Jump to content

After The Tone

Guest Pengzilla

Recommended Posts

After the Tone

Title: After the Tone

Type of Story: One Shot

Main Characters: Jack and Martha

BTTB Rating: G

Genre: Fluffy, Romantic .. soppy, basically

Does story include spoilers? No

Any warnings? Nope.

Summary: Martha left without Michael and Jack called off the wedding. One month later, Jack's finally plucking up the courage to give Martha a call - but it doesn't go quite as planned.

Firstly... I stole this. :ph34r: I'd gotten the idea from another fandom and absolutely LOVED it... so I decided to use the idea and apply it to J&M. I haven't had it proofed (My fault, but still... :() and I'm not that happy with it. I personally love the idea though. Different, original and sweet. Shame I copied. Heh. :P And I seem to do unhappily ending fics really.. so I needed some fluff, soppy crap. Just to even it out. Anyway, I hope you like it. :unsure:


He spent most of his days like this: waiting around the house or the beach or the diner for something to happen. Ever since she’d left and he’d called off his wedding all he could seem to find himself doing was just the minimal. It was as if he was trying to conserve his energy for something. Something bigger than anything he’d done before.

He guessed it was probably something to do with Martha, as she was on his brain 24 hours a day, every day. She’d left a month ago without Michael and without saying goodbye and Jack had foolishly let her go; even though he knew there was something between them. He had no doubt that he had feelings for her and by the way that she had kissed back he was sure they were reciprocated. But she’d resisted and she’d fought her defences and she’d run away as per usual and took his heart with her (as per usual), and that always filled him with doubt and worry so as a result he couldn’t find the strength to run after her straight away. Then as every day passed his worry and doubt intensified until it turned into more than just the original worries, and now after 4 weeks a whole new horizon of issues could be standing in their way.

She had moved to the city and rented out an apartment near her new job and probably near her new friends. He also had it on very good authority that she had a pet hamster, too. There was every possibility that she had found a happier place for herself and moved on without him.

He sat down on the edge of the sofa and leant his elbows on his knees. She had left him.

She’d left him.

She’d left him and she must have been told by now by a friend or relative that he’d left Sam. It wouldn’t take a genius to work out why, yet she still hadn’t contacted him.

He left Sam for Martha.

His feelings seemed pretty clear and open, but hers… Martha always did a good job of hiding what she really meant. It was good in poker, and it was good whenever it was her turn to spin Colleen a little white lie so they could watch her freak out and tell the whole Diner, but now she was too good at concealing the truth and it confused things. It confused him.

He’d been waiting for her to call, in all honesty. Every day he’d promise himself that if she didn’t call, he’d call her. But then there was always a reason to delay it a day or two, and the days and weeks just rolled by until it had been a month. Now he was running out of excuses and reasons not to call. He’d pretty much decided that he had the right to call her up and ask why she hadn’t contacted him. He’d like to think it was because she was still under the illusion that Jack and Sam got married and were now living as a happy family at home. Then maybe when he told her that she was wrong and that they didn’t get married Martha would get it together and reveal her own feelings.

So perhaps he should just call and drop it in conversation, a little hint about his own home where he was living with only Rachel, or he could mention his new found singledom and see what happens from there.

He reached over to the coffee table for the white slip of paper with Martha’s new address and telephone number scribbled on in Alf’s handwriting and kept it between his thumb and fingers as he copied the number into the phone. He tried to ask himself why he was tip-toeing around the subject of his love for Martha like a fairy or a girl or something equally as feminine and unmanly, but it was a lost cause. Something in his head just didn’t want to think about his worry of getting rejected again.

There was one ring, then another, and a third and a fourth and a fifth and sixth until there was no more. The ringing bells stopped and a voice began.

And listening to her voice made him realise just how much he missed her.

“Hey, this is Martha; if you’re calling for the hi-fi then I’ve sold it. If its Macca then no, I’m not going to clean your apartment – I don’t care what compensation you offer, nothing would ever be enough.”

Jack smiled, listening at her list of happenings going on in her life. If he’d have remembered about her voicemail habits then he would have probably called sooner, just to catch the duties of her week without him. Apparently it was something the MacKenzies did – it allowed each of them to listen in on their daughter’s or son’s or sibling’s life without having to actually interrupt. It kept them close, even if they were miles apart. And now he completely understood.

“If it’s Granddad then I’m fine and stop worrying. And if it’s anyone else just leave a message after the tone. Oh… and … and if it’s Jack, then what’s taken you so long to call?”

At that point Jack was unsure of everything. He paused for a moment, his eyes flickering around the room as if he was checking she wasn’t talking to someone else with his name. But there was no one there, and even if there was someone else called Jack in her life, he knew she wasn’t talking to them. He could feel it in his stomach or kidney or whatever else is down there.

And that’s what made him react in such a panicked way when he heard the beep, because he suddenly realised he didn’t know what to say. So he ended the call by hitting every button on the face of the phone and then slammed it down on the seat beside him. He took a few deep breaths before even trying to think of what it all meant; only to discover that he couldn’t think whatsoever. His head was all jumbled and all he could hear was how her soft voice said his name. So it was in his best interest to leave the house for a while, to get up and go for a jog along the beach to clear his mind and focus on what he was actually planning on doing. Because as per usual Martha was a step ahead of him, which had given him both a twinge of excitement and a tingle of fear.


When he got back 3 hours later, at 10.05 that evening, he had finally decided on what he was going to do.

It’d been 4 weeks since the wedding and since he’s seen her. That should be long enough for anyone to settle their feelings down and really figure out what they want. She hadn’t met anyone of much significance, as she hadn’t mentioned any unknown men’s names on the answer phone recording. Jack had made it onto her answer phone within weeks of their first kiss, and he felt strangely smug about that. Mainly because it had taken Ash and Cam and Michael much, much longer. Not that he’d checked.

He figured she knew about the lack of gold band around his wedding finger. And if she didn’t he’d just have to tell her. He’d then follow it on with asking her out somewhere, requesting to meet her in her local café or bar so they can talk things through. Then they’d take it from there.

So he picked up the phone again and pressed redial to speed up the action. He held it to his ear and counted the rings, regrettably listening as the final ring passed. He had really wanted to talk to her, but he’d deal with just leaving a message. He wasn’t quite prepared for what he heard, though.

“Hey, this is Martha; unfortunately I’m out for a long weekend with my brother and won’t be back until Tuesday. We’re going hiking… and I assure you it was not my idea for a break and if I had free-will then I wouldn’t be going. If it’s Granddad I’m fine and I’ll call you as soon as I get back. If its work then I’ll definitely be in on Tuesday evening and if it’s anybody else then leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Oh, and if it’s Jack – please leave a message this time. I mean... it does sound really cute when you do that deep breathing thing when you panic… but it makes crap voicemail. You have nothing to worry about. I still love you.”

Jack swallowed, trying to fight a smile that was creeping up from the corner of his mouth. But he couldn’t help it, and soon enough he felt a warm flush of pink cover his cheeks and eyelids as he gently closed them shut. The beep reminded him of the answer phone and he was adamant to leave a message this time, even though he wasn’t too sure his voice was working anymore. So he gathered himself together with a clearing of the throat.

After that he didn’t ring again. He didn’t try her mobile, nor did he spend his time by the phone hoping that hiking had been called off and she’d come home early. He actually kept himself rather busy and tried to train his mind on other things until Tuesday morning came.


Martha listened to it again, sitting closer to the machine as she told it to play the last message for the 4th time. It was as if she was waiting for it to change.

“It’s Jack. Could you call me back? Thanks.”

She didn’t need to admit she was surprised – it was evident on her face. When she’d recorded her previous message she was sure that when she got home he’d have left her some sort of explanation, or answer, or even some witty comment that would fill her with hope. But no, he’d left her that. She was a little disappointed to say the least, though she didn’t hesitate to call him back. Besides Jack calling should be a good thing, right? She hoped so anyway, or else things between them would be a little weird now she’d proclaimed her love for him via voicemail. She took the phone off the stand and dialled his number, putting it to her ear as soon as she could.

It seemed to go straight to his answering machine; much to her dismay. However what she heard seemed to turn her frown upside down.

“If you’re calling because you love me, then I love you too. Always have done, always will. If I’d only have known that before things got so messed up then maybe we wouldn’t have had to deal with half of what we have. But… you can’t change the past. You can change the future though, and I’d really like a future with you. Please leave a message. Tell me where to meet you. Tell me when I can bring you home. I miss you. I love you.”

And she couldn’t have hidden her grin if she tried. Her toes were curling in her shoes and her fingertips were tracing her smile.

She swallowed as she heard the beep and smiled down the phone.

She didn’t say much, she wasn’t sure how, but luckily she didn’t have to. Soon enough she heard the silent line trip and there was a warm voice just as happy as hers that spoke her name. It was filled with promises and pick up times and trips home. It was saying things like “forever” and “love” and “you”. It was the best phone call she’d had in a long, long time.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.