Title: Against All Odds
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: Beta 1, challenge_the
Prompt: 22, Confusion
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.


The Doctor stood in the middle of an unfamiliar street, looking around for Jethro, his brow creased in a worried frown. If he was in a place that he was more familiar with, he would know where to look for his young lover, but as it was, he hadn't a clue.

Where could his companion have gone? A few minutes ago, the two of them had been together -- but the human stampede through the streets had somehow separated them in the rush and push of people, and now, he had no idea if Jethro was all right or not.

His boyfriend had to be here somewhere, in this mass of humanity. They couldn't have been so separated that Jethro had ended up in a different part of town; he might be on another street, but he couldn't be far away. They would find each other ina few moments.

Or would they? The sudden onslaught of screams and frenzy of the crowd had been so unnerving that he hadn't really paid attention to where he was going, and he was sure that Jethro hadn't done so, either. He had no idea which way to turn now.

Should he simply stay here and wait for Jethro to find him? The Doctor frowned, uncertain as to what he should do. He didn't want to go searching for his lover and move further away from him, but he also didn't want to stand here and do nothing.

Besides, he couldn't do nothing. He knew that whatever it was that had flared through the sky and caused the panic, it was more than likely some enemy that he'd faced off against before. And if that was the case, he might need to do so again.

If he did, he wanted Jethro at his side. He didn't want his young lover to be caught up in the sort of panic that had already happened on the street, for one thing -- and for another, he wanted to have someone he trusted at his back if he had to battle any of his enemies.

The best thing to do was probably to look for Jethro, he decided, wishing that he had some clue as to which way his companion might have been pushed with the crowd. People had been milling about in confusion, rushing this way and that, and they'd been separated quickly.

He hadn't even realized that Jethro wasn't behind him for what might have been quite a while; it wasn't until the crowd had thinned that he'd had that empty feeling, that sense that Jethro wasn't close by his side, or at least somewhere very near.

But he at least knw that the young man wasn't dead, that nothing had happened to him. There would be a burning ache in his hearts and soul if that had happened; somehow, he knew that he would physically feel that kind of a loss.

So at least, he knew that Jethro was somewhere in this riot of people, hopefully unharmed and, like himself, only startled and more than a little confused. They had to find each other quickly, the Time Lord thought, scanning the crowd around him anxiously.

They had to get back to the Tardis, to find out exactly what was going on. And they had to figure out just what they would be able to do if this was some sort of attack by any enemy that the Doctor might know. The two of them had work to do.

But he wouldn't be able to do anything until he could find Jethro. He certainly wasn't going to go back to the ship and leave his boyfriend here; the last thing he wanted was for Jethro to think that he might have been abandoned, even though he should know better.

Which direction had he been swept away in? The Doctor raised a hand to his eyes, squinting, as though that might help him to see better, to pick out a familiar face in the crowd. But he didn't see Jethro anywhere; he might have disappeared from the face of the Earth.

A shiver of apprehension ran down the Doctor's spine; what if he were somehow forced to go back to the Tardis to regroup and try to make some sort of plan without finding Jethro? What if they were separated for a long time, and his lover thought he'd been left alone?

No, Jethro would never think that. Even in all this confusion, he had to hold on to the fact that the Doctor would never leave him, no matter what happened, no matter how bad the situation was. The two of them would always be there for each other.

But first, he had to find Jethro. Easier said than done, apparently, but he was tall and thin, and stuck out in a crowd. So it shouldn't be too hard for the young man to findhim if he stuck close to where they'd been pushed apart by the crowd.

"Doctor!" The Time Lord spun around as he heard that voice, the most welcome voice his ears could possibly pick out of the cacophony of sound. It was Jethro's voice; his lover had found him, without him having to start a search of his own.

He turned towards the sound of that voice, to see Jethro moving through the crowd to him, pushing past people who were going in the other direction. The Doctor almost wanted to cry with relief; Jethro was here, he was safe. Nothing to worry about.

Well, nothing except the fact that they might have to face one of his enemies. That wasn't something to bring joy and peace to his soul. But if they had to do so, then they would. At least he woudln't be facing them alone. Jethro would be with him, right by his side.

When Jethro finally made his way through the crowd to the Doctor, all the Time Lord wanted to do was to fling his arms around the young man's neck and pull him close for a kiss, but he restrained himself. He reached out to take Jethro's hand, smiling as he did so.

"I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find you again," he said softly, his words meant for Jethro's ears alone. "I didn't know if I should stand here and wait for you to find me, or to start looking for you. But now you've found me, thank goodness."

"I was afraid that I wouldn't," Jethro confessed, a slight tremble in his voice. "But I knew that you weren't going to leave me here, Doctor. I knew I'd find you, or that you'd find me, if we looked for each other. We've always been drawn to one another, from the beginning."

The Doctor nodded, wondering how he could have forgotten that simple fact. Jethro was right; the two of them had always felt a pull towards the other. They would have been able to find each other through a bigger crowd than this, in even more confusion.

No matter how far apart they were, their hearts would always lead them back to each other. Even if he wasn't sure of anything else in his life, he could be sure of that. He and Jethro could always find their way back to each other, against all odds.

"We should probably get back to the Tardis, shouldn't we?" Jethro said, breaking into the Doctor's inner thoughts. "If it's some alien race that you've been up against before that's caused this panic, we'll have to figure out some kind of plan for what we're going to do."

The Doctor nodded, taking a deep breath and looking at the crowd of people still milling around them. No one seemed to be heading to any particular place; maybe they were just all trying to find the nearest safe shelter they could, in anticipation of what might be coming.

"I think that a panic like this could only be caused by creatures like the Daleks -- or the Cybermen," he said, his tone grim. "And if we have to deal with them, then this might be much harder than either of us thinks. This might be a battle, Jethro."

"If it is, then I'm right beside you, Doctor," Jethro said softly, reaching out to take the Doctor's hand and squeeze it gently. "You're not fighting another battle alone. Not as long as I'm around. I just hope this is one that we can win."

"That makes two of us," the Doctor told him, turning to head back towards where he thought they might have left the Tardis. He hoped that they could make it back to the ship through all the confusion, and that they would be able to prepare for themselves for whatever might lay ahead.