The Consequences of War

Chapter 1 - Jack's Back

Disclaimer, I don't own any of the characters, or the TV shows, they belong to Russell. T Davis, the BBC etc. I do not make money from this, only it's entertainment value is of concern to me.

Genre - angst/hurt/comfort

Spoilers - all of Torchwood and all of Doctor who

Pairings - Jack/Ianto and Gwen/Owen of course :P

Set - right after The Last of The Time Lords

Post TLOTL. Jack's back but Ianto is cold and distant. Owen makes comments and remarks every chance he gets and Gwen no longer wants to know. Tosh just keeps away from him altogether. They don't see the pain and the torment. As Jack struggles to cope with what happened to him during the Year that Never Was, the team rebell in revenge for him leaving abruptly. Slowly Jack breaks, but when Cardiff (and perhaps the world, haven't decided) is in danger and Lucy Saxon appears, will he be able to hold it together?

It was an unusually bright day in Cardiff. Most of the world were indoors watching their television sets in confusion and fear, hoping that the President of America hadn't just been killed and that their own Prime Minister had not been involved. But seven people knew otherwise. They knew how true it all was. They had all suffered personally at the hand of the Master, A.K.A Harold Saxon. If the year that never was had taught him one thing, it was that he loved his team, they needed him and he couldn't just abandon them. Like it or not, he had grown attached to the three 21st century humans and their funny little ways. As he walked towards the hub he replayed his last conversation with the one alien - heck the one being - he trusted more than life itself.

The Doctor, Martha and Jack all stood against the railing contemplating what had just happened. In that year Jack realised Torchwood had changed him a little, so he had to change it a little more too. To the way the Doctor wanted it to be. It wasn't quite there yet but it was better than nothing. For a minute or two they stood in amicable silence.

"For a minute that whole world knew your name. Now they've all forgotten." said Martha wistfully.

"Good." replied the Doctor.

"Anyway, time to go." said Jack ducking under the railing and heading off. Then the Doctor said the one thing that he needed to hear. It told him he was forgiven in not to many words. It also told him they may meet again.

"Look, come with me. I honestly don't mind." stated the Doctor looking hopeful. As much fun as it was he knew he couldn't stay. He had a responsibility and knew the Doctor would understand. "Of course, defending Earth. Can't argue with that," but he couldn't help but look a little disappointed.

It was then that I remembered how lonely he was. But I couldn't leave my team in the lurch; after all, I had just left for a year, whether they remembered it or not.

Captain Jack Harkness saluted the Doctor and Martha before turning away.

"But what about my face. I mean stray grey hairs and all because I keep getting older but not being able to die." he said, hoping for an answer.

Chuckling the Doctor replied. "Sorry I really don't know. You're an impossible thing Jack,"

Jack smiled. "Been called that before. I will see you again right?"

The Doctor looked straight at Jack; honest and true. They both knew what he was going to say next. "I honestly can't tell you that. If I ever do, you'll know it's because something very bad has happened and I can't do it by myself."

Jack looked pleadingly at the Doctor. "We'll see. Might drop by for a cup of tea," he compromised. Jack grinned and jumped away.

"See you in hell!" he cried as he left.

Captain Jack turned around just in time to see the Doctor and Martha walk away and disappear into the TARDIS. "I better see you again," he muttered to himself. Surprising himself he walked in through the front door designed to look like a tourist information centre. Looking around he decided the place had a feeling of being far too quiet. "Ianto?" he called peering in the back. Shrugging his shoulders he pressed the button under the desk and headed down into the hub.

The underground Torchwood facility lacked the usual humming of computers; signalling that they were in fact off. Frowning he wandered around glancing in the different sections, his worry growing with every empty room. When he got to his office he slapped himself on the forehead.

"The Himalayas," he groaned. He slumped down in his chair twirling in it for the lack of something better to do. For several minutes he stared at his fingers. Absentmindedly he started to tap a familiar rhythm on his desk.

Tap tap tap tap…tap tap tap tap… tap tap tap tap…

He shook his head disgustedly and whipped his hand away from desk. When Tosh gets back, he thought, I must see if she can stop that signal, or at least check that the Doc hasn't forgotten. I doubt it but you never know. I'd cope better if they were here.

Since no one was in the hub and with a very minimal chance of being interrupted Jack located a small wooden box with a rose carved into the lid. He chuckled. The rose was carved into rosewood given to him by Rose. He ran his fingers over the smooth surface, smiling at the happy memories, the adrenaline rushes and the pure fear. "I remember when we thought we'd lost you. Now I know we have." He told the box. His bottom lip quivered as he breathed out.

"When he gets stressed he likes to insult other species,"

"You went and died on me too Doc. Not that I mind. You're much easier to hold a conversation with." Whispered Jack. "Cuter too," he added. Turning serious he opened the box that was hiding memories of a happier, freer Jack with laughing Rose and serious Doctor Who. He shuffled through the pictures of Rose chasing him around the TARDIS Consol Room after saying something particularly cheeky. He smiled staring at the picture Rose must have secretly taken of him and the Doctor dancing, having finally convinced him he'd behave. Needless to say it only fuelled his mischievousness.

"Come on Doc, it's not gonna kill you!"

The Doctor snorted. "It might," giving Jack a pointed look with a twinkle in his eyes. Jack crossed his arms huffily before smiling coyly at him.

"I'll tell Rose."

"Tell Rose what?"

Jack stalled looking a little lost as if attempting to come up with a viable answer. I knew you'll see right through it, he thought. "I don't know but I will!" he exclaimed. The Doctor sighed and walked over to Jack.

"I told you buy me a drink first."

"Come on it's not like I'm going to kiss you, but it is very tempting," he said smiling and biting his lower lip with his teeth. He looked up at him with brown puppy eyes. Sighing the Doctor walked up to him and held out his hands. Grinning from ear to ear Jack put on the music and Doctor rolled his eyes.

"You love this song don't you?"

I had just smiled. I knew you never minded much but you always liked to keep us at a distance. Except Rose. Somehow Rose meant more to you than usual.

I think she saved your life.

The Doctor and Jack had danced around the consol room dodging the seats around the side and the controls in the centre. The Doctor had grinned from ear to ear the entire time.

You seemed happier then, though you hardly smiled. Now it just seems to be a front. You're act is good, Doc, but it's your eyes that let you down. You can't mask the pain in your eyes all too well."

Tears leaked from Jack's eyes, rolling slowly down his cheeks. Gently rocking, he stared at the picture of the bright, bubbly, smiling blonde. "Goodbye Rose Tyler," he whispered. "You were worth fighting for."