trobadora: (McShep mathematical by finntasmic)
trobadora ([personal profile] trobadora) wrote in [community profile] wintercompanion2016-07-29 04:56 pm

amythest_n_ice: 73 days (Jack/Ten) [PG] - SUMMER HOLIDAYS PROMPT #12

Title: 73 days
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amythest_n_ice
Prompt: #12 - 73 days, Jordatha, farmer, dinner
Pairing: Jack/Ten
Rating: PG
Spoilers/warnings: kind of maudlin.


Sitting on the warm boulder under the hot Jordathan sun, Jack contemplated the scenery before him, idly wondering what combination of factors had turned the Terran standard wheat that particular shade of blue, giving the rippling crop the odd appearance of a shifting ocean.

Sighing, he stretched out on the broad rock, throwing one arm over his eyes to shield them from the bright glow overhead; he was curious, but not curious enough to actually get up and investigate the phenomena. It was too warm and it had been too damn long since he landed up somewhere, or somewhen, that he didn’t have to run for his life.

It didn’t matter anyway the cynical side of him though sourly, in 73 days, the rippling blue wheat fields, the dancing oceans and the rows and rows of other crops would be gone, wiped out of being by an asteroid that would turn the planet into the system’s very own version of the Kuiper belt. Jack and a small handful of particularly stubborn agri-colonists were the only living beings left on this world now, with the exception of the native wildlife he amended silently, hearing a bird chirping somewhere off in the field. He was tired of banging his head against the brick wall stubbornness of the farmers who were still here, blindly certain that the coming destruction wasn’t in fact coming.

He had been trying for a week now, since the last evac ship had left to resettle the colonists on another new world, to persuade Jervan and his family to leave, to let him take them to where a new world waited for them to start over, but they had blithely ignored him, carrying on with their harvesting, talking of what they would plant for the following seasons.

“Dinner is ready, you should come and eat, Captain,” the voice of Jervan’s eldest son spoke from behind him.

“Why won’t you leave, Deryn, honestly?” he asked.

“Honestly? My parents are too old, too set in their ways, to begin again, and we will not leave them here to face the end alone.”

Jack turned his head startled, moving his arm to look at the young man standing there, and Deryn snorted.

“Really Captain, we are not so foolish as all that, my brothers and I, even my parents know that the threat is real. Denying it is easier than admitting they don’t want to begin again.”

“I’m over five thousand years old Deryn, I have started over in my life more times than I care to count. I have a friend out there somewhere over nine hundred years old who has had to start over even more often,” he said, gesturing skyward.

“There’s always something around the next corner that makes it worth fighting on,” he pointed out.

“Come to dinner, Captain,” Deryn repeated softly, closing the subject, although he did keep casting sidelong glances at Jack as they walked side by side down the track between the fields as if trying to figure out if Jack was really as old as he claimed to be.

There were more sidelong glances over dinner, Deryn had obviously told his brothers what Jack had said while they were washing up before eating, he didn’t care, they could believe or not, he had done his best, but he would do what he had promised the evac leader, he and his ship would stay here until the last possible moment to leave and attempt to change their minds.

With dinner over and the clean-up done, Jack slipped back outside, not wanting to hear more pointless discussion on crop rotation. He climbed up the ladder attached to the outside of the grain silo, swinging himself easily up onto the roof, where he sat down, watching the sun start to sink toward the horizon slowly.

He had been sitting there for over an hour when he heard someone else scaling the silo, then a familiar coat and pair of pinstripe clad legs appeared in his peripheral vision.

“You can’t save everyone Jack, especially if they don’t want to be saved,” the Doctor said, his voice soft.

“Never stopped you from trying,” Jack reminded him quietly, not turning to look at him.

“No, I suppose not,” the Time Lord sighed, dropping down to sit beside him.

“How long have you been here?” Jack asked, watching from the corner of his eye as the Doctor’s unruly hair was ruffled even more by the light breeze that blew around them.

“Not very long. I was going to talk to you while you were out in the field, but that young man came to get you and I didn’t want to interrupt. I didn’t think you told people how old you are any more.”

“I don’t usually, but if it makes even one of them think better of staying here to be turned into space paste, then why the hell not.”

Hesitantly, the Doctor reached out and grasped Jack’s hand, twining their fingers together. Jack looked down at their entwined hands, then up to shoot an interrogative look at the other man.

“I’ve missed you,” he admitted with a small shrug, a faint hint of embarrassment in his face, making Jack smile slightly in return.

“I’ve missed you too.”

“Come home then, please.”

Jack looked back to the sunset, he wanted to, he really wanted to, 100 years was a long time to hold a grudge, especially since he couldn’t even remember what the last fight had been about now, but he had made a promise, and he couldn’t see the Doctor hanging around a bucolic, if doomed world for 73 days.

“I promised the evac co-ordinator that I would stay here until the last possible minute, to give them every chance to change their minds and leave,” he said, and he felt the Doctor’s shoulder’s slump at what sounded like a rejection.

“I’ll stay here, you come back and get me before the planet is pulverized,” Jack offered quietly.

The Doctor sat in silence for a long moment, and then lifted Jack’s hand to kiss the back of it softly.

“All right, I’ll meet you in the yard below, on the last day,” he promised, meaning it. Jack might not remember what the last fight they had was about, but he did, and he wasn’t going to let his immortal down again.

/x/

Standing in the yard, Jack looked up into a sky darkened by the asteroid now completely eclipsing the sun and most of the stars. Jervan and his family had finally given in three days before, and he had sent them off in his ship, the autopilot locked so that they couldn’t turn around when they realized that he wasn’t aboard. He had promised the Doctor he would wait here for him, and wait he had, but his sensors said that there was less than an hour before the end now, and if he was going to use his vortex manipulator to jump out ahead of the big smash down, he was going to have to do it in the next few minutes or he wouldn’t be going anywhere due to the gravity fluctuations, and he didn’t think the kind of repeated deaths offered by a planetary destruction and then total vacuum would be a whole lot of fun.

Sighing, a familiar feeling of disappointment welling up in him, Jack flipped open the cover of his manipulator and started setting the controls to jump him out of there. He was about to hit the activator when a rectangle of light fell over him, and a hand closed over his, stopping him hitting the control.

“Stop,” the Doctor said in his ear, pulling him around.

The Time Lord stood in the doorway of the TARDIS, looking at him hopefully, the sound of her landing had been hidden in the rush of noise from the planet’s approaching end. Jack looked at him for a long moment, and then grinned, stepping forward and crowding the Doctor back into the console, shutting the door against the world outside before kissing him hard. What the hell, he thought, he wouldn’t be his Doctor without the obligatory last minute rescue. Moments later the TARDIS faded from existence, and there was nothing left but the end.

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