Spoilers: Empty Child/Dr Dances, Human Nature/Family of Blood
Summary: Jack is in France visiting the past when he comes face to face with an old comrade and discover they have a mutual acquaintance.
Disclaimer: I own none of it, the BBC does
Authors Notes: A Remembrance Day fic, I did one for SG Atlantis last year, this year it's Doctor Who's turn, I've taken a few liberties with canon here so forgive me. Wear your Poppy with Pride.
It was early November in Northern France, there were a few people wandering among the crosses at one of the many D Day cemeteries that stretched across this part of Europe, a man dressed in a long blue military great coat stood staring at one of the crosses, lost in his own thoughts. The locals knew him as Le Fantôme, the ghost, he had been coming here every November since at least 1950, or someone who looked so much like him had. The older people of the town swore he was the same man that had been among the liberators in 1944, the younger townsfolk said it wasn't possible, he was the son, maybe the grandson of that American man that had worn a British uniform but the towns elders knew Le Fantôme had seen the same as they had, they could see the grief in his eyes as he wandered along the graves.
Jack pulled his coat tighter around himself as a cold wind blew across the graves, he continued to stare at the grave in front of him, as he had done for decades, the name on the cross was Captain Algernon de Montford of the Royal East Kent Regiment. Jack sighed, Algy had been killed on Sword Beach early on in the D Day landings and had died a hero, Jack was glad he'd left with the Doctor because, knowing how reckless he had been back then, their affair could have easily ruined Algy's life. Back then he didn't care for the caution and the need for secrecy that the time on Earth dictated, he was a reckless party boy back then, he would jump in, do what needed to be done, take his pleasure any way he could and jump out, then he met Rose and the Doctor. The girl hanging from the barrage balloon and her jug eared companion had turned his world upside down and made him take a long hard look at himself and he didn't like what he saw. He'd often thought about getting in touch with Algy again during his second time in World War 2 but he decided it was a bad idea, crossing timelines and all that, this time he was determined to do things properly and honour the Doctor. Jack reached into his pocket, pulled out a rose, touched it to his lips and placed it on the grave,
"Rest in peace Algy" he murmured as he turned and made his way back to his car.
A day or so later and Jack found himself in Flanders at another cemetery, this time from the Great War, he shivered, trying to block out the memories of the noise and the mud, of all the things he'd seen, as a time agent and travelling with the Doctor, the memories of his life in the trenches of Flanders came a very close second to the memories of the Daleks as the ones that gave him the most nightmares. Jack was so lost in his memories that he didn't notice the old man in the wheelchair next to him,
"Captain Harkness?" said the man in wonder, Jack looked at the man and replied with out thinking,
"Yes" he said,
"It can't be...no...You're so much like him...you're a time traveller, like the Doctor and Martha" said the man. This bought Jack sharply out of his revere
"You know the Doctor and Martha" he tried desperately to remember the man "I'm sorry but I can't..." Jack replied,
"Lieutenant Tim Latimer I was here in 1917 as a medic, are you a time traveller?" Tim asked,
"Once, many years ago, then I met the Doctor" Jack said "how did you meet him?",
"He came to my school in 1913, he called himself John Smith then, he had this watch I picked it up when it spoke to me, I could always sense...things...that others couldn't, ESP they call it, the watch showed me things, it showed me a scene in the trenches, me saving Hutchinson's life, it showed me the things I had to do" Tim stopped to catch his breath and looked up at Jack. "You are the same Captain Harkness from then, I can tell" he said, Jack smiled and nodded,
"Yes I am" he replied
"But how, you said you were a time traveller once" said Tim
"Something happened to me while I was travelling with the Doctor now I don't age as quickly as most people" he said cryptically. Tim gave an understanding smile, he knew he wasn't being told the whole truth but he could forgive the younger looking man, it was just nice to meet someone who knew, not just about the Doctor but about the time in the trenches, there were so few of them left now, so few of them to remind the younger generations of the sacrifice his generation had made.
"Who's your friend Granddad?" asked a younger woman,
"This is Captain Jack Harkness, my granddaughter Joan" replied Tim, Jack and Joan shook hands
"We've got to go now Granddad, if we're going to get to that reception. Jack and Tim made their goodbyes
"Remember us, remind everyone of what we did when we're gone" said Tim, Jack grasped his had firmly,
"I will, I'll make sure of it" he replied.
When Tim and Joan were out of sight he pulled out his phone to call Ianto at the hub, he didn't normally do things like this but this was going to be one order he expected to carried out without question, every single one of his team was going to spend the next Sunday, the 11th, at a Remembrance Day service.
Remember, wear your poppy with pride