Title: Hope in hell?
Beta: josephine_myles (Thank you so much!)
Character(s): Jack and Kinnaa (my OG)
Summary: An ansty post-Coe story with a twist.
Disclaimer: I´m taking the liberty to play in the world of Torchwood even though it belongs to RTD and BBC
I love to get some comments so please drop me a line or two. Hope you will enjoy it.
Hope in hell?
You wake up. You stare at the ceiling. Another day in paradise? Hardly! Another sleazy hotel room. You’ve lost count of all days and all hotels. It doesn’t matter.
When you where a mortal man you had a natural survival instinct. Everyone has it. It’s a reflex. An unconscious and sometimes unreasonable will to live on. Now it’s all different. You only have the memories of that feeling left. The fight to stay alive has completely left you now. The immortality that once was a gift has become the worst possible nightmare for you. You’ve tried to kill yourself so many times. Hoping in vain that there will be an ending for you. But of course there never is.
None of the people that know you know where you are. It’s for the best. You’ve hurt them all in one way or another. You think of Alice. You stole her only son. You think of Steven, Ianto, Tosh and Owen. You stole their lives. Their futures. The universe is better off not having you meddling in to things. So you stay here. The name of this planet doesn’t matter. It’s similar enough to earth so you can blend in. Their language wasn’t hard to learn either.
You drag yourself out of bed. You take a shower. In the mirror you notice that you’ve lost weight. You haven’t had much appetite for food. You used to consider yourself to be a handsome man. Now you think you look like some maudlin version of a Ken doll. You are a soulless shell of a man. Joyless dead eyes.
You sleep past noon and spend your days in bed watching mindless soaps on TV. You go out every night and drink yourself mindless. You pick up rent boys in the street and shag them violently in the dark alleyways. Then you go back to your hotel and do it all again the next day.
It’s evening now. You get dressed. You fix your hair. You leave your room. When you reach the street you take a deep breath. The air hums with life. The scent of a female passing you by. A vehicle fuelled by the gas they have so much of on this planet. A vendor selling meat on sticks. Down in the subway there is another smell. Metal and moist concrete.
That’s when you see her. She is dressed in black. She is standing close to the tunnel opening. And very close to the edge of the platform. Too close in your opinion. You approach her silently from behind. You grab her arm before she notices you. Just then the train rushes in. She screams and turns around. She is pounding your chest with her fists.
“Why did you do that?” she yells “Why? Why? Why?”
You still have a firm grip of her arm and you drag her away and sit her down at a bench.
“I didn’t want you to get hurt.” you say. She calms down and look at you with sad but confused eyes.
“But why? What´s it to you?” You don’t really know what to say so you just shake your head a little.
“You don’t know anything about me or my life.” she says with a restrained tenseness in her voice. “The world would be better off without me in it. And I don’t have a fighting spirit in me anymore.”
The words that pill out of her mouth feel peculiarly familiar. It could have been your own. You feel you need to say something to her. You search for the right words and then they come.
“I know exactly how you feel. Trust me. I’ve been exactly where you are right now.”
“But you didn’t jump?” she asks. Obviously you can’t tell her the truth. That you certainly have tried. Several times. So what the hell do you say? You stall.
“Wanna go grab a cup of yobee?” You wish you could offer her a cup of Ianto´s coffee but yobee is what they drink here so…
She looks at you for a moment and then nods quietly. On the way you introduce yourself. She tells you her name is Kinnaa. You tell her it’s a lovely name and that you’ve never known anyone called that before.
By the time you’ve sat down and got your yobees you have come up with a plan. You were once a very successful con-man. A convincing liar. You can rely on that now.
“So you think the world would be better off without you in it do you?” she looks down into her cup and nods silently.
“You were absolutely right when you said I didn’t know anything about you or your life. But I can tell you something. I sense you are a smart person, and you have a good heart too, I think. Do you know how many stupid mean people there are in the world? Don’t let them win.”
She looks up.
“But I have no strength left. I can’t take anymore.”
“You have the strength to sip your yobee. To breathe in and out. That is enough for now. Let tomorrow’s worries be tomorrow’s worries.”
You don’t really know where the words are coming from now. But you sense they reach your consciousness from some far off memory. Did someone say those words to you once? You can’t remember.
“Isn’t there one person who would miss you if you weren’t here?” you ask. She thinks about it.
“My mum, I guess.”
“You have a mum. That’s not bad.” You try and smile a little but she isn’t ready.
“My dad died five years ago and she’s already remarried and has a new baby.”
“So you have a little brother or sister.”
“She has her whole life ahead of her. She’s like a blank piece of paper. Don’t you want to splash just a little of your colour on her canvas? You’ll always be her big sister. Dead or alive.” You can see she is considering that. You put your finger under her chin and lift it up so you can meet her eyes. Tears are welling up in them.
“Don’t you think she would be better off knowing you, rather than not. I bet you can teach her all sorts of things. Only when you’re alive can you make things better. When you’re dead you’re dead. End of story. It might feel impossible right now. So go and sleep on it. Take a shower. Eat. Wait. Read. Go for a walk. Watch the red moon go down. And then one day you might be able to start taking baby steps towards something. A goal. Making a difference. But in the meanwhile you concentrate on resting. Gathering strength.”
Those words. You remember them. Who said those words to you? And when? You start to vaguely recall an old man from Boeshane. You were on the run. Your whole family was. Except Gray. You had lost him and your mother and father was grief-stricken. You blamed yourself. You thought the world would be better off without you in it. But then this wise old man sat you down by the campfire. Why had you forgotten that? And what a stroke of coincidence that you should meet this girl and remember those words right now when you yourself needed them the most. You feel something shifting in your spirit. A glimmer of hope. You can do so much better things than stay here and live a life of destructive debauchery. You think of Gwen. She was once like the sister you never had. You miss her. In fact you start missing her so intensely now that a decision is formed right there and then. You’re going back to earth.
“I don’t really know where to start but I guess I can give it a try.” Kinnaa says.
“Good girl! That’s all anyone can expect. And try talking to you mother. I know she has her mind elsewhere at the moment but she is still your mother and I bet she loves you.”
There it is! You made her smile! You made yourself smile as well. A really happy smile too. The first one in ages. It feels fresh and warm. You realise the will to live haven’t left you completely like you’d thought. There is still some left. There is a hope. Even in hell.