Pairings: Jack/Gwen, later Jack/Gwen/John Hart, Gwen/John friendship
Setting-post COE…Flashbacks will go AU at “Adam” and “Something Borrowed,” also with later events as well. Elements of the Time Agency are still in place. Some mythology may be altered or invented to suit my storytelling purposes. A few lines were borrowed from those episodes.
Romance, angst, hurt/comfort, and yes, even a little humor thrown in as well
Summary-At the ruins of the Hub, Gwen and her young son encounter Captain John Hart. As Gwen relates her trials of the last several months, John discovers a way for them to locate Jack and unite with him once again.
Disclaimer-The BBC owns all
A/N-I used British terminology where possible, but the spelling is American. If I’ve completely mucked up something significant-just let me know.
“So…did one of your bunch forget to take their little pill?” John snarked, curious as how Gwen retained knowledge of her stolen night with Jack if all of them had taken their retcon as instructed.
“No…Gwen shook her head absently, her hand caressing the fine dark hair atop Cooper’s head, his nursing slowing to a more leisurely pace.
“Then…how…?” John’s face contracted in question, wondering how Gwen would’ve known of her child’s paternity.
“It was the day before my wedding to Rhys….”
*The morning after Jack and Gwen’s night together…moving on to the day before the wedding*
Gwen and the other Torchwood agents awoke later the next day in a haze of confusion…all having slept in their clothes and waking with the hangover typical of a retcon dosing. They reviewed logs and monitors, but found no cause for their lapse of memory. Checking the cells below, they found only Weevils who hissed in displeasure at their imprisonment. The chambers were certainly empty of ginger-headed humanoids bent on infiltrating their secretive numbers.
Gwen’s wedding plans continued without hesitation, typical concerns over interfering in-laws and seating arrangements occupying her scant spare time. She and Rhys tackled the requisite events leading up to the wedding—registering for gifts and planning their honeymoon, peppered only with their usual arguments concerning the demands of Gwen’s job and Rhys’s occasional bouts with inadequacy.
For her part, Gwen tried to play the part of the dutiful fiancé as well as she could, only sometimes waking with a strange longing after an unremembered dream and a jittery tummy, rebelling at the smell of Rhys’s breakfast fry-up sizzling in the kitchen.
On the day before her wedding, when Rhys had dutifully planned to stay at Banana Boat’s for the night, following a doubtlessly raucous bachelor party, and Ianto, Tosh and Owen were all away from the Hub, attending to reports of alien phenomena or making final adjustments for their wedding attire, Gwen and Jack were in pursuit of a nasty shape-shifter that had slipped through the rift.
The Torchwood pair had split up in an attempt to cut off the alien’s escape route with Jack dodging through an alleyway as Gwen continued running down the vicious creature.
Chasing the Nostrovite into a dead end, Gwen’s revolver skittered along the pavement when her shot failed to stop the horrific creature, and he instead rushed the tall brunette, knocking away her weapon and slamming the bride-to-be to the ground, then biting her with razor-sharp teeth in the seconds before Jack appeared, emptying his revolver into the murderous alien.
Panicked, Jack pocketed Gwen’s revolver and called Ianto and Owen to drop what they were doing and deal with the hideous corpse that littered the alleyway. He scooped up a bleeding Gwen, running back to the Hub with the wounded brunette in his arms.
“Jack…,” Gwen groaned a little as the handsome immortal laid her on a familiar bed in the lounge, his hands ripping at the buttons on her blouse to discover the source of blood staining her shirtfront.
“Where is it…,” Jack skimmed his hands over the creamy flesh of Gwen’s abdomen, ghosting fingers over ribs and dismissing shallow abrasions that he would come back to later with antiseptic and bandages.
Without a second thought to modesty or decorum, Jack ripped at the front catch of Gwen’s bra, afraid of the wound he might find underneath. But instead, his hands traced over full, perfect globes, fingertips trailing over nipples that grew diamond-hard at his touch.
Memory flashed between them at the unplanned contact—the forgotten night suddenly returning in a montage of emotion and sensation. Jack’s hands still cupped the tender flesh, the handsome immortal uncharacteristically silent in his amazement while he searched Gwen’s equally astounded countenance. Finally, the wounded brunette whispered--
“The blood was from my arm, I think,” Gwen’s eyes traveled to the stained sleeve. Jack pulled the shirt away gently, revealing the wound that was rapidly closing, the laceration having stained her breast as Jack carried her back in his arms.
Now safe from Adam’s intrusion, every moment from their night together was free to replay in their memories—the need for each other became almost suffocating before Gwen spoke softly, Jack’s fingers still circling rosy flesh.
“Kiss me, Jack…,” Gwen whispered, caught in a flood of longing.
“If I kiss you, I won’t want to stop…,” Jack pleaded in his prediction.
“Don’t stop,” Gwen breathed out, fingers flying to the buttons of Jack’s shirt as he bent to capture her lips with his own, the fastenings of her snug trousers released at Jack’s hands. “I don’t want you to stop….”
“We made love…had a bathe…made love again,” Gwen smiled at the memory, “and then my phone rang—it was my girlfriends at the bar, wondering why the hell I was missing my own hen do,” a sad smile came to Gwen’s face as she looked up at John, confessing to the wedding that still took place under the weight of massive guilt and shame, coupled with familial obligation and expectation.
“Of course, on my wedding day, I woke up with a full-term Nostrovite fetus in my belly and a shape-shifting female of the species looking for her baby,” Gwen described to a surprised and amused Captain John. “I didn’t even know I was pregnant with Cooper, yet,” she propped the baby onto her shoulder to pat his back, extracting a hearty burp in the process.
John held his hands out for the baby, so Gwen could fasten her bra and blouse, the baby resting on his shoulder, sparkling blue eyes still trained on his mother.
“Fortunately, the singularity scalpel did its job—only attacking the Nostrovite egg,” she smiled at the fed and happy infant.
“So…it was once last fling before you tied the knot?” John inquired with his usual lack of discretion.
Gwen concealed her blush as she took a long sip of her juice.
“Not exactly…,” she confessed, biting her lip in her hesitancy to reveal the details of her last romantic encounter with Jack.
“After we lost Tosh and Owen…Jack had put Gray in stasis and you’d left…,” Gwen explained softly, “we were so broken…so alone…,” Gwen tried to justify the betrayal she’d committed as she searched for an adequate explanation.
“It was just Jack, Ianto and me left,” Gwen hedged, “and we….um…”
John had to stifle a smile at Gwen’s blushing admission and stammering confession of the threesome she’d been party to, as the remaining Torchwood agents sought to comfort each other in the depths of their loss. Somehow, if Gwen and Ianto could surround Jack, could take away the lonely hollowness, then they might be the gravity that could hold Jack to this world.
“I get the picture…,” John nodded, wondering to himself if the curvaceous brunette might be willing to try such a thing again, this time under less stressful circumstances.
“Between the birth control pills and Nostrovite incident…it was still several weeks before I was certain that I was having a baby,” Gwen explained unnecessarily. Captain Hart was no moral compass, though he did seem to possess a soft spot for the gurgling infant in his arms and his tough-cookie of a mum.
“Of course, just when I found out about Cooper, the 456 attacked, the Hub was destroyed, Jack had been blown to bits, and we were running for our lives. Rhys and I escaped Cardiff in a produce truck,” Gwen’s voice strained at the mention of her former husband.
“Once it was over, Jack couldn’t bear to stay after he lost Ianto and Steven, and I didn’t know for certain that Cooper was his until he was born.”
Six months ago
Gwen and Rhys had compromised…deciding to honor each of their fathers if their baby was a boy. Gwen opted for Cooper though, as she didn’t want to saddle a baby with ‘Geraint.’
They had avoided hospitals and doctors, not trusting government institutions since they had so recently escaped death at the hands of those elected to protect them.
Rhys fetched a local midwife to come to the rustic cottage, and once he’d returned with the well-experienced woman, the unnerved Welshman engaged in stammering and pacing, as any expectant father might do.
After a long bout of labor and delivery, Gwen lay on the stained bed, exhausted from the childbirth and soothed at the strong cries of the infant that had just been born.
The midwife cleaned the baby and wrapped him in warm blankets before handing him to Rhys and cutting the umbilical cord. Finishing with Gwen and turning back to the mewling infant with his wide, bright eyes, the midwife read the searching look on Rhys’s face and responded to the question on his lips.
“His eyes…,” the green-eyed Welshman stood transfixed, cataloging the infant’s features against the one’s he saw in the mirror each morning.
“Aye, beautiful aren’t they, sir?” the midwife smiled placatingly, catching the disbelief in her fellow countryman’s green eyes. “Course—all babies’ eyes are blue when they’re born,” she offered up sagely, Rhys nodding as if agreement would make it true.
“Rhys…,” Gwen called from the bed as the midwife changed the soiled sheet, disposed of the collected fluids and sterilized the implements of her profession, all while keeping a wary eye on the husband of the house, as he seemed a bit unsteady.
“Let me see him, Rhys…”
“Feeling up to it, then?” Rhys seemed to recover his solicitous demeanor, the midwife returning full attention to her numerous tasks at his words.
“I’m ok…,” Gwen nodded, holding out her arms for her newborn.
“Right then,” Rhys swallowed hard, tucking the blanket closely around the newborn. “Here’s…our…Cooper,” the Welshman said with uncertain brightness, laying the baby boy in his mother’s arms.
Gwen’s eyes filled with tears as she took in the image of her newborn, her wide green eyes meeting his bright blue ones. A small laugh escaped a sob as she traced the curve of a pink ear and straight eyebrow, marked with the faintest trace of dark hair. Cooper began to nuzzle insistently, prodding at his mother’s breast through her dressing gown.
“He’s ready to eat, missus,” the midwife instructed wisely, skittering over to help properly arrange the infant for feeding and offering advice for coping with the discomfort of nursing.
“Sir…you might head to the shops for some more nappies,” the midwife looked about the sparse furnishings of the room to take note of missing necessaries. “Find me pencil and paper—I’ll jot some things down for you.”
Rhys dutifully sought what the midwife required, then hustled out the door, finally secure in his assigned role—at least until he reached the market’s aisles and had to decide precisely what variety of nappies and sanitary napkins would be required in such a circumstance.
The matronly midwife settled herself on the edge of the bed, smiling down at the babe nursing at his mother’s breast.
“He’s a very special boy, isn’t he missus?” the earthy midwife ran her finger down to the baby’s palm. He promptly gripped the stocky finger in his hand.
“Strong…like his father?”
“Aye…,” Gwen’s eyes welled again with tears, one rolling down to splash at the back of Cooper’s head, sliding down to catch on the cotton blanket.
“Here now…enough of that,” the midwife softly chastised as she offered Gwen a handkerchief. “You’re a strong woman, missus. You’ve got to be strong for him now, too,” the wizened woman instructed.
“You’ll see him again—your man with the blue eyes,” the midwife looked far away for a moment, as if watching a tale unfold before her.
“Friends will be there to help you,” Gwen wanted to dismiss the stranger’s words—all her friends were lost.
“Trust me, missus,” the midwife insisted, patting Gwen’s hand, seeming to witness another revelation that made her chuckle and blush, meeting Gwen’s confused eyes with a wink. “You’ll lead many different lives, Gwen Cooper—this is just one of them,” the wily woman looked around the rustic room, knowing how out of place the new mother really was.
Gwen’s mouth hung agape at the older woman’s words—particularly since she had purposefully not made mention of her maiden name to the midwife.
“Your Welshman’s returned,” the midwife noted, before Gwen could even hear the rumble of the used auto they had procured.
Rhys bumbled in the door with the requisite purchases, smiling genially.
“Make sure she doesn’t lift anything heavier than the baby for a few weeks,” the midwife instructed firmly, Rhys taking note as he nodded his head in response. Come fetch me immediately if the bleeding worsens.”
“And take care you don’t let those nipples get cracked and dry,” the silver-headed woman turned her instruction toward Gwen who smiled back knowingly.
“Thank you for everything…Sara Foster,” Gwen shot back with the same trick as the midwife had employed…addressing the old widow by her maiden name, Gwen’s clairvoyant roots making themselves quietly known.
The ancient midwife chuckled heartily at Gwen’s goodbye, Rhys groping about in his wallet for the midwife’s fee, unsure as to the humor he had apparently missed.
Upon the collection of her payment and possessions, the midwife uttered a Welsh blessing and departed…leaving the three inhabitants of the small cottage to all that was yet to be…
“We stayed there for a couple of months. Every day it became more difficult to look Rhys in the face. He waited and waited to see something of himself in Cooper--,”
“But all he saw was Jack,” John finished knowingly.
“Apparently Rhys confided in his horrific mother—she suggested a paternity test. Went in to Cardiff with a sample of cells from the baby’s cheek,” Gwen scoffed at the memory of how well Rhys had hidden his true intentions from her, Rhys never before having been known for his guile and wiliness.
“As soon as the report came back, Rhys filed for divorce and disavowed his paternity of Cooper. Never saw him again after that. The baby and I came back to Cardiff—took up Tosh’s old apartment,” Gwen looked up from the cold remains of the potatoes in the plastic basket to note that John had not followed the last of her conversation, but seemed instead to be putting necessary facts together in his more than slightly twisted brain.
“Paternity test…DNA…,” John whispered to himself absently handing the baby back to Gwen. “I take it you’ve tried to track Jack in the traditional way?” John inquired.
“Of course…the computer systems lost him shortly after he left.
For a moderately reformed criminal, Captain John Hart was a shitty liar.
“I’m going to head to the loo…why don’t you give junior a fresh nappy there—he’s getting’ a little ripe,” John’s eyes twinkled with a plan that Gwen was certain to frown on.
“You’re not going to open the rift again, are you?” Gwen warned as if scolding the errant Time Agent.
“No…no,” he lied unconvincingly, backing into the dark hallway, “Just gotta go see a man about a horse,” he grinned before a flash of neon illuminated the hallway.
John was back in the booth barely before Gwen could finish with Cooper’s change. The time agent bounced in his seat, holding a strange device in his hands.
“Where did you get that?” Gwen raised an eyebrow in chastisement that didn’t seem to affect Captain Hart in the slightest.
“Doctor friend of mine,” John replied pointedly.
“Did you steal it?” Gwen inquired, not necessarily requiring a truthful answer if it led them in the right direction.
“Nope—had to promise some particularly scandalous sexual favors in return,” John joked, “but as this version looks about twelve, I told him he’d have to wait to collect,” the mischievous captain waggled his eyebrows at the curious brunette.
“Seriously—told him the truth, I did.”
Gwen raised her eyebrows, questioning the veracity of his statement.
“Promise,” John responded with a little hurt in his voice till Gwen relented and grew more curious than she was peeved. “Ok, so what is it?” the Torchwood agent peered at the contraption in John’s hands.
“The doctor took it off a resurgent group of werewolf-worshipping aliens masquerading as Tibetan monks. Trying to kidnap all the members of the monarchy and threaten to out them as werewolves if they didn’t fork over a tidy sum,” John explained as he punched and prodded at the mechanism, trying to jolt it to life.
“Well, I can promise you, Cooper is no werewolf,” Gwen snarked, wondering at John’s certainty and shifting the drowsy baby back to the crook of her arm.
“Course not, but the point of this little device is to reveal the location of all those who share DNA with a particular individual,” John’s face lit up in triumph as a tiny compartment revealed itself and a series of numbers lit up along a small screen.
John plucked a fresh paper napkin from the dispenser on the table, folding it into a tiny wad.
“Open wide there, little one,” John reached down for the sample from the infant, though he couldn’t resist copping a little feel on the way.
“Oi! Not exactly his cheek there!” Gwen playfully swatted at John’s hand as he laughed, pulling back his hand with a impish, wounded recoil.
“Can’t hardly blame a bloke—been lookin’ at em’ all day without so much as a tweak,” he defended with a smile.
“Just do the test,” Gwen rolled her eyes as she handed the slobbery napkin to the Time Agent.
A series of numbers ran across the screen after John deposited the sample in the container. After a few moments, they flashed consistently and held steady.
“What does it mean?” Gwen studied the obscure numbers, trying to solve the machine’s code.
John studied the series of numbers noting that most of them were in relatively close proximity to each other, a couple of numbers a little further away and one markedly distinct from the others.
The Time Agent who had traversed distance and millennia for a great many years laughed out loud at the simplicity of the alien device.
“They’re latitude and longitude numbers,” he declared with dancing eyes. “Most of your relations are in Wales, I take it?”
“That’s right,” Gwen verified, a few in London, an uncle retired in Italy and a cousin at university in Paris.”
“No dowager aunts in New Mexico then?”
“None that I know of,” Gwen bit her lip in nervous expectation.
“That son of a bitch—I should’ve guessed it,” John cursed, shaking his head at his shortsightedness.
“Course he would’ve taken up duty at another rift,” the Time Agent sighed and shook his head, “Paying his penance, I suspect.”
“Where is he, John?” Gwen demanded in her frustration.
“Rather large ranch in southeastern New Mexico. Won it in a poker game back in 1856. Well, at least one version of 1856,” John corrected offhandedly. “Hired a good immigrant bloke to work it for him, told him to keep the work in the family and he’d be back to check on it when he could. Profits went back into the ranch, building up over the years.”
“Southeastern New Mexico?” Gwen contemplated, trying to fit the pieces together. “You mean Roswell?”
“Well, yeah…near there anyway,” John replied. “Where did you think the aliens came from, luv?”
Gwen still sat there, shell-shocked at the news.
“Come on, grab an arm—we’ll be there in a few seconds,” John stood, bouncing on the balls of his feet in excitement.
“You are completely mad if you think for a minute that I’m going to jump time and space with a six-month-old!” Gwen declared definitively.
“Just space…not time,” John corrected with a roll of his eyes, but sighed resignedly when he realized Gwen was not budging on the matter.
“Fine…just how did you intend on getting there then?”
“In an airplane, like normal people,” Gwen insisted, slinging the black tote to John who caught the changing bag and automatically draped it across his shoulder.
“We’re not exactly normal people, luv,” John informed, tossing a few quid on the table to cover their tab, then taking Cooper so that Gwen could slide out of the booth, though he didn’t bother to hand the baby back after she stood, content to carry the six-month-old back to the flat to collect their things.
“Well, for today, we’ll be normal people who take airplanes to go to America with suitcases full of clothes and nappies,” she held open the pub door as John was carrying the changing bag and Cooper.
“Since were being so ‘normal,’” John snarked, “I guess we don’t need this lovely bit of psychic paper I pinched to use for Cooper’s passport,” John made as if he were tossing the rare necessity in the rubbish, only to be stopped short by Gwen.
“Don’t you dare,” she gave in with a chuckle as they returned briefly to the borrowed flat, feeling more hopeful than she had in a very long time.
After swearing that he would pop back and collect her other belongings as soon as they were settled, John was made to lug a mere four suitcases through Heathrow and numerous other airports along the way. Fortunately, the advantage to being part of one of the most secret organizations in the country meant that your average governmental bureaucrat had no knowledge of the Torchwood accounts that still remained active, and Gwen was able to procure the three pricey tickets with relative ease.
The psychic paper proved to be absolutely invaluable as well, considering John didn’t exactly have his papers totally in order, either. John groused that if they had done things *his* way they’d be there already while Gwen argued that if she’d left the travelling arrangements up to him, they might have wound up on Tendaris 4 or some such, checking out waiters and their “tentacles.”
After nursing Cooper, Gwen allowed herself a little nap against John’s shoulder, rousing at the sound of the soft melody he sang to the baby. Gwen was awake but kept her eyes closed to listen as the song wound to its close. The baby gurgled and cooed at John whose hyperactive disposition seemed to suit the little boy just fine.
“You like that…yeah?” John inquired of the baby playfully, pretending to chew on the tiny hand that Cooper had stuck in his mouth.
“Your dad can carry quite a nice tune as well, you know,” John continued talking to Cooper about Jack.
“Right handsome bloke…. Look just like him, you do,” Cooper’s smile mimicked the perpetually flirty one that graced John Hart’s face.
“Not to take anything away from your mum, of course,” John carried on as was his usual style, “Gorgeous bird, she is too…with a beautiful pair of great big—ow!” John flinched away from the hard pinch Gwen gave to the underside of his knee.
“Eyes…I was gonna’ say until I was so rudely interrupted,” John defended himself.
“Sure you were,” Gwen raised an eyebrow at the lusty Time Agent turned…nanny…of all things.
“Could you possibly not corrupt him before his first birthday?” Gwen sighed in defeat.
“Might as well get it out of the way now, luv,” John responded knowingly, Cooper gurgling his very vocal support.
*Early the following morning*
Jack Harkness surveyed the ranch from atop the red, rocky outcropping that rose from the pastures below. The clopping of hooves sounding from the south-facing slope was expected and commonplace. Jack did not turn round until the ranch foreman approached.
“Morning, Jose’,” Jack nodded to the familiar foreman.
“Hola, señor,” the middle-aged Mexican man greeted, there to deliver a report of the morning’s progress to his boss.
“We’ve moved the herd to the south pasture, capitán,” the foreman stated placidly, “and put the dos gorgojos back in their cells.”
“Good, just use the spray if they get out of hand. I’ll check and see when we can send them back.”
“Bueno, señor,” Jose’ nodded, nonplussed by the strange combination of tasks assigned him. He studied the disconnected, resigned look on his employer’s face, concerned once again at his solitary habits. “You come down and have some breakfast with the men, no? Huevos y salchicha?” the good-natured foreman tempted.
“Maybe later,” Jack’s gracious smile did not reach his sad blue eyes, and the foreman could only sigh in the futility of the repeated attempts to return Captain Jack Harkness to the land of the living.
“Adios…,” Jose’ grumbled to his employer, now lost again in his own thoughts. The foreman tapped at his horse’s flanks and clucked, needing only a slight pull of the reigns to direct the familiar horse back down the hill, leaving Jack to his solitude once again.
Jack continued to watch as the sun rose, splashing red and gold over the mountains. His meditations were broken by the sound of dirt and gravel crunching under the tires of an unfamiliar vehicle coming up the long drive and heading toward the house.
Jack moved his able mount quickly down the hillside, and picked up speed when they reached the valley, ready to head off trouble before it started.
Dark brows furrowed as Jack handed off his horse to a ranch hand, taking quick strides to reach the footpath that led to the large house. The time agent peered at the front plates of the SUV that blandly denoted Alamo car rental. Only the driver’s side was lit by the rising sun, and the curly, dark blonde hair and mischievous eyes that were illuminated caused Jack to reach instinctively for the pistol hidden at the small of his back.
Even though their last goodbyes were peaceful and resigned, Jack begrudgingly forgiving John for his part in Gray’s machinations, the blue-eyed immortal didn’t put anything past his long-time nemesis and lover.
Jack watched from a distance as John spoke to a passenger who was currently obscured in shadow and shielded by the employed vanity mirror. The driver then turned to look in the back seat, smiling as he twisted forward again, speaking once more to his passenger before releasing his seat belt and opening the driver-side door.
“Whoa, there, pardner,” John chuckled with a Western cadence as he approached his former and, hopefully, *future* lover.”Wouldn’t do to be shooting an unarmed man, now would it?” Captain Hart snarked with his hands halfway raised in surrender.
“*You*? Unarmed?” Jack looked at John suspiciously as he remained drawn on him.
“Airports these days don’t take too kindly to customers arming themselves,” John replied blandly as his hands went to his hips.
“You took a plane?...And a rental car?...,” Jack questioned, stunned at his fellow time agent’s irregular mode of travel, sliding the gun back to his waistband at the obvious absence of threat.
“Had a passenger…couple of ‘em. Didn’t fancy travelling the easy way,” John’s eyes shifted back to the truck as the passenger’s side door opened, the familiar brunette climbing out with a baby at her shoulder.
“Gwen…,” Jack breathed out and started toward the pair. The immortal’s progress halted suddenly when the six-month-old turned to face him, eyes identical to his own glittering in the sunrise. Stunned to silence, Jack cataloged every similarity to his own face, the obvious truth sending him to his knees, tears welling in his eyes.
Gwen moved toward Jack, but was gently stopped by John who had interceded.
“Maybe this wasn’t…,” the worried brunette second-guessed their decision to fly to America without warning, but her concern was stopped short by her companion.
“I’ll get him sorted, luv,” John assured, “Why don’t you and Cooper find the master bedroom—have a rest and give the little man his breakfast, yeah?” John waited for a resigned nod from Gwen. “I’ll bring up the bags in a bit, ok?”
Gwen gave a weeping, broken Jack a concerned, empathetic gaze before heading up the footpath with Cooper in tow, understanding the sense in John’s suggestion.
“How…?” Jack’s mind reeled with questions, and a fresh flood of guilt and regret stymieing his frozen limbs.
John squatted down beside his wounded lover, trying to catch the watery eyes that threatened not to see past the scales of anguish and lament.
“Found her yesterday…figured out where you were…she’ll tell you the rest later on, I expect.”
“I can’t…I couldn’t…,” Jack sobbed, looking to his friend’s eyes for understanding. “Couldn’t keep them safe…couldn’t keep them alive…,” the remorse that usually welled in daily silence burst into words as his old lover sat in the dirt, holding the immortal’s shaking form.
“You kept millions alive…,” John reminded, running his fingers soothingly through dark brown locks.
“Wasn’t enough…never enough…,” Jack wept at the losses of so many of those closest to him—the weight which had driven him to the solitude of this distant place. “I don’t deserve…,” the blue-eyed immortal looked toward his home with longing.
Captain Hart changed his tactics, knowing it was time to help his old lover shake off the self-loathing that had his knees ground into dust and dirt.
“We don’t get what we really deserve, mate,” the shorter man’s sky blue gaze latched firmly onto Jack’s. At his abrupt words, Captain Harkness mutely digested the weight of his lover’s wisdom, allowing John to pull him from the ground and help dust off the soiled clothing as they rose.
“Now it damn well doesn’t matter how long you think you have to be punished for the decisions you’ve made,” John stated unequivocally. “What matters is that your son and his mother have travelled halfway round the world to come and see you. I’ve only known him for a day, and I already know he’s brilliant,” John knew a bit of a challenge was the fastest way to spur Jack into action. “And you’d better hurry up and shag that gorgeous woman in there six ways from Sunday, or *I will*.”
Jack scoffed indignantly and straightened to his imposing full height at his lover’s dare.
John chuckled heartily before grabbing the back of Jack’s head and taking his mouth in a passionate kiss.
“Now…go get your girl.”
When John broke the kiss, leaving a dazed Jack with a questioning expression on his face, John merely smiled at his confusion, turning his lover back toward his house.
Laughing, John sent Jack toward the door with a playful smack to his sexy backside, “Don’t worry—I know where the queue for kisses starts round here.”
Jack looked back with a wicked smirk and a twinkle in his eye, when he was stopped short by the loss he felt in his pocket.
“My wallet?” he turned back to the career criminal in disbelief.
John called back as he went to retrieve the luggage from the rental car, “We’ve got a nursery to order, mate….”