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It's The End Where I Begin

Title: It's The End Where I Begin
Author(s): honor_reid
Artist:
sarah_jones
Characters/Pairings: Martha Jones, Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, Castiel (pre-relationship Martha/Dean)
Fandoms: Doctor Who, Supernatural
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4,553
Disclaimer: Supernatural and Doctor Who are owned by others and not by me, no profit is being made
Warnings: Mentions PTSD, violence, and the Year That Never Was
Spoilers: Some for Season 3 of Doctor Who
Author's Notes: The title and lyrics are from the song The End Where I Begin by The Script and I think it fits Martha’s mindset for this story perfectly. Give it a listen if you get a chance. Many thanks to the variety of people who helped me with their awesome beta-reading cheaphero, Mizjoely on ffn, and persiflage_1. Written for superwho_bang.  Also for stories_a_z prompt I.  Prompt table can be found here.

Summary: AU after Martha’s break-up with Tom. Martha decides to go on a road trip to figure out what she is going to do with her life and runs into some old friends at a roadside diner.

Link to Art Master Post: Go check out the absolutely amazing art by sarah_jones HERE.

Sometimes tears say all there is to say
Sometimes your first scars wont ever fade, away


Tried to break my heart
Well it's broke
Tried to hang me high
Well I'm choked
Wanted rain on me
Well I'm soaked
Soaked to the skin

It's the end where I begin

-The Script

deanmartha





********

Pulling open the door, Martha scanned the diner’s interior, for a seat. The vacant room was not surprising as it was mid-morning. The early morning rush was over and the lunch crowd was not due for a couple of hours. Choosing a window seat near the door, Martha set her motorcycle helmet next to her and picked up her menu. Scrunching her nose at the stickiness of the menu she glanced over her options. These roadside diners were all starting to look alike, but she was getting better at telling the good ones from the bad before eating the food. The waitress came over with a bland smile, asking if she wanted coffee. Martha flipped over the cup in response and smiled her thanks when it was filled to the brim.

She always found it best to keep it simple when it came to ordering food from unknown eating establishments. Looking over the menu one last time, Martha decided on pancakes as being the safest bet since they were hard to mess up. Smiling up at the waitress she placed her order and sat back to try to decompress.

She had been on the road for a few months navigating across America on her motorcycle. Martha had had an internal debate between a sports bike vs. a cruiser; she was torn between the two because the sports bike was quicker and easier to maneuver but the cruiser would be more comfortable for riding long distances. Remembering how in the American Midwest it could be hours between towns, she had bought a used Harley Sportster in Charlottesville that was in good condition. As an added bonus she could carry more in the saddle bags that she had added on to the side.

Once she had secured transportation, Martha had hit the road. She had a stomach full of butterflies but was very excited to be on an adventure of her own choosing. It had been a spur of the moment decision to go on this road trip; she had needed to get away after her engagement to Tom had ended. The sad thing was that she had been relieved when Tom had ended it; the whole thing had been a mistake. She had wanted something good to come out of that year so she had called it fate that she had met Tom when she did. She shouldn’t have got into a relationship so soon. Martha had spent the entire engagement trying to pretend that everything was okay, she was fine, and that this was what she wanted. By time it was over she had been tired and worn out, and in desperate need of a break.

Resigning her job at UNIT had been an easy decision. Although technically she had been a medical officer, she’d ended up being more a soldier than a doctor. She no longer wanted to lead troops into battle and it was exhausting trying to force herself into playing a part that didn’t feel right, so she had quit.

Although she was in between jobs, her finances were good thanks to frugal savings and a mysterious lump sum of money that had appeared in her account. Unsure of where the money had come from, she had briefly considered calling the Doctor, but quickly pushed that thought aside, as she wasn’t ready to converse with him yet on a regular basis. Instead she’d called Jack; they had become good friends over the past year. Many late-night phone calls, which had soothed fears and quieted memories that wouldn’t stay buried, had seen to that.   Martha trusted Jack because he had proven he would be honest with her.

“Didn’t you ever hear the expression about looking a gift horse in the mouth?” was Jack’s jovial response to her doubts.

At Martha’s silence Jack grew serious “Listen Martha, that money is for a rainy day, do with it what you will. Spend it, save it, give it all away to charity, it’s yours. Okay?”

“Okay,” Martha conceded with a small smile.

Since she needed to get away from everything and everyone, and decide what to do next with her life, she decided on a vacation. The small voice in her head had called it running away, but Martha had ignored it and taken off on a road trip.

Running away it might be, but Martha wanted to see the world when it wasn’t ending. To see it when she wasn’t running for her life, no dying people, no scorched earth, no Toclafane hounding her every step, and no agenda other then her own. More importantly, Martha knew who she used to be, former companion to a Time Lord, former fiancé to one Tom Milligan, former medical officer to UNIT, but who did she want to become? This trip would give her the time to figure that part out.

America was a huge country. She decided on it for that very reason. It would be so very easy to get lost, and Martha desperately wanted to be lost for a little while. So she had hopped on a flight to America, only then had she called her family and explained where she was and what she was doing.

Her mum had been more then a little bit unhappy, she had had that tone that Martha hated, the one that expressed her deep and continuing disappointment in her youngest daughter. But Martha could no longer handle the weight of other people’s expectations, so she had cut her mum’s lecture short by telling her she would call once a week. Francine still wasn’t happy, but in the end she had had no choice but to accept Martha’s decision. Jack had been more understanding when she had called him.

Jack had simply said, “Do you need anything?”

Martha felt tears come to her eyes, at her friend’s unquestioning acceptance. “No,” she said, her voice breaking as she tried not to cry.

“Nightingale,” Jack started, his voice filled with concern.

Martha interrupted strengthening her voice by sheer will, “Jack, I need to do this. I just have to get away and decide what I want.”

Jack sighed but then said, “Okay, be careful, but enjoy yourself.”

“Thanks Jack,” Martha said, relieved that Jack wasn’t going to push.

“Oh and Martha, don’t do anything, I wouldn’t do,” Jack chuckled naughtily.

Martha had to laugh at that one “That leaves me with plenty of options, doesn’t it?”

“My point exactly, Nightingale. Do what makes you happy. You’ve earned it,” Jack said kindly.

Martha had no real plan as she wandered from state to state, taking in the natural wonder of the hills and mountains, and the man-made beauty of the different towns and cities. She couldn’t help comparing this America with the one she had seen during “the Year That Never Was”, though she tried to keep her thoughts from straying for too long in that direction.

********

A plate of pancakes interrupted her wandering thoughts. They were hot, fluffy, and delicious. She soon polished them off and politely declined the offer for more, being pleasantly full. She was reaching for the bill when two men walked past her table and head towards the last booth in the back of the diner. Martha stared at them for a moment, frozen in place.

Jerking her eyes away, Martha gripped the edge of the table hard. Dozens of old memories assaulted her brain all at once. She closed her eyes and took in a few deep breaths to calm herself. She started the breathing exercises that she had learned to stave off an oncoming flashback, which if not derailed would lead to her having a panic attack.

She didn’t want to have a full blown flashback; especially out in public. Been there done that, she thought, taking in a shaky breath. She had found out that people didn’t respond well to someone having a mental breakdown in the middle of the local Tesco.

She’d had quite a few flashbacks at first after that year; Martha had thought she was going crazy.   She had eventually got help through Jack, who knew a therapist that specialized in helping people to deal with alien-induced trauma. She was diagnosed, with PTSD which had helped her realize she wasn’t going insane. Now she only had them once in awhile, and they were usually triggered by something, it could be a smell, a noise, or in this case seeing two people who had helped her during that year.

Reaching for her coffee, Martha ignored her shaking hands and took one last deep breath. Sipping her now cold coffee, Martha looked over the brim of her cup, watching as the brothers as they sat down.

Luckily, the Winchester brothers were too busy arguing about the best route to take on the next leg of their journey, to pay her any attention. That still seemed to be the way they communicated with each other, some things apparently didn’t change. Sam and Dean were still as handsome as ever, they looked good and a lot less weary then when she had last seen them.

********



On to Part Two