Jack closes his eyes, a single tear rolling down his cheek as he holds the Doctor against his chest. If there's any justice in the universe, this will be his final death so he and the Doctor can be together permanently. He's only sorry that he's leaving the TARDIS behind, what will she do without the Time Lord puttering around her? Besides not get hit by a mallet when the Doctor's trying to get the console working the way he wants it to? His ragged breaths slowly trail off.
A white light surrounds both men. The Doctor begins changing against Jack, his injuries healing as his features begin to change. He begins breathing again, fighting against the object holding him until his eyesight returns and he realizes it's a man holding him. . .a dead man.
“Who are you and what are you doing on my TARDIS, young man?” he asks him. “Oh that's right, you're dead. What was I doing being held by a dead man?” He struggles out of the other man's hold and makes his way to his feet. “And whatever am I wearing?” he looks down at the clothes that he'd been wearing, that are threatening to fall off his body. Suddenly his memories come flooding back into his head and he nearly falls against the TARDIS's console. He moans as he remembers the call they'd received, landing on a formerly peaceful planet only to be caught in a riot. They'd both been injured, Jack getting them back to the TARDIS and launching them into the Vortex before they both collapsed.
Jack takes a deep shuddering breath and gasps, his eyes flying open and he begins sobbing, great gasping breaths when he realizes he's alone.
“Jack,” a somewhat familiar voice calls from behind him. Jack blinks as he shakily gets to his feet and turns around to see . .. a boy staring back at him. His first thought is 'a boy playing dress up' and he wonders how a boy would have got on board the TARDIS and how he knew his name before who he must be makes it's way through the fog leftover from dying blanketing his brain.
“Doc?” he asks hesitantly, almost afraid to hear the answer. What if he's wrong? But the manic grin, reminiscent of the second version of the Doctor he knew leaves little doubt. He whoops and swoops the other person up into his arms, tears of joy running down his face.
“You have got to stop getting younger, I swear I'm going to end up changing your nappies one day.” Jack says with a grin. The Doctor scowls at him. “Doc, you look like you're ten or twelve years old.”
“Oh I don't bloody think so.” he splutters, ignoring the fact that his clothes had been about ready to fall off him when he woke up. He storms over to the tall full length mirror in the corner of the TARDIS, and however had he allowed Jack to install that, then flushes as he remembers, oh yes his tongue doing that. . .
He splutters as he stares at the picture Jack's right in that he's young, but he's even younger than Jack had thought. Jack comes up behind him and his head barely comes up to the other man's belt buckle. He waits for Jack to make a lewd suggestion but the other man is too busy staring at the image in the mirror.
“I'm a toddler.” he splutters.
“Not quite that bad Doc, but I'd say. . .” Jack scans him with his wrist computer, “You're about eight standard years old.”
“That's what I mean, A Gallifreyan would just barely be out of the loom at eight, not even started their schooling yet.” The Doctor splutters and holds up his hands, swallowed by his shirt sleeves as his belt finally loses it's battle to stay around his hips. He ignores his pants falling to the floor as he scowls at the picture in front of him. He scowls at the mirror. “I haven't looked this young since my fi.. . .” his voice trails off as he stares at the image, his hands coming up to touch his face. He can't believe it, but there's no denying it. “This is my first incarnation.”
Jack is used to the Doctor's leaps in topics after all these years together. “What, your very first incarnation, before you started regenerating?” he asks, stunned.
“Lift up my shirt, there should be a small mark on my right shoulder blade, it looks like your human birthmarks.” The Doctor says. He starts pulling off his jacket and lifts his tie right off over his head. “Why didn't you ever tell me my previous incarnation had such a fat neck?” he complains as he starts unbuttoning his shirt.
“Arms up.” Jack orders. He grasps the Doctor's cuffs and pulls the shirt off of him without unbuttoning it as he twists and turns trying to look at his back. Jack's finger touches a spot on his back and he twists to look in the mirror, scowls, and nods. “Yes, this is my first incarnation.” he sighs. “The mark is from the loom, it's left over from the loom giving me nutrients, the equivalent of your umbilical cord. It's only found in your first incarnation, it always vanishes with your first regeneration.”
“So does this mean you have 13 more lives ahead of us?” Jack asks. The Doctor stares at him, stunned. He stumbles in his clothes and Jack calmly swoops him up under one arm, heading out of the console room.
“And where are we going?” The Doctor twists to look up at Jack.
“Finding you some clothes that fit before you end up killing yourself tripping over your pants.” Jack smirks. “If there's not any in the Wardrobe room, I'm sure the TARDIS won't mind taking us to a bazaar where I can pick some up for you.”
“Will you please put me down?” the Doctor asks in his most reasonable tone. Jack just chuckles as they head for the wardrobe room. “Jack, I can walk.” he snaps. Jack chuckles again. “You are enjoying this much too much.” He huffs and crosses his arms over his chest, scowling at Jack when he's finally put down on the floor.
The TARDIS thankfully has a large selection of children's clothes, and where had she found those he wonders and he's dressed in a pair of khaki pants, thankfully not those ruddy corduroys Jack had held up with a grin and a plain shirt, not one of those cartoon monstrosities Jack had to have had the TARDIS create and a pair of tennis shoes before he storms back into the console room where he finds another surprise.
“I'm too bloody short to reach the controls.” he fumes. Jack stifles a smile, the Doctor would kill him if he laughed, and pulls over a stool for the Doctor to stand on. He pats him gently on the shoulder. “Give it a few years Doc.”
“Jack, you wouldn't understand. Gallifreyans don't even attend the academy until they're well over a hundred, I'm going to be this size for years.”
Jack plants a kiss on that head of tousled dark curls. “Doc, if it's one thing we have it's plenty of time.”