Title: Strobe Lights
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Jethro Cane
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Table: Buffet 2, fc_smorgasbord
Prompt: 14, Light
Author's Note: Continuation of Running For Our Lives.
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 frowned, unsure as to whether he and the Doctor should enter whatever place was on the other side of that door; it sounded noisy, frenzied, just like one of the clubs he'd frequented when he lived on Earth. Not the sort of place they needed to be in at the moment.

"We have to go in," the Doctor told him, noting his frown. "Jethro, that would be a good place for us to lose ourselves in if we happen to be followed. And there has to be more than one way in and out. I'm sure there's another exit somewhere."

For a moment, Jethro wanted to argue with the Doctor, but he could definitely see the Time Lord's point. There would have to be another exit from this place -- and if they could lose themselves in a crowd on the way out, so much the better.

A crowd of people would make them less of a target. If they held onto each other and didn't let go, they should be able to make their way through whatever was ahead of them fairly easily, find the way out, and get to the Tardis without being noticed.

Of course, there was no telling what might wait for them once they were outside the building, Jethro thought grimly. And the Doctor wouldn't have an easy time of it if they had to run. But they would make it back to the Tardis, he vowed silently. Somehow.

"Ready?" he asked softly, twining his fingers through the Doctor's and squeezing the other man's hand. When the Time Lord nodded, Jethro pushed open the door; they were inundated by a wave of pounding music such as he'd never heard before.

The noise wasn't so loud that they couldn't hear each other, but they would have to lean close and raise their voices, he thought, taking a deep breath and heading into what seemed to be a crowded club. His eyes swept the room, looking for any door that seemed to be an exit.

There. On the far side of the room -- through a crowd of people. But it was there. A door that people were coming in and out of, obviously an exit to the outside. All they had to do was to make it across the room and duck out of the door.

And what if they were asked to show some sort of identification? Jethro's muscles clenched at the thought; surely they hadn't gotten this far only to be stopped by something that seemed to be utterly insignificant. They'd just have to risk it.

The two of them advanced further into the place, looking around and trying to act nonchalant. Jethro could feel the Doctor's tension; he looked over at his lover and inclined his head ever so slightly in the direciton of the door, raising his brows in silent question.

The Doctor nodded, a small smile flashing across his features. His dark gaze seemed to sweep around the room; Jethro knew that he was looking to see if the men who had tortured him might be there. If they were, they would have to try doubly hard not to be seen.

So far, they seemed safe; no one had said anything to them, and they hadn't even attracted any odd looks. They were just two of what seemed to be hundreds of people there, and with any luck, they would be able to slip out completely unnoticed.

Jethro made his way around the side of what appeared to the a dance floor, with lighted squares and wildly gyrating dancers. He wanted to cover his ears in protest; this didn't even sound like music to him, just noise, worse than the industrial grindcore some of his human friends listened to.

But this was no time for him to be concerned with what kind of music was playing. The Doctor needed to get back to the Tardis, and he had to concentrate on leading his lover through what was seemingly a maze of people to get to the exit.

He blinked as strobe lights began whirling overhead -- just as the Doctor clutched his arm and yelled into his ear. "Jethro! They're here!" The Time Lord's voice was barely audible above the howling of the music that seemed to come from every direction.

But Jethro had no doubt of what his lover had just said, or what he meant. The Doctor pointed at two men making their way through the crowd with grim looks on their faces; they were obviously coming for the Time Lord, with no doubt of their intentions.

Jethro's grip on the Doctor's arm tightened as they began to make their way through the crowd; he glanced behind him, his eyes widening in alarm as he saw the two men begin to shoulder people aside, as if they were determined to reach the Doctor.

The strobe lights chose that moment to begin flashing; Jethro had to squint to see properly, and for one mad moment, he thought that he couldn't see the exit door any longer. No, there it was; they were within ten or so feet of it now.

Plunging through the crowd, he kept a tight hold on the Doctor's arm, his heart thudding against his ribs. If the two of them lost each other now, there was a very good chance that those men would get to the Doctor before they'd made it out of the door to safety.

Not safety, he told himself grimly; they wouldn't be safe until they were in the Tardis. He would just have to hope that the Doctor's bond with the ship would lead them in the right direction once they were out of this place; he himself had no idea where she was.

Only a couple of feet from the door now. The strobe lights were still whirling; Jethro was having trouble seeing properly, his eyes feeling like they were being attacked. He hoped that he would be able to see once they were out of here.

He dared a glance behind them; those men didn't seem to be anywhere in the vicinity, but for all he knew, they could have split up to make it through the crowd more easily. Either one of them could be right behind the Doctor even at this very second.

There was the door; there were two people standing in front of it having an idle conversation. Jethro pushed them out of the way, leaning against the door with his shoulder and pushing it open, dragging the Time Lord along behind him.

They were outside now, in the cool night air. There were several people standing on the pavement; they looked up in surprise when the two men burst through the door, then went back to what they'd been doing as though Jethro and the Doctor were no concern of theirs.

Which, of course, they weren't. Jethro took a deep breath, looking over at the Time Lord. It was up to the Doctor to find the Tardis now; he himself was disoriented, not knowing in which direction she could possibly be. He didn't know where to go from here.

"Which way?" he asked, keeping his voice soft. The Doctor glanced in one direction, then the other, his dark eyes narrowed as though he was concentrating, honing in on the Tardis' location and discovering just where she was waiting for them.

The Doctor looked from left to right, then cast a glance behind him, as though he was expecting those men to knock down the door at any second. "This way," he replied, heading for a street to the left of them. Jethro followed him, still holding tightly to his arm.

They were nearly at the end of the street when they heard a commotion behind them; they looked at each other, then broke into a stumbling run. The men chasing the Doctor had made it outside, and one of those people would surely tell them which way their quarry had gone.

Without a word, the Doctor headed for another street, this one to the right, stumbling as he tried to quicken his pace. Jethro slid an arm around his waist, supporting him, knowing that it must hurt him to run and hoping that the Tardis was close by.

His heart was pounding, his breath coming in short gasps; he didn't dare look behind them to see how close their pursuers were. They had to make it to the Tardis. They had to. Once they were there, they could get away from this planet and be safe.

The Doctor turned down another street to the left -- and there, at the end of the pavement, was the blue police box. Jethro had never been so glad to see anything in his life; they just had to make it down one more block and they would be all right.

He could hear footsteps pounding after them, but they were nearly there; then he was leaning against the Tardis, the door was opening, and they were rushing inside just as the two men appeared at the end of the block, snarling grimaces on their faces.

The Doctor stumbled up the three short steps leading into the control room, leaning over the console. A few seconds later, Jethro could feel the slight displacement of time and space as the Tardis shimmered into thin air, disappearing from the planet they'd been on.

He slumped against the wall, closing his eyes. That had been a close call, but they were safe. The Time Lord was hurt, but with any luck, it was something he could recover from fairly quickly, and there would be no permanent damage.

Pushing himself away from the wall, he went to the Doctor, who was leaning over the console with his eyes closed, supporting himself by holding onto it. "Let's get you to bed and make you comfortable," he murmured, sliding an arm around the Time Lord's waist.

The Doctor nodded, leaning against him and letting Jethro lead him out of the control room towards their bedroom. The young man kept his lover close against him, carefully moving down the hallway, grateful that they'd come through yet another adventure intact.


Next story in series - Choice in the Matter.