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Twenty One

Mercurii, ab deorum labellis, sum

Twenty One

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Title: Twenty One
Fandom: Torchwood (Doctor Who)
Author: me, of course
Summary: Jack Harkness doesn't always understand the twenty-first century.

Jack Harkness has had a long time to figure out the cultural differences between the twenty-first century and home. It's the little things that trip him up most, he finds. He can deal without data-recall memory stacks, he can work without x-ray and infra-red contacts. The real issue is the language.

He knows early Earth English even without nanocybronic (or TARDIS translation circuit) help. It was one of the most important languages in the Universe, due to the second American Empire in the mid twenty-ninth century, and you never knew when some EMP would blow all of languages out of the tiny chips in your brain. Communication wasn't what was bringing him down. It was the… little things, the subtleties. The hugely different subtext and connotations of words.

When Ianto first introduced himself as Jack's lover, Jack very nearly passed out. Lovers! He wasn't ready for that level of commitment! Ianto would die, and Jack would not, and lovers--! But Ianto didn't seem to think anything of it, and Jack realized with abrupt horror (and relief) that "lovers" didn't mean forever-always-until-the-universe's-heat-death, it meant that they were past the stage when sex needed to be impersonal.

Not to mention he'd nearly smacked Gwen when she'd called him "bi". Twenty-first century, he'd reminded himself. Although, even in the human race, just two wasn't really right. And it wasn't about both blokes and birds (as Owen had put it), it was about pleasure, and fulfillment, and not being alone, even if just for a little while. Gwen had ranted for a while about --was called John, now, wasn't he?-- little poodle comment, and while poodles, maybe not, still, he'd been more than passing tempted by more than one of the aliens he was supposed to be detaining. It'd just been so long since he'd had anything prehensile inside him, it was making him mad. But if Gwen couldn't handle the innocent thought of poodles, how would she, or any of them, react to finding him with a Fl'Prarthian? And it's not like humans hadn't come up with that tentacle kink long before the general populace had access to sentient tentacled aliens.

Sometimes he wondered if there were better people out there, better people to run Torchwood. He was an Agent, he knew history better than nearly anyone else in the universe, he knew who was supposed to run Torchwood. Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato. And the man they always referred to as "the Captain" in official notes. But he knew that as they got further and further into the first decade, the Captain was mentioned less and less. Maybe he would finally figure out how to die? More likely, he'd give up on one world, one time. The temptation of leaving linear living behind! But--

He loved them. This team he'd found and founded. They might not be the best, but they weren't the worst, either. The twenty-first century is when everything changes, and they're ready. They might even be ready without him.

And he might even be ready to go home to the stars.
  • I.



    Brief, sweet, and oddly kinky and fun.

    I can't explain why, but this is EXACTLY what I needed right now.
    • Thanks! I'm kind of aglow-- you're one of my favorite authors and you just liked my little Harkness-doodle!

      And for all it is rather kinky, it kind of isn't. I try to write from my character's perspective as much as I can (which is mostly why I have issues with writing fanfic), and I really don't think Jack sees this as kinky, or sees his sexuality as having anything to do with 'bi' or anything like that.

      Anyway. I wrote papers in college on this topic, so I could go on for ages, but mostly I'm just really happy that you liked this.
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