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Torchwood: Partners (Fanfiction)

Partners

Word Count: ~ 1.500
Summary: John blushed and looked away, embarrassed by Handsome's honesty. Nobody had ever called him a good man. Nobody had called him a good anything aside from Janiqua … his sweet Janiqua.
Characters: John Hart, Jack Harkness
Pairing: Jack/John Hart (pre-slash), John/OC (past)
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Adam (Jack's past)
Setting: before the series
Warnings: Hints at omniphobia and homophobia
Author's Note: Written for queer_fest and the prompt Torchwood, any character, Meeting Jack means having at least one person who accepts them for who they are. This is a story about the beginning of a friendship. I don't quite know if it still fits the prompt but it certainly tells the story about the start of a relationship that fits it - at least for a while.
Beta: larsinger29 did the English beta for this as usual. Thanks! And with pechfeder, I've got a German beta again. Thank you!
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

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He was gorgeous.

That was the first thing coming to John's mind every time he saw him.

Gorgeous, tall and always surrounded by other recruits. John didn't even know his name, calling him “Handsome” in his mind, but he doubted that he would ever need to address him. John wasn't part of Handsome's crowd. He wasn't part of anyone's crowd. Lacking the casual charm and easy confidence that Handsome and most of the others had in abundance, the Time Agency Academy was a lonely affair for John. He hated the others for it … everyone but Handsome. This one, John had realized from the start, was special.

Right now, John was watching Handsome joking with some other recruits in the mess, all of them laughing about something he'd said, his grin winning over hearts in a matter of seconds. John had never been like that. More the opposite.

He pulled his legs up to his chest and leaned back against the wall behind him, opening his book and starting to study for an upcoming test. He'd chosen one of the tables in the corner of the mess, sitting alone, knowing he wasn't popular. A lot of things about him struck others as strange, especially where he came from. He knew he wasn't like most of the recruits here, who came following wild stories about an independent life as one of the best, as one of the good guys protecting the universe from misuse of time travel. They'd come to become heroes, for the money and the prestige.

He'd come for the money, sure, but certainly not for the prestige nor to become a hero. He'd come to get away from home, to be independent and better than his good-for-nothing father. And that set him aside from the bright-eyed, eager recruits lusting for adventure. That and the fact that he was working so very hard for his education. Those rich kids whose parents paid for the academy, they didn't appreciate the chance they'd been given and were more interested in parties. John did. Working three jobs to pay for his place here, he was working for the best grade. Because the best grade guaranteed you the best assignments later on and the best assignments called for bigger independence. Something those rich kids didn't seem to realize.

Handsome, though ... he wasn't like them. There was something in his stance and eyes, John decided. He looked almost ... haunted. The people crowded around him didn't seem to notice, taken in by his good looks and blue sparkling eyes and bright smile, but John saw. Because he'd seen that look and stance before – in mirrors. He liked Handsome. He would even go as far as to say that he had a bit of a crush on him. He didn't dare flirt with Handsome, though. It wouldn't end well. Those things never ended well for him.

”Watching me?” somebody asked and John startled from his thoughts. He looked up from his book and there he was – Handsome, his hands buried in the pockets of his dark academy issue trousers and the white shirt stretching over his broad chest, the academy's emblem sitting right above his heart.

Handsome was alone and smiling in a friendly way, but John couldn't help his suspicious nature. ”No,” he lied.

”Like what you see?” Handsome asked, ignoring the answer. His voice was as smooth as his charm, the accent of the new colonies well hidden, barely there.

John gave a smirk. ”Do you?” He tried not to let it sound flirty, refusing to give Handsome and anyone else ammunition against him.

Handsome laughed. John felt a stab of hurt and bit the inside of his cheek. He didn't waver, though, kept staring at Handsome who raised his eyebrows. ”Isn't that obvious?” He straddled the bench and slid closer to John, looking at him intently, as if trying to solve a puzzle.

A couple of boys passing them by gave them strange looks and Handsome's crowd had reduced to some girls who were looking at Handsome admiringly, but seemed confused by him talking to John. Handsome cleared his throat. ”So … do you like what you see?”

”What do you want?” John asked, fed up.

Handsome sighed. ”I'm just curious. Never talked to you before and I realized that there's no reason why I shouldn't.”

”Your friends,” John answered. ”There's your reason.”

”They don't like you. Why's that?”

”Why don't you ask them?”

”I asked you. What did you do to them?”

”I didn't do anything.”

”You're from Phelos, aren't you?”

John closed his eyes and pulled up his shoulders. ”There's your reason then.” He wished that he could just leave, but Handsome had trapped him in the corner.

Handsome looked at him with his head tilted to the side. ”Backwater planet. Pretty much phobic against everything that's different.”

John snorted and avoided Handsome's eyes. ”See? You better keep away from me then.”

”No reason to. You're here, aren't you? You could have stayed there but you ran. Makes me think that you're different from them.” He leaned forward. ”You're interesting. And kinda cute.”

John's heart skipped a beat. A ridiculous notion, but that's exactly what it did.

Handsome chuckled as if he knew. ”The others don't have the slightest idea about life. They see where you come from and think that's who you are.”

”Where do you come from?”

”Boeshane.”

John had heard about it. White beaches, endless seas, smart people trying to find a way to get to the gold buried deep beneath the ground without harming the stunning landscape … raided by monsters. Now John understood the haunted look in Handsome's eyes.

”They don't know,” Handsome said as if he'd heard John's thoughts. ”They know one of the new colonies was hit by enemies but they don't remember the name. It doesn't matter to them.” He shrugged and ducked his head, almost looking embarrassed. ”My mom sent me here to get rid of me. She couldn't bear looking at me anymore. She has the money to pay for this, I get an excellent education and the chance to make a decent career and she gets to say to people that I'm a Time Agent and that's why we barely see each other anymore.”

”You're not here for the education, though,” John assumed.

”Sure I am,” Handsome replied, ”but also for the resources.” A smile bloomed on his face. ”Gonna rescue my brother, you'll see.” He was completely serious.

John stared at him. Handsome must know that John could go to the teachers now, tell them about the intention to use Time Agent technology and knowledge for personal gain … but … John felt like he needed to repay the trust placed in him. ”My parents hate me,” he admitted. ”Because I ...” He swallowed. ”Because I'm omni.” He looked at Handsome carefully. His face was attentive, earnest, so he continued. ”I had a girlfriend. She was a Deira and … my father killed her. Got away with it even.”

”So you're here to ...”

”Kill him and get away with it.”

Handsome nodded slowly. ”You can't kill him. Wouldn't bring her back, would it?”

”It wouldn't bring her back,” John agreed. “Would make me feel better, though.”

Handsome looked at him for a long moment. ”And you'd be caught … rot in prison until the end of your days.”

”Who cares?”

”You should … I do. I could stop you.”

John snorted. ”Why would you care? You don't even know me.”

”I know a good man when I see one.” Again, he was completely earnest. He seemed much older than his years.

John blushed and looked away, embarrassed by Handsome's honesty. Nobody had ever called him a good man. Nobody had called him a good anything aside from Janiqua … his sweet Janiqua. He was to blame for her death, really. ”I'm not a good man.”

”You're an unusual man. I like unusual, above average, extraordinary.”

The bell rang, calling for the next set of lessons. Handsome's crowd was gone by now, but John noticed that he didn't seem to care.

He just got up and put his hands in his pockets again. ”Hey, we're supposed to choose our partner next year.”

”So?”

”Well, I promised to stop you, didn't I? I can't do that from the other side of the universe. I wanted to call dibs on you before anyone else realized that you're the most interesting person around.” He grinned and started to walk away.

John was caught in nerves for a moment, stunned. He wanted to refuse but he knew that he wouldn't. For some reason, Handsome belonged with him. ”What's your name then?” John called after him.

Handsome turned around. Of course, John wasn't asking for his real name. The agency had assigned them names. Short. Easy to remember. They would change their last names over the course of their career but the first names wouldn't.

”Jack,” Handsome said. And it fit him.

John smiled. ”I'm-”

”John.” Jack winked. ”I know.”


END
05/13


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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
withywindle01
Jun. 12th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oooo...I like this! It's nice to see John wasn't always a bastard, and to understand some of what may have turned him into one. Also, I like seeing Jack as compassionate in his youth and not just the cocky bastard so many fics portray him as. Great job!
jolinarjackson
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
star54kar
Jun. 13th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
This is gorgeous! This is such a refreshingly new take on how John and Jack first met and it is astonishingly well done!

Thanks for writing and sharing:)
jolinarjackson
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and reviewing. :)
tardisjournal
Jun. 13th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC)
Wonderful take on Jack and John's early years! We so seldom get a look at their Time Agency days, much less their Time Agency training, and I really enjoyed this glimpse of the young men they were and what drew them together.

Well-done! :)
jolinarjackson
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
coldwater1010
Jun. 13th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
Interesting take on their early relationship. Well done.

Edited at 2013-06-13 03:54 pm (UTC)
jolinarjackson
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
larsinger29
Jun. 13th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Reading this another time around, it's even more wonderful then I remembered. Such an intriguing and eye-opening look at Jack and John's first meeting. You shed some light onto who they were when they started out, and it ties in nicely with who they later become. And it really makes you look at the characters, especially John, in a different light when we encounter him again in canon.

Terrific job, my dear!
jolinarjackson
Jun. 15th, 2013 08:06 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lawsontl
Jun. 13th, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
I echo the sentiments already given above about your representation of the younger men. Lunchroom cliques really shape a person! And the idea that Jack chose John is so fitting.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 15th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
I thought it had to be this way around. In the end, out of the two of them, Jack is more likely to say Hi and look for new friends.
Thank you. :)
jo02
Jun. 14th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)

A very interesting take on how they first got together as partners.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 15th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
teaboyfan
Jun. 23rd, 2013 10:41 am (UTC)
I really like the idea that even as a very young man, Jack would simply ignore peer pressure and reach out to someone he saw as interesting. Their common history of loss for which they blamed themselves would be a real bond. Interesting story!
jolinarjackson
Jun. 24th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
ukdramafan
May. 27th, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
Sorry I haven't commented on this before, I only found it today, and I LOVE it. It was a really nice alternate take on how Jack and John met and came to be partnered together. Canon tells us that they used to have more in common in past days, until Jack changed after meeting the Doctor, but this gives us a glimpse at the two of them when they were young and relatively 'innocent'. Very nicely done.
jolinarjackson
May. 28th, 2014 12:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )