Last Dance

“Well, it’s been great,” the Doctor beamed. “Honestly. I’ve had a blast. Well…” he hesitated. “Cheerio!” he said finally, with a merry wave of his hand. He stepped back and was immediately sucked into a big black nothingness that welled up around him like a giant cloak, obscuring him completely. Then he was gone.

Jack woke with a gasp, trying hard to breathe. He sat up, panting, forcing the air into his lungs, and trying to fight back the tide of panic that was wrapped around his heart like a tight belt, squeezing and hurting. His room was almost totally dark, except for the pale blue light that emanated from his sonic blaster on the bedside table. Jack didn’t like the dark much, and usually slept with some kind of night light wherever he was. The blue light shone eerily, alternately illuminating and casting shadow around the room.

“Just a stupid nightmare,” Jack muttered, but all the same, he checked the room just to make sure. Ever since he’d lost two years of his memories, he’d had trouble sometimes telling dreams – or nightmares – from reality. He’d had dreams so vivid that he felt sure they were memories – and sometimes they turned out not to be either dreams or reality, but instead, and more disturbingly, premonitions. This latest vision had felt just like that, and Jack couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding in his gut. He checked the room, wanting to make sure that nothing was wrong, and he breathed a sigh of relief to find that he wasn’t alone.

The Doctor’s long body was stretched out in the middle of the bed. He slept as if he were in a coffin, straight and almost rigid, his face perfectly peaceful, his eyes closed.

“Thank god,” Jack breathed, reaching over to gently smooth the Doctor’s hair with his fingertips. Even in sleep, the Doctor looked as if he were awake. There was a serenity about him that Jack envied. He never looked rumpled, and his short hair was never tousled. “Quite a knack you’ve got there,” Jack muttered fondly. His gaze moved on, and lingered for a moment on the smaller, curvier body pressed up against the Doctor’s like a little cat. Rose’s blonde hair swam all over the pillow, and there was an endearing little smile on her rosebud lips as she slept.

They were here. They were real, and perfect, and beautiful…and they were his. All his. Jack felt his breathing slow back to normal, but the tight band around his heart still hurt. He slid silently from the bed, and padded across the room, completely naked. Not for the first time, he wished the TARDIS had a window; he wanted to open a window right now, and take a gulp of cool air to clear his head. He’d have to talk to the Doctor about maybe installing some kind of simulation. It could be done, he thought, gazing at the spot in the wall where he wanted the window to be. It would be easy enough to engineer some kind of holo-matrix that could…

“Cheerio!” He heard the echo of the Doctor’s final word reverberating in his head, sounding so real that he turned around sharply and make sure his lover was still in the bed where he’d left him, but the Doctor lay snoring softly, with one arm resting lightly on Rose’s thigh.

“Damnit, Jack,” he berated himself under his breath. “What have you gone and done, you idiot?” He half sat, half fell down onto the chair by the wall, as if winded. “What are the cardinal rules, Jack?” He asked himself sternly. “Don’t fall in love,” he replied to himself with a sigh. “And what have you done?” Stern Jack asked. Jack chewed on his lip. “I don’t want to answer that,” he said, gazing at the two people in the bed. “Well look at them,” he said softly, gesturing at the bed. “Aren’t they everything I could ever have wanted? How could I resist? They’re so perfect. She’s so beautiful, so loving, so kind…and he’s so mysterious, all shades of darkness and light, and he knows so much, has seen so much… They love each other…and, for some crazy reason they seem to love me too…why the hell wouldn’t I fall in love with them?” he growled. “They could have been made for me.”

Jack buried his head in his hands. “I know I shouldn’t have done something this stupid,” he muttered to himself. “I thought I could keep it light, not get serious…but he’s so lonely. Sometimes, when I’m resting my head on his chest, I can feel the loneliness beating in those two hearts of his. And he never says anything, and most of the time you never even know what he’s feeling, and he hides everything behind that crazy veneer, but there’s so much going on in there. I just wanted to make it better. There’s nothing wrong with that is here?”

“Nothin’ at all,” a soft voice answered, and Rose sat up in the bed. “You talking to yourself, Jack?” she asked.

“Kinda.” Jack gave her a cheery grin.

“What you doing over there?” she asked, frowning.

“Just…gazing at the two of you. Naked. In my bed. I’m like the cat that got the cream!” Jack winked at her, slipping into his customary daytime persona without a second thought. There was no reason why they should know all the secrets of his heart. He felt vulnerable enough as it was.

“Last night…” Rose began.

“Was beautiful,” Jack finished for her, with a smile. They had danced together on the main deck of the TARDIS, all of them so bright eyed and happy. They often danced together after that first meeting – there was something so exuberant about the three of them, something irrepressible that had to come out somewhere, and Jack was no fool – the dancing was a substitute for something else, and he was happy to just dance while they inched their way towards more dangerous ground. Then last night it had finally happened. He’d been dancing with Rose, her body pressed close against his, and the Doctor had been watching, that big, bright smile plastered over his face, and Jack had beckoned him over, as he often did when they danced. Usually the Doctor refused – usually he just danced with Rose, or occasionally he danced with Jack, but mostly he danced alone. This time though…this time he looked as if he was going to refuse, and then hesitated. For a split second Jack saw something dark pass across his eyes, but then the expression was gone.

“Why not?” he’d said brightly, accepting Jack’s proffered hand. Jack had spun them both expertly for several minutes, and they’d gone along willingly, getting closer and closer all the time. The TARDIS had seemed suddenly hot, and the mood electric…and then they were both in his arms at the same time, and he was kissing them both, and nobody protested, or drew back. The kisses grew deeper, and time seemed to slow down. Jack wondered now if that had been the Doctor’s doing, but at the time he hadn’t questioned it, just as nobody had questioned him when he took a hand each in his, and pulled them towards his room.

“It was! It was wonderful!” Rose said, her voice bringing him back to the here and now, her eyes shining in the blue sonic light. “What happened, Jack?” She looked a little confused. “I mean…why…I mean…I suppose I mean…”

“I think you mean, why now?” Jack told her.

“Well, yeah. Maybe I do. It’s just we’ve been dancing and flirting for weeks but he…” Rose looked at the Doctor, laid out peacefully beside her. “He never let things go any further,” she murmured. “Until last night. What changed last night, Jack?”

“I don’t know,” Jack replied. “But I think he does.”

Rose slipped out of the bed, and the Doctor murmured something, and then stretched out even straighter if that were possible. She was completely naked, her body dappled in creams and golds and so beautiful it made him ache with desire. She came and sat on his lap, pressing her warm breasts against him, the pink nipples soft and inviting against his own naked chest.

“What’s going on, Jack?” She asked him. He looked into her dark brown eyes and wanted to tell her. He wanted to tell her about his premonition. He wanted to tell her that he thought the reason the Doctor finally gave in was because he knew they didn’t have much longer together, and for some reason that made him want to snatch a moment of the happiness he so usually denied himself. He wanted to tell her to hang onto this moment, to the three of them, together in this bed, happily entwined as one, their bodies moving in a dance of pure pleasure as they rose and fell against each other, over and over again, until they were so sated they couldn’t move. He wanted to tell her to hang onto this moment because it would never happen this way ever again. He wanted to tell her but he didn’t because her face was so beautiful and full of life, and he was Captain Jack, and all about the happy.

“Nothing. I guess he just couldn’t hold out against our charms any longer!” he grinned, wrapping his arms around her naked body and holding her close, hoping to hide the pounding of his beating heart in the warmth of her breasts. “And who can blame him?” he said, gently lapping at her nipples with his mouth. “I mean, we’re a pretty irresistible combination aren’t we?” She pressed against him with a mewling sound, and he laughed, and caught her up in his arms, and took her back to the bed.

“Shall we wake him up?” Rose giggled, as they both crept under the covers. The Doctor was like a furnace, generating his own energy supply, and his body heat warmed them both up immediately.

“Why not?” Jack said, running a hand along the Doctor’s chest.

“Yup!” Rose grinned. “Time enough to sleep when you’re dead.”

Jack felt the tight band around his heart constrict even more but he pushed the darkness away, and concentrated on kissing the side of the Doctor’s face. The Doctor’s eyes snapped open in that alien way he had of going from sleep to wakefulness in one split second.

“Am I missing something?” he asked brightly.

“Not any more,” Jack said, capturing the Doctor’s mouth in his own and drinking deeply of the other man’s taste and scent, revelling in the way the Doctor felt to his senses. If this was the last time he got to do this, then he wanted to remember every kiss, every touch of fingertip to skin, every last taste and sensation. Rose joined in, and they took up where they’d left off the night before, until finally they were exhausted once more, and lay back on the bed, Jack in the middle this time, Rose curled up under one arm and the Doctor stretched out straight as usual beside them both. Jack wanted to stay awake, to savour this right to the last possible moment, but at some point he must have fallen asleep, because the next thing he knew the Doctor had snapped a light on, and was standing over them both, fully dressed.

“Wake up sleepyheads!” he exclaimed, gazing down on them both as if last night hadn’t even happened. Jack was still flushed from the memory of that dark, intimate night, of the things they’d done and the pleasure they’d given each other, but he didn’t see any of that in the Doctor’s eyes. Even Rose was blushing now as she woke to find herself naked in front of them under the harsh TARDIS lights but the Doctor seemed unperturbed.

“We’ve got things to do, places to see, people to meet!” the Doctor told them exuberantly. He grabbed his leather jacket from the chair, and shouldered himself into it.

“Are we going somewhere?” Jack asked, swinging his legs over the side of the bed, more comfortable with his nudity than Rose.

“Yes! We just landed!” The Doctor looked very pleased with himself.

“And?” Rose wrapped the bed sheet around her body and sidled towards the door. She stopped in front of the Doctor when she got there, a little wraith wrapped up in a white sheet, looking suddenly fragile and vulnerable. “Where are we now?” She asked the Time Lord, and Jack saw a double meaning to her question, but it passed the Doctor by completely.

“Kyoto, Japan!” he announced in a very happy voice. “1336. Hurry up!” And with that, he was gone, whistling happily to himself as he went. Rose gathered up her sheet around her, shot Jack a confused look, and followed on behind.

Jack sat there for a moment, waiting for the pounding in his heart to recede.

In a moment, he would put on his Captain Jack face, and get dressed and get out there, and be charming and funny and make them both laugh, and they’d have an adventure together, and maybe it would be the last, or nearly the last, and he’d love every minute of it, and at some point soon the Doctor would leave them, and he wasn’t sure what would happen after that but he did know that before too long his heart would be broken.

“And that’s why you never fall in love,” he whispered.


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