Bit of Jack meta
reposted so as not to lose it.
I've RP-ed Jack for a while, now. Dear god, checking, it's over two years. And... originally, I didn't even want to. I wasn't even sure I liked him that much, I picked him up as a favour, to maybe play around a bit, then hand him over to someone I though could do a better job.
But then... he went and got layers
. Let's go on the flirtiness. I hesitate to apply the term 'slut,' although he'd most likely happily call himself one. He doesn't sell himself short, just because he's willing to have sex with one and all, because the value placed on it is different in his society, and in his own mind. Sex is fun, sex is for sharing and comforting and playing and strengthening relationships, be they romantic or not - although when in contact with people of different times, he clearly knows the difference, and applies that difference. Romance is something else - as someone else mentioned, his capacity for faithfulness is strong, just not technical fidelity - and I believe he is a very loving person, or was before his trust began to be slowly eroded. Because we don't know much about his past, all we really get to hear is the bad stuff, and it's easy to imagine the effects they could have had on him. Torture, betrayal, loss, memory erasure. And that's even before canon gets started.
That actually leads me onto the next point, yay! I was all set to disagree with you on the 'conman but not a people-person' thing, but then I actually read it, and... yeah. I do think that in one sense of 'people-person,' that's what he is, because he likes people, he really does. He's very fundamentally lonely in Torchwood, and that's something he's stuck with, because he's now so unable to relate normally to the team, and by necessity cannot relate to anyone else. He's a man out of time, and seems unusual because he's so drastically out of context practically all the time. The most natural place for him at this point is on the TARDIS, which, tragically, is impossible because
he's been written into another season of Torchwood
of his new-formed attachments to the gang, and the difficulty in being near the Doctor with his immortality.
Heartless? No, of course not. He's had it broken so much, but if there's one thing he's got, it's heart, because if he didn't, he'd give up, curl up in a corner, or go all out into cruelty. And he is cruel, when he needs to be, and sometimes when he doesn't, driven by anger and misery and bitterness. And that's why I don't like writing or reading Jack too emo. His lightheartedness and humour and exuberance is as much a failsafe as it is a natural part of his character. (Sidenote: The subtlety of Jack mainly drinking water in Torchwood made me oh. So. Happy.) He knows himself well, and he is a dangerous man. He literally can't get help for his anger-management problems, so he's dealing with them himself, and not exactly well, but better than he could have done.
For me, Jack is... well, I'm stupidly maternal about anyone I write for an extended period of time, so I'll be the first to admit my judgement may be off. He's screwed up, and he knows it, and he tries to fight it, and often overshoots. He fundamentally finds life fun, even at the depths of his despair when he wished he could truly have died the first time, and it's the balance between loving life and wondering about death that makes him tick. He's angry and passionate about right and wrong - but he doesn't know where the boundaries are, or even, sometimes, if they exist at all.
He's a silly boy. He's sly in getting what he wants or needs, but most of all he just keeps going, doing the best he can from minute to minute. He just... has it a little more confused than most people. :D