Title: Follow You, Follow Me
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Frank Martin
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 1, fanfic50
Prompt: 35, Follow
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.
***Frank led the Doctor quite far into the grove of trees; the Time Lord knew that the camp was near, but he couldn't hear voices here. It was peaceful and quiet, with nothing around them but the sounds of nature and a leafy green shade.
Dropping the Doctor's hand, Frank sat down under a tree, leaning back to rest his head against the rough bark of the trunk. He looked up at the Time Lord, holding out his hand with a smile. "Why don't you join me? You look kind of nervous."
Oh, he was much more nervous than this young man could possibly realize, the Doctor told himself wryly. He planned to ask Frank to come out into the stars with him, to leave everything that was familiar for an entirely new life. Of course he was nervous.
Nevertheless, maybe he should sit down beside Frank. If he did, then he wouldn't have the chance to pace around and make himself even more nervous. He didn't need to work himself up into a frenzy while he was trying to think of how to phrase his request.
"Calm down," Frank said softly as the Doctor lowered himself to the ground, sitting cross-legged beside the young man. "You're all tense. I could feel that when I kissed you. I hope there's nothing else you have to tell us about that could be dangerous."
The Doctor shook his head, a slight smile crossing his features. "No, that's not why I'm here," he said, taking a deep breath. "I .... need to ask you a question, Frank. One that I'm not sure you're ready to hear, but that I've wanted to ask for a while."
"A while?" Frank looked startled for the first time since the Doctor had seen him again. "You've only been gone a couple of days. That's not exactly a long time to have something on your mind. But I guess it can seem like a long time if it's an important question."
"I travel through time and space, Frank," the Doctor told him, another smile tugging at his lips. "It's only been a couple of days for you since I left. For me, it's been .... well, months. I've done a lot since the last time I was here. And thought a lot."
"About what?" Frank asked, his tone curious. His eyes widened as the significance of what the Doctor was saying struck him. "About me? About .... us?" The last word was uttered on a raised note, the question in his voice obvious.
The Doctor nodded, turning to look at the young man sitting beside him. "Yes, about us," he said softly, hoping that he could phrase his request in a way that didn't make it sound .... well, a bit crazy. "Frank, are you happy here? Is this a life you enjoy?"
Frank frowned slightly, looking down at the carpet of emerald-green grass in front of him. "I-I'm not sure what you mean," he said slowly, heaving a sigh. "I have friends here, and it's where I've always lived. But enjoy the life I'm leading now? I don't know if 'enjoy' is the right word."
"If you had the chance for another life, something completely different, would you take it?" the Doctor asked, feeling his hearts leap in his chest. "A life full of adventure, where you didn't know what was going to happen next?"
"That's kind of what's been going on around here in the last few months, y'know," Frank told him with a laugh. "But that wasn't a good kind of adventure. It was dangerous in a way that some people might find exciting, but that's not the kind of danger I want to live through."
The Doctor nodded, his expression sober. "I'm glad that I could help you with that," he said, his gaze meeting the young man's and not looking away. "I'm only sorry that some good people lost their lives in that fight. It shouldn't have happened."
"It's over and done with now," Frank said, shaking his head. "No use looking back on what we can't change. Anyway, what do you mean by a new life? Do you mean .... somewhere else? Leaving here and starting over someplace new?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean," the Doctor said, the words suddenly pouring out. "Would you want to come away with me, Frank? Live on my ship and travel the galaxy, explore the universe through time and space? Would you be willing to come with me and lead that life?"
Frank stared at him with wide eyes, not answering for a few minutes. The Doctor's hearts felt as though they were sinking down to the tips of his toes; maybe it hadn't been the right thing to ask Frank so bluntly, to put the question to him without more of a buildup.
Or perhaps he just didn't want to go, the Doctor thought, gloom starting to seep through him. Yes, it was obvious that there was an attraction between them, but it more than likely wasn't enough to get Frank to leave the place he'd always thought of as home.
When would he learn that people had lives, families and friends that they didn't want to leave? Simply because of the fact that he had no one left, he always managed to conveniently forget that all people didn't live in the same way that he did.
"Do you really mean that?" Frank asked softly, jerking the Doctor's thoughts back to the situation at hand and out of the black chasm that they were teetering on the edge of falling into. "Do you really want me to come with you? Are you serious?"
"Of course I'm serious," the Doctor replied, his voice soft and anxious. "That's why I came back. Not only to claim that kiss I promised you, but to ask you if you wanted to come with me. I haven't been able to stop thinking about you -- and wanting you with me."
"I can't stop thinking about you, either," Frank said softly, turning to the Doctor and reaching for the Time Lord's hand. "You've been on my mind ever since you left. And not just because I hadn't gotten that kiss yet. Because I wanted more than just a kiss."
"So did I," the Doctor whispered, unable to make the words come out any more loudly from his suddenly constricted throat. "I wanted much more. I want a companion and a lover. Not just someone to be my friend. Someone who I .... who I can love."
"And you think I can be that person?" Frank asked, his voice quiet. His fingers were twined through the Doctor's, their hands gripping each other. "I want to be. I want that more than anything. And yes, I want to go with you. I'd follow you anywhere, Doctor."
"I suppose that I followed you, in a way .... coming back here and asking you this," the Doctor told him, a small smile starting to curve his lips. "And all the while, you wanted to follow me. Maybe I should have asked you this before I left. It would have saved us some time."
"But you had someone with you then," Frank told him, shaking his head. "And now you don't. The road's pretty clear for both of us, isn't it? We both know what -- and who -- we want. It seems to me like there's not even a question involved."
"Then I suppose there isn't," the Doctor answered, feeling a wave of relief sweep over him. Frank was coming with him -- and he seemed to want to do so. In fact, he seemed as though he'd been waiting for just this moment, waiting to follow where the Doctor led.
Frank got to his feet, pulling the Doctor up along with him. "Come on, he said softly, sliding an arm around the Time Lord's slender waist. "Let's go get my stuff -- and then we can get out of here and be on our way. I doubt anybody's going to miss me."
"I don't think that's true," the Doctor said with a soft laugh. "But we can always come back, you know, if there's anyone you'd like to see, or to check on. There's so much we'll be able to do that you've never even dreamed of, Frank. So much waiting for you to discover."
"I can't wait to see it all," Frank told him with a laugh, leaning over to press a kiss against the Doctor's cheek. The two of them hurried back towards the camp, neither of them knowing who was following the other -- though at the moment, that didn't really seem to matter.
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