The Honey That Is Sweet and Bitter

Why does love always end up being synonymous with loss?

We all lost this time. Joan lost John Smith. I lost Joan. And Martha… oh, Martha Jones. You almost lost me. I almost lost you. I almost lost myself. We almost lost all of this. And as fractured and slightly awkward as it is right now, I'd never have wanted to lose this.

Ok, let me make this very clear: I would not have thrown Martha out if Joan had decided to come. Period. Full stop. Wouldn't have happened. Martha Jones is the best friend I have here. To do that would've been a betrayal of everything I am. I've made a lot of mistakes with my friends in my lives, and I'll be damned if I'm going to deliberately make any more. Rose and Sarah Jane taught me that.

It's hard, having to pretend she didn't mean what she said. Well, hard and easy. Easy to pretend, hard to think about. I know she meant it. I don't blame her or resent her. I wish I could be what she wants from me.

I could, sort of. It wouldn't be difficult. There's a planet in the Draxmora system where potions are legal. I could get love potion number nine. Or ten, whatever it is. I'm told it feels like the real thing. All I'd have to do is drink one every day. One little bottle. And all I'd have to do is let it happen. I'd love her that way. I could give her that.

Here's the thing, though: I'm told those potions taste horrible. Acidic and bitter. Hard to get down. Price you pay for "magic," I suppose. And that's the problem. Not literally, mind: I've drunk things so vile it was all I could do not to get sick. And Time Lords usually do not get sick that way.

No, the problem is that it wouldn't be real, no matter how it felt. It wouldn't be me, the Doctor, loving her the way I should. The way she deserves. And, oddly enough, I love her too much to do that to her. To give her a cork-stopper substitute. If I can't give her all of me, the real me, I'll not do it.

Martha. You deserve love and happiness. And someday, you'll have the love bit. Maybe I will too. Nothing is certain, not even for a Time Lord. It would be nice… well. It would be nice.

I wish I could say all this to her. If things ever get bad, I'll let her know how to find this journal. She should know. It isn't just because I'm lonely. It's her, too. I don't want a token idiot. For a companion and friend, I want her. Martha Jones. For all that she is.

Maybe I should introduce her to Jack. I know he'd like her. And she'd be flattered. Maybe he could—maybe they could—

Maybe I could. Someday.