Title: Smoke
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: R
Table: VRD challenge - Purple, 5_prompts
Prompt: Purple haze
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.

***

"Doctor!" Jethro's scream rang out above the others around him as he started to run back into the burning building that he'd just been dragged out of only moments ago. "Doctor! I'm coming! Hold on!" The words sounded frenzied, terrified.

He knew that the Doctor was still upstairs in that building. When they'd come here, they had found out quickly that there was an arsonist on the loose, but neither of them had thought that the person would try to burn down a hotel full of people.

But he had. And Jethro was sure that the Time Lord was trapped in those flames.

He screamed again, this time in protest when two men seized his arms and dragged him across the street, away from the burning building and into the crowd of people who had gathered to watch the horrifying spectacle of the flames.

"Let me go!" Jethro screamed, keeping his eyes on the second floor, trying to establish some kind of empathic connection with the man he loved. "I've got to get him out! The Doctor is still in there! He's in there, I tell you!"

One of the men shook his head sadly, not letting go of Jethro's arm. "If anybody's in there, then they're not going to make it out, son. That building's done for. They'll hose it down, but nobody could have survived that if they didn't make it out in the first few minutes."

"No!" Jethro's scream was deafening; one of the men loosened his grip on the young man's arm for just a moment, but there was no need to hold Jethro any more. Raising his hands to his face, he crumpled to his knees, sobbing.

No. It wasn't possible. The Doctor couldn't be .... dead. He'd know it, somehow; he'd feel it in his heart and soul if the man he loved was no longer a part of this realm. He would have a huge, gaping emptiness inside of him that nothing and no one would ever be able to fill.

He didn't feel that emptiness. That had to mean that the Doctor was still alive .... right? Slowly, Jethro raised his tear-streaked, sooty face to watch the flames devouring the building, still desperately trying to reach out empathically to anyone who might be there.

He couldn't feel the Doctor's presence emanating from that building. If he was there, he should have felt that -- unless the Time Lord was already dead, and his presence was long gone not only from the blackening shell of that building, but from this world.

"Jethro? Are you all right?"

With a startled gasp, Jethro looked up, his eyes wide and startled. He hadn't expected to hear that voice again -- but there was no mistaking who was standing beside him, a hand resting on his shoulder, worry in those dark eyes.

"Doctor!" The young man stood up, wrapping his arms around the slender Time Lord and pulling him close. He didn't care if there might be looks of disapproval; all he cared about was that his fears had been put to rest. The Doctor was here. He was alive.

"You thought I was in there, didn't you?" the Doctor said softly, smoothing back Jethro's hair with one hand. The Time Lord's face was smudged with soot, but it was obvious that he'd made it out of the building without even being singed.

Jethro nodded, unable to speak as he turned and watched the firemen start to hose down the building. There were no words to describe his relief as he saw the water reduce the flames to smoke, the purple haze of it starting to surround the burned-out structure.

"I thought you were there at first -- and then I saw those men dragging you away," the Doctor told him, his arms tightening around Jethro's waist. "I'd just stepped out for a moment -- I was planning to go back to the Tardis for a few minutes when --"

Jethro nodded again, placing a finger against the Time Lord's lips. "I was in the lobby. I was one of the first people out of there -- and I thought that you were still in our room upstairs. I didn't realise you'd left. I was so sure that you were trapped in there."

"I could very well have been, if I hadn't suddenly decided that I needed to get a few things from the Tardis for the evening," the Doctor said grimly, shaking his head as he surveyed the damage. He coughed, raising his hand to his mouth to cover it.

The smoke had drifted across the street, surrounding them in a hazy purple cloud.

"Let's get out of here," Jethro whispered, shaking his head and coughing a little himself. The crowd was starting to disperse, the smoke driving them away. "I don't think that whatever we need to do can be accomplished by standing around here."

The Doctor nodded, taking his hand and heading away from the scene. "We'll have to come back later and assess the damage," he said, frowning. "I want to find out who did this. And why. Whoever did this shouldn't be allowed to get away with it."

"They won't be," Jethro told him, casting a backward glance over his shoulder as they moved away. He could almost swear that there was a malevolence hanging over the scene, and he wondered uneasily just what they might be getting themselves into when they returned.

***