This is set during the finale of the first season/series of Torchwood. It is a collection of profound thoughts Jack could have had a various points during the episode. Hope you like it!

One of the Many End Days for Captain Jack Harkness

He washed her hand in delicate, methodical strokes as she sat watch at her dead lover's bedside.

Gwen Cooper was supposed to be the normal one, the sane one that kept his team together. She'd come at just the right time. Poking her nose in where she wasn't at first wanted, but where she was needed.

Susie was a traitor, a mad calculating murderer all along.

Owen, while entirely vital to the team with his medical expertise and killer instinct, was also unpredictable and unstable. He needed someone or something to tie him to this world and give him a purpose and until he found that…well he was a loose cannon, something Jack knew entirely too much about considering he'd been killed by one once.

Tosh, she was a quiet one. She knew just the right buttons to push, and just the right equations to map out, but she didn't yet know people. Normal people, that's what she still didn't quite understand. She would learn someday.

Ianto. If Toshito was the brains, Owen the guts, and Gwen the glue that bound the two, then Ianto was the heart, dutifully taking care of everyone while keeping his own feelings and well-being just out of reach of everyone else. Well most of the time. Jack, himself, had recently realized he could do with a bit more heart. Sometimes being a man out of time was too lonely without a little reminder of what it felt like to feel deeply, as one such as Ianto does.

Mere minutes passed. One moment Gwen was wailing in his arms and the next he and his team stood on opposite sides. Gwen, the ultimate tether binding them all with empathy and curiosity and drive was the one that led the mutiny to open the rift. Owen of course was not far behind, the first to dash off. But it was a surprise for Tosh and Ianto to follow. They too must have seen visions of loved ones, but for Jack there was no one. Now Jack knew something infinitely more terrible would come from that rift. These children didn't know what sort of danger they were playing with, all for the sake of four relatively insignificant humans.

He couldn't let them do that. He desperately shouted at them all of their failings, their heartaches, trying to prove their logic was flawed, but they would not listen. It wasn't enough. Of course it wasn't, they had to see that through whatever shroud of mystery he tried to cloud over himself that he loved them, even for their mistakes, this small team of his standing against him on what was only one of his many end days.

He wasn't really that shocked when Owen shot him. After all he had known all the right words to say to really set him off. Had he wanted this? Had he thought this last brush with death would be it? Had he wanted to die for good? He was still scared of death, true, but living, especially right now when everyone around him was hurting and he, with all his unfair knowledge of time and the universe, couldn't do anything to stop it, was almost too much.

He idly wondered, as he broke back into consciousness and his train of thought restored, if the Doctor felt this way about his companions. He wondering if that's what drove the Doctor on, in strong bouts of loneliness, the pain and wonder and joy of his companions. Jack thought it was. It certainly was like that for Jack with his team.

Now they had a bigger problem. A "mythical" creature Ianto had started to blather on about earlier had been unlocked from the rift and was draining the life out of the people of Cardiff.

It was Gwen who got him. The look on her face as she gazed at the dead bodies in the streets. The others were just as scared and upset by the scene before them, but it was Gwen and her uncanny ability to connect with people. Jack connected with her then and her feelings, beyond his own staring up at that creature, drove him to stand before it and give his all. He could give his life for that simple humanity.

A gentle kiss, a last effort to connect with the dead. That connection brought him back. Gwen, again. He took her hand and walked out to meet his team, again for yet another lifetime.

Tosh, hugging him as fiercely as her small body could, full of human relief too big for her rational mind to understand. She would puzzle over this, in her own time, trying to rationalize and explain to herself how such a thing could be possible. She knew more about him than most, having been with him when he met his namesake, but there would be no way to explain this to her, his little thinker.

Ianto, so awkward trying to hide the depth of his emotion from everyone, tried to hold out a hand, as if to shake. Jack would have none of that, pulling the sensitive soul in for a hug and a kiss.

And Owen. Owen walked slowly towards him like a prodigal son returning home, even though it was Jack who had come back. A prodigal son, yes that was a fitting description of Owen to Jack. If he let himself disconnect from his team, and the world, he would be the most like Owen-stubborn, passionate, and angry. Jack already was all those things. He just didn't let them rule him most of the time. He hugged Owen too and told him he forgave him.

Of course he forgave him. Living indefinitely wasn't worth it if he didn't have these wonderful, beautiful people.

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