So, whoever did it gets a dedication. This is for you anonymous!
Title- Always All Right
Show/ Ship- Doctor Who Doctor/Rose
Genre- Space angst
Spoilers- Takes place after 42 mentions of Daleks in Manhattan.
Summary- Martha sees him now, but he can still hide away.
A/N- Dedicated to anonymous.
The Doctor stood still, staring out into the blackness of space with his hands braced on the cold metal brackets framing the window like they were the only thing stabilising him and stopping him from floating out into that deep darkness.
Martha watched from the outer door for any sign of movement—a twitch, a sigh, anything to indicate that it was safe to approach the man.
And a man he was.
For so long Martha had seen him as something other; something so wonderful and majestic that he exceeded any human status.
He’d saved her life, saved her planet, and done it all with a smile, a song and, on one occasion a banana.
Even in his seemingly darker moments Martha had known that she could rely on him, that he was beyond any mere mortal.
But here, on this doomed spaceship: the S.S. Pentallian, she’d seen who he was, who he really was.
A frightened man who’d lost everything and who had no one to hold his hand.
In those terrifying moments in the cryogenic stasis machine he’d pleaded, cried and whispered his fears to anyone who was listening and Martha could only hold back her own tears as she prayed she could be that someone that he wished she was.
“I know you’re there.”
His quiet voice startled her out of her musings and she stepped forward into the room that was just starting to cool after their aborted headlong ascent into the sun.
The air was stifling still and sweat stuck to her back as she made her way slowly across the room
“Are you all right?” she asked tentatively.
“I’m always all right.” He didn’t move, his eyes fixed on the horizon.
Martha tried for levity. “Yeah, because being possessed by a pissed off sun happens all the time.”
He said nothing and she cursed her own words as his back stiffened even more.
“Sorry,” she muttered, wishing herself a million miles away from here.
He gave a bitter laugh at that, surprising her. “I’m the one who’s sorry. You nearly died.”
Martha looked over his shoulder at the viewing screen as it framed the stars and planets, the swirling nebula and space dust and, far away, the burning sun that had tried to capture her in its fiery tendrils.
She could still feel the heat of the fire burning her skin, prickling her body and drying her out, the moisture disappearing from her mouth as she craved water.
It had been so close.
Martha had been so close to dying and she had been so very, very scared.
She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, cold despite the tepid air.
“I didn’t though.” She smiled. “You saved me. I knew you would. I trust you.” She put her hand on his back, feeling the muscle tense under his jacket. “I believe in you.”
“Don’t!” he growled and she dropped her hand, surprised and hurt by his tone.
His fingers gripped the frame until his knuckles turned white. “Don’t trust me.” He bit out, each word sharper than the last. “People who believe in me die.”
Martha sighed. So that’s what this was. “Look, I know—”
He spun so fast that Martha stepped back in alarm.
“No,” he said savagely. “You don’t. You humans just don’t get it. You could have died Martha. A million light years away from your family and all you hold dear. Burning to death isn’t a nice way to go, believe me. It hurts beyond imagination and you’d have felt every inch of it. Fire searing each and every artery, excruciating pain like you’ve never known and feeling every single second of it. Screaming, alone, with no one to hear you.”
“Stop it!” Martha backed away from him and the menace in his handsome face.
“Agony, Martha,” he swallowed. “And it’d have been my fault, my fault for bringing you here.”
Despite her fear of the darkness in his eyes Martha was already shaking her head. “No, I chose to come with you. I asked you, remember. It was my choice.”
“What choice?” he spat, grabbing her arms. “I show you the universe and all of history and you chose to come? Don’t be so naïve, Martha. It was my choice and that you think it was yours doesn’t make it right.” He raked a hand through his hair. “It never makes it right. You’d still be dead.”
“And you’d be alone.” Martha had a sneaking suspicion that she knew where this was coming from, that this had little do with her—as usual.
“This isn’t about me.” He all but pushed her away in annoyance but Martha had never been one to stand down.
“Then who is it about? Huh?” she demanded. “You told me you’d save me and I trusted you.”
He looked sickened. “Save you? I can’t even save myself. I couldn’t save my planet, my people, my home, R—”
“Rose.” Martha finished quietly, pain pouring into her voice no matter how she tried to hide it. It always came down to Rose in the end. Everything that the Doctor did was about her or was because of her or reminded him of her.
God, why couldn’t he just look at Martha and see her?
He glanced away confirming her thoughts and then rubbed his face with his hands. “Korwin, Kath, Dev, Dalek Sec—just the latest in a long line of people that I couldn’t save. I—” he faltered “I bring death. Oncoming storm. I’m not safe, Martha, and I’m taking you home before I get you killed too.”
Martha wrenched her arms out of his grip and faced him, determination written in every line of her body. “Laslo, Tallulah, Orin, me, Tish, Leo, the whole of New New York—just the latest in a long line of people you’ve saved. You’re not evil, Doctor and you can’t do this alone.”
“You know what happened to the last person who didn’t want me to be alone?”
Martha swallowed down the anger and hurt. Of course they weren’t done with the ‘Rose’ conversation.
“You lost her,” she said tiredly, almost sick of tiptoeing around the subject of Rose bloody
“Lost her? I sent her hurtling towards oblivion with some of the worst evil in the universe. I opened the gates to hell and watched as they sucked her in.” He shouted. “I promised to keep her safe but so many times I put her in danger until my luck ran out. Rose—” his voice caught at her name. “She was there and some days I didn’t even notice her saving my life. She kept me fighting because she never gave up. Never.”
Martha stared at the tears glistening in his eyes that he was too proud to cry.
“Is she dead?” she asked the question she’d never dared to ask.
He turned away from her abruptly and glared at the myriads of worlds that he’d never got to show her. His reflection stood straight and glowered back in accusation, the constellations of the Terajii systems glittering like angry diamonds in his eyes.
His gaze drifted to the centre of the screen where a memory flickered; a face falling away from his, hands pounding on the glass, eyes pleading in desperate anguish as she screamed for him. In that moment, when Martha’s pod disengaged and began drifting towards the bright light of the sun, all he’d seen transformed and the bright yellow sun turned into the cool blue of the void; space debris became Daleks hurtling towards the wall; black hair was replaced by blonde; red shirt replaced by blue jumper and admiration replaced by love.
Martha careening into space became Rose plunging towards the Void and with each second his hearts broke a little more as he made a vow he’d already broken.
“I’ll save you.”
“I’ll save you.”
The Doctor touched the cool glass, trying to reach through for the memory of Rose.
Rassilon, he missed her so much he ached with it. Almost 1,000 years and he couldn’t remember ever needing someone so much as he had when he’d sensed his own permanent eradication by the heart of a sun and longed for her laughing eyes, teasing tongue and, most of all, her hand.
He’d needed someone to trust, someone to take care of him and a hand to hold. It wasn’t there.
Oh, Martha had done her best, but as great as she was, she wasn’t and never would be Rose.
“Doctor?” Martha intruded on his thoughts. “I don’t believe that you bring death. You saved the people on this ship, you did what you could and that’s what you do.” She tried a smile. “You always do the best you can. In my training we were told that you won’t be able to save everyone. It’s just not possible. But if you do all you, do everything that you ca think of then you’ve earned your title. As far as I’m concerned, Doctor, you earned it. You’re the Doctor.”
He glanced at her sincere face. “You really believe that?”
UNIT had always believed in what he could do. Romana, too, knew what he was capable of. Even Mickey Smith and Pete Tyler believed that he could do it and that’s all he’d needed to fight the Daleks and Cybermen and heal the worlds.
They believed he’d solve the puzzle, he’d find a way to fight the monsters and save the day.
Martha believed in his actions.
Rose believed in him—that he was dark and deadly and daft and dorky. She’d believed in his innate goodness and bravery.
For Martha and the universe, he’d save the day.
For Rose, he’d save himself.
Because he still believed in her.
He beamed brightly. “Well then, Martha Jones. Fancy getting off this station? Heat does nothing for my hair. Besides Pentallion sounds too severe. How about we visit the upper echelons of Spittydo? Or how about the Red Kissymann?”
Martha blinked in bemusement and then grinned. She’d never understand his mercurial moods.
He started to pass her by still babbling when she grabbed his arm.
“So,” she said, “you’re all right?”
He grinned widely. “Martha Jones. I’m always all right.”