< /TR>


It was the lack of eye contact that got to him the most. The Doctor hadn’t even realised how much he’d relished the way Martha looked him straight in the eyes until she didn’t do it anymore. It wasn’t that she didn’t look at him; she did. Sly little glances when she thought he wasn’t looking. No, she did look; she just didn’t see him anymore. Not in that way.

He found he missed it.

Sighing, he slapped the side of the monitor as it began to protest with a whine. The TARDIS wasn’t happy with him, either. Apparently, Martha wasn’t the only one who’d felt abandoned. “So, where to next?” he asked lightly, into the empty silence.

Her legs dangling over the edge of the platform, Martha shrugged in answer. That was another new development. Before, she never shrugged. “I don’t know, you pick,” she eventually said, her voice even.

The Doctor sighed again. That had been her answer the last time he’d asked, too. Rose had never held a grudge this long. Yes, but you never gave Rose a reason to, his mind prompted, in a voice that sounded suspiciously like his fifth incarnation. You held her hand all the way...

And that was his mistake, he supposed, he’d just assumed Martha would bounce back to her normal self after a few days. After all, she’d been brilliant; she’d held onto him with a grim determination, put up with his tactless remarks…and there had been so many. He winced at the memory; both of the remark and the slap…and of what had happened at the dance hall…

He was buggered.

“Right then,” he said aloud, rubbing his hands together. “I know just the place.” The console hummed angrily as his hand curled around a lever, and the TARDIS’s core beated irregularly as a spark arced and fizzled up his fingers. Bouncing back from the console, the Doctor bit down on a Terran curse as he tried to shake the sting again.

“Here, let me look at it,” Martha said, a hint of concern in her voice as she stood, and he gulped down the urge to say there was no need as she took his hand in hers and examined it. “You’ll live,” she said, after a moment, and the Doctor felt his hearts drop as she let go.

“Martha,” he said, grabbing her hand as she turned away, and she looked at it flatly.

“Do we have to do this?” she asked quietly.

“Do what?” the Doctor asked, momentarily puzzled.

“The Talk,” she said. “That’s what this is, isn’t it? The Talk.”

And, suddenly, the Doctor knew what to do; after all, it worked the last time. Gently, he tipped her chin up until her eyes met hers. “No, no talking,” he said simply, dipping his head. “I think this needs a demonstration.”

The kiss started out slow and unsure, and he cupped her face as he felt her slowly relax into it. He deepened the kiss as her lips parted, taking his time as he explored the warmth of her mouth, his tongue gliding against hers as he savoured her taste. Honey and peppermint; so strange, so human.

With a low, appreciative sigh, Martha began to kiss him back, exploring his mouth as thoroughly as he’d explored hers as she moulded herself against him, nudging him against the console. A small voice, growing fainter by the moment, told him that this was supposed to be only a kiss, and kisses were two a penny…but maybe a little bit of his humanity still clung to him, because he ignored it while her hands slipped inside his suit jacket and wormed under his shirt.

He pulled her closer as he felt the heat of her hands stroke the small of his back, letting his fingers run down the back of her neck and onto her shoulders, tugging at her jacket as he followed with his lips, feeling her shiver as he tasted her skin.

“This won’t make everything alright, you know,” she said hoarsely as her hands wandered lower, brushing the waistband of his trousers. “It doesn’t work like that.”

He grinned against her shoulder. “Guess you’ll have to show me how it does work, then,” he said. “Up for the challenge?”

Laughing lowly, Martha let him slide her jacket off. “Tease,” she pronounced, as she pulled his head up for another kiss.


Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the Beeb, not me...