Doc Martin Fanfiction: 8 - 110. Chapter 110
The characters, places and situations of Doc Martin, are owned by Buffalo Pictures. This story makes no claim of remuneration or ownership, nor do I make any attempt to infringe upon any rights of the owners or producers.
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Louisa was snoring next to me, her arm draped over my waist. The snores weren’t very loud just part of her night time being. I had to crack my neck and did it very slowly so as not to wake her, but I failed for she did wake.
“Martin?” she asked sleepily. “Something wrong?”
“No. It’s fine. Go back to sleep.” My mind had been awhirl since we climbed into bed. Despite my wife’s apparent interest in, ahem, getting close, she’d drifted off as soon as he head hit her pillow. I, on the other hand had been stewing, my mind going a million miles a minute.
She rolled away and peered at the clock. “It’s three in the morning.” As she turned back to me, she yawned. “Have you slept at all?”
“Some,” I lied.
She patted my shoulder saying, “Oh dear. Not again.” Then she sat up. “Loo,” she muttered.
In short order she came back and put her cold feet against my leg. When I jumped she apologized. “Someone told me that women’s peripheral circulation shifts to keep their core body temperature up. Hence cold hands and feet.”
She wrestled with the blanket for a few seconds then plumping her pillow settled down next to me, her arm once more around me after she squirmed closer. “So… we still need a child minder. I don’t want to ask mum, not if she’s going to be cooking for Al’s guests at the fishing camp. At least she’s taken a shine to Buddy so we don’t have to worry about him any longer.”
I grunted. “No worries about that filthy beast.”
“Buddy’s not a beast, Martin. He’s, well he’s kind of an orphan.”
“As long as it stays out of our house.”
“And I don’t think Mike Pruddy will be back anytime soon.”
Louisa flopped around, adjusting her pillow, right next to my shoulder. “Poor Mike. He did keep the house neat and clean, maybe too neat. Things on shelves and in drawers kept migrating. Almost a scavenger hunt some days to find things. At least he stayed out of our underwear drawers.”
“He was trying to make order in a disordered world.”
“Poor man. No wonder he went AWOL from the Army. Probably drove him mad trying to keep all the bullets shiny. I wonder how he’s doing?”
“Louisa, do you really want to be discussing Mike Pruddy at three AM?”
She kissed my ear. “No.”
I turned my head and saw her eyes shining at me in the darkness.
“But we need a child minder or a nanny,” she went on.
“Just during the day. A nanny would want full time employment.” I shuddered. The house was small enough for the three of us. Or maybe four eventually, I mused.
“Pippa says she might know somebody…” she stopped. “Sorry. Tomorrow.” She smoothed the blanket over herself than pressed against me. “Martin, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but I am wondering something.”
I sighed. It seemed we were going to have a conversation anyway. “Yes?” I grumbled.
“When you fixed the thing in my head…”
“The arteriovenous malformation.”
“Yeah. That.” Her left hand went up to her right collar bone. “You had to make an incision, just here.”
“Uhm…” air hissed from my mouth. I didn’t want to talk about that.
“It’s very small.”
“Only a centimeter long,” I replied.
“That’s healed but…” she sighed. “What happened?” Her left hand drifted down to my chest and stopped on my sternum.
“What do you mean?”
“There had to be some… a little I suppose… blood, right?”
She went on. “And it’s sort of muddled up in my head, the operation; but I do remember you told me you wanted to learn how to be a husband. I do remember that.”
“Yes…” I hissed. “I did, I did say that.”
She nodded and kissed my ear. “You been doin’ that. Just wanted you to know I think you’re doin’ a good job. Have I been helping you?”
I turned to my side so we were face to face. “Oh yes, you have been, very… understanding.”
“Understanding? How clinical sounding.”
“I mean… I mean you’ve also been very… ahem,” her hand now moved to the small of my back. “Close and… loving. Not sure I deserve it.”
Her eyes seemed to be brighter now, if that was possible in the dimness of our bedroom. Then she smiled. “We have been getting on.”
I ignored her double entendre which I’m sure everyone else in the village was aware of – that the Doc and Louisa are not only back together – but that we are a sexual couple. I can’t say why that bothered me, except that affairs of the bedroom, behind a closed door, are strictly the business of the people involved. Hence my discomfort when we got engaged and people congratulated us, or when she was pregnant with James and her growing belly was a sure sign that we knew one another – in the Biblical sense.
Then we got married and my discomfort rose to huge proportions, some part of me thinking that I didn’t deserve her, as well as not having a clue what normal people did in the same house. Normal people… that was a puzzler. Normal people like the Rix’s who were into S&M? Or my horrid parents? Or Louisa’s for that matter?
Yet even now I found it hard to take her hand in public. But I was trying to feel more… comfortable around her. But my years of being private, an outsider, had worn deep grooves in my behavior – like a massive dam holding back a huge reservoir. But the day she left with James in that taxi for Spain; that seemed to have broken the dam or least cracked it right through.
“I’m sorry,” I told her.
I ran my fingers through her long silky hair. “Being… weird.”
She giggled. “No, no, that’s what makes you you! And it’s not weird. Bit different maybe – but that’s you Martin. You’re so smart, and you can be a bit rude at times…”
“Been working on stopping that.”
“I know how hard it has been for you.” She sighed. “And me too. Running off to Spain, or trying to!”
“I made you get hit by a car.”
She sighed. “I was the one chasing you into the road, as you recall.”
I looked very hard into her eyes. “You weren’t running away; I was. You were chasing me.”
She rubbed my neck. “We bollixed that up.”
The silence stretched. “No more running away,” she sighed. “Either of us. Not London, or Spain, or even Bristol or Bath. Right?”
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Unless we go together.”
I wrapped my arms around her. “That would be good.”
She regarded me silently for a long time. “That’s settled.”
That’s when I kissed her. When our lips parted I saw her lip twitch.
“But about the blood?” she asked and I groaned for she could have a one track mind.
She went on, “Not just the blood. I could swear… it is fuzzy, but I could swear I heard someone being sick – right there in the operating room.”
Time to pay the piper. “Yes.”
“Yes? So it did happen. Who was it? One of the nurses?”
“No. That was me.”
Her eyes went wide in horror. “On my God! You got sick during my operation?”
Her hand rubbed my neck gently. “Oh Martin, how awful for you.”
“It didn’t detract from me performing the op, which went flawlessly.”
“But… I thought…” I saw her bite her much abused lip. “Oh… But why?”
“You were someone’s mother and wife.” I had to clear my throat. “And if… I failed… if I made a mess of it…” Hot drops trickled from my eyes. “That would have been the worst! And there I was slicing open your lovely smooth skin… because I had to!”
She kissed my face and neck and hands and then my lips. “You didn’t Martin. You never make a mess of anything. At least medically, and I’m fine now.”
“But… what if I’d failed?”
“You didn’t,” she answered. “I trusted you then and now.”
In that moment I appreciated Louisa most of all of every teacher, mentor, or family member I ever had.
Joan used to tell me, “You’re a smart boy, Marty! You’ll figure it out!”
Aunt Ruth would likely take the opposite view. “Martin, you’ll figure it out. It won’t be easy, especially for you. You’ll have to work really hard. But if you want to succeed, you will.”
So Louisa trusted me and because of that I could succeed and improve with her and James. I rubbed her shoulder slowly. Trust – trust to go to bed with someone – trust to let them slice you open and tinker with your brain’s blood vessels – trust to marry you despite your faults. And, I sighed, trust to sit side by side in front of a near stranger and spill your guts out, while that stranger – a therapist – made notes.
So, I thought, this has been all about trust. Trust that at the end you’d do the right thing – no matter how much it hurt or how hard it was.
Louisa whispered, “You know I was scared when they wheeled me into the operating theater, but when I saw you – right there, by my side – I felt all warm and fuzzy.”
“That was the pre-med,” I said.
She ruffled my hair. “No. I mean, you told me you were doing my operation. I knew it was serious, right? I mean you came after me – onto the plane and everything.”
I nodded. “It was serious.”
She sighed and pulled herself closer, hugging me tightly. “What I’m trying to say is that… well, seeing you there made me feel safe. I knew it was severe, but with you there…still nervous, but…” she shuddered. “Let’s not talk about it.”
Louisa trusted that I would do the right thing and I had.
“But,” she added, “you’re you and I’m me and nobody thought we’d get this far.”
“Chalk and cheese,” I muttered.
“I’m prickly and… well,” she sighed, her warm breath fanning my face, “we’re still showing them that they’re wrong, right? And we didn’t go back to the way things were.”
“No, we didn’t – haven’t.” I buried my nose in her hair. “I do love you.”
“I know,” she said. “I love you too.”
Penhale asked at our wedding reception, “What’s love got to do with it?”
Everything Penhale, I said to the darkness; every blessed thing, or we’d all end up alone and barmy like the hermit farmer on the edge of the moor.
We stayed like that, warm and safe and in each other’s arms until we fell asleep.
I turned my head. “Louisa?” Morning light was just coming through the blinds.
“Hi,” she said and yawned. “You okay?”
I nodded. “Seem to be.”
We kissed. “Martin,” she said.
“Tell me again.”
I swore that I would tell her every day. “I love you and you are so very beautiful.”
She smiled and stretched and then put her arms around me. “Thanks and sorry.”
“For lots of stuff.”
“Yes,” I told her but the house seemed very quiet. “James seems to be still asleep.”
Louisa whispered, “Even the seagulls are quiet today. So…” she began to run a hand inside my vest.
“Think we might be pregnant?”
“That make you feel funny, me asking?”
“Just, just want to it be planned and not a surprise.”
“We’ve talked about that, yes. It’s fine.”
She trailed her fingers down my back. “I am glad to be home.”
I rolled onto my side so I faced her. “Uhm, but you’ve been home.”
“No, not always,” she answered. “Not sometimes. Been a few awkward turnabouts on a gravel road getting here.”
Uphill and down, along a gravel road, was not easy, but with someone to share the trip, it made all the difference. “Easy to get lost without a map,” I said.
Her other hand interlaced with mine. “But now, we’re on the same path. Together.”
I smiled at her. “That’s good. Excellent really. And I’m glad that you’re here – at home.”
She kissed me deeply. “Now I am.”
“Oh Louisa, I was so afraid. I was afraid…” my voice broke. “That you’d drift away and keep going. That’d I driven you – pushed you away.”
“No. Martin,” she said into my ear as she nibbled on it. “You were the one who pulled me back.”
She sighed. “Yes. You.”
“Because you made me see… that…” her cool hands wormed under my vest. “God. That I…”
I lay there waiting for her next words, as my hand stroked her back.
“None, uhm, neither of us is perfect and…”
This was just the point that Entwhistle had been hammering home and all the while Louisa had been unsure? “And?”
“You have changed and so have I and you do make me happy, not all the time, but mostly. How about that? Who knew?”
“Oh Louisa,” I smothered her face with kisses. “I’ve missed you.”
“And,” she laughed, “you healed me.”
I kissed her throat. “Actually, I believe that you healed me.”
She laughed and that’s when I knew that my eighth AVM procedure patient was at last healed; good and well.
I wish to thank all you readers who wrote such lovely and insightful reviews and private messages along the way as this story unfolded as well as they rest of you who have read and read and read as I typed away. For the authors out there, I have spent 346 days writing this and it is roughly 185,000 words long. That’s about 535 words per day, on average. To my brother and sister fanfic authors, thank you for your special encouragement, comments, and insightful messages.
I think it is remarkable that “Doc Martin,” the ITV television show, has produced so much devotion from so many fans, including me. So I say a huge THANK YOU to Buffalo Pictures who have taken all of us along on this fantastic ride for the last ten years and six series. Did they have any idea what they had started back in 2004 when Martin and Louisa started out in that airplane buzzing over the beautiful cliffs of Cornwall?
So what about Series 7? Your guess is good as mine where the ultra-talented writers, directors, actors, and producers will take us next. How to cut through the Gordian Knot of Martin and Louisa?
No matter what happens, I’m certain it will be filled with highs and lows, sighs and sobs, and the occasional pratfall, head bump, and scary cliff-hanger. May the “real” Martin and Louisa and the rest of the citizens of Portwenn find heaven at the end.
I own no part of Doc Martin and what you have read here is what can happen when you are a fan! Perhaps an obsessed one? 🙂
Thanks for reading and perhaps we’ll meet in Portwenn someday!