DISCLAIMER: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and Russell T Davies. This is just a collection of scenes they didn't get round to doing.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Torchwood: Children of Earth.
A Day and a Year
She touches the flower, the delicate cool violet shading to indigo crystal shivers under her fingers and she resists the urge for the thousandth time to just dash it against the wall and watch it break. Today and every day since that day all the beauty had gone from her world. A year and a day. She couldn't do it the first time, she can't do it now.
Jack her father, though it is still not easy to think of him like that gave her the flower for her sixteenth birthday. She knew about him by then, the truth that he was willing to tell her, that he was immortal and not really from Wales or America or anywhere on this world. The crystal flower was from another world as well. He had traded with something called a Hylacien to get it. He never did tell her what he had traded for it.
"It's very special," he said. "When you make love to the right person, the person who will be your soulmate, it will sing."
Her mother had told him off. Alice was only sixteen. She was a good girl, nothing like
Nothing like her father. Except that she was. She had his good looks in a more feminine form, his ease with people, with new situations, his cool head in a crisis. She did not have his arrogance, his cruelty. At least she did not think so.
Yet he had shed tears over her boy, had seemed genuinely distraught. Sometimes she thought about that, about the losses he must have experienced over his long life, the knowledge that there would be more, so many more to come. The man who could not die. And yet she had not spoken to him or seen him in all the days since despite knowing the overwhelming guilt and sorrow he must be feeling.
The flower is on the windowsill in her bedroom, resting in a vase she had inherited from her mother, a glass vase crafted by her great grandfather Arturo Cassini in his glassworks in Venice in the same year as her father Jack Harkness had begun his odyssey on Earth. The dark blue and cream swirls of the blown glass set off the flower beautifully she has always considered. Serendipity.
There is a knock on the door. She closes her eyes. She knows who it will be. Johnson is nothing if not prompt. Every week on Saturday afternoon at three p.m. she appears on the doorstep. Sometimes she brings a bottle of wine. Once, her cheeks scarlet with embarrassment she brought a small bouquet of damask roses, pale peach and pink, the scent sweet. "I thought you might like them," the otherwise imperturbable woman stammered not daring to meet Alice's amused gaze. That was the day Alice had realised that this was more than just a friendly visit, more than just checking up on her or an act of expiation for sins committed. This was a date. Johnson still wouldn't tell her her first name though. For a while Alice had made a game of trying to guess it but Johnson would never tell or even hint.
So they just sat and talked. Johnson knew everything there was to know by now about Alice herself, about Stephen, her lost boy, her mother also gone, about Jack Harkness, her lost father, perhaps the original lost boy. Johnson had some stories about him as well, about some of the stunts Torchwood had pulled over the years, the times they had saved the world, the times they had almost but not quite damned it.
And bit by bit Alice got to know a little more about Johnson. Those kids on street corners she had been one back in the day. She had joined the army, went out to the Gulf, got herself noticed, been recruited into Special Forces and from there into ever more elite squads. A wetworks specialist, the ultimate sanction.
In those early days they had sat almost at opposite ends of the living room and Johnson's visit had lasted barely an hour. When she started bringing the wine always a good vintage the visits became longer and they gravitated to opposite ends of the couch. The first time that Alice cooked something for them they sat side by side, eating stir fry from the same huge bowl.
A month ago, Johnson had laid her hand on Alice's thigh as she talked, her thumb caressing Alice's skin through the denim of her jeans. Alice hadn't pulled away, Johnson had a few minutes later when in a natural pause in the conversation she noticed, a hot flush colouring her pale cheeks for a moment. When they said goodbye on the doorstep in the gathering dusk Alice hadn't been able to resist. She leant forward and kissed Johnson on the lips. She was her father's daughter after all.
There had been more kisses and touches in the weeks that followed. Part of her glowed that it was Saturday again, that she would see her again. And part of her was dust and ashes, the simmering embers of a year long resentment. A year yesterday since her boy had died.
Yesterday. A year gone by.
Yesterday she had gone to the cemetery, to Stephen's grave. The grass was green on the small mound, the simple headstone engraved with his name and dates and the line 'one life for many'. She had gone alone, but Johnson had already been there. And a few feet away under the trees she saw Gwen Cooper and her husband Rhys, their three month old son in Rhys's arms. She hadn't intended to talk to them. She hadn't even intended to acknowledge them. But there was a time for all things.
There was no sign of Jack.
She stood by the grave in silence for a long while, thinking about her beautiful boy about the way he had died. It had been an old fashioned sacrifice, one life for the many. It might have been bearable if had been Stephen's decision, an informed if not willing sacrifice but her father had made the choice for him, for them all.
When she walked past Johnson, the woman took her hand, interlacing her fingers with hers, her calloused pads and palm reassuringly real. They talked with Gwen and Rhys for a while, made the requisite polite remarks about the baby who looked exactly like his father and was to be called Kai Ianto. With tears in her eyes Gwen told her about the last time she had seen Jack six months earlier. The news that he wasn't even on this planet any more sent the briefest sharpest needle of pain through her heart and then she felt only relief. She might never see him again. The universe was a big place and someone like her father would never be at a loss for adventure. It was only when Johnson reached out a hesitant hand and brushed the tears from her cheeks that Alice realised that she was crying after all. She had lost herself in the other woman's arms, Gwen a comforting presence at her side as they cried for their lost boys.
Today she had woken in someone's strong arms, dark thick hair escaping from its braid to mingle with hers on the pillow they shared. Today she remembered how it had been between them, how she had taken the initiative, leading the other woman up the stairs to her room. She remembered the moonlight slatted across the bed through the open blinds. She remembered how it had lit up the glass flower making it seem to glow with a lavender light. She remembered how it had caught her eye as Johnson arched over her, as she had reached up to take one plump dark nipple in her mouth, running her hands up and down the toned body as she rocked against a strong thigh. She remembered how her soft cries as Johnson kissed her way down her body had been taken up and echoed by the flower, a sweet descant to their pleasure. As Jack had promised when she and her soulmate made love, the flower would sing.
Today she touched the cool glass petals, a soft smile on her face and sent a good thought for her father that he might find his own soulmate one day, his own peace.
"That's really pretty," Johnson cuddled up behind her, her chin resting on her shoulder. She reached out to touch the petals. "Where did you get it?"
"It was a present," Alice said. "There's actually quite a strange story "
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