You've needed to talk to her about regeneration for a very, very long time. Pretty much from the moment she became a "frequent flyer", you've needed to have the conversation. You've been putting it off, of course, because it's like having a conversation about sprained ankles or automobiles or sex, you're slightly more likely to have an accident if the idea is aired. And, really, while you try to act very brave, you don't want to lose this regeneration, not yet.
But now, it's too late.
You're burning up, inside out. Core melting, and you're going to die, you know it, you know it. There's this thing, you try to say, That happens if I'm about to die...
She insists that you're not to talk that way. That she's got you. That you'll make it. She's so damn foolish, especially if she thinks that you'll really survive it. Maybe she's blinded by the situation, by her own fear. But she's convinced she can save you.
And in the end, she does.
Not by freezing the creature from you, but by dumping the fuel, giving the sun back its heart and pulling it from you. You collapse backwards to the floor, your eyes wide with shock. She did it. You can't believe she did it.
You could've killed her. You could've killed her, even as you felt your cells begin to boil with the regenerative process. You could've killed her, and you don't think regeneration would've stopped it.
You move to your feet, and she's already running up the pathway, her arms wide, sheer relief on her face. You're alive, and she's as excited as if she'd saved an entire planet. You're everything to her, in that moment, and, as you wrap your arms around her, lift her off the ground, you realize she's become the same to you, and that's pretty terrifying, too. But now, you're both alive, and you're safe, and you haven't gone off and terrified her by changing into another man. Not yet, at least.
And you just can't stop smiling. You've survived, you've both survived, and you didn't think it was possible to be so completely excited about being alive, but you are. No other joy could quite match that of what you feel now (except, perhaps, for the 2153 football match with England versus Germany, and England finally won).
You're alive. You and Martha are alive.
You pull back, and look down at her. Without thought or preamble, you kiss her. Fully, deeply, almost desperately. There's no genetic transfer, no real medical reason or a purpose behind this, except you have to kiss her. Tongue and teeth and desperate but you're alive.
Her arms go around your neck, and she's kissing you back, the same level of desperation. She's wanted to kiss you for a long time, but this is more than just her crush. This is something between two people who need each other, as you both do, and who nearly lost one another, as you both did. You'd almost call it an unsexual act, if her body wasn't so close to yours, and your arms weren't pulling her tighter.
It's not your best kiss ever. Uncontrolled, overly passionate, possibly messy, but you wouldn't trade the moment. In a way, you both really need this moment.
When you pull back and press your forehead against hers, you're both gasping for air, but it has nothing to do with the heat.
There's this thing, you say, That happens to me, if I'm about to die.
She looks startled, but lets out a laugh. There's no danger now, Doctor. You don't have to tell me.
There's always danger, you reply, But this, I have to tell you this, it's important. I can't have you caught off guard---
The communicator on the wall buzzes, and one of the only two surviving crew members breaks your moment. Your perfect, intimate, and completely unexpected moment.
Doctor, Martha. We need you down in engineering. We think we're stable, but we need to vent the rooms.
She pulls away first, almost sharply, and with a very startled expression on her face. She didn't realize you could be so human, and hold her so intimately without the universe collapsing or something.
You hobble over to the communicator and press the button. We're on our way. Your hand extends to hers, and she takes it without hesitation. How she can be so trusting after the rollercoaster ride of emotions you both have gone through, you'll never know. But, then again, you're grateful she is.
And as for regeneration? You'll explain it. Later. There'll always be another opportunity.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 775