Fandom: Doctor Who/Axis Powers Hetalia
Characters: Martha Jones, Portugal [OC]
Summary: Martha's talked to so many people in so many countries during her long year's journey. This is just one of those conversations.
Timeframe Summer 2009, near the end of the Master's Year That Never Was
Word Count: 2163
Notes: As in all things, I blame Plurk. Also many thanks to laneygaga for beta'ing this! ♥
Warnings: A Hetalia OC and my weakness for crossovers. :|b
Portugal is one of the last places she reaches on her trek around the world. It’s been eleven months – or at least, she thinks it’s been eleven months; it’s been difficult to tell without a calendar or anything else she could use to measure the passage of time. She hasn’t dared to stop anywhere for more than a night – because what would happen if she was too late?
That thought has kept her moving more than once when she thought her legs couldn’t carry her anymore. The thought of what would happen if she was too late, and the Master won. What would happen if she let down all the people that have so many hopes riding on her. If she let down the Doctor.
Worse than that, if she let down the entire Earth.
She can’t let that happen, and so she’s kept travelling. And as she’s travelled, the stories have followed her. Martha Jones, walking the Earth to find a way to defeat the Master for good.
It’s had the side-effect that by the time she steps onto European soil again, almost everyone has at least heard of her, even if they don’t all recognise her. But it’s enough for more people to hide her as she slowly makes her way north and west. Hide her from the Toclafane; hide her from the people co-operating with the Master for one reason or another. She’s had more than a few close shaves already.
The worst one resulted in the burning of Japan. She’s had to push that down deep to keep going, remind herself that it’ll all be undone, it’ll all be solved, just as long as the plan works. Which it will, because the Doctor’s plans always work.
It’s a warm summer evening in the town she’s managed to reach tonight; the resistance workers in the last city she was in had directed her here because while it’s out of the way, it’s also full of actively resisting people. People who would go out and spread whatever message she brought in whatever way they could. She could use help like that, and so here she is.
The house she’s in is filled to the brim, people even packed into the next room in order to hear her speak. Some of them look scared, dogged fear in their eyes. Some of them look resigned to their fates, some of them hopeful, some of them determined. All of them look curiously at her, and whispers fly around the room like flies. One man, the closest to the window, keeps watch for the Toclafane flying near. It’s a room full of people like so many others she’s seen in the past year, and just like all those others, they’re waiting for her to speak.
So she does. The setting sun streams in through the open window and casts a red light on the wall. The first evening moths flutter around outside. And Martha Jones tells her story. A story of a man in a blue box, who has saved their lives too many times to count. A story of how he flies through time and space, and never stays to be thanked. A story of how, if they all just think about him on the right day, at the right time, they will find a way to help this man defeat the Master. And the people listen to her. That had surprised her at the beginning – she hadn’t thought, hadn’t expected, anyone to listen to her for long enough, but by now, there’s a hardness in her gaze and a certainty in her words.
When she finishes, and tells them all to spread the word as far and wide as they can, to everyone they know, someone cheers. Some of them try to press through to talk to her, but the man who owns the house holds them back and shakes his head and tells them to give her some space, since she’s been traveling for so long. And grudgingly, they agree and file out, still whispering under their breath to each other.
Except for one man. A young man with dark curly hair and brown eyes. She almost expects the owner of the house to chivvy him out the way he did with the other stragglers, but he doesn’t. Just gives a courteous nod to him and walks into the next room, which she finds all a bit strange. This man – whoever he is – must be someone important.
“So, you’re the mysterious Martha Jones,” he says with a smile, and as he comes closer, she’s struck by a very odd feeling that gives her the strangest sense of déjà vu. Because he doesn’t look any different from the other people there, but when she looks at him, she gets the strange feeling that she’s looking at something – someone – more than human. Not alien, just… not human, either. It’s the same feeling she got from the fierce Irish woman who’d managed to stave off a Toclafane attack with some well-aimed knives. And the man in Russia with the long scarf and the unsettling smile that helped her through a freak snowstorm. And the Jamaican woman with a strong handshake and a grim smile that had helped her get a boat across to Mexico. And the solemn, quiet Japanese who’d shown her the way out of Tokyo only days before the Master…
Shaking off the feeling, she smiles at him. “Word spreads fast, doesn’t it?” He’s got eyes a little like the Doctor’s, she thinks. They’re older than the rest of his face. And when he laughs at what she said, it seems like he’s someone who’s used to laughing in hopeless situations.
“I think that you’re probably the most famous person on Earth right now,” he says wryly. “Even without your storytelling, they have warrants for your arrest out in every country in the world.”
She shrugs and smiles grimly. “Side-effect of being famous, isn’t it?” she jokes, but her heart isn’t entirely in it. She knows there’re people out there that would be willing to get her captured. Part of the whole thing relies on it. But not yet. Not here.
He smiles briefly before his expression clouds and he tilts his head, scrutinising her. “Will this Doctor of yours really be able to solve this that easily?”
She meets his gaze steadily. “I believe in him,” she says simply. “What about you?”
He shrugs, and his eyes seem to be looking past her, at some point beyond the wall to her back. “I’ve believed in a lot of things before, and not all of them held true. But I think that all of us could use a miracle to believe in right now, and if you trust the Doctor, then I suppose I can as well.”
She smiles at him for that, a real, honest smile, and then he asks her, “Martha, you’re English, aren’t you?”
“Yep, Londoner born and bred,” she confirms, sounding more chipper than she feels. “I haven’t been there in a year, though. I dunno what it looks like now, or what the Master’s done to it, or anything.” She can feel a lump in her throat when she thinks about it, because she’s seen with her own eyes the work camps in Siberia, and the great swathes of desolate wasteland in the Americas, and she knows that even without counting the original Decimation every country in the world has suffered some sort of ruin under the Master’s dictatorship and that there’s rumours that England’s being used as a giant launch pad for… something, some sort of planetary war fleet. But England is her home, London buses and chips on a Saturday night and Mum and Dad arguing over Dad’s latest girlfriend and trips out to the countryside with her friends from the hospital, and even if she’s seen what the Master’s done to the rest of the planet, the small part of her that’s stubbornly English won’t settle for the rumours as the truth.
“Whatever Saxon has done,” he says firmly, and she notices that he refuses to use the name the Master chose for himself, recognising that gesture as the act of defiance it is, “I am sure England will be fine.” Although his words are encouraging, an odd look passes quickly across his face as he says it, and she can’t help getting the feeling that he’s trying to convince himself as much as her – nor the strange, fleeting notion that he seems as if he’s talking about England as though it’s more than just a country. But that’s a daft thought to have, right?
It’s at that moment that Martha realises that she isn’t just hearing this man speak English through the TARDIS’s translation – he’s actually speaking English to her. It’s enough to make her blurt out in surprise. “Hang on – you’re speaking English!” she exclaims, openly gaping at him just like she’s discovering the Doctor’s second heart all over again. He raises his eyebrows as she continues, trying to cover her blunder, “Sorry, it’s just – it's been a while since I heard any properly, and your English is great…”
“So is your Portuguese,” he points out, clearly amused by her foot-in-mouth moment.
“Oh, no, that’s not me,” she corrects him, with a slightly embarrassed laugh. “That’s the TARDIS – um, that’s the Doctor’s time machine. She translates things automatically inside your head if you’ve traveled with him.”
“And just when I think that I’ve heard everything…” he murmurs. “Well, it certainly explains how you managed to travel around the entire globe with your story.” When he next looks at her, he looks concerned, almost worried about her. “Where to next for you?”
“Over the border to Spain, and then north to a boat back home,” she tells him. “And after that, find a way to get on the Valiant to where the Master and the Doctor are.”
“And that’s when the plan works?” he prompts, with a faint smile.
“That’s when the plan works,” she repeats, sounding every inch the confident pillar of the resistance. Come to think of it, by this point, she probably is that pillar, through and through and not just acting the part like she was at the beginning of this long, long year.
“Then I can only really wish you luck with it all,” he says simply. For a second, it looks as if he’s hesitating to tell her something before he finally settles on doing so. “I have a friend who was on the Valiant when Saxon took over. If you –”
“I’ll look for him for you,” she tells him, cutting him off before he can finish. Her voice grows softer as she adds, “After all, I know how you feel. I’ve got friends up there, too. And my family.” A spike of fear goes through her as she thinks about that and she hopes that the Master hasn’t done anything awful to Mum, or Dad, or her sister. He puts a comforting hand on her shoulder, and she’s grateful for it.
“I hope they are alright,” he says quietly. She nods and forces a smile.
“Yeah, ‘course they will be,” she says, and she doesn’t think her voice wavers too much. If her companion notices it, he doesn’t mention it, and she’s grateful for that, too.
“Well, I ought to leave you to get some rest,” he says lightly. “We both have places that we’re needed, after all.” He smiles at her again, a firm sort of smile that reminds her again of how many people are relying on her now. “I’m glad I met you, Martha,” he says, and kisses her lightly on the cheek. For the briefest instant she can smell lavender and oranges and port wine and the fresh tang of an ocean breeze as it rolls into the harbour, all mixed together in a way that makes it more of a feeling than a smell, and then he says to her, “Go safely,” and turns to leave.
She manages to smile weakly back at him and say “Yeah, you too,” as he turns. It takes a few seconds before one more thing occurs to her, and she calls out for him to wait.
“What’s your friend’s name?” she asks him when he turns back, standing in the doorway. A strange, secretive sort of smile spreads across his face, and his eyes twinkle with some kind of joke that only he really gets.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” he says lightly. “He’s someone I know you will be quite familiar with.” Before she can ask him what that means, he’s gone.
The next morning, Martha sets out before dawn, laden down with all the extra food her host managed to force onto her after she insisted on leaving so early.
She’s determined now. It won’t be long before the Master’s reign finally ends.