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FIC: Fixing What Isn't Broken 1/1

Title: Fixing What Isn't Broken
Author: NightRider
Rating: PG
Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Spoilers: Journey's End
Beta: The forever amazing starxd_sparrow and souleswanderer
Characters: The Tenth Doctor and Jack Harkness
Summary: The Doctor didn’t believe in luck, fate, or karma, but for some reason the Universe had a way of giving him exactly what he needed despite the fact that he rarely knew he was in need.
A/N: This was written for wendymr after her generous donation to the Support Stacie Holiday Auction. I'm not entirely pleased with the story, but I hope she enjoys it. :)





We had the best of times.

The Doctor meant what he said – every single word. They had the best of times, and now he missed her terribly. Donna was his friend, his brilliant companion who wasn’t afraid to tell him the truth, to call him on his shortcomings, and to listen and offer a hug when things hadn’t turned out the way he’d originally planned.

He didn’t believe in luck, fate, or karma, but for some reason the Universe had a way of giving him exactly what he needed despite the fact that he rarely knew he was in need.

He’d found Rose after the Time War, after he committed unspeakable acts and carried the burden of the demise of his people on his shoulders. During that time he was shrouded in guilt, cloaked in such an overpowering remorse, he thought he’d never recover. At the time, he wasn’t sure he wanted to recover.

And then there was Rose – brave, beautiful, and fantastic. For a time there was Jack – heroic, charming, and definitely bigger on the inside.

He had returned to a dark place when he met Martha. She deserved better, and he knew that; the things she wanted he wasn’t able to give. He was grieving, and he’d been selfish. Still, Martha was courageous, brilliant, and a far greater hero than he could ever hope to be.

When he’d found Donna again, he’d meant what he said – he wanted a mate. Donna fit the bill perfectly.

There were no expectations, and what little she had asked of him was in his power to do. Donna wanted to say goodbye to her granddad; the Doctor took her soaring into Wilf’s telescope’s view so she could wave goodbye from among the stars. She’d asked him to save one person from the fires of Pompeii; the Doctor had saved a family. But as always, there’d been limits. He refused to watch her die as her mind was overrun with the intense thoughts of a Time Lord.

Donna told him she was going to stay with him forever, that she was going to spend the rest of her life by his side. The Doctor thought she might have made good on that promise if things had turned out differently, but things hadn’t, and he did the only thing he knew to do so she’d survive.

He returned to the TARDIS sopping wet and feeling every bit his age. Then he did what he was best at: he left.

For a time he was running – travelling from planet to planet and tossing himself into every crisis he stumbled upon. Running gave way to wandering, and the Doctor began aimlessly drifting, helping where he could and returning to the TARDIS alone when the situation was resolved.

At the TARDIS’ insistence, he found himself wandering the streets of Thenatious. He’d tried avoiding the planet more than once, but for whatever reason, his ship kept landing in the alley inside a bustling market. The planet and its inhabitants looked harmless, but there was something unsettling, as if time itself was crawling down his spine. The Doctor dismissed the notion as he pulled his coat tighter around his body, no longer trusting his instincts.

The market was filled with vendors selling everything from food to discarded bits of foreign technology, most not native. Considering the Thenations had yet to discover space travel, it would stand to reason the assorted bits of metal and other artifacts were either being brought onto the planet for trade or falling out of space itself.

The Doctor stopped browsing, his hand shielding his eyes from the glare of the three suns, as he watched the mob. He froze when his gaze locked on a young man weaving through the crowds unnoticed - one hand concealed underneath his greatcoat, fingers most likely resting on the hilt of a blaster, the other arm resting at his side, a vortex manipulator peaking out from underneath the heavy fabric of his coat.

The Doctor smiled, a warm feeling spreading through his hearts for the first time in months, as he watched the familiar figure. The man stopped, his eyes focused on something in the distance. Another man approached, hidden in the shadows of the buildings, his hand reaching for something concealed against his hip.

“Jack,” the Doctor murmured, watching the assailant approach undetected. “Jack, behind you!” He ran across the alley, slamming a wide-eyed Jack against the concrete, as several gunshots echoed through the street. The chaos was instantaneous, and people screamed and ran wildly in a hundred different directions.

Jack’s face was mere inches from the Doctor’s – the wide-eyed expression remained unchanged. “What the –“

The Doctor stood, extending his hand and pulling the other man to his feet. “Come on. We need to get out of sight.”

Jack ran alongside the man who had just saved his life. The Doctor ducked into a vacant building, sealing the door with his sonic screwdriver after Jack was safely inside.

“Not that I mind the rescue, but do I know you?” Appreciative eyes scanned the Doctor several times. “I doubt it. You seem pretty unforgettable.”

The Doctor lifted his eyebrow, recognition dawning in an instant. Why hadn’t he noticed sooner? This man wasn’t a fixed point in time and space and judging from the weapon and convenient period appropriate outfit, he was also a Time Agent. He had been so happy to see a familiar face, to see someone he cared about, he’d run headfirst into a potential paradox.

Jack waggled his eyebrows. “It’s not often that someone saves my life. Is there something I can do to repay you? Hopefully something I can do to you?” He approached the Doctor, his hand reaching for the other man.

“Jack, no,” the Doctor chided, stepping back. “It’s not like that.”

Jack dropped his hands to his sides. “Well, can’t blame a man for trying.” He winked, flashing a megawatt grin, and the Doctor sighed. “So you think my name is Jack?”

“You remind me of someone.” The Doctor ran his hand through his errant hair. “A friend.”

“Jack,” the man repeated as if trying the name on for size. “Been called worse, I suppose. I like it.”

“You could tell me your real name, you know,” the Doctor commented, leaning against the dusty wall.

“And spoil the mystery?” That wasn’t unexpected; the Doctor knew a Time Agent would never give his real name. “So what can I call you?”

“The Doctor.”

Jack raised his eyebrow, but didn’t comment. Avoidance was often answered with further evasion. “Well, it was nice to meet you, Doctor. I need to be off. Business to attend to, you see.”

The Doctor watched him tug on the door a few times. “Does this business have anything to do with someone trying to kill you in the middle of a crowded market?”

“I appreciate the rescue, Doctor, but my business on this planet isn’t your concern.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” the Doctor said, tugging on his ear as he watched Jack struggle with the door. “I might have a vested interest in what happens to you.”

“Yeah?” Jack said, turning around with his arms crossed over his chest. “And why’s that?”

The Doctor shrugged. “Let’s just say I see your potential.”

Jack laughed, his tone hollow. “Potential? That’s nice, Doctor.” He jerked his thumb towards the door. “As intriguing as this conversation is, I have work to do. Unlock the door.”

The Doctor pulled his screwdriver from his pocket. “As you wish,” he said, unlocking the door. “Just so you know, whoever your target was, whoever you’re here to kill, I’m going to find them first.”

Jack stood in the doorway, his back to the street as he stared at the Doctor. “Charming, but unrealistic, Doctor. After I walk out this door, you’ll never see me again.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say that. You’re a Time Agent, aren’t you? You know how –“ He was slammed against the door, Jack’s blaster pressed against his temple.

Through clenched teeth, Jack asked, “Who are you?”

“A friend,” the Doctor repeated, “and someone who really hates guns.”

Jack pressed his fingers against the Doctor’s shoulders, shaking the other man. “Who are you working for?”

“If I was working for someone, why would I save your life?”

“You obviously need me alive,” Jack said logically. “Who sent you? You’re an Agent, aren’t you?”

The Doctor laughed, reaching one hand over Jack’s arm to rub his eyes. “An Agent? Don’t be silly.”

“Whoever you’re working for, the sonic screwdriver is a nice touch, but a blaster is much more effective.”

The cool metal pressed more firmly against the Doctor’s temple, and he rolled his eyes. “I’ll be sure to pass that along.”

Jack watched the Doctor continue to chuckle. “I could shoot you, you know.”

The Doctor looked at him - seeing things Jack could only imagine - his expression unfazed. “You won’t.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“You’re not a killer. Of that, I’m certain.”

The Doctor spoke with such certainty, and without reason or knowledge, Jack found himself lowering his gun and replacing it underneath his coat. “You obviously don’t know me, then.”

The Doctor smiled, his eyes kind. “I’ll see you around, Jack.”

Jack stepped back as the Doctor walked past him and into the street. “Yeah.” He watched the mysterious man walk away, shaking his head. “Get it together,” he admonished softly. “You’ve got work to do.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

His instructions had been very clear. He was supposed to find the scientist, engineer, or whoever possessed the knowledge and technology to repair the Rift, and he was supposed to stop them. He didn’t ask why. He knew he’d just be told it was above his pay grade.

Well, if he was supposed to find this Rift expert, there was one sure place to look – where people tend to congregate after a long day.

It resembled an ordinary pub, people were standing around laughing, sipping an assortment of fermented beverages.

The Doctor spotted Jack immediately. He was surrounded by a group of people, a pretty young brunette was giggling as Jack’s hands were animating his tale. The Doctor watched him, the familiar half smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, as Jack lifted his arms, his voice carrying easily through the crowd.

Jack lifted his head, his eyes meeting the Doctor’s gaze across the room. His arms fell to his sides, and he stepped away from the group. “I’ll be right back.”

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were following me,” Jack commented. “Now the question is, should I be flattered or concerned?” He paused, one finger pressed against his lips. “I’ll go with flattered.”

The Doctor’s hands slid into the pockets of his coat, one eyebrow casually raised. “This is also the only place to get food at this hour.”

“Does getting food entail gawking at me from across the bar?” Jack asked.

A plate of food was placed in front of the Doctor. It contained an assortment of bananas prepared in thirteen different ways.

“So you’ve got a thing for bananas,” Jack commented, pulling out a stool and sitting down.

“Bananas are good,” the Doctor said around a mouthful of pudding. He continued to eat, his eyes not wandering past his plate as he sampled each treat. He wiped his mouth, folded the napkin and laid it aside, acutely aware that Jack hadn’t moved. “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” he asked finally.

Jack grinned, a devious smile twisting the corners of his mouth. “How do you know I’m not?”

“If that’s work, I need a career change,” the Doctor muttered.

“A career change from what?” Jack asked casually. To the untrained ear, it was friendly conversation; to the Doctor, it was a leading question designed to glean as much information as possible from the other person.

“Oh, you know, always busy, me,” the Doctor replied.

Jack glanced around the bar, not thwarted by the Doctor’s evasion. “So where are your friends? I can’t imagine someone like you traveling alone.”

That struck a nerve, and the Doctor rubbed his thumb across the closed fist of his other hand. “And why’s that?” He paused; his voice was flat when he spoke again. “I could be a local, you know.”

Jack rolled his eyes, turning on the stool until his back was against the bar, his eyes studying the crowd. “You’re no more local than I am.”

They sat quietly, Jack watching the mingling people and the Doctor studying his folded hands. “Just so we’re clear, I wasn’t going to kill him,” Jack said suddenly. His eyes widened as if he surprised himself by that open admission. Why did the opinion of this stranger matter to him? He certainly didn’t have to justify his actions to this man.

The Doctor turned on the stool, adopting Jack’s position with his back pressed against the counter. “Are you talking about the person from the market?”

“My blaster was set to stun,” Jack continued. “I just wanted to talk to him.”

“You could try walking up and saying hello,” the Doctor replied, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’d wager he’d be more likely to talk to you if you weren’t trying to shoot him in the back.”

“I suppose it was for the best,” Jack said, sliding off the stool. “As it turns out, he’s not the person I’m looking for.”

“Oh, really?” The Doctor leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. “Who are you looking for?”

Jack shrugged, his eyes on the exit. “Not sure, but I’ll know when I see him.”

“Happy hunting.”

Jack smiled. “I’ll see you around, Doctor.”

“Yep.” The Doctor watched Jack leave, smiling as he paused to flirt with several women and one man before finally exiting the pub. He felt it again, twisting in his stomach, gnawing in the back of his mind.

It was the ebb of time, insistent and inappropriate. It was time that didn’t belong. He felt it when he arrived on the planet, dismissing the feeling as it slithered down his spine. He didn’t trust himself, his instincts. He’d been wrong so frequently the notion of bleeding time seemed too farfetched.

He could leave this place, off in the TARDIS. The inhabits of this planet would be forgotten, their memory disappearing in the vast recesses of his mind. He owed them nothing, after all, after everything he’d been through, everything he’d done, he’d most likely be doing them a favor if he didn’t get involved.

The Doctor glanced at his hands, rubbing the backs of his knuckles with the pad of his thumb. Was this to be his fate now? Always running? Well, if he was going to be honest with himself, he was running before, but not like this. Never like this.

He might be weary, but he was never too tired to stand up for what was right.

The Doctor placed his hands on the bar, pushing away as he stood to his full height. He had a riddle to solve, and fortunately, he knew exactly where to look.

He returned to the market that was now deserted due to the late hour. He quietly rummaged through closed booths hoping to find anything resembling the piece of tech he needed. The Doctor saw it in the distance, discarded and forgotten, laying next to a rubbish bin in the alley. He tugged on the oblong metal object, stumbling as the boxes shifted and the instrument was released.

The Doctor grinned, tucking the object under his arm, and started for the TARDIS. With any luck, he’d be able to fix this. Finally, he could do something right. Granted, fixing a Rift was always easier with other Time Lords around to help. Considering the most recent Time Lord that had stumbled across his path, he figured it was better he was alone. Anyway, a leak in Time wasn’t as bad as a Rift. Well, that depended on the size and location, and on lots of random other details only a Time Lord would understand.

A man stepped in his path, hands hidden in the pockets of a greatcoat.

“Nice night for a walk, wouldn’t you say, Doctor?”

“Yes, lovely night, indeed,” the Doctor replied, attempting to side step the man. “I really must be going. Always busy, me.”

Jack grabbed the Doctor’s arm, eyeing the metal object the Time Lord held close to his body. “That looks heavy. Let me help you.”

The Doctor looked down nervously. “It’s fine. I’ve got it.”

Jack managed to twist the object out of his grasp. “I knew it!” There was accusation in his words.

“I won’t let you,” Jack said, his hand still hidden from view.

The Doctor straightened, his gaze locking with Jack’s. “You’re no fool. You know what will happen if I don’t stop the leak.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed. “I know nothing!”

“Well, finally we agree on something,” the Doctor muttered.

“I have my orders,” Jack said.

The Doctor shook his head. “I never thought you one to blindly follow orders.” When Jack looked away, he continued, “You know I have to stop this. You know what will happen to this planet if I don’t. Take it from me, time implosions aren’t pretty.”

“I’ll stop you,” Jack repeated. To a stranger, he sounded convincing and forceful, but the Doctor was able to detect the slightest bit of indecision in his words.

The Doctor pulled the object away from Jack. “Well, go on, then. Stop me.” He didn’t wait for Jack’s reply, starting down the street again.

Jack caught up with him again, falling into step by his side. He kept his eyes forward, not acknowledging the Doctor walking next to him, but staying close to him anyway.

He stopped several steps from the TARDIS. “If you’re going to stop me, now would be the time,” the Doctor said quietly, nodding to the Police Box.

Jack’s gaze shifted to the metal instrument the Doctor had tucked loosely under his arm. “Why does it matter to you?” Jack asked suddenly, his tone more curious than accusing. “You’re not from here. You don’t owe these people anything.”

The Doctor sighed, wondering how he could possibly explain to this man, the same man who’d fought and died for him more times than he could count, the reasons behind his actions. Because, if he knew anything about this man, Jack didn’t need a speech on loyalty and honor; those traits were as much a part of him as breathing no matter how old he might be.

He met Jack’s gaze evenly. “Because it’s the right thing to do,” the Doctor replied. “As I was saying, if you’re going to stop me…”

Jack sighed, his hands jammed in the pockets of his coat. “I think we both know that’s not going to happen.” He shook his head, his expression contemplative. “I’ve never met you before and after a few hours in your presence, I’m willing to throw my career away. Apparently I’m losing my edge.”

The Doctor watched him, his hand pressed against the door of his ship.

“I was supposed to stop whoever was building an instrument to plug the time hole,” Jack explained, his eyes staring at the star filled sky. “They’ll know I let you go.” There was no fear or trepidation in his voice. He was merely stating a fact.

“Jack, I’m sorry,” the Doctor murmured. “You could…” He gestured to the TARDIS, a silent invitation hanging chilly air. He could sense the paradox. He felt it, all the possibilities circling and twisting in his mind. It was a crystallizing moment when he realized when this Jack was from.

“They’ll never stop looking for me,” Jack replied. “This is just one more screw up in a long line of mistakes. Anyway, I’m not a coward. I don’t run from my responsibilities.”

The Doctor winced despite the knowledge that this man knew nothing of the Doctor’s past or his future and meant no harm by his words. “I know, Jack. Trust me, I know.”

It felt like several minutes before Jack finally tore his eyes away from the sky and met the Doctor’s gaze. “You seem to know me pretty well, Doctor,” he said suddenly. “Maybe, wherever I am, you could pay me a visit.”

Maybe Jack knew the TARDIS traveled in time and maybe he didn’t. The Doctor didn’t ask.

The Doctor nodded. “I’ll do that.”

Jack grinned – it was wild and enigmatic – before turning on his heel and jogging away. “I’ll see you in hell!”

So many things were left unsaid, but that always seemed to be the way when Jack was around. Apparently that carried to all the Jacks strewn throughout time.

Once again, he witnessed what Jack was willing to sacrifice for him. What had he ever done to deserve that loyalty, that kind of friendship?

It was rather anticlimactic when he was able to mend the hole with the assistance of his marvelous ship and the pieces of alien technology he’d brought back with him. It had taken several hours, and he was left feeling exhausted, more mentally than physically. He pushed it aside, fully intent on honoring the promise he made to his friend. It was more than a promise, though. He needed to see Jack again, to remind himself that Jack, his Jack, immortal and loyal until the bitter end, was all right. He’d been avoiding everyone that knew him for nearly a year, and now, because of a promise, he was ready to face his past again.

He opted for the middle of the night, hoping the Hub would be deserted. He didn’t have to stay long, after all.

The Hub was eerily quiet when he stepped out of the TARDIS. He swallowed the slight trepidation that swelled in his throat and reminded himself that Jack ran Torchwood now.

At the sound of his name, he jerked his head around and saw Jack approaching him, wiping his hands that were covered with some type of grease on his trousers. He felt the hum of Jack’s immortality licking its way down his spine and was surprised he hadn’t noticed it before. What was more disconcerting was that he actually rather liked it. It was a reminder, a fixed point that said here, right here, forever and always, was Jack.

“I called you three times,” Jack said. “Are you all right? Is something wrong?” He glanced over the Doctor’s shoulder through the open door of the TARDIS. “You’re alone.”

The Doctor turned as if he expected someone to walk out of the TARDIS after him. “Alone?” He shook his head. “Right, yes, of course I’m alone.”

Jack raised his eyebrows, his arms crossing over his chest as he watched the Doctor skeptically. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

“I already said I was fine,” the Doctor replied.

“No, you said you were alone,” Jack pointed out.

The Time Lord rubbed the back of his neck, unsure of how he expected this encounter to progress. In typical Doctor fashion, he continued rambling to fill the void. “So how’s Torchwood these days? Any new aliens I should know about? How’s that friend of yours?”

Jack cut across him. “Doctor.”

“Ianto, wasn’t it? And Martha, I imagine she’s working for you now. It wasn’t that hard to figure –“

“Doctor,” Jack repeated loudly, waving his hands in front of Time Lord’s face. He gave a satisfied nod when the Doctor’s mouth snapped shut. “How long have you been gone?”

“Not sure, really,” the Doctor replied, shrugging.

Jack rolled his eyes, his arms crossing over his chest again. “You’re a Time Lord. If there’s anything you know, it’s time.” Jack continued to look at him expectantly. “Well?”

“Awhile,” the Doctor said lamely.

Jack thought for a moment, his eyebrows furrowed, and for whatever reason, let it go. “So where’d you go? Save a lot of planets while you were gone? Did you meet anyone interesting?”

The Doctor froze, his fingers half-threaded through his hair. “You could say that.”

Again, Jack rolled his eyes. “Did you actually have a reason for coming here tonight, or did you just want to talk in circles?”

The Hub was silent save the hum of the computers across the room. The Doctor looked at him again, the retort dying in his throat. Idle banter was too easy, and if there was anything the Doctor knew it was that Jack deserved better, deserved the truth. “I’m keeping a promise to a friend.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed, his expression unreadable. “And that promise was to see me?”

“Well, you know, I said I’d pop ‘round and see how you were doing. Seems you’re fine.”

“Okay, let’s recap, shall we?” He started ticking on his fingers while he spoke. “You’ve been gone for an undetermined amount of time and while you were gone, you made a promise to a friend to ‘pop round and see how I’m doing.’”

He paused, and the Doctor nodded. “Yep. That sounds about right.”

Jack sighed, rubbing his temples with the pads of his fingers. “You’re the only person I know that can talk for hours and never say anything at all.”

The Doctor glanced over his shoulder at the open door of the TARDIS. “I could leave, if you like. I wasn’t trying –“

“No, it’s fine,” Jack interjected. “Are you hungry?” Jack looked at him again, his eyes widening briefly as if seeing him for the first time. “You look like hell.” The Doctor opened his mouth to respond, but Jack continued, “Come on. There’s some leftover pizza in the conference room.” He didn’t wait for a response, spinning on his heel and walking away.

Jack lifted his head, his expression surprised when the Doctor plopped down across from him.

He was on his second mouthful of pizza when he noticed Jack staring at him. “What?”

Jack looked down at his empty plate. He never intended on eating; he just didn’t want to watch the Doctor leave. Again. “I didn’t think you’d stay.”

Scratching the side of his throat, the Doctor said, “I suppose I haven’t given you much reason to think I would.”

“No, you haven’t,” Jack replied honestly. He selected a slice of pizza from the box and dropped it on a paper plate. “So tell me where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to.”

The Doctor recounted some of his adventures, opting for the stories where he helped people and stopped world disasters. He didn’t mention the handful of deserted planets he’d visited, the days he’d spent walking along barren beaches alone. He even managed to make Jack laugh a few times. It felt good; it felt like friendship.

They talked the remainder of the night, and Jack started checking his watch frequently towards the morning. “Your team will be arriving soon,” the Doctor surmised.

Jack nodded and didn’t seem overly enthused at the thought. “Ianto comes in early.” When the Doctor didn’t comment, he added, “To get the coffee started.”

“I should be leaving anyway.” He pushed away from the table, waving his hand over the discarded cups and paper plates. “Thanks for this.”

“It was cold pizza.”

When the Doctor smiled, it wasn’t his maniac or half crazed smile. It was simply him. “It was nice.”

“If you let me know you’re coming next time, I’ll come up with something better.” Somehow the words ‘next time’ were cloaked in question, as if he wasn’t sure if there would be.

“You’re a good man, Jack,” the Doctor said suddenly, causing Jack to lift his head. “I imagine you always were.”

Jack’s gaze dropped, the picture of a man that didn’t believe. “Even you don’t know that, Doctor.”

The Doctor stepped forward and placed his hand on Jack’s chest, his fingers splayed over a single beating heart. “No, I want you –" he paused, his eyes closing for a second – “need you to understand this. You’re a good man.” He swallowed, remembering all the times Jack had fought for him, believed in him, died for him. “You always have been, always will be.”

Jack met his gaze, his breathing slightly labored as he wrapped his fingers around the Doctor’s wrist. “You met me, didn’t you?”

The lack of response on the Doctor’s part was all he needed to hear. “But…I don’t remember. How –" He froze, unable to speak, think, or even breathe.

If Jack’s eyes were shining, the Doctor didn’t mention it. “Would you like me to tell you about it?”

Jack stepped away from the Doctor, his hand idly rubbing his arm. “Wouldn’t that risk a paradox or something?”

There was a risk involved if the Doctor told Jack about what happened because, in reality, Jack could blame the Doctor for losing his memories, but if it would bring him peace, the Doctor knew it was a risk he’d have to take. Jack didn’t hold the monopoly on sacrifices, after all.

“I always wanted to know,” Jack murmured in a tone wasn’t clearly directed at anyone. “And now that I have the chance, I don’t know.” He glanced down before meeting the Doctor’s gaze hesitantly. “I was a good man?”

The Doctor answered him with all the honesty and sincerity in his hearts. “The best.” He watched the uncertainty cloud Jack’s features. “You know,” he continued, gesturing towards the TARDIS, “she does travel in time.” Although he couldn’t fix the pain of Jack’s past, he could offer him a reprieve, a chance to just be for awhile.

A fleeting smile ghosted Jack’s face. “Are you offering?”

“You’ll be back before your team arrives,” the Doctor promised.

This time the smile stayed as Jack followed him inside. “So did we…” He nudged the Doctor with his shoulder.

“Did we what?” After noting Jack’s mischievous grin, he rolled his eyes. “Is that all you ever think about?”

Jack pressed his hand to his heart, sighing dramatically. “Good, I wouldn’t want to forget that.”

The Doctor leaned against the console, one hand hovering over the controls and the other resting on his hip. “Trust me, if we ever did that, you wouldn’t forget it.”

Rolling his eyes, Jack said, “Promises, promises.”

“I’ll have you know I’ve been rather good at keeping my promises lately.”

Jack swallowed, his eyes wide. “Are you offering?”

He waved his hand over the controls, a smile speaking of promise tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Where to?”

“Somewhere deserted. Definitely deserted. That’s warm. With a beach, too.”

The Doctor nodded, keying in coordinates before yanking the initiation lever with a bit too much enthusiasm. “As you wish.”

After losing Donna, he tried to disappear and as fate, luck, and time would have it, somehow managed to find Jack. The Doctor laid with his head resting on Jack’s chest as the immortal combed the sand out of his hair, he realized Jack helped him fix what he thought was broken beyond repair – his hearts.

~Finished~

Comments

( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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sarkywoman
Mar. 5th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Oh, that's just lovely! Love the sort of instant connection between the Doctor and a Jack who doesn't even know him yet.
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
shinodabear
Mar. 5th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
“A friend,” the Doctor repeated, “and someone who really hates guns.”

There were so many gems in this piece, but this one made me smile the most. Though don't be fooled: I smiled throughout. Lovely fic, hon. Perfectly IC.
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Thank you!

You must have been reading my story while I was reading your newest ficlet. :) Another amazing drabble from you!
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(no subject) - nightrider101 - Mar. 5th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - nightrider101 - Mar. 5th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shinodabear - Mar. 5th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nightrider101 - Mar. 5th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shinodabear - Mar. 5th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC) - Expand
timey_wimey_kid
Mar. 5th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Awwwwwww *smiles* this is so cute!
Great fic!
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Thank you!
shane_mayhem
Mar. 5th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Awesome! I love it!
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!
jujuberry136
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
The Doctor's the reason for Jack's missing two years \O/

Loved the connection between original!Jack and the Doctor and loved that the Doctor kept his promise and went to visit torchwood!Jack.

Thanks so much for sharing :D
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Well, he's part of the reason. I'd hate to think the Doctor was solely to blame. :)

The Doctor is getting better at keeping his promises. ;)

Thank you for the kind review!
slyreflection
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Squee! Great fic, made me all warm and squishy inside. :)
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
vail_kagami
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
Wow! I'm really happy this story got the good rewievs it deserves. Because it is, in the end, a good story, with good characterization, an overal feeling of deolation coming from the Doctor and a nice, hopeful ending. I can't offer you a running commentary this time, but this:

Jack nodded and didn’t seem overly enthused at the thought. “Ianto comes in early.” When the Doctor didn’t comment, he added, “To get the coffee started.”

Somehow this goes along so well with the TORCHWOOD FAIL we are currently reading: Jack, despite being in the hub all the time, can't be bothered to get the coffee started on his own. Epic fail - and TOTALLY IN CHARACTER!

Poor past!Jack, though. His moment of honour and his decision to face the consequeces of his actions were touching.
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
You know, I get the feeling you really didn't like this. :P No worries, though. I'm happy you took the time and read and review!

Torchwood does fail, doesn't it?

I'm glad you liked past!Jack. In my mind, Jack's always looking out for the Doctor no matter what time he's from.

Thanks again!
(no subject) - vail_kagami - Mar. 5th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC) - Expand
off_the_post18
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Woo! Doctor/Jack! :)

I love how Jack can heal Ten...it's how it should be. ;)
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way!

Thank you for the kind review! :)
wendymr
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
What a lovely surprise! And the perfect day for it, too; I'm exhausted after a long day at work and arriving home later than I wanted. This is just what I needed to make me smile.

You did brilliantly with my prompt! I love the snark, the Doctor following younger-Jack around, Jack asking questions, and then the Doctor completely by accident turning out to be the person Jack was sent to stop. More hints, if we needed them, that the Time Agency has its nasty side.

And then the Doctor going to see his Jack in Torchwood, and letting him realise that their meeting was during those missing two years... aww :(

“I was a good man?”

The Doctor answered him with all the honesty and sincerity in his hearts. “The best.”


Not that that's any surprise to us :)

And I just loved this:

“So did we…” He nudged the Doctor with his shoulder.

“Did we what?” After noting Jack’s mischievous grin, he rolled his eyes. “Is that all you ever think about?”

Jack pressed his hand to his heart, sighing dramatically. “Good, I wouldn’t want to forget that.”

The Doctor leaned against the console, one hand hovering over the controls and the other resting on his hip. “Trust me, if we ever did that, you wouldn’t forget it.”

Rolling his eyes, Jack said, “Promises, promises.”

“I’ll have you know I’ve been rather good at keeping my promises lately.”


This is exactly the sort of Ten/Jack story I love: hurt/comfort, humour and an ending that leaves me smiling. Thank you for writing me such a gorgeous fic!
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
*breathes a massive sigh of relief*

I'm so glad you liked this! I admit your prompt was much harder than I thought it would be. Plus the added pressure of writing for you.

Thank you for bidding on my auction and for taking the time to write such a kind review!
lindenharp
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
A good story. I liked your portrayal of young Jack, and the satisfying ending.
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
adafrog
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Wonderful, thanks.
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
hence_the_name
Mar. 5th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
Aaaw this is great! You have no reason at all to feel unhappy with it.

I remember talking about this with you when you were first working on it, and I think you dealt with the name issue perfectly--it's acknowledged, then you just get on with the story and it's not distracting.

The Doctor dismissed the notion as he pulled his coat tighter around his body, no longer trusting his instincts.

Poor Doctor. I definitely see him going this way, and no longer trusting himself.

A plate of food was placed in front of the Doctor. It contained an assortment of bananas prepared in thirteen different ways.

Hee!

He even managed to make Jack laugh a few times. It felt good; it felt like friendship.

I really love that. *cuddles them*

nightrider101
Mar. 6th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I really struggled with the name part. I'm glad it worked. :) Sometimes just glossing over it and moving on works better...or is a sign I'm a lazy author. ;)

Thanks again for the lovely review! I always smile when you pop up on my journal.
51stcenturyfox
Mar. 5th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
Lovely, and the ending is so sweet.

It was the ebb of time, insistent and inappropriate. It was time that didn’t belong. He felt it when he arrived on the planet, dismissing the feeling as it slithered down his spine. He didn’t trust himself, his instincts. He’d been wrong so frequently the notion of bleeding time seemed too farfetched.

Great passage. That's really thought-provoking. :)
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's always extra nice when someone takes the time to point out a part they particularly liked. :)

I appreciate the kind review!
(Deleted comment)
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely review!
rose_cat
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
Thank you, this is just what I needed :) And the image at the end, of Jack combing the sand out of the Doctor's hair, is priceless!
nightrider101
Mar. 5th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
I'm a sucker for a happy ending. :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed this!
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