Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Frank Martin
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: Amnesty in January, 5_prompts
Prompt: 4, from Table 23 -- Fearless
Author's Note: Frank didn't have a last name on the show, so I took the liberty of giving him one. Slight spoilers for Daleks in Manhattan & The Evolution of the Daleks.
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 Frank Martin, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
"All right then," the Doctor whispered as he peered into the darkness around them, squinting as though that would help him make out any shapes that might represent some malevolent presence. "We need to make a run for it, get back to the Tardis."
Frank was a little puzzled as to why the Doctor would want to run away from what they might be facing -- he had seen this man exhibit such bravery in the past, when his own planet was dealing with the Daleks. Why did these Cybermen scare him so?
He'd seen those things -- from a distance. And he'd heard the Doctor tell of what they could do, how they had enslaved so many planets and robbed people of their identities. They sent chills through him, but they didn't look all that frightening.
It told him a bit more than he wanted to know about them to realize that the Doctor was actually wary of those creatures. He wouldn't have thought that he could see the Time Lord afraid of anything -- but the Cybermen apparently scared him a great deal.
Still, the Doctor had more experience with them than he did, Frank told himself as he followed the Doctor's example and squinted into the blackness around them. If only they had a light! He wasn't even sure which direction the Tardis lay in at this point.
He would follow the Doctor, he decided, looking over at the other man, waiting for the Time Lord's signal to go. He was going to take his cues from whatever his lover did; the Doctor knew how to handle himself in situations like this, even when things looked hopeless.
He would never forget seeing the Doctor stand up to the Daleks; how he had held out his arms when he was standing on the chairs in that theater, telling them to kill him if they had to. He would never forget the bravery he'd seen in that stance, in those dark eyes.
And he would also never forget how his own heart had leapt into his throat, how he'd been terrified that the Doctor would be killed. He would never be able to forget how his emotions had seemed to scream at him to leap to his feet and try to pull the other man down.
He had loved the Doctor even then, when he barely knew the Time Lord. There had been a spark between the two of them right from the beginning, even when he'd had no inkling that the Doctor would someday become the center of his life.
He'd only known then that the Time Lord was the most fearless man he'd ever met -- and that he'd wanted to be like that. He had wanted to be worthy of the Doctor, to be thought of as someone who could stand by this man's side and hold his own.
"I'm not so sure that this is a good time to take off running," the Doctor whispered without turning his head. "Neither of us can see what's in front of us at the moment -- and the Cybermen don't need light to see. If they're lying in wait, this could easily be a trap."
Frank nodded, unsure as to just how to respond to the Doctor's words. He knew nothing about what they were up against, other than what the Doctor had told him, but he wasn't sure that he wanted to find out more about these creatures at an up close and personal level.
It was actually scaring him to see how wary the Doctor was of the Cybermen. He'd thought that this man was so fearless -- but maybe there was a time when a healthy amount of fear could be a good thing for a person to have.
He himself had learned how dangerous it could be to cast fear and caution aside and go wandering into a situation when one didn't know just what it might entail. He'd seen too many people lose their lives by such folly, and he didn't want to be one of them.
He wasn't going to let the Doctor take any unnecessary chances, either. Just because he'd thought of the Time Lord as being a fearless man since the first time they'd met, that didn't mean that he would let the man he loved throw himself needlessly into the path of danger.
He loved the Doctor far too much to let him make that kind of a sacrifice. And he certainly didn't want to be abandoned here on this planet with creatures that even the Doctor was wary of, with no idea of how to get himself back to Earth or to his own time!
The Doctor would never do that to him, Frank admonished himself. He'd never even consider it. Even if he was mortally wounded, he would find a way to tell Frank how to get himself to safety. He wouldn't leave the person he loved stranded here on an unfamiliar planet.
But nothing was going to happen to the Doctor, Frank told himself firmly. They were going to make it back to the Tardis, get out of here in one piece, and live to fight another day. The Doctor had always done that before, and he would this time, too.
They were both going to make it back to the Tardis safely -- and then he would ask the Doctor to tell him more about the Cybermen, and why they frightened him so much. Though, to be honest, he wasn't sure if he really wanted to know more about those things.
Squaring his shoulders, Frank took a deep breath. Such thoughts weren't worthy of the man who the Time Lord had chosen to be with him, he told himself sternly. He couldn't show his fear. He had to be fearless, like the man at his side -- at least on the outside.
He might be quaking with fear on the inside, but he couldn't let it show. He couldn't let the Doctor down, not after the Time Lord had trusted him enough to bring him along on this wild ride. He wasn't going to show his fear, to let the Doctor think that he could be intimidated.
The Doctor looked over at Frank, reaching for his hand. As the Time Lord's fingers squeezed his own, Frank felt his fear start to evaporate. Maybe the Time Lord really was fearless, if his touch could away his own fear like this, Frank thought, feeling dazed.
"It's all right to be afraid, Frank," he said softly, tilting his head towards the darkness that seemed to spread out in front of them. "I am a lot of the time, too. You just have to seem fearless on the outside. It's all right to feel very differently on the inside."
Frank gulped, nodding as he returned the pressure of the Doctor's hand. "I've thought you were fearless from the moment I first met you," he said softly, the sincerity in his words unmistakable. "And I've wanted to be like that ever since. But there are times when I can't."
"No one can be brave all the time," the Doctor told him, sighing softly. "Sometimes, when I may seem like I'm fearless, I'm actually shivering with terror inside. I just do my best not to let it show -- and usually, my bluff isn't called. If I'm lucky."
"Being fearless is a state of mind, then," Frank murmured, feeling stronger even as he said the words. "It's good to know that, Doctor. I was afraid that you might think I wasn't worthy of being with you if I showed fear. But I'll admit that I'm pretty scared right now."
"I'm not as fearless as you think I am, either," the Doctor told him, his tone rueful. "I'll admit that I'm fairly well scared myself. But at least neither of us are being frightened out of our wits alone. It's always easier to share that fear with someone else. Fear shared is fear halved."
Frank nodded, his muscles tensing as he waited for the Doctor to tell him that it was time to run. Somehow, it was good to know that his lover wasn't as fearless as he appeared. That made it easier for Frank to accept his own fear -- and to feel that maybe, in this instance, it wasn't out of place.
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