Snapshots in the Life of a Time Traveller
A Torchwood General/Romance Fanfic
A collection of one-shots looking at the life and times of a certain Annalily Harpwell, and her occasional misadventures with the infamous Captain Jack Harkness.
Rated K+ for angst and the quite good possibility we'll get into mature stuff.
Disclaimer: What you recognise from the TV show is obviously not mine. Anna is. Don't know what – or who – else I lay claim to yet.
A/N: For anyone who hasn't met Anna: she's introduced in my story "Manipulated Timeline" (.net/s/5335766/1/Manipulated_Timeline).
Yet another saddening reaction to CoE. Mild spoilers for it. This is actually written as a lead-up to my fic "A Thousand Years' Time".
The name for the 456 is courtesy of YouGottaSingAlong, who also beta-read this for me.
One last warning: expect the story to have the UK spellings of words.
Chapter One: Tell Him You Love Him (505 words)
"What's the matter, Jack?" He looked at Anna. Now forty, she had aged well, and was finally used to dealing with the confusing, overlapping timelines that were hers and Jack's. Usually, this was a good thing – her outbursts about the future were unsettling, if nothing else – but there were times when the fact that she was more world-weary than he was unnerved him.
Times like now, when she turned from lover to mother. He sighed. "I've been thinking." Anna faked an exasperated sigh.
"How many times have I told you not to do that, Jack? You'll give yourself a headache!" He smiled, but it felt forced, and Anna could see it didn't touch his eye. "About what?" she asked, much more gently.
"Ianto," he answered simply. Hurt billowed off him in the look he gave her. She had experience dealing with his guilt, but nothing like this. Only once in her life had she seen him hurting this badly, and she hadn't exactly had the chance to try to calm him down then. He'd shoed her away – screamed at her to leave.
This time, even if he screamed and yelled and threw a hissy fit, nothing was drawing her away from him. She got up from her chair and folded herself into his lap. He seemed to like the physical contact, but Anna could see his mind was elsewhere as he absent-mindedly stroked her hair. "Tell me what you're thinking," she prompted softly, more of a suggestion than a command.
"A thousand years ago, the Nagrae came to Earth for the second time." Anna nodded mutely; she'd particularly liked this sort of history in school, so she knew it well. Travelling with Jack made it all seem that much more real. "It was hell. Government conspiracies; secret organisations blowing up other secret organisations. And there were only three of us, Gwen, Ianto, and I. We had some help, a girl by the name of Lois. Lois Habiba. I wonder what ever happened to her..." He trailed off before he'd really told her anything, but she didn't press him. When he was ready, he'd tell her.
"He never should have come to Thames House with me. It was stupid. He should have stayed back at the warehouse with Gwen."
"And done what, Jack? I don't blame you for doing what you did. It was a proper division of labour. How could you have known what was going to happen?" She sighed. "He didn't blame you, did he?"
"No." Jack's answer was of a pitch that she felt rather than heard.
"Go to him," she urged.
"Go to him, Jack. Tell him you're sorry."
"You won't mind?"
"I want you better. If it takes visiting an old grave, that's fine with me." They got up off the couch.
"I'll be back soon. I promise." With a smile, she shook her head.
"Don't be. Take as long as you need." He flashed her a half-hearted grin. "Oh, and Jack?"
"Tell him you love him."