Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Characters: Jack, Lucia, mentions the Doctor and Rose.
Summary: Jack’s been waiting for the Doctor a long time, but he still has decades more to wait until the century turns again.
Word Count: 805
Written For: mtxref_fic’s prompt ‘Doctor Who/Torchwood, Jack/Any, “High up in the sky the little stars climb/Always reminding me that were apart” – “Stardust”, Hoagy Carmichael,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
The century will turn again; it’s inevitable. Time passes, but it does so at its own speed. Jack just can’t help wishing it didn’t have to take so long about it, or that he could skip a decade, or two, or three, just so the Tarot Girl’s promise will finally come to pass and he’ll find his Doctor again. The waiting is interminable and getting through day after never changing day is so hard it’s almost unbearable. Here he is, stuck on a world that isn’t his own, unable to die, and yearning for the stars. Yearning too for his Doctor and Rose, wondering if they miss him the way he still misses them, even after more than a century.
He’d thought he’d found his forever home with them in the TARDIS, the place he belonged after years of rootless wandering, trying to get back the memories the Time Agency stole from him. But then they just up and left without him, abandoning him on the Game Station, and the only explanation that makes any sense at all is that they must have believed he was dead, exterminated by the Daleks. By rights he should have been, but obviously something went wrong, or right, because he’s still very much alive, and death can’t seem to get a grip on him.
He needs answers to why he can’t die, and he’s sure the Doctor will be able to figure it out. He’ll know what to do because he’s brilliant and he always fixes everything. He’ll fix Jack too, and then the three of them will fly away in the TARDIS, setting the universe to rights wherever they go. That’s where Jack belongs, out there with the two people he loves the most, not down here on this backward little planet.
That’s why he comes up here, to the top of the highest building in Cardiff. Buildings get taller every decade, but still the stars twinkle immeasurably far above him, out of his reach, and the lights of the city below drown out all but the brightest. He honestly doesn’t know how much more of this he can stand. He’s not cut out for staying in one place; it makes him feel trapped and restless, but he can’t escape by himself, not with his Vortex Manipulator burned out. He’s still trying to fix it, but the necessary technology won’t be invented for centuries yet, and very little of what falls through the Rift is of any use.
‘Where are you, Doctor?’ He thinks the words as he scans the heavens, almost as if he expects to see a little arrow suddenly appear, pointing, with neon bright words flashing in the night: The Doctor is Here! Nothing like that happens of course, but he still hopes. Hope is all he has left.
“There you are. I thought I’d find you up here.”
Jack turns from his perusal of the skies, startled; he hadn’t been expecting company. “Lucia. You shouldn’t be up here.”
“Why not? You are. I don’t get why you have to spend so much time up here anyway. Thought maybe it was time I found out.” She rests one hand on her swelling belly and Jack feels a pang of guilt. This child wasn’t planned, and while he can’t help but feel a small thrill at the prospect of a new life, a son or a daughter, at the same time it’s something else to bind him to earth, an unasked for complication. His only consolation is that the child will be an adult by the time the Doctor returns and he has to leave.
“It’s a good vantage point,” he prevaricates. “I can see almost the whole city from up here. Easier to spot trouble than it is at ground level.”
“It is a lovely view with the lights twinkling,” Lucia agrees. She wraps her arms around herself and shivers. “Chilly though. Will you be coming down soon?”
Jack knows Lucia well enough to be aware there’ll be big trouble if he says ‘no’. She’s a fiery woman, quick to anger and slow to forgive.
“Why don’t we go down together? I’m done here; everything looks quiet tonight.” He takes off his coat and chivalrously drapes it around her before taking her hand and leading her back to the stairwell. As he closes and locks the door behind them, he takes one last look up at the night sky, thinking, ‘Here I am, Doctor, waiting for you to find me. I miss you. Please don’t take too long.’
He’ll wait as long as he has to, partly because he has no other choice and partly because he knows all the waiting will be worthwhile when the Doctor finally comes for him. In the meantime, he’ll do the best he can for Lucia and their child.