You & Me, Not Us
Disclaimer: All names and concepts associated to BBC's "Doctor Who" are not mine; I just borrow the characters/concepts for my own enjoyment.
Genre: Sadness, Romance, Tragedy
Warnings: Spoilers for 'The End of Time, Part Two' as well as spoilers for 'The Doctor's Daughter' and slight spoilers for 'The Stolen Earth/Journey's End'.
Summary: She couldn't do it anymore. [Martha/Tom; The End of Time, Part Two spoilers]
A/N Anyone else completely torn up over The End of Time? I know I am. :'( But the Mickey/Martha thing was so left field that it threw me for a loop. What happened to Tom? I may ship Doctor/Martha, but I like Tom and I was all 'what the hell?' I could be persuaded to believe that Tom died during the Dalek invasion, but that idea makes me sad so this is my little explanation to help me make sense of it all. Enjoy! Oh, and this is my first time writing Martha, so try not to hold that against me. :)
"I can't do this anymore, Tom."
Martha Jones twisted the shiny engagement ring on her left hand with her fingers as she paced. Her fiancé, Tom Milligan, sat across from her in the cosy living room. He looked worn out and weary, like someone who had just returned from the heart of Africa.
He sighed and said nothing. He kicked his boots off his feet and gazed up at Martha, waiting for her to continue.
"I can't. I just can't," she repeated, gesturing with her hands. "I thought . . . I thought that this, us, was enough. But it's not." She stopped pacing and looked down at her feet. Martha went back to twisting her engagement ring.
"Is there someone else?" Tom spoke up finally. There was no accusation in his voice, no malice or anger, just flat acceptance.
Martha shook her head rapidly. "Of course not," she replied quickly. "I'd never do that . . ." she trailed off and finished, ". . . to you."
Tom nodded slowly and beckoned her to sit down next to him on the couch. She did, almost hesitantly, and she wondered how things had gotten so different between them. "Is it because we're hardly together?" he asked, knowing it was just as much his fault as Martha's.
Martha shook her head again. "No . . . not really. No." She fell silent and looked at her lap. She couldn't meet Tom's eyes.
He recognised the look on Martha's face immediately. Tom had seen it more than once, especially after a more trying day at the elusive UNIT compound. "Do you want to tell me about it?" Tom didn't push it, but knew Martha would respond.
"A few weeks ago, while you were away," she began after a short silence. It was stretching the truth a bit, but she could hardly say, 'a few hundred years into your future, while you were away.'
She took a deep breath and continued, "I . . . I watched a friend's daughter die. A good friend, perhaps the best I've ever had." She scrubbed her hands over her eyes, hoping to quell the tears that threatened to fall.
"And?" Tom pressed softly, gently.
"I . . . I just started thinking after, that's all." Martha shrugged. "The D . . . my friend had just gotten to know her and she died, just like that." Martha looked at Tom with wide, bright eyes. "She was shot, you know, for just standing up for what she believed in."
"I'm sorry," Tom replied and he meant it. He'd seen so much devastation and so much heartbreak in Africa that he knew where she was coming from. Once, he had though, they had been kindred spirits; both seeing and knowing more about the dark side of humanity than anyone ever should.
"Me too," Martha said softly. "Me too. Ever since then, I've been thinking. Is this what we both want? I mean, really, really want? My friend, he didn't really want his daughter, not until the very end just before she died." She looked up into Tom's eyes and whispered, "I don't – I don't want to marry if it's just going to end in heartbreak." She started to play with her engagement ring again, but Tom reached over and took her right hand in his.
"I thought this was what I wanted," Martha confessed with glassy eyes. "I really thought it was."
"What changed?" Tom stroked the back of Martha's hand with his thumb.
"Everything," Martha replied, almost shyly, and elaborated, "When I met you I . . ." Martha paused and wondered how say, 'I was in love with an alien who didn't love me back,' without sounding completely bonkers. ". . . I had just come out of a bad relationship." Well, that was one way of putting it.
"The thing with me and you, it just happened so fast," Martha breathed. Never mind she'd just watched him die. "I don't think . . . I don't know if I was really over it."
"Are you now?" Tom asked. He didn't sound angry, didn't sound upset, he just sounded . . . like himself; calm, collected . . . and loving.
Martha nodded slowly. "I think I am. But . . ."
"But that leaves us," Tom finished for her. He glanced at her and sighed. "I'm not stupid, Martha. There's always been something hanging between us, something neither of us have been able to put into words. Sometimes when I look at you, I get the feeling that something happened to us, before we met." He shrugged. "But that's impossible, just fantastical nonsense, really."
Martha saw him collapsing in the street, dead. "But I love you," she said, almost desperately, as though she was trying to really, really convince herself of this.
"I know," Tom replied simply. "I love you too. But this, us, it's not working, not anymore"
"Yeah," Martha echoed, almost silently.
"I'd love to marry you, Martha," Tom said honestly. "I really would. I want to give you everything the universe can offer, and more." He paused. "But I don't know if I can really do that."
He grinned wistfully. "There's something about you, Martha Jones, that makes you fantastic." Tom sighed. "And I can let that go."
Martha nodded. "I-I've taken a job, a promotion really, at work." She looked down at her hand encased in Tom's. "It's in New York. I . . . I leave next week."
"I'm thinking of taking another posting in Africa," Tom confessed after Martha fell silent. "I just left so many things back at camp." He gave her a little grin. "I met a little boy. You'd like him. Bright, inquisitive . . . both his parents died of AIDS. I want to go back, Martha."
"And you should." Martha leant over and planted a soft kiss on Tom's lips. She grinned at him. "And you're a bit fantastic too, Dr. Milligan; saving the world and all that."
Martha pulled her hand out from under Tom's and twisted her engagement ring around her finger once again. With a tear running down her face, she slipped it off and placed it in Tom's palm.
Tom shook his head. "I gave it to you."
"I know. And it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." She closed his fingers over it. "Only second to you, of course," she amended with an impish grin, contrasting greatly with the second tear that had fallen down her cheek.
"Cheeky," Tom said, rolling his eyes exaggeratedly. But he didn't try and offer Martha the ring again; instead he slipped it in the pocket of his trousers. Neither of them could bring themselves to look in its direction again
This time, it was Tom that leant over and kissed Martha softly on the lips. "I'll always love you, Dr. Jones."
"Me too, Dr. Milligan." Martha looked so sad for a minute, but then brighten a little and punched Tom lightly on the arm. "But promise me you'll stay brilliant."
Tom grinned. "Only if you promise me the same thing."
"Always," Martha replied firmly. A silence fell over the pair, but it was broken moments later by Tom.
He smirked and teased, "Any chance of a de-engagement shag, then?"
"Oi!" Martha exclaimed and whacked him over the head with one of the cushions on the couch. "Watch it, you."
Tom laughed and Martha rested her head on his shoulder. She asked quietly, "We'll be okay, as me and you, not as us, won't we?"
"Course we will," Tom replied, kissing her on the forehead. "Two brilliant doctors saving the world; how could we not? There's so much waiting for us out there, Martha."
"Just not together."
"Just not together," Tom confirmed, sounding both sad and hopeful. He stood from the couch and offered Martha his hand. He grinned. "If you won't give me a de-engagement shag, then at least let's have dinner."
"What?" Martha grinned, taking Tom's offered hand. "A de-engagement party?"
"That would involve the in-laws, copious amounts of alcohol and a stripper," Tom pointed out. "I was thinking more along the lines of a toast to the future, whatever that is."
"Sounds good to me." Martha slipped her arm into Tom's. Then, suddenly, her eyes grew wide and she groaned. "Oh boy."
"What is it?" Tom sounded concerned.
"My parents," Martha moaned. "I'll have to tell my parents. And my mum has already bought that hideous hat to wear." She shook her head and buried it in Tom's shoulder. "I am so dead."
Tom laughed and patted Martha affectionately on the head. "Francine'll get over it."
"Eventually," Martha muttered, her voice muffled by Tom's shoulder.
And they would.