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The Ties That Bind

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Help, I'm Alive". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: All things considered, Jack probably should have expected some sort of reaction from his granddaughter when he came back into their lives, a little more than two and a half years after Joyce’s funeral. It just wasn't a punch to the face.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Real FamilykerrykhatFR721,6172375,83225 May 1110 Dec 13Yes

The Ties That Bind

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Russell T. Davies owns "Torchwood" and all related characters; I own nothing.

Summary: All things considered, Jack probably should have expected some sort of reaction from his granddaughter when he came back into their lives, a little more than two and a half years after Joyce’s funeral. It just wasn't a punch to the face.

All things considered, Jack probably should have expected some sort of reaction from his granddaughter when he came back into their lives, a little more than two and a half years after Joyce’s funeral, telling them that he was a close family member. Granted, he wasn’t expecting Buffy to punch him in the face, or for it to be hard enough to knock him unconscious for several minutes. When he woke up, she was glaring at him with a furious expression on her face.

"You knew that we existed and you didn't say anything?" she demanded, her voice tightly controlled. "You were at her funeral and you didn't say anything?"

They were standing in an empty room in the flat that Buffy and Dawn were renting in London. Jack had tried to keep tabs on his granddaughters ever since the funeral, but the same factors that had kept him from keeping track of Joyce had kept him from watching them as closely as he wanted. After Sunnydale's inexplicable collapse, however, he had immediately stopped everything else to look for them.

"You and Dawn were already going through so much, I thought it would best if I didn't say anything," he explained, getting to his feet and rubbing the bruised skin where her fist had impacted with his face. "But that doesn't mean I wasn't looking out for you." Buffy froze, and Jack could see her putting the pieces together in her head.

"You were the one who sent the money?" she asked. Jack nodded slowly, watching her carefully. Even though he hadn't revealed himself to them, he had set up a trust fund for them in Joyce's name. It hadn't been much, but he wasn't about to let his granddaughters starve. "How exactly are you related to my mom?"

"I think it would be best if your sister was here for that."

"You give me a good reason why and I'll think about it," Buffy countered, a protective look on her face.

"Tell me what?" a new voice asked. Both Jack and Buffy turned towards the doorway to see Dawn standing there, arms crossed over her chest. "And who is this guy?"

"Captain Jack Harkness," he answered after a slight hesitation, extending his hand. Dawn shot a look at her sister before shaking his hand. "It's nice to meet you, Dawn."

"How does he know my name?" Dawn asked, snatching her hand back and taking a step closer to Buffy."Is he evil?"

"Not that I can tell, but you never know. He could be a lawyer or a politician in disguise," Buffy answered in a humorless tone. "And he says he's some relative of Mom's. Of course, he's making with the vagueness on the details."

"You punched him, didn't you?" Dawn asked after studying him for a moment. "It's already starting to bruise. How hard did you hit him?"

"Hard enough," Jack answered, wondering how exactly his oldest granddaughter had managed to do that. He didn't think his genes had manifested in superstrength.

"You didn't answer the other question, about how you're related to our mom," Buffy cut in, positioning herself between him and Dawn in a protective manner that Jack couldn't help but notice. He didn't know what exactly they had gone through before Sunnydale's collapse, but he recognized the wary soldier's look in Buffy's eyes anywhere.

"I'm your grandfather," he finally answered, deciding to go with the truth. To his surprise, it was Dawn who punched him in response.

“Ow!” he protested, rubbing his face. “What was that?”

“Sorry! Habit,” she apologized, glancing at Buffy, who continued glaring at Jack.

“How the hell can you be our grandfather? He died when our mom was a baby,” Buffy demanded, her posture shifting so that it was a hair away from a fighting stance. “You’re some evil thing of... evil, trying to trick us, aren’t you?

Ignoring Dawn’s snort at her sister’s description, Jack studied Buffy with interest. There had been rumors, of course, that there was something less than ordinary about Sunnydale’s unnaturally high death rate, but there had never been any indication that she was involved. He didn’t believe in the supernatural--he wasn’t that crazy, no matter what they said about him in Torchwood One--but if there was extraterrestrial activity in Sunnydale that the US government was keeping quiet, then Buffy and Dawn might be more accepting of his immortality than he previously thought.

“I can’t die.” His statement hung in the air as the sister’s exchanged a look before Buffy walked past him to the main part of the flat, a mix of anger, despair, and frustration on her face.

“So, like unaging can’t die, incredibly hard to kill under normal circumstances can’t die, or really can’t die?” Dawn asked as Jack could have sworn he heard something breaking in another part of the house.

“I really can’t die. I’ve been told I’m a fixed point in time, completely unchanging,” Jack told her. “Where did your sister go?” He hadn’t that expected that reaction from her, given her protective nature towards Dawn. Leaving him alone with her was completely out of her previously observed character.

“I think she went to go break that ugly looking statue Kennedy gave us as a house warming present, although it might be something else.” Dawn paused and cocked her head as another crash was heard. “Yep. Definitely the statue. I’m pretty sure the only reason Kennedy gave it to us was because she hates Buffy, so no harm done.” Her voice sounded forcibly light, failing to mask the worry underneath.

“Why would she be breaking a statue?” Jack asked, a little taken aback at Dawn’s nonchalant attitude towards the thing. She appeared more concerned about her sister than the fact that the man standing here claiming he was her grandfather said he couldn’t die. It was like that type of thing didn’t hold any fascination to her.

“Because I have some issues to work out, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to break that statue for a while,” Buffy’s tense voice said behind him. Turning around, Jack saw her standing in the doorway, her hands curled into fists and bleeding from several small cuts.

“So you’re the one I have to thank for all of this?” Buffy asked, her voice taking on an edge.

“Thanks for what?” Jack replied, a sinking feeling in his stomach. Buffy clenched her jaw, looking at Dawn before meeting Jack’s eyes.

“You’re the reason why I can’t die.”
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