Title: As Old As Time
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 51, Ancient
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the Tenth Doctor or Jethro Cane. Please do not sue.
***Jethro leaned back against the pillows of the bed he shared with the Doctor, waiting for the Time Lord to come into their bedroom. He'd gone back to the control room to check on something, but Jethro knew that he'd be back within a few minutes.
That is, unless something was wrong .... Jethro brushed the thought from his mind. Nothing would go wrong -- and if it did, the Doctor would handle it. He'd been traveling through time and space for a very long time, and he knew what he was doing.
He had complete confidence in the Doctor, even though he knew that his lover wasn't infallible. He'd wanted to believe that at first, that the Doctor was some kind of mystical creature who could do anything, who could be invincible if he so chose.
But he'd learned very quickly that wasn't the case here. He'd thought that the knowledge might in some way diminish what he felt for the Doctor -- but it had the opposite effect. He'd been more caring and protective of the Time Lord since discovering that he wasn't Superman.
He'd carried that image in his mind for so long, of the Doctor being all-powerful, that it was hard to let it go. Well, at least it had been hard in the first few weeks he'd been here on the Tardis with his lover. He'd come to see the Doctor in a very different way since then.
He wasn't a god. He wasn't perfect. He couldn't solve every problem. He was just a man -- a Time Lord, yes, one of a kind, the last of his race. But he wasn't some invincible power; he wasn't able to accomplish everything and make the world all better.
Still, he did what he could -- and he was willing to sacrifice himself and go to great lengths to protect a world that often gave him no appreciation for what he did. Jethro respected him more than he ever had anyone else in his life.
And he also loved the Doctor, with a fierce, protective love that he'd never thought he could feel. It still surprised him sometimes, to realize that a man as ancient and almost mythical as the Doctor could inspire such strong emotions in him.
The Doctor had said more than once that he believed the two of them had been destined for each other -- from the moment of their births. But how could that be, Jethro thought with a frown, when they had been born centuries apart, on different planets?
He should be able to see that more clearly, but he couldn't. All he knew was that he loved the Doctor, and that he had been drawn to the Time Lord from their first meeting, when he hadn't known anything about this man other than that he was smart and beautiful.
His dreams of the Doctor had carried him through the two long years before he'd gone back to Midnight and had happened to run into the Gallifreyan again. He'd thought about the other man all the time, hoping that they'd somehow meet.
Then .... they had, and it had seemed like a strange, miraculous coincidence. The Doctor had told him firmly that it wasn't coincidence -- that the two of them were fated. He wondered just how much the Time Lord believed in that statement, but he didn't question it.
There was no need for questioning, not in his eyes. If the Doctor believed that was so -- then he would go along with it. He wasn't going to close his mind to anything, not with all the wonders that the Doctor had already introduced him to.
After all, he reasoned, the slight frown on his face replaced by a gradual smile, he was in love with an alien. He was traveling through time and space in a blue police box -- and he was the lover and companion of a man who was a Lord of Time.
If he could believe that, then he could certainly open his mind and his imagination to any kind of concept, no matter how weird it might seem at first. Really, he'd been seeing and feeling strange things all his life, so this wasn't much of a stretch.
If anyone had told him, before he'd met the Doctor, that he would embrace his empathy and come to look at it as a rare and precious gift, and not something that set him apart and made him feel horribly different from everyone around him, he'd never have belived them.
Now, he was learning to accept his gift, to nurture it and even to love it. He'd already been able to use it to save the Doctor's life more and once -- as well as his own, and the lives of people on some of the planets they'd been to.
He'd never been able to look on it as a "gift" when he lived at home with his parents. They'd told him never to discuss it with anyone, to hide it, and to pretend that it wasn't there. They'd been ashamed of that gift -- and, by extension, ashamed of him.
And a part of him had felt that way, too. He'd never felt as though he was in sync with the rest of the world; he'd always felt that he was an alien, as much as the Doctor was. Even more, really, because he didn't have the excuse of being from another planet.
But the Doctor had given him a new lease on life, a new understanding of himself. He'd been opened up to so many possibilities, and shown all of the things he could do with his life and his gift. And this had only been the tip of the iceberg, as the Doctor said.
All this had come to him because he'd fallen in love with a man who was as ancient as time itself, who had been around for centuries longer than he could even begin to imagine. A man who was not only his senior in years and experience, but in so many other ways.
Yet .... this man loved him, and accepted him for who he was. This man would never turn him aside because he was different from everyone else. The Doctor would never abandon him because he didn't live up to some false expectation.
All Jethro had to do was look into the Doctor's eyes and see the love for him in those dark depths to know that this man, this ancient being, this Lord of Time who had given a young human man his hearts, would always be by his side for as long as he was needed.
Jethro intended to be by the Doctor's side, as well. He'd made a promise to the Time Lord that they wouldn't be parted during this lifetime, and he'd meant every word of that. He didn't make any promise lightly, and this one least of all.
He couldn't imagine a life without the Doctor. Leaving the Time Lord was as unfathomable to him now as the thought of ripping out his own heart, or putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger without thinking -- both of which he'd considered doing at one point in his life.
The Doctor had taken him away from all that. The Gallifreyan had given him a reason to live, to explore the world and himself along with it. He'd taken someone who was drifting with no purpose in life and turned him into a man with a mission.
That was what the Doctor had done for him above everything else, Jethro mused, crossing his arms behind his head and focusing his gaze on the door to their bedroom. He'd taken a boy who wasn't sure of what he wanted -- and made him a man.
He'd been on the verge of stepping into that next phase of his life when he'd first met the Doctor on that fateful train trip on Midnight, but he'd been terrified to take that final step, to leave behind the comfort and security of everything he'd always known.
True, he hadn't been happy with what he'd known -- but moving from one thing into another when it was a completely unknown factor was always frightening. The Doctor had helped him to do that, so seamlessly that he'd never realized when he'd made that transition.
He had grown up immeasurably that day when he'd met the Doctor and defied his father for the first time in his life. And that growth had come to completion, to fruition, when he'd gone back to Midnight and bumped into the Doctor on the street, their gazes meeting and not turning away.
They belonged together, himself and this man who was as ancient as Time itself. They would stay together, he was sure. There was no reason for them to part, not until time forced them to. And that wouldn't be for a long while to come.
Jethro smiled as he heard the Doctor's footsteps in the hall, sitting up in bed and looking towards the door. He had plans for what they would do with the rest of the night in this bed, and he wanted to get started on them as soon as possible.
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