The Impossible Flirts
Luna University 5121
Jack blinked open his eyes and squinted at the ray of sunlight filtering into River Song's modest dorm room. He stretched and slipped out of the small twin sized bed. River was lucky that she had her own room. Though from his experience, roommates had never been a problem, most joined in, in some form or another.
River lightly grabbed onto his arm. "Where you goin'?" she asked, eyes glazed over in sleep.
"Be back in five minutes." He lightly kissed her lips and she let go of his arm and snuggled further under the blankets, nodding slightly.
Jack chuckled quietly as he quickly put his clothes back on, taking a moments pause to check himself out in the mirror. Pausing at the door he gazed back into the room at the girl he left behind. She was one of the best lays he'd had in awhile. It was really a shame that he couldn't stay another day, but business was business, and she did have the keys to one of the last Chula Warships in all existence. He smirked and grabbed the starter chip before leaving the room and its curly haired occupant behind.
River jerked awake, her blond curls bouncing around her head as she rolled over to find herself in bed alone. Everything was exactly where she had left it the night before. Shoes by the door, bra on the doorknob, and a shirt somehow suspended in zero gravity above her bed.
Jack was gone, as was expected. She hazily remembered him saying something about five minutes, but shook the blurry thought away. No fifty-first century man stuck around any longer then he had to. Even if she was a fantastic lay. River only wished she's got his number. She vaguely remembered him promising a second date before she drifted off to sleep, and a night like that deserved repeating.
She stumbled out of bed, blindly wrapping a towel around her body, and grabbed her shower bucket. River opened her door and reached for the keys she kept on the hook by the door. One never left their room unlocked if they valued their stuff.
Her shower bucket crashed to the ground, scattering her few toiletries in the doorway.
"That man," she growled, "Next time I see him, he's dead."
Her baby. Her beautiful ship! The ship she had actually done real work for and some man had just stolen the fucking keys.
River glared daggers at the empty hook.
"He's dead," she vowed.
Near The Maldovarium 5145
Captain Jack Harkness was not having a good day. He wasn't even halfway through the day and he had already died twice. He knew he had made some enemies in the Time Agency, but this was ridiculous. He almost wished that he hadn't decided to come back to this planet after the 456 incident. There was no way he was going to get any relaxation done here.
Jack sighed and stuffed his hands into the pockets of his greatcoat. He just needed to find another bar, far away from that crazy bitch of a Vogan. He shuddered. They were terrible. Always trying to read him poetry.
He passed an alleyway with a few dumpsters and a small creature huddling by the entrance. Jack felt a shift in the air and reached for his gun, spinning around only to get smacked back again by a metal rod. Not again, he thought as he died for the third time that day.
Jack gasped for air as his heart grudgingly began to beat again. He hated coming back to life. Though he was glad that he didn't have to deal with a headache and bruises from that pipe. He checked his pockets and made sure all his personal effects were still where they should be. Jack was glad that it had only been a stroke to the head. Genuine Earth clothes weren't easy to find in this century and he really loved his coat.
Three times was enough; he had gotten the message; clearly, he was not wanted on this planet. He had been killed one too many times. Jack reached for his wrist and froze. His vortex manipulator was gone. Not only that, but there was a distinct line on his arm, marking where the little bastard had cut the lower part of his arm off to steal the device.
"Well, shit." Jack sighed and started to work on his excuse to get a new manipulator.
He walked back the way he came and past the entrance to a bar.
"I said off the wrist."
Jack started towards the door. He'd show them what happened to those who fucked with Captai—on second thought, he'd already died three times and Lady Luck was clearly not on his side, plus, he was tired. He turned away mournfully, too consumed in self pity to notice who had taken his vortex manipulator, or the familiar curls of the college student who had retrospectively been the domino that had completely turned his life upside-down.
River's Apartment near Luna University 5147
There. River located him. Finally. Twenty-first century Cardiff, right on the rift. It had taken her years, but she finally found him, with no help from her husband. Of course, if the Doctor knew what she was about to do, he would probably get mad. She sent a quick prayer to any deity that was listening that the Doctor would not choose such an inopportune time for a visit. He always got so upset when she killed people, and she didn't have the time to coddle his hurt feelings.
River didn't care that it was because of her Chula Warship that Jack Harkness and the Doctor met. She vowed revenge on the ex-time agent all those years ago in university, besides, he promised her a second date, and he never did keep that promise. She put on her sexiest dress, perfected her make-up, and called the Captain.
Torchwood Three Hub Early 2008
Jack cradled his coffee cup as he listened to Tosh go over the latest rift spikes, when suddenly, his manipulator beeped.. His team froze. Manipulator calls had never ended well for him, and they all remembered the John Hart incident.
"Who's bloody calling you this time?" Owen asked, coming up from the Medical Bay.
Jack shrugged and pushed a couple buttons. A curly haired woman in an evening gown smiled and shook out her hair. River Song.
"Captain Jack Harkness. I was hoping I would reach you directly, but this is just as good." She smiled. "I wanted to give you fair warning. I'm coming for you. That cheap trick with my Chula Warship all those years ago was not nice. I really loved that ship, and" She pouted. "I think it's time we had that second date you promised all those years ago." River smirked and sent Jack a flirtatious wink before the hologram blinked off.
"Who was that?" Ianto asked.
"Old friend. A very old friend."
"You stole her spaceship?" Owen asked.
Jack shrugged. "That was a long time ago."
"Oh, sweetie, you have no idea," a new voice said.
The Torchwood team spun towards the woman, still in her floor length dress, in front of them, guns out and pointing, ready to fire.
"River Song. It's been a while," Jack said, gun still pointed.
River smiled. "It's Doctor River Song now, Captain. I graduated a while ago."
River smirked and drew her weapon, pointing it at Jack, ignoring the rest in the room. "And married, I'm afraid. Oh, don't think that'll save you. Doctor's friend or not, I've made up my mind."
"How do you know the Doctor?" His grip on his gun loosened.
River smirked and aimed her gun at his head. "He's the reason why I went into Archeology. I was looking for a good man. Don't you remember?"
Jack smiled at the memory. "Are you sure you found one?" he said, smirking in her direction.
"Jack!" Gwen interjected. "She's the enemy."
"And an old friend."
River rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't call us 'friends' per-se. More like we got what we wanted from each other that night." She paused. "Well, some of us did." She placed her finger on the trigger. "Now stand still and don't make a fuss. We both know you'll come back to life, Harkness, so don't be such a pain in the arse and let me shoot you. I'll be out of your hair after that."
"How can I trust you?"
River shrugged. "You can't," she said and fired.
Jack blacked out and thought he could feel the electric twinge that came from someone using a vortex manipulator before he fully died.
River's Apartment near Luna University 5154
River collapsed on her couch after another long day at the university teaching students. Who knew teaching actually involved work? She sighed and got up to get ready. The Doctor would be here soon and he promised to take her out to dinner. Well, he'd said dinner, but with him, it would probably be centuries before he managed to find a place where people stopped shooting at them long enough for them to get a bite to eat.
River fluffed her hair one last time and snapped her vortex manipulator on her wrist, gun into her purse, and hallucinogenic lipstick in her bra just as the sound of the TARDIS materializing echoed throughout her house. She grinned and ran down the stairs to greet her husband.
"Hi, honey, I'm home," he said when he saw her. She walked over and pecked him on the lips. She never got tired of this.
"Hello, sweetie." She passed the Doctor and walked into the TARDIS. "Where are we going this time?"
"You look beautiful, River," he replied.
River lightly blushed. He always made her seem like a little girl. "Thank you, sweetie."
The Doctor stood still, staring at his beautiful wife until she raised an eyebrow. "Sweetie?"
He jumped. "Right, sorry, dinner!" He raced around the console, pushing buttons and pulling levers. River followed behind, pushing the right buttons and pulling the correct levers. "I know this nice restaurant at the end of the universe. You'll love it."
River smiled at her energetic husband. "We'll see."
TARDIS Time Vortex
River had been traveling with the Doctor for a little over three weeks now. She knew he would get her back in time to teach her class on Monday. However, before she went home, she needed to make sure that the TARDIS was charged. The last time he landed in Cardiff and let the old girl charge was over one hundred years ago before New York and the Weeping Angels, and he was always forgetting.
"Cardiff is boring, River," the Doctor whined.
"But the TARDIS needs to charge, Doctor," she replied in the same tone. "What if she runs out of power on some alien planet and they end of wanting to kill you, which, may I remind you, was what happened last time."
"That was one time." The Doctor sat in the pilot's chair and pouted.
"Sweetie, a couple hours. That's all she needs. You know that. And we can go visit Jack. I know you haven't seen him in a long time."
"How do you know about Jack?" the Doctor asked, grudgingly beginning to put in the coordinates. River double checked to make sure he entered the correct thing and changed the date they would arrive.
River shrugged. It wouldn't be good to mention her past 'relations' with the wayward captain. "You've told me about him and...we've had a few run-ins. We were both adults during the same century you know."
The TARDIS touched down, making its customary noise and the two stumbled a step.
"I was in university and he was a time agent. Or ex-time agent by that time. I'm not really sure."
The Doctor sighed but dropped the subject. He figured he didn't really want to know.
"Come on, Doctor, take me out to dinner. There has to be a nice place to eat around here. It'll be fun, I promise."
The Doctor smiled and grabbed onto her hand, pulling his wife out of the TARDIS and onto the warm streets of twenty-first century Cardiff.
"What year did you input?" he asked.
"Late 2008, after the Medusa Cascade."
The Doctor was silent for a minute, probably remembering the episode. River squeezed his hand in comfort. She knew he lost his Rose that day. He smiled at her.
"We'll catch up with Torchwood later, come on, dear, there's a great fish and chips place this way."
River laughed. "You and your chips." The Doctor smiled and winked playfully.
Torchwood Three Hub Late 2008
Jack sat at his desk and watched his remaining two employees work. Ianto was cleaning up from dinner the night before and Gwen was investigating the recent rift spikes.
All three froze when the familiar sound of the TARDIS materializing filled the Hub. Jack raced down to Gwen and told her to pull up the CCTV footage above the Hub. Ianto leaned over Gwen's other shoulder.
"He's regenerated again," Jack said when a man with floppy hair and a bow-tie stepped out of the blue doors.
"Sure that's not a previous version of him?" Gwen asked.
"We have all his regenerations on file. That's not one of them. It must happen in our future."
"Is it okay for us to make contact?" Ianto asked.
"Yes. If it wasn't, he would've appeared at a different time."
Gwen and Ianto nodded.
"That's that woman," Gwen said, pointing to the curly haired woman in the handkerchief style dress.
"Doctor River Song," Ianto replied. "Why is she with the Doctor?"
"Do they know each other?" Gwen asked.
"I'm not sure. Hopefully she won't try to kill me again."
"See, that was fun," River said as the duo walked out of a slightly smoking restaurant and into downtown Cardiff.
The Doctor smiled at his wife, her hand gripped tight in his. "It was. Always loved that place. Run by disguised Pyovillians. Who knew? Guess it's time for us to go visit old Torchwood. Haven't seen Jack in a while. I wonder how he's going to react to the new face. I mean, last time he saw me I was with Donna and I almost regenerated. He looked so scared about losing me. I don't think I can do this. Come on, River, let's get back to the TARDIS and get you back home. You have a class to teach, don't you?" He started leading her back towards the blue box.
"Theta," The Doctor froze. She only called him Theta when she was serious...or extremely flirty, but that was neither here nor there. "everything will be fine." She rested her hand on his cheek. "I promise you."
He smiled at her and nodded, giving her a quick kiss on the lips. "Let's do this." River rolled her eyes, but smiled all the same as she followed after her husband.
The Doctor led her over to a brick in the sidewalk covered in a perception filter and pointed his screwdriver at it, making the lift lower into the ground. He always did like the flashy entrance.
Jack and his little team were waiting at the bottom. They looked less than pleased to see her there, let alone holding hands with the Doctor. They probably saw him kiss her, too.
"Doc, River," Jack said, arms crossed.
As usual, ignoring the threat of hostility, the Doctor let go of River's hand and embraced the Captain. "Jack! How've you been? It's been awhile. Well, for me anyway. You just saw past-me, didn't you? Didn't get much time to talk, though. Trying to put all the planets back to normal and that fun stuff."
"I've—we've been okay, Doc. You don't have to worry about us." Jack led the group into the conference room.
"But I do! I always worry about you." River took this as her cue to step in before he got too caught up in the sappiness of leaving companions.
"Doctor, are you going to introduce me to your friends?"
The Doctor jumped up in his seat, smiling at her before turned back around to the team. "Yes, right, sorry. River, this is Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, and Ianto Jones. They're Torchwood Three. This is Professor River Song."
"We've met," Gwen hissed.
"What? You have?" He turned to River. "When?"
River shrugged. "Few years ago. Before I was a professor, right after Stormcage."
"What did you do?"
"She killed Jack!" Gwen shouted, turning everyone's attention back to her. "Why is this woman even allowed into the Hub? She shot Jack and then disappeared."
The Doctor sighed and looked back at his crazy wife. He had a brain of a Time Lord, looked into all of time and space, and Professor River Song was still the biggest mystery. She just stared back with a confident smirk on her lips. "Do I want to know why...?"
Guess there was no hiding it from him, now. "We had a one night stand during university and then he stole my Chula Warship in the morning. Then, he had the audacity to blow it up. I thought it was only fair. I worked my arse off to get that ship."
Jack leered. "That's a lie! I specifically remember you still had an ass when I met you. You couldn't have worked that hard." Ianto rolled his eyes and stood up, going get refreshments as it appeared that this was only the beginning of a very long night.
River turned away from her husband. "Oh, if you think I was good in university, I'll have you know that I learned a few tricks since then that would surprise even you, Jack Harkness."
"Jack! River! Wait a minute! Wait a minute." The Doctor was obviously flustered. This was not a battle he knew how to fight. River winked at the Time Lord, he was so cute when he was confused.
"Relax, sweetie. What Jack and I had is long over. Besides, I'm a married woman." The Doctor grabbed her hand and pulled her into the seat next to him. This he could understand.
"Wait," Jack said, "You're married to him?" he asked of couple who had forgotten the argument and were two inches away from needing to be told to get a room.
"Yep," the Doctor replied, still lost in River and she smiled wicked at the confounded captain.
"When did this happen?" Jack asked, sinking into a chair. He knew the Doctor led an interesting life, but he'd thought by now he would be used to the surprise.
"Few years from now and in an alternate universe where all of time was happening at once." Jack was definitely glad he had decided to sit down.
"Does that really count?" Ianto asked, coming back into the room with coffee and tea for everyone.
"Yes." The Doctor and River turned as one, their icy tone almost freezing over the tea in Ianto's hand.
"What's Stormcage?" Ianto asked in a strangled tone.
"Stormcage Containment Facility," Jack informed his team, "was—is a high security prison during the fifty-first and fifty-second centuries. It housed the most dangerous of prisoners. What were you doing there?"
"The warden thought I killed someone, but it turned out they never existed, so I was pardoned."
"That doesn't even make sense," Gwen commented.
"What do you mean?" Ianto asked.
"Who did you kill?" Jack asked at the same time.
The Doctor squeezed River's hand. "A good man."
"His name, River," Jack ordered.
"Jack, stop it," the Doctor said.
"No, Doctor. I can't. Only the most dangerous people end up in Stormcage. If I've let a murderer into my base, I want to least know who she killed."
The Doctor stood up, leaning over the table at the Captain. "It's not important."
"Sweetie," River whispered, putting a hand on his arm, she wasn't going to let his temper ruin his friendship with Jack. Slowly, he turned towards her.
"River?" She looked down, pain showing on her face. She still had nightmares of the day he died, of pulling the trigger, and watching her mother cry as they burned his 'body'. She couldn't forgive herself, even if he had. She shook her head.
"The Doctor," River whispered. "I killed the Doctor."
Within seconds, the guns came out.
Jack remained seated. Well, this was new. After all these years, the Doctor could still surprise him. Married to his own murderer. The Doctor was a strange man. It wasn't all that surprising that he would go for something so different. But, she still killed him.
The Doctor had pulled out his screwdriver and stood between the loaded guns and River.
Gwen stared him down as Ianto fiddled with his gun, unsure where to point it.
"Jack, I told you letting her into the Hub was a bad idea. She kills people. She killed you and she killed the Doctor. I think we should end this now."
River calmly entered the coordinates home into her vortex manipulator
"Sir? What should we do?" Ianto asked, his gun calmly pointed at River.
Keeping the sonic pointed at the Torchwood team, the Doctor turned towards River.
"Calm your friends, sweetie. I know when I've overstayed by welcome."
He grabbed her wrist. "River, don't, please."
"We can't just let her go! At least we should lock her up in the cells!"
"Sweetie, let me go."
"Gwen, shut up," Jack ordered.
"Jack, she killed you."
"Gwen does have a point, Jack," Ianto stated.
The Doctor hugged River and whispered in her ear, "River, River, River, I've never blamed you. I promise. Please, don't leave. We'll get this all fixed up."
"Yes, I know that, but she knew I wouldn't die, so it doesn't count."
"It still doesn't make it right!" Gwen shouted. Her voice was getting shrill.
River sighed. "Alright, Doctor."
The Doctor pulled back from the hug and scowled at the fighting going on between his friends. "Are you done? In case you didn't notice," he said, gesturing at his body and squeezing his face for emphasis, "Not dead! In fact, very not dead. Undead. Alive. That's it! See? Me being...alive. She couldn't help it and I don't appreciate all yelling and guns. It's very rude. You are rude! We are your guests after all. You should be offering us tea and not pointing guns. I hate guns. Love a Jammy Dodger, though I don't suppose you have any of those...
Taking his cue from Jack, Ianto put down his gun and finished setting up the tea.
"Gwen..." Jack warned. She lowered her gun, but didn't put it away.
"If she's going to kill you, why are you married to her? Aren't you worried that you won't wake up one day?" Gwen asked.
"No, because I know she won't."
"But, Doc, you both said—"
"I know what we said."
"You know because she has already killed you," Ianto said, handing the Doctor his favorite biscuit.
The Doctor beamed. "Right in one. Knew I liked you for a reason." River rolled her eyes at his childishness.
"I don't get it," Gwen said. "If you were killed, how are you still alive? Are you immortal like Jack?"
The Doctor scoffed. "Immortal? No! The TARDIS would have an aneurysm if I was fixed point in time. If she could get aneurysms..." he mumbled. "But no, little Doctor inside of a big Doctor suit."
"The Teselecta?" Jack asked.
"You've heard of them?" wondered the Doctor.
"Ran into one during World War Two when Torchwood sent me over to Germany for a while."
River and the Doctor shared a glance.
"What's the Teselecta?" Ianto asked.
"It's a shape-shifting, time traveling android staffed by a crew who had been miniaturized by a compression field. It's owned by the Justice Department during the fifty-first and second centuries," Jack informed his team.
"Can we please get back on topic?" Gwen shouted. "She's a murder—"
"Shh," the Doctor said, finger over his lips. Gwen shut her mouth and froze. She couldn't talk. Why couldn't she talk?
Jack burst out laughing. He hadn't seen anything that funny in a while. The Doctor had to teach him that trick. "Sweetie, that wasn't nice."
The Doctor pouted and sat back into his chair to munch on his biscuit.
"Doctor," Jack said, breaking the silence, "do you trust River?"
The Doctor sat up, sonic screwdriver still clenched in his hand. His expression was neutral as he stared down the captain. "I absolutely trust her."
Jack smiled and clapped his hands. "Okay, that's good enough for me. River, welcome to Torchwood. Thank you for not shooting me again." River nodded in response.
"What? Jack!" Gwen yelled, breaking out of whatever the Doctor did to her. "You can't be serious?"
Jack frowned. "Gwen, I've always appreciated what you've done for Torchwood, but if you can't handle this like an adult, then leave. If the Doctor says she's alright, then she's alright."
Gwen huffed and stomped out of the room.
Jack sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Sorry about her. She takes things at face value, sometimes."
The Doctor nodded in acceptance and ate another biscuit while River sipped her tea.
"How long are you guys in town?" Jack asked a few minutes later.
"Until the TARDIS recharges." The Doctor pouted.
Jack raised an eyebrow at the Doctor. Clearly he didn't want to be here. "How long will that take?"
"Another hour or so," River said.
"Why charge it now?" Ianto asked.
"Last time this idiot charged it was over one hundred years ago."
Jack choked on his coffee. One hundred years? "How old are you now, Doc?"
The Doctor waved his arm around, Jammy Dodger in his fingers. "I'm twelve hundred and fifty-two. I told you it's been quite a while since I last saw you, Jack Harkness, isn't that right, River?" He waved the cookie at the captain.
River ignored her five-year-old husband and continued drinking her tea.
The next few hours passed by in a similar matter. Jack and the Doctor caught up with each other, while River and Ianto chatted quietly about their jobs. Gwen went home to Rhys after she made sure the rift was calm.
"Ah, ah, ah, ah!" The Doctor started flailing around and reached into his pocket, pulling out his screwdriver, a banana, and an empty bag of Jelly Babies before he extracted his glowing TARDIS key and dropping it on the table.
"Sweetie, are you alright?"
"What?" he asked, "Yes, fine. The TARDIS is done charging. Come along, dear, time to go." He shoved the screwdriver and banana back into his pocket and balled up the empty bag, throwing it into the trash can across the room. The group of four walked out of the Hub and stood in front of the Police Box. "Jack, Ianto. It was great to see you."
Jack stood up. "You sure you can't stay a bit longer, Doctor?"
The Doctor shook his head. "Nope, sorry. Lot's to do. Planets to see, people to save, etc., etc."
Jack pulled the Doctor into a hug. "Until next time, Doctor. Come back and visit us soon, alright." He pulled back and winked at River. "You too, Mrs. Song."
River laughed. "I'm out of your league now, Harkness."
"Doesn't mean I can't try."
"Jack," warned the Doctor.
"It's alright sweetie. He can't help himself."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Ianto mumbled.
The Doctor grinned and unlocked the TARDIS doors, gesturing for River to go in first.
"Always the gentleman," River quipped.
"You changed it," Jack said.
The Doctor looked away from River and back to Jack, not comprehending what he said at first. "What? Oh yeah. Crash landed after I regenerated and she had to build from scratch. You can come in and see if you like." He grinned and walked into his Police Box, leaving the door open for the couple.
"I like this look better. It's not as depressing as the last one. More childish, too. It fits." The TARDIS hummed in response.
"So, how about it?"
"How about what?"
"Want to come with us? Travel for a bit. See the stars."
Ianto frowned at the offer. Jack smiled sadly. "Sorry, Doc. We're needed here." He grabbed Ianto's hand. "I promised I wouldn't run off with you again." The Doctor sagged. Jack let go of Ianto and put his hand on the Time Lord's shoulder. "Doctor, you have a beautiful wife who loves you very much. Spend some time with her and take her someplace nice, alright? You don't need us tagging along being a third wheel."
Jack grinned and hugged the Doctor again. He pulled back and gave him a kiss as well. The Doctor grinned.
Jack nodded once to River across the console and walked towards the entrance, grabbing Ianto's hand on the way. "Bye, Doc, River."
Ianto waved goodbye with his free hand and shut the door behind him.
"Doctor." She sauntered over.
"River." He leaned back onto the console as she pushed herself onto him.
"Where are we going next?" she asked flirtatiously.
"I know this great pleasure planet," he squeaked.
"Sounds perfect," she purred and pulled the lever behind the Doctor, setting the TARDIS in motion and leaving him frustrated as she spun away to flip another switch.
He growled and followed her, entering the coordinates into the computer.
"I hate you sometimes."
River laughed. "No you don't!"
My god, writing non-linear ppl is so difficult. A fair while of writing this was used to make sure all the timelines made sense at the various points of time that they happened. So i really hope everyone could figure out at which time in river and jack's timeline at everything happened.
And everyone better say a BIG thank you to my good friend, Elise, who, witout her wonderful editing skills, this would not have been half as awesome as it is.
Until next time,