The moment he felt the cold barrel of the gun against his head, Jack didn’t feel any fear like he would have assumed when everything had begun. Yes, he had discovered now that he didn’t crave final death, and yes, he had gone through this- even if in different shapes- thousands of times through the centuries.
No, Jack wasn’t scared. He wasn’t even disappointed, despite the identity of the young woman holding the gun against his head- a gun that he knew she would have fired in just a matter of minutes. And, he understood why she was doing it. In his lifetime- his lifetimes - he had done so many mistakes, betrayed people for the sake of humanity and the world; it wasn’t like he didn’t feel any guilt, but as a wise man had once told him, sometimes there was no choice but the hard choices- which meant that the burden to carry was his and his alone when he made them. The Torchwood institute was his team, his people, but at the end of the day, he wanted for them to remember that he was the one giving orders, and them the ones following, his soldiers, with no choice, no shame and no guilt.
But now, Gwen wasn’t following his orders any longer; Torchwood didn’t exist any longer, just the two of them the remaining shadows of its past secret glory, and the reason he had always liked Gwen was because she was human first.
She had heart. And didn’t like the hard choices.
Not that any of this was any easy- despite everything, he was her mentor, friend, like second family. Just- not her real one.
“I’m so sorry, Jack.” She sobbed. He was on his knees, hands up in the air, giving her his back, and he couldn’t see her- yet he knew she had her tears-filled eyes closed. That’s how well he knew her. “They have my baby… and they will make her suffer. She is… she has nothing to do with us, jack, with this. I can’t let them…” she couldn’t end the sentence, her mind filled with the dreadful images of what the Families could have done- could do- to her daughter.
“It’s ok, Gwen, I get it. I know.” He said, calm, a small, sad smile gracing his lips. He was almost resigned to die- and this time, once and for all.
She didn’t add any last word. He didn’t either. Only a gunshot broke the silence- the gunshot that killed the first victim since Miracle Day.