Pairings/Characters: River Song/Tenth Doctor/Jack Harkness, Torchwood crew, mentions of past companions
Warnings: Threesomes, River being River, flirty Jack Harkness, Ten-angst, badly written smut.
Summary: Jack invites the Doctor to the Torchwood Team's Christmas Party after the events of Journey's End. An unexpected guest drops by and sex ensues.
Notes: Written for who_reversebang, with art done by the lovely deadflowers5.
The Doctor sighed as the TARDIS touched down in Cardiff, bumpy as usual. She had been running ragged the past few days, what with--with everything that had happened, and the Doctor felt she deserved her break and a soak in some time energy before he headed off for new adventures. He didn’t acknowledge the stray thought that he also needed some rest. Adventure wasn’t as fun by yourself.
The Doctor frowned as the TARDIS hummed slightly. She only did that when--The Doctor paused, then hurried towards his doors, flinging them open, a smile beginning to curl at the edge of his lips.
“Doctor!” Jack Harkness cried as he hurried across the plaza. “What brings you to my neck of the woods so soon?”
The Doctor beamed at him, happier than he probably should have been considering he’d seen Jack only a few days ago. “The TARDIS needed some rest,” he said, patting her door. “And you know Cardiff is her resting place of choice.”
Jack smiled at him. The Doctor absently wondered if Jack would ever age. Then, abruptly, he remembered Jack’s comment about being the Face of Boe and stifled a laugh when he thought of his friend’s outrage at becoming nothing more than a wrinkly head when he got old. Jack would probably be more outraged at the loss of his body than the wrinkles.
“Well it’s good to see you both again,” Jack said, still all smiles. He examined the Doctor closely, then peered over his shoulder into the TARDIS. “Where’s Donna?” he asked. “I’d like to say hello--”
“She left,” the Doctor answered, quiet and tense. Jack’s smile faded. “After--well. She left.”
Jack cautiously put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” he said genuinely. “I liked her.”
The Doctor remember Donna’s bright, eager eyes, her voice, the way she always wanted to save everyone, anyone-- “Me too,” he murmured.
Jack eyed him. “Did you want to stay for the day?” he asked.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “Oh?” he asked, intrigued. “And why would I want to do that, hm, with the universe at my fingertips?” He said it tiredly instead of teasingly, and Jack’s eyes softened.
Jack’s smile was slow and broad, but it withheld it’s usual sultry undertone that the Doctor had always found both amusing and annoying. “It’s Christmas Eve, Doctor,” he murmured. “Might as well celebrate it with friends, huh?”
The Doctor’s brow wrinkled. “Christmastime already, hm?” he murmured, more to himself. “Time has its way of playing tricks, even on me.” He eyed Jack. “Will there be eggnog?” he demanded. “Tinsel? A tree? It’s not Christmas if there’s not a tree, or so I’ve heard.”
Jack laughed and clapped the Doctor’s shoulder, his hand warm and broad. “There will be a tree,” he agreed. “Ianto is hosting it as his place - he’s got it as done up as it possibly can be. Tree in the corner, lights on every available surface . . . The whole shebang.”
The Doctor beamed. A little of the loneliness that had been building up in Donna’s absence, a little of guilt that had been piling on his shoulders, dissipated in the wake of Jack’s warm, easy smile and bright eyes. Jack, no matter what happened, would always be there. Jack was a fixed point in time, and while the Doctor had been a bit leery at first, he’d come to start to think of Jack as his fixed point in time. Jack would be there when his other, more fragile companions left him. And Jack, a small voice whispered in the back of his head, will always love me.
The Doctor shook that thought away. He could still remember the press of Jack’s lips in his last incarnation, the way Jack would look at him sometimes--like the Doctor was his whole world. The Doctor had gotten those looks from men every once in a while, but he rarely took a male companion, so he’d never had that kind of attention focused on him for so long. Besides, people being--in love with him, that made him uncomfortable. Humans shouldn’t fall in love with Time Lords: it always ended badly. Rose was example enough.
Of course, Jack was a bit more resilient than other humans, but the Doctor was tired of love. Love hurt his hearts and his head and made him want to curl up in his TARDIS and never take another companion again, not ever. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t accept Jack’s warmth and his invitation. Just one day, the Doctor promised himself, not really believing it. Just one.
“I’d love to come,” he said, meeting Jack’s eyes. “What time do we start?”
Ianto Jones had a very nice house for a Torchwood agent. The Doctor supposed that the pay for super-secret alien hunters must be rather good, but he hadn’t expected Jack’s right-hand man to be so well-off. He paused for a moment at the door, wondering if he should just bounce in or knock. He’d met Ianto briefly, and Jack had talked about him enough that the Doctor thought there might be something between him and Jack. If Ianto knew that Jack had--well, feelings towards the Doctor, than he might not be that hospitable to the Doctor just prancing in. Hesitantly, the Doctor knocked and wondered if this was what normal humans dealt with all the time. He wasn’t used to knocking.
The door opened to reveal Jack, who had a tiny, pink hat on his head. The Doctor was tempted to laugh, but Jack’s dark glare stopped him.
“Not a word,” he hissed. “Tosh thinks they’re cute and Gwen’s backing her up. Those two are scary when they work together.” Jack smirked suddenly. “And you’ll get one too, Doctor.” He bopped the Doctor on his nose. The Doctor blinked with surprise. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had done that.
“Jack? Who is it?” someone called from inside. The someone was male and Welsh, so the Doctor assumed it was Ianto.
“The Doctor’s here, Ianto!” Jack yelled back over his shoulder before turning back to the Doctor, smiling. “Come on in,” he said. “They’re all dying to meet you in person.”
The Doctor smiled a little. “Well I am very impressive, so I could see why,” he teased and Jack laughed.
Jack led him into a living room that was, true to Jack’s word, completely decorated in Christmas lights, a huge tree tucked into the corner. On the couch, two women were talking - Gwen and Tosh, if the Doctor remembered right, which he always did. Off to the side, a young man was sitting on an armchair, legs crossed and a moody expression on his face - the Doctor remembered Jack mentioning an Owen at some point, and since this man was definitely not Ianto, he could only be Owen. Ianto, however, was nowhere to be seen.
“Probably in the kitchen, making coffee,” Jack said before the Doctor could ask. He was smiling slightly. “Wait until you have some - Ianto’s coffee is to die for.”
“More of a tea man myself,” the Doctor murmured.
“Hello again Doctor,” Gwen - he remembered her from before, the one who looked so much like Gwenyth - said, eyes warm. “Nice to see you when we’re not all saving the world.”
“It does make the evening more pleasant, if less exciting,” the Doctor agreed, grin quirking at the edge of his mouth. It had been a while since he’d smiled so much.
“I’d much prefer the death and despair to Christmas, thanks,” Owen muttered from his corner. Jack slapped him upside the head and Owen glared at him indignantly. “Oi! What was that for!”
The Doctor’s heart hurt for a second. He’d half-expected Owen to finish that off with a watch it, space-man! He could still see, clear as day, the look on Donna’s face every time she’d ever called him that, affectionately or not.
“Get into the Christmas spirit a bit,” Jack told Owen, the chiding tone gentled by his smile. “Happy days, right? Remember how to be happy, Owen?”
Owen made a face and Jack rolled his eyes, cuffing him around the head again. Owen half-stood, mock outrage on his face, just as Ianto stepped in from the kitchen, tray of glasses in his hands. Ianto raised an eyebrow, all cool disinterest that said, silently, what are you fools doing now? The Doctor knew there was a reason he liked Ianto.
“Stop abusing people in my house,” Ianto told Jack sternly. “And stop ruining my Christmas party,” he added to Owen, who had started to look smug.
Ianto looked over at the Doctor and smiled. “Nice to see you again, without the live or die circumstances,” he sad genially. “Would you like some coffee?”
The Doctor’s, “Yes, might as well,” was drowned out by the doorbell. Ianto frowned and set the coffee down on his table.
“Did you invite anyone else?” he asked Jack, who shook his head, brow furrowing.
The Doctor tensed a bit. Things always went a bit--awry on Christmas. He never meant them to! But some big bad always seemed intent on ruining the Christmas holidays for humans by destroying the world or some such. So the Doctor had learned to be a bit wary when it came to Christmastime on Earth, because he never knew what was going to happen.
Ianto left to get the door. Their group sat in silence, all curious about who the mystery guest was, waiting for Ianto to return with them. The Doctor could hear the sound of talking in the hall before footsteps finally sounded, approaching the living room.
Ianto entered the room first, a puzzled look on his face, and was followed closely by--
The Doctor’s jaw dropped.
“Hello, sweetie,” River purred.
“What are you doing here?” The Doctor hissed, pulling her to the side, glaring.
River blinked at him, all innocence. “Just dropping by to say hi,” she murmured. “It ‘tis Christmas after all, sweetheart. The time to be with loved ones.” She pursed her lips in a mock kiss.
The Doctor stared at her, long and hard. The last time he’d seen River, she’d--she’d--
He took a deep breath. This must be a younger version of that self. She didn’t look any younger, but then again, neither did he.
“Where are we?” he asked abruptly.
River blinked at him, then smiled. “Well, I’ve never met this incarnation of you, but I know your older self quite well. Quite well,” she added again, with a wink. The Doctor could feel the beginnings of a blush curling around his ears. “He was the one that told me about this, actually. Reminiscing about old days, all that. Time’s funny that way, isn’t it? If he’d never told me, I’d never come and our history would have changed, just a tiny bit.”
The Doctor made a face. “So you’re just here to visit with people you’ve never met before?” he asked skeptically.
River grinned, slow and wicked. “Now, now. I’ve met them all before, they just haven’t met me.” Her grin softened a bit. “Well, except for Tosh and Owen. But Jack’s told me about them often enough that I feel like I know them.”
The Doctor stared at her. “You . . . know Jack,” he said, unable to comprehend them both being in the same room, together.
“In the future,” River agreed, smiling still. “He’s quite the charmer, our Jack.”
The Doctor didn’t quite know how he felt, being a co-owner of Jack. It seemed like too much work.
“He likes to think he is,” the Doctor said, not quite agreeing even though he was well aware of how charming Jack could be, when he wanted to.
River’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “Oh, sweetie,” she murmured. “You know all too well that he’s not just talk.”
The Doctor huffed and then looked over at the rest of the room. Tosh and Gwen had gone back to their conversation, though they had lowered their voices and kept sneaking glances. Owen was staring back into the fireplace and Ianto seemed absorbed in his own thoughts, absently drinking coffee. Jack, though, Jack--was staring straight at the Doctor, smile sharp and dangerous and amused. The Doctor shivered, just a bit, then turned quickly back to River. Who, to his absolute disgruntlement, was looking at him like he was the funniest thing to grace the universe.
“Well, I’ve yet to introduce myself!” River cried, gathering the attention of the room once more. She looked at the Doctor out of the corner of her eye and winked. “I’m River Song, a . . . friend of the Doctor’s, shall we say? I decided to crash your small Christmas party to get my visiting hours in.” River looped her arm through the Doctor’s and beamed at the room, who were all eyeing her with various amounts of surprise.
Jack stood. “Ianto, I think it’s time to break out the eggnog,” he murmured, eyes fixed on River and the Doctor.
Ianto looked up at him, blue eyes steady, then turned away to go get the drinks. Jack moved over to where the Doctor and River stood, his walk--slower than usual, almost predatory. The Doctor swallowed, tension rising, his shoulders stiff.
“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met,” Jack all but purred, holding out a hand to River as he approached. “I’m Captain Jack Harkness.”
“Jack,” the Doctor muttered under his breath, “stop it.”
Jack grinned at him, the predatory look fading from his face. “What?” he said, faux-innocent. “Just saying hello to your pretty lady friend, Doctor.”
“Oh, I knew there was a reason I liked you,” River said, smile as bright and charming as Jack’s. “You know all the right words to say. This one,” she tugged on the Doctor’s arm, “wouldn’t know how to compliment a lady if Casanova himself taught him.”
“Ah, Casanova,” the Doctor said, smiling fondly. “Nice bloke, got into so much trouble with the ladies--” He paused, looking at River and Jack, who both were staring at him, smiling. The Doctor cleared his throat, caught off-guard by the open affection in their faces. “Anyways, who wants to hear such silly stories on Christmas. Where is that eggnog?”
“You know, River, I think the Doctor might be uncomfortable with both of us in here,” Jack said, leaning into the Doctor’s personal space. The Doctor was reminded that Jack was his height--and maybe even a bit taller. He was certainly wider.
“I think you may be right, Jack, darling,” River murmured, pressing against the Doctor’s side. “Why would that be, sweetie?”
The Doctor hurriedly darted away, breathing in deep when he had his personal space back again. “The two of you together are dangerous,” he announced, to the amusement of Gwen and Tosh, who started laughing. “And this is before you even really know each other!”
River smiled up at Jack, who was looking down at her, amusement fading to puzzlement. “We know each other in the future then?” he asked, touching her hand.
River’s amusement softened into something more like affection. The Doctor paused, watching closely.
“Yes,” she murmured. “We do. The only two people who will be with him until the end, the very end--of course we know each other.”
Jack’s eyes sharpened. “What are you?” he asked, an edge to his voice. “You look human, but--” The Doctor knew what he meant, what he didn’t say. There’s something off about you. Something strange. Maybe Jack could recognize strangeness in others because he was so unusual himself.
The Doctor perked up. Maybe she would answer Jack, if she wouldn’t answer him. But River, to the Doctor’s disappointment, just grinned.
“Spoilers,” she murmured, stepping up on her toes to press a kiss to Jack’s cheek. “You’ll learn soon enough, darling. Sooner than he will,” she added, waving a hand at the Doctor.
“How is that fair?” the Doctor asked himself, pouting. He was so curious about River, who knew him and who he was and his secrets, but had never told him how or why in the short time they’d known each other. And now, apparently, she talked with his older self and travelled in time and never aged a day. There were so many things she could be, so many possibilities. The Doctor loved possibilities.
“Eggnog, anyone?” Ianto asked, returning the living room with glasses and a pint of eggnog. Owen cheered.
“Eggnog,” Owen said to the Doctor, more because he was the closest one, “is the best part of the holidays.”
Privately, the Doctor thought the tree was the best part of the holidays, and the snow, but Owen seemed the moody sort, so it seemed best to just nod and agree.
The Doctor looked over at River and Jack, who were standing together, heads bent close, smiling. His eyes on them, the Doctor took a deep swig of eggnog.