Gwen could hear her heart pounding in her ears as she placed a chair in front of the locked door. She bent over, putting her hands on her knees and breathed for a moment. Rhys's screams were still hearable through the wooden door. Gwen had called Jack moments ago, when she reached her phone off the countertop. He was on her way but she hoped he'd get here in time. That door wouldn't hold much longer, especially with a fired up man on the other side. As Rhys kicked the door, it split, shattering down the middle. He held his gun at ready, aimed and Gwen's chest. Tears ran down her cheeks.
"Rhys, honey. Don't do this. We can talk this out."
"There's nothing to talk out, Gwen! It's over between us! I know you don't love me anymore. And all this 'job' crap is all a lie! I know it is! You're probably standing on corners late nights taking what you can for your body!"
Rhys flipped the firing pin of the gun. Jack and Owen burst through the room just then. Rhys didn't turn around.
"Rhys! Put it down!" screamed Jack
"I don't see why. There's nothing left for me in this life! I might as well make all you suffer while I can!"
Rhys repositioned the gun up to Gwen, steadying his aim. Jack pounced on Rhys as he pulled the trigger. Just in time, the gun fired after Rhys was pushed to the ground, although it still hit Gwen. The bullet tore through her thigh, ripping through her jeans and piercing her flesh. She cried out in pain. She placed her hands over the wound. Owen ran over to her while Jack subdued Rhys. Owen tore part of his shirt and tied it around her leg, stopping blood flow.
"You're coming back with me, you bastard." Jack said to Rhys, pulling him off the ground.
"Well who the hell are you anyways?!"
"Jack Harkness, Owen Harper. Torchwood."
Jack continued dragging Rhys to the van and through him in the back, hands cuffed. Gwen limped out to the SUV, balancing on Owen's shoulder. He put her in the middle row, and propped her leg up with a box of ammo kept under the seat. Gwen smiled despite the pain.
She chuckled and said, "Owen, the best you could do for me was an ammo box?"
"Well, I'm sorry your highness, but it's working isn't it."
The three Torchwood members smiled. Jack kept an eye on Rhys through the rearview mirror. Rhys glared at Jack. You could smell the adrenaline in the air. Rhys twitched his eye as the bruise from Jack's hard swing formed a black eye.
"You enjoy that now." Jack said.
Rhys scowled. Gwen grunted in pain as the SUV went over a bump in the road, throwing her leg up then down on the ammo box again. After a few moments she was sure everything was fine, well as fine as her leg could be at the moment. Jack used his coms to summon Ianto up from the Hub. He grabbed Rhys and Jack and Owen helped Gwen to the medical table. While Owen and Ianto sedated and took Rhys down to the vaults, Jack took a look at Gwen's wound.
"I can't get to wound from here, Gwen."
"What you have to do?" Gwen asked cautiously.
"Well, you'll just have to remove your pants."
"Remove my pants?"
"Or we could cut off your leg." Jack replied jokingly.
"Well, as long as you're being professional about this." Gwen said with a look in her eye.
Gwen unbuttoned and unzipped her pants at the waist and took her right leg out. Jack gently eased her left leg out of her pants, careful not to cause Gwen any pain. He handed her a small sheet and she placed it over herself. Jack gently felt around the wound to see if he could deduct where the bullet went. She winced in pain.
"Sorry Gwen, but I gotta do this."
"I know. Why is Rhys being such an ass about all this?"
"I told you not to let it drift Gwen."
"I know, but how am I supposed to tell my boyfriend that I hunt aliens for a living? He thinks I'm a bloody whore!" Gwen exclaimed.
"Like I said, don't let it drift."
'How could I not let it drift?' thought Gwen to herself. She shivered as Jack's course fingers danced on her thigh. His fingers felt coarse against her fair skin, but she didn't mind. He gradually moved his hand up. He looked up at Gwen, her messy hair falling down her face. He used his free hand to brush some flyaways out of her face. She smiled softly. Gwen continued looking at her leg, seeing how bad it was. Jack glanced back down. As he did, their eyes met, just for a second, and Gwen's eyes looked more beautiful to him now than they had ever before. He looked back down to her leg. It wasn't bleeding too much so he knew the bullet missed an artery. He grabbed some painkillers off the counter and handed Gwen two of them. She took them without water, anxious to numb the pain.
Owen jogged over to the medical beds. He snapped on his gloves and went over to Gwen. He saw Jack's partial bloody hands, and Gwen's bare legs, not to mention the gaping wound in her leg.
"Come on, Jack. You and I both know it's not sanitary for you or Gwen to touch her wound." Owen said distastefully.
"Well, I think I'm safe, Owen. Anyways, I already administered the painkillers, so in a few moments, you should be good to extract the bullet." Jack blatantly stated.
Owen worked on Gwen's leg and patched it up. It was still hard to walk, but she'd recover eventually, especially with those high dose painkillers Torchwood has. As she grabbed her bag and began walking towards the door, Jack grabbed her arm and turned her to face him, her chest up against his and her warm breath brushing across his face.
"You're not planning on going home are you?" Jack asked dubiously.
"Where else is there to go, Jack? The closest family I have is at least 2 hours drive away. I'm going home."
"Gwen, you and I both know that we couldn't keep Rhys here for long and he's going to be at home, and angry as hell, ready for a fight, and you're not in condition for that, and even if you were, I wouldn't send you back to him." Jack pleaded.
"Well, Mr. Harkness, if you're so full of ideas, then where do you say I should go?" Gwen questioned, obviously getting agitated and Jack's protectiveness.
"Nowhere? What you do you mean, nowhere?" Gwen moaned.
"Don't go anywhere. Stay here for the night. I basically lived here my whole life; you can survive a couple nights here until we find you a more permanent place to stay, cant you?" Jack offered.
Gwen thought for a moment before agreeing, but still doubtful, she asked, "I have nowhere to sleep, and no clean clothes. What about that, Jack?"
"You can sleep in my bed. It's not like I ever use it anyways, really. And we can go out and get you some new clothes tomorrow, free of charge."
"Fine." Gwen hesitantly agreed. Jack handed her one of his blue dress shirts to wear. She grabbed the shirt and walked off to the other room to change. When she walked back in, Jack tried his hardest not to gawk. The shirt draped down her shoulders and followed her curves. The shirt ended just where her legs began, the bandage of the bullet wound barely visible, peeking out beneath the shirt.
"Oi! Harkness, it's not polite to stare!" Gwen said jokingly.
"Well, just know that I'll have your head if you get that shirt dirty. That's my favorite!"
Jack and Gwen both laughed at the statement and stood looking at each other in silence.
Realizing the tension between the two, Jack broke the silence. "Well, I should get going so you could go to sleep. Long day, Gwen."
"Long day…" Gwen responded.
After he left, she flicked off the lights. She grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled it up to her face. It smelt of him, even though it was recently washed. She told herself no, telling herself to stop, that she and Rhys would work it out, and that he had a logical explanation to why he shot her. Maybe when he was drinking with Daf someone spiked his drink, or maybe he was drugged, or getting paid to do it, but the hatred she saw in his eyes was enough to make her believe that he was serious, and didn't have any alcohol or chemical influence. And that killed her. Rhys was a man she used to love. He was sweet and funny, and perfect. She felt a tear roll down her face and drop onto her neck and shoulder area. He was supposed to be the one, the father of her children, the man she loved, not her horror story.
"Oh one last thing, Gwen." Jack said as he popped in. Gwen turned on the lights. Jack saw the mascara streaks down her cheeks, as she'd forgotten to remove her make-up that night.
"Gwen…" he said softly.
"Come here…" he added, walking over and sitting on the edge of the bed. She collapsed on his shoulder crying. He softly rubbed his hand up and down her back as her arms wrapped around his torso.
"What caused him to turn like this, Jack? Why did he have to get so violent? I would've told him if it 'd saved us. I really loved him, Jack. I did, I really did!" Gwen sobbed.
"I know you did, Gwen. I know you did." Jack said, trying to comfort her. He wrapped his other hand around her and put it behind her head, her dark locks of hair rolling over it.
"I'm sorry, Jack." Gwen said, choking back tears. "I shouldn't be bringing you into this. It's not your job to fix my social life."
Jack gently pushed her off his shoulder and used two fingers to lift her chin so she looked him in the eyes. "Yes it is. It's my job to care for you and protect you. And I don't know how I'd live without you. You're one of the best team members I've ever seen at Torchwood, and you have so much talent and potential." Gwen slowly blinked her eyes, the last of her tears dripping down.
"Thanks, Jack." Gwen said, slightly smiling. "What was it you needed to tell me?"
"Oh, it can wait until tomorrow, when you're feeling better. Now get some sleep, Gwen." Jack said, turning out the lights and proceeding to go to his office.