Title: Message of Love
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 50, Talk to me
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 frowned as he looked across the room at the Doctor, wondering if the Time Lord was actually reading the book he was holding. He seemed to be, but Ross wasn't so sure. He couldn't see the other man's eyes skimming the lines of print.
He himself couldn't concentrate on his book; he had the feeling that there was something the Doctor wanted to say to him, but that the Time Lord was studiously avoiding bringing the subject up. Ross wanted to get it all out in the open, to clear the air between them.
Of course, until this morning, he hadn't thought that there was anything wrong. But as the day had gone by, it had felt more and more as though there was a wall being built up between himself and the Doctor, a wall that he had no idea how to scale.
He shouldn't have to scale any wall, or worry about how to break it down, Ross told himself firmly, laying his book aside and standing up. He moved to the couch where the Doctor was sitting, kneeling in front of the Time Lord and looking up at his lover.
"Doctor, I know there's something wrong between us, but I don't know what," he said softly, wishing that the other man wasn't holding a book so he could take the Time Lord's hands in his own. "Please tell me what the problem is. I need to know."
The Doctor sighed, putting down his book and looking at Ross. After what seemed like a long time, he reached out to lay his hand against the young man's cheek, shaking his head. "Nothing's wrong, Ross. It's nothing that you've said or done, believe me."
"Then what is it? Is something worrying you?" Ross got up from the floor, sitting on the couch beside the Time Lord and finally taking the other man's hands into his. "Whatever it is, tell me. Talk to me, Doctor. I might be able to help. You never know."
"Sometimes I think I've made such a mistake in having you here with me," the Doctor murmured, his eyes not meeting Ross' steady gaze. "I've been so selfish, taking you away from a life you were used to, a life that was good for you."
"But you did that to save my life," Ross protested, uneasiness starting to roil in the pit of his stomach. What was the Time Lord saying? Did he regret Ross being here? Did he want them to part, to take Ross back to Earth and UNIT, to sever their relationship as though it had never happened?
He wanted to cry out, to deny that the Doctor had made a mistake. He wanted to wrap his arms around the other man and kiss those words away, show him how much he was loved, that they needed each other and that he was right where he belonged.
But he didn't. He simply sat there, his hands clasping the Time Lord's, feeling as though the proverbial rug had just been pulled from under his feet. He was floundering, feeling like a novice swimmer who had blundered into water that was far too cold and deep for them.
"Yes, I did," the Doctor whispered, finally raising his gaze to meet the young man's. "And I'll never regret doing that. But I didn't give you much of a choice in the matter, Ross. I told you that if you didn't come with me, you would die. I forced it on you."
"No, you didn't!" Ross' voice was more sharp than he'd wanted it to be; he swallowed hard and continued speaking, softening his tone. "You didn't force anything on me, Doctor. I didn't have to come with you. I made the choice. You didn't have to twist my arm."
"I told you that you would die in the future if you didn't," the Time Lord protested with a sigh. "That was more or less coercing you by intimidation. I shouldn't have done that, Ross. I've just been feeling guilty about it and wondering if I should give you the choice to go back."
"I wouldn't want to," Ross told him, dropping the Doctor's hands and raising his own to the other man's face. "I was never happy there, Doctor. I've told you that. I don't want to be anywhere but right here. With you. In your arms, and in your hearts."
"Are you sure, love?" the Doctor asked, still sounding anxious. "I don't ever want you to feel that I didn't give you the choice of what you wanted to do. And I don't want to keep feeling as though I used any kind of intimidation or knowledge of the future to talk you into being with me."
"I'll never resent you for bringing me out into time and space with you," Ross said softly. "You've made me happier than I could have ever been if I'd stayed on Earth. I love you, Doctor. And I made the choice to be with you because I love you."
The Time Lord nodded, his voice soft when he spoke again. "I love you, too." The words were barely more than a whisper, but to Ross, they sounded strong and firm, a message of love that went straight to his heart and nestled there to leave a bright glow that he knew would stay with him forever.
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