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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-18 01:30 pm

Delight of Battle; Torchwood/Doctor Who

Title: Delight Of Battle
Rating: R (Jack Harkness/Ian Chesterton)
Summary: Earth is a hard place to be stuck after having all of time and space at your feet. Sometimes, even Torchwood can mean freedom.
Author's Notes: This arose out of a discussion I was having with [livejournal.com profile] bodlon about Classic Who, and a few patches of dialogue are actually his, full credit where it's due.
BETA CREDIT JESUS: [livejournal.com profile] misswinterhill read a FUCKLOT OF STUFF about lifts in order to verify that we don't know when the Invisible Lift was installed. [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox and [livejournal.com profile] neifile7 were their excellent meticulous selves.
Warnings: None.

First Posted 3.21.2010.

Also available at AO3.
***

Jack Harkness met Ian Chesterton for the first time in December of 1965, while he was trying to apprehend him. Ian, most vociferously, did not want to be apprehended.

He'd tried being suave with the man, but something in his manner had tipped Chesterton off, and when he made a bolt from the bar Jack didn't have any choice but to chase. He'd tracked him as far as a blind alley, and then realised his mistake.

On the one hand, it was very private, so Chesterton couldn't really call for help. On the other...it was very private, and if Chesterton was like any other cornered animal, Jack might end up dead (again) before the night was through.

The man had turned like a fox at bay and lashed out first, catching Jack across the jaw. Jack had managed one or two good hits, and now they were just circling each other, waiting for someone to make a move. Chesterton grinned, blood on his teeth, and spat some against a wall.

"Scrappy," Jack said appreciatively.

"Let me guess," Chesterton replied, swinging and missing. They both fell back again. "If I were a girl you'd be enjoying yourself?"

"Oh honey, I'm enjoying myself anyway," Jack replied, dodging another punch only to find Chesterton's knee connecting with his inner thigh, shoving his stance wide. He rolled and was up again before Chesterton could put the boot in. "Hmm, if you wanted to get that close you only had to say."

"You talking dirty won't put me off-balance," Chesterton said, wiping his nose with the back of his hand and jerking back before Jack could land one square. Jack pressed his advantage and managed to get him against the wall briefly.

"But I do it so well," Jack said, right before Chesterton slammed an arm into his ribcage and broke free.

"It's just too obvious," he replied, kicking Jack's leg from behind. Jack really hoped he hadn't just broken his tibia. Limbs were such a bitch to heal that sometimes he considered suicide just to reset them.

"What's wrong with obvious?" Jack asked, turning and testing his weight. Nope, probably not broken. "Gets me what I want."

"For a start, that kind of thing is unlawful," Chesterton said, again with that same shit-eating grin. Jack realised the man was enjoying himself. Intriguing.

"I don't think we've met," he announced, trying a high kick. Chesterton grabbed his ankle and twisted. Jack rolled again, kicked up, and caught him in the stomach enough to at least push him back. "Captain Jack Harkness. Torchwood."

"I figured," Chesterton said, still doubled over as Jack leapt to his feet. "What's it they mutter about you? Outside the government, beyond the police?"

"Fantastic in bed," Jack retorted, circling warily.

"Oh quite." Chesterton rolled his eyes as he straightened. "So, Captain-Jack-Harkness-Torchwood, you've gone down twice. Care for a third?"

The double-entendre caught Jack very much off guard, and Chesterton punched him again. Jack shook it off and pushed him back hard.

"All I really wanted to do," Jack said, catching a lucky blow against his ear, "was talk."

"Yeah, try the other one," Chesterton said. Jack obligingly did, but Chesterton ducked. "I don't know what you want, but I don't think talking tops the list."

"Well, now that I know you're such a fighter, it doesn't anymore," Jack conceded, as Chesterton shoved him against the wall. He went to bring his knee up between Chesterton's legs, but a hand came down to stop him and there was a soft snick.

Jack found himself in the unenviable but actually very interesting position of being held to a wall by a handsome man who had a switchblade pressed to his dick.

"Try it and you'll sing soprano," Chesterton said.

"For a science teacher you have a dirty mouth yourself," Jack told him. "You won't do that."

"Oh yes?" Chesterton asked. The point pressed a little deeper. "Why is that?"

"If you were going to cut me, that knife would have come out a lot sooner," Jack replied, breathless. Chesterton smelled like sweat and blood and aftershave, which was one of Jack's favourite combinations. "I need to talk to you."

"Too bad."

"About the Doctor."

He felt every muscle in the man's body go still and tense. His eyes sharpened, and his mouth tightened. Bingo.

The knife, thankfully, disappeared back up his sleeve. He stepped back, ready to swing again, but Jack stayed where he was against the wall.

"What do you know about the Doctor?" Chesterton asked.

"The question, Ian Chesterton," Jack said, slowly, "is what you know about him. You've been asking around about him. Subtly, but not that subtly."

Chesterton glanced down the alleyway, looked back at Jack, wiped blood from his nose, and seemed to make a decision.

"Buy me a drink," he said.

"Why?" Jack asked.

"'Cause you lost," Chesterton told him. Jack opened his mouth to protest, saw that the knife was still very accessible, and wisely closed it.

"Welcome to Cardiff," he said instead, and led his opponent back down the alleyway.

***

Two hours later, the blood had dried, the bruises were starting to make themselves felt, and Jack was pretty sure Ian Chesterton was the most entrancing person he had met in at least thirty years.

The man had traveled with the Doctor, trained in at least three different fighting styles in as many different time periods, been knighted, brought down a civilisation or two (well, Jack could say that himself) and fucked, apparently, everything he could at any time he could in any way possible to do so. He'd treated time and space as his own personal one night stand, and Jack could appreciate a man like that.

Not that Jack couldn't match his stories, which seemed to delight Ian, or maybe it was just that they were both drunk.

"Okay," Jack said, sliding his pint glass back and forth between his fingers. "Strangest you've ever had."

Ian took a long swallow of his beer. "There was this moth. No," he said hurriedly, when he saw Jack's face. "A giant moth. Well, not giant, you know. My-sized. You?"

"Oh, no," Jack waggled a finger. "You can't just say giant moth and not tell me anything more. Or I won't tell you about the sentient ferns."

"What's so great about sentient ferns?" Ian demanded.

"For a start, they have a lot to prove," Jack told him, and they both dissolved into laughter. Ian wiped his eyes and grinned.

"So," he said, when Jack stopped snorting. "This Torchwood. I've heard about it. Secret police, they say."

Jack shook his head. "Nothing that sexy. Is that why you're in Cardiff?"

"Just something you pick up. I came down because I heard rumours the Doctor might be here."

"I wish," Jack told him, and tamped down on the longing that never really went away -- for his Doctor, for Rose, for something that would fix him. "You're looking for him?"

Ian shrugged, looking down. "When we came back I thought I'd go back to teaching. Barbara did, she was always better at adapting than I was. I couldn't, though. I got bored," he complained. "I love science, I do, but I got tired of stupid children and parents whining about how I failed little Johnny and my friends were all getting married or having babies and I missed...I missed it."

"Time and space?"

"Everything. Being somewhere else. Somewhere nobody cared," Ian said, a thick sort of yearning in his voice. "Nobody tried to put a name on me, make me be something I wasn't."

"It never goes away," Jack said softly. "I should know. But there are things that make it better."

Ian lifted his beer with a dry smile and took a sip. Jack shook his head.

"Not that. Come back to Torchwood," he said on impulse. "I'll show you what I mean."

***

The walk down to the quay -- industrial, grotty, full of squatters and cut with a cold wind -- sobered them up a little. By the time they'd reached the waterfront, Jack felt he was pretty much lucid, and Ian's eyes had taken on a sharp, wary look again.

"Three things before we go in," Jack said, stopping so that Ian stood squarely on the invisible lift. Ian nodded. "One, don't mention the Doctor. As far as you're concerned, he never happened. That's for your own sake."

"Right."

"Two, be cool when you meet Tikbah. He's an alien. He's our archivist."

"Alien archivist," Ian repeated. "Sure."

"Three..." Jack punched his strap and the lift began to move, "hold on tight."

Ian kept a firm grip on Jack's arm as they descended, but his eyes roamed everywhere, taking it in quickly. Jack saw him noting the stairwells and exits, and silently gave himself a pat on the back. This was going to be great.

At that time of night the Hub was mostly dark, but Tikbah's species didn't need much sleep and Tikbah lived at the Hub by necessity, so he was usually around. By the time they reached the ground he was standing in front of the lift, smiling expectantly.

"tik Hello Jack, bah" he said, bouncing a little on the balls of his feet. "tik Who's your friend? bah"

"Tikbah, this is Ian Chesterton. Ian, Tikbah, our archivist."

"Pleasure," Ian said, offering his hand. He obviously noticed the fact that Tikbah was a green alien with things growing out of his face, but it didn't really seem to matter to him.

"tik The pleasure's mine, bah" Tikbah replied, shaking it. He cast Jack a sly look, but Jack waved him off.

"Ian's a scientist, I thought I'd show him around," he said. "Problems?"

"tik Rift's quiet, nobody's around, bah" Tikbah told him.

"Then we'll make ourselves at home," Jack said, leading Ian off the lift.

He showed Ian the cells -- current occupants, one weevil and one bucket of semi-sentient alien ooze -- and then took him into the archives to demonstrate a few of the more interesting pieces of Rift debris before drawing him back up to their science complex, state of the art for 1965, with a full chemistry lab and a computer so advanced the public wouldn't know about it until the eighties. Ian took it all in hungrily -- especially the lab.

Eventually they ended up in Parman's office with Tikbah and another drink each, courtesy of Parman's stash of bourbon.

"tik So, suitably impressed? bah" Tikbah asked, swirling the liquid in his glass.

"Very impressed," Ian told him, sitting back in one of Parman's most comfortable chairs. "A rift in time and space. That's one for the books."

"We like to think so," Jack said modestly. Then he leaned forward. "You want a job?"

Tikbah looked apprehensive, but he didn't say anything. Ian frowned.

"A job here?" he asked.

"Sure. We could use someone who can fight and knows his periodic table," Jack replied. "I go out in the field a lot and I've been after Parman to get me a partner with some science know-how for a year. If I present you to him on a silver platter, he'll have a hard time saying no."

"tik It is true Parman tends to like results over suggestions, bah" Tikbah put in.

"I'd get full run of that lab?" Ian asked, waving through the office door.

"Well, you'd be junior to Alison, but she's easygoing," Jack said. "The pay's good. And...we're different, down here underground."

"I'm getting that sense," Ian said into his drink. He finished it, set it aside, and leaned back. "Why not. It'll be a change from schoolteaching, anyway."

"tik Welcome to Torchwood, bah" Tikbah said. He gave Jack a knowing look and set his own drink aside. "tik You'd better take him home and clean him up, Jack, bah" he added.

"Oh, I don't think I'll mind that at all," Jack said.

***

"I cannot believe you, Jack," Parman said, when Jack and Ian -- Jack with a black eye and a limp, Ian with a shiner on his jaw -- showed up at Torchwood the following morning. "You bring this stranger into our Hub, introduce him to Tikbah without any warning -- "

"Er, I was warned," Ian put in.

" -- shut up," Parman snapped. "You parade him around showing him everything, and now you want to give him a job?"

"This isn't going how I planned," Jack said to Ian.

"I'm shocked," Ian replied.

"Are you any use at anything?" Parman asked Ian.

"Well, I wiped the floor with him yesterday," Ian said, pointing at Jack.

"He does science-y stuff," Jack added.

"Science-y stuff," Parman repeated. He looked at Jack. "He's your responsibility."

"Sir, yes sir," Jack drawled.

"And if he cocks up, out he goes," Parman continued. "You," he said, turning to Ian. "You're probationary for three months. Don't shoot anything if you can avoid it, don't mouth off, and try not to get killed. And if you bother Tikbah I'll cut your tongue out."

Ian frowned. "Bother him?"

"Some of our former staff," Parman growled, "Thought 'Stickface' was a funny name for a valued member of our research team."

"But that's cruel," Ian said, aghast. Jack couldn't have special-ordered a better reaction. Parman looked slightly mollified.

"Fine. Take him away, I don't want to see his face again until he's useful," he said to Jack, who grinned wide at Ian and hauled him out of the office in triumph.

***

Contrary to popular belief and Cardiff mythology, Jack didn't actually fuck everyone he met. Usually he tried, true, but there was a time and place for everything.

He had taken Ian home the night he'd offered him a job, mainly so he'd know where the man lived. He'd even cleaned up Ian's split lip and various bruises, his reward for which was Ian falling asleep in the chair in the middle of Jack delivering what he felt was an underappreciated monologue on the adventures to be had in a traveling circus. Mortals were so delicate sometimes.

So Jack had caught a cab back to his little flat on the bad side of town and got his head down for a few hours, and in the morning he'd collected a hung-over Ian and started Ian's First Day At Torchwood.

They didn't actually get to the sex until at least a week later, despite what Tikbah thought. Tikbah was always throwing him at people in the hopes that one day someone would stick. It was like some kind of sport with him.

Ian had spent most of the week in the lab, getting to know all the Bunsen burners and hoods and vials and whatnot that Jack never bothered much with. He picked things up fast -- Jack expected nothing less from a traveling companion of the Doctor -- and in the evenings he hunted for a better flat than the poky little weekly-rent bedsit he'd been staying in. Or he went out with Jack and had a drink, and they spent the evening speaking in low voices, heads close together, about the Doctor: Ian's white-haired curmudgeon and Jack's bright-eyed U-Boat captain.

"Do you think he can change his face?" Ian asked one night, studying some pictures Jack had brought along -- portraits and woodcuts and photographs from half a dozen eras of human history, all purporting to show the Doctor. Five different faces, and some of them irreconcilable with the others. "He never did while I was around."

"Dunno," Jack said. "One day I aim to find out."

"If he came back, would you go with him again?"

"In a heartbeat," Jack said. "Wouldn't you?"

Ian nodded. "But I still don't understand why we can't tell Torchwood that I know. Their whole job is to find him."

"Ever think about why?" Jack asked.

Ian looked at him, perplexed.

"If it's alien, it's ours," Jack reminded him. Understanding dawned on Ian's face.

"You think they mean him a mischief?" Ian asked.

"I like most of our job," Jack said grimly. "Some parts I could live without. They've tried to stop me finding him before. They know if I find him I'm not about to take him into custody."

"The Doctor in custody," Ian laughed. "Good luck to them."

"Don't underestimate Torchwood."

"Jack, we are Torchwood."

"Exactly," Jack said, shuffling the photos into a pile and tucking them back into his coat. "Speaking of which, we have to get you on the gun range tomorrow. Time you learned to shoot, so I can start you in the field."

And it wasn't like Jack seduced everyone he taught to shoot.

Okay, most. But it wasn't his fault that guns got people hot. Guns got him hot. It wasn't just the smooth oiled interlocking of every little piece or the instant adrenaline rush at the smell of cordite, though those were pleasing and sensual. The real attraction was the coiled confined power of the thing, the knowledge that you could kill with the flick of a finger, and that you had the self-control not to. A sonic blaster was more powerful, perhaps, but it was a tacky child's toy next to the sexual promise of a sleek steel handgun.

He took Ian through the process of cleaning, inspecting, and loading a gun using his Webley as a demonstration piece, while Ian fumbled less gracefully with an old Enfield .38 that he couldn't damage much if he tried. When he'd proved adequate at that they repeated the process with a pair of Brownings, sitting at a table in the archives, talking over other matters as they worked. It wasn't until Jack was satisfied with Ian's work that they gathered the guns and trooped down to the firing range, where Jack showed him how to wear a holster -- hip, shoulder, and back. It gave him the chance to touch Ian, warm him up for shooting, hands on his chest and waist, pressing against the small of his back, sliding down to show where a military thigh-holster would strap.

Ian didn't seem bothered, or even affected, but he did seem nervous.

"You can't be afraid of a gun," Jack said, stepping back, holding out the Enfield flat on his palm. "It's just a machine."

Ian glanced down at it. Jack held it patiently. Finally, he realised what was going on. One more step towards Torchwood, one more step away from the promise of the blue box.

"Look, I know he didn't like them," he said quietly. "But you need one."

Ian nodded and picked up the gun, and for a moment Jack felt like the devil tempting an honest man. He pulled his Webley and held it out, arm straight. Ian copied his movement.

Jack cocked the hammer with his thumb and pulled the trigger in a smooth single gesture, muscle memory so powerful that he couldn't stop himself from firing even when he hadn't meant to. Ian's eyelids twitched, but he didn't move.

"Watch me," Jack said. This time when he pulled the hammer back he forced himself to stop. "Cock the hammer."

Ian fixed his thumb on the hammer and pulled back.

"Don't pull the trigger," Jack said. "Watch me first."

He pulled, the Webley gave its old familiar kick, and a rock skittered off the top of a bigger rock way down in the range.

"Arm straight, wrist steady, expect a kick. Don't try to hit anything," Jack said. "Go ahead and pull."

Ian pulled the trigger. The bullet whipped out into the darkness, hitting nothing, impacting a wall somewhere beyond sight.

"See?" Jack said, as Ian lowered the gun. "Easy."

"When you don't want to hit anything," Ian replied. His hand was shaking.

"Aim comes with time. Don't expect yourself to be a sniper, you're not made for guns," Jack said, reaching around with his right hand to cup Ian's, lifting the pistol again. Ian cocked it, Jack aimed it, and Ian pulled the trigger. A bottle Jack had put on top of one of the empty barrels shattered.

"Teamwork," he said in Ian's ear. "Try the Browning."

The Brownings had safeties; Jack showed Ian how to cock-and-lock, grinning at the phrase, and let him have a little fun with it. He kept touching him, though, to adjust his stance or soothe muscles that tensed with the effort of new movement. He dug his thumb into Ian's forearm, releasing a knot of pressure, and wrapped an arm around his waist from behind to keep his posture up. Ian sometimes slouched.

By the time Ian was hitting every second or third target he aimed at, Jack was simply standing there, an arm around his waist, head bent next to his. When the Browning was empty, Ian lowered his hand again and turned his head slightly.

"So?" he asked.

"So, I think you did great," Jack told him. Ian was breathing fast. Jack hitched his hips a little, so that Ian could feel just how well Jack thought of him. Then he took the Browning out of Ian's hand and reached around his body, putting it in the shoulder holster. He dragged his palm back across Ian's chest. "What do you think?"

"I could get used to it," Ian breathed.

Jack kissed him carefully but Ian leaned into it almost at once, inhaling, turning in Jack's arms. They stumbled backwards until Jack turned them deftly again and pushed Ian's back into the wall, kicking his legs wide. Ian kissed messy, plenty of tongue, no hesitation, no shyness here. Jack wondered why they'd waited a whole week, though he knew part of his own hesitation was the memory of a knife-blade aimed right where it would do the utmost harm. Ian was a dangerous man.

Ian's hand was between them, the heel of his palm rubbing where the blade of his knife had been before, feeling out Jack's erection through his trousers. Jack concentrated on kissing because it was so rare to find a man in this time who was quite so unabashed; even the ones who weren't ashamed of being different were still sometimes hesitant.

Ian, on the other hand, had seen worlds where these things were permitted, encouraged, cherished; Ian had, if Jack believed his bragging, once fucked a sentient insect.

Jack pushed against his hand, wondering if they were actually going to get to the glorious clothes-off stage, or at any rate the belts-off stage. Ian seemed to be thinking the same thing; he hooked his arm around Jack's neck to keep him there and his other hand slid up to Jack's belt-buckle, while Jack tucked both his hands around a fairly fantastic ass and held on.

"Been waiting for you to make a move," Ian panted against his neck, while he tugged Jack's belt free and fumbled his trousers down.

"Yeah?" Jack asked, biting his earlobe. He slid a hand around and worked Ian's trousers open too. "Could have made one yourself."

"Well, new job and all," Ian said, his fingers warm and steady on Jack's cock. "I didn't want to seem forward."

"We must train you out of tha -- ah!" Jack broke off into a moan when Ian squeezed.

"I think you may find," Ian said almost conversationally, while Jack thrust happily into Ian's grip, "it's one of a very few areas I haven't mastered."

"Lemme -- lemme," Jack said, trying to get enough leverage to wrap his own hand around Ian's cock, but Ian caught his wrist and pulled it up over his head, pressing Jack's palm to the wall.

"Come on Jack," Ian urged, moving faster. "You knew this was going to happen. Just let it happen."

"Let me touch you," Jack growled, trying to get free.

"No," Ian said, and leaned a little to one side to whisper in Jack's ear. "I want you to come, Jack," he said, and Jack jerked like he'd been shocked. "And then I want you on your knees."

"Oh god you are -- " Jack grunted, " -- something else again, Ian."

Ian laughed and dipped his head to catch Jack's lips in another kiss, talking into his mouth. "I wanted my world back and then couldn't live in it," he said, as Jack pushed frantically against him. "I wanted my freedom again and here I am. Now what I want," he said, but Jack was barely listening, so close to the edge he could taste it, "is for you to come, and get on your knees, and use your smart mouth -- "

"Nhh -- gh -- " Jack managed, coming so hard he lost his breath for a second. Harder than he'd come in -- well, probably weeks.

Ian was still kissing him, gently now, and Jack let himself fall to his knees. He pressed his face to Ian's stomach, nuzzling under the untucked shirt for warm skin. Ian stopped to wipe his hand on a handkerchief, but soon enough he rested his palm on the back of Jack's head, patient. God, afterglow was nice.

So was Ian's cock, actually, very nice indeed, and Jack leaned back a little to look up at Ian through his eyelashes (people were such suckers for that look) before sliding his mouth along the side of it, enjoying the build.

"Bastard," Ian breathed. Jack smiled against his hip, but didn't bother much with taunting. Someone could come in at any minute --

Someone could come in at any minute and find the Captain, coat pooled around his legs, on his knees in front of the new boy, sucking his cock. The idea sent a shudder of pleasure down Jack's spine. Oiled steel and cordite and skin and self-control all twisted themselves up in his head as he sucked Ian's cock into his mouth, working his tongue against solid unyielding flesh.

Ian came unwound completely in his mouth. He bent his head back and bowed his spine, making wonderful desperate noises. Jack wondered how long it had been for him, or if there had been anyone since he came back to Earth. The way Ian had fought in the alley, perhaps not. There was a fine line between fighting and fucking, and Ian was wavering between the two, trying to hold still, wanting to push.

Jack stilled and waited, and there it was -- just a little twitch of the hip, and then Ian groaned his name and thrust hard. Jack took it, moving only enough to keep himself from choking, let Ian work out all that delicious tension until he practically curled around Jack's head as he came.

Jack pulled back a little to swallow, licked his lips, and found Ian was watching him.

"Holy mother of God," Ian said, straightening slowly. "You must have sold your soul for a mouth like that."

"Hmm, next time try me when I'm all wound up," Jack told him, getting to his feet. He pulled his trousers back up a little, buckled his belt, and wiped his bottom lip with his thumb, sucking the tip of it into his mouth when he was done. Ian, doing up his own trousers, looked up in time to catch it, and his eyes darkened with renewed attraction.

"I think I like it here," Ian said casually.

"I think I like it more at my place," Jack replied. Ian stared at him and then burst out laughing.

"Tonight," he said, pulling Jack in by the back of the neck for another kiss. "Help me make up for a little lost time, all right?"

Who was Jack to argue? They did, after all, specialise in time.

***

Five years on found Ian at Parman's old desk, leading Torchwood Cardiff. Jack wouldn't have credited it, because Ian was too much of an asset in the field, but someone had to take over when Parman had a stroke, and by common consensus Ian was the most competent for the position. Torchwood One agreed, though it didn't stop them from demanding Ian and Jack's presence in London a few weeks later, when their own agents repeatedly failed to apprehend a rogue Cilestrian.

"I will bet you ten quid the Cilestrian didn't come through the Rift," Ian said to Jack, as they paced out the last known path the Cilestrian had taken, through a random London suburb. "Cardiff's problem my maiden aunt. They've twice the manpower we do and no Rift to worry about. They just want the indestructible man."

"Works better than throwing more of their people at it," Jack said with a shrug. He didn't actually know how or when Ian had found out he couldn't die. Ian had let it slip two years ago that he knew, but he might have known as far back as four years, when Jack stepped in front of a bullet for him. (Worth every ounce of pain, every grate of unseen glass on his skin coming back, to see Ian's worried face above his when he returned. He'd said it was just a lucky ricochet, a graze, and he'd thought Ian had bought it at the time.)

"It's not right," Ian said. "It's like making a field agent do all the typing just because they know how to type. It's a misuse of a skill set."

"I love it when you talk office politics," Jack growled, hoping to distract him -- but Ian was, as it were, pre-distracted.

"I think I know where we are," he said, doing a complete turn to take in the fairly boring suburban corner they were standing on. "In fact I know I do. We aren't far from my old school, the one where I used to teach."

Jack consulted the map London had given them. "Three blocks north?"

"Sounds about right."

"Looks like the Cilestrian went that way," Jack said. "Ready to visit the alma mater?"

"No choice," Ian replied, but he had that grim look Ian sometimes got when he knew he was about to do something stupid.

Coal Hill School was a quiet little comprehensive tucked in among quiet little houses, and Jack could see how a man who had traveled in space and time might find himself choking there. They arrived at lunchtime, when most of the children were outside. As they stopped at the gate to consult Jack's map, one of the teachers wandered over.

"Ian?" she asked. Ian looked up from where his head was bent over the map, almost touching Jack's. "Ian, it is you!"

"Barbara," Ian said warmly, as she unlatched the gate and came through to give him a hug, arms around his neck. "Hallo, how're you?"

"I should ask you that. I haven't heard from you in ages," she said, stepping back to look at him. "The last I had was a postcard from Cardiff, five years ago."

"Well, you know how it is," Ian said, ducking his head. Jack looked back and forth between them and decided this was the Infamous Barbara, the one who'd also traveled with the Doctor. A fighter and a thinker, like Ian, but someone who adapted better -- someone who hadn't been quite so lost when they returned.

"Captain Jack Harkness," he said, putting out his hand, because if it was going to be this awkward he might as well get all the awkwardness over at once. "You must be Barbara Wright. I've heard a lot about you."

"I've heard nothing at all about you," Barbara said, glancing at Ian.

"Workmate," Ian said. Barbara's raised eyebrow said she knew exactly what workmate meant, but she played along.

"Do you teach?" she asked, taking in Jack's clothing, casting a skeptical eye over his Captain's coat. She caught sight of the gun holstered at his hip, and he saw her eyes flick to Ian's waist, then up to where the butt of his Browning was just visible in his shoulder holster.

"I'm...not teaching anymore," Ian said tactfully.

"I should think not," Barbara said, eyes still on Ian's gun.

"Private investigators," Jack told her. "Actually, you might be able to help us -- "

"I don't think I can," Barbara said, stepping back through the gate. "I'm sorry, the children need such constant supervision -- Ian, it was lovely to see you. Write to me, won't you?"

"Yes. Of course," Ian said, as Barbara closed the gate and backed away. Ian watched her go, and Jack watched Ian.

"That went badly," Ian said thoughtfully.

"She saw the guns."

"Yes, I know. The Doctor never liked guns."

"Sometimes you need 'em, though." Jack began to walk onwards. "Even him. Well, someone else with a gun he could aim for them, anyway. Was she any good?"

"What?"

"As a teacher. Barbara. Was she any good?"

"She's a marvelous teacher," Ian said defensively.

"Good -- then she's happy where she is," Jack said, and ran a hand quickly down Ian's arm, just brushing their fingers together before continuing on. "And you're happy where you are. Aren't you?"

Ian followed him, shoving his hands in his pockets. After a minute, he gave Jack a grin.

"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I imagine I am."

Which was when they turned down a narrow back-alley and the Cilestrian jumped them, and Jack spent the next few minutes dying so that Ian could get two rounds off into its vulnerable spots.

He came round with his head in Ian's lap, Ian's pupils wide with adrenaline, his smile broad when Jack coughed back to life.

"Another ruined shirt," Jack managed.

"We'll put it on Torchwood's tab," Ian told him.

"Huh, Torchwood," Jack grumbled.

"Well, you can't say it's boring."

Jack grinned at him with bloody lips. "Keeps us busy."

Ian grinned back. "Makes us free."

END

For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"
ext_2280: (look out booster! brain freeze!)

[identity profile] holli.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, Ian! This is marvelous. Though I don't know if I wanted the image of sex with a Web Planet moth-person in my head, thanks.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:10 am (UTC)(link)
I think the Menoptera would be rather fun. They look very soft. :D

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[identity profile] lefaym.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
Well, I'd never thought of it before, but yes, this is exactly what happened.

Obviously. :)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
See? It works so well!

[identity profile] tiger-flame.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:05 am (UTC)(link)
Hum....I must watch more old DW... This Ian sounds very interesting...

And as always, lovely!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
Ian was a lot of fun. Often a smug, arrogant bastard, but a lot of fun. So were Barbara and Susan, both deeply badass. The First Doctor has stood the test of time remarkably well.

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[identity profile] chicleeblair.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
Lovely, Sam. I love seeing Torchwood the way it was pre-Jack-taking-over. And the thought that the Doctor impacted it long before 2006....
Edited 2010-03-22 02:20 (UTC)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:21 am (UTC)(link)
Well, canonically we know that Jack was prevented from making contact a few times, from the records montage in Fragments. I do kind of love playing with pre-2000 Torchwood, though :D

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ext_52603: (TARDIS - The Unearthly Child)

[identity profile] msp-hacker.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
I have not settled on what my fannon is for what happened for Ian and Barbra after they return home, but I can see this happening.

[identity profile] shane-mayhem.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
I really liked this. Your Jack is always so good.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! Jack is fun. So many twists that man has...

[identity profile] spiderine.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
a computer so advanced the public wouldn't know about it until the eighties

What, an Apple Macintosh SE? LOL!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
I was thinking a top of the line IBM...running DOS!

It fell through the Rift with an Atari and a betamax copy of Pretty In Pink.

[identity profile] 51stcenturyfox.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
I still think the gun range scene is super sexy! :D

I've beta-read a story in which Ianto is trapped in the past and meets up with Ian too. I THINK THEY BOTH HAPPENED. I just really like Ian. *grin*

[identity profile] neifile7.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
I still think the gun range scene is super sexy! :D

This this, a thousand times! I think you are becoming our leading exponent of gun-range porn. ;)

I have barely seen any Hartnell, but Ian definitely started a fine tradition of Companion smartassery. (And the Dalek Invasion is a surefire win.)

[identity profile] danceswchopstck.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
Ahhh, SamFic. Thank you. *savors*
ext_1512: (Default)

[identity profile] stellar-dust.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 04:46 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, what a great idea! This was *marvellous.*

[identity profile] elainasaunt.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 05:07 am (UTC)(link)
I know Ian only by reputation, but this is marvelous.

PS: You could make legions of Amelia Peabody fangirls squee just by changing Jack's comment "Another ruined shirt" to "Another shirt ruined."

PPS: Ooh. Edwardian-era crossover potential there; do you know the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters?

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I've never heard of Amelia Peabody! I'll have to check it out.

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[identity profile] violent-rabbit.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 06:43 am (UTC)(link)
I have no prior knowledge of Ian and I enjoyed this thoroughly. This is what takes it above fanfic- the little assumed knowledge I have wasn't needed to understand what this was about- other than it being set in the Who universe.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I did try to write it accessibly, knowing that not many of the newer Doctor Who fans are familiar with the old canon. Glad it worked out well!

[identity profile] rosepetal9.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
I've never watched much First Doctor, although I have the general idea of the characters by osmosis from others. Now I'm super excited to finally watch those episodes, because with this gem in the back of my mind, I get the feeling I'm going to love Ian even more than I would have already.

Excellent stuff, Sam, but your stuff always is. I'm a long-time lurker, and new work from you always puts a smile on my face.

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
The original companions are all brilliant; I focused on Ian here, but I adore both Barbara and Susan as well, and I love the interpersonal dynamics of the early TARDIS.

Glad you enjoyed it! Welcome into the open, o lurker :D

[identity profile] mcparrot.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
For a horrible minute there I thought you were leading up to killing Ian off. I'm so pleased that's not the way it ended. And loved that former companions got together, obviously a normal life post the Doctor would be very dull (and that the sexual mores of the universe would rub off on one so to speak). Moth porn - write moth porn please.
Write more of this verse please. Actually just write more.
cheers
McP

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I almost did write a section where Ian dies, but I decided, fuck that noise, I want a happy story about sex and punch-ups. :D

[identity profile] anyjen.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 07:55 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, that was awesome. I honestly haven't watched that many classic Who episodes, so I don't know all that much about Ian, but what I've seen, I've liked... and now when I go weatch more, I'll have these delicious images in my head. Thank you so very much for that. *__*

(but really, the thing with the moth? probably could have done without that. me and my vivid imagination... >_<)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the Menoptera would be a good time. They're very soft, and they probably have a prehensile proboscis....

[identity profile] misswinterhill.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 10:00 am (UTC)(link)
A FUCKLOT OF STUFF ABOUT LIFTS.

YES INDEED!

I love this so much! I just adore the sharpness and ease (even though that is probably oxymoronic) of their relationship, and the banter between them. ♥

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:30 pm (UTC)(link)
LOTS ABOUT LIFTS. :D

I think sharpness and ease is actually a good way to put it. They're both rather hard-edged men but because they have this shared experience of the Doctor, as different as their times in the TARDIS were, they trust each other and understand each other in a way nobody else can. They're totally at home with each other, even though they don't fit the world very well.

[identity profile] thkya.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 10:49 am (UTC)(link)
Ohh, I always liked Ian very much. I like this for him, thank you Sam :)

[identity profile] keeperofqkeys.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:07 pm (UTC)(link)
This was wonderful, even not knowing much about Ian. Though my mind kept completing it to "Ianto"...

(Also, I think it was mentioned in one of the TW books that the lift had been in place, but it didn't become invisible until the events of Boomtown when the TARDIS was on top of it and the lift somehow picked up on the disruption field. But I may be wrong, as I don't bother with reading the books.)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 01:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I worked really hard to catch Ian's uniqueness, because I realised about halfway through that Ian could very well slip over into Ianto in peoples' minds. :D

[identity profile] splagxna.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 04:30 pm (UTC)(link)
awesome. ian is usually so underappreciated.

[identity profile] quean-of-swords.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, I'd never thought of that, but Ian in Torchwood is a WONDERFUL idea. Awesome awesome awesome!
ext_389012: Jon and Stephen talking about their rallies. (Default)

[identity profile] queenfanfiction.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)
NGL I found this on Twitter before I came to LJ. *facepalm*

Anyway. LOVELY. Even your porn is so academically-stimulating. :D And you make me want to see Old!Who which is probably a very bad thing given my schedule. GRR SAAAM *half-hearted fistshake before trotting off to YouTube to see what they have*

[identity profile] beachlass.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 07:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Delightful!

[identity profile] teaboyfan.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 08:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know Classic Who or Ian, but he sounds perfect for Torchwood and Jack. And your shooting range erotica (much too classy to be porn) is wonderful; they were both more than ready and the encounter was as explosive as the charges in the cartridges. You should write more erotica!

[identity profile] phineyj.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a great read! Wonderful action description especially at the beginning and mmmm, shooting range scene!

Doctor Who jumped the shark when it went to color

[identity profile] alibi-factory.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 10:33 pm (UTC)(link)
CHATTERTON. And Babs! Lovely. I would never have thought of this pairing in a million years, which is one of the best things about fanfiction, and as far as I can tell (I'm not hugely well-versed in the first Doctor's era), it works. And gun porn, also, which is what Jack was made for. Mmm.

Re: Doctor Who jumped the shark when it went to color

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2010-03-22 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
CHESTERFIELD! :D

I am not inclined to disagree with your subject line, btw. I've just started on Pertwee and -- well, there's always something in history to interest me, but the stories themselves are...not, very. I do like the Brigadier, but only because he has such a delightfully obvious crush on the Doctor.

Is it wrong that I'm dreading Tom Baker?

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