builtofsorrow: (tw | maybe this could save us)
[personal profile] builtofsorrow
title: Five Times Captain Jack Harkness Fell In Love With One of His Team Members (& One Time He Knew It Would Last)
characters: Jack Harkness, mentions of Suzie, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, Martha, Ianto, & the Doctor
rating/warnings: PG to PG-13ish (for a bit of swearing). Some slash, obviously.
words: ~1,500
spoilers: None, really.
notes: Written (in rather a bit of a rush, so I make no promises) for the lovely [livejournal.com profile] safebox/[livejournal.com profile] such_heights on her birthday, and originally posted at [livejournal.com profile] willbetime.

i. Suzie
Suzie’s calm and methodical and cold and just about everything he’s not and nearly every bit as fucked up as he is. She enters his life like a first breath of below-zero winter air after you’ve been stuck in a stuffy, overheated flat for too long, a relief in the moment before you realise if you don’t start moving you may very well die (or at the very least your eyelashes are going to freeze together; minuscule difference, really).

He admires her from afar at first, burning up for her almost involuntarily, focusing on the good of her and forgetting about the fact that maybe he thinks he loves her because there’s no one else around to love anymore, no one else he can speak to of the things he can’t keep in, not unless he wants to retcon half of Cardiff. He burns and burns, and she’s somehow drawn in as he gets closer and closer. But when they meet, it’s Jack who is dragged under and frozen.

It’s then that he realises that maybe he needs to start expanding the team.

ii. Tosh
The file comes, filtered amongst a stack of others, and Jack almost misses it, filtered as he is into a would-be-fatal weariness staved off by caffeine and will and the knowledge that he’s got less time to wait now, living amongst flashing lights and the variant frequencies of alarms that mean dozens of different things, scarcely sleeping for nightmares, and rogue aliens, and a five-person job that’s fallen to him and a woman who possibly hates him, and the damned blessed Rift.

The words blur together on the page until he reads her crime, and he doubts anyone at UNIT expects him to do anything with the file besides tuck it away in a cabinet somewhere in the archives. But the sparse paragraph is what he’s been looking for since the turn of the century.

That paragraph is more than enough for Jack to pay a visit to UNIT’s secure holding facilities. A few months later, that same paragraph is why he sends Tosh to London, outfitted with her own brilliance, everything Suzie thinks she might need, and an Albion Hospital identification badge.

She returns and they go through the debriefing, and she’s like a whole other person than the woman who’d been working for him before; she can still scarcely look him in the eye, but there’s a glow about her because she’s seen things and heard things, and he hasn’t seen anyone look like that since Rose (& he wonders if he looked like that too, wonders if there’s something in the very air around the Doctor that wakes things deep inside of people that they themselves are unaware of).

He admires from afar again, and the glow increases along with her self-confidence and sense of worth, and he’s being drawn in again, burning and burning.

Somewhere in the middle of this, they pick up Owen, and three weeks later, Tosh starts staying late at the Hub instead of going out for drinks with the other two. Jack doesn’t think any bit of her imagines he trusts her enough to leave her alone in the Hub (though he does, he’s not really surprised to discover), but he also doesn’t get the impression his feelings are mutual, so he tries one night to inquire without seeming too… inquisitive.

‘I’d just rather be here than feel like a chaperone,’ Tosh replies, to his reassurances that he can handle things on his own and doesn’t mind being alone. She doesn’t have to say any more, because the pain in her eyes speaks very eloquently for her.

Jack’s not jealous for her affection, because he realises suddenly that what he feels for her goes deeper. Sometimes, though, he considers slapping some sense into Owen.

iii. Owen
There are days Owen reminds him of John. If Jack’s being honest, it’s part of why he finally recruited the young doctor: he’s brash and rude and brilliant and needy and childish and broken and hurting and loyal as hell and a downright pain in the arse.

‘I don’t need you,’ Owen hisses once, toward the end of one of their fairly frequent altercations, gesturing vaguely to the whole Hub and what it stands for.

‘Okay,’ Jack agrees, amiably, because he knows it’s the most effective method of getting under Owen’s skin.

Owen simply glowers, because he knows he’s already lost, and Jack feels himself suddenly drained of all his defensiveness. His shoulders slump and he runs a hand wearily over his face as he says, ‘Owen, I-’

He pauses before his voice can break. Before Owen can even try, Jack holds up a hand to prevent him from interrupting; finally continues, ‘You don’t, you know. Probably. But we need you. I need you.’ There are few people Jack’s ever said that to, long as his life has been, and he turns quickly and strides out of the room, almost embarrassed by how much he’d very possibly just revealed in that flash of vulnerability.

Owen somehow fulfills Jack’s hope and never speaks of the incident or uses it against him. But even if he had, there’s a peace behind the doctor’s eyes now that Jack knows would have made the whole conversation worth it.

iv. Gwen
‘Rhys loves me. And who else would have me?’

‘I would,’ he almost says, but every bit of him knows that’s a lie.

She was the first person in too long who made him feel human. She’s a bright spot in the centre of everything, beautiful and brilliant and silly and able to see so much in things that he was blinded to long ago.

It’s not so much that he thinks she deserves better than he, or even that he’s convinced Rhys is better. But he is Torchwood now, and he can’t help but wonder some days how much longer she’s going to last before she implodes or explodes or just simply breaks.

v. Martha
She kisses him, and she tastes like the universe.

There’s a pain in her eyes now that’s almost dead, though she usually hides it well, pushing it back and ignoring it in favour of beautiful things and a hope that even the darkest things in the universe couldn’t kill.

She has a ring on her finger and a softness about her lips when she speaks of the man who gave that ring to her, and Jack doesn’t ever want to come between that, not when it comes right down to it. Still, he almost pulls her back, almost tugs her into his arms and against him, almost is tempted to whisper, ‘Stay.’

He remembers her kissing him before, once, bringing him back from the nothingness, from the darkness, bringing him back with her hope and her wide-eyed wonder and her idealism. He remembers coming back in that old, familiar, sudden way, eyes drawn to hers almost immediately, full of life and laughter and everything in her kiss that had called him back.

Everything had been bright then, but the universe he tastes in her kiss now is bittersweet, and there’s too much of himself in it to keep her here (he knows they’d spend too much time focusing on the one they’d lost, anyway).

vi. Ianto
‘I think I owe you a trip,’ the Doctor says, and Jack is surprised to find that it’s Ianto answering the unspoken question: ‘We’d love to.’

Several hours later, it’s the year thirty-five million, and they’re lying on Jack’s greatcoat in the grass of some planet he’s having trouble remembering the name of, sides pressed together, fingers intertwined between them, staring up at blue storm clouds racing across a white sky.

‘Where do you think you are now?’ Ianto asks, softly, tightening his hold on Jack’s fingers.

It takes Jack a bit to grasp what Ianto’s actually asking, but he chooses to willfully misunderstand him, raising himself up on his elbow so he can look down into Ianto’s eyes before he answers. ‘I’m right here,’ he says, finally, and the roughness of his voice reveals everything he doesn’t say.

Ianto raises himself up to meet Jack’s lips; Jack closes the distance swiftly, and it’s not until they hear the Doctor, speaking directly above them, that they break apart.

‘I bring you all the way to Desidnufor, and all you two do is sneak away for a snog?’

‘It was his idea,’ Ianto says, shrugging.

‘Don’t need my genius to figure that out,’ the Doctor replies, grinning slightly.

‘Are you finished maligning my character?’ Jack asks as he stands, torn between a desire to pout on the one hand and to roll his eyes on the other.

‘Unless you’d like to take up permanent residence here,’ the Doctor says, mostly ignoring Jack’s question, ‘you’d both better come along.’

Ianto’s already shaking the grass out of the coat, and as he drapes it around his Captain’s shoulders, he presses a lingering kiss to Jack’s jaw.

‘I don’t mind leaving you behind!’ the Doctor shouts, already several strides away, not bothering to look over his shoulder.

Jack decides he wouldn’t actually mind that either.

Date: 2008-06-14 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com

Date: 2008-06-14 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] builtofsorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2008-06-14 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trinsy-fics.livejournal.com
I adore all of this, but the last bit ... *incoherent*

That seriously must be Series 5!

Date: 2008-06-14 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] little-giddy.livejournal.com
I think I just spent ten minutes reading this and ignoring the rest of the world. It's quite simply gorgeous. And I love the sheer peace in the ending.

Date: 2008-06-14 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayliemalinza.livejournal.com
Oh, lovely! I like how you handled Jack's "polyamory"-- it's not that he's a slut, he's just ready to love anyone who needs it.

This was beautifully spooled out. I really like Tosh's story because it makes me happy (I like it when Tosh gets love, hee) but Owen's hit the hardest, I think. The line about him finding a bit of peace when Jack admits he needs him-- that was a great kernel of characterization.

Date: 2008-06-16 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurab1.livejournal.com
Lovely :) Very well done.

Date: 2008-07-20 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foreverrhapsody.livejournal.com
I really liked this. Great job! Love the similarities and differences between all those people that Jack loves.

Date: 2008-09-04 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rainshadowsfic.livejournal.com
*sighs happily* so pretty. =D

Date: 2008-10-09 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] headspin-x.livejournal.com
I know I'm late to the party but my God that was good. You nailed the characterisation of the Captain Jack Harkness that lives inside my head. He isn't a slut, he just loves. And when he loves, he loves with all his heart and he loves fully. So many people get this wrong and you got it right. I have the strangest relationship with Jack (mostly because the way he's portrayed on screen doesn't always feel quite right) but you just reminded me why I love him so much. OH, JACK.

Also, I may be so very, very bias here but the Martha/Jack section was my favourite. Not just because Martha Jones is pretty much my hero, but because you nailed (yet again) the Jack/Martha relationship so perfectly (well, one of the many sides to it that I see) and the first line there is TOO DIE FOR.

...I think I ramble too much. But, what I was trying to say was, I love it.



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