Nothing and Nowhere.

by usagiko [Reviews - 28]

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  • All Ages
  • Swearing
  • Het, Slash

Author's Notes:
Rose is home again. Jack wrestles with recent memories of the Doctor and Martha, as well as the Master. The Firefly crew has culture shock. How will the Torchwood crew manage to take care of everyone and their jobs at the same time?

Warning: Jack/Doctor in this chapter with some uh, questionable content. Be advised.


Notes: Many thanks to Gem (many hugs, Jacks, and mudkips to you!) for helping me out with structuring of this chapter. Lyrics and title from Aya's "Over Night". Spoilers for the end of Season 3.

After defeating the Master.

After losing Martha like he lost Rose, but somehow this loss still doesn't compare to the loss of Rose, the endless guilt and agony of that hole inside of him. Martha chose to go of her own free will, heroically, and Rose got stuck.

These chains on his wrists are there for good reason. He can feel them indenting themselves into his wrists, fragile veins underneath starting to chafe.

And Jack.

Those glacier eyes boring into him with no mercy and something mixed with love and hate, a desperateness to be loved, to be redeemed, to be loved like he was. After all, it wasn't his fault that Rose brought him back and rendered him immortal, and at the same time making him intrinsically abhorrent to his own physiology.

He closed his eyes.

"I told you, I was sorry. I tried to save all of you, I tried to save Rose. It's not my fault. And it's not Rose's. We wanted to save you..."

"And you did such a good job..." That voice purring roughly into his ear, big hands, fingers trailing over his open eyelids, nose, mouth while he was still bound, hands up over his head, to one of the TARDIS' gridplate walls. "Now I can never die. And all you say is that I'm abhorrent to you."

And this torture is fitting, moreso than what the Master dealt him. Memories, physical muscle memory of the time with Rose and all three of them twisting on beds, in closets, and Rose's sharp incisors gleaming in the dark, head thrown back in almost frightening glee, sinking into the base of his neck, and Jack's, claiming them both.

He trembled. The almighty Last of the Time Lords trembled. Only Rose had been able to do that before, and then when together with Jack, all three of them. Since he'd grown cold inside. Now he was alive again, burning, burning, twisting in his bonds as Jack did nothing more than press half-formed kisses to his cheekbones, shells of his ears, jaw, stroking him like something so precious. "You say sorry", Jack said wryly in that more gravelly voice he got during their coupling, "And you know what the really sick thing is? I loved you. And I still do, even though you put me through hell." Murmuring, hypnotic with those lips moving, then viciously kissing him, all teeth and biting, bleeding. Lapping up the blood and laughing.

This is a punishment he deserves, he thinks, as Jack steps back with blood smeared on his bottom lip (briefly flashing to Rose after her own savage claiming of him and Jack, that streak down the center of her lip where it indents just a little, a little down her chin, and her eyes so big and wide, all pupil and lioness, licking the corner of her mouth and tasting her kill), starting to flick off one of his bracers with one hand while the other was under the Doctor's jaw, making sure he watched as he shrugged off the other bracer. Trickle of blood falling down his neck, down that clean white shirt he always wore underneath the suspenders, passing right over where his heart was.

Where his heart was. Where his heart should be.

The little girl voice. A heart is a home, a home that you've lost.

That strange girl named River's voice intruding into the memory, a blurry ghost-like image of her standing in the corner of his eye, perception filter-like watching.

Being watched. This part was new.

As Jack made quick work of their clothes, forcing him harder back against the chainlink of the wall, biting him, suckling him, praising him, cursing him all in one breath murmur, the Doctor's eyes open but starting to tremble again, almost swooning (he forgot how good Jack was at this but another was missing from this equation).

"Say it." He growled fiercely, biting his flank, raking his teeth over the ribcage. "Say you're mine. Say you're mine, and Rose's. Ours, our own. Our only."

All he could do was twist.

"SAY IT."

As if his soul was being forced open, cracked open, just like the Cardiff Rift, his eyes opened. Flushed cheeks and moist lips, this was painful but needed. A correct punishment. The Doctor didn't recognize the soft, pleading voice that came out of his own throat at that moment.

"I'm...I'm yours."
+++
Jack woke up. The room that was his bedroom/office slowly came back into view, the ceiling with its little mica stars. He was soaked through with sweat. He wiped his brow, slowly sat up and the room whirled for a second, readjusting itself.

He saw a lump that was breathing rhythmically on the couch of his sofa and then remembered, oh, Rose is back.

He wobbled over to her, his head still full of cotton, saw that familiar tangled blonde head with only her nose up uncovered, eyes shooting back and forth in much-needed REM sleep. He smiled to himself, reached out, and stroked her downy cheek. Her eyes fluttered again and opened, creased in a smile.

"Hey you." She said, voice creaky, muffled by the blanket wrapped around her.

"Hey you." He replied, still stroking her cheek.

A loud bang and crash, shrieking interrupted them. Jack quickly pulled on his pants and bracers, Rose jumped up with him, still fully dressed, running downstairs.
+++
River was a sobbing heap on the floor, rocking herself back and forth, covering her ears from a noise none of them could hear.

"Jesus Christ, Owen, what did you do?" Gwen said, alarmed, rushing over to the girl on the floor, but Mal stopped her, (somewhat jealously) let Simon crouch over his little sister. Just when they thought she was almost better and this shit happens, he thought, looking at her with an unabashed look of concern on his face.

"I barely touched her, I'll have you know." He shouted above the din, mildly insulted, retrieving various medical instruments that had been knocked to the floor. "All of a sudden she just kinda..."

"Went bibbledy? Yeah, we have that problem a lot", Mal said brusquely. Simon shot him an unamused look.

"Oh, this is a fine way to wake up on a Monday morning", everyone turned up to see Jack, still looking rough from sleep, but with Rose rushing ahead of him, however, looking very much alert.

"Jack?" Tosh's voice caught him as he was putting on his greatcoat. "Looks like this isn't isolated. Right before River, that weevil we caught a few days ago started up." She let moved away from her monitors to let him look - his face shortly turning into that of horror.

"Looks like our hunches were right - that weevil isn't quite the perfect picture of health..." He muttered under his breath as he tapped the screen, seeing different angles of the cell. "He's nuts, to put it mildly. Thank whatever's up there we now have two medical doctors on standby", he looked at a somewhat pissed off Tosh (she'd been trained too, before she went into her other fields), "Sorry, Tosh, three. Owen!" He flicked up the collar of his coat, adjusted his cufflinks.

Simon scrambled around for sedatives, but he didn't recognize any. "Sedatives?" He asked hotly, and Owen tossed him a desposable syringe. As the weevil downstairs got worse, so did River's shrieking.

"I got it, there's a link between her episode right now and the weevil, right?" Owen had been listening in (amazing how bad situations got your hearing in shape for hearing details being shouted all over each other).

"You gotta put 'em down", Jack said, now at his side, unlocking a small box Ianto had just dug out from the infirmary, tossing him a small vial and old syringe. "As much as I hate to do it, that weevil's literally trying to eat itself. It's gone off the deep end."

As Simon pushed the needle into River's fighting flesh and she started to calm, her eyes going all pupil and her breathing slowing, "And it's driving River mad. Again." He muttered to himself. Owen didn't hesitate, disappearing into the depths of the hub, getting on protective gloves with a waiting Ianto, both of them wrestling for a bit until the weevil was down for the count.

And then it was quiet. River's sobbing had tapered off, and now she was just eerily blank. Simon and Mal helped her sit back up on the medical table, Rose tending to the small fleshwounds she'd caused herself. Jack watched Rose's face, and found the same expression he'd seen so many times, shown previously only for himself and the Doctor. She had a connection with this girl.

Gwen went to help with disposal of the body. Tosh just sat back in her chair, wiping her moist temples. "Christ, not even eleven AM on a Monday and we already have a boiled egg", she muttered, pinching the bridge of her nose and taking off her glasses.

"Now that is how a crew should run", Mal said with a grin, to Zoe, who had just come in to witness the end of the melee. She gave him a dirty look.

"When it rains..." Jack said, watching Rose tend to River, and after she nodded, said to Tosh, "call everyone back up once they're done to the boardroom. Looks like our unfinished story from yesterday came to rear its ugly head. Mal, if you would be so kind, bring everyone from your crew too." It was a polite demand, Jack's eyes iceberg blue into a similar glacial set across the room. Mal nodded, Zoe went to go get the sleeping members of Serenity awake if they weren't already. As everyone shuffled around, Jack looked at Rose.

She'd been scratching her shoulder blade, and noticed she hadn't even changed her torn shirt. Wordlessly, he escorted her back to his office so she could change it, repectfully looking away as she pulled off the ruined shirt (though there was no need for that). He let his eyes wander once to the blazing tattoo that was on that shoulder blade.

"That's new." He said softly before turning his eyes back to the wall, tossing her a new shirt from her bag. He let his eyes wander again as he noted no bra, her shoulders slinking into the new shirt, looser, almost of a Chinese design. That's one thing he'd noticed - everyone who had come with her had some kind of Asian - specifically Chinese, as Tosh had told him, somewhat miffed - influence all over what they had with them.

"It was after we left you, but before he told me you were alive. I wanted to remember. I didn't want to forget, ever. So we went to 30th century Tokyo, to the world's last Geisha's teahouse. Turns out she was also a great artist. We helped her out of some trouble", she said, as she tied the shirt shut under her breasts, "and she designed and facilitated the tattoo in thanks."

"Gallifreyan, I assume", he said, finally walking over now that she was changed, the top of the tattoo visible with the low back of the shirt. He gently touched the raised flesh, all fire and ice, brilliant colors that definitely weren't even available in this century. Or imaginable, for that matter. Through the fabric he followed the end of the Gallifreyan words, and then to the Japanese one. Tracing the design - a large, ghost-like Japanese sumi-e Wolf design, the wolf's face simultaneously zen and threatening at the same time. He felt her shudder under his thumb, her cheeks flushing gently, lip wet.

"Aku na Ookami", Tosh had called that phrase accompanying the foreign block letters, "The Bad, Evil Wolf".

They stood there like that for a few minutes, Jack just stroking the tattoo through the thin fabric of her shirt, raising the gooseflesh on Rose's back. Almost making her pant - it had been so very, very long since she'd allow any kind of simple human contact. After Mickey died, she hadn't let anyone touch her at all, even in passing. And now, almost too much. Her eyes closed.

"Everyone's ready and waiting", Tosh called from outside.

"Got it. We're on our way." He called back, not raising his eyes and fingers from Rose's back until he finished speaking.
+++
Somehow having got herself back under control, hearing her speak, Jack watched Rose finish explaining what that other 'Verse was like, about River and her abilities, having brought the hard copies of her own documents to show with Tosh's help.

Gwen saw that he was soaking up the information, but not actively - she knew what it looked like when he was on mental screensaver. He kept rubbing his bottom lip against a finger, blinking occasionally to make it look like he was paying attention when his brain was really just jotting it all down - he'd be able to answer if called to attention, and that was the most annoying part. Gwen envied that ability of his, but chalked it up to him living for so long - a way to survive while monitoring other elements. But what elements was he monitoring here?

"River, though you can't tell right now as she's kind of...out of commission", Simon said, taking over, "my little sister makes me look like an idiot child. Anything she does - science, math, languages, theoretical physics - makes me look like an idiot, and it comes to her as naturally as breathing does to us. That's why the Alliance wanted her..."

Jack tuned out a bit more.

"And Torchwood at that point, and even before, was always the reverse of what it is here - it was always responsible and under the thumb of law. I was the last one, anyway. I couldn't do anything. It was my fault. All of this." Rose said softly, angrily.

"So you want to change things on the other side?" Tosh asked, very impressed with the copious records she'd kept over the years. She shuffled through printouts and screens.

"That's part of the deal, yeah." Mal said, nodding, now looking to Rose, ignoring Jayne as he dug at his ear with a pinky.

She still feels the same, smells the same, Jack thought, still worrying the finger that had stroked Rose's back against his lip, And she's been through so much, and how she reacted like she hasn't been touched, she hasn't let anything touch her. Like the Doctor used to be. She had to, to survive.

"And to do that, I have to help. And now that I'm here, my request of the Serenity crew is complete, I now officially ask you on their behalf to help me get them back armed with the ability to change." Rose said, standing up straight. The tattoo rippled with the muscle under the skin.

Rose. Our Rose. His hands still vibrating with the feel of her back. Delicious. He snapped to attention.

"We'll do what we can." He said, "On the honor of Torchwood-3", he said officially, for the sake of the archives since this would be definitely added, "We'll do what we can to help."