Never Occurred

by Alex Lyman [Reviews - 9]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst

Author's Notes:
The BBC owns everything, blah blah blah.

"Falling in love, that didn't even occur to him?" John Smith asked, the anguish clear in his voice.

"No," Martha replied.

"Then what sort of a man is that?"

Something inside Martha snapped, and the sounds of the battle outside and the cold damp room all faded away until there was nothing but him, this man with the Doctor's face who knew nothing of him, and yet presumed to judge. And she was angry, so angry, at the Doctor as well for not even conceiving of this, not even considering that it might happen. She let out a short, angry chuckle.

"Oh, this is amusing is it?" he raged, in that voice that was so like the Doctor's and so different and made her skin crawl every time she had heard it, "And now you expect me to die, to become this Doctor, this man who can not love."

"Can't?" Martha boggled at him, "Can't? Of course not! Of course he can love!"

"But you just said!"

"It never occurred to him..." Oh God, she wasn't going to say this, wasn't going to speak the truth that shadowed them across space and time no matter how fast he tried to run and how much she tried to ignore it. But the words spilled out of her anyway, "He's still in love with her! That's why he didn't think of it!"

Behind her Martha could hear Joan's sharp intake of breath at her words.

"Yes," Timothy agreed, nodding, "He is. She brought light and joy into the darkness and rage. They ran across time and space hand in hand and he almost believed it could last forever. Because she promised him it would, and he always believed in her."

John Smith was looking frantically back and forth between them, still clutching the watch. Martha needed something to anchor herself against and gripped the back of a chair. Why hadn't she just let it go unsaid?

"Who?" asked Joan, "Who is she?"

Timothy was looking at her, but Martha refused to answer the question.

"What?" still John Smith's voice, not the Doctor's, "In love with who?....oh."

He stopped abruptly and the expression on his face changed, the Doctor surfacing again. "Doctor come back!" Martha begged silently, "Come back and fix this mess."
 
"Is this her?"
 
Joan held the journal out towards her, and Martha let go of the chair to take it, looking down at the page Joan had opened it to. Timothy moved beside her and the three of them stared at the sketch of a woman, her face partially concealed behind her hair. Martha's hands started to shake as she raised a finger and traced the words John Smith had written.
 
"In my dreams she is always walking away." Martha read. Tears began to burn behind her eyes and she blinked frantically, willing them away.
 
"So many strange dreams. I see the most impossible things and I can barely make sense of them. And then there's her, every night I see her standing by the sea and I reach out towards her, but she doesn't see me, I'm a ghost to her....and I call her name, but she doesn't hear me, and she turns and walks away from me."
 
John Smith's voice was quiet and sad. Martha closed her eyes. He had dreamed of her every night. Even though he couldn't remember, he didn't forget. He had looked at Martha every day for weeks and saw nothing of who she really was and it had been hard, so hard to keep her head down and stay quiet, to ignore the slurs and the casual indifference, thinking all the while that it was worth it, the Doctor was worth it, and he needed her, it was important. But the truth had been staring her in the face the whole time. She had thought there might be a chance one day, for the two of them. But John Smith had fallen for Joan, and whatever Martha was to the Doctor, she was not the woman who haunted his dreams, and she never would be. And her heart would continue to break a little bit each day that she stayed with him. She wondered how long she's be able to stand it.
 
Joan walked over to John and laid a hand on his arm.
 
"What was her name?" she asked.
 
"Rose."
 
Martha opened her eyes and looked at him. Was it the Doctor speaking, or John Smith? He looked up from the watch and met her gaze, and still she couldn't tell.
 
"Her name was Rose."