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< /TR>



THE PATIENT

Disclaimer: Highlander belongs to Panzer/Davis and the Martha belongs to the Beeb, all I own is an overactive imagination...


“Multiple injuries,” one of the ambulance crew said, handing her the chart. “Rib fractures, ruptured lung, suspected internal injuries… flat lined briefly in the ambulance and she hasn’t regained consciousness since.”

Martha quickly flipped through the chart as she followed the cart. “Some of these injuries aren’t consistent with a RTA,” she said.

The ambulance man shrugged. “We suspect they occurred before the traffic accident.”

Martha raised an eyebrow. “Abdominal wounds, consistent with a sword or dagger?”

“I just call them as I see them.”

Sighing, Martha followed the cart into the theatre. “Has somebody paged Mr Reynolds?” she asked Alice, who hurried in after her.

“He’s still in surgery,” she said briskly as she hurried to the sink to scrub up.

“Great, just great,” Martha muttered as she joined her at the sink. Alice Fines was one of the most experienced theatre nurses in A&E, but she would still have preferred to have a consultant at hand.

“You’ll be fine,” Alice said. “Have we got a name?”

“Amanda Darieux,” one of the ambulance crew piped up as he hooked the patient up to the hospital heart monitor.

“Next of kin?” Martha asked as she pulled on a pair of surgical gloves.

“Not that we could find in her wallet,” he said as he made a beeline for the door. “Good luck.”

“Right.” Martha took a deep breath. “Lung puncture and abdominal blade injuries first.”

Alice raised an eyebrow as she slit through the patients clothing. “I thought she was injured in a car accident?”

“She’s had a busy day.”

“Is it just my imagination, or do you always get the weird ones?” Alice asked as she inserted a drip into the patient’s arm.

Martha smiled grimly. “Guess I’m just lucky that way,” she said, as she swabbed the blood away. “Okay… that’s funny, I though the entry wounds were supposed to be…” Quickly, she rechecked the chart.

“Problem?” Alice asked.

“The chart said there were entry wounds on her abdomen,” Martha said, frowning.

“There isn’t?”

“No.”

“Where’s the blood from?”

Martha frowned as she checked the rib cage. “Don’t know…and you know what? I don’t feel any rib fractures.” On a hunch, Martha checked the patient’s chest with a stethoscope. “Huh, no sign of a ruptured lung either.” A suspicion lurked to the surface of Martha’s mind, as she glanced at the patient’s heart rate on the monitor, and Alice’s eyes followed her gaze.

“BPM seventy five, BP one ten over seventy,” she said, “Seems to be stable.”

Perfectly stable,” Martha muttered under her breath, as she picked up the chart once more and pulled out her pen. “Just another one of those pranks specially designed for the new girl on the ward, I suppose.”

Alice raised an eyebrow. “A bit elaborate,” she ventured. “And the patient still hasn’t regained consciousness.

“She doesn’t have a sword wound in her gut, either,” Martha pointed out. “My guess is the poor woman fell and bumped her head, and the ambulance crew decided to have a little fun at my expense.”

“Well, it’s a new one on me,” Alice said dryly. “In my day, they stuck to paging the new doctors in the middle of their nap with imaginary emergencies.”

Martha smirked. “Been there, done that,” she said. “I guess they decided to up the stakes; I’ll just have to grin and bear it, I suppose. Do me favour, Alice, keep this between us. I don’t want it getting around that I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I’d never get any peace.”

“And you want to keep them guessing,” Alice said, with a knowing smile. “Maybe even let them get a little worried about what sort of revenge you’re dreaming up.”

Martha’s smirk became a grin. “Careful, Alice, you’re giving me ideas,” she said, biting the end of her pen.

“Something tells me you don’t need help with that,” Alice said as she peeled her surgical gloves off. “I’ll leave you to rewrite the chart, shall I?”

“See you in a few minutes,” Martha said, her smile dropping from her face the moment the doors swung closed behind her.

“What to do, what to do?” said said, with an elaborate sigh. “A CAT scan could be in order, I suppose, but first maybe I should-” Lightening fast, Martha poked the patient’s arm with the nib of her pen, and snorted as the patient suddenly sat up with a yelp.

“Figured as much,” she said, crossing her arms.

“How did you know?” her suddenly recovered patient asked.

“You twitched when I put the stethoscope on your chest,” Martha drawled. “Guess I should have warmed it up for you.”

“Damn, I didn’t think you’d noticed.”

“So, what are you?”

“Don’t you mean who?” the patient asked, with a nervous laugh.

“No, I mean what,” Martha said dryly.

“Well, I’m a circus performer, if you mus-”

“Oh please,” Martha said shortly, rolling her eyes. “Don’t even try to play the Little-Miss-Innocent with me; I’ll give you to the count of five to tell me what species you are. Better make it convincing, because if I don’t like your answer, you’ll be spending the next few years in a Torchwood cell – if you’re lucky.”

“Torchwood?” the patient said, frowning. “Who the hell are-“

“Five.”

“Listen, I don’t know what you think I am but I can assure you-”

“Four.”

“I’m perfectly human, honest. This is just a little misunderstanding-“

“Three.”

“Will you stop doing that. I told you, I’m hum-”

“Two!” Martha declared, pulling out her phone. Not that she could actually use it the theatre room, of course, but she was betting that her new ‘patient’ didn’t know that.

“Okay! Okay! I’m an immortal! There, satisfied now?”

Martha frowned. “Doesn’t ring a bell, what planet are you from?” she asked.

“Earth, of course, where else?” Her eyes widened with understanding. “Oh, I suppose our surprise visit from the stars, a few months back, has made everyone a little jumpy.”

Puzzled, Martha eyed the patient; if she didn’t know any better, she’d swear the woman was telling the truth. “And your name?”

“Amanda, Amanda Darieux,” the woman sighed. “Listen, I don’t suppose you could just keep this between us – doctor, patient confidentiality? It’s just that my kind like to keep a low profile.”

“Your kind? You mean there’s more of you?” Martha asked, feeling a moment of misgiving.

“A few,” Amanda sighed. “Listen, all I want is a quiet life. No attention, no needles, I guess you know where I’m going with this…?”

Martha arched an eyebrow. “You’re afraid I’m going to have the sudden urge to go all Frankenstein on you,” she said flatly.

“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Amanda said, with feeling. “A few of our kind got netted in World War II, they never really recovered from it…and, let’s face it, being ‘different’ isn’t a very safe thing to be, nowadays.”

Martha bit her lip. The woman had a point, and she seemed harmless enough. Still, it would be smart to ask a few more questions. “Okay, I’ll be frank,” she eventually said. “You said it yourself, everyone is a little jumpy nowadays about nonhuman-“

“Um, actually, I am human,” Amanda interrupted. “Same physiology, same brain functions and blood types…apart from our ability to heal quickly, we’re just like you.”

“I see,” Martha said flatly. “And what else?”

“Else?”

“You’re leaving something out. Better come clean now, I don’t want to have to do this the hard way.”

“Neither do I” Amanda said coolly, and Martha mentally revised her opinion of the woman; maybe not so harmless, after all.

“Just spit it out.”

Amanda made a face and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Cautiously, Martha took a step back, and the Immortal smiled ruefully at her reaction. “We don’t age,” she said simply. “We don’t die. We just keep going, century after century, millennia after millennia. None of us know why. Oh, sure, they’re a few mythologies that some of us believe in, but a concrete truth?” She made a half shrug.

“Huh,” Martha said softly. “Tell me, does the name Rose mean anything to you?”

“Who?”

“No, bit of a reach, I suppose,” Martha murmured aloud. “Why is it always me?”

“This happen to you a lot?”

“You’d be surprised.”

“Sounds like a story,” Amanda smiled slyly. “Tell you what, how about you find me something to wear, and I’ll treat you to dinner when you finish your shift?”

“Are you trying to bribe me with dinner?” Martha said, smiling wryly.

“Is it working?”

Martha paused as she went through her options. Jack had made sure she had his number on speed dial the moment he realised she was sticking around for a while, and Torchwood had the facilities to deal with this kind of thing…but something in her gut told her that world domination wasn’t exactly on Amanda’s ‘to do’ list. “Depends on the restaurant,”` she prevaricated

“Well, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Ritz,” the Immortal drawled. “How about you?”

To say that the Ritz was slightly out of Martha’s budget was putting it mildly. “Yeah, that’ll work,” she said, a grin lurking on her lips as she came to a decision. “Mind if I bring someone along?”

“Is he cute?”

“Very, and single,” Martha said, her grin widening. From the mischievous glint in the immortal’s eyes, she figured she could be in for quite a show.

“Ooh, sounds scrumptious,” Amanda drawled. “Can he dance?”

An image of Jack doing the tango sprung to Martha’s mind. “Oh yeah, he can dance.”

“How delightful, is he amenable to threesomes?”

Martha blinked; never let it be said that Martha Jones wasn’t an adventurous girl, but something told her she may be a little out of her depth – what would the Doctor do in this kind of situation?

Oh, yeah….

“Stop it!”


~~FINIS~~



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