Title: Spark of Hope
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Prompt: 36, Hope
Author's Note: Continuation of A Dream Came True.
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.
***"Don't you think we should get out of bed sometime soon?" Jethro asked, nuzzling his cheek against the Doctor's hair. He didn't want to get up, not really. No, he wanted to stay in bed with this incredible man and make love to him again and again, until they were both completely sated. That point was nowhere in sight yet, but Jethro was sure that they'd reach it sometime.
"Mmmmm." The Doctor's voice was muffled in his shoulder, somewhere between a groan and a yawn. "I don't think we need to get up quite yet, do we?" He lifted his head, looking up at his young lover with a slight smile on his lips. "I don't know about you, but I'm comfortable. I don't think we need to get out of bed for .... oh, days yet. At least the next few hours. We can just order room service and forget about the world."
Jethro laughed softly, running a hand through the Doctor's hair and pressing a kiss to the top of his head. "Does that mean that I get to make love to you all day long?" he teased, running one hand down the curve of the Doctor's back to rest on his ass. "In that case, I think I could stay in this bed for the rest of my life."
"Well .... we have to get up sometime," the Doctor pointed out, laughing and snuggling against Jethro. "We have to eat at some point, and I don't think either of us could go for too much longer without a shower. Not if we don't want to smell offensive." He turned onto his back, contemplating the young man beside him with a smile as he crossed his arms behind his head.
"Does that mean that you'll take a shower with me?" Jethro whispered, leaning over the Doctor and moving his lips down the older man's chest. The Doctor drew in his breath when those soft, warm lips brushed over one nipple, Jethro's tongue teasing the small pink bud until it was hardened and throbbing beneath his lips.
"Of course I will," he managed to breathe before the air was snatched from his lungs. What was it about this young man that could make him lose all sense of propriety? He had the definite feeling that if he and Jethro were in a public place, and Jethro happened to want to make love, he would happily acquiesce with no questions asked.
The Doctor was startled when Jethro raised his head, placing one hand on his chest and seeming to listen intently. Too late, he realized that the young man must be measuring his heartbeats -- and expecting him to only have one heart beating in his chest. He went pale, wanting to snatch that hand away, but not daring to do so.
"You have two heartbeats." Jethro said the words matter-of-factly, looking at him and raising one eyebrow. The Doctor didn't know whether to be grateful or worried; Jethro didn't look surprised, merely curious. He was sure that it wasn't every day this young man was confronted with something that was proof of alien existence.
"Yes, I do." The Doctor moistened his lips, his mind racing. How was he going to explain to Jethro just what he was? This was always difficult to do, especially when it was so hard for humans to believe that they could be face-to-face with an alien. But if he was lucky, Jethro would turn out to be more accepting than others. He already seemed to be calm at the idea of his lover being .... well, a bit different.
"You aren't human." The words were soft, a little hesitant. Jethro was gazing at him with those huge dark eyes, not looking frightened or apprehensive, only interested. "I think I've known that from the first time I met you on that train. You seemed so different from everybody else. Otherworldly, I guess. I just didn't want to admit it."
The Doctor shook his head, sighing and closing his eyes. There. It was out in the open -- and Jethro had been the one to say it. At least now he didn't have to hide what he was; he could only hope that this young man was going to take the revelations he had to give him as calmly as he'd just announced that his lover wasn't human.
"You're right," he whispered, his eyes meeting Jethro's, a plea for understanding in those dark depths. "I should have told you about myself before I allowed you to become involved with me, Jethro. I .... I'm sorry." He looked away, waiting for the inevitable push of Jethro's hands against his body, pushing him away, rejecting him. His muscles tensed, ready to roll over to the other side of the bed and grope for his clothes, put them on and leave without looking back.
But Jethro wasn't pushing him away, wasn't moving to the side of the bed or demanding that the Doctor leave. No, he was smiling, nodding his head, those strong arms tightening around him. The Doctor looked up at Jethro, a spark of hope leaping to life within him. There was no look of disgust on Jethro's face, no indication that he was dismayed by what he was hearing.
"I knew there was something special about you," Jethro murmured, pressing his lips against the Doctor's forehead. "You were just too beautiful to be real. I knew you had to be something outside of most people's understanding." He drew back slightly, raising one hand to caress the Doctor's cheek. "That's nothing to be sorry for."
The Doctor's eyes widened, his hearts starting to beat faster. Could it be possible that Jethro wasn't going to push him away? True, there had been people in the past who hadn't done so, either -- but they had never been intimate with him on the level that Jethro had. This was a completely different situation, an unknown.
He'd thought that he had known what would happen if he told Jethro what he was -- but his perception of the situation had been turned inside-out. Apparently, he had misjudged the young man who'd so precipitately become his lover. This unexpected reaction changed everything; an entirely new realm of possibilities was opening up in front of him.
"Exactly what are you?" Jethro asked softly, taking the Doctor's face between his hands and studying his features, those dark eyes locking with the Time Lord's own. "It doesn't matter to me what you are, Doctor," he added, lowering his face and brushing the Doctor's lips with his own. "I'd just like to know, that's all. It doesn't change my feelings for you in the least."
"I'm ...." The Doctor sighed, unsure of how to continue. Taking a deep breath, he decided to plunge in, give Jethro the bare essentials and let him ask questions. "I'm from a planet called Gallifrey. I'm a Time Lord -- I travel in time and space. I'm the last of my kind, Jethro. The rest of my people were destroyed in Time Wars, wars that you've never heard of. I'm much older than you may think I am, and I've seen far, far too much in my lifetimes."
"Lifetimes?" Jethro inquired, his head tilted to one side. "Have you had more than one life, then?" He didn't sound overwhelmed, or disgusted, or any of the other things that the Time Lord might have expected from a human who was hearing these things for the first time. He only sounded interested, almost eager.
The Doctor shook his head, a slight frown creasing his forehead. How did he explain the act of regeneration? It wasn't something that most humans could easily grasp; but Jethro wasn't most humans, he told himself, taking another breath and speaking slowly, feeling his way with his words as he went along. "No, not different lives, technically. Different bodies. I'm the same person .... well, for the most part. Only the bodies change."
"So how many bodies have you had?" Jethro's voice still didn't betray any disgust; the Doctor could feel his hearts pounding against the wall of his chest when those dark eyes didn't move from his own. "And how many can you have? I hope this one doesn't change any time soon. I've already grown really fond of it." Jethro lowered his head, warm lips pressing against one small nipple. "I'd hate to think that I can't make love to this body any more."
"You can make love to this body as much as you want," the Doctor whispered, swallowing audibly and reaching up to loop his arms around Jethro's neck. "I've had several bodies -- this is my tenth one, and I can have three more. I don't plan on regenerating any time in the near future. It only happens if my life is threatened -- but it can't be forced. I can't do it on command; it's not some parlour trick."
"Then I think I'll have to stick around make sure that your life isn't threatened," Jethro said softly, pulling away slightly and touching gentle fingers to the Doctor's lips. "I wouldn't let anyone hurt you, or force you into doing anything you didn't want. Especially not something like that. I want you to keep this body for a good long while."
"I wasn't planning on it," the Doctor told him, feeling the absurd urge to laugh. Jethro was talking as though they had some future beyond this time on Midnight. Almost as if .... as if he wanted to come with him when he left. But that was impossible. He didn't know what he was asking, what he could be facing if he was the Doctor's companion.
"I don't want you to change any time soon," Jethro murmured, his lips meeting the Doctor's. For long moments, they each lost themselves in the kiss, Jethro's hands roaming over the Doctor's body as though he was feeling each curve for the first time. "Or at all. I can't imagine you looking any different. Being any different."
"It's something you would have to deal with eventually, if you were with me," the Doctor said, his brow furrowing. The more Jethro spoke, the more he was beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that this young man intended to stay with him. He couldn't let that happen. Jethro had too much of his life ahead of him to give any of it away.
"What do you mean, if?" Jethro's voice was sharp, a frown settling onto his features. "I have every intention of coming with you when you leave Midnight, Doctor. I'm alone, and so are you. And you ...." He took a breath, looking down at the Doctor. "And you need me. You need someone. You can't leave here alone."
"Jethro ...." How could he explain to this boy that as much as he enjoyed his company -- all right, loved it; after all, he might as well be honest here -- there was no way that he could take Jethro with him? He wanted to. He wanted to with all of his hearts. Something in him cried out in protest at leaving this young man behind. But he'd learned the hard way about the folly of taking on human companions.
But why not? the niggling little voice in the back of his mind asked. Why couldn't he take the risk again? He'd done it so many times before, what could one more time hurt? If Jethro ended up leaving him at some point, then it would only be one more disappointment to add to all the others. It wasn't as though he wasn't used to that.
He didn't want to go through the pain of losing someone he loved again, that was why, he told himself, closing his eyes and heaving a sigh. If he let Jethro get that close to him, spending time with him on that sort of journey, he would have an even harder time extricating himself from any emotional involvement than he already would. Even at this point, he was dangerously close to not wanting to let Jethro go when it was time for him to leave Midnight.
"You need me," Jethro said again, one hand stroking through his hair. The Doctor opened his eyes again to look up at the young man hovering over him; Jethro's eyes hadn't left his face, that intense dark gaze burning down into his. "You need someone with you, Doctor. You're lonely. You're the loneliest person I've ever met. I could feel that loneliness from the moment I first saw you, and I want to take it away."
The Doctor's dark eyes widened in surprise, his mouth dropping open. "H-how did you know that?" he stammered, unable to hide his shock. How could Jethro have known something so intimate about him, something that he tried his best to keep hidden from everyone around him? How could this young man have reached so deeply into his soul and pulled out the truth of his existence?
"I could feel it," Jethro said simply, his strong arms tightening around the Doctor's thin body, pulling the Time Lord closer against him. "I'm not going to let you go, Doctor. It took me way too long to find you again. Now that I've got you, you're not going to get rid of me. I'll stick to you like bubble gum to the bottom of your shoe."
The Doctor couldn't help laughing at Jethro's description, reaching up to brush a lock of unruly hair from the young man's face. "In that case, I shouldn't even try, should I?" he said softly, letting his fingertips trail down the side of Jethro's face. "Something tells me that you may be right about my needing you."
"I won't let you be lonely again, Doctor," Jethro whispered, his lips against the Time Lord's hair. "Just trust me. I know you've probably been let down a lot, but I'm one person who isn't going to do that. I don't have forever to give; I can't change bodies like you can, but I can tell you that my heart isn't going to change, either."
"You give me hope, Jethro," the Doctor whispered, feeling his throat constrict around the words. "It's been a very long time since I've had that. All right, come with me. I don't know if you quite understand just what you may be getting into, but I don't have the strength to say no. And I --" He stopped, swallowing hard before he could continue. " .... I do need you."
"I could feel that, too," the young man murmured, bending his head to place his lips on the Doctor's. "And I need you just as much as you need me," he whispered against the Time Lord's lips, his hands starting to move down the Doctor's sides, fingertips stroking over that soft skin. "I need to be with you. I have since I first met you."
The Doctor let his arms tighten around Jethro's shoulders, closing his eyes and arching his body into that touch. He didn't need words to tell Jethro how he felt; the rising passion between their bodies said everything that he couldn't put into words. Maybe this would be a mistake in the long run -- but at the moment, it certainly didn't feel wrong.
"That's settled, then," Jethro said, turning the Doctor onto his back and moving one hand down to settle between the Time Lord's thighs. The Doctor's eyes snapped open, a gasp coming from his throat as Jethro's hand moved further back, fingers starting to spread and open him. He moaned softly, giving himself up to that insistent touch.
Maybe this wasn't what he should do -- but he was tired of trying to do what he should. This time, he was going to do what he wanted to do, and if there were any consequences, then he would deal with them later. He was going to throw caution to the winds, and pray that the small spark of hope that Jethro had lit would keep burning.
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