Paul Gadzikowski

DOCTOR WHO Fanfiction

One Day, ...

"'Somewhere quiet for once'!" said the Doctor triumphantly when the TARDIS' customary rocking ceased.

"Yeah?" said Martha skeptically, still hanging onto the side of the console nearest the doors. After all, the trip to New New York hadn't been meant to be thrilling and dangerous and bloody-near fatal, and look how that had turned out. "Where?"

"Campbellshire!" shouted the Doctor from across the console. "North of England, twenty-second century. Idyllic farmland, through and through."

"How do you know?" Martha tried unsuccessfully to keep her doubt from her voice, not wanting to suffer any more abuse on behalf of whatever failing of her entire species - with one exception - he might decide it represented.

"I don't remember," he said, speaking in announcements like usual again. "Except that I think I've been to this time before. Only, only just before," he added quickly, perhaps through some psychic ability, because this time Martha was about to bring up New New York, "by which I mean only a few months, a year tops, instead of fifty, so there's no chance of whatever I fixed then having gone wrong in an entirely unpredictable, unrelated, and totally not-my-fault manner, such as happened on New New York which I don't have to be psychic to know you were thinking."

By now enough time had passed since the TARDIS had tremored any that Martha felt secure in letting go of the console and moving toward the doors. "Who were you here with?" If it was Rose again she was going to slap him. Probably he'd repeat that he didn't remember, since to all appearances he'd slipped back into "lied 'cos I liked it" mode.

"Susan," he answered as Martha threw the TARDIS doors open. The TARDIS had landed in a farmfield, tall stalks of something a city girl couldn't identify blowing prettily in a light wind. It really was somewhere quiet for once.

Well, Martha thought, if he had forgotten the details perhaps her surprise question had jogged his memory. But her eyes were rolling as she turned back to him: "Oh, who was she then? I thought there was only one human perfect enough to travel with..." She trailed off when she saw him.

The Doctor had on his that's impossible face, but it was deathly pale. "Granddaughter," he stammered. "My granddaughter. The first of you girls. Left her here."

"But ..." The revelations he'd finally shared in Pharmacytown rushed back to Martha, nearly overwhelming her - and if she was overwhelmed, no wonder the usually loquacious Time Lord wasn't even talking in full sentences. "But you said all your people are - You said you're the last." The Doctor nodded mutely. "But the Face of Boe said you're not!" A wonderful idea came to her.

"I killed them," said the Doctor.

At first the words were wholly non-sequitur to Martha. "What?"

"I ended the war. Pressed the button that left me alone."

Oh my god, Martha thought, how horrible - but it only threw her idea into sharp relief. "Susan might be here!" The Doctor gave a little shake of his head. "She might!" Martha blazed on, ignoring what he'd told her about removal from history or his own ability to sense others of his kind. "If you left her here she wasn't a combatant! She might still be here, just like you're here! Come on!!" Martha charged out of the TARDIS.

This, Martha realized, is what time-travel is all about. Seeing wonders. Discovery! Learning new things you'd had no idea existed! In that moment Martha understood the Doctor clearly for the first time: how he could live the life he did for all the centuries he'd lived it, the beautiful horrors and the horrible beauty. Discovery! Learning things!

She was fifty feet off before she realized she didn't know whether it was the right direction, and turned to see that he hadn't followed.

"What are you waiting for!" she cried as she burst back through the TARDIS' open doors. He hadn't moved, but now his head moved side-to-side feebly again. "Your granddaughter could be out here," Martha insisted, and in the resulting silence she finally heard what he wasn't saying: What if she's not?

He'd never been back since the war, Martha realized. He'd even suppressed the memory, until she'd brought it forward by insisting he talk. He'd rather not know.

His face had paled even more. He was sweating, and breathing irregularly. He was about to faint. The Doctor was about to faint at the prospect of learning something.

Martha went to him as quickly but unthreateningly as she could, speaking in her E.R. voice. "We won't go out. In a minute we'll set new coordinates and leave. Just sit down." She took him under the arm and moved him to the chair. Then she went to the doors and shut them, and came to sit beside him, taking out her handkerchief and wiping his forehead.

It was many minutes before he spoke. "I told her ..."

After another minute Martha prompted him. "What did you tell her?"

The Doctor's head slowly sank onto her shoulder. "The last thing I said to her was, 'One day, I shall come back.'"


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