Warning: Miscarriage and implied rape and violence.
Summary: Jacquie learned a lot about torture from The Enemy; particularly the things that could be used to get inside someone's mind, and twist.
Note: Follows on from Mother.
The first time was just after Jacquie left Boeshane.
The Interplanetary Militia gave zir the contra implant, of course, but when ze and Corwen were captured, the enemy took it out again.
Jacquie learned a lot about torture from The Enemy; particularly the things that could be used to get inside someone's mind, and twist.
It hadn't been rape. (Blessing? Curse? Jack's been raped since then, and honestly can't decide if it would have been better or worse to be forced in that particular situation.)
It had been Corwen's. Conceived in the desperate hours between interrogation sessions.
The Enemy had known, of course, and used it. A final, desperate twist in the battle to break Jacquie's will: threatening to rip it out of zir while Corwen watched. (Corwen's one good eye begging zir to make it end, make it stop, and not even comprehending the threat.)
Jacquie did the only thing there was to do: spit in the torturer's face and call her every name ze knew, hoping to goad The Enemy into a hasty execution. For zir, for Corwen, and for the fetus too.
Jacquie had been close to death when the Militia had finally stormed in and taken the base; zir rescue hadn't been a mission priority, but an accidental bonus. The miscarriage happened three days after rescue, while ze was still delirious and trapped inside the unending nightmare happening inside zir own mind.
Hindsight being what it is, Jack consoles himself that it was probably for the best. He had been too young and too messed up, and too grief-stricken to be a parent; and who knows what damage had been done to the fetus during the torture. If he'd been in his right mind, he probably would have terminated it anyway.
(Sometimes, despite all his careful consolation, he still grieves for Corwen and what could have been, even though he knows he would have made a terrible mother.)
The second time... he doesn't actually know anything about it. He can only surmise, based on circumstantial evidence.
It was after joining the Time Agency, after the phenotype reassignment surgery. (The Agency psychs had said that herms were too limited as Agents, given their rarity in most eras. It hadn't seemed like a big deal -- it wasn't like they were taking out the inner plumbing. So Jacquie signed the forms and became, to all appearances, a man. It didn't make much difference for the most part, but Jack did kind of miss his clit.)
When he realised he was missing such a big chunk of time, he went looking for clues -- anything to help fill in the gap.
His body didn't show much: a few new scars, and some odd stretch marks on his sides, only visible in the right light.
His dreams were, likewise, full of intangible hints: night after night of endless chases after something he could never find; someone who kept slipping away from him, leaving him to wake up, arms empty, excised breasts aching, and sobbing in the dark.
He still wouldn't have put it down to pregnancy -- why the hell would he? He'd signed away all reproductive rights on entering the Agency, for as long as he was an active Agent. And he didn't want kids.
As part of his prep for leaving the Agency, he'd cracked his own record; or at least, cracked most of it. He hadn't had time to follow up on all the sealed sections, or the odd footnote on what should have been a standard physical exam:
Classified: see medical file 38-I0-PLx5197.
It still wasn't exactly definitive, and it wasn't like he'd ever know for sure, but he'd seen part of the code -- PL -- once before, when his first partner had retired.
PL = Parental Leave.
The third time was different.
Working for Torchwood is a dangerous business, and not only in the obvious ways. Retrieving unknown alien devices, for instance, can sometimes have unexpected side effects.
Like nonconsensual genetic transfers.
The only really lucky part about the incident with the IrlGratvian Genotransmat was that it happened when Jack was teamed up with Lucia.
Lucia was so sensible about the whole thing, from the cover-up to the adoption planning.
(Jack was not. He wouldn't have chosen it, but once it had happened he just had to know -- this time -- what it was like to hold her in his arms, kiss the crown of her head, and say, "Hello, beautiful," before he let her go. Lucia had been good about that, too; she'd said, "Oh, for fuck's sake, it's not like it's hard to cover up an accidental pregnancy!" and then Brigit, the team doctor, had stopped trying to talk Jack into an abortion.)
After Melissa was born, and Jack had kissed her fuzz-covered head and fallen in love, Lucia had very sensibly told him that it would be safer for her to take Melissa and leave Torchwood.
And because Jack was waiting for the Doctor and knew Lucia was right, he'd kissed Melissa one last time (taking in the sweet, milky smell of her skin) and said, "Goodbye, beautiful," before letting his daughter go.
It hadn't really felt like goodbye, though. It had felt as though an invisible string joining his heart to Melissa's had pulled taut when Lucia took her from his arms; it had hurt to watch his daughter's tiny scrunched-up face turn red and hear her unhappy wails; hurt like nothing else ever had, the pain increasing with every step away that Lucia had taken.
"Are you really going to let her go?" Brigit said, pinning him with a glare as Lucia got into the lift and the doors slid shut, cutting off Melissa's cries. "After all that?"
"Yes," Jack said, and looked away -- up at the calm face of the Welsh dragon on the wall. It had been there almost as long as he had. "After all that, I am."
This entry was originally posted at http://cupidsbow.dreamwidth.org/346126.html.