Shoot me!


Jack returned early and unexpectedly. Thankfully, he wasn't naked, but he was carrying another man. A wounded one, at that, who was mumbling delirious things about white picket fences from the tipsy support of Jack's shoulder.

"Ianto, you'vegottohelpme."

They were both hurt, Ianto noticed then, marked with the same curved bite mark to their left arm. Another creature passing things on...poison? Not the shapeshifters, this was more ragged, far too messy for their stealth baby tactics. And why would Jack drag a possibly contageous victim in here unannounced?

"I'mgoingtomarrytheDoctor."

Well. That was different. This man (dressed in an incongruous combination of pinstripe suit and Converse shoes and now nuzzling against Jack's shoulder like a caffeinated kitten) was Jack's Doctor, the one he'd disappeared to find? He'd left them for this...this absurd man?

Jack interrupted Ianto's pondering by staggering into the nearest screen in a rattle of metal and LCD innards. He winced, recoiled a little, and braced against its frame with his free elbow. "There's no time for introductions or long explanations. Just shoot me."

"Pardon, sir?"

"Shoot me, SHOOT ME!" Jack gestured wildly at his chest, ignoring the blood dripping from his arm and the Doctor licking his ear. "Listen, there was this alien, and...ghh. I think I'm gonna buy a house. And get a puppy. And have five children, and I don't even know how after last time."

This made even less sense, Ianto reasoned, and thus only made Jack's request clearer. He drew his gun and fired twice, just to be certain: Jack collapsed quite promptly, with a gurgle and strangled thanks. The Doctor stared, flicking drops of blood off his suit and leaning over Jack in a gawping combination of curious and extraordinarily concerned.

"He'll still get better, right?"

"Oh, yes. He's been shot lots of times, but I have to say never quite like that. What...what happened? What bit you? Should I call Gwen?"

The Doctor bent down and rolled Jack right side up before shifting him into his lap and cradling his head. He poked an eye open with one finger, looked into it, waved a hand around and frowned when Jack didn't respond. "Wellll...it's all a bit complicated. I'll explain later. Oh, he's bleeding on your nice floor, does that happen often too?"

Ianto shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other and mumbled about cleaning up worse, the Doctor stroked Jack's hair, and Jack remained dead.

"...would you like me to shoot you too? If you're Jack's...friend, maybe you can speed things up if you reset like him—"

"No! No, I only get three more. I think I get three. I'll just bide my time, lament the loss of my true love, that sort of thing. D'you think Jack would want a corgi? Because I know the queen, even had a near miss with a spaceship last Christmas she still owes me for. Oh, but you'd know about that. What sort of dogs does he like?"

"I'm not quite sure. He's never mentioned dogs before now." The Doctor produced far more words in a far smaller space of time than Ianto had thought possible, and switched moods even faster. He'd begun whimpering in a fluid language Ianto couldn't place, and flickering in his wild eyes were both the bite's alien madness and an alien distance all his own...one that reminded him of fire, and of Jack, and made him wonder what exactly they'd shared.

Those questions could wait for when the man wasn't obviously off his rocker. "Are you sure you'll be all right? Whatever you've been hit with seems rather..." Ianto searched for a diplomatic word. "Potent."

"Yes. It's not poison so much as a type of self-replicating toxin crossed with bacteria. That was how it piggybacked to mammals after the incident with the cephalopods. But it wasn't counting on Time Lord physiology. We're...I'm very resilient, very good at filtering out impurities. S'already wearing off. I'll be just fine by the time schnookie—ah, Jack—wakes up."

Ianto was skeptical, but if Jack trusted this man so thoroughly, he could take him at his babbling word. He didn't seem explosion-inclined, and he was more than a little intriguing throughout the insanity. "Your arm?"

"Oh, looks worse than it is. Just a little nibble. Stings a bit."

"Urrrgh. Not as much as being alive again stings." Jack stirred, the remains of the bite mark knitting back together unnoticed as the Doctor propped him up and Ianto offered him a hand. "Who knew there was such a thing as domestic love aliens?"


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