sevenjetc: (noes)
[personal profile] sevenjetc
Author: sevenjetc
Pairing: Ten/Jack
Rating: PG-13
Words: 8,184
Author's note: Written right after the Torchwood season one, but I didn't have the guts to post it until now. Spoilers for Doctor Who up to 'Doomsday' and Torchwood up to 'End of Days'.

Jack could not believe the fact he was standing back inside the TARDIS again. He felt as if it was ages since the moment he was left on the Game Station and perhaps it has been ages, he lost track of the time while he waited for this moment. Trouble was that with time travelling, you could never know what to expect. The Doctor was leaning against the TARDIS control. He looked the very same as on the CCTV recording from Torchwood Tower, down to the white trainers. For a second, Jack wondered how long could it be since then for the Doctor. However, for Jack it was difficult to keep track of his own timeline, especially when hyper-vodka was involved, yet alone the Doctor’s.

They stared at each other for few seconds and then a smile appeared on the Doctor’s face as he finally spoke, ‘Hello, Jack. Fancy a ride?’

Jack closed the TARDIS doors and turned toward the Doctor. ‘I thought you’d never ask.’

The ship’s engine screeched as they left the Torchwood Three base behind and entered the time vortex. It was the most beautiful sound in the universe. Jack took off his military coat and hanged it on the coat rack by the door. He noticed only the Doctor’s coat there, nothing else. Were they completely alone on board? That seemed a bit out of character for the Doctor, to travel alone, but not unheard of. Jack read almost every file on him Torchwood had. The only time he was alone was when he was the Doctor Jack first met, before Rose joined him on his journey. It was the time the Doctor was going around, solving matters on his own, which basically meant blowing things up in his wake. Jack reckoned it had to be right after the end of the last great Time War.

‘Where would you like to go?’ the Doctor asked him, leaning against the control panel with such impatience that Jack would compare him to a child in the front of the Christmas tree.

‘It doesn’t really matter,’ shrugged Jack. That sent the Doctor into unexpected frenzy. He was running around the controls with speed that make Jack dizzy and happy at the same time. He liked this Doctor. This was going to be fun.


The following weeks in the TARDIS were as mad as ever. Aliens invading Earth and messing up with the wrong kind of doctor, ghosts in eighteenth century haunted castle that were in fact crash-landed ethereal beings in form of energy and who were actually glad the Doctor took them home for a change, mutants in future trying to catch all of the human race and have it for dinner, and now vampires, real living vampires.

Jack was the first to open the door as the ship landed and he stepped right into a winter tale. The TARDIS stood in a valley and all around it was surrounded by nothing but white snow. Jack buttoned up his coat as he slowly walked away from TARDIS, listening to the snow crunching under his feet. The Doctor caught up with him in no time with big smile all over his face and his hands buried deep in his pockets.

‘I think there is a village at the other side of the hill. Maybe we should go there to experience a bit of local folklore, huh?’ He suggested as he ran his hand through the hair, scratching the back of his head a bit.

‘Sure,’ replied Jack as he let the Doctor to take the lead, an evil thought already forming in his mind. As soon as the Doctor was few meters in the front of Jack, he bent over and picked up a pile of snow, quickly forming a ball. He took aim and threw the ball, hitting the Doctor square on his back. The Time Lord swung around with a surprised expression on his face. ‘What was that for?’

Jack laughed as he did not do in a very long time. ‘You should see the look on your face!’

‘The look on my face? The look on my face, yeah?!’ There was a threat in Doctor’s voice as he bent over and picked up some snow himself. Jack realised what was going on and dodged just in time for the snowball to miss his face, still laughing, but he was wise enough to start run up the hill as the Doctor was after him, throwing a rather fists of snow than real snow balls. Once Jack made it on the top of the hill, he bent over to arm himself with some snow of his own, but then in the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of brown launching at him. That was pretty much the last thing he saw before he and the Doctor started to roll down the hill in a tangle of limbs.

Their rapid descent stopped at the foot of the hill and Doctor rolled off from his position on the top of Jack, shaking with laughter. Jack threw off the snow out of his hair with his hand and glared at the Doctor. ‘That was not funny.’

‘Yes, it was,’ replied the Doctor as he popped himself up on his elbows. Jack watched him as the Time Lord was looking at him with a smug expression on his face and snow in his ruffled hair and Jack resisted the urge to snog him. Instead, he just shook his head and smiled.

‘Alright, maybe it was a bit funny.’

‘We should get moving, while the village pub is still open,’ said the Doctor as he jumped on his feet, shaking the snow away and heading into the direction of the houses ahead. With a silent sigh Jack got up as well and followed.

The village was a typical picture of eighteenth century English countryside. All looked tidy and clean and calm. Which to the Doctor, as always, looked suspicious and he did not hesitate to point it out for Jack. As for captain Harkness, he could not care less, as his mind was still preoccupied with the thoughts for how much longer he can go on before his strength to restrain himself runs out and he does something incredibly stupid, like kissing the Doctor in the snow, which to his brain still sounded like a very good and plausible idea. He kept reminding himself of the fact that the last time he kissed the Doctor he ended up alone on a space station full of Dalek dust. He was still thinking about that as he caught his name pronounced with a bit of irritation in Doctor’s voice. ‘Jack, you don’t listen to a word I am saying.’

‘I am,’ protested Jack, meeting Doctor’s doubting expression. ‘I was just thinking about what you said...that this place is too quiet.’

‘Ah, all right then,’ the Doctor leaned against the door of the local pub. ‘Did you come up with anything?’

‘No, nothing useful,’ Jack shook his head and hoped that he looked convincing.

‘Then I suggest we find out what is going on in the best source of rumours ever invented by a man,’ said the Doctor as he open the door and they entered an uncharacteristically quiet and empty pub. ‘Now that’s weird.’

The two men sitting at the table in the corner of the room stopped their already hushed conversation and looked at the Doctor and Jack with suspicious eyes. The man behind the counter was not very keen on seeing them either, which was rather strange given the way his business was, or rather was not, going.

‘Hello,’ said the Doctor as he moved towards one of the tables and sat down, turning his attention to the bartender. ‘Can we get a glass of water, please?’

‘I’ll have beer,’ sat Jack as he sat at the table as well. Bartender looked at them with dark expression, but proceeded to fulfil their orders. The Doctor turned towards the two other men.

‘Nice place, this village. So...quiet,’ he started the conversation with smile on his face, but there was no response. Bartender brought them their drinks without a word and went back to whatever he was doing before they arrived. The two men were trying to turn them into dust with their looks. Jack shrugged in an attempt not to be intimidated by the tension in the room and took a swig from his glass.

‘The streets are very clean, aren’t they, Jack? Very nice,’ the Doctor went on with meaningless stuff and Jack nodded his head. The beer tasted like monkey urine, but he still considered it safer than the water. The two men looked willing to carry out the Doctor out of the pub, using their teeth only. ‘And people, people are very nice here, too. You guys look like a pair of good men, huh?’

The silence stretched on to almost unbearable level. Jack was desperately looking for a reason to leave this place and never come back again, but he knew that the Doctor wouldn’t let it go. There was the light in his eyes, the interest, the need to solve the mystery. He would go on with the conversation until they tell him what was going on or beat him. By the look of it, Jack would bet on the later. If nothing else he knew how to fight, which could not be said for the Doctor, who was good in talking, but never knew when it is time to dodge and when to use his fists.

‘So, what do you guys do? By the way, I’m the Doctor and this is Jack Harkness. He’s a captain, but he has no ship, he blew it up,’ the Doctor started yet another flow of words. Jack smiled and shook his head. This was not going to end up good. He decided to put some end to it as he tried his most charming expression and looked straight at one of the men. He looked pretty hunky and about thirty years old. Not exactly Jack’s type, but it was not the point in this case.

‘Of course, my friend here forgets to mention that it was his fault that my ship blew up. But let’s not point that out. He has a little problem, you know,’ Jack stressed the word little and raised his eyebrows. ‘With his ego.’

He felt Doctor’s glare, but ignored it as the hunky man snorted with laughter. In Jack opinion it was an improvement, when he left out the fact that the Doctor did not look exactly happy about the turn the conversation was taking. Jack took his beer and walked over to the other table and sat down on the chair next to the hunky man. ‘But I am sure it is not your problem... With the ego.’

‘There you are right, Mister,’ finally spoke up the man. He extended his hand for the shake. ‘I’m Charlie. That’s Will.’

‘I’m pleased to meet you, Charlie,’ replied Jack. Will was chubby man about the same age as Charlie and despite the fact he no longer looked prepared to throw Jack and the Doctor out of the pub, his green eyes were still full of distrust.

‘So you two are sailors?’ asked Will.

‘Yeah, sort of. We are more travelling on the land now. But back on the sea, those were adventures,’ said Jack and started one of his stories, changing all the spaceships to ships and space to sea. As with most of his stories, this one was naughty and involved a point in which he and his comrades ended up completely naked in a kind of impossible situation. The two men were roaring with laughter and none of them noticed Doctor’s disappearance.

The Doctor gave the bartender enough money to cover for few more pints of beer for Jack and slipped out of the pub. The snow was crunching beneath his feet as he started to walk around, looking for some clues to why the village was this deserted. He was sure that the men in the pub would tell Jack sooner or later, with Jack’s storytelling probably later, but he there was nothing wrong with trying to find out on his own. He noticed crosses on majority of doors in the village, as well as garlic hanging by the doors.

‘Garlic and crosses. Garlic and crosses,’ he rolled the words on his tongue while messing up his hair with his right hand. ‘Garlic and crosses...Vampires? Vampires!’

His eyes gleamed as he turned around and started through the darkening village back to the pub.

‘It started few weeks ago,’ said Will, leaning on the table and playing with his beer glass. ‘Young Jane Carter disappeared from her bed in the middle of the night. Without a trace, there were no footprints in the front of the door or her bedroom window. She was nowhere to be found. No one has seen her leaving either. They found her body later in the afternoon, lying in the snow. She was dressed in her nightgown. It had blood on the left shoulder. There were no bruises or cuts on her body, only two marks on her neck. Since then, ever night, one person, men, women and children, disappear during night, only to be found like this the next day. It had to be done by some sort of a monster.’

‘It sounds as if they were attacked by a vampire?’ asked Jack and Will was nodding feverishly.

‘Don’t be ridiculous. There are no such things as vampires,’ said Charlie. ‘Those are only stories made up by old women to scare the children. This has to be done by human, a sick one indeed, but human.’

‘I don’t know, Charlie. I’ve seen a lot of strange things, out there on the sea, things you wouldn’t believe if I told you, but they were there, they actually happened right in front of my eyes,’ Jack's expression was deadly serious. The door of the pub opened and the Doctor walked in and by the movement of his body, Jack could tell he was excited. He headed towards their table and leaned over to Jack to whisper in his ear. That was one of the things that drove Jack crazy and after more than one pint of beer the longing to touch and kiss was more difficult to control.

‘We need to talk. There is a vampire, running around, killing people,’ the Doctor was trying to keep his voice low. Jack smiled and turned over towards him, his face only inches away from Time Lord’s.

‘Yeah, we already know that, don’t we, guys? About the vampire?’ He asked and his company started to nod. The Doctor observed Jack closely with one eyebrow raised.

‘Are you drunk?!’ Jack was about to make a smart comment that would definitely ban him from TARDIS for the rest of his immortal life when the noise from outside caught their attention. The pub door burst open and a middle-aged man stormed in.

‘Young Mary Smith disappeared!’ yelled the man and as quickly as he was in he was out. Will and Charlie stood up and started to run toward what Jack presumed had to be Smiths’ house. He did not even think about it and followed them out grabbing Doctor’s hand in the process to drag him along. He did not have to do that, since the Doctor started to already move on his own, but he made no attempt to let go of Jack’s hand. Which was not that bad, because shortly he was dragging Jack along across the village as Jack cursed himself for ordering the third glass of beer.

By the time they got to the house, there was already pretty big crowd of people. The Doctor started to work his way through it, followed by Jack. Now, when the danger was over for tonight, the so far nonexistent inhabitants of the village appeared. They stepped into the little kitchen. Will and Charlie were already there, talking to an unhappy looking elder man, Jack could tell it had to be the girl’s father, and a priest. Jack did not trust priests. Then on a chair sat a woman, hysterically weeping. Jack walked over to her and hugged her. She held onto him, as her sobs seemed to be without the end in her sorrow. The Doctor walked into the other room, filled with bed.

‘From which bed did she disappear?’ He asked bluntly and Mr. Smith pointed at the bed in the left corner. The Doctor put on his glasses and started to observe the bed. Jack made a mental note to talk to him about what being sensitive means. Unfortunately he already knew it was going to be useless, once something caught Doctor’s attention, his being rude was the last thing to bother him.

‘We were sleeping just over there. We didn’t hear a thing. Then I woke up and she was just gone. We didn’t hear a thing,’ the man was shaking. The priest took him around shoulders and together with Will they led him to one of the chairs. Charlie reminded on the same spot, his eyes meeting Jack’s. There was a hope in his eyes, a silent plea for help. Jack promised himself to fix the situation. There was no need for such a promise, because he knew the Doctor would not let it go.

‘Jack, can you come over here?’ The Doctor called him from the bedroom, where he was kneeling next to the bed. Jack gestured for Charlie to take care of Mrs. Smith instead of him and walked over to the Doctor, kneeling next to him. He was pointing at a place on the bed where the wood was a little splinted. There was something resembling a nail, but it did not look exactly human. It looked a bit as a claw, but it was not a real claw either. ‘Our friend left us a something to remember him by.’

The Doctor’s eyes were glowing with adventure as he put on his glasses and pried the nail/claw out of the wood. He held it up against the poor light from a candle, smile appearing on his face. ‘There you go...’

He took out the sonic screwdriver out of his pocket and was about to turn it on as Jack hissed Doctor’s name pointing at the people next door who very openly staring at them. The Doctor glared at them and then turned the device on anyway, its soft hum filling the room with silence as even Mrs. Smith stopped sobbing. In his mind, Jack cursed the Doctor and hoped that those people no longer practised inquisition. He knew that burning on a stake would probably not kill him, but it was one experience he would pass on. As for the Doctor, the thought seemed not to bother him at all as he changed the settings on the screwdriver and pointed it at the nail again. His expression turned into a wide grin and he jumped up on his feet: ‘Brilliant!’

He ran out of the room, leaving the shocked villagers behind him. Jack started after him yelling: ‘Doctor! Wait!’

The Doctor ran away out of the village and to the forest nearby. For a moment Jack thought he was going to pass out as the alcohol and the fast pace mixed in his body and fought each other once again. He made a mental note not to drink when with the Doctor. He felt as if they were running whole lifetime. Last time he was this miserable was when he wanted to use the bathroom and he could not find it in the TARDIS. Secretly, he suspected the ship that it was changing the shape and hiding the room from him and she probably thought it hilarious. On the other hand he did not reckon it to be possible. Though he never asked the Doctor, he believed the rooms had its fixed pattern and the ship was not alive. It sure behaved unexpectedly at times, but it was more like 20th Century computers, they behaved that way too, but they were not alive. But still...

Jack pondered the possibilities of the real nature of TARDIS as he ran far behind the Doctor, following rather his footsteps than the real man now. He was out of breath and more faltering now than running. The forest was getting deep and dark, the moonlight no longer made it through the branches of trees. Jack realised that he was lost. He stopped, taking deep breaths.

‘Doctor! Doctor! Damn,’ Jack cursed as the Gallifreyan was nowhere to be seen. He searched his coat pockets for the torch. It was gone, probably had to fell out during the Doctor’s oh so funny hill stunt. Jack wished he had at least his gun, but the Doctor forbid him the use of weapons as soon as he got aboard the TARDIS. He looked around, checking the device on his wrist ‘Great, just great, leave me lost in the forest, timeboy.’

The Doctor stopped running as he got close to the source of the energy reading he got from the nail/claw. He was standing only a few metres away from a poorly and worn out looking shack. It must have been the home of the creature for which they were looking. In his mind the Doctor was planning the course of action. Perhaps he could approach the shack from the front and Jack could watch it from behind for the case the vampire wanted to ran away that way. Then he noticed that Jack was not anywhere near him, neither he could hear him running. He turned around, his eyes searching for the Captain. For all he knew, Jack could have chosen this very moment to sneak in the forest and then suddenly grab the Doctor’s butt and find his rather girlish yelp spectacularly funny. Yes, that would be Harkness’ idea of fun for all the Doctor knew. Well, Jack already did that once, although that time it was probably Rose’s idea, even though she never admitted it, but giggled about it for days. Those were the good old times, thought the Doctor as he swallowed down the bitter feeling in his throat.

However right now there was no sign of Jack sneaking or not. The Doctor got once again the cold unpleasant feeling in his stomach he got each time his companions disappeared and subsequently got themselves in the trouble.

‘How many times do I have to say this; Don’t wander off,’ he sighed, making a little turn around with his hands buried deep in his pocket as he was deciding if to fight the vampire on his own and then look for Jack or find the Captain first and then take care of the vampire with his help. He could fairly enough tell that by the rules of travelling with humans, he was probably going to find the vampire feasting on Jack. He sighed and took the direction toward the shack, just in case the creature was in there, sleeping peacefully and not in the middle of the forest eating his companion.

For a moment Jack stayed on the same place, as it seemed to be the best of ideas right now. However, that course of action left him incredibly restless. He was immortal, if he started to wander around a forest where a blood-sucking creature lived, there was not much it could have done him. Perhaps it would not even want to kill him since he had this weird habit of not dying. Jack started his way through the forest. According to the scanning device on his wrist, he was retreating on his path. Which was good, he was not interested in getting totally lost in the woods and he could wait for the Doctor in the village.

Deep down he did not want to go back there. Unlike Jack, the Doctor was not immortal and while the Captain might have been reckless and taking risks without thinking, he would prefer if the Doctor did not do the same. Especially since he pretty much liked the view he had in TARDIS now and who knows what could be the result of next regeneration. He was secretly afraid that the Doctor could end up as a short redhead with irritable personality.

The track of Jack’s thoughts was interrupted by the sound of cracking wood. He was not alone anymore. He started to look around, in every direction. He made sure to make the most loud noise he could while doing it. If it would be an animal, it would be startled and run away. He doubted that any of the villagers would go for a walk, which left either the Doctor or the vampire as suspects. The Doctor would call him a stupid noisy ape that endangers its life by being this loud by now. That left only one possible answer.

Jack spun around just in time to meet his enemy face to face. He saw the big teeth clatter at him as the creature jumped at him, knocking him out.

As the Doctor could have presumed and actually presumed, the shack was empty. There was no sign of the girl who disappeared earlier in the night, but probably her body would be found somewhere close to the village during the next day. On the makeshift table of two logs was laying a transmitter of organic origin. It had the same DNA structure as the claw the Doctor found in Smith’s house. He met aliens with organic based technology before, therefore this one was just another one in the row, but this was the first one to feed on human blood. If it has crash-landed it could have found another source of food than sentient intelligent beings. The Doctor did not approve. With a sigh, he decided to go to find his companion. He set the screwdriver to track Jack’s wrist computer and started to follow the signal.

Jack woke up and found himself alive, which was nothing new, and hanging from a tree branch head down, which was a new position he did not like. His own coat was impairing his vision and that too was not a pleasant experience, and his head was brushing the snow. Jack sneezed which stirred a movement close to his position.

‘It is awake,’ said a rough voice. In front of his eyes appeared a bat-like figure. It looked similar to old gargoyles, as far as Jack could tell from what he saw of its face while hanging upside down.

‘Yep, and I’ve got to say it is not very nice of you to handle visitors this way.’

‘It is different. It has advanced technology,’ the creature pointed at Jack’s half-frozen wrist as the most of his arms was lying in the snow. The creature’s eyes narrowed as it wrinkled its nose. The vampire stood up again, giving Jack a fair view of its feet with one claw broken. ‘It smells of time. A lot of time.’

‘Oh thank you. You don’t smell of roses either,’ replied Jack, only to be ignored again.

‘It is not edible when it smells of time. What will I do with it? It speaks the language,’ the Captain saw creature’s pawed feet as it started to pace the snow in front of him. It had to be either insane or it had to have a companion by the way it was talking. Jack would bet on the first possibility.

‘Hey you!’ He shouted. ‘Could you please put me in a better position. This hurts! And my hands are freezing off! Don’t you have some conventions about handling prisoners?!’

‘It should be quiet. I’m trying to think.’

‘Sure. Fine. Whatever. I’d just wait for my designated driver, then,’ Jack would have shrugged if he was in a position that would allow him to shrug. Instead, he chose a loud exhalation to show he was giving up.

‘Maybe I should kill it. It is annoying and noisy,’ the vampire hissed in Jack’s direction.

‘If you think so,’ replied Jack, not really being bothered by the prospect of yet another death. The snow around was crunching as the vampire continue its pacing. ‘So I guess you’re not a local boy, right. Or a girl?’

‘Knife. I sure used to have a knife. Knife should make it quiet,’ it continued its rant without even bothering to react to Jack’s question. As far as he could remember, Jack did not really care about the sex of people around him, therefore in a way it did not really matter whether the creature was male or female. As far as Jack knew, he would not be having fun with it. Not even if the vampire wanted.

His track of thoughts was interrupted as the feet appeared in the front of his eyes again and he felt a pressure against his chest. He managed to lift up his head enough to see a knife pushed against his breast.

‘Oh no, not my best shirt. Can’t you just cut my throat?’ Jack complained loudly. Last thing he needed was a set of ruined clothes. The vampire seemed to ponder the possibility.

‘Oi! You!’ came a voice from behind the creature. A pair of beige trainers appeared in Jack’s view. The vampire spun around. ‘Do you know that pointing knives at people is neither safe or polite?’

The Doctor came close to the creature, hands in the pockets, as always moving as if he was just passing by on a hike. He bent and looked straight at the creatures face. ‘And it is not very sexy either.’

‘Is this the part when I should scream: “My hero, you came here to save my life” and then you would untie me and we’d live happily ever after?’ asked Jack in attempt to draw attention to his uncomfortable situation.

‘Not yet, I’ll tell you when,’ The Doctor waved him off and turned his attention back to the alien in front of him. It was about five feet tall, or rather five feet short, it had wrinkled skin and wore no clothes. ‘Who are you?’

‘I am I,’ said the creature as it threw the knife from its right paw to the left and weighed the knife in it and then repeated the process, weighing the weapon in its right hand. Its nose wrinkled and its eyes narrowed ‘But you stranger, you smell of time. What a smell. Where are you from?’

The Doctor scratched the back of his head looking into the treetops before waving the hand in some undefined direction. ‘Oh, you know, from here and there. Come on, short fella, tell me what you are doing here, except the obvious, like drinking blood and trying to kill my...well, friend...over there.’

‘Thank you for mentioning me.’ The irritation in Jack’s voice was more than obvious. Not that he was tied head down and lost feeling in his toes. Now he felt his hands and wrists freezing as well. He tried to move his fingers, but it was no use. He was pretty sure that frostbites were inevitable and the Doctor was pulling yet another of his theatrical scenes. By the look of the situation Jack was sure he had the right to be annoyed.

‘It should be quiet, or I kill it. It is weird. Human, but it smells like you. Smells like you,’ hissed the alien at the Doctor as it turned and pointed the knife at Jack again.

‘Oh, yes, he never shuts up, does he? That is kind of very human, I’d say...yeah, human...well, not only humans never shut up, but the trouble with this one is...well, he thinks he is funny, sexy, dashing, extraordinary handsome and all that jazz.’

‘You are suggesting I’m not?!’

‘Dream on, Jack,’ said the Doctor as he knelt next to the creature. ‘He is not even a real captain, no matter what that coat says.’

Jack glared at him as the Time Lord jumped back to his feet. ‘Anyway, back to you, my short friend. Care to tell me what you are doing here. Any hobbies and stuff? Other than sucking human blood.’

‘You are confusing. You smell of time and make no sense,’ the creature looked like it was in deep thoughts. Then it suddenly leaped back by almost a metre and pointed the knife at the Doctor. ‘You are from Gallifrey!’

‘Oh well, maybe. Is it that obvious?’ asked the Doctor looking at his companion. Jack just shrugged. The Doctor took two steps towards the vampire and it started to scream like crazy.

‘Murderers! Murderers! You killed us! You killed our planet, you arrogant bastards!’ The knife in its paw was shaking. ‘We were innocent and you killed us!’

Doctor’s face darkened. The last great Time War. So many worlds were lost as the Time Lords and Daleks fought to the death. Literally. When he spoke up again, his voice was uncharacteristically quiet. ‘I’m sorry. We didn’t mean to.’

‘You didn’t mean too! We lost everything and you didn’t mean too! I crashed here, I am stuck here and you didn’t mean too?!’ irritated yelling echoed the forest.

‘I can take you anywhere you want. I have a spaceship,’ the Doctor bent down to look at the creature’s face. He would not admit it, but he had no idea what species it was.

‘Where?! There is no home to go too!’

‘I can help you to find the others,’ he spoke softly trying to calm it down.

‘What if there are no others. What if I am the last one!’ the creature narrowed its eyes and waved the knife at the Doctor.

‘Than we may have more in common than you would have thought,’ the Time Lord knelt in the front of the creature. ‘I’m really sorry. I’ll get you out of here. I’ll do everything I can to find the rest of your species.’

‘I don’t need your pity!’ angrily hissed the creature and launched at the Doctor with the knife. The Doctor dodged with a speed of light. To survive nine hundred years meant to do a lot of dodging. He took out his sonic screwdriver and tampered with the settings. Then he turned it on. The blue glow enlightened his hard face, but there was no sound. Yet, the creature grabbed its head, screaming. Then the head exploded. Jack felt pieces of I-don’t-really-want-to-know hitting his outfit; one piece even fell on his frozen face. The Doctor stood over the headless body: ‘I’m so sorry.’

‘Hey, you, pretty boy, when you’re done with that, my butt’s freezing off, not mentioning the body parts that I think already froze off,’ Jack tried to draw the attention to himself. He really had no sensation in his hands.

‘Oh, yes, you,’ said the Doctor and run to him. Jack’s view was filled with the Doctor’s legs. The Time Lord cut the rope and slowly lowered Captain’s legs and body on the ground. He squat down next to his body. ‘Can you get up?’

‘Are you crazy? I can’t feel neither my arms nor legs,’ shook his head Jack, happy to be in horizontal position for a while, even when he has been in a lot of better horizontal situations in his life.

‘Come on, then. We need to get you somewhere warm,’ he started to help Jack back on his feet. Jack stood and his legs felt wobbly as a newborn horse’s. They made few uncertain steps.

‘You know, the best to warm up is to be naked in a bed with someone who’s naked too,’ he tried to smile and wink at the Doctor, despite the pain that came as the blood returned to his legs and feet.

‘Oh, stop it,’ said the Doctor, Jack would have sworn that playfully, as he half-supported, half-dragged the Captain back to the village.

It was Charlie who had seen them first and ran to help the Doctor with his half-frozen companion. The Doctor answered his question in short, harsh sentences, his unhappiness with the way the events went quite obvious. They reached the pub and the Doctor paid for a room while Charlie almost carried Jack there. With his help, Jack sat down on the bed, catching glimpse of himself in the mirror on the opposite wall. He looked like hell. His hair were wet and plastered to his head in the un-sexiest way. His lips were an awful shade of blue, standing out on his pale face. If he did not feel like hell, he would have had time to have his vain ego hurt over the fact that he looked like hell. Once the Doctor entered the room, Charlie said his good byes and left. The Doctor looked at the pitiful view that slightly reminded him of his companion. ‘Jack, I have to say that you look like a stray cat on a rainy day. Well, we better get you out of the clothes and into the bed.’

‘Thanks,’ replied Jack as the Doctor started to help him out of his coat. As the Doctor knelt and started to undo the buttons Jack’s shirt, he almost forgot the pain caused by the feeling returning to his numb hands. He looked at the top of Doctor’s ruffled hair as his dirty mind flooded with quite interesting images. ‘You know, you are finally undressing me and it is nothing like I’ve imagined.’

‘You are really hopeless, Jack,’ the Doctor looked at him with a smile on his face and shook his head. He took off Jack’s shirt and tossed it on a table nearby. ‘Well, time for the trousers. You are wearing underwear, right?’

‘Underwear? What’s that?’ the look at the Doctor’s face was priceless. ‘Just kidding... Really, don’t worry. Can you take off my shoes first?’

The rest of the business continued uneventfully, to Jack’s great disappointment. The Doctor finally tucked him in, dressed only in the white t-shirt and boxers. Not that the quilt made Jack feel any warmer. ‘Um, do you realise that to warm up a bed, you actually need some body heat?’

‘You are not dead, Jack... therefore I presume you have some body heat. Besides, you are the one who insisted on being “damn hot” when you talked to that girl in the eighteen century,’ the Doctor did not even look up from the book he found in his pocket. A minute passed and then he put it on the table and started to untie his trainers. Kicking them off, he sat on the edge of the bed and took off his jacket, tossing it on the pile of Jack’s own clothes. ‘Alright, shift a little.’

Jack obeyed and the Doctor got under the quilt next to him, wrapping his arms around him. His hands found Jack’s and started to rub his fingers. ‘Let’s warm you up a bit so I wouldn’t have to listen to your complaints all night.’

‘Actually, it’s almost dawn,’ noted Jack. He felt the length of Doctor’s skinny body against his own, Doctor’s hands warm on his own and he felt uncomfortably awake. He could not possibly imagine sleeping like this. He was still awake when Doctor’s breathing became even and body went limp against his own, their fingers entwined. He actually did not want to sleep. He wanted to stay awake and enjoy this feeling forever. He was still thinking about how he got into this situation of having a crush on someone who did not even looked at him twice when the weariness took over and he finally fell asleep.

When Jack woke up in the morning, the Doctor was gone. For a moment, he felt a rush of panic that he has been abandoned again, left on his own to get away from here. Then he noticed Doctor’s coat lying on the top of the pile of Jack’s own clothes. Despite the irony of it, Jack was confident that the Doctor might leave without him, but not without his coat.

The door of the room opened and the Doctor entered with a bowl and bread in his hands. He sat it on the table.

'Chicken soup, that will make you all better, 'he grinned. 'Although, get dressed before you eat, it's a bit nippy.'

The way back to the TARDIS was quiet and uneventful. The Doctor seemed to be lost in his thoughts, his handsome features clouded with dark shadow. Jack was looking around for his flashlight, but the newly fallen snow covered the ground completely. Once they reached the top of the hill, the TARDIS came into view.

'Home, sweet home,' said Jack and the Doctor absently nodded. Jack sighed, he hated the Doctor's self-loathing moods, those made him extraordinary boring. 'The last at the TARDIS is doing the dishes!'

He started to run towards the ship, hearing the Doctor run behind him. Dishes were constant problem at the TARDIS, it almost seemed that the ship was generating dirty teacups on its own.

Running was never a trouble for either of them as their lives usually consisted of chasing something or being chased by something. However, thanks to his early start Jack won the race, despite the fact that the Doctor was obviously trying to cheat and slid part of the hill on his bottom. Jack stood in the front of the door catching his breath as the Time Lord switched from run to his usual walking pace. Grinning, Jack leaned on the doorframe. The view of the Doctor covered in snow while his face clearly stated what he thought of the prospect of dishwashing was one of the most amusing things in the universe right after his face when Jack turned off the warm water in the TARDIS shower the other day.

‘What are you laughing at?’ asked the Doctor as he finally reached his ship. He took out the key and wanted to open the door.

‘Nothing. Nothing at all,’ answered Jack, successfully blocking Doctor’s way with devilish smile. The Time Lord sighed and tried to bypass him, which resulted in his crushing into Jack’s chest.

‘Stop horsing around Jack, I’m not in the mood,’ growled the Doctor and Jack moved just enough for the Doctor to put the key into the lock and open the door. ‘Let me in.’

‘I’m not in the mood for your brooding. I think you’re going to have to deserve being let in first,’ Jack blocked the way to the TARDIS with his arm, grabbing the Doctor around the waist as he tried to sneak past him. ‘Oi, you! What I’ve just said.’

‘I think you’ve just said that you wish to be left behind at the planet without an atmosphere?’ the Doctor grimaced in what he thought at menacing face that he did every time Jack was doing something he did not approve. That did not really work with Captain Harkness. Instead of letting the Doctor go, he pulled him closer. A pair of devilish fires was burning in his eyes.

‘No, I’ve said that you are going to have to deserve the entrance. Therefore you should be very nice to me,’ Jack said in his best lecturing tone. He felt his heart beating loudly in his ears. He knew he was doing something incredibly stupid, but he was unable to stop. The past few months with the Doctor were the most wonderful and yet the most frustrating in his life and that it was indeed a long one. He closed the distance between their faces and pressed his lips to the Doctor’s, kissing him how he wanted to do for the longest time. The Doctor didn’t react at first. Once the initial shock wore off, he put his hands on Jack’s shoulders, neither pushing him away nor pulling him closer. Jack knew he was pushing his luck as he brushed his tongue against the Doctor’s soft lips. It was the moment when the Doctor finally decided on the course of his action and pushed Jack away, running past him into the TARDIS.

Jack let out a frustrated groan and slowly went inside the control room. The Doctor was already in his element, running around the controls, pushing various buttons and hitting and kicking various parts.

‘What do you think, Jack? Barcelona? Not the city. The planet! I wanted to go there for the longest time. They have dogs with no noses!’ His voice sounded excited as he was entering the coordinates. Jack felt weird. The Doctor was going to pretend that nothing happened, maybe giving him another chance to stay. He felt a bitter lump in his throat.

‘I want to go back to Cardiff,’ his voice sounded hollow to his ears as if it was someone else saying the plea. The Doctor looked up from the controls, his face surprised.


‘I want to go back to Cardiff,’ repeated Jack, looking at the ground.

‘Alright. Cardiff, then,’ the Doctor’s frenzy disappeared as he succumbed back to his brooding mood, looking down at the controls. This time, Jack did not care.

As the ship engine came to halt, neither of them reacted for a while, both sulking. The Doctor still intensively gazed at the controls and Jack was sitting at the seat, playing with the belt of his coat.

‘Cardiff, twenty first century, there you go,’ said the Doctor finally. Jack knew he was supposed to say goodbye and leave. He could not do it. Not like this, when they could not even look at each other. How would it look at his track record of everyone’s favourite boyfriend?

‘Good,’ he finally answered. ‘Care to join me for dinner? Or lunch. Or Breakfast. Depends on the daily hour. My treat.’

The Doctor shook his head and slight smile appeared on his face. For a few agonising seconds Jack thought he was going to refuse. Then the Doctor grabbed his coat and headed for the door. ‘Ok. I can do with some chips. And steak. You know any good steak place?’

‘Of course,’ answered Jack, following the Doctor out of the door. The sunlight and heat felt as if he has been punched into his face. He felt the shock of getting from January to July in mere minutes. Taking off his coat and rolling up his shirt’s sleeves, he headed to the direction of one of his favourite restaurants. The Doctor walked next to him wearing the coat and jacket. Few people turned around at the sight of them. ‘Weren’t you supposed take me back to the end of December?’

The Doctor glanced at the newspaper. ‘Be glad we are in the right year.’

‘I guess I should be, with your track record,’ Jack sighed. Sweating, he looked at the Doctor, who was once more strolling around as if he owned the place, looking perfectly comfortable. ‘Aren’t you hot?’

‘That’s up to you to decide,’ grinned the Doctor. Shocked, Jack stopped for a while. Then shaking his head, he continued walking.

‘About time I left, you are starting to be spoiled,’ he finally said. The Doctor turned around and walked backwards in order to face Jack.

‘Well, am I?’ The Doctor looked at him with one eyebrow arched. Jack suppressed laughter.

‘What?’ Jack pretended ignorance.

‘Hot?’ said the Doctor, brushing his chin with his hand.

‘You are so hot that you’re smoking,’ answered Jack with undisguised amusement.

‘Thank you,’ the Doctor turned around again to walk next to him.

‘You realise I’ve said that only to get rid off you?’ opening the restaurant door.

‘Ah, of course,’ answered the Doctor and followed Jack inside.

Few hours and a bottle of whisky later, Jack was unable to remember why exactly did he want to leave the Doctor. He was laughing at the story about how the Doctor and Rose went to see Elvis, ending up at the 1953’s Coronation day and all the reasons suddenly seemed stupid and childish. Well, the Doctor did not want to snog him, so what? He was old enough to deal with that, wasn’t he? Truth to be told, in the almost 150 years of his life, it has never happened before. Jack Harkness was used to get everyone and everything that he had ever wanted. Perhaps it finally came the time when he should learn that he could not have everything. Suddenly, he saw it all in a whole new perspective.

‘Doctor,’ he interrupted the Time Lord’s tale. ‘I’ve changed my mind. I’m staying.’

The Doctor smiled with his wide all teeth shinning smile and reached out to mess Jack’s hair with his fingers. ‘That’s brilliant!’

September 2013

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