Jack looked around. It was fucking cold. He knew they called it the Windy City, but this was ridiculous, the last time he'd been this cold was on Raxicollarthalpatorius, but he hadn't been wearing leather hot pants there.
What was it with the Doctor and World Wars? He'd been fine in London, it was full of nice chaps and chappesses full of British pluck... and very keen on dancing... Jack thought the Doctor's metaphor was kind of twee, but he reckoned he didn't want to expand Rose's Twenty-First Century consciousness too far. Or rather, he'd do it gradually and with care, and...
Christ, he had to stop thinking about the Doctor like that. Doing things gradually and with care. And it was his idea that he wore the damn lederhosen.
But the Doctor is a Timelord and every good little time agent knew how frisky they were: not very. Those horrible green poetry mangling things had more of a libido. The difference is they, famously, had the sex appeal of a road accident (a metaphor Jack didn't quite get, in his opinion everything could have sex appeal in the right circumstances, though he'd make an exception for the Vogon who had monopolised the open-mic night at Milliways); and Timelords had the sex appeal of a very very sexy thing.
And Rose wasn't exactly bad either. She was very good, actually, and while Jack was hoping, in his dreams, in his lonely little four poster with room for six back in the Tardis, that she was a very good girl indeed, nothing was happening there. Nothing more erotic than a peck on the cheek, and not those cheeks either.
That said, it was pretty erotic, but that said more about Jack's current unaccustomed state of sexual famine than anything else.
Rose was off-limits. Jack's lovers had a nasty tendency to get hurt; and the Doctor would kill him if anything happened to Rose. Really. Mr Mild-Mannered-Time-Lord might seem nice, but history has proved him otherwise. It takes a certain kind of guy to claim to be a pacifist and set the heavens on fire.
But then... you could say the Daleks deserved it.
Jack meant, they were Daleks. They were a tyrannical power seeking control over time and space and everything in-between and then to make it run according to their own ideas with regard to the universe.
Nothing like the Timelords at all...
Although what kind of ulterior motive would lead to Jack being dumped in the Chicago winter wearing a pair of very short shorts, a t-shirt and a smile (the smile was important, try pulling this outfit off without one, try pulling anything without one...) was beyond Jack. He had done some weird shit in his Time Agent days, and he'd lay his bottom dollar on the stuff he couldn't fucking remember being weirder...
...and probably shittier too. But the weird compensated, that and the sex, which he wasn't getting in his current position.
Jack wiggled slightly. He knew he looked good in the lederhosen, it just made hiding his gun a little... uncomfortable. He considered his mission, "something's going to happen here, we're going for chips, see you later, ta-ta!" as lacking something, like an objective, or information, or any idea what the fuck he was meant to do when something happened.
Like when a guy, skinny blond with the sort of haircut that is either very expensive or done yourself while very very drunk, came up to him. And Jack just knew he looked totally like a gay hooker.
Not that that was technically a bad thing... in Jack's book but this guy...
This guy looked like authority, which is fine, because that's what Jack looks like, when he's not wearing the teeny tiny shorts of cramped increase, and he's dancing the fine line between violent and sexy and Jack can totally get behind that.
"Hey," blond-and-skinny says, and that's a good start, he isn't asking awkward questions.
And smile. "Hey yourself," just placed right, could be flirtacious, could be fun, and he'll hear just what he wants to hear. All Jack had to remember was not to shake his ass.
"Look, hanging round here, not a good idea. Cops all over the place, and fuck knows what else you're doing in that get up." And then, the guy waves his ID, PD, oh fuck, "Look, I'm not into getting you banged up, not my thing, just letting you know that I'm the guy who knows these things, you know. That was too many "knows" wasn't it? You got ID, sailor?"
Not so bad, the guy's probably okay, playing nice, but then, the nerves could be nerves or could be setting up for a sting nerves. Jack's met both. Pity, the guy's kind of cute, and the way he moves is like electricity, and he'd like to stick his fingers in that socket. So here it comes, unfolds the handy-dandy psychic paper and...
..."Greatness. 'Cept this says that you're a hooker, but you're doing it for free - promotional purposes."
The key to using psychic paper is never to do it with mixed feelings, the results tend to be like your psyche: messy.
"Oh Christ," says Jack and flails wildly, reaching for a solution, "Wrong ID, it's for my boyfriend, he has this fantasy, and it's his birthday..."
"So, you're freezing your ass off in shorts that should never have seen this side of disco."
Jack suddenly feels kind of nervous, this guy is getting more and more confident, and confident cops are never a good idea, unless you're prepared, and Jack isn't prepared, he knows fuck all, "Eh, yeah."
"Pull the other one, it's attached to the gay karma sutra. This is not a good nieghborhood, capiche?" And he won't give it back.
Jack needs to get the paper back. Keep the cop, the sexy cop, the downright roadcrash (in a good way) sexy cop, the cop that causes roadcrashes because everyone's rubbernecking to try and get a look, keep the cop, yeah he wants to keep the cop, at least until morning, keep the cop off balance.
So Jack tells him the truth.
What Jack didn't expect was for the cop to believe him, and suddenly things might be looking up again, and from the uncomfortable feeling in his shorts, other things must be up too, and damn, it's cold, surely his dick knows that...
"So, can I have my psychic paper back, it's dangerous future technology,"
"Sure. I see weirder shit with Fraser every day."
Jack looks at the paper out of sheer perversity, not that Jack thinks many things are all that perverse, if it makes you happy, it can't be, can it? "Hmm... this says that you're still the right side of forty, less pissed about your divorce than you lead others to believe, and," Oh boy, this is the gem, "You're in love with your strapping dark haired partner..." He uses the patented Jack Harkness delivery, like a talk show host wheeling out his latest shock revelation, as Mari Dumb-enough-to-go-on-the-show weeps her eyes out about her bigamous marriage to the Blugbatter Beast of Thrall.
On reflection, Jack isn't always as nice a person as he wants to be. But then, nobody is. Except possibly Rose, and he doesn't want to be the one to rub that niceness, sugar coating off, however tasty it might be.
"Hey! Quit the fuck with that! Nobody fucking knows!" and he snatches it back, "So quit it Mister "not as secure as he thinks, and hides behind big guns (and you so do not want to know where he hides them) and in-love-with-his-sexual-as-lettuce-boss and wants-to-do-his-boss's-innocent-and-pure-assistant-but-can't"
"Okay, we're quits then."
"Sexual as lettuce? The fuck?"
"Famous whatever-the-heck-is-the-opposite-of -aphrodisiac. Historically speaking, at least." So, Jack knew that, hardly meant that he was obsessed with sex...
"So, all I have to do is persuade Fraser to quit eating salad, sweet."
Jack looked out of the corner of his eye shiftily, and his hand shifted onto his hip, as if moved by some unseen unthinking force, "I'm not sure it works like that, space cadet. Now, why don't you tell me about this Fraser."
"Youfirst" it is one word, this is like an interrogation, no this is like a dance, like they're dancing, but they're not really _dancing_ yet, not the way Jack dances. Soft and flirtatious moving into hot and sweaty limbs and wanton desire. And whose idea were these shorts?
"Not much to tell. I was kinda lost and stuck," in a space ship about to blow up, his space ship, his lovely gleaming everything-sexy-magnet space ship, "and the Doctor picked me up, and we fight evil," evil patisserie chefs from omicron five, vandalise library books, muck around with secret meanings in renaissance artwork, "and he's great, but an alien, and not much with the sex, because, well, he saw his whole race killed, and they weren't much of a bunch of go-ers at the time. And Rose is great, but she's a twenty year old shop girl from London and she has a boyfriend back home... and thinking about it, right now she is still in school and kissing her boy behind the bike sheds probably..." and getting her gymnastics certificate and being normal, "and she's just too sweet and I don't want her to get hurt," because all Jack's special friends do get hurt, except for that nice couple who still right him letters, "and the Doctor would kill me if I did."
And he's out of breath and the shorts of scrotal doom are suddenly not quite so tight, and he's sure they're connected and there's suddenly a warm hand on his back, and he realises he's shivering.
"It's okay, it's alright," not the kind of voice Jack expected from a cop, not the kind of voice Jack expected from the sort of person Jack used to be, before they stole his memories and set him adrift on the wine-dark sea of time. "Fuck, you're cold, you'd have to be in this rig-out, what happened to your warm clothes? You did have warm clothes didn't you."
And Jack feels like the worse part of drowning, when you'd long gone past the burn in your lungs as the air escapes in pretty patterns and you start to go cold. Because, now there's noise and warmth, and it's seeping into his frozen body, and it hurts so much, and he dosn't want to be dragged out of the comfortable cool anymore.
Jack likes the dark so very much, he's safe in the dark. The Doctor never really pulled him out as much as redirected him, he's still in the dark, just facing towards the grimy light of the surface. The Doctor's just given him things to do and expected him to save himself.
And Jack can see just a portion of himself in that.
It is what he would do.
But not this guy, not the skinny blond cop.
But that feels wrong, "What's your name?" He needs to know.
"Ray. I'm Ray."
Jack tries to recover his pizaz, his bluster, "Captain Jack Harkness," and sticks out a hand, it's shivering with cold.
"Well. Captain, just stay here a second," and he's gone and the cold starts closing in again, and Jack's glad for his jack-boots (no pun intended) because at least his feet are warm, nothing else is.
And then there's the most beautiful machine Jack's seen since his ship exploded, and he wishes it could talk because, boy, ship was sexy and female and made the best martinis in the galaxy (he kind of doubts Ray makes martinis, but then, Jack is very adaptable), but this, this automobile would sound like cigarettes and whisky. And Jack just knows that he could get lucky tonight, if only he could get warm first.
And Ray's leaning over from the driver's side, and his pullover's rucking up the undershirt underneath and Jack can just see the curve of his belly for a moment, and it's like food for a starving man.
And then, they were performing a handbrake turn in the Chicago slush, "You sure that's legal?" Jack said, pushed back into his seat, the leather on his ass squeaking against the leather under his ass.
"Oh fuck. Not another one. Fraser does that all the time."
"Maybe I should rephrase that, is that safe? This is a beautiful machine, but it would look less beautiful with me hanging out of the windscreen."
"Not dead yet. Anyway, what you gonna do? Call the cops? Hi."
Okay, the last bit was a little bit too doctorish for comfort, and Jack's shorts squeaked again, "It's not the speed that bothers me, it's the fucking snow."
And a hand with long graceful fingers trips across the dash and there is heat. And as the temperature rises, so does the heat inside the shorts, and Jack strains at the jockstrap and needs to distract himself, "Fraser doesn't like your driving?"
They go over a bump, and they're flying and they're whooping, and it's almost like sex.
"Nah. Traffic violations. It's one of those, you know, incorrigable differences," probably not the word the guy wanted, but heck, he was divorced and Jack knew the tune, irreconcilable, "like I'm a cop and he's a mountie..."
Jack knew there was no way he heard that right.
"If you know the guy's a mountee, what are you waiting for, unless you're a mountee too and then there will have to be a little negotiation," trouble with sexual terminology was one of the less-advertised dangers of time travel. Sure, Jack did his research, but the damn stuff could change so much, and he wasn't sure if he was getting this quite right.
And as it turned out, he wasn't, "Time traveller, right? Mountie as in RCMP, Canadian cops with red shoot me uniforms."
"Oh. Uniforms." Jack knew now, uniforms were just one of those little kinks of his, "I like uniforms."
"Yeah, it's great, 'cept the guy tends to go up to people with guns in it and tell them to give them over. And he's like a big red trouble target."
"Sounds like somebody I know" this produced a little "heh" from his driver.
"You know," Ray said, "it's a choice of my place, or my place, because I don't do the motel thing, and your transport is..."
"...probably in Salford, England; outside a fast food joint."
"Doesn't want to pay for your fries, then?"
"That sucks," said Ray, only half intent on the road.
"So, when we get to your place, what are we going to do? I'm pretty damn flexible, with, uh, whatever you want."
And Ray looked at him, "I guarantee only this: no fries."