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[Doctor Who] A New Life

Rating: G
Pairing: Harry/Martha
Beta: hhertzof
Summary: Martha tries out adoptive motherhood.
Notes: For livii

When she hands the baby over to Harry at their appointed change over time, Martha falls into bed and is instantly asleep. Their charge never sleeps for more than an hour at a time and after a week of this Martha sometimes struggles to remember her own name.

It seems like only a minute later, but in reality it's six hours when Harry wakes her and hands her the baby. The baby shrieks if either of them put it down for a minute, so Martha's got good at making herself coffee using only one hand.

As she drinks her coffee, she feeds the baby at the same time. When she sits down, hoping the baby will settle down so she can catch up on some of her missing sleep, there's a knock at the door. She sighs as she gets up to answer it, thinking she'll never get any sleep. She's wrong.

~*~

"What is it?" Martha asks.

"We don't know," the sergeant replies. "It came to Earth in what we think was an escape pod. We're trying to contact the main ship now."

She nods. "I'll have a look at it."

When Martha finds the escape pod in the sickbay, she also finds it contains a very loud alien. She doesn't know what the shrieking noise means, but she talks calmly to it, assuming it's scared. She knows she would be in its situation. It looks interested, as she runs tests on it, but it doesn't stop shrieking and it's giving Martha a headache.

"I wish you'd stop that," she says, and picks it up to look at the escape pod it's in. Immediately, the alien stops the noise. Martha looks at it carefully. "You're just a baby, aren't you?" The baby coughs and throws up on her.

~*~

She's at the end of her patience. She can't work while holding a baby and it shrieks whenever she passes it to anyone else: the baby's latched onto her for some reason. Although Martha's touched, she really needs a break. So when Harry Sullivan stops by the UNIT base, she thrusts the baby at him and is so glad it stays quiet she hugs him.

"Steady on," Harry says.

They've only met a few times before, but anyone the baby likes is a godsend, so she persuades him to stay. They work out a system that means they both get some time away from the baby and discover, through trial and error, what it eats. And after a week Martha can't remember what her life was like before the alien baby arrived in her sickbay.

~*~

Fewer people come round to chat, now Martha's busy with the baby, although they're happy enough to coo over it when she takes it on a walk around the base. Colonel Mace, though, hasn't had any contact with it at all and Martha can't guess what he wants to see her for. But once she's inside her office she knows. The alien standing beside Mace's desk looks exactly like a bigger version of the one she holds in her arms.

Mace tells her dispassionately that this is the baby's mother and it's come to take it home. And yet, despite all the sleepless nights and the pain in her wrist from holding a heavy baby one-handed, she doesn't want to hand it over.

"Can we be sure she's who she says she is?" Martha asks.

"You're the doctor."

So Martha gets to take the alien back to the sickbay to run tests on her.

~*~

Afterwards, the room is quiet and Martha can sleep as long as she likes. But she keeps listening out for sounds she won't hear. They purposely didn't name the baby, knowing it couldn't stay, and unsure of what sex it was, but it didn't stop her from getting attached to it anyway. Its mother was grateful for the care Martha had given it and pronounced the baby healthy and happy, but that was cold comfort at the moment.

"Can't sleep?" Harry asks, as he settles on the bed next to her.

She shakes her head.

He reaches for her and she rests her cheek on his shoulder as he rubs her back. It does make her feel better, which is odd because a week ago she barely knew this man. Now, though, his touch is comforting and she falls asleep listening to the beating of his heart.



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Cross posted from Angelic Paranoia - Fan Fiction
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