This story is inspired by and follows on from the events in Doc Martin, Series 2, Episode 6 "The Family Way" - written by Dominic Minghella and Edana Minghella. Doc Martin belongs to Buffalo Pictures.

Without Interruption - Part 8

Martin and happiness

Louisa looked over to the window at the end of the dining area and saw the blinds being jostled by wind. It was apparently a lamp that had tumbled after being hit by the blinds, just missing the couch.

The pub owner headed over there, and he closed the window. Martin returned just as the owner offered, "Bloke just came in and said a strong storm front was headed this way. He popped in to avoid it. Guess I'd advise you staying around for a bit."

He walked away and came back by them with a broom and pan.

Martin frowned, not sure what to think yet.

"Is that okay, Louisa?"

"I don't need to rush home for anything, if that's what you mean. Do you?"

"No. No, best to be safe."

Louisa led them to a table in the empty dining area. Outside items clattered as thunder could now be heard. Louisa shivered almost imperceptibly.

Martin, always more attuned to her than he even consciously realised, asked, "Anything wrong? Are you cold?"

"No, Martin. It's silly, really. I should be completely used to thunderstorms after living nearly my whole life out here. But some storms are stronger, and I guess I haven't gotten over my initial fear of them. Used to be alone a lot, after my mum left us. You know, with no one to run to when I was scared. Don't you sometimes miss when your mum would cuddle you to make you feel safe?"

As soon as she'd said the words, Louisa knew it was the wrong thing to say to Martin. For just a moment his face contorted into a pained expression before he looked away, straightened his shoulders, and cleared his throat.

But she didn't let him speak. She put her hand on his arm immediately and said, "Oh, Martin, I'm so sorry. What a stupid thing to say after what you've told me."

She subconsciously rubbed her hand up and down his arm, leaning closer to do so.

"She never did, did she? Comfort you?"

His eyes were once again as sad as could be as he answered, "No. Not that I remember. Only Joan ever, really."

Louisa really couldn't stand it anymore. She rose to go to him, but, at the same time, there was a clap of thunder. Along with the flash, it sounded as though the lightning had hit the pub. She ended up lunging from her seat towards Martin. As surprised as he was, Martin's reflexes were quick and he literally caught her. Within moments, Louisa went from comforting him to being comforted by him.

There was another loud clap, and now he could feel her tremble in his arms. Martin gave her a reassuring squeeze.

"Should pass soon," he murmured, his lips lightly brushing her temple.

Louisa normally liked Martin's voice, but hearing it soft and close, it sounded beautiful. She breathed in and then realised where she was. On Martin's lap. She lifted her head from his chest and there was another thunderclap. This one sounded like the storm might be moving away, so although she had tensed, she now relaxed somewhat.

She didn't trust herself to look at Martin, and turned slightly to stand. Martin stopped her by taking her hand in his.

"Are you okay, Louisa?" he asked, with infinite kindness.

Now she was embarrassed.

"Yes, Martin. I'm sorry. For that."

"No. Quite alright."

She stood, but he didn't let go of her hand.

She tried to sound a bit brighter. "Just a storm... you know?"

Louisa looked at Martin. It had been a confusing couple of weeks for her. From Danny being around and pressuring her, for, she now realised, that was what he was doing, to Martin's reactions from jealousy, both his anger and sadness. She was so encouraged by his opening up to her today.

Martin looked at Louisa and decided that talking with her had given him hope, as well as made the tightness around his heart ease. He wanted her. He needed her. And he knew he had to make whatever effort necessary to make her his.

Martin stood, and he led Louisa to the end of the room. It was very dark from clouds, he noted, but the couch was faced so they wouldn't have to look at the storm. He maneuvered her onto the couch, and then sat close to her.

He was trying not to think about it all too much. As soon as the idea to put his arm around her came to mind, he did it. She leaned into him comfortably, and he felt he was possibly doing the right thing for the first time in a long time.

"Louisa, I'm sorry for the way I've been lately."

"It's okay, Martin. I know why now." She turned more towards him. "And I do believe we've sorted out what we really think about each other. Don't you?"

Once again, Martin did not take long to think. "Yes," he said, then leaned in and kissed her.

The End

[Thank you for reading and reviewing my first story, ever, and for offering encouragement. I've continued to edit as I added chapters, but even though it's finished, if you have word or phrase suggestions, please let me know. And, also, sorry if you could tell I'm an American writer of this British show. I also hope you don't mind that I tried not to be.]

End of Part 8