Warnings: Mentions of sex, drugs, violence, and character death
Disclaimer: I don't own a damn thing
I was challenged to write a Jack/ABI (That is, Jack paired with Anyone But Ianto) drabble by karaokegal on LJ, prompted by the lyrics "I need you, by me/beside me, to guide me/to hold me, to scold me/'cause when I'm bad/I'm so, so bad". Naturally, those lyrics made me think Jack/John. It turned out a liiiittle more than 100 words though.
It's raining the next time they meet - not water, but a thin, oddly sweet-smelling liquid that does little to cool the scorching heat of high summer on the planet Varyos Gamma.
The year is 3182. The first thing he asks is how long it's been, and the second is what name he should be using now. It's only been eighteen months for John, but the answer he gets makes him wince a little when he does the sums in his head. Taking the slow route, then.
The name, as it happens, is still Jack.
He looks good. Unfairly good given the centuries - millennia - between them now. There's no-one to bother asking after any more: the pretty police-girl whose name he forgot and the eye-candy whose name he never bothered learning will be long dead by now. And he'd like to think Jack had the sense to dispose of Gray permanently.
"What are you doing here then?" he asks.
"Nothing much," is the reply, but the planet is famed for the best bars in the century, and they serve much more varied tastes than merely alcohol. The smoke hanging in the air alone is enough to tint John's world surreal, dizzy shades. The floor is swaying ever so slightly, although it's possible that's actually happening. Varyos Gamma is unusual for its time: much of the galaxy is still irritatingly conservative - though beside the nunnery he left Jack in it's positively debauched. It's enjoyable to be able to go out drinking with someone sans the pointless pretense that the night might not end in sex.
Afterward, the night having come to its natural conclusion, they lie sprawled together on the rented bed and bicker and tease and swap ridiculously exaggerated stories of what they've been up to since they last met. It feels good. It feels right and natural in a way he's missed far too badly to admit it to himself, in a way he's missed ever since those weeks that were years with no-one to turn to but each other.
It's like the sudden absence of an irritating background noise that had always been there without him realising, a restless buzz at the back of his skull suddenly silenced. For once he doesn't feel the desperate urge for movement, excitement, noise, fight, sex, drugs, pain. He feels...something. If he were a different sort of man, he might call it peace. If he'd ever had one, he might call it home.
Instead he calls it love. It's not quite right, but it's close enough.