([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] wintercompanion2013-06-29 06:37 pm

Deny Me [PG-13]

Title: Deny Me
Author: magic_7_words
Challenge: Loyalty and Betrayal
Rating: PG-13 (for strong language)
Spoilers/Warnings: Spoilers for "Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways" and the Torchwood episode "Fragments."
Summary: Jack knows nothing of value.

"Who's the Doctor?"

"No idea."

The words come out on reflex, pre-packaged, because deep down Jack knew they'd get around to that question. He drags his attention from the gun in the brunette's hand (been shot once already) to focus on what he's just said. Yes, right answer.

"Hmph!" The brunette raises her eyebrows and consults the papers in her hand. "The Doctor, he'll be able to fix me," she reads, and Jack's heart plunges into his boots with a terror he typically feels only in nightmares. "When the Doctor turns up, it'll all be put right." The blonde is smiling and did he really say that, was he really stupid enough to say that out loud? "You wait till I see the Doctor," the brunette continues, apparently from memory. "First I'm going to kiss him, then I'm going to kill him. Transcripts of your conversations with strangers, in various drinking dens, since you first came to our attention!" She thrusts the papers at him and they scatter like leaves, half a dozen at least. He is well and truly fucked this time and wishes the Doctor were here, because he needs help and the Doctor's presence would let him off the hook one way or another and it's what he's been doing for weeks now, wishing the Doctor were here. Of course, the Doctor isn't. It's just Jack and his flapping, idiot mouth.

"You know, no one likes a smart-ass."

"Tell us where he is, and we'll release you." She gives a chipper smile and an expansive wave--bad cop to good cop in the blink of an eye. A child could see through that act.

Jack knows how to deal with interrogation. He's got a boatload of strategies. Pleading ignorance--yeah, see how well that one worked out. Refusing to talk is a temporary measure that's good if you're holding out for a rescue but if not, you'll have to goad them into killing you before you break and somehow Jack doesn't think dying and breaking are mutually exclusive for him, anymore. That leaves talking, and why not? The old Jack would have done it--the Time Agent, he'd have done it, looked out for himself first and Void take the rest--and with the Doctor gone somebody's got to start looking out for Jack.

"Why do you wanna know?"

Yet he can still talk carefully, try to find some leverage, never mind that he could kill the Doctor right now, could positively murder him. He's not that man anymore.

"You're in Torchwood, Cardiff," says the blonde, as if he should have realized. "The Torchwood Institute was created to combat the threat posed by the Doctor and other phantasmagoria."

Jack laughs, almost genuinely. The Doctor--Close the door, will you? Your ship's about to blow up, there's gonna be a draft, with that smug grin he always gets after averting a major catastrophe, and the way he looks at Rose Tyler like he can't believe she's real--what are these Torchwood people smoking? "He's not a threat," Jack says. "The Doctor's the one who'll save you from your… phantasmahoojits." Then he nearly laughs again because of course the Doctor has to show up to save anyone, not pull a fucking disappearing act the minute you've learned to stop glancing over your shoulder, learned to trust him, learned that you could die--Jack fucking died, he's figured out that much, died for a man who abandoned him and did it gladly.

"Just tell us his location," the blonde says and reaches for the handle to the thing that felt like a cattle prod to each nipple (full charge and still breathing)--

"I don't know!" Goddammit, it's the simple truth, he knows nothing of value, and he wouldn't tell them if he did because if he did he wouldn't be here and they wouldn't be asking him, would they? But he is and they are and now he can't cooperate even if he wants to because he doesn't know. "He left me behind." Left him on the doorstep of the goddamn Torchwood Institute, or didn't save him, which is practically the same thing. "I came here to find him. He refuels"--too much--shut the fuck up--"from that rift you have. Hoped that if I stayed here long enough, we'd find each other."

They're already monitoring the rift. Nobody builds an alien-fighting institute in fucking Cardiff, Wales without using it to monitor the goddamn fucking rift. He's given them nothing. Nothing and everything he knows.

"Now," says Jack carefully, imagining that he's somewhere else having a completely different conversation, "can I go?"

Later, they've put him in a cheap boarding-house less than a block from the Institute (they're traitors too, this Torchwood, though Jack expected nothing less) and given him instructions regarding his… assignment. Jack sweeps the room first, looking for bugs or unfamiliar tech, making sure he's alone. Then he falls exhausted onto the bed, hides his face in the crook of one arm, and thanks every god ever born or invented that he knows nothing of value.

[identity profile] leah steele (from 2013-06-30 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
Sometimes knowing nothing can save not only you but your honor...
navaan: (DW Jack OT3 past lives)

[personal profile] navaan 2013-06-30 09:01 am (UTC)(link)
That was a lovely way to use the themes of loyalty and betrayal and an interesting look at a very complicated moment in Jack's life.

[identity profile] 2013-06-30 12:55 pm (UTC)(link)
God, poor Jack. I hated how the writers had Ten treat him. He deserves so much more.

[identity profile] 2013-07-01 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Oof. This really hurts, because you can tell that Jack's relieved that he knows nothing of value about the Doctor, but he also wishes so much that the Doctor had left him with that knowledge, because that would mean that he trusted Jack. This is a moment that I wouldn't have thought of writing from this interior angle, but now that I've read this I'm so glad you did!

[identity profile] 2013-08-09 05:24 pm (UTC)(link)
poor Jack...