Title: This Much Is True
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 30, Message
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.
***"Who could have sent you a message? Are you sure that you don't have any kind of clue as to who it could have come from?" Ross asked the Doctor, frowning as he peered at the psychic paper that the Time Lord was holding out to him.
The Doctor shook his head, a frown marring his brow. "No, I have no clue," he said, looking at the piece of paper again. "The last time I got a message like this, it almost cost my companion at the time her life," he muttered, his memory going back to the past.
He shuddered at the thought of the Vashta Nerada; he didn't want to deal with them again unless he had to. He would do whatever he had to do to stop them if they threatened Earth -- but at this point, they had stayed hidden for quite a while.
He hoped that they would stay that way, though he knew well enough that he couldn't count on them doing so. His enemies always seemed to come out of the woodwork when he least expected them to -- and the Vashta Nerada were notoriously unpredictable.
Besides, he didn't want Ross to have to deal with them. The young man had proved himself quite capable of rising to a challenge when he needed to, but the Vashta Nerada were something that no one could be prepared for, even if they thought they were.
Turning his thoughts away from the past, he studied the paper in his hand. The writing wasn't familiar; he had thought that might provide some sort of clue, but it merely confused him more as to who the author of the short note could possibly be.
It wasn't Jack; they'd already ascertained that. No one from Earth had sent this. So it was someone from one of the other planets in the vast galaxy -- though he couldn't be sure just how they knew him, or how they'd managed to use this medium to get in touch with him.
Not many people knew about the psychic paper. The Master did, of course; it was very possible that this could be a trap he was setting. They would have to proceed carefully to ensure that they didn't fall into whatever snare he might have lying in wait for them.
But somehow, this didn't feel as though it originated with the Master. There wasn't that malevolent feeling that characterized anything he did; no, this felt more like a cry for help. Maybe not a desperate cry, but at least a request for his aid.
And that wasn't something that he could turn his back on. Yes, this could be one of his enemies using a means of communication that he trusted to draw him in, but it could also possibly be someone who truly needed his help.
"So .... is there any test that we can do to find out who might have sent it?" Ross inquired, looking at the paper in the Doctor's hand again. "If you don't recognize the writing, there has to be some way to find out who it's from -- and if it's a trap."
"Oh, so you were thinking along those lines too, were you?" the Doctor said with a chuckle. "I should have expected that. I know you're used to looking for surprises, even where none may exist. You're more of a help to me than you realise, Ross."
"That's one of the reasons I'm here," the young man told him, flashing the Time Lord a smile that he'd grown to love. "To watch your back, and to try to help you in any way I can. That's part of what being your companion is all about, isn't it?"
"And what are the other reasons?" the Doctor asked, his attention caught by what Ross had said. "You said that being a help to me was only one of them. I'm assuming there must be a lot of others, and I wonder if your reasons are the same as mine."
"There's a lot of reasons -- but there's one that's more true than all the others," Ross said softly, raising a hand to caress the Doctor's cheek. "But the main one is that I love you and I want to be with you. And I think that's the most important reason I could have.
The Doctor nodded, swallowing hard past the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat. He'd known that Ross loved him, but still, he liked to hear the words. Somehow, hearing them from his boyfriend's lips only made that love seem even more true.
Ross smiled and leaned forward to brush his lips lightly against the Doctor's. "Okay, so let's find out who sent you this message -- and try to help them, if we can," he said softly, letting the emotional moment pass. "We should be able to figure it out, if we put our heads together."
"Right you are." Again the Doctor nodded, clearing his throat and going to the ship's console to press a button that would send the Tardis out into the timestream. "And I think that I might know where to go to get a few of our answers. Allons-y!"
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