A/N: I seem to be saying this on many of my stories, but this time it's true: I might be expanding on this theme, rewriting and adding to this story. I don't know, though. I kind of like it as is, but I also think that I could take this farther. -shrug- We'll see what happens. :)
Disclaimer: Don't own Jack Harkness or anyone else mentioned in this story. BBC called dibs before I could. :)
Jack was waiting.
He was a lone figure waiting on the roof of a skyscraper. Looking up from the ground, it could have been a gargoyle. But it was a man, and he was waiting. Waiting for lightning to strike.
He knew it wasn't any use, really. He'd fallen before: fourteen stories, twenty-five stories, forty stories, a hundred stories. The free fall was gorgeous. The ultimate anticipation of death—knowing it was coming, it was so close, and unable to stop it, the wind rushing past, blood pounding, unable to hear, unable to see, only able to think and to wait for the inevitable crushing death at the bottom of the fall. The instant flash of blinding pain as every particle of his body shattered, and then…
And then he got dragged back to life, every inch of him hauled over broken glass, out of that comfortable, peaceful darkness of eternal sleep and back into the world of the living. His heart restarting with a thump, his muscles spasming out of their brief stillness, and breath exploding back into his lungs as he lived. Again.
Gwen had asked him once, what death was like. But he couldn't answer. He didn't know. And he never would know, no matter how many times he leapt off of skyscrapers, shot himself in the head, let a Dalek exterminate him, took a spear to the heart. The Doctor had asked him once, if he wanted to die. But he couldn't answer. Because part of him wanted to, really wanted to never feel that broken-glass-feeling of breath pounding back into his lungs ever again. But some other part of him, the truly human part of him that was full of instinct, the will to live, the fear of the unknown—that part of him secretly, quietly rejoiced to itself every time his heart restarted it's painful beat. And the Doctor's question remained unanswered.
And some days, when Gwen reminded him of all the good he could do in the world, when he remembered all the lives he could save, when Ianto was there, he wanted to go on forever. But days like today…when there was no Ianto, when there seemed to be no good in the world at all, and when he had failed to save the lives that mattered most…days like today he climbed to the top of the tallest skyscraper in the middle of a thunderstorm and he waited for lightning to strike. And he hoped against hope that maybe this time, just maybe, there would be no restart, no resurrection, no revival.
Maybe there would be a miracle and he would die.