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Story Notes:
Written before Fragments, this is now totally AU. A view of how Owen might have come to Torchwood.
Owen Harper, slouched down, in torn jeans and a battered leather jacket, looking like he didn't have a care in the world. Sixteen and screaming rebel at the top of his lungs. Jack stared at him, until Owen looked away first.

"I have a proposition," Jack said, casually straddling a chair, his arms resting on the back.

"And what would that be?" Owen asked, eyes narrowing, full of teenage anger and mutiny. In this case it might even be warranted.

"Your teachers seem to think you're a pretty bright kid," Jack said. "I think you're a bit of a chancer..."

"Didn't ask for their opinion, don't care about yours," Owen said defiantly.

Jack smirked. "So noted."

Owen rolled his eyes. "Look stop beating around the bush alright, what the fuck do you want?"

"How would you like the chance to go to any university you like. Study medicine... do whatever you want after that, you just have to give me twelve months of your life," Jack said.

"I ain't no fucking whore," Owen growled. "And even if I did bend over, I wouldn't be doing it for you."

"Not what I meant. Although if you keep your looks as you get older, I might change my mind in a few years," Jack smirked and waggled his eyebrow.

"Pervert," Owen said.

"I've been called worse. Now shut up and listen very carefully. You're smart, maybe you're even smart enough to get a scholarship so you can spend the next few years scrimping every penny, living on 1500 a month and eating a lot of noodles... or you can take my offer. Your own place, nice monthly wage, full ride scholarship and hell, I'm feeling generous so I'll even throw in a car," Jack said. "After you're done with medical school and your internship, you come work for me for one year. Interesting work, good wages, full benefits. Once that's done, it's up too you what you do. Stay or go on your merry."

"And what do you get out of this?" Owen asked. "Seems like a lot of trouble to recruit a Doctor, you could get any one of thousands of already trained Doctors all around the UK."

"A warm fuzzy," Jack said.

Owen glared. "Right, well take your warm fuzzy and stick it where the..."

"Now, now, we agreed, in a few years if you grow up to be a big boy," Jack said cheekily. "Owen... you've got no where else to go, no one else to turn too... you need what I'm offering."

"I don't need fucking nothing," Owen snarled.

"Fine, keep living out of a suitcase on whatever friends couch you can steal for a few nights. Struggle through the next few years, until you drop out of school, if you even make it into medical school, to work a job you hate, with snotty assed teenagers with IQ's that don't reach your ankles ordering you around... plenty of other smart kids your age who'd jump at what I'm offering," Jack said.

"I can do it. On my own. I don't need anybody." Owen said.

"Maybe you can," Jack nodded. "But why suffer if you don't have to?"

"I don't like to owe nobody anything," Owen said.

"Twelve months in exchange for your whole life, it's not that much," Jack said.

"Do I get to think about it first," Owen asked.

"For about sixty more seconds. When that bell goes, I'm out of here and your chance is gone," Jack said.

Owen looked defiant, holding Jack's gaze. The bell was loud and obnoxious like every school bell Jack had ever heard.

"Been a pleasure, Owen Harper," Jack stood. He didn't offer Owen his hand. Owen wouldn't have taken it.

"Harkness..." Owen said, as Jack reached the door. "I want a decent car, no old banger."

Jack turned and smirked. "It'll have the finest backseat on the market."


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