by Jane St Clair
15 January 2007
Pairing: Owen/Suzie, Owen/Jack
Warnings: Spoilers particularly for 1.08 (They Keep Killing Suzie) and 1.11 (Combat)
Notes: About 2100 words for the 'Lost in the Hub' challenge.
Not mine. Also, dirty.
When he and Suzie fucked, they didn't do it at home. Not in her home and definitely never his. He wondered, later, whether (if he had, if he'd gone home with her some night) he would have remembered any of her possessions later, when they were pawing through them in storage. He doesn't think so. It was all a bit. Well, ordinary. Books of poetry, for fuck sake. He didn't go through her other boxes, but he suspects there might have been feminine cotton print sheets. Possibly a kettle in the shape of a cat.
They had, Owen remembers for no reason, a cat. Torchwood did. For almost a week, long before Ianto's arrival, and he doesn't know what happened to it.
Maybe Suzie killed and ate it. He wouldn't put it past her. If only because he's still pissed that any woman would come back from the dead and then have a go at him.
When he and Suzie fucked, they did it in barracks, six levels down and far, far away from the cells. Army blankets on the bed, old and scratchy, and probably vintage sheets, miserable stuff. Bare bulb hanging from a wartime socket in the ceiling. Army trunks in the corners, full of clothes and letters and other things that were probably, actually, remnants from old Torchwood lives, but he didn't look in them much. He just appreciated the human smell of the place. In those days, he couldn't stand the scent of weevils. Used to wear a mask for post-mortems.
He's grateful, actually, that Suzie didn't live, or live again, to see him turned on by the smell. This crackle up his spine when he visits the things.
It's possible they like the way he smells, too. Not an active problem yet, but he has dreams now and then, the kind that other men would share with their shrinks and then be carted off, but Owen did his psychiatric rotation and he knows better than to be that obvious. If he weren't damaged, he wouldn't work for Torchwood, anyway.
He's past needing someone to talk to about these things.
And later, his bed never smelled like Suzie, and really, he'd almost forgotten until she got up from her morgue slab and laughed at him.
So, yes, he thinks about it. And eventually he thinks enough about the room that he goes down there to look. Maybe smell it a little. He's been in the Hub for two days, working semi-constantly, and he's beyond fagged. If he sleeps upstairs, though, someone will come and find him and talk at him, so.
It's something new, to sleep in the bed where he and Suzie used to fuck, her riding him most of the time, and at least she liked it.
She tasted amazing. Like coffee all over her body.
When he wakes up, it's corpse-drawer dark, and he can't remember where he is. He thinks, sometimes, that if all the lights went out in the Hub, even the emergency ones, they could forget which way is up. Have to listen for Myfanwy's screaming, and that only carries down a level or two.
And now the lights are out. No power. He wonders, absently, if it's Suzie, coming back from the dead to fuck with him again. And again. And then remembers Ianto's careful locking of her morgue drawer and reminds himself that she can rise from the dead all she wants, but she's never getting out. He considered a full post-mortem, with organ removal, just to make sure.
But there must be some kind of cosmic symmetry at work, because the lock on Owen's door is jammed, too. He hadn't thought there were electronic locks on the doors this far down, but the alternative is that he's being haunted, and he refuses to believe in that.
Shivers all over. Because I could not stop for death and that.
In his ear, Tosh says, "Owen, where are you?"
"I don't know. Down."
"Sorry. I was asleep. Um, seventh level barracks. I was grabbing a nap, and now I'm locked in. What's going on?"
Tosh snorts. "If you can believe it, we blew a fuse. A very old-fashioned, no-longer-manufactured fuse. I'm working on a fix. Are you all right?"
"I think I said I'm locked in."
"Hmm. Sorry about that. Stay put, okay?"
He digs in his pocket for his keys, hard sharp lump that he slept on, and twists on the LED mini-torch hanging from the metal mass. Shallow, almost blue light, very bright and incredibly focused. All over the room, looking for anything to keep his mind off the dark. But it's just storage, now. When there are only five people working out of the Hub, you don't need to sleep an army.
Eventually, he opens a trunk and starts digging.
Inside, it's personal effects. Clothes and letters, mostly. The kind that people wrote when they didn't have any other way of keeping in touch. Every three days, another one. Somebody's lover in the war. The contents are filthy. Detailed fantasies involving cocksucking and rural boys brought in and scrubbed up for the army. The letters are supposed to have been censored, he can tell, but the initials at the bottom look shaky, and he thinks maybe someone else wanked off over this paper, in the course of its travels. Sticky fingerprints all over it, sixty-five years old. Folded up and tied into bundles like true love.
It doesn't smell like anything but paper and old wool.
After a while, his eyes ache from reading aged cursive in low light, and he turns off the mini-torch. Imagines himself floating somewhere in space.
Like being weightless. It just goes on and on, forever in all directions, and it's very, very dark.
He's been drifting for god knows how long when the door clangs. Push-rattle-click and then a hard, flame-powered grind and it gives. Light on the other side from a bigger torch, like the beginning of the world. From behind it, invisible, Jack says, "I thought you might appreciate a rescue."
He's dizzy. Cold and hungry and aching from sitting on the floor. Owen shakes himself and gets up. "Yeah."
"Don't thank me. I live for these moments of dashing heroics."
He can't see Jack until the man comes in and the light shifts, and even then, Jack's mostly a vintage swirl at the edge of luminance.
This second where the light goes out again. Vertigo.
Light. Jack says, "I just wondered."
Then looks down at the letters piled on the floor. He picks them up, shuffles through them impossibly quickly and tosses them back in the trunk. Soft glare. "Do you remember what I said about treading lightly among the dead?"
Owen shrugs. "The dead don't need pornography."
It's true. He's concluded that the dead don't think about sex, except in miserable terms of humiliation and wrongs done. If they remember anything, it's not the way bodies fit together, the way people taste and smell or the way skin jumps when you're so turned on you'll fuck anything.
By the time Owen meets them, they mostly haven't got skin at all.
Jack waves his light at the hall. He waits until Owen precedes him out the door.
They're halfway down the hall when Jack turns the light out. Grabs Owen by the shoulders and spins him, round and round like a kid in a game. Takes his mini-torch. Pushes him forward.
He's absolutely blind. So far underground he couldn't dig his way to the surface if he tried, and no idea which way is out. He tries to calm down, listen for Jack's breathing, but he can't. His lungs are enormous things, and they keep pushing at his chest until he fills them again. Again. Heartbeat all through him.
He says, "Jack?"
So he does what Tosh said: stay where he is. Breathe. Wait.
Vertigo. The universe is huge and wild and spinning all around him. And he's so cold.
When Jack steps up behind him, Owen almost expects to be startled, but in the half-second before he's touched, he can feel Jack's warmth. Can't help but lean back into it. Warm chest against his back, coat swirling around them both, and Jack's arms are both wrapped around Owen's body, back to front, holding him still. Curling in around him.
Owen says, "Fuck you, Harkness."
Jack says, "Shh."
Breathing against him. Warm and stable in this incredible dark. The universe keeps spinning around both of them. Owen's heart is huge and up high, near his mouth like it's trying to get out.
Jack bites him on the neck. Soft, and then harder, eventually digging his teeth in like he believes he can break skin. Giving Owen a fucking hickey. It's just beyond. Owen elbows Jack in the chest, except he's not there anymore. A step back, hands on Owen's shoulders to remind him where they both are. Laughing in a way that's not sound at all, just breath. And spins Owen around, pulls him in and kisses him.
Jack tastes like space feels when Owen imagines it. Infinite and cold and caffeine-necessary. Amazing tongue. And big, so that Jack's mass is like gravity, pulling Owen in and pinning him against the wall and kissing him harder. They're both going to be all over spit and bruises.
Owen's only spatial reference here, other than Jack's body, is his own pulse.
He should fight this off, if only because Jack's a bastard to fuck with him like this. Some kind of demented, only-Harkness power trip. But he's cold and really he's been thinking about nothing but sex for weeks but never going out and hunting it, and he's aching. Half-hard before Jack touches him. Harder afterwards. And it feels good, pressed up against the wall with all Jack's weight against him and Jack's hand on his cock and Jack's mouth on his, holding him down. Steady tight friction that's not quite friendly, but it grounds him.
Twist, pull. Flicker of a thumb into the wet slit.
And Jack holds him there until he comes. All over both of them, no way the smell won't mark this corridor for years.
He pants through it. Leans into Jack's neck and smells him.
Jack's hard. Of course he is. Jack's nothing if not available to anything animate, and there are enough pheromones between the two of them to raise the hackles of anyone even slightly bent. Jack's just not doing anything about it. Too busy making a point.
Owen pushes. Throws Jack's weight off him and spins them, Jack to the wall, Owen loose in the infinite dark. But he can find the floor, at least. Drop down on his knees and fumble like a determined teenager at Jack's belt and trousers. Jack Harkness is more bound into his clothes than anyone else Owen has met. On anyone else under seventy, the combination of belt and braces would be absurd. On Jack, he has the feeling that's it's insurance against spontaneous loss of clothing and the orgy that would inevitably ensue.
He's not that sexy. Owen's almost sure. But he's still willing to strip the man down as best he can, bite at the flesh below his navel. Suck him.
He never stops loving doing this. Taste and flesh and the smell of a male body this close to his. Push down as far as he can and just hold, sucking, until Jack hisses. Not quite begging, but he's paying attention, and it means Owen's no longer the object of a lesson.
Flicks his teeth just to feel Jack still. Hold his breath until he's sure Owen won't bite, not really.
He wouldn't, probably. Just.
Sucks him hard.
When Jack catches at his hair, Owen pulls off. Bends in and gnaws at Jack's hip and jerks him until he comes. Sticky bleach-smell on his hand that he wipes on the floor, just like it's not all over him anyway. Like he won't need a shower on the third level before he can walk back into the Hub proper.
He pulls himself up using Jack's braces as leverage. Leans in very close and says, "Turn the light back on."
He can't imagine what Jack looks like, at this moment and distance.
When the light comes on, it's faint. Jack's hand is over the face of the torch, muting it. Pink-peach skin-light seeping out.
Jack doesn't kiss him. Just brings a hand up and fists Owen's hair for a minute.
Human double-pulse that Owen can feel.
And then Jack nods, re-zips himself and pushes past Owen to swirl away down the hall, and as Owen's walking after him, up and out, he thinks that probably the next time he tries to come down here, he'll find it's all locked. That his next access to this place will be strictly over Jack's dead body.
He remembers what Suzie said, just before she died again, about the dark, and he realizes that it's going to be just like this.