It's the thing with the coat that tells Alonso that this so-called Captain Jack Harkness isn't psychic after all. Well, that and the fact that he has to ask for Alonso's room number. The coat is what sticks in his memory though, the way that Jack recoils, as though in shock, when Alonso slides his hands along the lapels and tries to push it off Jack's shoulders.
No true psychic would be shocked by that.
For a moment, Alonso thinks he's ruined his chances, but then Jack grins at him, a grin that says he's not going anywhere. Still, Jack quickly removes the coat himself, and folds it neatly before they touch again.
Alonso wonders about it briefly, as they tumble together onto the crisp white sheets of the space port hotel room, but then Jack kisses him again, and for the rest of the night, Alonso doesn't think about anything.
Alonso isn't all that surprised to see Jack's name on the passenger list for the cruiser heading for Xarxus. Almost everyone at the Tanine Space Port ends up heading there at some point.
It could easily be a coincidence.
When his shift ends, Alonso finds Jack in one of the bars, and he hesitates for a second, because maybe Jack doesn't want to see him again—they'd never said it would be more than one night, after all. But when Alonso walks into his line of sight, Jack grins at him, the same as before. That's when Alonso knows he can stop worrying.
They spend another night together, and when Alonso leaves to report for duty at 0600, Jack calls out to him.
"See you this evening, yeah?"
It doesn't take long to become a habit—Alonso meets Jack at the bar after his shift ends, and before too long they find themselves in Jack's cabin, which is far more luxurious than Alonso's bunk.
Sometimes they talk for a bit, about inconsequential things, and sometimes they order room service too, but they always end up in Jack's bed.
Alonso's never allowed to touch the coat though.
It's a rebound thing, Alonso realises, eventually. He decides that he's okay with that. After all, the company is good and the sex is even better.
Two weeks into the voyage, there's a minor gas leak on Deck Five. Alonso is on Deck Two at the time, and he doesn't realise what's happening until after Five has gone into lockdown. The problem is resolved quickly, and no one is hurt, but it means that Alonso has to spend the rest of his shift filling out paperwork.
He still has two hours to go when Jack finds him in one of the tiny offices allocated to the ship's crew.
"You're alive," Jack says when Alonso looks up and sees him there.
"Of course I am," Alonso replies. "Everyone is."
Jack nods. "I just wanted to make sure."
It's then that Alonso realises that Jack looks unusually pale. "Are you all right, Jack?"
"Yeah," Jack says. "I'm fine."
He turns and leaves without another word.
For two days after that, Jack disappears. He doesn't turn up in any of the bars, and there's only silence when Alonso knocks on his cabin door. Alonso almost goes so far as to check the monitoring cameras, but that's against protocol, and in the end it doesn't matter because that evening, when Alonso's shift ends, Jack is standing outside the control room wearing only trousers and a battered blue shirt.
At first, Alonso doesn't know what to say, because, "Where have you been?" hardly seems adequate, but when Jack pulls him into a tight embrace, the thought of saying anything at all becomes irrelevant.
When they return to the cabin, Jack is surprisingly tender. Not that he's usually rough, not unless Alonso asks for it that way, but this time it's different. With anyone else, Alonso would be tempted to call it making love.
One night, Jack takes him out to dinner, in the ship's finest restaurant, so they can dine on Varri and Space Oysters. Afterwards, they make their way to the viewing platform, where they can see the stars rushing past them.
Jack seems to be lost in thought; the fingers of his right hand run idly along his lapels. Alonso knows that if he doesn't ask about it now, then he never will.
"He must have been special, the man who gave you that coat."
Alonso can tell that Jack is more surprised than he wants to let on. "What, you think you're the only person around here who's allowed to be psychic?"
Jack smiles at the joke, but it doesn't last long. There's a pause and then—
"Yeah," says Jack softly. "He was special."
"You must've loved him."
Jack looks out at the stars and doesn't turn his head. "I hope I did," he says.
Alonso is performing routine maintenance on the navigation systems when he realises that the cruise has only four days left. He'd known it would end eventually, of course, but still—it's jolting to realise that the end will come so soon.
Five hours later, he finds himself kissing Jack desperately, and Jack seems to understand why he's doing it. Neither of them want to be gentle this night.
Afterwards, Jack sleeps, and Alonso realises that it's the first time he's seen Jack do so.
It's strange, he thinks, the way Jack smiles when he dreams.
Alonso is granted leave on the last night of the cruise, which is impossible, because no-one is granted leave on the final night. He isn't sure how it happened, but he suspects that Jack arranged it somehow.
They eat at the restaurant again, and everything is perfect. Jack regales him with stories, half of which Alonso suspects are made up, and Alonso responds with a few of his own—his life has been rather more interesting than he'd ever suspected it would be, after all.
There isn't much to suggest that this night is anything out of the ordinary.
Alonso knows that he has to change that.
When they return to the cabin, Jack begins to unbutton his coat, but Alonso catches his wrists and makes him stop.
"Oh no," he says. "Not this time."
Jack freezes for a moment, and Alonso thinks he's going to pull away, but then he relaxes and gives Alonso the slightest of nods.
Alonso smiles, and falls to his knees before he finishes unbuttoning the coat, while Jack stands with his hands at his sides. As he takes Jack's cock in his mouth, Alonso can feel the strange alien fibres brushing against his cheeks.
When he feels Jack's hands in his hair, Alonso knows that he's done the right thing.
He may have had the evening off, but Alonso's morning shift starts at 0430. There's always far too much to do when they're pulling into port. Alonso can't help but feel a pang as he dresses, adjusting his uniform so that its lines sit perfectly on his body.
Jack watches him the entire time, his expression unreadable.
When he can't delay leaving any longer, Alonso leans down and kisses Jack lightly on the lips.
"I had a good time," he says. He knows that Jack won't want any goodbyes.
Jack nods. "Me too. Thank you."
Alonso thinks that he's being thanked for something that he doesn't quite understand, but that's okay. He doesn't need to know.
The last time Alonso sees him, Jack is walking away from the ship. Alonso is talking to the ship's Captain about flight plans for the next cruise, so he can't stop to say anything, and he knows it's probably better that way. Still, just before Jack disappears from view, he turns and raises a hand.
Alonso can't see Jack's face, but he thinks that he's smiling.