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Title: Until We Meet Again
Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Pairing/Characters: 11, Jack, Rose; hints of Jack's feelings for both
Word Count: 400
Rating: T-ish
Warnings: Spoilers (kinda) through "Closing Time" for DW and through "Fragments" for Torchwood.
Disclaimer: I don't own them! I steal them from time to time, like the Doctor stole the TARDIS.
Summary: “Been a while.” He says it casually. Tries not to let the betrayal, the latent anger, creep into his tone. He can’t be angry, though. Not at them.
Notes: Okay. Timelines. 2000. For Jack, this is pre-"Utopia", and plays off his line about visiting Rose during her childhood (I know he said 1990s, but I won't tell if you won't). For the Doctor, this is one hundred years into the farewell tour that ends in "Closing Time".

This idea has been eating me alive for a while and I'm grateful to finally have it down. I also owe a serious debt to the fic that turned me onto this concept, tvconnoisseur's brilliant, tear-jerking, utterly perfect My Days in the Sun. What I can do here is nothing compared to what she did there. This is written for who_contest's Drabble Challenge #11 (prompt: last).

Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
- Richard Bach

It isn’t the last time Jack Harkness will see the Doctor and Rose Tyler, but he doesn’t know that yet.

“Jack.”

Jack looks up, just barely startled by a man approaching him that he doesn’t know, because when he looks closer he realizes he does know. It’s instinct. This is the Doctor. Just not the one he’s looking for.

“Been a while.” He says it casually. Tries not to let the betrayal, the latent anger, creep into his tone. He can’t be angry, though. Not at them.

“How long, for you?”

“Just over a hundred years, more or less. You?”

“A hundred and five, or six, relative to the next time you’ll see me. Lost count.”

“So I do see you again?” He tries not to sound too hopeful. Doesn’t receive any elaboration. “And her?”

“She was there.”

Jack risks a glance at the Doctor’s face, sees pain twist his expression. He can’t tell if it’s at the sight of Rose through the window of the chippy or at the memory. Decides not to ask, not really. “She’s gone now—whenever you are?”

“Yes.” The Doctor’s gaze lingers on her. “How old is she here?”

“Fourteen.” It’s 2000 and Jack knows he shouldn’t be here. The last time he risked a visit to Rose Tyler, it was 1996 and he’d sworn to the punks on the local playground that if they touched her again (and then he’d gotten the hell out of Dodge; tough to explain to authorities that his interest in Rose isn’t inappropriate, not really, because she’ll sure as hell reciprocate when she’s older…).

He shouldn’t be here, but he’d needed to see someone like this—alive. He spent New Year’s Day scrubbing blood from the Hub and placing bodies in cold storage.

“You regenerate. I’ve… learned, these past few years. How many times has it been since Satellite Five?”

“Twice.”

“And the next time I’ll see you?”

“I’ll be younger.”

“Right.” He pauses, gives the Doctor’s attire another glance. “Like the braces, Doc.”

“You would; they’re yours. Found one of yours in the TARDIS. Thought you wouldn’t mind.”

“I don’t.” He’d thought often of the Doctor in his clothes; can’t start minding it now. “I can’t remember this, can I? Meeting you?”

“No. I’m sorry.”

Jack nods. Submits. Forgets.

This isn’t the last time he’ll see them, but it is the last for a very long time.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
a_phoenixdragon
Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:23 am (UTC)
Ahhh, how you have broken my heart and elated me all at once, lovie - thank you...

*HUGS*
haveloved
Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, what a lovely icon! I'm still so very disappointed that the original plan to have Jack around for 6x07 never came to fruition. I think Jack would have a really interesting dynamic with Eleven, Amy, Rory, and River.

I wanted to go for that feeling you got--the elation because he's finally seeing the Doctor again, even if it's not his Doctor, and he's getting a glimpse at their lives when he's just witnessed such carnage at the Hub. But I knew from the start it would be inherently heartbreaking, as well, because he can't remember the encounter at all. If I hadn't had the word limit, I was actually going to twist the knife a tiny bit more and have the memory erasure involve a kiss. It's still kind of the way it happened in my head, LOL. Thank you!
a_phoenixdragon
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
Guh...you need to write a one-shot time-stamp!! NEED THAT KISS...gods, that would have been EPIC, and LOVELY, and HURTY and -

*FAINTS*

It is now happening in my head.

*FLAILS*
joking
Apr. 7th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC)
I really like the idea of Closing Time!11 going to visit Jack: settling old debts before he goes to his own death.
haveloved
Apr. 7th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! He did say he went back to see everyone, so I like to think he saw Jack. At the very least I wanted Jack to get to have some hope, however briefly; breaks my heart to think of how long he had to wait (and what an awful wait it was, too, considering that for part of it he was mourning Rose and might not have even known for sure if the Doctor was still around).
country_who
Apr. 8th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
This is superb, I loved the whole idea around it, Jack and Eleven meeting before The Last of the Time Lords.

And, that bit about braces was just brilliant.
haveloved
Apr. 8th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I admittedly have a bit of a fascination with the "meeting before you've met someone" concept; I've done it several times (mostly with various incarnations of the Doctor and Rose). Given that Jack's a fixed point in time and the Doctor must have crossed paths with--or just missed--Jack several times in his years and years of waiting, I like to think this sort of scenario is plausible.

And hee, the braces was admittedly a bit of headcanon I came up with once during a discussion with my Whovian friends. Jack's attire in the Torchwood era (and surely in his off-hours in the TARDIS) is awfully similar to Eleven's. His things were probably around the TARDIS just as much as Rose's, given the abruptness of both their departures. I like to think that the Doctor modeled his style in some respects after Jack, following that hasty dressing in the locker room!
mahmfic
Apr. 14th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
so sad!
haveloved
Apr. 14th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading!
dancingdragon3
Apr. 15th, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
OH! I loved this! What a great/sad idea. Lovely timey wimey. I especially liked how Jack could sense that it was the Doctor.

And the braces.

Cheers!
haveloved
Apr. 15th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :D
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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