing. It’s hotter n’ Hell in here, not to mention we all look like nightmares.”

“Oi! These are traditional Time Lord robes I’ll have you know!” the Doctor said, incensed. “They’re a part of my Time Lord heritage!”

“Oh yeah, then why is this the first time I’ve seen you wear it?” Donna challenged.

The other two women gave him pointed looks. He shifted uncomfortably.

“Well…they’re….only for special occasions like today,” he said.

“Well thank God for that because you look poncey in them,” Donna said.

“I do not!” the Doctor said as they giggled. “I look regal.”

“No, I like my word better,” Donna said.

He rolled his eyes and sighed when they three women snickered.

“Anyway…let’s go on to the camping room and start the festivities, shall we?”

“Lead the way, poncey-boy,” Rose said.

The Doctor eyed her as all of them bent over laughing.

“I’m beginning to think it’s a bad idea letting the three of you hang out together,” he muttered.

“There we go,” the Doctor said, as he finished lighting the fire.

They were sitting around a small campfire in the campfire room. The TARDIS had realistically portrayed a moonlit night right down to the crickets chirping.

“Great, now we’ll be ten times hotter than we already are,” Donna muttered.

“I’m not hot,” the Doctor said.

“Well, that’s because you have a lower body temperature than we do,” Rose said.

The Doctor shrugged.

“I can’t help the way I was born. Besides, you’ll get used to it in a minute. Just relax and have fun.”

Before Donna could say anything further, he stood up.

“Well, I believe I will kick off these proceedings with a small speech honoring our revered founders,” he said.

He cleared his throat and spread his arms open.

“Rassilon, Omega and the Other, great founders of Gallifreyan society. We gather here tonight to honor you and your achievements. It is you who made time travel possible and without you, the Time Lords would not exist. Hail to you, revered ones.”

He lowered his arms as the three women clapped.

“Okay, Rose, your turn,” the Doctor said, pointing to her.

Rose’s eyes bugged out.

“Me? I don’t know these people,” she protested.

“Just say a few kind words. It’s tradition for everyone around the fire to say something,” the Doctor said, sitting back down.

Rose looked at Martha and Donna who shrugged. She stood up and stared into the fire.

“Ummmmm….Rassilon, Omega and the Other…um….you are great. Because of you…we have the Doctor. We honor you….I s’pose.”

She quickly sat back down while the others applauded.

“Martha, you’re next,” the Doctor said.

“I don’t know what to say,” she protested.

“Just say a little something,” the Doctor urged.

Martha stood up.

“Okay, um…Rassilon, Omega and the Other. I don’t know any of you cause I’ve never lived on your planet, but the Doctor seems to like you, so you’re okay in my book. Um…long live the three of you.”

She sat down as the others clapped.

“Alright, it’s my turn, is it?” Donna said, getting up.

The Doctor shot her a warning look, which was completely ignored.

“Okay, Rassilon, Omega and the Other, I got something to say to you.”

“Donna…” the Doctor said.

“How come you lot came up with these stupid outfits? They’re hotter n’ Hell and they make you look like a ponce.”


“I mean, come on, these robes weight a ton and they’re stupid looking and what’s with this frill thing jutting up the back? What’s it for, wind protection? You need to have one on the front, so you can hide your face from others.”


“But then again, I guess it’s the whole suffering for your god thing? Because if that’s the case, I’m suffering, believe me!”

“Donna Noble!” the Doctor said as Rose and Martha laughed.

“And another thing, I’m assuming you invented TARDIS’s? Because if you did, you made them draftier than Hell. Most mornings, it takes me ten minutes to convince myself to get out of bed because I freeze my arse off when I do. Haven’t you lot heard of central heating? I mean, you are gods, so surely that kind of thing isn’t beyond you and…”

She gasped when the Doctor jumped up, seized her hand and set her back down.

“Thank you, Noble, for those stirring words,” the Doctor said as Rose and Martha bent over laughing. “And since all of you are finished now, I will bring over the food for the feast.”

Donna looked at her friends and winked while the Doctor walked away muttering to himself. He returned a few moments later carrying a silver platter in his hands. On top of the platter was a huge hunk of grey colored meat surrounded on three sides by small purple and red berries. All three women made faces when he sat it down on the ground in front of them.

“What is that?” Martha asked.

“This is Tafleshrew meat or rather, imitation Tafleshrew meat since all the Tafleshrews perished with Gallifrey. The red berries are Bomble berries and the purple berries are Darshewling berries, also imitation, of course. Go ahead and help yourself and I’ll go get the imitation Bombleberry juice.”

The three women stared at the platter.

“Anyone wanna go first?” Martha said.

“Not me, I don’t trust meat that looks like it’s rotten,” Donna said.

Rose hesitated for a moment and then tentatively reached out and pulled off a bit of meat from the side. The two women watched closely while she put it in her mouth and ate it. She chewed for a couple of seconds and then her eyes widened in delight.

“It’s good, guys. It really is,” she said. “Try some.”

Donna and Martha looked at each other, picked off bits of flesh and ate them. They looked at each other and nodded in agreement.

“Thank God the thing tastes better than it looks,” Donna said.

They looked over when the Doctor came up carrying another platter with a pitcher and glasses on top of it.

“How is it?” he asked.

“It’s good,” Rose said as the others nodded in agreement.

The Doctor smiled.

“Good. I was afraid imitation Tafleshrew meat wouldn’t taste as good as the real thing.”

“Well, it’s not like we could tell the difference anyway,” Martha said.

The Doctor tasted a bit of the meat.

“Not bad. It doesn’t taste exactly like Tafleshrew meat, but it’s pretty close. Have you tried the berries?”

The three women shook their heads. All of them picked up a red and purple berry and tasted them.

“Oh my God, these are good,” Rose said.

“Yeah, you’ve got some good food on your planet,” Martha agreed.

“I’ll say, this food more than makes up for the poncey robes.”

Rose and Martha giggled when the Doctor gave Donna a look of death.

“Thanks, I think,” he said to her.

He took another piece of meat and popped it in his mouth. Suddenly, the room was filled with the sound of drums and flutes.

“This is traditional Gallifreyan music,” the Doctor said pointing up to the ceiling. “The TARDIS is piping it into the room.”

“It’s beautiful,” Rose said.

She took a swig of Bombleberry juice. As she drank, she glanced over at the Doctor and noticed he was staring off into space with unshed tears in his eyes. Her heart broke for him and she scooted closer.


The Doctor looked at her.


“Are you alright? You look like you’re going to cry.”

The Doctor gave her a sad smile and put his arm around her.

“Just remembering,” he said.

Donna and Martha glanced at each other, got up and went to his side. Martha settled down behind him, put her arms around his neck and put her cheek against his while Donna sat down on his other side. The Doctor beamed. He put his arm around Donna, closed his eyes and basked in the love of the people who cared about him.

The three women sat around the Doctor, taking in the simulated fireworks the TARDIS had provided. None of them had left his side since the Doctor became emotional, wanting to let him know that they were there for him. They had finished off the Tafleshrew meat and berries and had even done a bit of dancing to the music. Now all of them lay there exhausted just taking in the show. Rose looked over at the Doctor and studied his face as he watched the fireworks. He looked at her, smiled, and kissed her lips.

“This was a really good idea,” she whispered to him. “Not just for us, but for you. I think you needed this, needed to connect with your planet again.”

The Doctor nodded.

“Yes, I did and I’m glad you three were willing to go along with me.”

“Are you kidding? I’ll go along with anything you say.”

The Doctor gave her a wicked grin.

“So, does that mean you will let me auction you off for credits then?”

He snickered when she punched him in the arm.

“Alright, almost anything then,” she said.

She snuggled in close to him and he put his arm around her. She let out a yawn and closed her eyes.

“One thing you gotta say about these poncey robes. They’re nice if you wanna go to sleep in them. Like being wrapped in a big old blanket.”

“Are you going to sleep?”

Rose nodded.

“I’m knackered. All that dancing and good food wore me out,” she murmured. “Besides, you feel so good and so warm and so comfortable and you just make me want to go to sleep…”

The last word was barely a whisper and the Doctor watched as Rose drifted off. He repositioned himself and gathered her into his arms. She opened her eyes briefly and with a soft sigh, closed them and went back to sleep.

“I’m going to take Rose to bed,” he said to Martha and Donna. “You guys are welcome to hang out here for as long as you like.”

Martha glanced at her friend.

“I think we’re just about done here too. So, you go on ahead and we’ll catch up.”

The Doctor smiled.

“Okay, good night then.”

“Good night, Doctor,” Martha and Donna said in unison.

The Doctor turned. They watched while he walked out the door with Rose in his arms and then both of them leaned back and watched the rest of the fireworks.

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