Jack has been shot, stabbed, trampled by horses, suffocated, defenestrated, decapitated, electrocuted, exterminated, exsanguinated, and bludgeoned to death with a cricket bat. He's all too familiar with the instinctive panic, the earnest fight against the coming dark every single time, even when death will be a relief.
He's lost his fear of it.
Standing in front of the mirror, he regards the still-purple bruising over his ribs with shock. The pain is negligible as he runs his fingers over the skin, but he can't seem to stop staring.
And Jack Harkness remembers what it is to fear for his life.
He's never touched her, not the way he's always wanted to, but it's still love. Mortal, he listens to his modern Morrígan claim the right to choose life and death for seven billion people, and he is so, so proud of her.
So this is what freedom tastes like.
The pain is exquisite as blood flows from the farthest corners of his body. Single shot, center of mass; Gwen always had a gift with guns. Defiant arms fall back to his sides and his knees buckle.
With his last breath, Jack Harkness remembers what it is to really be alive.