Author's Notes: So, I've basically been trying to write this fic since "The End of Time" aired and I've finally finished it! I really do like the idea of Alonso and Jack, just as long as it doesn't cheapen what Jack and Ianto had. This fic is also slightly AU as it completely ignores "Children of Earth" and it works on the theory that the bar scene is actually some time in the future.

Disclaimer: If I owned Doctor Who and Torchwood then Christopher Eccleston would still be the Doctor and "Children of Earth" would not exist.

There was something in Jack Harkness' eyes, his smile didn't quite reach them; they were sad and fathomless. Yet there was also something that made Alonso think perhaps tonight he could take away some of that pain. The older man was fast and hard and he knew Harkness was seeing another body beneath him and longed to call out someone else's name though he kept his mouth firmly closed. When it was over Alonso watched in silence as the captain dressed, memorizing every dip and hallow as they were covered up by layer after layer of clothing. He overcame the urge to ask about the mystery man Jack would have rather been with than Alonso, but as the door slid shut on the tall silhouette he realized it wasn't worth it. They wouldn't see each other ever again.

The second time they met it was far enough from their first encounter that Alonso thought it coincidence, yet close enough to give him hope that his original fears were unfounded. But the sex was fast and needy again, full of sharp teeth and scrabbling fingers. And if Jack's eyes remained tightly closed most of the time and if the sound Jack made when he came sounded more like another man's name than a groan, Alonso did his best not to notice. This time Alonso laid on his side and watched Jack's shadow framed in the yellow light from the hallway beyond on the wall blink out of existence with a sadness that confused him.

Third time's a charm, Alonso thought as he spied a familiar greatcoat from across the crowded bar. Yet he felt resignation instead of anticipation at the mega-watt smile and the tilt of the head. Alonso was captain of his own ship now, with a rather handsome co-captain that had made no secret his attraction toward him (and Alonso was rather tempted to take him up on the offer). But Jack Harkness could not be ignored. With a sigh Alonso picked up his tumbler filled with amber liquid and made his way over to the booth where Jack sat. As Alonso approached the older man stood, eager to take their reunion to a more private setting, but Alonso sat and stared pointedly until the captain sat down, confusion plain on his face.

"I'm not a body double, Captain." He said after a moment. Jack's brow furrowed deeper and Alonso took a sip of his drink before speaking again. "Who was he? The man you think of when you're with me." Jack flinched but Alonso barreled on, afraid his resolve would falter if he let Jack talk. "Because if this is going to be a regular thing, I won't do it so you can pretend you're with someone else. I'm a good man, a man in his own right. Desirable, too, or so I'm told." He blushed at the memory of his co-captain's flirtatious remarks when they went on leave this afternoon. "I'm a man worth getting to know, Jack, and I refuse to be used." He took a deep breath and looked at Jack, who seemed stunned and his eyes looked far away. They sat in silence for what felt like years and when it seemed Jack was never going to speak, his heart sank.

Nodding, Alonso downed his drink and relished the burn. "Right then," he said and walked away, his ears straining for Jack's voice calling his name over the blaring jazz. It never came.

Nearly a year passed before the next time Alonso saw him again. Alonso and the co-captain had a falling out; apparently he was the one projecting during sex now. When Alonso came home to packed bags and a few broken holograms he immediately turned around and headed toward the nearest bar.

Jack looked like he did when Alonso first met him: staring into the bottom of a glass like it had the answers. He debated ignoring the other man completely but, as though he heard his name in Alonso's thoughts, the dark-haired head shot up and blue eye met blue.

Next thing he knew, they were once more sitting in private booth, though this time Jack did the talking.

"You were right, what you said. I had been thinking of someone else when I was with you." Even after all this time, it made Alonso flinch. "But you have to understand what he meant to me, how he changed me. I loved him, more than I loved anyone else-" He broke off when Alonso stood abruptly. Something was breaking in the young man's chest and he felt like he couldn't breathe. Jack grabbed his arm and gently pulled him back down into the seat next to him. "You need to hear this, because when you left it felt like something was missing. I didn't realize how much you meant to me until I didn't have you anymore."

"Isn't that how it always is?" Alonso all but whispered. If he still had the strength to do so Alonso would have stood up and coolly tell Jack it was his own fault for not appreciating what he had before it was too late, but the warm hand encircling his wrist felt nice after weeks of icy glances and cold touches. Then Alonso made the mistake of meeting Jack's eyes and he found himself lost in the fathomless gaze. The ceiling could have fallen in and Alonso wouldn't have been able to move.

For the next few hours Jack told him of a young man named Ianto Jones from the 21st century; a man who saved Jack's tortured (and apparently immortal) soul by loving him. A man who died, against all odds, peacefully at home at the age of 87. Jack had stayed with him all those years, though they fought when Ianto began to age, and it broke Jack's heart when he died as much as if Ianto had died at 26 at the hands of hostile aliens. When Alonso found him the first time Jack was still mourning Ianto, both the young man he loved and the old man he had cared for.

"But the more we ran into each other, the more I grew attached to you and when you came up to me and demanded to know what was going on, you reminded me so much of him. I was afraid to tell you about him, afraid it would scare you away. When you left I realized I had moved on, moved on to you and it terrified me. Ianto begged me with his dying breath to never forget him and to realize I wanted someone else, to think I was going to let myself fall for someone else and create memories that could erase the ones of him...I didn't know if I was strong enough."

"And now?" Alonso asked lowly, entranced in the low timbre of Jack's voice.

"The past twelve months I have spent thinking of you, searching for you. I want you, I want this." He reached up and gently cupped Alonso's cheek. "Please." The quiet plead broke Alonso's already shattered heart but he knew he had to protect the pieces.

"I won't battle with a ghost, Jack. Don't make me."

"I won't, you won't. I will always love Ianto, you have to understand that. And I've lived a long time and cared for a lot of people. But," he said and tightened his grip on Alonso's wrist when the younger man tried to get away from the thought of Jack's numerous previous lovers. "If there is one thing I will always keep that Ianto taught me is I can't dwell in the past forever and not to worry about the future. I have to live in the now, love in the now and I know that now, and for as long as you'll have me, I want you."

This time it wasn't sex, it was making love. It was slow and sensuous and made Alsono's skin catch fire with every touch. Jack's eyes stayed wide open even when the bliss overtook him and begged him to shut them. And when it was over, Jack pulled Alonso to him, wrapped him in his arms and tangled their legs together. And for the first time in a long time, they both slept.

Please let me know what you think!