Martha trudged along the streets, ignoring the suspicious looks thrown at her from all the shining, white faces that passed her by.
How was it that she could rage against a Dalek, but still be cowed by a mere human? She had always been the "good" child, never complained, always did what her parents told her. She had never so much as snuck out of her house as a teenager. There had been times when she had wanted to rebel, to tell her mother "No!" Martha remembered leaving her mother behind when she ran off to help the Doctor fight Lazarus. She had felt so guilty afterwards, and then felt stupid for feeling guilty. What was she supposed to say? Of course, Mum, I'll do what you say even though my friend is about to get eaten by a monster. She wanted to scream, to beat her fists against a table, to tell everyone what she really thought and feel. But she choked it down, kept it bottled up, and continued to smile.
Her experiences in 1913 had made her feel even worse. She hadn't even felt like a person most of the time. No one had ever made her feel ashamed for being black before. But after three months of being forced to bear the verbal abuse silently, without even the Doctor there to comfort her… and then there was the Doctor himself. He had never said anything that was meant to be deliberately hurtful during his time as John Smith; he had merely thought her a simpleton, ignorant in the ways of civilization, dismissive of her ideas and thoughts. Hearing those words come from the Doctor's mouth had hurt her a great deal more than she had thought they could. It was the little wounds that killed her.
Martha and the Doctor had been stuck in 1969 for four days now. When they first arrived the Doctor had immediately taken off, leaving her on a street corner for hours, before returning with a paper bag full of money. She had idly wondered if he'd held up a bank with that banana he kept in his pocket. She didn't ask where he got the money and the Doctor never offered an explanation; knowing the Doctor the answer would undoubtedly be gross and disturbing.
They had rented a room from a little old lady. Martha had tried to ignore the looks she gave them – gave her – like the Doctor had. The Doctor never seemed to notice things like that. Martha didn't know whether or not the Doctor was truly oblivious or if he was just really good at hiding it.
After four days, though, the money had run out and Martha was forced to seek employment. When Martha had asked why the Doctor wasn't getting a job, he had given her a long-winded speech about needing to utilize his time in creating a Timey-Wimey Device, which Martha had interpreted as "I don't wanna." She made a mental promise not to fall for that kicked puppy look again.
Martha was on her way back to their room after a successful job interview in a little shop that tried to be Mary Quant but ended up being more along the lines of cheap thrift store. The manager had been pleasant enough, and was enthusiastic about hiring her, and yet here she was, feeling lower than dirt. Martha knew how to give a good interview, she even took a class on it, and was feeling rather proud by the time she and the manager shook hands. The manager had smiled, congratulated her on getting the job, and said, "You really are very articulate for a black girl."
It had been like a punch to the gut, and yet she had just smiled and thanked the woman. She had thanked her!
Martha came to a stop in front of a store selling televisions. All of the sets on display were turned to The David Frost Show. David Frost was interviewing John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Martha wondered if she could talk the Doctor into taking her to see a live concert when they got the TARDIS back.
"Martha! There you are!"
Martha turned to see the Doctor running towards her, his great coat flapping at his heels, holding what looked like the lovechild of a telephone and egg beater above his head. "I've been looking all over for you! I've finished it! The Timey-Wimey Detector!"
"So, we'll be able to get back to the TARDIS then?" Thank God she didn't have to actually face that manager again.
"Well, err, no. It hasn't gone 'ding' yet. It goes 'ding' when there's stuff."
Martha felt her hope crash down to her feet and turned back around. "Well, you let me know when that happens."
"Don't you want to hear about the Detector?" The Doctor demanded, looking extremely put out by Martha's lackadaisical attitude.
"At the moment? Not really."
The Doctor pouted and, true to her promise, Martha ignored the big-eyed look the Doctor gave her and continued to watch the program. As much as she loved the Doctor, she couldn't deal with his childishness right now. Not when she felt so horrible.
For a few seconds it was quiet.
"Why are you watching this here in the middle of the sidewalk?"
"Because you cut open our telly and ripped its insides out to make your Timey-Wimey device."
The Doctor grimaced. "You make it sound so brutal."
Martha didn't reply and continued to stare stonily ahead.
"I didn't know you were a Beatles fan," the Doctor began again. "I'll have you know I was the one who introduced Ono to John Lennon during her art exhibit. She's an alien, you know, from the planet Uxofilia. Lovely place, wonderful people, really should visit there again."
That pulled Martha away from the television. "Seriously? Yoko Ono is an alien?"
The Doctor grinned. "She travelled with me for a bit."
Martha shook her head. "I don't believe this."
"Oh, the Beatles and I go way back," the Doctor hummed. Suddenly the Doctor cocked his head to one side, an amused look crossing his face. "You know, last time I ran into Paul McCartney he thanked me for helping him write a song. I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, but-"
"Wait!" Martha screeched. "You helped write a Beatles song? Which one?"
The Doctor grabbed her hand, snaking the other one around her waist as he did so. "This one, apparently," he whispered into her ear before opening his mouth and bellowing, "Martha, my dear, though I spend my days in conversation, please, remember me! Martha my love, don't forget me, Martha my dear!"
Martha shrieked in laughter as the Doctor twirled her across the sidewalk. The Doctor's horrible caterwauling filled the street, drawing a crowd that stared and pointed at the two, but Martha didn't care. She didn't notice the people gawking, the whispers, or the raised eyebrows. All she cared about was the Doctor.
"Hold your head up, you silly girl! Look what you've done! When you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, silly girl! Take a good look around you! Take a good look you're bound to see that you and me were meant to be for each other, silly girl! Hold your hand out, you silly girl, see what you've done! When you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, you silly girl!"
Tears were streaming from the corners of her eyes, her laughter nearly drowning out the Doctor's 'singing.' "Martha my dear, you have always been my inspiration! Please, be good to me, Martha my love! Don't forget me, Martha my dear!" The Doctor dipped her before bringing her back onto her feet.
Martha was still laughing a little when the Doctor linked his arm with hers and began walking, swinging the Timey-Wimey Detector with his other hand. She didn't know whether or not the Doctor was lying about her being the inspiration for the song, but she found she didn't care. She didn't care about any of it anymore, not the manager, not the school, not being stuck in the 1960s. Because she had the Doctor and nothing was going to stop her or bring her down.