OK... So I thought that just leaving you with emo-Martha was a bit cruel, so here is the alternative ending. Please note - the first part is the same, up to the end of the conversation by the tunnel. :)
Please enjoy, I hope this remedies the sadness of Part 1!
"Haven't you got somewhere to be, Brendan?" She asked, her voice soft. The dull ache in her arm throbbed with each beat of her still-racing heart and she held the limb out at an awkward angle. Her mouth tugged briefly into the most awkward of smiles.
"Don't change your plans on my account, will you? I'll live." She knew she wouldn't, knew in her heart of hearts that there was no way she could live without this charming, handsome, infuriating Irish man in her life, knew that as soon as he left her then she would do it, could do it.
"It's John Bloom I'm worried about." She continued, raising her eyebrows at him. Why was she being so offhand, acting like it didn't matter? Why wasn't he talking to her, staying so irritatingly silent as she fought the tears that threatened to consume her? "You know, I think he's been the victim of an identity thief." She concluded, half smiling at him, waiting to see how he would react.
"Poor guy." He murmured at last, his voice hushed, apologetic, ashamed. She couldn't let him blame himself – it was, in part, her fault, workaholic Martha too busy to notice him.
"His friends knew something was wrong. But he just wouldn't let them in." She wanted more this time, more than a single word answer, but she was disappointed.
"Idiot." He responded morosely, and she found herself agreeing.
"Yeah." She paused for a brief moment. "I'll miss him though." He raised his eyebrows twice, and she cursed inwardly. Stupid. That was stupid... why did I say that? She rushed on, trying to cover her lapse in judgement. "He was a good bloke... he was a bit of an arse sometimes, but he was a good bloke." The sarcasm – always the sarcasm, that biting wit that she used to cut people down in flames. "And you know, he was really good at his job." She finished, her eyes filling with tears she knew she could not shed in front of him. "Did I say that already?" She worried out loud, wanting him to break the silence, wanting him to jump in with some comment or reassure her... more than anything she wanted him to take her in his arms and whisper to her that it would all be alright, but it could never happen. Instead, he kept staring at her, his slate-grey eyes gazing at her with so many emotions darting across his face that it was impossible to recognise a single one. The clatter of heels broke the silence, and there was Tessa, the rest of the Identity Unit in tow.
"My God, Martha, are you alright?" Tessa fussed over the younger woman like a mother would fuss over a child, the concern in her voice evident. Martha scoffed, playing down the attention.
"Yeah..." she bit her lip as she lied, the words coming easily to her.
"Oh... I've just realised, there's actually no-one left in the office..." Tessa quipped, providing the humour needed to break the tension between the five of them.
"Well, I hope you locked up..." The DSI's tone was semi-serious, and then there was José, his constant presence always enough to take the spotlight off his socially shy senior officer, making his usual comment to break the silence.
"Those gizzos in Personnel would kill for your plasmas..." he joked, and there was a beat of silence before they all laughed, Martha's natural giggle bubbling to the surface despite her pain, the only sound absent being the throaty laugh of the Irishman stood before her.
Bloom cast his eyes over her bloodstained figure once, his brooding eyes meeting her laughing ones for the briefest of moments as she looked around. He knew it was time to go. No goodbyes, no tears... just go.
As she laughed, he turned and backed away the tiniest amount, and Martha's laughter ceased. "Where are you going, John?" Her tone was curious, and he froze, unable to run now she had noticed.
"I'm... urm... nowhere." He stumbled over the words, looking down at his feet as he felt the others stares burning into him.
"Good." Martha said bluntly, a hint of fire left in her, a hint of the DSI they all knew and loved.
"Actually... I need to do something." He blurted out, needing to tell Adile the truth, needing to tell her that nothing could ever happen. He finally looked up and saw Martha raising her eyebrows at him.
"Well, you'd better come straight back." She teased, and he found himself nodding a yes, before turning and disappearing into the behind them. Martha's eyes lingered on him as he faded into the blackness, and she wondered if he really would come back. She doubted it, somehow, yet in her heart of hearts, she prayed he would.
John drove towards the bridge, dread heavy in his heart. He climbed out of the car and looked up the footpath, taking in Adile's silhouette on the darkening horizon. He walked towards her with nerves growing in his stomach, inwardly flinching at what he was about to do.
"I'm sorry." He apologised, and her face hardened, falling. He knew what was coming, and he braced himself for her words.
"My father's right about you." Her voice was bitter, resentful. "Tell her I don't give up without a fight." She threatened, and John jumped to Martha's defence without thinking.
"You lay a finger on her, and I will destroy you." He growled, and Adile's palm struck his cheek, hard.
"Who is she, Brendan? This woman who has tempted you?" Adile's voice was low and dangerous. "In fact, Brendan, I know what you like. I think she's tall. Soft. Dominant. Powerful. You like that, don't you, Brendan?" She purred, her face inches from his, her eyes challenging him, and he scoffed, pushing her away.
"Stay away, Adile. I mean that." He spat, turning and walking away from her, needing to be alone with his thoughts for a while. He went to the park he used to go to as a child, standing by the river and thinking, finally taking decisive action and retracing his steps to his car. He needed to keep his promise.
Martha lay on the sofa, a glass of vodka in her hand. She swigged back a sip, feeling it burn its way down her throat.
He said he'd come back. He'd promised her. He said he'd come back and then the bastard had just buggered off and left her like this. She wanted to get up and go to the bathroom, where she knew she could find solace in the cool razor blades beside the bathtub, staining the bathwater crimson, but she knew she could never do that. What about using her scarf to hang herself? That could work... she stood and formed a noose from the loose silk material, standing and balancing on the sofa as she threaded it through the light fitting.
Out of nowhere, there was a knock on what was left of her front door. She froze like a rabbit caught in the headlights and sprung down onto the floor, landing on her tiptoes and feeling her heartbeat race.
"Martha? I know you're in there." John called, and her heart stopped. She couldn't speak. He'd come back. He'd actually kept to his word.
She darted into the hall and pulled the door open, wrapping her jumper around herself tighter as she did so. There he was, illuminated by the moon, an apologetic look on his face.
"I said I'd be back." He smiled as he spoke, and Martha glared at him half-heartedly. "Can I come in?"
"I suppose so." She muttered, and she stood aside to let him pass. He barged straight into her lounge and took in the scarf hanging from the ceiling, turning to her.
"Oh Martha..." his tone was soft and something about it made the tears she had been holding back for so long bubble to the surface and they began to fall, slowly but surely.
"Why?" he asked her, and they tears distorted, turning to pure anger. Was he really so blind? So ignorant? Did he honestly not know how it killed her to see him walk past her so carelessly, the constant struggle she had not to let her feelings show?
"Because of you!" She burst out finally. "You and the stupid job and the fact you're never BLOODY there, and when you're there you don't even notice me or respect me and you plainly can't see how I feel!" she shouted, and John's face fell. "You just keep buggering off, and leaving me, and I thought you'd gone this time! What is this, last minute stop before you elope?"
"I'm not going anywhere, Martha." He promised, his tone genuinely remorseful.
"You've said that before, John!" She screamed, and his face was suddenly angry.
"I MEAN IT!" His voice was suddenly raised, and Martha, too angry and upset to think rationally, shouted back, her face a mask of fury and tears.
"WHY? WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS TIME?" Her voice was choked with tears but still hard, still bitter, and then John was running towards her, seizing her around the waist and then his lips were on hers. The kiss was full of passion and rage and sorrow and Martha's cheeks were salty with tears, but neither wanted to pull away. When John finally did, Martha was staring at him, amazed.
"This time I love you." He whispered, and she smiled, leaning into his arms.
"I love you too."