"I love Lisa. Can't you understand that? Haven't you ever loved anyone, Jack?"

Ianto could have killed them all, but Jack still forgave him. Ianto still loved Jack.

"I love you, Rhys."

And yet she still kissed Jack.

"Dianne, I think... I think I love you."


"Tommy. Be my Knight in shining armor."

-it didn't stop them loving each other.

Jack sat in his office, quiet and contemplating as he unlocked the box before him. Inside was all he had left; memories, just memories, and nothing more. After everything he'd gone through with them, he was all that was left.

It had been Owen first, and then Toshiko left too for that place of peace and happiness that Jack could barely even dream of.

And then Jack himself had died a few hundred times before Rhys decided yet again that he would 'save his fiancé'; he'd gone along for the ride, the same as before, only this time, when he took the bullet that was meant for Gwen, there was no one to save him. He died then, Jack could remember, he died then in the arms of his wife - in the arms of his wife, pregnant with his first son.

Gwen had gone mad with the grief. It was strange, Jack couldn't help but think, it was strange that she had really loved him, because the Captain could have sworn that she had only settled for second best. Because Jack had promised that he would never love again; not after Estelle. He had promised.

The widow had stopped showing up for work. Her baby was a still-born, and mere hours afterwards, Gwen herself died. Convinced that there was no other point in her life, she had taken her gun; she placed it against her forehead; she said those words and she pulled the trigger.

Ever the worried boss, Jack had gone to check up on her.

Gwen Cooper lived in the morgue now, never to come out.

Ianto hadn't died, though. But he'd left Jack. After all of the death, and the destruction, he had handed in his resignation, taking a bottle of retcon tablets with him.

Seven years later, the Captain still hadn't tracked him down.

He could only imagine that out there, somewhere, Ianto Jones was living his dream as the proud owner of a cafe; a quiet life was all he'd ever wanted. With no memories of the sadness.

But Jack wouldn't forget. He couldn't.

As he looked down at his tattered memories, he wondered vaguely if he could beat the curse by taking his own life. He picked up his revolver and pressed it gently against his temple before pulling the trigger.

Jack opened his eyes an hour later, gasping for air. As he glanced around wildly, everything came back to him. Hell, he could see the dried blood in his hair; he could see where it had run down his chin, and he could see the splatters where it had landed in his box. His precious box.

He picked up the now deep red stopwatch and looked at it, tears coming to his eyes.

"One day, I'll have the chance to save you. And I'll watch you suffer and die."

He only wished that Ianto was still around to do what he had promised.