It didn't rain in England quite like it rained here. The whole planet was supposed to be frozen, a lovely place to go after the scorching sun that nearly burned out the Doctor's mind and almost killed Martha. Of course, the TARDIS didn't land where they expected and they just ended up in a wet period of the planet's history.
Though, the planet was lovely. All grey, dense forests surrounding a sleepy little town. Twin moons in the sky and thick, purple clouds. Not so bad, not really. They even landed just in time to miss the rain. Miss the rain but meet the Dotra.
The Dotra, a wizened old innkeeper, told the Doctor and Martha that the rain was dangerous. Evil, in fact. The clouds weren't supposed to be purple, oh, no. The people in the town weren't supposed to be so wild and crazy.
"This place didn't used to be such a tourist trap! All safe and quiet, that was WizeAndle. Now, well, lookatcha! And look at all of them! High-falutin', trouble-causin'…"
The Doctor and Martha could only marvel at his words. The people in the town were downright dull, especially when compared to the people Martha met over her time at university. Still, any claim of danger was the sort that the Doctor wanted to listen to, so the two of them rented a cabin at the edge of town to set up shop and wandered about to do some investigating.
"You don't think he's just…you know, a little bonkers?" Martha asked, walking by the Doctor's side as he led the way to what was the WizeAndle equivalent of a Town Hall.
"Bonkers? Maybe. Still, I think I'd rather learn that now rather than walk around in toxic rain, don't you?" the Doctor said, giving her a nod before hopping up the stairs to the main door. "I wonder if it's purple. The rain. Should really have brought Prince here."
"Before he was 'formerly known as.'"
"Stop with the namedropping. You did not travel with Prince."
"Well. He was more famous then. All the time he spent on the TARDIS, though…"
"You are not the cause of him falling into obscurity!"
"I'm not even listening to you anymore. Isn't there someone we should be asking for help?"
The Doctor found Max, the Librarian, with extensive records of the natural history of WizeAndle. Martha found Joi, the Local Historian (they were all the only of their kind in the village and were thus revered for their occupations). Joi suggested they ask the Frora, the hermit on the mountain.
"Might I ask what this is all about?" Joi tilted her lizard-like head at Martha as she handed over a map with the location.
"Just looking into the rain."
Joi snorted. "Been talking to the Dotra, I assume. Always thinks the rain is evil. We love it."
"You do?" Martha asked.
"We do." Joi grinned, and with a clap of thunder, rain began to pour outside. The other people inside of the Town Hall ran outside with a few loud cheers. They spread their arms wide and let the purple water fall down on them.
The Doctor crossed the hall to Martha. "Rain break?"
"That's really strange. In a wet season, would they really get that excited every time it rains?" Martha asked. She picked up the map and nodded for the door. "Think we should wait it out?"
There was a scream, and several of the older Town Hall patrons chased a young girl around a playground like they were all children. Two of the desk workers started a fight, and two more began kissing.
"Yeah, I think that would be a good idea," the Doctor nodded, bending down and dipping his finger in a puddle of the rain. "Strange rain that makes them all happy." He tasted it with the tip of his tongue.
"Too happy?" Martha asked. "Maybe that's what the ecosystem is like."
"If it were, the Dotra wouldn't be so worried."
"Maybe he's just mad." Martha tilted her head to the side. "Feel any different?"
Martha put her hand to his forehead. "Can't tell if you've got a fever, you're always so cold."
"Gallifreyan body temperatures."
"It's startling. I'd think you came out of a freezer."
The Doctor snorted. "How do you think I feel? You're always positively feverish." He put his own hand to her head. "The brain boils for a Gallifreyan at this heat. Should really get you a doctor."
"Aren't I?" He grinned, and Martha was certain he'd pull away. Instead, he let his hand trace down the side of her face, his touch surprisingly intimate. His eyes followed the movements of his fingers intensely. Down the carotid artery, to the collarbone…
Martha's breath hitched as his fingers touched her breastbone. He blinked and stepped away, as if shaking off a trance.
The fight outside turned more violent, the chasing more mad, and the kissing became…slightly less polite. The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck and looked away. "There's got to be something to what the Dotra is saying.. Only one real way to find out."
Martha continued to watch the insanity outside. Her eyes went wide. "Is that---"
"Oh, it probably is. I've never been very proficient in the mating rituals of other species, especially ones that are Lizard-like."
"So much for a sleepy town."
"Indeed." The rain began to die down, then ended. The people in the streets booed at the sky, then went back inside, back to their normal lives. The Doctor offered Martha the papers in his arms. "Take these back to the cabin and see what you can find."
"I'm going to chat with the hermit---"
"Yeah, half a mile from the village? If it starts raining, I don't want you out in it."
Martha smirked. "Afraid of my mating techniques, Doctor?"
"Among other things. Whatever's in that water isn't safe. I don't want you in it."
She sighed. "It sounds almost like you care."
Half a bloody mile away, through the impossibly dense forest. Even with the machete he'd picked up from one of the weaponsmiths, it was still a nightmare to get through. And, considering no one in the town seemed to sell an umbrella, the thought of possibly dangerous rain falling down on him at any moment made his inability to move forward even more frustrating.
"Oi, mate, where you going?"
The Doctor spun around to see a thin woodsman with pink rabbit-like creatures on a string standing before him. A poacher?
"The Poacher. Only one in the village." He nodded up the hill. "Trying to see the Frora?"
The Doctor nodded. "And I'm in a bit of a hurry. Don't want to be caught out in the rain."
"You're the only one, mate. Everyone here seems to love it, don't they?"
"So I've seen."
"Anyway, Frora's not come out in years, but there's a quicker path to his house. I'll show you." The Poacher led the way around the dense forest and up a rocky path to a small cottage, hollowed out of the hill.
The Doctor checked the door. Unlocked. "Why do the townspeople think he knows anything about the rain?"
"Well, clouds started changing about a year ago, 'round the time he moved in, didn't they?" The Poacher watched the Doctor enter the Frora's house, but didn't follow. "All those plants he was talkin' about growin'."
"Who is the Frora?" the Doctor asked, poking around. "Nobody home," he murmured, digging through one of the many shelves lining the room.
"Nobody's knowin' for sure, are they? Some off-worlder. Heard he was an entre-prelude."
"Yeah, one of those, isn't he?"
The Doctor leaned his head out of the cottage door. "Do you even know what that is?"
"Right. Well, he might be." He stepped out of the cottage with a few dusty schematics and put on his glasses. "Looks like he was planning on starting a farm."
The Poacher laughed. "Yeah, buildin' up his entre-preludin' out of a farm."
The Doctor read on, flipping through the papers. "For growing Silksonnet." His eyes went a little wide. "Yes, of course."
"What's Silksonnet?" the Poacher asked, peering over the paper.
"It's a plant. Illegal in most galaxies because of the dangerous and addictive side-effects. In a lot of uncivilized cultures its pollen is sold as a drug. A very expensive drug. Well, until the users go mad." The Doctor slapped the paper. "And if there's a whole farm of it growing around here, it could easily taint the ecosystem. And then---"
The Poacher clearly wasn't following. "And then…what?"
The Doctor pushed the papers into his pocket and tugged off his glasses. "'Then' nothing, I'm going to stop it."
"See you in town, Poacher!" The Doctor ran back down the pathway. The clouds were getting darker. He'd have to run to make it back to Martha before the rain started up again.
"Bloody rain." Martha couldn't even go out and look for the Doctor, not with it like this. Not if the Dotra was right, and the Doctor seemed to think he was. So, instead, she flipped through the scientific tablets on the table, trying to make heads or tails of the nonsense language the Librarians used.
There were a few steps behind her and Martha sighed, keeping her eyes on her work.
"About time you showed up. I think I've got this bit translated here---" she turned to face the Doctor and gasped. He was wet. Completely, utterly, soaking wet. He stood in front of the open door, having apparently just come in.
He continued to stand there, as if stunned. His eyes were wide and staring, his jaw a little slack.
"Oh, god!" Martha got to her feet and raced to the couch. She grabbed the blanket off of the edge and threw it over the Doctor's head. "It's a bloody town, it shouldn't be that hard to find some cover!"
She ran the blanket over his head and shoulders, but it didn't seem to be absorbent at all. The Doctor continued to stand there, watching her. His eyes were wide but dark, startlingly dark. It sent a shiver up Martha's spine. The Doctor never looked at her, not once. Certainly not like that. Whatever was in the water was getting to him. She didn't have much time, if she had any at all.
"Stay here," she instructed, taking a step back. "I'm going to run upstairs and get a tow---"
Without warning, the Doctor took two steps forward and took Martha by the shoulders. She yelped as the cold rain from his hands soaked through her shirt, then again as he took another step forward, and another, and another until they were up against the wall of the cabin. Him, pinning her to the wall.
She felt the rainwater soak into her skin. It didn't burn, it didn't hurt, but whatever was in it took away her initial inhibitions, just like they theorized it would. It took away the initial terror of the Doctor's appearance. She suddenly thought that he actually looked quite dishy when wet. His hair all askew like that, his clothes sticking to him…
Martha looked away, embarrassed that she'd been staring. But the Doctor's eyes stayed on her. A hard, desperate stare. Almost hungry. Martha found her gaze going back to it. While the most fascinating part of him, the Doctor's eyes were also the most terrifying. They were eyes that saw everything, and right now they were pinned to Martha and Martha only.
"Doctor---" she said in a warning tone. "Doctor, whatever you're thinking, it's the rainwater and what it's doing to you."
"Martha," the Doctor murmured, his voice a low grumble that made a sudden, inexplicable pool of desire settle in Martha's stomach. How did the man do that? He could ramble on about numbers and planets and be sexy as all hell, but then all he had to do was say her name like that and look at her like that and she---
She didn't see it coming, hell, she had no idea what was going on by this point, but suddenly the Doctor's mouth was on hers. He didn't kiss her that first time back in Royal Hope, that much was for sure after this. No, no, this time it was deep, with the same sort of desperation she saw in his eyes. She didn't kiss back at first, stunned into non-response. Rainwater dripped from his lips to hers and she remembered that yeah, this was what she'd wanted. She wanted the Doctor to kiss her, she'd been wanting the Doctor to kiss her from the moment he winked at her back at that hospital. And now he was and she was just going to let the moment get away?
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed back. She couldn't possibly return the same amount of desperation, she couldn't possibly return the same intensity, but dammit if she couldn't at least kiss the bastard back. The rainwater from his hair was cold as she dug her fingers into his hair, but as it seeped into her skin, she just stopped caring This felt good, this was what she wanted. And, well, if it was only an inhibition-remover, maybe the Doctor wanted it too. She pressed her thigh between his legs, surprised to see how readily he'd reacted to her advances.
He broke the kiss abruptly and jerked back, startled. A mistake? Too far? The Doctor Martha recognized stood before her, awkward and unsure in the face of anything intimate.
He stammered, "I-I'm sorry, I---"
Martha scowled, then grabbed him by his lapels and pulled him back towards her. He'd taken so flipping long to get to this point, then got himself all covered in toxic rainwater and probably infected her, and now he was just going to run off? Absolutely not. She kissed him again and the Doctor's cold insecurity appeared to melt.
He moaned against her mouth (the noise instantly became one of Martha's most favorite things) and his hands wrapped around her waist, pulling her lower body back towards him. He hadn't even touched her yet and Martha was already weak in the knees. If this was how aliens snogged, Martha was giving up on human men forever.
She broke the kiss and he immediately traced his mouth down her jaw and neck. His lips created a cold line down her flushed skin, like ice against a fever. She let out a little whimper, and she could feel his lips curl into a smile against her skin.
She felt her face flush again, this time out of embarrassment. "You don't need to smirk, mister. I'm not normally so noisy---"
He cut her off with another one of those impossibly intense kisses, and then gave her a slight tug towards the couch. No words, just movement. His silence was perhaps the most surprising thing about this (well, after the staring, the kissing, and the fact that he was now working to pull her shirt over her head). The Doctor was noisy to a fault, always jabbering, always filling space. Now, as whatever the rainwater was doing to them filled the space, he went silent.
He tossed her shirt aside and began kissing down her collarbone and breastbone, his lips cold and wet against her skin. She, in turn, pushed his heavy jacket off his shoulders, then his suit jacket. The man wore too many layers, she'd said it before, and now was a definite example of the too-many-layers problem. She gave up the struggle with his shirt when he lowered himself to his knees to kiss down her stomach and hipbone.
"Doctor," she gasped as he kissed just below her navel. He appeared to hesitate, then unbuckled her belt. His hands were hesitant, even as his gaze up at her was sure. Martha still felt dizzy from the rainwater, but, if the Doctor was soaked, he might regret this later. Martha didn't want to be another regret or the latest in a long line of mistakes he'd made. Then he unzipped her jeans and pressed a kiss just above her knickers. Being a regret wasn't really that bad, was it? Everyone had them, and Martha might as well get used to the fact that she wasn't about to be anything more than another in a long line when it came to the Doctor's hearts.
She gave him a push backwards and he fell onto the couch, where she straddled him and went to work in unbuttoning his shirt, unzipping his trousers. They were both far too dressed and this was becoming very frustrating. Martha's jeans went across the room with her shirt and the Doctor's trousers were dropped somewhere else on the floor. She straddled him again and he kissed down her breasts, biting and suckling in a manner most unlike what she'd have expected from him. Not that she could've ever expected anything like this out of him. It was all so unexpected. Unexpected but fucking amazing.
Without questions, without procured approval, without any further ado, Martha leaned back and the Doctor pressed upwards and he pushed into her in one long, sharp stroke. She cried out, he gasped, and when she looked down at him, the Doctor she knew looked back. No rainwater lust, no unexpected attraction. Just him, looking back up at her.
Her first thought was Oh, god, he's going to stop, followed by a silent prayer to whatever deity she learned about when she was a child that he wouldn't. Not now, not when this felt good and she'd wanted him for so long. Just once, that was all she wanted. And, yeah, maybe it was her hormones or the rainwater or whatever talking right now, but she wanted him. She wanted him because, really, she'd always wanted him.
His hand cupped her face and he brought her to him to a slow, soft kiss. For all its softness and all its slowness, it was still utterly earth-moving. The softness didn't take away from the intensity and she could've come on the spot for how it made her feel. Like she was the only one (just once, the only one) he wanted to kiss, touch, hold. In the whole of the universe, just Martha Jones.
And then, he moved within her, slowly pulling out, then back in. She shuddered against him and his thrusts sped up slowly, building in intensity. His kiss mirrored the change and his arms wrapped around her back, pulling her closer, holding her there, right there, next to him.
Just once, that was all Martha wanted. She just wanted to be with him just once. She didn't need for him to hold her like this, she didn't need for him to kiss her like she was the only woman in the universe. It was…a surprisingly wonderful addition, though. She felt wanted. He wanted her.
He kissed her jaw, her neck, apparently deciding his tongue needed to trace every part of her upper body, exciting every nerve. She kissed his collarbone, his shoulder, and left a little bite on his neck. He hissed, but grinned as she pulled away.
In that moment, he wasn't the Time Lord, wasn't the big bad Doctor. He was just a bloke Martha loved, being with her.
And as she cried out in pleasure against his mouth, all she could think was that, really, the rainwater wasn't so bad. Not if it could bring them this.
The rain had stopped at some point during the night, and Martha blinked as sunlight poured into the cabin. She'd fallen asleep on the couch and during the night someone---and, really, there was only one someone it could've been---had covered her in the blanket she'd tried to dry him off with. Her clothes were in a semineat pile by the couch and his were missing.
As was he.
Martha was used to blokes leaving after a night like that, but she never really expected the Doctor to be…well, she never expected a night like that from the Doctor in the first place, much less him leaving suddenly during the night. She wondered at times if he really was the male of his species, and it appeared he truly was.
There was a creak, and Martha looked over the edge of the couch to see the Doctor, fully dressed peaking down stairs from the top. To see if she was awake, or dressed, or whatever. He looked up, as if he might make a quick departure, then put on a big, fake grin.
"Morning!" he said. "Blimey, you slept late. Already fixed up a new dooma-swatchie detector for the planet recovery." He held out a strange, cobbled-together machine as he hopped down the stairs to join her by the couch. She pulled the blanket up to cover her breasts as he continued to talk.
"See, the plants that are excreting the pollen into the rainwater---the Diofiscicus Fretresrtus plant, to be precise---has a mind-altering effect, reducing the fear trigger in the brain and causing irrational, wild behavior."
Martha nodded and pulled the blanket up further. "Is that what that was?" Well, for a Doctor he might've been a good man, but for a lover he had horrific bedside manner. Were they not going to talk about this at all? Just jump right back into their little mystery, the mystery he'd apparently already figured out.
"Low enough doses only cause mild behavioral change, but on a scale the size that this planet is dealing with, it could cause insanity or---should I go back upstairs while you get dressed?" he asked, less polite in the face of her embarrassment and more irritated that it was stopping his rambling.
"Yeah, that would be great," Martha snapped. The Doctor looked surprised, but backed away. Martha grabbed her clothes and sighed as she heard him walk off. What did she expect? She knew she was just the latest in a long line. She knew it was just the rainwater. She sighed, then pulled the shirt over her head. His footsteps paused, and then moved towards the door.
"Don't even think about wandering off on your own again, mister."
And the footsteps redirected back to the stairs.
"So, let me get this straight. The Frora grew this plant to sell as a drug?" Martha hacked at a tree limb as she followed the Doctor up the path towards where his newest toy told them the plants were.
The Doctor threw his own machete into the side of another tree, breaking the limb from his path. "Yep. Probably on Devalokur, it's the only close metropolitan planet. As this planet has the ideal growing conditions, the Frora set up camp here, planted a crop---"
"Then mysteriously vanished. What do you think, overdosed on his own drug?"
"Or went mad from it. It's one of the reasons the authorities outlawed it. Too often the workers would inhale the pollen and lose their minds. Or hurt each other. Or worse. Whatever happened here, the crop was left unattended, took over that side of the mountain and eventually worked its way entirely into this area's ecosystem."
"Infecting the rainwater."
"Making the people of the town mad. And possibly addicted. I'll have to contact the Shadow Proclamation about this."
Martha sighed as another tree branch smacked her arm. Was the Doctor even trying to help make a path, or was he just cutting it around his skinny little frame?
"So, what's the plan?"
"This---" The Doctor turned around and held up a small vial with blue liquid inside. "Neutralizer for the plant's growth and pollen development. Infected rainwater should stop, and the plants will eventually die out. It's all listed in the chronicles on the kitchen table. They knew about the plant, they just didn't know what it did."
Martha put her hands to her hips. "How was I supposed to know that's what I was looking for?"
The Doctor blinked. "I never said you were."
"You're implying it. 'On the kitchen table.' I was looking through those all day!"
"I didn't say---"
"And you've spent the whole walk here talking about those plants." She bit her bottom lip and swallowed her pride. "But not what the pollen did to us."
If there was an off-switch for the Doctor, Martha apparently just found it. His face fell and she could almost swear she saw him close up instantly. The thing he was so adamantly attempting to avoid, and she brought it up. But Martha refused to let something like this fester, especially when her clothes and her hair still smelt like him, and she could see the bite on his neck from the night before. It was stupid to just not talk about it.
"It was---" He swallowed, and looked back at his machine, which refused to give him the immediate distraction he apparently sought. "An effect of the pollen, that's all."
"That's all?" Martha stuck her machete in the ground and crossed her arms.
"One of the vines will take that if you don't---"
"Yes! That's all!" he snapped. His voice was surprisingly loud in the dense forest. Martha jumped at the sound of it.
He looked back at the machine, then to the path in front of them. "I'm not…I'm not going to be someone's boyfriend. I've never---well, I haven't---I'm not going to be."
Martha nodded. "Were you Rose's boyfriend?"
"This isn't about Rose. Why do you always make it about Rose?"
"Well, there's no other girlfriend of yours that you go on about---"
"She wasn't my girlfriend, you see, this is why I don't let things like this happen!"
"You weren't Rose's boyfriend?"
"No!" the Doctor snapped again. "No, I wasn't. I don't know what you think Rose and I---but that's not the point. I'm not going to be anyone's alien boyfriend. And if I were in my right mind last night, I wouldn't have led you to believe otherwise." He sniffed and took a step back. "I like my inhibitions where they are. They keep people from getting hurt."
People being Martha. Martha being the one who was hurt. How did she manage to convince herself the night before that it wouldn't hurt? Convince herself that she just wanted the Doctor and it would all be all right if they just did once? No, once wasn't enough. She didn't just want the Doctor, she loved him.
And he wasn't her boyfriend. He wasn't anyone's boyfriend. Maybe his species just wasn't capable of love. Sort of a sad thing to think, able to have sex and intimacy, but never feel love.
"Fine, lead the way." Martha gestured ahead and the Doctor spun around, following the lead of his machine. Martha grabbed her own machete from one of the moving vines and followed.
The Doctor made a few holographic calls and the townspeople had to make schedules around a weekly thereputic rehab. Some of them seemed genuinely excited at the notion of regaining their self-control, but many looked up at the sky and longed for the rain that made them feel free.
Martha, for one, wished she'd never come here. The Doctor could've managed this one his own, practiced a bit of his mating technique with a lizard-woman, and Martha wouldn't have been leaning against the side of the TARDIS, embarrassment and rejection running through her veins. She used to be so good at getting men to at least want her. The Doctor didn't even want that. It took a chemical disaster falling from the sky for him to even---
"Best make our way out of here before the Shadow Proclamation arrives. Type 40s aren't something they're used to seeing, they may try to procure it." The Doctor hopped over a purple puddle and grinned at his companion. Bastard didn’t have a care in the world, it appeared.
"Yeah, sounds good," Martha said, nodding. She couldn't mirror the wide smile, so she turned to face the door of the TARDIS. "Where to next, then?"
"I was thinking a show." She could hear the Doctor's voice getting closer. "Maybe Britain's Got Talent in 4433? Fantastic year for reality television."
"Yeah." She took in a breath and pushed down the rejection. Pushed down the embarrassment. It wasn't so bad. She got what she thought she wanted and that was enough. Of course it was enough.
She almost jumped when the Doctor's cold hand went to her shoulder. She turned her head to look at him. The humor to his voice and the smile on his lips didn't reach his eyes. His eyes were dark, intense. They sent a shiver up Martha's spine.
If he didn't want her so strongly, why did he look at her like that? Why look at her like that now, when nothing was making him feel that way?
"Let's go." He pushed open the door to the TARDIS and stepped away.
Maybe it wasn't the rainwater making him feel one way, maybe it just stopped making him feel afraid. Afraid of being some human girl's alien boyfriend. Afraid of Martha becoming Rose. There was no real way to find out, but that was the Doctor. A mystery to the end.
And the mystery was what made Martha love him. It was what attracted her then, and it was what made her follow him into the TARDIS now.
He looked over the console and smiled. "Onwards?"
Martha nodded. "Onwards."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 5,029 YA REALLY