Author's Notes: Goes somewhat AU at the very end of '42'. The first line is a direct quote from that episode.


"So! Didn't really need you in the end, did we?" Martha jokes. She immediately sees that he's not in the mood for it, though, and she can hardly blame him. "Sorry," she adds. "Bit of a close one for both of us, though, wasn't it?"

"Yeah," the Doctor admits quietly. "Too close."

Martha goes to ask him if he's all right, knowing that he'll probably just lie or fob her off the way she's noticed he tends to do whenever things get a little too personal. Abruptly, though, he's appears directly in front of her, clear across the TARDIS from where he'd been a moment ago, like something straight out of Harry Potter.

His lips seal against hers, cutting her off before she can even get the first word out.

It's the second time she's been kissed in less than two minutes, Martha realises through her shock. She must have really done something right out there on that spaceship. This, though, isn't just some crew member who she'll sadly probably never see again. It's the Doctor, and the kiss is filled with just the kind of purposeful desperation she's been wanting from him since it was hinted at by that peculiar kiss in the hospital where she first met him.

She's been dying for this for days on end (or is it weeks by now?), and he's finally right there with her.

When he backs her against the central console, she feels as though her legs are about to fall out from under her. Martha grabs onto the edge of the console with one hand and onto his shoulder with the other to find some leverage. His tongue delves so deep into her mouth and he pushes so firmly against her, then, that Martha sort of suspects – in the brief moments when proper thought is even a possibility – that he's trying to burrow into her and find a kind of shelter there.

That's what pulls her up short. That thought brings an almost unwanted sanity along with it.

He'd been so terrified when that sun was taking him over; scared in a way that Martha hadn't imagined she'd ever see him, to the point that he'd even admitted it outright. He clings to her now the way he'd tried and almost failed to cling onto his life then. Martha knows, in that instant of circumspection, that he's doing this for a very different reason than she is.

It's one thing to believe that he's kissing her when he doesn't love her the way she does him. They can work up to that, and it's clear that he does care about her. But she gets the feeling that, actually, she could be anyone right then. He needs someone to lean against, sure, but it doesn't necessarily have to be her.

"Wait," Martha gasps as his hand dips beneath the bottom edge of her shirt, his fingers just barely making contact with soft skin before she jerks away from him. She's embarrassed that he sees the way she staggers the first few steps away from him before she grabs onto a nearby railing for support. She'd rather he didn't know how affected she is. It was far too late to hide it since the moment their lips met, though.

A look of shame crosses the Doctor's face.

"I don't think right now is the best time for that, yeah?" Martha says sadly.

The Doctor doesn't reply. He just looks away from her.

Martha nods slightly to herself and then turns to leave the room as steadily as she can manage away. He doesn't try to stop her. When she escapes in the hallway, she slumps heavily against the wall, breathing deeply.

She won't lie. She's definitely sorely tempted to just take whatever she can get from him. And she really does want to share in his relief and help him however she can, since he so obviously needs it. But a line has to be drawn somewhere.

While she hopes more than anything that one day soon he'll approach her again, this time for more than just passing comfort, she can't quite bring herself to settle for anything less than at least having his full attention on her and her alone.

She's better than that.

~FIN~