Adalia Zandra (adaliafic) wrote,
Adalia Zandra

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FIC: The Twist, Timestamped

At robling_t 's request, The Twist has been extended with two timestamps: one half an hour before and one half an hour after the original fic.

I couldn't resist doing both. The first is a little dialogue drabble that sets the tone, and the second is a straight sequel to the original. The original should definitely be read first, even though that isn't proper chronological order for the events of the story.

"Doctor, would you please stop doing that?"
"Doing what?"
"That! Going so close to the edge like that!"
"How else am I suppose to see what's down there?"
"Well, could you do it a little more carefully? Or are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"Why would I try to do that? Not that it would be very permanent, in your case, anyway."
"Just... please... a little more caution. I like this you. I'd rather you didn't regenerate today."
"What, does that seem like something I'm likely to do on a whim?"
"Just... be careful."
"I'm always careful!"

... and... 

He'd fallen.
He'd seen the Doctor trip, had lunged desperately to catch him, and had then overbalanced and fallen. In the blink of an eye he was over the edge and plunging downwards, leaving the Doctor behind to look down at him helplessly from atop the cliff.
The actual fall had not been too unpleasant. The sudden stop at the bottom had been somewhat more traumatic.
Jack woke with a strangled gasp and the familiar feeling of having just been reanimated after having died messily.
His first coherent thought was no more than a primitive instinctual reaction of creeping horror.
But he was used to it. He quickly settled, caught his breath, and sat up, looking around for the Doctor.
The Time Lord sat against the base of the nearby cliff, looking as dusty as the dirt around him. He was staring blankly at the ground, and seemed not to notice that Jack had woken.
Jack pulled himself to his feet, groaning as his abused body protested the motion, and made his way over to his friend.
Dropping down beside him, he resisted the urge to hurl accusations of, “I told you so!”
Instead, he queried gently, “Doctor?”
The Doctor looked over at him, seeming to register his presence for the first time. His eyes roamed over the newly revived immortal as if checking for lingering damage.
“I’m fine,” Jack reminded him.
The Doctor looked up at his face again.
“I know,” he said, sounding small. His earlier bravado was gone.
“Are you okay?” Jack asked.
“I am,” the Doctor replied. “Thank you.”
They were silent for a moment, looking anywhere but at each other.
“No, really,” the Doctor said then. “Thank you. You saved my life, Jack.”
“You’re welcome,” Jack replied. “All in a day’s work.”
“Don’t do that,” the Doctor snapped.
“What?” Jack asked, confused.
“Act like it’s nothing,” the Doctor answered.
Jack looked at him, surprised to hear him actually acknowledge such feelings. The Doctor seemed to note his surprise, and a guilty look crossed the Time Lord's face.
Abruptly, the Doctor reached over and wrapped Jack in a hug, mumbling into his shoulder, “I’m sorry.”
Jack wrapped his own arms around the Doctor in return and asked, “What for?”
“Taking you for granted,” the Doctor answered.
There was another moment of silence as they held each other.
“Thank you,” Jack said finally, his voice choked with emotion.
"Sorry," the Doctor said again. "I'm just... so sorry, in general. For being an idiot up on the cliff, for having always been the kind of idiot whose friends are surprised when he shows a little gratitude and acknowledgement. The kind of idiot who never grabs hold of a good thing when it's staring him in the face. You never know when you're going to tumble to your death, after all."
Jack wasn't sure how to respond, so he just tightened his arms around the Doctor and waited.
Eventually, the Doctor pulled away. He cleared his throat, glancing at Jack.
Jack watched him with concern, still worried by his uncharacteristic behavior.
The Doctor seemed to gather his courage, summoning his brightest smile.
“Jack, would you like to dance?"
Tags: doctor who, fic, timestamp
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