Hi, this is just a oneshot I felt compelled to write for John/Martha. Please tell me what you think at the end!
Disclaimer - ITV owns Identity, not me.
Behind The Mask
It was sad, really, that all his worldly possessions fit into just two small suitcases. Everything he'd needed to run away with Adile, everything he could ever want to sustain him fit into those bags. But, of course, that wasn't strictly true. Because it was Brendan Shay's possessions that resided in the suitcase, not his. They meant little to him, now that he had made his decision. There was no turning back, and quite frankly, he was glad. John Bloom had finally got his identity back.
Grabbing the two suitcases with little care, John dragged them out of his apartment, down the stairs (ignoring the elevator) and towards the gigantic waste dumpsters outside of the building. Without a single fleeting thought as to their contents, he swiftly flung them into the dark, dank depths of the bins. And as he did so, he felt a lift; some surge of relief washed through him at the fact that he'd finally said goodbye to Brendan.
As he made his way back up towards his apartment, John found himself unable to identify exactly what he felt. There was no sense of loss over the fact he had turned Adile away, no ache in his heart and no painful lump in his throat. Not like when he found out that Martha had been taken, and about who exactly had taken her. Then, then he had felt pain, and a crushing dread that penetrated his very heart. But not anymore. No, in that moment, John felt something that he hadn't felt in a long time, and it relieved him no end. Normal. He just felt normal.
He wanted to laugh at the irony, but somehow, he couldn't. Because as he rounded the corner in the corridor towards his apartment, he saw her. Stood patiently, with an almost expectant expression on her face, Martha turned her head towards him.
"Hi," she said, standing up a little straighter as he identified the beginnings of awkwardness creep into her eyes.
Stopping in front of his door, John frowned. What was she doing here? As far as she knew, he'd run away, escaped...after all, she was the one who had told him not to cancel his plans on her account. "Hi."
Martha glanced down, feeling almost embarrassed as she wondered again why on earth she had come here. The sexy, Irish accent never failed to make her shiver slightly and she looked back up, trying to stop her face from breaking into a giveaway smile. He was here. He hadn't sailed off into the sunset after all, then.
"What are you doing here?" he eventually asked, fishing his door keys out from the depths of his pockets.
Pausing, Martha intently fixed her eyes on his hand as he turned the key in the lock. "I came to see if you were alright, of course it was an off chance that you'd even still be in the country, but-"
John cut off her rambling, the familiar grim smile twitching on his lips. "Martha, you just got captured and almost killed because of me, and you're here to see how I am?"
She smiled, shrugging slightly. "Ever the concerned colleague, you know me."
"Hm," he replied, musing for a moment. "That's the problem though," he said, pushing the door open, "I don't know you really." His statement hung in the air for a moment, stunning her into a mild silence before he spoke again, his voice a little lighter.
"How about you come in for that late night tipple I missed out on?"
A nervous laugh escaped her, tumbling from her lips as she tried to suppress the blush that was in serious danger of creeping across her face. "Yeah okay, thanks." She slipped into the apartment and cast a glance around, taking in the array of food laid out on the surfaces, the unwashed glasses cluttering up the sink.
"You're right, this is like my place," she said as he took out a corkscrew. "Where's your fridge?"
John chuckled and threw a glance her way, noticing how the dim light highlighted streaks of auburn in her hair and threw shadows across her face. "It broke down," he lied easily, popping the cork out of the wine as he pulled two clean glasses towards him. "I've ordered a new one."
Nodding, Martha stepped forward and took her drink. For a few silent moments, they sipped the wine, both trying to ignore the awkward tension that charged through the air. "John," Martha eventually said, eyeing him from over the rim of her glass. "About that message...forget it, I was just..." she trailed off, blushing a little.
"Bored?" he quipped, not unkindly, smiling before his face and tone grew a little more serious. "Lonely?"
Martha looked down, biting her lip slightly. "Maybe," she admitted quietly, glancing up to see him staring intently at her. "What?"
He sighed, reaching over to take her empty glass from her and placing it firmly on the counter. "You shouldn't cover yourself up so much, you know. They'll still listen to you – if not more so."
She frowned, surprised by the sudden change in topic. "What do you mean?"
"Your clothes," he said, gesturing to the black skirt and slightly oversized grey jumper that hung off her frame. "You're scared." It wasn't a question. "You're afraid that they won't take you seriously if you look more like a woman – you think they'll see you as vulnerable, weak. I just thought you should know that isn't the case." He smirked, eyes dancing as he looked at her. "I'd certainly pay more attention."
Raising an eyebrow, Martha leant back against the counter. "You're telling me how to dress?"
"No," he sighed, putting his own glass down as his eyes roamed quickly over her figure. "I'm saying you shouldn't be so afraid to be feminine."
"Is Gok Wan another of your alter-egos, John?" she asked, trying not to sound too annoyed as she toyed self-consciously with the hem of her jumper.
He laughed, trying to lighten the mood. The last thing he'd wanted to do was offend her. "No, and I didn't mean it like that, Martha. I was trying to compliment you."
She looked up quite quickly at that, a small frown forming on her face. "Well, thank you, but I'm happy how I am, thanks."
"Really?" he asked, now becoming the one to raise an eyebrow. "Are you though, Martha? Are you really happy, waking up, eating, going to work, going home...sitting alone, eating your meal for one, and then going to bed again? You're happy with that?"
A lump rose in Martha's throat and she tried to swallow over it, but it was like gulping over steel. "I don't think you're in any position to judge," she eventually said, looking at him with hard eyes. She was struggling not to cry, and she didn't like it. "You're the one who's so unsatisfied with their own life that they're living another one, just to feel complete."
"I'm not judging, Martha," John told her gently, stepping forward. "I'm asking you to be honest. And as for Brendan Shay, Brendan who? He's gone, dead." He sighed, running a weary hand through his hair. "I got my identity back."
Eyes widening slightly, Martha's eyes darted to meet his, her frown easing out a little. "And what about her?" They both knew who she was referring to by 'her'.
He nodded, glancing down for a second. "I think Brendan realised that something was fucked, and got out while he could."
She nodded, not really sure what to say. So she did what he'd said, and decided to be honest. "I'm glad," she told him, looking up. "That you got your identity back, I mean," she added with a blush, looking away.
"So you're not glad that I stayed, then?" John asked, stepping forward again so he was stood directly in front of her, just a few inches away. An insatiable urge to reach out and touch her surged through him, but he stayed still.
Barely breathing, Martha looked up, her heart stilling at their close proximity. "Well, yes, you're a valuable asset to –"
"Don't say it," he said, his voice surprisingly low. "Don't say I'm a valuable asset to the team." Suddenly, he reached out and took hold of her upper arms, the heat from his hands seeping through to her skin. She jumped slightly, not used to someone touching her. "For once, Martha," he said, a thrill running through her as he murmured her name, "Just tell me what you really feel and drop the professionalism for one night."
She felt like running. She wanted to run and run from this man who was demanding her true feelings, but she couldn't. Because that would just be escaping again, and she was tired of doing that. One of these days, things were going to catch up with her. Her captor had been right when he said that she was bleeding long before they arrived at her door. "Yes, I'm glad you stayed," she said, still unable to meet his gaze. "Happy now?"
"Not really," he replied, his breath fanning across her face. "You won't look at me, and that makes it a little hard."
"Hard to do what?" she asked quietly, reluctantly dragging her gaze up to lock with his intense stare, her heartbeat thudding in her chest. Her stomach had knotted itself up, and she felt for a moment like she could barely breathe, but then he spoke again, and all traces of her hard exterior melted away.
"To do this," he said, before insistently pressing his lips to hers.
His lips were warm, soft, but moving roughly against hers, trying to coax some kind of reaction out of her. And it wasn't long before he got one. Feeling herself succumb, Martha wrapped her arms loosely around his neck, her lips moving in sync with his as the practical part of her brain screamed at her to stop, and her emotional side told her to never pull back. John wasted no time in slipping his hands down to her waist, running his fingers over the gentle curves hidden beneath her jumper. Gently probing her mouth open with his tongue, John felt a rush of adrenaline shoot through his veins and she moaned, parting her lips with a heady gasp.
This was...amazing. Unlike his kisses with Adile, there was no-one taking control, but instead it was a battle for dominance – hands roaming, tongues entwined, breathing hot and heavy against each other's mouths.
"John," Martha gasped, eventually conjuring up the strength to push him away. "What are you doing?"
A smile quirked onto his face as he moved his attentions elsewhere, planting a heated trail of kisses from the sensitive corner of her mouth down along her jaw line as excitement churned in the pit of his stomach. She was something new, something different, and his heart was pounding with desire for her. "I'm kissing you, Martha."
"Yes, I gathered that..." she replied through short, heady breaths, her knees and resolve both weakening. "But –"
"But what?" he asked in a low voice, glancing up at her as his hands slipped down to rest on her hips. "Come on, Martha. Tell me, honestly, that you don't want this, and I'll stop."
There was a moment of tense, ringing silence as his words screamed in her head and her lips tingled, yearning for more. Eventually, she let out a staggered sigh, her hands slipping back up around his shoulders. "They said you were a ladies' man," she murmured as he resumed his ministrations to her neck.
"That's not strictly true," he replied, kissing her lips again. "It took a while to get you to admit it."
"Yeah, well," Martha said, her voice growing serious for the moment. "You can hardly blame me, can you?"
"No," he said with a sigh, pulling back but keeping his hands where they were. Suddenly, he smiled, his eyes brightening mischievously. "What are we going to tell the others? Especially Anthony, oh, imagine his face!"
"Mm," Martha agreed, nodding as her hands slipped down to rest against his chest, fingers tracing the contours of its muscled surface. "Maybe we just shouldn't say anything."
He raised an eyebrow slightly, leaning closer. "You want this then?" Silence greeted his question. "Martha?"
Pausing, Martha glanced down, feeling desire stir in her stomach as she realised that she now had everything she'd yearned for in the palm of her hand. Was she going to throw it away, like she had thrown so many other things away before? "Yes," she whispered, her forehead resting against his. "I want this."
Well, that was just to help me cope with the cliffhanger ending to the series. Hope it was okay, thanks for reading and please review!