Wrote a three-sentence fic of this for ijustwanttobepercievedthewayiam, and then ended up having a lot of fun and decided to do a proper ficlet. It’s Nine+Jack high school AU.
Please feel free to Britpick, particularly the school-y bits.
It’s Jack Harkness’s third week in England. It’s his fourth day of tenth grade, or Year 11 as they call it here for some reason, and the chemistry teacher, whose name is Mr. Saxon, has decided to take the students to the lab.
He says he’s assigning lab partners randomly, but Jack suspects he’s judging them and putting the troublemakers with the sticks-in-the-mud to make sure nothing terrible happens. Which is why Jack is so surprised when he ends up beside a kid with a big nose and bigger ears and a manic gleam in his eyes.
They sit at the stools by their table and Jack ventures a “Hey.”
"Hello," says the boy. "You’re not from around here, are you?"
"You’re not either," says Jack. The boy’s accent is unfamiliar and, to his untutored American ears, sounds vaguely Scottish.
"I’m closer to home. You’re American, yeah? I’m still from England, at least. Lancashire, up north. I don’t suppose you know where that is."
Well, no, Jack doesn’t, but he doesn’t want to let on, either. “I have an idea,” he says airily.
"You do?" The twinkle is still in the boy’s eyes, but it’s not mocking, it’s inviting. Jack finds himself giving in to it.
"No," he admits. "I just moved here like three weeks ago. I hardly even know where I am."
The boy laughs. “It’s all right. But if we’re gonna be lab partners we could at least learn each other’s names.”
"Oh, yeah." Jack grins. "I’m Jack Harkness. You?"
"John Doctor, but everyone calls me Nine."
"Long story. Maybe I’ll tell you when we know each other a bit better."
Jack frowns. “Come on.”
Nine opens his mouth, but the teacher claps his hand and they start on their lab.
Jack and Nine get done early, of course. Jack is pretty bright, but he can tell that Nine’s even brighter. He’s got a quick intelligence that shines through everything he does despite the ears, and he seems to understand everything at a glance.
"Well," says Jack, "What now?"
Nine grins. “We could mess around a bit. You know, with the chemicals. See what happens.”
"That could be dangerous."
Jack meets Nine’s eyes, and without a word, they each grab a bottle and start pouring things into the flask.
And that’s how the two of them get kicked out of their first ever chemistry lab, but it’s okay. Because now they’re best friends, and eyebrow loss and detentions are worth that.