Title: Patience
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: 5
Prompt: 90, Hearing
Author's Note : Continuation of Staring At the Sun.
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 leaned against the wall just inside the corridor that led to the main control room of the Tardis, closing his eyes and letting his body go limp. He and the Doctor had been through so much in the past few days, and he was feeling as though he'd barely had time to rest.

Of course, the Doctor had been through far worse than he himself had, he told himself, sighing softly and hoping that the Time Lord didn't hear him. At least they'd found out that the Doctor's blindness wasn't permanent, but they had no idea how long it would take for the Gallifreyan's eyesight to be restored to normal.

He himself had been coping with the task of being the Doctor's eyes. He'd had to give the Time Lord all of the readouts on the Tardis' console -- which hadn't been so hard, really -- and he'd had to lead his lover everywhere, which had been much harder for him to deal with.

It had been something of a shock to see the Doctor so helpless, so unsure of himself. If only he could turn back time and make that explosion never have happened -- and if only he'd been able to convince the Doctor that he didn't need to sacrifice himself to save anyone else.

At least the Time Lord was still alive. He hadn't had to give his life for anyone -- not that Jethro would have let him even contemplate that. That was one thing to be grateful for -- and he was. But he didn't feel that the Doctor should have had to sacrifice anything of himself, not for any reason.

He definitely wasn't cut out to be any kind of a hero, was he? He shook his head, wondering just what the Doctor had seen in someone like him. Even after the time he'd spent with the Gallifreyan, he still couldn't quite understand just why the Doctor had fallen in love with him.

But he wasn't going to question it. He loved the Doctor fiercely, more than he'd ever loved anyone else -- more than he'd have thought he was capable of loving. Whatever it was that drew the Time Lord to him, he was glad that they'd had the chance to meet again and connect with each other, that fate had somehow thrown them into each other's paths.

He'd just have to learn to cope with the Doctor's disability for the moment, just as the other man was dealing with it. The Doctor wasn't saying much about how he felt, but Jethro could sense that he was frustrated with his inability to function as he usually did.

He couldn't blame the Time Lord for that. It had to be hard, not being able to see and to lose so much of his mobility due to that. The Doctor was used to being in constant motion, and being forced to let others do what he felt that he should be doing and be inactive must be getting on his nerves terribly.

Jethro hadn't really known how to keep the other man occupied, though he'd tried his best. And at least this had given him a chance to learn more about the Tardis -- he'd had to help the Doctor with getting them where they needed to go, and he felt that he understood the ship much better now.

Straightening up, he looked towards the control room -- what he could see of it. The Doctor was lying down on the couch by the wall, his eyes closed, seemingly asleep -- but Jethro had learned that the Time Lord was deceptive in that way. When he seemed to be the most relaxed, that was probably when he was most attuned to what was going on around him.

"Doctor?" he questioned softly, coming into the control room and stopping before he was more than a few feet from the doorway. He didn't want to bother the Doctor if the other man was deep in thought -- but if the Time Lord needed him for anything, he wanted to be there.

"Yes?" The Doctor sounded startled, starting to sit up, reaching out as if he couldn't quite tell where Jethro was in the room. Of course he couldn't tell, Jethro told himself, moving swiftly to the Doctor's side and sinking down onto his knees beside the couch.

"I'm here," he said softly, reaching for the Doctor's hands and taking them in his. "You know if you need me all you have to do is call me. I'm never going to be far from your side, as long as we're dealing with this."

The Doctor nodded, grasping Jethro's hands. "I know, sweetheart. I wish you didn't have to deal with this -- but as long as I can't see, you'll have to be my eyes. It's a thankless task, but hopefully I'll be able to repay you for doing this at some point."

Jethro shook his head, stopping when he realized that the Doctor wouldn't be able to see what he was doing. "You don't have to thank me, or repay me. I'd be doing this regardless of whatever circumstances I was here in, Doctor. You have to know that."

"I do," the Time Lord told him, his voice husky with emotion. "Of course I do. I just .... can't help feeling that if this is something that may go on for the long-term before it gets better, that you may get tired of having to help me through it. I .... I don't know if I can manage this by myself, Jethro. I've been in a lot of strange situations before, but I've never been blind."

"I'm not going to get tired of being with you, and I'm not going to leave," Jethro reassured the Time Lord. "Don't even think that's a possibility. I'd have to be dragged away from you kicking and screaming before I'd leave you -- even if this hadn't happened."

"Just the sound of your voice is reassuring," the Doctor told him, his own voice catching in his throat. "Just .... knowing that you're here, and that I don't have to deal with this alone. I know we were told that it's only temporary -- but there's no telling just how long 'temporary' may be."

"I'm not going to leave you, not for any reason," Jethro said firmly, moving to sit on the couch beside the Doctor, still keeping the Time Lord's hands clasped in his. "We know this is temporary, Doctor. We'll get through this. Just take everything one day at a time."

The Doctor nodded, heaving a sigh. "You're right, of course. I just .... I'm not used to feeling so helpless. I'm not incapacitated, I can move around, I'm not hurt -- but I can't do anything!" His voice almost sounded like a growl on the last words. "It's bloody infuriating."

"I'd say that I understand -- but I don't," Jethro sighed, wishing that there was something he could do other than give the Doctor reassuring words. "I've never been in your position before, and I'll be honest and say that I hope I'm not. But you've got me here, and I'm going to do anything you need me to do until you're back to normal again."

"I know you will, Jethro." The Doctor's voice was back to its normal timbre, softer and more gentle now. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take my frustration out on you. But this is .... I don't even have a word for it. 'Irritating' doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. 'Maddening' might be more like it."

"If I was in your place, I'd probably be doing the same," Jethro said, reluctantly letting go of the Doctor's hands. "You have a lot more patience with this than I would have. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that it isn't going to last forever."

The Doctor shuddered, a shadow crossing his features. Jethro could have kicked himself for his words -- of course the Doctor didn't want to be reminded that his condition could have turned out to be permanent. He didn't need to bring the Time Lord's mind back to that.

"I'm sorry, love," he whispered, taking one of those small hands into his again and twining their fingers together. "I don't want to make you dwell on that. We know this is only going to be a temporary situation, and we have to concentrate on that. You're still able to get around all right, so all we have to do is wait until your sight comes back."

The Time Lord leaned back against the couch, sighing as he did so. "I know we should just be patient and wait -- but that's so hard for me to do, Jethro. Patience has never been my strong suit. You should know that by now."

"It's not mine, either," the young man admitted, with a sigh to match the Doctor's. "But we don't have much of a choice, do we? And at least we're safe in the Tardis. We don't have to go anywhere, and nothing's going to happen while we're here."

"You're right -- I hope," the Doctor muttered. "There's no tellilng what could happen anywhere I am, in my experience. I'm a trouble magnet -- it seems to follow me around everywhere, no matter how much I try to avoid it."

"Well, it's not going to follow you here," Jethro said firmly, pulling the Doctor closer against him and sliding an arm around the Time Lord's waist. "And we can't just sit here all day feeling helpless. That's not going to make things get any better, you know."

"I know." The Doctor's head lolled back against the wall, his eyes closing. "Sounds are so amplified now. Do you know that you sounded like you were screaming a moment ago? I know that it's only because you're sitting so close to me and you're trying to keep my spirits up by being strong -- but it's disconcerting how nuances I never noticed before are suddenly becoming so acute."

"It's because you've had one of your senses taken away from you," Jethro murmured, feeling more helpless than he had in a long time. He hated that the Doctor was in this situation; if there had been anything he could do to change it, he would do so in a second.

But there wasn't anything he could do. They had to wait until the Doctor's sight came back to him, and hope that there were no aftereffects from the experience he'd been through. Jethro was only grateful that he'd been there to help the Doctor get back to the Tardis -- and that he'd been able to keep the Time Lord from coming to more harm than he had.

"Being deprived of one of my senses certainly makes the others become much more acute. I always wondered if that was correct, and now I'm able to experience it firsthand," the Doctor said, his tone musing. "I wonder if the rest of my senses are just as acute?"

"It would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it?" Jethro said, glancing at the Doctor and smiling when he saw the slight smirk curving the Time Lord's lips. He knew what the Doctor was thinking -- at least, he was fairly sure he did. And he liked the direction that the other man's thoughts were heading in. He liked it a lot.

"You know, I think we should get to work on making that discovery," the Doctor said, standing up and stretching his arms above his head. Jethro stood up too, slipping one arm around the Doctor's slim waist and pulling his lover close against his body.

"Now, that's a statement I can definitely agree with," he said softly, letting his lips brush against the Doctor's earlobe as he spoke. The two of them began to move towards the corridor that led to their bedroom, their thoughts completely in accord with each other.

Jethro couldn't help smirking to himself as he guided the Doctor towards their bedroom. If he was lucky, they'd be working on proving that theory about the senses for quite a while. And it was one theory he definitely didn't mind testing and proving time and time again.

***

Next story in series - Sometimes A Fantasy.