Cold as DeathAuthor: Koohii CafeRating:
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: He was so cold. Ice. She’d never felt him cold like this.Author’s Note:
Set post “Chosen” for BtVS. Set at the end of “End of Days” for Torchwood.
Cold as Death
“Buffy?” The blonde turned at the sound of her name in that surprised voice, and she smiled. It’d been so long since she’d seen him, or any of the others, and she’d been wondering if she would run into anyone while she was in the area.
“Ianto,” she answered warmly, her eyes crinkling with her smile, except- he wasn’t smiling. The look on his face... Her smile faded, her brow furrowing, and she set down the paper she’d been perusing. His eyes were red-rimmed, his lips a thin, unhappy line, his skin wan. Something was wrong. “Ianto? What’s-“
“Oh god, Buffy.” This wasn’t Ianto. Ianto was always cool, collected, reserved. Picture perfect. The man before her- his tone was broken, sounded as if his world was shattered, and Buffy suddenly had a foreboding feeling, clenched in the pit of her stomach. Ianto paused, visibly collected himself, and tried again. “I should have known- you would come. You- Come with me.”
“Of course.” As suddenly horribly afraid as she was of what had gone wrong, she reached to lay a comforting hand on his shoulder, but he shook his head, stepped back out of the way, and then turned. “I’m parked outside; I’ll meet you at the tourist center, okay?”
He nodded and silently headed out the door of the little shop. Frowning, Buffy followed him out, headed to her car. As she started the engine and pulled out, her mind ran at a million miles per second, thinking about all the things that could have gone wrong to break Ianto like that, to shatter his perfect façade in so many pieces, and none of the options were good. As she pulled into a spot near the tourist center, she sighed, tightened her grip on the wheel, steeled herself, and exhaled before she got out. Ianto was already at the door, waiting on her, and he opened it for her as she neared, letting her move through first before triggering the inner door.
“Follow me.” His voice was clipped, his expression once more tight and controlled, and he headed down and into the hub at a swift pace. It didn’t take long for her to realize they were headed for the morgue, and the feeling in the pit of her stomach tightened even further. Who had they lost? She’d seen Tosh at her computer station, and Owen in the med bay, so it couldn’t have been either of them, and Jack was Jack, which left- Suzie. As they entered, Buffy gauged her own feelings, tried to decide how she felt about losing Suzie; she knew Suzie had taken over her spot as second in command when the slayer returned to the Council, but there’d always been something about the other woman that set Buffy’s teeth on edge. It was one of the reasons she’d gone back to the Council, actually. Of course, that didn’t mean she wanted the woman dead
. Then, before she could decide, they were rounding a corner and Ianto was opening a door, and Buffy could see-
?” She froze, eyes wide with shock, and she felt her breath halt. There, lying on a slab, was Jack. He was still, impossibly so, pale as death, and he was- it wasn’t possible. The petite blonde shuddered, completely ignored the outburst of the unfamiliar dark haired woman at his side as she darted to his side, grabbed his hand, and oh god
he was so cold. Ice. She’d never felt him cold like this, because he didn’t stay dead long enough to be
this cold. There was a sting of tears in her eyes, but she refused to give in, and there was an anger as she turned on Ianto, still clinging to Jack’s icy hand. “What happened? This isn’t possible
, he can’t be- he can’t die
, not and-“
“It was a demon.” The grief she could suddenly read crystal clear in his eyes, the way he hunched in on himself, the pain in his voice. This couldn’t be real, except that- “It fed on life itself, and Jack- he- he sacrificed himself to defeat it.” Except there was no way Ianto could have faked this, the pure emotion rolling from him in waves. “It’s been- days.”
Days. She turned from the Welshman, turned back to the still form on the slab. She felt more than heard the woman pull away from Jack, move to Ianto’s side and begin whispering furiously, but she didn’t care. Not if Jack was really gone. There was a chair beside the slab, vacated by the stranger, and the blonde settled onto it heavily as the reality of it set in. She never noticed the woman’s look after her conversation with Ianto, never noticed her disappear from the morgue, never noticed Ianto follow, leaving her alone with Jack’s still body. All she knew, in that moment, was the sight of his pale face, and the ice of his hand in hers, as he lie dead before her.