Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Russell T. Davies owns "Torchwood" and all related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
Jack Harkness hadn’t expected for there to be anybody to still be at the grave when he finally made his appearance around dusk. The funeral had ended hours ago, and from what little he knew of Sunnydale, he would have guessed that anybody with a decent sense of self-preservation would have since returned indoors to safety.
But there stood a slight figure hunched against the unnatural bitterly cold wind, staring at the freshly dug grave in front of her. Walking closer, he could he could faintly make out her blond hair glowing slightly in the sun’s fading rays, giving her an almost unearthly glow. She didn’t move, but Jack was sure she was aware of his presence.
“You’re a little late for the funeral,” she observed in a flat, almost hollow voice when he finally reached her side. Her green eyes, bright with unshed tears, flicked briefly from the freshly turned dirt to him before returning.
“My flight was delayed,” Jack lied, a little too easily for his own liking. In fact, is was a fluke that he was here at all. With Yvonne taking more and more control of Torchwood One in London, the inexplicable loss of Torchwood Four, and Alex’s massacre of Torchwood Three, he had lost track of Joyce and what was going on in her life. If he hadn’t decided to look her up when he did, there would have been a good chance he wouldn’t have found out about his daughter’s death until months had passed.
Glancing over at the girl standing next to him, he wondered which of Joyce’s daughters this was. He knew she had two--Buffy and Dawn--but he had never seen pictures of them. Why would Joyce send pictures of his granddaughters when she thought he was dead?
“Do you...” he began to ask before his throat tightened involuntarily. She looked up with him, and the sheer weight of her contained grief nearly overwhelmed him. She nodded and took a few steps backwards to give him some much needed privacy. He moved closer and gently touched the cold, granite stone that marked the final resting place of his first-born daughter.
“I’m sorry, Joycie,” he whispered, using the name he had called her those blessed few years he’d had with her. Before her mother had decided that she was tired of his lies and secrets, and had moved back to the States. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you like I should have been.” He wondered if her life would have been any different had he stepped in after her divorce from her husband, while it appeared to all outside observers that her life was crumbling apart around her. But his daughter was nothing, if not resilient, and had made a new life for her, Buffy, and Dawn here in Sunnydale. Surprisingly, given what little he knew about the town, Joyce had managed to die a natural death, something that he was both glad to hear and devastated by. He was positive this meant that neither her nor Alice had received immortality from him, the blessing and burden that it was.
He continued to stand there for a few more minutes, trying to reconcile the memories of his beautiful, golden baby girl with the mound of dirt and grey stone before him. He bowed his head and silently cursed Rose Tyler for bringing him back, if only because it meant that he was forever cursed to be alone, to never truly have a family to call his own.
Swallowing the tears that were threatening to fall, Jack finally tore himself away and walked back towards his granddaughter. “I’m sorry for your loss,” he whispered, putting a hand on her shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. She nodded, but remained silent. He let go and started walking away before stopping to look back at her small, still figure. Jack wondered if he should tell her that he was her grandfather, that he would be more than willing to help her and her sister with anything that they might need. But after looking at her for another minute, he made his decision and walked away. Dawn and Buffy had already been through enough trauma with their mother’s death. They didn’t need to have any more thrust upon them by finding out that he was their grandfather. He would give them that small kindness.