Author: Branwyn (cesario)
Word Count: 4446
Author's Summary: On the eve of her return to England, a weary Martha Jones meets an old friend for the first time.
Characters/Pairings: Martha Jones, Second Doctor
Recced because: On one level, this is fix-it fic: Martha meets a Doctor who values and appreciates her in a way that the Tenth Doctor seldom seemed to. But really it's much more than that. This is a story about fighting the good (long, exhausting, terrifying) fight against overwhelming odds, and the way the fight always brings pain and loss, and sometimes causes irreparable damage. The juxtaposition of Two and Ten allows a very clear-eyed look at Ten's flaws, but there's not a hint of character-bashing here. The story is full of compassion and insight. Plus, the character voices are wonderful and the prose is spare, disciplined, and a pleasure to read.
Here's a snippet:
"I didn't know what you'd like, so I nipped out to a market---a proper market, spring of 1900, so the eggs will taste like proper eggs, none of that nasty fishmeal-fed stuff---the cheese too, a good crumbly cheddar, not that rubbery mass-produced nonsense. Well, come, eat up, you look as though you could do with a good meal. Several, in fact."
Martha wants to obey him more than she can remember wanting anything else in her whole life, but there's a voice in her head that she's learned not to ignore, and it's telling her something is wrong, that this is too easy, this is never how it goes with the Doctor---
"You regenerated," she says.
"And not a day too soon," he says. "Had a nice long run in that body, but, between you and me, I think I was getting a bit crotchety towards the end."
At Martha's look, the Doctor lifts his chin. "Of course," he says. "I'm sorry, it must be very confusing for you. I should explain. You see, you and I have never actually met before."
I hope you enjoy, and please don't forget to leave feedback for the author.