He followed, of course. Stepped inside and watched as she righted a chair and picked up the glass from a broken frame. She stopped, suddenly, and turned to face him.
"Did you miss me?" she asked.
There was nothing witty to say, he simply nodded. She stepped towards him and wrapped her arms around him. But she was always better at showing emotion than he was. Her mouth pressed against his and his body responded without prompting. He had a brief thought that he really should deny her again, but why? The way he saw it, they were all each other had in that moment.
And now, they lay together on her bed, his arms around her tiny shoulders that held up the world. She breathes on the bare skin of his chest and listens to the sounds of his hearts.
"Never get used to that," she says, and he can feel her lips curve into a smile.
"You're telling me," he replies. "I feel your one heart and I'm worried you've got a binary condition."
"Binary condition?" she laughs at that, and he can understand. It's not a term that humans have developed.
"Solitary heart movement. Frequent in older Time Lords. Got to go right to a medical facility, get it all sorted out. Otherwise you can lose a lot of blood to the brain, suffer an anti-stroke." He shifts a little to get more comfortable and she moves like she's going to move away. He doesn't move his arm from around her shoulders, and she eventually relaxes.
"Did you ever have that?" she asks. "Binary condition?"
He scoffs. "I'm not that old."
"No, I meant when you were…" She stops a little short and at first he thinks she's going to do that thing she does when she doesn't know how to ask something. A year has changed her, and she clears her throat before she continues. "When Saxon aged you for so long."
"Well, it was only a false sort of aging. Unnaturally produced."
"Looked real enough."
"Yeah, well, it felt rather real, too."
"You're not answering the question, though."
She's frustrating as all hell, but there's no way for him to walk away from her in this instant, because that would just feel wrong. And besides, she's warm and comforting on his chest, and he hasn't had comfort in a year. He decides answering her question will be a lot better than moving away from her just yet.
"Once or twice," he admits.
"Did you have an anti-stroke?"
"Only once. The first time I was helped immediately. The second time he…waited it out."
"I'm surprised Saxon helped you at all," she says. There's a lot of bitterness in her voice that doesn't shock him. He knows what she's been through and he knows she can't really understand the relationship between him and the Master.
"You never call him by his name," he observes.
"He's not my Master." She leans up and looks down at him with long, mussed hair that sticks up a little in places. She looks so different from the Martha he remembers. She isn't wearing makeup, he imagines she hasn't worn it in a year, and her skin is shiny. Her right eyebrow has a tiny scar on it he's never seen before and she's got little dark circles under her eyes. All the same, she's rather beautiful, he decides.
He nods. "Fair enough."
She lays back down and presses a kiss to the skin above his right heart. It's funny, but the room here has always smelled a little bit like lavender, and now that the Doctor has his nose against Martha's wild hair, he can smell it in her, too. A little lavender, sweat, and TARDIS dust. That's the scent of Martha.
"Are you sniffing my hair?" she asks, sounding rather weirded out.
"Can't help it, Martha, I have to make sure the enzymes in your hair haven't been disrupted!"
"Don't lick it! What is wrong with you?" she's laughing as she gently bats his face away.
"Can't stop you from smelling and licking anything, can I?"
She laughs again, but it dies down quickly and she curls up tighter against his chest. He thinks she probably wants to ask him something, or possibly confess something. He wonders if he should tell her he's already aware she fancies him, especially from how they're lying together now. And maybe he's come to fancy her in return. He might even love her.
He opens his mouth to speak, but she cuts him off. "Have you ever killed anyone?"
Morbid. Well, all thought of talking about fancying each other is gone, and he nods. "Yes."
"Not like, by accident or as the result of something else," she clarifies. "Just killed someone in cold blood."
He nods again. "Sometimes…with a War….you haven't got a choice."
"Yeah." Her voice is a little quieter, and after a moment he can feel a slight wetness dripping onto his sternum. She's crying. He's not stupid, he knows why.
"Did you have to, Martha?"
He feels her nod. "First, do no harm," she says. "But I thought I was going to die, and I didn't have a choice."
"You had a choice, but you chose to live," he says. "It's when it's not a life-or-death choice and you decide to kill---"
"It still hurts, though."
"Good. Because if you didn't feel remorse, you'd be the Master."
She goes quiet. He feels her breathing and wonders why she's stopped talking all of a sudden. Their conversation's tone has shifted so much that he can't tell if they're happy and joking or angry and remorseful. Maybe that's what after-intercourse conversations are like for humans. All still high on adrenaline and endorphins and emotion, they're never…stable.
"Why did you want to save him?" she asks. "Saxon. The Master, whoever."
She's not just asking him why he wanted to save him. She's asking him what he meant to the Doctor. She's asking him why after everything he believed he was worthy of saving. She wants to know, and part of him believes he should tell her.
The other part of him releases her shoulder and rolls away. He hears her breath catch and he can imagine the hurt look on her face even if he's not used to the face she has now.
She rolls over and he can feel the warmth of her back against his. He wants to hold her again, but that would mean that question is brought up. He knows her, well, the way she was at least.
This is the last time they'll converse like this, with this sort of intimacy, he thinks.
He wonders if it'll be the last time they'll be together at all.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,198
Partner: Martha Jones (canon)