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: Jack's search for his daughter takes him first to her Watcher.Author's Note:
Sequel to my short story 'Gone
"Hello?" A rumpled, heavy shouldered man stood through the open door, cautious and tired eyes reviewing him, searching for a threat, for some clue as to who he was facing. Jack gave him none, not yet. Instead, he assessed the man himself; older than Joyce by several years, and even older now than his actual years, aged by trauma and experience. He was injured, the fingers of one hand bound, signs of abuse in the fading marks on his skin, forehead, and his eyes were dull with a pain that wasn't purely physical. Jack nodded imperceptibly and invited himself into the man's house, stepping over the threshold as both assurance that he could, and to better control the situation. Too much was at stake to worry about manners.
"Who was Buffy Summers fighting?"
"Excuse me?" A sharpness of gaze, hidden beneath the dull glaze, brought forth by the sudden and unexpected question. Good. While he was working on clearing Buffy's name, his influence in America was nothing like what he had slowly built during his time in Cardiff, and this man should
be wary of strangers inquiring about her. "I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about. Ms. Summers is a student of mine, but I have heard nothing of the child being involved in fights."
"I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Giles, but I happen to know that you're lying through your teeth." The man, Giles, narrowed those eyes of his, standing his ground behind the door, effectively keeping Jack from entering his house further. "As a matter of fact, you're the one who knows the most
about Buffy's enemies, and her fight."
"I don't know where you got such an idea, but I'm not sad to say that you're gravely misinformed. I'm a simple librarian, Mr..." Even as Giles trailed off, there was a thread of fired steel to his voice, his gaze firming.
"Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood."
There. A spark of immediate recognition in his eyes, and then, as quickly as he could in his obviously exhausted condition, Giles stepped aside to allow Jack entrance. Face stone cold, he stepped past the Watcher, who closed the door behind him and gave him a look that would have left a lesser man trembling.
"What is Torchwood
doing on the Hellmouth, and in America no less? You have no jurisdiction in matters of the supernatural, and no right to inquire of my Slayer."
," Jack threw the words back, a snarling hint of threat laced through his tone, "is missing, and the Hellmouth is unguarded. An unguarded Hellmouth threatens the whole world, not
just America and the world of the supernatural."
"And how did you come to learn of the current Slayer's status? Has Torchwood stooped to spying on the Council?"
"We do what's necessary to protect this world," the shorter man growled, eyes narrowed and dangerous as he pinned the Watcher in place. "So let's try this again. Who
. Was your Slayer fighting when she left?"
"It's of no concern to Torchwood," Giles hissed angrily, raising himself to his full height, despite the former hunch of his shoulders. If it pained him, he didn't let it show, too purposeful in his fury, and that pushed Jack's respect for the man slightly higher. Not enough, though, to make him let loose the truth, not yet.
"Should I ask the Council instead? Maybe they'd be better at tracking a rogue Slayer."
"If you intended to ask the Council themselves, you wouldn't be here." Cold again, the barest hint of a smirk on the tired man's lips. "You have no more wish to alert the Council to Buffy's disappearance than I do."
"Don't be so sure about that. I'm a hands on kinda guy, Mr. Giles."
"Then you can forget any idea of getting your hands on my Slayer, Mr. Harkness. She-"
A knock on the close door behind them interrupted the stand off. Both men exchanged cold looks before, after a moment, Jack cocked his head... There was a perfume he recognized, from whoever stood so close, on the other side of that door. Well, this should be interesting. To the surprise of the Englishman, some of the proud facade slipped away from him as he stepped back to allow Giles room to open the door. He received a suspicious look, but the Watcher grudgingly moved to open the door, only to reveal-
"Joyce?" The suspicion intensified, laced with confusion as Giles looked between the two of them, brows furrowed. "You know this man?"
"I-" She paused, a mixture of emotions swirling across her expression. She couldn't find words for a moment, looking first to Giles, then to Jack. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming."
"I told you I would find her, Joyce. What did you expect?" He wasn't as cold as he had been when last they spoke, but neither was he as familiar with her as he would have been in the past. Something had shifted, and not for the better, between them.
"I didn't think- Giles? Why are you visiting Mr. Giles?"
"We should take this conversation inside."
"Y- yes. Quite."
Yes, interesting was a word for what would happen next. Joyce had interrupted before he could get a full measure of the man, and Jack could only hope that this man appointed as his daughter's Watcher was as steely protective of her as he appeared. They would both need it if they were going to find Buffy, and bring her back.