Characters: Jack, Ianto, Team Torchwood, The Master, Martha, Tenth Doctor.
Spoilers: Last of the Time Lords.
Summary: Hanging around waiting for the Master to resume torturing him, Jack has plenty of time to think.
Word Count: 530
Written For: sarajayechan’s prompt ‘Any, any, “heaven is a place on earth”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack has spent over a century firm in the belief that heaven was being out among the stars with the Doctor and Rose. It might be a little late to realise how wrong he’s been, but nevertheless, the revelation has hit him, opening his eyes, and it’s not just because Rose is trapped in an alternate universe while the Doctor’s got a whole new body and a personality to match. It isn’t only the Doctor who’s changed; Jack has too. Maybe he’s finally starting to grow up. Better late than never, right?
For all the good that realisation does him right now.
Hanging from chains in the Valliant’s engine room, waiting for the Master to waltz in, all fake smiles and genuine insanity, to indulge in a little recreational sadism, Jack gets a fair amount of time to think. When he’s not fretting about Martha, wondering how the courageous young woman is faring down below on the devastated surface of the planet, instead of dreaming about travelling the universe in the TARDIS by the Doctor’s side, his thoughts most often turn to Cardiff, his team, and Ianto.
The Master taunts him about the little band of people he left behind in his eagerness to return to the stars, but so far he’s provided no concrete evidence of having captured or killed them, so Jack is still able to hope that they’re out there somewhere, alive, safe, fighting the good fight… Slim though it is, hope is all he really has left to hold on to.
When this nightmare ordeal is finally over, if it ever is, Jack has already made up his mind that he won’t be going off travelling with the Doctor; not that he thinks for a second that the Time Lord would ask him to, what with him being ‘wrong’ and an impossible thing. So much for the Doctor being born of an enlightened, highly evolved race free from prejudice. Apparently, those lofty ideals don’t extend to accidental immortals. No, if he ever gets out of here, if the Doctor’s plan works, if Martha succeeds in her part, Jack intends to waste no time in getting back to Cardiff, the little city on the bay that has been his home for so many years.
Heaven isn’t some long lost dream of a life out among the stars; it’s down there, on the planet below. It’s the city he strives to protect from the things and creatures that fall through the Rift, the underground base where he spends his time when he’s not out saving the world, and above all, it’s the people he works with, the little family he’s gathered around himself. Brilliant Toshiko, snarky Owen, wilful Gwen, and Ianto, the quiet, patient, stoic Welshman who’s somehow managed to steal Jack’s heart without him even noticing. If he can only get back to them, and if they’ll only forgive him for abandoning them, he swears he’ll do better by them this time around, starting by asking Ianto out on a proper date.
He’s already wasted far too much time clinging to the past. It’s time now for him to open his eyes and look to the future.