Characters: Jack, mentions the Doctor and Rose.
Spoilers: Fragments, Doctor Who Parting Of The Ways.
Summary: Jack studies himself in the mirror hoping to see something he knows he never will.
Word Count: 536
Written For: rosefox’s prompt ‘Any, any, a new take on the old chestnut of the character examining their appearance in the mirror,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack stared into the mirror, studying his appearance; he looked perfect, as always. Perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect teeth in a perfect smile… He knew it was perfect because he’d spent years practising it in front of a mirror not unlike this one.
He didn’t understand why he even bothered looking in a mirror anymore, because he always looked exactly the same, not even so much as a hint of grey in his hair or a single wrinkle on his flawless face. This was how he looked, and he was never going to change; he didn’t think he’d aged a day since he became immortal, not in the century and a half he’d lived on earth, not even in the almost two thousand years he’d spent buried alive beneath Cardiff. He was exactly what the Doctor accused him of being; a fixed point, completely and utterly wrong.
The only part of him that didn’t match his youthful appearance was his eyes. They told the tale his body couldn’t, if anyone bothered to look that far, but few did, seeing only the handsome, devil may care mask he hid behind. It was a tale of suffering and pain from countless deaths and resurrections, and of grief and loss from watching everyone he cared about wither away and die while he had no choice but to continue on, alone.
The loneliness was the worst part of living forever, because he knew that no matter how many times he met someone, fell in love, welcomed them into his heart, it would ultimately end the same way it always did, with their death and his grief, and an empty place in his life where his love had once been. How many times could his heart be broken and still heal? How many times could he pick himself up and start again? He wasn’t at all sure he wanted to know.
Straightening the collar of his shirt, he turned away from the mirror, vowing as he did every time that he wouldn’t look in it again, but he knew it was a lie. Tomorrow, or next week, or next month, the temptation would grow too great and he’d give in again, staring at his face in the glass, hoping to see crow’s feet around his eyes, a strand of silver in his hair, and yet knowing that all he’d ever see was the same face he always saw, unaltered, only his eyes reflecting the hopelessness he felt inside.
He’d be that way until the end of time, and there was nothing anyone could do to change his fate. He was doomed to live for eternity, all because a young woman wielding a power she couldn’t possibly understand or control made an innocent mistake and wished him back from death without specifying how long for. He couldn’t even hate Rose for it because she’d done it out of love, but he’d give anything to undo what she did to him.
Being immortal wasn’t a gift; it was a curse. All Jack wanted was to be able to grow old and die, just like everyone else, and it tore him apart inside to know that was the one thing he could never do.