Jack has two periods of time missing from his memory: he doesn't remember the first two years of his life. But then, we rarely do.
She had been right. The pregnancy was easy, and he didn't have stretch marks.
The ordeal was being drugged into a stupor, and having the baby taken from his hands.
It was a boy, though. He's certain of that, for some reason.
Commander Enquind had a very bright smile on her pale pixie face.
The young Time Agent knew that bright smile, and it tended to mean he was about to do something that he would be very earnestly excited about doing until he started doing it. She was his mentor in the art of making trouble. He could do that bright smile, too.
"It's very important to the continuum status of the Time Agency," she said, "and hinges entirely upon you."
At about the fiftieth release form containing the word "bodily" that flashed across his wristcomm — he was ticking them off one by one without really looking at them, as he hadn't hit anything finalized yet, and the legal documents were never the grist of Agency business — he decided to ask:
"So, what exactly am I going to be doing?"
Enquind's eyes glinted, much the way his own eyes glinted when someone recognized that smile on him. Then she told him.
"Uh," he said, and looked down at his belly.
"This is the fifty-one-eighties. You're not going to lose your girlish figure, I promise."
"You'll like him," Enquind said. "He's very…"
Nice, thought the Time Agent as the man strapped him onto the bed. All right, it wasn't your standard fuzzy handcuffs affair; more of a lab table, the sort you never knew when it would start moving around under you. But Enquind was right. If someone was going to do this to him, and not the old-fashioned way —
The inseminator had bright white teeth and a sharp curved jaw and long hazel hair that fell down to his shoulders, and looked, well, like the sort of person you'd pay to have strap you down and insert tubes of various shapes and sizes into you, nod, tut a bit.
He also looked pretty pleased with himself when the Time Agent started responding non-verbally.
There was a brief procedure to reshape him — he was conscious throughout — and then some vaguely tingly liquid flooded in.
"So soon?" murmured the Time Agent, and smirked.
Enquind and her protégé sit in the hovercraft in the rain, the engine making a quiet hummingbird noise. They have come to a place in a remote corridor of the world, monsoon jungle outside, lit by amber lamps that reflected from the windows of the facility — just aboveground, with bars and crossbars lining them, and forcefields posted outside.
"Don't come with me," Enquind says. "Stay here."
The younger Time Agent frowns. He is usually the one she relies upon in tight situations, quick-handed, smart-mouthed.
"It's code ayin. Don't get the strings tied." She made a knotting motion with her fingers. He nodded, and felt the hair rise on the back of his neck. Continuum paradox potential.
A man, dark-haired, gaunt and awkward but attractive, standing with his head close to the short cement ceiling, silhouetted by laboratory light. He stands naked in front of harsh blue lamps, and turns his head back and forth, looking at his visitor. He blinks.
"Who are you?" she says.
"Me?" he says. "Mostly, I read a lot. Sometimes, I feel things drifting by at the corners of my skull. They're big and empty and they flap by like spun cobwebs. Have I answered your question right?" There's something awkward in the way he enunciates his words. He's quite the poet, but he must have learned everything from computers, from recordings. She finds herself strangely caught by the way he speaks — it's poignant the way a shiver is; it gets to her down at the level of fears and heartbeats.
This is going to be easier than she had thought.
"Do you have a name," — she wonders aloud, more than asks. "Something I can call you."
He pauses, flinches as if from the light, but of course the light is behind him, and she is in front of him.
"Qua," he says.
"Okay," she says. "Nice to meet you, Qua. I'm …"
in front of you, in your arms, near you. Gripping about you like we'd always known each other, Qua, experimental subject, book-trained boy. I'm unstuck in time, and you're very suddenly, very briefly, no longer alone.
The Time Agent was an orphan, didn't know who his parents were.
He was fostered by some of the brightest bulbs in the Boeshane Peninsula, university teachers, really kind folk: a pair of earthy red-headed women, Mom Jane the mathematician and Mom Revin the drafting teacher.
He still wonders.
Qua is falling in, unfolding himself in Enquind's body. Some part of him was always folded, always tied, a cord knotted in on itself. The wire mothers were kind, but when he asked what was missing, they never knew. He learned, sooner or later, that it was other people; was touch.
Touch, liquid and hot and he screams, trembles and spasms not with joy but with feral shock, jerks back and folds in on himself and then unfolds again and clutches at the woman as if he wants his hands to meet his own skin again through the flesh of her.
Oh yes, oh yes.
And then the warmth goes out of him in an undulating shudder, and he's cold again, and removes himself and sits on the concrete and clasps his hands around his knees.
Enquind holds a finger to the side of her wrist computer and waits a few moments in silence.
Yes, that's done it. Of course it has; it did, or the timestream would be broken.
She rustles back into her clothing, and turns to leave.
"Wait," Qua gasps, sobs. "No!"
She can't respond to him. She can't. She has to go on alone to the hovercraft, cheeks flushed with sex and guilt.
Her protégé looks up at her inquiringly, and moves to put his hand on her shoulder. "No," she says. "Don't touch me. Don't touch me."
When they arrive back at the Agency headquarters, she disappears for an hour and comes back with nine months of wear on her.
The young Time Agent doesn't say anything.
It's curiosity in the end that brings him down. Curiosity, and the sound of the scream that came out of that building. Even though Enquind seemed to come back nothing worse than well-fucked, it was a tortured, animal sound.
So he goes to the building on his own — drawn, inexorably, dumbly — breaking in, going down into the basement complex, under the low concrete ceiling —
Only Enquind alive knows the recognition in his eyes when his hand touches Qua's. The shock that runs through both of them.
That is because she follows.
And she watches, tears running down her face, as her son speaks gently to the man who is both his son and his father — opens the door for him with his Agency codes, gives the man his own clothes, turns around to leave in his underwear.
And sees her.
She looks down.
"You can't know what you know, now," she says, not caring that there's a sob in her voice, she's so grateful to see the experimental subject freed. "I'm sorry."
"It's worth it," he says. The corners of his mouth quirk up. Not quite a grin, not quite a grimace.
"You're not going to see me again, and if you do, you won't recognize me." She's putting cuffs on him now. He's not resisting. He looks shocked still, stunned. "You'll lose your name."
"That's my son," he says. "I'm not sorry."
Then you only know the half of it, she thinks. Less than the half of it. Her eyes let off tears in total silence. She presses the button to transport them both to HQ, to the quarantine room where he'll be wiped and from there, reassigned. He'll lose his name.
Until the last moment she can't bring herself to say thank you.
The request: Jack spawn. We know nothing about them except that at least 2 exist one preTorchwood and the face of boe is mentioned as being pregnant in The Long Game. Tell me about them.
I really struggled to do this while focusing enough on characters other than the main ones. I hope I've done a sufficient job.