Title: Too Little, Too Late
Characters: Jack, mentions Tosh
Spoilers: Fragments, Exit Wounds.
Summary: Tosh is gone and all Jack can feel is regret for what should have been.
Word Count: 389
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
He’d rescued her from a cold, bare cell in a UNIT prison, thinking only of what a great asset she’d be for Torchwood Three. Such a brilliant mind shouldn’t be left to rot in solitary; it would be a waste.
“Give me five years,” he’d told her, “I'll get them to wipe your record clean,” and she’d agreed, of course she had. Anything would have been better than the life sentence she’d been handed.
Five years and she would have been free to make her own choices, to stay with Torchwood or to start over somewhere, anywhere, else. She’d almost made it too, would have made it if not for Grey’s vendetta against him.
Would have, could have, should have… none of that made any difference now. Toshiko, his wonderful, brilliant Toshiko, was gone. Policy dictated that her body must be kept in Torchwood’s morgue, stored in a drawer, cryogenically frozen forever, but he couldn’t do it; Tosh deserved better. The freedom she hadn’t lived long enough to enjoy he could at least grant her in death. It was the only thing he could do for her now.
Standing by Tosh’s grave after the brief and simple funeral, Jack stared down at the small mound of freshly turned earth that marked where she lay. All too soon it would be covered in grass, an understated, tasteful headstone the only sign that it was someone’s final resting place. She’d died a hero, working to prevent a nuclear meltdown even as she was bleeding to death, and only a handful of people would ever know. It wasn’t fair.
He’d thought he was saving her, but all he’d really done was condemn her to an early death. There was only one thing left to say and it wasn’t enough; nothing ever would be, but he said it anyway.
“I’m sorry, Tosh.”
If he could have, he would have traded places with her, given her the life she deserved and taken her place beneath the ground. What was the point of being immortal if he couldn’t save the people who mattered the most to him?
But he can’t turn back time, can’t undo what’s already happened, can’t change a thing. The worst part is knowing that in the end, all he’ll have left will be regrets, and they’ll be no comfort at all.