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PTSD

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PTSD

Title: PTSD
Author: Unsentimental Fool
Fandom: Torchwood/BtvS crossover
Pairing: Jack Harkness/Spike
Rating: Mature
Word Count: 3100
Summary: Jack's having some serious trouble dealing with the events of the year that never was. And there's a blond guy with pointed teeth in town. Naturally, they are going to meet in a bar....
Notes/Warnings: Set after Last of the Time Lords (Doctor Who), at start of second series (Torchwood)

Part 1- Meeting

The date flashed at Jack from the side of what in Cardiff passed for a skyscraper. A month since he'd got back.

All year he'd focussed on getting back here, to what he thought of as family and home. Now he wondered why he'd come back at all.

They'd been pretty good. Not asked questions, after the first. He could feel them, in their dysfunctionally affectionate ways (and who was he to judge functionality?), ready to catch his fall without comment. They had stopped touching him, walking too close, anything that made him flinch. And they'd never questioned his orders; if they thought (as he did sometimes) that the man who had returned was unfit to lead them, they kept quiet about it.

A month, and nothing had changed in that month. For years he'd walked the streets of Britain, head up, always scanning the crowd for that familiar, rangy figure; his Doctor. Now his Doctor was dead, as good as, and the man who had taken his place had no space for Jack in his fragmented soul. So Jack kept on looking for a dead man. Habits die hard.

There was another face in the crowds now; a way of walking, a set of the eyes, and for a moment Jack would be in that room again, in chains, watching the man approach. But that man was dead too. No Timelords were walking the Cardiff streets. Only Jack's memories betrayed him over and over, endlessly haunted by the dead.

A month, and he'd touched no-one. He'd stayed in at nights, away from those bars where men and women knew him only as Jack, and smiled when he looked their way. Desire, fear, hatred; after a year Jack couldn't separate them any more.

But a month was enough. Jack was tired of being a victim. Tonight would be different. Even if he had to damn well fake it, he wouldn't be alone tonight. There would be someone to remember out there.

Jack found him in the third bar. Sitting alone, with the end of a whiskey bottle. Small, blond, drawn fine-featured face, black clothes. From the side he was almost ugly but when he turned his head the features slipped into place and Jack drew a deep breath.

The stranger looked straight at him, an assessing glance. There was something familiar about those eyes, but Jack couldn't place it. He gave the man his best "Isn't this wonderful" grin and sat down next to him. The stranger snorted, looked away and then back at him in what could only be surprise.

"Drink?" Jack offered. "Name's Jack". The man was still assessing him. Jack grinned again. Hell with how he might feel; he knew he looked good.

"Spike. Same again." The bartender looked for confirmation from Jack, pulled out another bottle of malt and another glass. This wasn't going to be a cheap date.

The whiskey was good. Not the first drink of the evening by a long way, but probably the best. It was definitely helping Jack to relax. Spike had made up his mind about something. He smiled, close lipped.

The smile transformed his face, his eyes. Jack had put his age as about 30; he suddenly realised that he was a long way off. Those eyes; they were the ones he saw in the mirror. Ageless, or very old. He wondered if the stranger saw the resemblance too.

"Seen yourself in a mirror lately?" The question came out before he'd realised how insulting it sounded. Spike seemed amused.

"No." A hand brushed his as Spike reached for the bottle. It was cool, smooth. A hundred years of Jack's experience screamed "Alien" . Simultaneously, desire stirred. Spike grinned at him, seemingly aware of one or both reactions. "Not at all." Sharp canines showed; filed or natural. Jack didn't have much doubt which.

Jack lowered his voice. "What are you?" Not accusing. He didn't want this alien either fleeing or attacking.

Spike slid off the stool, fast and supple, draining the glass. He picked up the mostly full bottle.

"Why don't we go for a little walk?" Men moved out of his way as the small figure strode across the bar. He didn't look back, but Jack was following.

Jack was in his element now, for the first time since he got back. His city, his job, an alien that might just be play as well as work (a shiver there, Best not to think about what happens next.)

Spike moved through the city like a predator. Jack was in professional mode again; what sort of prey? Had there been bodies recently? He nearly called back to find out, remembered he'd left his PDA at home. He couldn't remember any mention of anything out of the ordinary- maybe Spike was new in town? Or maybe he was jumping to conclusions.

Spike led Jack down to the basement of a derelict house. No windows. A hole in the ceiling and power cords suggested the electricity came from next door. There was a bed, TV, small fridge, and discarded clothes, mainly black, clearly Spike's. Spike took a swig from the bottle and tossed it to Jack. Jack sat down on the end of the bed, suddenly conscious of Spike as a man, all lean flesh and angles. His foot kicked something on the floor; he looked down. For a second his brain registered just loops and lines, then he flashed. Chains around his wrists, ankles, fighting to get free, the chain round his neck, squeezing, squeezing; he was back on the bed in the basement, his heart pounding, lungs panting, legs pulled up to his chest, clutching the bottle..

Spike looked amused, if anything. "Someone forget a safe word?" Jack didn't think that bondage games gone wrong really covered it. He sat up, with as much dignity as he could manage, heart slowly settling, took a long drink of the whiskey. Spike sat down next to him, stretched his arms behind his back. Muscles rippled. .Jack's heart speeded up again. This really was not going to be a restful night.

"So, here we are." He waved at what was presumably Spike's home. "Want to answer my question now? You're not human."

Spike snorted at that. "You can talk." He tipped his head and flesh, skin, bone;changed. Still recognisable, but so not human. He looked like nothing so much as a folktale vampire.

"What world are you from?" Spike looked offended.

"Do I look like a little green man to you? I'm "from" as you put it, here. London, to be precise."

Jack was trying to remember what he knew about vampires. Garlic, sunlight, crosses, blood, incredibly sexy. Even with ridges in their foreheads. He thought he'd better try to stay professional for a bit longer.

"Blood. You drain people's blood, right?" (Flash, a short one. Hanging limp in the chains, his blood draining out through a dozen punctures. The Master has wine glasses. He was back, heart hammering.)

"Wrong." Spike looked disgusted. "Got a bloody chip in my head." He slammed a hand against the wall, which dented. Jack was impressed, tried not to show it.

"What sort of chip?"

"Government." Spike caught Jack's expression. "Not your government, they know sod all." Jack was mildly offended; Torchwood might have its faults but generally information gathering was pretty hot. But he had to admit that vampires didn't feature in any of the records he'd read.

"Stops me harming any humans. Unless they want me to, of course." He eyed Jack speculatively. "I don't know if you'd count though. So what's your story?

Jack looked nonchalant. "Just curious. No story."

Spike snorted. "Sure. You're a normal handsome American boy in Wales, with bloody good reflexes, eyes that tell me you've lived about as long as I have, which is a hell of a long time, you can pick out a vampire in a bar even if you don't know what you're looking at.

"And". His hand flashed out, faster than Jack could follow, touched him lightly on the cheek. Jack flung himself backwards onto the floor, crouching defensively, his hands shaking.

"Someone recently has done a very impressive Spanish Inquisition job on you, mate. Which is odd because I'm guessing that underneath those pretty clothes that hot body of yours doesn't have a mark on it." He raised his eyebrows. "Anyone I know?"

Jack stood up, moved back to sit on the bed. There was some whiskey left; for the next quarter of an hour he concentrated on drinking it. The vampire was watching him; not scornful or sympathetic. Alien; dangerous, unpredictable. Not vulnerable, not capable of being shocked or appalled. And nothing at all to do with Timelords.

In the end Jack told him everything. The pain, the fear, the helplessness, the hatred. The betrayals and the guilt. The endless twisted perversions he was forced into, the ones he'd couldn't forget because they were unbearable, and the ones he couldn't forget because they were all too addictive. All the stuff that only he and the Master had known about; the stuff he'd sworn no-one else would ever be told. And most of all, the deaths, over and over. Everything always ended in death.

Then, drunk and exhausted, he curled up on Spike's bed and slept.

 

Part 2 Parting

 

When Jack woke, the vampire had gone. He didn't know how much time had passed.

There was a bucket of water by the bed; he washed, rinsed out the dried sweat on his shirt as well as he could. The smell of bacon made him turn; Spike was there. Jack hadn't heard the door.

Spike tossed him a package. "Breakfast".

Jack ate the roll in a couple of bites, suddenly ravenous. Considering how much he'd drunk, he felt pretty good. And half naked already. He smiled wickedly at Spike.

"What now?"

"My breakfast." Spike was fast. Hands on his shoulders pushed him down on the bed, slid out to encircle his wrists. Legs around his, immobilising. Spike's face was inches from his, intent. He flashed on those eyes, on being trapped. By the time he knew where he was again for sure, he was naked and Spike was completely in control.

His wrists were casually pinned over his head by a single hand. Black trousers straddled his thighs, a slight weight yet he couldn't move. Despite the proximity he couldn't tell if the vampire was even aroused. No hiding his own reaction though.

Spike sat upright, eyes still intent on his and the slightest of smiles on his lips. The free hand was roaming, probing, and Jack was flashing back over and over, reliving the helplessness, waiting for the pain.

The pain didn't come. Over an age the distinction between now and then became clearer. The eyes were cool, amused, but there was no malice in them. Slowly he relaxed. A year of having to struggle, uselessly. A month of holding himself together silently and badly. He was as helpless as he had been then, but it was gradually dawning on him that he no longer had to fight back.

This wasn't the Master. The world didn't depend on him any more. Just him and this stranger in a basement in Cardiff, and if he let the vampire win no-one would be betrayed. Not even him.

Spike's hand flicked over his groin and he closed his eyes for the first time, arched up into the smooth, cool fingers. When he opened his eyes Spike was grinning at him. For the first time in what must have been an hour at least, he spoke.

"Now we're getting somewhere." The satisfaction in his voice ought to be annoying, but Jack didn't much care. Spike was pulling his own t-shirt over his head, nimbly switching hands on Jack's pinned wrists. Jack ached to touch, but apparently that wasn't going to be allowed.

For a few minutes it was all good. Then Spike apparently decided that he needed both hands at once.

When Jack felt the cuffs around his wrists he went crazy for a long time. A small, sane part of him knew he was screaming, couldn't stop. The same part knew he wasn't back there, it wasn't happening again, but there was too much panic, terror; he could see the Master in front of him, the cell, the chains.

He finally became aware of his surroundings again. He was spread-eagled on the bed. Spike was kneeling on top of him, arms outstretched to hold his wrists. Raw skin screamed at him from wrists and ankles. The vampire's face was inches from his own.

"Sorry about that, mate." So calm; Spike might have been apologising for spilling his drink. He dipped his head and for the first time, kissed Jack, forcing his mouth open, cool tongue down his throat.

Flash. And flash. Jack hadn't kissed anyone, hadn't been kissed, since the last time he'd been in chains. Now, then were confused again. It hadn't stopped, would never stop. Desire, hate, fear, all together, focussed on one man. That tiny, sane voice was begging for Spike to stop.

Spike didn't. Nor did he let go of Jack's wrists, though Jack's body was bucking frantically below him. He slid down to lie on top of Jack, bare chest to chest, groin to naked groin, legs wrapped around legs, as close as he could get. There was nowhere to look but into his unreadable eyes.

Hours passed. Or minutes. Some time later Spike's hands were no longer on his wrists. He lay quite still, exhausted. He couldn't feel the chains, didn't want to know they were still there. No more flash backs. Kisses almost gentle, hands almost stroking. He closed his eyes and surrendered.

It didn't stay gentle for long. But now he knew where he was, what was happening. The body perched on his hips was a vampire, not a Timelord. Whatever Spike wanted, and Jack was pretty sure he wanted something more than this, it wasn't about breaking Jack. He let the desire take hold.

Damn, but the man was good at this! It went on and on. They didn't speak again. Until, just before the end.

Spike's eyes were hot, as Jack pulled against the chain into his touch. He pushed Jack back down onto the bed.

"Ready?"

Jack nodded, biting his lip.

"So, do I get breakfast?"

It took Jack a moment to understand. Spike laughed at him, mouth open, and he saw those unhuman teeth again. Right then he'd never seen anything so arousing. He laughed back.

"Help yourself."

Spike slid down his body, teeth grazing against his erection, and he groaned in bliss and relief. Through the blur he saw the vampire's face above him, strangely changed, still beautiful. The sharp pain in his neck was a second, stronger release. He closed his eyes, relaxed utterly, and sank into blackness.

 

The first thing Jack noticed on waking was that he had woken up. Not dead, this time. Curled on his side, no chains. A familiar smell in the air. His muscles hurt like hell, and his wrists and ankles stung. He was still naked. Two unfamiliar voices bickered about a car.

He lay still for a moment, processing. Then he opened his eyes, without moving.

Spike was sitting on the floor, watching television and eating chips. He stretched back an arm to offer them to Jack without turning his head.

"Bit soggy, but not bad for Cardiff." He was dressed again, the same clothes or identical ones. Jack could see the blond hairs down the back of his neck. Suddenly he was hungry.

His wrists had been neatly bandaged. The chips were good; fresh. Jack ate them between dressing himself and wincing. Spike watched his TV programme without looking round.

Chips finished, clothes on. Jack ran his fingers through his hair, wished for a mirror. Should he leave now? He was good at post coital chat, but then he'd generally had some sort of clue about what had happened.

He didn't want to sit back on the bed, was too sore to stand. Finally he sat down on the floor, not too near the vampire.

Spike looked at him and the slightest shiver of desire went through him again. Alien, or as good as, he reminded himself.

"What was that all about?" he asked.

Spike shrugged, rose with elegant grace and opened the fridge. He threw a packet over his shoulder and Jack caught it instinctively. It was full of a black liquid.

"Pig's blood. From the butcher. Tastes foul." The bag looked like it might break. Jack put it down, carefully.

Another came flying out. This one was properly packaged and labelled, but full of the same dark stuff.

"Human, type O. Tastes pretty bland and costs a fortune on the black market." The bag was marked Cardiff District Hospital.
.
"But the best stuff; that you can't buy. Fresh human blood, with the flavour of terror. Panic " He walked over to Jack, stretched a hand out to his neck. Jack didn't flinch.

"And lust. Those two together; I tell you, if I could sell it I'd make a fortune." He walked back to his place on the floor, eyes on the TV set.

"Breakfast. That's what it's all about."

Jack found his hand was on one of the manacles. From here he could swing it round, hit the back of the head, maybe dash his brains out. His hands tightened on the cold metal. Spike didn't move. Again he noticed those faint blond hairs, running down into the t shirt.

He dropped the cuff, swung up onto his feet, walked out.

 

It was late evening. They'd apparently been searching for him all day. He didn't answer questions, but he let Owen redo the bandages and swear over the deep, unbleeding wound in his neck.

That night he suggested to Ianto that he might stay, if he wanted to. There were no flashbacks.

The next day he went back to the basement. The furniture was still there but the clothes, and the chains, were gone. There was a note on the bed, for him. It said, "Try living."

He sat on the bed and looked at the note for a long while. It didn't answer any of his questions, but it was good advice, nonetheless. He smoothed the bed cover with a hand. Then he walked out into the Welsh sunshine, head titled back to catch the warmth.