othercaptjack: (Trigger happy even when it rains)
[personal profile] othercaptjack
When they returned from the end of the universe, it felt like they hit the ground running and don't stop once. Even sitting around the fire at night, joking with Martha and watching the Doctor out of the corner of his eyes, Jack could feel the minutes slipping away from him.
I can't decide
Whether you should live or die

(The Doctor knew all the time.)
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry

They couldn't contact Torchwood. Even if they were in Cardiff instead of cut off in the Himalayas, of all places, the Master was listening in from everywhere, and watching from the cameras on every street corner - when did that happen? Jack hated every minute of the early twentieth century, but sometimes felt as if he should have remained grounded in the 1940s. It itches the way it never had in the future, a claustrophobic feeling of nowhere to run and no time to run in, and...
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside

(Here come the drums here come the)
It's cold and hard and petrified
Now time stretches agonisingly slow. He counts the days in his head, the way he used to back when he was waiting for the Doctor to return.
Lock the doors and close the blinds, we're going for a ride
He doesn't get used to the pain. His body resets too often, but Jack thinks that maybe that's why he doesn't give up; the physical balance returning too often to let anything he thinks or sees defeat him for long. The men guarding him began cold and contemptuous to him, a traitor and a freak -- and then they grow angry, and hate him, but as the weeks creep by, Jack sees them start to be afraid of the man they imprison when they see him die screaming, again and again, only to wake up and smile.

He always did have a talent for ingratiating himself. And it's something to do, to pass the time and keep himself sane.

The day the Master brings Torchwood to see him, one by one, almost breaks that.
Oh I could bury you alive
Tosh, silent and resigned. Owen spitting abuse at them all. Gwen, who asks first of all Jack, are you all right? and says Jack, it's okay. It's going to be okay, before they kill her too.
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I'm sleeping
Oh god.
That's why
The Master doesn't kill him that day, just leaves him with the guilt and agony, and their bodies lying still on the floor in front of him, and he thinks I did this.

He did.

It burns when the Doctor refuses to let him kill the Master, and then hurts more when he sees the look on the Doctor's face as the the other Time Lord lies stubbornly dying. That loneliness.

And he still ran from me.

The temptation to offer again, to stay with the Doctor and travel with him is strong. But now he knows how strong the Time Lord's internal revulsion is - an understanding beaten into him by a year of the Master's abuse and experimentation - it's hard to stay where you know you are, even on a subconscious level, not wanted. And he'd never been needed.

Not by the Doctor, anyway.


They all look so surprised to see him.

Jack grins, gun still levelled past Ianto's cheek, and enjoys the brief moment of stunned silence, of doing something right.

"Miss me?"
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June 2011

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