Title: Ecologies

Characters: Martha Jones, Duplicate Doctor

Rating: PG-13

Summary: The duplicate Doctor considers Martha Jones. Five reasons he wouldn't choose her; one reason he could.

A/N: Thanks [livejournal.com profile] ebbyzone and [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1 for beta-ish advice. This story was inspired by one of the 10 Word stories I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] newworldnewlove: He did not think that she was a viable option.



One

It never occurred to him that she was a viable option. She was happily engaged, and since they'd parted after Messaline, the Doctor hadn’t given her a second thought, save to urge her to rid the Earth of that dismal key. The Doctor shouldn’t have been surprised; if Martha Jones would ever kill in his name, it would be to fight the Daleks. It was the only time she’d ever killed, and she’d done it for him then, too.

So as he sleepily slips his arm around Rose to pull her closer to him in the night, he doesn’t have any longings related to Martha Jones. Why should he? The Doctor never had.

Two

He'd never thought she was a viable option, but when the Doctor and Rose left him at Martha’s London flat, dripping wet and mourning the loss of the possibility of staying with Donna, he’d begun to cling to the idea that she would take him in, that she would care for him, love him, and be happy to have what he thought she’d always wanted.

She did take him in, and she did care for him, and she did, in her way, love him. He still had to get his own flat and make a life for himself; after a couple of months, he grew tired of being the third wheel. He sent them a clock for their wedding.

Three

Of course he thought about the viability of a relationship with Martha. How could he not? After all, they had to resolve Solomon's dilemma, one woman and two men. As he put on the blue suit, he remembered the day he’d met her in that hospital, the excitement of flirting with a pretty girl who thought he was pretty as well. Yes, this could be just the move to make: two women, two loves, and every body happy.

If only he’d come into existence before the Doctor had met her at all. Martha wouldn’t be interested in a consolation prize. She didn’t need consoling.

Four

No, after watching the Doctor sacrifice so much that wasn’t his to avoid killing, after suffering his attempts to save his enemies, she would be too disgusted with what he’d done at the first opportunity. He was a hypocrite. She would never see him as a viable option.

Five

It would choke and wither and die almost as quickly as it bloomed. She was really a lone operator; Martha had spent most of her time with the Doctor on her own, and if her patterns were any indication, she was better suited for a loner’s life. No flatmate, fiancé in Africa, work that moved her about the globe to protect and to defend. No, not one for keeping anyone tethered, when she herself was so detached. A fetus isn't viable for at least five months, a plant can’t live without tending on a regular basis, new love needs maintenance to keep it going on.

Neither of them were interested in gardening.

Alpha | Omega

They acknowledge one another—a nod, a hug, a friendly awkward smile—but there’s nothing to draw them to each other, save perhaps her curiosity at how he actually is, his physiology a new system to explore; or his desire to learn earthbound survival skills from someone who has so recently mastered them. These are not sustainable reasons to break with established evolutionary trajectories, and so neither really registers in the other’s ecosystem.

He never learns to feel better than second best. She always doubts the thing she might have done.

A park. A beach. A Chiswick home.

Stability achieved, the TARDIS travels on.

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