Feb. 10th, 2010

quitehomoerotic: (Thoughtful stare)
The Cardiff night rests heavily over the city. Clouds settle and the air holds a pressure that warns of something to come. A storm? Or something worse?

The streets around him are lit with lights that hold an orange hue that tinges the whole city, and somewhere off in the distance he can hear laughter as a group of drunken revellers stumble to their taxis and to find their way home. The people of the city; some of them with others, locked together in an embrace until the lines between their bodies blur. Some stand and argue, screaming and shouting until they walk in different directions, tears in their eyes. So many emotions but they share one common trait; they live, all of them, living.

But Jack stands apart.

The people move but they don't touch him. He stands in the middle of St Mary's Street, wedged between the doors of two darkened shops. Sleeping for the evening before their day will begin again. Nothing touches him now. No laughter, no sadness or joy. He doesn't live any more. He tells himself that way is safer. Safer for him and for everyone.

So why is he here?

Why after so long does he stand amongst the streets he knows so well? Amongst buildings he remembers from their foundations, watching as they changed, the old mingling with the knew as he stayed the same. Always the same.

He shouldn't be here now. He's told himself that. He knows that it's true and he wants to believe it, just as he wanted to believe he'd have the will and the strength to stay away. He walked away from this place with its streets and its people, that faint smell of hops in the background that drifted from the brewery, the salty air that blew in from the sea. All of it burned together in a memory, and a memory he's tried so desperately to push away.

But then there are times when he sits and he closes his eyes, and behind his lids he can see them. He sees things how they were. A complaint from Owen, Tosh tapping away at her keyboard, a wry smile from Ianto or Gwen laughing. He can see their smiles, hear their voices as though they're there. But when he opens his eyes, they're gone. And he's alone.

So he thinks maybe here, maybe among these streets and around these people, he'll be able to open his eyes and still hear it, still feel it. He shouldn't want to, of course, he should want to move on.

Rain starts to fall. Gentle drips that will give way to a shower and a flood. The warning that the clouds promised now being fulfilled. Splashes wet his hair and it dampens against his skin, sticking down against his forehead. His coat gets heavier under the weight of the water. But he notices none of it.

He realises then that the emptiness of the streets will never work. It never could. This city is nothing but a shell for him now. It had once been home. The people he loved (the people he loves) they're gone, and if they're not, he can't go back, they have to live their lives, and they can only do that if he's not there..

He pulls his coat around him, not because he cares about or even feels the cold, but because it's what he feels he should do, like a muscle memory and an echo of when he used to feel like a man. He takes a deep breath and for one more time he fills his lungs with the Cardiff air. It's fresh, he remembers that.

But that's all this is, a memory.

So he turns away, heads off down a road he's walked so many times, but this time the destination is different. He no longer knows where he's going. A clap of thunder rings out above him, but he pays it no attention. This city doesn't need him now.

He keeps walking. And he's gone.

Word count: 679
quitehomoerotic: (Serious : Fingers on lips)
Note: So this spawns from discussion over what if Jack found out about Lisa before Cyberwoman. What if under different circumstances Jack had agreed to help. How might that come about? This is how I think it might! Also, it's [livejournal.com profile] hofficoffi's fault.

It- she wasn't human. Jack couldn't see her as human. She was a machine, and she could kill. These things came up against Daleks and put up a fight; Jack knew just how dangerous that was.

Ianto was naive, Jack thought, to imagine anything good could come from this. A foolish idiot who could put not only them but everyone at risk. Jack thought he knew better.

A breeze seemed to circulate around the room, but from where it came Jack had no idea. It whispered around and mingled with the drip drip drip that was ever present in the Hub; like a signature reminding you where you are.

The body, the damaged half monster on the unit a few feet away started to twitch. Jack's back straightened a little but he didn't shift from his spot in the darkness across the room. He just watched. He wouldn't want to admit that he was scared of a thing like this, but he was. And somehow it appeared all the more terrifying when the humanity it had overtaken was so very visible.

It was wretched.

It moved again. A shift of muscle and metal. Jack moved too, stiffening his body and reaching like a gut reaction to cock his gun. It was already in his hand.

But then it moved a third time, and this time the fingers of the hand bent and turned, like nerve endings sending small electrical messages.

Its eyes opened. And Jack just watched.

It- she lay there with her eyes moving back and forth as though she were searching for something. But Jack was far from view and his only presence in the room was the way the air shifted around him. He had no intention of approaching the monstrosity in front of him. Not unless it was to dispatch it. He should have done it as soon as he entered the room. Why was he waiting?

He looked at his gun and turned his hand, pointed it out towards the bare stomach. The fragile skin.

And she spoke.

"Ianto?" Her voice was choked and strained. It was weak. And it was human.

The gun dropped down.

Jack didn't reply. He didn't want to converse with that thing. But lying there as she was, she knew someone was there, even in the silence. Some electronic awareness from one of her many cybernetic implants. Or maybe just that human capacity to know. But it wasn't human. It couldn't be human. He couldn't believe it. He couldn't even think it. )

Word count: 1619

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Captain Jack Harkness

July 2011

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