Disclaimer: Doc Martin is the property of Buffalo Pictures.
I didn't make this part of "All Gone" because 1) I wanted to keep the story clean and 2) I thought the ending was quite nice, but couldn't stop my dirty mind to fill in the gap.
"What was that, Martin?" She asked with tears in her eyes.
"Louisa, you're the only reason why I'm still alive. I don't want to be without you ever again. Please marry me."
She clung her arms around his neck and covered his face with kisses. "Of course I will! You stupid, insecure, lovely, shy, brilliant man!"
"You will?" He managed to sigh between her kisses.
"Oh yes, I will. And now there's just one thing we need to do!"
"Yes, I suppose we should tell Joan right away."
"What?" Louisa let loose and looked at him incredulously. "What do you mean?"
"You agreed that there is one thing left to do. I thought you meant…"
"Tomorrow, Martin. Tomorrow is soon enough. Now I have to find out something." She took him by the hand. "Let's go somewhere where it's a bit more comfortable. Actually, I've never been upstairs here. Do you want to show me around?"
Swallowing hard he took her up the stairs.
Reaching the upper landing he looked around a bit helplessly.
"Actually, there's not much to show. Ehem…one spare room." He gestured in front of him, inviting Louisa to walk ahead, which she did. He followed her into a little room with a single bed, some built-in cupboards, a little table and chair.
"Not much, but I've really only ever used it when my parents visited. Actually, I was sleeping here then."
"I see. In very rare cases of visitors it works for a few nights."
"Otherwise there is the bathroom." He manoeuvred her onto the landing pointing to a door on the right side of the stairs. "Do you want to see?"
"Yes, Martin, I want to see it."
"Right. Step in….. Again. Not very big. Has everything necessary, though."
The room clearly bore Martin's mark all over. There was not one unnecessary item. Everything reduced to the really practical necessities. Everything shining as there was not a shred of dirt.
"Nice." Louisa nodded. "What else?"
Martin showed her out, still trying not to collide with her on the way out. Back on the landing, he was eying uncomfortably towards the only door they hadn't inspected yet.
"Right. Uhm…" He pulled himself together, opened the door, stepped inside and held the door open for Louisa to come in.
Louisa smiled rather shyly towards him and then purposefully stepped over the threshold.
"The master." Martin stated, trying hard to sound matter-of-factly, but with a deceiving crack in his voice, fixing a spot somewhere on the floor.
Louisa didn't say anything but silently looked around. Everything looked a bit, what? – grey, maybe. Maybe even a bit sad, a bit lonely and definitely impersonal, but somehow it seemed to be perfectly suited for Martin. Louisa walked over to the window overlooking the harbour, bathed in perfect sunshine. She stood in front of it, taking the views in.
"Lovely view. Do you enjoy this view sometimes?"
"Most mornings, and sometimes at summer evenings I just stand here and look how the lights appear all over Portwenn." He stood beside her now, both looking out of the window.
"I pay special attention if I can see a light in one certain window, just over there." He pointed towards her little cottage. She put her hand around his waist, making him jump slightly.
"Martin, it's OK. Relax. I just hope we don't have many opportunities in the future to look over to the other ones bedroom, separated by the whole harbour." Louisa turned, making Martin turn, too, to face her. "When you were…missing…" Louisa told him, still with sadness in her voice. "I couldn't stand to look out of my French windows. I couldn't stand the sight of this empty cottage."
"Shush. Everything's fine, Louisa. I'm back, and I'm completely OK again. I've recovered completely, except maybe for some scars." He rubbed his wrists cautiously. Louisa removed her hand from his waist and took both his hands into hers. She gently rubbed his old wounds, bringing each hand to her mouth and kissing the scars on the inner side of his wrist tenderly.
"Do you mind?" He asked as he had noticed her sad expression.
"Of course I don't. I wouldn't have minded anything, if I just got you back." She cupped his face. "That's all that really matters. Don't you see? Memory or not – scars or not. It doesn't really matter. Just you and me, together. That's important."
She moved her hands from his cheeks slowly and sensually over his neck down to his chest. He stared down at her. His nervousness grew. He remembered perfectly well what he had promised when the year wasn't even an hour old. He realised that now was the time to keep his promise. He still didn't feel quite comfortable.
"I'm afraid there's not much more to see up here." Martin cleared his throat.
"I haven't inspected everything I came up to see." Louisa brought her hands around to his back, drawing him towards her, resting her head on his chest. He didn't quite know where to put his hands, but finally rested his on her back. Louisa sighed. They stayed in that embrace for several minutes. Louisa deliberately slowed down her attempt to seduce him to make him feel more comfortable.
"So you don't want to go into the lounge yet?"
"No, Martin. I'm quite comfortable here."
"Or maybe you like some tea?" He jumped to offer. Louisa drew back a bit to look at him.
"No, Martin. Nothing what I want is downstairs." He swallowed.
"But it's just early afternoon."
"There is no time restriction for what I have in mind."
"No. Of course not." She could sense his nervousness and insecurity. She would take it slowly and gently, but she was determined to go ahead with it.
Louisa folded herself against him and spoke into his chest. "You surely haven't forgotten New Year's Eve."
Louisa waited for a response, but couldn't hear anything, maybe just him swallowing hard.
"Wasn't that quite nice?" His breath went more rapidly, otherwise no reply. "I thought – hoped maybe we could…well, you know?"
"I know what I've promised."
Now Louisa loosened that embrace and looked him straight in the eye. "No Martin. Not when it's just out of your bloody sense of duty. You don't have to bring yourself to do it just to please me. I just thought it might be quite nice. Well, the appetizer on New Year was."
"I'm just afraid you'd be terribly disappointed. I remember now. When I was at medical school, there was this other student – brilliant in her research, not so much interested in practising, actually. She…" he gulped "…thought it would be a good idea. The two of us. I finally went for it. I wasn't much of a success, when I remember correctly, but at least we could talk about medical stuff while we… Ehem." He cleared his throat.
"That's just like you!" Louisa laughed a bit, turning her head so that her hair swayed around her head. Martin stared at her. "I promise you, we won't talk about medical stuff."
"That's what I'm afraid of. I don't want to disappoint you."
"Martin, let's just try it. Without any pressure. Without any expectations. Maybe it was the wrong combination. It takes two to tango, after all." Martin didn't look at all convinced. "Now that you can remember, maybe you can try to forget about that. Try to remember New Year's Eve, or didn't you like that at all?"
"Don't say that, Louisa, you know I did." Martin sighed.
"We can continue where we…well…you know."
"I'm still not sure that's a good idea. You're so very beautiful, and so lively, and I'm…well…I'm a bit scared, to be honest."
"You weren't on New Year's Eve, were you?"
"That was different."
"Because I caught you unaware? We can build up slowly. We've got almost the whole day ahead of us. I won't rush you."
Martin was completely tense. Louisa stroked his arms.
"Why don't you freshen up a bit? We don't want to be interrupted later." She placed her hand at his neck and squeezed it. "And then I have a look what I can do for your tension. I'm not an expert, but maybe a little massage will do you good."
"If you think it's so bad, I have some medicine for muscle relaxation in my surgery."
Louisa threw her head back and laughed. Then she stroked Martin's arm gently. "That is not the same, believe me. But do you have some massage oil or something?"
"One of the medical representatives left some samples not long ago."
"Why don't you get it while I freshen up? I can use your bathroom, can I?"
"Sure you can. I'm not so sure about the massage, though. I don't think my muscles are so tense and it will be quite strenuous for you."
"Might be fun. Let's try it, please."
Louisa disappeared in the bathroom. She freshened up thoroughly, adjusted her hair and even snatched some of Martin's mouthwash. Just to be on the safe side.
Meanwhile Martin had fetched a small bottle with massage oil. On his way down the stairs he had ran his hand a couple of times over his neck, but didn't think the muscles were noticeably tense. Not more than usual. He had fairly good muscles at the shoulders and chest, so it was quite unlikely that he would suffer from problems there. Well, if it distracted Louisa from other physical contacts, then let it be.
When Martin came upstairs he went into the bathroom first, as Louisa had told him. He freshened up, then looked into the mirror. "Try your best not to disappoint her." He warned himself. "Not much to look at. I wonder why she's so eager." He was still standing in front of the mirror, when he heard Louisa.
"Martin, what's taking you so long? Shall I come in and help you?"
To be continued…