Title: Dark Thoughts
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: Amnesty in January, 5_prompts
Prompt: Cadenza Challenge, Second verse section -- There in the dark
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.


When had he first realized that he was falling for the Doctor?

Ross frowned as he searched his mind, trying to answer that question for himself. Try as he might, he couldn't pinpoint one single moment when he had realized his feelings for the Time Lord; they'd just come over him gradually.

He'd been attracted to the Doctor when he'd first seen the other man; he'd been unable to take his eyes from the Time Lord, that smile drawing him in like a beacon on a dark night. And that smile still melted his heart, every time he saw it.

Turning over carefully, he let his gaze rest on the Doctor's face as the other man slept peacefully next to him. Here in the dark, when everything around them was quiet and restful, he could let all of his love well up in his heart and show on his face.

The Doctor was the center of his life; he knew that the Time Lord would always be the sun that his world revolved around, until the end of his days. He hadn't expected to feel that way about anyone; he'd given up thinking that he would ever fall in love so completely.

All of his friends had been in relationships like that at some point in their lives, but he'd never met anyone who had touched his heart before the Doctor. He had often wondered if there was something wrong with him, if he was wired differently from everyone else.

But then the Doctor had come barreling into his life -- and Ross had felt an inexorable attraction that he couldn't have denied even if he'd wanted to. There was something about the Doctor that compelled him -- and that had taken hold of his heart at first sight.

Had he loved the Doctor from the first? He frowned, trying to sift through his emotions.

No, not really. He'd been attracted to the Time Lord, but attraction and love were two very different things. His emotions had been close to the surface at the time, especially after the Doctor had told him just why he was there, and what he wanted Ross to do.

It had seemed incredible that this man had known what was going to happen in his future -- and that he'd cared enough to interfere with that future, to come back and save him, even when he'd known that one day, there could be dire consequences resulting from his actions.

At first, he'd had a hard time believing what the Doctor was telling him -- until it had dawned on him that this man was the most honorable person he'd ever met, someone who would never lie to him. The Doctor had come here to save his life.

The Doctor had offered him a future that he only needed to reach out and take. A future that he desperately wanted, even though the thought did frighten him a little. But he was used to being scared, and to fighting those fears back and pushing them away.

So he'd done the only thing he'd known to do -- he'd accepted the future that he was offered, and had put his life into the Doctor's hands. And even though he hadn't realized it at the time, he'd also put his heart into the Time Lord's keeping.

It had really hit him just how much he loved the Doctor when they'd been trapped in that darkened room that had seemed like a maze, when he hadn't known where the Time Lord was, if the other man was alive or dead. And when he hadn't known if he himself would have a future.

He hadn't wanted to think about a future without the Doctor.

Maybe that was the moment when he'd realized just how much he loved the Doctor. He'd known before then that he was in love; the knowledge had seeped into his soul, and he'd curled into it the same way he would a cuddly, soft blanket that he could huddle under.

But until those tense, frightening moments when he'd wondered if he was going to make it out of there alive, he hadn't realized just how much the Doctor meant to him. He hadn't really contemplated what his life would be like without the Time Lord.

Even if he'd made it back to Earth somehow, and gone back to being a soldier, his life would have been empty. There was no way that he could have known the kind of love that he'd experienced with the Doctor, lose it, and then expect his life to be happy after that.

Without the Doctor, his life would be a shell, just a space that he inhabited while he waited to die -- and cherished his memories of the man who he had loved and lost. Life would never have joy or sorrow in it again -- only an endless series of days.

And nights. The nights would have been the worst -- nights when he would have woken in the dead of night, expected the Doctor to be there next to him, and reached for his lover only to find out that he wasn't there, before the realization hit him again that he never would be.

Just the thought made Ross want to burst into tears. Knowing that he would reach out for the Doctor and never feel the other man's soft skin under his fingertips, that he would lie there in the dark night after night and never know the comfort of the Doctor's touch .....

His eyes burned with unshed tears at the thought; he had to blink furiously to make them recede. He should stop thinking about such depressing things, he scolded himself. That would never come to pass. The Doctor was here, safe and sound, sleeping right beside him.

And hopefully, he would be here for a very long time to come.

Ross sighed as he let himself lay back against the pillows, willing the tension to recede from his body. He shouldn't ask himself these kinds of questions, not now, not in the dead of night when it was easy to think of what might so easily have been.

Why did he let his mind linger on such dark thoughts? And why did he ever imagine, even in his wildest flights of fancy, that the Doctor would ever leave him? Yes, they would be parted by death one day, but that was far, far into the future. It wouldn't happen any time soon.

A future without the Doctor was no future at all. Not for himself, but for the world. There would be no one to stand between a madman like the Master and the innocents of the universe, no one to protect the world from whatever dangers might threaten it.

And as for himself .... a world without the Doctor would be a bleak and empty place, now that he'd known the Time Lord. It was a world that didn't bear thinking about, much less living in. A world without the kind of love he knew with the Doctor wouldn't be a place that he could ever belong.

He didn't need to know just when he'd fallen in love with this man. The only thing that mattered was that he did love the Doctor -- and that his love was returned. What was important was that they were together, no matter how that union had come to be.

As long as they loved each other, nothing else was important. There in the dark, when he'd first realized just what the Doctor meant to him -- he should have known that nothing else mattered except being by the Time Lord's side. Nothing else ever would matter to him.

With that thought, he closed his eyes, hoping that it wouldn't take long for him to fall asleep.