Having come from the future, Captain Jack Harkness knew a great deal about the past. He could have taken advantage of his knowledge, but chose not to. Given that knowledge, there were many people Jack could’ve met; important people, famous people, people destined to change history.
For the most part, he was uninterested. One of the few people he did decide to meet was Jonathan ‘Jack’ O’Neill. If asked, Jack would not have been able to say why he decided to interfere in O’Neill’s life.
Maybe it was as simple as finding and reading the man’s autobiography, and being captured by his exploits. Or maybe it was the realization that he’d already interfered once, and decided to interfere a little bit more while still maintaining the time line.
Whichever the case, Jack chose to act and not think about it.
Jack checked his watch for the fourth time. He was getting cold and watching a bunch of kids sledding down this hill had gotten boring a half hour ago.
Five minutes later, a small boy bundled up so well that he waddled, came into view. The child was dragging a sled behind him, stopping to check behind him every so often.
Jack stepped out from behind his tree before the child could get on his sled. “Hey, buddy. This hill seems a little big for you,” he remarked.
“Is not! I’m a big boy!” the child informed him.
As Jack held his conversation with the boy, a running woman, fear in her eyes, came panting up the hill. “Jonathan O’Neill! You scared me half to death!” she berated the child.
She knelt by her son, making sure he was okay before turning her face up to the man who had prevented him from sledding down the hill. “Thank you. Jonathan is quite the daredevil. I shudder to think what would’ve happened had he gone down by himself.”
He would have broken several bones; bones that would have given him a great deal of pain in his later years, Jack thought. “My pleasure.”
Jack stuck his hand out to the boy. “I’m Jack. Nice to meet you, Jonathan,” he said.
His eyes wide, Jonathan shook the man’s hand and decided that from now on he wanted to be called Jack.
Jack O’Neill lost his virginity at age sixteen and became a little girl-crazy. Over the last two years at the Air Force Academy, surrounded by men all the time, Jack discovered he might not be as completely straight as he’d thought.
He decided to visit a gay bar in order to scratch that itch and hopefully put it behind him. The urges for a male body had become unbearable. He knew being gay or bi wasn’t compatible with the Air Force, but he had to find out.
Jack was already in the bar waiting for O’Neill. In his autobiography, he’d written about his first gay experience. It was a throwaway line that didn’t give much detail and that concerned Jack.
This was a rough bar, and the men that patronized it were not the sort that would give a twenty-year-old virgin a good experience. He was here to make sure that Jack’s first time would be a memory he’d look back on fondly.
He saw O’Neill enter, as did every other man in the place. Jack made it to O’Neill before any of the others. They left together an hour later.
Jack spent the next three days making love to Jack O’Neill, introducing his body to new pleasures. He promised himself he wouldn’t fall in love. Jack wasn’t his and although the man O’Neill belonged to was still years away, he had no desire for O’Neill to become yet another regret in his life.
Jack fell a little in love anyway, despite his promise, and cried when O’Neill left.
Winter Park, 1994
Jack stood across the street watching the man and woman flirting gently with each other. When the shot rang out, Jack startled even though he’d been anticipating it.
He saw the man and the woman pale and turn to each, frozen for a brief instant in time before they ran for the house. He would have liked nothing more than to have prevented this tragedy, but he couldn’t interfere to that extent.
He turned and left when he heard the sirens, wishing he could take Jack in his arms.
Colorado Springs, 2002
Jack broke into the house as O’Neill was loading the gun. Sitting at the kitchen table, he was crying and ranting and his extreme inebriation was apparent.
Jack gently took the gun from O’Neill’s hands and took the man in his arms. O’Neill leaned into the hug, clinging tightly, as he sobbed his grief over Daniel Jackson’s death.
Jack got him up and led him into the bedroom. From a quick glance he could tell two men had been sharing this room. He undressed O’Neill and held him till he fell asleep.
He wrote Jack a note, reminding him that Daniel hadn’t truly died, propping it up on the table near the gun where it was sure to be seen.
Before he left he removed every bullet he could find.
Jack was the last person to lay a single red rose on the gleaming casket. He made his way to the elderly man, and hugged him. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Doctor Jackson. Jack O’Neill was a great man.”
“Thank you. Jack was the best man I’ve ever known. I truly don’t know what I’ll do without him. One way or another, we’ve been together fifty years,” Daniel said brokenly.
He wanted to reassure Jack’s long time lover, but couldn’t. Daniel would die three weeks from today, and everyone who’d known him or Jack knew it was from a broken heart.