A/N: I read somewhere Jack's been running Torchwood 3 for at least 4 years so I wondered where our poor Torchwood Jack was during Boom Town. This is a possible explanation. And Barry is just a random name I figure someone had to work Ianto's job(cause god knows that place would fall apart w/out him) before he got assigned to Torchwood 3 after the Battle of Canary Warf.
A lone figure in an RAF jacket stood at the entrance of an alley way by the Millennium Center His gaze fixed on the blue police box parked in the center. Jack fingered the key in his pocket forcing himself to stay where he was. Sure enough a few seconds later he noticed Mickey, (or was it Rickey?) crossing the center and knocking on the door. Jack watched his younger self stick his head out before Mickey (yeah it was Mickey) pushed his way in. His heart ached a bit remembering the scene that was now playing just out of sight.
Aw why don't I get any of that?
Buy me a drink first
You're such hard work
Yeah, but worth it
He'd been so happy then the first time he trusted anyone, the first time he'd really had a family, people he loved.
And we're off
In time and space
He chuckled remembering the idiot's face. Well, it was too bad Rose belonged to the Doc and Jack now, the idiot would just have to find another girl.
When the door opened again Jack felt like he'd been punched in the stomach. He gripped the corner of the building next to him to stop himself from running over picking up Rose spinning her around and then thoroughly kissing her and the Doctor. He watched them linger around the TARDIS for a few seconds.
Anyway I like it don't you?
I love it
The tall, northern, man with a gargoyle smile and leather armor, and the London, blonde with the pigtails and a union jack who cared for everyone. He'd loved them, been willing to die for them. Had died.
Rose. You're worth fighting for.
And You, I wish I'd never met you. I was better off as a coward.
See you all in hell.
The four wandered off, they would go do a little shopping before stopping for lunch. He shouldn't. He really shouldn't. Then again he shouldn't be standing here at all, so close to his own timeline. In the end he was moving without even noticing. And there he was standing in front of his home. It was beautiful, he reverently ran a hand down the blue wood. Just to see it, just seeing it once more almost broke him. He took out his key and opened the door. He felt it slip into the lock, and with a satisfying click it was unlocked.
Once again he heard that voice in the back of his mind telling him this was stupid. He'd been called worse. Jack stood outside the doors almost afraid. Not too much time. With a deep breath he pushed the door open and just stared.
That familiar control room where he had so many good memories.
I think Jack wants the next dance.
Oh I'm sure he does, I'm very certain. But the question is, with whom?
Either, both, he answered too late. With a jolt he realized he'd been standing in the doorway. He moved up the gangway slowly reaching the center area. He turned slowly taking in the entirety of the ship, again. Then he stroked the control panel circling it with careful steps. "How you doing, old girl?" his voice was soft, barely a whisper. The lights of the ship brightened and then dimmed in response. He smiled feeling such joy in the simple gesture of the ship. Jack felt a nudge in the back of his mind. He wanted to go somewhere in the ship. He should leave now. Right now turn around and leave. But his will to leave was non-exsistant against himself without the TARDIS too. With another nudge he was in the corridor and opening a door.
Before him was his room, but why? Why here? Something on the desk caught his eye. A Holo-pic of him the Doc and Rose during a festival on Poseidon 12. They were grinning with Rose in the center, an arm around both of them. He'd lost the Holo during his time on the TARDIS, searched for days and never found it. He felt the TARDIS nudge him again. Come to think of it he remember looking at it before the Doc called him into the consol room this very morning, all those years ago. He didn't notice it was gone until the next day. Jack grinned, so that's why the old girl'd brought him here. He slipped the holo into his pocket. He almost felt bad knowing the trouble his other self would go through trying to find it and his disappointment when he couldn't. Almost. But it had already happened anyway.
Jack moved to leave when he saw a digital note pad on the desk. It would be so easy, write a note to tell him not to hesitate when he came back. Just to run, then maybe he'd make it. Maybe they wouldn't have left him. Maybe.
He felt the equivalent of a shove from the TARDIS, breaking him out of his reverie. He couldn't do that it would destroy everything, who knows what might happen. Jack forced himself to turn and leave. He paused in the consol room again. ""Take care of them ok? You take good care of them when I can't." Once again the ship's lights dimmed, "Thank you girl." He spoke then using all of his self control stiffly exited the ship, closing the doors behind him and inserting the key. He stopped though, turning the key would make it final. Locking him out. Closing this part of his life again.
He slowly tuned the key hearing the click. That was it he stopped for a second leaning against the rough wood. Now all he had to do was walk away simple. He looked out over the millennium Center when his eyes caught a familiar group. They were far enough away and too involved in each other and their captive to notice him. How easy would it be to just stay and explain what happened? He knew he couldn't do it though.
The Doctor would be disappointed with him.
He peeled himself off the ship and practically ran from it toward the gift shop that covered as Torchwood Three's entrance. He was most of the way across the plaza when he heard her laugh. He froze. His heart broke right then as he heard the Doc's voice say something. He turned back just for a second. Just as the Doctor turned towards him, as the others entered the TARDIS. Their eyes locked for a second and recognition flashed across the Doctor's face. Jack spun around on his heel, held his head high and saluted the man. He saw confusion ripple across the Time Lord's face. Jack twisted back around before he saw anything else put his hands in his pockets and walked away coat billowing out behind him. Don't look back. Don't. Look. Back. He could feel the Doctor's eyes on him as he turned the corner.
And that was it.
Jack fell against the rough wall sliding down to collapses on the filthy pavement, silent tears trailing down his face. He thought he'd moved on. No, he'd tried to think he'd moved on, but he knew better. How could he move on past those two? Past the blue box that was bigger on the inside, past that gargoyle smile, past those dancing brown eyes. He cried for all he'd lost and sent a prayer to a god he didn't believe in that he would see them again someday. Someday.
He cried until he no longer had any tears to cry. He sat there hanging his head lost. It was past dark before he picked himself up. He brushed himself off took a deep breath and set his face.
He was doing what they'd taught him to do, he was saving the world. He was making them proud, making himself worthy of them. Making them proud. He'd been through hell because of them, but it didn't matter. Even if he wandered the world immortal forever and never saw them again. It was worth it. Because for six months he'd had love. That may not seem like much to most people, but to Jack that was everything. Six months was worth the world.
He made his way to the Torchwood entrance, nodded to Barry who let him in the door, and then continued down to the Hub. He'd given his team a mountain of work with orders not to leave until it was complete. Couldn't have them running into his former self. He brushed past them all without noticing anything they said. He went straight to his office and waited. Waited for what would happen.
Sure enough A few hours later the Hub lurched then broke in to a chaos of movement and sound. A hundred different alarms clanged, as the team ran between their instruments screaming to each other to be heard over the alarms the quake and another sound none of them knew. Besides Jack. The sound of the fabric of space and time being torn open.
Jack moved to the top of the stairs holding on to the railing against the violent tremors, watching his team scurry frantically around the Hub. There wasn't anything they could do. Might as well just sit back. He saw as several parts of the Hub collapsed. Damn it would suck fixing that.
Then it stopped. It all stopped.
For the first time his team seemed to notice him on the stairs. "Sir?" Asked Suzie uncertainly.
"Everybody ok?" Tosh, Owen, Suzie and Barry all answered with an affirmative. "Good, then go home. We can sort this out in the morning." He turned to leave.
"Sir, are you sure about that?" Suzie's concerned voice called out.
He stopped. He could picture their confused and incredulous faces. "I'm positive. It was only the rift stretching a bit," he lied, "I've felt it before." Today.
"Jack?" Tosh spoke now.
"I thought I told you all to get out. Now get going before I shoot you." Jack went into his office watching as the others reluctantly collected their stuff, glancing at each other and every once in a while up at him. They glanced away when they saw he was watching them. The team slowly filed out of the door.
As soon as the last member left Jack walked over to his cabinet and pulled out some strong Brandy and a glass. He collapsed in his chair and picked up the remote to his music system. The haunting chords of Moonlight Serenade drifted across the office as Jack poured himself a glass preparing to drink himself into oblivion. He pulled out the holo and set it on his. Three travelers just happy with the universe. He leaned back in his chair popping his feet up on his table. Holding up the glass he thought for a moment.
Here's to Union Jacks and leather jackets, to invisible space ships and German bombs, to six months and stolen dances, to Chula warships and Slytheen and Daleks, to little blue boxes that are bigger on the inside. To saving the world, to making them proud, but most of all to Gargoyle smiles and dancing brown eyes.
Satisfied, Jack downed the liquid. He hummed aloud with music pouring him self another glass. His soft tenor floating through the empty hub.
" So don't let me wait, come to me tenderly in the June night.I stand at your gate and I sing you a song in the moonlight, a love song, my darling, a Moonlight Serenade."