Rating: PG for...themes of a sexual nature, I suppose?
Pairing: Entirely theoretical (slash and het).
Spoilers: Actually set a few months in the future, so spoilers for everything.
Warning: I sort of play fast and loose with a piece of a widely disregarded canon from the TV-Movie (yes, that one).
Endless thanks for captainlogic for beta-ing with me whining over her shoulder.
Summary: The Doctor and Captain Jack Harkness, at a dive at the arse-end of the galaxy, sink ever deeper into their drinking trousers...
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ... says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organisations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards."
There were four empty glasses on the sticky table-top which once contained four measures of Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters. The drinks were served in long, tapering glasses that had little paper umbrellas coming out of the top to add a touch of class. The umbrella idea was widely considered a bit risky, as after a few drinks, the drinker would lose most control they had over their limbs and end up stabbing out one of their eyes on the little wooden stick.
These particular umbrellas, however, had been removed from the glasses and were now sticking out of the front tuft of the Doctor's hair, signalling to all that he was very drunk, and also an idiot.
The Doctor was grinning brainlessly at the man on the opposite side of the booth, Captain Jack Harkness, who was resting his head sideways against the table-top and near a suspicious looking puddle in an attempt to make sense of the world. It was then the Doctor realised that they were quite, quite drunk. He also realised that he had lost his feet.
The little buggers had been there a minute ago.
They'd decided to slip out for a quick few when the Doctor was visiting Cardiff in 2008 (Him and Jack that was, not his feet). He'd long accepted that Jack was unlike most of his other ex-companions and was going to continue to show up like a bad penny that knew his phone number. They'd been on a few of these meet-ups now, and the Doctor found he enjoyed these trips more than he thought he would, not just because Jack knew all the very most interesting places to go and because the Doctor had a machine that could take them back to when they'd left, so no-one would find out that they'd spent the last three days laying on the floor of the control room, asking unidentified deities why, *why* had they drunk that? Why had they thought that was a good idea? That wasn't even a liquid.
In fact, Jack was very dissimilar from most of the humans he picked up along he way. Having a TARDIS full of companions was, well, not to put too fine a point on it, it was stressful. It was like watching out for babies that had just learnt to run, and why was it that they always learnt to run only when they had grown to the perfect height to smash their foreheads into tables and door handles?
Or did they build tables that height on purpose?
Did furniture-makers hate babies?
Anyway, Jack could smash and smash and smash his little wobbly head as hard as he could against that table edge and the Doctor....
..that simile had gotten away from him a bit.
The Doctor looked down and saw that his feet had, curiously, returned to the end of his legs. He tried to wiggle his toes, experimentally. His leg interpreted these orders rather differently and shot off to the left to crack Captain Harkness on the shin.
Jack still had half his face squashed into the table and showed no signs of reaction for a good few seconds. He then said "Ow?” sounding more bewildered, really, than in any pain. He peeled his face off the table (it was really, very sticky) and then threw his frame into the back of the padded booth chair, breathing out through puffed cheeks and pursed lips in the tradition of those doing battle with their own stomach contents.
"Uh...ok, I've got this. That one's the ceiling". Jack pointed upwards. Upwards and to the left-ish.
"Good enough" the Doctor observed.
"So where did you leave Donna?"
"Yes, Donna, uh, I left her at her house. She's picking up....stuff. I told her I'd be back in ten minutes."
"Uh - huh."
"What! I will!"
"You'll arrive back a month late and then get all confused why she's so cranky with you."
"Well I only do that once in a while. Anyway, it's only a month."
"Yeah, but a month to you is different to us. We're like dogs..." Jack's forehead crinkled. He was going to go somewhere with that but it had flown right out of his head.
The Doctor waited a few seconds to see if Jack would recover the thought, then decided that it was probably one of those lost causes. "Ok? So how's the team?"
"Dog years!" said Jack, triumphantly. Then he said “wait, what?”
Jack made a noise that could be phonetically transcribed as “fnnneaugh” and curled up the corner of his top lip. “Things are a little tense.”
“She’s married. She’s very married.”
“You realise that being team leader doesn’t mean that you get to sleep with all of your team at the same time, right?”
“Then what the hell’s the point in being team leader? God, that just sucks all the fun right out of it.”
“It’s not supposed to be fun.”
“Yeah, I gathered that much.”
Jack shifted and the booth seat squeaked suggestively; it was wipe-clean and hermetically sealed for their comfort and safety. The bar smelled like that chemical they always put into the air supply wherever lots of different species were gathered in the same place. It kept the air sterile, which stopped any of the patrons being unintentionally or intentionally toxic to any of the other patrons. The Doctor noticed that there was a crowd of ₪ at the booth opposite, farting clouds of grey gas from tubers all over their body which was dissipating harmlessly into the air, and he acknowledged that the usefulness of the chemical perhaps outweighed the way it clung to your clothes and the inside of your nostrils for days after.
“Uh,” Jack shifted. The seat squeaked again. “Wait a sec’.” He did what looked like a complicated wriggle all the while wearing an expression of intense concentration. He cocked his head to the side and then stretched out his leg. At last he seemed satisfied and settled down again. “Sorry. Laser.”
“Noooo. That thing’s still up there?”
“Well, it has to come out occasionally.”
The Doctor shook his head, amused, until the world became a little too giddy and he had to stop abruptly. “Even Ace didn’t go around with weapons up her bottom.”
Jack didn’t ask who Ace was. “Well maybe they should have. Saved my life more than once…”
“You…are far more likely to end up somewhere naked than Ace ever was.”
“...and anyway,” Jack added with a grin, “I figured out how to set it to vibrate.”
The Doctor snorted. Then, almost whiplash quick his forehead creased. “….really?”
Jack smirked a smirk that admitted nothing but suggested things that hadn’t even crossed your mind yet.
“That’s…ingenious, I suppose.”
“Oh. Please. I’ve seen what setting 217 does on the screwdriver, my friend,” (the Doctor spluttered). “Yeah…Pervert.”
The Doctor reared back in his seat. “You went through my stuff? Of course you went through my stuff. I can’t believe I left you in the TARDIS on your own...”
“I’m sorry, what exactly was it about me, was it the shady military background, or the fact I was trying to con you, that screamed ‘hey, let me into your home and leave me unsupervised with all your possessions’. Of course I went through your stuff.”
“Not in the good way.”
“Yeah but I chose to ignore that.” He gave the Doctor what he must have considered to be a winning grin but which was actually coming out a little wonkily. “Ok, I gotta go to the john.” He got up and walked the slow and careful steps of the severely inebriated over to the corner, clipping something large and green on its (presumed) shoulder. He held up both hands, apologetically, “sorry, gorgeous,” and staggered onwards.
Some time later and the Doctor was thinking that perhaps he should go and look for Jack and was making quiet but rallying encouragement to his legs to get them to start moving again. Luckily, before he had to put his motivational skills to the test, Jack was thumping spectacularly back into his seat. He had apparently gotten himself into close enough range and then just let gravity take care of the rest.
“Where did you go?”
“But you found the toilet?”
“I found a toilet.”
“Good enough.” Jack was looking past the Doctor’s head into the main bar now and was meekly waving to the large green thing that had taken quite a shine to him. “You’ve got a fan.”
“That I do.” Jack suggested something vaguely indecent using only his eyebrows in the direction of the green thing in the corner, which was now….was it rippling?
The Doctor pulled a distressed face at Jack. Jack caught it from the corner of his eye. “Yeah, yeah, I know, ‘you humans and your libidos’.”
“Well it’s not even that, I mean I’m half human.”
The Doctor’s face dropped as soon as he realised what he’d let slip from his own mouth. However, he suddenly had the full and undivided attention of Jack Harkness.
“You’re what now?”
“What’s in these things?” The Doctor held his empty glass up to the light to examine it.
“Nothing but good, old-fashioned, mind-bending alcohol, my friend. So you’re half human?”
The Doctor sighed, leaned back in his booth, started to slip sideways and then corrected himself. “My mother. She was…she was human. Time Lord genetics, though. The thing about them, is that they overwrite almost, almost all of the human genes, so half human is a bit of an exaggeration.”
“So that time that I asked you if you were cross-species…”
“Yes, I know…”
“…and you threatened to throw me out of the TARDIS, while it was still moving. And then you didn’t call me anything but ape-boy for two weeks after…”
“…yes, I’m sorry about that.”
But Jack suddenly looked thoughtful. “So Time Lords can sleep with humans.”
“Yes, but, Jack…” The Doctor was readjusting his glasses.
“Time Lords have slept with humans.”
The Doctor took his glasses off. Then he put them back on again. The next question was almost profoundly inevitable.
“Have you ever slept with a human?”
“But if you did?”
“If I ever chose to sleep with a human…”
Jack smiled, wryly. “It wouldn’t be me.”
“Well, no.” It was sort of honestly truthful. “But you’re on the list?” He added.
“There’s a list?” Jack was grinning ear to ear, now clearly enjoying himself. “Where do I come on the list?” The Doctor mentally kicked himself. If he tried to physically kick himself he’d probably get Jack instead, or possibly one of the passing Barbots. Outwardly, he fidgeted and looked like he wanted the floor to swallow him up (the floor didn’t do that sort of thing on the planet they’d chosen to come to, however).
Jack kept pushing. “I mean, high enough to get a look-in?”
“Probably. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…If it ever did happen…which it won’t.”
“Oh, I’m suddenly so very glad that I’m immortal because one day you are going to break and this is going to happen and I am going to want front-row seats.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
“You have a list.”
The Doctor needed another Gargle Blaster. He had the feeling that another would probably kill him, it was already playing merry hell with his perception of the universe, but he was very sure that he needed one. He raised his hand and attracted the attention of the Barbot.
“So number one is Rose…” Jack looked thoughtful and had a digit stuck in the air.
“I didn’t ev…”
“But she is. Number two?”
“Can we not…”
“This wouldn’t ever happen.”
“You know who that is?”
“Yeah.” Jack gestured to himself. “Torchwood,” he said with far too much cockiness for a man who was basically being supported upright by the back of a padded booth seat.
“Ok.” The Doctor buried his face into his folded arms, resting on the table. A couple of the little paper umbrellas came loose and tumbled onto the table top. The green one rolled over the edge.
The Doctor mumbled into his sleeves.
“I’m sorry, what was that?”
The Doctor rolled his face to the side and blared “Martha” in an abrasive monotone. The whole thing seemed to have spiralled out of his control.
“Good choice.” Jack became lost in his thoughts for a moment. The Doctor tried very, very hard to not imagine what these thoughts were, and failed. It was distracting.
Out of the window, two ships bumped into one another, in what was usually termed on Earth a fender-bender. Even in the vast and infinite depths of space, sentient creatures still seemed to manage fender-benders. The Doctor leaned to the side to check on the TARDIS, sitting tiny and blue and serene in a parking space that seemed to vastly overwhelm her. Jack had, beforehand, noticed that the Doctor had chosen a seat where he could keep an eye on his ship and had started ribbing him about it, to which the Doctor answered that Jack didn’t know the TARDIS like he knew the TARDIS and she was a right bugger for getting into trouble.
“Anyway, that brings us to number four.”
“Yes it does.”
“Who’s number four?”
“I’m going to…”
Jack let out a sharp bark of laughter.
“I don’t know why…” The Doctor rested his chin on his hand and looked into the middle-distance, wistfully. His glasses were sliding down his nose.
Jack was still giggling. “No, no, no. I can see it.” He collected himself, then lost it again and snorted. “Anyway. Ahum. Heh. Hrrm. That’s four. Five?”
“Does it have to be five? What about four? Four’s good.”
“Nice round number. Top five. The big five. The lucky five.”
Another round of Gargle Blasters slid in front of them. The Doctor clutched his like a drowning man with bad depth-perception.
“Look, you’re on the list.”
“No, never said that. I said you were on the list, not where.”
“It’s a top five.”
The Doctor downed his Gargle Blaster.
“Number five’s not bad.” Jack said it mainly to himself.
The Doctor slid horizontal across the booth seat. There were a few moments of utter blissful peace with just him and the ceiling before two or three of Jack’s heads came peeping over the edge of the table.
“…Hey…You know that Bowie song, ‘Starman’…”