There isn't very much left of Gallifrey. One old TARDIS, a few shelves of books ('Do Not Remove From Prydon Academy'), the Doctor, a couple of plants in the greenhouse...

And Martin, of course.



His parents never argue, except for some reason on birthdays. His seventh is the worst, with his mum crying all over the place and his dad trying to make everything better. People always forget how good his hearing is, though, and so it's not like they even have to shout to give away their secrets.


"You should have told me!"

"I needed you to love him!"

"I'd have loved him anyway!"



He's never worked out why they think he doesn't know. He's always known that the Doctor is his real father, has never understood why the adults pretend otherwise. Something tickles the back of his brain when they're together, like the opposite of when the clocks go back and everything feels wrong for a few days.



Dad doesn't come with them when they leave. He's not even in the house when the TARDIS arrives. Maybe he just doesn't like the Doctor.

"Hey you," says his real father, ruffling Martin's hair. "Are you all packed and ready?"

"Don't do this," says Mum, but she's picking her bags up when she says it.

"I told you, eight years old. You can't expect me to just abandon him."

Martin doesn't have time for this. "Are we going into space?"

"Yes." The Doctor smiles at him and hands him a boiled sweet, that weird kind that don't taste of anything else. Those are Martin's favourite.

Mum's crying, but then she always cries these days. She just doesn't understand.



"This is better than normal school," he says, as they sit on the glass floor studying Old High Gallifreyan. "It's not as boring."

The Doctor nods. "By Earth standards you're a genius, they couldn't keep up with you."

"Mum says I'm a bit weird," says Martin.

"You're prefectly normal." His father ruffles his hair. "She shouldn't have said that."

"Sometimes other kids call me Martin the Martian."

"You're not a Martian! You're the last of the Time Lords, do you have any idea how important that is?"

"A bit, I think."

"You need to know more than a bit. Right, back to the books, kiddo."



"You need a Gallifreyan name."

"Why?"

"You just do. It'll be a secret, something you don't tell anyone else." The Doctor bends down to make eye contact. "Traditionally that's your mother's job, but any port in a storm."

He says Martin's new name. It's the best name in the universe.

He's still Martin, though, of course. Mum doesn't know his new name - his real name - and the Doctor insists that it's a secret anyway. You don't just tell people that name, that would give them some sort of power over you.

He learns the Doctor's real name as well. ("Just in case.") They sound sort of the same but not really, and the Doctor hasn't explained how names work yet. But still, he knows it and no one else does and that means they're special.

He's always wanted to be special.



His mother cries a lot since they came to live on the TARDIS. Probably she just misses Dad, and Martin does too but he has his other dad now and they live in a magic box.

"We used to go places," she says, holding him close. "We used to do amazing things. Your dad was there too, and we were all happy together."

"Then what happened? Did Dad do something wrong?"

"No," she says, "I did."



"Why don't we go anywhere?" he asks. They're drinking orange juice on a break from learning how to fly the TARDIS.

"Where would we go?" asks the Doctor.

"I don't know. Anywhere."

"We can go somewhere when you're older. I don't want anything to happen to you."

"Okay." The Doctor's usually right about things.

"How's your mum?"

"Sad."

"Okay."



He overhears his parents talking when he's wandering the ship at night. He doesn't need to sleep as much as humans do. He peeks round a doorway and his mum is kissing his father. That's never happened before, so he stays and watches.

"Just a visit," she says, with a hand on the Doctor's chest. "You can skip ahead, you won't even miss us."

"Something could happen to him."

"In Leadworth?" She presses against him. "You can have me. Any way you want, just let us see Rory again. Just for a bit."

His father moves his mother's hand away. "You already gave me what I needed."

"Please?"

"No."

Martin slips away. He's not sure what just happened but he knows he won't be seeing Dad again any time soon.



"Can Dad visit us?" he asks when they're in the library piling up books for tomorrow's lessons.

"I'm your dad," says the Doctor.

"I mean my other dad. Rory." It's always slightly thrilling to use an adult's real name, but for some reason he doesn't feel anything this time. "Mum wants to see him as well. Maybe we could go and visit."

"All of time and space and you want Leadworth?" asks his father, lightly.

He shrugs. "Just for a bit."

"We'll see."




The next morning his mother drags him to the console room, hurting his arm like she never does.

"What did you do to him? Why doesn't he remember?"

"He was getting confused."

His mother punches his father in the face. "Mum!"

She pulls him against her body. "He made you forget." He turns back to Dad. "Am I next? Am I going to wake up in bed with you with a happy smile and no idea where the wedding ring came from?"

"You know I wouldn't do that."

"I don't know anything about you anymore!" She kneels down in front of her son. "You can remember if you concentrate. Think of your dad. Not the Doctor, your other dad. Remember him? He makes you laugh with stupid jokes that aren't even funny. He got you that train set you wanted." She's crying about something. Martin reaches out and tries to wipe her tears away.

"What happened?" he asks. He doesn't understand any of this, it's scary. Has she gone mad? Dad says that happens to humans sometimes.

"Third time lucky, eh, Doctor?" she says.



They play tag in the corridors and hide and seek in the library. There's always something to do on the TARDIS, it's the best place in the universe.

Martin can't imagine living anywhere else.