Title: Beyond the Limit
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 14, Limits
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.
***"Do you mean that we can go anywhere, in any time?" Ross asked, raising his head from the viewscreen he'd been contemplating on the Tardis' console. "I thought it was restricted to just certain places and times, that there were things we couldn't do."
"Well, there are some places that are closed off," the Doctor admitted with a nod. "I can't go back to Gallifrey before the Time Wars. That part of time and space has been closed off forever. And there are other, alternate worlds that the Tardis can't access."
"I guess that would get confusing if you could do that," Ross mused, leaning against the console and folding his arms across his chest. "There'd be so many different versions of people that you wouldn't be able to keep them all straight in your head."
The Doctor nodded, laughing at Ross' words. "Exactly! And being on a alternate universe might mean that things as we know them are very, very different there. We could slip up and make mistakes that could get us into a lot of trouble. Best to avoid that."
Ross nodded, still thinking about all of the possibilities that lay in front of him. "So there are some limits, but not many," he murmured, obviously lost in thought. "We can choose pretty much any place and time in history, and then go there and take a look around."
"Of course we can," the Doctor said softly, moving closer to Ross and sliding an arm around the young man's waist. "But you have to remember, Ross, going back in time to a certain point in history doesn't mean that we can interfere with the natural order of things."
"You mean that we can't change history, no matter how much we might be tempted to if we know that something terrible is going to happen," Ross said softly, his gaze meeting the Time Lord's. "I understand that. But it must be hard to know that you can't do anything."
"It is." The Doctor sighed, looking down at the floor. "I had to witness the destruction of Pompeii ...." His voice trailed off, as though the words were stuck in his throat -- or there was a lump in his throat that was preventing him from speaking.
"I'm sorry, Doctor," Ross whispered, raising a hand to stroke gentle fingertips along the strong line of the other man's jaw. "I wish things like that didn't have to happen, but I guess there are always rules to be followed, even if we don't like them."
"Yes, you're right," the Doctor said with a sigh, shaking his head. "There are always limits to what you can be allowed to do, Ross. It doesn't matter if you're a Time Lord, or .... or something more mundane. You know that old saying about power, don't you?"
"That absolute power corrupts absolutely?" Ross nodded, his own sigh mirroring the Doctor's. "There's a lot of truth in that, you know. There are way too many people in the world who would take that power and use it to benefit themselves."
"Which is why there are always limits," the Doctor said, nodding in agreement. "I won't say that I haven't been tempted to do things that I shouldn't -- but I usually manage to resist temptation. Though there have been times when I've broken those rules."
"You broke that rule when you came back for me," Ross said softly, his gaze riveted on the Doctor's face. "You ignored the fact that you weren't supposed to change the past, and you saved my life. Sometimes I still don't know why you did it."
"Because I was so drawn to you when I first met you," the Doctor answered, his voice soft and husky. "Because I couldn't bear the thought of someone like you dying so needlessly. And .... because I wanted you. I wanted you as my companion -- and as more."
"And you've gotten what you wanted," Ross told him, his own voice soft and a little choked. "I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to be with you, Doctor. How much I love being here -- and how much I love you."
"You don't have to tell me," the Doctor told him, stroking his fingers through Ross' dark hair. "I can see in your eyes every time you look at me just how you feel. And you can always show me, you know. Sometimes actions can speak louder than words."
"Just like your actions when you changed the past to save me," Ross said with a soft laugh. "You may have wanted to stay within the limits that were set down for you, but you didn't. And those actions spoke louder than anything you could have said."
"I couldn't be happier that I went beyond those limits," the Doctor murmured as Ross' arms slid around his waist to pull him close. When their lips met, the idea of having any kind of limits imposed on them was forgotten in their desire to create their own limits -- and push past those as well.
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