He had sussed it out: he was immortal. Jack had thought he would take it badly. He could not have been more wrong. Not that he didn't have some problems with it.
They were cuddling on the sofa when Doc brought it up. "I'm a fixed point now," he had said almost casually, but his eyes looked at Jack with a question: does it upset you?
"Yeah," Jack said. "The Doctor told me. He said we should let you figure it out for yourself."
"I won't regenerate."
Jack ran his hand up and down Doc's upper arm in a comforting manner, smiling gently. "I know."
"I stay the same. Will it bother you? That it's always going to be this body? This face? This personality?"
"Actually I'm very pleased you're going to stay you."
"You won't get bored?"
"Now you're being silly," Jack said, giving him a cuddle.
Sometimes, Jack had discovered, he felt unsure of himself, even knowing they were bond-mates. It wasn't that he doubted Jack. It was himself, his desirability that he questioned. Silly little alien git just didn't understand that Jack thought he was the sweetest thing since bees first made honey. He looked at male and female models, at movie stars, and (for heaven's sake!) a lot of ordinary people, compared himself and found himself wanting in sex appeal. Probably just an overload of earth popular culture. That Jack could understand.
It was when Doc compared himself to Jack that really pissed Jack off. Jack wasn't an idiot and he wasn't blind to his own charms, but it made him furious that Doc would do that.
"Stop worrying," Jack said. "I love the way this you looks. Don't you remember me asking you to take care of yourself because I love this you?"
"You don't think I'm too—"
This again. "No, you aren't too skinny. No, your arms and legs are not spindly. Yes, I love your neck. Yes, I love your freckles. I adore every inch of you, you goofy creature! And sweethearts…I could eat ice cream off that ass."
"But nothing! Now stop that this minute! Don't you get it? I really do think you're beautiful. Maybe it's been too long since we linked telepathically. Do you want to have a peek inside my mind, sweethearts? You can if you really need to."
He shrugged. "S'pose not." He looked at Jack, eyes large and soft and oh so heart-melting. "You could eat ice cream off my bum?"
"By the gallon," Jack said. "You have the cutest, sweetest, prettiest little bum. Or haven't you noticed how much attention I give to it?"
He grinned, and how he could manage to look so shy after everything they had done together was a mystery to Jack, but by the gods, it made him look fucksome. "Yeah, I guess you do like my bum," he said.
"Damn right I do," Jack said. "I like to pat it and pinch it and kiss it and lick it and spank it and fuck it and tongue it. I adore your ass. It's a perfect little ass and if you keep disrespecting it you're going to get it spanked. Again."
He snuggled into Jack. "I guess you really do like this me," he said.
"Sweethearts, to me you're perfect. Next time we make love I'm going to go over your entire body, point by point, and explain to you why I love it. From your nose to your cute little toes."
"You think my toes are cute?"
"Baby, there is nothing about you that isn't cute. Stop picking on yourself, and stop asking me if your arms and legs are spindly. They aren't. They're slender and graceful and lovely. You aren't too skinny except when you don't eat right. I think you look like a colt, or a deer. I think you're beautiful like that and I wouldn't change anything about you. Not a freckle, not a hair, nothing."
He gave his little humming laugh. "That's how I feel about you."
"I was genetically engineered to look like this, baby. You? The universe just decided to make a Time Lord angel and give you to me. Let men and women, and variations thereof the universe over look on and weep. You are mine, all mine."
There was a bit of silence and they went back to watching their movie. Seemingly this was enough, at least for now. Not that Jack ever got tired of telling Doc how beautiful he was to him. He just didn't want him to get it rooted in his head that he was unattractive. So it was nice when the prodding stopped and they could go back to…
"Doc, you seriously aren't going to go on about it after what I just said, are you?"
"No. I just wondered if you ever think about the way I see you."
"I'm assuming you find me attractive, sweethearts. I certainly get that impression."
"Not how you look. How I see you. Can I show you?"
"If it makes you happy, sure," Jack said and shrugged.
Doc placed his fingers on Jack's temples. He felt Doc slip into his mind and the image of a mirror manifested itself in his consciousness. At first, he saw his physical self, but that image faded. Instead of an image, what reflected out of the mirror were concepts: strength, warmth, loyalty and a heart—such an enormous heart— as strong as stone and wide as a sea, one made to be filled with people Jack cared for, one made to give love. There was some hardness around the edges, sure, but nonetheless, Jack grasped what Doc saw in his heart. And it was unspeakably beautiful. He was seeing his soul as Doc perceived it, and it was deep and endless. As beautiful as the ever-expanding universe: a thing as old as time and yet forever unfinished and new.
Doc pulled away then, smiling gently.
Wordlessly Jack pulled him close, his hand pressing Doc's head to his chest. "I didn't think you could be more beautiful," Jack whispered into his hair. "Guess I was wrong." He kissed the top of Doc's head. "As gorgeous as you are it doesn't hold a candle to what's in your heart. Not the way you see everything. I just thought I knew how much I want to marry you," he added, his voice grown suddenly thick. "Now I can hardly wait. But just so you know, sweethearts, there's no ceremony in the universe that can tell you how precious you are to me."
Bannerman Road was lined with vehicles from Gwen and Rhys's practical compact to Donna and family's stretch limo. Sara Jane Smith had decorated her garden with impeccable taste, just the right flowers in the right mix of variety and color.
Inside the house, Jack had to keep reminding himself not to wipe his sweaty palms on his trousers. He was dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and satin vest of deep blue that Ianto and Martha insisted he buy since it set off his eyes beautifully. It may not have been the first time he married, but this! While it was true he had loved Maria, this was different. This was something far beyond his fondest dream. He was about to marry his Time Lord, the one he had waited on for over a hundred years. What could possibly compare to a wait of over a century?
Ianto, Gwen and Rhys kept him company, trying to soothe his nerves, but Jack was still tight as a bowstring. He looked in the mirror for the millionth time. "Let it be perfect," he muttered. "Please let it be perfect!"
"For goodness sake," Gwen said. "Everything is perfect, Jack! At least you don't have a Nostrovite egg in one of you like I did!"
"Fair point, but not helpful," Jack said. "Oh, gods, if I could die of a heart attack I probably would."
"Everyone feels like that when they marry," Rhys said. "Trust me on this."
"You'll be fine," Ianto added.
"You can talk!" Jack said. He grinned at Ianto. "I've watched you and Martha making plans, don't tell me you aren't sweating bullets about your own wedding."
"I'll give you that," Ianto said. "I am sweating bullets. But that just shows it's normal. You're getting married, you're supposed to sweat bullets."
"Then apparently I'm doing a good job of being a groom, because I am sweating bullets."
Rhys patted his back. "Deep breaths," he advised.
The strains of Pachelbel filled the air. "Oh, fuck," Jack whimpered.
"Come on then," Gwen said, taking his arm. "Let's get you out there before you faint like a little girl."
"Please-please-please-please-please let it be perfect!" Doc's hands itched to rake through his hair.
"It will be," Sara Jane said, rubbing Doc's back. "You look splendid. You're going to steal his heart all over again. Just you wait and see."
"But I've always been rubbish at weddings! Especially my own." He gave a soft groan.
"It will be fine, really! At least you don't have the Trickster as a guest like I did."
Doc's eyes went wide. "What if something like that happens?"
"I don't think it will. And even if it did, are you forgetting we're here with you? And you're forgetting whom you're marrying. Do you really think the Captain would let anything like that happen?"
Donna stepped forward and took his hand between both of hers. "That would be one monumentally stupid alien that tried anything on the day he's marrying his Space Man, wouldn't it?"
"Oh, I s'pose so," He straightened his tie for the thousandth time. He still looked worried, though.
"You're being stupid. Today is supposed to a day when you're happy," Donna said. "Stop worrying or I'll give you something to worry about."
"I'm trying, Donna, I'm trying!"
"You look gorgeous," Martha told him. "And of course, so does Jack. If it makes you feel any better he's as nervous as you are. And you're both doing just fine! It's normal to be nervous about your wedding. Mine is still a ways off and I'm nervous about it."
They heard music coming from the garden: Pachelbel's Canon in D minor.
"The music I chose is rubbish, isn't it?" Doc said. Donna noticed him bouncing nervously in his ever-present converse. Couldn't be parted from them even for his wedding, the goofy alien git! "It is. It's rubbish."
"No. It's not!" Donna asserted. "It's lovely, you look nice, and you're going down to the garden if I have to drag you!"
Sara Jane took his other hand and gently patted it, then carefully hugged him so as not to rumple him. "Come on," she said gently. He looked into her eyes and saw the joy she felt for him there. It seemed to calm him. He followed them downstairs.
From either side of the garden they walked towards each other, meeting in front of the Doctor. Ianto stood at Jack's side and Donna by the Doctor. Jack's eyes went wide when he saw his love dressed in a suit of dove gray with black trim, a black vest and tie and…converse? Black converse? Of course. And somehow Jack wouldn't have had him wear anything else. The jacket was velvet, the trousers wool. His shirt was a soft pearl gray. There was a blood red carnation in his lapel matching the one in Jack's lapel.
In all his long life, Jack felt he had never seen anything so beautiful.
Their eyes locked and suddenly they both stopped worrying. Jack looked so dapper in his black suit and blue vest; his eyes had never looked so blue, nor so full of love. Doc felt he could dive in those cool blue eyes and never come out. He could practically see Jack's adoration coming off him in waves.
The Doctor stepped forward. The only sound in the garden was the singing of a robin. He looked from Jack to Doc, his own eyes sparkling.
"Today is a Day of Days!" he said. "Today we acknowledge the ceremony celebrating the joining of these two souls." He took a strip of white cloth from his pocket and took one of Jack's hands and one of Docs, joining them and wrapping the cloth around them.
He began to speak, addressing the couple.
"These are the hands of your best friend, full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
"These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
"These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
"These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that across the ages will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
"Look at one another and remember this moment in time.
"Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another over the years.
"Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the universe, this is my husband. This is my mate. This is the other half of my soul."
He picked up a candle and placed in their free hands a lit taper. Each man used his taper to light the single candle in the Doctor's hands, and, as one, spoke their vows.
"Two flames side by side,
Two flames blend into one,
Burning all the brighter.
Two flames moving always towards the light of love.
Two flames burning as one forever,
For all time,
Ianto and Donna unbound their hands and gave each man a ring. They slipped the rings onto each others fingers.
"These two" the Doctor said, "I now proclaim one, in light or in darkness, for all time."
Jack took his husband into his arms and kissed him. The garden was suddenly filled with cheers and laughter. Jack wrapped his arms around Doc and spun him around.
The Doctor raised the candle above his head and shouted, "Let there be feasting! Let there be dancing! Let there be great joy! Today is a Day of Days!"
And with that, the ceremony was done. At last, they were wed.
The afternoon sun filled Sara Jane's garden with golden light. There had been dancing and feasting and laughter. Wine flowed like a river. The newlyweds had changed, Doc into his beloved brown pinstripes with his long coat and Jack into his normal trousers, braces and greatcoat. They had thrown a bouquet; the crowd had parted as it descended to allow Martha to catch it.
The couple stood in the garden, bags packed and slung over shoulders in anticipation of a whirlwind honeymoon to Italy, France and Spain. Confetti drifted down as Doc placed his hand on Jack's vortex manipulator and Jack pressed a button. They vanished to the sound of cheers.
Their honeymoon away was enjoyable, but in the end, they decided to return home secretly and hole up unbeknownst to everyone in the home that Jack had built.
When they materialized there the first thing Jack did was drop their bags and pick up his husband and carry him to their bed.
"Why do I get the feeling this is when our real honeymoon begins?" Doc asked.
"I guess because as nice as those other places are, there's nowhere I'd rather be than here, alone with my beautiful husband, in our home. It's the only place in the universe built with just we two in mind, after all."
Doc just looked at Jack then, eyes full of emotion, a small smile on his lips. "Come here and let me show you how that makes me feel," he said.
Jack slipped his braces down and kicked off his boots, climbing onto the bed. Doc was busily divesting himself of converse when Jack grabbed him, wrestling him onto his back. "Let me," he said. He took one of Doc's feet in his lap and untied a shoe. "I love it when you let me help you," he said. "It reminds me of when you needed me to do so much for you. I loved taking care of you then. I love doing it now." He slipped off shoe and sock, then did the same for the other foot.
Doc sat up, looking at Jack expectantly. Jack smiled. His husband was waiting for Jack to finish undressing him. He obliged.
When they were both naked, Doc climbed onto Jack's lap, wrapping his long legs around his husband's waist as they sat upright on the bed, face to face in each other's arms. "Jack mine," he grinned, patting Jack's chest.
"Yes, I am, sweethearts. Always. And you're mine."
"I am," Doc said. He brushed his lips teasingly across Jack's. "Oh," he said softly. "Little Captain is certainly standing at attention. Awaiting orders, Captain, sir."
Jack ran his hands up and down Doc's back tenderly. "I want to be inside you," he said, his voice husky with want.
Doc lifted himself enough to guide his husband inside his body, lowering himself with a low moan. "I want to join. Not just our bodies. I want to join our minds while we're making love."
"Anything you want, sweethearts."
Doc rocked and swayed in Jack's arms, building their passion. Jack felt rock-hard inside him. They moaned, their arousal climbing ever higher. As they neared completion, Doc took one of Jack's hands and placed it at his temple, placing one of his own hands on Jack's temple. They held each other close with their free arms, and their minds met and blended as surely as their bodies. They continued to sway and rock. Inside their minds, a spark, hot and blinding, bound them together. It grew as they neared their climax.
It was a new experience for the both of them as they hadn't tried this before now, and it pulled them away from the physical world until they both felt as though they were floating, bodiless, yet joined. Their apex hit them in wave after wave or unspeakable pleasure. Their joined consciousness spread and spread until it slithered across time and space itself, integrating itself with the fabric of the universe. Across creation, temporally sensitive beings felt the universe convulse beautifully, then settle. Something new had been born.
"Oh, Gods," Jack gasped. "Was that what I think it was?"
Doc clung to him weakly. They both collapsed in a tangle of bodies. "Yes," Doc said. "Fuh-fixed point. An event. Our love is now a part of the universe. Across all possible timelines and dimensions. A part of everything. And everything a part of us."
"If I were the type, I'd say I just heard god singing," Jack said, laughing.
"I think we did hear him," Doc said.
Jack looked at his husband curiously.
"Well, earth people say that god is love," he shrugged. "And if that wasn't love I don't know what is."
"I can't argue with that," Jack said, gathering his lover to him and peppering his face with kisses.
"It gets better," Doc said, taking Jack's face between his hands. "Open your mind. Can you feel it?"
Jack did as he was asked. And there it was: an awareness in is mind that hadn't been there before. It was the TARDIS scion, reaching out with her newborn consciousness, awake and aware, seeking out the beings she was now integrated with.
"I'll be damned!" he said and laughed. He rolled on top of Doc, holding him firmly. "It just keeps getting better and better."
"Oh!" Doc grinned widely. "Again, Captain?"
"I'm afraid so, sweethearts. Love the baby."
"Love the baby."
"Love the baby."
Eventually they came out and rejoined their friends in the Hub, but they kept the time they had spent secretly in their home to themselves. That would remain their little secret, that blessed span of days and nights when no one and nothing existed but the pair of them together.
Ianto and Martha married. Gwen and Rhys brought a new little life into the world. Donna and Shaun produced a son.
Days, weeks, months and years lined up one after the other. They continued to build their lives as one, making the earth safe, learning and exploring each other and the way they moved together in the grand scheme of things. Torchwood kept them busy. And at the end of every day, they returned to their home and shut themselves away to everything but the love they shared. Wasn't that what a home was for?
There they stayed, ensconced in their little bubble of happiness which had been carved out of stone by a squareness gun wielded by one besotted immortal from the future in hope and in faith, inspired by the love between himself and his pair-bond-mate, a time-traveling alien born on a world of deep red grass under a burnt orange sky.
It wasn't always easy; like any couple they had their ups and downs, but the love they shared was always worth any effort. Time passed, as it must, even for immortals. The little scion grew and grew. Their friends aged, and as they must, one by one passed on.
The day finally came when their TARDIS was grown and complete. They took her on her maiden voyage together, priming her for the both of them. She took the shape of a blue police box, knowing this was the form they most loved.
Many adventures together they had, passing through dangers and delights equally. They took Torchwood into a new era eventually. It now not only protected the earth, but acted as a diplomatic mechanism between the earth and other worlds and species. Together they crossed the spans of time and space.
But no matter how often or far they traveled, they always returned here, to a little home under the earth. After all, it was more than just an abode. It was the embodiment of everything they meant to each other. After all, it wasn't really made of stone and wood and fiber.
After all, what the house that Jack built was truly made of was faith, hope and love.
I hope you enjoyed my story. I'll be filling in many missing scenes over time, so even though the story has ended, the song will go on.
I didn't write the ceremony or vows completely but did a lot of research and cherry picked the best bits. I wanted their wedding to be perfect, to feel real. I hope you all approve.
I'd like to thank everyone who put my stuff on their favorites and alerts, and especially thank those who went to the trouble to actually review. Reviews mean so much to a writer, they are the right and polite thing to do and I truly appreciate each and every one.