for [ profile] justprompts: Talk about something (or someone) you can't live

Oct. 20th, 2009 10:21 pm
martha_jones: ([nameless] behind emote)
[personal profile] martha_jones
You have to accept he's not coming back.

You don't want to, but it's been so long now, you really don't have much of a choice.


Once upon a time, you thought you'd never be rid of his affections. They weren't warranted, but you certainly weren't oblivious to them. It was like that light that never went on in the Doctor went on for him from the moment the Doctor dropped him at your doorstep.

It's kind of sweet, in a way. He reminds you of yourself, a long time ago, and maybe that's something you need. You need to see yourself the way you were, because the way you are isn't always the best you could be. You were better before, even if you were hopelessly in love with a man who never saw you. He's like that, now. He may not be in love with you, but he cares about you even if you're in love with Tom.

He looks at you as you practice your wedding day makeup and you're left wondering what he's thinking when he sees you.


Your mother tells you the extra room is good. You could make a lovely nursery with it. Or a study, or something. You shouldn't just let it sit there, dusty and full of his things.

But you don't touch it. You won't.

He might come back.


Tish tells you she wants to ask him out.

It's because he reminds her of the Doctor, you can tell that even if she won't say it. The Doctor who saved her on the Valiant many times, the Doctor who saved Earth. She doesn't know how to feel safe with other men, maybe it's not a bad idea. She should be with someone who makes her feel safe.

So she does, she asks him.

He figures that she just means a casual, friendly dinner. He's surprised when she shows up in a little red dress. He takes her arm awkwardly and glances back at you as he heads out.

You wait up for him.

You always do.


Tom misses your birthday, but you're not too surprised about that. You're sure in Africa, someone has been saved and that's enough, really. You avoid calls from your mother and bake yourself a cupcake, frost it with that can't-be-good-for-you chocolate icing and put in one candle. One candle's certainly more pleasant than thirty.

When you blow out the candle, your eyes inadvertently look over to the mobile charging on the counter. The one you never use. Your one wish is that it would ring.

It doesn't.


He and Tish are "dating".

This equates to Tish gushing about how great John is, and he occasionally arriving home very late with red lipstick smeared across his jaw. It affects you, though you're loathe to admit it at first. He's better than settling with Tish and you know it, but he isn't what you want.

So, you do what you do best: You fight. You pick an argument; tell him he doesn't care about her. It's how you feel, because you've seen him excited about electronics at UNIT, football, shopping, stupid things. You've never seen him care that much about a date with Tish. This all started the moment you tried to express your disapproval. It's the Doctor's stubbornness, you know it is.

He declares that you are jealous, and his voice sounds almost triumphant.

You tell him you want him to leave. Leave your flat and go lie to someone else.

When the door slams behind him, you regret it instantly.


After the initial shock of his departure, UNIT slips back into something like normalcy. Everyone expected him to leave right away, like the Doctor did. They're not terribly surprised he's gone.

You clean up his desk, putting books and photos into a cardboard box to take home.

The box sits in the middle of his bed and you don't touch it. He'll come back for it, soon. It's not forever.


When he comes back after work, he tells you Tish wants him to move in with her. She wants to get married, which feels like a rush, but he tells you that your engagement's been twice the length of your time dating Tom.

There's no arguing with that. He's right.

Do you love her? You ask.

He doesn't answer at first, eventually stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans. She sees me, he says.

It's worse that way. It's worse, knowing that he's perfectly aware of what he's doing. You wonder, quietly, if this is how the Doctor felt when you told him why you were with Tom.

I just want you to be happy, you say. It's something you wish the Doctor said to you. You wish he acknowledged the way you felt.

Four days later, he breaks up with Tish and moves back into his small room in your flat. Tish is angry that you let him back so easily, but being with him's done her a lot of good, and within a month she's got a new bloke taking her to dinner.

Things are going to work out.


You haven't cried in a long time and it's horrifying when it starts. It's like every rejection, every mistake, every pent-up emotion you've felt ever has racked your whole body with huge, painful sobs. You failed him.

You curl up in a ball on the couch and cry until you fall asleep.

When you wake up, he's still gone. You take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on a fresh coat of eyeliner before going in to UNIT to say he's left.


When you're living on Earth, things like the end of a relationship can feel like the end of the world. So, you suppose you're not terribly surprised when you find him standing at the door, looking a little lost.

Okay, you say, before you even realize what you're agreeing to.

I just can't, he says. His voice is quiet, but it cuts.

Yeah, you agree. It's like you've swallowed a block of ice and it's wedged itself in your chest.

I spent 900 years traveling, Martha. 900 years on the open road and now I'm trying to stay in one place. It isn't…me. Like you said. I've had a taste of what it's like on the slow path and I can't do it." If he's trying to convince you, you can't figure out why.

Of course not.

He keeps talking to you, and in a way the whole conversation feels familiar. It feels like you've stood on the opposite end of a room with someone and had the words given to you, or maybe you gave them. But it hurts.

You want to ask him where he'll go. You don't, of course. But you want to.

He leans down and kisses your cheek. He turns back to the door, and then fishes for his UNIT mobile. He promises he'll call you one day. One day, and you'd better come running.

And then he's gone.


You scrape the goo off of a corroding wall and pop it into an analysis tube. You wait for the result, listening to the buzz of the machine. Another buzz fills the space, too. It's the mobile in your pocket. The one you never use.

You stare at the number you don't recognize, then pop it open, immediately putting it up to your ear.


His voice is quiet, but it's unmistakable. Martha, it's me. Can you come and get me?

Muse: Martha Jones, MD
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,269
Based on RP with [ profile] handysparehand (but not binding to RP!), special thanks to that mun for reading this over!
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November 2009

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