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There had been rift activity, and with the team somewhat scattered at the moment Jack assumed it was just better if he went out there on his own. It didn't take him too long to track the signature, and even that felt like something too simple. The back of his mind held a token amount of doubt, the thought that it was too simple, which meant somehow it had to be overly complicated. Undoubtedly that was the case here.

His feet sunk into the sand unevenly as he moved across the beach, the tiny blip on his wrist no longer needing to be followed as he saw the silhouette up ahead seated along the shore. Jack lifted his hand to his brow, shielding his sight a bit from the sun, as he squinted trying to make out the figure. It was only when he got closer that he realized the word complicated had been underestimating it by a longshot.

Part of his mind couldn't wrap around it, but it was the rift, and stranger things had happened. Moving toward him he stopped in front of him, glancing down at the man whose name was too familiar to him and smiled, "You're a long way from where you expected to be aren't you."

Date: 2009-05-14 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack had managed to stop coughing at least, finally able to breathe more easily, his lungs no longer feeling on fire and smoke-filled. The air hadn't made him feel any clearer, though, nor any more sure about what he was doing here or where. The bay was Cardiff Bay, sure enough. He knew this beach--he'd walked it many times, but the buildings behind him were alien and unfamiliar. There were no planes overhead, and he most certainly hadn't been able to bail out of his.

He'd pulled his flight jacket more tightly around him as he sat there, trying to make sense of the senseless. His ears were still ringing a bit, and he didn't hear the approaching footsteps, but the sound of a familiar voice pulled him from his thoughts, and he looked up sharply, blinking a bit against the sun, sure now that he must have died in that fire and this was some sort of twisted afterlife. "...James? What's going on?"

Date: 2009-05-14 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The name rung a bit nostalgic in his ears, not quite unfamiliar, but still not what he was used to responding to. I'm going to have to explain that one...

Running a hand through his hair Jack turned toward the bay regarding it with a second glance, one he normally didn't take the time for. Taking a deep breath for himself he exhaled slowly as he turned around, still unsure of the answers he knew and even more so of the ones he wasn't ready to answer.

"A lot is going on, and most of it I'm not even sure I can explain to you. This is Cardiff, I can at least assure you that much," Jack paused for a moment trying to recall what others knew, what the rift had done to them. "What's the last thing you recall? Before the bay I mean."

Date: 2009-05-14 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack pushed to his feet, swaying just a little bit from both shock and nerves at seeing James standing there. He shrugged his shoulders in his jacket, more of a rolling motion for the kinks than a gesture of any import, feeling it move against his shirt, something solid and real that he could focus on.

"I recognize the water, but the buildings...this isn't the Cardiff I know." He's sure of that, and watching James with wary eyes. There's gratitude there, too, that someone he knows is there, that he found him, but he disappeared last night after Jack stepped out of the box he put himself in for the first time, and nothing's been quite right since James walked into his life. "We were in the air, on our training mission. You were right--that's when they hit you, when you least expect us. We were attacked. I took out three of us, but my plane was hit. It was...I tried to bail out, but the plane was on fire, and I knew it was over. Then the sky opened up, like a split in the air, and I hurtled into it. Everything went black, and then...I was here. On the beach. No plane. No fire."

Date: 2009-05-14 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack nodded, in a manner that he tried to make more comforting than dismissive, but he wasn't sure what to think. Other than the rift having amazing timing for once, he wasn't sure how to let things settle around that timing just yet. He also understood that silence was far from a supportive reply either, and that alone would press worry into Jack's mind.

"The sky opening up -- it's a phenomenon that we refer to as the rift. Small pockets of time, that skip ahead, like a groove on a record where the needle jumps," Jack tried to put it into terms that were relatable, he could offer that much at least. "You're the needle, and the record was time, and that rift pushed the needle ahead -- just a bit."

Exhaling once more he tried to smile, another gesture meant to comfort and not placate, but he wasn't sure at this point. "The rift, cuts through time and it has a habit of picking people out of their time, and putting them into other ones."

Date: 2009-05-14 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack frowned, trying to grasp it, but then, he'd seen James disappear right in front of him just the night before, hadn't he?

"Last night...when you left, you came through this rift as well, back to this point in time?" He glanced back at the city, at how changed it was, then back at James, trying not to freak out. He was a soldier, trained to deal with the unexpected and not panic, but this wasn't something you ever prepared for. "When exactly are we?"

Date: 2009-05-14 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well there was something to be said for cutting right to the heart of the matter, and it seemed Jack wasn't looking for anything but the answers. Meeting the curious glance of the man Jack nodded, "May of two-thousand and nine."

There wasn't any point in pushing words around, or making excuses. The truth wasn't always the best option, but at the moment it was the only option he had to give.

Date: 2009-05-14 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack blinked and thought for a moment that he might want to sit back down. Sixty-eight years. Somehow he'd come sixty-eight years into the future. It didn't occur to him to doubt James' word. The buildings behind them were too strange, too futuristic looking, and even if they'd only spoken to each other for one evening, he'd gotten a sense from the other man that he could trust him. It was the only reason he'd taken the risk he had, in front of everyone.

But the news was still staggering. Sixty-eight years. Everyone he'd ever known was likely dead. It was a lifetime in and of itself and he'd skipped over it in seconds. He drew in a shaky breath and looked at James. "...Oh." Because, really, what else was there to say to that?

Date: 2009-05-27 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack nodded watching him try to come to grips with a startling fact that his world had long since passed him by. Jack knew the feeling a little too well, and wasn't sure if it was going to be any easier to hear from him or not. These things took time to adjust to, and the painful truth was that there was never going to be enough time, ever.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not sure there's ever going to be a way back for you." Watching him Jack worried on his bottom lip a bit before standing beside him and turning out to watch the water as well. "Cardiff changed before your eyes, and there are still too many things to explain. One day on the beach won't be enough."

Date: 2009-05-27 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I'm not..." Jack paused, trying to think of what to say, struggling with words that didn't quite come, and then tried again. "They teach us to expect the unexpected. To be prepared in the face of enemy fire for what may come. I don't think this is what they meant, though."

He was glad for the jacket he wore, because he felt cold now, the heat from the flames receding back into something else. He should be dead, either by fire or time, and yet he was standing here displaced and dislodged. "I don't know what to do."

Date: 2009-05-27 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The rule was always to be prepared, that the world could turn on axis and tip the contents over, and being prepared didn't mean it would stop it from happening. Exhaling Jack placed a comforting hand to the man's shoulder. A light squeeze tried to affirm him that even without knowing what to do, he wouldn't have to figure it out on his own.

"No one would ever be prepared for something like this, and you don't have to know what to do. You just arrived, I think the important thing at the moment is to breathe and realize you're alive and you're not alone."

Date: 2009-05-31 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack cast him a grateful look. Already he knew that he didn't want to impose, couldn't imagine such a thing. One didn't waltz across 68 years and expect to just step into some place. The world was still tilting and upside down and twisting all around. But he was glad for the hand on his shoulder and the steadiness it lent him.

As advised, he took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment. "Thank you."

Date: 2009-06-20 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack let his hand rest to his shoulder for another moment before it dropped down to take the other man's hand. It was for reassurance, for comfort, and so that Jack could at least have something to hold onto that was familiar.

"When you're ready, we can find you someplace to rest.. to get something to eat? Whatever you need."

Date: 2009-06-22 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The feel of their hands meeting, touching, merging, was enough to pull him out of his reverie and back to the present moment which was as confusing as it had been, but he was grateful for the contact. He tried not to cling. He wasn't a man who clung. He had his pride, and he was a leader, but this was so out of his depth that he couldn't help but be a bit off kilter.

"Somewhere quiet to rest and ... think about everything would be nice. To figure out what the hell I do now." Food wasn't really high on his priority list.

Date: 2009-08-15 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nodding there was almost too much unsaid between them for him to even try to quantify at the moment. Instead he just squeezed Jack's hand a bit tighter for a moment before meeting his gaze.

"I have room to spare, you can stay with me, while we get this sorted." Jack tried to put an emphasis on the word we, to try and instill into him that he wasn't alone in this, despite how much he must feel like it. He knew what it felt like to be a man alone, trapped in time and unable to know just how he was going to survive.

It was unbearable, but Jack hoped that this would be a bit better - because he was there too.
Edited Date: 2009-08-15 05:42 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-08-15 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack looked down at their hands, taking a deep breath, and then let his fingers settle more firmly against James's. Letting the breath out in a sigh, he dragged his gaze back up to the other man's.

"I would appreciate that." Where else would he go? Who else could he turn to, now? It was a frightening and isolating thought, and he tried to focus on being grateful James was here. It wasn't a hard feeling to come up with, all things considered. He'd hated watching him leave the night before, just when he'd put everything on the line, but he'd understood.

Now he was here, in his time, and everything had changed.

"Thank you."

Date: 2009-08-15 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"It's the least I can do," Jack offered. The truth would have to come eventually, but for the moment he could at least offer something stable.

His hand stayed laced to the other mans, as he shifted to face him, placing a free hand to his shoulder, "My car is just up a bit, it's just a short drive to my flat."

Honestly, Jack hadn't been to his flat in months. The Torchwood Hub serving more as a home to him than any other place, but bringing him into that - so soon, didn't feel like the right move on any level. This would give him some sense of normalcy at the very least.

Date: 2009-08-17 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jack managed to muster a smile. It was strained and it was hard to manage, but he found some of the warmth from the night before when he looked in James' eyes, and somehow he managed the gesture.

"Lead the way, then."


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August 2010


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