cowgrl_fic: (John Hart)
[personal profile] cowgrl_fic
Title: Breaking the Rules
Word Count: About 1,800
Rating: PG13 (non-explicit sexual situations)
Pairings: Jack/John, Jack/Ianto
Warnings: SPOILERS for Children of Earth. Un-betaed at the moment.
Summary: Begins where Children of Earth ends (to say more would be spoilers!)
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own it. If I did, I wouldn't need to write fanfic to fix CoE!

At the top of a hill near Cardiff, Jack took one last look at Rhys and very pregnant Gwen, then keyed in the correct code on his newly-recovered vortex manipulator and vanished.

The next moment he was in a dimly lit cargo hold aboard a ship.

“About bloody time you turn up here.”

At the sound of the very familiar voice behind him, Jack turned around. “Good to see you, too, John.”

“Five more seconds and I’d have been stuck here on this miserable ship without you. And I’ll have you know I wasn’t really ready to leave Earth yet.” John took a few steps toward Jack. When they were an arm’s length apart they both hesitated. Then John Hart grabbed Jack and pulled him in for a tight embrace. The embrace was followed, inevitably, by a long snog which Jack returned in a lackluster fashion. It was only polite, after all, to show some gratitude toward the man who had just fulfilled his wish to get off-planet.

But after John groped Jack’s crotch, he pulled away, surprised. “You really don’t fancy me anymore,” John accused, looking into Jack’s eyes expecting to see defiance. He was shocked at the despair reflected back at him. “Blimey,” he said softly. “What happened?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Jack answered. “I just…I had to get away.” It had taken several months for him to find John—the one person he was sure could reactivate his vortex manipulator after the Doctor had once again disabled it. And that couldn’t happen until and unless the crew excavating the destroyed Hub managed to locate the device in the first place. Time spent in agony. Endless time, like his miserable, endless life.

John knew better than to pry further. Before he could say anything else, he heard footsteps. “We’ve got to hide!” he exclaimed, pulling Jack behind some large crates.

Oh great, Jack thought, we’re stowaways. Not that it mattered; the two of them knew how to get by. They huddled silently as someone entered the room, took something and left.

“Sorry about the rubbish accommodations,” John said when the coast was clear.

“Fine with me,” Jack answered. He looked at John and managed a weak smile. “And thank you.”

“Anything for my best mate. Even though you wouldn’t let me join your team. I was hurt, you know.”

“You killed me and terrorized my team!”

“If it wasn’t for me you’d still be buried under Cardiff!”

Fair enough, Jack thought.

John gave Jack a sideways glance. “Friends?”

“Friends,” Jack agreed, pulling John in and hugging him. John settled into Jack’s embrace. It took several hours for him to unwind, but for the first time in months Jack managed to get a little sleep.

After the ship docked, they crept out of the cargo hold, stole breakfast, then made their way off the ship and into the space station. John had procured fake ID for both of them, and they were therefore able to masquerade as merchants just long enough to steal a small ship of their own. Then they were on their way: two former time-agents, one stolen ship making a quick getaway, and an entire galaxy to play in. It was like old times. It was exhilarating! Oh yes, this was exactly what Jack had needed. He laughed as John (at the helm) out-maneuvered the ships that came after their stolen vessel, and cheered when their pursuers gave up. No, none of this made his pain go away but it was a hell of a terrific distraction.

Eventually they landed on a planet they’d visited long ago, back in their time-agent days. It was a decadent society, all about pleasure. John used his updated vortex-manipulator to create some counterfeit currency for them. They checked into a posh hotel, had a fabulous dinner, and then retired to their room.

After a soak in the hot tub, and quite a bit of alcohol, Jack was much more amenable to John’s advances. He really needed to be touched. And, after all, this was an old lover, someone who knew him extremely well. Someone who knew he enjoyed playing rough sometimes, but could read Jack’s responses well enough to know when to be tender instead. Tonight, John sensed Jack needed a softer touch and he obliged, stroking, licking, caressing, and holding Jack when he needed comfort more than anything else.

In the morning, Jack woke up with a pounding headache. As he attempted to sit up, he saw John, already upright and drinking directly from a bottle of whisky.

“Best cure for a hangover.” John offered the bottle to Jack.

Jack shook his head. “I’ll be ok in a few minutes. Coffee would be good though.” The instant he said the word “coffee” he regretted it. It caused an immediate lump in his throat, and he had to blink back tears. No one no one would ever be able to make coffee like his beloved Ianto.

John observed but said nothing. “Come on, mate, let’s get dressed and go get you some coffee. Breakfast would be a good thing too.”

They had breakfast at a café with outdoor tables overlooking a mountain view with a lovely river flowing through its valley. Afterwards they took a long walk by that river, eventually stopping to sit by its banks. They were both silent for quite a while, just soaking in the gorgeous vista.

“I ruined everything,” Jack said quietly, finally breaking the silence.

“Tell me what happened,” John said.

And Jack told him every last detail. The 456. Ianto’s death. His grandson’s death. All those people, adults and children, dead. The Hub destroyed. It was all his fault. He knew John wouldn’t judge him; after all, John had done all sorts of heinous things, though that was back before John had apparently developed a conscience.

After he finished his sad tale, they were both silent for a little while.

“So, are we going to fix it?” John said.

“What do you mean?”

“Go back to 1965, to when it all started, and eliminate the 456.”

“But that would be changing the past! You know that’s forbidden!”

“By whose rules? The sodding Time Agency?”

Jack mulled it over. It was risky. Very risky. Laws against changing the past were there for good reasons. But in this case, to make right what he’d made terribly wrong, to possibly have a second chance, how could he resist? Jack grinned. “Let’s go break some rules!”

The first step of their plan: go back to present-day Earth to access Torchwood’s database. They needed two pieces of information: the cure for the disease the 456 had promised back in 1965 in exchange for the children, and the exact audio frequency that had destroyed the 456 in 2009. So they reluctantly said goodbye to the pleasure planet and set a course for Earth (after partaking in its glories one last night. After all, this may not work so they may as well have a little fun!)

Back on Earth, it didn’t take long to steal a computer and then they were in business. Jack’s computer hacking skills weren’t nearly as good as Tosh or Ianto’s but he managed. He was momentarily interrupted when Gwen spotted him online. Jack quickly texted her that yes, he was back, and he’d explain later.

Next step: a return to 1965, Scotland. Of course Torchwood’s records had the exact time and space coordinates. They deliberately arrived a few hours early to take care of some preliminary business: mailing the cure for the disease to several prominent medical laboratories to make sure it would arrive soon after they completed their mission. Then there were just a few hours to wait. Hiding in the woods under cover of darkness, they watched the scene unfold: the bus with the children; Captain Jack Harkness urging the children to walk toward the light.

“This is where I take over,” John said. It was critical that Jack not run into another version of himself. Present-day Jack stayed hidden while John stepped out from behind the trees. Yes, it was risky because, of course, 1965-Jack would recognize John if he glanced his way, so he had to be quick. He pressed the “play” button on his audio device (excellent 51st century technology!) and held his breath. Was this going to work?

The children, in unison, started making that same sound! Jack wondered if children all over the world were doing the same. And the 456? Oh yes, the 456 ship shuddered and then exploded!

“Run back to the bus!” 1965-Jack shouted at the children, who had stopped making that awful sound as soon as the 456 were destroyed. And so, all 12 children were saved, including Clem who could now have a normal life.

“It worked!” John stated triumphantly to present-day Jack…or rather, he would have, but present-day Jack had vanished. Bloody hell, not even a thank you. John shook his head, but he was smiling nevertheless. His vortex manipulator was programmed to find present-day Jack’s device anywhere in time and space, and he quickly vanished before 1965-Jack could spot him.

John rematerialized in Cardiff, 2009, inside the Hub.

“Don’t move,” Gwen shouted at him, her gun raised. John held his hands in the air, a gesture of surrender.

“Jack, you’d better get down here,” she said into the comm. “We have a problem.”

“What’s going on?”

“Vera’s back!”

Jack reluctantly pulled out of Ianto’s embrace but not before kissing his lover one more time. Another day, another crisis.

“You coming?” he asked, not even looking to see Ianto’s response. Ianto merely rolled his eyes as he followed Jack from his office down to the main area of the Hub. Above their heads, Myfanwy squawked.

“What brings you here?” Jack asked his former partner of ill-repute.

“I…” John needed an explanation, fast. Apparently Jack remembered nothing now that he’d successfully changed his own history. “I’ve been traveling for a while, here on Earth, but I’m getting ready to leave. Just wanted to say goodbye. Unless you’ve changed your mind about letting me join your team. I could help, you know.”

“Not a chance,” Jack said. “You’ve already caused enough trouble.” Looking into John’s eyes, though, Jack noticed hurt, real genuine hurt. He reconsidered. “Would you consider being a consultant to Torchwood? Not a regular part of the team, but someone we could call on for backup?” Jack ignored sputters of indignation coming from both Gwen and Ianto.

Was it possible, John wondered, that some small, residual part of Jack remembered?

“Yes, of course! I’d be happy to be a consultant,” John agreed. “If I’m off-planet it could take me a few days to get here, but your vortex manipulator can contact me anytime. I’ve given it my coordinates. Oh, and by the way, it’s fixed now. Did you know it was broken? You can go anywhere in time and space!” And with those words, John grabbed Jack, snogged him soundly (too bad if it annoyed Eye Candy!) then let go, pressed his wrist device and vanished.

Gwen just blinked. “Very odd,” she said shaking her head.

Jack grinned. He didn’t really know what that was about, but oddly enough he trusted John.

“Come on, Ianto, we have more files to go through in my office!”

“On my way, sir!” Ianto responded.

Gwen was sure the two of them were up to no good, but she smiled as she watched them leave the room, hand in hand.

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