Author's Note: This is just a little introspection I did after getting some inspiration from a certain bed scene in season three's "The Shakespeare Code". Minor spoilers. And for all of you folks wondering about the Doctor's attitude in that scene, here is hopefully a little explanation as to the why. You probably won't hate it as much after that. And am I the only one whose heart it breaks to evener /watch/ season three? Not because of my attitude, but because of the obvious hurt the Doctor is going through. Or maybe that's just me and my plot-bunny mind. Anyway, enough ramblement. Enjoy.
"Are you going to stand there all night?"
The look he is wearing is almost a sneer. Martha looks a little shocked, isn't quite sure what to do – but she obeys him anyway, walks to puts the candle on the table, then lies down next to him. He watches her with a tight frown, before letting his concentration fall back on the mystery of witchcraft.
Except that his concentration isn't really on witchcraft.
Martha asks him to budge up, and he does so without thinking. She says something about the lack of room, but all he can think about is that it's too much. He misses the closeness he had with Rose, after all. Staring up at the ceiling he begins some spiel about psychic energy that he's not quite sure he believes. His voice sounds tired. He can even feel tiredness gaining on his muscles, that's why he's even lying here in the first place.
If Martha wants to make allusions about what the two of them lying on a bed could be, she's free to; because he's not thinking about what they are. He's thinking about what they aren't.
They aren't 'The Doctor and Rose Tyler', and somehow, that doesn't feel quite right. Rose had always wanted to see Shakespeare, he remembers. It had been one of the very first things she'd mentioned, but of course he'd been younger then.
"So in all this time-travelling – you've been everywhere, then?"
"Not everywhere, Rose, no. Close though."
He remembers the grin he'd pulled, a grin that seems so old and forgotten now that it's impossible to properly imagine it. Martha will never know that grin.
She had had that look in her eyes which meant she'd wanted something, and the Doctor had all too willingly taken the bait.
"Why?" he'd asked, tilting his head. "What's on your mind."
And she'd come right out with it. "Have you ever met Shakespeare?"
"What makes you ask that?" he'd wondered, both impressed and a little confused.
She'd just shrugged, turned away. "Just wondered. Remember him from school. Some English teacher was always banging on about him, saying what a genius he was. I just wondered if he was really so... great. That's all."
He had laughed gently. "William Shakespeare was one of the greatest men to walk your planet. No doubt we'll get to meet him one of these days."
Then she'd looked up and smiled that smile, the pure one that he loved more than most other things about her. "You promise?"
"I more than promise," he'd sworn haughtily. "It doesn't even need a promise. There's so much out there, to show you. I'll take you to him one day. But for now, I think we should try a little closer to home..."
Maybe, he thinks wryly, if he had promised he would be here with Rose now, not Martha. Not that there's anything wrong with Martha, of course (aside from the slightly worrying obsession with selling 'Love's Labours Won' back in her own time – he'll have to keep an eye on that); she's just not Rose. It isn't Rose climbing into the bed beside him, isn't Rose's skin he feels through his clothes, isn't Rose's voice that's surrounding him so much that he can't even think.
And he knows that if it were Rose, she wouldn't be making comments about 'tongues wagging'. She'd be lying there all quietness and innocence and be leaving him with time to think. Then, when he turns over to face her, she'd be lying there looking right back at him, with a secret on her lips that he hasn't even thought about yet. He sees Martha where Rose should be, but if he concentrates enough, he might be able to see her anyway.
He looks into dark eyes that aren't quite right.
He lay with Rose, once upon a time. Of course, he's lain with Rose a lot of times, but this one was special. She'd fallen asleep, tired out after the excitement and yes – they had ended up sharing a bed.
It was her who taught him the meaninglessness of it in the first place, and he's thankful for that at this moment, because he wouldn't have much fancied lying on the floor and he isn't sure Martha would have liked it either.
But it was Rose who was the first. He remembers as though it were just yesterday. He'd watched her sleep, watched the rise and fall of her chest and her hair as it had moved with her breathing. He remembers watching her breath float up into the air around them, the water turning to condensation because of the sheer night temperature. He hadn't been able to stop his hand from moving to her waist instinctively, drawing her closer to him to shut out the cold.
He remembers the feel of her cool flesh beneath his fingertips but tries to shut it out.
He remembers the slight noise she'd made, a comforting, peaceful noise that he instantly knew he would never get the chance to hear again. So, in that moment, he had treasured it.
Then her eyes had opened and she was watching him and he was very aware that his hand was not only on her waist, but holding onto her, pulling her into him. She had been aware too – he remembers the look in her eyes all too well.
"Go back to sleep, Rose," he'd told her quietly with a small smile. She had shaken her head against the pillow.
"Can't do that, Doctor."
"'Cause. There's something tickling my foot."
He had thrown a casual glance down and seen nothing but the bed covers. Then he had come to a startling realisation about the bed covers on this planet and their active ingredient, and suddenly the answer that he had spent a good few hours looking for was staring him right in the face.
Just as Martha is now.
He wants Rose so very much that her name escapes his lips and he begins to talk about her, even though he swore he wouldn't. It isn't Martha's fault that she isn't Rose.
With a sigh he flips over onto his back again, staring at the empty ceiling and wishing for nothing else for Rose by his side. He misses the warmth, the closeness, and even if Martha isn't Rose, she'll do for now. Because having warmth next to him reminds him that once upon a time, he wasn't as cold as he is now. Once upon a time he felt a lot more, thought a lot more, lived a lot more.
And Martha is a constant reminder that he doesn't have that. Maybe it's best he's taking her home in the morning.
She doesn't seem to happy too happy about it, though, and all of a sudden he and his thoughts are thrown into darkness when she blows out the candle. He knows he has upset her, but it makes it easier to imagine that things are a different way. In the dark, his mind wanders back to a time when he was saved by a delicate hand in his and a laugh that gave him a reason to get up in the morning.
He doesn't sleep that night.