Fic: A Step in the Ruined Stone

Jul 16, 2010 15:57

Title: A Step in the Ruined Stone
Fandom: Doctor Who & Torchwood
Pairing: Doctor/Jack
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine, no credit or gain

Summary: Jack finally says goodbye


The Doctor looked over at the young boy. He was currently walking along the crumbling stone wall, arms stretched out to balance himself. The Doctor pushed down the instinct to tell the young boy to get down. He knew at the moment he was overreacting to his protective impulses, and young children needed to play and investigate. Skinned knees could be fixed with a cuddle and a glass of milk.

“Hmm?” The Doctor raised up on his elbows.

The boy took a moment to jump across the gap to the next stone. He wobbled for a moment before regaining his balance. “Why is Dad so sad?”

The Doctor looked across the ruins, to where Jack was sitting cross-legged on the grass. His head was bowed, but the Doctor could make out Jack’s lips moving as he spoke quietly. It wasn’t hard to read the grief in Jack’s posture, and their son had obviously picked up on it too.

“Come here Evan.” The Doctor called out, finally sitting up fully.

Evan let out a complaining huff but obediently jumped off the wall. He ran across to the Doctor with the boundless energy of any healthy seven year old. He instantly climbed into the Doctor’s lap and wiggled around to get comfortable. Ignoring the discomfort of the bony weight that was his son, the Doctor wrapped his arms loosely around the boy.

“A long time ago your Dad had another family. He had a little girl, and she grew up and had a baby too.”

Evan moved his fingers in his nervous twitch. “Did he loved them more than me?” He asked in worried voice.

The Doctor smiled. “Oh no, one day you’ll find out, but parents have such a store of love for their children, the love is so true that every child only makes it grow.”

Evan seemed satisfied by the answer as he settled back against the Doctor. The Doctor took a moment to just let himself feel the love he had spoken about. “Anyway, one day bad aliens came to Earth and threatened all the children. Your Dad had to do something to save them all.”

“Was that when Ianto died?”

“Yes, and your Dad loved Ianto very much.” The Doctor absently smoothed Evan’s hair.

“I know, Dad told me about him, and Estelle, and Greg. He tells me love doesn’t always last so you need to enjoy it. So I don’t get why he’s so sad now.”

“Well Ianto wasn’t the only one that died. Jack had a grandson too, his name was Stephen. Now Stephen’s mum wasn’t too happy with Jack. She loved her Dad a lot, but there were other things that made them argue a lot. Then when the bad aliens came your Dad had to make a really difficult choice, and although he saved all the other children on Earth, Stephen died.”

“Oh,” Evan looked over to where Jack was still sitting. “That’s really sad, poor Dad.”

The Doctor pressed a kiss to Evan’s hair. “And Jack’s daughter was very angry with her Dad, and blamed him. She wouldn’t speak to your Dad afterwards. So this is the first time your Dad has been able to talk to Stephen since then. So he’s sad, but sometimes being sad is good.”

Evan gave a small nod. He remembered when Petunia his pet turtle died. He’d been really sad when he buried it and cried even though he was a big boy. But afterwards his Dad had made him honeyed toast and he felt better.

“But Papa,” Evan glanced up at him. “Why didn’t you save the children, Dad says you always come to save children from bad aliens?”

The Doctor sighs softly. He’d often asked himself whether he would have changed his stance if he had known just how devastating the events would have been on Jack. He hated the pain his lover had to live through for sacrificing his son, but then he also knew his morale core believed there had to be a price paid for people’s decisions.

“I never wanted your Dad to lose his grandson, Evan, but sometimes rescuing people isn’t the best thing you can do. Sometimes people have to be able to fall down and hurt themselves so they can learn.”

“But a little boy died.” Evan looked up at him with confusion. The Doctor knew that the seven-year-old still viewed his parents with awe and hero-worship, so the idea that his father hadn’t saved a child was throwing him off.

“I know, it is very sad. But Evan, sometimes people die, and it makes everyone really sad. Sometimes people make really bad choices and then have to deal with the consequences of that. This time the people of Earth had to face the choices they made.”

“I wasn’t punishing your Dad for his choices by not saving him from his pain. I didn’t know what he would have to choose, but I felt it was important that everyone learn a lesson.”

Evan chewed on his lip for a while. “Like when I had to take the sweets back to the store and say sorry for stealing it, and then you and Dad said no desserts for a whole week.”

“Right,” the Doctor nodded. “So this time I didn’t intervene to fix things, and your Dad stepped up, accepted responsibility for the situation.”

The Doctor watched as Jack pulled himself off the ground. He stood for a moment, his hand resting on the ancient stone grave marker, before stepping away. As he approached the Doctor could see Jack’s eyes still glistened with tears, but they seemed lighter. The grief and guilt that Jack carried would not be wiped clean by this first step, but the journey had finally begun.

After taking a seat beside them, Jack leaned over and kissed the Doctor’s cheek, chuckling as their son screwed up his face. He knew the time was coming when their son would no longer want obvious displays of his parent’s affection, but for now Jack just leant over and placed another kiss on Evan’s forehead. Jack smiled when he felt the Doctor’s fingers tangle with his own.

They sat for a while, amongst the overgrown ruins, watching as the sun slowly started to set. Eventually the Doctor gently nudged Evan off his lap and stood up. Jack pouted for a moment, before the Doctor offered him his hand, and pulled him to his feet.

“Come on old man,” the Doctor grinned. “Let’s go home.”

“It’s ok Dad,” Evan gave him a quick hug. “I’ll make you honeyed toast.”

fanfic, fandom: torchwood, fandom: doctor who

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