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Down Memory Lane

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The first time the Doctor makes love to Jack is not the first time Jack makes love to the Doctor.

Jack calls it “make love” now; he didn’t use to. He used to call it “fuck”, because this is what they do: they fuck, hard and breathless and needy, and then they break away from each other, separated through time and space, and they never talk about it. But after all this time – after all these times – this feels more like love than anything else in his life. Other lovers come and go. All certainties of life abandon him one by one, but the Doctor stays. His relationship with the Doctor is a Fact.

“When did it start?” Jack asks the Doctor one hazy night, pumped up on vodka and testosterone. “When did we start?”

“Don’t you remember?” The Doctor is sitting across the room, separated from Jack by a force field that was triggered into existence by some ridiculously incautious action of his. He’d had to poke his screwdriver where it did not belong, hadn’t he? Jack wishes he could be angry, but that’s simply not possible. He could never be angry at the Doctor, not for this. He could not even be angry at him for leaving him to die.

“No, I don’t remember.” Jack is very calm. “I’m human. Remember?”

The Doctor is lounging against the wall, long legs sprawled and tie and shirt in disarray. He looks shagged out, even though they did not shag. Not yet. “No, you’re not. You’re a quirk of the universe. You are a Fact.” Jack loves the way the Doctor pronounces it. Such a simple word, so elementary, and yet it has become the sexiest sound in every language of the universe.

“I may have lived a long time,” Jack elaborates, “but I am human. My mind is that of a human. Unlike you, I don’t retain all my memories. I can’t.” He laughs his volcano-day laugh. “I’d go insane if I did.”

“That you would,” the Doctor says. He is watching Jack from across the room with dark eyes. “You’re not insane, are you, Jack?”

He shrugs. “I’m not sure.” There is a pause, in which Jack wishes he’d had a cigarette to hold on to. That, or a glass of vodka. He is very aware of his own breathing, of the way his chest is moving up and down under the thin white shirt. He had taken off his coat and is using it as a makeshift seat, and if not for the thin layer of sizzling death between them, they would be ripping off each other’s clothes now. It feels wrong to just talk. “I don’t really remember what I was like, before.”

“Before you met me.” It is a sober statement of fact. The Doctor is a conceited bastard, it doesn’t even occur to him to make it sound smug.

“You really are full of yourself,” he says – offhandedly, he hopes. “There’re years I’m missing from before I met you. Remember?”

The Doctor grins. “Are you sure?” He moves suddenly, like a serpent, going from his relaxed lounging position to crouching on his hands and knees in the blink of an eye, crawling towards Jack until the force field stops him. “Are you sure you hadn’t met me then?”

An electric shock runs up Jack’s spine, jolting him upright. He moves slowly, deliberately, never breaking the eye contact with the Doctor. “You bastard,” he breathes, but there is no anger in his voice. Nor in his heart. He is actually grinning as he moves towards the force field that separates them.

They are kneeling face to face, watching each other across the force field like two cats.

“You should not have poked your screwdriver into that switchboard, you know,” Jack says, conversationally. “We’re trapped, and who knows when we'll get out of here.”

“Ooh, this is just a standard safety protocol,” the Doctor says, scanning the force field at face level with his screwdriver. “It will switch itself off in no time, it would take too much energy to keep it running when it registers no new threat in a while.”

“How long do you think it will remain in place, then? 'Cause I sure as hell can think of better things to do with my time than sitting here talking to you.”

The Doctor grins. “Don’t tell me a little thing like certain death can stop you from getting what you want.”

Jack looks at him, looks him deep in the eye, and then he raises himself from his kneeling position, opens his arms wide and lets himself fall forward into pain and heat and oblivion.

He never used to remember the first time they had sex, because it had never happened before. It happened much later, and it should not have. The only reason it did, Jack knows, is because the Doctor, this Doctor, this particular incarnation of the Doctor is – and there really is no other word for it – kinky. If he were human, he would break taboos by indulging in particular outrageous sexual acts. But he isn’t human, he is a Time Lord, and he enjoys the pain-pleasure of fucking a man who feels wrong to all his senses. To him touching Jack and kissing Jack must be like physical pain, a rush of agony and endorphins. It’s forbidden and wrong and the Doctor is addicted to it.

His body jerks back from nothingness, gasping for air. This is the moment when he feels truly alive. He feels his lungs expand and his heart kick start his blood flow. His brain explodes in a supernova of electric impulses. Jack has learned to ride out this moment, to see and feel and taste the sensation of being reborn. This time, arms are supporting him, and he lets himself fall into the Doctor’s embrace, clutching a fistful of the Doctor’s shirt.

“What does it feel like, Jack?” The Doctor’s voice is very soft and Jack savours its sound like he would savour a caress.

Jack shakes his head. He keeps his eyes closed and presses his face into the Doctor’s chest, into the warmth and smell that have become so familiar to him, constants in a life marked by eternal uncertainty. “I can’t describe it,” he whispers. “It’s... I imagine this is what regeneration might be like. You’ve got to experience it yourself.”

The thrum of the Doctor’s heartbeats quickens. “Will you let me?” he breathes. It’s a rare plea, almost shy, and it melts Jack’s heart. He opens his eyes and turns his head to look the Doctor in the face.


The fingers that alight on his temples, align with the curve of his cheekbones, are firm and tender at the same time. Jack sighs and shifts to allow him better access, and he watches the Doctor close his eyes before he closes his. This is not the first time that he’s permitted the Doctor to wander through the maze of his mind. On the rare occasions that the Doctor has, they both ended up more confused than before. Too many hidden corners and closed doors. So many pitfalls are scattered across his subconscious that even a Time Lord has a hard time evading them.

There is resistance, at first. After decades and centuries of living in a perpetual state of danger, the firewall of Jack’s mind has been configured to keep out all intruders. When the Doctor breaches it, his Time Lord consciousness seeps into Jack’s, swelling and filling it out until Jack feels like he is being ripped apart from inside out. He resists the urge to slam the doors of his mind shut and forces himself to melt into the sensation instead, to savour the intimacy of the moment. Scared though he is of what lurks behind them, he still wants the Doctor to break open the doors, to make him remember what he forgot.

He makes a conscious effort to relive the moment of being pulled back into existence in his mind; the moment when he becomes the vanishing point towards which the entire universe rushes, the point upon which the spinning top of all the worlds balances. It is a momentous event, exhilarating beyond endurance, and above him the Doctor gasps, even though all that he receives is a second-hand sensation.

Jack forces himself to open up even more, to pull the Doctor in and make him understand. Understand what he had done to him. What he had condemned him to. The Doctor is being dragged into the maze and is becoming increasingly disoriented. Like a child in the fog, he staggers and stumbles from door to door, unable to focus long enough to open any of them. It is frustrating. Jack gathers up all his willpower to clear the Doctor’s path, and he succeeds. Behind, before, above, between, below, doors fall open. And Jack remembers.

The Doctor crosses his own timeline to make their liaison even more wrong, pushing himself to extremes. Jack didn’t know it at first, but he knows it now, because memory is a funny thing: he remembers things now that he didn’t use to remember, because they had never happened in his timeline. But the Doctor, this impossible, irresponsible Doctor of his, makes them happen. And Jack remembers.

The first time he met the Doctor, it was on Earth during the London Blitz. He was a former Time Agent and a conman and he had two years missing from his memories, because the Time Agency had wiped them.

That had been then.

The first time he met the Doctor, it was on Earth during the reign of Charlemagne. He was a Time Agent and a team leader whose mission it was to make sure that nobody would notice that 300 years of Earth history had gone missing.

That was now.

The early Middle Ages would not have been his destination of choice. They had, however, turned out to be cleaner and much more humane than he had imagined. Plus, he was proud to be in charge of such an important assignment. Charlemagne was too much of a key figure in human history to be permitted to disappear due to some meddling historian who was too clever for his own good. Seeing as the hypothesis had been proposed – and happened to be true – that neither Charlemagne nor the empire he founded had ever existed, it was crucial that the Time Agency would make them exist.

“Ah, there you are! I have been looking for you.” The man who had strolled into his chamber was outrageously out of place in this time. He wore a long brown coat made from blatantly non-medieval fabrics and Converse, but it was the insolence of his stride and grin that gave him away as a Time Agent, a man to whom ordinary rules of time and space did not apply.

“What are you, an idiot amateur?” he snapped. “If they sent you to give me the new orders, they should at least have supplied you with appropriate clothing. Jesus!” He strode past the man and slammed the door shut.

The man was utterly unimpressed by his outburst. “What, something along these lines?” he asked, looking him up and down. “I don’t think I’ve got the legs to carry off a tunic.” Their eyes met. “Unlike you.”

He smiled. It was the predatory smile of a man who had no doubts about what he was capable of.

“Actually, I don’t think the tunic is all that flattering.” They had both taken a step towards each other at the same time. “I’ve been having my doubts about it for a while.”

“Better take it off, then,” the man suggested lightly. His eyes, however, were dark and serious.

He did. He was pulling it off even before the sound of the man’s voice had faded away. “And you should get rid of that coat, you’re not exactly blending in wearing it.” It fell to the ground in an instant. “And the rest.”

The man was smiling at him, challenging. Irresistible. “You do it.” In the next moment, he had moved forward like a serpent so that they ended up inches from each other. “Hello,” he said in a voice like a velvet caress, “I’m the Doctor.”

He was no stranger to quick and casual encounters, with humans, humanoids and other sentient life forms, but this one truly took his breath away. The Doctor seemed to be reading his mind, moving his hands over his body with the practiced gestures of an old lover, he knew where to lick with a feather-light flicker of his tongue and where to bite down hard; knew the spots that would make him writhe and groan and the rhythm that would reduce him to a shivering heap of flesh and nerve ends and make him come in endless, heavy spasms.

“When do you have to go?” he asked some time later, as they were drying in each other’s arms, their breathing evening out.

The Doctor shifted away to look him in the eyes. “I don’t,” he said. “Actually, I can’t. Your men,” he snorted, “idiot amateurs that they are, have tried to use my time machine for firewood. She’s brought herself to safety, but that means that I don’t currently have the means to go away. Until she comes back to pick me up, but I don’t know when that will be. She might be off sulking for a while. So it looks like you’re stuck with me for the time being.”

“You mean you’re stuck with me.”

“Well… yes. If that’s how you want to see it. Not for long, though, I don’t think. I could do with a holiday, actually. I might write a medieval epic, I’ve always fancied that. I think I saw a pope wandering around out there, he would like to be the hero of an epic, his kind always do. What’s this town called? Paderborn? Not exactly easy to rhyme, not in medieval Latin…”

“And what makes you think I’ll let you stay?”

The Doctor’s dark eyes stared deep into his soul. “Oh, I think you will,” he breathed.

And just like this, the memory is crystal clear, has surfaced from the deepest recesses of his mind. It pierces through him like a lightning bolt, burning everything in its wake. Jack screams and pushes the Doctor out of his head, and walls shatter around them as they escape from the maze of Jack’s mind. Fireworks go off before his eyes as he rolls away from the Doctor.

“You fucking asshole,” Jack says, shaking. He is too angry to shout.

“Jack.” For once, the Doctor looks guilty.

“You goddamn fucking bastard!” They have both got to their feet and are Jack is sure he is going to punch the Doctor any moment now. His fury is consuming him like a wildfire. “It was you. You took my memories away. All those years, all those centuries, I blamed the Time Agency, and it had been you all along.”

“I’m sorry.” The Doctor looks old, his face pale and haggard. For such a gorgeous man, he can appear amazingly unattractive. The thought flares up unbidden and Jack hates himself for it, for being so much a creature of base instincts. The moment to punch the Doctor has gone. His urge to hurt him now manifests itself in the desire to throw him down and bite and fuck him into oblivion. He uses sex as a weapon, for better, for worse.

The TARDIS, sentient and more than just a little contrary, chooses this precise moment to come back for them and materialise around them. The Doctor unfreezes, dashes across the room in a futile attempt to escape the confrontation, flinging his coat away one moment and stroking the controls the next. “Don’t just stand there! Let’s get out of here.”

Jack closes his eyes, counts to ten and then throws himself at the Doctor. He drags him away from the console only to push him against it backwards, forcing him into a half-lying position. He is the stronger of the two, thanks to his military training and personal vanity. The Doctor relies too much on the sharpness of his wit – both to get him out of sticky situations and into people’s beds. Jack, on the other hand, knows of the advantages of sheer muscle mass. It serves him well now, as he rubs himself against the Doctor, smothering him with his weight. He is very hard, they both are, and at least one of them will come in his pants, because this, this, is better than fucking. The TARDIS hums beneath them, beneath the Doctor’s back, and her infrasound purr reverberates through him, makes his skin sing and his hearts thud so forcefully that Jack can feel their throbs as if they were his own.

He grabs the Doctor’s tie and wraps it around his clenched fist, holding him in place, and rips his shirt open with his other hand. The Doctor buckles underneath him, but he doesn’t fight him off. His hands are clutching the console. He is panting, almost soundlessly, and Jack leans in to lap off the tiny noises that do escape the Doctor’s throat from his lips. The Doctor darts his tongue between Jack’s teeth,
slides it along the roof of his mouth and sucks in his upper lip. “Fuck me, Jack,” he orders him in a voice brittle and rough like rusty metal.


Jack tugs at the tie and the Doctor arches beneath him. He knots the end of the tie around one of the controls – the TARDIS won’t mind – and slithers down the Doctor’s body, sucking, and licking and biting down so hard he draws blood. Above his head, the Doctor is spouting an unceasing string of profanities. Jack loves him for that smart, dirty mouth, for the filth that it is capable of saying. He frees them both from their trousers and brings his hand up to the Doctor’s mouth. “Spit!”

It won’t take long, not like this, not when he is jerking himself off with one hand, grinding his cock into the Doctor’s, and he pushes a finger of his other hand up the Doctor’s arse.

“I’m not going to fuck you,” he pants into a kiss that is a mess of teeth and tongues and bloodied lips. “I’m going to milk you.” The Doctor groans, the sound amplified by the TARDIS’ continuous thrum, and Jack lets go of his own cock as though burned. He can’t be the first one to come. He pulls out his finger and rubs the hole with his fingertip, teasing it until he feels it twitch, and then he shoves his finger back in, and another one. He hits the spot that makes the Doctor’s hips jolt up, and he grabs his hair and bites his neck and finger-fucks him hard and fast until the Doctor’s whole body goes rigid and he comes in a flood of semen and a stream of curses. Jack follows moments later, thrusting his cock into the slick heat and wetness between their bodies. He can’t feel his legs and slides down the Doctor's body until he ends up sprawled on the ground. The Doctor, still muttering curses under his breath, rips off his tie and curls up against Jack’s side. Jack lifts a trembling hand and rests it on the Doctor’s head, threading his fingers through the hair. He is quite prepared to accept this as the apology that he is due and startles at the sound of the Doctor’s voice.

“It was not me all along,” the Doctor says. “When we met for the first time during the Blitz, it was truly the first time. I… er, I messed up. I crossed my own timeline – our timeline – to meet you before that. I’m sorry, Jack.”


The Doctor remains silent, and Jack is sure he is hoping that Jack will grow impatient, break the silence first, change the subject. But Jack can outpatience him, he’s had plenty of practice. He has perfected the art of waiting for what he wants.

“Because… because it feels… Oh, Jack, you can’t imagine what it does to me. It’s like stealing the TARDIS all over again. It makes me experience the universe anew. I’m so old now-“

Jack shakes his head. “Save your breath, dear boy,” he drawls. “The age argument might work on your other casualties, but it won’t work on me. You made sure of that.”

“I’ve got only myself to blame, then.” There’s a note of humour in the Doctor’s voice. It is irritating how quickly he bounces back from being guilt-ridden, yet Jack can’t help smiling. Irritating it might be, but it is also strangely reassuring to know how much affection he’s got for the Doctor, how willing he is to forgive and let go of old sins. How well he understands that the Doctor is a thrill seeker.

“Why did you make me forget you?” he whispers against the skin of the Doctor’s shoulder.

There’s the silence again, but Jack knows that he won’t be the one to break it, and he knows that the Doctor knows. He moves his hand lazily across the Doctor’s chest, over the livid bite marks and the soft skin.

“I had stayed with you too long,” he whispers at last. “We had become too close. You could not… you were not allowed to remember that, not in your timeline. The things that you did afterwards were essential for us to meet at the time we did. You understand that, Jack.”

“I do.” He smiles with his mouth pressed against the Doctor’s skin. He had forgiven him, as they always knew he would. There is nothing he can do about it. The wonderful, amazing alien in his arms can be as smug as he likes, Jack will not stop him. Still, he can make him talk and admit guilt and apologise, and he will. “The hubris is part of your charm, you know,” he tells him, raising his head. The Doctor’s mouth, bruised and swollen, is inches from his. “But it will be your downfall one day.”

“You could come and save me,” the Doctor breathes against his lips.

“Perhaps.” Jack kisses him, gentle this time. “Perhaps.”