Title: Cloaked in Secrets
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 16, Before
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.


Ross stretched out in one of the comfortable chairs in the library of the Tardis, resting his feet on the stool that he'd pulled up in the front of the chair. He closed his eyes, letting out a soft sigh of contentment as a smile curved his lips.

This was something that he hadn't had the luxury of doing during the time that he'd been with UNIT. He'd had a soldier's bedroom; he'd had a roommate, who he'd gotten along with well, but who he'd never felt that he could completely open up to.

Everything about his life now was so different from what it had been before, he reflected, opening his eyes to look up at the ceiling. It had all changed in the blink of an eye, when the Doctor had asked if he would come out into the stars, and Ross had said yes.

He'd felt so .... trapped in his life as a soldier. He hadn't completely hated it, but it hadn't really been what he'd wanted to do with his life. And now, he'd found an entirely new direction -- being with the Doctor, and finding adventure out in the galaxy.

Before he'd actually met the Time Lord, he'd seemed like some unattainable dream, some figment of an overactive imagination. People had sworn that they'd seen him, but Ross had always been skeptical about whether or not such a man could actually exist.

To have that very man fall in love with him was something that he never would have expected. And he'd never have thought that he could love the Doctor as fiercely as he did. It seemed incredible that he, the loner, should be perfectly willing to build his life around his lover.

His life had changed in so many ways since he'd met the Doctor -- and all for the better, as far as Ross was concerned. If he was completely honest with himself, he'd have to admit that he didn't miss living a life that had been cloaked in secrets.

He'd had friends, of course. There had been people he could talk to, people who he'd considered good friends. There had been other soldiers who'd had his back when he needed it, people who he knew that he could trust with his life.

But there had always been a wall between him and everyone else, simply because he'd never found the courage to open up to anyone and tell them that he was gay. He'd hated having to hide who he truly was, and it had only gotten harder to do as time passed.

Even though he'd trusted the other soldiers in his unit with his life, he'd never trusted them with that deep dark secret that he carried with him. And he'd come to feel more and more as though he was an outcast, always on the outside looking in.

It hadn't been easy to make up excuses for why he never wanted to go to strip clubs with the others in his unit, or why he'd never been seen with a girl. There had been rumors of his true sexual orientation, of course, but they'd all been laughed off. No one had really believed them.

He had been getting more and more dissatisfied with the life he was leading, even before the Doctor had appeared in his life and asked him to come away from Earth and into the stars. That hadn't been a choice; it had seemed like something he had to do.

His attraction to the Time Lord had been so strong that he wouldn't have been able to say no, even if he'd loved his life as a solider and hadn't wanted to leave it. Being with the Doctor had overridden everything else, and there had been nothing to hold him back.

Ross hadn't regretted his choice for a moment. He didn't look back at his life before being here with the Doctor with any feeling of having made the wrong decision; he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he'd done the right thing for himself.

It had also been the right thing for the Doctor, he reminded himself with a smile. The Time Lord had been in need of a companion -- and he'd actually chosen Ross to be that companion, coming back in time to sweep him away and literally save his life.

That was a strange thought, to know that he would have died if the Doctor hadn't felt a spark of attraction when they'd met in another time. It was more than a little scary, Ross thought, a shiver going through his body. Not something that he really wanted to think about.

Still, those thoughts could be pushed aside, he told himself, the smile once again on his lips. Everything had worked out wonderfully for the two of them. The Doctor had what he needed, and Ross had found a life -- and a love -- that he'd never dreamed could be possible.

He didn't want to think about his life before the Doctor, Ross told himself firmly, pushing those thoughts away to the back of his mind. That was the past. He wanted to look towards the future -- and all of the happiness that he was sure awaited them both.