-1Disclaimer and summary found with prologue.
No matter how anyone had tried to sell it to her, Martha never did find anything remotely amusing or fun about experiencing zero gravity. Her brother Leo had once dragged her on one of those rides that took you so far up then dropped you. He had laughed and let the wind kick his legs loosely upwards. Martha had tensed her whole body and held onto that flimsy harness until she was sure the metal bars had finger indentions that would match her hands. Afterwards, Leo laughed at her all the way up until she threw-up all over his shoes.
Surprisingly enough, she had never had the 'opportunity' to experiences the dreaded zero 'g's' again, which was odd considering how much new 'space' she had seen and traveled to and through with the Doctor. However, the TARDIS had just sought to remedy that oversight.
The explosion that had thrown the Doctor into the strut had tossed her halfway down the ramp as well. She hadn't seen where the Doctor had landed, but she didn't hear him again after that. It would have worried her had she had time to do so. Instead she had to spend her energy trying not to be thrown into walls or against the doors while the TARDIS jerked about like a penny in the wash. It seemed to last forever, though Martha was sure it was barely a minute in actuality, as she gripped her fingers through the grating and held on, just like the Doctor had instructed. She did a fair job it, until that last, great drop.
It had felt like the TARDIS had simply fallen out from under. Martha had watched with rather sick fascination as the floor went down, her legs and body went up, and her arms stretched out painfully towards the grating. Her shoulders stung from the sudden yank and she found herself wondering with detachment of whether one or bother of them had been dislocated - not to mention whether she had broken a few fingers. Then she thought that when she meet the floor again, it would hurt.
Which it did, when it happened a few moments later.
She laid there for a good long while, flittering in between consciousness and darkness. Martha was finding it rather hard to distinguish between the two since the TARDIS had lost power a moment or two before it touched down. There were no lights, no familiar hum, no footsteps running madly across the grating as the Doctor explained exactly where and when they had landed. There was nothing but stillness that was only occasionally broken by a hazy-sounding groan. Martha wondered if it was her or the Doctor, though she was willing to lay money on it being former.
Squeezing her eyes shut to try and push down the nausea, she drew in several deep breaths. She couldn't fall asleep. Chances were she had a concussion of some sort, but she was so tired. No. Couldn't sleep now. She had to get up and check on the Doctor. He had been quiet for far too long. That was never a good sign when it came to him.
Martha's vision blurred momentarily as she reopened her eyes, but she forced herself to try and focus. The Doctor needed her.
"Doctor," she choked as she sat up. Her eyes had become used to the darkness, but it was still far to dark to see anything clearly. "Doctor, are you alright?"
Nothing but stillness answered.
Carefully drawing herself to her feet, Martha breathed deeply, an act she regretted when the smoky air filled her lungs. Her stomach flipped in protest and before she had made it two feet back up the ramp, she was clutching onto the railing and relieving her stomach of its bothersome breakfast.
"You'll have to clean that up, you know," a voice said.
When her stomach settled somewhat, Martha gasped a breath and said, "Doctor?"
He didn't answer.
Still clenching the railing, Martha made her way up the ramp and to the central console. A bit a smoke was still wafting up from where it had exploded and it burned her fingers when she touched it. Hissing, she drew her hand away, but continued to fumbled around until she found the torch. Clicking it on, she quickly shone it around the room to survey the damage.
The central column was cracked and smoking while odd light-looking things hung down from the ceiling. The computer screens were either black or broken, and she could see small flames starting to sparkle to life from within the console and quickly burn themselves out. Martha didn't know much about the TARDIS or how the machine worked, but she knew enough to know that to repair this sort of damage would require a miracle, even for a genius like the Doctor.
Remembering her designated driver, Martha turned the light from console to the surrounding area of room. It only took her a moment to find the Doctor. He sat leaning against one of the struts, his long legs drawn up towards him and his arms draped across them. Angry red whelps had already formed on his hands, but Martha was less concerned about that than the blood trickling down from his hairline and the glazed look in his eyes.
"Doctor," she said, kneeling down next to him.
Her doctor training having kicked in, Martha quickly went to work checking his wounds. He didn't even seem to register what she was doing and just continued to stare blank at the broken console.
"Doctor," Martha said, reaching forward and shining the light in his eyes. She watch the dilation of his eyes and was glad to see that it was the normal reaction. Then again, he was alien. This could be a very bad sign. And the fact that he still wasn't answering her didn't help alleviate her worry. "Doctor, please. Can you hear me?"
Looking around, Martha tried to decide whether she should go to the medial bay and get some supplies when he spoke.
"She's gone," he said, startling her.
Deciding that she couldn't leave him alone, Martha began to search his pockets for some sort of handkerchief. Instead, the first few items she found were the sonic screwdriver, a yoyo, several coins from three different worlds, and a rubber duck. Moving on to a different pocket, she asked, "Who?"
Blinking once, he finally turned and looked at her. Of course, that 'you stupid little human' look was firmly plastered on his face. "The TARDIS," he said with a tone to match the look.
Martha squished down her hurt and tried to hide it from showing on her face. Not that it mattered. The Doctor, as usual, didn't notice, and Martha again got the feeling that she might as well be a lamppost for all he cared. Then that lost little schoolboy look shifted over his face and she once again found herself unable to stay mad at him. That was the Doctor for you, making her want to hit him and hug him all in the space of two seconds and doing it all with nothing more than his facial expressions.
She was in far more trouble than she had thought.
"I'm sure you can fix her," Martha said, deciding to give up going through his pockets and she found a second iPod and a ball of rubber bands. Maybe she could tear off a bit of his jacket and apply it to the head wound.
Slowly, he shook his head. "Not this time. We got lucky the last time we came here."
"The last time?" Martha repeated, briefly forgetting about what she was doing, but he was once again staring off into space. "Doctor, where are we?"
"Somewhere impossible," he said dully.
Once again, he turned his head slightly and looked her in the eyes. There was something sad and hopeful and regretful and vengeful and guilty flashing through those eyes, along with so many other emotions that were all warring within those swirls of brown, that Martha found herself thinking that she was speaking with John Smith again right before he changed back instead of the Doctor.
"And I am sorry, Martha Jones," he said, "so sorry because I've trapped you here with me."
The city was always quiet this time of night. Curfew had been in effect for a few hours now and even those dimwitted enough to try and break it had long since either been picked up or made it to wherever it was worth being put in prison for. Teenage prostitutes and boozers - little lost girls with no homes and men and women too drunk to remember where their's were - were the usual pickups if they ever did find one this time of night. Not tonight. Even they knew better than to wonder out in this weather.
"Bloody hell," Roger said, leaning forward and pounding on the dash of the car as the heater had yet again started to blow cool air. There was a sputter from somewhere within but air didn't change it's temperature. The permanent frown on Roger's face seemed more pronounced in the dim light of the patrol car as he leaned back, raised his leg the best he could, and kicked the dash. There was a pause in the air flow before brilliantly hot air began to hit them in the face and warm their numbed bodies.
Dropping his foot, Roger growled before fishing a flask out of his pocket and taking a sip. "You'd think if they were goin' make us sit out here and freeze our bloomin' arse off, they'd at least give car with a heater that worked."
Daniel smirked and bounced lightly from the drivers seat. "What? Give a couple of dog catcher's like us a car that worked and let the Guardians freeze? Not hardly, mate. Better to let us turn into a couple of pops' than them."
Roger snorted, twisted the top back on. "Says them."
Still grinning, Daniel turned the car and headed towards the boarder streets. Dark, dilapidated buildings that should have been torn down a hundred years ago passed by in the snowy night, giving this part of the city an abandoned feel. It hardly was. He'd lay his wages for the month that there were no less than thirty people in each of them, trying their best to make it look like no one was inside and trying to stay warm. But he wasn't about to get out and check - even though, strictly speaking, he was supposed too - and Roger sure as hell wasn't.
The wipers sloshed another pile of dirty snow off the windshield and already more was sprinkling the window when Roger spoke again. "It's really comin' down tonight."
"Weatherman said there'll be another half inch before sunrise tomorrow," Daniel said.
"And they expect us to ride around in it? Typical."
Daniel said, "You know, they say it used to not snow like this in Lond-."
Before he could finish his sentence, a dark shadow seemed to fall from the sky and smashed into the hood. The glass of the windshield cracked as Daniel slammed on the breaks, causing the old car to skid on the icy street. He could hear Roger cursed profusely as they spun before finally coming to a sharp stop when the car hit a streetlamp. The boot took the brunt of it, but the impact was still hard enough to set off the airbags.
The radio crackled to life, the voice of Phyllis Stevens asking if they were alright and what happened. Jerking open the car door, Daniel left Roger to answer and went to find whatever it was that had hit the car. If they were still alive, he was going to kill them. Repairs to the vehicle wouldn't come cheap and the department would make them pay out the arse for it.
Switching on a torch, Daniel spotted a figure laying prone in the deep snow piled up on the sidewalk. Walking up to it, he shone the light down onto the body. Some of the snow surrounding it had turned red from the blood. The man himself wasn't moving, not even to breath. Damn lucky fool was already dead.
"He dead?" Roger asked, trotting up beside him. The older, larger man was bouncing lightly on his feet in an attempt to stay warm and had both hands tucked tightly under each of this armpits.
"Dead as that blowup girlfriend of yours," Daniel said.
Roger sighed. "Reckon we better call the Reapers in." He glanced up at the sky, then said, "Think they'll come out in this weather?"
"Never know with that lot," Daniel said, fingering the coat the dead man had on and wondering whether it would fit him. It was a nice coat, after all, even if it was old, and it wasn't like he was going to be needing it any more. Deciding that he would take it, Daniel said, "Hey, Rog, give me a hand he-."
The dead man gasped and his eyes shot opened. His icy hand wrapped around Daniel's wrist and held him tight.
"Unless you're buying me a drink first, hands off the coat," the man groan while Daniel nearly jumped straight out of his skin. Roger, however, already had his firearm out and pointed it straight at the stranger. The man blinked, staring oddly at the handgun and then glanced up at the man holding it on him. "I take it we're not in Cardiff anymore."
"Hands where I can see 'em," Roger said.
Placing his hands behind his head, the man sighed and glanced around the darken street. "Hey, any chance you nice fellows have seen a big blue box appear out of nowhere around here lately?"
The Doctor carefully ran the sonic screwdriver over the burns covering Martha's hands. They didn't seem to be getting any better to her and she wished he would let her wrap them, but he had informed her in a droll tone that he only need to set the screwdriver and be done with it. Or at least, that's all that need to be done with the very minor burns she had sustained looking for the torch.
Judging by the nausea, headache, blurred vision, and want for sleep, she knew she had a concussion. That, along with the swell of her left wrist and several of her aching fingers and her throbbing shoulders told her she was injured in more than one place and needed a bit more medical attention than a wave of the sonic screwdriver. Still, she could survive for awhile until they found some help.
Now that the TARDIS was 'dead', he informed her that the rooms were jumbled, missing, or gone altogether and he had no time to wonder about the ship looking for the medial room among the many. That could take months, years even, and he rather go find her help quickly than try that.
They were both lucky they had no life threatening injures, just burns and bruises and maybe a sprain or two. Still, it hurt and she would be glade to get a bit of aspirin if nothing else.
"Should do for now," the Doctor said, switching off the sonic screwdriver.
Martha flexed her fingers and was rather surprised that they didn't hurt as much as they had moments before. Along with treating the burns, it seemed whatever he had done had helped with the swelling as well.
"They weren't broken," he told her, picking up the still lit torch off the console and handing it back to her. "But they'll be a bit stiff for a few days."
"Good," she said, turning the light to shine back on him.
He already had turned his back on her and was staring up at the broken column. As she had sometimes seen him do, he gently ran the tips of his fingers over some of the console and sighed. His hands had been more badly injured than hers, but he had insisted that he was alright and for her not to worry about them. That was easy for him to say when he wasn't the one staring at the blistered skin of his friend's hands as they stroked the busted console of a broken machine.
"We set to go then?" she asked.
Lowering his head, Martha thought he might be praying for a moment as he laid his hand flat on the damaged surface. That, or saying goodbye.
Lifting his head, he grabbed his coat and headed for the doors. "Right then. Come on. You want someone to look at you and I'm sure there's a hospital somewhere nearby." Martha trailed close behind him and just barely heard him say, "And I would like to have a little chat with the person who did this."
He opened the doors to the TARDIS and Martha found that it was only slightly brighter outside than it had been inside. Dim light flittered through several large, stain-glassed windows, most of which were smashed in several places. A few broken pews laid over turned or were pushed together so the seats were together and made what looked like long beds. Puffs of snow floated in through the holes in the windows and sprinkled the dark carpeting and cushions with icy flakes.
Pulling her jacket more tightly around her, Martha swung the light from the torch around the room. Statues of saints had been broken and were missing heads and hands. Only the knees and feet of one remained, but there still several lit candles flickering before it. The candles themselves looked as if someone had brought them and laid them there, not like they belonged to the church.
Careful to step down the stairs, since the TARDIS had apparently landed right in front of the pulpit, Martha continued to look around. "Are we in a church?" she said and immediately felt stupid. Of course they were. Any idiot could see that.
She heard the Doctor close the TARID's doors but before he could answer, something growled. Martha barely had time to turn in the direction of the sound when something large and fast leapt at the Doctor and knocked him to the ground. A fairly large dog stood on top of him, it's teeth bared and far too close to the Doctor's throat for her comfort as it growled menacingly at him.
"Doctor!" Martha yelped and turned to do something when someone grabbed her from behind and placed something that felt very much like the barrel of a gun into her back.
"That's quiet far enough, Miss."