Title: Fascinated
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 25, Earth
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.


Ross looked at the viewscreen in front of him, wondering why he didn't feel any pangs of homesickness when the thought of his life on Earth. He'd always thought that if he had to leave his friends and family, he'd feel as though he was saying goodbye to a large part of his life.

But he was surprised to find that he didn't feel as much of a connection as he'd thought he would. Of course, he still had people on that planet who he cared about -- but his life was here, with the Doctor, and he couldn't let ties to Earth hold him back.

Nothing was ever going to make him stop caring about the people he'd left back on Earth, Ross reflected, but his relationship with the Doctor meant more to him than anything -- or anyone. If he had to make the choice, he would always choose to be with the man he loved.

It was funny how the Doctor seemed to have such ties to Earth, even though he was from a different planet that had been literally light years away, he thought, frowning. Why did the Doctor love Earth and humans so much? He'd have to ask his lover about that.

And he would have the chance to do that in just a few seconds, he told himself as the Time Lord emerged from the corridor that led to their bedroom. The other man was smiling, looking happy and relaxed. Ross thought that it was as good a time as any to ask his questions.

"Doctor, why is it that you're so fascinated with Earth?" he asked, pointing to the planet on the screen. "I know you feel a kind of protectiveness towards humans, but I've never really understood just why. Is there something in your past that makes you feel like you owe us?"

To his surprise, his words made the Doctor's eyes widen as though the other man was shocked at the question -- before he turned away without answering. Ross wasn't absolutely sure, but he thought that he'd caught a look of sadness on the Doctor's features before he'd averted his face.

"I have a lot of reasons for wanting to protect Earth," the Time Lord finally said, his voice so soft that Ross had to strain to hear him. "But there's one in particular that should probably explain my fascination to you." He didn't turn around, as though he didn't want to look at the younger man.

"What reason is that?" Ross said, his voice soft and, he hoped, soothing. He moved closer to the Doctor, laying a hand on his lover's shoulder. "Whatever the reason is, Doctor, I won't think less of you for it. You know that. You can tell me anything."

"My mother was human," the Doctor whispered, his voice almost breaking on the last word. "I'm not a full Gallifreyan, Ross. I never have been. I'm half human. That's one of the reasons that I was never accepted in my own world, by the race of people I called my own."

Ross felt as though a hand had reached into his chest and squeezed his heart; he couldn't even begin to imagine what it must have felt like for the Doctor, to be an outsider among his own people. He knew what it was like to feel as though he didn't fit in.

And the Time Lord had only been a child when he'd started to feel that way; no child should have to feel as though they were an outcast simply because they were different. Ross' heart ached for the other man; he wished that he'd never asked such a thoughtless question.

"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," he whispered, moving to the Time Lord and wrapping his arms around the other man from behind. "No one should have to feel like an outcast. I know what that's like, Doctor. And I'm sorry that you've ever had to feel that way."

"That's why I love Earth and its population so much, Ross," the Doctor told him, his voice soft, the hurt coming through in his tone. "Because of my mother. Because sometimes I feel closer to humans than I do to the people who I had to call mine."

Ross wished that he could think of some words that would comfort his lover, something that he could say to take the pain away. But all he could think of was a single question, one that came out before he could stop it. "What was your mother like?"

To his surprise, the Doctor turned in his embrace, a soft smile lighting up his face. It was obvious that he didn't mind talking to his young lover about his mother, and Ross couldn't help feeling curious about what the woman who had given birth to his beloved Doctor had been like.

"She was a wonderful person," the Doctor said softly, blinking rapidly as though he was trying to keep back tears. "You would have liked her, Ross. And she would have loved you. You're exactly the kind of person she'd have wanted to see me with."

"Tell me about her," Ross said softly, moving to the couch at the side of the room and pulling the Doctor along with him. He glanced at the planet on the viewscreen, feeling more than ever that his ties to Earth were much less important than his commitment to the man by his side.