Title: Before the Dawn
Category: Genfic, Martha-centric (surprised me, too)
A/N: Uber-short little ficlet set during “Last of the Time Lords”. Quotes in italics come from 3x03 (“Gridlock”), 3x11 (“Utopia”), and 3x06 (“The Lazarus Experiment”)
He’s something other than a Doctor, tonight.
Martha tugs her jacket more tightly around herself, hunkering down behind a conveniently placed boulder and wondering why she’s hiding from her best friend. A year ago (two days ago) she would have stood beside him boldly, as the caretaker she’s trained to be or as the jealous hopeful she fears she’s let herself become.
(She knows she’s brave, but it’s going to be awhile before cowering in the shadows stops feeling so natural.)
(Tomorrow. Tomorrow she stops hiding.)
She understands, now, that this is a part of his life that she has no claim on. All the Master means to her is aching legs and an empty stomach, Tish’s involuntary flinch and Tom’s staring eyes, a year of pain and death and unending terror…
She wonders what he could possibly mean to the Doctor to deserve this grief, these flames, this honor.
And what is he to you? A colleague, or—
A friend, at first.
She wonders who the Doctor’s forgiveness was really supposed to save.
I'm not just a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords...They're all gone now. My family. My friends. Even that sky.
She wonders what he’s seeing burn, tonight— a man, or a world?
In the end you just get tired. Tired of the struggle. Tired of losing everyone that matters to you. Tired of watching everything turn to dust.
He watches the flames. She watches him.
(Tomorrow. Tomorrow she leaves.)