Title: Don't Say It's Goodbye
Pairing: Jack/Gwen (fluff-ish). Martha, Torchwood team and implied Jack/Doctor.
Summary: Rhys is dead. -dramatic pause- Gwen goes to Jack for comfort, they end up being best friends and more. Then the Doctor turns up, things change, and Jack decides to leave the team on Christmas Eve/Day. :-(
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or Doctor Who and am rather unfortunately making no money from this.
A/N: First written 06 December 2006. Unbeta'd. Comments are welcome.
It's Christmas Eve.
She should be at home with Rhys, curled up in each other's arms on the sofa watching the news or just talking about how disastrous the turkey's going to be tomorrow. But she's not. And she never will be. Since his death she's barely visited home; it's filled with too many painful memories, and the stain of his innocent blood is stubbornly clinging to the living room carpet. He didn't need to die. At first she blamed Jack; pounding her fists into his chest over and over for hours, telling him it's his entire fault, until eventually she was just left crying in his arms. He didn't complain. He never said a word…just held her.
Jack was her only strength over the last couple of months; she would often spend the night in his living quarters just because she didn't want to face going home. Sometimes he held her while she fell asleep, sometimes they'd stay up late and talk about anything and everything, once or twice they'd shared a brief kiss but neither were willing to take it any further. And that was fine. Jack was her strength, her boss, and her only true friend. And he was leaving her.
One night, Jack told her about the Doctor. Not as much as she'd like to know, but enough. Admittedly, it was a bit hard to accept at first, but after working at Torchwood for a while now, an object that could fly through time and space disguised as a blue police box seemed almost plausible. She noticed how when he talked about the Doctor, he immediately had that look in his eyes. The one of lost love, of loneliness, of rejection…and that brief flash of anger that always seemed to be paired with it.
It was only when the so-called 'TARDIS' landed slap-bang in the middle of Cardiff that she knew what it meant. She remembers the look on Jack's face when they first saw it; shock, happiness…anger. As soon as the handsome alien stepped out of his spaceship, he got a punch right to his jaw line followed by the most passionate kiss she'd ever seen. Jack loved the Doctor, and the Doctor left him. She remembers Owen sniggering behind her, saying that he always knew Jack was gay. Of course, he doesn't know about her and Jack, and she doesn't say anything.
The Doctor and his new companion stay for a couple of days and that's when she notices that Jack's different. At first he's rather cold to the Doctor and even more so to the new companion, but almost overnight it changes. Maybe they shagged or something. She doesn't want to know. But she likes seeing him happy, likes seeing that spark in his eyes which she's only had the privilege of seeing once or twice before and she likes the way that Torchwood's become a lot more light-hearted. She wants them to stay, even if it means she sees Jack less, she doesn't think it would be so bad for them to join. An hour ago Jack called her to his office.
He's leaving. The barstard is leaving her. Jack tells her that he has to go travelling again with the Doctor, that he has to see more, know more. She barely says two words; she doesn't know what to say. What will she do without him? What will Torchwood do without him? She looks up to him, and simply stares into his eyes and he looks back. Neither know what to say.
"Can't I come with you?" She chokes out, tears beginning to form in her eyes.
Jack places his hands on her shoulders, "Gwen, sweetie, someone needs to look after Owen while he's in charge. And, besides, I don't want to risk you getting hurt."
She makes a sound somewhere between a giggle and a sob and looks up at him. "What about you? What if you get hurt? What if they leave you again? Or what if you get stranded somewhere and you can't get back. I mean, you're coming back, right? Please Jack, tell me you're going to come back!" She shouts, tears now streaming down her face unashamedly.
Before she knows what's happening, his soft lips are on hers, calming her as she melts into his embrace and they share a brief kiss. She pulls away gently and takes a deep breath, trying to control her tears and emotions a like as she stares into his eyes once more from his comforting embrace.
"Please tell me you're coming back." She whispers. Before she's even finished her sentence, her eyes are on the floor, not wanting to look into his eyes if it's bad news.
Jack takes a deep breath, and gently lifts her chin with his fingers so he can look at her tear-stained face. "Of course I am Gwen. I'll be back before you know it. And I'll take care of myself, okay? I promise I'll come back for you."
He smiles. And she smiles.
"You can get through this Gwen, I know you can. And the Doctor's played around with my phone, so if you need to talk…just call, okay?"
She sniffles and nods, burying her face into his shoulder, holding on tight.
"The rest of the team are going to kill me for leaving, aren't they?" Jack asks, giving her his trademark chuckle before placing a kiss on her forehead.
The rest of the team didn't take it too badly, considering. A couple of desk objects were thrown, more than a couple naughty words were used (Owen being the main culprit until Jack told him he was left in charge) but somehow he came out alive.
She watches behind her tears, as her best friend walks out of Torchwood for what could be the last time. The bits of colourful tinsel draped over the computers and the small Christmas tree twinkling away in the corner suddenly lost all their cheer, like Jack was part of the circuit.
The team stand in silence, watching the place where their boss left, desperately hoping that he'd come charging through that door with his usual enthusiasm, laughing at them for believing his silly April Fool's Joke.
She vaguely wonders why now; it's going to be Christmas Day in less than thirty minutes. She doesn't know how she's going to get through the next few days sitting on the sofa at home, staring at the place where she lost Rhys – alone. She's being self-centred, of course she is, she's only been Jack's "girlfriend" for a month or two, and if he wants to leave, then it's his choice. But what if he doesn't come back? She didn't even say a proper goodbye.
And it's with this thought that she runs out of the hub, past the late-night carol singers, past the young couples having snowball fights in the street, past the shopping centre, past the statue, round the corner, and…
"JACK!" She screams.
He turns around, only two feet away from the TARDIS, and simply grins at her.
Somehow, while trying to catch her breath, she manages a smile back at him before falling in his arms. She doesn't know how long they simply stood there clinging to each other in the snow. She doesn't think she cares either. He gently strokes her soft hair and she buries her head in the warmth of his chest.
"I'll miss you." She whispers, leaving a quick kiss on the join between his shoulder and neck before letting her head rest on his shoulder once more.
"I know. I promise I'll be back soon. After all, we can't let the power get to Owen's head, can we?" He grins, slowly lettings his arms fall from around her.
She giggles, and turns her head up to the night sky for a moment, watching as the snowflakes fall lazily onto the both of them. She hears a clock tower somewhere in the distance chime…one, two, three…twelve times. It's Christmas Day.
She brings her gaze back to the man in front of her, only to see him smiling back at her. If this is the last time she sees Jack, she wants to make the most of it, and almost subconsciously, she lifts her head up to kiss him. Her arms wrap around his neck and his around her waist, as they stand there at midnight on Christmas Day in the snow, oblivious to the world around them. She doesn't think she's ever shared a more romantic kiss with anyone - it was a goodbye kiss. And they both knew it.
Jack eventually pulled back, wishing her a Merry Christmas against her lips before taking a deep breath and stepping back.
"Goodbye Gwen Cooper, look after yourself." He smiled that beautiful smile and turned towards the TARDIS.
"Goodbye." She whispers, her voice lost in the twists and torments of the falling snow as she watches her love disappear for the last time.