#19 “Doc Martin” FanFiction – “Cornwall, Part 2“

by Karen Gilleland © 2014


You may wish to read #18, “Cornwall, Part 1,” prior to reading this story.


“Martin,” she breathed, but he turned and walked away.

Saturday and Sunday nights had passed since Martin left. Louisa heard the lock turn in the front door, and she ran downstairs. Her shoulders sagged when she saw only Morwenna.

“Morning, Louisa,” said the girl, plopping her bag on the desk.

“Morwenna, would you please cancel Martin’s appointments today?” At Morwenna’s raised eyebrows, Louisa added, “Something unexpected’s come up.”

“Sure. Do you know when he’ll be back?”

“No,” she said and went upstairs.

Louisa looked in the mirror and grimaced at her red-rimmed eyes. She splashed cold water on her face and dressed James. The baby squirmed in her arms, and she caressed him. “I know, James. We both miss Daddy, but we’ll have to suck it up and get on with the day.”

After applying makeup, she slipped on her turquoise skirt and sweater, brushed her hair, went downstairs and fixed breakfast for James.

She was putting James into the playpen when Cormoran Crocker arrived in reception. Louisa heard his voice and called, “Hello, Cormoran, cup of coffee?”

“I have good news, Louisa,” he said, coming into the kitchen. “Colan Rundle, who owns the Three Fishes pub south of St. Ives, said he’d be proud to teach Cornish at the school.”

“Good,” she said, handing Cormoran a cup of coffee.

“Colan will come to school today to talk with you.”

She didn’t smile, but said, “Thanks.”

“Something wrong, Louisa?”

“No, I look forward to meeting Mr. Rundle.” She felt grateful that Cormoran let it go, finished his coffee, and left.

Louisa dropped James at Mrs. Kent’s for babysitting and walked to school. Her mood lightened as she greeted the children, but darkened as the day plodded on.

At three o’clock, a short, stocky man, with close-cropped, white hair and a neat mustache rapped on her door and stepped jauntily into the office.

Myttin Da, Head Mistress. Colan Rundle reporting for duty,” he said with a grin and a salute. “When can I start?”

Cheered by the man’s good humor, Louisa smiled and said, “Thank you, Mr. Rundle. There are forms and legal requirements, but I think you can start right after term break. It’s good of you to help.”

“Can’t complain about kids not learning Cornish if nobody’s willing to teach them,” he said. “I guess your husband’s too busy with surgery to teach.”

“Martin? Why do you say that?”

“Right handy with Cornish is the ‘Doc.’”

Louisa felt short of breath, but asked, “When did you see Martin?”

“Last night. He comes into my pub looking a bit shifty. The mates at the bar pass the word, ‘Londoner alert,’ so’s we all switched to Cornish. Don’t like discussing home-rule with strangers about.” Mr. Rundle started coughing.

“Sorry,” he said and continued, “The pub was buzzing with Cornish, and Jim Boden walks in, all white and shaky. We’re staring at Jim, when up steps your husband. ‘Methack o ve,’ he says – that means ‘I’m a doctor.’”

She nodded but couldn’t speak.

“‘What’s the matter?’ he shouts, all in Cornish, mind. Well, we takes a hard look at this fellow, unshaven, wrinkled suit, red eyes, and we shakes our heads, thinking he must be three sheets to the wind.”

Colan’s eyes twinkled at the memory. “Jim just stared at him. Suddenly, it was like the blitzkrieg. The stranger pushes the mates aside, walks straight to Jim and shakes his shoulders hard. ‘Tell me what’s wrong,’ he orders. Well, Jim gathers his wits, grabs the fellow by the elbow and takes him to his place.”

“What happened?” Louisa managed.

“Mary’s baby was coming out wrong, feet first. Mary wasn’t going to make it. The ‘Doc’ called for an ambulance and said he would try to turn the baby. He sets to work, and Mary delivers a feisty little girl, all thanks to the ‘Doc.’”

She smiled at Mr. Rundle, but her eyes were blurry.

“He never said his name, but Jim heard him tell the paramedics he was the GP in Portwenn. We used to laugh at tales about your doctor here,” said Colan, and his voice grew serious. “We don’t laugh any more.”

“Thank you, Mr. Rundle,” Louisa sighed, and the man left the office.

She picked up James at the sitter’s and pushed the stroller up the hill, feeling as though she were slogging through molasses. She took the baby into the kitchen and fixed him creamed corn and rice. After dinner, she read Margaret Wise Brown’s gentle story, Goodnight Moon, and put James to bed.

At four in the morning, Louisa, still dressed in her work clothes, was sitting at the kitchen table, in the dark, hands around a cold cup of tea, when the door opened quietly.

“Martin,” she whispered.

He closed the door and said, “Louisa?”

Frosty silence filled the room. She said, “I’m so terribly sorry, Martin.”

She heard him sigh, but he didn’t speak.

“You’re not able to forgive me, are you?” Louisa hugged herself to keep from shaking.

Martin walked to the table, pulled a chair beside her and said, “I can forgive you, but I can’t get rid of the image. I haven’t slept because every time I close my eyes, I see your arms around that twit.”

“I’ve not slept either. I’m haunted by the image of your pale face in the moonlight.” Louisa shuddered. “I can’t offer any excuse,” she said and paused, “but I will try to explain.”

She took a moment to gather her thoughts. “After you left, Charles and I drank wine and reminisced about our college days and the fun we’d had. When we were saying good-bye and he kissed me, I felt twenty years old again, and back in the moment. It was a human response, but I didn’t feel anything for Charles as a person. Not what I feel for you.”

She added softly, “It’s been a long time since I’d been kissed that passionately.”

Martin sucked in a breath. “I see.”

“Can we get past this, do you think?”

He reached out, put his hands over hers. Then he pressed her hands against his lips. His voice cracked slightly as he said, “I can’t imagine living without you.”

Louisa began sobbing, and her whole body trembled. He stood up and gathered her into his arms.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” he said until she stopped shaking and sank back down onto the chair. He sat beside her.

Letting out a deep breath, Louisa said, “I was worried you’d do something foolish, so I called Charles. A woman answered. His wife. I explained why I was calling.” Louisa paused. “I think when Charles arrived, he found out the meaning of ‘Hell hath no fury.’”

“I’m feeling better already,” he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulder.

Louisa let herself smile. Then she asked, “Where did you go? When you didn’t come back for surgery this morning, I feared the worst.”

He twisted in the chair. “I just drove. No idea where I was going. I found myself in Scotland this morning.”

She closed her eyes, and they sat in silence for a long moment.

Finally she said, “I heard about your exploits at the pub.”

Martin tilted his head and shrugged.

“How is it that you speak Cornish?”

He stretched and leaned back in the chair. “I taught myself Cornish when I came to Portwenn. I didn’t have much else to do in the evenings. I studied what I could find in writing and listened to tapes. I like to think I didn’t need Cornish to figure out that a man in shock required medical help.”

“You continually amaze me, Martin,” she said, her eyes bright with tears. She turned toward the window and was startled to see the sky had turned a pale blue.

Looking over at Martin, she saw his face clearly for the first time. She rubbed the back of her hand against the stubble on his chin. “You look hungry. I’ll fix something to eat.”

Louisa clicked on the coffeemaker, cracked eggs into a skillet and toasted half-a-dozen slices of bread. She and Martin sat down and devoured their first real meal in days. When finished, she set the dishes on the sink board.

She felt her heart quicken when Martin touched her shoulders, turned her around to face him and kissed her passionately. Louisa caught her breath, took his face in both hands and kissed his lips, letting go of the sadness bottled up inside her the past two nights.

As they stood in a close embrace, the kitchen door opened, and Bert Large’s voice shattered the moment. “Sorry to interrupt you two love birds—“

“Go away, Bert,” said Martin and motioned the man with his hand.

“Can’t, ‘Doc.’ I cut my hand, and it’s bleeding pretty bad.”

Martin let out a sigh and said, “Go into the surgery.”

James’ voice gurgled over the monitor, and he called to Bert, “I’ll be with you in a minute. I have something to do first.”

“Take your time,” the man replied, “Don’t mind me. I’m only bleeding to death.”


Martin ran upstairs, Louisa following. He picked up James. The baby’s arms flailed frantically. Then he patted Martin’s scratchy face, laughing.

Holding the baby close, he said, “Not to worry, James. I’ll be shaving soon.” He set James back into the crib and said, “I have to take care of Bert.”

Louisa caught her husband’s arm. “Wait,” she said and brought his face close to hers. “Thank you for giving me new images to see when I close my eyes.”

Martin kissed her forehead and went downstairs. She picked up the baby and followed.

Morwenna was switching on the computer. “Morning, ‘Doc,” she said. “I’ve canceled your morning appointments, but you have a full schedule this afternoon.”

He grunted, and Morwenna said, “Thumbs up on the new look, ‘Doc.’ You’ve got the Brad Pitt thing going on.”

“Bert Large is here with a cut hand. Stop gawking and bring in his file,” Martin said sharply.

Glancing at Louisa, Morwenna muttered, “And he’s back.”


“Doc Martin” is owned by Buffalo Pictures.

To read all articles and FanFiction, go to the front page of karengilleland.wordpress.com

16 thoughts on “#19 “Doc Martin” FanFiction – “Cornwall, Part 2“

  1. A lovely addition to your essays Your blog is my first experience with Fan Fiction, and I’m enjoying it immensely. You capture the spirit of the Doc Martin characters in such a sensitive and plausible manner. Thank you!

  2. I’m not quite convinced that the Doc would be so forgiving so quickly, or that he would endeavor to learn Cornish, but I did enjoy your story overall. I think you capture the essence of their characters.

  3. Pingback: #18 “Doc Martin” FanFiction – “Cornwall, Part 1” | "Doc Martin" with Martin Clunes Fan

  4. I actually lost sleep worrying about whether Martin would throw Louisa over….
    Then I got hit by that bacteria bug floating around the northeast here in the US – was actually quarantined for 10 days….was delirious as well – kept saying I had to get in to see Doc Martin…my doctor is a woman, so go figure…
    When I finally got all better and read your part II, I actually felt this weight leave my shoulders…..I am not joshing, I felt so relieved!!!!
    Maybe that’s a testament to your writing prowess or maybe I’m too absorbed into this story…..
    or maybe both????
    I’ve read part II no less than half a dozen times, and I’m going to reread it while I wait for the bus to go to work….


    • Hi Charles, thanks for your note. So sorry to hear you have been ill. I, too, have been down and out for the past week, but with a cold and laryngitis — nothing so serious as what you had. No fun though. I am glad to hear you enjoyed Part 2. The stories are great fun to write.

  5. I am definitely a fan of your fiction. You’re ability to capture the spirit of the characters in your dialogue is remarkable. They read like an official Doc Martin episode. I love reading them. Brava!!

  6. Karen, this is so good that I have read both parts about 4 times. Great to see Louisa admit that she did something wrong and very good to see Martin react in such a positive and loving way. When Louisa explained he got it, he really got it. Thanks for another great story. You keep us going until the next series. Have you written any books? I would love to read them if you have.

  7. Thanks everyone for your encouragement. I appreciate that you enjoyed the story because it was one of the most complex I’ve ever tackled.

    On the surface was issue of home-rule and language.
    Next, Louisa, usually the one to walk away from the relationship, had to struggle with feelings of desolation and uncertainty after Martin left.
    Then Martin had to come to terms with Louisa’s need for affection.
    They both had to realize that marriage was more than sharing space.
    Underlying everything was the issue of forgiveness and what that says about a person.

    (No books. If I ever do write one, I’ll post a notice on the web. Thanks!)

  8. Pingback: “Doc Martin” Starring Martin Clunes Blog Chalks Up Year 1 | "Doc Martin" with Martin Clunes Fan

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