"The PTB? What's that," Owen asked as he walked up behind Jack.
Everyone had taken off their gas masks and were looking at the strange man as they waited for his answer. As Whistler opened his mouth to speak, Jack interrupted by taking a step forward; shoving his hands into his pockets with a look of confidence.
"The PTB. An Abbreviation for The Powers That Be. A name for the enigmatic and ancient forces that assist the side of good. Am I close?"
"How," Whistler asked, confused.
"I'm Captain Jack Harkness and if the PTB sent you, they would've informed you of the fact that I'm immortal and have been around for awhile."
Whistler's face formed into a small grin at Jack's words, leaning forward onto the railing and clasping his hands together.
"And if you knew the PTB, you'd know how cryptic they can be."
Jack couldn't help the smile that crossed his face and nodded his head once.
"Touché," Jack replied. "So, are you going to tell us what you're doing here?"
"Like I said, I was sent by the PTB and I'm here to give you a message," Whistler answered, his face turning into a frown.
Jack noticed the change in his expression and crossed his arms in front of his chest, "why do I have a feeling I'm not going to like this."
"The news isn't good, I'm not going to soften this by telling you it is."
"Then stop procrastinating and tell us."
"There's nothing you can do for her. Her body is being taken over by a pure demon known as an Old One. You were never meant to receive the sarcophagus."
"If that's true, then why did it have our name on it," Tosh asked as she walked up behind Jack; brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Apparently someone had other plans," Whistler replied as he walked down to their level.
He walked over to where Gwen was lying and took off his hat, sadness covering his features as he stared down at the young woman dying before him. He hated being a messenger for The Powers, knowing for a fact there was no hope.
"Now wait just a second. Did you say demon," Owen asked once the realization dawned on him.
"What? You deal with aliens everyday, why is a demon such a hard concept?"
Owen opened and closed his mouth as he tried to find an answer but failed at doing so. Jack looked away from Owen to look back at Whistler, the answer he was given was not what he wanted to hear and was determined to find a different solution other than to watch Gwen fade away.
"There has to be some way to save her," Jack spoke. "We have alien technology. There's got to be something that'll help."
"Jack, you're not seriously thinking that," Tosh looked at her boss with a shocked expression.
"Do we have a choice, Tosh? This is Gwen and I'm not just going to sit around and watch her die!!"
"Jack," Gwen whispered and Jack turned to see her extending a hand to him.
Slowly walking to her, her grabbed her hand in his, noticing the moistness of her skin. Sitting down beside her, he returned the smile sent his way. Even during a time like this she kept a positive outlook.
"I'm dying, Jack," Gwen said.
"No, there's got to be a way," Jack argued.
Gwen shook her head, knowing what was happening to her was inevitable. Neither one noticed their co-workers slowly retreating back to the autopsy room along with Whistler.
"Jack, I need you to know something. I don't want to die without telling you.""Gwen, honey, you are not going to die."
"Yes, Jack, I am. I'm not denying it. Why are you?"
"I can't lose you. I've felt more alive since I met you and if you die…" Jack trailed off, the pain in his heart becoming too much.
"Jack," Gwen whispered, cupping his face in her hand.
The broken man looked into her eyes and he noticed the acceptance along with her strength. She smiled at him again in an attempt to reassure him but it didn't help; he loved her and he had just recently realized it himself. Before she had gotten sick and he planned on telling her, again before she had gotten sick.
"I… I love you, Jack," Gwen chocked out as a fit of coughs took over.
Jack pulled her into his arms as he tried to comfort her, her coughs becoming worse by the second. He was terrified and there was nothing he could do. He opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Gwen as she released a blood curdling scream.
"THE PAIN, JACK!! IT HURTS!!"
Gwen fell back onto the sofa as she gripped at anything she could get her hands on in an attempt to rid herself of the pain. Her screams got the attention of everybody else and came running; all sharing the same terrified expression.
"Jack, what's happening," Tosh asked as tears fell down her cheeks.
"Is she going to be alright," Owen asked.
"I DON'T KNOW!! I DON'T KNOW!!"
Ianto didn't speak, he just stared at the pair on the sofa, fear gripping his heart at what was happening to Gwen. He knew Gwen's death would be the end of Jack, the pain his Captain would feel could very well be the death of the man and permanently.
Looking over his should at his team, he made a decision to give Gwen privacy and picked her up off the sofa; carrying her to his office and into his sleeping quarters. He would allow his team to say their good-byes, but he didn't want them to see her slowly dying. Not just for Gwen, but for his team as well; the situation was hard on all of them and he wanted to make it as painless as possible.
Lying her sleeping form on the bed he made to leave when her hand grabbed his wrist. Turning around, he saw a pleading expression on her face; knowing she wanted him to stay. Nodding his head, he gently laid down beside her and allowed her to curl up into his chest while his arms wrapped protectively around her small form.
He could feel himself begin to accept the fact she was dying, but that didn't lessen the pain he was feeling. He allowed a few drops of tears to fall from his eyes, but denied any others. He had to be strong for Gwen and the rest of his team, they counted on him for that and he wasn't going to fail them now.