kaydeefalls: jack grins about stopwatches (stopwatch time)
[personal profile] kaydeefalls
First: Happy birthday, Allie! Look, have a Jack fic. :)

Second: this fic is legitimately all [livejournal.com profile] tricksterquinn's fault. Seriously. So we were talking last week about songs and fannishness, and using lyrics as titles for fics. And I made the great error of referring to this Paul Simon song, and how this lyric has been in my head as a fic title for years now but I hadn't found the right story for it yet. And she said: yes you have, and it's about Jack and maybe Ianto, and this is your prompt. And then it banged around in my head for a few days, knocking out all of the other fics I'm currently working on, and then this happened.

Moral of this story: [livejournal.com profile] tricksterquinn is the devil, and that's kind of awesome.


The Myth of Fingerprints
by kaydee falls
fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
pairing: Jack/various (canon pairings and OCs)
rating: pg-13
spoilers: through "Children of Earth" and "End of Time"
summary: Jack maps out the universe in echoes.
diclaimer: not mine, no profit, don't sue.
notes: thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tricksterquinn for the prompting, cheerleading, and beta. All your fault.

Jack maps out the universe in echoes.

He's hardly the first to do so. On Earth, there are (were, will be) several species collectively known as bats who inhabit personal galaxies of reflected sound. The echoes of their own vocalizations, bouncing off objects in space, guide them through their world more thoroughly than sight, more efficiently than touch. On the planet Andovar in the Cyjiak system, a species of empaths called the ghitani measure physical space in the memories of organisms that passed through before. Jack dwells on Andovar for half a decade, and many ghitani recoil from the paths he treads across their world.

Others linger enthralled in the echoes of his footprints.


The last time he owns a proper bed is the enormous four-poster he installs in his rented flat during World War II. Estelle laughs, delighted by the expanse of it. She sprawls across the king-sized mattress in just her slip and stockings, afternoon light spilling like honey across her skin, and spins tales of sprites and fancies as Jack kisses his way down her lithe body.

After Estelle, any bed always feels far too large, too empty without her warm curves and enchanting laugh. The camp bed in the room under Jack's office is too small for two, too uncomfortable for memories tinged in golden sunlight. He prefers it that way.

And then Ianto slips in, unprepossessing and oddly inevitable. He carves out a niche for himself where he can and never asks for more than Jack can give, but is just always there, until there's nowhere else Jack can imagine him being. Camp beds were made for common soldiers, enlisted men; maybe that's why Ianto is so suited to it. He's the conscript, the unexpected soldier. In another era, he would have worn the uniform with pride and died in it on a battlefield in France, gasping from the gas.

In the narrow berth of his cabin in the cruiser taking him away from Earth for the last time (promises, promises), Jack finds himself instinctively pressing his back to the sloped wall, curving his body around the unfilled space and pressing his lips to the imagined nape of Ianto's neck. He doesn't sleep that night.


Danil and Ashanti, perpetually just passing through, become drawn into his orbit more or less accidentally. The third time their ship nicks him out of a tight situation on an unforgiving moon, Ashanti rolls her eyes and tells Jack that since he can't seem to stay out of trouble for half a Nionian month at a time, she's going to have to lock him in their hold to keep an eye on him. Danil grins and suggests handcuffs.

The lock and key aren't necessary, as it turns out -- well, except for the really fun nights.

It's a relief to not have to be alone at the center of someone else's personal universe. Danil and Ashanti are a law unto themselves, and for now, it's Jack who's just along for the ride. Rose and the Doctor live on in Danil's infectious smile and Ashanti's sharp sarcasm, so gorgeous together that Jack could spend a lifetime just standing back and watching their eternal waltz. They exchange glances over his head like Ianto and Gwen, wry and affectionate, and drag him along from planet to planet with Estelle's boundless curiosity, Alonso's assured touch at the helm.

Sometimes it's best with three.

"Straight on 'til morning," Danil says, his eyes crinkling with laughter and hand warm on Jack's arm, and Jack presses a kiss to Ashanti's temple and lets them lead.


A forgotten corner of a galaxy is settled by humankind in the 23rd century and erupts into civil war in the 26th. Jack has never been able to resist a noble cause, however doomed by the unforgiving annals of the Time Agency academy's history vids, and so he signs up to run recon missions between worlds in the outer reaches of those star systems. It's a just war, and an ugly one.

His ship is shot down over Verbena and he takes up arms alongside the local ground forces. Jack has fought in too many wars, or perhaps he's just fighting the same one over and over and over again. His pilot is badly wounded in the crash, and the medic removes the shrapnel from her spine with Owen's grim determination. A bride kisses her new wife goodbye before a battle with Lucia's clear-eyed courage, and the stubborn set of Rose's jaw can be traced in the profile of a young man tracking enemy aircraft. And always, always, Stephen and Grey stare plaintively out at him from the soft-cheeked faces of soldiers who grow younger with every war.

Derrek Alleyne is a would-be rancher from a career military family, raised on a series of ships and wanting nothing more than to settle on real earth somewhere. His older sisters joined up as soon as they attained their majority, but he resisted until his parents were killed in the first wave of attacks. One sister has been MIA, presumed dead, for months; he hasn't seen the other since her unit became entrenched in a valley on the planet Hera. Derrek is russet-skinned and slender, with a ready smile but guarded eyes, and Ianto is there in every economical gesture, in the startled warmth of his touch. He befriends Jack immediately after the crash and takes him to bed after the first enemy assault leaves their unit thoroughly bedraggled. But they held the line.

When Jack kisses him, Derrek tastes of soil and starlight.

Neither of them were ever going to survive this war.


Alonso travels with him for a time, experiencing the wonders and horrors of the universe. He's a better pilot than the Doctor ever was (though his ship is no TARDIS), and just as bloody-minded as Gwen on a do-gooder tear. But he's not Torchwood. After a few years, he decides he's had enough -- that it's time to hang up his hat and let someone else take over saving the world for a change. And he invites Jack home with him.

Much to his own surprise, Jack says yes.

Alonso has the lifetime Ianto should have had. Jack never begrudges him it. It's dull and ordinary and exactly what Jack never realized he needed. It's so rare, to meet the right person at the right time; they bicker and spend too many evenings at the pub and he watches Alonso's hair turn gray.

This was a gift he should never have been given, but it's hard to resent Alonso's firm muscles and surprisingly shy smile.


Sometimes years, decades will pass with Jack remaining alone. Sometimes he thinks that to be alone is the only choice he has left. The weight of thousands of years of dirt settles over his unmarked grave, and it feels like the suffocating emptiness of the spaces where others have been. Grey's eyes are dark in the shadows of cliffs under a distant star and Rose's small form is swallowed up in a refugee camp on Raxicoricofallipatorious; Estelle's fairies lurk in the forests of Andromeda and Alice stares accusingly out at him from the harem of a duke of Saliatev.

Jack aims his pistol at the middle head of a slave trader in Sector 11, and hears the echoes of Ianto's futile gunshots ringing out beside him.

That's where the Doctor finds him. He helps Jack overthrow the slaveholding empire with a manic grin and only a cursory grimace at the pistol still clenched tightly in Jack's hand.

This latest regeneration is narrow-faced and ginger, with fine crows' feet fanning out from the corners of his ice-blue eyes. He has the razor-edged sarcasm of Jack's first Doctor and the coiled-spring energy of the pinstriped incarnation; the goofy, almost childlike wonder of the previous version paired with a weary gravity that all the Doctors have always shared.

The Doctor is only ever echoes of himself. It makes him easier to bear, sometimes.

"Traveling alone?" Jack asks, once it's all sorted and he's taking a breather on the TARDIS. The console room hums emptily with the ghosts of companions no longer present.

The Doctor moves restlessly about the console without touching anything. This incarnation tends to keep his hands shoved deep in the overlarge pockets of his drooping cardigan, like an absent-minded professor. "Aren't we all? Anyway, it's only for a time. Someone else always comes along."

"That must be nice," Jack says wearily. "To be able to just…shed your skin and move on."

"I'm just emulating your species, really," the Doctor says with a shrug and half a grin. "That's what's so brilliant about humanity, the constant adaptability, changing form without ever needing to try on a brand new face. We all do it. Even you."

Jack lets out a short bark of laughter. "Haven't you heard? I'm a fixed point. I'll never change."

But the Doctor shakes his head, pale eyes intent on Jack's face. "You're something new," he murmurs. "Something better. Fill the spaces, Jack. It's all anyone can ever do."

Something inside of Jack stirs, a sharp ache, like the phantom limbs of people he hasn't loved yet. When he moves on again, a part of him wonders how many of his selves linger on in this space, bumping elbows with Rose and Mickey and Martha and Donna and Sarah Jane and Amy and all the others he never met, while the Doctor edges through the empty shell of the TARDIS alone.


Jack never expected to be a father. Lucia keeps it to herself as long as she can, but only a blind man could miss the soft curve of her belly, the flush in her cheeks. She's gorgeous like this, in the way of all pregnant women everywhere; she shoots him a sly sidelong glance and presses him up against the conference room table when the rest of the team is out on a mission, and the yeses tumble from his lips unbidden.

He never expected to want to be a father, but there she is, tiny and perfect, with Lucia's rose petal lips and his own blue eyes. She'll grow up to be a real stunner, Jack thinks -- with these parents, how could she not? -- unbending and proud. He wonders if he can instill in her some of Estelle's sweetness, Rose's mischief, the Doctor's cleverness; Gerald's calm authority and Harriet's persistent curiosity.

May she have his own eternal capacity for dodging his way out of trouble, but none of the accompanying loss.

And when Lucia vanishes with their daughter into the government's protection program, he thinks maybe Alice will inherit her mother's ironclad common sense, along with everything else -- that determined pragmatism superseding all other desires. Keeping them safe against all odds.

He can only hope.


After the war (they're all the same, the wars -- he doesn't distinguish one from another anymore), Jack hops into a dying ship's escape pod and lets it deposit him where it will.

It does.

Yolena is a gentle girl from a peaceful world who has never been forced to discover the steel at her core, and Jack loves her for her undimmed innocence. She is all the shades of the people who might have been: Alice unburdened by dangerous parents, Martha never forced to walk the Earth for a year-that-never-happened, Alonso's taut abdomen unmarred by the bullet scar, Derrek with the plot of earth he never had the chance to tend. She smiles with unguarded joy when Jack strokes the nape of her neck, and moves against him without the urgency of tarnished desire, of love lost and never fully won again.

He will not be the one to break her. Yolena is finely spun glass, beautiful and fragile, and he cradles her delicately in the circle of his arms. It takes him years to understand: she's the one who has always been gentle with him, keeping him grounded with her unprepossessing certainty of self.

The realization is almost humbling. He lets her hold him upright for all the time she has, unexpected and freely given grace.


He makes planetfall for the first time in several decades on a moon in the Orion system, and is suitably entranced by the local color. Until, of course, he realizes that they're in the midst of a trade war with several far less entrancing species in that sector.

Jack's fought this battle too many times already. When he's inevitably accused of espionage (by virtue of his species -- humanity is allied with the enemy Pylorans in this century), one of the locals shows surprising initiative and smuggles him off-planet in a New New York minute.

Aazya is resourceful and clever, and just a bit sneaky. Jack likes zir immensely. Ze would've been right at home on the TARDIS, stirring up trouble, or getting Torchwood out of countless tight spots. Ze has Rose's boundless love of life and Ashanti's sly humor, Alonso's lithe athleticism and Lucia's pragmatism and calculating mind. They tumble into bed together like a whirlwind, like a last chance.

"Am I the love of your life, then?" ze asks, with a studied nonchalance so like Ianto's it makes Jack's breath catch in his throat.

He's lived so many lives.

"Yes," he says, because it's the perfect truth: they all are, every one.


Even Jack expected to forget, eventually. But as the centuries pass into millennia and beyond, he finds himself gradually slowing down in counterpoint to the memories he accumulates.

He remembers everyone.

His world is steeped in the detritus of a thousand thousand lifetimes. He navigates his path through the stars in the echoes of the people who passed alongside him, before and then and now and in times to come. He sees Alice's unbending neck in the arch of the hohaka tree on Galatea, traces the warmth of Grey's fingertips in the sun-baked pebbles of a beach in the Kyrtonian Nebula. Sand dunes swell with the curve of Lucia's pregnant belly, a potter shapes russet-toned clay into the smooth slope of Derrek's hands, and a passing Crespallion couple bicker with Ashanti and Danil's teasing tenderness. Ianto's unexpected laugh echoes in the back of a transport galley, Rose's enthusiasm shines out of a revolutionary pamphlet left on a café table, and Aazya's cool calculation is reflected in the eyes of a friendly local smuggler. Alonso pilots every cruiser, Estelle laughs delightedly at every new planetary custom, and Jack can see the gentle arc of Yolena's lips along every horizon.

The universe sings the stories of all the lives he's ever touched, all the love he's been given and allowed to return, the startling absolution. It spills over him in endless waves, with every new life, every new smile and voice and touch reflecting and building upon the vast firmament of his past. And somewhat to his surprise, the weight of it doesn't bury him. Instead, he settles with it, slowing, letting the worlds wash over and around him until he is perfectly still, putting down roots and inhabiting the universe of memory, filled to the brim with the spaces of those left behind.

The Face of Boe blinks, and sees a thousand thousand fingerprints upon the glass, never fading.


The young man straightens and pulls away, breath still warm against Jack's lips. He's too young -- young like Rose, with her mischievous smile and impulsive heart; young like Estelle, ready to believe anything and everything. He has some of Owen's sharp edges and Suzie's intensity, Toshiko's resourcefulness and Lucia's sly glances, and the Doctor's sarcasm tempered by a dry humor all his own.

All this, and the echo of a warm, firm body pressed close against his own. Jack never stood a chance.

As if he ever does.

Jones, Ianto Jones, Jack thinks, and smiles. Here comes trouble.

Because you can get free of everything except the space where things have been.
('A Man Walks Into a Room', Nicole Krauss)
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Date: 2010-03-23 06:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heddychaa.livejournal.com
Absolutely wonderful! I think this captured Jack, the real essence of who he is as a man, brilliantly. And it was really sweet to see how that flawed kind of tragic figure could become the peaceful, wise Face of Boe. Bravo! ♥

Date: 2010-03-24 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm fascinated by the evolution Jack would need to undergo to become the Face of Boe, so I'm very glad that worked for you. :)

Date: 2010-03-23 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nylana.livejournal.com
This is stunning and gorgeous and ... Jack. It's just Jack, the way he's come to be and the way I hope he is in the future, changed by his experiences but also accepting of them.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you! It's so difficult for me to imagine a happy ending for Jack, so this was quite cathartic to write. I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2010-03-23 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] curriejean.livejournal.com
Jack aims his pistol at the middle head of a slave trader in Sector 11, and hears the echoes of Ianto's futile gunshots ringing out beside him.

This whole story hurts beautifully. This line espesh. And then Alice's segment got me teary. And Aazya's bit, more teary. And after that it just got embarrassing. The seeing of people, in the patterns. Fingerprints. I can't add to how gorgeous that is, the idea and your execution of it. I love your treatment of original characters and minor characters as equal in weight to very familiar and well-loved ones.

This is why I love this character, all this, right here.

Thank you for helping me clear out my sinuses. Omfg.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
I'm so glad it all worked for you. Thank you!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] euruaina.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-03-25 06:22 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-03-25 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-03-23 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badachie.livejournal.com
This was so bloody gorgeous. Part of why I love Jack is that he strikes me as having an amazing capability to love. And you captured this part of him perfectly.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2010-03-23 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennytork.livejournal.com
That? Is amazing.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-03-23 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valancy-joy.livejournal.com
gorgeous!! and somehow I was comforted that Jack had all those lives wrapped around him! :) <3

Date: 2010-03-24 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2010-03-23 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] owensheart.livejournal.com
Oh this was awesome!! no other words......

Date: 2010-03-24 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-03-23 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elainasaunt.livejournal.com
Here via curriejean's rec. This is sheer poetry. I've not been so moved by a fic in a while. That gorgeous image of countless fingerprints, and then:

Jack never stood a chance.

As if he ever does.

Date: 2010-03-23 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elainasaunt.livejournal.com
Aaaaand ... I just saw Telepathy for Beginners over on Teaspoon. They seem to be of a piece in terms of mood and the conception of Jack that they entail. Will look out for more of your stuff.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-03-24 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-03-23 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillianastra.livejournal.com
oh, wow. That was beautiful. You absolutely captured Jack, there, and your OCs are great too!

(I especially liked the little nod to Firefly...)

Date: 2010-03-24 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! And, yeah, I have a thing for sekrit crossovers, as you've noticed. :)

Date: 2010-03-23 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pocky_slash.livejournal.com
You had me at the title. Because it's one of my favorite lyrics off of one of my favorite albums of all time, and I could probably talk to you for an hour about the different ways I've chosen to interpret that line over the years, but I'll spare you and talk about your story instead XD

I love this for a million reasons, which is saying a lot because I am not, on the whole, a huge fan of Jack's on TW. But I think this embodies a lot of what I love about him on Who and applies it to the losses and manpain brought on by TW. I love love love that it's a new spin on the "Jack remember/Jack forgets" trope. I love that he remembers all of them and it doesn't hurt. I've seen them all, and man, they're all the same. Echoes of all of the things he's loved across time and space, rather than echoes of his failures. And I love that he manages to give himself to people who need him in a way that, perhaps, we don't get to see too often in canon. This was a Jack that I could believe was thousands of years old, because we see him getting wiser as the story progresses.

But, oh, all of it, truly. It's a story about these other people, though all we get is glimpses, as much as it's a story about Jack, and I loved it hard, man. Thanks so much for sharing it with us ♥

Date: 2010-03-24 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Paul Simon has the best lyrics, seriously. I think both of my current long-ass WIPs are using his lyrics as titles, too, actually. *sheepish*

Thank you so much! I know you're not much of a Jack fan, so I'm very glad it worked for you. (Half of why I slipped in a Gwen-and-Ianto reference is because of your fics. Seriously.) And, yeah, Jack really is the collector of other people's stories, and they become immortal through him, and...yeah.

Date: 2010-03-23 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scifiangel.livejournal.com
That was so powerful. You have me crying.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-03-23 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nancybrown.livejournal.com
This is absolutely stunning. Intricate and beautiful and perfect. *is sobbing at the keyboard*

Date: 2010-03-24 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2010-03-23 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cadenzamuse.livejournal.com
I don't know why giving Jack this peaceful (happy) ending, where finally the times he's loved and lost (and how he does not forget) go beyond to losing to a greater capacity to love, is making me want to weep, but it is, and I think that means you did something right. Oh, Jack, oh.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm so glad it worked for you. Jack is just so...yeah.

Date: 2010-03-24 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neurotictealeaf.livejournal.com
(here via [livejournal.com profile] pocky_slash)

This was the Jack fic I've always wanted, with a Jack who's bittersweet and who has phenomenal capacity to love -- and none of the over-angstification that the boy seems to get himself subjected to.

If you're wondering, His world is steeped in the detritus of a thousand thousand lifetimes., this paragraph is where I forgot how to breathe.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I suppose this is my own reaction to the uber-angsty post-CoE Jack fics, it's true. I've got to believe he finds a way to adapt to his immortality. It's just too damn depressing otherwise.

I'm very glad it worked for you!

Date: 2010-03-24 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] songspinner9.livejournal.com
It's a treat to read a bit about Jack's remembering everyone that isn't just Dark. This is gorgeous, and full of Barrowman's Jack - loving and open and focused. Really clear imagery, as well. Very well done...

Date: 2010-03-24 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2010-03-24 12:39 am (UTC)
ext_348818: Jack Harkness. (Default)
From: [identity profile] canaana.livejournal.com
"Am I the love of your life, then?"

"Yes," he says, because it's the perfect truth: they all are, every one.

I love the way you capture this subtle truth about Jack and his immortality, that so many people never seem to see.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Exactly. Thank you. I'm so glad it worked for you. :)

Date: 2010-03-24 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pressdbtwnpages.livejournal.com
Here via [livejournal.com profile] pocky_slash's rec. I don't generally read outside of my fandoms, but, oh, I am so so glad I did. This was lovely and the tone of it felt very a part of the Whoniverse, sad and poignant and occasionally painful, but also fun and full of wonder and joy. A delightful read.

And I very much enjoyed your casting for the (12th?) doctor.

Date: 2010-03-24 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad you gave it a try.

And I see you did indeed catch on to my casting for the 12th Doctor, yes. :D

Date: 2010-03-24 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missthingsplace.livejournal.com
That was just ... amazing ... gorgeous ... wow!

Date: 2010-03-25 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-03-24 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estoile.livejournal.com
Oh ... oh, yes. Gorgeous. Lyrical and poignant, and so very Jack. And the Doctor's benison is perfect, and exactly what he needs.

Yes. This. Thank you.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2010-03-24 11:04 am (UTC)
hope: Art of a woman writing from tour poster (jack - collar flip)
From: [personal profile] hope
This is gorgeous.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you! <3

Date: 2010-03-24 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amand-r.livejournal.com
Oh, this is extraordinarily lovely.

Date: 2010-03-25 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2010-03-25 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solsticezero.livejournal.com
Sorry for the outrageously late comment, but everyone I know said that this fic was amazing, and I wanted to sit down and Give It Time.

I am so glad that I did.

This is maybe the best exploration of Jack's past and future I have ever read. It is just fantastically written, and the ideas - I can't even tell you how wonderful your ideas are. I love that Jack sees echoes of the people he has loved in the places go goes and the people he meets. I love, love that he remembers, and that it doesn't hurt - or at least, that it isn't debilitating. I love that he can be happy even amid so many losses. And your handling of the introduction of so many new lovers and new places and new situations was absolutely gorgeous.

And, you know, the part that surprised me the most, that I had to go back and read again because it was such an interesting concept, was this:

Something inside of Jack stirs, a sharp ache, like the phantom limbs of people he hasn't loved yet. When he moves on again, a part of him wonders how many of his selves linger on in this space, bumping elbows with Rose and Mickey and Martha and Donna and Sarah Jane and Amy and all the others he never met, while the Doctor edges through the empty shell of the TARDIS alone.

It's beautiful. I love it.

Thank you so much for writing this. It's phenomenal. ♥ ♥!

Date: 2010-03-25 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
There is no such thing as a late comment. Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I'm so glad that it worked for you. <3

Date: 2010-03-27 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tormented-space.livejournal.com
I love this. The fact that he remembers everyone, that they're all the love of his life. It feels like the truth, the only way you'd cope with the love and the loss over such a long lifetime. Beautiful.

Date: 2010-03-28 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2010-03-31 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teleen-fiction.livejournal.com
Gorgeous. Utterly brilliant. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2010-04-01 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad it worked for you.

Date: 2010-04-01 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joking.livejournal.com
I think this fic really captures the essence of Jack's character. I'm thinking of writing a meta about Jack sometime soon, and I'd like to link this fic at the end.

Date: 2010-04-02 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaydeefalls.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And sure, link away. :)
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