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Out of Time (part 9 of?)

Title: Out of Time
Rating: pg/12
Summary: Jack has landed back in the wrong century, and he’s quite alone there. That is until he meets a young butler in one of the households. Who is he? And is he all he seems?
Characters/Pairing: Jack and Ianto
Disclaimer: the characters all belong to RTD and the BBC, etc, I don’t own them
Author’s Notes: AU (ish, with Torchwood references). Originally this begun as a simple Jack and Ianto love story set in another, past time. Instead, it developed into something very different. C.1894, prior to Jack’s official/freelance employment with Torchwood. My first long Torchwood fic so be nice! Never intended to write TW fanfic, but here I am. First long fic in a while too. Con crit welcome :)
Sorry I haven't posted in a while; been busy.

here for previous chapters





As he walked he felt his face and realised that there was almost certainly dried blood upon it. He knew he couldn’t really turn up like that; they would have a fit if they saw him. He rubbed away what he hoped would be the worst of it and relying on the early hour of the morning hurried through the streets that had now grown familiar to him.

He packed his few belongings back into his neat case and stared around the small room. He was glad to move on. He had never planned to stay long, and it helped to keep on his toes and keep them moving. He didn’t like to become a permanent fixture – part of the reason he avoided any offers that came his way, particularly from Torchwood. And now was one of those times. Except for once he wasn’t running away, not completely; he still had a job to finish after all. He wasn’t going far away.

He waited for a carriage downstairs and then said goodbye to Mrs White, the woman in charge, and exited the small lodgings for the last time.

The carriage journey wasn’t long but he thought he should do it properly – and for anyone trying to follow him this confuse them. Maybe. These people were clever though.

He was wary as he got out the carriage and headed up to the front door, feeling a sense of unease. Yet he knew he would be safe here. Safe wasn’t really the word... it was more a sense of security. It was just whether people would be watching him, and he knew they would be. It gave him a peculiar sense of unsettlement and he looked around as he knocked on the door, still holding his case in one hand.

He was welcomed in and shook hands with the landlord. Minutes later he was alone in his new rooms that were his for a few months. He stood there, his case at his feet, the bare walls feeling even more strange and alienating than ever. He crossed over to the window that looked out over the quiet road in front of the building and watched the people passing by. He was on edge, looking for anyone who might be watching him. He stood there for a few minutes, just watching and feeling too unnerved he turned his back to the view.

He began unpacking his few belongings, trying to make the rooms look more homely. Not that Jack had had a proper home, not for a long time. That was all tied up with childhood and memories, and Jack just got on with things the best he could, living from one day to the next, one place to the next. He never stayed anywhere for long, but that came with the life that he had chosen to lead. It had been a deliberate choice, not an accident. This however was an accident. This London, this century. It was all wrong.

As it grew dark that evening he stood at the window, looking out, just watching and waiting for anyone or anything to happen.

It soon grew too dark for him to see anything and he decided to distract his attention by pouring himself a drink. He couldn’t settle at all. He sat there, cradling the glass in his hands , trying to think about where he was and what his next step would be. Jack didn’t often plan what he was going to do: he jumped in, head first and that was what got him into trouble. So he needed to think about this one. He had over a hundred years still to wait, he couldn’t mess it up this quickly. That would just be foolish.

Jack jerked himself awake abruptly, recoiling from the strange and distant dream he had had. He had fallen asleep where he had sat, not even bothering to get into bed or undress, because normally he didn’t sleep much.

It took him a few moments to really think about where he was and that he was now in these new rooms. The previous day seemed to have passed by him in a strange blur that he didn’t quite remember and he wondered where the time had gone. He had to make better use of his time. He had things to do, and today was the day for doing them.

He took some time getting up, an empty glass sitting on the floor. The rooms looked different in the morning sun and he smiled as he stretched out, his neck stiff from having slept in such an uncomfortable position.

He went over to the window and peered out, watching the people outside going about their daily lives, coaches and horses passing by, and people hurrying by. He smiled. It was all so normal. This was place was just so normal.

And who was he?

He could have been anyone, and here he was, living the life of some normal man. He smiled to himself, wondering what normal man he could be. No one could know just how far from normal he was. He wasn’t normal at all; and here he was, living here.

His mind drifted towards the reality of it, bringing him back to all his problems and worries just like that. However much he tried to pretend he would never really be ‘normal’ as such; but then who wanted to be normal?

He still hadn’t heard anything more from Torchwood, but he was sure they were still following him. Why else would he hear footsteps behind him and see odd shadows disappearing... or was he just paranoid? He was determined to catch them out, or beat them at their own game.

He shook his head and moved away from the window, deciding to get a move on with the day.

Dressed in a clean suit Jack stepped outside into the morning sun. He looked up and down the street, both ways and making his choice turned left.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sbs_01
Feb. 27th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I've been enjoying this. Glad to see another chapter posted.
sophie_03
Feb. 27th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Thank you very much :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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quotes and things

“He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm and the heart of the sun…

He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of the time and he can see the turn of the universe…and he’s wonderful.”

“They say you’re supposed to talk to people when they’re in a coma, don’t they? I have absolutely no idea whether you can hear me Jack.

I never heard of anyone coming out of one and carrying on the conversation. So I suspect it’s probably something the doctors tell us to do. To make us feel better, rather than help you. We don’t feel quite so useless and helpless. We get the feeling there’s still some sort of purpose in our lives. We’re not just waiting. Waiting for the science to work. Or the miracle to happen. Or the nightmare to end.

I’m not much of a talker Jack, you know that, but I’ll talk to you now on the off chance that it helps.

Just promise me, if you’re hearing this, that when you come round - and you’re going to Jack. You’re gonna come out of this - just promise me you’ll bring up anything I say to you now. How’s that? We got a deal?

This must be the longest I’ve ever looked at you and not see you smile. I’ve watched you in your sleep, did you know that? So many times.

Just woken up beside you in the middle of the night, and watched you. Watched your eyes move behind your eyelids as you dreamed. I tried to imagine what a man like you could possibly dream about. Things you’ve seen. The lives you’ve lived. The people you’ve loved. I wondered if you were dreaming about me, I hoped you’d be dreaming about me.

But let’s be honest Jack. I’m nothing more than a blip in time for you. Everyday I grow a little older. But you’re immortal. You’ve already lived a thousand lifetimes. How could you watch me grow old and die? How can I watch you live and never age a day?

I suppose we both know that will never be a problem. Not in this job. No-one in Torchwood ever lives to draw their pension, do they? Even if, by some miracle, I survive to see my hair turn grey, or god forbid fall out, I don’t kid myself that you’d still be around to see it.

One day you’ll go again, just like you did before, and this time you won’t be back.

Maybe that’s what you’re dreaming about those nights when I watch you sleeping. Maybe that’s why, even when you sleep, I see you smile. But you haven’t gone yet, Jack. I know that. I know you’re coming back to me.”

"But you never will be just a blip in time, Ianto Jones. Not for me."

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