Title: Priorities – Companion piece to ‘Armed And Dangerous’
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Team, Dale
Summary: Being in charge means not allowing his emotions to rule his head.
Word Count: 474
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Jack’s heart clenches with fear as he sees Ianto free himself from the ropes binding his wrists and grab Dale’s right arm, grappling with him. The gun in Dale’s hand goes off, firing randomly and as he watches, all Jack can do is pray that none of his people get hit by stray bullets.
He tries to get a clear shot at Dale, but Ianto’s in the way and the space whale is thrashing about, the chains that have up until now held it immobile snapping under the strain of the immense creature’s agonised writhing. Ever mindful of the safety of all his team, Jack pulls Tosh clear of danger, wishing he could do the same for Ianto. His blood runs cold as Dale knocks Ianto to the bloodstained floor and stands over him, gun aimed at his head. There’s nothing Jack can do and his heart is in his mouth as Dale pulls the trigger…
To Jack it sounds as deafening as a gunshot, even over the panicked thundering of his heart. Dale pulls the trigger a second time, with the same result, just the hollow click of an empty chamber. He’s out of ammo and takes off, intent on saving his own skin now that he’s lost the advantage.
Jack wants to run to Ianto, check him over, make sure he’s alright, but he can’t; the whale is blocking his path and there’s still work to do. As always, the mission comes first; that’s just the way it has to be in situations where lives are at stake. He’s the boss; it falls to him to give the orders. Doesn’t mean he has to like it though.
“Ianto! Go! After them!” He ruthlessly quashes his protective instincts and snaps out the command.
He knows that Ianto understands; he’s the only one in a position to pursue Dale and his cronies. His teammates are cut off by a poor, half-butchered alien bigger than a trio of double-decker buses; they can’t help him, he’s on his own. Jack experiences a surge of pride as his lover sets off in pursuit, focussed and ready for anything. He doesn’t fancy Dale’s chances; Ianto is mad as hell, and more than capable of taking care of himself. Dale won’t know what hit him.
Jack turns his attention back to the task at hand. Later, there will be time to reassure himself that Ianto’s still in one piece, but right now, the injured, dying alien is his priority. He’d wanted to save it, but once again he has no choice in the matter; the only thing they can do is end its suffering as quickly and painlessly as possible, then clean up the mess.
He squares his shoulders and calls out orders to his team. The sooner they end this, the sooner they can all go home.