Title: Hunting High and Low
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: C, lover100
Prompt: 96, Writer's Choice - Search
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 Jethro Cane. Please do not sue.
***The Doctor smiled to himself as he lay in bed next to Jethro, listening to his young lover's steady breathing and thinking back over the last few months. It didn't seem possible that he and Jethro had actually been together all that time.
But yet, they had. Their relationship had been sudden and unexpected, but hardly surprising, when he thought about how they'd reconnected after their initial meeting on Midnight. It almost felt as though their second meeting had been .... destined.
He'd thought about that quite a lot during the time he'd been with Jethro. Their attraction had been too strong to simply put their second meeting down to coincidence.
If he was honest with himself, he'd been attracted to this young man when they'd first met, on that ill-fated train trip across the planet. Even though Jethro had been with his parents and had seemed very young, there had been something about him that drew the Time Lord in.
Of course, he hadn't been as young as he'd appeared; that trip had been a last-ditch effort by his parents to make some sort of contact with their son. That had failed miserably, but anyone could see that the three of them didn't get on well.
There had been more to Jethro than a troubled teenager acting out; the Doctor had seen that from the beginning, but he hadn't had a chance to draw the young man out and find out just what was going on in that keen mind behind the pretty face.
Their second meeting had been .... well, much better, to say the least. He hadn't expected what had happened between them, but he couldn't say that he regretted it.
How could he? That encounter had not only brought him a companion whose empathic abilities had been a tremendous help to him, but it had brought him the man he loved. Yes, he saw Jethro as a man, not a boy, as most people undoubtedly did.
Maybe there had been the remnants of childishness about him when they'd first met, but he had been fast throwing off that part of his life, a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. He'd been breathtaking even then, thought the Doctor with a fond smile.
When they'd met again, he had been feeling down, wondering if he would ever find the companion he was searching for. Someone who wouldn't decide they had to leave him to go back to their former life; someone who would make a lifelong commitment to being with him.
None of his other companions had been willing to do that -- but then, none of them had been a lover as well as a companion. That was a big difference.
He hadn't let any of them get as close as Jethro had -- and the connection with Jethro had been established almost instantaneously when they'd met again. It was as though he had fallen into the young man's eyes, losing himself in the possibilities hidden there.
Jethro had drawn him in from the moment their gazes had met; he'd realized, with a shock, that this was the reason he'd come back to Midnight. He'd been searching for something that he hadn't thought he would find, without knowing that he was doing so.
He'd been looking for the person who was the missing puzzle piece in his life -- and he hadn't thought that Jethro would be that one. He hadn't forgotten the young man, but he hadn't let himself think that they could possibly meet again.
Yet it had happened -- and the Doctor hadn't regretted a moment of their time together since then. It might not have been written in the stars that they belonged together -- but he was determined that they would shape their own fate.
How could something that felt this right not be destined? Jethro had fit into his life as though he'd always belonged there.
It had felt a little strange at first, to be so intertwined with someone so young. He could look at Jethro and see a bit of himself when he was much younger, the way that he'd been when he'd first become a Time Lord and all the centuries and experiences were still in front of him.
Maybe that was why he and Jethro fit together so well, he mused, looking down at the young man sleeping soundly next to him. They were so much alike, even though they'd been born centuries apart, on different planets, and weren't even of the same race.
He had spent so much of his life hunting high and low for a companion who would fit with him in all the ways that Jethro did -- and now, that long search was finally over. He'd found the person he was meant to be with, and he could finally stop the search.
The Doctor closed his eyes, pushing away the next thought that assailed him -- that Jethro was human and he wouldn't always be there.
If only that thought didn't always managed to insinuate itself, he thought, cursing it and wishing he could eradicate it from his mind. But he couldn't -- that was one thing that would always come back to him, no matter how much he tried to push it away.
Humans would never be able to stay with him for as long as he wanted them to. It was something that he'd accepted a long time ago -- at least for the people he'd made his companions. How much harder was it going to be with someone who was his lover as well?
That was going to be the hardest thing he'd ever been through in his entire life, the Doctor thought, swallowing hard to force back the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat. Harder even than the destruction of his home and his people.
How could he bring himelf to give up the man he loved? He'd lost people he cared for before, but never someone who meant as much to him as Jethro did. That was going to rip his hearts out -- and he had the distinct feeling that they would never heal.
Jethro stirred in his arms, and the Doctor looked down at him again, feeling somewhat guilty for apparently having woken him.
"You don't have to worry, Doctor," Jethro told him, his voice slurred with sleep. "I don't plan on going anywhere for a long time. You're not going to be alone, I promise you that. I'll stay with you for the rest of my life. You already know that."
The Doctor felt his eyes fill with tears, his throat tightening. Even when he was asleep, Jethro had felt his worry; his young lover had been able to tell that he was troubled. Their connection was stronger than anything he'd ever known; this was proof of it.
"I know," he whispered, running a hand through Jethro's dark hair. "Go back to sleep, love. You know how I worry sometimes, even when I know there's no reason to. It's just .... part of who I am. Don't worry about it. Go back to sleep."
Jethro nodded, shifting slightly and resting his head more comfortably against the Doctor's shoulder. Within moments, he'd drifted back into sleep, nestled against the Time Lord's side.
Closing his eyes, the Doctor laid his head back against the pillow, letting his mind drift and wishing that he, too, could find sleep as easily as Jethro had. He had to let go of these disturbing thoughts; he couldn't keep dwelling on them.
He'd been hunting high and low for Jethro all of his life, without really having a clear picture of who he ws looking for. And now that he had his hearts' desire, he wasn't letting himself be happy. That had to stop. He had to revel in what he had, not worry constantly about losing it.
He didn't have to hunt for the missing puzzle piece in his life any more -- that piece was lying right here by his side, safe in his arms. And if they were lucky, the two of them would be able to stay that way for a very long time.
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