This is purely fictional. Doc Martin and all of the characters are the property and creation of Buffalo Pictures. This is just for entertainment. There is no intention to infringe on any legal rights to the show or characters.

He wouldn't make her happy. She told him that.

He'd replied, saying that she wouldn't make him happy.

He believed that, but he'd stopped short of giving her more of an explanation. He didn't deserve to be happy; he wasn't to be happy. What he didn't tell her was that she was the closet thing to being happy he could get. He was Martin Ellingham, Dr. Martin Ellingham. Ellinghams weren't happy; he wasn't happy, but watching her walk away now was stirring up true feelings of unhappiness, feelings that brought a lump to his throat and made him almost short of breath. She was gone. It was over. There would be no wedding.

Now, though, it was too late. He couldn't take his eyes off of her walking away, down that hill, toward the village, her village, the same dreadful village he hated, but also the same dreadful village in which he'd met her. There would be no wedding, but what did that really mean? He'd thought he was doing her a favor, staying away from the ceremony, their ceremony because he was unlovable. She deserved more; Louisa was special, and he couldn't offer her the world and the happiness-whatever that was-she deserved.

He'd said he wouldn't make her happy, but in all truthfulness, he wasn't sure why everyone desired to always be happy. What was it with everyone? Why must everyone always strive to be happy? Content, yes. He was content with a lot of things, certainly not his blood issues, but he was content when he was around Auntie Joan. He'd been content when he was around Louisa. All he wanted was for Louisa to be happy, and he had realized that being married would not make her happy. The right thing to do was to bow out, to walk away, to make it about his happiness, even if deep down, he didn't really believe in happiness, at least not his own. If Louisa was there telling him that she wouldn't be happy, then he had to be content to let her go.

He wasn't sure how long he watched her figure as she disappeared down into the village, but it was long after she disappeared from sight. He wasn't sure what he was expecting, but maybe he thought she would turn around, one last glimpse of her. She never did; she just kept walking, her head fixed straight ahead. His was too, just on her as she walked, confidently away from him. He tried to swallow, the lump in his throat still there. It was over.

He wasn't sure what prompted him to finally give a single nod and turn back toward the surgery, but he finally did. The village was quiet. For once, the ridiculous girls weren't walking by laughing and gawking at him. It was almost ironic that his non-wedding finally brought the village silence he'd always wanted. There was no need to sit and wallow. Martin walked inside, closed the door, and he looked over toward his sitting area. Everything in his life had just changed in that small area. He couldn't dwell on it; a patient needed him now, even when he had his own personal crisis.

It was later as he sat at his desk, the letter open and sitting in front of him, when he looked up as he heard a knock at his door. Before he could say anything, the door opened, and that lump in his throat reappeared as Joan entered.

"Martin?" Joan asked, as she tentatively walked toward him. She ducked her head slightly, almost as if bracing for impact, a harsh word or more.

"Auntie Joan," he finally was able to say, his eyes locked on hers.

"Oh, Martin," she said quietly as she took a seat opposite him, the seat usually offered to his patients, but he seemed to be the one in need of attention now.

"It is unfortunate, but the wedding," he paused, trying to find his words, "it was a mutual decision to not proceed. It is done, over."

He delivered those words quickly to her and glanced down, his eyes moving over the open letter. Joan followed his eyes, and when she saw the open letter on the desk, she looked back up at him, finally making eye contact.

"Martin," she sighed, and at that, Martin looked back at her. He knew her sighs; that wasn't one of annoyance, maybe almost sadness. He didn't understand the reason for different sighs from her, but he knew this one and had heard it before.

"Do you have a medical need?" Martin finally asked, nodding to her. "Are you feeling unwell?"

"Unwell?" Joan said, a slight rise in her voice. "I'm only feeling sadness for you, for Louisa. Martin, I just want you to be happy."

"Yes," he said with a nod. "I don't understand why everything is about happiness. Auntie Joan, the day is unfortunate with the turn of events, but I would like to just get back to work. My patients need me to provide the best care I can."

"Martin," Joan said in an almost scolding tone, trying to meet his gaze, "where is Louisa?"

"Ahh, I should think back at her cottage," he said in a quick reply. His eyes scanned over the letter again, and he quickly reached for it. He folded it and moved it to his desk drawer, aware Joan was expecting more of an answer. He looked to her again.


Joan frowned again, "I'm sorry Marty. I will go," she said as she stood. "To answer your question, no I don't need medical care. I was worried, though, am worried, you do need care. I don't think you have the medicine to cure a broken heart," she said, looking down at him. Martin stood, and as he did, he now looked down at her.

"What will you do?" Joan asked, looking up at him.

"I shall open the surgery tomorrow again. My patients will be pleased that I am here to do so," Martin replied simply.

"I mean with Louisa," Joan sighed as she shook her head. "How did you leave things?

Martin rolled his eyes, not wanting to discuss this further. He met his aunt's gaze, and sighed, "Louisa said she'd 'see me around,' as you say."

"See you around?" Joan questioned. "Martin, you do realize this is a small village. It's not London. Are you going to be alright seeing her everywhere?"

"Of course," he said with a quick nod. "Louisa walked down the hill, back to her, her," he finally got frustrated and gestured with his hands, "village people." Now, he was irritated at his aunt and muttering more than normal. "Auntie Joan, I will be fine. I'll see Louisa around, as she said, and it will not be anyone's business as to our mutual decision. She walked down the hill, not out of my life. I shall think we will get on with our lives."

"Martin," Joan said quietly, trying to get him to look at her. When he didn't, she sighed again and shook her head, "My dear Marty, I do worry, and I am sorry. I will leave you to it here, but Martin," she said as she stepped toward the door and looked back at him. He finally looked up as she turned the door handle. "Nothing like this is ever easy. Just saying that you will see each other in the village," she shook her head. "I hope it's that easy, but I suspect it won't be."