|Rating: PG, slash, humour
Characters: Captain Jack (the Doctor Who/Torchwood one), Midshipman Frame, Lieutenant Gillette
Summary: There are situations in which a lieutenant outranks a captain...
Author's note: PotC / Doctor Who / Torchwood crossover!
Nobody bothered him at the bar. The booze, though watered down, was still strong enough to make him lightheaded. Still, he noticed the young man in uniform, occupying the seat next to him. Difficult not to notice him - nice. Despite his low spirits, Jack cast an interested sidewise glance, and under normal circumstances, he'd have put up a charming smile and made a move. But he wasn't in the mood, and the young man in question didn't look as if he would be impressed by Jack's tricks. Or anybody else's. That aside, "my name is Jack, I just lost my lover, my daughter and managed to get my grandson killed" wasn't the most promising ice breaker ever.
Just when he returned his attention to his drink, The Doctor turned up out of the blue, for reasons only known to the stars. To say that Jack was puzzled by The Doctor's hastily scribbled message - "His name is Alonso" - was an understatement. Was there so little to do for Number Ten these days that he had to moonlight as Postillon d'Amour? But Jack wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so after a moment of hesitation, he turned to his neighbour.
"So you're Alonso?"
A puzzled look from the young man, a flash and then – darkness. When Captain Jack opened his eyes again, he found himself in a very strange place.
"What the hell? Where's the Star Wars canteen?" he asked, and ducked automatically when a tankard was thrown in his direction. He caught it deftly mid-air and put it on the table in front of him.
"The - hey. What's goin' on here?"
"I'm afraid I don't understand, Sir."
The place had changed. Gone was the bar, replaced by a dimly lit tavern, the air heavy with the smell of cheep bear, sour wine and the stench of unwashed humans. Alonso had also changed. Well, not so much his person, but he was dressed as if on his way to a fancy dress party.
"I guess you're Prince Charming?" Jack asked.
"I'm not aware that we'd know, Sir," Alonso said, his tone slightly dismissive.
Jack decided to solve the puzzle of the disappearing bar later. A man had to set priorities, after all.
"I'm Captain Jack Harkness."
Alonso immediately changed his poise and jumped up.
"My apologies, Sir. Alonso Frame. Midshipman in HMS Dauntless."
Hah! Navy! He should have known. Yes, the rank of captain sure had its advantages, and Jack had every intention to use them for his purposes.
"Sit down and have a drink," he ordered. Alonso obeyed, and Jack snatched two full tankards from a tray the innkeeper had placed on the table next to them. He didn't bother to check their content; in a hellhole like this one, it was probably better not to know what one drank.
It didn't take much to get into a conversation with Alonso, and the more he drank, the more he talked. About his family - six sisters, five brothers, what the hell? - his duties aboard the Dauntless and praise upon praise on his captain. After twenty minutes, Jack was heartily tired of hearing about James Norrington's many virtues, and he tried to steer the conversation into more personal waters.
"So you're on shore leave?"
"Yes, and I love it!" Alonso took another swig from the tankard - his third - and licked his lips. His eyes were shining, and there were red spots on his cheeks. Alonso might be a good midshipman, but he sure didn't know how to hold his liquor. Good! He'd probably need a hand or two to find his way home. Or where ever they could find some privacy. Good old Doctor; he owed him a drink.
"Yeah, I can see that. How long?"
"Only three days," Alonso grumbled. "Then we'll put to sea on a mission to-"
"That's enough, Mr. Frame."
Jack looked up to see who dared to interrupt his flirting, and met the icy glare of yet another navy-boy, but one with more tinsel on his coat and no positive feelings towards his person. Jack didn't mind; the feeling was mutual, so he gave the new arrival his brightest smile.
Poor Alonso paled as if he had seen a ghost and tried to stand up. Unfortunately, his head was spinning and his legs refused their service, so he slumped back on the bench. No doubt, the boy was terrified. And drunk.
"My name is Jack. Captain Jack."
"How comes I'm not surprised."
The voice would have been agreeable if it hadn't been so full of acid. A pity, really; Jack was rather fond of redheads.
"Mr. Gillette... Lieutenant... Lieutenant Gillette, Sir, I can explain everything! As I just said-"
"You've said enough, Mr. Frame." Gillette cut the huming and hawing midshipman off, not leaving Jack out of sight for even a second. "Well then, Captain Jack. I can tell you're heading from the colonies?"
"I'm American," Jack corrected.
"As I said, from the colonies."
"Looks like you missed the Boston Tea Party."
Jack could tell from Gillette’s blank face that the joke had been lost on him. Just what year was this?
"What business brought you here? The fair ladies of Tortuga? Trade? Or, considering that you tried to extract confidential information from one of my midshipmen - espionage?"
Jack laughed, and Alonso tried to protest.
"Sir, it wasn't like that at all! I-"
"You? You will return to the Dauntless immediately," Gillette snapped. "Your shore leave is over. Upon my return, you can explain this to Captain Norrington, and make no mistake, you'll be masted. For at least six hours. When it’s raining."
"Yes, Sir! Of course, Sir! Immediately, Sir!"
Alonso struggled to his feet, grasped his hat and hurried out of the tavern, though not without one last longing look back over his shoulder. Jack waved, and Alonso managed a smile. Luckily, that bit escaped Gillette, or the midshipman would have spent the next two years in the masthead of the Dauntless.
Jack shook his head.
"Masted? Sounds kinky."
Gillette moved so close to Captain Jack that their noses almost touched. If he'd wanted, he could have counted Gillette's freckles, but he was too surprised by the uncomfortable and completely unexpected feeling of a stun gun pressed into his side.
"I'll only say this once, Jack Harkness, and you better pay attention: this is my time, my business, my midshipman and my captain. I don't care where you fly your flag, but by God, it won't be on my ship!"
Jack bit his lip.
"Do I want to know?" he asked. The stun gun was quickly shifted to a more vulnerable part of his anatomy.
"No," Gillette replied.
"I thought so."
An angry glare from Gillette, a flash and then – darkness. When Captain Jack opened his eyes, he was sitting in the bar again, the drink still in front of him, ice cubes and all. He swirled them in the glass and shook his head. His midshipman and his captain? Damn it. Lucky bastard.
* * *
by Molly Joyful