After the TARDIS disappeared, Jack smiled at Wil. "There's a small ceremony I'd like to conduct on the roof. Would you care to accompany me?"

Wil nodded affirmatively and smiled back.

He helped her with her jacket and put on his own dark blue wool greatcoat. Then the two of them walked up the long spiral staircase to the rooftop. Evening had begun to fall, and although the sun was still catching the roofs of the buildings, tinting them a hard brassy gold, lights were turning on in the shadow-locked streets below. Overhead the brightest stars were coming out.

Deep from his coat pocket Jack conjured a bottle of Perrier-Jouet. "The world's most expensive champagne!" he grinned. Wil gave him an odd look but he widened his smile and motioned towards the edge of the roof. "Let's sit down, shall we?" he suggested. And so they seated themselves, with their legs dangling.

Jack studied the scene far below his feet, making sure all was clear, then extended the bottle and released it. The two of them watched as it tumbled and shattered onto the pavement below.

"I'm officially on the wagon," he proclaimed resolutely. "I thought this was the appropriate way to announce it, and to apologize to you. I treated you badly the last time I saw you, and I ask for, I hope for your forgiveness."

"You treated me badly and you worried me sick, Jack. We were all worried. But I doubt that there's anything you could ever do that I wouldn't forgive, if there be forgiveness required." Her green eyes sparkled. "I would hope, though, that perhaps you'd put the kibosh on any further similarly abrupt departures? They're hard on the staff."

More and more lights were twinkling against the shadows as they turned a deep, mysterious purple. Small boats plying across the Bristol Channel were bright and colorful as Chinese lanterns.

Jack nodded and then tentatively took her hand in his.

"It's a funny thing," he said quietly, looking out over the gloaming city, "how sad moments of change can be. But the alternative for me is to live forever with no change at all. And that is a kind of death – a lame and sorry one that I am determined to try to avoid."

Jack raised his other hand and cupped her face lightly, "I wonder if you would be willing to walk by my side through a few of those moments of change, maybe quite a few of them?" He gazed deeply into her eyes, questioning, wondering if she understood…

Through his fingertips he felt her nod, almost imperceptibly.

Then he leaned forward and kissed her. It was neither a chaste kiss nor the kiss of a friend, but the kiss of a lover with a promise of much more to follow and the start of something wonderful.

Back down in the Hub, Ianto furtively looked around before he turned off the CCTV feed displaying on his monitor. His face was stricken and his eyes full of tears as he put on his coat, grabbed a few items off his desk, shoved them into his pockets, and, heartbroken, walked out the door alone into the night.


"Being is real. Becoming is an illusion."



Dear faithful reader: As the Time Lord knows, nothing in this universe is ever simple. Nor is anything ever easy for poor Captain Jack Harkness. Want to find out what happens next? Well... the sequel to "Prodigals" is "Abomination"... The best is yet to come! Read on!