Of all the timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly, less than respectable holes on Orion's belt, he had to walk into one where an unmistakable voice could be heard singing sad songs for nostalgic drunkards.

Angel Eyes, that old devil sent. They glow unbearably bright.

Those eyes looked both as beautiful as always, but ineffably sad as well, as they looked at each other and he caught a decided catch in Jack's voice as he sang the last line.

Scuse me while I disappear.

Jack left the stage to boozy applause and met the Doctor at the bar, where they were instantly (if only metaphorically) back at each other's throats.

"You knew they were coming, didn't you?"

"Jack, I am so, so sorry."

"Do you know what happened? What I had to do?"

The Doctor looked down, up, side to side, and any other direction he could find to try and avoid the raw pain that was now Jack Harkness.

"I….suspected. The 456 were a threat to the entire galaxy. They had to be stopped and you were the man for the job."

Jack's anguished rage was as palpable as his wrongness.

"So you stranded me there, just so I could do that to my own grandson?"

This was why the Doctor had tried to so hard not to care, and whether he wanted to admit it or not, failed. Certain things had to happen. Except when he decided they didn't. The moral high-ground had given way to a vast plane of arrogance where he and Jack were equals.

"You did the right thing, Jack."

Absolution was clearly not what Jack was seeking. The Doctor knew what he could do for Jack, what Jack had always wanted from him.

He held out his hand to Jack and gestured toward the dance-floor. Jack hesitated, but the Doctor caught a glimpse of the old smile.

If it hurt to look, he could always close his eyes.

A Time Lord victorious must also be a Time Lord compassionate.