Title: As Real As Real
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 33, Myth
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 Ross Jenkins, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***"What's it like to know that so many people who've heard your name in passing think of you as a myth?" Ross asked the Doctor, his tone curious. "I mean, there are so many people who don't even think you're actually a real person."
"You didn't think so when you first heard of me, did you?" the Doctor inquired with a laugh, looking up from the console and quirking an eyebrow. "I think a lot of people don't. The tales of my exploits can be greatly exaggerated, you know. But I'm as real as real can be."
"When I first joined UNIT, I kept hearing all these stories about you," Ross said, his voice faraway, as though he was deep in the past. "I thought you couldn't possibly be real, until I talked to people who'd actually been around you. People who I trusted."
"And then you met me, and everything changed, right?" the Doctor said with a laugh. "I wish I'd have been able to get to know you better when we first met this time around, Ross. I still feel that I hurried you away from the life you'd been leading too quickly."
"Well, you told me that if I stayed with UNIT, I would die the next time you saw me," Ross said, shrugging pragmatically. "That was enough to make me think twice about staying there. And you're not looking at the other things that made me come with you."
"And what would those things be?" the Doctor asked him, sitting down in his chair by the console and tilting his head to the side as he gazed at his young lover. "My incomparable good looks, my charm, and the promise of seeing the world?"
Ross couldn't help but laugh at the Doctor's cheeky attitude, but he nodded in answer. "You know I came with you because I was so attracted to you that I couldn't say no," he said softly, his gaze locked on the Time Lord's face. "I was already halfway in love with you."
The Doctor blushed and ducked his head, not meeting Ross' gaze. "I think that I may have already been a little in love with you when I came back to a time before we originally met to save your life," he murmured, his voice soft and husky.
"I'm in love with a myth!" Ross laughed, trying to lighten the moment. "Really, Doctor, you wouldn't believe how many people I knew when I was a soldier who couldn't quite fathom that you really existed, that you weren't some figment of people's imaginations."
"There are probably still people in the military who think of me that way," the Doctor said with a smile. "And honestly, Ross, I'd like to keep it that way. It's not the best idea for me to trumpet who and what I am. There are too many unscrupulous scientists out there."
That thought made Ross pause, a shiver going down his spine. He knew that there were indeed far too many people, both in an out of the government, who would see the Doctor as nothing more than an alien being to be experimented on.
"I think you're right about that," he said soberly. "But really, Doctor, you are something of a myth, you know. Maybe it's better that way, even though I'd like to see you get the credit you deserve for what you've done for the world -- especially Earth."
"If I was given credit for what I'd done, then I would have equally as many people who wanted to string me up as wanted to applaud me," the Doctor said softly, shaking his head. "No, it's better for me to stay behind the scenes, Ross, believe me."
The young man nodded, heaving a sigh. "You didn't answer my question," he reminded the Doctor, raising an eyebrow at his lover. "What's it like to know that so many people regard you as a myth? Isn't it odd to know that so many people don't believe you're real?"
The Doctor shook his head, smiling at his lover. "Not at all. I'd rather be known as a myth sometimes. It adds to the mystique, don't you think? And it almost assures that any mad scientists who want to cut me open because I'm an alien don't start chasing after me."
"Even if they did, I wouldn't let them get to you," Ross declared, shaking his head. "No one's going to hurt you, Doctor. Not while I'm around." Even as he said the words, he realized that his voice sounded firm and resolute, more so than it ever had before.
"You know, I need to keep you around," the Doctor said, his gaze still on Ross' face. "You always know how to say the right things to make me feel as though I'm someone special in the world. Thank you for that, Ross. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"You'll never have to be without me," Ross told him with a smile, moving to where the Doctor sat and pulling the Time Lord to his feet. As they embraced, Ross hoped that his words were true, and that he'd be here with the Doctor for a long, long time to come.
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