Metasigmafolio: Two months later, Earth time.

Martha had been asleep in her old room when she felt the TARDIS mentally nudging her to wake up and look for the Doctor. Martha got to her feet and changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before putting on her favorite leather jacket, then set off to search for him, surprised that they had left the Vortex and landed on some alien planet but the Doctor hadn't told her. Then again, there are a lot of things he does lately without telling her about them. Ever since he had landed the TARDIS in her living room a few weeks after they had parted ways and had asked her to travel with him again (after an hour's deliberation, she said yes), their relationship had reached a level of openness that they never had before, but there are instances, such as now, when he would go off wandering alone, lost in his thoughts. Saying goodbye to Rose so shortly after having her back left the Doctor subdued, but not miserable – if anything, it had helped him overcome his grief of losing her by seeing that Rose had grown into her own, living the fantastic life he had asked her to live all those years ago. Martha knows that given time, the Doctor will be back to his adventure-seeking ways, but for now she understands that there are things he'd rather keep to himself, and Martha willingly gives him the space he may need especially after Rose's return and his experiences in the void.

Martha ceases her musings as she steps out of the TARDIS and into the cold night air, locking the door behind her with a soft click. The wind nips at her exposed neck making her shiver and wrap her arms around herself before sighting the Doctor standing by the edge of the coast, watching the bursts of star fire in the sky. She makes her way to the Doctor's side -- he had been outside for at least an hour before Martha realized that he had disappeared from inside the ship. The Doctor remains immobile, but Martha knows that he heard her footsteps on the gravel, and together they watch the black expanse fill up with swirls of color. Shades of purple and pink illuminate their faces, and after several minutes of companionable silence the Doctor looks at Martha, briefly, before setting his sights back to the horizon.

"It's funny, the things that enter your mind when you least expect."

"What do you mean?" Martha turns to the Doctor, wondering where this conversation is leading to.

"When I was trapped in that -- void, when I thought I'd never get out. I was thinking of 1969. Remember that, Martha?"

Martha nods, smiling at the memory, "That was -- an interesting time." The Doctor chuckles.

"Everything was going wrong, but I was so happy, being there with you."

She turns to him, mouth agape. In all their moments together Martha had a feeling that the Doctor was enjoying their time stuck in the past but he's never outright admitted it. Astonished, Martha asks, "You were? Even when we both thought that we'd be stuck there forever?"

The Doctor's grin fades and his voice softens so that Martha shifts closer to hear him.

"Forever. I promised Rose forever once, even though I knew I couldn't give it to her. I promised, because it made her happy."

He grasps Martha's left hand and gazes straight into her dark eyes as if looking away would cause him to drown.

"I won't do that to you. I can't. All I can promise is now; will you take it, Martha? Knowing the person that I am and the life that I lead? Knowing you can get hurt and it will all be my fault? Will you take me?"

The anguish in his voice breaks her heart. Martha steps forward and wipes away a tear rolling down his left cheek with her thumb. She remains silent for a while, afraid her voice might break into a sob and when it does, she won't be able to stop. Still cupping his cheek, she finally answers him.

"I already have, Doctor. Long before I even knew it myself. I know that we're different and I won't change anything about us. I'm a big girl; I know what you can give me and I'm okay with that. I choose this, now with you." Her right hand moves down to clasp his left, both cold and shaking.

"We travel in time and space, Doctor—we can have forever everyday of our lives."

"My brilliant Martha Jones. Thank you." Whatever good he has done in his lives to deserve this woman, he may never know, he daren't ask. Martha smiles up at her beloved Time Lord, both of them falling into the habit they can't shake.

"Don't mention it."

The Doctor leans over and gives Martha a deep, slow kiss. He explores her mouth eagerly with his tongue, the taste of coffee and chocolate overwhelming his senses. The Doctor reaches out and draws Martha closer, holding her tightly to him, feeling her body soften and mold into his own. A soft sigh escapes Martha's lips making his hearts race. He knows that he shouldn't do this, that their time together is short, and that this moment of intimacy won't last. Places to see, things to do, never stopping. But in this moment it's just him and her standing in the darkness, the stars their silent witnesses, and for once, time stops for the Doctor and his Companion.