As a child Martha had loved to pretend being a super spy like James Bond or Emma Peel. Pretending to be undercover, on the run or saving the world had all been fun and games – and then she'd grown up, forgot about it and then when all childish dreams and adventures had been happy memories an alien time traveller had stumbled into her life and had turned everything into an adventure again.
And here she was now. Martha Jones. One of the most wanted people in the country, now that Master had not only stolen the Tardis, but also was Harold Saxon, prime minister.
Spy games had suddenly turned real. And even after all her encounters with aliens, after all her dangerous adventures with the Doctor - this was new and scary. Not least of all because her family was now involved.
So here I am, she thought again. Martha Jones. Trying to stay out of sight and not be caught.
She went to a Tesco - only a few streets away from the abandoned Torchwood warehouse they were using as hideout - to get supplies, keeping her head down and trying to act unconcerned and not like a felon. It helped that she had never in her whole life been a felon and that even now she had a clear conscious. But she felt like a double agent or spy in enemy territory. She hoped her worry wasn't written all over her face.
A woman was walking past her, smiling, and Martha forced herself to smile back, even though it was hard to muster up any kind of happy expression.
Her family was always on her mind.
Even when they'd had their troubles, Martha would never have expected that members of her family would end up prisoners while the remaining members were finding themselves on the run from the law. Who would have ever thought of something like this?
And all because she had been swept away by a charming alien with a sad, complicated past and a love for trouble and they mysteries of the universe. She wasn't regretting it.
But this was not the first time her family had been put in danger.
She shouldn't blame the Doctor. The Doctor really couldn't have foreseen any of this. And she wasn't blaming him.
She was blaming herself for wanting it all. Adventure in time and space – and being seen by the man – well, alien – who'd made all of it possible. Maybe she was being unreasonable, maybe she wanted too much, but she couldn't change her own feelings. And it was hard to not fall in love with the Doctor, even if it was hard to love him.
When she made her way over to the warehouse, she made sure nobody was watching her. She didn't want to stay out in the open longer than necessary, but who knew what the Master was truly capable of? Martha couldn’t help feeling paranoid – and probably for good reasons.
The Doctor would thank her for her cautiousness and foresight.
But when she arrived back at the warehouse, the Doctor didn't even look up from the work bench he was occupying, tinkering away without any thought to his companions. Martha felt disappointed. Even now it seemed Martha wasn't a priority for the absent-minded alien.
Jack was leaning against the wall near the entrance and smiled at her, one of his amazing, dazzling smiles that made her go weak in the knees. “Hey there, beautiful,” he smiled. “Nobody gave you a hard time?”
She smiled back at him, grateful that at least Jack wasn't taking her for granted. With one hand she lifted up the bag of groceries. “Mission accomplished. I hope you're hungry. I made a small detour to the closest chippie.” She indicated the second bag and chuckled. “I've never felt so nervous in my life. And over food.”
Jack's smile grew a little softer around the edges, making him look a little older but no less charming. “I'm starved,” he admitted. He stepped away from the wall to take the bags from her, carrying them over to a makeshift table.
Martha looked back at the Doctor, who still hadn't looked up, and then trailed after Jack. “Has he been like this the whole time?”
“What do you think?” Jack asked, looking at her over his shoulder with a sad little smile. “He's in the zone or something. Don't bother to interfere. That's something that'll never change. Not with the Doctor.”
Some of her own conflicted feelings and insecurity most have shown on her face then, because Jack dropped the bags on the table and turned around to pull her into a hug. “You've had one hell of a day, Martha Jones. You did great so far. But maybe it's time to take a break. Who knows what else is coming.”
“Yeah,” she said, leaning against him and sneaking her arms around him. “I just want him to see me, you know?”
“Oh, I know, Martha. Believe me, I know.”
“Oi, you two. Stop it! There is a world to safe,” the Doctor suddenly interrupted, but when Martha looked up he was only giving Jack a disapproving look in passing and returned back to his work.
Normally this was the point in their adventures when the Doctor managed to save everyone. But this time someone had been waiting for the Doctor, had anticipated his plans - and everything was about to go to hell.
When he whispered into her ear, she understood that now this would be her mission. And she couldn't allow herself to fail, because everything depended on her. The Doctor depended on her. That he was trusting her enough to send her out into this strange new world alone showed her how much he really thought of her. Martha Jones, the one he could put his trust in - the one he could believe in.
He'd depended on her before and she hadn't failed him. She'd done her job then.
She wouldn't fail him now. Even with the painful knowledge that she was not the one he'd chosen even back then.
But this mission was greater than her. It wasn't just aliens and foreign planets, lost space ships and Elizabeathean witches from outer space. This time it was so much more personal.
Her family was suffering and she couldn't do anything to help them, but move on and survive. The Doctor was suffering, helplessly at the mercy of his enemy. Even handsome Jack would not be able to get out of this one. And all over the planet people were dying. So many, many innocent people.
The world was ending.
The Master had to be stopped and everything in this crazy plan depended on her, travelling the globe alone, telling her story. Everywhere she went she saw destruction, witnessed desperation and suffering. She also saw with her own eyes what people were truly capable of.
And every time she told her story, told the story of the wonderful, impossible man that was and always would be the Doctor, she felt a certain rush at the realization that people were listening to her. Trusting her. Seeing her.
As a kid she'd dreamed of being a secret agent, a hero. Now she was a fugitive, a freedom fighter and a symbol for hope. She was going to save the world by spreading the word about the man that would hopefully be able to save them all.
It was a sign of what kind of man this alien time traveller really was that his whispered words had instilled her with the believe to take on this mission. A mission that seemed so very small in the greater scheme of things. Tell a story.
Tom looked her with the trust she'd already seen on so many faces, although he had seen enough to not get his hopes up now. Nearly a year had passed without much time for rest and Martha knew that soon everything would come to an end. So she looked at Tom and allowed herself to dream, to hope for a life after the Master.
Soon she'll see the Doctor again.
Like everyone else the Doctor did suffer through a year of humiliation. But he was still the Doctor and he saved the day – the world, the year.
The world was back to normal, although Martha had a hard time even grasping the concept of normalcy after the nightmare. She'd been living far from anything normal even before the year that now only few people did remember.
Now there was only one thing left for Martha to do.
When she entered the Tardis the Doctor was already all nervous energy, talking faster than should be possible and ready to leave, seeking new adventures. He was excitedly telling her of places they could go – and it pained her that she'd have to make a slight change in his plans. It also made her happy, because even after all that had happened the Doctor was still the same old Doctor. Unstoppable and excited t go out and meet the universe.
She smiled - and when he finally looked up and met her eyes, he stopped talking.
A painful moment, then they shared a smile and the Doctor thanked her.
He pulled her into a hug, pressed his face against her hair. She rested her head against his chest for a moment, strangely happy and sad that her leaving was getting her this reaction. When she finally tried to pull away, he tilted her face up and kissed her.
Now you kiss me, she thought, but didn't pull away. Now you see me. When I leave you.
It was time to stop living her life on hopes and dreams and instead live in the real world again – with both her feet firmly set on the ground of this here and now.
Martha Jones. Still no James Bond, but maybe something even better.
After all she'd saved the world and now she had a life to get back to.
They broke apart and the Doctor looked at her searchingly, with eyes dark and impenetrable, holding so much knowledge and experience and sadness that Martha nearly gave in.
But she'd made up her mind and for her own sake there was no going back now.
After she'd said her final good-byes to the Doctor, it was time to get things back in order. And life was good to her.
To her surprise Jack appeared at her door one day and just smiled at her innocently. “Martha Jones,” he said. “More beautiful than ever.”
“Still as charming as ever, I see, Jack.” She looked him over, taking in the slight signs of exhaustion and weariness. He looked healthier than he'd looked the last time, but she was a bit afraid to ask what he'd been up to recently at his secret base in Cardiff. She'd had enough adventure for a while.
“Was it hard to stay behind?” has asked her over coffee.
“How was it for you?” she asked back, remembering the way he had walked away from them with a smile.
“Not easy. I never expected him to want me to travel with him some more. The offer was a bit unexpected. And I do have other responsibilities. The team wasn't happy with me.”
“They don't know, do they?” Who knew what Torchwood could really do? An organization fighting aliens and threats that were even beyond UNIT.
“No. And I won't tell them. They're unhappy enough with me as it is. And I don't even know what happened to them during that year... I just don't want to go there. Better to be the only one who remembers.”
Martha could understand the sentiment. If she could, she'd take her families memories of that year, too. Although it had served in bringing all of them closer together, there were things that were not easily forgotten. All of them were dealing with the memories in their own way, but it wasn't something that could just be brushed off and forgotten.
“So? Do you need a job? You can come work with us any time,” Jack offered with one of his strangely alluring smiles.
“I'll keep it in mind. But I don't think that's what I'm looking for now.” She moved her coffee cup, watching the way the dark fluid moved within. “I think I need a little more peace and quite.”
Jack chuckled, but his eyes were sad. Martha was reminded of the Doctor – ancient eyes in a handsome young face. For a moment she was tempted to ask Jack how old he really was. What was it like to be immortal? To bounce back from death? She felt a strong surge of affection for this man and longed to just reach over and kiss him. But her chest ached with the sudden flurry of emotions and she hesitated just a moment too long.
He didn't hold back though and leaned forward to capture her mouth in a sweet kiss, soft and slow and not at all like the desperate passion Martha imagined would come with kissing a man like Jack Harkness.
“You'll be okay, Martha. Whatever you choose to do.”
This time it was easy to smile back. “You know you can come by and say hello any time you want, right?”
It was nice to be able to share a laugh for a change – to feel wanted and appreciated. There would never be a time when Jack wouldn't have a place in her life now. But her life would not be with Torchwood.
Martha Jones was a doctor now. She'd made it. It gave her a new sense of security in this life that still felt a little like it wasn't her own. At night she still dreamt of walking a dying earth, of travelling through time and space and marvelling at the wonders of the universe.
Her family was happy again. They'd all learned to see each other in a new light. Everything was fine.
“No word from..?”
“No, mum. I'm sure he has better things to do,” Martha answered before her mother could finish her question, still always nervous that the Doctor would come to snatch her away again. “It was my decision to stay here.”
Her mother nodded, but to Martha's surprise something sad lingered in her expression for a moment. It had been her mother, who'd always warned her about the Doctor. Why would she be sad now?
“I'm sure he'll be fine,” her mum said, ending the conversation.
Of course, the Doctor would be fine. Martha tried not to think too hard about replacements, tried not to think too hard about outrageous adventures in the Tardis – and about him.
Her life was good. And even if nobody remembered how Martha Jones had saved the world, now she'd be able to save lives. She'd do what she'd always wanted to do.
One day there was a call that made her question her decisions, but only for the briefest of moments. UNIT was offering her a job. “Oh, I've already got an offer from Torchwood,” she said as haughtily as possible. “I declined, by the way. Not the secret agent type. I fear I'm not the military type either, you see? I'm a doctor.”
The man on the other end of the line chuckled. “So I've heard,” he said dryly, obviously taking her reaction in stride. “A mutual friend was a little worried. Wanted you to have all the opportunities.”
“A mutual friend?”
“Yeah, someone from way up.”
She didn't need to ask any more questions. The Doctor was behind this somehow.
His final farewell? Did he care after all?
But, of course, he did – just not like that.
She smiled to herself. Adding another nice memory to the wonderful memories she wanted to treasure and hold on to – and moved on.
Two years later Martha Jones was a successful doctor. She was working in a hospital and felt she was doing good. She was good at what she did. As good as back when she'd saved the world.
But she would be lying if she'd claim never to be thinking about the Doctor.
What was he up to now? Had he found someone else? Someone more like Rose? Had he found trouble every step of the way?
She tried to not ask herself these questions. She wanted to just be happy in the believe that the Doctor was out there somewhere and did what he'd always done.
And for the most part that worked well. She was happy. And she felt very sure that the Doctor was out there, travelling and exploring, running from danger and probably not looking back too often. She remembered him with fondness and hoped that was the same way he'd remember her.
Two years after the Master had been put into his place, Martha walked through the park. She was enjoying the mild spring morning sun and thinking of how best to spend her short vacation, when a young man sitting on a park bench caught her eye. He was dressed in a strangely old-fashioned way and watched her as she walked past him, smiling at her when he caught her watching. She smiled back without thinking, immediately charmed and feeling a slight sense of familiarity.
She walked on, wondering where she might have met the man before, why he'd been smiling at her like he knew her, when she noticed that she'd walked past a peculiar object that wasn't usually standing in the middle of the park. A blue police box, as out of place as it looked at the best of times in current day London. She stopped, staring at it for a moment, unbelieving and a thousand questions running through her head.
Where was the Doctor? What was he up to now?
Then she finally made the connection and turned around to stare at the gangly young man in the tweet jacket, who was still sitting on the park bench, staring after her with a neutral expression. She stared back with wide eyes.
“I'm not wearing neck ties any more. Bow ties are cool, you see?”
Her mouth was probably hanging open “Doctor?”
“Hello, Martha Jones. I've been thinking,” he started, fiddling with his hands in a gesture that made him seem even younger, but his expression was grave and his voice and diction were so different from before that Martha found herself staring at his lips. “Yes, I've been thinking. About us. And I realized I might not always have been a very attentive travelling companion. You deserved better. You were right to leave.” He turned his head up to stare at the sky, but did not stop speaking. “I would have left me, to be honest. But I was thinking... Maybe now it's time to give you one more trip. A real thank you. Whatever you want.”
She stared at him, lost for words and still in the process of catching up. “You really are the Doctor.”
It hadn't been a question, but the Doctor answered anyway. “Yes.” He pulled out something that looked like a new version of the sonic screwdriver and hummed for a moment. “Still me. All new me.”
“Okay.” She considered that for a moment. She felt like giving in to the temptation would be a mistake, but not giving in would always leave her with the questions of what could have been. “Well, if you're here already, Doctor, lets see about this trip, yeah?”
He beamed at her and stood up. “I knew it. Martha Jones, the saviour of planet earth, still up for some good old adventure.”
“And by the way. I'm a doctor now, too. Try to keep up. It's Doctor Martha Jones now.”
“Doctor Jones,” he chuckled, nodding to himself and stepping past her to open the door of the Tardis. “Two doctors, one Tardis. Let us hope the universe is up to this.”
Like the first time all started with one trip, but didn't end there. She didn't even think it strange to be pulled back into the craziness that was the Doctor's life. On Orion 5 in the far future they were running from Daleks, who for some reason had forgotten all about the Doctor; in 12th century Germany they met a stranded time traveller who was upsetting the locals and here they were now relaxing inside the Tardis and she was feeling happy.
“Do I want to ask you what happened?” she asked this new, younger, older Doctor, who still confused her sometimes, because he was at once familiar and strange to her.
“Happened? His Vortex Manipulator was...”
“That's not what I mean. Why did you...?” She gestured at him. “Why did you regenerate?”
He looked at her and kept still for a moment that lasted long enough to make her nervous. “I died,” he said finally. “And I got better. That's how it works. And now we're here.”
“And why were you alone?”
For the first time the Doctor looked at her sadly. “I travelled with a wonderful couple. But they settled down in New York. Little problem with some major paradoxes. Can't go back there any more.”
She kept quiet, asking herself if it was time to stop questioning this – whatever it was. But she had to know. “It's been more than two years for you, hasn't it?”
“Why did you come back at all?”
He fiddled with something on the Tardis console and then looked back up at her. “I was in the neighbourhood. A few Silurians were about to blow up half of London. No big deal. They didn't really mean it. Big mistake. Anyway. There you were and suddenly I remembered some things I never set right. I wasn't good at saying sorry back then. I was angry a lot of the time. Made mistakes. Big mistakes. Hurt people.”
She got up to stand beside him, to better look him in the eyes. “I know. And now?”
“Now we're here. And I see you,” he said very earnestly.
“I see you, too.”
“But you always have,” the Doctor pointed out, leaning forward a little.
There was only one thing to do right at this moment, so she bent forward and pressed her lips to his. And although the Doctor seemed to have no idea what to do with his hands in that situation, he didn't pull away – and it turned out this new one wasn't as awkward a kisser as she'd expected him to be.
“So, Doctor Jones, what do you want to do next?” the Doctor asked her a month later. “Past, future? Earth? Moon? Watch a sun explode?”
She was sipping a drink that tastes a little like strawberries mixed with chocolate, but inexplicably different than anything she'd ever tasted before. At the moment she didn't really want to go anywhere. But then something occurred to her. “Have you any idea where Jack is?”
The Doctor's eyes went wide and he shook his head. “Haven't seen him since... Well, something unpleasant or other.”
“I see,” she said and took another sip. “How about we find him and take him along for something more pleasant or other.” She winked at him and smiled at his confused look.
“Oh.” He started to smile. “I like the way you're thinking, Doctor Jones. Lets go then!”