Notes: Written for The New Pub. A post Out Of Time fic, written in three parts. Prompts: #1-When I Get You Alone, #2-Love was just a glance away; a warm embracing dance away. #3-Masters of the scene. Unbeta'd. Comments and concrit welcome.
Summary: Jack tries to help Owen get over Diane.
Jack didn’t bother knocking.
He knew Owen was inside, that he probably wouldn’t bother answering and that he definitely shouldn’t be alone right now.
The number of bottles in evidence told their own story, but nothing he couldn’t see in Owen’s face, in his broken posture. Jack had one of those moments where he wondered if he was at all qualified to run Torchwood. Who couldn’t have seen what would happen with Owen and Diane, right down to this particular result? Might as well be honest with himself.
That’ll make a nice change.
He had to smile. Owen was too full of booze and self-pity to formulate that level of sarcasm, but Jack heard the rebuke in Owen’s voice anyway.
Of all his additions to Torchwood, he sometimes thought Owen had come to him the most broken. Maybe that was part of the attraction; and maybe the attraction led Jack to unfortunate decisions, right down to coming here tonight.
Owen shouldn’t be alone, but he’d never see it that way on his own.
Jack would have to convince him.
The first glimmers of light were making themselves known on the Bay.
Jack had lost track of time, although there were definitely more empty bottles than when he’d arrived. Owen had demanded that much of him, which Jack allowed was fair enough. Perhaps he’d tippled a bit too enthusiastically; not that he’d pay much of a price. It was just disconcerting to remember how many times he’d walked in Owen’s shoes and how quickly that path led to the gutter. He was meant to be helping Owen, not making things worse.
Owen had cycled through several stages of grief in the time Jack had been there. Jack had always known that Owen had rage coursing through every fibre of his being, but he still found himself a bit taken aback by the raw fury Owen spewed toward his family, Diane, Gwen, and especially Jack.
He sat still and took it, letting Owen work years of anger out of his system, trying not to let Owen see that the unbridled Dr. Harper was quite a turn-on.
This time the voice of reason came unmistakably from the North.
Which bugged him. A lot.
He stood up and held his arms out to Owen, who looked puzzled, then disgusted, and finally like a man who had nothing left to lose.
There was no music, so Jack did the singing himself. Only one lyric seemed completely appropriate to the situation:
“We’re drinking my friend, to the end of a brief episode.”
With that, Owen stood up, and slowly, awkwardly and very, very sadly gave Jack the dance he’d come looking for.
Jack walked out into the crisp morning air, squinting slightly. It wasn’t going to be one of Cardiff’s better days, not by a long shot. Maybe just as well. Owen would have to wake up some time, and when he did the last thing he’d want was god’s own torch glaring at him.
The last act of their little drama had been Owen crying in his arms, making Jack feel like even more of a bastard than he usually did. Or at least a nominee for worst boss on the planet. Just when he thought he really had gotten through to Owen, had given him what he genuinely needed, something that would be good for both of them and help Owen go on after yet another loss…that’s when he found out just how fragile the human psyche could be.
He honestly hadn’t meant to say “I love you.” It just happened, because he’d danced with Owen and shagged him and felt a bit sentimental. Clearly, a very bad move, given Owen’s nearly hysterical reaction.
Luckily, Owen hadn’t shown any signs of resistance to Retcon, when Jack ran a test to make sure there were no more latent Gwens on the team.
Owen wouldn’t remember anything.
Jack would have to start all over again.