14 March 2009
The Torchwood Hub, Cardiff
Owen hadn’t been unconscious very long, and while he was grateful that he had a ringside seat for what happened next he would have preferred to stay out for the fireworks.
It began with the ground shaking. That had been what had dragged him back to wakefulness, and he really wanted to tell it to stop so he could pass out again. But it had also brought back to him just what was going on in the Hub, and there was no way he could allow himself to just lay there and do nothing.
There was a man standing at Toshiko’s workstation, holding onto one of the struts that kept the computer screens in their positions over the desk. Owen, being the self-proclaimed prat that he was, laughed at him.
Gray – and it was Jack’s brother, Owen recognised him from the hologram that Hart had sent Jack – turned to glare at him.
There was a sharp shift in the ground, and Owen cursed as his wound was jostled. A gut wound…not a good thing at all. If he didn’t bleed to death he would most likely get an infection if the bowel was perforated, and he sincerely doubted that the maniac nearby had meant that he should live through this. He’d just gotten damned lucky that he was such a stubborn bastard that Owen flatly refused to get on with the dying thing.
The ground shaking seemed to go on forever, and while Owen was worried about just what was causing it, as long as it went on it kept Gray from doing whatever the hell he had planned next. “What is happening?” Gray demanded, as if Owen had a clue.
Which he didn’t. And that wasn’t quite as scary as it should have been.
It obviously wasn’t the Rift, though. If it had been, the alarms would have been going fit to burst. It made Owen think of the Rift storms that had destroyed Cardiff during that Year, and this wasn’t anything about those.
Maybe the explosions that Hart had set off had done something to the bedrock under the city? Could that actually happen? Owen wasn’t a geologist, thank you very much. It didn’t do any good asking him a damned thing about the earthquakes going on at the moment.
He only hoped the city would hold out. It had already been through so much, and the idea that this would do even more damage was heart breaking. Owen would never admit it but he loved Cardiff, and didn’t want to see it destroyed.
The quaking stopped just as quickly as it had started, and the ground settled back into silence once more. From what Owen could tell there hadn’t been all that much damage done to the Hub, but it would take a long time to clean things up. Dragon Boy was gonna love that, the tidy bastard.
Before Gray could even react to the lack of shaking, the cog door was opening, the blast of sound giving Owen a headache.
Relief flooded through him when he saw that it was Harkness and Jones coming to the rescue.
For a guy who’d been buried under Cardiff for centuries, Jack looked remarkably clean and fit. He didn’t look happy, but then his brother had turned into a raving homicidal maniac and that would make anyone upset. There was some dirt on his clothes, and his hair was mussed, but otherwise Jack didn’t seem to have suffered too badly, for which Owen was grateful. Sometimes he thought that Harkness’ life had been much too hard for even someone who’d live through anything.
How he’d come through not batshit crazy was the critical question.
Anyway, Jack and Ianto would sort it. Owen had faith.
Besides, it wasn’t like he could do anything about it; at the moment he was trying his damnedest to keep his blood inside his body where it belonged.
Ianto noticed him lying there; his face went pale, and he took a step toward Owen but the medic shook his head. They needed to take care of Gray first. It wasn’t exactly smart for him to wait for medical attention, but there was no way they’d be able to get him to the hospital all that quickly anyway. Not that the hospital could do a lot without power.
“I demand the Rite of Vengeance against you, Herbert Grayson Wells,” Ianto said softly, and not in his usual strong way. “You have hurt my mate, my friends, and this city. That cannot go unpunished, although I shall leave the how of it up to your brother.”
“So mote it be,” Owen found himself mouthing the familiar refrain without even thinking about it.
Gray himself was busily freaking out. “How are you here?” He was practically gibbering, and if Owen wasn’t seeing things there was a small line of drool on the other man’s chin.
Jack stepped toward him. Looking his brother straight in the eye he said, “I can forgive you for what you did to me, but my team is my family, and this city is my home. Your issue was with me; not any of the innocents who’ve lost their lives in the chaos you arranged. It stops now.”
Gray’s gun was pointed at Jack. “I prayed for death. Those creatures, the things they did to us! Because of you, the favourite son, the one who lived, who'll always live. The only strength I have is my hatred for you!”
“Then you’re weak,” Ianto pointed out. “Hatred is never strong enough.”
“I survived!” Gray shrieked. “I was the only survivor!”
“I am so sorry I failed you,” Jack said. “I would do anything to go back and change it, but that’s impossible. I can only hope someday you’ll find it within yourself to forgive me.”
“Never! I’ll never forgive you, Jamys. I begrudge you everything. I want to rip it all from you, to leave you screaming in the dark. I will never absolve you. All of it, it's your fault.”
There were tears on Jack’s face. “Yes, it is. It’s all my fault.”
Owen didn’t even think Gray was listening anymore. His hand was trembling slightly, but it was all the rage and hatred he held for his older brother and nothing to do with nerves. Gray was a tightly coiled spring, ready to snap, and it wasn’t long before he did just that.
The gun went off.
But it wasn’t Jack that went down.
It was Ianto.
Even though the dragon was nigh on bulletproof, the force of the impact still knocked him on his elegantly clad arse. Owen lost his ability to breathe for just a moment, but then watched as the dragon got back on his feet, his waistcoat torn from the bullet.
That seemed to dump Gray even further over the edge. “Not two of you! There can’t be two of you! Damn you, Jamys! Not even your loved ones can die!”
Apparently, Hart hadn’t shared with Gray about Ianto being a dragon. Well, that was one point in the arsehole’s favour. It still wasn’t going to keep Owen from beating the shit out of him as soon as he was healed up enough to make it count.
Jack, though, hadn’t stayed put as Dragon Boy was busily getting himself shot.
The captain had darted forward, and Gray had barely time to rant before Jack slammed a needle into the raving loony’s neck.
Whatever the hell was in that injection, it acted quickly. Gray’s knees buckled, and Jack caught him on the way down. Once they were on the floor, Jack just held Gray close, hugging him as he rocked back and forth. He was whispering something that Owen couldn’t hear.
“You had to go and get yourself shot,” Ianto chided as he knelt beside the medic, looking down at the wound in his gut.
“I could say the same thing to you, Dragon Boy.”
“Our only doctor…looks like it’s the hospital for you.”
“Better get me there quick, not sure how long I can keep up the pressure on this wound. Oh, and Patrick and Deborah are down in the medical bay. Delaware’s gonna be fine but I’ll bet you a donut he’s gone and done something stupid.”
“And you’d be right.”
Owen craned his head around, smiling as Deborah came up from the lower level. She looked battering and tired, but triumphant. “I was going to say I was glad you’re okay,” she said as she stood just behind Ianto and looking over his shoulder, “but I see that’s not the case.”
Owen let himself look over at Harkness, where he was weeping over the unconscious body of his only brother. It was way too private a moment, and he turned away. “What are you going to do with him?”
Ianto shrugged. “That’s up to Jack.”
“Yeah,” the medic sighed. After all, that had been part of the vow the dragon had sworn, and Owen knew that Ianto would abide by it.