Title: Steel Wheels
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: R
Table: VRD challenge - Brown, 5_prompts
Prompt: Sprawling in the dirt
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.

***

"I used to do this when I was a kid," Jethro told the Doctor, stepping onto the railing of the train track and balancing on it. "I'd see how far I could walk on top of the railing without slipping off. It's harder to do than it looks, really. The railings are so thin."

"Be careful," the Doctor cautioned him, looking down at Jethro's feet as he slowly put one in front of the other. "I don't want you to fall and hurt yourself. We're not far from the Tardis, but still, you could .... oh, I don't know. Break a leg, or some such."

Jethro laughed, shaking his head. "You worry about me too much, Doctor. I'm your lover, remember? Don't try to turn into a parent." He was only joking, of course, he told himself with an inward laugh. The Doctor would never act like his parents always had.

The Time Lord pulled a face, sticking out his tongue at his young lover. "I don't think there's any danger of me doing that," he protested. "I've been a parent before, but I don't take that parental attitude with the person I'm involved with."

"I know you don't," Jethro told him, his voice soft. "I was just kidding." He jumped off the railing after they'd walked a few feet, smiling at the other man. "Why don't you try it? It's a bit tricky; takes a good sense of balance. It's harder than it looks."

"And you think I can't keep my balance on such a thin railing, hmmm?" the Doctor asked, looking at the railing dubiously. "All right, I suppose it can't hurt to give it a try." He stepped up onto the railing, looking down at his feet as he cautiously put one red trainer forward.

Jethro laughed as he watched his lover walk along the railing, shakily at first, then gaining confidence. "See? It's not as easy as it looks to keep your balance, is it?" he asked, holding out a hand to steady the Doctor in case the Time Lord needed help.

The Gallifreyan shook his head, laughing as he answered. "No, it's not," he admitted, swaying a bit as he took another step forward. "I think I've done this for long enough. But at least I've proved to you that I have a good sense of balance!"

A moment later, there was a loud whistle from around the bend in the train tracks; both mens' heads jerked up, looking in the direction that the sound had come from. The Doctor's foot slipped off the railing, his hand coming down hard on Jethro's shoulder.

Jethro looked back at his lover when the Doctor gasped, surprised to see the other man looking pale and frightened. "Doctor, what is it?" he said, a frown furrowing his brow. Surely the Time Lord couldn't be unsettled by something as commonplace as a train.

"Jethro -- my foot's caught in the railing," the Doctor gasped, his voice hoarse. "I can't pull it free. Help me." He looked down the expanse of track; the train was approaching more quickly than either one of them would have thought possible.

The young man looked down at the Doctor's foot, his eyes widening in horror. The Time Lord's foot was jammed between the trestle track and the railing; it was obvious that he wouldn't be able to pull it free before the train reached them.

He grabbed the Doctor's ankle, pulling with all his strength -- but to no avail. Jethro could feel the muscles in the Time Lord's leg tense and tighten, but even their combined strength couldn't budge his leg. Jethro looked up to see the train even closer than before.

"Doctor!" he screamed, hoping that the Time Lord could hear him. "Untie your shoe and pull your foot out of it! That's the only way you'll be able to get out in time! Hurry!" He knelt and reached for the laces of the Doctor's trainer, praying that he would be quick enough.

His fingers pulled at the laces, praying that they wouldn't decide to tie in a knot. If they did, there would be no way to pull the Time Lord free before the train bore down on him. On both of them, Jethro thought grimly. He wasn't going to leave his lover.

Jethro pulled the laces loose and yanked at the Doctor's ankle as hard as he could; the Time Lord's foot pulled free of the encasing shoe more quickly than he'd expected. Wrapping hsi arms around the other man's waist, Jethro flung them both to the side of the train tracks.

They went sprawling in the dirt as the train sped by, the hot locomotive breath of the engine seeming to scald the air around them. Jethro didn't dare lift his face; he didn't want to see how close they'd come to being torn to pieces by those steel wheels.

The train's whistle screamed over their heads; they could hear it moving into the distance, leaving them behind. After what seemed like a long time, Jethro finally raised his head, blinking as he looked at the train tracks and the tattered remains of the red trainer.

The Doctor stood up slowly, brushing the dirt from his coat. He, too, looked at the remains of his shoe on the train track, a frown settling onto his features. Jethro couldn't help but wonder why he looked so annoyed; he'd expected his lover to be relieved.

"Don't look so angry, love," he said softly, slipping an arm around the Time Lord's waist. "We're both lucky to be alive, you know. I'm just glad we were able to pull your foot out of that shoe. A pair of trainers is replaceable. You aren't."

"Thank you for saving my life," the Doctor whispered, turning to Jethro and laying a gentle hand on his young lover's cheek. "But I wish we could have saved the shoes, too." He sighed, turning to look at the tattered trainer again. "That was my favourite pair."

Jethro laughed shakily, keeping his arm firmly around the Doctor's waist as the two of them headed back to the Tardis, the Time Lord walking slowly and leaning against him. Uneven footprints in the dirt followed them back to the ship -- three prints in trainers, the fourth wearing only a sock.

***