Jack smiled a stiff goodnight at Ianto. Things between them were still... stiff... uncertain. Jack wasn't sure which of them was having the harder time forgiving the other, but they were at least on an even keel and that was hard enough to find in times like these.
He climbed down into his home... if it could be called that... beneath Torchwood was dark and depressing and once upon a time, Jack would have sooner lived in a cardboard box than hidden beneath the streets of Cardiff. There was a strange kind of irony, he thought, that where once he was all about being seen, notice, admired, he now preferred to hide, to remain in the shadows and live in silence. He wondered what the Doctor would think about that.
The Doctor... thinking about him sent that all too familiar pang through Jack's heart. Half anger, half pain. Jack had trusted him and he'd abandoned him, abandoned him to pain and loneliness, to a life from which he couldn't escape, because now... now he couldn't die.
Jack snorted. His Doctor was gone. In his place another, who knew all the same things his Doctor knew, but just... wasn't... Jack wondered if he ever found him, if the Doctor ever passed this way, would he be able to handle it. This new version of a man he'd... cared for... would he still... would they still.
It made Jack's head hurt just thinking about it, as he stripped down and fell into bed, hoping that slumber would soon find him and he'd find rest that night. Sleep took it's time coming and even when it did, Jack found no rest, odd images creeping into his mind, the Doctor, his Doctor, with his wide eyes and a nose too big for his face, with ears that were never just right, but that Jack loved to nibble at. And then it was this new Doctor, the one he'd only ever seen in pictures. With floppy brown hair and a face that was almost sweet to look at. Jack could picture it in his mind, all he might be hiding under that suit.
Jack woke with a gasp, his own hardness in his hands as a few short, sharp tugs brought him to orgasm and Jack panted and shuddered, shaken, not from lust but uncertainty, fear. He couldn't be sure if it had been his Doctor or this new Doctor that had left him hard and needy in his sheets, the images were so confused and muddled.
Jack wasn't even sure it mattered, but it felt like it should. *His* Doctor was gone, dead... dead like Jack should be. But he wasn't dead and the Doctor wasn't dead, both of them were changed, different... Jack still looked the same but inside he knew he'd never be the same. The Doctor looked different... but inside, Jack suspected the most important things about him were unchanged, unchanging. He was solid like that, solid in a way Jack could never be.
Jack rolled out of bed and towards his bathroom. He'd find no more rest tonight than he had a hundred other nights, not since he'd woken alone on that space station, he may never find rest again, until he found the Doctor, until he had his answers for better or worse.
As the shower beat water down on him, almost too hot to bear, Jack closed his eyes and tried not to see anything but black.