Luke Smith woke with a start, every sense suddenly and sharply alert as he stared into the pre-dawn darkness of his room. The soft ticking of the clock and the quiet whisper of leaves beyond the curtained window were comforting in their familiarity but there was something else, something wrong, he could feel it. Something that had –
Holding his breath, Luke listened, straining to hear the unfamiliar bump and creak that came from elsewhere within the house, the low murmur of what might be a male voice. A prickle of fear crept along his spine, an instinctive desire to stay still and silent warring with the sudden, desperate need to make sure that his mother was safe. Even with all that he knew, after all he had seen and experienced within the span of his short life, it seemed strange to feel so suddenly afraid within the confines of his own home.
He swallowed hard and wiped clammy palms against his pyjamas. He had survived a Dalek invasion – surely he could fend off a burglar. Or burglars. Or –
Why hadn't Mr Smith sounded an alarm? What if Mr Smith had been damaged, or over-ridden, or...?
Or K-9? What if...?
What if his mother needed help?
Biting his lip, Luke slid carefully out from under his duvet. His eyes were used to the dark now and he crept across the room to wrap trembling fingers around the handle of the cricket bat that sat propped against the wardrobe, hefting it experimentally as the sounds whispered through the darkness once more. The makeshift weapon lending him courage, he tiptoed to the door and slipped out into the hall... and froze as a floorboard creaked beneath his weight. His heartbeat thundering in his ears, Luke waited, hoping against hope that his mistake had not been noted, that whoever was in the house would not come looking for him.
Long moments passed, the stillness of the house echoing around him. The tick of the clock, the whisper of the trees... the quiet, almost rhythmic sound of unfamiliar movement, the low tones of an unknown voice, his mother's sudden gasping cry....
Both hands wrapped tight around the bat's handle, Luke gathered up his courage and rushed forward, crashing through his mother's bedroom door shoulder-first. "I'm here, Mum, I'm –"
Luke skidded to a halt, lowering the cricket bat as he tried to make sense of the scene before him. His mother was staring at him in horror and disbelief, her face turning a rather odd shade of crimson in the light of her bedside lamp. The same rather odd shade of crimson as the rest of her, in fact – he hadn't realised it was possible to blush all over. "Mum? I heard a noise and I thought...."
"I –" His mother swallowed hard and looked down at the extremely naked man whose hips she was straddling. "It's nothing to worry about, Luke, I was just, ah...."
"Having sex?" Luke cocked his head, suddenly curious as to what was going on in the shadows between the pair on the bed, then looked up as something else caught his attention. "Is that a riding crop? I thought those were for hitting horses, not people. Doesn't it hurt?"
His mother's gaze shifted to the object in her raised right hand, staring at it as if she hadn't noticed it there before, then hastily dropped it to the covers as the man beneath her erupted into peals of laughter. "Oh, I like him!"
"Jack!" Luke watched as his mother smacked the man across one bruised and shaking shoulder, which really ought to hurt although it just seemed to make him laugh even more. "Don't you dare encourage this." She glanced in Luke's direction, and belatedly raised a hand to cover her breasts. "He's only fourteen!"
"Only fourteen year old I know who doesn't die of embarrassment at the thought of his mother getting laid, never mind walking in on her whipping someone into submission!" The man grinned and held out a hand, apparently unconcerned about being caught naked in... well, in Luke's mother. "Captain Jack Harkness – good to meet you at last, Luke."
Luke beamed and shook the proffered hand. "And I'm very pleased to meet you, Captain Harkness," he said politely. "I didn't know you were coming."
His mother made a choking sound. "Luke, I think that maybe you should go back to bed," she said firmly, glaring at the sniggering Captain all the while. "You really shouldn't be seeing this. It's not... appropriate."
"Hey, come on, Sarah Jane!" Captain Harkness shuffled himself into a more comfortable position on the dishevelled sheets and put both hands behind his head, smiling broadly. "In my day, this counts as essential observational education for a kid his age."
"Well, that explains a lot!" she muttered, tugging the duvet up to cover her hips, then shook her head. "I don't know where – or when – you come from, Jack, but I'm raising Luke in the here and now and I really don't want to have to explain any of this to Ealing Social Services."
"Does this mean that I'm going to have a brother or sister?" Luke asked curiously. He rather thought that he'd like having a baby around, never having been one himself. It would be interesting. "Or is this recreational sex?"
"Recreational," Captain Harkness provided, grinning up at Luke's mother. "I know she's looking good on it, but her HRT isn't that –"
"Jack, will you shut up! He's my son!" She groaned, running a hand back through her hair. "Bed, Luke. Now. And not a word of this to Maria or Clyde or to anyone else, understand?"
"But, Mum, I wanted to ask Captain Hark–"
"Yes, Luke, better do as your mother says or she might – mmph!" Whatever Captain Harkness had been going to say was cut off as Luke's mother shoved the stiff handle of the riding crop between his teeth and then slapped a hand across his mouth to stop him spitting it back out. "Mm-mmph!"
"Can I talk to Captain Harkness at breakfast?" Luke asked hopefully, sensing that his mother would likely suffocate the man before letting him get another word out. "I wanted to ask if it's true that he has a pet dinosaur in his secret underground base."
"Well, that rather depends on whether or not he behaves himself or not." She glared down at the man beneath her, who waggled his eyebrows and moaned behind his makeshift gag. He didn't sound particularly unhappy at his treatment. "Now, goodnight, young man."
"Yes, Mum." Luke sighed and tucked the cricket bat under his arm. "Goodnight, Mum; goodnight, Captain Harkness – I'll see you in the morning...."
Closing the bedroom door quietly behind him, Luke decided that he was going to have to ask Captain Harkness about more than just the dinosaur. The Captain obviously knew much more about sex than Clyde said he did, and everybody at school seemed to think that knowing about sex was Very Important, and not just the things they learned in science. And he really was going to have to ask about the riding crop because he was sure there hadn't been any mention of that in the school biology books or the playground talk....
Thinking happily about all the new things he was going to learn, Luke headed back to his bed, not worrying about the odd noises that had enthusiastically resumed behind him.