Title: Fixed Surprises
Author: CSIGeekFan
Rating: k / Anyone
Spoilers: Through TW CoE and DW The End of Time
Summary: Jack and the regenerated Doctor have a conversation.
Author's Note: Just something that popped into my head.

X X X

"I wish I could have…" the Doctor trailed off as Jack turned his back.

Sighing, he continued, "If you're not willing to listen, Jack, then what's the point of talking? Right now, I'm talking to myself, because even I refuse to believe blue wool coats can converse in any intelligible ways. Unless you're on Rigeleon. But that's different, because…"

"Shut up," Jack muttered, swinging back around to face the Doctor once again. The hum of the TARDIS seemed a fitting background, considering Jack's head still hummed from running into the Doctor. The Doctor that did nothing but piss him off by being different.

"You're not as good-looking as you used to be," Jack muttered.

"What?!" the Doctor indignantly exclaimed. "I think I'm rather dashing."

"Oh for crying out loud," Jack breathed out, rubbing a hand over his face. They'd been going around and around for what felt like hours, and Jack's brain strained to keep up with the constant bouncing about of subjects.

"A lot can't be saved, you know," the Doctor stated. "Some points are fixed."

"I know," Jack replied. Although, that fact did not ease the continuous ache in his chest. That hollow feeling hadn't left since the day Jack walked away from Earth and the place that had been home for so long.

"Some events must happen," the Doctor solemnly added.

For the first time since Jack had chanced upon the Time Lord, the conversation had morphed from maniacal, rapid movement to something more somber. In a flash. And for half a second, Jack wondered if perhaps this regenerated version had a mental problem. The last Doctor just preferred not to dwell and could be a big of a tangent-seeker. This guy was all over the map.

"You know as well as I that every event in history may impact subsequent futures," the Doctor said. "Some things must be fixed, though. They must occur, or the natural progress of humanity cannot occur."

"Not everyone impacts the course of history, though," Jack said, with a shrug. It wasn't that he hadn't expected Ianto or Stephen to die one day. He just hadn't seen it coming. Sometimes being immortal really sucked.

"I don't want to even discuss what problems your genetic line has caused. The topic is too unwieldy for right now," the Doctor said.

When Jack stared incredulously, the Time Lord instead added, "But Ianto's death must be fixed. It must happen, because he changes the course of humanity."

"I don't understand," Jack replied, absently rubbing his chest.

He remembered the day in that bar on the edge of space – the day the previous Doctor said goodbye in his unique way – by leaving him with a young man to take away the ache that plagued him if only for a short time. It hadn't lasted long enough to fill the emptiness, though.

"Look into the past, Jack," the Doctor said. "Ianto pushed and pulled and prodded and protected. Oooh, good use of the word 'P'. Quiet poetic! Well, maybe no poetic, but certainly fun!"

As the Doctor spun off on another tangent, Jack rolled his eyes and ground out, "What? What am I supposed to be looking for?"

"Ianto's death will bring things full circle, my friend. His compassion will bring out the best in someone you've not yet met, and the love he gave will gift this world an inheritance unknown since the dawn of humankind," the Doctor said.

"And what's that?" Jack asked, hating the fact this new incarnation could be even more perplexing than the last.

"Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise!"

"I really hate surprises," Jack muttered. Frowning, he added, "And I'm not all that fond of you at the moment, either."