Word Count: 3227
Author's Summary: A moment of madness on a certain internet auction site leads Torchwood to Manny’s door. Bernard is even less happy than usual. Black Books/Torchwood crossover.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness + the Black Books characters
Recced because: It's that rare, perfect gem: a crossover that's quite comprehensible even if you have only the vaguest idea of what Black Books is all about. And I know, because when I first read it, I had this idea that Black Books was about a reading group, and that Bernard was Father Jack from Father Ted, only with less swearing.
(If you're as clueless as I was, it may help to know that Black Books is about a trio of semi-functional eccentrics. Bernard and Manny work in a bookstore; Fran sells ... well, doodads, I think. And they drink a lot. None, as it happens, are priests, although Bernard is Irish.)
The plot is quite simple: Manny, over the course of an eBay all-nighter (Crocheted cushion cover of the Pope? His! 1978 issue of Amateur Photographer, slight creasing at the corners? Showed you, cameraboy63! Every win, however small, however ultimately useless, was a tiny rush of power. Manny, whose last taste of that particular drug had been during his one week as milk monitor in Mrs Pembleton’s Primary 1 class, couldn’t get enough.) has purchased a genuine alien artifact, and eBay user twoodinst really, really wants it. And you know how charming Captain Jack is when you have something he wants...
Just as Bernard had predicted, the American was still there when Manny crept downstairs. Everyone else had cleared off - he didn’t like to guess what Bernard might have said to them. The American (he had to be! Look at the way he stood!) was looking over the shelves with his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket, and he was wearing sunglasses even though they were inside, which must have racked him up another few places on Bernard’s scale of hate. Something about him, Manny decided, radiated coolness. Put up against him, the Fonz would end up slinking away to join a travelling folk group.
I'd read this three times when I finally watched Black Books. I got to the end of season one, and went back to read it a few more times. Jack is perfectly Jack, and Manny, Bernard and Fran are all present and correct. And the final twist at the end is simply perfect -- I still howl with laughter every time I read it.