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Reclaiming Camelot - Prologue

Characters: Jack, Ten, Andy Davidson
Rating: Open
Spoilers: General for Series 1
Disclaimer: Not mine, they belong to the BBC and RTD
Summary: Jack is back, but things are not right at Torchwood Three.

This is a kind of Virtual Second Series while I wait for the real thing to turn up!

They say you can never go back. Captain Harkness looked at the entrance to Torchwood Three and hoped like hell he was going to be the exception that proved that rule.

He didn't regret going off with the Doctor. Not for one moment. He had needed, desperately needed, to bring closure to that part of his life and to ask the Doctor for help. He'd had a hell of a shock when he'd come face to face with a total stranger but the word 'regeneration' explained a lot. It had hurt like hell that Rose was lost to him on the other side of a dimensional barrier, but he had said goodbye to her all that time ago on the Games Station, so he had that to help him. That and the fact that she was still alive, if out of their reach.

He didn't regret returning to the TARDIS, but the dynamics had changed. This Doctor was different from the one he had known and there was rather a large obstacle in the way of their going back to their old relationship. The last time he had been on the TARDIS, he hadn't been over two hundred years old and immortal. The Doctor had not been best pleased. In fact, he had acted almost like Jack had done it on purpose. There had been some tense times before the Doctor had come around, given him that cheeky grin which Jack found far too distracting, and suggested they try sorting it out.

Which they had done, in a kind of way. Jack had told the Doctor everything. The way he felt so hollow inside, the way he no longer seemed able to connect to people, the huge crawling fear that he had become some kind of monster. The fact that he couldn't sleep. The fact that he came back from the dead. The endless cycle of pain and grief, with only moments of ephemeral pleasure to make it bearable.

And the Doctor had very softly said: "Welcome to my world."

He'd taught him Time Lord philosophy and meditation techniques. He put him in the Zero Room. He took him to the Eye of Orion and the Zenith of Wisdom. He told him story after story of his own past, his own griefs and joys. He explained how to enter into a kind of sleep that refreshed body and mind without actually losing consciousness. Slowly, very slowly, he put Jack back together again and very gradually Jack had felt himself come alive. And as he did so, he became aware of a restlessness. He was also acutely aware that this Doctor wasn't his Doctor. He liked him; he liked him a lot, but he didn't love him, and that confused him. The restlessness and the confusion continued to grow, along with the urgent feeling that he should be somewhere else. The TARDIS didn't help. Her gyrations through space and time became wilder and more erratic, despite the Doctor and Jack's best attempts.

"It's almost as if she's looking for something," the Doctor had commented.

And then they had landed on a new world and Jack had felt an insistent tug pulling him out of the TARDIS. He'd given in to it and eventually found himself in an audience with the Face of Bo. The enigmatic alien had stared at him and Jack got the impression that if he asked just the right question, he'd get the answers he was looking for.

"What am I looking for?"

"Something you already had."

Great start. "Where do I go to find it?"

"Your heart."

Nope, not working. "Bo, cut me some slack, will ya? I'm immortal, not omnipotent! Can't you even give me one lousy clue that isn't from a fortune cookie?" It might have been a trick of the light, but he was almost certain the Face of Bo smiled.

"We could discuss it over a cup of coffee."

Jack stared at the Face of Bo for a long moment before turning and running out of the room. Later he would realise he didn't even stop to thank the being. Still later he would realise that giving him his answer had been all the thanks Bo needed. Right now he was focused on getting back to the TARDIS and persuading the Doctor that he finally knew where he had to go.

Earth. Cardiff. Torchwood Three.


He'd be lying if he said he'd forgotten about his team in the time he had been with the Doctor. He'd often mentioned them to the Doctor or told him some story from their time together. But he'd never mentioned Ianto except in passing. Ianto wasn't a subject for light-hearted stories. Ianto was a pleasure too deep to be articulated. Ianto was a pain too great to be talked about. The one thing that Jack regretted more than anything else was the fact that he had not said goodbye to Ianto. He'd always intended to come back and make amends for that.

So here he was. Same place he had been for the past two hours. The Doctor had dropped him off in Cardiff Castle grounds and Jack had walked from there. It was exactly one year since Jack had left by the TARDIS clock. He would have preferred for less time to have passed, but the Doctor hadn't wanted to push their luck for no huge reason and Jack had agreed. Now that they were parting, he realised that he really did care for this new Doctor.

"Don't stay away, Doctor, please. I'm not asking for regular visits but come back now and again, just to remind me I'm not alone."

The Doctor smiled; a gentler kind of smile to his usual manic grin. "I promise. Tell you what; I'll see if I can make it for Christmas!"

And then he was gone, leaving Jack to go and pick up the pieces. He couldn't help but wonder what had happened while he was away. Cardiff was still standing, which was a positive sign. He bought one of the local papers, courtesy of some currency the Doctor had given to him, and studied it over a cup of coffee (barely drinkable by his high standards). The usual bits and pieces of normal life, so beautifully precious and fragile. Larger political news that was the same old thing, endlessly repackaged and growing falser with every makeover. And a couple of reports of flying saucers and supernatural creatures sighted on the Gower. Jack frowned.

"Ianto, you're slipping." Normally Ianto intercepted that kind of newspaper report and quietly buried it. Maybe he'd been distracted by something else.

Jack sighed. No-one had come in or out of the entrance ever since he had sat down. They had to have seen him on the CCTV. He wasn't trying to hide himself. Maybe they were playing a wait-and-see game to find out what he was up to. Ianto was endlessly paranoid about such things, ever since Jack had mentioned the problems that happened if you created a paradox.

Well, here goes nothing, Jack thought to himself as he got up and made for the tourist office. The first thing he saw was a sign saying 'Closed for the foreseeable future'. Frowning, he tried the door but wasn't too surprised to find it locked. It took less than a minute for him to pick the lock and let himself in.

He found himself in the familiar surroundings of the fake tourist office. It was dark inside and Jack put the light on, blinking a little at the harsh electrical glare. He looked around, aware of a rising sense of unease. Superficially, everything was as it had been when he had left, apart from a thick layer of dust that covered everything. Jack walked around the counter and looked into the office, half-expecting Ianto to be there, raising a sardonic eyebrow and making some kind of sarcastic remark. There was only yellowing paper and more dust.

Unlocking the inner entrance, Jack made his way along the dust clogged passage and into the lift. Something very like panic was beginning to claw at the back of his head. What the hell was going on here? By the time he got down to the Hub, he was praying that this was some kind of elaborate put-on, to teach him a lesson for leaving them for a year.

The Hub was in near-total darkness, part from the tiniest gleam of light coming from the Rift Fountain. Giving himself a moment to adjust his vision, Jack carefully picked his way through. A lot of the equipment was gone, stripped out. What was left had been shrouded in dustsheets. The panic was definitely there, now. What the hell had happened? Used to the darkness by now, Jack made for the stairs and his office. There had to be some kind of explanation and the quicker he found it, the better.

His office was a bare shell. Jack made for the safe and found it open, the contents cleared out. He turned around, feeling more than a little lost. Whatever kind of homecoming he had imagined, it hadn't been this. His head snapped around as he heard the clatter of feet on the stairs and he started forward, only to be blinded by a flashlight being directed into his eyes. He lifted his hands to protect his watering eyes, only vaguely aware of a tall silhouette behind the bright light.

"Ianto?" he asked a little doubtfully.

"Bloody hell!"

No, not Ianto. The voice was familiar, though. The light was lowered and the office light came on. Jack blinked rapidly to get his sight back, then stared in disbelief at the man standing in front of him.

"Jack Harkness! When the hell did you get back in town, then!"

It was Andy, Gwen's ex-partner from the police.


Go to Chapter One here


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Really liked this and am looking forward to seeing where you go with this. :D
Jan. 7th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
OMG you're putting Andy into it? Wow. Pleeeeeease, I'm down on my knees here, write more. I'm loving this so much. Especially the Eye of Bo thing - intriguing.
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
I liked Andy, bollocks and all. :-) Don't worry, I'm writing it. This is less a plot bunny than a sabre-toothed plot bunny.
Jan. 7th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
It works. Oh boy does it work. Darn it - I want to know what has happened in the year Jack has been away. Why Ianto left? Where the others are? And Andy! Yay for Andy. *imagines T3 as Jack, Ianto, Andy, Tosh and Detective Swanson*

Looking forward to the next part.
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Oh good, I was worried I was going too far. For Ianto's departure, see 'Truth and Consequence' which is the posting before this one.

*imagines T3 as Jack, Ianto, Andy, Tosh and Detective Swanson*

*startled look* Okay, I have to say that that was a lineup I played with at one point. But I needed a doctor on the team so Swanson got displaced. Andy I'm keeping, though. He's got potential, he has. *mad gleam enters eyes*
Jan. 7th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
Ah! I hadn't twigged that this was the follow on from Truth and Consequences (which I really, really loved by the way. I was so hoping you would do a follow up with Jack coming back and lo and behold my prayers have been answered).

It is a great line up, but I guess the world really would end if Torchwood 3 became, well, competant ;-) And yes, they do sort of need a doctor. If I had to write it I would probably do the same thing - while Swanson was a cool character Andy has had more personality revealed *luvs Andy*. And having Swanson around at the police station to be sarcastic at them is a good thing :-) I know some very lovely characters with medical degrees, but unfortunately they are in other series. Looking forwards to seeing what you come up with.

So, in short, much yay!

And I have just been reading back over your other stuff and wish to bow down in awe and abase myself at your feet (althought I am a bit sad I missed the fluffy ones).
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
You're right in that I think Swanson will be a better character as a serving police officer Jack keeps tripping over.

And TW3 are competent when the fans write them. It's the professionals who can't get it right!

I think I'm going to have to make up the doctor, but since that will link in with Tosh, I'm hoping everyone will accept her.

Thank you for the pretty words. *much blushing* The fluffy ones will probably reappear. I am naturally fluffy. (That is such a strange sentence to write).
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Nothing wrong with being fluffy, it is the mix of fluffy and not so fluffy that makes things interesting. In many ways Torchwood is a good fandom for that, you can take pretty much make any of the characters dark (except maybe Tosh) if you want or go for the fluff and either way you can justify it if you are careful. Ah the fun of three dimensional characters :-)

I must admit I sort of like the Dad's Army with aliens thing that they have going on. As a group T3 strike me as a bit crap due to the fact they are human. It is there inate human-ness and human nature which almost always lands them in the do-do. While this means that a lot of the time I want to bat some of them around the head with a clue-by-four it is also oddly realistic and makes me think 'huh this only seems wrong because every other show people are just perfect except for their specific scripted flaw'.

Looking forward to the next post.



P.S. I friended you, hope that is okay.

P.P.S. I see from your profile that you are London based. I just wanted to bring the london_slashers community to your attention in case you were interested.
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this, and look forward to seeing where you take it. Andy's appearance was a pleasant surprise ... but I want to know what's happened to Ianto...
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)
You'll find out, I promise. But first we must have angst!!
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Funny, I was just thinking how nice it would be to see a multi-part story from you. :)

Great start. Can't wait to read more.
Jan. 7th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Yay! Andy!
More soon PLEASE!?
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm pleasantly surprised that there seems to be a flourishing Andy fan club here! I loved him. He's so relentlessly practical and down to earth. He and Ianto will get on so well - apart from the tea/coffee war, that is.

More is coming. I've never been so productive as I am with Torchwood!
Jan. 7th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
Or Ianto will teach him the art of how to make a PROPER cup of tea if he is to have tea along side his coffee then he'd not want a coppers tea.
Jan. 7th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
oh god. Ianto's leaving broke me. and now this... damn.

please please please continue and reunite and ... guh!

*goes off to cry*
Jan. 7th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
awww *hug* It's okay, I'm going to put them back together again. Um, unless you're a Gwen or Owen fan, that is.
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
no no. blegh Gwen/Owen. it's Jack/Ianto all the way. now i'm angsty and excited about them gettin' back together too. yay! cry! yay!
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oooh, Andy! Intriguing. I loved the Face of Bo bit. I can really see Jack's time with the Doctor turning out like that, and I completely adored the way he showed Jack ways to deal with his condition. Brilliant.

And, just so I know. Is this a sequel to your other one where Ianto wipes his memory?
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm really glad I handled that properly. I was afraid it was too wordy.

Yes, this is the sequel to Ianto wiping his memory. Jack's going to find it a lot more difficult to find him than he thought and when he does, he wonders if it might not be kinder to leave him where he is.

Much angsting!
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yay! *looks forward to the rest*
Jan. 7th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Eeeee, this is marvelous! And now I'm envisioning the Face of Bo telling the Doctor that he isn't the lonely god, that Jack is the wanderer, the man without a home, and that's what makes him go find him. Yep, that'll get Russelled pretty fast, but it sounds cool. ;) I love and adore Andy and wanted them to ask him to join up, bless his cute little cluelessness. Off to read the rest!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 11th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, actually, it does! I've always thought of him as a Merlin type.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love Face of Boe and Jack talking. The heartache Boe must be feeling. Love it. Off to read more...
Jul. 4th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC)
Hmm, I tend to ignore the idea that Jack might be the Face of Boe. *snorts* Just doesn't work for me. (Besides, I wrote this before we got to that bit in Doctor Who. I just liked Boe as a character.)
May. 5th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Wonderful first chapter. I liked how you had Jack gone for a time finding answers only to come home to more questions.
May. 5th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Starting stories is often the most difficult thing. (That and trying to figure out where the end is!)
Feb. 28th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
You're kidding? Andy?!!!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )



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