Title: The Right Decision
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Ten, Martha
Spoilers: The Sound Of Drums/Last of the Time Lords
Summary: Martha knows she’s made the right decision, for everyone concerned.
Word Count: 691
Disclaimer: I don’t own Doctor Who, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Martha knows she’s done the right thing, but why does it always have to be so hard? Vicky would understand, because she’s been there; sometimes the only thing you can do is walk away while you still have some pride left.
She still loves the Doctor, probably always will on some level, but she can’t fool herself any more. He’s never going to wake up one day and say that he loves her, she wouldn’t even want him to, not anymore. Her hero is a little tarnished now, she put him up on a pedestal and he’s fallen off.
After everything her family went through during the Year, everything Jack endured, everything the whole planet suffered, the Doctor was more concerned about the Master’s welfare than anything else. It smarts; the earth and everyone on it went through Hell, but the perpetrator of those vile acts of destruction gets all the sympathy. She can’t condone the Doctor’s behaviour, even if she thinks she probably doesn’t have the right to judge him. He’s not a human, so why does she keep expecting him to act like one? It’s just too easy to forget, looking at him with that manic smile and infectious enthusiasm, that he’s an alien, hundreds of years old. He has a different outlook on the universe, one she’ll never understand.
The paradox ended, the earth reverted to how it had been, and nobody down here knew any different; she wonders if the Doctor thinks that makes it all alright. Maybe he does. If people don’t remember, then did it all really happen? Except, people do remember; everyone on the Valiant, right at the heart of the paradox, remembers. Her family saw unspeakable horrors, they’re traumatised and they need her; she couldn’t leave them even if she wanted to, not in good conscience. And truthfully she doesn’t want to; she needs them right now as much as they need her. She needs to be with them, to see them every day and know they’re safe, alive, and undamaged, at least in the physical sense; mentally and emotionally, it’s a different story, and she wonders if Jack can recommend a good therapist. They could all probably do with therapy, preferably from someone who wouldn’t be inclined to commit the lot of them the moment they started talking about a year that no one else remembers.
Jack’s no better off than her family. He’s been tortured and killed repeatedly for a whole year and that’s bound to take a toll, even on someone as strong and resilient as Captain Jack Harkness. She hopes the team he talks about so fondly will take care of him. He acts like he’s fine, but she knows he’s not, she can see the shadows in his eyes, cast by the memories that haunt him. She doubts that the Doctor even notices; from the start he’s been dismissive of Jack’s deaths, as if the mere fact that he revives each time means that he doesn’t suffer. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Dying is bad enough, the level of pain varying with the cause of death, but resurrecting, often before he’s healed, must be excruciating. Immortality clearly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy, much less a man she’s come to consider a friend.
So Martha knows she’s done the right thing, choosing to stay here where she’s needed, but she’s going to miss the excitement and adventure. Or maybe she won’t; after walking the earth for an entire year, she’s experienced enough adventure to last her for some time. There’s a lot to be said for staying in one place and just getting on with life; she has her medical training to complete, for one thing.
Anyway, the Doctor doesn’t need her, he never really did. Walking away, she hears the TARDIS dematerialise, but she doesn’t even look back. That part of her life is over; it’s time to look to the future. This is where she belongs and she’s never felt more certain of anything in her life. That feels like a good place to begin.