karaokegal (karaokegal) wrote,

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And now...my first ever Who-verse fic: "Don't Know When" Jack/Algy Rated R Wordcount-1730

Title: Don't Know When
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Capt. Jack Harkness/Algy
Rating: R
Wordcount: 1730
Spoilers for The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances.
Notes: This came into my head while I was watching the first two Captain Jack episodes. I saw it unfolding like a movie and just couldn't not write it. Obviously, I'm late to the Jack party, so my apologies if this has already been done to death. Also-it's a songfic, so sorry bout that. Music by Ross Parker, lyrics by Hughie Charles.
Thanks to Beta Goddess Carol, for her usual awesome job and holding my hand as we entered a new fandom together.

Also available at:

Summary: Algy never forgot Jack.

Comments passionately desired, concrit apprehensively welcome.

We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.

God bless Dame Vera. A survivor like the rest of them, at least the ones who were here, crowding by hundreds and thousands into Trafalgar Square and the surrounding streets to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of VE Day. Exchanging greetings with former comrades in arms and singing songs of the war. Trying to remember how young they’d once been without thinking of how old they were.

But I’m sure we’ll meet again some sunny day.

Vera was the Sweetheart of the Troops, of course. Berkeley Square and the White Cliffs of Dover and all that, but for Algernon Pemberton-Stokes, the music that would always evoke those horrible and occasionally wonderful times was Glenn Miller. The brassy American who came and brightened their lives before vanishing, never to return. Just like Jack.

Keep smiling through, just like you always do.

He’d shown up at the officer’s club one night, carrying documents that said he was part of an RAF division, one of the Yanks who’d come over to help fight the Nazis while their own government was still officially neutral.

Algy had enlisted in ’39, recruited out of Oxford by Army Intelligence. He spent most of his time tracking down profiteers and Fifth Columnists and perhaps a bit too much time at the club, wondering if he couldn’t be doing more for the war effort out among the fighting men in Africa or Burma. Then the bombs starting raining down on London bringing the war to his front door with seemingly endless terror, brightened only by Jack’s smile.

Till the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away.

“You guys got any Glenn Miller?” he’d asked that first night, looking through the cabinet under the Victrola. By chance, they did. Little Brown Jug, as it turned out. Suddenly a somber symphony was replaced with the verve of an American big band, and Captain Harkness was leaning against the bar, taking off his greatcoat and ordering a martini. Algy watched, transfixed, as Jack turned the act of removing and eating an olive into some kind of coded message, one he hoped the rest of the intelligence service wouldn’t decipher. The bombs were still falling, but while he listened to Jack tell tales of battles fought and tight spots escaped, Algy started to think they might just survive this thing after all.

Now won’t you please say “hello,” to the folks that I know? Tell them I won’t be long.

Algy couldn’t honestly tell himself that he’d never looked at a man that way, only that he’d tried not to. With Jack, it was impossible to avoid. From the too-blue eyes to the nearly incandescent smile, Jack was the embodiment of all the longings that Algy had been trying to deny since his thirteenth birthday, and he seemed to know it. More amazingly, he didn’t appear the least troubled by the prospect if those lingering gazes and cheeky grins were anything to go by.

Nothing would ever happen, of course. Algy had a girl back in Kent and a reputation to preserve for the future, assuming there was one.

He wasn't clear on exactly how he’d gotten from a conviction that things would never get further than a few racy toasts accompanied by Chattanooga Choo-choo to the delirious moment at dawn in an alley, with Captain Jack Harkness using one hand to hold him up against a wall, while the other deftly undid his trouser buttons and found its way inside.

The air was cold against his face but Jack’s breath was hot in his ear, telling him “It’s okay, Algy, it’s okay.” Algy wasn’t sure if he meant what they were doing, with Algy gasping as he spilled his passion into Jack’s hand, or that they’d all be okay, as if he had some way of knowing. He looked up into the first rays of dawn, and then into Jack’s eyes, just as bright, apparently with satisfaction at the effect he was having.

Life was more bearable after that, even with the nightly bombing raids, as long as there was still Jack’s smile, with the promises it made, some of which were kept.

They’ll be happy to know, that as you saw me go, I was singing this song.

There’d never been a chance to say good-bye.

All he remembered was one of Jack’s typically suggestive greetings in the vicinity of the German secret weapon. After that, things grew vague. The weapon had disappeared and so had Jack.

Algy stayed with Army Intelligence through the end of the war and then moved into the State Security services. With all his contacts, he was never able to track down the whereabouts or even the existence of an American named Captain Jack Harkness.

But he never forgot.

We’ll meet again.

He went on with the life he’d been born to lead. A wife and children in the country, a job that kept him in the city until the crisis that made it impossible to stay in the government. Instead of comfortable retirement, came the discovery that his son had grown into a Teddy Boy with no respect for his father whatsoever. Mathilda wanted him to come down hard on the boy with everything at his disposal, including the threat of jail time for the petty crimes he’d been committing with his garishly attired mates. He couldn’t do it, nor could he explain the sympathy he felt for the outsiders and the rebels. He hoped that Charlie knew someone who would make it all right to be different.

It wasn’t for Algy, though. Never again. Only in his memories and the stories he eventually penned as an outlet. Published pseudonymously, at nearly as much peril as the actual activity would have been. The “hero” was always a cocksure American with a cleft chin and the ability to melt all resistance to his advances with a grin and an irreverent wisecrack. Jack lived in Algy’s Underwood.

Don’t know where.

The Queen Mum waved, Vera sang, and the crowds pressed in. It was a warm, humid day, becoming nearly overwhelming with memories and emotion. He drifted slowly with the undulations of the crowd, knowing it was impossible to find any specific person in the mass of humanity, with only one person he wanted to see anyway.

Or did he? The Jack he’d held in his heart for over fifty years was a handsome young man he’d known in 1940. He couldn’t imagine a Jack who’d aged the way he had, with a paunch and wrinkles and thinning hair, assuming he’d survived the war and everything that had come afterwards. He didn’t know if he’d recognise such an apparition, but he liked to think the smile would be the same. While looking out for the grin, he was ambushed by the voice.

Don’t know when.

“Algy! Still keeping your pecker up?”

He’d been greeted many times that day, but none made his heart pound in the same way. The voice came from behind him, sounding young and confident. Even with the loudspeakers and the crowd, he’d know that voice. Only fleetingly did he think it odd that he could have been identified from the back, given that he hadn’t even tried to get into the old uniform.


Algy didn’t have to see him. He could feel the presence.

“Don’t turn around, okay?”


“Please. It’s better if you don’t see me. I shouldn’t even be here.”

What on earth could that mean?

“Were you injured?”

“In a way.”

The crowd pushed their bodies together, and Algy found himself pressed against Jack. He reached back and touched what felt like Jack’s greatcoat, madness on such a warm day, and certainly unlikely 54 years after the fact. An old man’s illusion, he supposed, along with the fact that the hand that grasped his wrist bore no signs of aging whatsoever.

He didn’t mind. If it was a hallucination, it felt more real than the better part of his life had for the last half century. He closed his eyes, losing himself in the sheer pleasure of hearing Jack’s voice again.

“Remember when we liberated a case of 20-year-old Scotch from the supply room of the club? You were a crazed man that night, Algy. I thought you were going to screw me right through the wall.”

Dear lord. Jack’s voice saying those things in his ear made him feel like a young man again. Young and randy, and nothing to do for it but stroke the impossibly smooth hand of the man he saw so vividly in his mind’s eye. He wasn’t sure if he remembered that night or not. Was it something that had actually happened or a tale he’d made up for one of his more febrile fictions? His younger self had been a bit shy and already on the verge on stodginess. Except when Jack was around. With Jack’s smile and a few drinks, anything was possible. If Jack said he’d screwed him, than damn it, that’s exactly what had happened and he could see it now, the candle illuminating the dark closet, his hands on Jack’s hips,…feel it…the unbelievable heat and tightness and exhilaration and fear and …love? Or just the hand squeezing his, tightly now, as sweat beads grew on his face and he felt somewhat faint.


“Don’t worry, Algy. It’s going to be okay. I promise.”

He nodded, letting Jack support his weight because he didn’t think his legs would keep him up. He lost track of time, and even the crowds. Nothing but Jack’s strong body, an arm encircling his waist, the other hand tightly grasping his. Algy hoped he wasn’t crying, that it was the hot afternoon pouring sweat in his eyes and making them burn.

He no longer cared if it was a dream or not. He was just so damn happy to have the chance to feel this alive again, until he felt something change in Jack’s posture and knew what was coming.

“I have to go now.”

Algy nodded, grateful they’d had this much, real or not.

“Goodbye, Jack. Thanks. For everything.”

“Bye, Algy. You’ve still got an excellent bottom. Never forget that. I know I won’t.”

Jack always could make him blush.

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.
Tags: jack harkness

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