Authors Note: So, thinking about the new season of Torchwood coming up, I keep thinking why in hell would Jack go back? It seems more likely he'd go find the doctor, and that's unlikely as it is... so here's my theory, and it comes in the last words of Ianto Jones.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or it's characters, if I did there would be no need to write this because Ianto would still be alive, or he would have turned out to be a time lord. I still think that could totally happen.
When Gwen finally pulled the Torchwood database back up, the first thing she did was go to close Ianto’s profile. She wasn’t surprised that he’d left a video, much like Tosh had. It was one of the reasons she’d used to procrastinate this. That didn’t make it any easier to watch, and this time there was no Jack to hold her as the tears came.
He was just as pristine as ever, unnecessarily straightening his tie as he sat down in front of the camera. “Uh, Hello. Right so I’ve finally kicked the bucket then? Well, I figured Tosh had the right idea, you know? Leave a couple last words. I know I don’t usually talk much, and I don’t know if what I’m going to say will make you guys feel any better, but it makes me feel better, knowing that you’ll know.
“Gwen, you first then, we got along well, didn’t we? You’re a hell of a woman, a hell of a Welshwoman, and maybe you had a bit more of Jack than I liked, but you were always a good friend to have. You were the kindest to me, after Lisa. I know that’s your nature, but it did help. And after Jack left… remember Owen snarking about us being the Welsh duo? It was fun. You watch after Rhys, you two are good together, and don’t let anything or anyone- especially yourself- let you think otherwise.
“Jack,” the Ianto on the screen sighed and ran his hands through his hair, clearly searching for words. “Well, it was good, yeah? Hey, let’s face it, I was Torchwood, it’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. Not like you didn’t ask me to quit a few times because of it. There were enough close calls as foreshadowing. As I remember, those close calls ended in some spectacular ways.
“Do me a favor? Please? Just one thing? I know you’re probably blaming yourself. Hell you’re probably up on the highest roof you can find brooding. I wouldn’t put you past going all the way to Dubai just to stand on the Burj Khalifa,“ Gwen gave something between a giggle and a sob. Jack had found a way to get up a bit higher than that.
“Just don’t. If only because I’m asking you too, please don’t blame yourself. My number was up at Canary Wharf, and I’m lucky to have had those extra years, to have had you,” he smirked, the small self-depreciating smile accenting the fact that he’d looked down at his hands, away from the camera. “However small the percentage of you I really had may be, and whatever tiny portion of your life I count for, well, I’m glad to have had at least that much,” his eyes rose to look steadily into the camera, and Gwen felt so sad to see the passion there, knowing she’d never see it again.
“You’re worth it. You were always worth it. And you need to believe that. I love you Jack Harkness. It may be foolish and stupid, but there it is. And as someone who loves you, I am telling you that if you blame yourself for my death I swear I will resurrect just to kick your ass. You never know, those gloves could have come from a three-handed species.”
The joking smile quickly faded, and he cleared his throat. “I know you want to run away. Ever since you got back from seeing the Doctor… nothing was holding you here. Nothing but us. Without Tosh and Owen… without me… you always said Gwen would be fine on her own, because ‘she has Rhys after all’. And while not blaming yourself was a favor, this one’s an order. Don’t you dare leave her. She needs you. You can’t leave her alone in that empty dungeon to figure it out all on her own with our ghosts lurking in the corners. I know it hurts, I can’t begin to understand the pain you must have gathered over the centuries, but you’ve always been the enduring one, Jack. You always will be. You don’t have a choice, and I’m sorry, I’m so sorry about that, but you don’t. “
“Right I think I covered everything did I? Gwen you’re awesome, Jack I love you, don’t blame yourself, don’t leave her to deal with all this shit on her own… yep that’s everything…”
“Oh! Jack, if you wouldn’t mind telling my sister in person? She’ll probably whale on you but I can’t bare the thought of her just getting a letter. Right then… carry on.”
The video blacked out for a second before popping back on, showing Ianto from a slightly different angle. “Oh, and if you didn’t watch this before Jack took off, don’t worry Gwen it’s programmed to also show up on his wrist strap so he should be coming back now.”
“I mean it Jack.”
This time when the screen went black, Gwen let herself break down.
One or two galaxies over, Jack was sitting in stunned silence, watching the blue of the hologram that had just been Ianto flicker out of existence. It would take him months to get back to earth… but really, after that, what else could he do?