Title: Dream Myself Alive
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 37, Dream
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.
"This has been the best Christmas I've had in years," Ross told the Doctor as the two of them lay in bed, stroking the Time Lord's hair back from his face. "When I was a member of UNIT, Christmas was always a cause for more work, not celebrations."
"It's a shame that criminals seem to choose that particular time of year to be more active," the Doctor agreed, wrapping his arms around his young lover's waist. "But that's to be expected, I suppose -- after all, they prey on unsuspecting people."
"Yes, and most people aren't thinking of the dangers of being robbed or any other kind of crime during the holidays," Ross sighed. "But that's not something we should be discussing. It wasn't even the petty crimes that I had to deal with when I was in the military."
"Yes, I know," the Doctor told him, cuddling close. "You had to deal with the larger threats -- like the Master, the Daleks, and any other horrors that presented themselves to Earth during the Christmas season. But you came through it all with flying colors."
"Did I, love?" Ross asked with a smile, ruffling the Doctor's hair. "It's good to know that you think that. Sometimes I can't help feeling that my career as a soldier wasn't very distinguished. Though that wasn't for lack of trying, and working hard at what I did."
"I know that, sweetheart." The Doctor's tone was soft, loving. "I think we were wonderful at what you did. But that's in your past now -- and from now on, you'll be spending your holidays with me here on the Tardis. No more bad situations to deal with."
"It almost feels like I'm living in a dream," Ross told him, sounding thoughtful. "One that started when you swept into my life. Even though it was hard to believe that you'd known me before in another timeline, I'm glad I accepted that fact and came with you."
"If you hadn't, then both of us would have been very disappointed," the Doctor murmured, resting his head against Ross' chest. "I'd have always wondered if I could have done or said something different that would have made you stay with me, and I'd always have felt guilty."
"I wouldn't want you to feel guilty, love," Ross told him, his voice soft and husky. "That's the last thing I'd want you to have to live with. You have enough of that piled on your shoulders already -- I'd never want to cause you more of it."
The Doctor shook his head, smiling. "Well, you didn't, and you won't. Things have worked out for the best, haven't they? You and I are together, we love each other, and I think we've both done what's right for us by making the decisions we have."
"I've made the decision to live a dream, and I don't regret it in the slightest," Ross said, settling himself more comfortably against the pillows. "Most of the time, I feel like I was never really living until I met you. It's like that was a dream, and this is my real life."
"The life you lead in one place can seem like a dream when you get used to another one," the Doctor agreed, sounding thoughtful. "I almost feel like that about Gallifrey now. It's as though my life there was a dream, and I never lived until I became a time traveler."
"I feel like I've dreamed myself alive, being here," Ross murmured, his tone dreamy and faraway. "The life I led on Earth, especially being a part of UNIT, all feels like it happened to somebody else, not me. It's like a dream that I suddenly woke up from."
"I'm glad that I could wake you up to this life," the Doctor said softly, sitting up and looking down at his lover. "If I hadn't, then you wouldn't be in this world, Ross -- and I wouldn't like to think of living in a world that didn't include you."
"A life that didn't include you wouldn't be much of a life at all," Ross told him, his gaze locking with the other man's. "It would just be an existence for me -- and not a very happy one, at that. Now that I've known you, I could never go back to the life I had before."
"But like you said, you didn't really feel alive then, did you?" the Doctor asked, reaching out to trace the outline of his boyfriend's lips with one fingertip. "You've dreamed yourself alive, Ross. You weren't fully living until you opened yourself up to all of life's possibilities."
"I couldn't be happier to have dreamed myself into the life I'm living," Ross whispered, his gaze not leaving the Doctor's face. "I've never been happier in all my life than I am with you, Doctor. All I need to make me happy is being with you -- and I hope that I'll be here for the rest of my life."
"You will if I have anything to say in the matter," the Time Lord laughed, trying to lighten the moment. "I don't intend to give you up, love. I want you right by my side for as long as you want to be here -- and if that's for all of your life, then I'll be more than happy with that decision."
"Do you ever feel that your life didn't start until a certain point?" Ross asked, his mind focusing on the words that the Time Lord had said earlier. "Judging from what you've already said, you feel the same way I do about your life on Gallifrey."
"I didn't really feel as though my life started until I became a Time Lord and graduated from the Academy," the Doctor said slowly, musing on his words as he spoke. "So yes, I feel the same way you do. My life on Gallifrey seems like a dream world now."
Ross felt a sudden ache in his heart for his lover; unlike himself, the Doctor couldn't go back to the life he'd left behind, even if he wanted to. His home planet was gone; this life was all that he had now. He had to live in the present; his past had been all but obliterated.
The memories were still there, of course, but there was no tangible, physical place for the Doctor to go back to if he ever wanted to relive those memories, or simply to see the places where they'd occurred. His past life could only live in those memories.
If he could bring the Doctor's home planet back, he would. But no one could do that; not even the Time Lord himself. Gallifrey might not be the place where the Doctor felt his life had truly begun, but it was his home, and Ross was saddened by its loss.
"I wish there was some way to give you back that dream, Doctor," he said softly, raising a hand to stroke his lover's cheek. "I would if I could, you know. But we'll have to be content with the dream that we have, the two of us together here on the Tardis."
"Ah, but this isn't the dream, love," the Doctor told him, tilting his head to the side and regarding the young man with a smile. "This is our life, Ross. The life that we've both dreamed ourselves into -- the life that we both want to have."
Ross nodded, feeling tears sting his eyes. The Doctor was right; this was the life that he wanted more than he'd ever wanted anything. He was privileged to be the Time Lord's chosen companion, and the person who this extraordinary man had fallen in love with.
"I've dreamed myself into a world that I wouldn't change in any way," he whispered, blinking back the incipient tears that wouldn't go away. "I've dreamed myself alive -- much more so than I ever was when I was living in a world where I didn't know you."
"And I want to make that world beautiful for you -- for both of us," the Doctor said, brushing an errant strand of dark hair back from Ross' face. "This is the world we've made for ourselves, Ross -- and I don't think either of us would want to be anywhere else, now or ever."
The Doctor leaned down to brush his lips against Ross' mouth. The kiss took the young man's breath away; he could almost swear that he could taste the future in that kiss, a promise from the Time Lord's lips to his own, a promise that would never be broken.
He wrapped his arms around the Doctor's neck, pulling the other man down and deepening their kiss. If this was the world he lived in, the life that he'd dreamed himself into, then he was going to make the most of it in every way that he could -- starting here and now.
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