Disclaimer: Doc Martin, the program and characters are the property of Buffalo Pictures.

CHAPTER 2

Project Grandchild

An hour later, cuddled up together in bed, Martin said, "Louisa, I hope you didn't go into too much detail with Joan about our plans, I'm highly suspicious of her offer to babysit Phil this morning, while we head off to get things done. Exactly what things was she expecting us to get done?"

"I think we can safely say Martin, that you've already completed the first job on her agenda for us" said Louisa as she cuddled up closer to him. "She desperately wants another grandchild to love, and we want to give her one, so if she wants to babysit so we can achieve both of our goals, why not let her?"

"Great, and I'm supposed to go back there at lunch time, with her knowing full well, what's been going on over here", his faced turned red just at the thought.

"I wouldn't worry about it Martin, Joan's a grown woman, and she's definitely no prude".

An image floated across Martin's mind of Joan and a certain young painter with an Oedipus complex, "creepy", Martin thought to himself as he shuddered as the memories came flooding back.

"Hmmph" he grunted, thinking to himself "you don't know the half of it Louisa".

Martin and Louisa both lay there, cuddled next to each other, both thinking their own thoughts. Louisa had been off the pill for a few months now, and was thinking that she was going to miss going into the chemists to collect her regular prescription. After the way Mrs Tishell had treated her, her evil half had almost enjoyed watching her fill out the prescription for her every few months.

Eventually Louisa said "What are you thinking Martin?" as she gently ran her hands through his short cropped hair.

She'd realised a while ago that Martin loved it when she touched him. After all of those years in boarding school, and his emotionally detached family, he'd never really had much physical affection in his life. Even Joan, whom he loved dearly wasn't a particularly demonstrative person, so whenever the opportunity arose when they were in private, she liked to keep in physical contact with him as much as possible. He still tended to be shy when out in public, and the occasional kiss and hand hold was all he was able to manage then, but in private he was always much more demonstrative.

Martin, had his eyes closed, enjoying the feel of Louisa's fingers running through his hair, he loved it when she did that, but it did make it hard for him to concentrate on anything else though. Marshalling his thoughts, Martin tried to verbalise what was on his mind, but couldn't put into words the enormous array of emotions that his wife brought out in him, and the love and devotion that he had for her, and the enormous privilege he felt to have her in his life, willing to have his baby and share the experience with him, especially after her lonely time of pregnancy that she experienced with Phil. In the end he settled for

"I was just thinking how much I…., how much I love you"Martin stammered. Louisa, by now was well and truly used to reading Martin's emotions from his body language, face and eyes, rather than his words, and the sheer love she saw in his expression, gave her just a glimpse of what he was feeling.

Pulling his face towards her, she kissed Martin with an urgency that surprised both her and him. Martin, feeling emotional himself at that particular moment, pulled Louisa to him and held her as if he would never let her go. Needless to say it was some time later before they realised that it was 2 pm and they were thoroughly late for lunch with Joan. Quickly getting up and making themselves presentable, they made the bed and rushed off to Joan's house next door.

Joan for once didn't say anything to embarrass anyone, at least not while Martin was there. Martin expecting at least one or two comments from her, was relieved to see that none appeared to be forthcoming. Joan made no mention as to the lateness of the hour, and just offered them lunch as if 2 pm was the original time mentioned for the family meal. She was however smiling broadly, hoping against all hope to herself that she might soon be a "grandma" again. She was certainly planning to do all that she could in her power to ensure that conditions were optimal for this to take place.

After enjoying their late lunch, Martin and Louisa collected Phil and they headed home. It had been a lovely day, no medical emergencies to spoil it, and some quality time alone together. As dearly as they loved their little son, it was nice occasionally to have some time to themselves. On arriving home, Louisa went into the kitchen to organise what they would be having for their meal that evening, and Phil took Martin by the hand and commandeered him for a long play session. Phil had his own little medical bag and loved playing at being Doctors, with Martin as the patient. Louisa noticed that her son's bedside manner was a lot more developed than his Father's, and couldn't help smiling to herself as she watched Phil trying to listen to Martin's heart beat, and take his temperature. Martin certainly looked a lot more uncomfortable being on the receiving end of a Doctor's consultation.

After their evening meal, Martin was relegated to bath duty while Louisa cleaned up the kitchen. Phil loved bath time, and if he had a choice he always preferred to have Daddy watch over him than anybody else. Martin always pretended it was a chore, but Louisa knew he secretly loved this time of the day, and she often walked past the bathroom to hear her two men having deep discussions on various topics.

This evening she heard Phil saying "What's a garlic Daddy?"

"A garlic?" Martin said in a puzzled voice.

"Yes a garlic!" Wondering where the topic had come from, Martin explained that

"A garlic is a bit like an onion and it is used in cooking. It also has many medicinal properties". Phil nodded his head sagely and said

"Our vacuum cleaner's like a garlic". This totally threw Martin for a few seconds.

"Why is our vacuum cleaner like a garlic? It doesn't look like an onion does it?" Martin was totally puzzled now, Phil disliked their vacuum cleaner intensely and was quite scared of the loud noise it made and its robot like shape. In fact, they had to take Phil next door to Joan, before they could even bring it out of it's cupboard.

"You and Mummy said it looked like a garlic" Phil said dogmatically.

Thinking back to their previous discussions regarding the vacuum cleaner and Phil's fear of it, Phil's comment finally made sense.

"I think you mean a Dalek, Phil, not a garlic, Mummy and I have occasionally said that the vacuum cleaner looks like a Dalek".

"Ohh" said Phil. "What's a Dalek Daddy?".

"It's a type of scary pretend robot from a T.V. show that Mummy likes to watch, there isn't really such a thing as a Dalek, it's make believe".

"Oh" said Phil, as he digested this piece of information. Louisa who was in the hallway near the bathroom, had heard all of this. She was now laughing silently, with tears streaming down her face as she hurried away so as not to be heard by Phil and Martin. That evening, after Phil was asleep, Martin and Louisa went into their family room to watch some T.V. and relax. They both sat on the long, leather 3 seater sofa, with Louisa cuddled into Martin's side, and his arm wrapped around her. With the T.V. playing softly in the background, Louisa mentioned how she had heard about the garlic episode. Martin smiled softly to himself as Louisa burst into laughter one more time, remembering it.

"He is a beautiful child, isn't he Martin?"

"He takes after his beautiful mother" said Martin, finally managing to express some of his feelings, without messing up what he meant to say in the process.

Louisa didn't often manage to hear Martin's feelings put so eloquently into words, and when it did happen on rare occasions, she couldn't help but be moved.

"Oh Martin, I do love you. I think Phil is lucky to have you as his Father, and I'm a very lucky woman to have you as my husband. I'm looking forward to having another child with you, and this time you'll be able to experience the wonder and joy of the pregnancy with me."

The vision of Louisa pregnant once again with his child, and him being a part of the pregnancy, was almost too much for Martin to absorb. He had lived such a miserable life for so long, and now he was so happy and contented, he didn't feel that he could take in any more happiness.