"Bastard John's taken our SUV," Owen cursed as he looKed around for the black range rover.
"Looks like he's driven it back to Torchwood," informed Ianto as he checked his PDA. From the corner of his eye, he looked at Jack who was struggling to get into the leadership mode. The Welshman's heart ached to go to his husband and assure him that everything would be fine but this wasn't the time.
"I'm getting readings of rift activity all over the city. Major rift flares at St Helen's Hospital, the Police Headquarters and the Central IT Server Station," Tosh told them while Gwen attended a phone call from Andy.
"Rhys, drop Owen at the hospital. Tosh, Ianto cover the central server building. Gwen, the police station. Then take me to Torchwood," Jack ordered, getting over the initial shock of seeing Gray after all these years, centuries more like it.
"You think we're all gonna fit in here?" Rhys complained.
"Yeah, we're gonna have to."
"Jack, These are traps."
"So be careful. You know what he's capable of."
"What about you?" Gwen asked.
"I'm gonna go reason with him!"
"He just tried to kill us," Owen reasoned.
"I was the only one who could ever control him. That's why the Time Agency partnered us."
"Did you just say Time Agency? Don't tell me that's based in Cardiff too!" Rhys said, shocked enough by Torchwood to be able to digest the news of a Time Agency.
As they all tried to fit themselves in the car, Ianto lightly squeezed Jack's hand and smiled at him. The Captain couldn't help return the gesture and feel a bit more hopeful than he dared to.
Jack cringed as he entered the hub only to hear I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper by Sarah Brightman playing on high volume. Trust John to have the worst taste in music.
"Come on! Sing along! It's our song!" urged John, grinning maniacally.
"We don't have a song," stressed Jack. "And if we did have a song, it wouldn't be this song," he said wincing slightly as he considered the possibility of the said track being 'their song'.
"You're no fun!" John pouted as he switched off the music.
"I've been here quite a while, what kept you?" John asked as he walked down to Jack.
"We all survived. You know, if you're gonna set an explosion, you need to be more efficient."
"Oh, them, they were just prototypes, had to test out a theory. How are they all, the little team?"
"What do you want, John?"
"I want you to know that I love you."
"Funny way of showing it," Jack commented.
"No, seriously. You have to understand," John said, turning away from his former lover, to pick up the guns, glad that Jack couldn't see the pained expression on his face. Now he knew that Jack couldn't die but it still hurt to be a cause of pain for the 51st century man. "I really do love you." John swung around shooting the hell out of Jack with his machine guns."Because this... is gonna get nasty."
Blinking away the tears from his eyes, John put his arms around Jack, kissing the immortal's shoulder before hauling him up.
"This building houses servers for the military, police, NHS, even looks after the server systems for the nuclear station at Turnmill," Tosh commented as she and Ianto looked around in the building.
"What problem did they report?"
"Ghosts in these server stacks."
Ianto nodded, wondering how Jack was. He knew that in the end, the Captain would be fine but he hated the fact that if the immortal died, he would have to come back to life alone.
John looked wistfully at Jack, all chained up, hanging on the wall. Jack woke up with a gasp and panicked, initially due to the absence of his husband and then due to his present state of restricted immobility. On hearing the immortal scream, John left what he was doing and came to stand in front of Jack.
"Comms and weapons have been removed, in case you're wondering, so no chance of rescue," he informed the Torchwood leader.
"This is a little extreme, don't you think?"
"Oh, what, suddenly you're anti bondage?" asked John, seductively, as he placed a hand very close to, yet not touching, his crotch.
"Why are you here?" Jack growled, unamused.
"Well, see... Now you're interested in me. It's always the same, nobody cares until you tie them up. Number of reasons, actually. First of all, you were very rude to me." John resumed his work, hoping that Jack won't be able to see through his lies. Wouldn't be difficult, he never did.
"Very rude indeed. In front of people who barely knew me. You belittled me. Can't let that go."
"You're serious?" Jack asked incredulously.
"Second - you have all of time. Eternity, essentially. And you still refused to spend time with me. After all we've been through together, after all I've done for you," John continued, priding himself on his acting skills.
"Where's Gray? What've you done with my brother?"
"You don't realise. Actions, ramifications, ripples in the pond. It's beyond my control."
"Beyond your control? Please!" Jack didn't understand why John was doing all this. Sure he'd been a bit possessive when they were together but he'd never done anything like this earlier. Their paths had crossed in the past, John being the one Jack talked to before leaving the Time Agency. John had even met quite a many of Jack's other lovers but he'd never shown any will to 'take Jack away'. In fact, more often than not, they ended up having brilliant sex between the three of them. Even the aggressiveness was far much more pronounced than ever in the past. John had always been a good friend for him, he wondered where they had gone wrong. Jack was so engrossed in his thoughts, that John's sudden answer seemed to come from very far away.
"It is. You need to understand that. So, localise the rift storms, a few short sharp shocks..."
"Don't touch those controls!" Jack ordered.
"Oi, I'm working here!" John exclaimed. His fingers pressed the buttons on his wrist strap while his heart turned inside on seeing the other Captain writhe in pain due to the electric shocks. "If you don't want that again, keep quiet."
John dragged the semi-conscious Jack upto the roof, giving him a picture perfect view of the Cardiff city.
"What the hell are we doing here?" asked Jack.
"This is a good view." Jack wriggled again, receiving the electric shocks again. "I told you, no struggling," ordered.
"I can make things right with you," Jack pleaded. If getting back with John could save the city and his team, if it could save Ianto, then Jack would do it blindly.
"You don't understand. You can't ever make this right." No, you can't, Jack, you can't. "Attention... Torchwood employees!" he called out into the comms. "Evening all! Now, stop what you're doing."
"Jack, what's going on, are you OK?" Ianto called out, his worry clear in his voice.
"Eye Candy! Love to hear that voice again! Sorry, but Jack can't come to the comms right now. But if you leave a message, I'll be sure and pass it along."
"What've you done to him?"
"No, no, wrong question. You should be asking, what am I about to do to you?"
"Put Jack on right now!" ordered Ianto. Presently, all he could think of was his husband's well being.
"Oh Eye Candy, that was so masterful, so bossy, so basically powerless. Get up to the roofs of your buildings. Quickly now, spit spot." Ianto, Tosh, Owen and Gwen rushed off to the respective roofs as fast as they could.
"Why?" asked Owen, furiously.
"'Cause if you don't, you'll miss all the fun. Hold on a minute, do I mean fun or do I mean carnage? I get them confused. Are you running yet? No dawdling now!"
"What're you doing John?" asked Jack.
"I'm sorry," John said, truthfully. "Now...Cardiff! Isn't it pretty? Doesn't it twinkle so? Take a good look. Remember this... because it all goes so quick."
As soon as John stopped speaking, the entire city was filled swith explosions, all timed closely.
"You've destroyed the city," Jack cried out.
"Jack, hold me," John pleaded, unable to see the sadness on Jack's face but also remembering his purpose. He went upto his former lover and hugged him. "It's OK. It's all gonna be OK."
"Stop! Get off me!" Jack cried but couldn't do anything as they disappeared into nothingness.
"Jack? Jack? Jack, can you hear me? Are you there? Jack!" Ianto called out, all in vain.
" I'm detecting tracking a huge rift flare over at the castle. It's been generated by the rift manipulator at Torchwood," informed Toshiko.
"Gwen, Owen...are you, er, are you OK?"
"Good, Ok, Tosh, do we have the scale of the damage on the city?" asked Iantgo, immediately stepping into his lover's shoes.
"Fifteen major explosions, at strategic points across the city. There's currently a surge in traffic 'trying to leave the city but the explosions have cut off' all major routes in and out. Landlines, mobile phones and IT networks all down, TV and radio off air. He's completely crippled us. "
"Not wanting to be the harbinger of doom but the systems which serve the Turnmill nuclear plant have all gone off-line," Ianto added. "Tosh and I will try to stabilise the nuclear power station. Owen, what's it like at the hospital?"
"Lost all power. The backup generators gave out in the blast. Every single machine in this hospital is down. It's a disaster."
"OK, all of you, listen to me. We're gunna fix this, We're gunna put this city back together, we're gunna find Jack and we're gunna punish John. Now, I need you to be careful. OK?" Ianto told them, determination filling his voice. He knew what Jack would have done in such a situation and that's exactly what Ianto would do now. "Where are you, Jack? Where are you?" he muttered, hoping that wherever he was, Jack would be fine. Yes, of course he would, he's Jack, he will always be fine, Ianto tried to convince himself.
"We're safe. Now, before you do anything rash, you have to hear..." John started to explain as he and Jack ended up in a forested land but the other man was having none of it. Now free from his constraints, Jack punched John in the face.
"Take us back now! " he growled.
"No way. We have to be this far to escape the trigger signal!"
"Look at it! Go on. It's bonded to my skin. I can't get it off. Open it," John requested as he offered his right hand, showing his wrist strap.
"Whoa!" Jack exclaimed, obviously surprised to find an explosive device attached to the agency strap.
"Ninth generation detonator."
"You're a walking bomb!" Jack commented, walking away from him.
"Add to that a surveillance circuit, to monitor my every word and action, and he has me doing anything I'm told. Cos if I don't... boom! I'm not my own man. I thought you'd see that. But oh, No, you're so self-obsessed you thought I'd want to blow up your stupid city!" John babbled, expressing out all his fury and pain. "When I could be experiencing 17 simultaneous pleasures in the Lotus Nebula!" Suddenly, he saw him behind Jack."Uh-oh... just run."
"Oh, please, that is the oldest trick in the book."
"Jack?" Gray's voice took out all the amusement from Jack's face. All that was left was a sincere apology and pure affection for his younger brother. "Gray?"
"I never stopped believing. I always knew we'd find each other again," Gray said as he hugged Jack.
"Sorry's not good enough," replied his brother before stabbing him. "Get a shovel," he ordered John.
At the Central Server Station, Ianto and Tosh tried their best to fix the servers.
"We need to re-start the Turnmill servers," Tosh told Ianto.
"What if you can't?"
"Then the reactor goes into meltdown."
"Then I'm going up there," he said firmly.
"What? Ianto!" Tosh knew she couldn't let Ianto do this, even if it were their only hope. No, she couldn't just let her friend walk into Death's arms.
"Look, if we can't fix the remote servers, there must be something I can do on-site to prevent nuclear meltdown," Ianto insisted. He knew that this ws the only way to save the city, and hopefully Jack.
"That could be suicide."
"Are we gonna discuss it, or are we gonna do it?"
"OK, but we both go."
John fixed the handcuffs around Jack's wrists, his mind racing to find some other way; he had to help Jack, no matter what. But as he looked at his former lover's face, he saw no fear or anger but only guilt and penance.
"I looked for you. I searched for you for years. You were my first thought, every day," Jack said to Gray.
"What are you expecting, mm? A loving reunion? Absolution? Me to say, 'It's OK, brother, I forgive you.'" Gray said spitefully. "Those creatures, they lived to torture. They kept us just on the verge of life. I'd lie there, hemmed in by corpses, praying to become one. Because you... let go... of my hand, remember?"
"If I could swap with you, I would," Jack replied truthfully.
"I believed you'd come, but you never did. How long before you gave up, hm? Months? Years? Decades?"
"What do you want from me?"
"I want you to suffer. I want your life," Gray answered. "This is Cardiff. 27AD. The city will be built here, over the next 2,000 years. Your grave will be the city's foundations. Your blessing of life becomes a curse. Each time you revive, with a throatful of earth, each time it chokes you afresh, and you thrash on the edge of death, you think of me."
That was the maximum John could take. What the hell! He's his brother! "All right, calling a halt now I can't let you do this," he said walking towards Gray. But the man in question paid no attention, he just pushed Jack into the empty grave.
"Fill the grave," Gray ordered.
"Then the detonator on your arm gets activated."
John glanced at Jack and started to say no when Jack suddenly nodded to him. No, he thinks this is his punishment? His penance? John smiled half a smile as an idea struck him. He took off his ring and kissed it before tossing it into Jack's grave.
"What's that?" Gray asked.
"It's, er, sentimental value," answered John, half truthfully. It was the ring Jack had bought him just before the Time Loop ended. Turning away, John closed his eyes and took a deep breath before picking up the shovel.
Having received Toshiko's information about the Rift spike at the Hub, Gwen went inside, her gun ready in her hand.
"You took your time," John commented as he came to stand behind her.
"On your knees!" ordered the Torchwood employee as he aimed at John.
"Honestly, it's just sex, sex, sex with you people!"
"Now!" Gwen shouted ad John complied, his manner casual."Hands behind your head! I'm gonna need a really good reason not to shoot you within the next 20 seconds."
"I know where Jack is."
"He's buried alive, somewhere beneath this city. I came back to help you."
John explained the entire situation to Gwen and started to try tracing the ring using his wrist strap. However, he received no signal at all. Frantic by now, John tried again and again to get a signal to be able to know where Jack was. God! Why can't you ever be easy to find, Jimmy? First, when I wanted to find the Diamond, I had to spend months looking for you. And when I meet you what do I fin? You've changed your name and everything; though I admit Jack's better than Jim; and you're living here of all places? On Earth? But then you always had strange likings, didn't you? John smirked in his thoughts. Bu don't do this now Jim, please; it's hard enough for me, why are you making it harder? Let me find you, please, give me some sign.
"Stay there," Ianto whispered to Tosh as he glanced out onto the street full of weevils. He tapped his comms. "Owen, Gwen, can you hear me? The streets are flooded with weevils, they came out of nowhere. There's no chance we'll get to the nuclear power station in time."
"Manual life support, get them round the hospital. Ianto, leave it to me. I can get there," Owen answered.
"King of the Weevils, remember?"
"I am telling you I have run every scan possible, there is no signal traceable," Gwen told John.
"Then try it again, it's got to be there. Oi, I'm talking to you. You know you've got a real pest problem around here," commented John, still trying to catch a signal. The weevils were too close to the two when Ianto and Toshiko came in and shot them away. On seeing John, Ianto immediately strode to him and pointed a gun at the ex-Time Agent.
"Where's Jack?" he growled but Gwen pushed him away in time to save John.
"Don't start, I'll make things right, Eye Candy."
"Then start by getting those Weevils down the vaults before they recover. It takes more than a bullet to stop them," Tosh ordered as she took over the computers and started working.
"You did what? " Ianto exclaimed as John narrated his story.
"I didn't have a choice!"
"There's always a choice," Ianto said as he set the weevil in the cell. "If we don't find him, I'll kill you. Very slowly."
Suddenly, the doors of the vaults closed locking the three of them in.
"Whoa! What's happening? Tosh? Tosh! Ianto, my comms are dead," Gwen informed frantically.
"I let you go. I gave you one trip, you could have gone anywhere," said Gray as he appeared in front of John's cell.
"Question of honour." And love.
"Gray? You're Gray, right? There's no need for this, we can help you. Just tell us where Jack is," Gwen reasoned in vain.
"His life's mine now," came the reply as Gray walked over to Ianto's cell.
"Where's Jack? What've you done with him? What've you done with him?" cried Ianto as Gray just smiled his smile; the smile of a maniac.
" Tosh, you're going to have to help me out here, I haven't got a bloody clue what I'm doing," Owen said to the Torchwood genius through his comms.
"OK, I don't want you to panic, but the reactor's already hit the critical point."
"You're telling me it's going into meltdown, aren't you? And I'm at the eye of the storm."
"Right, can you fix it?" the medic asked as he paced around, trying 'not to panic'.
"Of course I can, I'm brilliant!"
"I'm gonna try and divert power from the auxiliary source back to Turnmill. If that works, I can talk you through restoring the coolant system. Right. Now..." she said looking into her Blue Glow box as the team called it informally. She didn't register a foreign presence in the area until the bullet pierced through her stomach.
"Tosh!" Owen cried as he received no answer. "Tosh! Can you hear me, are you there?"
"I've heard people say death is such a waste. I imagine it more as a relief," Gray muttered, pulling away the wires from the systems.
"Tosh! Can you hear me? Tosh!"
Ignoring Gray and the muffled thuds that she could hear now, Tosh crawled to her gadgets; she still had to help Owen, if the plant went into meltdown –
She stopped herself from thinking that way and focused on Owen's voice calling out to her.
Gray followed the thudding noise down to the morgue and saw the drawer 003 glowing. On opening the drawer, the 51st century man got the shock of his life.
"I forgive you.," Jack said as he sat up.
"How did you survive?" Jack just laughed in answer and got out.
"Don't you walk away from me. Don't you walk away from me!"
" I've forgiven you, I gave you absolution, now do the same for me!" Jack requested.
"I prayed for death. Those creatures, the things they did to us, because of you, the favourite son, the one who lived, who'll always live. The only strength I have is my hatred for you."
"I didn't know. I didn't realise until it was too late," Jack answered, pain in his eyes.
"I begrudge you everything. I want to rip it all from you, to leave YOU screaming in the dark. I will never absolve you. All of it, it's your fault."
Jack walked over to his younger brother and hugged him. Then with a whisper of apology, he knocked him unconscious.
" Got it!" John said triumphantly, as he finished fiddling with his wrist strap. A loud noise echoed throughout the vaults."Sorry!"
"Turn it down! What have you done? " chided Ianto.
"Recall signal. Time for all the pets to return home."
"Tosh, come on girl," Owen mumbled into his comms. "Here we go. Right, you've done it Tosh, you've got power! Are you OK? "
"Yeah, I'm fine," answered Tosh as he looked for a pain killer.
"Right, what's going on there?"
"Just a... machine malfunction."
" Are you hurt? " asked the medic.
"Who, me? No! I'm fine, 'it's just my arm," Toshiko lied. "I'm sorting out another painkiller," she told him as she stabbed the syringe in her thigh.
"Good. Come on, let's do this together."
"Right… okay… Oh god. Owen..." she cried as she looked at the screen.
"What's the matter?"
"There's no way to stop the meltdown. It's too far gone."
"OK, OK, that is not good, is it? But come on, Tosh, there's got to be something, there's always something. Come on.," Owen encouraged her, not ready to give up so soon.
"The only option is to vent the flow channels internally to the area you're in is the containment building. You'll need to set up a time-delay programme, channel the fuel into that bunker and instigate permanent lockdown. Seal the building and the meltdown will be contained within. And, obviously, remember to get out," she added smiling slightly.
"Yeah, I think I can remember that bit."
"I'll open the system protocol, you just need to enter the timeframe and authorise, Okay?"
"Okay, Tosh. Let's do this thing. And, Tosh, thank you."
"That's what I'm here for." I love you, she added to herself.
Jack strode into the vaults and saw Ianto, John and Gwen locked up. Adjusting a few controls on his wrist strap, he opened up the doors, only to be attacked by Gwen's hug.
"Oh, thank God! " Gwen cried.
"I thought we'd lost you'" Ianto said softly as he walked to his lover.
"Never. Never," Jack told him as he moved away from Gwen and hugged Ianto. The Welshman buried his head into Jack's shoulder, breathing in his smell, convincing himself that Jack was fine. Realizing this, Jack pulled him away slightly and claimed Ianto's lips into a passionate kiss.
It broke John's heart to see the amount of care, passion and love that was obvious in the kiss. You never kissed me like that; you never kissed anyone like that; why, Jack? "Quite a queue for the hugs; and kisses, I might add," he commented, making the two break apart.
"Always has been, always will be. Nice use of the ring," Jack replied as he gave Johna quick hug as well,
"Thank you. Least I could do," John said, a bit surprised at Jack's actions. "Listen, Gray's in the Hub."
"I know. It's done."
"Oh no… Owen, get out of there! There's a power surge in the system! When that hits, it'll trigger an emergency lockdown!" Toshiko said, frantically.
Owen started to run towards the door but was a moment too late. "NO! NO! Tosh! Toshiko! I can't get out! Not like this. NOT LIKE THIS! I'm not going yet. Get me out of here, Tosh! Get me out of here! I've died once, I'm not doing it again! Where's Jack? Where's Gwen, Ianto, John? You want to watch the dead man die again?"
"Owen, just stay calm," Tosh pleaded.
"Oh Why should I do that? Where's the fun in that? I'm gonna rage my way to oblivion. "
"Why? Give me one good bloody reason why - one good reason why I shouldn't keep screaming."
"Because you're breaking my heart," sobbed Toshiko.
"I'm sorry," Owen said as he stopped screaming.
"It's my fault."
"No, no, no, it isn't. No, it isn't. Don't you dare go there, Tosh. I'm really sorry," Owe told her. No, she did her best, it wasn't her fault at all.
"You guys okay?" Jack asked the three of them.
"Yeah, just a bit shaken," Ianto replied, glad for Jack's arm around his waist.
"You could improve the comfort level of your cells for the next time," John commented, trying to ignore how Jack and Ianto had arms around each other, reassuring each other; how Jack looked truly happy with Ianto. He was never yours to begin with, why feel this way then, he urged himself but then, don't they say 'Love is blind'.
"I should've been able to stop it," Tosh mumbled.
"Oh, come on, Tosh. There's no way you could've anticipated that power spike, come on. Besides, you've saved my back so many times in the past. Right from the moment I joined."
"Your second week I had to cover for you, pretend I was a medic, 'cause you were hung over and unreachable."
"What was it, Space Pig?"
" Space Pig."
"Yeah," Owen smiled fondly as he remembered that time. "We never did get that date, did we, you and me? We sort of, er, missed each other. It was my fault. I just…. I was scared… you were far more special than anyone… I didn't think I could take it if I…" The words 'lost you' were lost in his throat. "I… I love you, Tosh"
"Toshiko? Toshiko! Ianto, I NEED YOUR HELP DOWN HERE! TOSH… SHE'S…" he couldn't find the strength to say more. "Okay?" he softly asked the injured girl. Gwen took out a syringe from the tray, trying to help Tosh while Ianto looked at the screen.
"The nuclear plant at Turnmill. Owen's there," the Welshman said softly.
"Sealed in. Re-routed the blast," she informed them. Then looking at Jack, she said softly, "I couldn't save him."
Tosh looked at Jack. The Captain smiled genuinely and she returned the smile. "Thank you," she whispered before going slack in his arms.
As John walked down the steps of the autopsy bay, he saw Jack bent over the drwer where Gray was laid.
"My whole life I was looking for him. Now I have to lose him all over again," Jack said.
"You cryo-freeze him and then what? Wake him up in a 100 years and he's miraculously better? Because that's not gonna happen. Maybe killing him would be the release he needs, Jack"
"There has been enough death," Jack told him, putting an end to any conversation about his brother.
"You didn't struggle... when I buried you. Like...you were allowing it."
"It was my penance."
"It's not your fault," John told him softly, stepping closer to his ex-lover.
Jack looked at John for a moment but said nothing. Then, suddenly, he looked away, closing the cryo-chamber and standing up straight.
"Need help with those rift predictions?"
"Lot of this planet I haven't seen. You like it so much, thought I might take a look. Maybe see you around," John said as he placed a small kiss on Jack's cheek. "I'm sorry for your losses."
A/N: So, that was Exit Wounds, the last episode from the series. I haven't done episode 7 and 8 as I didn't find anything much that could be done there. So, this is the end of Season 2 Take 2. Also, I omitted the last part where they finally log-out Owen and Tosh because I just couldn't find the strength to, it was hard enough writing the previous scenes.
As for any more rewrites, I was thinking of doing one for Day 4 from CoE since the first two are good enough on their own( except for that 'couple' thing) and there's not much to do in Day 3. Also, though I don't know when I'll be doing this but the Day 4 rewrite will definitely be a fix-it. Writing Tosh and Owen's deaths is hard enough, I'm not gonna try doing Ianto's as well.
Any suggestions and concrit are higly appreciated. Please review.