stringertheory: (Blue Deco)
[personal profile] stringertheory
Title: Close Encounters
Rating: PG
Fandom: Stargate SG-1, Doctor Who
Characters: Clone!Jack O'Neill, Eleven
Word Count: 1684
Categories: crossover, humor
Spoilers/Warnings: None.
Summary: One day, Jack meets a strange man.
Note: Beta by [personal profile] lolmac .

Jack shoved his hands deeper into his pockets and sighed contently. A warm breeze tugged at his hair, and he tilted his head back to watch the clouds float across the deep blue sky.

From his cabin, the lake was only a few dozen yards away down a faint path. Sometimes he missed being closer to the water, having the steady rhythm of the waves as a constant companion, but he still caught enough of the sound to be satisfied. And he preferred the fishing at this lake. Even as he watched, a few fish jumped near his favorite fishing spot, the sound of their splashes reaching him in the quiet.

As he stood there in the sun, letting it wash over him like the wind, a peculiar noise rose up from under the familiar ones. It was mechanical in nature, a pulsing, rhythmic sound Jack could not place. Part of it reminded him of when his dad had let him drive for the first time and he had tried to pull out of the driveway with the parking brake on. He frowned, looking around to see where the noise was coming from, but there was nothing in sight to explain it. Then, as he gave one last look over his shoulder, something flickered in the air. Jack turned to face it as it coalesced, getting clearer and clearer each time it faded in again until it was a solid mass. He just had time to take in the blue booth and the “POLICE BOX” emblazoned at its top when the doors burst open and a man stepped out.

Everything about the man was young but his eyes. He wore an odd outfit, including a tweed jacket and a red bowtie, which he straightened nervously as he looked around. He was a few inches shorter than Jack, and of a wiry build. He blinked at Jack. Jack blinked back. After a few seconds of mutual blinking the man smiled and stepped forward.

“Hello!” The man's accent was English. He grasped Jack's hand and leaned in, placing a kiss in the air to either side of Jack's face. “I'm the Doctor,” he said, stepping back slightly, though not far enough for Jack's comfort. “And you are?”

Jack blinked again for good measure before answering. “Jack.”

“Jack! Lovely to meet you.” The man peered curiously around Jack to either side, as though looking for something. “You haven't by any chance seen a short old lady, about yea high - ” he held up a hand at chest height “ - wearing a hot pink muumuu and carrying an umbrella with a carved parrot head handle, have you?”

Jack shook his head.

“What is she up to?” the man muttered to himself. He turned and began to pace in front of Jack. “I never should have agreed to give her a lift. All those promises of 'secrets of the Xicotl' – as if she'd ever seen even a miniature one.” He stopped and pointed a finger in Jack's direction, following the point to come stand in front of Jack again. “Intergalactic hitchhikers are always trouble.”

Jack opened his mouth to speak, but found he had nothing to say. Which was unfortunate, for at that moment, the man pulled up short in beginning another round of pacing to stare at Jack with narrowed eyes. For a split second, Jack felt unreasonably nervous and had to stop himself from taking a step back.

“Your eyes are old,” the man said.

“So are yours,” Jack retorted.

The man harrumphed. “I've come by mine naturally,” he said. “I can't say the same for you.” He rolled up onto the balls of his feet, putting him eye-to-eye with Jack, and leaned in until he was only inches away. He studied Jack's face with a penetrating stare. “Old eyes. Much older than you are,” he accused, raking Jack from head to foot and back again with that same sharp gaze.

He stepped back and pulled an object from an inner pocket of his coat. It was silver and cylindrical, and flashed as the man waved it up and down Jack's body like a metal detector wand. Curious, Jack simply stood there in bemusement as the man circled him with the device and rambled on half to himself and half for Jack's benefit.

“Well it isn't a retardation of the aging gene; that won't be around for centuries yet,” the man said. He pressed a button on the device and the end popped out, releasing prongs of some sort around its edges. “The metaphysical conjunction isn't severed, but it has been patched – a poor patch job if ever I saw one, and I have.” He waved the device again, and it beeped plaintively. “A duplicated consciousness, but a new form – different yet the same and yet... different.”

Another wave, and the man studied the device as if it bore a read-out of data. Jack leaned forward slightly, but could see nothing.

“Nothing mechanical, nothing fabricated – possibly grown, but how and why? Whatever it is, it isn't self-replicating” (Jack grimaced almost imperceptibly) “nor is it programmable in any way that the sonic can pick up.” The man fiddled with the device again, then looked up to study Jack. “Just human,” he said with a little wonder. He poked Jack in the shoulder, and Jack raised an eyebrow. “Just human, 100% human but far too young and too... old.”

He stared at Jack again, device held loosely in his fingers and still pointed at Jack's chest. Jack put his hands back in his pockets and returned the stare blandly. He wasn't sure who or what this man was, but he sounded like Carter. And when Carter talked the way the man did, it usually meant something dangerous and/or interesting was about to happen. As they continued their staring contest, the device in the man's hand beeped again, excitedly this time. The man jumped slightly and fiddled with it for a moment before looking back up at Jack again.

“You're a clone!” he said in delight. “A crude one – incomplete according to the scans, but far too advanced for your time --” The device buzzed and flashed, then beeped again. “Oh, the Asgard! Of course! Excellent technology and a long history with humans. Great guys, the Asgard. Fantastic ships, terrible food. Good at blackjack, though. Card counters,” he whispered conspiratorially. “Too bad about that genetic degradation thing. If I told them once, I told them a hundred times: cloning is never the answer.” He took Jack by the face and turned his head first to one side, then to the other while Jack blinked at him in shock. “They did a good job with you, though, didn't they?” He rocked back on his heels. “Let me guess – new body as a favor?”

Jack shook his head. “Experimentus interruptus.”

“Ah, that explains the discrepancy between your physical and mental age.” The man eyed him shrewdly. “You're very calm about the whole thing.”

“Why wouldn't I be?”

The man shrugged. “You're a clone made by aliens.” He pointed to himself. “I'm an alien – you're having a conversation with an alien.”

It was Jack's turn to shrug. “Know lots of aliens. Had lots of conversations with them – some more sarcastic than others, but what are you gonna do with megalomaniacs?”

The man was still watching him closely. He folded his arms across his chest and leaned back against his box.

“Other planets,” he said.

“Lots of trees,” Jack returned.

“Other galaxies.”

“A whole lot like this one.”

“Time dilation.”

“Pain in the ass.”

“Other dimensions.”

“Not as much fun as the brochures claimed.”

The man stared at him in fascination, the hint of a smile turned up the corners of his mouth. Jack decided to give him the full show.

“Robot clones,” he began, “switching bodies, alien invasion – of more than one kind,” he added, dragging a hand across the back of his neck, “resurrections, space battles, robot bugs, space vampires--”

“Oh, you too?”

Jack lifted a shoulder. “Same ol' same.” He nodded to the blue box. “Police box is a new one, though.”

The man grinned mischievously. “Want to go for a ride?” he asked, his hand on the door handle.

Jack considered him and the box. “That thing better be bigger on the inside than it looks from here.”

The man schooled his features into a blandly polite expression, but Jack could still see the twinkle in his eyes. “Why don't you find out?” he replied with the barest hint of a wink.

Jack looked at the box, then looked up at the sky, where the stars were just beginning to flicker to life in the summer dusk. He sighed. “Nah, I'll pass.” He grinned. “But you should definitely go visit a friend of mine. You'll like her.” He put a hand on the man's shoulder. “Just don't be surprised if you happen to see another one of me while you're there.”

The man smiled back. “Well, if you're anything like you, I can't wait to meet you.”

He pushed open the door to the box, and Jack got a glimpse of a spacious interior lit with warm light. For a moment, he second-guessed his decision to stay, his heart remembering what it was like to play among the stars. Then he set his feet more solidly, the ground steady beneath him, and gave the man a wave. He watched the box vanish, fading out with the same vworp vworp as it had faded in, and he smirked to himself.

He'd love to see the looks on everyone's faces if they were around when that man and Carter got into a conversation.

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October 2015

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