A Good Man – Chapter 38

Unable to find anything of interest, Gwen came out of The Ritz. She turned back and looked around outside of the building when she heard some music coming from within. A voice from behind her made her jump.

“Can I help you?”

Gwen gasped and turned around.

“I’m the caretaker. Bilis Manger at your service.”

In the 1940s, Jack and Tosh stood on the stairs, looking down at Captain Harkness. As they watched, Jack explained to Tosh why he chose the Captain’s identity for himself. Afterwards, they both took a moment to think about Jack’s revelation that the Captain would die the next day. Jack was torn, he knew there was an attraction between him and the Captain but what could either of them do? The Captain would not want to risk his position, or his men, over someone he had just met. As for himself, was there any point getting to close to a man who only had one day to live? Jack thought of Ianto, and of how he had tried to resist getting too close to him for so long.

They stood there a while longer before going down to join the Captain and his group of soldiers. Tosh needed to get some navigational readings to be able to calculate the remaining rift equations from when they had travelled back in time. One of the young soldiers, Tim, was able to help her and they went and sat down at a table together.

The rest of the soldiers dispersed, leaving Jack with only the Captain and George. The three of them started talking about the various battles they had been involved with, until the Captain got up to get them all a drink. He was interrupted when a blonde haired woman walked up to him. Jack didn’t miss the look of regret the Captain shot him as he escorted the woman, Nancy, to the bar.

Gwen called through to the Hub. Bilis had let her into the areas of The Ritz that were locked and he had now disappeared to make her a cup of tea. She asked Suzie if they had found anything their end.

“There’s no more photographs of Jack and Tosh after that night,” Suzie replied. “That seems encouraging.”

“Yeah, unless the bombs got ’em,” Owen interjected.

Ignoring him, Suzie continued on. “The manager, Bilis Manger, kept them for posterity.”

When Gwen pointed out that the Bilis Manger she was dealing with wore a cravat, they worked out that they were dealing with the same person. Somehow this man had been in multiple times. Owen wanted Gwen to find out more about what Bilis was doing, but Suzie was concerned that something could happen to Gwen if she stayed there.

“Get out of there, Gwen. That’s an order,” she said.

Owen immediately lost what little was left of his temper. “I’m sorry but who the hell put you in charge?”

Gwen listened to the two of them arguing and while she didn’t want to take any orders from Suzie Costello, she decided to back out of there while she could. She didn’t want to risk being sent back in time too.

While the Captain was at the bar with Nancy, Jack went and checked with Tosh who told him she had found out what she needed. Tosh realised that the camera they had seen Bilis with earlier would be the perfect way of getting a message back to their own Torchwood. Jack went to leave with her, but the Captain called him back.

The two Jacks sat at a table with Nancy and continued their previous conversation. Neither of them noticed how put out Nancy was at being ignored, and when Jack made a comment about careless talk costing lives, she took the hint and decided to go home.

She looked at the Captain expectantly and was clearly upset that he wasn’t going to leave with her. He kissed her cheek and said he’d be in touch. Nancy walked away disappointedly.

Jack looked at Captain Harkness in disbelief. “Was that it?”

“She’s a sweet kid, but I need to look after my men tonight. It’s their last day tomorrow.”

Jack sat there and couldn’t help but think back to Ianto and leaving him behind in the garage this morning. He had tried to get one last kiss goodbye. Ianto had said no, expecting to have so much more time for kisses and not expecting to die that day.

“Go to her. Kiss her…” Jack paused as he thought of Ianto, “…goodbye.” Like I didn’t get to do with Ianto. “Anything can happen tomorrow.”

The Captain looked at Jack, torn. He knew he should do the right thing for Nancy, but what about this man in front of him. He couldn’t understand why he was so reluctant to pursue Nancy while Captain Harper was watching. He looked at Captain Harper, searching for any signs of his attraction being returned, but couldn’t see even one. Reluctantly, he turned away and followed Nancy.

Jack looked down at the table in front of him as the Captain walked away, unable to watch the Captain give Nancy the goodbye kiss he never got from Ianto. The emptiness Jack had felt earlier returned in full force and it was all he could do not to get up and smash something.

Suzie watched as Owen started pulling the floor gratings away. “What are you doing?”

Owen ignored her and started pulling out various bits of wiring.


“We haven’t got the missing numbers. We’ll improvise with the Rift manipulator.”

Suzie shook her head. “We can’t. It’s risky enough with the equation. If we don’t do it properly, anything can happen.”

Owen opened his mouth to reply but just shook his head dismissively at her. He carried on, dragging the power cables into place.

Suzie continued watching. She knew that she could argue as much as she liked, but Owen would never pay her any attention. She could barely conceal a laugh when the Rift Manipulator failed to do anything.

Owen had a closer look at the machine and quickly realised something. “There’s a piece missing. We’ve got to find it.”

Despite another run-in with Bilis Manger, Tosh was able to take a photo of the equation and package it up, ready to hide it for the team to find back in her own time.

Gwen, who had been hanging around outside the Ritz, saw someone out of the corner of her eye. It looked to be Bilis, so she went around the corner trying to find out what he was doing. Spying a padlock on the ground, she found the hiding place of Tosh’s photo. She called through to Suzie and Owen and reported back the equation.

Owen growled in frustration when he saw that all the numbers weren’t there. That was enough for him and he decided to go down to the Ritz himself and look for the missing piece of the manipulator.

Suzie stayed behind to watch for any CCTV footage of Bilis. She wished Ianto was there.

Tosh was nearly trapped outside as air raid sirens sounded and she heard the sound of bombs falling. She was able to make it back inside though and Jack escorted her to the basement which served as an air raid shelter.

While they were stuck down there, Tosh was able to find a way of recording the missing figures that she missed out when taking the photograph. It meant that she had to cut herself and, when the soldier Tim saw her hand, he took her away to treat the wound.

Jack raised an eyebrow as Tim led Tosh away. What was it with Tosh and young soldiers?

Owen tried to get in and out of the Ritz without Gwen seeing him but was unsuccessful. They came across each other in one of the hallways just as he was leaving. They had a very awkward conversation, this being the first time they had been alone together since they broke up.

Owen told Gwen that he couldn’t find any equations; carefully avoiding telling her that he had found what he had really came for, the missing piece of the Rift Manipulator.

When they got back up to the dance floor, Captain Harkness tried to talk to Jack about why he had sent him after Nancy.

Jack wasn’t blind; he could see what the Captain was trying to do. Jack knew by then that it was a mutual attraction between them, but as much as he wanted to, Jack just couldn’t stop thinking about Ianto. It took all his self-control not to react when the Captain asked if Toshiko was his woman. Ianto was all he wanted, but Jack would never see him again.

“No. There’s no one.” Jack looked down at the table miserably, unable to look at the Captain.

The Captain looked at Jack. He clearly wasn’t going to get anything more out of him so he stood up and left.

Back at the Hub, Owen continued to work on the manipulator. Brandishing the missing piece triumphantly at Suzie, he slotted it into place and tried starting the machine. After a brief sputter, the machine stopped again.

Owen looked at Suzie thoughtfully. “There’s blueprints for the manipulator in the Secure Archives, isn’t there?”

Suzie nodded.

“Get them out for me!”

“As if!” Suzie replied. “Why would I do that?”

“I know you have the codes, you used to have them written down in that notebook of yours.”

“I’m not giving you the codes, Owen.”

Owen smirked at her and ran over to her desk. Pushing her away when she attempted to stop him, he pulled out her drawer and went through its contents. He laughed when he found what he wanted.

“I knew Ianto would never have written them down, not with that photographic memory of his. But I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist keeping a copy of the codes!”

Suzie thought quickly while Owen was gloating at her. She would not be strong enough physically to prevent him from opening the Secure Archives and she knew he would never listen to reason. For all she knew, this was all a trap and this Bilis person had actually wanted Owen to find the missing piece. She remembered how all the reports of the haunted dancehall were anonymous. Who knows who it was that reported it – or why.

With Owen so determined to open the Rift, her biggest problem was how would she be able to stop him?

Jack and Tosh sat at a table, once again watching the Captain with his men. Jack’s emotions caught up with him suddenly and he could no longer restrain himself. The parallels between Ianto and the Captain’s deaths were too much to keep in – two young men with their lives cut short way too early.

Jack started telling Tosh exactly what would happen to the Captain the next day. This led into a conversation about how Jack had joined Torchwood and he told her he was sorry for dragging her into this.

Tosh fobbed him off, saying it was her choice.

“I’ll look after you,” Jack replied.

Tosh nodded.

“But there’s nothing I can do for him.” Or Ianto.

Owen looked up as he heard Suzie remove the safety from her gun. Gwen had just called through with most of the remaining numbers and Owen didn’t want anything else to stop him. He sent a scornful glance at the gun.

“That rift took my lover and my captain. So if I die, trying to beat it, then it will all be in the line of duty.”

Owen deliberately turned away from Suzie and reached forward to put the missing piece into the manipulator. Suzie took a deep breath and fired a shot at Owen, hitting him in the back of his shoulder.

The force knocked him sideways and he looked at Suzie incredulously. He turned back to the manipulator and was just able to slam the piece down before collapsing to the floor completely.

Suzie looked up at the manipulator in fear as it sprung into life. “You don’t know what you’ve done.”

Jack and Tosh were still at the table, Tosh holding his hand in comfort. The Captain stood on the other side of the dance floor, looking equally miserable as Jack did.

When the Captain walked over to them, Jack didn’t know where to look. He truly hadn’t expected the Captain to do anything and now that he had, Jack was powerless to stop him. Jack felt too emotionally drained to say or do anything other than follow along as the Captain took him by the hand and led him to the dance floor.

Both Jacks knew that everyone would be watching them, but neither one cared. They heard George in the background asking Audrey what the Captain was doing, but neither one as much as glanced their way.

Tosh smiled as she watched the two men. She was surprised at how good they looked together. Jack had been out of sorts for most of the time they had been in the 1940s and it was nice to see someone trying to make him feel special.

The men held each other and danced. It felt like the entire room faded away as they lost themselves in each other, although Jack couldn’t help remembering that he and Ianto had never had the chance to dance with each other. In fact, they hadn’t ever even gone out anywhere with each other, it was either the Hub or Ianto’s flat. Now they would never get the chance.

The Captains parted and their lips drew closer, when there was a sudden large boom and an extremely bright light came from the hallway.

“Jack!” Tosh instantly grabbed her belongings and headed for the rift. “Jack, we need to get out.”

Tosh paused and looked back at the Captains, uncertain about what was going to happen. While she had no issue with them dancing, she felt uncomfortable about the fact that they had been about to kiss. And now it looked like Jack didn’t even want to leave at all.

Jack looked at the Captain. He knew he should let him go and go back through the rift to his own time. But he didn’t want to do that, he didn’t want to go back to a world with no Ianto. Why shouldn’t he just stay here?

“Jack, you have to! We need you!” Tosh called again.

Jack started to move away but he thought about what was waiting for him and his face crumpled. He turned back to the Captain.

“I have to go.”

The Captain nodded.

“It’s my duty,” Jack finished.

Jack started to walk away again, but when he got to the light of the rift, he found he simply couldn’t go any further. With tears streaming down his face, he went back to the Captain one last time. He never got his goodbye kiss from Ianto and he wasn’t going to make the same mistake with the Captain.

They kissed passionately, knowing it was the only chance they would ever have. Jack poured every bit of emotion and feeling he had for Ianto into the kiss. When he pulled back from the Captain for the last time, he touched a hand to the Captain’s cheek. He walked over to Tosh and stopped again. He just couldn’t take that last step. Jack looked back at the Captain longingly. The Captain saluted him and the bright light of the rift faded away leaving an empty dancefloor.

When Jack and Tosh exited the Ritz, Tosh was relieved to see they were back in their own time. She hardly noticed the dazed look on Jack’s face as he looked back over the building as an armful of Gwen hugging and kissing distracted her from Jack.

Gwen had just got back into her car when she noticed the two of them standing there. She ran over to first Jack, and then to Tosh, thrilled to have them back. She had begun to be afraid that she would never see them again.

Jack and Tosh eventually extracted themselves from her and got back in the SUV. Gwen was a bit puzzled by the lack of response from Jack, but got in her car and followed them back to the Hub.

When they got to the Hub, there was confusion all around. Tosh was the only one who was yet to find out that Suzie was back and, when she saw Suzie sitting at her workstation, it was the best thing she had seen all day. Even better than getting back to their own time. As she ran over to her though, she realised that Owen was injured.

Both Tosh and Gwen didn’t know whether to be amused or shocked that Suzie had shot him. Owen was sitting at his desk, trying to treat his wound. Tosh walked over and held the bowl up for him, still in shock at what Suzie had done.

Owen looked over at Suzie. “I knew we did the right thing, opening the rift.”

Suzie ignored him.

“World didn’t end after all, did it? Good job you’re a crap shot.”

Suzie did look at him at that. “Watch it Owen. Or next time I’ll be aiming for your balls!”

Tosh started to laugh, but stopped when she saw the look that Owen gave her. Jack walked behind her and went into Ianto’s office.

“Jack…” Owen began as Jack walked past.

Tosh put a hand out to Owen and then put the bowl down. “Let me.”

Tosh walked into the office where Jack handed her a drink. He wasn’t looking forward to the conversation he would have to have with her and he needed some fortification first.

“He would have been so proud that you took his name,” Tosh said. She smiled at Jack. “Because here you are, saving the world.” She raised her glass. “To Captain Jack.”

Jack raised his glass with her and echoed her words. “To Captain Jack.”

They stood there and drank their drinks in silence. Once they had emptied their glasses, a serious look came onto Tosh’s face and she closed the door to the office.

“But if you ever do anything that would hurt Ianto again, you’ll be answering to me. Do you hear me?”

Jack wanted to smile at the ferociousness in Tosh’s voice. He knew that she and Ianto had become quite close friends; it was nice to see someone who had Ianto’s back.

Jack saw Owen and Suzie talking to each other urgently outside Ianto’s office, with Gwen looking on in confusion. He looked back at Tosh and knew he couldn’t put off telling her about Ianto’s death any longer. He had just opened his mouth to speak when Owen burst into the office.

“Jack! I have to talk to you about Ianto…” Owen trailed off as Jack held up a hand to stop him speaking.

Jack sighed and placed a hand on Tosh’s shoulder for support. To Tosh, he looked so lost, so desolate. What had happened to Ianto?

“No, Owen. I know already. I know he’s… dead.”

Tosh gasped in shock at Jack’s words. How could Ianto be dead? How would Jack even know that when he had been with her the whole time?

“What? No! He’s not dead Jack,” Owen looked just as shocked as Tosh. “Ianto’s still alive!”

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