Summary: Martha sees Donna in a cafe after Donna lost her memories, and all of Martha's own memories come flooding back.
Word Count: 1067
Other Chapters: No.
Disclaimer: The British Broadcasting Corporation owns Doctor Who and all related trademarks. I do not in any way profit from the use of these trademarks.
Contains: femslash, mentions of relationships outside of the main pairing, angst
Warnings: No major warnings
God, it hurt. Mickey's hand slipped into Martha's to provide her with what little comfort her could, and she squeezed and watched Donna Noble lean in and kiss her new husband. Their golden wedding rings glittered in the sunlight.
It was probably for the best. Martha could almost accept it, if she told herself that it was better for Donna, in the end. Donna had lost some of the most incredible memories any human being could ever have, but she'd also lost some of the deepest pain a human being could know. No memory of the ood and their pain. No memory of villages burning to the ground. Martha envied her that. No memory of Lance, and without that memory she must have been braver in love. Maybe she'd never have found this man if she hadn't lost that memory. Maybe it had been good for Donna. Maybe Martha was just projecting her own sadness onto Donna, and she was only imagining the sorrow just behind Donna's eyes, just beneath the surface. Martha had to believe that she was sad, but Donna wasn't. Donna Noble had saved the universe, but what was the point if the universe was such a cruel place that it couldn't even make Donna Noble happy in return?
It must have been a beautiful wedding. Martha knew that Donna would have made a beautiful bride. Once, in private, she'd asked the Doctor to describe Donna in her wedding dress. The Doctor had obliged, and Martha had closed her eyes and imagined it. She's loved the visual. And when Martha broke up with Tom, Donna had sighed and told Martha that it was a shame, because she'd have made a beautiful bride. They both would have. Together.
It was always a ridiculous idea, anyway. Donna wanted to keep traveling with the Doctor and Martha wanted to stay in London with UNIT and they'd never even really started calling each other girlfriends. They just got together sometimes and shagged... and kissed... and cuddled... and loved... but they'd never dated. They'd been an odd sort of deeply emotional invested and unusually physical best friends, but wedding plans had always been incredibly premature. Donna had told Martha that she never wanted to get married again anyway.
Martha looked away. If Donna caught Martha staring, with no idea who she was, Donna would confront Martha. Martha couldn't take that. She would definitely cry, and that would probably soften Martha, confuse her, and possibly even upset her. And poor Mickey would be sitting there with no idea what to do or say for either of them. It might be dangerous, anyway. The memory was a delicate thing. Just seeing Martha could trigger a flood of memories for Donna, for all that Martha knew. It could be dangerous.
“We should leave,” Martha said, barely above a whisper.
Mickey nodded silently. He didn't move. He could tell that Martha didn't really want to move.
Martha felt the first tear roll down her cheek, and after that one fell, she couldn't stop the others. She turned into Mickey and buried her eyes in his shoulder as tears started to flow the way that kisses and declarations of love once had. Martha had loved Donna. Loved her as a best friend and a fellow companion and a kindred spirit and as the most beautiful woman Martha had ever seen. Loved her for that personality that shined through her smile and her eyes and her voice and her touches and left everything she came into contact with slightly more beautiful for having been in contact with her. Loved her as a soul-mate.
A soul-mate she'd lost forever.
She'd gone after Tom, after The Year That Never Was, even though he'd lost all of his memories of her. Even though they'd never really met, for him. She couldn't go after Donna. She'd only be putting Donna at risk if she went after Donna. The Doctor had made that very clear.
Mickey's hand rubbed soothing circles into Martha's back, and his strong voice whispered “Shhhhhhhh,” into her ear. People must have been staring at them. She was crying in crowded cafe. Was Donna staring? Martha didn't want to think about it. Donna wouldn't recognize Martha from this angle anyway. Her hair was different and her face was hidden in Mickey's jacket. Donna probably wouldn't recognize Mickey. The beard altered his appearance a lot.
Martha stopped crying, but continued resting her head on Mickey's breast. “You must think I'm being ridiculous,” she whispered. “After what happened to Jake... At least she's alive and happy, even if I'm not.”
“No,” Mickey said. “I'd be upset, if I were in your shoes...”
“Thanks,” Martha said. Then, slightly louder, she said again, “We should go...”
She looked up at Mickey and he nodded. “Let me grab a danish to go...”
He stood up, and Martha wiped away the last of her tears and stared down into her coffee sadly.
She heard footsteps, and then felt a shadow over her, and she hoped that she was wrong, but she knew she wasn't. She knew Donna too well. Even without looking, she knew how it felt to be this near to Donna.
Even when Donna's touch was hesitant, as if... because Martha was a stranger to Donna, Martha knew Donna's gentle touch on her shoulder.
Martha looked up, even as she told herself that she shouldn't. Donna would be offended if she didn't, and she couldn't... She looked up.
“Are you alright?” Donna asked, staring down at her with those sweet eyes that were sympathetic, but detached. There wasn't so much as a spark of recognition in them. Martha longed for just the tiniest glint of recognition, and hated herself for it, because it would be so dangerous to Donna.
“I...” Martha choked out. “I'm sorry.... I recently lost a friend. I was just... thinking about her... I'm going to be fine.”
Donna squeezed Martha's shoulder a little. “I'm sorry,” she said. She shook her head and moved back to her table.
Donna had once laughed, in between them exchanging passionate kisses, because Martha was definitely over the Doctor, and even over Tom. And Martha was. But Martha had gotten closer for both of those relationships. This... she would never be over this. She would never be over Donna.