Fandom: Torchwood/De-Lovely (Movie 2004)
Pairing: Jack Harkness/Cole Porter
Notes: I know it's been done before, but this is my take on JB's appearance as "Jack" in the movie about Cole Porter. Thanks to beta_goddess for making me fuzz up the time line and sending the OC's back to whence they came.
Summary: Jack has some good memories too.
The memories weren’t all bad.
On quiet nights in the Hub, he’d relive the good times that had punctuated the various horrors of the twentieth century.
Torchwood wasn’t all that different to the Time Agency, at least what he remembered of it. Amorality and ruthlessness had been part of his character long before he woke up on a street in Cardiff with a bottle in his gut and two women eying him as though he were a tempting yet troublesome sweet. Having thrown in his temporary lot with the organization sworn to destroy the man he needed to see more than any other, Jack had decided to make the best of the situation.
Once he’d accepted the young Tarot reader’s verdict that the Doctor wouldn’t be back until after the millennium, he began to accept assignments that took him away from Cardiff. The traveling show had been fun, although it was disconcerting to be a successful “freak” merely because of what he was, the thing he couldn’t understand. He’d been happier in the music hall, where his voice drew the applause and he’d put a stop to an alien arms dealer who was posing as an impresario and running a veritable arcade of weaponry out of the basement of the Palladium. That was the season he met his acrobats and found out, years before Irving Berlin, that there was indeed no business like show business.
And then there was Cole. It was a memory he kept precious and didn’t take out very often, but sometimes he’d hear a snatch of a tune, or there’d be news of a revival in the West End. Somehow the brilliance of Cole Porter always managed to come back into style.
He never told any of his Torchwood comrades about those days. It was a memory he wanted to relive on his own, with a rare glass of champagne, a rarer cigarette and an old 78 of the young Frank Sinatra singing Night and Day.
With the first sip, it was 1933. He was in a New York that glittered, despite the depression, and seemed to have no idea that another war was coming. Jack had been dispatched to investigate a blue light that was hovering over the East River, undetectable to any equipment that was supposed to be existence.
It hadn’t been hard to get a job in the chorus of the Cole Porter show currently in rehearsal, but he honestly hadn’t expected to be offered a featured role and his own song. Somewhere along the line, his cover became more important than the mission. How could he run around after some two-bit aliens when he was trying to master a tune that taxed even his skills? Until the composer himself came on stage and reminded him that the song was about obsession.
That was a topic Jack understood all too well.
He lay in bed listening to the lyrics, remembering the connection between himself and Cole Porter as they looked into each other’s eyes and sang them together. Even though the “oh such a hungry, yearning burning” that Jack felt inside was for the man who’d abandoned him somewhere in space thousands of years in the future, he felt empathy for Cole too. They both wanted something they thought they couldn’t have or didn’t deserve.
Jack took a sip of Champagne. Cole Porter had always reminded him of Champagne, and vice versa.
With his trousers down, it was just a matter of slicking up and letting the memory take him away, back to New York and an opening night carriage ride set up by Porter’s friend Monty Woolley. Jack hadn’t needed much convincing. He could do this without hurting anyone and they’d both enjoy it, it so why not? He knew about Cole’s wife, but backstage gossip said she accepted her husband’s attraction to men, as long he didn’t do anything that would embarrass her in public.
And this torment won’t be through, till you let me spend my life making love to you.
There wasn’t all that much you could do in the back of a carriage. Not much room, and of course the risk of discovery, but Jack had experience in those matters too and he’d made sure that Cole Porter had the opening night he deserved and allowed him to return the favor. Perhaps they’d stayed out later than propriety allowed, that not being Jack’s strong point or anything that Cole seemed concerned about while they were sharing a moment of quiet in the darkness afterwards…drinking the chilled Champagne that Mr. Woolley had so thoughtfully provided.
The memory of that pop and the fizzy liquid spilling over onto their hands coincided with Jack’s release and a sobbing gasp as he came remembering the kisses and the tenderness.
He lit a cigarette, because that was what they’d done in those days. How could he refuse to let Cole light a cigarette with an engraved lighter?
Good memories. Good times. A good life that he might have had if things were different. But they weren’t. The blue light had disappeared. He’d had to come back to Cardiff in the middle of the run and that Jack was never seen on Broadway, or anywhere else, ever again.
When he saw the Doctor, he’d have to ask him about that blue light.
In the meantime, he put out the cigarette and put the record away. It was a good memory, but only that. The Doctor was his past and his future, the only thing worth waiting for.
Day and night. Night and day.