A Servant to Time and Consequence (rude_not_ginger) wrote,
A Servant to Time and Consequence
rude_not_ginger

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for writers_muses: Marriage

"She's getting married soon, you know," Jack says. "Or didn't she tell you?"

She didn't, but I don't tell him that.

She doesn't call me for weeks and weeks and that's fairly normal. No aliens to destroy the universe this week, at least. Not in all of 2008, apparently. Besides, she's all busy working at UNIT and planning with that Ted fellow---whatever his name was---so of course she'd just not think to call me.

So she doesn't call. The phone sits in the dip of the console silent.

I try not to worry about it. Busy man, I am. Lots of things to do. I save six planets and have lunch on Chantal 3. The soup they serve is very spicy and made with some strange root.

The phone in the console still doesn't ring. In some timeline somewhere, she's getting married. In some timeline somewhere, she's been married for years. Six kids, two grandchildren. Trying on the ring for the first time. Hasn't even met him, yet. Funny thing, Time.

I wonder what she looks like on her wedding day. I walk down the streets in Laos thinking about it.

I scan the articles in her time's papers. She gets married on a rainy day in November. The scan of her wedding photograph doesn’t come out very well.

"That simply won't do," I say, but there's no one to hear me.

I reset the coordinates to Earth, London, 2008. I consider putting on my tuxedo, but it's cursed and she didn't invite me anyway. I just want to see what she looks like in her wedding dress. It'll just be for a mo'.

I park the TARDIS away from the church and slip in 'round the back. It hasn't started raining yet, but the sky is dark with heavy clouds aching to burst all over Francine's lovely reception.

The ceremony hasn't started. I don't think I can make it to a pew, so I stand off to the side, near some of the flower arrangements. The roses are rich and red like the velvet bridesmaid's dresses. Everything looks thick and expensive.

Terry, Timothy, whoever he is, he's in a white tuxedo with a red rose at his breast. Someone pinned that to him and tore a little of the stem and it bleeds green onto his lapel.

Music starts. Everyone straightens. Tish looks nervous. Francine has already started to cry. Todd doesn't look nervous at all. He looks sure. He smiles widely and I know he sees her. That look is fairly recognizable. The wide smile, the half-closed lids. It's the sort of look you get when you see someone you love.

She walks down the aisle. Her father is at her arm. Red roses are at her waist. The white dress is slim and silky. She doesn't wear a veil. She doesn't feel like she needs to hide.

Her legs are long and slim and slip just beneath a slit in the side of her dress. It seems like only two steps until she's standing next to him. She reaches out and takes his hand. His nails are short and bitten while hers are manicured and white like her dress. Yet they fit, the two of them.

I should leave. I've seen her in her dress, I've fulfilled my curiosity.

I stay.

"We are gathered here to celebrate the union of two hearts. Martha Jones and Thomas Milligan---"

I knew his name was Thomas. I really did.

They stare at each other during the ceremony. It seems to last forever and seconds at the same time. I try to see what could be, for them. Who doesn't want to know what could be for their friends? It's hard. I'm out of practice.

I think while I'm focusing one of them (or both of them) say "I do."

"At the request of the family of the groom," the man in the suit between them smiles. "The Irish Wedding Blessing."

I know this one.

"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields."

Her gaze flicks over Tom's shoulder to me. No looking around, no hesitation. It's like she's known I was there from the beginning. She may not have wanted me there, but she smiles. I smile back.

"May the light of friendship guide your paths together."

I see it. They'll argue over their clashing decoration styles and end up mixing and matching. She'll drag him shopping and he'll drag her to football games and they'll both bounce excitedly over medical conferences. They'll fight. She'll throw a lamp at his head and break a hole in the wall and promptly get a therapist. He'll leave her once then realize he can't live without her. She'll tell him about the Year that Wasn't and he'll eventually believe her.

"May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home."

She won't have children. Something called "reset" destroyed her ability to reproduce, though they'll try for a while. They'll adopt a half-Eternal from UNIT. They'll fight about how to raise the child and they'll learn from their mistakes. Raising an alien will be a strain, but when have either of them ever lived the easy life? When the Eternals come to take the child back, the love they've shown will save the whole of the human race.

"And when eternity beckons,"

He'll die first after a long fight. Pancreatic cancer. She'll hold his hand and won't cry.

"At the end of a life heaped high with love,"

She'll look at photographs of them when they were younger and she will dream of him often. When she dreams of him, her dreams will be twice as long.

"May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days."

One night, her dreams won't stop and she will never be more peaceful. She won't live long enough. They never live long enough.

"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields."

She looks back to him---her husband---and they walk off together outside, Dr. and Dr. Milligan. Onwards. A linear life that I could never live and they're just starting it.

They step outside and the clouds burst. Rain pours down over them, the reception, and the entire wedding party. Everyone scrambles to get under the cover and Francine looks like she might cry at the sight of all the food and drink ruined by the rain. The whole situation is nothing short of comical.

Tom's hair is a mess from the water. Martha's makeup runs and her dress sticks to her. She wraps her arms around his shoulders and kisses him. For them, the universe doesn't exist. The future is now.

I head out the back towards the TARDIS. My suit is soaked by the time I get to the door.

They've got a good life waiting for them, I think. Even if we never travel again. Even if she never calls. It's enough.

It's enough.

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,211
Tags: community: writers muses, featuring: martha jones, featuring: tom milligan
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