A/N: Just a thought that occurred to me when I was watching Exit Wounds, and it is more crack than anything and can't really follow continuity... but I got attacked by another plot bunny... After all Jack must know what's in a lot of the vaults in the morgue…
Disclaimer: I don't own anything
Captain Jack Harkness had worked at Torchwood for almost half a century. He knew the hub like the back of his hand.
Apart from the morgue.
Every time he entered that place he felt the familiar shiver down his spine. He didn't get freaked out a lot, but the morgue freaked him out.
Rhydian, the current doctor, told him once it was because of his inability to die, and therefore being surrounded by the dead seemed unnatural.
He knew Rhydian was probably right.
But nothing held back Jack Harkness. He was determined to learn about the morgue. Determined to know about the people inside those little square vaults. And there was only one way for him to do that.
One cold and quiet day in October Jack grabbed a thick stack of files from the archives and headed towards the morgue. He read the number at the top of the first file.
He pulled the drawer open. A young woman with curly brown hair. Her eyelashes and lips frosted over and an ugly bite wound across her neck.
"File 712," he read quietly, "Maria O'Donnell. Weevil attack. August 24th 1909. Age 24"
He sighed. Next file. Next drawer. Blonde man. John Hamilton. 34.
Next drawer. Red-haired child. Katy Jamieson.
Next drawer. Grey-haired woman.
On and on. So many drawers, and less than halfway through the pile.
"File 42" he pulled open the drawer and unzipped the body-bag.
Then stumbled backwards in shock.
"What the hell!" he yelped as he lay on the ground for a few seconds, nursing the bump on his head.
When he finally worked up the courage he shakily walked back towards the body.
Male. Looked quite young. Black hair.
He was looking at himself.
"I'm dead?" he wondered quietly, but the noise bounced and echoed eerily around him, "I didn't think I could die"
He tentatively placed his fingers against his own neck. He couldn't feel anything. His mouth dropped.
I'm actually dead. I don't want to be dead. How did this happen? I could just check the file-
Then he checked himself.
I mustn't know how it happened. I'd better destroy the file or something.
Then he felt a twitch beneath his fingers. He hadn't even realised he still had his fingers against his counterpart's throat.
And he now had a pulse.
He zipped the bag up again and stuffed the drawer shut again.
He leant against the morgue wall and breathed heavily.
So I'm not dead. Good. I'm just frozen. OK, I can deal with that. Wonder how-
He shook his head and pulled a lighter from his pocket. He then held the flickering flame against the file and watched as it became a smouldering pile of ashes.
"Jack?" echoed a familiar Welsh voice. Rhydian. "Jack where've you been? You've been gone for hours"
Jack grinned, despite it not reaching his eyes, "Just trying to conquer my fears"
"Did it work?" asked Rhydian as the walked out from the morgue.
"A bit yeah"
Jack glanced over his shoulder.
Captain Jack Harkness wasn't scared of anything. But he was scared of vault 42 in the Torchwood Morgue.