Challenge: 17 Battle
Warnings: Nightmares (thankfully not on Elm Street)
Spoilers: Up to and Including “The Doctor Dances” as well as Torchwood’s “Adam”.
Notes: Five sequential drabbles. Slashy if you squint, which is how I love these two.
The Doctor stands barefoot on a beach. The sun is warm, but not overly so. The wind is blowing softly off of the water, cooling him down. A line of colorful whirligigs catch his eye. They spin with the light wind, reflecting the light of the sun. They shine. They sparkle. They turn. It’s an ordinary scene, complete with ordinary sounds and ordinary smells. His head turns at the sound of children’s laughter.
Two boys are running through the sand, hand in hand. The Doctor blinks, breathes, and they are gone.
The sky is falling. Pieces of it swoop down, grab hold. He can feel their breath on his neck. He runs.
Jack is standing in the midst of nothing. Something must’ve gone wrong. Or he’s not good enough. It’s probably the latter. He circles in place, taking in his lack of surroundings, and throws up his hands.
Then it hits him.
He hits the nonexisting floor, curling up into a fetal position. Tears well up behind his eyes, A sob builds in his throat. He knows better than to fight it. Loneliness. It attacks him from all sides. He is utterly alone. Forever. It scares him more than anything, more than pain, more than death, more than himself. He is scared.
The Doctor jars awake, banging his head on the console. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep. He also certainly hadn’t meant to dream someone else’s dream. Rubbing the sand from his eyes, he sets a course for the kitchen while trying to figure out why exactly that had happen. A cup of tea will set him right.
Jack registers the pain before he realizes he is curled up on the floor of his bedroom. He must’ve fallen off. Unable to shake the unknown fear, he wraps the blanket around him tighter, and heads toward the kitchen. He needs a drink.
“Psychic assimilation.” The Doctor greets him with a cup of tea. “Your pesky human nightmares wormed their way into my consciousness, thanks to your ever-annoying ability to boast about being psychic.”
“Slightly psychic.” Jack takes the cup, absorbing the warmth, “On my mother’s side.”
“Doesn’t matter. Your mind invaded mine. Not very nice, you know. At least I ask before I do that sort of thing.”
Jack laughs into his cup, spilling tea on himself, but thankful for the sensation. “I don’t remember you asking about tonight.”
Carefully, the Doctor sits down. “How do you mean?”
The Doctor refuses to share what he had seen. Jack believes it’s because the man has no desire to know what Jack had seen. Going out on a limb, Jack blurts, “We lived under the threat of invasion.”
The Doctor jerks slightly. Jack continues, whispering, “There was nothing left.”
The Doctor grips his mug tighter. Every soldier has his scars, and every battle leaves its mark. Jack knows this, and he knows it well. That is why he nudges the brooding man with his foot and smiles slyly. “I had a bad dream. Can I sleep in your bed tonight?”