Title: Forever in My Heart
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 11, Forever
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.
***"How long can this last?" Ross asked softly as he stretched out next to the Doctor in bed. They'd just made love, and he was still feeling the afterglow; that feeling of being lifted up to the clouds, not quite coming back down to Earth to touch his feet to the ground yet.
The Time Lord turned over onto his side, snuggling into Ross' embrace and resting his head on his young lover's shoulder. "It can last forever, if we want it to," he said softly, his voice sounding almost dreamy. "That is, if we bond with each other."
"Would you want to bond with me?" Ross asked, his voice husky. "I mean, would you want to spend the rest of your life bonded to me, and not be able to find anybody else after I'm .... gone?" He didn't want to say the word, but he knew that he had to.
The Doctor was silent for a moment before he spoke; he looked up at Ross, his dark gaze holding his young lover's. "Yes," he said, his voice firm in the quiet of their bedroom. "Yes, I would. But the question is -- would you want that sort of a bond?"
"It's like being married, isn't it?" Ross asked, feeling a little confused. "Only there's no divorce. From what you've told me, being bonded doesn't just mean for this life. It means for all of eternity. Even our spirits are bonded, and we'll eventually find each other again."
"Yes," the Doctor said, nodding. "It's exactly like that. Once you bond, there's no second chance, no room for indecision, Ross. You have to be absolutely sure that this is what you want, not only for the life you're living now, but eternally."
"I want to spend eternity with you," Ross said softly, taking the Doctor's hand in his own and brushing the Time Lord's fingertips with his lips. "Forever isn't long enough for me to be with you, Doctor. I know it seems like a long time, but .... it's not nearly long enough."
He could swear that the other man's breath caught in his throat at hearing those words; the Doctor's dark eyes widened in surprise, his gaze still fixed on Ross' face. "Y-you would spend not only your life, but all of eternity, being bonded with me? Are you sure?"
"Absolutely sure." Ross had never been so sure of anything in his life. His love for the Doctor was greater than anything he'd ever felt before; he knew that if this man was taken from him, he wouldn't want to have an eternity, much less spend it with anyone else.
"My eternity is with you," Ross whispered, unable to speak any louder. He had to blink back tears; the thought that the Doctor might believe that he didn't want to spend forever with the man he loved was enough to make him cry like a baby.
"I want to spend the rest of my life by your side," the Doctor said, his voice heavy with regret. "But you know that I can't, Ross. In this life we're living now, I'll live long after you. You're human; I'm Gallifreyan. I can't spend the rest of my life with you, but you can spend yours with me."
"Not only that -- but we can spend all of eternity together if we're bonded," Ross answered, hoping that the Doctor could realize how much Ross wanted to bond with him. "Forever, Doctor. Forever, the two of us. It's what I want. More than anything."
A thought struck him even as he spoke the words -- what if the Doctor didn't feel the same? What if he didn't want them to bond, to spend eternity with each other? What if he only loved Ross enough to let him finish out his human lifetime as the Doctor's lover?
He swallowed hard, struggling against the tears that threatened again. He couldn't bear the thought of a long, empty forever without the Doctor's love. It wasn't enough to only have that love in his heart in this life. He needed ti to sustain him through the rest of eternity.
But the Doctor set him at ease with his next words; they were spoken in a soft, low voice, but they came from the depths of the Doctor's hearts and soul. Ross could feel the other man's sincerity; he had no doubt that his lover meant what he said.
"It's what I want, too," the Doctor told him, once again fixing that steady gaze on his face, looking into his eyes. "I want to bond with you, Ross. I don't think it's time for us to do that yet -- but I think it's what I've wanted ever since I went back in time to save you."
"Forever, Doctor," Ross whispered, his words sounding stronger than he'd thought they would through the veil of tears that still threatened to come. "You'll be in my heart forever. You're a part of me -- and I'll be honored to be the one you choose to bond with."
The Doctor nodded, whispering the one word that Ross knew sealed their decision. "Forever." His voice was barely a whisper, but to Ross, the love in the single word came through loud and clear -- and that love was returned to the Time Lord in every possible way.
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