" Is it done?" Jack asked nonchalantly. " Have you retconned Rhys Williams?"
" Is it because you feel so alone that you have to take everything good that happens in my life from me? Jack, I can finally go home and not lie to Rhys' face for once. I can tell him about all of the things we do in order to save the world. I can't take his memories from him, you can't make me."
" You really don't understand what could happen if you don't follow the orders given to you, do you?" Jack questioned, the vacant expression returned clouding over his emotions.
" You never gave any orders, Jack!" Gwen screeched.
" As I was emotionally compromised at the time my Second in Command stepped in and gave you your orders. Now I will ask you again. Is the Rhys problem taken care of?"
Gwen hissed at Jack. " Ianto isn't..."
Jack pushed himself away from his desk and stood, " Enough! Is it taken care of?"
" I won't do it." Gwen said softly, lowering her head. Her face hidden in her hair she began to sniffle, her shoulders shook lightly. She let a smirk grace her lips when she heard Jack sigh. She knew she had won. Her shoulders shook more amplifying the effect that she was crying, but in truth she was trying not to cackle.
" There's only one thing that can happen..."
Gwen turned, her heartbeat thundering in her chest. The sounds of the blood rushing through her veins echoed loudly around in her head. " Ianto?" Spots clouded her vision as her breathing sped up in panic. Her eyes locked on the gun he held in his grip
" You should really calm down, Ms. Cooper." Ianto stated innocently; walking forward until he could caress her face with the cold steel end of his gun. " You might trigger a heart attack if you overwhelm yourself too much at once."
Gwen's knees buckled and she collapsed. It took several minutes of deep breaths before she was able to reply. " You won't kill me."
Jack watched on unsure of where this was heading. He watched as his lover tilted his head and replace the innocence with something the could be considered as wonder.
" Why not?"
" I... I don't believe y...you have it in yourself to end a...another persons life." Gwen replied, stuttering through her sentence. " You despise guns."
Ianto sighed, putting the gun on Jack's desk before stealing a black, fine-tipped sharpie from the utensil cup. " For you, I wouldn't use a gun. Have you ever seen someone skinned alive?" Ianto refused to look at Jack or even acknowledge Gwen's frightened expression as he continued speaking. " Because I have and do you know, most people never get it right." He crouched down between Gwen's legs and pulled the lid off the sharpie with his teeth. " Don't move, I might mess up," he laughed placing the tip of the pen lightly against Gwen's pale cheek, " The trick is to not go too deep. Some people, they get... exceedingly happy and start digging around," he traced the pen slowly around Gwen's face; drawing a neat, dotted curve from her forehead to her chin, " the next thing you know, they're severing arteries, slicing through muscles…and then it's all just shock and exsanguination. Very boring and messy."
Gwen screamed out that he couldn't do this. She screamed for Jack to help her, to stop Ianto from doing this to her.
Ianto finally looked up at the leader of Torchwood Three with a raised eyebrow, but got nothing in return. So he continued, " As I was saying. The trick is not to go too deep. Everyone who should attempt this should work in small patterns. Perhaps, exactly like a tailor does. You know my father was a master tailor and I learned more from him than anyone could ever imagine. He sat me down in his workshop and told me " Ianto, it's all about the little pieces." Like this," he finished drawing his first marks, " You'll take your knife; I would also have to recommend something sharp with a smooth edge, serrated might have a nice ring to it but it gets really uneven and messy results; and then you just follow the dots." Ianto's finger skipped lightly over his marks, grinning as he followed the pattern he described " Then it's just a case of slowly removing the skin, kinda like a fruit peel."
Gwen plead for her life, begging Ianto to let her go; that she would do anything to live to see the next morning.
" Anything?" Ianto let his fingers lightly caress the dotted lines again, scaring her into reassuring him with an affirmative response. " Retcon Rhys for me? I need to know you won't question orders again."
He helped her to her feet. Her body shook with sobs as she managed to utter out a vocal agreement. " Don't worry too much, Gwen, everything will be just fine if you do your part."
Ianto let go of her arm and she practically ran for the door. She made it halfway across the room when Jack's voice rang out. " Gwen."
She paused and stood as still as possible, shivering visibly.
" Report back tomorrow."