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Living Dead

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Owen doesn't sleep anymore, and it's hard to pass the time. He reads a lot more than he used to, and he's on first-name terms with the assistants at Blockbuster. Once he watched films for almost thirty hours straight. He didn't have to stop for anything, not even a piss.

Since it happened, since he died and then got royally buggered by Jack Harkness's good intentions, he's been fascinated by zombies. Small wonder. He's watched everything the Blockbuster assistants call a classic, from Night of the Living Dead to Diary of the Dead, and then all the remakes and parodies and low-budget nasties, and now he's up--or probably down--to straight-to-DVD films he buys online.

At first he tried cheering on the zombies, but it didn't really feel natural. He doesn't shamble or moan or crave the brains of the living. He doesn't crave anything. He's not the monstrous undead, he's just . . . dead. A carcass with a mind rattling around inside.

And he's getting more carcass-like by the day. The world's full of sharp edges and rough surfaces, and no amount of care will keep his body safe. The skin on his fingers is wearing thin from touching things. Decomposition can't be held off forever, either. He can't smell himself, but the others are starting to keep their distance.

Before long he'll look like one of Romero's zombies, however little he feels like one.

There's got to be a way out. Jack would find one, given the right incentive. Maybe he should eat Ianto's brains.

Maybe he should beg for mercy. For finality. Jack's bound to have a vaporizer gun locked away, or something that can break him down irreversibly. Consciousness isn't possible if the neurons are reduced to atoms. Or so he hopes.

He's stuck halfway between life and death, like some poor bastard stranded at the top of a malfunctioning ferris wheel, forever. The only thing he wants is to find his way back to earth.