Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Dead Bees and Refugees


Jack Harkness doesn’t know the name of his latest lay.

What he does know is that the line of the young man’s cheekbone is wide, and that his bony body looks good in the black Italian suit he’d bought for Angelo Colosanto on the fifth of January, 1928.

He knows the young man has a preference for fizzy drinks, and carries his own straw so as to wring every last burst of carbonation from any given beverage.

He knows the young man has cool skin, like a dead man he used to date on Cephali Prime. Only that lover had been an android with no head, a robot with a knack for numbers and a real taste for a dry martini, no onion, hold the olive.

As he considers the young man sleeping in his bed, he remembers the name he’s taken for himself, in this room full of sparse furniture and strewn clothes, on this planet thick with space and light and parks and silver buildings. Steve. Late night, he’d finally just taken to calling the young man Slim, because the pale beauty hadn’t given a name. “No names, no consequences,” Slim had told him, when he’d stepped out of the giant fire engine red pyramid cake like a model, all legs and distance.

“Are you married, I wonder?” Jack muses aloud, his thoughts idling for a moment on the golden ring carved with roses sitting on the squarish, modern-glass nightstand by the bed.

The black suit is in a pile on the floor, more of a pool, really. A white dress shirt sits on top like a kitten at the top of a pile.

He’d kept it, of course, in case Angel, Angelo, decided to… but Angelo is dead now. He went the normal way. Smart, ingenious bastard. He’d found a null field generator and installed it under his bed.

“Yes, technically.” comes the voice of Slim from the scruffy rabbit head buried halfway into Jack’s pillow. “She doesn’t care what I do, mostly. I’m very clean. Besides, she’s better with a gun.”

Jack forces a come-on growl. It isn’t a chore, he’s decided, if it gets Slim to turn round so Jack can take his tasty earlobe in his mouth. “Yeah, but you aren’t afraid to get dirty. I liked you, last night. You were ravenous.”

Slim relaxes into Jack’s chest and right arm, a boneless sack of lower body temperature. Sated, complacent. He breathes there for a while, one hand awkardly exploring Jack’s bits for buried treasure like a blind pirate, the other lapping lazily at his own flat belly, palpating below his odd little outie navel where Jack cannot see.

“You know Steve, I think I love you.” Slim stalls with upward slinking bedroom peridots, dragging a purposeful finger down Jack’s pecs as Jack plays tic-tac-toe on his own marginal abs. “You re a life-saver. I needed you last night. For many reasons.”

The Time Agent feels a chill grab his spine. He flows with it, in through the nose, out through the mouth. “I bet you say that to all the girls. You’re going to leave me, aren’t you?”

Slim nods his head; the floppy hair inching past his ears lends a waggishness to the motion. His fingers grope suddenly for the ring on the night table. He clutches his body, clenching as if he’s in pain.

Jack’s hand curves around him, oozing control, even concern as Slim reaches out to take the ring and its chain with shaking fingers.

“Session is up- but it was special. An us rather than a job. You could never be a job, Jack. I didn’t want to leave you like this. It’s… hurtful and rather unprofessional, and we pleasured each other so much last night, that… I’m sorry sweetheart, I really am. I’m pregnant. Previous engagement, but you helped. It’s a girl. She is, I should say. She’s a girl. You’re hardly obligated… and I really need to take care of something. Not the way I wanted to leave you, not after… well… huh. But then we don’t always get what we want, do we?”

With a barked laugh, Jack wraps him up and just… he wraps him up. Then Slim takes his head in his lap, playing with his hair.

“Okay, beautiful. This I can deal with. I had a friend though- really loved the bastard. Still do. He was kind of transmogrifying, that way. Except he would never have told me what you just did. Kudos.” Jack reaches around and feels Slim up the back, rubbing the man’s cool, soft skin. Strange how giving this particular lay a massage makes him feel like he’s the one being soothed. He pauses, just long enough to get a few words out before Slim moves away from him in secret litheness, supine in his escape. The fairest of them all, Jack’s traitor hindbrain squeaks behind all that snazzy white matter. “Whatever you need, honey- I only ask you to remember me fondly. If you want, you can bring the sprog by my way for ice cream dates and plenty of casual spoiling, baggage-free. His fault. He’s almost as good as me at it.”

The eyes have him. Those eyes, they’re keepers. Trouble is, he’s made a career out of knowing how to whistle. It takes nothingng at all to know when someone is whistling back.

Too soon, and Slim’s available thumb caresses the rose sticking up from the ring, sending him away, his white skin and those deepset, gemstone-apple eyes blazing a permanent silhouette across Jack’s retinas. At least until he dies again. Was that the spectre of a smile in the burn of molecular shift?

I was right, Jack thinks as he pulls on a fresh shirt, a deep blue one that screams ‘I get things done.’ It wasn’t a standard personal distortion ring. And Slim had called him Jack.

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