Soft tears fell to the ground and sank into the soil. Gwen blinked down, her view blurred over, at the gravestone. It had been a year now since that dreadful week, a week filled with blood and sweat and loss. Gwen had buried the thoughts of him into the back of her mind and tried to forget the cold, pale look on his lifeless face. It was all flooding back now. He'd been one of her best friends. A really true friend. Someone she could confide in and cuddle up in a blanket with, talking well into the night. She read the gravestone for the twentieth time, smiling through her tears.
In loving memory of the wedding fairy, who made the most delicious coffee in Cardiff.
Here lies Ianto Jones.
1983 - 2009
A best friend and a true soulmate.
Gwen knew that under the gravestone lay nothing, Ianto had been contained in the Torchwood storages like the rest of the team. However she felt he needed a true burial, and planned the funeral herself. She chose the words to lie on his gravestone, and said words on Jack's behalf. She, Rhys, Rhiannon and Rhiannon's husband had been the only people to show up. Gwen hadn't known who else to invite.
"The whole of Cardiff should be here." She had told Rhys as she said her last goodbye that day, "Their lives have all been touched by him somehow."
Gwen placed a small bouquet of snowdrops on strip of grass in front of the gravestone. She wiped her face and took a deep breath before pushing herself up off the ground. As she did so, a hand gripped her shoulder gently and she whipped around in shock. There, stood bold and strong, was Jack Harkness. The man she had relied on and depended on, until he had left her again.
"You!" She shouted, gripping onto him by his long trench coat and hitting him hard against the chest repetitively, anguished tears falling from her eyes. He didn't even move as she pounded against his muscular chest. Her anger weakening she fell against his body, holding onto him for dear life. She sobbed into his blue, carefully ironed shirt.
"Gwen, I am..." He sighed as he looked down at her shaking figure "I'm so sorry." He held onto her, staring down at the gravestone behind her. He had left for much too long, a lot longer than he planned to. However, the loss of Ianto was killing him, and being responsible for Steven's death just topped it off. Leaving Gwen behind though? He shouldn't have. The past year had been tough for her; he could see it in her watery, red eyes. He also could see something else was the matter. Jack stroked a lock of wet hair from her face and peered into those red-tinged eyes.
"What's happened? What is it? What's wrong?" He whispered.
Gwen couldn't hold it in any longer. The loss of Ianto was enough as it is, however just a few metres behind his grave sat another with a recognisable name. She nodded towards it silently, shutting her eyes tightly.
Here lies Rhys Williams.
1978 - 2009
A loving husband and daddy to a beautiful baby girl.
She'll never know how special he was.
Jack swore under his breath. He'd left Gwen with nobody other than Rhys to care for her, however with a lot of trust placed in Rhys; Jack knew she'd be safe. However seeing this, Jack now knew that Gwen had been just as alone, scared and guilt-ridden as he had been. He opened his mouth to say something but nothing would come out. He took a deep breath and led her over to a rusty bench, sitting her down gently.
They both sat in silence. Gwen had her arms folded tightly across her chest, hunched over slightly. Jack sat upright with his hands on his knees. He turned to her, his blue eyes piercing the side of her head. She turned to him, smiling sadly.
"I had a baby girl, you know. Her name's Anwen." She whispered. Jack smiled and held her hand, squeezing it gently.
"Is she as beautiful as her mother?" Jack grinned.
"Even more. She's…she's got her father's face." She frowned, new tears falling down her cheeks. The past few months had been such an emotional whirlwind for her and it was suddenly all becoming way too much for her. Jack moved closer to her, putting an arm around her quivering body. He kissed into her hair and rubbed her shoulder gently with his hand.
"Hey, hey. Come on. I'll take you home. How did you get here?" He helped her off the bench.
"I w-walked." She mumbled, starting to walk in the direction of her house.
Jack didn't say a word, the cool morning air touching their faces gently. He had a powerful stride to his walk but it didn't reflect his emotions. He felt horrible, he felt like he was a traitor to Gwen and her feelings. Ianto's death had damaged him greatly and this had topped it off. Even though he hadn't known Rhys well, he knew Rhys had been a very good man; someone who cared about Gwen and protected her with his life. Gwen had had to bring up her daughter on her own, her little Anwen. Jack had taken the chance to escape the losses that were plaguing his mind, Gwen hadn't.
They reached the door to her house; it was a lot different to the flat she used to own. Not too far from Cardiff Bay, it was a small, family home with a pretty garden and a welcoming feeling to it. Jack smiled up at the Victorian glad paned windows and the roses entwined around the doorway. This was a beautiful home, and he was glad Gwen had lived comfortably whilst he had been away. She opened the door gently, closing it behind him and sighing a little more contentedly.
"Gwen? Is that you darling?" A gentle voice called out from the front room.
"Yeah, hold on a minute!" Gwen called, slipping off her shoes and indicating Jack to do the same. She walked to the front room and grinned happily.
"There you are lovely, did you miss me?" She cooed. An elderly lady was sat in a sofa-chair and cuddling a burbling baby girl in her arms. Gwen took the baby; she rocked her gently and kissed her tiny, pale forehead.
"She's been so quiet, such a sweet chi- oh hello." The old woman smiled at Jack, who had just entered the room. "Who's this?"
"I'm Jack, lovely to meet you. Gwen, who is this lovely lady?" He flashed his recognisable, charming smile.
"This is Sheila, my neighbour. She was looking after Anwen for me. Thanks Sheila." Gwen smiled gratefully at the old lady.
"It was fine my dear, she's such a well-behaved little thing. Well I've got a guest over later. You remember Vera? So I'll head off now. Nice to meet you Jack." She nodded, slowly got up and hobbled slightly out of the house.
Gwen bounced Anwen up and down gently, grinning at her with pride. Jack moved closer to her and smiled down at the beautiful little girl.
"Hello Anwen." He whispered, putting his little finger next to her hand, which she then gripped and burbled happily. Gwen handed Anwen over to him, carefully placing her in his arms. He held her delicately and grinned affectionately.
"You're right Gwen, she's beautiful." He peered up at Gwen, whose eyes had yet again filled with tears. "You did well."