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01 November 2011 @ 06:16 pm
Torchwood Fic: Life is all (around us)  
Title: Life is all (around us)
Recipient: 51stcenturyfox
Author: manikineko
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Gwen Cooper, Jack Harkness
Spoilers and Warnings: mentions of death, spoilers for "They keep killing Suzie"
Summary: Gwen is dealing with her mortality after Suzie came back
Beta: n/a
Author Notes: Originally I wanted to go with the funny prompt of the girls playing a joke on the guys but then I took a walk and looked at the autumn trees around me. Autumn is my favourite season and I remembered someone once asking me about this “Doesn’t it bother you that things are dying around you everywhere in autumn?” So here I had the perfect thought for the story about Gwen and death, I hope you’ll like it. Thanks for the awesome prompt!

Please be aware that Gwen’s thoughts are in italic font.

P.S. You might have noticed that the title consists of a quote from Suzie in “They keep killing Suzie :-)

The light in Jack’s office was dim but it contained the kind of warmth that was lacking from the rest of the Hub’s gloomy rooms. Gwen sat on a chair next to Jack’s desk, her shoulders slumped forward, her head hanging low so her hair was falling into her face, covering the pain and confusion she still went through after this horrible day.
Jack had tried to talk to her after they had arrived back at the Hub but Gwen didn’t react to any of his attempts at conversation. In the end he had left the office to give her some time and space. So she could begin to deal with what had happened that day.
Gwen’s thoughts spun in her head. What Suzie had said about death, how she had clung to life so desperately, it made Gwen think about her existence in a completely different way from before.

Life and death are everywhere around us. Every day we experience the beginning and the termination of existence but does it make us think? Does it make us value our own limited time on this planet more? It’s not only that we see or hear about people dying, death is in all places, in the nature around us. In autumn vegetation is fading, trees shed their leaves which are then left on the streets to rot. It’s normal for us; there is nothing scary about this sort of dying.
Because we know, when spring comes new leaves will grow.
Why do we never think about ourselves the way we think about the leaves? Why do we need to be close to death before we realize that we are part of the circle?


A bitter smile began to spread on Gwen’s lips as she continued her inner monologue.

We just assume that life goes on forever despite knowing that this is far from the truth. All the time we betray ourselves, every second of our existence we live unaware of the fact that there is an end. Once you’ve experienced something close to death, it makes you realize. But does it make it easier?

Not for me.

But it does make me value the moments I spend with the people I love more.


The bitterness had nearly vanished from Gwen’s face as she raised her head. Her gaze was focused on the items on Jack’s desk, the memorabilia from the past lives that he had lived.

Jack…I wonder… Are mortal human beings like the trees’ leaves to you? Is that the reason why you sometimes appear to be so emotionally detached? Shouldn’t the understanding about the limited time with us, make every moment we spend together more significant? What is going on inside you, Jack? Are you afraid of dying like everybody else? Or are you getting tired of your own existence when the people you love continue to fade away?

“I was worried to death about you, you know?”

Jack stood in the door frame and smiled warmly at Gwen.

“It’s a good thing you can’t die then, huh?”

The smile disappeared from Jack’s face.
Gwen didn’t mean to aim for sarcasm and she felt sorry for her words the moment they had escaped her mouth.

“Jack, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s ok, Gwen. You nearly died today; I could have chosen better words to express my concern, too.”

He moved forward and gently squeezed Gwen’s shoulder before placing a mug of tea in her hands. She clasped the warm porcelain; she hadn’t even realized her hands had been so cold.

“This should warm you up. And when you’re finished let me drive you home to that useless husband of yours, I’m sure he’s worried about you by now.”

Jack squatted down in front of Gwen and briefly touched her cheek; she couldn’t help but lean into his touch.

Despite the smile on Jack’s face, Gwen could also recognize fear in his eyes. It seemed as if this feeling of anxiety had grown within Jack over a very long time.

“Promise you will never run off into danger like that again.”

Gwen felt bad for the thoughts she’d had about Jack earlier. She could see how much he cared for her now and she had seen him do similar gestures with the other team members in the past. He would never think of anyone as an autumn leaf, he would give his own life a thousand times and more if it could save only one of them.

Gwen tried to make her answer sound as warm and honest as possible when she replied:

“I promise, Jack.”


 
 
Locations: London
Feelings: cheerfulcheerful