Author's Note: This story is a 'missing scene' from the pilot episode of Torchwood. I know the show is on it's third season now, but I've only seen the first three episodes, so you'll have to forgive me if it's a little out of character. .

Regaining Authority

Jack berated himself for not seeing it sooner as he put the glove and the knife away in a 'not for use' box. The glove had taken over Suzie's will power, and he hadn't seen it until it was too late. After putting the box on a shelf with many other boxes of alien technology that wouldn't be used again, Jack turned and saw Gwen standing behind him staring off into space. She was understandably shell shocked by the whole thing. Jack was a little shell shocked himself. He said, "Come on."

He led her to his desk and motioned for her to sit down. He went to Suzie's desk and pulled out a little bottle of whisky from the top drawer. He picked up the mug that was sitting on the corner of his own desk, wiped off the rim of the mug with his shirtsleeve, and poured Gwen a shot. He handed it to her and said, "Give yourself a minute to take it in. We'll talk when I'm done."

Gwen accepted the mug, wrapped both hands around it as if the cold ceramic were giving her some much needed warmth, and nodded while looking off into the distance. Jack didn't exactly want to leave her like that, but he had more people to worry over then just her.

Jack put the whisky back and headed towards the lift. Before he could reach it, the doors opened. Ianto and Owen were carrying Suzie, and Toshiko was standing beside them looking down at her lifeless friend. Jack motioned them towards the body holding area. Jack opened one of the empty body drawers and pulled the metal shelf out. Owen and Ianto put Suzie's body on the shelf. Jack turned to Toshiko and said, "Any witnesses?"

"Only one. She's taken care of."

Looking down at Suzie, Jack said with sincerity, "I'm sorry."

After a pause he looked up at his team, and said, "This is why we don't take things out of the lab. We never…"

Jack had planned to reiterate what they all knew, that alien technology was dangerous, and that they had to watch each other's backs while testing it. But each and every one of them had broken eye contact and looked away guiltily at his first statement.

Not quite able to believe that each of them had broken the biggest rule they all lived by, Jack asked, "Did you guys know what she was doing?"

Toshiko and Owen quickly shook their heads no, but Ianto stammered out, "I… I didn't see the harm. I thought maybe you'd cleared it."

"I hadn't, and I wouldn't. If you see one of us doing something like that, you need to let the rest of us know!"

Ianto gave a pleading look to Owen and then to Toshiko, not wanting to be the one to have to rat them out, and hoping they would confess. Owen sighed and said, "I've been taking something home as well."

Looking almost relieved Toshiko said, "Me too."

Jack was too shocked to react for a few seconds. Once he did, he clenched his jaw, pulled the sheet over Suzie's head, and pushed the shelf into the drawer before closing the door behind her. Jack turned and looked at both Toshiko and Owen in turn. "Whatever you took better be on my desk in two minutes."

Toshiko practically ran to her desk to do as Jack said. Owen turned away from Jack, rolled his eyes, sighed, and slowly walked to his desk while thinking about how much this was going to put a damper on his love life.

Jack and Ianto regarded each other for a few seconds. Finally Jack said, "Did you know about them too?"

Ianto gave him a slight nod. "They… the items seemed benign enough… except the glove… but I thought…"

Shaking his head in disappointment and regret Jack said, "Go up top, and make sure Gwen stays with you until I'm done."

Happy to be able to skip the dressing down he was sure Jack was about to give Owen and Toshiko, Ianto quickly went to get Gwen.

Gwen was still sitting and staring into her shot of whisky when Ianto came over and said, "Let's go."

"Go? Go where."

Ianto held out a hand and helped her stand up. "Anywhere but here."

Still dazed and a little confused, Gwen followed Ianto to the lift. They were soon in the small upstairs office, and Ianto settled Gwen into a chair. She continued to stare off into space while her mind worked on remembering everything that had happened, and she tried to accept it all again. Ianto moved a few feet away, and turned on the monitor so he could see what was going on downstairs, but didn't turn up the volume.

In the lab, Jack took a few seconds for himself while he leaned against Suzie's drawer. He wished they had the technology to go back in time, so he could have prevented this. He looked out and saw both Owen and Toshiko standing by his desk, and promised himself that he was going to make sure it didn't happen again, even if it meant doing something extreme. He pushed off the wall and walked purposely towards them.

As he made his way to them he said, "I don't know when the two of you decided that my position as unquestioned leader had changed, but let me make it clear to you that it hasn't. I make the rules, and I say none of us, including myself, take anything out of the lab!"

Toshiko winced at the volume, while Owen crossed his arms thinking that Jack was going slightly overboard with this whole thing.

Jack made it to the desk and saw the items that had been taken home. He didn't have to ask who took what, it was obvious, and when he saw what Owen had taken, his anger skyrocketed. Resisting the urge to throttle Owen, Jack turned to Toshiko. He picked up the little metal item she'd taken and said, "I know this seems harmless, but you knew better then to take it out of the lab."

She couldn't disagree. "I'm sorry."

Jack got a piece of paper and wrote something on it. He handed it to her and said, "Write that a hundred times by hand neatly."

Toshiko took the paper and looked at the statement; 'I will not take anything out of the lab without getting prior approval from Jack.'

When Toshiko looked back up, Jack could see the slight blush, and knew she understood that this was punishment. This was not normal, and she was unsure enough about the situation that all she could say was, "Yes Jack."

He handed her the item she'd taken and said, "Put it away where it belongs, and then start writing."

Taking it, Toshiko hurried to do his bidding, feeling like she was twelve and had gotten chastised by one of her teachers. She knew she'd been wrong to do it, and she also knew she would never do it again because she loved her job and had a lot of respect for Jack. Seeing the disappointment in his countenance, was more then enough to make her stop, and having to write the lines would make her feel like she'd done something to make it up to him.

Picking up the little glass vile, Jack held it up for Owen to see and said, "I can not believe that you took this. Did you use it?"

Owen had been too dumbfounded to say anything when Jack had actually given Toshiko lines to write, but if Jack thought he was going to do the same thing to him, he had another thing coming. Owen glared and said, "Of course I used it. What good is taking something if you're not going to use it? Best shag I've had in a long time. Well shags, I guess would be a more appropriate term."

Jack grabbed a fist full of Owen's shirt and yelled, "This is alien pheromones! You can't just mess around with this! It may drive everyone we've tested it on to have sex, but we haven't tested it that much. What if it drove someone to kill you in a fit of jealousy?"

Owen pushed Jack away. "I've tested it plenty. Works wonders. With both men and women by the way."

Jack could tell there was no remorse, and no apology in Owen's statement or demeanor. He just seemed to be angry that he'd been caught. Jack's hand balled into a fist and he had to work on talking himself out of punching Owen. He was about to regretfully tell him he was fired when Owen spoke.

"And if you think you're going to pull some kind of parental rubbish on me like you just did on Tosh, you can shove that idea right up your arse, because I won't write lines for you."

Jack's anger faded at that statement and the thought of firing Owen took a back seat. He looked Owen up and down in a different light then usual. Owen seemed young to him, and not just because Jack had lived so long. Just from knowing Owen at work over the past few years, Jack knew that he acted more like a teenager then an adult half the time. Maybe a 'parental' point of view was just what Owen needed to keep him from doing this again. But when Jack thought about parental types of punishments, he didn't think about writing lines. In his mind, writing lines was more in line with the punishment a teacher or mentor would give. Owen needed something more personal.

Jack grabbed Owen's shirt in his fist again and pulled him up close so that they were face to face. "Parental rubbish huh?"

Owen swallowed convulsively and knew he'd stepped over the line, even if he wasn't about to admit it. "I'm not saying it was right to take it… I just… I think you need to be reasonable. We're adults."

Jack looked over at Toshiko, who was staring at the two of them with surprise and nervousness written on her face.

"I'd agree that Tosh is an adult, but I'm not convinced the same goes for you." With that statement in the air, Jack half sat on the edge of his desk, with his left thigh resting on the desk, and his right foot still on the floor. Jack pulled Owen face down over the desk and subsequently over Jack's thigh. Owen immediately started to struggle and tried to get up. Jack grabbed Owen's right wrist, and pulled his arm up behind his back to make sure he wouldn't be getting up until Jack let him.

Owen yelled, "Have you gone completely mad?"

Jack reached behind him and picked up the ruler that was on his desk, and brought it down on Owen's behind in answer. Owen yelled out, "Aaahh! Jack, you can't do this!"

Jack cracked the ruler down several more times while Owen struggled, yelled, and generally expressed his unhappiness with the situation. After a few seconds of swatting, which seemed more like minutes to Owen, his outcries changed from angry, to pain filled.

Once Jack heard the change he stopped swatting, but held Owen in place. "How many times Owen?"

Trying to catch his breath, and making a valiant effort not to cry at how unfair it all seemed, Owen said, "What?"

"How many times did you use it, and I'll be needing an honest answer. Take all the time you need to think it over and count it up."

Jack's voice had been calm, but Owen wasn't fooled into thinking he wasn't still furious. Not feeling very much like the adult he'd claimed to be, and hating himself for not apologizing right away the way Toshiko had, Owen said, "Listen Jack, I… I'm sorry I took it. It won't happen again, I swear it."

"Oh it better not happen again." After saying that Jack started swatting with each word as he said, "Now. Answer. My. Question. How. Many. Times."

"Oowww! Jack, please stop! It… It was a lot."

Jack stopped swatting and waited. "Count it up."

Owen squirmed and started counting. Jack knew him well enough to know that Owen could come up with the exact number no matter how many times it had been. And Owen knew Jack knew.

While Owen was thinking, Jack looked over at Toshiko. She'd been horrified by the whole thing, and was trying to block it out by writing her lines. Turning back to Owen, Jack reminded him, "Be honest."

Sincerely wishing he was a better liar, and at the same time wishing he hadn't done it as often as he had, Owen whispered, "Twenty eight."

"Twenty eight nights, or twenty eight people."

Frowning at Jack's knack for insight Owen said, "Nights."

"And the number of people?"

Owen rested his forehead on the desk. "Thirty two."

Jack shook his head and said, "Your right. That is a lot. That's thirty two times that things could have gone horribly wrong. Thirty two times you risked not only your own life, but also the lives of the people around you for a quick meaningless screw. Thirty two times you played with other people's emotions for your own enjoyment."

"I'm sorry," Owen said, and was surprised to find he was crying.

"If you're not yet, you're gonna be. You've got thirty two coming to you, and I want you to count them out."

Owen craned his neck around to look at Jack and said, "Jack, have a heart! Thirty two is too much!"

Making eye contact with Owen, Jack took pity on him and set the ruler down. He raised his hand and said, "Count," before he brought it down with a firm swat.

Owen knew he should be glad that Jack wasn't using the ruler anymore, but Jack's hand seemed to hurt just as much. He turned back away and called out, "One."

As Jack continued to swat him, Owen's voice started shaking, and it became harder and harder to call out a clear number as the pain got worse. By the time Jack reached twenty-five, Owen was openly crying, and Jack had to wait a few moments in between each swat to give him a chance to call out a number. After swat number twenty-eight landed, Owen cried out, "Please Jack! Please stop. I'm sorry I took it."

Jack wasn't heartless to Owen's cries, but he'd said thirty two, and that was the number he was sticking with. "Almost done. Count please."

Owen cried for a few seconds and then said, "T.. twenty eight."

Jack swatted him again and waited for the number. Owen didn't beg for it to stop again, knowing it wouldn't happen, and tried to force the numbers out as quickly as he could to get the whole thing over.

After Owen called out "Thirty two," Jack let go of Owen's wrist so he could move freely.

Owen immediately stood and backed a few steps away from Jack, while both his hands flew to his butt to rub. Jack stood up as well and walked to Owen. He put a hand on his shoulder and said, "What's our number one rule?"

"D…Don't take th… things out of the l… lab."

"You're not going to break it again are you?"

Shaking his head no, Owen said, "Never again Jack. I swear." Breaking eye contact and looking at the floor Owen said, "I am sorry too."

Jack put an arm around Owen's shoulders and walked him towards the little bunk his team sometimes used if one of them was working late into the night and didn't have time to go home to sleep. "I believe you, and as far as I'm concerned the slate is wiped clean. Why don't you lie down for a few minutes and rest."

Owen lay on his stomach and tried to stop his eyes from producing so many tears. Jack looked up at the camera that he knew monitored them and said, "Ianto. Front and center."

He turned to Toshiko and said, "Go keep Gwen company and let her know I'll be up in just a few minutes."

Toshiko ran to do as she was asked, not wanting to stick around to see what was going to happen to Ianto.

Ianto had been watching the monitor with disbelief for the past five minutes. No way was his boss spanking one of his co-workers. It just wasn't possible. But there it was on the screen. He shook his head, and tried to blink it away, but it was still there. He glanced over at Gwen, but she was still lost in her own thoughts, and looking the other direction.

The longer he watched the more his stomach got filled with butterflies thinking that Jack had been less then happy with him earlier. Then when Jack turned and spoke directly to the monitor, Ianto didn't need the sound on to know it was his turn. His face got red, and he said, "Excuse me for a moment," to Gwen. As he stood up he turned the monitor off, not wanting to give anyone a show if Jack decided he needed correction as well.

In the hallway he ran into Toshiko, but both were too lost by this new turn of events to know what to say to the other. Once the lift made it to the lab, and the doors opened, he saw Jack was standing there waiting for him with his arms crossed and the ruler in his hand. Ianto stammered out, "W… What can I do for you Jack?"

"You knew about all of them."

It wasn't a question, so Ianto didn't answer. Just stood up a little straighter and waited to hear what Jack planned to do about it. Jack said, "The next time you see anyone take anything you tell me, and if I'm the one taking something, you tell everyone else. You got that?"

"Yes sir."

The silence lingered between them for a few minutes, and then Ianto said, "Is… Is that all?"

Jack thought about it. Ianto hadn't actually broken the rules, just let other people break them and then kept his mouth shut about it. But Jack couldn't help but think this all could have been avoided if Ianto had just spoken up. Jack said, "Come here."

Ianto quickly pushed himself against the wall of the lift and said. "But I didn't take anything."

Jack walked into the lift and grabbed Ianto's wrist, pulled him away from the wall, tucked him under his left arm, and used the ruler to swat him ten times. It happened so fast that Ianto didn't have time to do much, other then yelp and shift his weight from one foot to the other.

Jack let him go as quickly as he'd grabbed him, and Ianto stepped away, putting as much distance between him and Jack that the small lift would allow. Jack pointed the ruler at him and said, "If there's a next time, and you don't tell someone about it, you'll get the same as Owen. Got it?"

"Yes sir."

"Okay, go on home for the night." Jack stepped out of the lift, and Ianto quickly pushed the button to go up and escape his boss's wrath.

Jack walked back to his desk and set the ruler down. He turned to Owen who was looking at him warily. Jack got his jacket on and said, "I'm going to take Gwen home."

"What made you decide to do it Jack?" Owen asked.

Jack turned and looked Owen in the eyes. "I won't watch another one of you die if I can help it. I don't want to see you end up like Suzie. I like you all too much to let that happen."

Owen nodded in acceptance of this statement and said, "Think I'll crash here tonight if it's alright with you."

"Anytime Owen." Jack took the lift up and went to try and talk Gwen into taking a job with them now that there was a position open.