AN: Unfortunately I do not own Doctor Who. I actually like Martha (except when she was pining over the Doctor), but for some reason I had the urge to write a case of "Martha Behaving Badly". Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. It's amazing what anxiety over a math test will do to a person.
"Cardiff?" Martha asked, sitting in the captain's chair, watching as the Doctor practically danced around the TARDIFF console as part of the effort to get them to their next destination.
"Yep." He replied, popping his 'p'. "Just for a quick stop to fuel up."
Martha shook her head. "I never would have imagined Cardiff as a TARDIS fuel station."
"I'll never understand what everyone has against Cardiff." the Doctor said. "Lovely place. Had a great time the last time we were there; well, other than Rose wandering off with Mickey, and that Slitheen trying to blow up the planet; but yes, other than that, simply lovely time. Fantastic."
Rose again Martha thought to herself. Rose Rose Rose. Won't he ever let her go? He never would say what happened between them, but for whatever reason the girl had obviously up and left him; even though personally Martha thought she was crazy. Why would anyone want to leave the Doctor? She resented the fact that the girl had had such a hold on him that even now he couldn't help but keep hold of her memory; he mentioned her so often that it made Martha's heart twist sometimes with her jealousy. His heart...hearts... were obviously still so full of her that they had no room for anyone else.
The Doctor chattered on for awhile about Cardiff, but Martha only half-listened. She was used to this. Had Rose's mind wandered while her friend rambled, or had she hung on to every word? Probably the latter. The perfect companion would not have done anything less.
Eventually the Doctor stopped talking and took off into another part of the TARDIS on the search for something or other, she couldn't quite catch what, leaving Martha alone in the control room. She knew he would be awhile; despite what he said even he didn't know all the rooms his ship contained. Martha sat for awhile, letting her mind wander. Since they would be arriving on Earth in what would (hopefully) be her own time, she wondered if maybe she should give her mother a call. Perhaps she could have her meet up with them in Cardiff; go to lunch maybe. Why not; Rose had called her boyfriend the last time she and the Doctor visited the city.
Martha took her cell phone out of her pocket and began looking up her mother's number. While scrolling through the numbers though, her mind started wandering again. It was interesting to look over all the numbers she had collected; some of them called on a regular basis, others taken down once and never called again. She wondered how many phone numbers the Doctor had collected over the years. It had to be at least dozens. He didn't have a cell phone though; she had seen the simple handset he had hooked up here in the control room. It looked pretty simple, but then again other things of his looked simple and yet turned out to be otherwise upon closer examination.
Out of curiosity, Martha got up and went to where the phone sat as part of the console. It looked very ordinary, very everyday. If she picked it up though, maybe hit redial, who would she get? Did he have numbers stored in it? Would she end up ringing Downing St? She knew that the Doctor had met the Prime Minister. Perhaps Alexander Graham Bell himself? She wouldn't be surprised. Squeezing her tongue between her teeth, Martha debated. It was the Doctor's phone; she could be ringing anyone in time and space. Could she somehow cause some sort of galactic crisis by calling the wrong person? Nah. She figured if she managed to ring someone that she shouldn't really be talking to then she could just hang up before saying anything, and no one would be the wiser. Besides, the Doctor would awhile, he'd never even know...
Unable to quell her curiosity, Martha picked up the phone and started pressing numbers. Sure enough, he had numbers saved into the phone. She had even guessed correctly, one of the first numbers she dialed ended up belonging to a private line in number 10 Downing St. She hung up the phone quickly when an imperious-sounding voice answered, demanding to know who had managed to get this number. Martha grinned and started pressing other numbers. One belonged to a chip shop and another to a department store in London that if she remembered correctly, had blown up a couple of years ago.
Dialing the third, Martha heard it pick up and an anxious, excited voice answered.
"Doctor? Doctor, is that you?" the voice of what sounded like a young woman asked. "I can't believe it; I can't believe this working. You did say this thing could call anywhere though."
Martha's heart stopped. No. It couldn't be. She shouldn't be surprised though. It made sense that he'd have it saved. Of all the numbers she could have dialed, why had she called this one? Did he still call it, did he still talk to her? If so, why hadn't he mentioned it? Even more importantly though, what did she do now? Should she say something? What on earth would she possibly say to Rose Tyler, the woman whose memory she suspected she would always be in competition with?
"I'm so glad it worked. I thought you had said it was impossible. I've mi..."
"Sorry. Wrong number." Martha said quickly, and hung up the phone, staring at it for awhile as she tried to relax, to untie the knot that had developed in her stomach. She couldn't do it. If the Doctor found out he'd want to talk to her, and what if he managed to talk her into coming back? She didn't normally consider herself to be a spiteful person, but the way Martha saw it Rose had thrown away her life with the Doctor. It was her turn now, and she wasn't going to give it up any time soon.
She stayed in the captain's chair after that, buried in her thoughts until the Doctor eventually returned. Listening to his chatter made her glad of her decision; the mention of Rose would only hurt him, and he seemed so happy right now, it would be a shame to ruin it. And so Martha put out of her mind, and sat back in anticipation of their next adventure, even if it was in Cardiff.
One universe's time later...
Martha stood at the console with Chantho and Professor Yana, listening as Jack and the Doctor talked. She was still amazed at Jack's appearance here, one of the Doctor's long lost companions; his very existence should have been an impossibility. Nothing was impossible she supposed, not when the Doctor was around. Or rather in this case, not when Rose was around. Because here again she had cropped up, her memory existed even at the end of the universe. The Doctor's next words though made her freeze.
"She's gone, Jack. She's not just living in a parallel world, she's trapped there. The walls have closed."
Martha thought she was going to be sick. Rose hadn't gone away, she hadn't left of her own free will. Martha realized that she had been ridiculous to think that the perfect companion would give up her Doctor. No, she hadn't left; she'd been stolen. A force greater than the Doctor himself had ripped her out of his life. And that was why he mourned, why her memory still haunted the TARDIS. He considered her gone forever. If the walls truly were closed as he said, then there was no way for him to get her back.
And you talked to her on the phone not too long ago...
She had done the impossible. She had just picked up the phone and somehow managed to talk to a woman trapped a universe away. Something that even the Doctor apparently hadn't been able to manage.
And I hung up on her. Dear god, what have I done?
Martha looked down, not even able to face the machinery that the Doctor's voice echoed out of. She had betrayed him. Not even if she had tried could she possibly have hurt him more. What if she had told him who was on the phone? For that one brief moment, had there been a connection, something that if the Doctor had known about, could have been used to bring Rose back? She would never know now. And furthermore, she could never, ever, ever tell him. He'd be furious with her. Martha had seen the Doctor in a rage, and she never wanted to have that directed at her. What was worse though, was how hurt he would be. He was better off thinking that he couldn't have Rose back, as opposed to knowing that he could possibly have had her back and that Martha had thrown that chance away. She swallowed, and lifted her head again. Better off keeping her silence. What he didn't know couldn't hurt them both.
The knot that had developed in her stomach once upon a time returned with a vengeance, tearing her insides, but she did her best to push it aside and concentrate on the here and now and the world that was falling to pieces around her.
Some time later, minus a year that wasn't...
Martha stood inside the TARDIS, alone for the moment. The Doctor was elsewhere in the TARDIS, talking about something or other with Jack. Her mind was starting to clear from the confusion that removing a year out of time tended to cause, and she was being taken back in her memory to one of the last times she had stood alone in this room, when she had picked up a phone and possibly made the biggest mistake of her life. Staring at it now, she wondered; could she do it again? If she picked up that phone and dialed the same number, would it be answered? Would Rose still be there, anxious and hoping that what she had thought was impossible would happen again?
She had to know. Listening for a moment, she didn't hear anyone approaching from the hall, so Martha crossed the room over to the console and picked up the phone, pressing the button that had once made what was probably the longest distance call ever.
"We're sorry, the number you have dialed has been disconnected, or is no longer in service. No other information is available....."
It was gone. Whatever connection had been there, was broken, probably forever. She couldn't take it back and make things right for the Doctor. After all that he had just lost, the last one of his race truly gone, she couldn't give him the one thing that might possibly give him a little comfort. She had destroyed that hope for him.
Hanging up the phone, Martha hung her head and began to cry.
Martha was in the control room again, taking a look around the control room for what might possibly be the last time. The universe had nearly been destroyed, and now was back together again as if nothing had ever happened, but that year of hell and all that hadn't happened remained in her heart. Another moment remained also, a moment that actually had happened, no matter how desperately she wished she could take it back. And because of that, Martha decided that she just couldn't remain in the TARDIS. She couldn't stay here with him and be reminded of what she had done to him. She realized he would be alone again, but she was going to be selfish. He would find other companions; probably not a replacement for Rose, as she herself hadn't been, and she would like to think not a replacement for her, but at least someone to keep him company. As for herself, there were things she could be doing here on Earth. Her family needed her; her world needed her. The Doctor had taught her so much during her time with him, that she owed it to her home to stay and use that knowledge to help the people here. Besides, she had finally resigned herself to the fact that there was no room for her in the Doctor's heart as anything other than a friend. Staying here would only break her heart, and it was already broken enough as it was.
Martha took one more look around, and prepared herself to break the news to the Doctor when he came back into the room. She would leave. She would build herself a new life here on Earth; maybe even reacquaint herself with a certain young doctor who know longer remembered her. The Doctor would move on, find new adventures, find new friends. They may even see each other again, stranger things have happened. Hopefully grief, both old and new, would fade. Hopefully Rose, wherever she was, would have a new life and find comfort for the grief that so obviously had plagued her as well as the Doctor. And maybe one day Martha could begin to forgive herself.