-0-0-0- Disclaimer: The BBC owns "Doctor Who" and all related characters; Warner Bros. owns "Smallville" and all related characters; I own nothing.
Martha Jones is blind, and cannot see. One stupid accident was all it took; one simple mistake, and her sight is gone and she is shrouded in blackness. She can hear-oh, yes, she can hear. Hear the doctors talking about her like she isn't really there. Hear her mother and her sister whispering quietly, wondering what to do. Hear her brother pace back and forth. Hear her father say nothing at all. Every sound, every movement is amplified, as if her body is compensating for something she no longer has.
Her first steps are tentative, nothing like the assertive stride she gained while traveling across the world in a year. No one supports her. She won't let them, although she knows that they're hovering just out of arms reach from her, ready to catch her if she falls. She won't though, not if she can help it. She's still Doctor Martha Jones. She still has some dignity, even if she's grasping at it with straws that seem harder to hold on to as it becomes more and more apparent that her condition is permanent.
One step, then another, the cane in her hand gently tapping out a rhythm only she can hear. Slowly, oh so slowly, she manages to cross the room without any help. She hears the small sounds of relief coming from her family, from her fellow doctors, and for a moment, she swear she can hear a person smiling. She wonders how she missed that sound before.
Martha Jones is blind, and cannot see, and is slowly learning that the world has no room for somebody like her. Everything she took for granted is now gone, taken by the explosion that took her sight. She feels her anger and frustration mounting by the second and there is no way for her to lance this wound. She's trying to heal, but it's so hard. So damn hard.
She feels dumb, trying to read by running her fingers over a series of dots and not understanding. She can speak, yes, but she feels as if language has been robbed from her and won't be given back any time soon. But she won't quit. Not when she still knows that she's the same Martha Jones that walked the Earth, spreading her story to everyone she met. She still has that fire in her, that determination, and she's not going to let it go out even when it seems like the world is conspiring against her.
She's on disability leave from UNIT, but she wonders how long that will last. How long until she no longer has a job. The world is not made for somebody like her, she's slowly discovering, somebody who's been robbed of sight.
Martha Jones is blind, and cannot see, and is wondering when everybody will stop treating her like she's somehow less than who she used to be. Who she still is. She's not some fragile doll to be protected and coddled and treated like she's about to break, even when she feels like she's almost to that point.
Only Jack still treats her the same when he comes to see her. But even that leaves a bitter taste in her mouth when he leaves, taking with him the memory of what she's trying to cling to. She sits in her room for hours, not crying because crying would show weakness, trying to remember all that she has seen and finding it harder than it had been a month ago. The only thing she can clearly see is the Doctor's bright blue box and the impossible man inside who opened so many doors that now seem to be only closing in her face. Briefly, bitterly, Martha wonders if she had never met him, would she still be able to see her niece's face instead of relying only on touch and memory.
There are moments when she swears she can see, but they're gone before she can say anything. So she keeps quiet, keeping this discovery to herself. Eventually, she discovers the common denominator: darkness. Pure, unadulterated darkness. She would find this hysterical if it weren't so ironic.
Martha Jones is blind, and cannot see, and is sick of it. She starts looking into ways to regain her sight when she discovers a man who could see in the dark. Peter Cross, an American who was last in Metropolis. Careful not to get her hopes up, because that would set herself up to fall, Martha quietly arranges her trip and leaves by leaving a message on her mother's phone seconds before her plane leaves.
Landing in Metropolis, she quietly hails a cab and instructs him to take her to Dr. Cross' last known address. They're halfway there when the cab screeches to a halt, throwing Martha hard against the seat belt before jerking her back. She hears noises, shouting, and the flutter of large wings before something happens. She can see, and it lasts for more than a second. Something is happening, and it's dark outside and Martha can see.
Ignoring the sounds of fighting and the cabbie's urges to stay where it's safe, she climbs out of the car, hated cane in hand, just in case. Martha walks, ignoring the sounds of people panicking around her, trying to determine the source of the darkness. It's not until a warning is shouted her way and strong arms pick her up that she realizes how close she is to danger. She was too lost in trying to discover how she could see again.
She hears the man behind her muttering under his breath about civilians who get in the way, but before she can respond, light flashes again and she loses her sight but not before she spies a man, dressed up like some sort of cat lying injured on the ground.
Martha Jones is blind, but she can see in flashes of darkness. She tells-no, orders-the person carrying her to put her by the downed man. His voice, young and old at the same time and so heavy with grief, argues, telling her that it's too dangerous for civilians to be getting in the way. She quietly states that she's not a civilian, that she's a doctor, and that its her duty to help where she can. All she needs is for there to be no light.
The man doesn't say anything, but she can feel them changing direction, and she feels her feet gently touch the ground. Moments later, shapes fills her vision again, and she can see the man lying in front of her. Hoping, praying that the darkness lasts long enough for her to do her job, Martha kneels down and quickly assesses the damage. He's bleeding heavily from a cut on his chest, and there's probably internal bleeding that will need to be stabilized. The one thing that puzzles her is his outlandish costume.
The sounds of fighting have ended, and she hears footsteps behind her. Not taking her eyes off her patient, she asks if they have a place where she can treat him, and where she will still be able to see. She doesn't know if she should find it reassuring or not that they accept her temporary sight as normal.
Martha Jones is blind, but she had been able to see. After treating the man in the cat costume, she's approached by the man with the wings and another man. The darkness has gone, and she's back to relying on her ears to tell her what her eyes cannot.
The man with the wings talks, and she listens, both to his words and the paradox in his voice. He offers her a gift for your services and Martha's heart temporally stops. He offers her sight. Special glasses that would allow her to see as long as she wore them, designed using Dr. Cross' old notes. He also offers her something even more important: a job, serving as the doctor for what he calls the Justice Society. She hears no pity in his voice, only professionalism, and if she strains hard enough, an undercurrent of respect.
It only takes the space of a heartbeat for her to accept.
Martha Jones may be blind, but she can see and she has found a new purpose in her life. Living in Metropolis, she serves as the doctor for the emerging superhero community, treating normals and aliens alike using her new glasses to see.
She tries at first to avoid the name that Carter, the man with the voice, gives her: Doctor Midnight. She doesn't feel comfortable with the idea of having a secret identity. But, as much as she tries to ignore the name, the more people call her that, until it just becomes second nature to respond to it. When Jack finds out, he has a good laugh with her, and then proceeds to caller her Martha Midnight. Fortunately, nobody else picks up on that particular nickname.
Standing in her lab in the Society brownstone, Martha smiles as she surveys her new domain. She is everything she was, and now she is so much more. Martha Jones may be blind, but there is no way she's going to let that slow her down and stop her from saving the world at least one more time.