xXx MissHaun†ed-MoonLigh† xXx
Fandom: Doctor Who (2007)
Characters: The Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones & Rose Tyler (Memories of)
Prompt: # 085 - She
Word Count: 5'029
Summary: Two damaged hearts, one depressing song. Martha Jones finally finds out about Rose, and for the first time since Bad Wolf Bay, the Doctor's hearts are healing.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. Thank RTD and the BBC. I don't own the lyrics that are scattered about throughout this; those belong to Akon. Love this song ... (sniff)
Author's Notes: Inspired by 'Don't Matter', by Akon. Very 10Martha, but a lot of 10Rose thrown in for healing purposes, as well. Post Family of Blood, so expect spoilers ...
'Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no.'
The Sonic dropped to the floor with an echoing clatter, and the Doctor's head emerged from a floor panel in the Console Room.
Ears pricked up, he stared around the room, finally taking note after four hours of the absence of a certain travelling companion of his.
'Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter no, 'cause I got you babe.'
Struggling out of the floor with a groan, he dusted himself down and stared at the console, frowning.
"Where is she, old girl?" he murmured.
There was a soft bleep from the console and one of the scanners flared into life, depicting a camera shot of just outside Martha Jones' bedroom, her door closed and a painted 'Do Not Disturb' sign swinging gently from the handle.
"Oh," he said, eyebrows knotted together in confusion.
The lights flickered ominously, and the Doctor paused, staring up at the ceiling in concern.
"What? Does she not want to see me, or something?" he asked, frowning.
The lights dimmed slightly, and the Doctor had the distinct impression his ship was feeling rather miserable, right now.
Another soft beep resonated around the room and he half-gasped, the meaning loud and clear;
'Maybe now isn't the best time, Doctor. I think she wants to be alone.'
The Doctor hesitated, sorely tempted to heed his ship's warning and return to his repairs, hoping that if Martha wasn't alright, she'd be able to sort herself out on her own.
But his compassionate side and his desire to provide comfort won out against the cautions.
Frowning, the Doctor followed the muffled sounds of music through the corridors, wondering what had triggered a sudden desire to listen to what sounded distinctly like a rather depressing song.
Who knew? Maybe he'd left Martha alone for too long. He'd said he had some repairs to do, not feeling completely up to running for his life yet again after everything they'd been through with the Family.
And she'd agreed in a heart-beat, saying she fancied a break too. As far as he could tell, she'd seemed fine at the time.
But that had been four hours ago.
And he hadn't seen her since. With a small smile, she'd retreated off into the depths of the TARDIS, and silence had fallen within the mysterious blue box.
''Cause we gon' fight, oh yes we gon' fight, believe we gon' fight.'
The melodic tunes weaving their way silently into his hearts, he faltered at her door, eyes wide and the first glints of hidden pain beginning to blossom within the swirling, timeless depths.
for our right to love, yeah.
Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no, 'cause I got you.'
Reaching out tentatively for the handle, he paused and changed his mind, deciding to knock first out of respect.
The sound almost lost to the words drifting out through the walls, he rapped his knuckles gently against the wood and stepped a little closer to the door.
"Martha?" he called softly. "You okay?"
There was a moment's silence.
"F-fine," she whispered back, her response barely carrying through the door it was so quiet. Her voice shook, and immediately, the Doctor knew that something was wrong.
"Can I … can I come in?" he asked, tones warm and pleading.
He could almost imagine her shrugging in response, but she offered him an answer just in case he hadn't actually seen her shoulders raise in disinterest.
"If you want."
Holding his breath without knowing exactly why he was so nervous, he slowly pushed the handle down and leant against the door, sending it gliding inwards.
wanna see us together, nobody thought we'd last forever
I feel I'm hopin' and prayin' things between us don't get better.'
The lights were low, and a handful of lit candles were sitting precariously on top of her desk, their soothing glow filtering out like mist around the room. Stepping over the threshold, the Doctor caught a faint whiff of what smelt distinctly like lavender and rosemary, and he felt a tiny smile touch the corners of his lips. It was always fascinating to see how his companions made rooms their own when they stayed with him.
But his smile slipped as he finally spotted her, sitting silently on her four-poster bed, scarlet bedspread smooth and devoid of creases of any shape or size, her back pressed against the wall and her knees drawn up into her chest with her chin resting on top of them. She was clutching to a small black cat, whiskers bent and fur patchy and frayed after so many years of wear and tear, simply staring out into space.
just know that I tried to always apologize,
And I'ma have you first always in my heart to keep you satisfied.'
The Doctor closed the door softly behind him and finally she blinked and looked up, eyes red and faint tear tracks standing out against her dark skin.
"Oh, what's the matter?" he asked her gently, moving across to sit beside her on the bed, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and drawing her unresisting form into his chest.
She shrugged half-heartedly, the tears having long since dried themselves into nothingness.
"It doesn't matter, s'not important," she murmured, absently stroking the toy cat in her arms and staring at the tendrils of smoke curling up into the air from the inscents stick beside her collection of candles.
"If something's upsetting you, then it's important," he told her firmly, rubbing absently at her shoulders.
wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no,
'Cause I got you, babe.'
Martha sighed heavily. Well, she'd thought she couldn't cry anymore. But the tears stinging at her eyes had quite obviously disproved that theory.
"Aww, c'mere," he breathed, strengthening his embrace around her and leaning his head against hers. "What's up? You know you can tell me anything, right?"
But his hearts were racing, now. The mood, the song, the tears … it didn't take a genius to work out why his companion was sitting distraught beside him.
And he didn't think he was exactly prepared for this. Not now, not after everything they'd just been through.
wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no,
'Cause I got you, babe.'
'Stupid song,' he thought glumly as Martha sniffed beside him, squeezing the poor cat so hard the Doctor was quite sure it's glass eyes were seconds from popping out of the synthetic fur.
Placing a soothing hand on top of hers and rubbing gentle circles across it with his thumb, he tilted her head to face him.
"Trust me," he said, "and tell me."
She shrugged again, pulling her hand away and rubbing angrily at her eyes.
"I can't," she said weakly. "It ain't fair on you."
He shook his head, a shadow of a smile ghosting across his features for the second time in as many minutes.
"There's no need to protect me from anything, Martha. I've got 900 years more experience with these things than you have. And you can bet that in that time, I've played tissue for a fair few acquaintances, so don't worry about that."
She almost smiled at that.
Turning to him, she sighed heavily and shook her head a fraction.
"It's just … it's just that …"
Hesitating, she sighed again in exasperation and muttered, "just that time of the month," feeling a blush rise up in her cheeks as she turned away and slowly relinquished her grip on the stuffed cat.
Well, it had been half true …
It wasn't exactly the reason she was upset, but he didn't need to know that, right?
Blushing too, the Doctor faltered, caught off guard by that little revelation.
"Oh," he said, smiling. "Hormones, huh?"
But he didn't sound particularly convinced.
And Martha knew as much, but she decided to nod in agreement anyway.
"I get like this sometimes," she told him. 'Again, it's half-true,' she thought, mentally berating herself. "Find myself with cravings for soppy love songs and a big tub of chocolate ice-cream. Couldn't find the ice-cream though, so I had to settle for a compromise."
She forced a smile, and nudged him gently in the side, stretching out her legs and placing the cat down on the bed beside her. "Anyway, I'll probably be alright in a few minutes, if you wanted to get back to … well, whatever it was you were doing."
gon' fight, fight for our right to love, yeah,
Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no.'
The Doctor stared at her, eyes alive with question and concern. She brightened her smile a little, silently hoping it had reached her eyes this time, and squeezed his hand.
"Honest," she breathed. "I'm fine. Girl problems, s'all. Nothing you'd find interesting."
"Well, if you're sure," he said back, unsatisfied but deciding he could hardly push her into talking. And deep down, knowing full well what was on her mind but trying to ignore it regardless, a tiny part of him was relieved.
But he quelled his relief after rising to his feet and making for the door, only to turn back and stare at her, shaking his head resolutely and walking back over to her side.
"No," he said firmly. "I want to know."
Immediately wondering if he'd just made a terribly bad move as he spotted her wide-eyed stare, he tried to ignore the forming droplets of water that were piercing the corners of her eyes.
Shaking away his self-doubting, he reached out and gripped her shoulder.
"Please, Martha," he murmured gently, "I want to know. Tell me what's wrong."
Sighing heavily again, Martha retrieved her teddy and stood up, standing beside the desk and staring intently at the small speakers that were plugged into her ipod.
Small they may have been, but the sounds were incredible.
every right to wanna leave, got every right to wanna go,
Got every right to hit the road and never talk to me no more.'
"I do, don't I?" she murmured, eyes closed and a hand running through her hair.
The Doctor blinked and looked up, surprised.
"Do what?" he asked, frowning.
"Have every right to want to leave."
His throat constricting, the Doctor stared at her in shock, fully accepting just where this conversation was heading. If he'd had doubts before, he certainly didn't now.
"Oh," he less than whispered, the sound having to be forced from his throat.
She turned to him and opened her eyes, one solitary tear snaking its way down her cheek.
"I'm not Rose, Doctor. I never was. I never will be. And it just isn't good enough for you, is it?"
His turn to close his eyes in pain this time, he bit his lip and remained silent, unable to think of anything to say to that.
"God knows I've tried," she went on, hugging the cat closer to her chest, rubbing her chin absently against the black fur and speaking into it, her voice muffled a little, but the words clear regardless. "I've tried everything to help you, to show you that you're not on your own. But you never seem to notice."
She half-laughed, raising her head again.
"Y'know, so many times I've seen you look at me with such delight, such wonder, such compassion, and for a fleeting second, I let myself think that it's real …" Her laugh died, and her face fell. "But it's not, is it? You're not seeing me. You're remembering Rose. Always Rose."
The silence spiralling, Martha knelt down and rewound the song a little, the verse fluttering into her ears, her gaze lifting to the Doctor's face as the truth of the words bit into her soul.
don't even have to call, even check for me at all,
Because the way I been actin' lately has been off the wall.
Especially toward you, puttin' girls before you,
And they watchin' everything I been doin' just to hurt you.'
"Y'know, Tish got me into this song, when we were there before. At Lazarus' party, I mean. We got talking about stuff before it all kicked off; friends, family, love lives and music and stuff … and she mentioned this one and said I should download it. I told her I hated love songs usually. 'Too like real life', I said." She chuckled humourlessly and wrapped her arms around her chest protectively.
The Doctor raised his head and nodded.
"How right you were," he said quietly.
She shrugged nonchalantly, but her eyes betrayed her unconcerned mask.
"Tell me about her, Doctor," she whispered, tones pleading, finally turning to him again, red eyes gleaming with sadness and the tiniest hint of curiosity.
wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no,
'Cause I got you babe..'
She reached up and depressed the pause button, immediately sending a blanket of silence falling around them, the stillness uncomfortably suffocating after the gentle melody of music.
Returning to the bed and sitting down beside him, her legs hanging over the edge and a hand interlocking with his, she paused and finally said, "tell me about Rose."
He tensed visibly, and his eyes betrayed his feelings, despite his vain attempts to remain calm and collected on the outside.
"Why?" he asked, frowning. 'Why now? I'm not ready for this, Martha! Really, I'm not!'
Not that he told her that, of course.
Martha paused, considering her response.
"Because I'm sick of feeling useless. I'm sick of being second best. And I want to know the truth. I want to know why I can't make you see that even though she's gone, you've still got people who care about you. And the only reason I'm feeling like this is because you never say. You just … you refuse to talk! And I think talking is the only thing that's going to help us both."
The Doctor shrugged this time, his eyes glazing over as he stared off into space, the faintest flicker of pain burning bright within them before he could cover it up.
"I don't know what to say," he said at last, honestly lost for words.
"Anything," Martha said, squeezing his hand, her own tears evaporating.
She'd had her turn.
It was his turn, now.
"Where did she live? Where did she work? Did she have parents? A boyfriend? A girlfriend, even? Was she clever? Was she funny? Was she old, young, human, alien? Just … anything."
The Doctor paused, a lump rising in his throat and his hearts thudding like drums beneath his chest.
"Well … Rose Tyler," he said softly, voice cracking. "What to say? Rose Tyler, cockney shop assistant, only daughter of a widowed Jackie Tyler and a deceased Pete Tyler, steady girlfriend of Mickey Smith. Well," he shook his head sadly, tears threatening but remaining back as he refused to let them fall, "that was until she met me."
"Where is she now?" Martha asked calmly, already painting a picture in her mind of the girl who'd stolen the Doctor's hearts.
"Safe. Happy. With her family. Living her life. She's getting a sibling, last I heard from her."
"Step-sibling," Martha corrected automatically, but the Doctor shook his head, grinning cheekily at her naivety.
"Nope, full sibling. Pete's still alive where they are."
Martha's eyes narrowed in confusion.
"But you said her father was dead," she reminded him. He nodded.
"He was … he is … but not in their Universe."
Stumped, Martha remained silent, hoping he'd elaborate. After a second, he granted her wish.
"You remember Canary Warf?" he murmured, smile fading clean from existence. Martha immediately thought of her cousin, Addie, and nodded, feeling her melancholy mood drop another two notches.
"Well … like I told you before, I was there. We were there."
He stared at the flickering flames, apparently mesmerised by their dancing lights, and continued, voice hoarse and gaze fixed.
"The Cybermen weren't ours," he said. "None of it was ours. There's another Universe, one Rose, Mickey and I found ourselves stuck in a while ago. A Universe with zeppelins … where Mickey's Gran was still alive … where Rose's parents were rich, successful, and damn near divorced. But they didn't have a daughter, so Rose didn't exist over there. Well, Jackie'd named a dog Rose, but Rose herself didn't really find that too funny."
He smiled at the memory, but it didn't last long.
"We thought then that we'd dealt with it," he went on. "The Cybermen, I mean. A guy called Lumic had redesigned them and intended to upgrade all humans. It was a vain attempt to save himself from a death he feared, but it backfired. We killed him, in the end."
Faintly unnerved by the offhand way he'd said that, Martha remained silent.
"But unfortunately, we didn't take out all of the Cybermen. I left it in Mickey's hands, after he decided to stay over in that Universe rather than return with us, and me and Rose moved on. As far as I was aware, Mickey had stayed behind to deal with the rest of the factories. But according to Pete - when we met up again at Canary Warf after he zapped me back into his Universe despite it being impossible from our side – people had started to argue against destroying the rest of the Cybermen, claiming that they were still human beings."
"So, you're on about Pete ... as in Rose's father, who was alive in this other Universe?" Martha clarified. The Doctor nodded, a tiny smile blossoming as he thought of just how quick-minded his companion really was. Then he went on, his smile fading again.
"It turned out that the Daleks had broken through a fault line that Torchwood – the place where your cousin worked – had caused after discovering a hole in the Universe. They'd been firing God knows what at this spot for ages, and finally, a Dalek void ship had broken through it completely. Well, seeing a way out, the Cybermen decided to follow, walking straight out of one Universe and into this one."
Martha nodded, shuddering, a blazing image of a patrol of giant silver monsters parading down the street outside her bedroom window.
"Well … we fixed it in the end. The parallel Jackie had been killed the first time we went to their Universe, and when Pete finally came into ours … well, talk about unusual reunions. He took Jackie back with him, and Mickey too. I'd tried to send Rose back, but she wouldn't go."
"Why did you send her away?" Martha asked quietly.
"I needed to close the breech. And to do that, I had to seal off the hole that Torchwood had made. And I thought, well, whilst doing that, I might as well get rid of the Daleks and Cybermen at the same time. Because both had travelled through the void – a blank space between the two dimensions – they were soaked in the stuff, so when the hole was open, they'd be sucked straight back into it."
Getting the picture, Martha nodded glumly.
"And I take it … Rose was covered in it too after visiting the Universe the first time?" she asked softly.
The Doctor nodded, shaking his head.
"So I sent her with Pete. But she came back anyway."
"Stubborn, was she?" she asked, a tiny laugh making it into her voice. He nodded back, smiling.
"Though," he went on, grinning, "not nearly as stubborn as you are. Remember what I told you? Back in New New York? I've never told that to anyone. Even Rose never knew about my home planet."
His face fell, and he suddenly looked as old as his age, eyes exhausted and burning with a thousand tales. A thousand memories of regret.
"But you wish you'd told her."
It wasn't a question.
And at his silence, Martha nodded, reaching an arm around his shoulders and hugging him with what little comfort she could offer.
"Anyway, she told me she'd made her mind up. Said she'd readily give up a life with the family she'd not had since she was a little girl just to keep me company. And being the foolish prick that I am, I let her stay."
He shook his head in dismay.
"I should have said no. It would've been so much easier if she'd just listened to me the first time!"
"Why? What happened?" Martha asked, wondering if she really wanted to know anymore.
He sighed heavily, the pain of remembrance stinging his hearts.
"She fell," he said softly. "Trying to keep things going on her side, she fell. And for a few seconds there, I was itching to fall into the void with her."
Martha gasped. Swallowing, she stared at him in shock, and frowned.
"But … but you said she wasn't dead. If she fell into the void … wouldn't she be dead?"
He shook his head.
"Well … not exactly dead, but for all intents and purposes we'll treat it as that. But she didn't actually reach the void. Pete saved her."
Martha felt a smile blossom on her lips.
"So, her Dad from another Universe hopped in at the last minute and saved her, whisking her away to his Universe and …"
But she fell silent, smile of delight dropping. The Doctor nodded glumly, tears leaking from his eyes and sliding down his pale cheeks.
"And the hole was sealed, trapping her there," he finished, voice barely above a whisper.
Mutely mortified, she shivered despite the heat of the room and scrambled to her feet, clinging to a bedpost for support.
"And …" she rasped, voice hoarse and thick with emotion, "and you couldn't even say goodbye?"
He shrugged noncommittally.
"I did eventually," he said. "Though it wasn't much of a goodbye. I couldn't even tell her …" but his voice was lost, shoulders shaking with sadness and regret. He shook his head. "That's when she told me about her mum being pregnant again. For a minute there, from the way she said it, I thought she meant she was," he chuckled sadly.
Martha smiled too, hers a tad more genuine than his had been.
"And that's when she told me ... told me she l-l …" but he couldn't say it. The tears were falling relentlessly now and Martha crouched in front of him, abandoning her need for support and placing a comforting hand on his knee, the other gripping to his hand so tightly that she was faintly surprised his fingers hadn't broken under the pressure.
She didn't need him to say it.
And he couldn't say it anyway.
"Why couldn't you tell her?" she asked softly.
He laughed miserably.
"I ran out of time," he cried, a hand flying to his head and sweeping over his no-longer-weeping eyes. "Me! A Time Lord! The last of the Time Lords … and I ran out of time."
Martha nodded dumbly, hesitating.
And finally throwing caution to the winds, she jumped up and threw her arms around his shoulders in a bone-crushing hug.
"I am so sorry," she whispered, her words honest and heart-felt. "I'm so, so sorry," she murmured again. "That isn't fair."
"No, it's not, is it?"
"B-but …" Martha pulled away and stared directly at him. "But I'm sure she knew. Don't think just because you never said it she wouldn't know how you felt about her. She must have done."
'I would have known,' she thought to herself, lips tightly closed to prevent said thought from escaping in a mad rush to voice her opinion on the matter.
He shrugged half-heartedly, wiping angrily at his cheeks to rid them of the tears.
"Yeah well, what's done is done," he said, feeling slightly better than he had in a long time.
He'd never tell her, but talking had helped.
He couldn't tell her, though. He'd never live it down …
Instead, he cleared his throat and gently eased her away. She took the hint and let go.
"What … what was that song?" he asked softly, rising to his feet and wandering shakily towards her desk, flicking the 'play' button and jumping a little at the abruptness of sound.
wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no,
'Cause I got you.'
"Don't Matter, by Akon" she whispered, eyes staring wistfully at the candles before her as she let the words flutter yet again into her heart.
we gon' fight, oh yes we gon' fight, believe we gon'
Fight for our right to love, yeah.
Nobody wanna see us together, but it don't matter, no,
'Cause I got you.'
Martha blinked and looked up, staring at the Doctor's red eyes and contemplative expression.
"Yeah?" she asked gently, as the final remnants of the song's chorus faded from the room.
He spared her a pleading glance, before staring at the candles in imitation of her a few moments before.
"What for?" Martha asked, frowning and reaching out to turn off her ipod before the next song could burst into life.
He stared at her sadly, shaking his head, more at himself than anything.
"For … well, for putting Rose before you. I don't mean to," he told her, his words wavering a little but no less sincere. "Honestly I don't. It's just … well, I guess I haven't fully accepted it all yet. There's still a part of me that thinks she's gonna come running into the room when I call for her. I don't mean to sound … well, like a prick, I s'pose … which is why I just want you to know that I'm grateful. So, so grateful that you're here. It means a lot to me. More than I can say, in fact."
She nodded sadly.
"I've accepted it," she said simply, though it tore her heart to shreds to admit it. "There's never going to be anything else between us. You loved her. I can't change that. All I can do is learn to live with it."
He tensed, mentally shouting that she shouldn't have to deal with anything at all.
She was avoiding his gaze now, her eyes fixed to the dying puffs of spiralling mist that were thinning out as her inscents stick finally breathed its last breath.
"You know ..." She paused, shrugging her lack of interest even though inside she couldn't be feeling more on edge, "what I said before ... back when you were, you know ... him ... well, like I said before, I'd have said anything to get you to change back."
The Doctor half-nodded, but reached out for her hand before the motion was fully justified.
"Martha ... I know you meant it. There's no need to pretend you didn't. And I know what you're wanting from me, and I'm sorry I can't give it to you. Believe me, if I could, I would. But I can't. Not yet. Not now."
He stared at her, almost imploringly, begging her to understand that he wasn't pushing her out because he wanted to, but because he had to. To keep them both safe.
He studied her, taking in the pain behind her eyes, the quiver in her voice and the graceful air with which she'd spoken.
And his hearts fluttered.
Just for a second, they flared with renewed life.
Then it was gone.
Yet even so, there was something bubbling jut beneath the surface. Something he couldn't quite reach and something that made absolutely no sense to him. Some new feeling ... something that he couldn't allow himself to feel again...
Oblivious to his internal dilemma, and deciding that her words had been a little harsher than she'd intended, she walked towards him and rested her head against his shoulder, looping a hand around to grip his in comfort.
"Sorry," she said softly.
But the Doctor shook his head.
"You've nothing to be sorry for," he told her firmly. "Oh, and ... by the way ... are you still after chocolate ice-cream?"
He grinned at her suddenly, eyes twinkling with excitement as he expertly replaced his day-to-day mask. "'Cause I know a great place where we can get some. Free of charge, all you can eat, and with chocolate pieces large enough to keep you on a sugar-high for a month!"
Shaking her head in disbelief, Martha felt a smile return to her face after such a long time as she marvelled at the way his emotions flicked from one to the next with nary a word. Nodding, she smiled her approval for the idea and threw her feline companion back onto the bed, where it landed against the pillows, its wide eyes winking up at them in unseeing delight.
She watched as he stepped towards her desk, before turning away, making for the door. She paused though before she could leave the room, and stared back at him.
"You know ... for the record, that song's got one thing right," she commented falsely brightly.
"Oh?" he asked, eyebrows raised, blowing out the candles on her desk before joining her by the door and leading her from the room.
Nudging him in the ribs, she smiled at him, a warm, loving smile that she was sure hid the pain she was feeling remarkably well.
'He's not the only one who can wear a mask,' she thought, before answering him again.
"It don't matter."
He paused, closing the door behind them and staring a her through furrowed eyes.
"What don't matter?" he asked, frowning in confusion.
"It don't matter what everybody else thinks. You're stuck with me, no matter what."
Smiling his thanks, voice apparently lost to the lump of emotion blocking his throat, he nodded slightly and pulled her on through the corridors towards the Console Room, his hearts by no means healed but their shattered remnants beginning to piece themselves together, bit by bit.
And all because of one lonely companion's stubborn attitude, accompanied with an incredibly emotional song.
Thanksies to all you readers out there! And even more thanksies to all you reviewers!
xXx MissHaun†ed-MoonLigh† xXx