elisi: (Captain Jack by kayim)
[personal profile] elisi
Don't ask me why, but I finally got back to this 'verse. I know I have like three readers, but that's more than nothing! ;) And it's nice to just write and lose myself in another world.

Basically each story in 'Stepping Sideways' is a visit to a different universe/character, allowing the Seeker to be seen with fresh eyes by his nearest and dearest, this time round meeting Jack. Part of my Not the Last 'verse.

For new people - I have my own OC Time Lord and a whole verse centered around him. (He is the Master and Lucy's son and born during TYTNW.) The stories are all meant to stand alone, so please have a look if you like. I'd love you forever. <3

Summary: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard (or: The Seeker takes some time out to travel and think things over)
Setting: Between A Good Day and The Death and Life of Rodageitmososa. (This is AU, but within New Who between Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor.)
Spoilers: A Good Day. But can easily be read on its own.
Rating: PG-13.
Characters: This part: The Third Seeker (OC), Alt!Capt Jack (during his con man days)
Beta: Um... That would be a no. All mistakes mine.
Feedback: Would be amazing. :)


Stepping Sideways: A Jack in the Box

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

One.

Dilemmas. He didn’t particularly like dilemmas, although at least this one was pleasant.

The bar was seedy, and the fish-creature who was chatting him up was quite frankly gorgeous, hir scales shimmering rainbow colours, but he had - for about ten minutes now - been aware of the newcomer.

He was sitting three tables down, nursing what might be a whiskey of some sort, and his gorgeously sharp suit ought to have made him stand out like a sore thumb, except no-one seemed to take much notice of him. He was handsome, with black hair and a neat beard and striking green eyes, and really, quite the dish if he hadn’t given out that vibe of… something strange.

What to do?

He could be Time Agency… Or something else.

With a word of apology to the fish - as well as a promise of future shenanigans - he drifted down to the table, took a seat opposite the suit and smiled.

The suit smiled back: “Are you Jack yet?”

“For you, I will be,” he replied, feeling elation surging through him. Someone from his future then. He hoped they were lovers. For a long time. The suit was too delicious by half.

“And go on… If I’m Jack, who might you be?”

(Jack. He liked it. Nice name. Nimble, bit cheeky. Yes, he’d be Jack.)

The stranger tilted his head, watching him with those odd, guarded eyes.

“I’m your best friend from another world.”

“Are you now?” he replied, smile widening. Jack was in luck, and he was Jack, and everything was turning out great!

The stranger looked at him with a look Jack couldn’t work out, but then he glanced round the room.

“Maybe we should find somewhere more private?”

Jack nodded.

“You’re talking my kind of language… This way.”

Leading his new friend out the back, they found themselves in a shielded alley. The walls were whitewashed and the reflected sunlight of taller buildings cast bright shadows, making the world dark and light all at once.

“Which way?” the stranger asked, looking up and down, but Jack shook his head.

“I think right here might be good, don’t you?”

And with that he stepped up to the other, gently reaching out and holding his face, before leaning in and kissing him deeply and hungrily.

It took several seconds before he processed the fact that the other wasn’t reciprocating.

Letting go, he studied the stunned face in front of him with a puzzled frown. The stranger was staring at him with clear confusion.

“Excuse me, but is ‘I’m your best friend from another world’ some sort of secret code for ‘Please take me out the back and… shove your tongue down my throat?’”

Jack hesitated.

“Well… It’s a bit obscure, but... yes?”

The stranger slowly nodded, still looking spooked.

“Right. OK. Should have guessed, sorry, my bad. But... well, that’s not what I meant. I really am your best friend from another world. Literally.

“Oh,” Jack said, put out. “I just figured… The way you looked at me…”

Platonic friends,” the other said, with emphasis. “If you understand what that means.”

Well, this was… unexpected. What the hell did he do now?

“Um... Sorry? I didn’t mean to…”

His voice trailed off. He had very much meant to. He very much still wanted to. There was nothing like a man in a suit - except a man out of a suit. He’d already followed several different scenarios to their very pleasurable conclusion in his mind. Mostly he felt a little like a small boy who’d been given a lollipop by accident, and now watched it being taken away after a single lick.

And those green eyes were now just looking again, with that strange look he couldn’t gauge at all. Then a small smile appeared.

“I didn’t say stop…”

After which - miracles of miracles! Jack was a lucky name! - the stranger stepped forwards and kissed him.

It was a brilliant kiss, the sort of kiss that would definitely lead to all sorts of other things, and there were hands pulling him closer and he could wish for nothing more - except then there was suddenly the cold steel of a laser gun at his temple.

Freezing, then turning his head, he saw the fish smile at him coldly:

“You fool. Did you ever think you could run from us?”


tbc.

(no subject)

Date: 30 January 2017 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luckweaver.livejournal.com
Ah, what a punderful title <3

Descriptions! I love the descriptions, especially the rainbow-y bit at the start. It paints a really good picture of how a seedy bar can still be attractive to the right sort of people?

I assume the Seeker sought 'Jack' out intentionally? It works well. I loved the line "Are you Jack yet?" which reminds me of the fic I'm working now as it's such a good way to figure out where in Jack's life he is.

And con-man Jack! I always love good portrayals of con-man Jack, especially when he still has a conscience? It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine when people make Jack a mirror image of John, as though all Time Agents = hyperbole. You do a really good job of Jack = Jack while Jack =/= Jack, if that makes sense.

THE TWIST AT THE END. Very unexpected. I've definitely seen bits of this chapter before but that was a fascinating surprise I hate and love cliffhangers.

ETA: Thought of something to add while you were AFK. I think this is one of the first times we get to see the Seeker through someone's eyes without knowing that he's the Seeker/Alex? I mean dramatic irony and all, we the readers know who it is but it's nice to see a stranger meeting Alex, especially when it's an almost-stranger doing the seeing? I'm sure I could have worded that better.

Also:
Edited Date: 30 January 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 30 January 2017 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luckweaver.livejournal.com
I don't have to think of a name for him
Yeah mine took me some time and revolved largely around fandom jokes.

miracles of miracles! Jack was a lucky name!
I just wanted to highlight this line because <3 <3 <3

ETA: It's also interesting to imagine - would this universe's Jack ever have become Jack, or might things have worked out differently for him? Does he ever meet the other Captain Jack Harkness? Does the Seeker make Jack in this world?
Edited Date: 30 January 2017 10:07 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 30 January 2017 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luckweaver.livejournal.com
But then, he's interfering so early that can the time line even be said to exist yet. What happened, happened.
This is something he and Roda are both guilty of.

(no subject)

Date: 31 January 2017 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luckweaver.livejournal.com
and he's a Time Lord... So yeah, he doesn't really have any qualms.
It 'amuses' me that he comes back to a Roda who would disagree but the Roda that he 'doesn't' ;) meet takes it to an extreme.

But no, the Seeker's problem here is that he was raised by the Master, who is a very proud Time Lord, obsessed with power, who told him that everything belonged to him. And on the other side, he was raised by the Doctor, who is a very proud Time Lord, who has an influence over people that he doesn't recognize, who told him he had a lot of responsibilities. This upbringing comes up several times in the course of the Seeker's life - usually, admittedly, when he's Alex - eg. what happened with Jamie. No matter how much the Seeker tries to deny it, it's shaped him, and he's yet to 100% learn how to make that his own.

^ thinking you can walk into other universes and do what you like and not have to worry about the repercussions is something that this upbringing has probably encouraged. And, of course, a desire to - excuse me in advance - say 'fuck you' to recent events in his own universe. He needs a holiday... but the Seeker does working holidays.

(no subject)

Date: 31 January 2017 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragnarok-08.livejournal.com
Great start to the fic, and the twist at the end! Didn't see that coming!

(no subject)

Date: 12 February 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (hourglass)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
Dilemmas. He didn’t particularly like dilemmas, although at least this one was pleasant.
– Cue back to the gag in Seven’s Dragonfire, where Sylvester McCoy is at a table with his head in Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma, which I still haven’t gone back and read…

fish-creature who was chatting him up was quite frankly gorgeous, hir scales shimmering rainbow colours
– The first thing that this brings to mind is the Terileptils from the Davison episode, though done on a Nu-Who budget…

a word of apology to the fish - as well as a promise of future shenanigans
– One imagines “shenanigans” is a word that not-yet-Jack uses quite a lot…

Jack was in luck, and he was Jack, and everything was turning out great!
– Still weird reading not-yet-Jack thinking about Jack…

“Excuse me, but is ‘I’m your best friend from another world’ some sort of secret code for ‘Please take me out the back and… shove your tongue down my throat?’”

Jack hesitated.

“Well… It’s a bit obscure, but... yes?”

– snort.

“Right. OK. Should have guessed, sorry, my bad.
– So he should. This is, after all, not-yet-Jack, or almost-Jack, or alt-Jack, but very definitely, at some fundamental level, Jack, that we’re talking about here.


After which - miracles of miracles! Jack was a lucky name! - the stranger stepped forwards and kissed him.

– This bit is still fundamentally weird. Everybody in the old universe who ever just assumed and then had Jack or the Seeker or both in unison look at them exasperatedly and ask “Why does everybody think that??” gets to drown their shot glass at this point and look smug.

“You fool. Did you ever think you could run from us?”
– Looks for icon of Clara saying “you really like a cliff-hanger, don’t you?” only I know I’ll need it later on. :)

(no subject)

Date: 12 February 2017 07:16 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (here-come-the-drums)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
*googles* *wishes she hadn't done so*
– There’s a reason I specified “done on a Nu-Who budget”. One can imagine them looking quite spectacular if done today.

I presume it's easy enough to see why. ;)
– (borrowing Jack to answer that) Jack raises his eyebrows and asks, irrepressibly, “is there anything that isn’t code for that?” (Suddenly realizes what an awful thing that is to say and how terrible Jack might be if he hadn’t grown into a better person. “Rose, you are worth fighting for. (kisses her) Wish I'd never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward. (Jack kisses the Doctor.)”)

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