for [livejournal.com profile] charloft: Two sides

Jan. 28th, 2009 10:40 pm
martha_jones: ([ten] how to save a life)
[personal profile] martha_jones
Describe two moments in which your life took a turn, where on the one side, you were one person, and on the other side, someone new.

Whenever it happens, it feels like the first time.

They're on the blasted desert near India. Martha doesn't speak Arabic and the TARDIS is too weak from the paradox machine to translate, but she has Davi with her. Davi isn't really his name, he says, but she wouldn't be able to pronounce his name anyway. He wants to help and he gives her water and holds her hand and translates her stories.

He tells her she's his friend, but she won't tell him he's hers. Her friends die in the Master's world.

But Davi is not going to die. She's not going to let him die, even as he drops from the shot of a Toclafane. It doesn't see Martha and scurries away. They always hurt the ones she cares about and leave her alone.

She runs to Davi's side. He starts shaking and coughing. There's blood everywhere.

It feels like the first time.

She's an intern at Royal Hope and she's only supposed to be monitoring blood pressure statuses. But one of the open heart patients starts thrashing. She pages her attending. She pages him again.

"Martha, you have to do something!" one of the nurses (a surly, older woman with very little patience for interns) snaps. The nurse knows procedure. She knows she can only assist, but the doctors need to do the fixing.

There's blood everywhere.

She grabs some of the clean towels off of the table and applies pressure to the wound. The nurse nods curtly and Martha watches as the patient's BP level starts to drop.


Martha rips open Davi's shirt. The knife cut just below the heart, but he's older and the trauma is causing his heart to palpitate. The palpitations are increasing the blood flow and Davi is bleeding out.

Martha grabs the sweaty scarf from her head and applies pressure to the wound. She doesn't want to think about the number of germs she's putting onto a wound this close to the heart. All she can think about is how she needs to stop the bleeding.

The patient stops screaming. The blood keeps flowing but the heart monitor screams and the heart stops.

"What do I do?" Martha cries out.


Davi stops thrashing. There's no wailing heart monitor, but she knows he's just gone into cardiac arrest.

She knows what to do.

"You have to reopen the surgical wound and manually pump the heart," the nurse tells her. She tells her in a very calm teacherly voice, and another nurse hands her a scalpel.

Martha knows this procedure. She's read this procedure, she's done tests and watched surgeries where this procedure was used. But the scalpel is in her hand now and she takes in a deep breath (it smells coppery with the blood) before cutting open the wound.

The scalpel is sharp and slices through the stitches with ease.


Martha rinses off her pocketknife with some water and splashes a little on Davi's chest before she cuts. There's no x-ray, no first incision. She has to guess. She puts pressure on the knife and it cuts into Davi's flesh.

She cuts until it stops with bone.

She pulls on her gloves and reaches into the patient's chest. It's warm and wet and she keeps her eyes on the heart.

Where the hell is her attending? He was still in the hospital watching a surgery, he needs to be back here,
now!

"Very good. Now, take the heart into your hand."

"I know the procedure," she snaps. The bright florescent bulbs are driving her mad.

"Then
do the procedure, Martha. This patient is going to die."

Martha peels back Davi's skin and pulls on a rib until it breaks off in her hand. She throws it away and looks for his heart. She could use a torch. The bright sun is scorching her hair and the back of her neck, but it's not enough to see inside of him.

She finds it. His heart. There's no damage from the wound, it just isn't beating.

She knows the procedure.

Her hands are shaking.

Her hands are shaking.

"One, two, three." She feels for movement in the heart. Nothing.

"Again."

"One, two, three." She can feel the blood flowing through the muscle in her hand, but she can also feel that it isn't beating on its own.


She keeps manually pumping the heart. Davi is strong. He'll come back. He'll make it work. She counts again and waits for a beat.

"It's been too long."

"I can keep it moving."

"Martha, it's been too long."

"No, I can do this! I can do it!"

The nurse puts her hand on her shoulder. For all her brashness, the touch is surprisingly gentle. Martha pulls her hand away and looks down at the patient. She doesn't even know her name.

The attending shows up just a moment later. Just after the fact.


Davi's heart isn't strong enough. She can't make it start. It's been too long.

There's no one to show up a moment later. No calvalry she was just waiting for. It's just her.

She didn't really know his name.

She cries. She curls up in the break room and cries until her chest burns and every part of her feels like it's emptied out.

She doesn't cry anymore.

But as she takes Davi's water canteen, wraps her head with the bloodied scarf, and leaves her dead patient, she still feels empty.

Muse: Martha Jones
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 903

Date: 2009-01-29 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] handysparehand.livejournal.com
Another story from the Year! I love the parallels, how much the Year has changed her, yet how much of her is the same as well. The differences between the two Marthas and also those core things that make them the same. I'm so glad to see you doing prompts with her. I love your Martha so much!

<33333

Date: 2009-01-29 11:08 am (UTC)
ext_145631: (Harry with stethoscope)
From: [identity profile] shot-my-shoes.livejournal.com
I wish I could tell you it gets easier the longer you've been a doctor, but it never really does.


ooc: I love the way that Martha has to do the same thing twice yet under such different circumstances and it shows how much she's changed in that time.

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