The title is, of course, from the Pulp song off His 'n' Hers, which I have lately decided is the best Pulp album. It is a song that is massively overused by makers of the C4 let's-all-be-up-front-and-honest-about-t
Anyway, this is a kink meme fic; you can see the original thread here if you care. The request was for "properly alien" sex "with an emphasis on exploration and experimentation and fun". I saw the request the night before and woke up the next morning with the outline already there in my mind, so this one is mainly due to my subconscious and was written quickly (I don't think I've actually posted anything to the kink meme that had any sort of break in the writing - it's a very all or nothing thing). As such, this commentary is going to be more me discovering things in my own fic than writing about what I remember deliberately doing with it. So I might get quite pleased with myself in places.
Martha shudders as the Doctor comes inside her.
The benefit of doing timey-wimey is that you can start at the end and set a porny tone straightaway. Since to my mind, the thing that makes the Doctor alien is his relationship with time, it was the obvious place (to me) to go with the prompt, which in some ways is a bit of a shame as I'm sure other people would have done stuff that was in some ways much weirder.
The Doctor's hands are everywhere, skittering down her spine, stroking the sensitive spot a third of the way down her inner thigh, pinching her nipples, probing gently at her entrance.
Martha reaches down to stroke herself as the Doctor fucks her harder, the sensations from her clit joining those from inside her pussy to drive her closer to orgasm.
The Doctor climbs on top of her and enters her quickly, filling her desperate need. Her wetness lets him slide easily deep inside her.
Martha struggles out of her leather jacket as the Doctor continues to kiss her, his hands on her cheeks just as they were that first time in the hospital.
The Doctor tastes of honey as she kisses her way down his chest, her saliva and his sweat combining to tangle the sparse hairs together.
Horrendous pornfic cliché though it may have become, I will never get tired of the honey thing. Thanks, Paul Cornell!
Martha kneels to take his hardness into her mouth, thrilling to the light touch of his hand on her head.
The Doctor tenses as Martha comes around him.
IIRC, I didn't write these in order and then jumble them, it's just supposed to be snatches of sensation. I was very keen to make sure that Martha had more of an experience of weird time senses than just her orgasm being extended.
Martha sat bolt upright in the bed, clutching her temples. She felt as though she was on the verge of having some sort of seizure. The green glow from the roundels on the TARDIS walls that she had come to think of as comforting seemed suddenly alien and disorienting.
Deliberately playing around with tenses is something I overuse. I like making the TARDIS alien.
"What ... the hell ... just happened?"
"Martha?" The Doctor shot up too, putting a concerned hand across her shoulders.
She shrank involuntarily from his touch. "Leave me alone," she said. "Just don't ... don't touch me."
The Doctor's hand flopped uselessly to his side. "What's wrong?" he asked plaintively.
"What was that?"
"We ... I ... Wasn't it ...?"
"It was like-- Oh bloody hell, I don't know what it was like. It wasn't like that's ever happened to me before. It was freakish. Things were happening, but there was no connection between one moment and the next." She shivered as she recalled the kaleidoscopic shifting of sense and memory.
"Really?" The Doctor sounded more interested than concerned, now.
"Did you know that was going to happen, Doctor?"
"Well, not exac--"
The Doctor was silent.
"Did you know, Doctor?"
When he still didn't reply, she grabbed her dressing gown and fled from the room.
They actually originally had more of a conversation here, but I can't remember what it was. One of the things about writing for the kink meme is that it all has to go in comment boxes, which have a strict 4300-character limit, and so I was trying as best I could to make section breaks line up with changes of comment box, so I trimmed some stuff here and there (at times, I've even gone to the extent of changing all my reflexive two-spaces-after-a-full-stop to one, since it doesn't show in HTML).
She ran through the corridors of the TARDIS. Her first instinct was to head for the exit, but when she reached the console room the steady rise and fall of the central column scared her. She had a sudden sense of barely suppressed power, struggling to escape, each up-and-down cycle a battle between chaos and control. She turned and went instead deep into the corridors, turning at random as she sought some sort of refuge.
More making-the-TARDIS-alien. The idea of immense power under the console has been there since the very beginning of the show, but one of the things I do remember about writing this is that I was thinking of that unmade Christopher Priest Five-era story about how the TARDIS is powered by the Doctor's fear of what's living under there. Or something. That may actually not be what it's about, but it's how my brain has interpreted what I've heard about it.
Eventually, she came upon the library. A cavernous cathedral of a room, coral-like struts rising up from the floor to disappear high above her head. And between all of them, row upon row of bookshelves, filling every available space. She wondered how you could ever reach the upper shelves, and suddenly the section of floor she had been standing on was rising, taking her with it. She almost lost her balance and fell off, but steadied herself.
I love the TARDIS library, and I am quite pleased with this coral-ified version of it. My all time favourite use of it is the flashback to Emily-from-Bagpuss being in there in Mad Dogs.
The TARDIS had responded to her idle thought, she realised. She concentrated on a single concept -- down -- and the piece of TARDIS she was stood on dropped feather-like back to the floor. She stepped off it gingerly, trying not to think that the same thing could happen anywhere.
She walked along the shelves, looking at the titles. The condensed wisdom of countless planets, across all of history rubbed shoulders with the tawdry entertainments of cultures high and low through the aeons.
She ran her fingers down some of the spines, conscious somehow that most of these hadn't been books she would recognise in their original forms. About one title per shelf was from Earth, and of those she only recognised the tiniest fraction. The Time Traveller's Wife. Slaughterhouse Five. A fifties Mills and Boon about doctors and nurses. It was calming to be amongst the still and calm of this collection.
The TARDIS is of course providing vaguely relevant books; it's all block transfer computations anyway. Time Traveller's Wife is obvious, as is Slaughterhouse Five really (that first bit is a small-scale version of what Billy Pilgrim goes through).
"Martha." The Doctor's voice was quiet, the sort of voice you were supposed to use in libraries. She wasn't sure how he'd found her, but she was glad he had.
"You could spend a lifetime in here," Martha said. She was surprised by the reverence in her own voice.
"But it wouldn't be a life," the Doctor said.
I so would, though, if I was the companion. But the Doctor's riposte is the right one for him and explains why he doesn't just live in there.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"I don't know," Martha said. "I think I want to hear what you've got to say, though."
I like this sort of subtle negotiation between them, I'm quite pleased with that.
There was a reading table with chairs just beyond where she was now, though she couldn't say for certain it had been there a moment ago. The Doctor gestured to her; she sat down and he took up a chair opposite.
"Do you remember I told you about time being in flux? But sometimes there are fixed points?"
This isn't a continuity error, I'm assuming that they had a similar discussion to the one he had with Donna in Fires of Pompeii, just not on screen.
Martha nodded, completely confused as to what possible connection it could have to what she'd just experienced.
"And that I can tell the difference?"
Martha nodded again.
"That's how, Martha. What you felt -- and you have to believe me I didn't know you were going to -- that's what it's like, when there's a fixed point. Everything happening all together. It's like ..." He cast his arms out wide, to encompass all the books on all the shelves. "It's like a book. You can read it in order, turning one page after another after another. Or you can skip to the end, open pages at random, skip through the boring bits, and build up an overall impression of the book." He paused. "History is made up of choices, Martha. All sorts of choices. The decisions of ordinary people. The collapse of quantum wavefunctions. The roll of a dice or the flip of a coin. That's how the book is written. Most of the time the book is still being written--"
Again, I really like this. One of the benefits of being a dyed-in-the-wool saddo of a fan is that my brain does all this sort of how-does-the-universe work stuff without me even asking it to, so when I need it for fic it's just there and I don't have to spend ages worrying at it.
"When history's in flux?"
Martha does get reduced to the traditional prompt-the-Doctor-for-explanations role for a bit here, but I don't think it matters too much.
"Exactly. So most of the time I experience history like you, causal chains of one event to the next, turning the pages in order. Can't skip ahead if the book's still being written."
Martha thought she understood, but decided to check that understanding. "But sometimes history's fixed, and then you can ... what, read the whole chapter all at once? That's what you do, as a Time Lord?"
"It's not what I do, it's who I am. There's no conscious control, it just happens. Once the key decisions are made, once the choices are constrained, history crystallises and I see all of the event-cluster as one ... It's how I knew, Martha."
Do you know what? I had no idea this conversation was going to go here when I started writing it. It was actually very hard to keep the Gallifrey angst from derailing the entire thing.
"How you knew what?"
"When I ... When Gallifrey was destroyed. The Dalek fleet wasn't just closing in on us in space, it was shutting down options in history, constraining the possibility space of the planet's future and past. They had ... terrible weapons, Martha. Time-active munitions that even Rassilon's darkest nightmares couldn't have conjured. And all the choices were being taken away from us. Until there was one, very simple choice. And just me to make it."
As with all things Time-War-y, my take on this is heavily influenced by the EDA/Faction Paradox War. This is plausible in and of itself as the end of the Last Great Time War in this context, but it also deliberately echoes The Ancestor Cell.
Martha went from sympathy to shock, as the enormity of what he was saying sank in. "You mean ...?"
"I destroyed Gallifrey, Martha. It was the only choice left. The slightly lesser of two enormous evils. And as soon as I took that final decision, I was living through all of it all at once. Watching the planet be destroyed over and over. Watching everything burn, Daleks and Time Lords and the structure of history itself. Feeling the TARDIS scream in pain around me. Always pulling that lever. That's how I knew it could never be undone, because I knew as I was living through it that it was a fixed point in history."
What the Doctor fails to mention here is Fitz dying alongside him. Because that is my personal Time War fanon, horrible though it is.
"But ... if you're experiencing all of it all at once, how do you come out the other side? How do you go back to ... page-to-page?"
"You don't, Martha. Not fully." He looked straight into her eyes, and she saw it then: that some part of him was doomed to relive it forever, that final tragedy, the greatest but by no means the only fixed point he had ever lived through.
I normally don't like the Gallifrey emo, but it does have its uses.
She put a hand over his. "I'm sorry, Doctor."
He smiled wanly. "Thank you." He blinked away the forming tears. "I'm sorry, we were talking about ... what just happened."
Huge screech of brakes and crunch of gears as I desperately try to get back to the porn.
Martha felt the corners of her own eyes pricking. "Oh, Doctor, not now, not ..."
"No, come on, you deserve ... whatever you want, really. I'm sorry, Martha. I didn't realise you'd experience it too. You must be slightly time-sensitive. Has anyone ever told you that before?"
"Funnily enough, no." Martha laughed weakly.
"Any stories of witchcraft in your family? That's often a sign of hereditary ..."
Again, FP-ism here, with the witchblood.
Martha laughed suddenly.
"What?" he asked.
"You just seem so--" She laughed again at her own stupidity. "So human. I know you're not. But everything's in the right place, at least on the outside. I shouldn't have let myself get so carried away. Should have remembered you were an alien."
"No, Martha, I ..."
"I shouldn't have let myself get so carried away," Martha said, more quietly, almost to herself. "Wait a minute. You said ..."
The Doctor waited wordlessly for her to continue.
"You said it was about decisions. Choices. Are you saying that as soon as we ... as soon as I decided to have sex with you, it was all ... I mean, that's what happened, it all happened at once, so ..."
The Doctor looked puzzled.
She looked him straight in the eyes. "Could I have said 'no', Doctor?"
Again, I had no idea it was going to go here, either, though it's very obvious that it should. The problem is that it's all a bit srs bsns and derails the "exploration and experimentation and fun" part of the prompt, makes the fic top-heavy in that regard.
"Oh," he said, somehow jumping backwards without leaving his seat. "Yes. You could have. But you didn't. Time isn't linear, Martha. But that doesn't mean you don't have free will."
This is obviously true within the 'verse, but don't ask me how the fuck it's supposed to work. Probably something to do with parallel universes.
"OK, good," she said. "I think."
"But," the Doctor said, then stopped again.
"In some ways, the TARDIS is its own universe," the Doctor said. "Magnificently complex, but still much simpler than the universe universe. I think, maybe ..."
This is a big turning point of the fic, but again it snuck up on me unawares.
"Maybe?" Martha prompted.
"There are fewer choices here. And far fewer random variables. Maybe that's why things tipped over into a fixed point."
"So, you mean, if we were ... somewhere else, we could ... have sex that didn't scare the shit out of me?"
"Worth a try?"
Martha smiled, properly this time. "I think so, yeah."
* * *
Martha lay back on the spongy grass, her naked skin prickling with innumerable tiny ionic charges.
Oh, god, I've just remembered, they're at the Eye of Orion. I didn't specify, but they so are. In fact, I think maybe it's another bit I lost to fit the little boxes.
The Doctor, naked himself and somehow vulnerable, kissed her as they settled into position. "You're definitely sure you want to try this?"
"I think it might be better if I wasn't 100% sure," Martha said. The Doctor looked taken aback for a moment, then nodded and kissed her again.
He went slowly, gently. lips and tongue roaming all over her body, fingers running softly down her sides, across her breasts, up her thighs. By the time he entered her, she was quivering with need. Still he took things with an almost agonising slowness, sliding himself only a little further inside her with each long, delicate stroke of his cock. She moaned as he bent down to lick her breasts, drawing circles around her nipples before pinching them gently between his teeth. She put her hands to his back, stroking it as she felt him tighten inside her.
I don't often write missionary, and I'm not sure how well it works here. It's right for this point in the relationship though.
As they came together, she felt time blur along the edges, the exact moment of orgasm extending out into an indeterminate extent of pleasure.
And then I go and do the cliché timegasm anyway. Have cake and eat it too, yes, thank you, I will.
Her breath came in long draughts as she came back to reality.
"Was that ... OK?"
She grabbed his head and kissed him, long and hard. "You silly, wonderful man. Of course it was."
"There was ... at the end there. Just a little."
"It's OK, Doctor," she said. "Really, it's OK."
They cuddled up together as he softened inside her. He whispered sweet nothings in her ear, but she couldn't shake the sense that he'd held a part of himself back.
* * *
Terrible JNT-era joke incoming.
They developed a rule -- "no hanky-panky in the TARDIS". They even avoided sleeping together there, in case the temptation proved too great. But that still left an entire universe to explore. And they were each entire universes to the other, to be discovered and mapped and, perhaps, conquered. They made beautiful love on the beaches of Janissarian VI under the light of three moons, fucked wildly in a pay-by-the-hour hotel room in a decadent far-future erotopolis, stole moments of passion in the middle of innumerable crises. Sometimes she experienced those extended climaxes, others not. She told herself it didn't matter.
Another thing I remember is that I googled "erotopolis" and was mildly disappointed that it already existed as a word. I think the "stole moments of passion in the middle of innumerable crises" is meant to be a reference to The Eye of the Storm. Because treating your own fics as canon in your other utterly unrelated fics isn't massively arrogant or anything.
But the more time went on, the more Martha found herself thinking about that first time. What had once been frightening became enticing, as the initial confusion and fear became contextualised by her deeper understanding of the Doctor and how he lived. Increasingly, she went to sleep at night, alone in her bed in the TARDIS, stroking herself to the tangled memories of the experience.
I'm hugely dissatisfied with this bit. For aaaaaages, I have been trying to write a fic about the way things that are scary-but-a-bit-sexy can become more sexy-and-a-bit-scary through fantasising about them to normalise them and that sort of thing, and they all fall apart at this point of trying to describe the powerful erotic charge of the forbidden fantasy, because let's face it, this isn't exactly a detailed description, though I do like "tangled memories". I went with it here anyway as it wasn't the main point of the fic and I didn't want to give up on the rest of it, but I do wish I could describe this whole mess of stuff the way I really want to.
* * *
"Doctor ..." she said, as she lay crooked under his arm. They were in the bed in her flat, bodies drenched in sweat, sheets twisted and discarded at their feet.
"Martha," he replied, kissing her on the forehead.
She swallowed, trying to work out exactly how to put it. "You ... still experience things, don't you? Time not being linear and all that. Those fixed points become ... fixed within you."
"In a way," the Doctor said guardedly.
"So ... there's some tiny part of you that's always ... there. At our first time."
"Yes," he said, his voice barely a whisper, the quietest she'd ever heard it.
"I think ..." She stopped again. "I think I want to try again."
"Martha? Are you sure? Because ..."
"I'm sure, Doctor. Completely sure."
"You ... think about it?"
"Of course I do," Martha said. "You said it yourself back then. It's who you are. I want it to be part of who we are."
I'm trying to work out what it is that pleases me about these conversation bits, because I am latterly very concerned that everyone is right and we are all just writing Martha as a Sue, and I'm just lucky that my Sue is relatively close to Rusty's or something. But I do think this somehow captures the Ten/Martha interaction quite well, the picking up on things without needing to say all of them upfront combined with a sort of candour.
The Doctor was silent for a moment. "There might be things I can do. To help. Your natural ability to experience alter-time states is ... raw. Unformed. I might be able to help you experience it in a more comprehensible way."
"alter-time state" is a complete Miles-ism. He is a bloody genius, which makes it frustrating how loathsome he is about anyone and everyone who's not exactly like him (the Randomness Times has really jumped off the deep end in the latest issue). I worry that I'm turning into the equivalent of one of those people who turns a blind eye to Dave Sim's "sucking voids" stuff because they liked Church and State.
* * *
"Wait, this is how you're going to help me? With a bloody Vulcan mind meld?"
Another snip for space: originally I described him doing it, but it obviously wasn't necessary given Martha's response.
The Doctor yanked his fingers away from her face, looked crestfallen as the green glow of the TARDIS's lighting reflected from his cheekbones. "Well, if you're going to be like that about it." He mumbled to himself, something about unfair comparisons.
This is obviously a reference to the "Give me some Spock" stuff in TEC/TDD. So obvious that it wasn't really worth me commenting on it, but there you go.
"Sorry, Doctor," Martha said. "Go on. Do your telepathic thing."
"It's not telepathy, Martha. I'm not going to do anything to your mind, just your perceptions."
The prompt did specify "not [...] ordinary telepathy", so I'm being a bit defensive here.
He puts his fingers back to her cheeks and--
--Martha got treated to a big braindump of all my how-time-works thoughts.
Time. A web of events. An arrow of meaning. A spiral of complexity. A wind of change. A vortex of totality.
The web of time and the arrow of time and the Time Vortex are Obvious. "The Time Spiral" comes up here and there in canon before the term Vortex got completely fossilised, and (again) Miles picks up on it with "the Spiral Politic" in FP. The wind of change thing is from the Walter Benjamin bit about history being an angel that is blown backwards, which I actually only know from that Laurie Anderson song 'cos it was on a BBC Vietnam documentary once. ETA: Actually, it's also from the Time Winds in Warriors' Gate. How could I have forgotten that?
Martha has seen it now, is seeing it always, will never not see it.
See, lots of playing around with tenses.
The events connect together, and the intricacy of the connections is as important as what they link together.
Event: the Doctor, freeing her mind to this new state of awareness.
Event: Martha, nodding eagerly as he checks that everything is all right.
Event: the Doctor, taking off her clothes as she smiles wide into his kiss.
Event: Martha, reaching down to feel the hardness between his legs and quickly undressing him.
Event: the Doctor, kneeling between her legs to lick her and bring her to the very brink of a climax.
Event: Martha, arching her back upwards to meet him as he thrusts inside her.
Event: both of them, coming together.
She was mistaken. It does not all happen at once. But each event has happened, and happens, and will happen. Events follow each other, queuing up politely one after the other. But she can see the whole of it, free from the shackles of linearity. She can inhabit each moment, or see the glistening jewel of the whole. And she can choose how to perceive it. Surrendering to the inevitability of events gives her this impossibly greater freedom.
She can taste his lips on hers in infinite detail, savour the sensations of his tongue on her most intimate places for as long as she wishes, feel the intensity of him inside her, delight in the knowledge that he can do the same.
She has come. She is coming. Part of her will be coming forever.
It is good, I do like this one, but it's really quite up itself in places, isn't it?
coming soon: Hardly Moving Yet, requested by biichan, and I'm still taking requests, if you haven't been completely put off by all that smug self-congratulation