Title: Not How It’s Supposed to Go
Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffyverse, Davies owns the newest bits (TW) of the Whoverse
Spoilers: Post ‘Chosen’, set just after ‘The End of Days’, ignoring the year that never was for DW.
Characters: Dawn Summers, Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Dr. Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato
Summary: Jack’s late for a very important date, and Dawn goes looking for answers.
A/N: This was supposed to be written right after Left the Pieces
, but the prequels got in the way. The end scene was stuck in my head literally for months. Not How It’s Supposed to Go Captain Jack Harkness’s ass was so grass
, Dawn Summers thought bitterly, stirring her iced cappuccino around in the plastic cup with the bright green straw. Her visits with Jack had been clockwork for the last year and a half. Once every week, they met up at a neutral non-world-save-y-place for coffee or a stronger drink, mainly on her part. They gossiped and dug out any scrap of info on the Doctor’s possible location. Sometimes they met up in London, more often than not, in Cardiff itself. She’d bought a flat using her Council ‘severance package’ on the outskirts of the city. Jack didn’t particularly like that she was on his home turf, for numerous reasons, but she needed to be there. She needed to find out answers to her questions, and Cardiff at least had one friendly-ish face looking out for her.
But then boom, two months ago Jack missed a meet-up. Nothing particularly unusual, giving the death-shadow-demon/alien thing that had run roughshod over Cardiff around that time. That explained the first two weeks, not the following six. He’d, reluctantly, given her a slip of paper for emergency, world ending needs only - or you know, the off chance of her finding the Doctor first kind of emergency.
She tossed the half-full ice cap directly into the nearest bin and snatched up her huge Gypsy purse, ironically purchased from a Gypsy caravan somewhere in the 31st century near Orion’s Belt. It was made from a leather-like material that she’d been assured from the old three-eyed stall attendant/fortune teller that it had never been a sentient life-form, and was one hundred percent synthetic.
The Doctor had only okayed it after been 99.995% sure that the old female had been entirely forthcoming, and of course that a handbag would in no way, shape or form screw with the continuity of time. It was her only physical non-person orientated connection to the Doctor. Her fingers clutched tightly on the strap and she hurried her pace.
Fifteen minutes later she found herself staring at what had to be the best hiding spot for a secret Alien-hunting and containment unit she‘d ever seen. And that impressive list included Wolfram & Hart, the Initiative and Spike‘s Crypt. Tugging her sunglasses up on her head off and hooking her purse more firmly over her right shoulder she entered the tiny tourist center. She was expecting the tiny rundown little place, but certainly not the hot boy behind the counter in the freshly pressed three piece suit. Okay, considering he was possibly on Jack’s payroll, the hot boy probably should have been a given.
“Hello, can I help you?”
“Hey, sexy accent, I’m looking for Harkness.”
To hot boy’s credit, he didn’t even blink at the mention of his boss and left his face completely blank. A bit too blank for her to believe it was a name he’d never heard of before in his incredibly hot and young life. He had a tell, and she’d learned from a team of crack liars and bluffers in her life. She knew a tell when she saw one.
“Oh, sweetie, that was such a good try, but you didn’t even squint your eyes a bit. Cough up Harkness’s little trap door already, because I need to see his sorry alien-hunting ass pronto.”
“I’m afraid I don’t know who you’re -”
“Tall, dark, devastating grin, biggest liar and bullshiter you’ve ever met, will shag everything and probably has, and has a certain penchant for period clothing. Lovely coat? Captain Jack Harkness, and has probably at one time mentioned that the 21st century is when everything changes?” Dawn smirked up at him, leaning heavily on the counter. Her eyes ticked down to the surveillance computer hidden beneath the regular computer. “Don’t tell me it’s literally a bat cave, like in Batman?”
“Who are you, miss?”
“Dawn Summers, and no, you can’t slip me the Retcon because I know better and Jack will kick your ass -”
“How do you know Jack?” a breathless voice said from the wall beside her.
Dawn jumped a little when she saw the woman beside her. Her eyes flicked in recognition. She could be the twin of that poor servant girl Gwenyth that she’d met with the Doctor so long ago. Behind her were two other people, an Asian woman and a man in a lab coat and glasses.
“Oh, newer face. And hello, I’m the standing appointment. Once a week, coffee. Not that he needs coffee to keep him awake. The things that man’s got trapped up in his head, whew,” Dawn whistled. “So where is he so I can kick his ass? Jerk’s been standing me up for like two months now and there’s no big alien threat so what’s -”
“He’s gone. Vanished out of the blue on us just after …” the second woman glanced nervously around them.
“Newer face?” the first woman shook her head in confusion.
“Oh, those two I’ve met before. Tosh and Owen, right? So where’s anal-retentive Suzie?”
“Dead,” Owen glared at her.
“For good this time,” Tosh muttered.
“She go evil? Cause I warned him that might happen with her,” Dawn sighed.
“How come they don’t remember meeting you?” the first woman asked.
“He Retcon’d ‘em. Jack got mad that I showed up on an ‘alien attack’ that I thought might be a demon attack.”
“Demons aren’t real,” Owen snapped.
“And neither are fricken’ aliens. You must be a doctor because only doctors ever used that stupid line on me, and I’m still not believing it. Besides, I was so right and you two almost lost your souls to a soul sucking demon that had crawled up out of hell, so you‘re welcome because I saved you from it with a Latin chant.”
“You saved us with a religious chant?” Owen looked skeptical.
“You bet your sweet ass I did. Demons have MO’s, rabid aliens aren’t really picky. They tend to maul. I told Jack that you always really look hard at what a demon is too picky to eat, because a. Soulmate-eater was it’s nickname, b. eating souls of mostly good people was it’s MO and c. it actually flinched at seeing Suzie round that corner. Now, you say that Jack just vanished?”
“How can we trust her?” the hotboy said, speaking for the first time.
Dawn glanced between the four people and sighed heavily. She had the two women convinced, but Owen and hotboy were being difficult. She needed to how and where Jack had vanished to because she wasn’t sure she could really take another loss in her life right now…especially not now that there was so little in her life to lose.
“This is Torchwood 3, you are commanded by Captain Jack Harkness. And that might not even be his real name. You are Toshiko,” Dawn pointed to the Asian woman. “I don’t know your last name, because Jack doesn’t do last names with me. He keeps me like a chippy on the side, but you know what I’m over that. I do know that you’re a technological goddess much like a family friend of mine. Super smart and super shy, but you can be tough and fierce when push comes to shove. And you cold-cocked that demon but good. I’ve seen trained professionals crumble under the mere sight of that thing. And you’re a very passionate person. A little light R rating for that
particular celebration party but I digress. You are Owen Dickhead. And you so do not deserve her.”
“Jack didn’t give you his last name either?” the woman asked again, glancing between her two confused and slightly angry co-workers.
“Nope, but I dubbed him Sir Dickhead. You’re a doctor. And once again you don’t deserve her,” Dawn said in a sing-song voice. “Oh, and you’re kinda a perv, but I can see why Jack would like that about you. And you’re funny on very rare occasions. I don’t know your names, hotboy and flashback girl, but I’m guessing one of you is Jones and the other is Cooper.”
“I thought Jack didn’t do last names?” Owen sneered.
“For some reason, with them, he only gave me last names. Cooper and Jones are pretty generic last names. There are a thousand million people in this world with that name. It’s like Smith. Anyway, me and Jack met up in London like a year and a half ago.”
“That’s when he went to the memorial,” Ianto frowned.
“Bingo. There were three people and an unnamed fourth died during the attack on London that he and I lost. Four people we knew and kinda cared about at different times. I was all alone, and he was pretty sad about it too. We got to talking about them, and well - now we get together once a week at a different place for coffee. Mainly here in Cardiff. And boy was he pissed when he realized I moved here without telling him first. It’s his standing Sunday appointment, Cooper,” Dawn leveled her look at hot boy.
“Actually, he’s Jones,” the real Cooper smiled a bit at that.
“Oh. Really? Okay, well that
I can definitely see,” Dawn blinked a few times. “Now what happened to him?”
“I think we’d better go down for that explanation,” Cooper glanced around to catch the reluctant nods.
“Definitely hanging around Harkness too long. That sounded positively pervy to me,” Dawn muttered.
Go down was a euphemism for a really long hike down dark corridors and stairwells to something that indeed was very cave-like. Monitors and sundry office paraphernalia were liberally scattered around what looked like a cross between a tube station platform and a really nice sewer tunnel. Rooms shot off from each side of the main chamber. The ushered her into a conference room. They glanced between each other before finally talking. Cooper broke the ice.
“You know that Jack - that he can‘t really - that he can come - that he‘s -”
“Got a bad habit of dying a lot? Yeah, the rotten bastard.”
“And you remember the rash of deaths two months ago?”
“Let me guess, Jack, knowing he can’t really stay dead went mano a mano with the death shadow beast?” Dawn groaned. “Yeah?”
“Well, he stayed dead for a while.”
“But he got better, right? Otherwise you wouldn‘t have said ‘vanished’, you‘d have said dead. And Jack doesn‘t do the permanent dead. Oh, for another word choice,” Dawn groaned. “Go on.”
“Well, he did come back to life. We were going out - to celebrate and I’d only left him for a second. There was this weird noise and all these papers were fluttering about -”
“And the hand was gone,” Tosh sighed.
“What did the feeds catch in here? What did it record?” Dawn felt her heart stagger, tears clogging both her throat and eyes.
“How did -?”
“CCTV is all over this place. Jack wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would Torchwood. Now, what did it catch?”
“The papers and flickering lights. That’s it,” Owen huffed.
“And the sound,” Cooper added.
“Play it for me.”
Dawn pulled herself closer to the monitor that Tosh was pulling up. She watched as Cooper started walking out of the room, Jack just a step or so behind her. And then she saw the flicker of light from the table, and her heart stopped as she heard the most beautifully awful sound in the world. Jack walked off screen.
“Play it again,” Tears blurred her vision.
“What is it? What are you seeing that we’re not?” Jones demanded.
“That sound. That wonderfully stupid sound. Jack found the Doctor.”
“Looking for the right sort of doctor…” Cooper murmured.
“Gwen?” Tosh asked, glancing at her.
“To fix him,” Dawn said a bit hysterically. “He found the Doctor and neither one of them came back for me. The jerks.”