Beta: Many thanks again to tardisjournal
Characters: Malcolm Merlyn (Jack Harkness), Gwen Cooper
Word Count: 1.149
Spoilers: Set after the finale of season 1 of "Arrow", spoilers for "Torchwood" including season 4
Summary: How could Malcolm Merlyn survive that last fight with Oliver? Because he’s actually the immortal Jack Harkness. Now Malcolm thinks about the mess that is his life. Memories of the past arise – good and bad ones. This is just a short chapter but it is my favourite.
Notes: Others have done “Malcolm used to be Jack” before and while reading their works I got inspired to try my hand at it
Link to chapter 1
Link to chapter 2
Link to chapter 3
Then something incredible happened. On one day in July, the people of Earth suddenly stopped dying. Soon the press was calling this day "Miracle Day". A lot of scientists tried to find out what exactly had happened and how to reverse it, but Malcolm was the only one who had an idea where to search. Since he had been so busy with other things recently, he had totally forgotten about the money he had long ago sent anonymously. Something must have gone horribly wrong there.
He tried to make contact with the three families, but all attempts led to nothing. They had covered their traces well. Then he was forced to switch back to his old persona of Jack Harkness after the word "Torchwood" started to turn up in CIA searches. Something had to be done to protect his secret but it was not easy. Too many years had gone by since he last had been Jack and it took a while to be comfortable in this role again. And the fact that, in a sick joke of the universe, he had become mortal again, didn't help much.
He contemplated using this one chance to die for the last time, to end his life and just be done with all the struggles, but in the end he couldn't. His work in the Glades was not finished yet, and Ra's al Ghul was counting on him. So Malcolm aka Jack went along and pretended to know nothing about what happened.
He found Gwen and Rhys again in their hideout in Wales. All three of them felt oddly uncomfortable with each other. It had been a long time after all. Luckily, there had not been much time to talk. First that helicopter chasing them down the beach had to be taken care of, and then the police caught them. The CIA kidnapped them and even tried to kill him on the plane back to America. He added arsenic poisoning to his list of least favorite ways to die. Damn, that had hurt, burning through his veins as if it was trying to rip him apart from the inside. He remembered clutching at his heart, gripping the seat and Gwen's hand, anything in a frantic attempt for relief; something to make this stop because if it went on any longer he wouldn't be able to hold back his screams anymore, and he was close, so close to giving in…
Luckily the EDTA Gwen had created, no, macgyvered, while ripping the plane apart had worked in the end. But things went only downhill from there.
Suddenly, there were some new team members: Rex and Esther from the CIA. Just as well, because it gave him a chance to stay a bit in the background, give the lead to Rex. Watching, comparing, waiting for his chance. When they were coming too close to the truth, he led them on some false trails while trying to find out how to set this right without bringing too much attention to himself. While he had given his money to help saving people that had died before their time, even he could see that a planet full of not-dying people was trouble that needed to be fixed.
Finally the journey ended in a pit deep down under Shanghai. And it turned out that he was much more connected to the so-called "Miracle" than he ever had suspected. It hadn't been his money, it was the blood he had lost so long ago after Angelo's betrayal. He had scrubbed this event from his mind and tried not to think about it anymore, but images of how he was held prisoner and had been tortured to death again and again still rose unbidden now that he was staring at this woman who had used his blood to feed the thing she called "The Blessing".
And Malcolm stood right in front of it, feeling it calling for him. Like a magnet it drew him closer, until he looked down into the emptiness.
It was as if he experienced all of his roughly 2,400 years of life at the same time. It didn't hurt but it was overwhelming. Images, faces, names fluttered by, too quickly to consciously recognize anything. Like a movie on very fast-forward. He was feeling at least twenty emotions at the same time. All of his life in the blink of an eye. He also felt being judged. As if someone weighted all the good things he had done against the bad. And he felt confusion coming off the thing, as if it didn't know which side would win.
For a short moment time seemed to stand still. Dimly, he heard Gwen say, "We're so used to these things being extraterrestrial, but this might be the most terrestrial thing of them all." Only when Esther was shot as a last resort to stop them, did he wake from his trance. Time to end it for once and all, even if it meant that Esther would die along with everyone else that already was living dead. Again the fate of the whole world lay in his hands, and he had to decide between the life of one person and the life of millions. It was a burden almost too heavy to bear.
Suddenly he knew what had to be done. "It wants me. Mortal blood. The only one in the whole world. If it gets into the Blessing life switches back. I can make the whole world mortal."
And so he did, with a little help from Rex on the other side of the world in a similar pit under Buenos Aires. Just when Malcolm was about to slice his wrists open with his knife, Gwen stepped in.
"Just one last thing, Jack."
"What is it?"
"You're never gonna be a suicide."
He thanked her silently with a last glance, then turned his back. Her bullet ripped a huge hole into his chest, and he watched his blood fly into the bottomless pit and just hoped they were doing the right thing. All that blood getting sucked out of him hurt, and he screamed out his fear and rage and wished that finally, finally he would find peace.
Then everything went black.
When he awoke again, he was totally confused. Around him the world tumbled in an earthquake; he had to shield himself against stones falling from the ceiling. For a while he just sat there, wondering what had gone wrong this time. He certainly hadn't expected to wake up again. He looked down and saw the hole in his chest closing just like that. He guessed that meant he was immortal again. Peachy.
And then there was Gwen, and she helped him up and to the lift and then they were just running, running away when the whole thing exploded, and he never once looked back.
Link to chapter 5
Also posted at FF.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9694788/4/
Also posted on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/970765/chapters/2027271
My other "Arrow" fanfictions:
"Heart in the right place"
How I met my father
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