Title: Find A Way
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 46, Me or them
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.
"He can't be serious," Ross gasped, staring at the viewscreen as though the image of the Master was still there in front of their faces. "He should know that you would never do that. Not just to me, but to anyone who you chose to have as a companion."
"He does know that," the Doctor said, his tone grim. "But he still holds on to the idea that I'll forsake the person I'm with to save a world full of people. The needs of the many versus the few, no matter how much that single person might mean to me."
"You wouldn't do it, would you?" Ross asked, his voice trembling. He hated himself for that waver in his tone, for the obvious feeling of insecurity he had. It shouldn't be there. He shoudn't doubt the Doctor, not in any way. He knew that his lover wouldn't forsake him.
"Of course not!" the Doctor told him, turning to stare at Ross with wide eyes. Ross wasn't sure, but he thought that he could read hurt in those dark depths. He felt ashamed of himself, ashamed that he could doubt the man he loved in any way.
"Ross, you can't believe for a moment that I would ...." The Doctor's voice trailed off; the Time Lord turned away from his boyfriend, shaking his head. "You do think that I'd place the welfare of those people over yours. You think I'd turn my back on you."
"No!" Ross shook his head, the word bursting from his lips like an explosion. "No, Doctor, I don't. But I'm sure you're tempted to. And I don't blame you. I'm one person. Yes, you love me -- but I'm still only one life, as opposed to the millions of lives on that planet."
"I know that it's probably what I should do -- but I never would," the Doctor whispered, shaking his head and not looking at Ross. "I couldn't do that, Ross. Not to you, and not to anyone else I cared about. I'm not the kind of man who can barter one life for others."
Ross didn't want to point out that the Doctor had ended millions of lives when he'd been the one who had destroyed Gallifrey, but it definitely didn't seem like the right time to bring up that fact. And this situation was nothing like that one had been.
"I'm not worth a whole planet full of people, even if it's a planet that I don't know well," Ross whispered, not wanting to look at his lover. "If you have to sacrifice me for them, then do it, Doctor. If it's a case of me or them, you don't really have a choice, do you?"
The Doctor shook his head, scowling at Ross' words. "That's what he's trying to make it seem like, Ross, but I won't accept that. He wants you out of the way, and I won't allow that. I won't let him take away the person I love. I won't let him break me -- or hurt you."
"How can you stop him?" Ross asked, his voice still sounding weak to his own ears, but not trembling as it had been a few minutes before. He wasn't going to cower away in fear -- and he wasn't going to lose his confidence in the man he loved.
If anyone could find a way out of any bad situation, it was the Doctor. Ross felt ashamed to have lost faith in him a few moments ago, even if that loss had only been fleeting; he should know by now that the Doctor would never sacrifice him or their relationship in any way.
"I don't know at the moment, love." Was it his imagination, or did the Doctor's voice sound regretful, heavy with misgiving? "But I'll find a way. I'm not going to let anything happen to you. I won't let him take you away from me, Ross. I won't."
"And I won't leave you, no matter what happens," Ross whispered, swallowing hard as he said the words. He might end up having to sacrifice himself -- though he hoped that wouldn't be the case. But if that was what it took to get the Doctor out of this situation, then he would.
After all, his lover would do the same for him. He was sure of it. If it came down to that, then Ross knew that the Doctor would gladly sacrifice himself for the person he loved. That was the sort of person he was -- he was selfless, only thinking of others, not of himself.
The Doctor moved toward Ross before he could say another word, sliding his arms around the young man's waist and pulling him close. "Don't worry, Ross," he whispered against his boyfriend's hair. "I won't let you down. Neither of us is going to have to sacrifice anything."
"I hope you're right," Ross managed to say, gulping back tears. "Because I don't want to lose you, Doctor. If it's me or them, I can understand that. But I'm not giving you up unless I absolutely have to. I'm not going to turn my back on you."
"Nor I on you," the Time Lord told him, his voice stronger as he reluctantly released the young man. "Now, let's try and find a way to beat this bastard," he said, the strength of his voice giving Ross hope, making him feel that maybe their situation wasn't so dire, after all.
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