Two Hearts

The light on the main deck of the TARDIS, always dim, was set lower than usual – in fact it was so dark that Jack didn’t even see the Doctor for a couple of seconds as he blearily wandered towards the main console…and stopped. The entire far wall of the TARDIS had vanished, revealing a black and white star studded vista outside, whirling around, stars winking in and out as if by magic as the TARDIS traversed space and time.

“Wow – that’s beautiful,” Jack murmured to himself.

“I think so,” a voice replied, and Jack grinned automatically, pleased to find he wasn’t alone. Glancing around, he found the Doctor, sitting on a chair that Jack swore hadn’t been there earlier, his long, lean legs resting on the console. “So, what’s the matter? Can’t sleep, or did you fancy stealing another time ship to replace the one that you previously stole?” The Doctor asked, leaning forward so that his face was half in shadow and half in light. Jack grinned.

“Oh I wouldn’t have the slightest clue about flying a thing like this,” he said, waving his hand around nonchalantly. “Nope, I had a nightmare.” He leaned back against the console, and gazed steadily at the Doctor. “I don’t sleep well alone,” he whispered conspiratorially, his voice and expression as meaningful as he could make them.

It was too dark to be sure, but he could have sworn that the Doctor blushed.

“Well, you’ll have to do a better job of sucking up to Rose then,” the other man said curtly. “She already thinks you’re wonderful so I don’t think you’ll have much trouble there.”

Jack’s grin widened. “She is a charmer, no doubt about it. Although, I have to wonder what a nice, 21st century girl like her is doing with a guy like you.”

“And what kind of a guy is that?” The Doctor asked, a hint of danger in his voice.

“Someone out of time.” Jack crossed his arms over his chest and leaned forward. “Remember, I used to be a Time Agent, Doctor – I kind of pride myself on being able to place where people are from but you…it’s like you’re from everywhere and nowhere…and the one place you’re definitely not from is Earth.”

The Doctor’s face tightened, but he didn’t respond. Jack got up, and danced an imaginary waltz with himself against a backdrop of stars. “I never did get that dance earlier, Doctor,” he said, as he whirled by. “And this is such a romantic setting. Care to join me?”

“No,” came back the curt reply.

“No? Damn shame. How about a little music then, to accompany me in my lonely dance?” Jack put on his mournful face and the Doctor gave a loud, exaggerated kind of sigh. Jack grinned delightedly. Finally, a chink in that dour armour! He watched appreciatively as the Doctor unwound those long legs and strode over to a section of the console, pressed what might have been a switch, although it didn’t look like any kind of a switch Jack had ever seen, and the next thing he knew a slow waltz started to play on the main deck. “Oh that’s perfect,” Jack murmured, swirling past the Doctor, and using the opportunity to check out the other man’s ass as he did so. Jack knew himself to be a true libertine, and he’d lost count of his sexual conquests but even so, there was something about the Doctor that intrigued him – and something about the combination of both Rose and the Doctor together that turned him on. He remembered them dancing earlier, full of life and vitality, their eyes teasing, as their bodies twisted and taunted. These two would be such a challenge! And all the sweeter for it, Jack thought to himself as he danced on. Rose would be the easier of the two to lure into bed, those candy sweet lips of hers just begging to be kissed, but the Doctor…Jack closed his eyes and imagined holding that hard body in his arms, and feeling all the force of that manic personality unleashed, all of it focused on him…Jack shivered, wondering how that would feel, wondering if he could even handle it…

“Be careful what you wish for,” the Doctor said, and Jack came to a startled halt.

“Oh, I feel so exposed,” he grinned, unsure whether that was a lucky guess or some kind of other power, and not caring in the slightest one way or the other. “So, do you read minds, Doctor, or am I just easy to read?”

“I think we both know how easy you are,” the Doctor replied, with a slight grin of his own.

Jack burst out laughing. “Oh come on!” He said, grabbing the Doctor’s arm. “Would a dance kill you?” At that moment the music changed into something more upbeat and neither of them were able to resist the insistent beat. “This is better,” Jack said, clicking his fingers in time to the song. The Doctor gave another of those manic grins and kept pace with him, neither of them touching each other. They danced together for several minutes, neither of them saying a word, just grinning at each other as they each tried to outdo the other’s steps. Jack was exhilarated, even as he sensed the rivalry the Doctor was feeling and just how much that was fuelling this exuberant display. The Doctor wanted to keep up with him – but Jack wasn’t interested in stealing Rose away from him; that wasn’t his style at all. The music came to an end and they both collapsed against the console, still laughing, trying to get their breath back.

“Don’t break her heart,” the Doctor said suddenly, unexpectedly, and when Jack turned to look at him all trace of the manic grin had gone, to be replaced by the serious, moody expression that Jack was more familiar with. “She’s special. Don’t hurt her.”

“I don’t do broken hearts.” Jack held up his hands in mock surrender. “I’m all about the happy, Doctor.”

“You’re a conman,” the Doctor reminded him brusquely.

“And you – what are you?” Jack asked softly. “Travelling through space and time, all alone save for some pretty young thing you picked up somewhere along the way? You seem like a pretty lonely kind of guy, Doctor and yet you haven’t made your move on her. What’s that about? If you’re so lonely, and I can see that she’s already half in love with you…what’s holding you back?”

The Doctor’s face was masked in shadow again, but the line around his jaw hardened, and Jack saw that he’d hit a nerve. “Rose told me something…” He hesitated, unsure whether to show his cards too soon. “She said something that couldn’t be true.”

“Well?” The Doctor turned his head, and his mood seemed to have shifted once again, as the manic grin was back. Jack wondered if he’d ever get used to the changeability of this man’s moods.

“She said you were from a planet called Gallifrey,” Jack murmured, never taking his eyes off the Doctor’s face for a second. The Doctor gave a slow blink but that manic grin never faltered.

“I am,” he replied. “Heard of it?” He asked brightly.

“Yes – and that’s the point,” Jack frowned, genuinely puzzled. “Gallifrey doesn’t exist – everyone knows that. It’s a myth – we learn all about Gallifrey during our training, and there isn’t one of us that doesn’t fantasise about either being a Time Lord, or, in my case…” Jack gave a frankly sexual grin, “…getting off with a Time Lord – or Time Lady, I’m not picky.” He heard the Doctor snort at that. “But we all know they’re just a fable. It’s a great idea, a beautiful concept – a fantastic race of superior beings with an affinity with space and time, who travel through the universe, patching up temporal and spatial anomalies…but nobody ever found any evidence that Gallifrey ever existed. There’s nothing where it’s supposed to be, and nobody ever met a bona fide Time Lord.”

“Is that right?” The Doctor turned and clicked his fingers, and the music started again. “Come on Captain Jack, let’s see you put your money where your mouth is,” he said, seizing Jack and pulling him close, so that they were both swaying in time to the music.” Jack felt wrong footed, and he could feel the hard contours of the Doctor’s body pressed close to his, making him dizzy.

“Anyone would think you’re trying to distract me,” he murmured, the hand he had in the small of the Doctor’s back gently moving south, and coming to rest on the Doctor’s pleasingly firm ass.

“And anyone would think you’re trying to seduce me,” the Doctor riposted. His hands were hot on Jack’s back, and his breath sweet and inviting against Jack’s ear.

“Oh I think that would be quite hard.” Jack sighed wistfully, his hand stroking the other man’s bottom insistently. “You’re already in love with Rose, after all, and I don’t like to steal people – I like to share them.” He rested his head on the Doctor’s shoulder, enjoying the smell of the other man’s leather jacket.

“Rose is special,” the Doctor said firmly.

“I agree,” Jack said.

“So what were the nightmares about?” The Doctor asked, in that disconcerting way he had of returning to subjects you thought were long since forgotten about. “The ones that kept you from sleeping tonight?”

“Oh. Nothing.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, and Jack grimaced – hell, he didn’t want things to get too serious. He didn’t *do* serious.

“I told you I lost two years out of my memory,” Jack replied at last, with a nonchalant shrug. “Sometimes…I just have dreams that seem more like memories…but I can’t make sense of them. They…unsettle me. No, that’s not true I guess; they scare me.”

“I see.” The Doctor’s arms felt warm and strangely comforting, and the side of his cheek was resting against Jack’s. It felt nice. Good. Warm and sleepy, like he was disappearing into a relaxing cloud…only now those warm arms felt like a vice, and Jack tried to struggle only to find that time seemed to have slowed right down, making his movements so slow as to be almost imperceptible. He felt as if he was trapped in a single split second of time that stretched on and on for all eternity, and he realized in that second just how powerful this man was, and how dangerous he could be if crossed. He also realized, too late, that he wasn’t a man to be toyed with. Jack felt the other man’s heart beating against his…only that heartbeat had double the strength, and he had a sudden flash of the depth of the Doctor’s soul, combined with a very real sense of just how alien this being holding him was. This man felt things deeply – too deeply – and somewhere along the way he’d been badly damaged, and that made him very dangerous indeed.

Time came back into focus and Jack gasped, and fell to the floor as the Doctor released him.

“What the hell was that?” Jack said angrily, panting on all fours.

“Sorry – I just wanted to see if you were telling the truth.” The Doctor gave another of those too-bright grins and held out his hand to help Jack up.

“And?” Jack growled angrily, ignoring the hand.

“You are!” The Doctor looked very pleased with himself.

“And you?” Jack moved fast, getting to his feet and jumping around the console ahead of the Doctor, blocking his path as he began to move away. The Doctor hesitated. “Are you telling the truth, Doctor? Are you from Gallifrey?”

“Like you said, Gallifrey doesn’t exist,” the Doctor replied, trying to sidestep him.

“Not now – but once maybe?” Jack pressed.

“Well, you’re a time agent – I’m sure you’ve been back and forth in time and space trying to look for it,” the Doctor said.

“I have. We all have. It’s kind of like Atlantis – it’s something we all want to believe in, but there was never a trace of it. Why is that, Doctor?”

Suddenly Jack felt a sense of loneliness so great that it almost overwhelmed him. “Doctor?” He whispered. The other man’s exuberant façade faded, and his eyes were suddenly dark with grief.

“It’s gone, Jack. All gone,” he murmured.

“When? How?” Jack asked, trying to figure out how a whole planet could have just disappeared without a trace.

“Out of the timeline,” the Doctor whispered. “There was a Time War and we lost. Can you imagine that, Jack? That’s what a Time War does – it makes it so that you never existed at all…everyone gone…all through time, backwards and forwards…all those trillions of people, my people, Time Lords – all gone.”

“I don’t understand. You’re here…what does that make you?” Jack asked.

“An anomaly.” The Doctor gave a wry shrug of his shoulders. “Those rumours you heard about Gallifrey are just echoes, just after-ripples, like when you throw a stone into the pond – you can’t see the stone any more but the ripples are still there. That’s why you’ve heard of us, but we don’t exist and we never did. I was never born, Jack.”

Jack gazed at him for a moment, unable to even conceive of how terrible that idea was. Then, acting on impulse, he did the one thing he knew how to do well. He grabbed the Doctor’s face, pulled him close, and kissed him hard on the lips. The Doctor came, unresisting, and his mouth opened up as Jack worked at him with his tongue. He liked the feeling of tightly leashed power that the Doctor exuded, along with an odd kind of dorkiness that turned Jack on. He kissed the Doctor with every single fibre of his being, wanting to connect in some way with that lonely alien he’d briefly glimpsed, with the aching chasm at the centre of his soul. The Doctor’s lips were warm and hungry, and he responded to the kiss with a sense of deep need. It was, Jack thought later, probably the best kiss he’d ever had; raw, necessary, and real. They finally drew apart, and the Doctor opened his mouth to say something. Jack closed it with his fingers.

“No more of that. I told you, I’m all about the happy,” he said with a good-natured grin. “Do you want to dance again?”

He pulled the Doctor close, his hands closing around the hard muscles of the other man’s body. Damn but this guy was sexy. Even despite the big ears and long nose, he exuded a sensuality that made Jack giddy – and the stupid thing was that the Doctor didn’t even know he was sexy – had never even thought about it. Maybe the TARDIS was telepathic, or else deeply in tune with the Doctor’s mood, because it was playing a slow, romantic song.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time,” Jack said, smooching the side of the Doctor’s neck as they danced.

“I’ve only known you for 13 hours and 27 minutes,” the Doctor protested.

“Can you always do that? Tell the precise time?” Jack asked, fascinated.

“Yes.” The Doctor shrugged.

“Well, anyway, that’s beside the point. I knew I had to have you, from the moment we had that fabulous argument about that dumb ass sonic screwdriver you’re so proud of.”

“Really?” The Doctor drew back, looking confused.

“Oh yeah – why, what did you think was going on?”

“I thought we were trading macho insults in order to impress Rose.” The Doctor looked stumped.

“Ah, bless – he’s got the power of time at his fingertips but he’s absolutely hopeless at interpersonal relationships!” Jack grinned. “My job here has just begun. Nope, that wasn’t jealousy, Doctor – that was plain old sexual tension.”

“So, I’m not jealous – of you and Rose?” The Doctor still looked confused.

“Oh no. You’re definitely jealous of me and Rose.” Jack gave a gurgle of amusement and pulled the Doctor close again. He closed his eyes and felt the Doctor relax into his embrace, as he finally accepted that not only was Jack here to stay, but he wasn’t taking no for an answer – with either the Doctor or Rose. “You’re in love with her, and that’s cool,” Jack murmured as they swayed together against the backdrop of space and time, as it whirled past them outside the TARDIS. “You see, I remembered something else about Time Lords, Doctor.” He placed both his hands on the Doctor’s chest and glanced into the other man’s eyes. “Two hearts,” he murmured, feeling the steady thump of the dual beats under his fingertips. “One’s already taken – she has that, and she deserves it too, our beautiful Rose. But the way I see it, that leaves the other one free and I’d like to be considered for the role of occupant.”

The Doctor looked as if he was about to snort, but Jack stopped him by the simple expedient of moving in close, and capturing the other man’s lips with his own. This kiss was less urgent than the first, lighter, and more flirtatious, but it tasted just as sweet. Jack drew back, and reluctantly disentangled himself from the Doctor’s arms.

“Take your time, Doctor,” he said softly, moving away, back to his room. The Doctor stood there, dark clothes, dark eyes, dark past, silhouetted against the starfield that danced behind him. “We’ve got plenty of it after all, Time Lord.”


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