Captain Jack opened the cog door to the Hub. He had to step out for a bit and had just returned. Oddly, none of the team was at their desks. He didn't remember giving them an early leave, so he looked around. He heard a faint noise coming from the conference room and walked towards it. Coming closer, he was sure he could hear the sound of laughter. Someone was speaking: "Am I naked in front of millions of viewers?" Jack froze- "What the hell? That's me!" He entered the conference room to find his team huddled around the table watching a video of himself on a very future version of What Not To Wear. He also saw, much to his even greater surprise, John Hart sitting with them, his legs lying across the table. "What the hell, Hart?!" yelled Jack.
Everyone turned around. John lowered his legs from the table and swiveled his chair to face Jack. "Jack," he said. "Glad you could make it."
"What are you doing here?" Jack asked, greatly annoyed. But he turned to face Gwen for the answer.
"He said he had something very important to show us concerning you," Gwen explained.
"I can see that," he said, eyeing his paused image on screen. "How'd you get that?"
"It's funny," said John. "I had planned a quick pop into the year 200100 and I happened upon this on the television. I just had to record it! Came right here to ask you about it. Couldn't stay long there, anyway. Wasn't safe; although, you probably know about that."
"You... didn't have anything to do with it, did you?" asked John, raising an eyebrow in interest.
Jack gave him a harsh look. "What I do is none of your business. I want you out of here. Now."
"Aw, come on," John pouted. "I was just having a little fun. How'd you even end up there, anyway?"
"Yeah, Jack," said Tosh. "It's all harmless. Come on. That was a really funny bit with the 'de-fabricator.'"
Jack still frowned.
"Why don't you tell us about it, Jack?" aske Gwen. "What was it like?"
"I don't want to talk about it," said Jack.
"Whatever," said Owen. "I bet he can't even remember, anyway."
"Remember!" said Jack, his voice quickly rising in tone with each word. "Of course I do! That's the day I became immortal!" He quickly slammed the door and walked away at a brisk pace, leaving the group shocked into silence behind him.
He went to his office and sat at his desk, lowering his head into his hands. "Why does it even bother me?" he thought. "I've come to terms with my predicament, already... Well, I guess if I'm going to blow up like this, then maybe I do still have a few issues to work out." Jack slowly drifted off as memories started to emerge before him- of the Boeshane Peninsula, of his family, of his days in the Time Agency, of Rose, of Martha, of his team.
"Jack," said the Doctor. "Do you want to die?"
Jack suddenly jolted up. "Do I want to die?" he asked, as though the the words were foreign to him. He had told the Doctor that he had gained a new outlook after seeing the human race surviving for so long. Everyone struggles just to keep on going, to be able to remain. And here he was, he actually could. But after living through a whole year of torture and disaster that almost no one will ever remember, he started to see again a fragility to life. What was the gift in being able to live on when everyone you care about can still hurt and die? When time reversed, the first thing he thought about was a second chance with his team. But with all the upcoming future disasters, who knows what will happen; you can't always undo time.
He heard a soft knock at his door. "Come in." Gwen, Ianto, Owen, and Tosh slowly filed inside.
"We sent John Hart away," said Gwen.
"Good," said Jack.
"We're sorry, Jack," she said. "We didn't know."
"It's okay," sighed Jack. "Because you're right, you didn't know."
She was going to say something more, but quickly decided against it. She walked out of the office, followed by Tosh and Owen. But Ianto lingered.
"Jack," he said, approaching his desk to stand next to him.
"Yeah?" said Jack. Ianto was hovering over him now.
"I'm always here." He then bent down to give Jack a passionate kiss on the lips. Jack grabbed Ianto's shoulders, leaning into the kiss. When they broke apart, Ianto quickly left the office, leaving Jack alone again.
Jack thought for a moment. "You may always be here, Ianto, but I can't share everything with you. Everything I've seen haunts me, and I don't need to hurt those I care about with my pain." Suddenly, amid his returning gloom, he flashed on an idea. Jack picked up the phone and dialed. After a few rings, the person picked up. "Hello?" said the voice.
"Hello, Martha Jones."
"Jack!" said Martha happily. "It's so good to hear from you. How are you?"
"I'm fine," said Jack. "I was just wondering if you'd like to visit?"
"You mean Torchwood?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said.
"The Doctor might not like that."
"Screw the Doctor," said Jack.
"I'm sure you've tried," said Martha. Both laughed. "I would love to visit. Let me clear my schedule and I'll give you a call back. Okay?"
"Great," said Jack. "I'll see ya soon."
Jack hung up the phone with a big smile. With this new prospect before him, he stood up and returned to his awaiting team.