Originally written for the reel_torchwood Challenge 1 on Live Journal
Prompt: The Shadow (1994) starring Alec Baldwin
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG13 (a lot of innuendo and m/m kissing)
Warnings: Slash, language, angst
Spoilers: Completely AU, so nothing other than character names and personalities for Torchwood and a cameo appearance by the Doctor
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and RTD. Sadly. Captain Jack Harkness belongs to Stephen Moffat who created him and John Barrowman who made him amazing. Ianto Jones belong to the fans who love him. The Shadow belongs to Street & Smith and the man who made him a pulp hero Walter B. Gibson. This particular movie belongs to Universal.
Author's Note: For those of you who are not fanatic Shadow-ologists, you may have heard that the real name of the Shadow was Lamont Cranston. Au contraire, the identity of Lamont Cranston was one of many that aviator Kent Allard assumed when he turned to the challenge of fighting criminals.
The Shadow - Torchwood Style
His name in the other dimension had been Kent Allard; he could remember that. He also remembered being a member of the highest council of the Time Agency, the rulers of the known universe. The details were hazy because he'd been gone so long.
He remembered his self-indulgence though. Women, men, aliens – they had all fueled his voracious appetite for sensual pleasure and his search for the Agency's greatest desire: immortality. He'd lived such a dangerous and self-indulgent lifestyle that it was a wonder that he'd survived.
His name now was Jack. He liked it. And, in spite of the changes, or perhaps because of them, he liked himself now.
The Time Agency and the Time Lords had been at war for as long as anyone could remember. The Agency craved endless power and immortality. The Time Lords wanted freedom and peace. In some dimensions, the Agency ruled. In others the Lords held sway.
This was yet another dimension, one that hadn't been corrupted by the Agency, or the benevolent oversight of the Time Lords.
Long ago, Kent Allard was plucked out of his pampered life by the Time Lord known only as the Doctor. Jack still did not understand why this particular Time Lord had chosen him to abduct from his extravagant sanctum, what it was in him that was deemed salvageable. But salvaged he'd been. It hadn't been easy; he'd resisted the new ideas at first. Yet, even in those early stages he had seen the wisdom in the teachings. Now, Jack understood and embraced the knowledge he had been given. He was ready to assume the position allotted to him to help save this dimension from the tyranny of the Time Agency.
Now, he stood in front of the human-looking alien, who had been his captor, then his mentor, and finally his friend. The Doctor put a gentle hand on his shoulder. "I'll be sorry to lose you, Jack," he said quietly. "I think it's safe to say that you have been a star pupil. So many fail to grasp what we are trying to keep safe, but you understand the dangers of time."
"Thank you, Doctor," Jack said, smiling wistfully. "Is this good-bye then?"
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. I may pop by again from time to time, but there are other dimensions to save and I have faith in you to protect this planet. It doesn't appear important, but there are dangers here. It is one of the places that the Agency can find a foothold, if they aren't stopped."
"I hope I'm up to it, sir." Jack couldn't bring himself to be too smug in front of his friend, but he did have a lot of self-confidence. The most rigorous of training had been unable to counteract his innate brazenness. He sincerely believed that was a good thing.
The Doctor grinned at him. "Humility does not become you, Jack."
"Ok, I'll be really good at this," Jack said, winking.
"You will." Briskly, the Doctor turned to the console and gathered papers. "This is your assignment. You're no longer just 'Jack'. You are now Captain Jack Harkness, retired from the Royal Air Force with numerous medals for bravery. I thought you might enjoy that."
"Well…" Jack drawled. "I'd expect nothing less." He considered. "Does this mean I can fly ships?"
"This planet has not yet ventured to the stars. It means you can fly aircraft. Won't be a problem for you?"
"I'd rather fly than walk."
"Remember the retired part, Jack. You won't be flying unless the job requires it." At Jack's frown, the Doctor laughed. "The humans on this planet call it 'Earth'. Where you will be is a country within a country named Great Britain which is part of another country called the United Kingdom. Its name is Wales."
"That seems unnecessarily complicated. Wales." Jack rolled the name on his tongue. "Does it have a city?"
"A nice one. Cardiff."
"And what I'm supposed to do in Cardiff of Wales of Great Britain of the United Kingdom of Earth?"
"The papers explain in more detail. They also include everything you need to establish your identity here. You will be the heir to an estate on the outskirts of Cardiff. We are in the beginning of the 21st century, by local reckoning. There are computers, but primitive ones. Use the tools you find."
Jack blinked. "That's pretty far back from where I started."
"It has to be. In a year or so, Earth time, a Rift in the fabric of space and time will appear near to you. That Rift must be monitored, Jack. You will be its Guardian. You're going in early so acclimatize yourself, and gather a team, a few trusted people to help you watch the Rift and anything that comes through it. You've studied history, and there's more about your new world in your briefing. Give your name a team if you like. Something clever. I know you can."
"I'll think on it."
"Your wardrobe is ready. You have a few hours to read and assimilate. And there is one more thing."
Jack looked up at the Doctor, startled by the serious tone. "This job is very dangerous, Jack. You can't predict what will come through the Rift. I can't give you invulnerability, but I can make you hard to kill."
Jack had wondered if he would be given something to combat the fragility of being human. As proud as he was of his pure human heritage, he had to acknowledge that he was not as strong or as fast as other races. "How?"
"The moment you set foot upon Earth, you will have the power to cloud minds. You'll appear to be part of the background, invisible. The only part of you that will be seen… is your shadow."