Feb. 3rd, 2010

anightingalesang: (Standing alone)
The streets of Cardiff had changed into something Jack barely recognized in most places. The layout was familiar, but he found himself getting lost even as his steps wandered routes they had known well in a time that seemed not so long ago to him. New businesses loomed out of old buildings, and new buildings stood where old ones had held their ground. Time stretched its hand out across the city, shifting everything, and sometimes Jack felt he was the only thing that hadn't changed.

When he stumbled across a monument or a street corner he knew, or came upon a church he'd seen people coming out of from prayer, he lingered, letting the familiarity of it soothe his aching soul. Today he was wandering, half looking for such a place, half just seeing where his feet would take him before he'd have to call someone to come and get him because he'd gotten inextricably lost, or, less embarrassingly, catch a cab back to terrain that he had finally mapped in its altered form. His brain must have had a higher purpose, though, as he looked up and froze when he saw the building across the street.

It was run down, abandoned to the ravages of time much of the rest of the city had fought off successfully, but there was no mistaking the lines of the bricks, the shape of the door, the setting of the windows. He crossed the street as if in a dream, nearly getting himself hit by a speeding cab and waving off the driver's curses. The door gave way under the push of his fingers, swinging open in a way he knew it shouldn't have.

Dust swirled up under his feet with each step. The banister was coated in it, clinging to his fingers as he ran them over the wood while he climbed. He lingered in the arch, staring at where the dance floor stretched before him. Closing his eyes, he could almost hear the ghosts of the laughter of the men he'd known rising above the notes of music that was rarely played any more except for random nostalgia of men and women who had been just boys and girls when it first played.

How long had it been since anyone had danced here? How long had it been since he had stayed that fateful night? Not so very in the way he reckoned time, but the memory of it was just a whisper of a fragment of a ghost in the boards before him. Seven decades, nearly, stretching themselves out through the memory of the one man Jack couldn't seem to find a way to truly know. Could anyone know another, though? The thought flickered as he moved to the bar, collecting more dust along his fingertips. If he strained hard enough, would he hear the music? If he waited, would that strange light find him as it had Jack before, pulling him from this point back to where he belonged? Did he belong there anymore? Did he belong anywhere? Did dead men make wishes for places to haunt? If so, he'd choose this one.

The silence remained absolute, though, even as he settled on an abandoned box. Filtering through the windows, the afternoon sun made dust mites dance the way doomed men had once, then slowly faded into dusk, leaving the room in darkness. Still Jack sat, fixed, caught, dreaming of what was and had and might have been.


anightingalesang: (Default)
Jack Harkness

September 2012

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