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The Rain In Spain

Title: The Rain In Spain
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairings: Implied Jack/Alonso, obliquely mentioned past Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing. (Well, I own my new flat, but not Torchwood.)
Spoilers: Post-CoE
Summary: Jack created a whole new life for himself, but it was never going to last.

Author's Note: Written for Round 4.07 of writerinadrawer

The Rain In Spain

"You can't say you've experienced rain until you've spent an April in Wales."

Jack froze, his finger scant millimetres above the confirm key on their dinner order. He really, really, hadn't meant to say that.

He had been so careful this past fortnight, and now one slip of the tongue could bring the whole carefully constructed charade crashing down around him.

"James?" One glance around at Alonso's face told Jack that yes, he had caught the slip; he wasn't going to get away with this by blustering over it and pretending nothing had happened. "I thought you said you'd never been to Earth. What are you talking about?"

Sighing, Jack let his finger fall; no matter how this conversation ended, they were still going to need food.

He turned around and perched on the edge of the table supporting the concierge unit. Alonso leaned back in the chair opposite, watching him. He didn't say anything, didn't push for the explanation so evidently hanging between them, just watched, watched and waited for Jack to offer it on his own.

Jack was struck with a burst of familiarity, an image from the past imposing itself on top of reality for a moment. The ache in his gut it invoked just confirmed that his grand plan –the one that was currently tumbling down around his ears– had all been for naught anyway.

He'd only been fooling himself to think that he could make his painful past disappear just by inventing himself a new one. He had a feeling he'd known that all along, but when running alone –and he'd run and run and run– hadn't helped, he'd begun to grow desperate.

A new companion had seemed just the ticket, the Doctor's unexpected introduction coming just at the right moment. If he could make Alonso believe his tale, maybe he could eventually make himself believe it.

For a short time, it had almost worked. The effort of maintaining the cover story –something he hadn't needed to do to this extent for so very long– had been occupying his mind just enough to keep painful memories from intruding, but they were still there, just waiting for the opportunity to reassert themselves.

Now that they'd regained a foothold, Jack had to swallow hard to hold them back before they consumed him.

Alonso was still silent, curiosity and concern mingling in his steady gaze.

"I…" Jack faltered. Where did you begin when you were about to tell someone everything they knew about you was a lie?

"My name isn't really James," he blurted as the silence between them began to get awkward. Alonso, to his credit, barely blinked, just nodded and waited for Jack to continue.

"It's… well, it's not really Jack, either, but that's the name I've gone by for most of my life." A life much longer than Alonso could possible suspect, but that was probably a revelation for another time. "Jack Harkness. And I'm not really on leave from the intergalactic peace corps either."

"I actually had my suspicions about that one already," Alonso said, a wry smile on his face. "I have friends who went into the corps, and you don't act like any of them."

Jack snorted at the comment; he had actually –just for a moment– considered joining up. If nothing else, it was a mission; there was only so long you could run aimlessly around the universe.

"I'm actually…" He shook his head, staring at the wall above Alonso's head. What was he? Was he still Torchwood? Would he ever be Torchwood again? Was there even a Torchwood to be again? Was he on leave? AWOL? Or was he simply gone?

"I've spent most of my life on Earth," he said, instead, answering the original question. "I worked there."

"And then you left." The unspoken question was clear. Why?

"Yes." Jack took a deep breath. "A job I was doing… went wrong. I lost two people… two people that I loved. And it was my fault. I couldn't stay after that."

"You know, I doubt whatever it was was really your fault." Alonso had somehow appeared at his side without Jack even noticing he'd moved. "Sometimes things go wrong and there's just nothing anyone can do."

"No." Jack choked down the lump in his throat. "It was. If it wasn't for my stupidity, and arrogance… Even my own daughter hates me." The look on Alice's face as she'd walked away… even now the guilt was overwhelming just remembering it.

"So you're running away," the voice beside him said. The tone was mild but even so, it was clear what Alonso thought about the plan.

"I couldn't stay," he repeated. "Cardiff, Wales, Earth… all of it just reminds me of all the ways I failed the people I loved."

"So how's the running working out for you, then?"

Jack didn't really know how to answer that one. He wanted to say it was working, but he knew that he'd be lying. He knew Alonso knew he'd be lying too. But nevertheless…

"I… it's not. But staying wouldn't have worked any better."

"How do you know? My mum always said you can't solve your problems until you meet them head on."

Jack clenched his fists. What did Alonso's mother know about anything? His problems couldn't be solved; he wasn't going to feel any better for meeting anything 'head on'. If he just found the right place to run, he could outrun the pain eventually. He just had to avoid any reminders… like children. Or people. Or aliens.

He dropped his head forward as he realised that he was still deluding himself. Running wasn't working. He could run and run and the pain would just follow him wherever he went.

At least at home –and really, the fact that he still thought of Earth as home should have told him something– he had a purpose.

"Alonso," he started with a deep sigh. "Do you own a raincoat?"


The End
Comments and concrit always welcomed!

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
idamus
Aug. 7th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
These are great, my favorites are 4.02, 4.03 and 4.05 :)
etmuse
Aug. 7th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
kausingkayn
Aug. 7th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Hm - you know, this could actually be a viable reason for Jack to return to Earth at the start of series 4.
I liked this - love your Alonso as well. Everyone I read has different versions of him.
etmuse
Aug. 7th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
I sort of hope we do at least get some idea of why he returned...

I quite liked writing this Alonso... he just appeared in the fic however he wanted to lol
owensheart
Aug. 7th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
I think Alonzo could be good for Jack, if he would only let him. and he does make sense.

Wonderful writing.
etmuse
Aug. 7th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
He could be, yes.
badly_knitted
Aug. 8th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Don't really know how to feel about this one. On the one hand, I hated the Jack/Alonso scene - it seemed contrived. I hated Coe as well, for dozens of reasons. On the other hand, Jack's trying and failing to escape from his grief and memories is beautifully handled.
etmuse
Aug. 13th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
I never expected to write Alonso or post-CoE, to be honest. It just sort of happened.
hab318princess
Aug. 9th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
oh boy, that tugged at my heartstrings
etmuse
Aug. 13th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Poor Jack.
alt_universe_me
Oct. 10th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
This was a really interesting take on Jack/Alonso. I like Alonso saying "Well, my mum always said..." I can picture him saying something like that :)
etmuse
Oct. 10th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Thanks.
missthingsplace
Nov. 14th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
That tugged rather hard at the heartstrings ...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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