Gwen had a quick glance around before she continued her conversation.
"...and the flowers for the aisle and reception rooms are almost ready. The florist just can't seem to get hold of any white roses, 'cos they're not in season in Britain, so we have to get them shipped from Mexico. Just think of my carbon footprint getting them shipped over. Rhys' parents are being an absolute nightmare too! Talk about-"
"Gwen!" shouted Jack. Gwen looked startled and she stared at the owner of the authoritative voice, "Shut up," continued Jack.
Gwen opened her mouth, and then closed it, lost for words. She continued to open and close her mouth, looking like a fish out of water.
Jack walked away, back to his office, while the rest of the team gaped at his retreating back. Ianto, being Ianto, soothed Gwen as she started to get tears in her eyes, then told her he'd sort things with Jack. Ianto looked to Tosh to take over with Gwen before he hurried to Jack's office. Ianto didn't knock. He charged in and quietly pushed the door closed behind him. He stood stock still, legs braced apart, hands on his hips. Jack sat in his chair, back turned away from the office door with his feet crossed at the ankles, resting on a nearby table.
Ianto took a deep breath and started to speak.
"What was that about?"
Ianto waited for a response.
"As I'm the boss I'm allowed to say whatever I like to whomever I like in this building."
"It had nothing to do with work, Jack. She didn't deserve to be treated like that!" said Ianto sternly.
"It's none of your business or concern," replied Jack tightly.
"The hell it isn't," raged Ianto, taking a step closer to the desk, "she's almost in tears. You've hurt her and I want you to fix it."
"Hadn't you had enough of her blathering on about 'the wedding' this, and 'flowers' that?"
"She's excited to celebrate the first time she pledges her love for someone in public. She's entitled to talk about it. This wouldn't normally bother you. What's your problem?" stated Ianto sourly.
Again silence. After several minutes the air was filled with quiet but distinctive sounds of snuffles and deep breathing.
"I knew a girl like her once. Long brown hair, beautiful eyes, she cared about everyone and anyone. She chatted happily about her wedding; the flowers, wedding carriage, bridesmaids, her wedding night."
Ianto's eyebrows raised quirkily.
"All the organisation, the joy in her eyes as she talked about the preparations. She had a perfect wedding day in the end. She looked beautiful, so elegant in her white flowing dress. She could have been an angel."
Jack paused to take a breath, unconsciously wiping the tears that rolled down his cheeks.
"The wedding went as planned, and it was a beautiful ceremony...She died on her way to her honeymoon. A week in France. The carriage she was being driven in had a damaged axel which the groom of the carriage hadn't noticed. On a particularly bad road a boulder caught on the axel, splitting it in two. The carriage was pulled off the road by the carriage horses, into a ditch. She hit her head, knocking her unconscious while part of the wheel from the broken axel fell through the carriage window, impaling itself through her shoulder."
When her husband woke, he was covered in her blood. While he was...unconscious, she had died from shock and blood loss."
Jack was openly crying now. Ianto had never expected this when he had followed Jack. Jack had voluntarily given Ianto personal information, opened himself up about someone he knew in his past. Clearly Jack hadn't gotten over what had happened to his friend, which sounded like it had happened some time ago.
Ianto moved around the desk where Jack had his elbows resting on his knees, reaching round to pull him into a half hug position, consoling.
Ianto waited until Jack's breathing had slowed, and he wasn't shaking in his arms, then when he was sure Jack had calmed he started to speak.
"I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Jack. I know that you've been around and seen so many people you know, and were close to die. I hope that you were able to help her husband through such a heart retching time."
"It wasn't a friend Ianto. She was my wife, and I loved her very much. Knew that i would lose her some day, but didn't realise that every moment we spent together should have been more precious. I should have done something. I should have checked the wheels of the carriage...I should have been the one to die.
"Her hopes and dreams of being a good wife, raising a family, were destroyed so quickly. I haven't been to a wedding since, as a groom nor a guest. I just can't bear the flashbacks."
Ianto was taken aback by the fact that Jack used to be married. How could you survive such a devastating tragedy. Well they had both suffered with losses, in much the same way, and they both felt guilty. Ianto felt this is was a cornerstone to cementing their relationship. Ianto silently vowed that he would help Jack sort through this, if he was allowed, but first he needed to get back to the matter at hand.
"I'm so sorry Jack. I realise this is hard. You love Gwen and she's about to get married. But this is supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life, and she if she wants to share them with us, all the preparation and frustration of organising her special day, then you have to let her. You should be happy for her. Don't you think you should let Gwen have the same? Nothing can go wrong. We're here, she's an ex-police and Torchwood operative. We'll protect her so that nothing can happen to her running up to or during her wedding day. But you can't just shout at her to keep quiet. You helped me with Lisa's death, and I'd like to do the same for you."
Jack turned his body towards Ianto's, his head against Ianto's shoulder.
"You can't make me attend the wedding."
"I wouldn't try. But what I will do is make sure that I'm here. If you want to talk, if I need to tell Gwen, diplomatically, to turn her volume down, I will!"
Jack raised his eyes and pulled away slightly, and for the first time since Ianto had entered the office he looked into Ianto's eyes and spoke to him, rather than at the floor.
"I didn't do anything, but you're welcome. You need to tell Gwen you're happy for her, and you're sorry."
"Do I have to do it now?"
"Take a minute. Wash your face, drink your coffee. Then we'll go out together. You don't need to tell her what you just told me, but you need to sound sincere."