Jack noticed the man as he entered the hotel bar. How could he not? Tall, dark haired, hot as a three-alarm fire. He sat and glanced over at the table Jack was sharing with Toshiko and Suzie. Ordinarily, Jack might have tried to make eye contact, flirted. But something stopped him, and he tried to turn his attention back to his companions.
"So what happened then, Jack?" Toshiko prompted. "After you left the club?" Suzie's eyebrow was raised.
"Hmm? Oh," he said, lowering his voice and continuing his slightly edited tale of a ribald night in a pleasure palace on a space station orbiting Arcturus IV. By the time he finished, Toshiko had blushed from her hairline to her chin. Suzie was doing her best not to laugh, hiding behind her martini glass, but she couldn't help herself, and suddenly, she giggled like a girl, sputtering her drink until she coughed. That set him and Toshiko off, and all three of them laughed until Tosh had tears running down her cheeks.
The man, now drinking a glass of red wine, was still there. Studiously not watching them, despite the fact that they were being none too quiet.
Around 11:30, Suzie begged off, pleading an early conference call with UNIT and Yvonne Hartman. She was graciously taking the call because Jack could not tolerate Hartman, even on the phone. She offered Tosh a ride, which Tosh gratefully accepted. They said their farewells and left together, Suzie whispering something to Tosh which caused one last giggle. Jack smiled in their wake.
The man still hadn't left. Jack considered an approach, but decided against it. The man was giving off a definite do-not-disturb kind of vibe, and despite his own tendency toward shamelessness, he decided to respect it.
He paid the tab, flirted with Siobhan, the very comely flame-haired cocktail waitress, pulled on his coat and strode through door that led from the bar directly to the street. He'd parked around the corner from the theater next door, and he headed back in that direction.
He stopped when he reached the now-empty theater. He didn't hear anyone behind him, exactly, but something, someone, was making the hair on the back of his neck stand up. "I know you're there," he said. "Why don't you come say hello?"
He turned on his heel. It was the man from the bar, and Jack was vaguely surprised that he'd misread the situation. "Oh," he grinned, his mood immediately shifting. "You should definitely come say hello..."
The man was in front of him with inhuman speed, swiftly dragging him into the alley between the theater and the hotel and pressing him against the cold brick wall. Normally, being tossed up against a wall by a gorgeous man was a great way to end an evening, but then he heard it, low but unmistakable -- a growl.
He drew and released a breath, any hope of a gratifying diversion quickly gone. He'd heard the sound before, and it had ended with pain and death, reviving on a cold street or in a dumpster. "Oh," he said, his voice flat. "Vampire." Jack tried to keep his voice even. "Okay. Look, if you're hungry, I'm happy to help. Just let me take the coat off, it's hard to get the blood out -- "
There was a long pause before the man released him and took a step back. "What are you?" the vampire demanded. He seemed particularly intense, just this side of angry. "Your scent..."
Jack sighed. He had no idea what it was, but something about him drew vampires like Altarian firebugs to spice liquor. "Yeah," he said. "I've heard this one before." Damn, the man was pretty. He decided to make the best of it. "It's a long story," he said. "Let's start over, okay? Captain Jack Harkness," he flashed a bright smile. "Pleased to meet you."
The vampire looked at him doubtfully. "You'll explain this?" he asked. "Why you smell like --"
"Vampire catnip? As best I can." Jack nodded in the vampire's direction. "You have me at a disadvantage."
The vampire paused a long moment before answering. "Matthew Clairmont."
Jack gestured back toward the bar. "Another drink, and I'll try to answer your questions? If the local constabulary drives by, this could be awkward." Mostly for him, Jack thought. It wouldn't be the first time a Welsh constable had seen Jack in an alley with a handsome man.
The vampire nodded. On the short walk back, Jack learned that the vampire was a professor at Oxford, a scientist in town for a meeting. Jack was glad to hear he was just visiting. There weren't any resident vampires in Cardiff as far as he knew, and he liked it perfectly well that way -- no matter what this particular one happened to look like.
They found the hotel bar just closed, and Jack restrained himself from lifting an eyebrow when the professor suggested drinks in his suite. He agreed, figuring that if his night was going to end by being drained of every last drop of blood, it might as well be in surroundings more comfortable than an alley.
The suite was on the top floor, and expensive. A marble-tiled entryway led to an expansive living room, with a comfortable seating area at one end and a grand piano at the other. Glass windows overlooking the park took up the entire back wall, with closed doors leading to other rooms at either end of the space. As they entered, Jack saw a fully stocked wet bar.
Clairmont went over to the bar, and Jack sat in one of the comfortable armchairs. He nodded as Clairmont handed him a tumbler of scotch, pouring a glass of red wine for himself. He turned his back, standing next to the windows, before sparing Jack a glance over his shoulder.
"Talk," he demanded quietly.
Jack raised an eyebrow at his back. "Not one for chit-chat, are you, Professor Clairmont? Like I said -- it's a long story."
Clairmont turned toward him, folding his arms across his chest, implacable.
Jack took a breath and began, keeping the story as straightforward and unembellished as possible, shading the truth but not crossing the line into outright lies. His origins in the future, his life as a time-traveler, his death in a desperate battle, waking up alone, and returning to Earth in the 19th century without the ability to time-travel -- or to die.
When he finished, Clairmont threw him bodily up against the living room's wall, furious. "I don't believe you," he said, his voice low and dangerous. "Time travel? Aliens? I'm not one of your human friends, and I'm not going to believe some absurd tale just because you tell it. Stop lying to me."
Jack had told the truth, as much as he needed to know, anyway. He wasn't about to tell the vampire about the Doctor, or Rose, or the TARDIS.
He thought a moment, and sighed; this was unavoidable, and it probably had been from the start. "Taste me," he told Clairmont.
The vampire blinked. "What?" he said, loosening his grip on Jack's shoulders just a little.
"Taste my blood," he said, hoping this worked more like an abstract painting than a surveillance video. A vampire who'd taken his blood long ago had seen him revive, leading to a conversation not that different from this one. She'd told Jack that she'd seen some of his strange memories, and she'd recounted images and impressions she'd picked up. They hadn't been all that specific. And then she'd drained him again, and left him for dead.
"You'll see my memories, right?" Jack said. "This isn't my first trip to this particular rodeo."
He took a few more steps away. "Are you certain? I might not be able to stop."
It was all Jack could do not to scoff at this. "Yes, I'm positive." He tried to bite back a smirk. "B positive, to be specific."
The vampire, Jack saw, was growing almost as exasperated as he was, but his voice was low and serious. "If I can't stop, I could kill you."
Clairmont, he saw, hadn't believed a word he'd said. "I told you. You won't." He shrugged off his coat and pulled open his collar. Hopefully the blood on his clothes could be kept to a minimum. "Taste me," he said again.
With a barely perceptible movement, Clairmont was in front of him, his hands holding Jack's shoulders, a low growl in his throat. Jack fought rising panic -- it was instinct, he knew; the same fear he'd feel with any apex predator bending over his neck. He forced himself to relax, not to struggle, not to anticipate the pain he'd experienced in the past.
Clairmont didn't bite him immediately; instead, he bit his own lip, smearing his blood over the vein in Jack's neck. The surprising intimacy of it helped to calm him, settle his breathing. Within seconds, the skin underneath felt cold and numb.
When Clairmont bit, Jack felt no pain, but the vampire's mouth was nonetheless cold, implacable, and demanding. With his shoulders firmly in Clairmont's grasp, he couldn't move, couldn't escape. Jack could hear his own heartbeat in his ears, but the room was silent except for the sound of Clairmont sucking at the vein in his neck -- and he didn't show any sign of stopping.
Suddenly, though, he pulled away, almost tripping over his feet as he backed quickly away from Jack, holding onto the sofa. Jack knew it was too late, though. He felt weak, dizzy, sick. He slid down the wall as Clairmont looked over at him, an incredulous expression on his face. Now he believed. Of course.
"Told you," he said, his eyes closing, his heartbeat fading away in his ears.
He came back, as he nearly always did, with a loud, pained gasp. Clairmont was crouched right in front of him, blinking. Vampire or no, his scientist's mind must be at war with itself, trying to make sense of what he'd just seen.
"Promised I'd come back, professor," he said.
Clairmont shook his head. "I didn't believe you," he looked Jack up and down, almost clinically. "Are you -- are you all right? Do you need anything?"
Jack nodded. He was waiting for his body to calm itself, his heart to stop racing, before he stood. "Water, if you don't mind. And another scotch."
Clairmont moved away toward the bar, returning with a bottle of water, and apparently, Jack noted, ignoring the request for alcohol.
Jack drank gratefully, once, twice, before draining the bottle. Clairmont offered him a hand up, and although he didn't really need it, he took it anyway. His skin was cool, Jack thought, but not unpleasantly so.
The vampire's voice was more measured now, the anger gone. "I apologize. I did warn you I might not be able to stop."
Jack leaned against the windows, settling back into life, fiddling idly with the top of the water bottle. He shrugged. "Some people take convincing more than others about the whole 'I can't die' thing."
Clairmont went over to the bar and returned with the previously requested scotch, exchanging it for the empty bottle.
He murmured thanks, and drank. The scotch was good, old and expensive; it sent a welcome warmth throughout his body.
Clairmont peppered him with questions, asking him, with various degrees of incredulity, about time travel and aliens. When Jack told him about reviving from death, over and over, sadness and compassion flickered across his features. Jack shrugged inwardly. No point in feeling sorry for himself. There was nothing for it, not now, not until he could find the Doctor again -- and if Clairmont hadn't seen him in Jack's memories, he wasn't telling that part of the story.
When Clairmont asked him about the night he'd seen Jack during the Blitz -- and just how, Jack wondered idly, had he missed seeing Clairmont all of those times, anyway? -- he realized that it was the night he'd first met Rose. He tried to cover all of the emotions that went with that memory with a grin. "That's the night I rescued a girl from a barrage balloon," he said. "I just moved a few blocks."
Clairmont shook his head, still not quite believing everything. "Your scent is so strong, for a human, and so distinct. But there's a part of it I can't place, even now."
"Can't help you there, professor," he said, shaking his head. "It could be the world where I grew up, or somewhere I've been, or maybe it's the effect of time travel. I don't know."
Clairmont took a step toward Jack, then stopped himself. "May I?" he asked.
Surprised, Jack nodded. It wasn't as if he could stop a vampire from doing what he wanted. His eyes wandered over to his coat, still on the floor. He had a loaded Retcon syringe in an inner pocket, but just how much would it take to put a vampire out, much less wipe his memories? And how could he dose him, anyway?
Clairmont approached him, stopping less than an arm's length away. His eyes dropped closed, and for the first time, Jack heard him inhale a breath.
Jack was curious. "Tell me?" he asked.
It was a long moment before Clairmont spoke. "Eucalyptus, with notes of pine and honey. Nutmeg. Something else...that I can't quite describe. A liquid that's thick and warm, sweet but not cloying. Full of life. You smell like life," his voice was soft, with just a touch of something that might have been wonder.
All of the memories came rushing back. Rose, the Doctor, the TARDIS...whatever had happened, he was nearly certain now that the TARDIS's energy had brought him back to life, that it somehow kept bringing him back. The Doctor would never do such a thing, not in a million years, not to save Jack, not to save anyone.
Later, Jack told himself. Clairmont's eyes opened, and for the first time since he'd taken Jack's blood, Jack looked into them. They were bright, the pupils dilated. Almost as if -- "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were a little high, professor."
Clairmont dropped his gaze and sniffed, amused, confirming Jack's suspicions. Clairmont's eyes raked over him, and it wasn't clinical this time, not at all, something different entirely. Jack felt a rush of heat, a response to the desire Clairmont thought he was hiding. All it took, then, was for their eyes to meet again, and Clairmont wordlessly asked the question Jack was all too happy to answer: yes, definitely yes.
Jack reached out, drawing Clairmont -- Matthew? Matthew -- into a kiss. It was soft and easy at first; Jack took his time, growing accustomed to the coolness of his mouth, the feel of his skin under Jack's hands. Once Matthew opened his mouth to him, though, desire hit him with a rush, and this time, it was Jack who backed Matthew against the living room wall.
Jack kissed him for long minutes, sliding his hands down Matthew's body. Nothing but barely restrained strength, long lines, and hard muscle. Matthew's arms slipped around Jack, drawing them closer together, and Jack sighed with pleasure. He let out a deep breath, breaking the kiss, tracing his lips around the edges of Matthew's jaw.
"There's a bed somewhere in this fancy suite, yeah?" he asked under his breath. The amused sniff again, and Matthew gestured toward the door at the far end of the cavernous living room. Oh, that was far away, Jack mused, but they might as well make the best of it. They pulled at each other's clothes, sometimes successfully, sometimes not as much, but finally they made it to the bedroom, and shucked off what was left. Matthew yanked the duvet down roughly before pulling Jack down onto the bed with him.
Jack rolled on top of Matthew, pausing for a moment just to look at him. He was like a statue of a Roman god come to life, only taller and more perfect. He began kissing his way down Matthew's body, his hands restlessly covering whatever skin his mouth couldn't reach. He smelled and tasted like warm spice. The coolness of his skin was different, but not at all unpleasant, and not nearly as different from Jack as some of his non-human partners back in the day.
As he worked his way down Matthew's torso, Jack saw and felt scars -- quite a few of them -- and glanced up at Matthew to make sure his attentions to them caused no pain. But his head was rolled back, and the only sounds he made were ones of pleasure, so Jack ignored the scars, and continued tasting his way down Matthew's long, lean body.
He watched, listened, and learned with each touch what pleased Matthew most. His body was relaxed, open to him, and his hands were tangled in the sheets. When Matthew began to move, to arch into his hands, Jack took him in his mouth, sucking him deep into his throat. His moan made Jack smile, and he picked up the pace, working his cock with hand and mouth, glancing up now and again to watch Matthew's reaction.
Matthew was so responsive that Jack thought he could happily do this all night, just listening to him, meeting his eyes now and again. But he could feel Matthew's arousal building. He called out in warning to Jack, but Jack didn't care, didn't stop. His eyes told Matthew as much. Matthew let go, his hips moving of their own accord, and Jack followed his lead, encouraging him with a hum low in his throat. As he came, Matthew swore loudly in a language Jack didn't recognize.
Once he was spent, Jack released him gently and crawled slowly back up the bed, his eyes never leaving Matthew's. Jack kissed him again, long and deep, murmuring with pleasure at the mixed tastes of him. Matthew drew him down roughly, tangling his hands in Jack's hair, deepening the kiss as he dropped one hand to lightly stroke Jack's cock.
Matthew's voice was soft and rich, intimate, carrying the cadence of days gone by. "What would you have of me, Jack?"
What a question. He would have whatever Matthew was willing to give, and gladly, starting with that teasing hand. But he knew what he really wanted: this man splayed out under him, black hair against crisp white linen, moaning out his pleasure and writhing under Jack's lips and hands as Jack took him hard.
Instead, he smiled. "I dunno, professor. What are you offering? I haven't known that many vampires, but it seems to me that control isn't something your kind likes to give up all that easily."
A small smile conceded Jack's point, but then something different flickered across Matthew's face. "And if I am?"
In response, Jack grinned like a schoolboy and kissed him long and hard, his own arousal growing. Fuck, he wanted this. He urged Matthew onto his stomach, shoving a pillow under his chest, starting to fulfill the fantasy that had formed moments ago. Christ, he looked amazing, better than Jack had imagined, pale and beautiful and wanting.
Jack's hands and mouth never stopped moving as he kissed his way down Matthew's back, eventually slowing, trying to restrain his own arousal, to savor every moment. Scars or no scars, Matthew's skin was perfect, and he could feel every muscle and tendon underneath as they responded to him. Matthew moaned softly, arching into his touch.
A thought crossed his mind, and with a kiss to Matthew's back and a whispered explanation, he left the bed, retrieving his coat, seeking out and finding a small packet of lube he'd picked up at a club somewhere. Returning, standing in the doorway, seeing Matthew spread out for him like a feast, his heart sped up again. He was back on the bed in seconds, his hands and mouth teasing, tasting, inhaling Matthew's scent. Matthew moved underneath him, responsive, wanting.
Jack took his time with the lube, in no hurry, wanting this to be good for them both, better than good, amazing. As he slowly pressed inside, pulling Matthew closer to him, his hands drifted over Matthew's cock, now fully hard again. Jack whispered his approval into Matthew's ear.
Once Jack was fully inside him, Matthew swore in that strange language again. Jack could almost feel the energy in the room crackling around them as Matthew pushed back against him, wanting more. Jack began to fuck him harder, gasping out his own pleasure. So fucking good, he thought, folding himself over Matthew's back, kissing his neck, his shoulders, reaching beneath them to take his cock in hand. Matthew's head dropped back against his shoulder, sighing with need, with pleasure.
Suddenly he wanted to watch Matthew come again, and he wanted it badly. For a moment the man he was now slipped away, the better man the Doctor and Rose had created. He was that other Jack, the selfish Jack who always got what he wanted, who didn't care what it cost or who it hurt. "Can you come again, professor?" he whispered, his voice low, insistent, just this side of cruel. His hand worked Matthew's cock as he fucked him hard, provoking a groan filled with desire, with just a touch of desperation, and he knew Matthew was right there. "Come for me," he demanded.
Matthew did, gasping, pushing himself back against Jack. Watching Matthew come over his hand was deeply satisfying, and it cost Jack what was left of his control. He shoved back into Matthew again and again, until he came and came hard, then collapsed against Matthew's back, spent.
His sweat mixed with the cool dryness of Matthew's skin. He felt Matthew's hand reach back, finding the back of his neck, pulling him close. Jack responded with a soft kiss on his shoulder blades before gently pulling away, rolling onto his back.
Matthew turned his head to look at him, a sated smile on his face, and drew one hand lightly down the side of Jack's body. "Sleep," he said, and Jack closed his eyes.
Matthew was awake when Jack woke, and looked over at him as he stirred. Wordlessly, he reached for Jack, drawing him in for a kiss, running a hand down his side. This was an amazing way to wake up, he thought as Matthew pushed him onto his back.
Matthew kissed and teased his way down Jack's body before taking him deep into his mouth. It was less urgent now, slower, and Matthew took his time. He knew exactly what he was doing, when to tease and when not to. Jack gave himself over to Matthew's generous hands and mouth, arching into him, sighing with pleasure, his hands twined through Matthew's hair as he came. As Matthew stretched out next to Jack and kissed him, Jack took his cock in hand, urging on his arousal until he came, moaning into their kiss.
Languor and satiation took hold again soon after, and he vaguely heard Matthew murmur something as he slipped back into sleep.
When Jack woke again, it was full daylight, and Matthew confirmed that it was after eight already. Shit. He was late. Suzie would have to debrief him on the conference call, and Tosh wanted to go over a proposal she had for an upgrade to the automated rift monitoring system. He regretfully turned down Matthew's offer of breakfast.
"When I say that I'd love to stay longer, professor, I really, really would." He meant it, too -- the sheet was just barely draped over Matthew's hip, and all it would take was to reach -- but, no. "I have to get going," he said, kissing Matthew lightly. He slid out of bed, embarking on a search for his clothes.
He came back into the bedroom still buttoning his cuffs. Matthew beckoned him over and kissed him. It was long, sweet, and very definitely a farewell. Jack offered him more blood, but Matthew demurred, not unkindly. Jack picked up his coat, preparing to leave.
Matthew's question about being locked into a vampiric basement should have unnerved him, but it didn't; he wasn't in any danger. He told Matthew about the rift, and shared his long-held guess that it bothered vampires somehow. Matthew's eyebrows almost reached his hairline, and Jack knew he had more questions, but he didn't ask.
As he reached the door, he paused and looked back at Matthew, still naked, still in bed; he was almost painfully appealing. He shoved away the thought; he really did need to go. His team needed him. "It was good to meet you, Matthew," he said, using his first name this time. Jack looked him up and down once more and smiled. "I'm glad you got your answers."
"It was good to meet you too, Jack," he said, meeting Jack's eyes. "May God speed you on your journey, wherever it may lead."
He wasn't sure why, but the words made him a little sad. He dismissed the feeling, meeting Matthew's gaze again, quirking a smile at him. Interesting guy, the professor -- a man of science, and a man of faith.
The door clicked shut behind him. Jack headed back to Torchwood, to his work, his life.
Before last night, running into a vampire was something he'd tried to avoid at all costs. Maybe, Jack thought, he needed to be a little more open-minded.