Title: Shock Treatment
Author: [livejournal.com profile] fourzoas
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Martha Jones, Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor
Spoilers: nothing past “Blink”
A/N: written for the Doctor/Martha Fic Challenge at [livejournal.com profile] smith_n_jones for the following prompt: Regeneration sickness - Martha sees the scary side of regeneration. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1 and [livejournal.com profile] radiantbaby for their beta help.


Shock Treatment

Martha bolted out the shop’s back door and into the alley as soon as she heard the familiar wheeze and groan, the cries of her boss echoing against the brick walls. She followed the maze of back passages until she was standing before it, her eyes shining with thoughts of home and space. She paused before the door, reaching out a hand to touch it, to make sure that it was, after all these weeks of waiting, solid and real. The Doctor wasn’t there, and she really ought to get him first, but she couldn’t help herself, and she had her key, and one peek wouldn’t hurt…


Four blocks away he was tinkering. The detector was still not working, although it wouldn’t matter if it had been, not right now; she sensed him here, and she was hiding from him. It wasn’t yet time.


Martha stepped through the door and was immediately struck by how altered it was, how cold. The glow of the column was a sickening green against the harsh and sterile fittings, and she was flooded with a sense of annihilation. She didn’t understand what the Angels had done, exactly, to the TARDIS—especially since he’d promised her they wouldn’t be able to get through her doors—but she knew that whatever it was, it was bad. She ran her hands along the console, anchoring herself for the other changes she feared she’d find. How would the Doctor react?

A groan from a nearby corridor sent her running, and she found a man dressed in shredded clothing that anyone else would mistake for costume, but Martha thought of as time’s robes. For a fleeting moment, she hoped she was looking into the face of another Time Lord, but then she touched the gash on his cheek and saw a flash of burnt orange sky, a showering of silver leaves, cataclysm and darkness, and she knew that this was and was not the Doctor.

He coughed and sputtered, a small bit of a golden shimmer escaping from his lips before his eyes snapped open. He grabbed the hand at his cheek, roughly pulling it away, muttering, “you brought me to these apes?” before dropping her hand as he passed out on the floor.

Martha ran in the direction of the med bay and found herself in a futuristic field hospital—the space she remembered as the size of an exam room was now vast, with rows of empty beds waiting for wounded warriors who’d never arrived. She swallowed the cry in her throat and grabbed a wheelchair, stethoscope, and first aid kit before leaving the cavernous room.

He lay unconscious in the corridor. She checked his hearts—both beating—then surveyed the damage to his body. This body was so different from the one she knew; he hadn’t told her much, if anything, but after the experience with the Chameleon Arch, she’d thought about what it meant for a species to be able to rewrite its DNA, to so alter its genetic structure that it could literally become another species altogether. She hadn’t asked him, but surmised from the sight before her eyes that this change was somehow related.

There was a gash on his cheek and other cuts which peeked through the shredded bits of material on the torn clothing. They weren’t quite bleeding—it was as though they were suspended, trapped in that moment of surprise and shock when the body isn’t quite certain whether to laugh for its survival or weep for the coming pain. His skin was, as ever, colder to the touch than normal, and though he was not responsive, he was breathing. Even as he slept, she sensed a cold and impenetrable barrier surrounding him.

She couldn’t leave him lying on the floor. Satisfied—or rather desperately hoping, given she had no real way of examining him or even knowing what she’d need to watch for if she did—that he had no other unseen injuries (save those she knew had shredded his spirit), Martha slowly dragged him into the chair, then wheeled him down the corridor to the med bay. She was surprised to find it again changed, still not quite the room she remembered, but one better suited for a single convalescent. She nodded her thanks to the ship and felt what she could only perceive as a slight and subtle softening of the cold and hard edges as she lowered the bed in the room, then helped the man into it. Martha worked quickly, cutting and ripping and tearing away the clothing on his body. Seeing no damage save the cuts which would not heal, she turned to get a basin of water and a towel.

He was on her before she could finish her preparations, his right arm nearly crushing her throat as his left hand held her arms behind her back.

“Where have you taken me? What do you intend to do with me? I won’t be your lab rat, no, not after everything I’ve—“

“Doctor—Please!” Martha choked out her cry. The terror in her voice snapped something inside him, and he slightly relaxed his hold on her. “It’s me, Martha. I’m here to take care of you.”

“You lie.” His voice was guttural and chilling in her ear.

“No. Listen to me; I’m your friend. You’re in the TARDIS. You’re home.” Martha’s voice grew calmer as she felt the tension in his body slowly ease, whether from her words or the efforts of his ship she didn’t know. He let go of her arms and released her throat; when she turned to face him, she saw him, naked, the cuts slowly beginning to disappear.

“Home?” His whisper was ragged, and Martha worried she’d misspoken, said the one word that might trigger some other, more awful response than the one she’d just experienced. She guided his now-pliable body to the bed, helping to settle him beneath the sheets. He was catatonic, his eyes open but not seeing. The cuts were nearly gone now, and Martha retrieved the towel, wiped up the spilt water, refilled the basin, and returned to the task she’d set for herself. She wiped his hands, gently cleaning the dirt and grime from his fingers, then his feet, which she massaged before turning her attention to his arms, legs, torso, and face. When she’d finished this small and gentle bathing, she sat on the bed next to him and held his hand, waiting for some sign of responsiveness.

She heard her voice before she realized she’d spoken. “It’s OK. I’ve got you.”

Moments later she felt a gentle squeeze on her hand. His eyelids closed, and he grasped her hand tightly as a slow stream of tears washed his cheeks.

Martha didn’t know how long she sat there with him, watching him shifting into and out of consciousness, wiping away the cold sweat that appeared on his brow when what she could only imagine was a nightmare overtook him. When he finally awoke, his mood was sullen and ice. He pulled the sheet from his body, lowered himself to the floor, and strode from the room without glancing back at her. Stunned, Martha began to clean up the mess in the med bay, wondering what she should do next.

“You’re still here? Can’t get rid of you lot; like bloody warts you are.” He sneered, then turned to leave the room, his body entombed in black and leather. “Get out and don’t come back.”

She took a deep breath before she exited the room. She walked past him, past the console, never looking back. As she passed the threshold, she heard the graveled whisper of his voice. Martha.

She hesitated, then closed the door. There was a wheeze and a groan. She felt the wind at her back and he was gone. She could hear her boss yelling through the alleyway. She went back to work.


When she walked into the flat that night, weary and confused and more thoughtful than normal, more broody than even he could be, she did not expect the lavish meal and the attention she received, but she did not question or fight. She neither objected nor resisted when he ran her bath, then slowly undressed her, kissing bits of skin as he exposed them. He helped her into the bathtub before removing his own clothing to join her, and she relaxed into him as he gently washed and caressed her body. Once he’d dried her skin and carried her to the bed, he kissed and stroked and warmed her, murmuring his thanks for her now-remembered gift. He moved above and within her, mourning what he’d lost, loving what he’d gained. Spent, they lay together, hands clasped, eyes fixed on the ceiling’s frosted glass light fixture.

“I’m sorry.”

“I know.”


They never speak of it again, the Doctor because it’s easier to forget, and Martha because it’s impossible to remember, his slender fingers having first probed, then removed, the memories of the day as she slept. He kissed her skin as he dressed her in the pajamas, then tucked her into bed. “Can we go home soon?” she mumbled from her sleep, and he brushed her hair from her cheek and whispered “as soon as I can get us there.” He put on his own pajamas before returning to the kitchen.

In the morning she found him asleep at the table, the device now complete. She made tea, then gently ruffled his hair to wake him. She started as his hand seized her wrist, then calmed as he relaxed when he realized who was touching him and why. She brought him the tea and they sat in companionable silence as they watched the sun rise over London, just as they’d done so many mornings before.

ext_3965: (Default)

From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com


This gave me a huge lump in the throat for Nine's state and Martha's loving care, and then an urge to smack Ten upside the head for doing what he did (I don't blame him for the way he thanked her, but I do for the way he made her forget about it).

This bit:

He was on her before she could finish her preparations, his right arm nearly crushing her throat as his left hand held her arms behind her back.

was scary, but I loved the way Martha kept her cool and tried to reason with him.

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


This gave me a huge lump in the throat for Nine's state and Martha's loving care, and then an urge to smack Ten upside the head for doing what he did (I don't blame him for the way he thanked her, but I do for the way he made her forget about it).

As you know, I really struggled with that reaction, and I have no doubt I'll get questioned for it, but given the Doctor's reluctance to discuss the Time Lords with Martha in the next episodes, I can see him doing exactly what he did. I hate him for it, but isn't that what S3 made many of us do, in the end?

This bit:

He was on her before she could finish her preparations, his right arm nearly crushing her throat as his left hand held her arms behind her back.

was scary, but I loved the way Martha kept her cool and tried to reason with him.


I like to think that she would have reacted to the attack in much that way, given her experiences with the Doctor and her own ability to keep her head in a crisis. I don't know if I got the full spirit of the prompt, but I tried to imagine how disoriented and fragmented Nine would be.

Thanks again for the beta--sorry to have given you such a negative Ten moment today!
ext_3965: (Default)

From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com


As you know, I really struggled with that reaction, and I have no doubt I'll get questioned for it, but given the Doctor's reluctance to discuss the Time Lords with Martha in the next episodes, I can see him doing exactly what he did. I hate him for it, but isn't that what S3 made many of us do, in the end?

Yup! I don't think anyone who was paying attention to S3 will need to question his actions here - it's seems completely in character to me. Ten's a manipulative, devious bastard when he wants to be - and not in a good way.

I like to think that she would have reacted to the attack in much that way, given her experiences with the Doctor and her own ability to keep her head in a crisis. I don't know if I got the full spirit of the prompt, but I tried to imagine how disoriented and fragmented Nine would be.

I thought you got the prompt spot on - it's pretty much how I'd have written it if I was writing these two with Martha at this point in her timeline. (I did it differently in "Ten Days, Ten Doctors", but then it was an entirely different sort of story as she already knew Eight when he regenerated into Nine.)

Thanks again for the beta--sorry to have given you such a negative Ten moment today!

Don't worry about it. Angst is where I'm at today!

From: [identity profile] catholicphoton.livejournal.com


As much as I dislike Ten's behavior in this, I really like the fic overall. It definitely got a reaction out of me.

I like darker fics because it's a (sometimes) rare chance to see your hero's darker side. Nine's state of mind and Ten playing fast and loose with Martha's memories had me riveted. I'll be reading this again.

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


As much as I dislike Ten's behavior in this, I really like the fic overall. It definitely got a reaction out of me.

I didn't much like writing his behavior here, but once I'd committed the words to paper, I couldn't take them away.

I like darker fics because it's a (sometimes) rare chance to see your hero's darker side. Nine's state of mind and Ten playing fast and loose with Martha's memories had me riveted. I'll be reading this again.

That's what I was going for. I'm glad you found it "rereadable," even though it's dark.

From: [identity profile] supasass.livejournal.com


This was wonderful. Nine was heartbreaking as ever, and I'm numbly unsurprised at Ten's actions, even as he did caress and take care of her so gently, I still find beauty in that. I hate how he hides his love away. And it's also interesting how JE has brought forward possibly how often the Doctor could play with people's memories, as if it's the easy thing to do. I totally believe in Martha's levelheaded attitude to the situation, and my favourite line is definitely

"Even as he slept, she sensed a cold and impenetrable barrier surrounding him."

A really wonderful story :)

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


This was wonderful. Nine was heartbreaking as ever, and I'm numbly unsurprised at Ten's actions, even as he did caress and take care of her so gently, I still find beauty in that. I hate how he hides his love away.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and found Ten's actions numbing but not surprising--that's kinda what I felt as I considered what I'd written. I sometimes feel that Ten lets Martha have nothing during her time with him, and I could see him taking even this thing she really deserves.

And it's also interesting how JE has brought forward possibly how often the Doctor could play with people's memories, as if it's the easy thing to do.

You know, I don't think of this as a necessarily easy choice for him, but as the only option he sees. But the fact that he's able to wipe all of Donna's memories of him makes me wonder if perhaps he hadn't wiped selective ones from others.

I totally believe in Martha's levelheaded attitude to the situation,

If she wasn't, she wouldn't be Martha! :-)

and my favourite line is definitely

"Even as he slept, she sensed a cold and impenetrable barrier surrounding him."


Thanks--I like that one too!

A really wonderful story :)

Thank you--I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!

From: [identity profile] supasass.livejournal.com


I guess for Ten I kind of saw as something - the memory altering - as something he'd rather do than face up to the full emotional crises he creates. It's not easy in a sense but it's something the Doctor copes with. xxx

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


I think you're spot on about the memory wipe as means of hiding from crisis; the consequences of Martha remembering any of this would be more than I think he'd ever want to bear.

From: [identity profile] ebbyzone.livejournal.com


This was such a great characterization of Nine following the Time War. There are balance of pain and fear and anger there that goes so well with what we see in S1.

Plus, in this fic, we get to see just how good of a doctor Martha is, especially when it comes to the wounds that you can't see. Oh! And I love that the TARDIS recognized her & helped her to treat the Doctor's injuries.

And Ten's acknowledgment of that day (and subsequent removal of that memory) just killed me. It almost makes you wonder how many times Martha could have met the Doctor on her journeys, but doesn't remember.

So much to love here. :)

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


This was such a great characterization of Nine following the Time War. There are balance of pain and fear and anger there that goes so well with what we see in S1.

Thanks; I tried to think of what he was like in S1 and then work backward. I can't imagine he was even remotely pleasant to be around, not even for the TARDIS.

Plus, in this fic, we get to see just how good of a doctor Martha is, especially when it comes to the wounds that you can't see.

This is one of the things I think Martha does best--she heals his spirit. I liked playing with the idea that she laid the foundation for it long before he regenerated into Ten.

Oh! And I love that the TARDIS recognized her & helped her to treat the Doctor's injuries.

The TARDIS is wise, but I think it's more likely that she recognizes her as a future benevolent familiar (or somesuch); Martha has a key and intends no harm.

And Ten's acknowledgment of that day (and subsequent removal of that memory) just killed me. It almost makes you wonder how many times Martha could have met the Doctor on her journeys, but doesn't remember.

That could make for an interesting series...

So much to love here. :)

Thank you--I'm just glad you enjoyed it!

From: [identity profile] ebbyzone.livejournal.com


Just realized I did not catch the typos/grammatical errors in this comment before you replied. Doh!

This is one of the things I think Martha does best--she heals his spirit.

Agreed!

That could make for an interesting series...

Do I hear the hippity-hop of those ever-present bunnies?

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


Do I hear the hippity-hop of those ever-present bunnies?

Get thee behind me, Satan! LOL--I wasn't really thinking about doing them, but I'll keep that in mind as I go.

From: [identity profile] mischief89.livejournal.com


This was amazing! ::adds it to her 'fanon' list:: I really like how you wrote nine after all of that and the way the Doctor (Ten)instantly knew what had happened and the way he treated her when she got home. As heartbreaking as it is, though, I can see why he erased her memory. I don't think she'd really want to remember something like that and I'm sure Ten wouldn't want someone else to remember either. :(

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


This was amazing! ::adds it to her 'fanon' list:: I really like how you wrote nine after all of that and the way the Doctor (Ten)instantly knew what had happened and the way he treated her when she got home.

Thank you! I find Nine fascinating and hope to write more of him; he's so raw and rough and almost--though he'd never admit it--human in his grief.

Ten has actually just remembered what's happened, so his response to Martha is, in a sense, a very fresh one. When he takes the memory of the day from her, it's as if he can't let himself have that moment either.

As heartbreaking as it is, though, I can see why he erased her memory. I don't think she'd really want to remember something like that and I'm sure Ten wouldn't want someone else to remember either. :(

Given Donna's reaction in JE and Martha's trek across the planet, I like to think she would want to remember; I think that he's more considering his own comfort, although he may be telling himself he's doing it for her.

I'm so glad that you enjoyed the story!


From: [identity profile] mischief89.livejournal.com


Given Donna's reaction in JE and Martha's trek across the planet, I like to think she would want to remember; I think that he's more considering his own comfort, although he may be telling himself he's doing it for her.

Then maybe I'm like the Doctor and am telling myself he's doing it for her, haha!

I most definitely enjoyed the story! :)

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


Then maybe I'm like the Doctor and am telling myself he's doing it for her, haha!

LOL--I certainly won't deny you that pleasure, and it makes it all a bit easier for me to think the same sometimes; he's misguided, not willfully malicious!

I most definitely enjoyed the story! :)

Glad to hear it!
syien_island: (Default)

From: [personal profile] syien_island


Nine has always been one of my favorite Doctors, just simply because he was for me grittiest of 'em all. His reaction to Martha-"He was on her before she could finish her preparations, his right arm nearly crushing her throat as his left hand held her arms behind her back."-
isn't surprising, though I was stunned when he told her to get out (I don't think I would have handled it as calmly as she did, but that's because she's made of awesome and I'm made of un-awesome)

The tender aftermath nearly brought me to tears.

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


Nine has always been one of my favorite Doctors, just simply because he was for me grittiest of 'em all. His reaction to Martha-"He was on her before she could finish her preparations, his right arm nearly crushing her throat as his left hand held her arms behind her back."-
isn't surprising, though I was stunned when he told her to get out (I don't think I would have handled it as calmly as she did, but that's because she's made of awesome and I'm made of un-awesome)


At first I wondered if that was too harsh, but given the gruffness he displays in "Rose," I could see the newly-regenerated Nine wanting to get her away from him as soon as he was well enough to be on his own. I think Martha gets some insight (although Ten wipes her memory before she can really profit from it) into his wounds from the experience.

And yes, she's made of awesome. I wish I was more like her!

The tender aftermath nearly brought me to tears.

*hugs you* It was really sad.

From: [identity profile] dk323.livejournal.com


Wow - poor Martha! I knew she would keep her cool during that tense encounter (she's usually put in the peacemaker position after all), but all the same - it had to have been a nasty shock for her. Considering that the Time War was probably still raw in Nine's mind, who could blame him for acting the way he did?

Ten's thanking her after she gets back was sweet of him, but way to remind the reader that Ten can be a bastard (especially during season 3) sometimes.

I understand why he did it, but it still hit me when I read it - how dare he do that? But I'm glad you did go there - it is in character for Ten, imo. I guess opening up to Martha about Gallifrey was his limit.

Overall, great fic - fits well within season 3. :)

From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com


Wow - poor Martha! I knew she would keep her cool during that tense encounter (she's usually put in the peacemaker position after all), but all the same - it had to have been a nasty shock for her. Considering that the Time War was probably still raw in Nine's mind, who could blame him for acting the way he did?

I hope I've been true to both of them; Martha's shaken by the encounter, but she doesn't let him see it and he's just so damaged, cause really--how could he not be? I think I want to spend some time writing Nine pre-"Rose"; he fascinates me.

Ten's thanking her after she gets back was sweet of him, but way to remind the reader that Ten can be a bastard (especially during season 3) sometimes.

Yep. He can be, especially where Martha's concerned.

I understand why he did it, but it still hit me when I read it - how dare he do that? But I'm glad you did go there - it is in character for Ten, imo.

Thanks--as I've said upthread, I was a bit surprised that he did it myself, but I think it's what he would do, particularly in these circumstances.

I guess opening up to Martha about Gallifrey was his limit.

Martha sees him so vulnerable throughout S3, which is why I think he puts the roadblocks up with her so harshly.

Overall, great fic - fits well within season 3. :)

Thanks! This is the first proper S3 fic I've written (other than a bit of pr0n), and I'm glad you found it fit the series.
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