Title: I Never Do This
Word Count: 2348
Genre: Angsty romance
Rating: R [for sexual situation]
Spoilers: Up through the end of S4’s “The Sontaran Stratagem” [but with references up through the end of “The Doctor’s Daughter”, which will likely end very differently than this story, of course]
Summary: The Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes.
Beta: The uber-wonderful persiflage_1
All your Doctor Who are belong to us
Sadly, I own nothing related to Doctor Who et al, or Martha would have been treated better in S3.
Author Notes: This is a really
weird piece about the Doctor trying to give Martha a proper goodbye. I freely admit that it is a bit f*cked up and I am not sure if I am happy with it, but “The Sontaran Stratagem” did strange things to my brain, so what do you do? Thanks so much as always to the super-dooper persiflage_1
who beta’d this piece – girl, you are a star! Any other mistakes are all mine. Feedback is happy-making, so please leave a word or two [even if I am a bit slack in responding, your comments always make my day].
The Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes.
Even in this particularly loquacious regeneration – a regeneration who, by rights, should be a expert wordsmith -- he seemed to be always dreadful at saying the wrong thing or, in many cases, not saying enough, when parting with those he cared about.
He needed to change this -- he could feel it pulsing within him. He needed to advance things again.
Mourning his losses found him feeling as if he was going nowhere. A life of perpetual forward motion was now reduced to near stagnancy, like a stuck automobile with its wheels spinning helplessly, only serving to burn the road beneath it and fling mud over everything around it.
A casualty of this indiscretion was a human woman woven deeply into the fibers of his recent thoughts -- his beautiful, wounded doctor, Martha Jones. Burned and muddied at his hands.
He needed to change this -- he could feel it pulsing within him. He needed to advance things again.
But the Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes, especially with those he loved.
The TARDIS wheezed its arrival, a herald from the universe, pressed between the delicate pages of time and space. It was raining in the alley, the Doctor noticed as he’d stepped out, raining just like that first day –Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden. Except for cheap tricks.
He made his way down the alley and then pressed his shoulder against the brick across the street from the tavern – Market Tavern. His hands were shoved deep into his pockets as he surveyed the scene, letting the memories flood through him of Martha and her family, of the yelling and fighting, and finally of Martha’s expression when she first saw him there. None of that was there now, though, just a few random people milling about and the soft sounds of music seeping out into the street from the tavern.
The Doctor could feel the tingling in his fingertips and knew she was close. He moved toward the tavern, the tingling – a very strong feeling of This Is Not Right, This Is Forbidden
-- becoming more insistent and making its way deeper into his limbs as he drew closer to her, drew closer to the tavern doors and made his way inside.
His eyes adjusted to the low light and through the swirls of smoke, he spotted her on the far side of the room – Martha Jones. Now a few years before he’d met her, she was only about 19 years old in this time frame.
It was not the Martha he’d known, but a younger one, an unbroken one.
He moved deftly through the throngs of people, almost like a predator, as he worked out the situation. She was sitting with another girl, but otherwise alone, and was seemingly entranced in a conversation.
“Come on Martha, you need to have more fun. You’re going to drive yourself insane with all the studying you do,” the Doctor heard Martha’s friend say as he made his way past their table.
A glass knocked over as a false show of clumsiness gave opportunity to replace her drink, then he eased into the conversation with charming flirtations, and then the words between them went on for hours until he and Martha were the last people in the place –
It all led to them alone in the alley, close to the TARDIS, yet still hiding around the corner. The Doctor had Martha pressed against the brick wall – a wall so close to where he would invite her to join him on his ship years later with lies about needing to be alone, coupled with begging for her to stay with him
– and he was kissing her. The Doctor was kissing her like the many times he’d wished for in dreams.
“I never do this,” Martha whispered against his ear.
He knew in her youth she was probably a little too trusting and he kicked himself a bit for taking advantage and using his charisma to seduce her, but he wanted this, needed this.
Legs around hips and soft cries echoing against the walls in alley, they made love passionately, ferociously – kissing, and moving, and sighing, and moaning. The incessant tingling from dabbling in her timeline was reaching a fevered pitch, causing his body to tremble, but it only seemed to fuel his desire that much more.
“Martha Jones, you were never second best,” the Doctor panted against the damp skin of her neck.
Martha only groaned in response, seemingly too caught up in his actions to speak to his confusing words.
“Martha Jones, I am so sorry for all that I did. I made so many mistakes, so very many mistakes with you and yet you saved me, in so many ways, you saved me,” he continued, his lips still pressed to her neck as he moved in and out of her, rivulets of tears now falling from his eyes.
Martha called out from her climax and the Doctor’s followed quickly behind, rushing after her like a river down a newly formed crevice of earth, out of control as gravity takes hold.
He eased her down from his hips and watched as she smoothed her skirt back down. The two of them finished dressing and he tried to ignore the curious look she was giving him. He looked back at her and lunged at her for another kiss, face in hands, almost like he had on the Moon.
“Martha Jones, I love you,” he whispered as he broke the kiss, looking down at Martha with her eyes closed and her expression dazed. He slid his fingers further up to press against her temples. “Now forget me.”
He then broke from their embrace and quickly walked away from her, so that she wouldn’t see him again. The Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes.
The TARDIS materialized outside Royal Hope Hospital. The Doctor checked himself in as John Smith, much as he would do later in the timeline. Martha was now 21 and while the tingling from messing with her timeline still plagued him, he pushed it down (much like most things he didn’t want to deal with).
“You are very beautiful,” he whispered to Martha, winking at her from the bed.
She was in a group of students who were making rounds and his hearts clenched a bit at the similarities of the circumstances to when they first met. She had blushed at his comment and he tried not to pull her into his arms, missing the feel of her against his skin even though they’d only made love a few hours before (for him, that is – for her it was an experience two years before that she would never remember).
“Hello again,” he said, when she appeared in his room later that evening.
“Good evening, Mr. Smith. Are you doing well?” She was trying to sound professional, but the blush coloring her cheeks and the soft scent of her arousal, showed she had more things on her mind.
They soon eased into conversation. It started out casual, but somehow ended up deeper, interlaced with Martha discussing her hopes and dreams with him in the half-light of the room, in the dark of the night.
“I never do this,” she said with an embarrassed laugh. He remembered the last time she’d said those words, her warm body wrapped around his and sweet moans dropping from her lips, as heavy as his hearts. This time she simply meant talking so long, so intimately, to a stranger.
“I am honored, Martha Jones. You will do great things and one day you might just save the world.”
She laughed at him and gave him a small teasing nudge against his side. “And what are you, a psychic?”
“No, I just know your future,” he said, waggling his eyebrows in an attempt to lighten things, though his eyes betrayed something darker.
“And what will happen to me? Happy marriage? Kids?” she said, her tone skeptical.
“You will fall in love with a man who will be too caught up in himself to give you back the love you need. You will save his life again and again but he will push you away, even when he knows somewhere deep inside that he truly loves you despite his protests. You will walk the world for him, save the entire universe, and then you will walk away from him. He will never tell you how much he loves you and how important to him you are, because he lost his chance. He will lose you.”
Martha looked at him sadly. “That’s not very happy is it?” she replied quietly, “No winning lottery numbers or even three kids in a semi?”
He looked back at her, trying to calm his breathing and keep the tears from falling. “Sometimes we don’t get what we want in life, Martha. Sometimes it just slips through our fingertips.”
“I should go,” Martha started to stand, suddenly feeling uncomfortable.
The Doctor grabbed her hand, “I am sorry, I am so sorry, for everything.” She probably thought he’d meant the conversation, he knew, but for him it was for so much more.
“It’s okay, Mr. Smith,” Martha responded, softening a bit.
“Come here, I have a secret to tell you.”
Martha looked down at the Doctor, still holding his hand, as he beckoned her forward with his other hand. She seemed reticent, but still leaned forward until she was almost cheek-to-cheek with him.
“You were never second best,” he whispered, pressing his lips against her cheek and moving his hands into her hair.
She started to slowly move back, confusion obvious on her face, but he moved his fingertips to press against her temples. “Now forget this,” he whispered.
Martha moved from him and made her way out of the door, her memories slowly resetting themselves so that she wouldn’t remember her conversation with him. Once she was out of the room, the Doctor quickly dressed and made his way outside to his ship, trying to contain the sobs welling within him.
The Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes, especially with those he loved.
The Doctor had jumped around several more times in Martha’s timeline, trying to work through what he deemed a proper goodbye. Sarah Jane told him he should give proper goodbyes and here he was practicing in the most irresponsible way to see what Martha liked best. Still, despite all that, despite his lonely attempts at setting things right, he never expected to see her again in a timeline where she’d known him.
His hearts had practically stopped when Martha’s phone rang and Donna -- so empathic to his needs – soothed him as he paced around after the call was finished. He was terrified to see Martha again, knowing that looking into her eyes would make him remember even more clearly what he’d done to her and what he’d not
said to her when he should have.
He had been obsessing over how to properly speak to Martha ever since he’d swung her in his arms again, going over lines and lines in his head so many times that even when he thought Donna was on her way out of his life as well, his frantic brain led him to start saying them all to her as well.
Donna was thankfully patient and teased him for it, but whispered, “Good job” in his ear on the way to her house. She seemed to know that his words were for someone else as well.
Leaning against the door of his TARDIS, after fighting the Sontarans and the Hath, the Doctor finally found a quiet moment with Martha. Donna had gone inside already, squeezing his shoulder in support as she passed.
“Martha Jones you saved the world,” he finally said, his words coming out without thought.
He could see Martha flinch a bit and suddenly felt as if he were back again during their previous goodbye – the one that she remembered, the one that had been so lacking for the two of them – and he wondered if she was back there too.
She opened her mouth to speak. He imagined she was going through the motions of the last time: “Yes, I did. I spent a lot of time with you thinking I was second best, but you know what? I am good.”
“No!” he said, desperately.
Martha looked up at him startled, obviously confused by his sudden outburst, as she’d not yet said anything.
“Martha Jones, you were never second best, never ever.
I was just too caught up in myself to tell you otherwise, but I am telling you now, you got that?” He was beginning to ramble, but he didn’t care, the right words were finally coming out, the words that needed to be said. “You did so much for me, so very much, you saved my life again and again, and in so many ways. Martha, you mean so much to me and I am sorry if I ever ever
made you think otherwise. If I could change it all, well,
if I could change it all and not
implode the universe, I would do so in a second.”
Martha looked almost stunned as she regarded him, blinking rapidly at his words.
“I never do this,” he then added with a sigh as he leaned forward, taking Martha’s face into his hands, and began to kiss her. He wasn’t sure if his words meant the kiss, saying goodbye correctly, were echoes of all the times she’d said it to him, or if he’d meant letting himself fall so deeply in love, but it didn’t really matter to him anymore as he pressed his lips against Martha’s.
For a fleeting moment, he almost felt himself move his fingertips to her temples and make her forget as he’d done so many times before, but not this time. This time it was a proper
The Doctor was never very skilled with goodbyes, but sometimes he surprises even himself.