Title: Almost (1/1)
Author: moi
Rating: R
Characters: Jack, Rose, Ninth Doctor

Spoilers: Everything through The Doctor Dances
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply They're like little dolls you can dress up and play with, but I always put my toys back when I'm done.
Archive: Feel free, just drop me a line so I know (my ego is like that)
Beta: Thanks to darkbunnyrabbit for the read through. Hasn't been beta'd for real tho, so all mistakes are mine. I had postitus.

XYZ

"This is a temporary situation."

"I'm not saying it's not, Doc. I'm just saying… Live a little."

Sighing, the Doctor turned away from the bed upon which Jack Harkness' body lay, inert, pale, a bit on the scorched side around the temples. Turning back to the readouts, the Doctor grabbed the bridge of his nose, hoping for some kind of good news. "Just…don't get any ideas."

The lights in the medical bay seemed particularly harsh just then, and the Doctor closed his eyes against it, trying to stave off the inevitable headache.

"What? You're a hot guy, I'm a hot guy, Rose is a hot--"

The Doctor's groan of frustration cut him off. "Just don't, Jack. This is a temporary situation. The fact that you have any control over me, or of my body is…is a TEMPORARY situation."

"I'm just saying…"

The door behind him slid opened, and he didn't have a chance to say anything further. Trying to be as encouraging and hopeful as possible, he turned around, a nonchalant smile across his lips. "Rose."

She had a mug of tea in each hand. Crossing the long room in front of Jack's bed, she never took her eyes off of him. "Any change at all?"

Taking the mug, he looked to the motionless body in the bed. "Still waitin' on a few results. He's all there, we just need to figure out how to…" get him back together. "Wake him up." Trying to be as calm and reassuring as possible, he drank the tea at an even pace—not too slowly, not too fast. He tried not to glance at her to judge her reaction too many times…

He was blocking Jack from his mind, but it was very easy to imagine what Jack was thinking. Just go ahead and tell her. No harm in it, things like this happen all the time.

But somehow the Doctor just couldn't. How was that conversation going to go? By the way, Rose, Jack and I are sharing a single body. Indefinitely. That alright with you?

No. He needed to just send her on her way without arousing suspicion. This meant doing it as casually as possible. "I'll figure it out, Rose. He'll be fine in just a bit, you'll see."

Sighing, Rose sat on the edge of the bed, absently brushing the hair from Jack's forehead. "I still don't understand what happened. We were running one moment, and then everything rumbled…there was this beam of light, and then he just… collapsed."

And of course, the Doctor really hated seeing her so…broken up. Putting a hand on her shoulder he tried to be…supportive. Or something. "The beam mucked with his consciousness. There're a lot of things that can do that, but this is a bit different. Mostly we just need to figure out how to wake up sleeping beauty."

XYZ

With a half smile, Rose leaned over and kissed Jack's cool lips.

"Oh that is SO not fair!" the Doctor chirped suddenly.

Her mouth rested on Jack's for a moment, then she pulled away. "Well, it was worth a shot," she muttered, turning back to the Doctor. "And what's with you, then? Jealous? Jealous that Jack gets to play Sleeping Beauty, or that you don't get to play Prince Charming?" It was all she could do not to laugh at him outright—which was a welcome change from worry for Jack and guilt that she'd somehow landed him in this spot.

"Yes!" he gushed, arms flailing, failing to elaborate further.

Rose looked at him like was nuts. "Ri-ight." Standing, took the empty cup from his hands. "Why don't you have a sit down for a minute or two? I mean, you've been in here all night with him. I'll sit with him, and you can have a few minutes." She'd never suggest taking a nap to Mr. Superior Constitution who didn't need to sleep as much as the pathetic little apes that he travelled with, but he was probably knackered.

The Doctor took a step forward, towards her, but then he hesitated and almost backed off again. "No, I'd better keep working on… no, wait, you're right. And why don't you walk me to my--" The Doctor's face contorted in semi-anguish. "Dammit, Jack!"

Rose stood, wondering what was up with the Doctor now. "What?"

The Doctor's lips pressed together and he breathed in and out through his nose, passing air like a bellows. It looked like he was trying to calm himself, but his blue eyes were icy with anger. "I think," he began very calmly, "that I need to just work on this. I'm very close. And I think…I just need some time alone to do it. Why don't you go to bed?"

The last was said so softly that she forgot to be offended that she was being blown off, especially when his hand cupped her cheek so gently. She put her hand on his arm, sliding it up his jacket. "Just take a break, if you need to. It's been…more than twenty four hours." She'd never actually seen him sleep, but he needed to rest and recharge at least, didn't he? "I'll stop buggin' ya. But I'm comin' back in the morning with food, and you're going to eat it, and let me sit with Jack for a couple of minutes."

When she wrapped her arm around him and gave a quick half hug, he sighed again. "Thank you. Hopefully we'll have this wrapped up by then. Go on."

XYZ

It was a good ten minutes before the Doctor dared to return to work. He simply stared quietly at Jack's body, thinking of how bloody…good it would be to be alone in his own again.

Turning back to monitors and readouts, the Doctor began looking for a way to get Jack back into his own little meat puppet. There were a handful of illegal devices that could do something similar to this, but nothing exactly like what Rose had described, or what he'd experienced.

"You know, you take all the fun right outta life. Straight out."

Once he had this sorted out, the Doctor decided he was going to take them into the Vortex, open the front door, and push Jack out. "Jack, can we please just leave out the…adolescent antics. Please. Just this once."

Even as someone whose accent and voice changed with each regeneration, it was still disconcerting to hear Jack's inflections coming out of his own mouth. It would have been easier (he supposed) not to block Jack's consciousness from his mind—then the Time Agent wouldn't have needed to temporarily usurp the Doctor's vocal cords to make his wishes known. But the Doctor wasn't letting ANYONE inside his mind, most especially not Jack. "Ok, fine. Whatever."

The Doctor sighed. "What is it?"

"Nothing. Carry on, as you were. Get me back into my own body, ASAP, so that I can watch you two be pathetic from afar, as opposed to close up and personal."

Flipping through some more data on one of the screens the Doctor shook his head. "Anything that goes on—or doesn't go on between me an' Rose is just that—between me an' Rose. Now just behave yourself while I try to transpose this wave signature into something in a useable range."

And the Doctor had a few moments' peace to do some rather complicated block math. He knew it wouldn't last, so he tried to make the most of it while it did.

He really needed to have this solved before Rose came back.

XYZ

Ever so slowly, Jack reached down and untied the foreign boots and slid them off. It wouldn't do to make noise while attempting this. Next he yanked on the heavy boot socks and tucked them inside the shoes (worse still to end up being a naked man wearing socks—that just wasn't hot), trying to wipe the grin off of his borrowed face. That would give the game away before they'd even begun. The Doctor just didn't grin like that. Not like he was about to do something completely naughty.

He was doing it for the old codger's good, after all. It wasn't like Snooty, Alien, and Grumpy would ever get off his ass and go for it. So he was…helping. He'd get the Doctor's foot in the door, as it were, going straight past that annoying part whereby the Doctor would fluster and flummox and fail to make his feeling, much less his intentions known.

They had a word for people like the Doctor in the fifty-first century; it was called PATHETIC. Oh, the Doctor was a lot of things. A genius, to be sure. A myth, a warrior, a legend, a better than Jack could ever hope to be, a mentor, a friend, mechanic, barber, scientist and part-time plumber.

But he had absolutely no idea what to do about this one little aspect of his life. And it just so happened to be an area that Jack was quite good with. If anything—Jack should be charging for his services, really.

Walking quietly down the all, he tried to be as smooth an quiet as possible, so as not to wake his host, who'd drifted off in the middle of scribbling some rather complex computations on what looked like a Post-It note. Jack was in awe of the Doctor, but he also knew the man's limitations. Which was why, as a friend, he was doing this. For he Doctor's own good, really. The Doctor would thank him for it later.

Or push him out the front door and into the Vortex, that also seemed like a distinct possibility, knowing the Doctor's many moods. Well, he only had a few that he cycled between, really. Annoyance, amusement, manic humor and seething anger. Jack had a feeling he'd either end up with annoyance or possibly the seething anger.

Jack decided to take the moral high ground on this one, however. Saying if he, uh, happened to become one with the Vortex because he was trying to help out a friend…then it was just the type of sacrifice he was happy to make.

And, really, there was some excellent stuff to be had, before that whole sacrifice thingy.

So all he had to do was…"Jack just what he hell do you think you're doing?"

SOMEBODY was awake. "Something that should have happened a long time ago, Doc. Relax. You'll like it." Trying to swallow back he Doctor's will, he knocked on Rose's door.

"You're despicable. As if she'd ever--"

Jack grinned merrily. "Would and will. And you'd love me less if I weren't."

The door slid opened. Rose looked tired, like she should be asleep—was trying to sleep—but just couldn't. Her hair was mashed around and her eyelids drooped, and when she looked up, she let out a yawn. "Doctor? Is Jack ok?"

Don't grin like you just ate the canary, Jack warned himself. The Doctor had a manic, dopy grin. He had to somehow… fake that. "Uh…" And the accent. How did the Doctor talk, exactly? Besides talking like a smarmy-assed alien. "Everything's coming along just fine. I wanted to see if…"

He felt the Doctor trying to reassert control. Why was he even allowed to go on that long, Jack wondered?

Rose cocked her head slightly. She certainly had being adorable down to a science. "Yeah?"

Swallowing down the Doctor clawing at Jack's consciousness, practically trying to force him out of the body (obviously not caring that he couldn't quite get back into his own body right now), Jack decided to hell with it, and he just went for it.

Grabbing her forearms just below where the sleeves of her girl-cut nightshirt ended, he crushed the Doctor's lips up against Rose's, trying to fight back a self-satisfied chuckle. The Doctor could take over now and run away and hide, or blame Jack, but what had been done was done.

Though he kind of doubted the Doctor would raise quite a fuss now—not with the way Rose was kissing back. And especially not with her tongue down his…

XYZ

The Doctor knew he should be fighting this. Or pushing Jack out of his head, or explaining it to Rose or…something. But those plush, soft lips prevented him from thinking about… well, anything really. Lips like that could make a person forget his own name…

Especially when Rose's hands came up to grab the sleeves of his jacket and she began wandering backward, toward her bed.

Wrong, wrong wrong…so very wrong… So very…

She leaned backward onto the mattress, taking him with her.

He wasn't sure if he should thank Jack or just go kill him right now. All it would take was a pillow over the face…

He felt his fingers trailing down Rose's arm, but it wasn't him doing it…no matter how much he wished that it was. But he'd never have the…audacity (maybe courage) to do this. And if that were the case, he'd never feel her tongue against his teeth, the warm breath coming out of her nose against his cheek…or the way her body melted under his. Or his own personal…reaction.

The kiss shifted suddenly as she smiled, feeling his….reaction. Yeah. He'd just call it that.

His arms slid under her, and a moment later, his lips were on Rose's neck. When he heard her moan, then felt her hands running through his stubbled hair, he objectively had to admire Jack—he was quite good at this.

Fingers sliding down her back, past the waist band of her silky pajama bottoms, he felt a jolt of excitement when he encountered nothing but bare flesh. Cupping her bottom, his head turned, apparently to equalize the attention to both sides of her neck.

Before his lips made contact, however, an entirely different kind of jolt went through him—a trademarked Tyler slap. "Ow!" He wasn't sure if that was him or Jack crying out and holding his cheek in protest as he sat up.

See, he wanted to tell Jack. He should have known. Rose had come to her senses. She'd realized that he was taking advantage of their friendship and closeness…

Her rich brown eyes were on fire, and it looked like smoke would come pouring out of her button nose at any moment. Sliding her elbows beneath her, she sat up and glared fiercely at him. "Jack Harkness, I don't know HOW you did it, but you get out of the Doctor's body, RIGHT THIS MINUTE!"

THE END.