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Once, Twice, Finally

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The first time Leonard sees him is on New Vulcan. He's tall and imposing, grinning through the sweat and the fine red dust layering over him as he works on construction. He's so cheery that the Vulcans around him don't seem to know quite what to do with him, but he's also the most enthusiastic volunteer among the rebuilding effort and he never seems to slow down, so they endure the back slaps and the excess emotion with grace.

Somehow they end up next to each other in the queue for dinner, and when Leonard starts grumbling his way along he turns around and laughs brightly right in Leonard's face. Not that he'd let that stop him, he goes right on bitching about tasteless roots and grass and deliberately etches his scowl on his face just a little deeper, but it makes no difference. A strong arm wraps his shoulders and have drags him up the table to point out some obscure dish and insist it's tastier than the grits and a stiff drink he's claiming to want.

Leonard knows he isn't a small man, but he feels like an ant next to the hugeness of this guy - and it isn't just his height and brawny shoulders. Something in his personality seems to boom loudly and brightly that he's there, and you better not miss him, and Leonard is a little surprised to find that even years of exposure to Jim Kirk hadn't readied him for this. Luckily Jim saves him from having to awkwardly disentangle himself by hollering his name and waving at them wildly from the corner of the makeshift mess tent, where he's sitting with old Spock. The man looks from Jim, to Leonard, and back again, and then he leers a little.

"Bones, huh? I like that, it's very suggestive. It suits you," the stranger says with a wink, and then leans in, pulling him in tighter when Leonard reflexively rears back, and whispers in his ear. "It's been a pleasure."

Then he's gone in the same whirlwind manner that he seemed to arrive in, leaning Leonard standing in the middle of a crowded tent feeling a little lost with a bowl of something green and goopy in his hands that he doesn't even know the name of.


* * * * *


The second time Leonard sees him, he's wearing this big arse coat that swirls around him at he runs and spins and kicks. They're in the middle of yet another away mission gone south and he just seems to come from no where.

"Hey there, gorgeous," he says with a wink when he eventually moves level with Bones' position in the fighting. "Long time no see."

"Who the hell-" Bones snarls, pausing the phaser some… thing… with red tentacles into submission, before breathing really deep and continuing with the volume a few notches higher. The man doesn't even flinch. "-do you think you are and where did you come from? There aren't meant to be any other humans this far out! If you think you can just-"

"Oh, I'm sorry sweetheart," he drawls and throws another punch. "Did I forget to introduce myself?"

"Introduce yourself?" Bones splutters indignantly, and has to be pulled out of the way as another alien tries to take advantage of his distraction.

"Captain Jack Harkness, at your service," he continues jauntily, and then grabs Bones' phaser out of his hand and shoves him into a wall, before stepping in front of him and going to work.

Leonard shoves at the back of the man's shoulders but he refuses to budge, and, well, Leonard doesn't exactly have a weapon anymore, now does he. Instead he focuses on rolling his eyes until they threaten to pop out of his head each time some charming comment or obvious come on is tossed over the man's shoulder between phaser shots. Honestly, he's like a child, and he's worse than Jim. Leonard never thought he'd see the day someone managed that.

Before he knows it, the fight is dying down, and Jack finally steps away from Leonard as Jim approaches, picking his way carefully through the unconscious alien bodies.

"What-" Leonard starts, but Jack cuts him off and presses the phaser back into his hand.

"I was just around, thought it looked like you needed a hand," Jack says, and lowers his gaze pointedly to where his hand still lingers, clasped around Leonard's and the phaser, before slowly drawing it away. "I like you, Bones."

Jack nods to Jim when he gets close, and then he takes off down a corridor without another word, and before Leonard can respond.

"Where did he come from?" Jim asks curiously after a moment

"I have no idea," Bones admits wearily, and Jim immediately snaps to attention.

"What do you mean you have no idea?"

"I mean exactly that, I have no idea."

Jim immediately snaps out his communicator and starts grilling the people back on the Enterprise's bridge, but the readings are the same as before they beamed down. No non-native humanoid life-forms other than the Starfleet officers, and no ships anywhere near their location, or on the surface. There's a furrow between Jim's eyebrows when he turns back to Leonard, but one corner of his mouth is quirked up in reluctant admiration.

"Well, Bones, I don't exactly like it, but I can't say I'm not grateful he saved your arse."

"Dammit, Jim, I was already doing perfectly fine on my own!"

Jim's smile blossoms for a moment in response to Leonard's scowl, but then his Captain face snaps into place and he calls for the Enterprise to beam them up.

Just as they're dematerialising, Leonard swears he sees the end of a long, dark coat disappear around a corner.


* * * * *


The third time Leonard sees him, he's sitting in Leonard's room on Risa, sprawled out on the lounge. Risa was Jim's idea for shore leave, of course, and he'd bitched and complained about the whole way, but he wasn't a complete fool. He'd been making a point of enjoying himself, just away from Jim and his ideas of what Bones needed for a good idea. So it was late when he let himself in, and he was a little less than sober, but he was thankfully alone when he noticed his extra guest.

"You!" Leonard all but shouts and points an accusing finger at him.

The Captain held up his hands as if to surrender and smirked.

"Don't shoot," he drawled.

"Dammit, man, you don't do this to a person!"

"Do what, exactly?" the man smirked as he came to his feet and started wandering around the room, examining things.

"Break into his room and go through his things, just for starters!"

Jack looked over at Leonard with a wide, cheeky smile, and picked up the book from his bedstand

"But I didn't go through your things, that would be rude," he said, and started ruffling through the pages, pausing here and there to read a paragraph and hum approvingly while Leonard kept spluttering in indignant rage by the door.

Leonard opened his mouth to start ranting, but then Jack put the book down and turned to stalk towards. His gaze was intense and his gait full of nothing less than sex and power, and Leonard found himself without words. He stopped a hands-breadth from Leonard and stood there, saying nothing, his chin held high and proud as they stared at each other.

"You expect me to believe you broke into my rooms and didn't take the opportunity to look through the things in it?" Leonard felt his own voice down to his bones, how weak and faltering and deeply distracted it was.

"Yes," Jack said simply.


"Because you're good at judging people, when you bother to pay them the attention."

"You can't possibly know that," Leonard protested, flustered.

"Yes, I can. I already know everything about you that I need to know, from our last two meetings."

"Dammit, that's ridiculous!" Leonard spluttered. "I certainly haven't learnt anything about you from our last two meetings. Actually, quite the opposite!"

"Then ask away," he answered smoothly, and grinned. "I'll tell you anything you want to know."

"Who the hell are you?"

"Captain Jack Harkness," he barked, like he was a military officer on duty, and then winked.

"Captain of what, exactly?" Leonard huffed in frustration.

"I was recently flying a lovely small ship from a few galaxies over, had a wonderful little cloaking ability. Worked even when you weren't in the ship, amazing. But I'm afraid we had a few too many squirmishes together so I've had to let her go."

"Are you human? Where are you from?

"Yes. I'm from the fifty-first century, and I'm a former time-agent."

"The… former what? Dammit man, make sense!"

"Why don't you let me explain it to you," Jack said, leaning in close and letting his slowly travel down Leonard's body, and then back again. "Slowly, and at great… length."

Leonard swallowed hard and pursed his lips.

"First you tell me one thing…"

"Anything," Jack said and grinned, stepping in so that they were a hair breath away from being pressed together from head to toe.

"Why are you here?"

"Well," Jack said, and looked away for a moment. When he looked back his expression was still cheerful, but something about his eyes looked completely serious and made something in Leonard's gut clench. "You interest me. You might say it's been a long time since anyone has interested me."

He raised a hand, and gently trailed a finger along Leonard's jawline, and then he dropped his gaze and turned, crossing the room in swift strides to drop back onto the lounge.

"You might say I'm not a conventional guy," he continued with a wave that encompassed the room. "But you interest me."

"And nobody's done that in a long time, yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time," Leonard groused, but he walked further into the room and threw his coat across the end of the bed.

Then he looked at Jack sprawled out and shook his head with a wry smile.

"Well then, talk already."