batsutousai: (HP-motherseyes-Harry)
[personal profile] batsutousai
Title: The Future Doesn't Scare Me
Part: 2 of ?
Author: [ profile] batsutousai
Beta: [ profile] tsuki_no_suzu
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Harry Potter/Doctor, Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Martha/Mickey
Warnings: Slash
Summary: Sequel to Dust in the Sky. A series of stories set while Harry works for Torchwood after the 10th Doctor says goodbye.

Disclaim Her: Nope.

A/N: So, the following adventure is mentioned, in passing, in the first chapter of The Perfect Sky is Torn, my Eleventh Doctor fic. Just something of a heads-up.



"Hey, Harry?"

Harry rubbed at tired eyes and glanced up from the complicated puzzle on his computer screen. "What can I do for you, Jack?" he asked into his earpiece.

"I'm getting some odd readings from down in the old Hub, and you know the policy for going down there."

Harry nodded. They'd all agreed on the policies when they'd first made them, and anyone added after had to read them over, repeat the basics of what they said, then sign them. Harry had worked an old spell of Hermione's into the paper they had to sign, which caused anyone who went against policy to be sent to an empty cell or detained in a sort of magical prison if there wasn't one. There'd been some debate at the first about working a spell in as a temporary punishment, but they'd all agreed, in the end, that imprisoning an offender would at least keep them from acting out any farther.

The policy in question required that at least two people went down to the old Hub in case of an emergency, so there was back-up, or someone to stop them from acting out. (The rest of the team had pretty much agreed, without Jack or Harry having a say, that they would always be at least one of the people going down, on account of their reliability in getting out of tight situations with only minor scrapes.)

"Yeah, okay. How far in is it?" Harry asked his boss as he saved his progress on the puzzle and got up. He took a moment to glance at the clock on the corner of his screen and grimaced at the late hour – Ianto had to deal with a few things away from the Hub, so Harry had agreed to take the night shift with Jack, as he didn't have anyone to go home to, unlike the rest of the team.

"Practically against the rift manipulator," Jack reported and Harry glanced up to see the man hurrying around to the stairs, which were often faster than the lift.

"Fantastic. How are we planning to get down there, anyway? I thought we set it to keep people out unless everyone was here and alive."

"Well, yeah, we did," Jack agreed, huffing a bit as he hurried across the second floor to the next flight of stairs down. "But there's a safety override worked in that allows for a secret passcode in the event that there's rift activity beyond the door."

"Has the override been tested yet?" Harry wondered as Jack jumped down the last six steps of the stairs to the bottom floor and started across to where Harry stood next to the stairs to the basement.

"No time like the present," Jack replied, flicking off his headset with a devilish grin.

"Fantastic," Harry replied drily, but followed his boss down the stairs anyway.

They hurried past the mostly-empty cells and stopped in front of the heavy, magic-resistant door. Jack tapped in a quick code on the keypad, then leaned down to let the retinal scanner read his eye. As he motioned Harry to do the same, he added, "At least two, in conjunction with policy. And that should..."

The locks clicked and whirred beyond the metal and, slowly, the door clicked open.

"Huh. Good to know it works," Harry commented as he stepped through, wand drawn.

Jack pulled out his gun and clicked his headset back on. "Maintain radio contact for the duration of our time in here," he ordered.

"Understood," Harry replied, making sure his own headset was on. "Keeping distance, or going in together?"

Jack's eyes flicked over to him. "With us? Might as well be together. Not much that can stop us." He smiled a bit grimly.

"Some of us prefer not dying as a matter of course, Jack," Harry replied drily, even as he fell in next to the other man.

Jack snorted, then fell silent as they continued down the long hallway, occasionally glancing down at his vortex manipulator.

Just out of sight of the rift manipulator, Jack motioned for them to stop and closed his wrist strap. "About ten feet ahead," he reported. "Let's take it slow."

Harry nodded his understanding and mentally readied a silent stupefy as they started off again. Next to him, Jack pulled out a second gun.

About three feet away from the recorded activity, they came to a stop, staring into the dim hallway.

"Do you see anything?" Jack whispered.

"Nope. You?"

"Not a thing," Jack replied. He was just putting away his extra gun when his wrist strap let out a warning screech. "What the–"

A shimmer of air came towards the two like a cannon shot and, before they could react, it was over them, pulling at their skin and transporting them away from the hallway.

Harry grunted when he landed on something firm that tickled the back of his neck. A glance around him showed lots of grass and a sky just fading to dusk.

"Harry?" Jack asked from nearby.

"Fine. You?"

"Fantastic," Jack replied with a touch of bitterness.

Harry sat up and rubbed at his head, taking in their surroundings a bit more. There were some trees nearby that seemed to be turning to orange and red, and the nip in the air suggested autumn. "Wasn't it just April?" he wondered aloud.

"Huh? Yeah..." Jack sat up himself and glanced around. "Feels like..."

"Autumn," Harry agreed, then climbed to his feet and did a full three-eighty turn. "Okay, most of my time out of Britain was spent on the Valiant, but..."

"This isn't Earth," Jack offered, considering his wrist strap as he stepped up next to Harry. "It's a planet called Jen-Uunga, in the Selio System."

Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Crap."

"Fuck," Jack replied, tapping the display on his wrist and looking up. "Harry, we're five years in our past."

Harry glanced up at the stars that were just appearing along one horizon. "Assuming we could catch a ship off this planet, how long would it take to get back to Earth?"

"Depending on the ship..." Jack flipped his wrist strap closed. "Three to twenty years, but that's just figuring in the ships that should be travelling near this system around this time. There are slower ones, and faster ones..."

Harry nodded. "Any chance of a space port around here?"

"Not likely. Most of the planets in the Selio System are uninhabited – bit like the Sol System that way, honestly. Jen-Uunga and Bak-Uunga both have life, but the dominant species on both planets are at about where humans were when Rome was the ruling empire. They still think the universe revolves around their planet."

"Figures." Harry tapped his wand against his left wrist in an irritated gesture, wincing when it sparked at him in complaint. "Can you set up a beacon with that thing?"

Jack nodded and flipped it open again. "Hey, Harry..."


"You could try the Doctor."

Harry sighed and shook his head. "Phone's on my desk, charging."

"Fuck. Did you have to pick today to leave it behind?"

Harry raised an eyebrow at his companion. "I'm going to ignore that on account of the stress of the situation," he replied drily, then turned and started working to find natural materials to transfigure into some sort of shelter and get a fire started.

Jack fiddled with his vortex manipulator for a few more minutes, then shut it and turned back to Harry, who was going about setting up wards. "Sent out the call," he offered.

Harry nodded and tied off the last of his spells to keep people away. "Right. Might as well get some sleep, then. Unless these people are somehow immune to magic, we should be fine for the night."

"Yeah, good, thanks." Jack made for one of the piles of leaves and grass Harry had pulled together, pulling off his coat to use as a blanket.

After Harry had curled up on his own pile and was just drifting off, Jack whispered, "Sorry."

Harry just shook his head. "Yeah, me too."


Harry woke to the glaring light of twin suns and unfamiliar voices. He covered his eyes from the suns and sat up to see if he could pinpoint the voices.

"They've been there for about an hour," Jack helpfully supplied when he noticed Harry staring at the group of children standing on the other side of his wards. "Oh, and there haven't been any ships in range yet."

Harry scrambled to his feet and walked over to where Jack was poking at the dead fire, nodding. "So they've some form of magic-sensitivity. 'Psychic awareness', the Doctor calls it."

Jack shrugged. "Certainly possible. Don't know anything about them, though. They're worse than humans with creating technology."

"Hn." Harry tapped his wand on the stone circle surrounding the fire pit, causing the ashes to return to a burnable substance and burst into flames.

The group on the far side of the wards let out sounds of shock and terror, then scurried away.

"I don't suppose you've got any food in your magic pockets," Jack commented to Harry as the wizard lowered himself to sit next to the immortal.

Harry shifted through his pockets, pulling out all sorts of gadgets that he'd picked up during his time with Torchwood, as well as his sonic screwdriver and laser pen. There were any number of potions in a small kit he kept on him, mostly various healing potions, but also some dreamless sleep and other such necessities he might need if he had to stay overnight somewhere. He also found a bag of crisps, some gum, two half-full canisters of cold tea and a one-time bar of chocolate that had been melted into a twisted lump.

Jack took the crisps and pulled the bag open while Harry set about casting warming and ever-full charms on the canisters. "It's not Ianto's coffee," he commented, handing one over and accepting some crisps, "but it will help keep us on our feet."

Jack popped his open and saluted, then took a gulp. "I've had worse."

"You're such an American," Harry said, rolling his eyes.

"And proud."

Harry snorted and took a sip of his own tea, sighing a bit gratefully. "If I'd known we would be taking a trip, I would have packed more food and less toys," he offered with a flicker of a smile.

Jack grinned back. "I'll dock your pay for not being prepared, then."

"Bloody Torchwood."

They both chuckled.

Between the two of them, it didn't take long to finish off the crisps and demolish the twisted chocolate bar. They sat back on their arms and considered their surroundings, both occasionally discussing how they might keep from starving long enough for some sort of ship to come floating by. They agreed to try looking around for edible food in the small corpse of trees next to their campsite, as well as keeping eyes out for any wildlife.


The locals didn't return for almost three days. By that point, the two humans had gathered a pile of plant-life that wouldn't kill them, as well as having shot a few creatures that looked vaguely like rabbits and a few birds. Harry had also found more materials to transfigure with, so he'd made them an icebox and made something of a tent, which he'd woven warming charms into, enabling them to sleep without shivering all night or resorting to physical closeness – though they had done the latter the second night, with the firm understanding that they were colleagues and they were only sleeping on the same pile of leaves to stay warm. (It had been a bit awkward.)

Harry was the first one up and out of the tent the morning the group returned. There were a smaller number that time, all apparently the older children. Harry couldn't help but wonder about their parents, but he wasn't too inclined to try speaking with a people who didn't understand the few languages he knew.

When Jack popped out, he took a moment to eye the group of kids, then came over to join Harry by the fire, where the younger human was heating up a stew he'd made last night with some of the almost-rabbit and some plants. "They look a bit star-struck," he commented as he dished himself some stew in a makeshift wood bowl.

"I was a bit surprised that they didn't dash off again when I lit the fire," Harry replied drily, absently waving the last of the stew back into the cold box.

The children on the other side of the wards 'ooh'ed and 'ah'ed a bit.

"With your luck, they think you're some sort of a god."


Jack chuckled. "Not much we can do about it, though, now is there?"

Harry sighed. "No. I wish a transport would get here already, though. I'm quite done roughing it, thanks. Done this enough in my life."

"Agreed." Jack sighed and leaned back on his hands, eyeing the golden clouds floating above their heads. "I've been wondering something for a while."


"Am I going to end up losing you to the Doctor one of these days?"

"What, for one of my month-long jaunts to other planets?"

Jack shook his head. "Forever. And don't try telling me you've never considered it."

Harry paused his fiddling with one of the odd pieces of alien tech that was in his pockets. "I... Yeah, okay. I've always wanted to up and say, 'Fuck Earth' and just go off with him. Even before we had a relationship. But, okay, I probably could, sure, and it's always a possibility, but so long as I have a family and people I care about on Earth, there's no way I could just up and vanish, even if I do like the Doctor's always done, with the coming and going."

Jack waited almost a full minute to see if Harry would speak again, then said, "You have a very good chance of outliving everyone in Torchwood, except me. And don't you wizards have an obnoxiously long lifespan?"

"About two hundred years, barring Dark Lords," Harry agreed. "But all my kids are magical, and so are all the Weasleys. Sure, I might outlive all of my generation, considering the dangerous jobs everyone's chosen to do for a living, but I doubt I'll be outliving our children or grandchildren."

"Unless another big, bad Dark Lord comes along," Jack commented.

Harry grimaced. "Barring another bloody prophecy damning some poor kid, I'll happily take care of any new Dark Lords."

"You're rather certain of yourself."

Harry snorted. "You know enough about the wizarding world by now to realise that if I come in with alien technology or a muggle gun, anything I go against is going to be so busy being either offended at my choice or confused about why it's dangerous to ever consider defending itself properly."

Jack laughed. "And if they do manage to get a shot in, you'll just get right back up, even though you might be bleeding out of your eyeballs."

"That hurt!" Harry complained, rubbing at his eyes in remembrance of the time when something had exploded in his face. Death had ever so kindly repaired his vision – something about him being required to at least heal Harry up enough for his body to be able to sustain life and allow him to finish healing any other damage – but his eyes had still hurt like hell and there'd been blood running down his face.

"Would have been a good look for Halloween," Jack offered.

"Would you like to try the look on right now?" Harry replied with a bright smile, fingering his wand.

Jack eyed the wand with a healthy amount of fear. "No, that's okay."

Harry hummed and put his wand away, then went back to his tech.

They were silent for a good ten minutes before Jack asked, "Suppose – just suppose, Harry – that there was no one left on Earth for you. Would you run off with him then?"

Harry raised an eyebrow at his boss. "Why are you so curious, Jack?"

Jack shrugged. "Just am."

Harry sighed and looked back down at his tech, lying loosely in between spread fingers. "I don't know," he admitted. "I love him, but there's no way we could stay together for the rest of his life, you know? I'd end up dying of old age at one point and he'd be left all alone. I don't know if I can do that to him. At know... At least this way, he can always come back in my timeline and see me again, without ever having to watch me die."

Jack nodded.

Harry eyed his boss sidelong, then said, "This is about Ianto."

Jack nodded again, having no reason to deny it. "I know he's Torchwood, so his life expectancy is pretty much nil, but..." Jack shook his head. "Is it selfish to want to bestow my curse on another human?" he wondered.

Harry shrugged. "Is it selfish to want your curse?"

"Take it."

Harry smiled faintly. "Is it selfish to want to die so you won't be hurt by the death of another?"

"Let's not get into a discussion of philosophy," Jack replied drily.

Harry just smiled and went back to his tech, leaving Jack to make faces at the alien children watching them.


"I'm bored," Jack declared after another week on the planet.

Harry found himself agreeing. He'd played with every piece of tech at least twice and had created three new spells; transfiguring paper out of the dead tree they'd been using for firewood to scribble half-remembered runes on to work out the basics of the spells. (All of the spells, incidentally, were based on various alien toys they had in the Torchwood archives.)

"Bored," Jack repeated.

"Go make faces at those kids some more," Harry replied tiredly, waving a hand at the line-up of children who apparently thought it was the best thing in the whole world to sit there at the edge of the wards and stare at the two humans all day.

"They never react. It's boring."

Harry gave his boss an unimpressed look over the paper he was scribbling more runes on. It was difficult work, since he couldn't always remember the runes he needed, so he had to find other runic combinations to fill in the gap, or leave it blank and hope he could fill it in later. He never should have given up studying runes in his free time when he transferred to the Department permanently.

Jack sighed and let himself flop back onto the browning grass. "I don't know if what we've got will be sufficient for the winter," he commented after a long silence.

Harry set his papers to the side and looked around their clearing. Depending on how bad winter got in this area – and he was thinking it was going to be pretty bad, judging by the chill in the air – they'd probably end up stuck in the tent for warmth. There was still no sign of rescue, after all.

"We could see where these kids go at night," Jack suggested, eyeing the children. "Maybe they've got a shelter we could share for the winter."

Harry nodded. "Yeah, I suppose. I don't know how we'd communicate, though."

Jack shrugged. "Their gestures are pretty universal, and the language is close to Andriant, from what I've heard so far. We should be able to communicate on some level, even if things get a bit muddled."

"Times like this I wish I had a TARDIS," Harry muttered, rubbing at his eyes. "Okay, do you want to just follow them home and see what they've got, or do you want to see if they'll take us? Because either is viable, but I think asking them to take us would be more polite."

"But following them would give us a better idea of who they are," Jack argued. "I'd rather not walk into a trap."

"Was it not you, yourself, who said that not much can stop us?"

"Yeah, on our turf."


Jack shook his head. "We'll follow them tonight. Tomorrow, if it looks like a feasible option, we'll see if the kids will take us."

Harry sighed and nodded. "Yeah, okay."


The kids came from a small village about a mile away from their campsite. It was a basic set-up, with thatched roofs and wood or crude stone walls. The two humans spent a couple of hours wandering through the village under the cover of invisibility spells. Jack managed to pick up a bit more of their language with the help of a language spell Harry had researched way back when he joined the Department. (It was meant for human languages, so it wasn't very good, but it helped them learn the languages a bit better. UNIT had a few translator programs, and Torchwood had the lot, but the magical community had always preferred their spells, even if it wasn't as good.)

"So they're matriarchal," Jack commented as they made their way back up towards their campsite. "Not many species that go that route, especially after us humans start taking over the universe."

"Humans are such pricks," Harry muttered. "I like the idea of finding a matriarchal society, personally."

"Even if it puts us on the bottom of the pecking order?"

Harry blinked. "I'm having an odd vision of Gwen in charge of Torchwood, only she's pregnant and prone to violent mood swings."

Jack shuddered theatrically and huddled next to their dying campfire, which Harry waved back to life. "No."

"Or Johnson."

"I think my balls just climbed into my body in sheer terror."

Harry chuckled and waved the last of the stew over to warm by the fire; using warming charms on food too many times made it taste weird, so he preferred letting the stew warm the muggle way. "Do you still want to go down there? The adults seem to think we're just figments of the kids' imagination from what I gathered."

Jack considered their campsite for a moment. "How hard would it be to make a crude little cottage like they've got down there?"

Harry pondered the question, dishing out the stew. "With the number of trees and rocks up here, I could probably manage an approximation without too much trouble by tomorrow morning. The roof would be a bit different, but it would look pretty close. It wouldn't, however, look like it was done by hand. It'll be much more impressive than the homes down there. Why?"

Jack rubbed at his chin. "From an argument I heard, it's not a good thing to be without children at our age. And I know we both do have children, but they're not here and we have no way to prove they exist."

"Never mind that all of yours are grown or dead," Harry muttered into his stew.

Jack either ignored him, or didn't hear him. "There's also the concern that we're obviously alien, as our skin colour is so much more pink than theirs. I don't want to go down and start to settle in, only for them to kick us back out into the snow. You could probably bring down your wards and we can visit with the village, but we should be fine up here until a ship can pick us up."

Harry nodded. "Sounds reasonable. Do you want me to try making some sort of house before those kids get back?"

"Yeah, sure. If you can at least get the outside up, we can work on an inside later. It would be nice to have an indoors to live in, if nothing else."

Harry nodded again and hurried to finish his stew, then left Jack by the fire to go and collect materials. He wanted everything he'd need on site before he started. Magic was an amazing crutch, but Harry was no builder, and he didn't fancy walking off in the middle of building one wall to find some more wood, only to come back and have to start all over again.

The first of the twin suns was just peaking over the horizon when Harry finally finished with the outside and leaned against a wall to rest a moment. Jack had gone to bed hours ago in their little tent and Harry envied him, but he'd promised to finish the building before the kids arrived, so he did.

He pushed away from the building as the second sun started its slow crawl over the northern mountains – at least, from what Jack had said, that was north. He turned and considered his handiwork, a smile coming to his lips at the building: It had a stone base, which went up to about Harry's waist and was topped by wooden beams, placed together to resemble something of a log cabin. The roof was made of dead grass and leaves from the trees he'd used for the building, and was high enough that Jack shouldn't have to stoop anywhere inside, even with the low-hanging roof beams. There were two windows, and Harry had made glass out of the sand down by the nearby river to pane them, even though the people of this world hadn't seemed to discover glass yet. The whole thing was held together by some tough clay Harry had found on the river-bottom.

He had some ideas for the inside, including something of a kitchen and a crawl space under the roof for one or both of them to sleep in. He'd built in a stone fireplace, and extra wood had already been stored next to the front door. He was pretty sure they could put together or trade for some crude furniture to sit on, but until then, they could sit on the floor. They'd been doing fine at it so far.

Harry was just debating going inside and working on creating a floorboard and ladder for the space under the roof and maybe making something of a kitchen when he heard amazed voices behind him. The children were back, and they were all staring at the house, which seemed to have simply appeared overnight.

"Looks like god worship to me," Jack said from the door of the tent, though the expression in his eyes at the sight of the new house conveyed his own amazement.

"Yeah? Good. Bow down, muggle," Harry returned drily.

Jack chuckled and climbed out of the tent. "That's not bad for an overnight job," he offered.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Haven't done anything with the inside yet, except add on a fireplace. I'm thinking I could hash together something of a kitchen and maybe something of a second floor to sleep on, but anything else would have to wait a few days. We might be able to trade for things like furniture, though, if we had something to trade."

"We could trade your amazing talents," Jack commented. "You can fix broken things or help heal the sick."

"And what about you, oh fearless leader?"

"I can make babies."

Harry snorted and made for the cold box next to the tent. There was some of the stale bread that he'd made last week left, as well as some salted not-rabbit meat. "You can move the cold box inside. I'll do something with the beds when my magic's settled a bit."

Jack eyed him with some concern. "You're all right?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah, just a bit tired. That much magic would lay a normal wizard out flat, but it just makes me a bit tired. I've got a potion that'll keep me awake for the rest of the day, but I want to wait a bit to take it."

"Hm. Harry, my amazing magic farm."

"Har har."

Jack grinned, then started dragging the heavy stone cold box towards the house.


Harry did put in a kitchen, with a wood-burning stove and a sink, which had been magically spelled to draw from the river. He'd also, when Jack complained about his privates freezing off, put in something of a loo in a corner, as well as a shower. The shower, like the kitchen sink, drew from the river, but the loo returned all its wastes to a space deep underground that Harry had created, to be turned into soil in the planet's own time.

The two men had laid out piles of leaves and grass in the loft-like area under the roof for beds, and Harry had woven warming charms into the floor, so they wouldn't need to keep the fire lit at night, nor sleep in the same make-shift bed.

They'd waited almost a week to get settled in their new home before Harry brought the wards down. The next morning found them woken to people knocking on their door and they both crawled out of bed, groaning.

The town elders – three women and a man – stood at their door, looking rather uncertain about how to proceed, so Jack took the lead, giving a shaky greeting and asking if they'd like to come in. Once everyone was inside, had found a semi-comfortable seat on the ground – Jack had apologised for the lack of furniture, only to be brushed off by the oldest of the women – and had a cup of tea, courtesy of Harry, they got down to business.

From what Jack and Harry were able to understand of the elder's explanations, the adults of the village had all suddenly remembered this hill last night at the exact same moment. They were all, also, suddenly more willing to believe the wild stories their children had been telling of the two men up on the hill that could make fire from ashes and raise a house from the ground overnight.

Naturally, the four junen – the name of their species – wanted to know who these two strangers were and what intentions towards the village they might have.

"We're from another planet," Jack explained, frowning as he tried to translate English into the foreign tongue. "Another star." He pointed towards the sky and received nods of understanding, though the junen all looked slightly confused, though not disbelieving, which was a good sign. "We had... mistake? No, accident. We woke here. We're waiting for help from stars to get home."

"Junen no harm," Harry offered quietly, turning his clay cup around in his hands nervously. "Trade, maybe."

The junen seemed to accept that, but wanted to know one last thing: "You have families?" the youngest of the women asked.

"Grown daughter and her son," Jack said, pointing to himself. Then he pointed to Harry and said, "Two sons, one daughter."

Harry smiled a bit sadly. At this very moment, he only had James, with Albus on the way. Lily wouldn't be born for another two and a half years, yet.

The junen seemed almost more friendly upon learning that the two men had fathered children and Jack and Harry found themselves being invited to see the village and meet the people.


Winter was hard, as they'd expected. There were three weeks where Jack and Harry were forced to remain indoors due to the amount of snow that had piled up outside their door and windows. The other side of the nasty snowstorm found Harry down in the village, tending to those who had fallen ill. He taught the healthy children which herbs to gather and how to make a potion that would help cure the cold most of the village had come down with. For some reason, only those villagers who hadn't had children or were pregnant were able to make the potion, just as they'd been the only ones who had gotten past Harry's anti-muggle ward back in autumn.

Harry had shared his observation with Jack, but they'd both agreed not to discuss it with the villagers. It was their way of life to have children by the time they were twenty, and the humans didn't feel it was their place to share their findings. The children's magic-sensitivity made them useful to the village, as it allowed them to create the potions, and the children were happy with that.

By the time spring rolled around, Harry had garnered himself something of a flock. Six children were forever following him around, asking to be taught about the magic he could do. He taught them the potions he was able to use the alien plant-life for, telling them they would have to continue to pass this knowledge on after he was gone. (This necessitated him explaining that he was only visiting for a few seasons, as he had his own children to get back to.)

With spring also came the planting of crops in a wide area of farmland that the village had. Jack found himself being talked into helping with that while Harry taught potions to the children. So it was that every night they'd come home and share the stories they'd heard from the junen, learning ever more about these people that were becoming their friends.

As summer neared an end, however, talk among the villagers and children turned to fear over whether they'd have enough extra crops to please the lady who ruled their territory.

"They're worried," Harry murmured into the fire he was stoking. "Scared, even."

"It's not our business," Jack insisted, carving a bone that was left over from a larger beast he'd felled a few days ago that they'd been eating from.

Harry sighed. "I know. It's just..."

"We can do something," Jack agreed, looking up from his bone.

"But anything we do, might only hurt them in the long run. We could be picked up any day now, and the Lady's knights don't sound like they're to be trifled with."

Jack nodded. "I don't want to help them, only to leave and see them dead."

Harry sighed and got up from the fire, returning to his chair and spells.

After a long moment of silence, Jack offered, "I'd like to see these knights in action. See what we're up against." When Harry glanced over at him, he added, "And see what sort of woman this 'Lady' is."

Harry smiled. "They should be here by the end of the week. We can watch how they act around the villagers."

"We'll wait, then."


Harry and Jack watched from around the corner of one of the elders' houses as the knights approached on creatures that vaguely resembled ostriches. The whole village had gathered with their offerings, elders in the lead with the children hidden in the back. Everyone was tense as two knights dismounted and checked through the offerings, scowls becoming progressively larger behind their helmets.

Finally, one of the knights stepped forward and grabbed the male elder by his shirt-front, dragging him closer while the other villagers flinched back. "You dare to screw with our Lady?" she demanded.

In their hiding place, Harry flexed his hands at his side, trying hard to keep himself from drawing his wand. Next to him, Jack grit his teeth, one hand on his revolver. Both of them had become friends with the elder, Jack more so than Harry, since he'd spent the last season working the fields with him.

The three female elders stepped forward, the wife of the male elder insisting, "Our harvest was bad this year after the snows. Please, we don't have enough to spare. We've given you all we could!"

"This measly pile?" the knight replied, kicking at the basket and sending the grains and fruits all over the ground. She dropped her hold on the male leader and he fell back into the arms of his wife, rubbing at the front of his shirt. The knight turned to her people and said, "Search the village! I want every scrap of food you can find."

"Mustn't interfere," Harry muttered to himself, grabbing Jack's hand before the older man could fully pull out his gun. "If we do anything, they'll just send more knights and we might not be here to stop them."

Jack clenched his jaw, but put his gun back. "Damnit!" he hissed, punching the wall next to him. "I need to do something!"

Harry frowned and turned to look at the house next to them. As it was one of the elders' houses, he knew they had stored a great deal of food inside it. "Keep an eye on the knights," he ordered, pulling out his wand and pointing it at the house.

Jack grinned a bit nastily and knelt next to his friend, eyes watching the knights, who had fanned out and were ransacking the various houses while the villagers stood together, resigned. "The nearest one is two houses down," he reported. "You've got maybe five minutes."

"It'll have to do," Harry decided and started casting a muggle-repelling charm. He was hoping the knights, like the villagers, held to the 'kids by twenty' propaganda and wouldn't be able to see the house when he was done.

While Harry was working his magic, Jack crept around the the house on their other side, making use of the window next to them to slip in and sneak out a sack of grain and some fruits, which he then hid in the house Harry was hiding.

When the knight finally finished with the house next door, Harry was happy to see her skip right over the elders' house. He grinned when the kids' eyes all widened at the miss, but they kept their mouths shut, as Harry had hoped they would.

"I take it it's worked," Jack said, a basket of fruit from another nearby house in his arms.

Harry shot the muggle an amused look. "Yes. And stop stealing their food."

"It's not stealing, it's borrowing with the intention of keeping it from the greedy hands of those bastards."

Harry rolled his eyes, too pleased with their minor victory to care that Jack had taken one of the fruits from the basket and was snacking on it.

Once they'd collected all the food they could find, the apparent leader looked it all over and sneered. "There's plenty here to spare," she said, waving a couple of knights forward to take all but two bags of grain and a basket of fruit, plus the things she had spilled earlier. "Enjoy your season," she said as all the knights climbed onto their mounts and started away with the stolen food.

With the knights leaving, the villagers finally stepped forward to gather up their meagre pile of food, hopeless. Many would die that season without the food that had been taken, but they had no hope of fighting against the Lady and her knights.

Harry dropped his spell and watched with a smile as realisation dawned on the adults' faces and they turned towards the house that had been forgotten. "Sorry about the sorcery, but we figured it was better than going hungry," Harry offered as he and Jack stepped around the corner of the house.

The two humans quickly found themselves surrounded by many grateful villagers and they both grinned, glad they could help. This place had become a home to them and they couldn't very well watch them starve.


The seasons passed and, before they knew it, Harry and Jack had been on Jen-Uunga for four years. During that time, Harry had created a small building on the edges of the village and spelled it with muggle repelling charms at the request of the elders. The village now stored about half their yearly harvest in there so they never chanced going hungry again when the knights came for their offering. Harry had done the same for a couple of other villages nearby who had family or regularly traded with his and Jack's adopted village. It had all made the wizard extremely popular, as well as one of the best-kept secrets of their area.

Over the years, as their beacon remained unanswered, the two men resigned themselves to being stuck on this planet until the Doctor realised they were missing and came to find them. (Or, as Jack always insisted, until he realised Harry was missing. The immortal man had probably already been forgotten by their alien friend, though Harry always told him he was being an idiot when he voiced that aloud.)

It was during the spring of their fourth year that help finally arrived. The previous winter had been extremely mild and the area was practically shouting its pleasure in the forms of plant- and wild-life. Harry was on an expedition with the four members of his original flock – two of them had since started families – to collect as much potions ingredients as they could when he heard a faint sound that had his heart jumping to his throat.

"Master Healer!" one of the kids shouted as Harry dropped his basket and dashed into the trees, ducking branches left and right, not caring as he picked up the occasional scratch from his mad run.

He stopped just outside the clearing the TARDIS had landed in, watching with bated breath as the door opened and out stepped a man with curly hair who was sporting an obnoxiously long scarf. Harry couldn't help but smile at the sight, though it was a sad one; this Doctor had never met him, but he'd heard many humorous anecdotes about him from both the Doctor himself and Sarah Jane.

A blonde woman wearing a white scarf that was almost as long as the Doctor's stepped out, asking, "So where are we?"

"No clue," the Doctor said with an amused grin as he looked around. "Very pretty, though, don't you think?"

"It rather is," the woman agreed.

There was a sudden commotion from behind Harry and he glanced over his shoulder in time to see the four children run into him, surprise etched on their faces. The five of them fell in a heap inside the clearing, catching the attention of the Doctor and his companion, who immediately hurried over to help.

"Goodness, me. Are you alright?" the Doctor asked as he helped Harry to his feet.

"I'm fine, thank you," Harry agreed, then turned to the children with a sharp look. "What would your parents say if they heard you pelting about the forest like that? And where are your baskets?"

"We dropped them back there," the eldest, Ingerose, said, waving back into the forest.

"And you started it, Master Healer," Rupal, Ingerose's younger brother, insisted.

"Why did you go running off?" Telemakus, the elder of the two boys, asked. "One minute you're going on about the properties of crushed alloni seeds and the next you're running off like the Lady sent her knights after you."

Harry glanced over his shoulder at the TARDIS. The Doctor, seeing the motion, glanced over at his ship himself, then exclaimed, "You know me!"

Harry grimaced. "In your future," he agreed.

"How interesting." The Doctor stepped forward and considered Harry with some interest. "It's a pleasure to meet you, then. It's not often I meet people I've yet to meet."

Harry smiled and shook the offered hand. "I'm Harry, by the way."

The Doctor's smile widened. "The Doctor. And this is Romana," he added, motioning to his companion.

"Romana," Harry repeated, shaking the Time Lady's hand. "I've heard a great deal about you. It's wonderful to finally meet you."

Romana returned the smile. "Likewise, though I can't say I've heard of you." They both chuckled, well acquainted with the troubles involved in time travel.

Panta, the youngest, tugged on Harry's sleeve. "Master Healer, do they come from your star?" she asked.

"Are you and Jack leaving us now?" Rupal added, expression downturned.

Harry sighed and drew Panta into a hug. "We can't stay here forever," he reminded them, as he occasionally had to when one of them started making plans for the future that included the two humans.

"Yes, you can!" Rupal insisted, as he always did. "You're as much part of the village as we are!"

Harry sighed. The first few times the kids had argued this with him, he'd yelled at them, refusing to stay on this backwards planets, but after a while he simply let them insist he stay, knowing nothing he could say would make them give in. None of the villagers really wanted Harry and Jack to go and had often tried talking the two humans into moving into the village, rather than staying up on their hill, but they'd always refused. For all that they liked the junen, they had families and friends to get home to.

"You're not from this planet?" the Doctor wondered, intrigued.

Harry shook his head. "No. My friend and I are from Earth. Early twenty-first century," he added, knowing the Doctor well enough to anticipate his questions. "We work in Cardiff, keeping an eye on a rift in space and time. It brought us here a little over four years ago."

"A rift in time and space on Earth?" Romana said, frowning. "Why haven't the Time Lords dealt with it? That's much too dangerous for humans."

Harry shook his head. "I can't tell you that. Just know that they haven't closed it."

The Doctor hummed and glanced around at the wide-eyed children. "Well, we can certainly take you back," he offered.

"No!" Rupal shouted. "No! No! No! I don't want you to leave!"

Harry gave the boy an unimpressed look. "You're old enough to understand a father's obligations, Rupal," he snapped. "Would you have me abandon my own children just so you can keep me around?"

"I don't care about some kids on another star! You're needed here!"

"Don't they have their mother?" Telemakus added, frowning. "She can take of them."

"Mention that idea to your parents and see what they say," Ingerose cut in, as tired of the old argument as Harry was. "If you're leaving, we should return to the village."

"That sounds like a splendid idea," the Doctor agreed. "Lead the way, young miss."

Ingerose nodded and, grabbing Rupal's hand in hers, stepped back into the forest. Telemakus followed when Harry raised an eyebrow at him and Harry followed the boy, Panta holding his hand. The two Gallifreyans brought up the rear, taking in the surrounding with pleased looks.

When they stopped to pick up the dropped baskets, Harry turned to the Doctor and Romana, frowning a bit. "I should warn you, my friend, Jack, had a bit of an incident with time a while back. Both you and the TARDIS reacted poorly to it for a while."

"What sort of incident?" Romana wondered.

Harry grimaced. "He got stuck. He doesn't age and he doesn't die."

"And the Time Lords–" Romana started.

"I have found," Harry interrupted, "that the Time Lords are rarely capable of fixing the messes that the Doctor and his companions cause. And when they do try to fix things, well... Let's just say things don't go well."

The two from Gallifrey traded curious looks, but they understood enough about time travel to know better than to ask.

When they reached the village, Panta finally broke away from Harry and dashed over to her mother, who caught her in a hug with a confused look. She looked over at where the other children, Harry and the two visitors were stepping from the woods and her heart fell. When the group reached her, she said, "So you'll finally be leaving us."

Harry nodded. "I'm sorry."

The woman sighed and shook her head. "You always said you'd be leaving, and you stayed far longer than anyone expected." She managed a pained smile. "You two have done so much for us."

Harry smiled back. "We just lent a hand here and there. You're the ones who welcomed us into your community."

Jack walked over then from the fields, curious about the others with his friend. "Hey, what's going on?"

Harry grinned at his boss, always pleased when he knew something the immortal didn't know. "Jack, this is Romana and the Doctor. Doctor, Romana, this is my friend, Jack."

Jack stared at the man he'd long loved, enthralled, while the Doctor and Romana both considered him with faint grimaces.

Harry chuckled and elbowed Jack in the side. "Jun-Uunga to Jack. Come in, Jack."

Jack shook his head and nodded to the Doctor's scarf. "I remember seeing that in the wardrobe, you know."

"You tried it on, didn't you?" Harry guessed.

"Mhmm. Couldn't manage to make it look good, though."

"No one can wear the Doctor's clothing quite like he can," Harry pointed out fondly.

The Doctor cleared his throat, looking a little uncomfortable. "We should return you home."

Jack blinked, then sighed and glanced at Harry. "It's me, isn't it?"

"You're a regular Time Lord repellent," Harry agreed. "We could try marketing you, I suppose."

"Har, har," Jack shot back in a pretty good imitation of Harry's usual sarcastic tone.

Harry rolled his eyes and turned back to the villagers, most of whom had come to see them off once the kids had spread the word around. "Take care of yourselves."

"And you, Master Healer, Jack," one of the elders replied. "Go with our blessings."

"Don't forget us," Ingerose requested, clutching at her brother's shoulder.

"Not a chance," Jack promised. "We'll remember you forever."

They took a moment to share around hugs, then led the way up to their little hut on the hill. They'd collected a few odds and ends over the years that they wanted to keep, so they picked those up and Harry stuffed them in his many pockets. Then they were on their way back to the TARDIS.

Inside the blue box, the two humans quietly exclaimed over the differences in themes. Romana and the Doctor mostly tried to avoid Jack, and the immortal grimaced about it a bit, but respected their comfort zone and generally stayed by the door while Harry directed the Doctor to their original time period.

Neither human was surprised when they landed a week after their accident with the Rift, so they just thanked the Doctor and said their goodbyes, then started off towards their workplace.

"That was awkward," Jack commented, eyeing the familiar Cardiff streets with the eyes of a man who hadn't seen them in years.

Harry chuckled. "Tell me about it. I don't remember the last time I was awkward with the Doctor."

"I'll bet it involved Ginny, though."

"Probably," Harry agreed, rubbing at his face, which was sporting some stubble. Shaving hadn't been a priority on Jen-Uunga.

As they came into sight of Torchwood's base, Jack commented, "We're going to have to get used to speaking English again."

"Fan-fucking-tastic," Harry muttered in response, having to consciously make himself speak his native language. "Pocket translator."

"Next project," Jack agreed.

Jack unlocked the back door and stepped in, grinning widely. Harry followed after him, a faint smile on his face.

Their teammates were all sitting around the conference table and had turned to look at them with surprise. There was a long moment of silence, then Gwen stood up and demanded, "Where have you been?!"

"Sorry," Harry offered drily while Jack picked up Ianto's cup of coffee and downed it like a starving man, "the Doctor overshot by a week."

"You saw the Doctor?" Martha said, eyes hopeful.

Jack apparently decided Harry could field all the questions, since he'd finished the coffee and was working on kissing Ianto senseless.

Harry snorted in amusement at his boss, then offered, "Not the Doctor you're thinking of," to Martha. "We met a younger version of him. Before the Time War."

Martha nodded, sadness in her eyes. "Is he okay?"

Harry shrugged. "Yeah. He's at a good point in his life."

"So where were you that required the Doctor's intervention?" Mickey asked as Harry took his usual seat.

Jack grabbed Ianto's arm and motioned towards the lift hopefully.

Johnson stood, pulled out her gun and held it to the side of Jack's head. "Sit down," she ordered.

Ianto looked a little relieved when Jack finally took his seat at the head of the table, looking depressed. "Yeah, where did you go? We tried calling you, but Harry's mobile was on his desk, and Jack's wasn't in range."

"The Rift alarm went off, indicating there was something going on down in the old Hub," Jack explained, still pouting a bit. "Harry and I went to check it out and got swept off to another planet."

The next ten minutes involved a lot of questions about the planet they'd been stuck on, which the two answered to the best of their abilities. They had to catch themselves a few times when they started talking in the junen language, but they mostly managed to stick to English.

Finally, Gwen asked, "How long were you there?" and everyone looked curious. Clearly it had been more than a week for them, considering they kept slipping into another language and knew so much about the culture.

Jack and Harry traded weary looks, then Harry offered, "It's been almost five years for us."

The other members of Torchwood considered the two men for a long moment, speechless. Five years may not seem like that long a time, especially not for Jack, but five years away from everything you knew couldn't have been easy, especially since they'd had no guarantee that they'd ever get home.

Gwen shook her head after long moment. "Ianto, why don't you take Jack home? And, Harry, you head home too. Spend some time with your kids. Take a week off, both of you."

"That's not necessary," Jack tried.

Ianto stood and tugged Jack up out of his chair. "Come on. You look like you could use a real bed."

"I've got a bed here," Jack tried.

"A real bed," Ianto insisted, leading the unresisting Jack towards the door he and Harry had walked through not even half an hour ago.

"You too, Harry," Martha insisted from next to him.

Harry sighed and summoned his mobile, then apparated to his flat. There, he took a shower and got himself some real food, then checked his messages. Ginny, Hermione, Martha and Gwen had all tried calling him, but only Ginny and Hermione had left messages, both of which were pretty much demands about where he was.

Harry smiled to himself and curled up in his nice, warm bed and rang his ex-wife first. Explaining this one was going to be fun.



A/N: Not sure how well the Fourth Doctor and Romana II came out, but I tried... *shifty eyes* I will admit that I'm not that familiar with them, but when I was looking for someone to rescue Harry and Jack, I decided a past Doctor would be the best, and Shara said I should go with Four, who was her favourite before Ten (or Eleven, now O.o), so...
And the Doctor's not going to remember this meeting. Regenerations are hard and time and war erases a lot of things. Anyway, for all that it was a strange event, that's what the Doctor's life is made up of, so this particular trip isn't going to mean a lot.

Anyway. This was really all I had planned for this side series, but I might borrow Miracle Day once it's finally out in July. Also, if anyone has any ideas... *grin*
Other than that, I'll see everyone else soon enough for the next chapter of The Perfect Sky is Torn. New Who in less than two weeks!!

ALSO! I made a sketch of the new Hub for this fic and scanned it up. Links: Basement, 1st & 2nd floors | 3rd & 4th floors (and a really bad sketch of Harry's necklace)

'Til next time!
~Bats ^.^x

Harry & the Doctor Series:
Hanging By a Thread
Dust in the Sky Chapters:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six
The Future Doesn't Scare Me Chapters:
One | Two | ???
The Perfect Sky is Torn Chapters:
One | Two | Three
Adrenaline Rush



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September 2017

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