Word Count: 6,583
Author’s summary: Most flowers can be made to bloom out of season, with the right tools. (Author self-rating: R for sexual themes.)
Characters/Pairings: Ten/Jack, Gwen
Warnings: Alien sex, swearing.
Recommended because: Recipe for a wonderful Ten/Jack story: take one slight AU where Time Lords and humans not only have vastly different equipment in their trousers but also incompatible pheromones, making them unable to even arouse each other naturally. Subtract one Rose, wait a year that never was, and add a few drops of universal aphrodisiac. Throw in healthy servings of strong characterization, moving hurt/comfort, and fabulous humor. Turn the heat up to high. Season with angst and caring.
DameRuth’s entire Flowers series is well worth a read, but I thought I’d just recommend one favorite to avoid intimidating readers who might lack the time for a lengthy series just now (though I hope you'll be so impressed that you go on to read the whole thing). “Hothouse Flowers” convinced me to love the Jack/Ten ship. The relationship between the Doctor and Jack here is like the best chocolate: rich, dark, and just the right touch of sweet. DameRuth has a talent for the little details that add vibrancy to a story. The dialog is spot-on whether the characters are being witty or tender. The Doctor feels genuinely, fascinatingly alien. The biologist in me loves the unique premise of the series, but it’s the quality of writing that keeps me going back to this story over and over.
It was a familiar pattern. The Doctor would show up and spend the night visiting — talking, reminiscing (but carefully avoiding any painful memories), joking, and trading outrageous puns and incongruous pop culture references. Jack would provide an appreciative ear (plus a few stories and puns of his own), and some sort of novel treat — high-quality alcohol (which the Doctor’s current incarnation loved for its complex chemistry rather than its inebriating effects), or a plate of Ianto’s freshly-baked biscuits and a cup of excellent coffee, or some fine, dark chocolate.
And all the while, through the laughing and banter, the Doctor’s eyes would be sad and lonely, as he soaked up Jack’s presence with a kind of desperation. The last Time Lord and the Lone Immortal. Jack could see why the Doctor would seek him out — after all, they had a great deal in common.