Since I am a poor chickadee with no wealth to speak of, I think it's safe to say that neither BtVS nor Torchwood are mine. ^^;Written for: TtH August Fic A Day ChallengeSummary: She needed to ask- needed to know- what it was like for him. She needed someone who would understand what death felt like.
"What's it like? For you, when, you-" The words were caught in her throat, her lips parting to speak, but nothing more escaping. Something inside Jack's chest clenched, a tight fist clutched around his heart, and he felt like it would have been easier to die than feel this kind of pain. And he knew that the pain in his heart must have been nothing next to hers. One large hand rested on her much smaller shoulder, his fingers lightly tightening into what he hoped would be a comforting touch.
"It's nothing." She shivered, beneath his hand, and his concerned gaze slid down to watch her worriedly. "There's the pain, of course, when I die," again, she flinched, but he didn't stop, "and then- nothing. Blackness, I suppose, if I had to put a word to it. And then, I'm back, and everything's normal again. But that's not what it was for you, was it?" His voice was quietly questioning, although he was fairly sure of the answer. She hadn't reacted like she would have if that was all it had been; he well remembered that first time he'd died and come back, and while it had been full of confusion, it hadn't been anything like the grief she tried to hide from her friends.
There wasn't an immediate answer, and he wasn't completely surprised. His hand slipped from her shoulder and he instead sat down beside her with a soft huff. Her head was down, long golden locks hanging in a heavy curtain she hid behind, her eyes squeezed shut and her hands clenched together on her lap. His lips pursed together as he waited, waited for her to feel like she could speak.
"I'm always here for you, Buffy. I know it might not feel like it, but I promise. I will always be here for you." Inhaling deeply, he prepared himself to be shut out, again. Shut out like he had been when she'd first learned the truth about him and their relationship, and then again when she learned the real
truth about him. "I-"
"I thought you would understand," she spoke suddenly, without a single hair moving; she was still too tightly clenched into herself. "I thought- Jack would know. Jack has died before, and come back. Jack might have felt it too. But- but you don't
know, do you?" Hazel eyes opened, pinning him with her angered anguish. "You've never been where I was, you've never- never felt at peace
like that. And- and you've never felt Mom
She broke off, tears she couldn't fight off with her anger welling in her eyes, and with sudden horrified inspiration, Jack realized it was far, far worse than he could have ever imagined.
." He was wrapping her in his arms, one hand encircling her back, the other cradling her head to his chest, and he swallowed roughly to try and force back his own pain for her. She didn't need that from him, not now. She needed his strength, and she needed her father. "I'm so sorry, Buffy, I- I didn't know."
Somewhere inside his daughter, a dam broke, and she let it. Within his arms, she let herself break, and sob for what she'd lost. And Jack swore to himself that, no matter what it took, he find some way to fix this for her. And, oh so secretly, he prayed that she wasn't broken now in the same way he was, because if she was...
The Doctor... he would have to try harder than ever to find him. Because if Buffy was broken like he was, and she had to go through this pain every time...
Neither of them would survive it.