captgreatcoat: (Arms crossed)

You've reached Captain Jack Harkness. Leave a message, I'll get back to you.

[I'm JK ([personal profile] ashavah). I live in GMT +10 and work full time, so if I'm not online I'll get back to you as soon as possible.]
captgreatcoat: (Default)
For her own sanity and the curiousity of other players, [personal profile] ashavah has prepared the following timeline for Jack Harkness, starting with his childhood in the 51st century. The timeline contains Jack's approximate age (the only linear way to keep track of his timeline), the date, the place, the events, and the canon source information is taken from.

Spoilers through Torchwood: Miracle Day, though mentions of actual events of Torchwood are limited to major plot points or completion of earlier plot arcs.

The life and times of Captain Jack Harkness. Trigger warning for mentions of torture. )


Jul. 1st, 2014 03:23 am
captgreatcoat: (Default)
Jack is fit and healthy, his body appearing as one of a man in his late 30s to early 40s who's in good physical condition. He spends a lot of time running and is very strong.

He's suffered countless injuries over his life, but the only scars he bears are those from things that happened before he become immortal; there is no canonical detail of any such injuries, but there would be at least some scars from blaster-type weapons.

Jack's physiology differs from a 21st century human in a few ways:

  • DNA that's a mixture of human and alien due to the interbreeding of species that has occurred by the 51st century in his timeline

  • His pheromones are more highly developed and therefore stronger than those of 21st century humans

  • Because he's been a companion of the Doctor and travelled time and space quite extensively, his lymphocytes are mutated by radiation found in the Time Vortex

  • This makes his immune system highly effective.

Although Jack is immortal, having accidentally been turned into a paradoxical fixed point in time and space, he can still become ill and can still be injured.

He heals from dying in anything from a few minutes to a few days. In some circumstances, he will not die rather than dying and reviving (e.g. poison gas or radiation exposure).

More minor injuries take longer to heal, but still heal faster than an ordinary human.
captgreatcoat: (Cardiff night)
Telepaths & Empaths
Canonically, it's impossible to read Jack's mind. His mind is described as being blank, empty, as though he were dead. This is probably because technically, he should be.
Here's Jack's POV on the discussion where this comes up in canon.

It's not explained how this might impact on empaths, but I'm assuming that it's going to be pretty much the same. Let me know if you think your character would be able to feel his thoughts and we can work something out.

He does, however, have the ability to project his thoughts into the minds of a telepath if he wants to communicate with them. If you want to do something with this ability, let's!

If your character is sensitive to disruptions in time, like a Time Lord or a sun avatar from Andromeda, they are likely to find Jack upsetting or disconcerting to be around. The Doctor describes him as a fixed point in time and space. He's "a Fact", a thing that should never happen, which makes the Doctor canonically uncomfortable with him.

If this is something your character would notice, please fee free to. Here is an example of how it's been handled in-game.

If there is a need to kill Jack and the mods are okay with it, so am I. Jack is immortal, so when he's killed, he stays dead for anything from a few minutes to a few days, depending on the type and nature of the trauma, and then returns to life.

I'm also fine with him being injured, particularly since he tends to heal rather quickly from fairly serious injuries.

If you want to hash anything out, contact me. I'm pretty easygoing.

Comment or contact me if you need anything explained or have any questions. Comments are on and screened
captgreatcoat: (Absolution)
It's been a strange couple of days.

Not in the usual way he winds up thinking that about Torchwood. In a very different way. His team are all on edge. Owen screwed up a crime scene, Tosh has been slacking off on an urgent report for UNIT, Gwen is being just about insufferable, and on top of all that, he's had to call the Prime Minister to tell her off.


But when members of his staff are acting like superheroes then trying to read his mind, that's beyond strange. That's a cause for genuine concern, and he's been waiting for the clues to figure out just what the hell is going on.

They came sooner than he expected in the form of a vicious, bloodthirsty Arcateenian who'd committed dozens of murders over her time in Cardiff. And seduced Tosh to worm her way into their base. Tosh. So vulnerable to that sort of attack.

And now, heartbroken, but damn, she should have known better.

It wasn't like he had an option. He had to kill 'Mary'. There was no way she was going to go back to her planet, not after she'd been exiled, killed her guard, escaped, and seen what was out there in the universe beyond her own planet.

And he wasn't going to let her kill anyone else.

If that means Tosh hates him ... he didn't set out to be loved. You can't do his job and be loved. Sometimes, his staff hates him. And sometimes, he deserves it.

But she doesn't hate him. She comes to find him in her misery, and maybe he can offer her something of comfort in a few soft words that are as close to right as any words can be and the delegation of the decision with what to do about the pendant that made her telepathic.

For what it's worth, he thinks she was right to smash it. She doesn't need that power. None of them do.

"Why couldn't I read your mind?" Tosh asks, after they've been sitting together for a few moments, listening to the constant trickling fall of water from the tower.

"I dunno," he says, shaking his head, and it's ... as close to true as it usually gets with him. He doesn't know.

He has a couple of ideas, though. Whatever has made him this undying whatever he is must be to blame. But Toshiko doesn't know about that.

"Though I could feel you scrabbling around in there," he adds, leaning over to her and giving her one of his best grins in a pretty good attempt at covering the disquiet her question's caused.

"I got nothing," she says, her voice almost breaking with the emotion of the day. He's turned away again; he doesn't want to meet her eyes. Especially when she continues. "It was like you were, I don't know, dead."

That makes the grin fade. (She could be right.) He lets out a heavy breath and looks back up at her.

"I want that list for UNIT on my desk. Tomorrow." Tosh straightens, her face still lined, but she nods. "Or I'll ..." He turns his head. "What do bosses do in situations like these? You know. Regular bosses. Do I get to beat people?"

"We've got rules for that." Tosh laughs.

He lets out an exaggerated grunt of frustration, an almost manic grin on his face as he slaps a fist into his palm. "Red tape!"

"Jack." He'd been smiling, laughing, trying to boost her, but he turns serious now, because he knows how these conversations go. It's usually only right at the end, when she's put at her ease, that she'll say what's really on her mind.

Toshiko was having a crisis of her own humanity, caused by the whispers of others' minds she'd heard. They weren't meant for her. Not for a good, sensitive soul so uneasy in the world but with so much to give. She's crying as she asks how to live with the new world she's seen.

"There are some things we're not supposed to know," he says, placing one hand over her knee. She's so petite his hand looks oversized against her leg, but the contact is the important thing. Touch, reassurance. "You got a snapshot, nothing more."

"I don't mean about Gwen and Ianto and Owen. I mean ... the whole world." She shakes her head. "It doesn't matter."

His smile is grim as he stands and reaches down to smooth her hair and wipe away her tear. It's still all right. There's good to be found in humanity if only you look close enough. Of all people, Jack knows that. And Tosh will learn it, too.
captgreatcoat: (Cardiff night)
It's as quiet as it ever gets in the Torchwood hub. There's always the sound of machinery, the hum of lights, and, now, the scratching of pen on paper as Jack writes case notes. It's funny how used he's gotten to a pen and paper waiting for the humble computer to be invented. Even with the technological advances that Torchwood makes by highjacking alien technology, it's taken a hell of a long time to get to that comparatively enlightened technological level.

Now Earth is finally there. He's even finally made it to the age when computers are near ubiquitous. But habits change over time, and after so long with pen and paper as the main way of writing available to him, he likes writing this way. It helps him to organise his thoughts. In these long nights after he's sent the team home -- tonight rather forcefully -- he can sift through what's happened in the day, what he's learned, what he's theorised, where nobody can distract him and nobody can see.

Perhaps that adds to the solitude of the lonely job that Gwen often chides him with. He's the head of a secret organisation. There's solitude implicit in that.

Though ... there'd been a little less solitude sometimes. He's still not sure what to make of that, of what he'd had with Ianto before he'd run after the Doctor and lived through a year that nobody else remembers. Ianto doesn't know just how many pieces of himself Jack's been trying to pick up.

Surviving that year and remembering it would be enough to drive anyone into solitude. Or maybe not. Maybe, like Martha's answer is returning to her family, Jack's is letting himself draw closer to his own little family here. In the end, they're all he has, more a family to him than any other he's had.
captgreatcoat: (Working 2)
Your name or online alias: JK Ashavah
Your email: ashavah dot jk at gmail dot com
Another preferred means of contact: ashavah ashavah
Character's Full Name: Captain Jack Harkness
Character's Canon: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Character's Journal Name: [personal profile] captgreatcoat
What would you like your character's tag to be?: jack harkness

In 300-500 words total, tell us your...
Character's background (their past and present):Jack was born in the 51st century on an Earth colony. As a child, he lived on the Boeshane Peninsula until he joined the army and then the Time Agency. He took to the heady life of travelling time and space, but the Agency betrayed him and took some of his memories. He started working as a con-man, travelling time and space running self-cleaning cons.

He was running a con when he encountered Rose Tyler and the Doctor in London in 1941, having assumed the identity of an American RAF volunteer, Jack Harkness. The Doctor took him along as a companion. During one of their adventures, Jack was killed, and was reanimated by a temporarily superpowered Rose. She accidentally fixed him in time and the Doctor, repulsed by him, abandoned him in the year 200,100.

Devastated, Jack tried to travel to 21st century Earth in the hope of finding the Doctor. He landed in 1869, but his time travelling device burned out, leaving him stranded. He eventually discovered he was immortal; so did the Torchwood Institute, which forced him to work for them. He worked freelance for Torchwood for many years, eventually becoming the leader of the institute's Cardiff branch after the rest of the team were killed.

There's a detailed timeline here.

Character's personality: Jack is charming and charismatic, which often sets people on edge. He's flirtatious and often suggestive. His 51st century sexual mores mean he doesn't feel bound by any category. He jokes and laughs easily, and appears flippant and shallow, but is very intelligent and capable.

He often keeps himself aloof from people, but he has a hard time keeping himself becoming attached. He's fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and has a sentimental streak he likes to hide. Though he can be compassionate and sympathetic, Jack can be cold and ruthless when necessary. He's a workaholic who spends very little time on things outside of work, and is sometimes accused of having forgotten what being human is like.

Character's skills/abilities/powers: Jack is immortal. In general, he dies, but revives shortly after his death. The time this takes differs from death to death. He also seems to have the power to revive people near death.

He's intuitively good with technology and experienced with a wide variety of alien and futuristic technologies.

Jack's a very good shot.

Any special equipment your character is bringing along? This includes weaponry, magic items, etc.: He'll have his Second World War Webley & Scott service revolver with him, as well as his Torchwood communication earpiece and his Time Agent's wrist strap. It contains a broken vortex manipulator (a time-travelling teleporting device), but can be used as a transmitter, receiver, remote control, scanner, and communications device.

Are you bringing your character to [community profile] ten_fwd from another game? If you are, which game?: Nope!
Why do you want to play this character in Ten Forward, and what do you plan to do with them? I love Jack. I miss playing him! I love the conflict in his character and I love how much fun he is to throw into unexpected situations with unexpected people. I'm also excited by the small Doctor Who contingent in Ten Forward. I have no particular plans for him yet, but I am sure he will be very interesting to explore in this environment.

Writing Sample #1: Test threads.
Writing Sample #2 (optional): Sample post.
captgreatcoat: (Earnest)
It's been a long day already, not helped by the early-morning wake-up call. He's spent most of it at St Helen's, cross-checking data and talking to the doctors and nurses and Jane. But he knew after just a few minutes with her what had happened. All it took to confirm was a call to Ianto to ask him to check the Rift monitor for the time and place she was found. Which yielded exactly the result he expected. Then, of course, once she could be released into his care, he had to make sure things were ready out on the island for her.

This is the second time he's been here today, and the bright sunshine and the cool breeze blowing in off the channel do little to lighten his mood. Whatever he may tell Gwen or Ianto about there being nothing they can do stop this happening, he can't help feeling that every person this happens to is another failure. He tells himself that what he does is make Cardiff a better place to live, after all.

Some days he can't kid himself that he's done any such thing.

His day just gets worse when he descends into the facility and hears the sound of footsteps down the corridor. There's the low, gentle voice of Helen, the nurse in charge of this place, and, in response, Gwen, her tone sharp, accusatory.

If she's going to go throwing any accusations around, they ought to be thrown at him.

"I'll take it from here, Helen," he says as he steps around the corner and comes face-to-face with Gwen. This explains why Ianto didn't want to talk to him about all this last night. Ianto, apparently, already made his decision and acted without him. And told Gwen about this place. "It was Ianto, wasn't it?"

Gwen doesn't answer, but stares at him, eyes wide.

"What are you doing?" There's an edge in her tone that says this is going to be just as unpleasant as he thought. He can understand what she must be thinking. If he found this place, looking as run-down as it does, full of people who've gone missing off the streets, what would he think?

"I can explain."

She backs away, shaking her head.

"Stay away from me!" The betrayal, the hurt, the accusation in her eyes might be deserved, but they sting no less for that. Especially when she adds, her voice growing ever higher, ever more frantic, "These are the people taken by the Rift! What are they doing here? What have you done?"

"Gwen, listen to me," he says, but it's too late. Her eyes have fallen on the door marked 'Jonah's room'. Jack closes his eyes for a moment and prepares for the onslaught. Helen doesn't know what to think; she's standing with her hands clasped in front of her looking nervously from Gwen to Jack and back again.

"He's here. He's been here all along."

He shakes his head, steps forward again, his voice low, conciliatory, as he speaks.

"It's not that simple."

"Open it."

"Gwen, before I ..." There are so many things she needs to know, so many things she doesn't understand, but the line of her jaw is set and he can't remember the time he last saw that much anger on her face.

"NOW!" He stares at her, and his lips thin as his teeth clench in anger. He'd hoped to spare her this, to spare Jonah this. To spare himself this. He owes her an explanation. But she doesn't deserve what she's about to see. He walks past her, around her. Their eyes meet for a moment before he reaches into his pocket for his key card and swipes it through the lock. He watches Gwen enter the room and waits for a moment.

There's nothing more he can do here. He turns back to Helen.

"Tell her I'll be outside when she wants to talk to me."

What Gwen's about to see will raise more questions than it answers. Jonah's a man of fifty now, scarred and traumatised by what's happened to him. Jack doesn't want to face this now; perhaps a little time in the sun will make it all seem a little more bearable.

When she comes outside, there are tears sparkling in her eyes, though she obviously doesn't want to show it. He's not sure if she sees him as she goes to sit on the grass at the edge of the cliff. She doesn't speak as he walks up to her and sits beside her.

Now that she's seen it all, there's no need to hold back. So he tells her, his voice much quieter than usual, the story. How when he took over Torchwood, there were two people in the vaults, two people who'd come through the Rift and been ravaged, physically and emotionally, by what they'd seen. They'd been locked up and forgotten by Torchwood, but they deserved so much better. How he'd set up this place to house them, to look after them, to make sure they got the care they needed and deserved. He looks into her eyes as he speaks, willing her to believe him, to understand that whatever she might think, he only meant the best.

It mightn't look like much, but there's been a lot of time and effort gone into this place, and without a budget, he's had to spend a great deal of his own money and time to establish a facility out here, on an island in the Bristol Channel, where they will be safe.

"How many are there?"

"Seventeen, last count." Gwen lets out a disbelieving sound and shakes her head as she stares across the waves. "It's increased over the last year. Like the Rift is trying to correct its mistakes." His voice breaks and he looks away again. That's what all this is about, isn't it? Mistakes.

"But not all the missing return."


"You can't keep them hidden. They have families who deserve to know ..."

"Gwen," he turns back to her, in the vain hope that she can be made to understand what she's asking. "They're sick. In ways you could never imagine. We can't fix them. We just care for them."

It's not a surprise when she asks him to bring Jonah's mother here to see him. Even though it's an impossibility, even though it's against every rule governing the secrecy of Torchwood, she still believes that somehow this can be made right.

"She has a right to know. She said not knowing is the worst part."

"How are you going to tell her," he asks, gesticulating with one hand in his passion, "her child has aged 40 years in the last seven months? That he's scarred, that he cannot look after himself..." What would that do to the poor woman? It would be like having all his own personal nightmares come true. He won't inflict that on someone.

But she's determined. She wants to bring Jonah's mother here, to show her what's happened to her son. To tell her about Torchwood and the Rift and the work they do.

"What if she doesn't believe you?"

In a way, he always knew this would happen.

"I have to try. We owe her the truth. Jack, if you'd lost someone, wouldn't you want to know?"

He has to turn away before she sees the emotion on his face. He can't hide it from her. Because she has no way of knowing that he did lose someone, the one person who meant the most to him. And that ever since, he's berated himself for what happened. For the fact that he never found out what happened.

Her hand closes on his and he knows he's going to tell her she can do it, against all his better judgement. Wasn't that the one thing he always told himself?

That all he wanted was to know?
captgreatcoat: (Cardiff night)
He's been expecting Ianto to want to talk more about what happened today all night. Especially after Gwen burst in on them - and wasn't that an interesting experience? - and demanded to be able to take Jonah's disappearances on as her own special project. He told her, again, that it wasn't going to happen, and he didn't stick around to hear what Ianto had to say to her.

But Ianto's been unusually subdued since then, as though he's got something on his mind. They've worked late tonight and Ianto's not the only one who's got a lot to think about. This issue is one that's sensitive to Jack, for reasons that he prefers not to share with anyone. Every time he thinks of the people stolen by the Rift, the people who just vanish without a trace, he remembers that day that Gray was taken. Every time he sees the people the Rift returns, injured and aged and broken by what they've seen, he imagines all the things that might have happened to him.

He couldn't face that today. And he didn't have to tonight, and that's a mercy. Now, he dozes, in a blissful state of half-sleep, with Ianto curled up beside him, the reassuring weight of his head on Jack's shoulder. It's a precious moment, his worries suspended just for a while.

And that's rare enough.

When his mobile rings, its tone shrill in the silence of the early hours, the moment's shattered. He groans and stumbles out of bed, fumbling in the darkness for his coat. Ianto lets out a grumble of protest as Jack snatches up the phone.

"Jack Harkness."

"Captain Harkness? It's Dr Connolly from St Helen's Hospital. I'm sorry to call you so late, but ... well, I didn't know who else to call."

"What's up, Doctor?" He rubs a hand over his eyes. He's dealt with her before. She was the one who brought the first person who came back through the Rift to him.

"We've had a woman come in, a psychiatric case. Her name and description match up with a missing person from six months ago, but ... well, she's older. And some of the things she's saying, Captain. It's obvious she's been through some severe trauma."

Just like the others.

He runs a hand through his hair and reaches for his shirt.

"I'll be there as soon as I can." He hangs up the phone and shrugs into his shirt.

"What's up, Jack?" Ianto asks, voice quiet, as Jack finishes dressing and grabs his gear.

"Sounds like another one for the island."

"Will you be okay?" Ianto sits up, rubbing his eyes. Jack nods.

"I can handle it."

He never likes Ianto to see this. Hell, he never likes to see it himself. And it never gets any easier, because each time, it's another life destroyed. Each person who goes to Flat Holm is another person whose future has been stolen.

His fingers tap irritably on the steering wheel all the way to St Helen's, even though there's little traffic in the dead of the night. This is - and always has been - one of the most unpleasant aspects of his job. He wanted to help people, yet here he's faced with a problem that has no solution, no fix.

He pulls into the hospital carpark and strides into the building, coat flapping around his ankles. Dr Connolly's there to greet him, and she leads him into the familiar room where he's done far, far too many of these interviews. The woman sitting at the table in the middle of the room is hunched over, muttering, tugging at her hair.


The eyes that look up to meet his are wild.

"Can't wait, can't talk, all burning."

"Jane, it's all right." He sits down opposite her, hands clasped on the table. "Jane. My name's Jack. I'm here to help you."
captgreatcoat: (Glare)
Call it intuition, call it knowing Gwen, call it whatever the hell you want, but Jack's had a feeling that Gwen's not going to be able to let this Jonah Bevan thing rest. After all, that's why he hired her. She doesn't let go of things. She has that deep compassion, that ability to see the small picture, that she often accuses him of lacking. But the thing she doesn't see is the big picture.

So it's with no small amount of trepidation that he takes the briefing notes Tosh is handing out, that he looks at the plasma screen showing the negative Rift spikes, looks at the faces of the missing people staring at him from the computer screen.

This isn't going to be pretty.

He can feel Ianto's eyes on him as Gwen and Tosh explain what they've found: that what they thought was just a normal anomaly actually represents the Rift opening up and taking something. That the abnormally high number of missing persons in Cardiff reflects people to whom just that has happened. That there are dozens of people out there whose lives have been ruined.

That's exactly what happened to Jonah Bevan.

All things he knows. All things he can't change.

"What do we think happens to them?" Owen asks, his voice unusually subdued.

"Scattered through time and space, I guess," Jack replies, trying not to think of just what that means. He's tormented enough by that thought every time he goes out to the island. "This is good work." It is, undeniably so, and if it weren't for the fact that what she's opened is an impossible problem with absolutely no solution, if it weren't for the fact that he's already told her to let this go, he'd be proud of her. "But I don't know what you want us to do."

"Find a way to prevent it," Gwen says, as though doing that would be easy. As though they'd find a way if they just put their minds to it. As though he hasn't spent long hours trying to figure out how to do just that and failing.

"Toshiko, can we predict when the spikes are gonna happen?" he asks, even though he knows what the answer will be.

"Er, no. And they're gone in a matter of seconds."

"Then I don't know how we combat them." He sighs and looks down at the table as Gwen starts to lecture him about duty. As if he didn't know what his duty was. As if he were abandoning his responsibilities here. As if solving this were as simple as treating someone who's been mauled by a Weevil. "Weevils we can catch." He spreads his hands, helplessly, and looks her in the eye across the length of the conference table. "If there’re victims, we fix their wounds, but this, we don't know when it's gonna happen, we don't know where they end up. Seriously, Gwen." He pauses for a moment, watches her, shakes his head. "Practically. Tell me what we should do."

"We help those left behind."

He looks down at his papers, shaking his head.

"It's nothing to do with us. Move on."

"Jack, you should see these people ..."

"Some things we can't fix." They can't prevent it, there's no risk factors, it's totally random. They can't warn anyone, and even if they could, it wouldn't do any good. And as for telling the families ... well, what would happen if word of this got out, which it surely would?

Chaos and panic. And preventing that from happening, that's what his duty is.

"Look, Jack's right," says Owen. He's not usually known for being a voice of reason, but he's a doctor. He has some understanding of this sort of thing, even if he's no psychiatrist. "They need counselling. Support. That is not us."

"We are the only ones who know the truth," Gwen says, painfully sincere. "We can help them." He looks down at the table again, hands clasped in front of him. He recognises the signs. She's got it into her head that they have got to do something about this. Regardless of the actual possibilities of the situation. What does she expect him to do, work miracles?

"We don't have to be this hard." The words hit him like a slap across the face. After everything they've been through together, after everything he's done, does she, can she, honestly think that this is a matter of his lack of compassion? That he doesn't know full well just how much these people are hurting? That he wouldn't help them if he could? "It's not a badge of honour!"

Of any of them, it's Jack who knows what those people are going through. He's the one who's lived with the guilt, the uncertainty, of having someone he loves just vanish.

He does not have to put up with this from her.

"Close this down." He pushes up from the table and storms out of the room. He hears her call his name, but he keeps walking. He only stops when he hears Ianto call out to him. He turns, hands on his hips. He knows what Ianto's going to say from the look on his face, so he preempts him.

"I am not going to tell her."

"Jack, she's not going to let it go. Maybe by telling her about the people who've come back, by showing her what's happened, you can give her some idea of just how impossible this all is."

"She is gonna want to start telling people. She's gonna want to fix it. You've seen it, Ianto. There is no fix for this. We can't do anything more than we already do."

Ianto's silent for a moment, but the look on his face is troubled.

"Are you about to start lecturing me on my lack of compassion?" Because he's had enough of it for one day. It's bad enough from his best friend. He doesn't need it from his lover as well.

"Of course not. But -"

"If we start telling people about this, there is gonna be mass panic as a result. That is what we're here to prevent. We can't just -"

They break apart, falling silent as Tosh walks past them. Jack shakes his head and looks back into the conference room where Gwen's sitting, alone, at the head of the table. Their eyes meet for a long, long moment before he turns away. Her eyes are full of accusation. He turns back to Ianto and takes a deep breath.

"I'm the boss. This is my call," he says, and because he can't deal with any more of this, he turns and heads off down the corridor. After a step, remorse hits; it's not Ianto's fault, any of this.

He doesn't stop, but he does manage to smile back over his shoulder to Ianto as he walks away.
captgreatcoat: (Heart on his sleeve)
It's remarkable how easy it is to just slip back into the rhythm of life at Torchwood. This time, there's no apologies to be made, no broken relationships to mend. No betrayal to seek forgiveness for. The only one who knows he's been gone is Ianto, and Ianto above all know that it wasn't his choice. And he's been understanding, to say the least.

Not having anyone else question him has meant he can just go straight back to normal. Which, right now, involves reverse-engineering some alien technology with scavenged computer parts. That's not going too well, so he's moved on to cleaning and oiling his wrist-strap and holster in preparation for the evening's activities. He'll be headed out soon with Ianto. Weevil-hunting. It's a pastime he's kind of missed at the Outpost.

There's a tapping sound at the door. He glances up to see Gwen standing there, and grins at her.

"Hi, Jack. Do you have a moment?"

He sets down his holster.

"Sure. Always for you. How's Andy?" She often comes back in a bad mood from talking to her former partner. Which he can kind of understand. All the Cardiff police are pains, and Andy's no exception.

She smiles and steps through the doorway.

"Actually, I wanted to ask you something. Andy thinks you were out on the Barrage the same night something strange happened."

"And when did that become Andy's business?" See, that's the problem with the cops. They always go sticking their noses into things they really don't understand. And really can't cope with.

"I know, I know, but I told him I'd look into it. See if anything strange was going on, you know?"

He rolls his eyes and stands up. Really, what Andy needs is to be reminded that Torchwood is, after all, a secret organisation. And that there's a reason he doesn't know what they do. But ... he'll humour Gwen. She understands. She'll know what to tell him.

"Okay." He reaches down and picks up gun and holster. "When did you say this was?"

"About seven months back. Were you on the Barrage that night?"

Seven months. He pauses for a moment's thought as he slips the gun into his holster and unbuckles his belt. His fingers pause in looping his belt through the hostler for a moment.

No. No, she can't mean that. She can't.

"They have this cute little coffee shack," he says, with a smirk to cover the shocked little moment. "I sometimes stop by there."

"A boy went missing. Just under an hour before you were there."

Damn. Damn damn damn. This ... this is something nobody but he and Ianto know about. For very, very good reason.

He glances down at his desk, unsure what to say for a moment. But then he nods and looks up at her.


"Jonah Bevan, 15 years old. I thought maybe you were out there because of him."

He was. Of course he was. He was there as soon as he recognised the little negative spike on their equipment that meant the Rift had been open. That meant it could have taken someone. And it had.

It's the stuff of nightmares. Worse, it's the stuff of Time Agency horror stories. And worse, this is something they can't fix. No matter how much he wants to. There's nothing that can be done. And Gwen, Gwen will want to find some magic cure. He knows her. That compassion, that humanity, is why she's such a valuable member of his team.

The fact that there is no solution will break her heart.

He hates to lie to her, he really does. But what choice does he have?

"Maybe if we'd registered Rift activity." He turns away from her, picks up his wrist-strap, grabs his coat off its hook.

"No." She shakes her head, looking uncertain about his answer. "I just checked with Tosh. It was all clear."

"Sorry. Can't help." He drapes the coat over his shoulder and pushes past her. Gwen's just about the closest friend he has. He hates having to keep things from her. But that's who he is. It's what he does.

And this? This is for her own good. Whatever she may think. And yet, he can't quite leave it at that. He turns to her, meets her eyes for a moment. "Want me to look into it for you?”

"No, it's fine. So it was just a coincidence then?"

She doesn't believe it. He can tell. But God, she can't know. She can't.

Jonah disappeared when he was just a kid. He came back a broken, beaten shell of a man, decades older than he should be. Jonah's seen the worst of what time and space can throw at you. And it destroyed him.

This is something Jack wants Gwen a long, long way away from. It's hard enough for him to deal with. It takes all his strength, and he's seen it before. But Gwen ... well, she's still got some shreds of idealism about this job. He won't see that taken away from her.

He still feels it's far from his finest moment as he makes his excuses and heads the hell out of there.
captgreatcoat: (Grin 3)
There’s just a moment of disorientation; Jack’s step falters as the Hub appears around him. He turns on the spot, relishing each and every sight and sound and smell, Tosh at her workstation, the sound of Gwen's laughter, the scent of something Owen’s working on. He turns on the spot, a grin dawning on face.

Tosh looks up from her computer.

"Jack? Are you all right?"

The most important thing is to make sure nobody suspects that anything strange has happened. To pretend it hasn’t been months since he saw his friends, weeks since that last night he saw Ianto. The pause is just momentary, then he laughs like a kid and strides up to Tosh, hands stuck in his pockets.

He's back. He reaches out and ruffles her hair, making her scowl in protest.

"Never been better."

Today, it’s not empty bravado. There's no denying it’s odd, trying to step right back into the same point of time he was in. It’s been months. But he’s got no small amount of practice in this sort of thing. And it helps that when he looks over Tosh’s shoulder, he can make sense of what’s on her screen.

"Those the readings from the theatre again?" That's what they were doing that day, today, right? That whole mess bothered him, and he'd gone back to the theatre and he’d asked her to take another look at the data. But that's not what he's interested in at the moment. What he needs to know now is if MPU's experiment in friend-making is having any impact here.

"Yes." She half-turns in her seat to look at him. Jack’s aware of the sound of Gwen’s footsteps approaching across the metal flooring. "Why?"

He leans forward, one hand resting on Tosh’s desk, the other on the back of her chair.

"Pull up the Rift readings for the bay in the past three hours."

She watches him over her glasses for a moment, fingers poised above her keyboard.

"Anything in particular you’re looking for?"

"I hope not." She presses a few keys. The numbers on the monitor disappear, and the familiar graph of the Rift monitoring programme appears. He leans closer and traces the line with one finger.


He stares at it, searching for anything out of the ordinary, anything to give him something to work with on this. But it’s all just a lot of noise. The Rift's unstable even on a good day, and there's no damn way to tell anything.

Except that whatever MPU's technology is, if it’s having any impact on space and time in Cardiff, it’s miniscule.

"Is anything wrong, Jack?" Gwen’s voice comes from just over his right shoulder.

"No." He stares at the readout for a few moments longer, but it remains stubbornly unhelpful. "No," he repeats and straightens and turns to Gwen. He meets her eye and flashes her a grin. "Thought we might have a problem, but everything looks fine. Nothing to worry about."

She doesn't look entirely convinced. So he laughs and wraps an arm around her shoulders, making her laugh and Tosh smile.

This is where he belongs.

"Jack?" The grin freezes for a moment on his face just at the sound of Ianto’s voice. And as he comes closer, the smell of his best coffee drifts towards Jack from the mugs he’s carrying. It’s all he can do not to stride across to him, pull him to him and kiss him. Just to feel the warmth of Ianto's body against his, the strength of his shoulders under that suit jacket. The feel of their lips meeting in desperation and desire again after so long. There have been so many times at the Outpost when he thought he’d never see him again. And there he is, calmly setting Owen’s mug down on the ledge near where he’s working, wearing the same crisp suit he had on the last time Jack saw him weeks ago.

Their hands meet for just a moment as Ianto hands over Jack’s chipped coffee mug. He stares into Ianto’s eyes, blue gaze meeting blue, and he knows the look on his face must be almost unfathomable for Ianto. It's all he can do in front of the others, and there’s a danger it will show show how much he's missed, how much he's needed, him. It can’t have been more than a couple of hours in his time since Ianto saw him last. It’s been so long for Jack.

"I believe you said something about eternal gratitude for coffee."

Coffee, as normal and reassuring and familiar as it is, isn’t the important thing. Still, he takes the mug and heads for his office. He needs a little time to himself to sort through things. But one thing first.

"Ianto," he calls back over his shoulder, "when you’re done, I want to see you in my office."

He doesn’t miss the little smirk on Gwen’s face at that. But he doesn’t care. All he cares about is the kiss Ianto’s going to get when he steps through that door.

That day, Jack sends the others home early.
captgreatcoat: (Looking down)
It's been no time at all since Ianto left; it's been an eternity since Ianto left. Sometimes it seems like it was just a couple of days ago that he woke in the early hours with Ianto curled by his side, looking content and peaceful in his sleep. He wishes now he'd stayed to savour that moment, watched Ianto sleep, listened to the deep, gentle rhythm of his breathing, leaned in and savoured the smell of his hair, the feel of his skin, tasted his lips one last time. If he'd done that, at least he'd have that one clear, content moment to hold onto, to give him something to fight for. He didn't.

And often, that lost opportunity feels like an eternity ago. Perhaps not an eternity – he's well aware of the weight of that word, and doesn't use it lightly – but a long time ago. So much has happened since then; he's broken promises to himself, he's seen a friend lose her mind, he's killed, he's been wounded and recovered, he's pushed away his friends. He's spent nights that seemed endless.

Perspective aside, he knows precisely how long it's been. 12 days, and not one of them has been easy. Some have been harder than others, the ones when he couldn't find enough distractions and prowling the city or the hotel and books and mindless television and little things like cleaning the Webley and playing with the configurations on his wrist-strap weren't enough. The days he was laid up while his shoulder healed were the worst.

But worse than the days have been the nights, where there's nothing to keep the darkness at bay and it's easier just to avoid sleep altogether than to face the empty room and the things he knows even sleep won't let him escape because when he's alone, they always come through in his dreams.

Once, in such a similar situation, stranded on Earth with a broken vortex manipulator and a broken heart, he took to alcohol as the answer. Since that night in the lounge with Gren, he hasn't done that. Nor has he indulged in the one other thing he knows would dull the loneliness for just a while: a no-emotions, no-names, no-expectations one-night stand. He's done it before; the rebound shag is something he's intimately familiar with. But no matter how much he feels himself falling towards hopelessness sometimes, he can't give up on getting back to Cardiff. He can't break the promise he made to Ianto, that flirtation aside, he's his and his alone. That would be one betrayal too many. And that hypothetical empty liaison couldn't in any way replace what he's lost. It's not just having someone in his bed, it's having someone he trusts, someone he can, just sometimes, stop pretending with. Someone who knows him, who believes in him, who'll help him when he asks for it and back away when he doesn't. And do it all without judging him. In short, who can help his life be not just bearable, but something more.

And that's why, through the fog of alcohol that permeates his memory of that night in the lounge, one thing stands out to him of all the things Gren said: If you believe in Ianto like I know you do ... then find a way back. Don't lose sight of that and don't give up. (The other thing he can't forget - though he knows he should - is the feel of Gren's lips, pressed ever-so-briefly to his cheek.)

Since he learned to really fight for what he believes in, no matter how deep the despair, he's always come back to that. To searching and fighting for the man he loves, to a stubborn determination to find the Doctor, whatever it took. And he succeeded, though it took well over a century. This is his first real test since that success.

Ianto deserves him to have enough faith in himself to fight to get back to him, too.

No matter how hard it gets, no matter how sorry he may feel for himself, he can't lose sight of what's really important here. And that's twofold: his duty to find out what's going on here, and his desperate need to have Ianto back.

He's Time Agency-trained, he's travelled with a Time Lord. He's the head of the Torchwood Institue. Like Gren said, if anyone can sort this out, it's him.


What does he know, and what does it tell him?
captgreatcoat: (Sometimes he can't cope)
It's been four days since he last saw Ianto. He's been willing to give Ianto a bit of space. He knows that sometimes he needs space, so why shouldn't Ianto, after everything that's happened in the past month? In giving Ianto space, he's also giving himself a chance to think over things alone, things he doesn't want to tell to Ianto. Things about his past, about his memories, things he can't share for fear of what Ianto will think. For fear of what sharing them will mean.

If he were anything resembling a proper - there's no real word for what he is - a proper friend and lover, he'd let Ianto in, go seek him out and talk to him about those things. Accept the comfort that Ianto would inevitably offer, and let him try to soothe his troubled mind.

That's exactly why he can't do it.

But he doesn't want to shut himself off from Ianto entirely. He misses his company, misses his presence beside him at night, misses the reassurance just being with him offers. If Ianto's staying away out of respect or maybe annoyance at the fact that Jack doesn't want to talk, he knows it's up to him to make the first step. So he called room 1541 yesterday, and again today, and left messages. Ianto's not answering, and he hasn't called back. That's unlike him, unless he's far more annoyed than Jack realised.

There's no answer when he knocks on the door of room 1541, either.


There's still resolute silence.

Perhaps Ianto's out, in the restaurant or lounge or out clothes-shopping or walking or something. But Ianto can't avoid him forever; Jack can just wait for him here. He has to come back to his room sometime. Jack digs into his pocket for the key for 1541 he got from the front desk at the same time Ianto got his key for 657.

He opens the door and strides into the room, but his steps falter and something twists deep in his stomach when he looks around. There wasn't much in this room; most of Ianto's belongings had migrated down to Jack's room in the days after Ianto arrived. But there were obvious signs the room was inhabited, like neatly folded shirts and suits, a couple of pairs of shoes by the door, some books on the desk.

But there's nothing here. No clothes, no books, no sign of any human occupation. When he steps into the bathroom and looks through the cupboards, there's nothing there except the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner and bars of soap provided by the hotel.

The room's been completely cleaned out.

Suddenly, this is no longer just a matter of Ianto giving him space or being annoyed with him. No matter what Jack did, Ianto wouldn't just move rooms without telling him.

This can't be happening.

It's fifteen floors to the ground floor of the hotel, but he runs down the stairs rather than taking the lift. He can't bear the thought of standing still and just waiting for the lift to arrive, or then of just standing in it waiting for it to reach the ground floor. His breath is short by the time he arrives in the lobby. He crosses the distance from the stairwell to the reception desk in moments and places both hands firmly on the desk on either side of the computer screen.

"I need to know where Ianto Jones is. His room's been cleaned out. 1541. Did he swap rooms?"

For a long moment, there's no reaction from the computer screen. If it weren't for the fact that he knows how good the speech-recognition software is, he'd think the computer didn't register the questions.

Then the answer comes.

No guest by that name registered.

Jack's chest tightens. This can't be happening, not here, not now. He needs Ianto.

"What?" Jack's voice is low and quiet, but there's an undercurrent of absolute fury in it.

"What do you mean? He was in room 1541."

The text vanishes. And then more text flashes across the screen.

No guest by that name registered.

"Of course there is," he growls. "I should know, dammit, I've been with him just about every night."

No guest by that name registered.

His head drops and he stares down at the computer screen between his hands. No. Having Ianto was the one thing that made this place bearable. Somehow he's been managing, with Ianto to convince him it will be all right, with Ianto's faith that they'll get back home. He can't lose him.

(He loves him. He can't lose everything he cares about and everything he's built and the man he loves. Not again.)

Ianto must have gone home, tried the computer in that little room and found it worked. Or been sent home by whatever or whoever is running this place. Perhaps ... Jack's head snaps up and he stares across at the door that leads to that room. If Ianto's gone, then maybe ...

He's barely conscious of his steps as his feet lead him across to the room and through the door. He presses his hand to the screen, breath catching in his throat in anticipation. Please work.


It's hard to be patient while the computer pauses and processes and gathers whatever damn information it needs, but he tries, and he doesn't make any snappish comments in reply to the question this time.


Jack braces himself against the wall, resting clenched fists against the metal. He closes his eyes and presses his forehead to his fists, breath shaking.

Ianto's gone. Might have been gone for days. And Jack has no way to find out where he's gone, if he's been sent home, if he went of his own accord, if the time travel device this place uses malfunctioned ... and no way to get out of here to find him.

Try as he might to stop them, tears well beneath his eyelids. He screws up his face.

"Not again," he moans into the wall.

Not when he's spent the past month letting himself lean on Ianto to help him through this. Not when he's stranded here, without a way to get back to the time and place he's come to think of almost as home. To the people he's come to think of as family.

This place has taken so much away from him. Now it's taken Ianto, too.
captgreatcoat: (Alone in the dark)
Jack's in the shower when the phone rings. At first, he's not sure that's what he's hearing. But then he shuts off the water and wraps a towel around his waist and dashes to the phone. There's only a couple of people he can think of who'd be calling him, and he'd be eager to speak to either of them.

The phone stops ringing just before he reaches it, and when he snatches up the receiver, there's just a dialtone. He glares at it for a moment, then heads back into the bathroom to dry himself off properly. Hair wet and tousled, and wearing trousers and undershirt, he steps out of the bathroom a couple of minutes later.

There's a light flashing on the phone.

He picks up the receiver and presses the buttons to retrieve the message.

As he listens, his eyes widen.


It's from someone he doesn't know, called Faye, but the news she gives stops any questions about who she is and why she's calling him. Something's going down with the Dragons, and she's mustering people she and Spike think might be useful.

Sounds like Michael wasn't so wrong when she said the Dragons wouldn't keep them waiting too long.

He grabs his shirt, belt, and coat, and juggles shirt and telephone receiver for a moment before he manages to get the shirt on, and buttons it up with the phone gripped between ear and shoulder.

The first call is to room 1541. The message he leaves is brief.

"Ianto. Something's going down with the Dragons. I don't have many details, but folks are meeting in the parking garage. I'm going down there. Keep yourself safe."

The second call, made while he buckles up his belt, is to room 445.

"Martha. Trouble's afoot with the local thugs in the city. I don't know how far it's going to spread, but I'd recommend staying somewhere safe, like your room. Hopefully they won't get into the hotel. I don't know if you have any medical supplies with you, but maybe see if you can scrounge any up. I have a feeling people are going to get hurt."

It's only a couple more minutes - maybe five, maybe ten minutes from when the phone rang - before he's out the door, gun at his side, and pockets loaded with ammunition.

This is probably going to get nasty.
captgreatcoat: (Haunted)
Jack doesn't like sleeping alone. He never has, not even when he was mortal. Back then, he lived hard. A lot of time agents did. The Time Agency attracted a certain personality type with its glamour and danger and excitement. They were the sort to live fast and die young. And when they weren't on missions, they didn't want to lose the high that came from the thrill of time travel, danger and adrenaline. So they prolonged the buzz with sex and drugs and drink.

Jack was no exception. He'd always been a hedonist. A sensual, physical creature. And losing himself in pleasure made it easier to keep the demons at bay. He's older now, wiser. He gave up the drugs long ago and the drink more recently. But he hasn't got any less demons than he did back then.

He knew when he did it that spending so long with Gren would make it that much harder to go back to his room alone. He's not used to it. He's a hard man to resist and a master seducer; when he decides he doesn't want to go home alone, he very rarely does. But he's changed from the man he once was. He has responsibilities now. He's spent more and more nights alone since he became the leader of Torchwood Three. He could hardly take a stranger he met in a bar home to the Hub. Besides, there's too much at stake now, and he has to be ready for action at a moment's notice.

But things have been different recently. Since Ianto. Since Jack came back from that terrible year that no-one but him, the Doctor, and the Joneses remember. Since he gave up the chance to travel time and space with the Doctor. Since he dared to admit to himself how he feels. Since he made Ianto his confidant as well as his lover. He's got something wonderful now, something he needs

Jack's a light sleeper, and he doesn't sleep much on his best nights. But he doesn't need to sleep to have nightmares. That night, in room 657, the demons come out. In this strange place, this different time, so far from home, he's haunted by the last time he left his team without notice. By the year that never was.

In the dark, he sees it again. His team, murdered in front of him, just so the Master could see what it took to break him. Even though destroying the paradox machine undid everything the Master did, even though it's as though it never happened, he sees their lifeless bodies as clear as that day. The day they died because of him. Gwen and Tosh and Owen.

And then Ianto.
captgreatcoat: (Confused)
This damn business with the film and the Night Travellers has Jack more than a little twitchy. It's another piece of his past resurfacing, as so many of them have been doing recently. First John showed up, then there was that strange two days they lost, after which long-suppressed memories of his childhood had suddenly appeared. And then the Night Travellers came to the 21st century. And Jack and Ianto were only able to save one of their victims.

He's been back to the Electro, just looking around. Not looking for anything in particular. Hoping, perhaps, that he could isolate something unique about the setup they have there that meant the Night Travellers could come through. But there was nothing there. It's just an old cinema. There's no special circumstances. Which he supposes means that the same could happen again if another film of the old travelling shows is played.

It's not a reassuring thought.

Jack strides through the corridor that leads into the Hub from the tourist office. He flips open the cover on his wrist strap and punches the button to open the door. It slides aside with its familiar groan of metal under strain. He sticks his hands in his pockets and trots down the steps into the Hub.

"Hey, Ianto! If there's coffee ready for your captain, I will be in your debt!" With Ianto, that could be a dangerous promise to make, but Jack's pretty sure he can cope with whatever favour Ianto decides to extract from him. It could even be fun.

He steps forward, foot raised to ascend to Tosh's workstation, but his foot passes right through where the step should be. A chill runs through his body as he realises: this isn't the Hub.

Major Dates

Jan. 2nd, 2009 09:50 pm
captgreatcoat: (Time agents)
According to emails between the characters published on the BBC Torchwood website, the dates for episodes of Season 2 of Torchwood are as follows.

The dates approximately reflect the original air dates of the episodes (link contains episode summaries, read with caution).

January 16, 2008: 2.01 Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

January 23, 2008: 2.02 Sleeper

January 30, 2008: 2.03 To the Last Man (n.b.: this conflicts with the on-screen appearance of the date "Friday 20th" in the episode)

February 20/21, 2008: 2.06 Reset

March 12, 2008 (approx.): 2.09 Something Borrowed

March 19/20, 2008: 2.10 From Out of the Rain

(Jack enters the Outpost from March 20, just after From Out of the Rain and before Adrift.)

March 21/22, 2008: 2.11 Adrift

March 29, 2008: 2.12 Fragments/2.13 Exit Wounds
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