Chapter Fifteen

Martha looked out the front window of her mother's house, watching for any sign of the TARDIS. Francine stood nearby, watching her.

"So he's in need of your help?" Francine was saying to her.

"Don't know. He's staying with a family in Indiana and wants me to meet them. But he asked for Jack's number so he might need assistance as well."

"And he's married now? Who to?"

"Dunno, mum, probably Rose," Martha said, looking at her and shrugging.

She jerked her head back around when she heard the TARDIS wheezing and saw it materialize across the street. She grinned as the door opened and the Doctor stepped out wearing his suit and trenchcoat. Francine came up beside her and they watched while four children came out and fanned out around him.

"He travels with children now?" Francine said to Martha.

"No, I'm sure those children are part of the family…I hope," Martha said.

She heard the Doctor telling the children to come with him and she ran to the front door. She opened it and the Doctor laughed as he came up the path.

"Martha, it's good to see you again," he said while the children followed him and watched the scene with interest. "These are my dear little friends," he said, gesturing to them. "This is Mandy, this is Michelle and this is Tom and Brittany."

"Hi!" the children said in unison.

"Hello there," Martha said as Francine came up behind her. "I'm Martha and this is my mum."

"Hi," the children repeated, waving.

Francine waved and smiled at them before inviting them in for tea. She found some chocolate chip biscuits for the children and they let them sit at the table and eat them and drink some milk while the adults sipped tea and chatted by it. The Doctor explained what happened to Donna and what went on after he left her with Jack and Mickey. Martha was alarmed about Donna but she smiled when he described the brainstorming session they had during dinner.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to help," Martha said when he finished. "Donna and I became friends and I'd like to see her restored as well."

"Thank you. I don't know if we can but perhaps if we all get together and think, we could find a way," the Doctor said. "Other than that, this one here," he said, pointing to Michelle, "is turning ten years old tomorrow."

"Happy birthday," Martha and Francine said to her.

"Thank you," Michelle said.

"And their parents want to meet you and I know my other self would want to see you again so could you come back with me to their house?"

"I'd love to. Let me get my coat," Martha said.


After saying goodbye to Francine, Martha followed the Doctor and children into the TARDIS.

"So who did you marry? Rose?" she said to him when he shut the door behind all of them.

"No, a woman called River Song."

Martha frowned at that but the Doctor was already walking to the console while pulling his mobile out of his pocket. He dialed Jack's number and leaned against the console while the children gathered around him. Martha came up behind Mandy and Mandy turned and smiled at her, taking her hand while she used her other hand to hold her panda. Martha smiled warmly at her and squeezed her hand.

"Thank Heavens you answer your mobile," the Doctor said when someone answered on the other end.

He jerked the phone away when Jack screamed delightedly in his ear. Martha and the children laughed when the Doctor widened his eyes and shook his head before putting the mobile back against his ear.

"I would like to keep my hearing in this ear, Harkness, if you don't mind," the Doctor said to him. "I have a few requests for you...well, first, i wanted to know what you were doing because if you're not terribly busy, I have friends I'd like you to meet. Secondly, I need your help solving some problems. Okay...and you're in Torchwood now? Okay, so I will land the TARDIS where I was before when you jumped on my ship. And speaking of that, Martha is here as well and four little friends who are dying to meet you."

He rolled his eyes when Jack said something.

"No, Jack, these friends are four, five, nine, soon to be ten tomorrow, and fifteen so they're all a bit underage for you," he said while Martha chuckled. "They're the children of a man and woman who have adopted me and have treated me like a part of their family. They want to meet you and some of my other friends. I was thinking about going to see Sarah Jane as well but are you available? Okay, well, we're coming then. Cheers."

He ended the call and grinned when the children cheered.

"Hold on tight, my friends, we're making a jump to Cardiff," he said to them as he began to power up the TARDIS.


Jack waited with barely contained patience near the spot where the TARDIS parked before. He grinned when he heard the wheezing and the TARDIS appeared. He trotted over to it and stopped short when the door opened and a tiny child clutching a stuffed panda came outside.

"Uncle Doctor says behave," she said before turning and going back inside.

"Oh ha ha, Doctor," Jack said when he heard raucous laughter coming from inside.

Mandy stepped outside again and Jack leaned over.

"Hello, are you the child I'm not allowed to touch?" he said sweetly to her.

"I'm Mandy," she said.

"Hello, Mandy, I'm Jack. Nice to meet you!"

He leaned back up when the Doctor came outside with everyone else.

"As you can see, she's a bit young for you, Jack. Unless you're into that sort of thing and if you are, you're going to be impaled on a pole and left there and by impaled, I mean up the bum. Got me?"

"Yes, Dad," Jack said, rolling his eyes while the children laughed.

"As the child said, she is Mandy. This is Michelle, Brittany and Tom. Kids, this is Jack."

Jack smiled and stepped forward to greet them. He then hugged Martha and told her hello before following everyone inside. The Doctor shut the door and filled Jack in on what was going on, including telling him a bit about his older self and the fact that his future self was now married.

"Married? Well, that's good. When did we tie the knot?" Jack said when the Doctor finished.

"Not to you!" the Doctor said while the children laughed. "To a woman called River Song."

Jack staggered back.

"What the hell happened to Rose?" he said in disbelief. "I never even heard of River Song."

Ten sighed wearily and filled them in on what happened to Rose. Jack listened in disbelief and when the Doctor finished, he gathered the children around him.

"Children, I don't know how much he has told you. But this man was nuts about a woman named Rose Tyler," he said to them. "I traveled with him in his ninth life and with Rose and the two acted like they were smushed together with Velcro. The man would literally growl at me like a dog if I got too close to them while they were smushed and he has gone and left the woman he loved more than anything with a clone and married some woman I've never heard of before in my whole entire life."

The Doctor coughed nervously when the children looked at him.

"It's complicated, children," he said to them.

"It oughta be since I can't think of anyone else supplanting Rose in your affections. Must be one hell of a woman if she got your attention away from her," Jack said.

The Doctor could tell by the inquisitive looks on the children's faces that they were about to start asking questions and he could see them trying to brainstorm how to get her back next. So he quickly diverted their attention by suggesting they go to see Sarah Jane next. Jack watched while he ran around the console before grinning at the children.

"Now he's going to pretend I never mentioned Rose so he won't have to talk about her and explain himself," he said softly as he got the children and Martha to lean in close. "I know him and that's what he's doing."

"River's nice," Tom said softly.

"I'm sure she is but he still was gaga over Rose and being married to someone other than her is a big shock for me. But I'll keep my mouth shut and meet this River for myself," he said softly before they all leaned back up.

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