Characters: Jack, Lucia Moretti, Melissa.
Spoilers: CoE for characters only.
Summary: Lucia Moretti was a fiery and passionate woman, until learning the full truth about Jack’s immortality turned her cold.
Word Count: 957
Written For: juliet316’s prompt ‘Torchwood, Jack Harkness, warm heart turned cold,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Lucia Moretti was as fiery as her Italian heritage would suggest. She was a vibrant woman, quick tempered and full of passion, an uninhibited lover and a fierce fighter. Though she was petite, barely five feet four inches and slender as a willow, she was a force to be reckoned with. When she wanted something she went after it, letting nothing and no one stand in her way, and she’d made up her mind the first time they met that she wanted Jack. Their affair was everything Jack expected it to be, an endless round of wild nights together punctuated by blazing rows, but although Lucia’s temper tended to flare up quickly at the smallest of imagined slights, it burned out just as fast, usually leaving her contrite and apologetic.
“I only get so angry because I love you so much, darling,” she assured him, and truthfully he didn’t mind. Whether they were loving or fighting, she made him feel more alive than he had in a long time, so when she tearfully announced she was pregnant, there was only one thing he could do; he proposed immediately, and she accepted, throwing herself into his arms with a squeal or joy and peppering his face with excited kisses, her tears forgotten. They’d both been late to work that morning.
The wedding was small, Lucia insisting that she didn’t want a lavish affair; neither of them had family to invite, and there were only a few people they considered close friends. It didn’t matter though; all that mattered was the life and family they were building together.
The first few years of their marriage were wonderful, watching Lucia’s belly swell with their child, welcoming their daughter into the world, all the milestones of babyhood; first smile, first tooth, first word, first step… They still fought, but that was just Lucia’s way; the hot Latin blood flowing through her veins made her a slave to her emotions, and anyway, he loved her for all that she was, not just for her warm and loving heart.
Looking back though, Jack probably should have known it wouldn’t last, and learning the full truth of his immortality turned out to be the deal-breaker. She’d already known when they married that he couldn’t be permanently killed, but apparently it had never crossed her mind that he wouldn’t age.
When Melissa was five, Lucia found her first grey hair. She was inconsolable, so he suggested that if it bothered her so much she should just dye her hair.
“Do you dye yours? Is that why there’s no grey in your hair?” she asked, and he shook his head.
“When I die, I come back looking exactly as I did the first time I died,” he explained.
“Then how do you age?”
He shrugged. “I don’t. What you see is what you get.”
“You don’t age? Not ever?”
Again Jack shook his head.
“So when Melissa is a grown woman, when I am old and grey, you will still look just as you do now?”
“But how can you bear it?”
“I have no choice. Besides, who wouldn’t want to always look this good?” He meant it as a joke, but Lucia didn’t laugh.
After that day, everything changed. Lucia’s once-warm heart turned cold towards him, she turned away from him in their bed and when she spoke to him at all, her words were short, her voice devoid of emotion. Jack told himself she was just processing what she’d learned, it was a lot to take in, he just needed to give her a bit of space but given time, things would go back to the way they had been between them. He was wrong.
Days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, and the only thing that changed was that Lucia became even colder towards him. Their fights grew more frequent and increasingly bitter, and there was no making up afterwards. Then one day he found she’d moved all his things into the spare room. Melissa was confused; she didn’t understand why her mummy didn’t love her daddy anymore, and Jack wished he could explain it to his little girl, but he didn’t understand it himself. Lucia had always told him his differences didn’t matter to her, and now suddenly they mattered all too much.
The day before Melissa’s sixth birthday, Jack came home to a silent, empty house; Lucia and Melissa were gone, taking all their things with them. The only things Lucia had left behind were all the presents Jack had bought and wrapped for his daughter, and a note telling him not to look for them because they never wanted to see him again. There was one other thing; divorce papers prepared by one of Torchwood’s tame lawyers, granting Lucia sole custody of their daughter, and denying Jack any visitation rights. He had no choice but to accept the situation and sign the papers, since they stated quite clearly that failure to do so would result in the termination of his employment with Torchwood Three, at which point he would once more become Torchwood’s property, and be handed over to Torchwood One to use as they saw fit.
Locked away in the gleaming new tower Torchwood One was building in London, Jack knew he would never see daylight again, so he signed the papers and handed them over. As long as he had his freedom there was a chance he would one day find Melissa again, or that she would one day come looking for him. That faint hope was all he had left of his family, and he vowed to hold on to it until the bitter end. This was one fight Lucia wasn’t going to win.