notjackkerouac: (i // man about town)
[personal profile] notjackkerouac
Today, London is boiling. Even for August, it's uncomfortably warm. Sweat has clung to Jack's hairline and gathered in the small of his back since early morning, when he was cruelly woken by James shoving all of the covers on top of Jack in his sleep. It felt like being smothered by an elephant who had the mistaken assumption that Jack was a peanut and had sucked him into her trunk: sweltering and strangely damp. Jack had shucked the attacking sheets, kicking wildly until they retreated to the foot of the bed and padded into the living room to make sweet love to the fan.

The other thing about London today is that it happens to be boring. Jack sits for an hour, whispering dirty phrases into the whirring blades to hear his voice buzz back at him, and tries to feed apple slices through the wire mesh after the first activity grows old with no one around to hear the deft trick. Half the slices never manage to stay uneaten to meet their maker with the fan and the other half only catch the blades rather than being shredded into apple sauce. Jack gives up after a while and goes to shower the juice from his fingers and legs.

James still isn't awake by the time Jack dries with a towel, even after he sang "Sweet Caroline" six time through at the top of his voice (musical interlude included), so Jack dresses and fluffs out his hair and goes out onto the street to find something to do there.

Ice cream seems like a decent idea, given mother's nature intention to conceive hell on earth. Jack wanders down to the shops but the first four ice cream places he finds (well, three ice cream and one gellato stand) are closed. It's not quite ten in the morning so Jack supposes he should find this understandable but it's summer and his shirt has begun to stick between his shoulder blades and nothing open means he has to walk further to find a refreshing lick of mint chocolate chip.

A place finally finds him sometime after six blocks or so, near the park. A queue of four or five people with similar ideas stretches to the door. Jack joins the queue behind a man in a smart suit with great hair and somehow falls into a conversation with him over which ice cream flavour is better. The man defends cookie dough so astutely that when it becomes Jack's turn to order, he asks for a double cone, mint chocolate chip on the bottom and cookie dough on top.

The man is still nearby when the clerk hands Jack his cone, so Jack goes to sit next to him on a bench. It isn't until the man introduces himself as the Doctor that Jack realizes why he looks so familiar.

He studies the Doctor quizically. "You're taller than you look on television," Jack says, then licks at his ice cream. The Doctor just looks confused so Jack explains how he watches him on Saturday nights when he happens to be home.

The Doctor doesn't seem to understand that he's on a television programme so Jack offers to show him, promising that he has old betamax tapes somewhere back at the flat. They finish their ice cream as Jack leads them up the stairs to his door and slips his key in the lock, opening the door for the Doctor.

"Make yourself at home."

He doen't know if James is awake yet or not. Jack's sure he doesn't want to miss this.

Date: 2008-10-29 03:32 am (UTC)
or_timelords: ([10] default)
From: [personal profile] or_timelords
Opening times have always seemed like a silly thing to him, but the Doctor guesses it's a sensible system if you're a species that requires a lot of sleep. And he actually enjoys queuing; it gives him an opportunity to watch people without making them think he's staring.

He doesn't notice the man queuing behind him, though, until he makes a remark about the color or the mint chocolate chip ice cream, which he seems to think is slightly off. The Doctor suggests it might be an optical illusion caused by the lighting, and they end up arguing about the importance of food display, which then leads to a debate about ice cream flavors. The Doctor sticks around after getting his cone, and notices with satisfaction that the man orders a double cone. Cookie dough simply is the best flavor.

They sit on a bench, and the Doctor enjoys the conversation they're having. The man is proving to be a very entertaining conversationalist; so entertaining, in fact, that they've gone half-way through their ice cream by the time the Doctor remembers to introduce himself. He's slightly puzzled, though, when the man - whose name seems to be Jack - tells him that he watches him almost every Saturday night on television.

That's just intriguing.

It doesn't seem to be a misunderstanding, so when Jack offers to show him some tapes back at his flat, the Doctor is too curious to decline. He walks with Jack back to his apartment and follows him into a neat living room that has book shelves lining the walls all the way around the room. When Jack tells him to make himself at home and leaves the room, the Doctor gets out his glasses and inspects the titles stacked on the shelves.

Date: 2008-10-29 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
Jack isn't home when James wakes up; usually he wakes early, but thanks to today's sweltering heat, he doesn't blink into wakefulness until sometime around eleven. His fringe is sticking to his forehead, and he feels uncomfortable in his own skin, rolling away from sheets almost damp with moisture from the air. They have an air conditioning unit, but it's sitting under the window instead of installed, because there's something wrong with it that neither of them have managed to fix, so the only source of cool air in the flat is the fan in the living room. And that really, really isn't doing much to help.

He hates days like this.

So the thing to do, it seems, since nobody else is home, is to strip off his pyjama bottoms, eat a bowl of cornflakes, and step into the shower. The cool water feels wonderful, and James spends probably more time than is justified with his head tipped back under the spray, just letting the coldness seep under his skin.

When James finally gets out, he feels infinitely better. He towels his hair dry, wrapping himself in a robe and padding out of the bathroom- once he's dried himself sufficiently to assure he won't leave wet footprints all over the flat, something he's had to talk to Jack about multiple times. He's expecting the flat to still be empty, or perhaps to find Jack sprawled in the living room, complaining about the heat. What he most decidedly is not expecting is a strangely familiar-looking man crouched at the foot of one of the shelves in the living room, inspecting some of Jack's old betamax tapes.

James blinks, taken aback, and clutches his robe somewhat closer around himself. The clearing of his throat is crisp and precise, though not yet disapproving; wouldn't do, after all, to assume things. This man... could be a friend of Jack's. Theoretically.

'Ah... hello?'

Date: 2008-10-29 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
James is not buried beneath the covers in the bed when Jack flings himself onto it to ease James gently into consciousness. Jack flounders in the sheets, dodging the looming warm spots where James displaced all of his body heat, and thouroughly inspects the surrounding area (mostling consisting of hanging upside down over the lip of the mattress) to see whether James melted from the heat and leaked onto the floor. It winds up checking out and James seems to still retain some sort of corporeal form.

Jack is investigating the study, spinning in James' chair to get a complete view of the room (investigation can be difficult on a sugar high), when he hears the shower cut out and the bathroom door wrench open. Jack pokes out of the study (by leaps and bounds) and smacks into James' back at the mouth of the hall.

James smells soapy and freshly clean, and his hair is wet and curling at the nape of his neck, so that Jack has no choice but to wrap his arms around James' hips, hugging him and the cool of the shower closer.

"Ooph," Jack says, perhaps a little belatedly. "Didn't know you were up."

The Doctor crouches by the arm of the sofa, watching them. Jack throws an arm out to gesture to him, then thumps James in the chest. "I had ice cream. This is James."

Jack never promised he was ever any good at introductions.

Date: 2008-10-29 04:57 pm (UTC)
or_timelords: ([10] smile)
From: [personal profile] or_timelords
Jack's book collection consists of a fascinating variety of fiction and non-fiction that spans all topics and genres from aviation over Russian existentialism over nuptial law to science fiction. It seems that at some point, someone has tried to categorize the books in a system according to a chronological, thematic and alphabetical order, but as far as the Doctor can tell, the amount of books that are in their proper place adds up to roughly sixty percent.

He makes his way around the room, until he spots a row of video tapes on one of the bottom shelves. He crouches down to take a closer look, but before he can pick one of the tapes up, someone behind him clears his throat.

When he looks around, he sees a man standing in the doorway who is very definitively not Jack. For one thing, he looks different. For another, he's wearing a bathrobe and has wet hair. The Doctor gets to his feet and reaches out to shake the other man's hand, but before he can say anything, Jack appears behind the robe-wearing man, introducing him as James. The Doctor gives James a smile.

"Hello, I'm the Doctor. Jack was so kind as to invite me to watch some video tapes."

Date: 2008-10-29 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
When the man stands up, James realises immediately why it is he looks so strangely familiar; he's an absolute spitting image of a certain man he and Jack watch on television nearly every Saturday night. The similarity is frankly startling; not just the clothes and the hair, but the face as well. Even the way he springs to his feet, bouncing a little on his heels. But when he introduces himself as the Doctor as well, James can't help but roll his eyes. Brilliant; Jack's found some obsessive Doctor Who fanatic and brought him back to the flat. Why he should do such a thing, James has no idea, but it remains done, and now, it seems, it's up to him to deal with it.

'Jack. Darling.' His voice is heavy with sarcasm as he detaches Jack's hands from his hips, turning to give him an aggrieved look. 'Who exactly is this man?'

Even besides the fact that the man's dressed up as a fictional character, James really does prefer to be fully dressed when meeting other people. There are a few exceptions to this, of course- Andrew, Theo, Elizabeth, obviously Jack- but complete strangers are very far down on his list of people to be seen half-dressed, dripping wet, and with Jack pressed up against his back.

Date: 2008-10-29 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
That is not a happy tone James has and it gets followed by not a happy look. Jack twists his wrist to interlock their fingers, pointing their joined hands to the man in question. "The Doctor? He's the Doctor."

Which should be obvious and unhelpful, so Jack smiles at that clarification. It's a neat trick, this, meeting the Doctor, and James doesn't seem to understand what it is that Jack's done for him by bringing the Doctor here.

He tips sideways to look past James' shoulder, giving the Doctor an apologetic expression. "Bit slow in the mornings, need to forigve him." Then turns back to James. "Taller in person than he looks, isn't he? Doesn't know he's a television programme. Thought we could watch some?"

It's not really that he's asking James' permission exactly. It's more than James keeps doing that thing with his face, that none too pleased thing. That thing that means Jack would be better off taking the Doctor elsewhere and quick. But it's his flat too, and James will eventually come around. Jack will make him.

So he pulls away and wanders into the kitchen, opening the refridgerator for a drink. "Want a drink? For the heat?" Jack asks and pulls out a bottle.

Date: 2008-10-29 05:44 pm (UTC)
or_timelords: ([10] smile)
From: [personal profile] or_timelords
The Doctor can tell from the expression on James' face that he's not too happy to have a stranger in his flat. So can Jack, apparently, judging from the way he is looking at James.

The Doctor will of course leave if it turns out that James really doesn't want him here - and there are reasons enough that James wouldn't; apparently, he lives here with Jack, and the Doctor can only too well understand reluctance to share one's personal space - but he does want to see those tapes. When Jack hustles back into the kitchen, the Doctor calls to him that he would love a glass of water, and then turns back to James, trying for a charming smile.

"So, you two live here together? That's brilliant! Lovely flat; I love the sofa."

That's not even untrue, it's a very appealing shade of bright orange.

Date: 2008-10-29 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
James is left feeling rather adrift as Jack scurries off into the kitchen, and shakes his head bemusedly, slicking some of his dripping fringe out of his face.

'We do, yes.' The comment about the sofa earns a wry smile; it's one of the few things of any substantial size Jack had insisted on dragging over from his flat when he moved in with James. The colour verges on the obnoxious- like Jack at times, in fact- but James has grown fond of it. 'Quite,' he says.

The Doctor- or whatever his name is, seems content to leave it at that, and James straightens himself somewhat, knotting the belt to his robe rather more firmly around his waist. 'You'll have to forgive Jack,' he says after a moment. 'He can be a touch... credulous at times. What's your name then, really?'

No harm trying to be friendly, after all. But if the man persists in claiming to be the Doctor, James just knows it's going to give Jack ridiculous ideas, and the last thing he wants is him trying to build a TARDIS in their living room.

Date: 2008-10-29 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Jack does not judge on the cry of water, because ice cream can cause a craving for H2O if one isn't careful. His eye roll has more to with James' stiff friendliness to the Doctor. If you can't warm to the Doctor -- who James likes, at least when he's not naked and the Doctor is fimly behind a screen -- who can you warm to?

The sink is filled with dirty glasses, which leaves Jack to rummage in the cupboard for a spare one, coming up with a novelty glass with happy pink elephants dancing around the circumfrance. He fills that with water, then rinses two used glasses to fill with lemonade and ice tea -- the popular drink of choice during this heatwave in the Sparrow-Norrington abode. He spikes one liberally with rum and somehow manages to awkwardly balance the order into the living room.

He walks right into the middle of another one of James' awkward question. "And a touch weighted down at the moment," Jack adds, throwing a suspicious look to James. He really is getting rather repetitive. Jack nudges the two glasses to him, unsure which one has the alcohol. "Drink."

After James takes the glass, Jack moseys over to hand the Doctor his water. "Drink."

And then, because this should prove to be at least an amusing conversation, if not also painful and embarrassing, Jack flops onto the sofa to watch. He takes a sip of his drink and pulls a face. There is absolutely no rum in this glass. "Oops." He waves his fingers to catch James' attention.

Date: 2008-10-29 06:43 pm (UTC)
or_timelords: ([10] sceptic)
From: [personal profile] or_timelords
The Doctor accepts the glass from Jack before he returns his attention to James. He's not sure if he has succeeded in charming James into letting him stay; the man seems to be making an effort to be polite, but he's also acting as if there's some sort of secret between them that Jack isn't aware of. Unfortunately, the Doctor doesn't know either what it might be.

"My name's the Doctor," he repeats, his tone slightly more careful this time. He considers offering James the John Smith pseudonym - sometimes it makes people more comfortable to be able to call him by an actual human name - but then, James seems to be more the suspicious type, and the suspicious types usually react badly to a name like John Smith. Besides, with a Jack, a John and a James in the room, things might get confusing.

Before he can add anything, though, he's distracted by Jack trying to get James' attention.

Date: 2008-10-29 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
Jack's suspicious look gets only one eyebrow raised. James has every right to be suspicious of some man who waltzes into their flat, claiming to be the Doctor, of all people. He's merely some bloke who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to David Tennant, that's all. But James is nothing if not used to dealing with Jack's mad ideas, so he just exhales a little sigh, lifting his glass to his lips.

'The Doctor. Right, of course you are.'

Jack's wiggling fingers catch him a moment too late, and he grits his teeth against the taste of an Arnold Palmer decidedly more alcoholic than what he was expecting. That one earns two eyebrows, and he crosses to the couch to swap glasses with Jack. Even though he'd normally call it rather too early for anything stronger than beer or wine, the way this day is looking to shape up, he rather thinks that liquor might not be an entirely bad idea. Still, Jack gets his drink back, and James instates himself in a new position leaning against the wall by the couch. He feels slightly awkward in nothing but his robe; he'll have to remedy that soon.

All manner of sarcastic questions are making themselves known in his brain for this so-called 'Doctor,' but James quells them, instead settling on a fairly neutral, 'So, how did you two meet?'

Date: 2008-10-29 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
"Over ice cream," Jack repeats, diving into his exchanged glass like a man dying of thirst. The drink is cold, and the rum hits Jack's veins with a flood of heat, and together it's just a very good avoid speaking as his eyes bounce from James at his right to the Doctor on his left.

There's something still not quite right in James' tone, the sarcasm present if buried. Jack's learned how to listen for it, even when usually James is beating people blind over the head with it. He won't call James on it, mostly because it's his loss if he's going to be sour over strange turns of events, and also because it's easier to stay away from the particular pitfall until the rum has kicked in.

Jack reaches behind him to hook the tie on James' robe, a vaguely threatening gesture just in case spontaneous nudity is called for to levitate the mood. He swirls his drink around and gestures for the Doctor to sit on the chair behind him if he so wishes.

"He was in the queue. Strange, the type of people you can meet there. Or not people. Aliens? People?" Jack pulls a thinky face. "Are time lords people? With two hearts?" The questions tumble out quicker than Jack can catch them and stuff them back down his throat.

Date: 2008-10-29 07:35 pm (UTC)
or_timelords: ([10] making a point)
From: [personal profile] or_timelords
"I don't think it's a question of the hearts," the Doctor says, picking the softest-looking seat and stretching his legs. "There are Time Lords with only one heart, and the Nergkotians have five hearts plus an extra atrium located behind their left eye. Most complicated cardiovascular system in the Kerryllian galaxy, it's fascinating. I think it's more of a question of language and word connotation - there's the people of Gallifrey, obviously, and the Nergkotian people, but if you're using the word 'people' to describe a group of individuals rather than a national or planetary designation, I'm not sure if you would count non-humans as people."

The Doctor takes a sip of his drink and contemplates for a moment. "Of course, you can use 'people' as a word to describe beings that are not individuals, like the Glork, who are all part of a hive mind." He looks up at Jack, then over at James. "It's a matter of personal choice, perhaps?"

Date: 2008-10-30 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
Alright, this is all getting a bit much. James watches the two other men with no little degree of incredulity, as they begin a completely sincere conversation about number of hearts and what sorts of alien species constitute "people."

The Doctor- because James doesn't have anything else to call him, and "the man" is both tiresome and vague- looks up at James as though seeking his opinion, and he really can't help himself. 'You both do realise,' he says, his voice pointedly calm and reasonable, 'that Doctor Who isn't real? As in, it's fictional. Good fiction, I'll give you, but that's no reason to dress yourself up as the main character and walk around pretending to be him.'

That said, he takes a sip of his drink, waiting with some degree of hesitancy for their reaction. He just hopes this man isn't actually some kind of lunatic, though he wouldn't put it past Jack.

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Jack Sparrow

November 2008

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