There was screaming and screeching. Terror. He was yelling, and she died. And I died. They left me there, in the dark, surrounded by the blood, and bodies and horror. He left me, in my crumpled, ruined suit- sitting amongst the ruins of my life.
Everyday the coffee still percolated; my heart still beat. And I was dead. He defended the world against monsters, aliens, and faeries, and for me the world was numb and gray. Nothing. Everything, everyone, everyday was nothing. I was nothing.
Bloody cannibals in Wales. I had been dead, with just my hatred of him- my misery and loss- to keep me warm, burning me. They stole that from me. They replaced my purpose, my only anchor, with fear. Fear of death. I forgot her, and forgot him, and the cold crept in. And then I couldn’t hate him anymore. I was too busy hating myself.
For a while the cold was better than everything before; better than burning or numbness. After a while I realized it was just a new type of awful. Eventually, the pity, and the disgust left their eyes and I realized that neither they, nor myself had actually forgotten her- we had simply ceased to define me by her. With that the cold began to wane.
Killing and sealing her in cold storage for what we all hoped would be the last time nearly broke him, or came as close to breaking him as was even possible. And then I knew. It was so awful to finally understand that the numb and the cold and the burn were never going to truly end. At Torchwood those things would remain, and they would bury me if I let them. They would bury us, or we could use the strength of each other to beat back the cold and the darkness.