Story: A Tale of Suspension: Lonely in the Dark
Word Count: 26671
Author's Summary: That is after all, what one did while in distress - put out a call, see if anyone in the whole wide universe will answer. Just to see (if on mere chance) an answer would be forthcoming. Either way - when one was in dire straits (distress) one would be happy to see anyone - anyone at all, right? Turns out that assumption is incorrect.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness, The Doctor (11th), The TARDIS
Recced because: No, this is not just me returning the favour because PhoenixDragon recced me
I've always wondered what the dynamics between Eleven and Jack would be like. The Doctor is so different from his previous two regenerations, after all - not in the least in his relationships with humans and his emotions are so different. I suppose, because it is not canon that these two meet, that gives us writers a myriad of possibilities in which these two could bump into each other and I have read plenty. This story, though, was specifically captivating to me. (Plus, well, I'm finally getting round to watching Classic!Who and this has references to earlier regenerations.)
What better way to bump these two together and test them, after all, than by accident and with confusion and crossed-wires? It is really a getting-to-know-each-other all over again and yet it really, really isn't. Both men have changed and that makes it sort of a fresh start - but on the other hand they have quite a past together full of unsaid things and whatnot.
I also love PhoenixDragon's choice of wording. Perhaps this is just because English is not my native language and yet a language I love passionately, but reading the way in which she writes things is like eating my way through a plate of tiny wonderful cakes with each a filling better than the other. (
A wonderful painting of how deep their relationship really stretches.
Oh well, no hope for it. Had to get the poor fucker out of here, whoever they were. This place didn’t seem to be too good for one’s overall health and longevity. And maybe when they were feeling stronger, he could get them to tell him where the Doctor was (a faint hope, but there).
Now that he had a location, he popped a flare, hoping the flash of light would give him a face to go with the motionless lump of body at his feet. Maybe he had the Doctor after all and he was just short his screwdriver. He doubted it (how else would the man send a signal for help?) but if he had a Companion, he might have given them the screwdriver.
Which would mean he’d have to spend longer in this hell-hole, looking for someone dying — if they weren’t dead already — from lack of oxygen.
‘Patience, Jack, one thing at a time.’
He jammed the flare into the loose packing of dirt, pausing only to notice a thick pile of it covering the person’s (he could confirm it was a person) feet and lower legs — whoever it was twisted in a position that told him they had attempted to climb out, but were thwarted by the shaky texture of the surrounding walls.
He looked up and could barely see dim starlight above, the light more of a hint than a promise — and he concluded the poor bastard must have tried to use that to navigate their way up; after having fallen several feet to where they were now. The hole above wasn’t very big, which means they might have actually fallen through the earth before being buried in it during their feeble efforts to get out of this dark prison. If he hadn’t been looking directly at it, he would never have known there even was a hole above him.
He did a quick scan of the being’s life-signs (smacking at the Manipulator as it fuzzed and tried to blip out halfway through the scanning process) and was severely shocked and worried at how little life there was to be had. The heart beat was so minimal as to be non-existent and the person’s (man, he could see he was a male and human by the look of it) respiration was so shallow they might well stop breathing at any moment.
Finding the Doctor was going to be tricky — but he was sure the Time-Lord wouldn’t begrudge him saving this guy; might even give him a hug for old times’ sake as the man he was looking at just might be a Companion. Hell, the Doctor might not even be in this place — but could be trying to find his way here. So next step — find the TARDIS. Hopefully the flare would lead him back to the man’s location.
Curious (and sure the few seconds wouldn’t make a difference) he confirmed the lack of serious injuries (a dad-blamed miracle if there ever was one) and slowly turned the man over onto his back, worried that the movement hadn’t seemed to wake him; and he was definitely a him. He was young — really young by Jack’s standards, which wasn’t saying much if you counted his years — but he found he had to fight to keep disapproval from rising in his heart. This poor fucker was easily as young as Rose had been — maybe even younger (hard to tell in this lack of light)…and here he had thought the Time-Lord had learned his lesson.