Return to Gallifrey, Chapters 6 and 7

Chapter 6

“But why?” asked Martha hoarsely.

The Doctor’s face suddenly hardened. “That doesn’t concern you,” he growled, giving her an ice-cold stare.

Martha’s temper flared. “Yes, it does concern me! For as long as I’m with you…”

The Doctor unpredictably grew very angry. “For God’s sake,” Martha! Keep your nose out of it, will you? It’s not your business and if it were, I’d have told you by now!”

She was shocked by the Doctor’s reaction more than anything else. Turning away, she said in a throaty whisper, “I guess I should just butt out, then.”

The Doctor realized what he had done. “Martha,” he said, in a much gentler tone, “I’m so sorry. Listen. If the time comes, and you really, really need to know, I swear I’ll tell you. And when I do, you just need to promise me one thing…” He planted a hand firmly on each of her shoulders, looking her straight in the eyes, “…Please, please don’t think of me as a monster. Now,” he said, getting to his feet, “I’ll look out for them. And I’m serious. You sleep. You’re going to need it.”

Martha realized she was still in the Doctor’s overcoat. She laid down on the cold terrain and eased into an uncomfortable, dreamless sleep.

Chapter 7

The next morning, Martha was awoken by the Doctor, who was gently shaking her. “Wake up,” he whispered softly.

Martha sat up, feeling refreshed. She hadn’t ever seen Gallifrey in the daytime, and was astonished to see how much it had changed. The desert landscape with the alien flowers that she had seen before were gone; they had been replaced with beautiful greenery and grass.

“A forest in the day,” said the Doctor with an amused smile at Martha’s bewilderment, “and a desert the moment the sun sinks an inch below the horizon. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? But you still should be careful. Especially around the Asyid plants. They may bite.”

Martha grinned. No wonder this was the Doctor’s home; it was every bit as strange as he was. “No ghosts?” she asked him hopefully. He nodded. “No ghosts,” he affirmed placidly.

After a quick meal of some of the various plants the Doctor had deemed non-toxic, they ventured forth. He was a lot more talkative and cheerful than he had been the previous day. “I don’t know how you humans do it,” he rambled as they made their way through some particularly thick vines, “I mean, three hours is just well and fine but eight? Eight straight hours of doing absolutely nothing but sleeping? I’m telling you, Martha, in my 900-and-some-odd years as a Time Lord, I‘ve never felt the need to keep still for so long…”

His musings were cut short, however, by a low rumble in the distance. He stopped dead in his tracks. “Martha,” he whispered in a low growl, “Don’t move. I’m serious. Not a muscle.”

The rumble grew steadily louder and repeated more rapidly. “If we don’t move,” hissed the Doctor, his lips barely moving, “they can’t detect us.”

“Doctor,” Martha began, “what–”

“SHH!” he ordered. She fell silent, frozen with fear.

The noise gradually faded away into the distance.

“It’s safe to move now,” said the Doctor, relaxing. He grinned to himself as the irony of their situation hit. Never felt the need…till now, I suppose…

“What on Earth was that?” asked Martha, trembling slightly.

The Doctor smiled cheekily. “I think you mean, ‘What on Gallifrey?’ But what it was,” he said, his face abruptly darkening, “was the sounds of the first cannons of the war. We’re going to need to move more quickly if…” he swallowed anxiously, “if we want to stay alive. The ghosts will grow in number now that the war is on. In the end–” he looked straight into Martha’s eyes, “I’m going to need a lot of help from you if you want either one of us to live.”

Martha’s eyes grew misty. “Anything, Doctor,” she said earnestly, “anything at all. Whatever you need…I‘ll do it!”

“I know you will, Martha,” said the Doctor, and he smiled at her. “I know.”

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One Response

  1. Ah! Im dying to know what happens next!

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