Disclaimer: Don't own, but if Jessa ever manages to get the Doctor and Jack to sign themselves into her care, I'm willing to beg, bake yummy-yummy cakes, make truffles, sing, dance, spit poetry, and crawl for a chance to write for them. In the meantime, I'm playing with them, and I promise to return them in reasonably good condition.
A/N: This is in response to Jessa L'Rynn's August II Challenge.
The Doctor and the Companion of your choice are stuck together in some fashion, (superglue, black magic, handcuffs, etc.) Someone must say, "Hunky dory," someone must make an utterly OOC statement, and something must blow up.
I'm tentatively classifying this as angst-y crackfic. Hopefully I got OOC enough.
Takes place post- JE, so minor spoilers. It's 10/Jack, with just a soupcon of slash.
I couldn't help myself, really. Share and enjoy, (and review.)
This was going to take some explaining, that much was certain.
"Don't. Just... don't, Jack." The Doctor looked at Jack over the screen in the Tardis' console, one brow arched in weary disdain.
"Doc, I can explain," Jack pleaded, giving up on charm, and hoping for mercy, or at least a reprieve from the rant he was sure the Doctor was building up to.
Holding up his arm, the Doctor scowled. At the end, where the wrist had previously been visible, just before his hand, (not the handy spare hand, its replacement,) there was a shackle. A very thick shackle: in fact, it was a solid two inch wide, half inch thick piece of hyper-steel, deadlocked to his wrist. It was heavy, and even if it hadn't been, what was connected to the other half of it was.
Jack-Bloody-Harkness, the man who could charm trees out of the earth, and come to think of it, probably had, was deadlocked to him. There'd be no getting rid of him now.
"Doc, I..." Jack wasn't entirely sure where to begin. The Judoon weren't the most understanding of creatures. Interplanetary police weren't known for mercy, or even justice, for that matter; except in the strictest, by-the-book definition of the word. He'd only been talking to them. How was he supposed to know that he'd committed 17 breaches of protocol just for speaking to the royal couple? The fact that 5 of those breaches were imprisonable offences, and 2 were potentially capital offences, likewise fell outside his scope of knowledge. He was convinced that those were due to the fact that the Queen had heard what her daughter and son-in-law had said to him. Corrupting the morals of monarchs didn't go over a treat on Woman Wept. Lucky for them, the Queen wanted to witness his execution, or the Judoon would have killed him, and probably the Doctor, on the spot. Luckier still, the Doctor was better than Harry Houdini at impossible escapes.
So much for the fit of nostalgia. Over the renewed protests of his team, he'd let the Doctor talk him into revisiting a planet named for a continent. A continent that appeared, from above, to be a woman lamenting. And, come to think of it, wasn't that a perverse turn of mind on the Doctor's part? He couldn't believe the Doctor had left her in a parallel universe again, to live out a semblance of a normal life, with his...other self.
Still, they'd both been missing Rose, and the Doctor had insisted that she'd loved the planet. What the hell, he'd thought at the time. At least anger had stopped the Doctor's moping, so being arrested and sentenced to death did have a silver lining.
"You know, you could just kill me and cut off my hand," Jack spoke softly, because the Doctor had settled into a sort of perpetual frown when he looked at him.
"Oh, don't be thick," was the reply from behind the curtain. The sound of the shower muffled it, somewhat, but the resignation in the Doctor's voice said, I-thought-of-that-thanks-and-NO.
As the skinny and still very foxy frame emerged in a cloud of steam, Jack felt the inevitable pull, like something had reached into him, and twisted a ventricle. The constant longing ought to be enough to kill him, and yet it never quite happened.
It wasn't that the Doctor didn't notice, or care. He did. He also knew that it was the kinder thing, to ignore it. Mostly, he mostly ignored it. "Jack, you're drooling again."
"Sorry about that, have you got a towel?" The Doctor didn't know how, but Jack had a voice that coruscated with the most indecent implications, no matter what the words actually were.
"Wearing it, actually, and if you say, 'That's a pity,' one more time...I will cut your hand off. I just won't kill you to do it."
When Jack didn't come back with anything, it was cause for concern. Looking back, a fraction of a second before his arm was pulled into the shower; he knew why. Jack wasn't wearing a towel.
"If you like the view, Doctor..."
It had taken three days of incredibly bad hygiene and a number of almost-fistfights. Jack ran through the emotional gamut from perverse delight at being trapped in the Doctor's company, to complete frustration at being trapped with an angry, not in the mood for carpe diem (among other things,) Time Lord. He'd also been sent into fits of hysterical giggles, when the Doctor had tried every tool in the console room, and finally exclaimed, "Dammit, Jack! I'm a Time Lord, not a locksmith!" The glare of the Oncoming Storm, only increased Jack's sense of hilarity. The Doctor, more than a little peevish by that point, chose to respond by throwing his banana pudding in the Captain's face.
Once they'd realised that clean, fed and not risking internal damage was better than reeking, hungry, and hoping that bladder discipline held, they reached a state of détente. With an agreement to keep the fibre in their meals to a bare minimum, and a nominal no-peeking rule, they'd learnt to manage. The conclusion they came to, (without ever telling each other,) was that they'd likely never speak of this again, and a being could cope with anything to survive. They didn't have to like it. After all, they'd both survived worse than this.
Their reasons for not liking it were, to say the least, complete opposites.
"If you hadn't turned the factory on Villengard into a banana grove, we might have been able to get a blaster that would get through these. You know that, don't you?"
Not needing sleep had turned into a liability. It meant that for most of a week, they'd been slouching about the Tardis, in nothing but trousers, trying to figure out how to get out of this particular pickle. It didn't involve saving the universe, or even a planet, or even one innocent being. It was irritating, but not life-threatening, and the Doctor found that he couldn't summon up the energy to solve the problem. It was too mundane, and every idea he had, slipped away like a trout in a fast moving stream.
Jack was company, at least. After everything he'd lost, it was nice to have a companion that wasn't likely to die on him. With the shackles, losing him to a parallel universe didn't seem to be in the offing, either, and since he wasn't likely to incite a human-Time Lord biological metacrisis, (he really would have to stop making up words for when he didn't actually know what was going on,) Jack was a reliably permanent presence.
The Tardis liked him, too. He could tell by the way she hummed when Jack touched the console.
It was a bit disgusting, actually. She usually only did that for him.
The novelty had definitely worn off. Jack Harkness, ex-time agent, commander of Torchwood 3, practically-immortal-human, native of the 51st century, had found something that bored him.
Being chained to the Doctor, with the constant reminders of how nothing was ever going to happen, no matter what delicious opportunities presented themselves, was infinitely boring.
He'd taken to napping as an escape from it. Never mind that napping required massive infusions of hyper-vodka. The Tardis had led him to the supply, and he'd gratefully followed the high-pitched whistling, dragging the Doctor behind him.
"Well, you're drunk: stinking, disgustingly drunk."
"Plannin' on shtaying tha' way; Thish way evrythin's jus' hunky-dory."
"And this solves anything, how, exactly?"
"Dun't solve nothin', dun't have to. I'm jusht gonna lay 'ere and look a' the lightsh."
"DOCTOR, snap out of it!"
"Oh, Jack-Jack-Jackie-boy... YOU need a drinkie. Here..." The Doctor raised the bottle to Jack's level, wobbling it about. There seemed to be at least three Jacks looking at him with profound disapproval. "No? Well, thass' alrigh'- more for me, then."
It was awkward, but Jack managed to hoist the soused Time Lord into an approximation of a fireman's carry, and hauled him to the bedroom. He sank on to the bed, and rolled the Doctor's limp form off his shoulder. The Doctor just lay there, with an owlish look, mouth pushed into that deep, dark pout of contemplation. Something was brewing, and Jack had a feeling, it wasn't anything particularly good.
The Doctor kicked his grubby white trainers off, and wriggled around into a sprawl. After several long moments, he turned his head, fixing Jack with what would have been a laser stare, if his eyes hadn't been completely unfocused.
"Jack, I mish her, mish 'em both. 'M always all righ', 'n 'm always 'lone; 'n you'll go, nex'. We ge' these off, 'n you'll go. 'N 'm 'lone again, Jack. Jack, I don' wan' be 'lone anymore." With that unexpected outburst, the Doctor lapsed into a deep silence.
As shocking as a drunken, maudlin Time Lord was, Jack Harkness discovered that he still had the capacity to be shocked even further. One moment, the Doctor looked to be on the verge of passing out, and the next, he'd seized Jack's shoulder, and pulled him into a fiercely urgent kiss.
For just a moment, he allowed himself to enjoy it. The desperate intensity of the Doctor's lips pressed against his, and the Time Lord's iron grip pulling him closer, (shouldn't be able to do that, with that much hyper-vodka in him, really. Oh God, that's good,) before snapping out of his dream-come-true reverie. Ohshitohshitohshit, "Doc, stop. I can't believe I'm saying this: Don't, just...don't," Jack pleaded when the Doctor let him up for air. As those graceful, dextrous fingers splayed across his chest, and the Doctor's mouth swooped in to claim his again, Jack was at a complete loss.
Captain Jack dearly wished that he had something sharp. He would have cut his own hand off, just to escape, right then. For as much as he'd longed for it, this wasn't right. He tried pushing his friend away, as gently as he could. When that didn't work, he had to think fast. Knowing that the raw need behind they Doctor's eyes, revealed something was very close to breaking in the man (Jack knew man was a vast oversimplification, in the way the Doctor knew Jack would always peek,) who'd kept so many whole with his sacrifices, Jack did the only thing he could think of.
He cold-cocked the Doctor with a hard right hook to the jaw.
Lying on his back, listening to the Doctor's sodden snores, Jack shook with the millennia of heartbreak the Doctor had caused him. He wasn't sure whether it made him brave, or only a pathetic masochist, because he wouldn't trade one single second of the incessant ache, for a life in which their paths had never crossed. He flexed his hand, feeling the bones heal, and waited for his mind to cast him adrift.
"So this is it, then?"
"I suppose it is."
"Wait- Doc, do we go on three, or one, two, three- then go?"
"Right, then, here we go. One..."
The small charge blew the lock apart, taking Jack's hand with it.
The Shadow Proclamation had negotiated with Queen Tsirana for a full pardon, and Jack had agreed that he wouldn't return to Woman Wept for at least one hundred years. Unfortunately, the Judoon officer they'd escaped from had inconveniently lost the key, although from the officer's point of view, Jack was sure it was entirely convenient. So they were forced to return to plan A: severing his hand. Blowing the lock on his side, would break the deadlock seal so that the Doctor could sonic the ordinary locking mechanism. Jack hoped he wouldn't have to kill himself to get his hand back.
He did, as it turned out.
After gasping his way back to the land of the living, Jack Harkness retreated to his quarters in the Tardis. The Doctor's mood was one of giddy unpredictability. The last thing he needed was the Doctor making light of the previous nights' events. It had taken all of his restraint, (Which the Time Lord seemed to think he didn't possess,) to pull away from him, now, he couldn't get far enough away.
Listening to the Tardis, and considering that very soon, he'd be back in the place that, other than here, could most accurately be described as, "Home," Jack wondered if he would always be this divided. Here, he could bask in the presence of the Doctor for eternity. At Torchwood, he had Ianto and Gwen, who owned him in ways the Doctor couldn't, he had a purpose, and it was where he belonged.
A knock at his door, broke the near-silence of his room. He was used to the soft melodic hum of the Tardis, and the knock smashed through it like a rock through a windscreen.
"Not now, Doc."
"Jack, come on. Let me in."
"Doc, it's been two weeks of solid togetherness, can't you spare me an hour?"
Jack could feel the warring impulses of the Tardis, shimmering around him through the walls.
He put his palm to the bit nearest his bed, and it nearly scorched him. Let him in.
"Whaddya want, Doc? I was just going to have a nice, long shower, all alone for a change."
"Just one thing, actually." The Doctor sat down beside his sometime-rival-always-friend Jack Harkness, defender of the earth, face of Boe, and startlingly bigger-on-the-inside human being.
"This," he took the younger/older man's face in his hands, and very gently kissed him, with the calm reassurance that Jack-Bloody-Harkness, would always have a place here, too.
"Thank you. For doing the honourable thing. You're worth fighting for, too, you know."
The 51st century transplant buried his face in the shoulder of the last of the Time Lords. Allowing himself the comfort of knowing that while the Doctor might never be his, he'd always belong to the Doctor. This was how things had to be, for now. Someday... Well, someday would take care of itself.