A hand is thrust out in front of her. She raises an eyebrow, and takes it unquestioningly. The man himself is of average height, yet there's something in his deep, greengreen eyes that reminds her of London; something about his choppy, sandy-blonde hair rustling in the wind that gives her the image of windmills out in the country of England; something in his smile, his oldyoungoldsmile that sparks her memories of the Doctor.
And she's not sure if it's a good thing.
"Hello," she greets him cautiously, taking his hand, "and you are?"
As she shakes his hand (firm, strong, like he's sure of himself and that for some reason reminds her of Harriet Jones), one of the UNIT members beside him jolts into action. He's friendly with kind, hard eyes and brown hair.
"This is Arthur Kirkland," he introduces, "he's a special advisor to the Prime Minister."
Martha raises her eyebrow even higher, if possible.
"Oh really?" she asks, trying to balance the level of skepticism and polite respect.
The reprimand is sharp. "Jones!" the UNIT guard scolds her.
Kirkland gives out a laugh, like he's amused or he's gone through this several times because no onehas heard of him.
"It's really alright, Ross," he addresses the UNIT guard. He leans back to the other men in black surrounding the group and whispers something to them. The UNIT guards and other men in black cast each other unsure glances, but leave without a word of protest.
Kirkland watches them leave with a sort of grandfatherly smile. Martha stares at him, watches him, and tries to tell if he is good.
"Now then," Kirkland says, clapping his hands together (pale, like they've never seen the sun, but strong).
Martha stands firm. "Who exactly are you?" she demands. (Because she knows something is up, something is different about him that reminds her of the many people she'd encountered during the year that never was, that reminds her of the Doctor).
Kirkland smiles and walks over to a curb. He sits down and pats the area next to his left.
Is all he says.
She could have run, but something about his voice compels her to come closer.
As she settles herself next to him, one hand cautiously hovering over a gun, she watches him.
"Martha Jones, thank you."
She definitely hadn't been expecting that.
He turns to her, eyes still the same deep green. (Reminds her of the London grass on the sunny day after a long rain.)
"I was on the Valiant, Martha Jones."
And then it clicked, it made sense, it made absolute sense.
No, it didn't.
"You…? You were on the Valiant? When? How did—"
He's still staring at her.
Then he looks away. He fiddles with the end of his suit jacket, plays by fingering the seams, rubbing it in circles as if trying to memorize them. He casts his eyes down, looks unsure all of a sudden.
"Miss—no, it's Mrs. Jones, now, isn't it?" he asks, still looking away.
Martha smiles, proudly, bears her ring. "Yes," she says, "but sir, are you alright?"
He pauses before starting, as if preparing for a long speech ahead.
"Martha Jones, there are many things you don't know. Thousands. Millions. Even I don't know them. And I have lived for a long time… a very long time…" he pauses as he says the last part, looks up from the ground and high into the sky, as if wanting to go back.
Martha sits, unsure of whether or not to interrupt his time of contemplation.
"How long?" she asks after a few seconds of nothing but UNIT cars passing by and the occasional shout.
He turns to her and smiles.
"Even I don't know that answer," he says and gives her a wistful glance.
"Who are you? Just—who are you really? You're not who you seem—I mean, you were on the Valiant, which means you must be someone special, someone important and—" she stops, turns to face him, mouth slightly agape, "just who are you?"
Kirkland scoots closer now and turns to face her fully.
"Trust me," he answers, placing his hands on each side of her face, just covering the cheekbones.
And she does. Martha closes her eyes and thinks of London.
Waves, the sea, called for her; the skyscrapers towered, looming over her small figure and casting large chunks of shadows, and Martha swore she could see Big Ben.
"Welcome home, Martha Jones," England whispers.