Title: Trouble in Mind
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 70, Thoughts
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.
***The Doctor scowled, pushing himself up into a sitting position on the bed. He hated not being able to see properly; yes, his sight was slowly coming back to him, but everything was far too dim as of yet for him to be able to do much.
Jethro had been a lifesaver during the time he'd been incapacitated, he thought, his expression softening as he thought of his young lover. What would he have done if Jethro hadn't been there? He probably wouldn't have been able to even make it back to his ship.
Yes, this has been a narrow escape -- and he was still a bit shaken by what had happened. Of all the things that he'd had to deal with happening to him in his long life, he'd never been blinded before. It had been a thoroughly frightening experience.
One that he definitely didn't want to go through again. But if the situation warranted it, he'd probably do the same thing again. He had responsibilities that he couldn't back away from. And he couldn't have let any of those people die.
Did Jethro understand that? He frowned again, the thought worrying at his mind. Sometimes he thought that his lover was almost a part of him, with the way their thoughts entwined as much as their bodies did. Jethro just seemed to understand him instinctively.
But he couldn't be sure of that, could he? Even with Jethro's empathic abilities, there would always be a part of the Doctor that was held back, that he kept to himself. He'd spent too many centuries keeping to himself to be able to throw caution to the winds easily.
He sighed, wondering where Jethro was. He was definitely in the Tardis; he'd promised that he wouldn't go out alone unless it was absolutely necessary, and the Doctor knew that he always kept whatever promises were made between them.
A dark shadow moved in the doorway of their bedroom; the Time Lord was startled for a moment until he heard Jethro's voice. "I thought I could feel you stirring around."
He nodded, blinking as he strained his eyes in the direction of the doorway. He'd been told that he should be careful of his vision for the next few days; as it came back to him, it would get clearer until it was fully restored. But patience had never been one of his virtues.
Jethro came into the room, heading for the bed and sitting down to take the Doctor into his arms. "You had such a serious look on your face when I first saw you," he murmured, brushing soft lips across the Doctor's cheek. "What were you thinking of?"
"Oh .... nothing." The Time Lord didn't really want to tell his lover what thoughts had been going through his head; truth be told, he was a bit ashamed of them. He didn't want to feel that he'd been disloyal to Jethro, and what was more, he didn't want Jethro to feel that way, either.
Jethro shrugged, smiling and turning the Doctor's face to his. "It doesn't matter what you were thinking," he said softly, his breath warm against the Time Lord's skin. "As long as they were good thoughts. I don't want you getting upset, not now."
The Doctor shook his head, sighing a little. How could he explain what he'd been thinking to Jethro without his words sounding hurtful? He'd never been able to master the art of dissembling, of making what he said seem less critical than they were.
"I'm not upset," he finally said, his words soft and a little hesitant, searching for the right thing to say. "I was just thinking .... that I wonder if you can understand just why I had to do what I did when I was blinded. What drove me to take that kind of risk."
Jethro sat back against the pillows, his arms around the Doctor's waist. After a few moments, he took a deep breath, then spoke.
"I'll admit that I don't always understand just what drives you, Doctor," he began, his voice serious. "But I'm not going to try to keep you from doing anything you feel like you have to do. That's not my place in your life. I'm your lover and your companion, not your keeper."
"I don't expect anyone to understand how I feel about what I am," the Doctor sighed, shaking his head and wishing that he could explain it. "I .... can't put it into words, Jethro. But there's a sense of responsibility, something that I can't turn my back on."
"I'd never expect you to do that," Jethro told him, his dark eyes meeting the Doctor's gaze. "You wouldn't be the man you are if you didn't have that sense of responsibility -- the man I fell in love with. I wouldn't change you in any way."
"That's good to know," the Time Lord murmured, feeling a wave of relief wash over him. Jethro might not understand why he put himself at risk -- but he wasn't going to insist that it stop. Not that it could. He couldn't turn his back on what he was.
Jethro's arms were around him, giving him a safe place to rest. He closed his eyes, letting the built-up tension, the worry that had been plaguing him ever since he'd been blinded, drain out of him. But there were still thoughts whiriling in his mind, thoughts that he didn't want to share.
"Something's still wrong, isn't it?" Jethro asked softly, his voice husky. The Doctor didn't need to be an empath to hear the edge of concern in those words; he knew that Jethro worried about him, and that made him feel terribly guilty.
He shook his head, wishing that he could put his trepidation into words. "I-I don't know, Jethro," he admitted, searching for the right way to express what he was feeling. "It's as though there's .... a sort of black cloud hanging over me, one that I can't get away from."
His young lover sighed, resting his head back against the pillows and running a hand through the Doctor's hair. "I could feel that something was worrying you, and that makes me worry. But honestly, I think you're chasing shadows."
"I wish that I could agree with you, Jethro." The Doctor's voice was slow, as though he was feeling for words. "But I've had this feeling too many times in the past to ignore it. Something's going to happen. I know it. And it's not something good."
"You're only thinking that something bad could happen, right?" Jethro inquired, his brow furrowing. "That could just be a self-fulfilling prophecy."
The Doctor considered Jethro's words -- yes, he could be right. He could be worrying so much that when something did happen, he'd think that he'd had some sort of premonition when he really hadn't. He could even be inviting some kind of disaster.
He sighed again, wishing that he could dismiss his uncomfortable thoughts from his mind. "You're probably right, Jethro. But still ..... I can't shake the feeling that something is sneaking up on us. Something that we don't expect, and that we aren't prepared to deal with."
"Whatever it could be, we'll deal with it when it happens," Jethro told him, the young man's voice sounding firm and decisive. "I don't want you to be all wound up, not when your vision is coming back and you need to concentrate on that."
The Time Lord nodded, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. Jethro was right. Whatever was going to happen wasn't something that he could control -- or accurately predict. He had to let these thoughts of impending doom go, before they destroyed him.
They were already eating away at his composure, and that wasn't something that he wanted to have to deal with. And he didn't want Jethro to be forced to cope with it, either. So he had to push those thoughts away, put them out of his mind, focus on other things.
"You're right, love," he said softly, closing his eyes and letting his body relax in Jethro's arms. "I shouldn't worry so much. And I'm going to try to stop -- starting right now."
"Good," Jethro told him, smiling as he leaned down to brush his lips against the softness of the Doctor's mouth. "I know you can't help worrying about the world sometimes, Doctor -- anyone in your position would -- but you can't let that worry take over your life."
The Doctor gave himself up to the comfort of being held, firmly pushing his worries away from him. Whatever troubling thoughts were in his mind, he didn't need to think about them now, not when Jethro was with him and he could enjoy spending time with his lover.
But he had the disturbing feeling that those thoughts were going to come back to haunt him -- and that he'd regret not having puzzled them out a bit more when he had the chance.
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