|What to do with a drunken Doctor
Author: Darthishtar PM
The Doctor's first Valentine's Day after Journey's End has a bit of a surprise.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Humor - 10th Doctor & Jack H. - Words: 1,407 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 10 - Published: 05-15-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5063520
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Doctor hadn't expected to be here at this time of year, much less here, but the TARDIS had different ideas. After a bit of time-space turbulence on the way back from 2096 Siulak V, she had plopped down in Cardiff and decided that they would go no further until they both had a breather. Rather than stay in his police box and catch up on reading during the layover, he'd decided to cure his cabin fever.
He simply hadn't counted on running into an old friend. It was possible to avoid detection, but after what the man had done for him a few months ago, avoiding him like the plague was simply impolite. With that in mind, the Doctor let the hostess know he was meeting someone, strode purposefully back to a corner table for two and took a seat.
Captain Jack Harkness glanced up and after a few moments of impolite staring, grinned broadly.
"Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine," he commented.
"Come now," the Doctor chided. "If that's your idea of a pick-up line..."
Jack shrugged and circled his wrist to swirl the brandy in his glass. "'Hello' usually works fine for me," he countered. "I was just providing witty commentary."
He didn't quite believe that Jack's opening line was as innocuous as the good Captain claimed, but this was Jack. He could make a request for Kleenex sound lascivious.
"Well, it doesn't seem to have worked for you tonight," the Doctor commented. "Jack Harkness moping alone on Valentine's Day?"
"Didn't think you noticed," Jack murmured.
He hadn't given much thought to the date until he'd seen that every storefront seemed to have had a bad run-in with pink. Given Jack's omnisexual nature and the propensity of the date to encourage monogamy, he didn't think he'd notice it much either. Still, Jack Harkness was actually looking morose and lonely in 33 Windsor Place on the most romantic day of the year.
"Are things with Ianto really that bad?" he asked with an attempt at sympathy.
Jack decided to finish off the brandy and held up his glass for a refill. Within a few seconds, a pretty young thing turned up to bring his drink and take the new arrival's order.
"Banana daiquiri," he said immediately.
Jack immediately snorted into his brandy, but didn't comment until the girl had left. "You do know no one in their right mind drinks those things," he pointed out.
"I like bananas," the Doctor stated simply.
"It's a girly drink," Jack complained. "I'm almost embarrassed to have it on the same table."
The Doctor finally smiled, enjoying the other man's petulance. "If you're concerned about your masculinity, I can scratch myself and do a bit of spitting."
"Spare me," Jack interrupted quickly. "My masculinity is just fine."
The Doctor just grinned and said nothing until the girl returned. "Thank you."
Jack raised his glass in a toast. "Salute, Doc."
"Salute, Jack," he responded.
They both took a fortifying swig of their drinks—the girl had over-sweetened the daiquiri—and went back to uninformative silence.
"So, I've been trying to give the team some more field experience," Jack said at last. "Gwen was sort of annoyed that they were time-locked in Torchwood during all the excitement on the crucible and I've compensated. Right now, it's Ianto's turn and I didn't think he'd still be in the south of France today."
It was the Doctor's turn to shrug. "If you're missing companionship, you could take your usual approach," he mused.
"Right," Jack scoffed. "The only people not with someone tonight are going to be too needy, clingy or warped for even me."
With a bit of high spirits gleaned from the excellent rum, he smirked before taking another sip of the daiquiri. "Thanks a lot."
"You know what I mean," Jack replied. "What about you? Looking for some companionship?"
The Doctor set his drink down slowly, giving Jack an appraising look. "I know this is a difficult time for you, but did you just proposition me?"
Jack let out a bark of laughter. "No, Doctor, if I'd propositioned you, you wouldn't have to ask."
He inclined his head. "Touché."
"I just noticed that, like me, you're flying solo tonight," Jack pointed out. "Is your latest fan club babysitting the TARDIS or are you in the market?"
At the moment, there were many questions he hadn't wanted Jack to ask and that was near the top of his list. If he'd had a bit more rum, he might have replied along the lines of "None of your business." Instead, he sighed and stared into the yellow depths of his drink.
"No and no," he replied.
Things had been bad enough before coming here, but now he was feeling more than a little morose. Either the alcohol was getting to him more quickly than usual or he was simply despairing at having Jack Harkness as his shoulder to cry on.
"Really," he echoed into his daiquiri.
"You?" Jack challenged. "Even when it was just the two of us, you had to be attached at the hip to someone."
"Bad breakups," the Doctor replied before downing the rest of his drink and signaling for another. "One living happily-ever-after with me in an alternate reality and one who will die at the mere memory of me."
"Well, yeah, there is that."
The next daiquiri went down almost too quick for him to taste it, but it felt a little better than the last. Jack was staring at him as if not sure what to do with a drunken Doctor, but he would learn in time that things never got truly bad when alcohol and Time Lords were involved.
"You've left some of us behind before," Jack pointed out. "Most notably me."
"Usually on my terms," the Doctor corrected. "For their good and mine."
To his embarrassment, he hiccupped. He swiped a bit of daiquiri from the rim of the martini glass and sucked it from his finger in the hopes that it improve things.
"Losing Rose was hard enough," he confessed. "It took a supertemp from Chiswick to make me recover and now…" He waved expressively. "Well, you know how that ended."
For that, Jack had no response. It was something of a relief and the Doctor was also momentarily glad to have stunned the man speechless for once in his lifetime.
"What will it take this time?" Jack asked finally. "It took a Donna Noble to snap you out of it and it's a big galaxy. You can't think there isn't someone else out there like her."
The man had been useful at times, but sometimes he just didn't understand. He was so limited now, so short-sighted. It was times like this that he missed even more than usual the eternal perspectives of the Time Lords. That thought did nothing for his spirits.
"Hundreds of years," the Doctor recalled. "Dozens of companions and friends alike. In ten lifetimes, I've gotten very tired of the farewells."
Especially the ones who never get the chance to say them.
"They break my heart," he confessed.
Jack's hand covered his at that moment, but there was nothing erotic or flirtatious about the gesture. It was probably the most sincere gesture of empathy that he'd ever seen from the man and it was strangely comforting. It just wasn't enough.
"Not forever," Jack insisted.
It was impolite to disagree, so he signaled the girl who had been attending them. "Check, please."
"I've got it," Jack said quickly, withdrawing his hand.
Jack winked. "Couldn't let you pay on the first date, could I?" he teased.
The man was incorrigible, but he was good to have around. The Doctor rewarded his compassion with another smile.
"I hope Ianto repents of being away soon," he commented. "If I'm the best you can do, you really do miss him."
Jack grinned and lifted his last bit of brandy in another salute. "To old friends never really gone."
If only that were true.
"Hear, hear," he said anyway.