Title: In Your Eyes
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 66, Dark Eyes
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 sighed as he looked out of the window of the small café, not really seeing the people around him or the scene that he looked out on. He hadn't really been seeing anything very clearly since the Doctor had disappeared, he thought, his hands tightening around the coffee mug in his hands, wanting to shatter it against the nearest wall.
The Doctor hadn't told him why he'd had to go, or where -- only that he couldn't risk taking Jethro with him. He wouldn't be alone for long, the Doctor had assured him of that, and Jethro believed him. He'd never known the Doctor not to keep his word, even though he was sure that there had been times in that long life when the Time Lord had to break a promise.
But he wouldn't break his word now, Jethro thought, clinging to that hope as though it was a lifeline. He'd never trusted anyone as much as he did the Doctor, and he wasn't going to let the Time Lord down by not believing in him.
The letter that he'd left on the pillow hadn't told Jethro all he needed to know, but he was trying his best not to let himself sink into despair. He desperately wanted to know where the Doctor was, and what was happening to him. Was he all right? Was he hurt? Was he, even now, trapped in some far-off place where Jethro would never be able to find him?
Or was he .... could he be .... Jethro swallowed hard, not wanting to think of the possibility of the Doctor dying. He couldn't bear that, for the Time Lord's life to end without having a chance to see him again, to touch him, to kiss him, to tell the Gallifreyan just how much he was loved. Life couldn't be that cruel.
He could still remember the last time he'd gazed into those dark eyes, the night before he'd awakened to find the Doctor gone. He'd looked down at the man beneath him after they'd made love, drinking in those beautiful features, imprinting the Doctor's face in his mind. A face that he'd never forget, and never get out of his heart.
Where was he? Jethro asked himself what was was probably the thousandth time. It had been two days now, two days of pacing and worrying and wondering. Wondering if the Doctor was safe, if he would ever see the Time Lord again, wondering if this was how their lives were meant to be, being together briefly and then being forced apart through no fault of their own.
The two nights had been the worst, he thought, his grip on the mug tightening again. He'd tossed and turned, unable to sleep, his body aching and his arms empty. He would have given anything, anything in the world, to have the Doctor there with him, safe in his arms.
But that wasn't how things were, was it? He was alone, and the Doctor was out there doing who knew what. Jethro could feel his heart clench in his chest every time he thought about the distinct possibility of the Time Lord being harmed; all he could picture was the Doctor's broken body lying somewhere, the life seeping out of him ....
No. He wasn't going to think like that. Those kinds of thoughts were just self-fulfilling prophecy; if he thought that the Doctor was alive and well, then he would be. Jethro's love for him was so all-consuming that any good thoughts had to be able to reach the Time Lord, no matter where in the universe he was.
That sounded silly, even to his own mind. Jethro sighed inwardly, lifting the coffee mug and taking a sip of the steaming liquid. He could still see the Doctor in his mind's eye, sitting across from him, flashing that cheeky smile and reaching across the table to take his hand. That voice, telling him that they should go back to their hotel room and go to bed ....
He shook his head, closing his eyes and biting his lower lip to keep it from trembling. That wasn't going to happen. The Doctor wasn't here. He was out there in the universe somewhere, keeping the rest of the world safe, fighting to protect people who didn't appreciate him, didn't even know who he was.
It wasn't fair. The Doctor did so much for others -- but did anyone ever do anything for him? If they did, Jethro had yet to hear about it. He was the most self-sacrificing man Jethro had ever known; it didn't seem fair that everything he did wasn't acknowledged.
He couldn't get that face out of his mind, couldn't stop thinking about the last night they'd had together. The Doctor's dark eyes haunted him, the look of love and desire that he'd read there when he'd looked down at the Gallifreyan in the dim candlelight of their room. Those eyes would haunt him for the rest of his life, he was sure.
Why couldn't he stop thinking about the Doctor? Why couldn't he let the other man go, and trust him to come back when he said he would? Why was it so hard for him to accept that the Doctor couldn't be with him all the time?
Because he loved the Doctor, that was why. Jethro heaved another sigh, this time loud enough to be heard by several people sitting near him. A few of them gave him strange looks, as though they couldn't believe that he sounded so depressed on such a beautiful day, and moved their chairs away slightly.
What did it matter what others thought of him? Jethro demanded inwardly, looking down at the table top. He sat he coffee mug down, then raised it again, making small, concentric wet circles on the frosted glass. The only opinion that mattered to him was the Doctor's -- and he had no idea when he would even see the Time Lord again.
His head jerked up, eyes widening. Was it his imagination, or was that a voice he knew ....? The Doctor's voice? How ....?
The Doctor slid into the chair opposite him, reaching across the table to take his hand. "I didn't expect quite that sort of a reaction to seeing me again. I knew that you'd be a bit shocked, but it's gratifying to see that your jaw is practically on the floor." He tilted his head to the side, smiling. "Don't I get at least a 'welcome back'?"
"I-I didn't think you were coming back," Jethro admitted, looking down into the coffee mug that was still clutched in his hands. "I'd almost given up .... I was starting to think you were gone for good." He hated to say that, hated to let the Doctor know that he'd doubted, even for a moment. But that was the truth of the matter.
"Jethro ...." The Doctor's voice was weary, resigned. "Didn't I tell you that I'd come back for you, unless the unthinkable happened?" His voice was soft, and Jethro thought he could detect a slight trembling in the timbre of those words, almost as if the Time Lord was trying to keep himself from crying. "Did you doubt my word?"
"No!" he protested, shaking his head vehemently, his gaze meeting those dark eyes. "It wasn't that I doubted you -- I --" His voice stumbled to a halt, and he looked down again, his own voice trembling now. "It's that I was terrified I wouldn't see you again," he whispered, unable to look up at his lover. "I thought I'd lost you for good."
"You'll never lose me," the Doctor said softly, squeezing Jethro's hand, then twining their fingers together. "As long as there's breath in my body, even if I have to leave you for a while, I'll always come back, Jethro. I couldn't leave you. You're far too much a part of me. I --" The words came out slowly, but firm and clear. ".... I love you too much."
Jethro couldn't keep back his tears at the sound of those words; the words that he had been sure the Time Lord would never utter. He'd heard them before, from other people, but they'd never meant as much as they did when they came from the Doctor's lips. "I love you, too," he murmured, finally saying the words he'd had in his heart for so long.
"I wish I'd have said that to you before I had to leave," the Doctor said softly, his gaze not leaving Jethro's face. "I was afraid too, Jethro. I was petrified that you'd decide you didn't want to be with me, after all .... that you'd turn away from me when I got back. I wouldn't have blamed you if you did -- but I'm grateful that you haven't."
Jethro shook his head, wiping the few tears away that had trickled down his cheeks. "I could never do that," he said, looking directly into the Doctor's eyes, not letting his gaze waver. "I'd only have half a life without you in in, Doctor. I'd have waited for you, no matter how long it took for you to come back."
"That's all I needed to hear," the Time Lord said, his words a mere whisper. Jethro could swear that he saw the gleam of tears in those eyes before the other man looked away, blinking.
The Doctor stood up, pulling Jethro to his feet as well. The young man slipped an arm around the Doctor's waist, not caring who could see them, raising his free hand to turn the Time Lord's face towards his. He leaned forward, brushing his lips against that soft mouth, craving more than just a kiss but settling for that small gesture for now.
"I think we should go back to our room," the Doctor murmured into his ear, breath hot against Jethro's skin. The young man nodded, a smile slowly spreading across his features.
"I think that's a great idea," he agreed, pulling the Doctor closer against him as they headed for the door of the café. There were a thousand questions in his mind, but he wasn't going to ask any of them. The only thing that mattered now was that the Doctor was here, that he'd found his way safely back to Jethro.
But where had he been? What had happened to him while he was out there alone? Jethro wanted to know, so much so that he had a hard time keeping the questions back. But he did, pushing them to the back of his mind and locking them away. There would be plenty of time for questions later -- after they were both exhausted from taking care of more important matters.
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