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Promises To Keep

Guest LilMissSummer

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Title: Promises to Keep.

BttB Rating: T

Any Warnings: Contains mentions of violence and sexual activities but not in vivid detail

Main Characters:Jack and Martha

Type of story: Romance (I'm not sure I understand what I'm supposed to put her so apologies if that's wrong.


Pairing: Jack/Martha

Summary: As Martha’s health deteriorates will she make the ultimate sacrifice to save her life?

Timeline: This is my take on the Martha breast cancer/pregnancy/paternity storyline, Martha had the mastectomy but the paternity test didn’t happen and Tony and Rachel got married as planned.

Does story include spoilers: Maybe for UK viewers.

Notes: Due to travelling and work commitments I’ve missed great chunks of Home and Away, I have tried to catch up online but my viewing still has gaps so if there is any continuity issues or if something doesn’t fit with what happened on the show I apologise in advance.

Disclaimer: The characters and story of Home and Away do not belong to me I’m just borrowing them but I promise to return them (hopefully in one piece) when I’m finished.

1. “Because I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”

Blinking against the harsh morning sunlight it took Jack a few moments to realise that he was alone in the bed. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed he rubbed his eyes before heading off in search of Martha.

The sound of someone retching violently had him doubling his speed as he headed towards the bathroom. Kneeling down next to Martha he held her hair back from her face as her whole body heaved, her muscles contracting and relaxing involuntarily as she brought up nothing but bile.

When he was certain it was safe Jack gently lifted her up into his arms and carried her back into bed. Lying down with her he held her close, rubbing gentle circles across her back as he rested his forehead on hers.

“I thought morning sickness was supposed to be over when I entered the second trimester,” Martha whispered as she tried to ignore the burning feeling that had settled deep within her stomach.

“I know, hopefully it won’t be much longer now,” Jack tried to reassure her but the truth was he was terrified, Martha had hardly suffered from sickness at the beginning of her pregnancy but now 14 weeks into the pregnancy she had found herself suffering from morning until night.

Closing her eyes Martha tried to stop the room from spinning, after the mastectomy she had just started to feel like herself again and was starting to enjoy the pregnancy when the morning sickness had struck making it almost impossible for her to leave the house.

“Do you want me to call Dr. Wilson?” Jack asked.

Martha shook her head. “There’s nothing she can do, there’s nothing anyone can do, we just have to ride it out.”

“Maybe she can give you something to help with the sickness,” Jack suggested, desperate to do something to help.

“No, those drugs can hurt the baby,” Martha argued.

Jack moved his hand up and ran it slowly through her hair. “Not all of them, some of them are safe to use during pregnancy.”

“We don’t know that,” Martha stammered, her whole body shaking at the discomfort of the whole situation.

Holding her tighter Jack couldn’t help but feel helpless that there was nothing he could do to ease her pain. “Pregnant women take them all the time.”

“If it’s still like this next week I’ll speak to Dr. Wilson at my check-up,” Martha agreed.

Knowing that if he pushed her any further she would shut off from him Jack decided to let the matter go for now. “Do you think you can manage some breakfast?”

“No,” Martha moaned. “No food.”

“You need to at least drink something,” Jack reminded her as he rested his hand on her slightly swollen stomach.

Resting her hand on top of his Martha smiled, a small ghost of smile because no matter how terrible she felt or how bad things were she was able to find strength from both the new life growing inside her and the man lying next to her to battle through each new hurdle.

“I love you,” Martha breathed as she felt his breath on her neck.

Softly Jack kissed her on the forehead. “I love you too, both of you.”

“Tell me we’re going to be alright?” Martha begged, needing to hear him say it, she needed to know that even with a storm cloud over everything that there was hope.

“We’re going to be alright,” Jack vowed as he ran his hand across her stomach in small circles. “All 3 of us.”

Feeling comforted by his words and his touch Martha closed her eyes and for the first time in weeks she felt at ease with everything, she knew that the future was uncertain, that the cancer was still inside causing unseen damage and that the baby could be Roman’s but in that very moment none of that mattered, all that mattered was her, Jack and the baby.

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2. “How does a light that burnt so brightly suddenly burn so pale.”

Jack felt the fear rise as he felt Martha’s burning forehead, he had hoped that with the end of the morning sickness it would give her time to enjoy her pregnancy but just days after the sickness had ended the pain, discomfort, and fever had started.

“I’m going to call Dr. Wilson,” Jack insisted as he reached for the phone, being careful not to disturb Martha who was resting with her head in his lap.

“No,” Martha cried.

Jack looked down at her pained features. “This isn’t right, these aren’t normal pregnancy symptoms.”

“It’s just the flu,” Martha argued. “Miles was sick last week I must have caught it off him.”

“Please just humour me, let me call the doctor?” Jack pleaded.

Martha shook her head, she knew she was being stubborn and stupid but the truth was she was scared, she was scared that something was really wrong and seeing a doctor she feared would only confirm her worst fears.

Jack looked up at the clock, Rachel and his father should be back from their honeymoon by now, they were due back late last night. “Then at least let me get Rachel to have a look?”


“Please don’t fight me on this,” Jack pleaded as he ran his hand through her hair, trying to ignore the heat that was radiating off her. “Let me do this. Please. I can’t just sit back and watch you like this and not do anything.”

Hearing the torment in his voice Martha couldn’t help but agree. “Alright.”

Dialling the familiar number Jack listened as the phone rang 4 times before after what seemed like a lifetime his father answered the phone. “Dad?”

“Jack. Hi. I was just about to call you,” Tony smiled hearing his son’s voice.

“How was the honeymoon?” Jack asked, not wanting to worry his dad straight away.

Tony could hear an almost urgent sense of panic in his son’s voice. “What is it Jack?”

“Is Rachel there?” Jack asked.

“She’s in the shower,” Tony replied.

Jack looked down at Martha who was sleeping in his lap and he couldn’t help but notice how pained she looked even in slumber. “Erm … I was wondering … Martha she’s not doing so good and she doesn’t want to see her doctor so I was wondering …”

“We’ll be straight over,” Tony said, not even waiting for Jack to finish.

“Thanks,” Jack smiled, a teary smile as he hung up the phone.

Putting the phone back on the cradle Tony headed to the bedroom, sitting on the bed he waited for Rachel to step out of the en-suite shower.

“Missing me already?” Rachel asked seductively.

“Of course,” Tony smiled, trying to hide the fear from his voice, he hated being on the outside not being able to do anything as Jack and Martha struggled through so much.

Rachel immediately picked up on the change in Tony’s demeanour. “What is it?”

“It’s Martha,” Tony breathed. “Jack said she’s not doing so well he’s concerned because she won’t go and see her doctor.”

“Does he want me to take a look?” Rachel offered.

Tony leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her, grateful to have her in his life. “Would you?”

“Of course, I care about them too,” Rachel reminded him. “Just give me 5 minutes to get some clothes on.”

15 minutes after he had hung up the phone Jack was startled by a loud knock at the door, not wanting to get up and disturb Martha he shouted for them to come in.

“Hey,” Jack smiled.

Entering the house Tony sat down on the edge of the sofa as Rachel sat down in the chair. Immediately in doctor mode Rachel scanned her eyes across Martha’s sleeping form. “What’s been happening?”

“Well it started off alright I mean she was a little tired after the surgery but she seemed to be getting back to her own self and then …”

“Then what?” Rachel asked when Jack trailed off.

“She started getting really sick, we just put it down to morning sickness at first but it was relentless, morning until night, then that stopped and everything else started, she’s just been so drained and she constantly complains of discomfort and then there’s the temperature and … it’s just all so unfair,” Jack raged.

Stirring Martha blinked before pushing herself into a sitting position, wincing as her muscles protested. “Rachel … Tony …”

“Rachel’s come to take a look at you,” Jack reminded her.

“I’m fine,” Martha protested not wanting to make a fuss.

Jack wrapped his arms around her and leaned his head against hers. “Then do it for me. Please?”

“For you,” Martha agreed.

“Shall we go through into the bedroom?” Rachel suggested.

Martha nodded, pushing herself up off the sofa she followed Rachel into the bedroom, sitting down on the edge of the bed she watched as Rachel opened up her bag.

“So how are you really feeling?” Rachel asked.

Too tired to lie Martha finally let herself admit just how bad she was feeling. “Exhausted, even getting out of bed seems like such a hard task at the moment.”

“Do you mind if I take a look?” Rachel asked.

Slowly Martha shook her head. “I’m scared that something is really wrong.”

“I won’t lie to you, it could be something or it could be nothing but there’s only one way to tell,” Rachel honestly replied.

Closing her eyes Martha tried to block everything out as Rachel felt her glands and examined the wound site.

“Can you lie down for me?” Rachel asked.

Slowly Martha manoeuvred herself so she was lying down, wincing as she felt Rachel’s hands on her stomach.

“Is that sore?” Rachel asked.

Opening her eyes Martha nodded. “It just feels … uncomfortable and then whenever there’s any pressure against my stomach it hurts and … is it my baby?”

“It doesn’t appear to be pregnancy-related,” Rachel said. “But I’d like to do a scan just to be on the safe side,” Rachel reasoned as she looked up, looking Martha straight in the eye she felt her heart drop into her stomach as she noticed how the whites of her eyes were now a scary yellow shade.

Martha immediately picked up in the fear written across Rachel’s face. “What is it Rachel?”

“How long have your eyes been that colour?” Rachel asked.

“What colour?” Martha asked, her panic rising.

Rachel didn’t want to panic Martha but the doctor in her knew that it wasn’t a good sign and already her mind was going through all the terrible possibilities. “I want to take you to the hospital, do an ultrasound and have Dr. Wilson take a look at you.”

“It’s bad isn’t it?” Martha asked.

Taking a deep breath Rachel wrapped her arm around Martha’s shoulder. “Honestly? I don’t know it could be a number of things but we need to be certain.”

“Why is this happening to me? I mean I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I don’t deserve this type of punishment … do I?” Martha cried.

“No one is punishing you,” Rachel tried to assure her. “What’s happening to you is terrible but nothing you did or didn’t do could have prevented it and you have to believe that no matter what you have the strength to get through this,” Rachel told her.

With tears streaming freely down her face Martha nodded. “I just … I just need to know that my baby is alright.”

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3. “And it all goes tumbling, down, down, down.”

Lying down on the bed Martha flinched as the doctor inserted the needle into her arm, tightening her grip on Jack’s hand she tried to block out her surroundings.

Once the blood test was out of the way the doctor squirted the gel onto Martha’s stomach before sliding the wand across her stomach.

“Is my baby alright?” Martha needed to know.

The doctor paused for a second as gentle thumping sound filled the room. “It’s perfect, everything looks on target.”

“Thank-you,” Martha whispered, turning to look at Jack who looked just as relieved as she did.

As the doctor continued to move the ultrasound across Martha’s stomach Jack could feel his panic rising. “What are you looking for?”

Stepping forward Rachel knelt down in front of Jack and Martha. “She’s trying to visualise the liver.”

“Why?” Jack asked.

Looking up at the screen Rachel felt her heart skip a beat as she saw what Dr. Wilson was looking at. “Because it appears that there could be a tumour in her liver.”

“You mean the cancer has spread?” Martha asked, her voice nothing more than a heartbroken whisper.

Rachel nodded. “I’m afraid that’s what it’s looking like of course we won’t know anything certain until all the results are in but …”

“What does it mean for me?” Martha asked.

“It’s too early to tell,” Rachel hedged.

Standing up Martha pushed the ultrasound away. “No. No. None of that breaking-it-easy crap I want to know what it means.”


“Am I going to die?” Martha needed to know, moving away from the bed.

Dr. Wilson stood up from her stool. “Before we can determine anything we need to do a biopsy of the tumour and then a CT scan or MRI to be certain the cancer hasn’t spread anywhere else, we already know that it’s in your lymph nodes and now that it appears to be in you liver-”

“I’m as good as dead,” Martha said, her voice void of emotion.

“Don’t say that,” Jack pleaded.

Martha shook her head, backing away from him she held up her hands. “A CT scan and MRI means radiation which means we would be putting my baby in danger and then you’re all going to start talking about chemo again and I can’t do it.”

“Martha please, just listen to them,” Jack tried.

“No,” Martha insisted, her voice breaking. “I’m going to make things very simple; there will be no biopsy, no scans, no chemotherapy. I’m going to go home and enjoy being pregnant and I’m going to keep my baby safe for as long as I can and then when he or she is born then we can talk.”

Jack cautiously approached his distraught wife as Dr. Wilson, Rachel and Tony watched on all feeling as if they were intruding on a private moment between husband and wife.

“Martha just think about what happens after that? If you leave it another 4 or 5 months who knows where the cancer would have spread by then, it could be in your lungs or your brain and there will be nothing that could be done to save you … I don’t want to have to bring this baby up on my own … please just … I know it’s hard but we can have another baby … but … there will never be another you, you’re my wife … you’re my life … don’t make me sit back and watch you die,” Jack sobbed, taking hold of her arms and pulling her into him.

Martha looked down at her small baby bump. “I’m not having an abortion. I can feel my baby inside me, it’s a part of me, he or she deserves a chance to live.”

“So do you,” Jack cried.

Martha paced the hospital room nervously, taking 3 steps away from Jack before stopping and taking 2 steps back towards him. Up until now she’d been trying so hard not to let anything that anyone else was saying cloud her decision, she had to believe she was doing the right thing. But now with Jack’s heartfelt plea it was like someone had turned on the taps causing all the emotions that she had been bottling up inside her to tumble out, leaving her trapped in a maelstrom of grief, fear, anger, guilt and love.

Jack watched as Martha’s whole body began to shake, reaching out he put his arms around her as her knees began to buckle under the weight of her grief. As he held her close he could feel her whole body shake beneath him.

“I love you. No matter what never doubt that,” Jack whispered into her ear, desperate to take some of the pain away from her.

An ear piercing scream broke through the air as gut wrenching sobs overtook her body causing Jack to hold her closer. Martha heard the scream too but it was almost as if she was under water listening to it. She wanted nothing more than to stand up, brush the creases out of her clothes and apologise for making such a scene but she couldn’t as she was concentrating all of her energy on just breathing.

“We’re going to get through this,” Jack vowed.

Quietly Dr. Wilson, Rachel and Tony left the room leaving Jack and Martha alone with the weight of the world on their shoulders as they struggled to make a decision that no parents should ever be faced with.

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It's great to see a JnM fic back!

Wow, I love this, but you need to sort things out for Jacky & Macky quickly right now! I'll write the next chapter for you:

Chapter 2. I'm walking on sunshine!

"Martha, I have some news for you," said Rachel.


"The cancer has gone away miraculously and the baby is safe!!!"


There. Feel free to copy, I won't sue :P

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