Martha Jones stepped out of the TARDIS, calling back inside, "Won't be an hour! Don't you wander off!" She pulled the door shut behind her and looked around at present- day London. She sighed as she realized they were further than she'd like from where they were supposed to land. Not that she was surprised- the Doctor rarely ended up where he meant to. Given that this was the correct century, however, she figured she'd cut him some slack. After all, she was just popping back to get some stuff from home.
She pulled her jacket tighter around her, the wind wreaking havoc on her hair. As she turned around, she pictured her apartment, trying to remember where she'd put her she'd put her charm bracelet. It was her good luck charm, but she rarely wore it, which was why it'd been forgotten for so long. She'd had it her whole life, though, and it meant something to her.
Martha Jones took one step away from the TARDIS and ran straight into a breathless blonde woman with a wide mouth and kind brown eyes.
"Sorry!" Rose Tyler said, her eyes shining with anticipation. "Sorry- excuse me, sorry." She tried to push her way past Martha.
"Whoa- hold on- sorry, where d' you think you're going?" They couldn't have random people popping into the TARDIS whenever they chose. Martha had never seen this happen before. People generally ignored the big blue police box completely, just walked right past. It was almost like a- what did he call it- a perception filter.
Rose sighed, barely able to contain her impatience. "Right. I suppose I'd be wondering the same. I used to travel with the Doctor, but I… got lost. Long story." Her jaw tightened as she remembered the two worst days of her life, one filled with Daleks and Cybermen and her hands slipping from a lever, and one on a windy beach in Norway racked with sobs and goodbyes and things left unsaid. She shook her head and remembered where she was and what was in front of her. "I'm Rose Tyler. Please let me in," she said softly at last, her eyes glowing with long- lost happiness.
Martha knew who Rose was, of course. Rose was who the Doctor saw when he looked at Martha sometimes, looked right the woman he could never love and saw the one he always had. Memories flashed through her mind.
Me peeking through the crack of a door left ajar. The Doctor sitting on a bed in a pink and yellow room clutching what looked like a photo album (how domestic). Silent tears falling from his ancient, tired eyes. My heart aching to help him and jealousy raging through me at the same time.
The Doctor turning over in a bed in Shakespeare's England, murmuring, "Rose would know." My utter and complete feelings of rejection. The mask of irritation I wore to hide them.
The realization I soon came to that always, forever, there was a piece of his mind that was occupied with Rose Tyler. And the knowledge that she filled his hearts and left no room for anyone else.
Especially me. No matter how much I loved him- Oh, God, did I love him? I guess I did. Fancied him, at least. Who was I kidding.
The look in his eyes every time he saw me that reminded me that I could never, ever be his. And it killed me each time.
Love does strange things to people. So does jealousy. And Martha Jones, who loved a 900 year old alien that could never love her back as long as Rose Tyler existed in any universe, did something she never believed herself capable of doing.
"Rose? Yeah, I think he's mentioned you, a couple times," she lied nonchalantly through her teeth. "I'm Martha Jones. But why've you come back?" She tried so hard to justify what she was doing. She would be ignored if Rose came back. It would only be Rose and the Doctor- if he even let her stay. She'd probably get sent home so that they could be alone. The picture that that painted in her mind was enough to make her do this.
"I found a way back to him. Torchwood, parallel Torchwood, helped me. We found one more door between the universes- just one. It'll be closing soon and then that's it."
Jealousy was eating away at Martha and she struggled to keep her temper under control. "Well, you might want to go back before it does, so you're not stuck with a Doctor who doesn't want you around."
Confusion and heartbreak entered Rose's eyes and it almost broke Martha but not enough.
"What d' you mean?" she whispered. Martha sighed.
"It's just- I really think he's moved on. And me and him, you know…" she trailed off. "I mean, we are…" She did think, sometimes, that he cared for her. Little things he did and said, his smile, the way he would always invite her back… Rose nodded, struggling to keep the tears from her eyes.
"I told him I loved him," she said quietly. "That day on the beach. He never said it back. He ran out of time. Now I know why. Goodbye, Martha Jones."
"Goodbye, Rose. I'm sorry." She hadn't thought Rose would give up so easily.
"Never forget how lucky you are, if he's chosen you," Rose said, her voice breaking. She stroked her beloved TARDIS, gave it a gentle kiss, and whispered, "I'm sorry, Doctor."
Martha bit her lip as Rose pressed a large button around her neck. "Wait!" she cried, but it was too late. Rose looked up at her, realization dawning on her and betrayal in her eyes.
Rose Tyler disappeared forever into a locked universe.
Martha felt sick to her stomach, all anger and jealously leaving her in an instant. What had she done? Oh God what had she done…
The Doctor opened the TARDIS door and popped his head out. "Wait for what? I wasn't going anywhere, was I?" he said, pulling off his glasses.
Martha didn't move. She didn't face him. She couldn't.
"Are you all right? Martha?" She shook her head and turned around. "Martha?" he said quietly, wrapping her in a hug. "Hey. It's going to be-" he stopped dead and pulled away.
"Something's wrong." He pulled out his sonic screwdriver and held it in the air, buzzing filling the silence.
He stormed back into the TARDIS , Martha close behind, and slammed the door shut. His eyes were fire and he growled, "What the hell just happened out there?"
She looked up at him and wished she hadn't. His eyes burned with rage that scared her to death. "I can't," she whispered.
"Yes you can, Martha Jones. You'd better. Because do you know what this," he said, brandishing his screwdriver, "is picking up right now?" She closed her eyes, stopped her tears, and said,
"Yes. I do. And I'm sorry."
"Martha Martha Martha," he muttered under his breath, raking his fingers through his bed- head hair. "Tell me what happened." She clenched her jaw. The Doctor's eyes cooled and his expression turned to ice when she didn't speak. "Fine," he said.
"Please don't," she whispered as he pressed his fingers to her face.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Jones. But I will break every rule I have for Rose." How could he know? she thought. He'd obviously picked up traces or something from the other universe, but how could he have known so instinctively? So immediately?
The recent scene and visions of Rose Tyler's return flashed through the Doctor's mind. His hearts shattered every second and fury and grief and regret battled inside his soul.
The Doctor pulled his hands from Martha's face and collapsed. Nothing in all their adventures had frightened her more than the sight of her Doctor on his knees, head in his hands, so lost, so hopeless.
"She thinks I don't want her," he whispered, rare tears filling his eyes. "Oh my God she thinks I don't love her."
"Doctor?" she said timidly after a few moments passed and she couldn't stand it anymore. At the sound of her voice, he sprang up and fury couldn't even begin to describe what was written across his timeless face. "I'm… I'm sorry."
"I would hope so. Martha Jones, do you have any idea what you've done? I know Rose and I know that she believes you with every ounce of her being because she doesn't think she's good enough. And that kills me because she is so much better than me. Do you know how much I love her?" He wasn't speaking to her anymore. His eyes were a million miles away. "I burned up an entire sun just to say goodbye to her and it takes every ounce of my will not to rip both universes apart, march right through the Void myself and go get my Rose." His voice broke. He turned away from her and was silent. Martha trembled where she stood. An angry Doctor was more frightening than any enemy they'd ever encountered. She'd seen that. She'd seen his wrath and she was terrified but knew she deserved it.
"Get out," he said. His voice was calm. Quiet. Deadly.
"Doctor, just let me-" He whirled around abruptly.
"Now." Martha saw in his furious eyes that there was no arguing with him. She hated herself for this. "Martha Jones, I am asking you to leave because I don't want to hurt you. But I swear on Gallifrey itself if you do not leave it will happen. And-" He stopped abruptly, his expression softening slightly.
"I am going to find Rose. Every ounce of my will isn't enough anymore. Come hellor high water I will find her, even if I have to tear this universe apart to do it." He shook his head. "And somehow, I don't want anything to happen to you because this is going to be dangerous.
"And Martha, if you find your universe being torn to shreds, if you feel it ripping apart," he snarled, "just remember what you did. Now go." He closed his eyes and whispered, "Please."
She swallowed hard and with one last look around the TARDIS and one last glance at her Doctor, she said, "I'm sorry," and ran out into her own time and place, not stopping or turning even when she heard the TARDIS dematerialize.
Back inside the Doctor's anger evaporated and he was left shaking, clutching one of the coral struts to support himself because his knees were jelly.
But his mind was going at a million miles an hour.
"I'm coming, Rose," he whispered. "I'm coming back for you."