Title: The Power of Dreams
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Ross Jenkins
Fandom: Doctor Who
Table: 4, 50ficlets
Prompt: 45, Dream
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 sat bolt upright in bed next to the Doctor, a silent scream frozen in his throat. It took him a moment to get his bearings and realize that he was here, safe on the Tardis, and not deep in the midst of a dream that had rapidly become a nightmare.
It was a dream, he told himself over and over again, gulping in deep gasps of air. It was just a dream. It isn't real. You're here, you're safe, the Doctor is safe. He's not dead. He's not gone. He's right here, next to you, warm and breathing and very much alive.
Slowly, Ross turned his head to look at the man next to him, relieved to see that his inner litany of words was the truth and that the Doctor was indeed sleeping peacefully by his side. He was safe, his breathing was slow and normal. He wasn't hurt. He wasn't .... dead.
A shudder went through his body, a soft whimper leaving his lips. The room seemed cold, frightening, too dark for him to make out anything in the gloom, even with the soft silvery light of the Tardis shining around them. He couldn't shake off the dream.
The Doctor had died. He'd died in Ross' arms, with a smile on his face and the words "I love you" whispered in a voice that only Ross could hear. With a last kiss, a last lingering, loving look, he'd left Ross alone in the world with a gaping wound in his heart.
He hadn't known what to do, what to say. He'd known that the Doctor wouldn't regenerate, wouldn't give up this body that they both loved so much. He'd let himself die rather than take the risk of regenerating into someone that Ross couldn't be in love with.
But it had only been a dream, a terrible dream, Ross reminded himself. It wasn't true. The Doctor wasn't dead; he was here, safe and warm beside him. All he had to do to assure himself of that fact was reach out and touch that soft, velvety skin.
Even as Ross reached out a trembling hand to touch him, the Time Lord's eyelids fluttered open, and he turned his head slightly on the pillow to look up at his young lover. A slight frown crossed his features as he reached up to take Ross' hand in his own.
"Ross, what is it?" he said softly, his voice husky and deeper than usual, rough with sleep. "I thought you were restless -- I could feel it. Did something happen? Or did you have a dream that disturbed you?" He sounded anxious, worried for Ross.
The young man hesitated, then nodded slowly. "I had a dream," he said, his own voice hoarse with the horror of the images that had intruded into his rest. "It was horrible, Doctor. It was .... something that I don't want to remember. Or talk about."
The Doctor nodded, propping himself up on one elbow and regarding the younger man. "If you don't want to talk about it, then we don't have to," he said, his voice gentle. "I know what it's like to have dreams that disturb your sleep, Ross. Everyone does, you know."
"I know, but -- this one was so real," Ross burst out, the words coming out despite his reluctance to talk about his nightmare. "You were dead, Doctor. Not regenerating .... dead. You'd left me alone, and my heart was breaking."
"I'm not dead, Ross." The Doctor's voice was soft and comforting, like a warm blanket wrapping around Ross and keeping him safe. The Time Lord reached for him, pulling Ross into his arms and holding him, one hand stroking through the young man's hair.
"I'm not going to break your heart like that," he said softly, his voice barely above a whisper. "I'll be honest with you -- I can see myself dying rather than taking the chance of regenerating into a body that you can't love. But I'd never do anything to deliberately hurt you."
"I know you wouldn't," Ross gulped, closing his eyes and resting his head on the Doctor's shoulder. "But that dream was just so .... so vivid. It seemed so real. It's fading now, but when I first woke up, I was terrified, even though I probably shouldn't have been."
"Dreams have power over us all," the Doctor told him, his voice gentle. "Don't worry about it, Ross. I'm sure that at some point, I'll have some dreams that will wake me up in just this way. And you'll hold me and comfort me, just like I'm doing with you now."
Ross nodded, letting himself relax in the Doctor's embrace and feeling the horror of the dream subside. "I'm just glad that I'll be here to do that if you need it," he whispered, sliding his arms around his lover's waist and holding him close.
They sat there for what seemed like a long time, locked in an embrace; then, as one, they both lay down against the pillows, still wrapped in each other's arms. Within moments, they were both asleep again -- and this time, there were no terrifying dreams to disturb their peaceful slumber.
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