Among the Porcelain

by Significant Owl [Reviews - 2]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Drama, Het

Author's Notes:
Written mainly to prove to myself I could get still get Ten & Martha together, post-S3 finale. Title and one line a reference to T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

"So this is the room Martha Jones grew up in? Well, well, well."

Martha clenched her hand around the telephone receiver and took a deep breath. "Doctor," she said, glaring at the man who'd just entered via her window, "it's been four hours."

"Has it really?" he said vaguely, poking through a shelf deep in stuffed animals. "Look! This one's got a little stethoscope. Aww, that's sweet, that is."

"And I don't know if you've ever tried making a claim on your tenant's insurance that involves saying 'the ex-Prime Minister blew up my flat', but believe me, it's a process that does things to your patience."

"Hm, no, can't say I have. Wait a minute, you really told them that?"

Martha sighed. "Haven't told them anything, yet. But I have been reassured that my call's really important to them and they'll be with me shortly, so I'm sure it'll happen any minute now. What do you want, Doctor?"

He was still, suddenly, that stillness that meant she'd got his attention, caught it good and proper. Not it all, because she wasn't Time or the Universe or Destruction, but as much of it as Martha Jones could have.

Good.

"If you thought I saw you," the Doctor said, looking down in her direction but not straight at her, still a little over her head, and she choked a little on the irony or maybe the humour in that as she finally took the phone from her ear, "would you have stayed?"

"No," Martha said quietly. He caught her eyes on the heels of the word, and there was the beginning of a smile tugging at one side of his mouth, a smile she'd seen before.

"Good for you," he said. He sat down beside her on the bed, smelling faintly of sea, crushing and wrinkling the edges of her lease and her insurance policy and who knew what other papers of her life. "Why not?"

"I was listening in New New York, you know," she said. "And when you were talking to Lazarus. And I was listening to Tim, and," Martha touched the back of his hand, suddenly glad to break eye contact herself, "up there on the Valiant. You need more than I could give you, and I need more than you could give me."

She looked up then and saw that smile, still in place; she saw it spread. "Martha Jones," the Doctor said. "Clever, listening, Martha Jones."

"And because of my family, of course," Martha said. "Just because I didn't say them first right then doesn't mean -"

"Oh, I know," the Doctor said, and his voice was heavy and old and did things to her heart. "I know."

There was a moment of almost-silence; ambient music spilled from a phone on a purple-flowered duvet, someone shouted on the street, a clock ticked.

And Martha Jones looked at the Doctor, at the lift of his eyebrow and the half-curve of his lips, at what his eyes were telling her as his mouth was quiet. All along? she thought. No, definitely not. But for a while, yes, for a while.

"I'm going to be right here for a bit," she said. She nodded at the phone, at the bed. "If you fancy sticking around a little, that's fine. And if you don't, that's fine too, and I'll ring you sometime." She grinned because that was it was true, it was really true, it was fine, and because she was about to make a little joke. "Well, I will if I ever get off this phone."

"Mmm." He nodded, eyes flicking away. "A little, I'd like that, yeah."

Martha stood up, crossed to the door, and locked it; she did it slowly, letting herself smile while her back was turned, letting herself enjoy the click as the lock fell. So good with words, this man, this alien, until it was words of you and me, and then it was all actions, all hands and hugs and eyes and smiles; and it had taken so long but she was finally beginning to make the translations.

When she turned around, there was that look and that smile and her own stretched wide, wide wide. "Well," Martha Jones said, "go on, get your tie off, Mr Smith."