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FIC: A Fine Line Between a Fool and a Hero
Author: NightRider
Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Beta: The forever amazing and eternally patient starxd_sparrow and sarkywoman for her brit picking and kind words.
Rating: PG for slashy overtones
Characters: Torchwood Team and the Doctor
Summary: The Doctor and Jack have a history of self sacrifices and for once the universe decides to give something back. This is a continuation of my story A Fine Line Between a Fool and a Hero.

I might turn this into a series in the future. We'll see how it goes!

Despite the history of the Doctor being Torchwood’s number one enemy, the team quickly warmed to Jack’s friend. He was funny, brilliant, and seemed perfectly content to give their fearless leader a hard time. It had been awhile since they’d seen Jack squirm.

They’d been searching the deserted building for the better part of an hour. “I’m going to have a look in the basement,” Jack said as he waved the team forward. “Doctor, stay with them.”

“I’m not one of your new recruits, Jack.”

“Just go with them,” Jack ordered. “Help Tosh decipher that manuscript we found earlier.”

“And here I thought working with Torchwood would be a challenge,” the Doctor replied with a completely uninterested sigh.

“I resent that,” Owen snapped.

“You would,” Ianto said. He rolled his eyes for effect.

“Here’s the manuscript,” Tosh offered after they walked outside. She handed the tattered parchment to the Doctor who pulled a pair of black spectacles out of his pocket.

“You wear glasses?” she asked.

“These are purely for effect,” the Doctor replied as his eyes busily scanned the manuscript. When he looked up, all hint of humor was gone from his eyes. “Get Jack on the phone. Now. Tell him to get –“

An explosion ripped through the street as rubble and debris flew past them. The seven-story structure had been decimated in seconds.

“What the hell?” Owen gasped.

“Jack’s in there!” Ianto exclaimed.

“Jack, can you hear me? Jack!” Gwen kept pressing her earpiece trying to make contact with their missing team member.

“There was a spike in energy right before the explosion,” Tosh explained. She tried to show the Doctor the readouts, but he was standing with his arms crossed over his chest glaring at the pile of burning rubble. “Doctor?” She reached out to touch his arm, but he brushed past her and starting walking in the opposite direction.

“Where are you going?” Gwen called.

“To get Jack.”

“But the building’s the other way,” she replied. She jerked her thumb in the direction of the smoldering remains of the structure.

“Well aware of that, thank you.”

The team stared in stunned silence as the Doctor stalked down the street and disappeared around the corner.

“Just what exactly is he a Doctor of?” Owen asked.


Several minutes went by before they heard the grate of metal on metal and the distinctive sounds of wheezing.

“Oh, what now?” Owen barked. “Torchwood is bloody closed!”

“Isn’t that the blue police box that fell out of the rift?” Tosh asked.

The door to the mysterious box opened and the Doctor stumbled out. He was covered in ash and dirt, his forehead was cut, and his arms were wrapped around Jack’s bloodied upper body. The Doctor was walking backwards with Jack’s legs dragging on the ground. It would have made a laughable sight if Jack wasn’t still dead. They really were quite a pair.

“What’s he saying?” Tosh asked curiously.

“Whatever language it is, I’m sure he’s cursing,” Ianto stated.

“How do you know?”

Ianto shrugged. “Jack tends to have that effect on people.”

I’m a trouble magnet?” the Doctor growled. Jack’s head rolled to the side against the alien’s chest. “Pot. Kettle. Black.”

“The SUV is parked around the corner,” Gwen offered. She pulled the keys out of her pocket and jogged away.

“What do you think caused the explosion?” Tosh mused as she rechecked the rift activity device.

“I don’t know. Maybe the aliens we were tracking somehow – “

“Are you three always this thick?” the Doctor barked. “What do you think caused the explosion? It was Jack! It’s always bloody Jack! The only way to seal the bridge was to ignite a –“ The Doctor stopped immediately when he felt Jack stir in his arms.

“That hurt,” Jack groaned. He forced his eyes open and became acutely aware of the cooler-than-human arms around his chest. “Doctor, I didn’t know you cared,” he teased. The Doctor immediately released him, and he crumpled to the ground in an undignified heap.

“I don’t care,” the Doctor replied as he jerked his hand through his hair. Dust and ash floated to the ground. Owen, Gwen, and Ianto shared a private look. Sure, he didn’t care. And Torchwood didn’t have its name printed on the side of their super secret vehicles.

“I just – well, I shouldn’t care! It’s not like you care about your own life.”

“Not this again,” Jack grumbled as he struggled to his feet. He dusted himself off and lifted his gaze to meet the Doctor’s. Raising an eyebrow, he pointed at the Time Lord. “What the hell happened to you?”

The Doctor crossed his arms across his chest. “Last time I checked, I don’t answer to you.” Ianto’s eyes widened, Tosh found the ground suddenly interesting, and Owen snickered.

“How did the TARDIS get here?” Jack questioned.

“Didn’t you know? She comes when I call her. I was just leaving,” the Doctor explained as he pushed past Jack.

“Always running away, aren’t you?” Jack accused.

“Always looking for a chance to die, aren’t you?” the Doctor returned.

“I saved the world, you know,” Jack replied. He paused and scratched the dried blood behind his ear. “Last thing I remember was falling chunks of concrete.”

“Isn’t that a lovely thought,” Owen sighed as he continued cataloging Jack’s healing injuries from a distance.

“How did I get out of there?”

“Torchwood to the rescue again,” the Doctor called as he stepped inside the TARDIS. “You don’t need me after all.”

“Looks like I saved the day, Doctor.” Jack smirked as the Doctor rolled his eyes and slammed the door closed. “Score one for Captain Jack Harkness.” Apparently the Doctor didn’t like to be shown up either.

“You do realize he saved you,” Owen said quietly as the TARDIS began to dematerialize.

Jack’s smirk disappeared immediately. “He – he what?”

“How do you think you got out of there?” Ianto asked. “You were buried underneath a mountain of rubble. It would have taken us days to dig you out.”

“But he said – “ Jack pointed to the spot where the TARDIS was standing moments before.

“Yeah, he lied,” Owen replied.

“I hate him,” Jack growled. He realized it had nothing to do with their silly game. The Doctor all but verbally admitted that he cared – really cared. Alien bastard.

“Don’t lie,” Owen sighed.

“It doesn’t suit you,” Ianto finished. Gwen pulled the car around, and they started walking towards the SUV.

“So who won that round?”

“Shut up, Owen.”



( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 17th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)

You and Brandy have often mentioned Dr. Who and Torchwood. And you write Doctor Who, and I get all frustrated because I can't read it, and I love your stuff!

So, on Saturday, when I was heading to bed, I saw that there was a Torchwood, half over. So I DVRd it. Then I saw that there were two Dr. Who's, the following day. So I DVRd those, too.

I sat down to watch the last half of Torchwood, without knowing anything about the show, and after missing the last half. Stupid, I know.

So, of course, it meant nothing to me.

The Dr. Who shows went better (largely because I was watching a *COMPLETE* episode...), but I was still so confused. And I know I'm missing stuff.


Help me?

Can you tell me what I need to know, in order to jump into Dr. Who, right now?

The funny thing was that the first Dr. Who I saw, today, was also the only one I ever saw any of, before. :) How weird is that? It's the one where they're on some random spaceship that's about to collide into a sun. And "Korwin" has turned evil. Because it's "all her fault."


Can you help me out?

I looked it up on IMDb, but it was no help.

Plus, you've said that you're sure I'll love it/him, so I'm willing to give it a try.

But I'm confused!


Mar. 17th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Hi darling! I'm more than willing to welcome you to the dark side - *ahem* I mean Doctor Who and Torchwood! :) I was thinking it might be better to explain in an email. I can also give you some tips on where to get episodes. Torchwood is considered to be more of an adult show because of the language and sexual situations. Doctor Who is more of a family show. So...fancy an email? Step into my TARDIS, and we'll take the journey together! :D I'll explain the TARDIS reference too. LOL
(no subject) - teachertam - Mar. 18th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nightrider101 - Mar. 18th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 18th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
“Whatever language it is, I’m sure he’s cursing,” Ianto stated.

“How do you know?”

Ianto shrugged. “Jack tends to have that effect on people.”

So true!
This chapter was just fantastic - the entire story was! Too bad it's over. Jack was being delightfully thick, and the Doctor so ruled over Torchwood. Expect me to read it many, many times more.
But now one to the next fic.

Oh, by the way:
He paused as scratched the dried blood behind his ears.
Typo? Or me lacking grammar?

Edited at 2008-03-18 03:00 am (UTC)
Mar. 18th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks for pointing out the grammar error! Good catch! All fixed now. :)

I'm thinking of turning this into a series. The Doctor visits Torchwood. The Doctor and Jack do some shameless flirting. You know, the usual. It will be awhile before I do anything like that, though. Other projects to work on!

Thanks for the lovely feedback. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Mar. 18th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)
This is such a good combination of humor and angst, beautifully written!

The banter is spot on, and so are the interactions. The game, the oneupmanship, the lying, it's all perfect. :-)
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It's nice to use humor to mix up the angst. :) I'm thrilled this story worked well for you.
Mar. 18th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
Yay! I've been waiting for more of this one.
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
ROFL! Your icon is priceless! :D

I'm so glad you enjoyed the update.
(no subject) - the_dark_side - Mar. 18th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 18th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
I like it a lot. The Doctor saying he cares without admitting it, Jack being thick and those two together- great times! I wouldn't mind seeing the Doctor popping in from time to time, flirting with Jack and running off again.
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
For all the Doctor talks, you'd think he'd be better expressing his actual feelings. ;)

I'm glad you like the idea for a series. We'll see where it goes. Thanks for the kind review!
Mar. 18th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
OMG!!! You sure have been in a creative mood lately! Two updates in one day and both about stories I *love*!! Yay :D

This one was totally funny *g*. Snarky!Ianto made me giggle like a crazy and the Doctor running to the rescue and then dropping Jack on the floor pretending he didn't care? Heeee! Priceless!

Sure, he didn’t care. And Torchwood didn’t have its name printed on the side of their super secret vehicles.

Bwha! So damn true! *G*
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
I wrote a lot over the weekend. I was waiting for my lovely beta to work her magic before posting. ;)

I'm thrilled the humor worked so well for you! I'm always afraid other people won't see my writing as funny.

YAY! You pointed out my favorite line! The first time I watched Torchwood I nearly fell over when I saw they had the secret organization name right on the side of the SUV. Ah, Torchwood! How I love you!
(no subject) - aschicca - Mar. 18th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nightrider101 - Mar. 18th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
That's because you are special! *hugs* Thanks for responding here as well. :)
Mar. 20th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
They're such boys, the pair of them ;)
Mar. 21st, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Boys will be boys! :)
Mar. 20th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
Lol Owen's last line was made of WIN.

Awwww the Doctor cares and Jack didn't notice the slip up at first.

Mar. 21st, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, the Doctor definitely cares. He's just not going to walk around making a fuss about it. I think Jack got the message. ;)
Mar. 21st, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
YAH! Finally part 3. Loved it . I hope there is a sequal. I loved all the banter betwen the doc and jack. And the team commenting from the peanut gallery, totally fun.
Mar. 21st, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This story has been a blast to write. It's much more lighthearted than the angst I typically gravitate to.

I'm planning on turning this into a series once I finish some of my other projects. Thank you for the lovely review!
Apr. 26th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
I was SUPPOSED to be spending the day catching up on my housework! Oh well....... make hay while the sun shines (and the family are away)....

Loved the dialogue in this, especially the banter between the Doctor and Jack, and the score keeping. Really funny.

"Are you three always this thick?” the Doctor barked. “What do you think caused the explosion? It was Jack! It’s always bloody Jack!" LOL. YUP.

I've put Grieving Heart onto my pda to read again tonight. I have seriously GOT to go do something productive. It's your fault. Yours and Vail's today. I totally blame the both of you.
Apr. 26th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
But housework is so boring! :D Fic is much more fun.

I'm glad you found this story amusing. It was a blast to write. I think I need stories like this to balance out the angst.

It IS always Jack, isn't it? The man is just as bad as the Doctor!

I'm flattered you're going to read 'A Grieving Heart' again! That's made my night!

Thanks for the lovely review. You're very kind. :)
Apr. 30th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, I liked it! It wasn't just a funny story I rly loved the serious undertone...I mean the Doc caring about Jack and...*sigh* Very nice!

“You wear glasses?” she asked.
“These are purely for effect,”
HAHA! I laughed so hard at the first time! *g*

"Sure, he didn’t care. And Torchwood didn’t have its name printed on the side of their super secret vehicles."
This is so made of win! *snickers* Wonderful sidekick!

"Jack smirked as the Doctor rolled his eyes and slammed the door closed."
H. I don't know I have chosen that phrase too but...it's so Doctor-like xD

I love how you're paring those two up :)

Apr. 30th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
We all know the Doctor cares for Jack. He's just not going to come out and say it. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to point out the lines that you liked. That really means a lot to me.

And thanks for the lovely review!
May. 13th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
Awwww. I liked this one! Well done!
May. 13th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 7th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
“What do you think caused the explosion? It was Jack! It’s always bloody Jack!"

Hee, new favourite line! He makes a fair point. The ending was really funny too *shakes head* What a pair. They're as bad as each other...
Jul. 7th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
I do adore the Doctor and Jack. :) Such a timeless pair!

Thanks for reading! *friends back*
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 23rd, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review. :)

I've written several stories in the DW/TW fandom. There's a link on my user info page to everything I've written that's posted on my LJ.

Thanks again!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - nightrider101 - Aug. 23rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - nightrider101 - Aug. 23rd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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