A Rose Engraved Door

Just how special was Rose Tyler? What did she look like? How old was she? What was she like? Just what did she mean to the Doctor? Was she just another in a long line? Or was she different? Did she mean more? Why did she leave him? Did she leave him? From the way he talks about her, it's hardly imaginable that he left her. But why isn't she here now?

Is she coming back?

Ever?

Should Martha even hope for more, when it's obvious she can't replace the one that came before, the one that got away?

Today is the day she finds out the answers to these questions. And more.

...

She stumbled across it quite by accident. Seriously, she did. Honest!

Okay. Maybe not.

He mentioned her, you see. A lot. Without realising, mostly. And when she questioned him about her, he'd freeze; his eyes becoming cold and hard, his voice barely more than a whisper as he shook away her inquisition.

Martha reckoned, once upon a time, that the reason he couldn't talk about her was because she'd left him, and it hurt him too much. He'd told her this much: that Rose was alive and with her family. Safe. So Martha had assumed that one day when she was travelling with him, his friend had decided to leave, and packed up her stuff and walked out of his life. Maybe she told him she never wanted to see him again, or something. Maybe that was why he spoke of her like he'd never see her again. He'd been rejected by his friend, and was lonely, perhaps.

Once she found her room, Martha knew that she couldn't have been more wrong.

She'd been looking for it, really, she knew that. He'd mentioned her so many times that she wanted to know who Rose had been, what she had looked like, how amazing a person she must've come across, for him to say her name with such reverence and pride that he did, despite all his hurt. How extraordinary she must have been.

How special she must've been for the Doctor to care about her so deeply in the first place.

And where was the only place she could get a feel for all of that, seeing as the Doctor wouldn't tell her?

Rose's bedroom.

So Martha had stalked the corridors one day, having declared to an indifferent Doctor that she wanted some time alone, and she spent hours searching for it. She thought, seeing as the TARDIS was apparently alive or something, according to the Doctor anyway, that the least the ship could do was move the rooms around a bit to let her find it easily, like it did when she needed a glass of water and the TARDIS moved the kitchen closer to her room.

(Those thoughts alone had made the TARDIS decidedly sure that she had made the right choice in leaving Martha to find it herself. Rose's room shouldn't be found easily by a woman who never knew her and had so many preconceived notions and often feelings of a jealous and bitter nature towards her. A woman who didn't quite believe that the TARDIS was really alive, and rolled her eyes when the Doctor referred to her as a 'she.' A woman who expected so much from the Doctor when in reality, he could never give her much more than some exciting, terrifying adventures and occasionally a hand to hold. A woman who could never replace her predecessor because the harsh truth was: the Doctor didn't love her like he loved Rose.)

She opened door after door after door, finding rooms she never knew existed, with a variety of different functions. The swimming pool, for one. She'd also found many, many bedrooms. She felt a bit sick, actually, knowing how many people have lived here before her. Not selfishly, with jealousy, however – she genuinely felt sick to think of the Doctor losing so many people. There must've been at least twenty-five rooms, maybe thirty, all with a few personal belongings, some clothes and very little knickknacks, sometimes a book or diary, inside. A single bed, or in some rooms, twin beds, where maybe some companions had shared; a wardrobe, barely used; occasionally a mirror or a painting hanging on the wall. Martha took in the way the rooms were so neat and tidy, as if after each occupant had left, the room had tidied itself to appear as though no one was returning, or indeed ever truly there. She'd viewed each room carefully, looking for some sort of sense that it could have been Rose's, but often there were other peoples' names written on aforementioned knickknacks or inside covers of books. Nothing indicated that Rose had slept or lived in one of them.

But then...

Finally, Martha found it. Well, she found a white door, and it had a pink rose engraved on it, so she assumed this could be hers. You know, seeing as it had her namesake on it. And, whereas the other rooms had all been near each other, a row of doors, this door was situated with one other door only; side by side at the end of a lonely corridor.

Oh.

Oh.

She suddenly had a horrible feeling that she knew which room the other door led to.

She swallowed thickly and turned the handle of the white, rose-engraved door. It was locked; she couldn't get in. The door would not budge. This more or less confirmed her suspicions that it was Rose's room.

"Damn," Martha muttered, frustrated that her tour around the TARDIS had been for nothing. Her eyes flickered to the other door in contemplation. "No," she told herself, shaking her head. "No."

She turned to walk back up the corridor she'd walked down, but paused. She couldn't resist. She took a deep breath, turned back to face the other door, and stepped purposefully towards it. Her hand was on the handle, she turned it, and the door opened an inch, and she was about to push it open with delight when she heard someone cough meaningfully behind her.

...

To be continued...

A/N: Hiya! Hey look – a Martha fic! First time for everything :D (Ok, so fine, it's basically a Doctor/Rose shippy fic in disguise, but hey ho...well, this is Martha's perspective...) Anyways, what do you think so far? Just to make it clear, I'm not in any way going to be deliberately 'Martha-bashing' in this story, even if at some points it may read that way. So, glad if that pleases you; sorry if that disappoints lol. I don't particularly think Martha was a great character to start of with in series 3, but she became sort of brilliant in her own way further down the line, I think. So this is her discovering about just what his feelings for Rose were (ARE! *ahem*) and how I personally think she should have reacted.

Please drop a review :)

Love Laura x