Martha watches her husband’s dark head flash to the left, and suddenly her heart feels julienned in her throat, like the delicate strips of carrot she’d been slicing earlier.
Jack Harkness is standing in the doorway. His black boots are scratched and scuffed, and caked with old dirt.
Martha remembers, as she blinks her eyes, the way he held her back when that Mayfly was trying to bust out of her abdominal cavity. The touch of his long hands against her skin, like an older brother, in a way. Soft. Calculating. Frantic to save.
Now, as she opens her eyes, all she can see are those same, strong hands wrapping around -Benjamin Pond’s- throat.
“The whole of Creation… you said that already. Losing your mojo, Pond?”
Benjamin gives a barked, strangled laugh, as though his lungs are gargling battery acid- an ugly, unexpected sound from an unexpected man. “This old man, he… urk! … he played one! He played… glg… knick knack…glurg… on his… thumb… Do you have a thumb, Jack?”
“The better to pull out a plum with.” Jack answers with a bright grin. But his pretty blue eyes are flat-lining. Soon, his fingers dig for a place in the Time Lord’s shoulder, inside the fleshy part near the outermost joint. First, he presses gently, as if he’s fluting pie crust edges with a fork. Then he drives his thumbnail home, tipping the digit forward and pressing in, over and over, until the alien man in his arms writhes out like a billowing curtain... if curtains were made of bits of holey, camel colored coat and scraps of striped rags.