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FIC: A Grieving Heart - Epilogue

FIC: A Grieving Heart
Author: NightRider
Beta: The wonderful starxd_sparrow
Rating: PG-13 for angst
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Doctor Who. What a pity!
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Jack, Martha, and various others of my own creation
Spoilers: Vague discussion of all three seasons of the new Doctor Who
Summary: After the Last of the Time Lords, the Doctor isn’t coping well and decides he’s finished with…well, basically everything. Martha and Jack encountered a strange alien which has taken up residence in a child.
A/N: I want to thank everyone that has followed this story. It's been a ride!





One night of rest turned into three days of lounging around the TARDIS. Jack was underneath the console, his legs barely visible below the coils of wires and circuits. Martha was settled on the couch with several textbooks about alien anatomy strewn around her. The Doctor was between them, his coat utilized as a makeshift blanket, his finger idly circling the rim of a teacup.

“So the tree-people of Cheem are made entirely of wood?” Martha asked.

“Yep.” The Doctor lifted his head, smiling briefly. “Lovely people too. You’d like the Forest of Cheem.”

“Maybe we’ll go there sometime,” Martha said, flipping to the next page.

“Yeah.” He lowered his gaze. “Maybe.”

“One TARDIS tune-up complete,” Jack announced as he slid out from underneath the control panel and wiped his hands on his jeans. The TARDIS gave a contented wheeze in response.

“I could have helped you,” the Doctor stated.

“I wanted a little one of one time with the lady,” Jack replied with a wink.

“Stop flirting with my ship, Captain.”

Jack grinned and ran his fingers along one of the struts. “You know she likes it. Anyway, she deserves a little extra attention.”

“You’re spoiling her,” Martha said with a laugh. “You realize she’s going to expect the same treatment out of you, Doctor - high expectations and all.”

They smiled at each other for several seconds before silence lingered in the air.

As much as he didn’t want to say it, Jack knew it was time to go back. He wanted to stay, but knew he had a responsibility to his team and to Earth. “Doctor, it’s time I headed home.”

Martha’s fingers tightened around the book she was holding before closing her eyes and forcing two deep breathes into her lungs. Setting her book aside, she rose from the couch. “Yeah, I should be getting back to the hospital. I’m sure I’ve got some questions to answer.”

“Right.” The Doctor clapped his hands together once, standing and moving to the controls. Jack was standing at his side, their shoulders barely touching as the Doctor keyed in the coordinates. “London, approximately thirty minutes after we left.”

As soon as the TARDIS rematerialized, the Doctor leaned against the metal railing and motioned to the door. “Home sweet home.”

“Come here, you,” Martha stated as she pulled him away from the railing and wrapped her arms tightly around him. “Don’t forget what I said, you hear? I don’t regret it, not for a minute.”

He returned her embrace, his long fingers curling around the fabric of her shirt. “Thank you.”

The TARDIS door opened. “Um, Doctor?”

The Doctor lifted his chin from Martha’s shoulder. “What Jack?”

“Since when is London a frozen tundra?” Jack asked as he pushed the door back so the terrain was clearly visible. The sounds of howling winds echoed through the TARDIS as snow flurries blew past the door.

“What?” His jaw dropped slightly. “You saw me key in the coordinates! There’s no reason why –“ He paused, his eyes moving from the icy planet to the TARDIS interior. “Unless someone else opted to change our plans.”

The Doctor marched purposefully towards the console, crossing his arms across his chest and glaring at the time rotor. “Now you listen here, you’ve got to bring them back.”

Jack closed the door, the Doctor’s one-way conversation drawing his interest, and walked over to stand beside Martha.

“Don’t try to look innocent. I know it was you,” the Doctor continued. “Yes, I understand that, but we can’t hold anyone here against –“ He paused, his eyes widening, before he dropped one hand to the edge of the control panel. “We’ll be fine,” he whispered, his fingers dancing across the surface. “You don’t have to worry about that. I’m better, I promise.”

“We’ll come back and visit,” Martha promised. She and Jack moved to flank the Doctor on both sides.

“And you can bring him back to see us –“ Jack paused to give the Doctor a pointed look – “often.”

“Oi! I’ll come back!”

“Consider this an insurance policy,” Jack returned. “The TARDIS can make sure you keep good on your word.”

“I resent that,” that Doctor replied with a sniff.

Martha smiled. “Tough.”

“So can we take them home now?” the Doctor asked. The TARDIS wheezed, and the Doctor released the lever.

Jack returned to the door, peaked outside and nodded. “Good girl.”

With his hands jammed in his pockets, the Doctor followed them out and leaned in the doorway.

“I mean that,” Jack reaffirmed. “Don’t be a stranger and no more half-dead TARDIS escapades, got me?”

The sarcastic reply died on his lips when he noticed the serious expression in Jack’s eyes. “Yes, and thank you, Jack. Both of you. I don’t know what I would have done -”

“You’ve still got us,” Martha interjected. “That’s never going to change.”

The Doctor smiled, drawing them against his body. The embrace lingered, the warmth soothing away any lasting weariness.

“See you around, Doc’,” Jack stated as he stepped away.

“Until next time, Doctor,” Martha agreed.

The Doctor nodded and watched them until they disappeared around the corner onto the busy street. It was a goodbye filled with a promise that he intended to keep. He’d be back.

He closed the door of the TARDIS and walked to the console to begin the dematerialization sequence. An envelope caught his eye, and he reached for it, noting the royal seal of Emballir.

My dearest Doctor,

I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve done for my people, for me. You’ve reminded me of one thing I seem to have forgotten: hope. Thank you for giving me something to believe in.

Take care of yourself, Doctor, and let those friends of yours help. You’re not infallible, but remember that there those that love you anyway. No one expects perfection, even from you, my old friend.

I would ask that you visit me again, but I already know your answer. Your adventures on this planet are complete, but should you ever need a friendly ear or a glass of mirsux’s milk, you know where to come.

Always,

Marista


His eyes scanned the letter for the fourth time before folding it carefully and slipping it inside his coat pocket.

“We’re going to be all right, old friend,” the Doctor said aloud, causing the TARDIS to hum softly. He pressed several buttons, moving around the console slowly.

His quiet reverie was broken by the TARDIS splintering as a ship’s bow breached the exterior wall.

“What?” the Doctor cried as he tried to regain his footing. His fingers grasped a life preserver with the word ‘Titanic’ printed in black lettering on the other side. “What!?”


~Finished~

Comments

( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
catsfiction
Apr. 20th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I've loved this story. I don't think I've come across any other Jack/Martha/Ten threesome with such a convincing and hopeful conclusion. Their compassion and their support made them both much bigger on the inside than the characters we've sometimes seen on TV. And now, hopefully, he'll have Donna to help him. I just hope VOTD doesn't set him back too far, or that at least he knows where to head after he's lost Astrid.

Well done!
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! You've been so supportive throughout this story. I haven't read many Jack/Martha/Ten stories myself as that's not my favorite pairing, but this story demanded to be written. :) I'm a sucker for a good friendship story too.

I just hope VOTD doesn't set him back too far, or that at least he knows where to head after he's lost Astrid.

That's where I was heading with this story. Yes, the loss of the Titanic is going to be very difficult for him, but he knows where to go when the disaster is over. :) Thanks again!
aschicca
Apr. 20th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Aww why shouldn't you be happy with this conclusion? It was exactly how things had to go... we all would want things to be different and for the Doctor not to be separated from his Captain alone, but Martha and Jack have lives... it's sad but it's our show! Lol

Also Jack flirting with the TARDIS is love!!!!

I loved this story and the epilogue was just what it needed: a conclusion that's never a *real* conclusion. Just like the Doctor's story :)

*hugs*
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
I'm not sure why I didn't like it. I suppose I know it's not my best work. *shrugs*

As I said below, one of these days I'm going to end a DW story where the Doctor and Jack are blissfully happy together. To hell with canon! Would you like to join us for our river cruise down De Nile? :P

Thank you again for all the thoughtful reviews. You're such a supportive, kind reader!
fredsmith518
Apr. 20th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
oh, neat segue into the titanic ep
love the Tardis with a personality...an opinionated one at that
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
I'm a sucker for the TARDIS. :) When you think about it, she's really his oldest friend.

Thanks for the kind review! I'm so glad you decided to follow this story.
hence_the_name
Apr. 20th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yay! I love it. The TARDIS trying to drop them off on a frozen tundra made me laugh out loud--and such a sweet and hopeful conclusion. It always has to end with them going their separate ways, doesn't it? I can't seem to find a convincing end to my stories that isn't bittersweet like this. But I guess our boys aren't really the settling-down types, are they? :P Nicely done!
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
It always has to end with them going their separate ways, doesn't it?

It does. *le sigh* One of these days I'm going to write everyone blissfully happy together and to hell with canon. :P Anyone for a cruise down De Nile? :P

Thanks for the kind review! I hope you got some time to write today.
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indusnm
Apr. 20th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Loved this fic- it's the first dr. who I've read, and I want to read loads more like it!
I'm glad you captured the doctor so well- I just the Last of the Time Lords a couple days ago and want to pick Ten up and hug him forever and ever.
Thanks for posting.
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
I'm flattered! Thank you for taking a chance on this story. :)

I just the Last of the Time Lords a couple days ago and want to pick Ten up and hug him forever and ever.

I think we all had that reaction. :( At least this way we know he got some comfort.

Thanks for the lovely review!
souleswanderer
Apr. 20th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh what a pleasant and wonderful surprise to see this posted. Definitely made up for having to go into work today on my day off :)

The epiloque wraps the story up very very nicely, all the little ends tied up neatly makes for a feeling of completeness, even though we know the Doctor's companions always leave in the end. At least the Doctor has been able to see the big picture and realizes that he too will continue on and that there are folks that truly care about him.

Oh, just a little fyi -- Jack closed the door, the Doctor’s one-way *conservation* drawing his interest,, I'm dyslexic like that too :)

Anxiously awaiting more stories from you!
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
You had to work on your day off? How terrible! Hopefully you weren't too busy.

Yeah, the Doctor's companions always do leave. At least this way he knows he's loved, and they expect to see him again - soon. ;)

Thank you so much for pointing that out! It's corrected now. That error completely blew past me. :)

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sarkywoman
Apr. 21st, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
You made him all independent! I bet you know how ambivalent I am towards independent!Doctor ;)

Nice way of fitting it in, though I feel awful for him saying they're going to be alright when I know he's a few hours away from watching Kylie Minogue's fiery death (popcorn, anyone?)
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
*snickers* Don't worry.

He's absolutely trashed at the moment in the other story I'm writing. ;)

Yeah, the ending of this story left us with the Titanic. I was hinting to the fact that post-Titanic disaster, he knows exactly where to go. :) Jack's waiting arms anyone?
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vail_kagami
Apr. 21st, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Pfa! They left him! Again!

It would still have been a somewhat happy ending if not for the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS, because we know how that will end.

Right now it feels like the Doctor could need another supply of hugs!

Anyway, it was a lovely ending to a story I greatly enjoyed reading! And I'll surely read it again several times. Thanks for writing it!
nightrider101
Apr. 21st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they left him. As stated above, one day I'm writing one of those 'happily ever after' fics and to hell with canon!

When does the Doctor ever not need a supply of hugs? *snuggles the Doctor*

Thanks for the wonderful review. I appreciate all the support you've given me throughout this story.

In other news, how's the first day back at Uni going?
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adaliazandra
Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
I'm glad they took a couple of days to decompress, and I love Jack not letting the Doctor help him give the TARDIS a tune-up. Jack/TARDIS is a happy OTP. :-)

It's sad that Jack and Martha have to leave, of course, but understandable. They have lives they can't abandon. (Stupid real life, always getting in the way!) But it was a little bit heartbreaking when the TARDIS 'missed' London out of a fear that the Doctor would fall apart again without his companions. I love protective!TARDIS, looking after her Time Lord. ::snuggles the TARDIS::

And I also love the idea that he's finally learned to seek out his friends when he needs them. After going through the depression he did in this story, with his TARDIS and his companions the only things between him and suicide by self-neglect, it's nice to think that maybe he's finally got the message.

And then... "What!?" Enter the Titanic, through the TARDIS wall at stage left. Beautifully tied into canon. :-)

I've said it before, but bear with me while I say it again... I adore this story. After S3, every whump-addicted bone in my body was hoping for fic that dealt with how shattered Ten seemed to be. This fic delivers in spades. You show him as broken as he seemed like he would be after S3, and then you show Martha and Jack and a selfless mission of mercy all helping him to piece himself back together again. It's perfect.

Lovely, lovely fic. :-D
nightrider101
Apr. 22nd, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
It's sad that Jack and Martha have to leave, of course, but understandable. They have lives they can't abandon. (Stupid real life, always getting in the way!)

I swear I'm going to write one of those happily ever after fics! To hell with canon. :P

I've said it before, but bear with me while I say it again... I adore this story. After S3, every whump-addicted bone in my body was hoping for fic that dealt with how shattered Ten seemed to be. This fic delivers in spades.

You're really too kind. Thank you for all the support and kind words you've offered throughout this story. It means the world to me especially coming from an author I respect as much as you. :)

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supasass
Apr. 23rd, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
Hey,

Just read through the whole story in one go. I feel so happy for reading it. There was just this wonderful sense of resolution and hope that kind of cloaked everything and made everything kind of golden.

I love Ten/Martha/Jack and I think this is my favourite so far; I look forward to re-reading this in the future. You didn't shirk away from anyone's pain, but you also showed that sometimes such complicated horrid feelings can be attacked with leap of faith and a hug.

I'm going to comment on my favourite chapters when I've had a bit of sleep, but in case I forget, I thought I should let you I loved it :D. I'm also going to friend you because I think you're lovely - is that ok? I hope you never stop writing :)
xxx
nightrider101
Apr. 23rd, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm completely flattered by your wonderful feedback! :) It's people like you that make writing so enjoyable.

I'm also going to friend you because I think you're lovely - is that ok? I hope you never stop writing.

It's definitely okay! Thanks again for taking the time to respond. With a review like this, I don't think I'll ever stop writing!
laurab1
Apr. 25th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
Oh, I love the ending to this lovely story :) Yes, Ten, the TARDIS does love Jack ;)
nightrider101
Apr. 25th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

As far as the TARDIS loving Jack, what's not to love? ;)
huggabledog
Apr. 27th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
Poor Doctor, but if he didn't look so gorgeous with the tear-filled eyes he probably wouldn't get such a hard time, so it's pretty much his own fault. This was lovely. I was a bit annoyed with Martha and Jack to begin with, when they got angry with him for first not helping the little girl, then for removing the creature. But they came back to his side and helped him despite his wishes, so I'll forgive them. Very sad and nicely done comfort scenes. Enjoyed Jack's gentle flirting as he does in the show and the Doctor's amused rebuttals. It was a bit sad that they left him in the end (Rose get points for being the only one who wouldn't abandon the Doctor) That's what happens in the show, though, so it's only right. The whole thing was well done and they were all in character = great job, thanks.
nightrider101
Apr. 28th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind review. :)

Yes, Martha and Jack were a bit confused in the beginning. I think it was shock over the Doctor's condition. They love him, though. That's what matters.

It was a bit sad that they left him in the end (Rose get points for being the only one who wouldn't abandon the Doctor) That's what happens in the show, though, so it's only right.

I hated having them leave him again. He shouldn't ever be alone. Of course after the Titanic, I'm going to say he returns to Martha and Jack for some serious comfort.

Thanks again for the lovely review!
petit_fox
May. 24th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
WONDERFUL!

I feel so content after reading this! The epilogue is made of win, I totally love it! Really I mean... woah!

My favorte scene ever: Doctor and his Tardis! This is sooo heart warming! I adore you way of describing the Tardis. She's a living friend to the Doc and that's so sweet! *sigh*

"We’ll be fine,” he whispered, his fingers dancing across the surface. “You don’t have to worry about that. I’m better, I promise.”
That phrase: PURE JOY! I had to read it... 10 times more!Splendid <3

And I do prefer this ending! It's way better than the original episode xD With Jack! And Martha. Being friends to him and...oh, so well done!

love to you!
nightrider101
May. 24th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
You're doing wonders for my ego. :) I hope you know that! I wish I could describe to you how happy your reviews make me. *hugs*

My favorte scene ever: Doctor and his Tardis! This is sooo heart warming! I adore you way of describing the Tardis. She's a living friend to the Doc and that's so sweet! *sigh*

The TARDIS is a joy. :) I love writing her as an actual character. I'm so glad you enjoyed that scene!

Thank you for all the lovely reviews. *hugs and twirls you*
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