Title: Lost in the Past
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 9, Memory
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.

***

Ross leaned against the console, propping his chin in his hands with a smile. His mind hadn't really been here, with the Doctor on the Tardis, but back on Earth, going over memories of what his life had been like when he was much younger.

What would his parents think of the Doctor? He really didn't know; they'd probably be happy that he was so happy with someone he loved. The fact that he was in love with a man might cause them some worry, but they would never deny him his happiness.

The memories of his childhood were actually growing cloudy now, even though those days weren't far behind him. They should probably be much clearer than they were, but then, he'd managed to pack a lot of living into his short lifetime.

The memories that he had of being a soldier, working with UNIT, were far clearer and sharper in his mind. But those were closer to the surface, probably because he'd had to watch his back and be alert at all times. He'd learned to pay attention to the details.

Ross couldn't help but wonder what the Doctor's memories were like -- did the other man's recollections of his childhood turn hazy, too? That part of his life would have been so long ago -- could he even remember being a child? Or had it all faded away?

Besides, he'd been in a different body then, and Ross was sure that it was like being a different person. Yes, he still had the same memories, but he'd said that his personality changed with each regeneration. So what had he been like when he was a child?

He really didn't want to ask the Doctor all of those questions -- somehow, it seemed like prying to do so. And he'd noticed that sometimes, when they talked about his past, Gallifrey, and especially his family, the Doctor seemed to lapse into a state of melancholy.

The last thing that Ross wanted to do was make his lover sad. He knew that the Doctor had memories that he'd rather not access, parts of his life that he wanted to push to the back of his mind. He understood that; he had a few memories like that, as well.

What was it like to have such a long life that you could barely remember what it was like to be a child? He knew that a lot of humans felt that way when they'd lived barly fifty or sixty years; he coudn't even begin to imagine what it was like for the Doctor.

Even his own childhood was starting to get a little fuzzy around the edges when it came to some of his memories, and he was only in his early twenties! Ross almost wanted to laugh at that; his human memory was so fleeting and insubstantial.

But wasn't everyone's memory hazy when they got older? That was another question he'd like to ask the Doctor, though he wasn't sure what kind of answer the Time Lord would give him. After all, the Doctor wasn't human. Maybe Gallifreyan memories stayed clearer, more focused.

It was strange to be thinking about his childhood. He hadn't done so in a long time -- not that it had been unhappy, but because it didn't seem to have any relevance to who he was today. He'd gone in such a different direction than what everyone had expected.

No one had thought that he would become a soldier. His friends and family had thought that he would be an artist -- and that had indeed been his dream. But he'd gotten sidetracked, and joining the military had been a means to an end for him.

It was supposed to pay for art school -- and maybe it would have, if he hadn't chosen to be with the man he loved. But somehow, those dreams that he'd had when he was younger didn't seem so important any more. He was doing what he wanted to do, right where he belonged.

What did the dream of going to an art school matter when he had the prospect before him of traveling the universe, seeing new planets, going to any place he wanted to in the past or the future -- and doing all of that with the man closest to his heart?

There was nothing that could ever being to compare with the life that he was living now, and he wouldn't give it up or trade it for anything that could possibly be offered to him. He was content with his life -- and happier than he could ever remember being.

Those childhood memories might eventually get lost in the past, but he and the Doctor would be able to make a lot of other memories that he was sure would always stay crystal-clear in his mind. He couldn't imagine not remembering every second of his time with the man he loved.

The memories they made would all be good ones, Ross told himself, smiling as he heard the Time Lord's footsteps coming down the corridor toward the control room. He could be sure of that -- because anything involving the Doctor was sure to make him happy.

***