Title: Constant Companion
Characters/Pairings: Primarily Tenth Doctor/Martha (random off-hand references to Tenth Doctor/Rose and Tenth Doctor/Astrid)
Word Count: 1513
Genre: Dark, Angsty Romance Ficlet?
Rating: R for sexual situations
Spoilers: Plot takes place just after Voyage of the Damned
Summary: “She’d walked the world in part to save him, but her walking away had almost destroyed him.”
All your Doctor Who are belong to us
Sadly, I own nothing related to Doctor Who et al, though I have Ten(nant) and the TARDIS currently on my wish list (didn’t get either for Christmas though – bugger!).
Author Notes: So, I attempted to write something more porny and fluffy (which I am still working on, by the way), but an angsty Ten!Bunny made me write this instead. It’s about the Doctor grieving the loss of Martha and, by extension, everyone else he has lost. I feel like Astrid gets a bit harsh treatment in things, to be honest, but that is where the story led me. *shrug* This work hasn’t been beta’d, so all mistakes are my own (yes, persiflage_1
, I think I will certainly take you up on beta stuff in the future – honestly I was just too tired of looking at this admittedly emotionally exhausting piece that I just wanted to get it posted and off my plate despite any errors). As always, still getting used to writing again, so that is also a handicap. Feedback is happy-making though, so please leave a word or two.
The Doctor knew the legends surrounding him. People spoke of him and his companions, but most of all they spoke of his one constant companion: Death."I travel alone, it’s best that way"
He had lied to Mr. Copper, of course. He lied and tried to cover it up with charm and humor, like he always did. That was his way, especially with this regeneration.
Death was still on him, scenting his clothes like cigarette smoke, insinuating itself into the fibers of fabric like a disease he couldn’t shake. It reminds him of all of the people that died on the Titanic that day. And all of the ones he’s lost.
For a moment, he even thinks he can just change his clothes – maybe even burn the cursed dinner jacket ensemble all together – to rid himself of it. Then he laughs at himself for even thinking such a thing, a dark hollow laugh that feels almost as if it is puncturing his insides with little needles as it pushes up through his throat and out. He knows instead, more accurately, the welling pain comes more from the burning desire to tear himself apart in times like this than simply being inherent in the laugh itself. As if he could destroy himself from the inside out, destroying cell by cell, much like he does with every painful regeneration – though this time forever.
Once inside the TARDIS, he lets out a strangled cry of anguish and the sound hurts less than the laugh did and that somehow startles him a bit. He’s clawing at his clothes, pulling them off roughly, trying in vain to separate himself from the scent of death that follows him as he makes his way up the ramp to the console.
No, he needed to be alone. He needed
to lie to Mr. Copper. He just isn’t safe to be around. People die around him. People get hurt around him –“Doctor, let her go.”
“I can do anything!” he had shouted in defiance, trying to pull back Astrid from the dead (wanting to pull them all back really – from the Titanic, from Gallifrey, his companions – if he could).
He knew that he couldn’t though.
As much time as he’d spent over the last few years fancying himself a god, his imagined apotheosis, in the end he wasn’t omnipotent. In the end, he was as powerless as all the rest of them.
The Doctor lay down on the cold metal gating of the floor near the console, curled naked in a fetal position as he began to weep. His thoughts began to feel as if they were crashing into him, wave after wave in a harsh storm of emotion with its wind whistling throughout, whistling just one word, one name: Martha.
Hoping to change her mind about leaving him, the Doctor visited Martha again and again (and she refused him again and again) after surviving the incident aboard the Titanic spaceship. He had hoped in vain to just move on, like he always tried to do, but just couldn’t stop thinking of her.
No, she had eased herself too deeply under his skin – so deftly that he hadn’t realized until it was too late. She was a part of him now, tangled in his emotions and memories.
Worse yet, as close as she was to his hearts, she never seemed farther away. “This is me, getting out.”
The Year that Never Was had consumed him with obsessive thoughts of her while she roamed the Earth below. He never had the chance to tell her of this, of course. That is, more accurately, he was unable to pull the words from within to apologize to her and finally tell her how much she meant before she left him.
A hapless wordsmith at a loss for the right words at the right time, he could only watch her walk out the door of the TARDIS, while his body and mind felt paralyzed with the stark emotion filling his senses. Love, loss, longing, guilt – all of them coiling in his stomach as if they were bile.
She’d walked the world in part to save him, but her walking away had almost destroyed him.
---“You should see me in the mornings”
Astrid should have never died for him, he thought ruefully. Had she known she was only really a pawn to help assuage his recent devastating loss with the comforting touch of another, perhaps she might still be alive somehow.
Of course, he was admittedly rather fond of Astrid – like he is of many humans – but when he met her he had an agenda to not get attached again so soon. He knew such an agenda had not worked when he’d tried the same thing previously, but he still fooled himself that it might work this time nonetheless. He was always at his most convincing when he lied to himself.
Astrid’s sweet naiveté had made it so simple, really. It had made him believe for one moment that perhaps he could use her to fill the void within him. It also certainly helped that she hadn’t been so keen to ask him many questions about himself so he could pretend to be whomever or whatever he wanted to.
It was just as he had tried with Martha – that is, until she began to pull the truth from him in the underbelly of New New York and with that truth the walls between them began their slow crumble.Oh, Martha...
Attempting to replace people he loved with new ones was never his forte, but trampling over the feelings of young women seemed to be what he did best. It had been no different with Astrid. He hated that about himself – trying to convince himself of all the good he’s done and to forget about the bad – but then when he does he remembers crying eyes and mascara painted cheeks on a lonely beach and everything in him sinks in despair.
Sometimes he thinks he is too old for it all.
All these people, they all see the young form he inhabits – and they all eye it with furtive lascivious glances and fall easily for the charming words that fall from its lips – but they don’t see how ancient he really is, how antediluvian.
Sometimes he gets caught up in the game with them, courting them across the universe with stars for their wallpaper, alien grass for picnic lunches, and time and space at their fingertips.
Sometimes he even imagines that he really is
young again and that the regeneration is a reset button of sorts, but its all just fleeting before his life comes crashing back on him.
Sometimes it all just seems much too much for him.
He submits to her, letting her ride above him and press his arms hard against the grating on the floor.
“Don’t speak,” is all she says. Her tone is harsher than he would like, but he is so happy that she is talking to him again that he doesn’t really care.
“Martha,” he breathes out – long and lilting as if a song – unable to stay silent as he succumbs to his climax with her above him.
He then feels her own take her just after. In that moment, he thinks how beautiful she is and how peaceful she looks as it washes over her and he watches intently as her eyes sparkle and her body relaxes (finally truly relaxing after all the horror she’d seen). He wants to smile up at her as he admires her, but stops short of doing so as her tension quickly returns as soon as she looks down at him again. The darkness rises in her face and eyes and he loses her again to the pain of all she’s been through. It feels as if he is looking into a void and he can no longer reach her to keep her from falling backward into its depths.
He still holds his hands out for her nonetheless.
She beats fists against his chest and he knows she is angry with him again. He also knows that he deserves it, but still somehow revels in the bruises that she is leaving on his skin – marks made manifest of the pain he is feeling inside, as if his conscience was pushing from thought to the physical.
He wakes with a start, his skin gleaming with sweat and his clothes sticky with semen.
He’s in his bed and he slowly realizes it was a dream as he checks his skin for bruises (and is slightly saddened momentarily to find none). Dreams of Martha are calling to him in the darkness, as if he were John Smith at Farringham again, but this time he knows that she will not be in his room momentarily to bring him food or tend to his needs. His stomach lurches at the thought and he pulls the pillow down to his chest, stroking it as he wishes he could just stroke her hair.“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry”