Martha leaped up, pushing him off her as she did, grabbing her dress.
"Martha, what are you doing?" The Doctor asked uneasily.
"I can't stay here," she said, furious at the tears that were trying to form. "This is… I need to be alone…"
The Doctor got to his feet. "Martha, don't. We need to talk about this."
She glared at him while pulling her dress down, ignoring her underwear. "Talk? You want to talk about this? That's rich, coming from you."
"Martha, listen to me. Whoever did this had a reason. If you go out there you'll be in danger."
"And I'm not in danger if I stay here?" she scoffed.
He looked stricken. "I have never purposely hurt you."
She sighed. "No, you haven't." She put on her shoes and watched as he gathered up his own clothes. He was so pale. And freckled. Wiry. No fat, no muscle. She'd never thought about it before, never thought she would see him naked to have reason to.
"I should've been careful what I wished for," she whispered without thinking.
He winced. "This isn't your fault."
"No, but it's somebody's, like you said. And right now all I want is to give them a good punch," she said angrily.
He continued dressing, watching her. "We need a plan. One that doesn't involve you just running away and putting yourself at risk. Let me think…"
"How can we make a plan when we don't even know who did it, or why?" she cried, exasperated. Then it hit her and she felt herself shaking. "Oh, no. It can't be…"
"Martha?" he took hold of her upper arms, eyes searching hers.
"Can a Time Lord impregnate a Human?" she asked tightly.
He looked as stunned as she felt. "Can you?" she demanded.
He turned pale and his fingers slid limply down her skin. "Yes."
The shaking got worse. Martha couldn't think any more. She could only feel rage.
"You bastard!" she screamed, pulling away from the Doctor and running towards the TARDIS door.
"Martha!" the Doctor shouted, going after her.
She yanked the door open, blind to the doctor and everything except her fury. "You utterly deplorable bastard!" she shouted as she opened the door and stepped outside.
The Doctor stumbled, twisting his foot in his half on, half off shoe. He kicked it off and moved after her again. "Martha, stop!"
He reached out a hand to grab her arm…
And felt her body dissolve under his fingers.
"No, no, no…"
He tore at his hair in frustration, looking every which way and a few ways humans couldn't see. No Martha. "All right," he said to himself, "come on, now…"
He went back in the TARDIS, closing the door behind him, flipping switches and rummaging in a box on a shelf under the console. Part of his mind was focused on the task at hand: finding something to track Martha with. The other part was having a fit.
He'd had a very bad suspicion as to what it had all been about the moment his sanity came back. After all, if it had been purely a sex crime, the perpetrator would've wanted to watch. No, as a perversion it had too many holes in it.
And then he'd felt it. In a way not even a female could at that stage, he'd felt it. His sperm. Martha's egg. Together and fertile. She was pregnant. He'd wanted to calm her down first, talk to her. But then she figured it out herself. Well, as Jack had once told him, he didn't pick them stupid.
His jaw clenched as he looked around more. Martha was carrying their future child, and was in danger of losing the egg. If he was right, and he usually was, she'd been taken somewhere for it to be harvested. And he couldn't let that happen. Whatever came out of it, it was his and Martha's decision to make. Human and Time Lord, not—
He almost dropped the box.
No longer the last of the Time Lords.
He found the alpha tracker and ran outside, pressing buttons and scanning. No, no, no… yes! There it was. One particle signature to guide his way, but it was fading. He had to hurry. He entered a stream of coordinates, made sure he had the sonic screwdriver, and cast a longing glance at the TARDIS.
"I hate traveling this way," he muttered, and pressed one last button.
"What are you doing?"
Martha knew her voice was bordering on hysterical, but didn't care. She was strapped to some version on an exam table, watching in anger and fear as a being that resembled a bipedal cat took readings on her.
Her captor gave no reply, just continued scanning. Martha looked at the equipment, but it was impossible to understand. It approached her with a small metal cylinder.
"No, no, don't you dare!" she shouted, struggling. The creature pressed the metal to her arm. She felt sleepy.
"No," she whispered in agony as she felt her grip on consciousness fading. "No, please… Doctor…"
The Doctor materialized just in time to see a K'iran carefully place a container in a medical transport box as Martha slept on an exam table.
He launched himself in a fury, the momentum and the surprise element knocking the K'iran down. The Doctor grabbed it by the shoulders, shaking it fiercely. "How long have you been doing this?" he shouted. "How long? How many lives have you stolen?"
It looked at him. "Not stealing," it answered in a female purr. "Preserving."
"Preserving? Preserving for what? You're forcing this on other beings and stealing their eggs for what?"
"For the end time. So that there will be one of everything possible so life can continue."
His brows knitted together." An egg bank for the end of the universe?"
"Everything can live this way."
"And what about the mothers? What are you doing to them?" he asked tightly. Had Martha been given something that was ending her life at that very moment?
"Erasing the memories and letting them go. No one gets hurt."
The Doctor pulled her up. She twisted in his grasp but he'd anticipated it and held fast. "It doesn't matter if your motives are good, this is wrong," he said flatly. "And they most certainly DO get hurt!"
"Keeping life safe is wrong?"
"Doing it this way, yes," he said angrily.
"I do not agree."
"Well then we have a bit of a problem, don't we?" he retorted.
"No," she said. She jerked and touched a bracelet on her arm with her tail and disappeared.
"Augh! I hate, hate teleporters!" he yelled.
He turned. Martha was awake and staring at him. He swallowed hard, glancing at the metal case that held their offspring. Then he walked over to her and smiled. "Hello, Martha Jones."
"Thanks for the rescue," she said as he released her. She sat up, rubbing her arm, lowering her legs slowly off the side.
"You all right?" He searched her face. Did she remember everything?
She nodded. "Yeah, but… Doctor…"
Her look said it all. "I know," he said softly.
She gazed over on the table. "It's… in there?"
Martha swallowed hard. "What do we do?"
"First we put it in a safer place. Then we put a stop to that K'iran's plans."
He sighed. "She—maybe more for all I know—is collecting one of every possible combination to be found. Saving the eggs somewhere, probably somewhere here, wherever here is. So that everything has a chance to reproduce."
"Even a Time Lord," Martha said softly.
He looked down with another sigh. "It's not how I'd have wanted it."
"Because it's me," she said.
His eyes jerked up sharply to meet hers. "Because of the way it happened," he answered. "You'd be a brilliant mother, Martha."
She looked down, not sure how to answer that. "But right now I need to take care of that harvesting operation," he said.
"Without me?" she asked, incredulous.
He hesitated. "You just had a major shock, Martha. I'd feel better if you were in the TARDIS."
"What? Are you daft? What if you need my help?" She frowned. "Oh, no, mister: you are NOT pulling any "in the kitchen" crap with me. I'm not suddenly made of china!"
"No, you're not," he replied quietly. "But you have something equally important to look after." He glanced at the egg container.
"Never thought I'd see you all protective," she said.
"Before now I only had myself to consider. Or an adult." He frowned. "It's… strange… thinking like a father…"
He gazed at her. "Martha. Please. For me. Go to the TARDIS with the egg. You can monitor me from there. If I need help, you'll know it. But don't come out otherwise."
"Please." It was the closest thing to begging her she'd ever heard.
She sighed. "All right. But don't you dare trick me and send me off to some day spa while you're in danger. Swear?"
She picked up the container while he adjusted his teleporter. He put his arms around her and pressed a button. She opened her eyes to see them standing in front of the TARDIS.
The next few hours were some of the most difficult of Martha's life.
She had assumed he could just take the TARDIS to wherever they had been, but it turned out he could only get a signal outside it. She kept in contact with the Doctor through a communication device he put on before going back. It also allowed her to monitor his vital signs. Handy device, it was. She could use those to check on patients at home. If, of course, it was common technology on Earth, which it wasn't.
While that was going on, in between almost running after him a few times (like when he got captured by some K'iran for about five minutes) she thought about the egg sitting in its cryogenic container. It could easily be implanted back into her. Or it could sit safe in its metal box for eternity. Or it could be implanted into someone else. Or…
That was the problem. There were too many variables. Which meant a decision had to be made. For both of them as well as that future Human/ Time Lord combo. And Martha Jones was at a loss.
The fact that it had happened under the wrong conditions didn't help matters. They were no happy couple deeply in love. The Doctor loved her, she knew that. But not that way. And despite still feeling some attraction to him, she wasn't sure exactly how she felt about him now. She was even less sure of how he felt about them having a baby. Did he want it? Did he want to let sleeping eggs lie? If she had the baby, what then? Would she stay on Earth, or with him? What about her career? What about him traipsing all over the universe, putting himself in danger? Surely he'd never want to give that up, for anything…
But she remembered the Master, and how the Doctor would have given all that up to take care of him. And Jenny, the Doctor's daughter: a woman/child formed from him without his consent but whom he had still wanted to be with. Both Time Lords. Both dead now.
And now here was a third chance for him not to be alone, the last of his kind. And whatever she wanted, whatever he wanted, neither of their lives could be the same.
"Fuck," she whispered
It wasn't as though she was opposed to having a kid. She'd thought about it, like anyone else. She loved children. She and Tom had…
Fuck, again. Tom. He seemed a world away right now. And he was, actually. Quite a few worlds. How could she have this baby and stay with Tom? How could she even explain it to him? She'd gain a child but lose a fiancé. How wrong was that? Even worse, right now she didn't know how she felt about anyone. Tom, the Doctor, even herself.
But that egg… she could almost hear it calling to her. She was a doctor, sworn to uphold life. To let her child—their child—sit in stasis forever…
Scientific curiosity took over for a moment. Would the baby look black? White? Somewhere in between? Would it have his ears? Her mouth? Big eyes? Two hearts? And what about a name? What did Time Lords name their children? Doctor, Master… would it have to be some one word thing that was more a title than a name? She was not calling any child of hers "Barrister" or "Chef!"
This was not helping. This was insane. How could she possibly…
She was pulled out of her thoughts by his voice. "Yeah, sorry, I'm here, what did you say?" she asked.
"I said it's finished. I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Oh, and Martha?"
"Have I told you today just how amazing you are?"
She smiled. "No. You haven't."
"Shame on me. Remind me to tell you later."
The smile turned into a laugh. "All right, then!"
She thought. And thought. And when he opened the door of the TARDIS a few minutes later, she still had no idea what she wanted to do.
The Doctor didn't go straight back to Martha. He made some tweaks with the sonic screwdriver and teleported to a planet in the Chronax galaxy. Every planet there had its own time quirk. He chose Chronax Seven, where a minute was more like an hour. When he went back to her, it would, for her, have been the few minutes he told her. For him, it would have been time to think.
The Doctor didn't like not knowing an answer as soon as he had a question. But he'd have had an easier time explaining hopscotch to a Dalek than figuring out what to do next. For starters, what did he want? And then, what would Martha want?
Another Time Lord. A baby, Human/Time Lord. That would need to be raised to an adult. That belonged to him and Martha Jones. Whom he loved but was not in love with. Who might or might not be in love with him... though he suspected she still was. Whom he wondered if he could make himself love. Well, he could if he really wanted to. Did he? Would she?
He paced in circles, alternately pushing his glasses up his nose and running his fingers through his hair.
Give up traveling until the child was an adult? Travel but stay out of meddling? Settle on Earth for a bit? Let Martha raise the child and him visit? No. That much he knew wouldn't be right. If he did this, it would have to be all the way.
Keep the egg until later? Have the baby now? In five years? Never? It would be a lot easier… but oh, his hearts hurt for that egg, the thought of it just sitting, sterile, alone, when it could become bright, magnificent life…
Would he or she have his eyes? Martha's nose? Be ginger? There was a slight chance for that. It would be his luck: ten bodies, not one of them ginger, and then his child would have glorious curly ginger hair!
A future with another Time Lord in it! Traveling together, teaching him or her about Gallifrey and the Time War, what to do and not do, growing another TARDIS… he felt excitement and fear stir in equal measures.
Of course, Martha might well tell him to shove off no matter what. Whether or not they had the baby, their friendship had been violated and needed healing. How was that going to happen? What if she just wanted to take the egg and go back to Earth?
His hearts squeezed painfully again. No. Not that. Anything but that. He'd beg and use every trick in his book to keep that from happening. Even…
Oh, he could never tell her if he did that. And then it would be a secret kept. He hated keeping secrets. But sometimes he had to, for a greater good. Like Donna. And there were ways around it, like everything else.
He was selfish. He knew that. He'd always told himself his good deeds made up for it, but it didn't change the truth. Stealing the TARDIS all those centuries ago, bringing people along for the ride so he wasn't alone, making decisions like he had the right to do whatever he wanted…
What was it he'd said to Martha on the beach? "Make sure you make time for what's important, Martha," he'd said. "Don't have regrets."
"If I don't have time, who does?" he asked himself.
And maybe, just maybe, it was time for him to grow up a bit.
When he opened the door of the TARDIS a few minutes later, he knew what he wanted to do.
Martha didn't have a chance to say a word when he came in. He went straight to her and enfolded her in a hug that was warmth and relief and pure Doctor happiness. She hugged him back, relieved herself to feel him alive and unharmed under her hands. After a minute of that he stepped back and looked at her. "All right?" he asked, pushing up his glasses while he studied her.
She nodded. What to say to him. How to say it. "Doctor…"
He gently pressed a finger to her lips. "I know you want to talk. And I agree."
She raised her eyebrows. "You do?"
"Yes. But I think before either of us says anything about it, we should go on a vacation."
She laughed. She couldn't help it. "A what? Doctor, have you lost your senses?"
"Not at all,' he replied. At her skeptical look, he added: "Please, hear me out."
Martha narrowed her eyes. He was the Doctor, but there was something… different. He wasn't acting quite like his usual breezy self. There was a new intensity in him, something serious behind the smile.
Good grief, Martha, could it, oh, possibly be because you effectively have a baby sitting in a box over there as a result of getting slipped a mickey? she asked herself wryly. How is he supposed to be acting? Or me, for that matter? After what's just happened…
She held back a tear at the memory. Now that the danger was over, she felt exhausted and overwhelmed and wanted to go hide and he wanted to do what?
He had that little boy smile, the one she'd never been able to resist. She sighed and folded her arms. "Go on, then."
"I know we need to talk about… what happened," he told her. "But now is not the time to do it. We've been dealt a serious blow to our friendship. One that I want to heal before we do anything else."
She blinked. "Who are you?"
He blinked back. "I'm the Doctor."
"You've never talked like this before," she said.
His gaze was inscrutable. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."
"But… I don't know…"
"If you leave now, you might never come back," he said softly.
She shook her head. "No, you're wrong there…"
"Am I?" he asked. He reached over and took one of her hands. "Could you promise me that?"
She looked at their fingers, feeling a great weight on her. "I.."
He released her hand and moved behind her. She felt his long, slim fingers on her shoulders, gently massaging the knots, and she sighed again, only this time in pleasure. He'd never touched her before, except to hug her. He couldn't have. She hadn't been touched in a while and it was heaven. But to stay with him? Was he right, that if she left now she might never come back? No, she couldn't do that…
He moved to stand in front of her, fingers moving to her temples, eliciting a tiny moan from her. "We could visit museums," he whispered. "Take long walks through fields of flowers. Eat pizza standing on top of a volcano."
"That sounds a bit dangerous, mister!"
"A dormant one, Martha, a dormant one!" he exclaimed.
"Never know with you," she retorted.
He smiled, then the smile faded and he looked at her so intensely she flushed under his gaze. "Please stay, Martha."
It was all so much, a thousand voices in her head and over all of them was his silky whispering and she just wanted it to stop…
"All right," she said… and almost stumbled in shock as everything in her head went silent.
Later, as Martha slept, the Doctor made his way through the TARDIS.
Down one corridor, then another, a left, a right, two more lefts and a dozen hallways until he reached his destination.
He pressed his fingers to an ornate panel on a door, and after a second's hesitation the door swung open for him. He cast out with his mind, making sure once more that Martha was asleep, and then slipped soundlessly into the room, door closing behind him.
He blinked, adjusting the light to a soft white. "I really, really thought I'd never have to use this, again," he said aloud.
The room was silent. The bits of gleaming metal seemed to mock him. He glared, heedless of how ridiculous it seemed. Then he closed his eyes.
Are you sure? Because once you do this, you can't turn back.
He'd felt it the moment he'd stepped back in the TARDIS. He hadn't meant to. Martha had just been projecting so strongly that even though the link was weak he'd felt it. She didn't even know it. But he did. He didn't think he could handle any more. Even a Time Lord wasn't indestructible.
And he'd also known it wouldn't work to do it by half measures. He knew it all. And he'd made his choice with this knowledge. This was the last step before opening the door to that future. It would be a gradual step, a slow step, but it had to be. It couldn't be rushed. And when it was complete, he would be too. Anyone might have told him he was daft and taking a huge risk. But he always gambled, didn't he? This couldn't be any different for him. It wasn't the only way, but it was what she wanted. And oddly enough, so did he.
He opened his eyes, slipped everything on. Planned what he wanted to do. Took a final deep breath, a last goodbye to his old life, and flipped the switch.
Martha. Everywhere. Smiling, running, laughing, bleeding, angry, happy, sad, jealous, puzzled and triumphant. Every look, every word, every gesture surged up in his mind and threatened to overwhelm him. He fought to keep control, sort through the memories. A little tweak here, a little tweak there… snip after snip of feelings he made, tucking them in spaced out, random pockets. He set triggers to bring them to the surface at appropriate times, left mental keys hidden for him to find later that would ultimately unlock the door to the room he was creating. The room of loving Martha Jones.
She would have the love from him she'd wanted and he had at times wished he could give her. They would have their baby and their future. He would have another Time Lord. And he wouldn't have to worry about a companion wanting to leave him. Martha would stay with him. And on the TARDIS, time passed differently. She would age very slowly and be by his side for a long, long time. He'd be careful in a way he'd never been before to stay in this incarnation. For her, the baby, their life together.
But she could never know he had altered his mind to fall in love with her, and he never wanted to deliberately lie to her. And that was why, when it was finished, he wouldn't even remember he had ever done this.
It was a painful process, but Martha was too far away to hear his screams. She lay in her old bed, dreaming of the future he was changing himself to create.
Martha glanced up at him, nervous despite being a doctor and him being a thousand doctors. He smiled at her, squeezing her hand reassuringly. She nodded and settled back against the pillows, breathing deep and slow, remembering everything.
They had done everything he'd offered her and then some. There were walks in fields, visits to museums on other worlds, forests with birds that sang in harmony. It went on for months, the vacation turning into something more like a sabbatical. And over that time they'd grown closer as friends, healing from what had happened to them. Not forgetting, not denying. Healing.
It was about a month into it the first time it happened. The Doctor went out while she was still in bed and picked her dozens of bright red flowers. She smiled, and he smiled, and he left to get some vases, but not before Martha had the odd feeling that he'd wanted to kiss her.
The second thing, weeks later, was more definite. While they were out at a café, a man flirted with her as she went to get another drink. The Doctor appeared at her side in about ten seconds, putting an arm around her and giving the man a look that would've intimidated a saber-toothed tiger. That caused an argument in the TARDIS.
"You're not my boyfriend, remember?" she asked, wishing she could slap herself the second the words came out of her mouth.
He gave her a dark, wild look and stormed off. She sat in confusion for an hour. What was he on about?
An hour later, he waved a white flag with the words "I'm sorry" written on it, and she laughed. He looked apologetic and sheepish and he hugged her and the hug lasted longer than it ever had.
Three months later they were swimming in a pool on a planet where the water looked like crushed emeralds. He waded over to the shallow end where she was sitting on the steps, and he looked at her for a long moment and right as she was about to ask what was wrong, he kissed her.
This led to: 1. Her kissing him back 2. Her freaking out. 3. A huge discussion. 4. Him telling her he thought he loved her. 5. Her really freaking out. 6. More discussion. 7. Things getting intense, and 8. More kissing.
She went back to Earth… long enough to end the engagement with Tom and tell UNIT she would be MIA for a while.
She held him back, though. She was afraid to trust his feelings. And hers. He didn't press her. He just kept on being the Doctor and doing sweet things. And stealing kisses.
Two more months passed. They ran into some trouble on a planet (as usual) and the Doctor saved the day with her help (as usual). In the process she got hurt (not badly) and he freaked out (very badly). It was one of the rare times she had seen him cry. That night, back on the TARDIS, she pulled him into her room and her bed. They made love, forging a new memory of them being together, the fire of passion burning the forced encounter of the past away. They slept in each other's arms, and when they woke up he looked at her.
"I love you, Martha Jones. And I don't care how long you make me wait or how many times you want me to prove it. I will do whatever—"
"I love you too," she said softly.
He stopped. "You do?"
He grinned. And she grinned. And except for the physical necessities they didn't get out of bed for the entire day.
She couldn't remember when she made the decision exactly. It was a gradual thing. But one day, while standing on a beach looking at a sunset, she whispered: "let's have our baby."
And his smile was so bright it put out the sun.
Then it was back to Earth again, to tell Jack and Sarah Jane and Martha's family and UNIT and by the time it was finished it felt like forever had passed and she told him "Now I've got an idea of what it's like for you" and he just laughed.
And here she was, close to nine months later, alternating glancing at him with watching the monitors she'd insisted on hooking up. She didn't care how good of a doctor he was, or she was, for that matter. Nor did she care about how it was done on other planets. She wanted monitors and an epidural, thank you very much. He let her squeeze his hand and didn't stop even when she pressed so hard he winced. He kept talking to her, telling her stories, distracting her as much as he could until her contractions told them it was time.
He moved to her feet, still smiling at her, encouraging her without words. And she desperately needed that, because as she felt the baby pushing its way towards the outside world she was in a bit of pain and quite scared. She pushed, and screamed, and pushed and screamed more, and every time she thought she couldn't go on he said: "Martha! You can DO this! Come on!"
And somehow she did, and her final roar mingled with a baby's cry.
The Doctor held it carefully, working with deft, steady hands to cut the cord, then wrapped it in Martha's own baby blanket, his face shining with joy. "It's a boy," he breathed. "A boy!"
He brought their son to her, perching carefully beside her on the bed as she held him. Martha started to cry as she gazed at their son's ruddy face. "He's beautiful!"
"He's ginger! Aww! I KNEW it! I KNEW he'd get the ginger!" The Doctor exclaimed, half admiring, half envious.
Martha could only laugh. "Hello there, little boy," she said softly. "I'm your mum. And this is your dad."
The baby stopped crying and stared at her, and Martha would have sworn it understood something if she didn't know it wasn't possible. "Doctor, look. He's got brown eyes," she said in wonder.
"Mmm. Just like his mum's," he said, smiling at her.
She returned the smile, then hesitantly asked: "does he… is he…"
"Well, let's just find out, shall we?" the Doctor asked breezily, lifting their son back up and moving him to a small cloth-covered table. He gently cleaned him up, making nonsense cooing noises the whole time (Martha couldn't stop herself from laughing) and then took out his stethoscope, resting it gently against the baby's skin. He moved it, listening intently, while Martha held her breath. He looked up at her and beamed again.
"Two hearts. Two very healthy-sounding hearts."
She laughed in joy and relief, and father and son returned to her side. He handed the baby back to her and the three of them settled on the bed. "We'll have to choose a name. I still think it was crazy not to pick some before now," she said, mock glaring at him.
"It's tradition," the Doctor said with a sniff.
"Ho, you're a traditionalist now, are you?" she retorted.
He ignored her comment, idly stroking one of the baby's hands. "I'd like to call him… Adric."
"Adric?" Martha raised her eyebrows. "Is that name special?"
He nodded. "But if you don't like it…"
"Adric," Martha said slowly. "It's not bad. Can his middle name be Clive?"
"Adric Clive,' the Doctor mused. "I think that's a fine name, Martha Jones."
"Good. Then tell me who Adric is," she said quietly.
He drew a sharp breath, swallowed and slowly nodded. And he began to tell her a story from a long time ago, both of them holding and stroking the baby, fingers and minds and hearts touching, connected by love and hope.