Title: Straight To the Heart
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: Buffet 1, fc_smorgasbord
Prompt: 89, Memory
Author's Note: Continuation of Fear Itself.
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.
***Jethro lifted his head, looking around him blearily. Where was he? The last thing he seemed to remember was being on Midnight, looking for .... someone. Who had he been searching for? He couldn't put a name or a face to the hazy memory.
He struggled to sit up, putting a hand to his head. He felt dizzy, woozy, as though he'd taken a blow to the head that he was only beginning to recover from. But he couldn't remember being in a fight -- in fact, he couldn't remember anything about where he was.
This place was completely strange to him, he thought as he looked around. A frown settled onto his face, his brain working furiously to pull his memories into place. But try as he might, he couldn't make himself remember anything past that time on Midnight.
That seemed so long ago .... he was sure that a lot had happened to him since then. He felt different than he had when he was there; older, more settled, more content. He'd been restless when he was on that planet; he was sure that he'd been on some sort of quest.
He wasn't on Midnight now. He was sure of that; if he was still there, he would be in his hotel room, not passed out on the floor of some place that looked like an abandoned warehouse. He didn't think that Midnight even had these kinds of places.
Something was coming back to him .... he dimly remembered being strapped down into a chair, and a needle in his arm. Looking down at himself, his eyes widened at the sight of a bandage on his arm, just below the crook of his elbow.
So that memory must be true, then. Had someone deliberately erased his memory? Was that why he felt that a large piece of his life, who he was, had been excised from him? Was that why everything since Midnight was nothing but a hazy blur?
He knew that he'd been on Midnight some time ago. There was some sort of presence missing from his memories, a presence that even now he could feel pulling at him, as though it was calling him from a distance that wasn't very far away.
Jethro could almost see that presence in his mind -- tall and thin, someone wearing a long coat. The person looked so familiar, but he couldn't place a face or a name; he couldn't even be sure that this man really existed.
He squeezed his eyes closed, trying to make that image come into view more clearly. But the image in his head wavered and blurred, as though there was some kind of barrier between them, some veil in his mind that had been brought over his perceptions.
Whoever the person was, he wasn't going to lose sight of them, Jethro told himself, his teeth sinking into his lower lip as he focused all of his concentration on that shadowy figure in his mind. He had to tear those veils away, had to see that image clearly.
He knew this person. They were someone important in his life, someone who had a tremendous influence on him. Someone he .... Jethro's eyes flew open as the thought burst into his fogged mind. Someone he loved.
Jethro raised his hands to his head, massaging his temples in an effort to clear his mind. That didn't seem to be working; the image in his thoughts wouldn't crystallize, no matter what he did. It wavered and fluctuated as though it was underwater, or a great distance away.
But this person, whoever he was, hadn't been that far away, Jethro told himself, grasping at any small shred of memory that he could hold onto like a drowning man desperate to stay afloat. He could sense that presence, in a feeling that went straight to his heart.
He wasn't going to let himself forget, he vowed to himself, determined to clear his mind and rip the veils away. Whoever this man was, he'd been important to Jethro at one time; he'd apparently been the most important thing in his life, a controlling force, a guiding star.
And someone like that was obviously too important to just fade away, he reasoned, frowning. So it made sense that he'd somehow been forced to forget -- for some reason, there was a force that wanted this man out of his mind and out of his life.
No. He wouldn't allow it. He had to remember. He pressed his hands against the sides of his head, squeezing his eyes closed and focusing on that image -- not only what he could vaguely see in his mind, but what he felt in his heart and soul.
Clearer .... slightly clearer .... a name was playing around the edges of his consciousness.
A name. One that his heart would never be able to forget.
Memory burst upon him in a flash of inner light that seemed almost blinding, a shower of sparks that felt as though they'd literally burst through a barrier that had strained to keep his memory a prisoner in the back of his mind. But it was free now; everything came back to him.
He and the Doctor had come to this planet after the Time Lord had received a mysterious message on the psychic paper asking for help. The Doctor hadn't known who it came from, but he couldn't turn down a request for help.
They'd found .... nothing. What appeared to be a deserted planet, no people, no life forms that they could see. Until they'd wandered into this concrete maze of buildings -- and had been surrounded by men with guns who had dragged the Doctor away.
Jethro had struggled against them, tried to follow to find out where they were taking his lover, but he'd been overpowered. They'd taken him to what had looked like a laboratory, strapped him down to a table, and put some kind of machine over his head.
That was the last thing he remembered. He'd woken up here, with his memories of the Doctor ripped away from him. He'd been lucky that his emotional connection with the man he loved had been strong enough to help him break through the barriers they'd created in his mind.
It was obvious what he had to do now. He had to find where they were keeping the Doctor, and figure out a way to rescue him. He had to find the Tardis and get the two of them out of there -- and pray that his lover hadn't been forced to regenerate.
No. That wasn't going to happen. Jethro clenched his fists, closing his eyes again and taking a deep breath. He would find the Doctor, and they would get out of here. If any damage had been done to the Time Lord, it would be repaired. He'd be all right.
He couldn't bear the thought of the Doctor changing, of the other man not being his Doctor any more. But he'd been told several times that it would only happen if his physical body died; and surely that couldn't have happened.
He'd have felt it in his heart if the Doctor was gone. He would know somehow if the love of his life was no longer a part of this world in the form that he loved. The bond between them was too strong for something like that to happen and Jethro not to realize it.
Jethro took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to organize his thoughts. How was he going to manage to get the two of them out of here? It was usually the Doctor who could come up with a plan to get them out of a sticky situation, not him.
But it was his responsibility to come up with a plan this time, Jethro told himself firmly. He was in charge this time; the Doctor needed him, and he wasn't going to let his lover down, no matter what he might have to do to achieve the goal of getting them both to safety.
With that in mind, he headed for the door, hoping that it would be open. He tried the doorknob, his eyes widening in surprise when it turned easily in his hand. Apparently, whoever had done this to him didn't plan on keeping him here indefinitely, not when the door was open.
All right, then. He stepped into the hallway, taking another deep breath and trying to control the shaking of his hands. He had to find out where the Doctor was, but that shouldn't be hard. Their bond should lead him to the Time Lord; it was like a homing beacon.
He would find the Doctor, and he would get them out of here; anything else could wait until they were safely in the Tardis. With that goal in mind, Jethro headed in the direction that he felt himself pulled in, knowing that he was moving closer to the Doctor with every step he took.
***Next story in series - Running For Our Lives.
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