Just a oneshot about how Gwen was feeling while Jack was gone at the end of S1.
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood.
Please review. :) x
In the dark dead of the night, Gwen awoke suddenly and grabbed around blindly for her boyfriend. She quickly reached for her bedside lamp, and switched it on, turning over to Rhys who was lying still and oblivious. Gwen put her hand on his chest and felt the slow but steady rise and fall. Then she began to breathe. It was 2am. She got up and went to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of orange juice. Soon she began to feel the tears trickling down her face, and she did nothing to stop them. They were sporadic, but also, in a sense, routine. Rhys noticed them sometimes when they were talking or eating dinner, she would spontaneously burst into tears and excuse herself. This led to many questions, ones that Gwen didn't really have the power or the strength to answer, so it was put down to hormones. In the workplace, it was known as something different. They were tears of a woman whose mind would not go to rest.
Torchwood had been frantic and unorganized since Jack left. First came the arguments over who was to be in charge. Owen insisted that it be him, as he was second in charge before. Toshiko quietly plead her case, as she had been in Torchwood for the longest. Ianto simply said that he was perfectly content with his role as administrator already, and that, believe it or not, his time spent in the archives was not just for fun, that he put in more hours than the rest of them put together. This then led to more arguments, seeing as Owen listed his time gaming as hours, and that Toshiko often brought her work home with her and was maintaining software installations, alien translations, and security 24/7. Then Gwen did something truly outrageous. She suggested that she herself should be the new Torchwood leader.
"Gwen, sweetheart, no offense, but besides your work in investigation and interrogation with the police, you have basically no expertise," Owen said smugly. "I'd like to see you perform an autopsy - and don't even try to bring up Eugene Jones. Even a rookie would have found that weird eyeball thing in his stomach."
"She can't even change a plug," Toshiko said quietly to Ianto.
Gwen threw up her arms. "You know what? You're right. I don't have the level of expertise that you guys have. I'm not a technical expert, and I'm not a doctor. But that's why I should be leader, because you guys are going to be so inundated with the roles you already have, you're not going to have the time to oversee and observe and dictate what goes on around here. You're already needed in your own stations. So let me help."
That speech got Gwen the position of first in command, but it was not without its troubles. On her first day, Gwen refused to go into Jack's office and set up a small workspace inside the interrogation room, sorting through papers and taking phone calls. She was aware that the team would be watching her through the CCTV, especially since Ianto had found her crying in there during one of his coffee rounds during the first week.
"She's crying down there," Ianto said to the team, handing them each a mug of his finest. "Not like uncontrollable or anything, but she's just crying and doing her work at the same time."
"That's a surprise," Owen sneered. "I told you she wasn't cut out for the job."
"It was two against one, Owen. Let it go," Ianto said soothingly.
"No, I won't let go! Not when our supposed leader is down there having a bloody emotional breakdown like she's on Eastenders or something!"
"Leave her alone, Owen," said Toshiko sternly. "You have to give her credit, after all that she's been through, having Rhys die in her arms like that, and she's still working."
"Rhys lived," said Owen bitterly.
"But Gwen still remembers," Toshiko informed him. "Would you forget something like that? Would you forget that pain?"
Gwen's fears about the team were confirmed when, on her second week in charge, she got knocked out cold in the pursuit of a Weevil. Back at the Hub, Owen examined her.
"You've got a knack for getting yourself injured," he growled. "Getting yourself shot, hooked up to cyber-converters, getting the life sucked out of you by deranged corpses. And now this."
"It's not on purpose," Gwen protested, wincing as he cleaned away bits of gravel from the surface where she had fallen.
"Some leader you are," Owen muttered under his breath. "You've got liability written all over you."
Gwen had guessed that ever since she joined Torchwood. But that wouldn't mean that she would quit. For Jack Harkness was Torchwood's leader, and she wanted to know more about him, from the second she saw him at that crime scene wearing that great big military overcoat. Yet the more she tried to get him to open up about his past, the more he shut her out. She knew he was getting impatient with her questions, but there was just so much more that she wanted to know. That she needed to know. The others were too ravenous for information on the elusive and enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness, but not in the way she was. Jack was out of this world, but not in the obvious way. The way he cared for Gwen, the way he touched her so tenderly, the way that he looked into her eyes. On the day he taught her how to shoot a gun she had noticed it. He was so strong and so able. When she got shot, Jack was the one who lifted her so easily from the ground and carried her inside. She felt so safe in his arms even though her gunshot wound felt like it was on fire, like he could protect her from hoards of Weevils or a barrage of bullets. The fact that he couldn't die had to help.
Gwen didn't feel protected with Rhys. She felt like the protector. She felt like a mother with a sick child, constantly checking to see if he was alright, to see if someone or something had made the connection between her and Torchwood. With the name of their organization emblazoned on the side of their SUV, it was no wonder she didn't get death threats and suspicious parcels in the mail all the time. As much as it liked to think it was, Torchwood was no secret.
That was how Bilis Manger had gotten into Gwen's head. He'd found her to be someone of Torchwood and found out all that he could on her, exploiting her emotions just so that she would open the Rift and set Abaddon free. It was funny, the more that Gwen tried not to think about that day, the more she remembered it. Rhys' body lying cold on the floor of the cells, her absolute horror and pain as she saw it. It was like her insides were being torn apart; she screamed and held Rhys close to her, her sobs echoing around the Hub. Jack cleaned the blood off her hands, and Toshiko expressed her sympathy. Jack said there was nothing they could do, and Gwen transformed into a violent wreck, hitting Jack and screaming at him so that he wouldn't give up on Rhys, and then sinking into his arms when she too realised that it was over. Jack held her up and absorbed her shuddering tears and silently apologized for what had happened.
And then Jack had to go and die too. But this time he was properly dead. He had the ghostly pallor of a corpse, and there were no signs of life. The team had found Gwen out on the clearing, holding Jack's lifeless form and crying uncontrollably. Owen strategically reminded Gwen about Rhys, so that she would leave and they could finally get to work in relation to how they would deal with the body. Gwen found Rhys alive and went straight back to the Hub, where she angrily found the team, about to store Jack away in cryo. They didn't believe that he would come back. Gwen stayed down there for days, talking to Jack, urging him to wake up, not eating, not sleeping, just waiting. Then, when all seemed lost, she gave him a kiss goodbye, going to alert Owen to put him in cryo, to put Jack to rest. She couldn't bear to see him dead anymore.
And then, just like that, Jack came back to life, just like he always had, just like Gwen knew he would. If Gwen knew anything about Jack, it was that while she was alive he would never leave her.
And then he did.