Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fans Fiction A Night Back in Time by Claudia Lindner

A Night Back in Time
By Claudia Lindner

Hi all,
this little one-shot fan fiction was inspired by the episode "Captain Jack Harkness“ and the thought about what might have happened, if Jack and Tosh hadn't made it back through time, if Owen hadn't successfully messed with the rift and there wouldn't have been any other opportunity to get home immediately either. What would Jack and Tosh have done, how would they find their way around in 1941? And how would they get along with each other? Would it change their relationship or would they both stay the persons they had been before?
So I hope you like my little 'what if' fan fiction and don't be too strict with me on the technological Torchwood stuff – I'm not good at that, never was.
Enjoy this story!  Claudia

The street was dark. Street lights had been switched off and there were only weak shimmering lights from the houses. Jack watched the street a while then closed the curtains and black out curtains. He took out his watch from his waistcoat pocket and looked at it. He sighed. Tosh should have been back by now. Perturbed, Jack started walking across the living-room, his arms crossed behind his back. He never seemed to have been able to unlearn that gesture which he had taken to so long ago and which, as Tosh more than once had mockingly assured him, made him seem really, really strict. She called it his I'm in charge here - expression. Jack had to smile. Tosh always nailed it with her observation skills and her witty, ironic comments.
     He walked into the small kitchen. Dinner was ready, waiting only for Tosh to return. Who had thought Captain Jack Harkness once might discover the joy of cooking? He himself certainly not. But he did like it, even with rationing, he enjoyed it. That was of course because with his knowledge of 1940s London, he knew where to look, he still remembered the places where he could get good food. Not always legal, of course, but after all, he used to be a con man then...
     Where was she???? It was getting late. Usually, they would have gone together, if they were hunting for technological equipment. Well, technological was a bit overstated...but they were constantly looking for stuff to build devices which could help them in their situation. And that situation left a lot to desire. After the Cardiff Blitz and Jack's brief, but profound romance with the real Jack Harkness, they didn't know what to do first. Bilis had disappeared, and the team back in 2006 obviously hadn't been able to make the equations work and bring them back. If they even found them...
     Jack and Tosh spent a few days searching for Bilis, then, in some hotel room, had to make decisions about what to do next. They discussed staying at Cardiff, but with the other Captain Jack – the one, who worked for Torchwood in the 1940s – being there, it probably was better to leave. London was a logical choice, although the second other Captain Jack -  the con man in the 1940s might be there. But as Jack had remembered, he'd been here and there a lot and later had left with the Doctor and Rose. Torchwood-Jack would pretty much be there all the time, so the danger of meeting himself was much bigger there. And, things were looser in London, so it would be easier for them to go undercover there, until they had figured out a way to get back. Or until the team would find a way.
     Again, Jack looked out of the window. Still no Toshiko. Damn, damn, damn. He shouldn't have let her go on her own.  But he had other things to do and couldn't come with her. It had been easier before Pearl Harbor for her, and though they knew it would be tough and had prepared, it was sometimes just unpredictable and dangerous. Maybe war times made people just nastier, so that ordinary people would harass or attack a woman on her own, just because she looked Asian.
     But then, racism has always been something you always had to count on, the Pearl Harbor attack was just a fucking cheap excuse to act it out even more. And in this time, there were no laws protecting people from it. It wasn’t that it hadn't happened before. Tosh always played light of it, but there was that short moment of anger, fear and disappointment in her eyes, before she managed to hide it. Jack always wanted to hug her then, wasn't the kind of relationship they were having, was it?
     He was her boss, after all. Which didn't mean of course that he couldn't hug her. He had been hugging Ianto and Gwen. Well, with Ianto, that was something different...and Gwen...she kind of begged for being hugged at times and made you feel like the scum of humanity if you didn't.
     Not Tosh. She always maintained her dignity, had so much will-power and always kept her composure so much. Maybe too much. Jack sighed again. She always had, and she really had been going through tough times. He couldn't blame her. Sometimes your composure was all which kept you from falling apart, and that was something he only knew too well. It wasn't the first time, he discovered something they had in common over the last past month...
     Okay, 9 o'clock, now he would go looking for her... Jack stood up and grabbed his coat and put it on and was about to turn towards the door, when he heard the key, the door opening and Tosh entering the flat.
   "Where have you been? You are hours late. I thought something happened to you!" he shouted at her, pulling her into the flat.
   "Calm down, okay? Not my fault!" Tosh replied, shaking her head.
   "What happened?" Jack wanted to know as he took her coat and hung it up. She went into the living room and he followed.
   "There was a house fire near the tube station I had to use on my way back. The street was closed, so I had to take a detour to another tube station, and when I arrived there, the train was gone, so I had to wait for the next one.” Tosh explained, and then dropped herself into the same armchair Jack had just sat in.
   "Oh, ok. And I already thought...", he stopped and looked a bit foolish.
     Tosh watched him, a bit amused. "Were you worried about me?" she curiously asked. She was still gobsmacked now and then when she sensed Jack care for her. Yes, he had promised it before, that night at the dance club that he'd look after her if they couldn't get back. But then she hadn't taken it so seriously, as she hadn't doubted that they would get back. Besides, she always had interpreted his will to look after her as a part of his job as her boss, taking care of his team, but ever since they had been stuck in 1941, she had sensed his affection and care being more than that, which had been surprising to her, as the Jack she had got to know almost four years ago always had maintained a professional distance...
   "Yeah, okay, so I was worried. Big deal". He sat on the sofa with a puzzled, almost embarrassed look which made Tosh feel guilty for mocking him.
   "I'm sorry", Tosh touched his arm. "I didn't mean to make fun of you. I really appreciate your concern, I really do."
     Jack looked up to her and smiled. "But sometimes it's hard to take, especially if you're not used to it?" he completed the sentence.
   "Well...there might be some truth in that", she said cautiously. "And I think that may apply to both of us." 
     Which was nothing Jack could have denied, nor did he want to hear that. But looking after Captain Jack Harkness was one of the toughest things Tosh ever had experienced. After they had been stuck in 1941 and got notice of the inevitable death of the real Jack Harkness, Jack had sunk into a deep, but silent grief. Apart from the necessary, he hadn't spoken at all, just stood or sat somewhere, staring into space and brooding over things. Tosh could as well have been all on her own, so obviously absent Jack had been. Tosh only vaguely had been able to guess what thoughts all went through his head, but she needed Jack, needed him to be with her, so that they would be ready to use any opportunity to get back. Besides, seeing Jack like that scared her, and she had felt alone, desperately alone there, when he had withdrawn himself so thoroughly.
   "Jack, please,  talk to me", she finally had shouted at him one night, when he had spent hours staring out of the window again in their first little flat, still in Cardiff. "I need you, we have to stick together on this, if we ever want to get back home. And you have a duty, Bilis still is a danger for the world, for our time, I can't do this alone, so please don’t let me down!"
     That kind of had woken Jack up from his brooding and he promised to pull himself together. Which he did. Tosh had known it was tacky, but reminding Captain Jack Harkness of his duty protecting the world always helped. It had gotten better after that, though he still had his dark moments now and then, and Tosh often had the feeling that someone should tell him he wasn't responsible for all bad things happening in the world.
     Jack smiled at her quick-witted reply, looking a bit caught, so he coughed and then said: “Well, I'm glad, nothing happened and no one harassed you this time.“
   "No, nothing happened", she assured him. "Just the usual stuff, you know, people hissing Bloody Jap and things like that behind you", she shrugged with a sarcastic smile on her face.
   "I'm sorry", Jack replied.
   "Already told you: not your fault", Tosh said.
     He shook his head and sighed. "Ok, well, did you get it after all?"
   "Yes!" She pulled something out of her handbag and gave it to Jack. "Actually the location was rather a garage in a backyard of a backyard than just a backyard, but I think, this is it". Jack took it out of the paper it was wrapped in and examined it.
   "If I manage to install it to our device and get the frequencies right, we might be able to detect those time shifts, as they happen. If the one which brought us here is of the same kind like the one which brought John Ellis and the women here", Tosh looked questioningly at Jack, who nodded.
   "I'm pretty sure of that. Same characteristics".
   "Ok, then let's try it", Tosh jumped up, heading for the little room they used as an office and lab, but Jack pulled her back.
   "No no no", he said, smiling. "Dinner first, Mrs. Harper". Tosh pulled a face at that name, but followed Jack back to the dinner table.
     To make things easier for them both, they had falsified a marriage certificate, so that they could pass for a married couple and Tosh being Mary Harper. They both felt a bit awkward now and then about it, but it definitely made life much easier, although Tosh would have preferred another last name. Jack knew that of course – he more than once had cursed Owen and Gwen for flirting and monkeying around with each other in front of Tosh.  Anyway, most of the time, awkward or not, it went well with them living together in that flat, as they were both rather considerate towards each other.
     Maybe it worked so well, because they were both rather withdrawn as far as their personal lives were concerned. That was what Jack had remarked, when Tosh once was embarrassed as she felt being tight-lipped and moody herself, while not long ago she had shouted at Jack for being so withdrawn after the real Jack Harkness' death. 
     She had apologized and supposed he'd rather wanted to be with someone like Gwen. But Jack had only laughed and raised his hands in a  repulsive gesture.   
   "Oh, no, believe me, THAT would go downhill pretty quickly".
   "Really? I thought, you like her." Tosh had been surprised.
   "I do like her, yeah. She's a bit different than the rest of us. Refreshing, somehow. But me and her in a situation like that? No, that wouldn't work. Gwen is someone who needs attentions, demands attention, and I'm neither able nor willing to give attention to someone  all the time." He had looked at her thoughtfully. "Whereas you and me...we are kind of alike. We both don't want to talk about ourselves constantly, we let each other be, we even enjoy this kind of shared lonelitude".
     She never had thought about it, but he was right, they were more alike than she had supposed, but she didn't want to think about it then. Instead, she had said: "And I thought, you even were in love with Gwen."
     Again, he had a startled look on his face. "With Gwen? No. Okay, I admit, there was flirting, but then, I flirt with a lot of people. And it wasn't more than that." Tosh had nodded, again noticing another thing being different from how it had seemed...
   "So you cooked again tonight? That's so kind of you!" Tosh beamed. "I really am hungry." She sniffed into the direction of the kitchen. "So, what's for supper, husband of mine?" she joked.
   "I'm sorry, it's only stew again." Jack replied, smiling apologetically.
   "That's fantastic." Tosh said, as they were sitting down and Jack fetched the pots from the kitchen. "It smells great."
   "I would love to cook something Japanese, but unfortunately this is not today’s London, so it's not easy finding ingredients for things like Sushi." he said, as he filled her plate.
   "Doesn't matter, I hate Sushi anyway." Tosh remarked and pulled a face. "Though I would love to eat some Saba Shioyaki*  or Korokke** again anytime soon."
   "If you tell me, what that is, maybe I can find the ingredients for it and even manage to cook it." Jack suggested unfolding his napkin.
   "That's sweet of you, but never mind. Let's not waste energy on non-essential things." she smiled, a bit sad, Jack thought.
   "I don't see why we shouldn't make the best of it and have it as nice and comfortable as we can, as long as we can't get back." he answered.
   "That coming from a man, whose home is the Hub and whose bedroom is in a small hole in the ground?" Tosh laughed, but then realized that the smile vanished from Jack's face like someone had wiped it off. "I'm sorry." she quickly said and laid her hand on his. "I didn't mean to hurt you."
   "It's okay." he shook his head and smiled at her again. 
   "It's just...sometimes you are hard to understand...and you are contradictory...and you keep so many secrets." she ran out of words to explain herself. But he squeezed her hand calmingly.
   "You don't have to apologize. It's ok, really, and I know what you mean. And you are right! I just think that happens if you have lived as long as I have." He was contemplating things for a moment, then shrugged. "But now, eat!"
   "Yes, Captain." she saluted with a wink. Then they ate, while Tosh felt like devouring her serving, that hungry she was. "It's delicious, Mr Harper." she said.
   "Why, thank you, Mrs." he replied and they both laughed at that, dispelling any remaining tension.
     After dinner, they went to their lab, where Tosh worked to install the device she retrieved today, meanwhile Jack tried to adjust his VM to trace Bilis Manger's signature. Eventually, Tosh frowned and said: "Hm...I think...this might work."
     Jack looked up and turned to her and the device she had been built over the last months, which contained various technical or mechanical equipment, a kind of screen she built and which resembled the primitive cardiac monitors which were used decades ago.
   "Did you succeed with the tracing?" Tosh asked.
   "No, no sign of Bilis, to be honest, there really was nothing."
   "Maybe later. I need the Vortex Manipulator with this here now, Jack." He took it off his wrist and handed it over to Tosh, who connected it with some other devices. Actually, that whole thing really looked something in Dr Frankenstein's lab, Jack thought.
   "So how do we know that it's working?" he wanted to know, while Tosh fine-tuned the settings.
   "I guess, only if and when it detects a time slip." She shrugged. Jack bit his lip thoughtfully and wondered if this could work at all and if they ever would get back. 'Come on, Jack, he urged himself, you won't know unless you keep trying, so don't get on the pessimistic thought track, you know where that'll lead you'. Yeah, he knew, so he banned the thought from his head.
   "Ok..." Tosh sat up. "Let's start a search for time slips, temporal shifts and anything resembling the phenomenon we registered in the Hub when Diane and the others came through time..." She pulled some buttons and typed something on the primitive keyboard she also had built. Jack heard a weak bleeping sound and saw a pale straight line on the screen. Then he waited, and so did Tosh. Nothing happened for at least half an hour, then suddenly there was that weak bleeping again, together with a few short amplitudes from the flat line.
   "What's that? What's happening?" Jack asked, pointing at the screen. Tosh was already busy checking her devices, but then shook his head.
   "Nothing. Sorry."
   "But what is that?" Jack asked impatiently.
   "Just some interference... if there was a temporal shift, it would be massive on this scale here, like a huge earthquake, we would definitely see and hear it." She sighed.
   "Okay." Jack said, sounding disappointed. "I guess, we just have to wait then."
   "Yes, seems like it." So they did. They waited one hour, two, three...until it was really late. Finally, Jack stood up.
    "Come on, Tosh, let's go to bed or we'll be knackered tomorrow."
   "You do that; I'll still stay for another while and watch it."
   "No, come on, we can leave it up and running and the door open, and as you said, if there will be time slip, we'll hear it. Time to catch some sleep. Captain's order!" he added.
   "Alright, alright." she muttered. "I'll just check it again once more, okay?"
   "Okay." Jack turned and walked out the door.
     When Tosh entered the bedroom, Jack was already sitting in bed, reading one of the SciFi novels, he seemed to enjoy. It turned out, the novel on his desk in the Hub wasn't a coincidence, Jack just loved that genre, as odd as it was, given his own history.
     The fact that they shared a bedroom and a bed, well that was just because they only had one bedroom and one proper bed. Jack had offered to sleep on the sofa in the living-room in the beginning, but Tosh thought, they both at least deserved a decent bed in these uncomfortable, old-fashioned times. And with neighbours possibly looking in or Jack's military buddies visiting, they didn't want to arouse suspicion or carry back and forth the bedding all the time. And it worked well. They both had their side of the bed and both were very considerate with each other.
     And Tosh had to admit she enjoyed it when Jack undressed and walked through the bedroom only in his t-shirt and boxers. Boy that was a sight! She really was embarrassed about it but one morning, Tosh had passed the bathroom door, which was only ajar, and she had spotted Jack inside. He obviously just had left the shower, only wore a towel around his waist and shaved in front of the mirror. It was tacky and she felt like a voyeur afterwards, but she just couldn't avert her gaze from him. He was just gorgeous! She couldn't help but finding him hot and sexy – she was a woman, too, after all, not just a technological genius, which Jack always called her. But of course, nothing ever happened, they lived like brother and sister – apart from that one night.
     It had been New Year's Eve, and the last days had just been frustrating what with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and Christmas, far away from home. They had decided not to go out for the evening, so they had had dinner in their flat, listened to the radio, watched the fireworks from the window – and got drunk. And then it happened, they had been dancing, looking into each other's eyes – and kissed. And couldn't stop. Jack didn't know what actually triggered it – frustration, loneliness, fear of the – current – future... . They had been going on and on, until Jack finally had come around and realized what he was doing there. Almost startled he had let go of her. They both had been confused, but Jack had also been embarrassed and angry with himself. What was he thinking? How could he do something like that? He was her boss, supposed to lead her and to get things fixed and not to create even more trouble and problems.
     They both had apologized, but for Jack, it was his fault. After an awkward silence, they had decided to end the night and go to bed, and Jack had spent this night and the following on the sofa in the living-room, as if their brotherly-sisterly shared bedroom had something to do with what happened. During the following days, Jack again was withdrawn and had hardly spoken, but had brooded and clearly was quarrelling with himself, until Tosh had declared enough was enough. She had told him that what had happened had been both of them doing it and that it had only been the spur of a moment. And actually it had been triggered by the exceptional situation they were in and nothing really had happened and nor would it change anything between them, so they should just carry on.
     Sitting in bed with his book, Jack watched Tosh, as she now fumbled with the buttons of the radio. He was glad to have her with him. Not only was she a great team member, technological genius, but also a good friend. And a person who kept a clear head when he didn't and who was able to bring him back to his senses when he was being, well...kind of a Drama Queen.
     Jack sighed. He was glad that incident hadn't damaged their friendship and would do everything to make sure something like that would never happen again. It wasn't that he didn't like Tosh, that she wasn't a very sexy woman or that he wasn't longing for some kisses or comfort now and then, but that was just a no go. Besides, he'd become aware of the fact, that he had been preferring the arms of a man for some time now.  And there was no way he would use Tosh as a surrogate, when there was no man. Again, he sighed.
   "Gosh, I miss Ianto." he admitted and smiled. Tosh grinned. While they were stuck here, Jack had told her about his crush for Ianto. Knowing about Ianto's desperation in the past, his lonely and hopeless state of mind, she had asked him to be careful with the younger man's feelings. Jack had promised that and to her surprise had shown he knew very well what was going on with Ianto.
   "So, if we could get back now, what would you do first?" Tosh wanted to know.
     Jack grinned. "Well, not THAT, if that's what you're thinking. There are other things to handle first...Bilis..."
   "And if the problem with Bilis was solved, what would then be the first thing you'd do?" Tosh insisted.
   "There are other things I have to do, too." Jack earnestly replied. "First, I'll have to sort things out with certain members of my team."
   "Really?" Tosh perked her eyebrows up. "With whom?"
   "Owen for example. His behaviour and also his discipline concerning his duties leave a lot to desire lately." Jack's voice sounded annoyed now.  "And then I have a serious talk to do with Gwen."
   "Why?" Tosh was surprised. "I thought you were of the opinion that she was doing quite well."    
   "She does. Most of the time." Jack frowned. "But then again, she is acting in such an unprofessional way, irresponsibly and selfish."
     Tosh sat down on the bed and crossed her arms. "Aren't you being a bit too severe with her now?" she asked.
   "Did you know she stole Retcon and used it on Rhys?" he asked back.
   "WHAT??????" Tosh was shocked. " why?" Jack raised a hand and shook his head. "I don't know the details, but obviously, there has been some kind of argument with Rhys...”  They both knew too well what it probably was about and that was nothing, Tosh wanted to discuss.
   "I'm not looking forward to it, but I have to do it." Jack said. Tosh nodded. They both knew as well, how Gwen acted on criticism and Tosh didn't envy Jack.
   "Good luck!" she muttered.
   "Oh, it's ok. That's the beauty of being the boss – you can always pull rank to end useless discussions." Jack laughed. Tosh could imagine that particular discussion in her head and had to laugh, too.
     The radio was now playing a well-known Glen Miller track. Tosh groaned and turned back to the radio.
   "That's awful! How do people stand this kind of music? It should be banned by the U.N. for torture. "
   "Well, love, the United Nation doesn’t exist yet" Jack answered in a faux-lecturing tone.
     With an equally faux-stern face, Tosh turned to Jack:   "You know smart-ass remarks like that will get you in trouble one day!"
     They both laughed, and Jack said: "Oh, you have no idea how many times they have indeed."
Jack himself didn't really dislike that music, but the truth was, he was more comfortable with most of the things in this time, which was only natural, as he had spent some time here before. So he took the radio and turned the buttons, until he found a station with some more vivid music. Obviously some Cole Porter songs.
   "Better?" he asked. Tosh smiled.
   "Better!" He returned to his reading, while Tosh went through the newspapers. Eventually, they said goodnight, and, everyone on their side of the bed, turned off the lights and fell asleep.
     Then, suddenly, in the middle of the deepest night, there was a loud, nerve-wrecking bleeping sound filling their flat. They both awoke immediately.
   "What's that?" Jack asked.
   "The device! There must be a time slip!" Tosh jumped out of the bed and rushed out of the room, Jack followed her. In their office, red lights were blinking, the bleeping sound was nearly unbearable and the screen was showing huge, recurring amplitude. Tosh switched off the sound and checked her devices.
   "So where is it?" Jack asked.
   "And, more important, when is it?" Tosh checked the numbers and coordinates.
   "It's not far from here. The exact position is on your VM, we can use it to get there in the car." she reported.
   "But when is it, Tosh? What time will it take us to?"
     Tosh hesitated and checked again, then said: "It's 1987. But that’s at least better than 1941, isn't it? We get closer to home. Come on, Jack, let's go, before that temporal shift closes again."  She jumped up, but Jack didn't move. "Come on, let's go. What are you waiting for?" she urged him.   Finally, Jack stood up very calmly and turned to her. He looked at her with a sad, but determined expression.
   "We can't do it, Tosh." he said.
   "What? What do you mean? Of course we can. We just have to go there."
   "I mean, we mustn't do it." Jack replied. "We can't risk disturbing yet another time. We are already causing trouble in this one, being here. Imagine how many lives we would affect there! And Torchwood London and Torchwood 3 have more technical capabilities to detect us then, and that would be a danger for us – and countless other people and cause more changes of that time's future. Can't you see? We can't do it, I'm sorry."
   "Are you insane? You can’t make us stay here, if we could go to 1987." she shouted.
    "I have to." he replied softly.
     Tosh tried to get back to the device, but Jack stepped into her way.   
   "Get out of my way. I don't want to stay in this time anymore. At least, in 1987, I could have a real life, not this poor excuse of a life. You can't make me stay here!"
   "I'm sorry." he said again and gently pushed Tosh further away from the device and out of the room.
   "No, Jack, please! We have to use this opportunity; we don't know when we'll get another chance!" Her desperation broke his heart, but he had no choice. He closed the door behind them and locked it.
   "I hate to do this, but messing with time is too dangerous." he explained, trying to calm down Tosh who was trembling with fury. "It could cause unexpected, really disastrous events, believe me. We just have to stay away from it; I learned that the hard way..."  But his well-meant words enraged her only even more.
   "How dare you, Jack?" she screamed and started to hit him. "It's so easy for you to say! But I only have one life. How dare you force me to waste it in this miserable shit time? Damn you, Jack Harkness, damn you!" He let her hit him, didn't even try to fend her off, just held her by her shoulders while she screamed at him. Finally, she furiously pushed him away and stormed into the living-room, locking the door behind her.
     Tosh didn't know how much time had passed by, until she was done with ranting in the living-room, swearing, kicking furniture and crying. Now she just sat there, feeling a bit embarrassed about her outburst and what she had said to Jack in her anger. She still was a little bit mad at him, but she realized that he was right. Of course he was. That's why he was their leader. Because he had the experience, he made the tough decisions. And everyone else screamed and shouted at him for that. Like that woman Lynn had, back then, when Jack had let her daughter
Jasmine go with the fairies. For the sake of the world. And they all had punished him with silence and disregard for it. Tosh felt guilty, not only for her behaviour towards him tonight, but also for her reaction back then. She stood up to go find Jack and apologize at least for tonight, before it had sunk in too deeply into his mind, before her words of apology wouldn't make any difference anymore.
     She left the living-room.
   "Jack?" she asked into the empty hall and then entered the bedroom. Jack was there, sitting on the edge of his side of the bed, his elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands. It hurt her seeing him like that. "Jack?" she asked cautiously. He raised his head and looked at her. His eyes were red and he looked so sad as if the weight of the world was lying on his shoulders. Surely it must feel like that for Jack, Tosh thought.  And the idea of Captain Jack Harkness crying was really unsettling for Tosh, too. Though she had seen the tears in his eyes when he had to leave the real Jack Harkness.
     He tried a smile, but it didn't reach his eyes. "Jack“, she repeated and quickly slid next to him on the bed. She put her arm on his shoulder and said: "Listen, Jack, I'm sorry for what I said to you. I didn't mean it. I'm sorry." He laid his arm around her shoulder, too.
   "It's ok, Tosh." he assured her.
   "No, it's not." she insisted. "You are right, we can't do it. And...I'm sorry for my words. I'm sorry, if I hurt you."
     He smiled. "It's okay, Tosh, really, it's my fault“.
   "No, it's not. Nothing of this is your fault. Stop thinking that."
     He sighed. "But I dragged you into this."
    "No, you didn't. It's my job. Our job. If anything, you saved me, when you brought me to Torchwood in the first place."
     He smiled again, this time, his eyes did, too. He hugged her. "Thanks, Tosh."
   "And...Jack?" she began.
   "I want to apologize also for my...or our...well, how we all reacted back then, after the incident with the fairies and know...that was mean."
   "That's okay, I totally understood that." He took a deep breath and Tosh could feel him relax a bit, the tension leaving his body. Tosh could feel his relief and was ashamed that she, they all, seemed to forget too often that being immortal didn't mean not being human and having feelings. "It must be hard to be you, I mean, all the things you have seen, the things you have experienced..."
     He looked at her. "I think the hardest thing, was to be lost in some god-awful time, all alone, not knowing, how to get back. So I completely understand that, Tosh, it's okay, really. But I promise you, we won't be stuck here forever, we will get back, we'll find a way, I'm sure  of it."
     He sounded better, seemed to be back in his confidence, but there was one more thing Tosh wanted to say.  
    "Thank you. I know, we will. But Jack, you might be lost in some god-awful time again, but this time, you're not alone!“ She smiled and he gave her that cheeky Jack-grin they all liked so much on him.
   "So, we're still a team?“  He asked.
   "Oh yes, we are!"

The End

*Saba Shioyaki: Grilled mackerel with salt
**Korokke: Deep fried mashed vegetables with meat

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