“Ianto?” Gwen hadn’t meant to sound as surprised as she had been. With trembling hands she pulled the errant dark locks out of her face. “Thank you, I mean. Thank you.”
Standard disclaimers. Thanks to Rosesbud for betaness
It was amazing how…singularly focused the mind became in certain circumstances. Gwen noted how thick and dull the blade felt, pressed against her neck, the smell of rust upon the cold metal, the way the blunt slab glinted in the dull light of the warehouse (why was there always a warehouse?) and the…thing’s arm around her. Heavy, scaled and thick, the oils practically burning her flesh. She felt more than saw Owen about fifty feet away, shifting uncomfortably.
The blunt edge of the three-foot long blade cut beneath her jaw a little more forcefully, actually causing one of her feet to lift off the ground in an effort to not be strangled or decapitated. Her hands frantically clawed at her captor, completely unable to find a handhold or enough leverage to try to throw him. The thing had to be seven and a half feet tall, and she was hardly an Amazon.
Finally, her other foot found the ground again and she dug in as hard as she could, twisting both of them around. “Shoot him!” she yelled. Managing to get more of the creature’s back facing her teammate, she hollered again. “Owen, SHOOT IT!”
There was an unbearably long pause as nothing happened. A moment later slime dripped onto her cheek as the thing drooled on her, causing her to involuntarily lean forward. The body practically surrounding her jerked suddenly and the blade was no longer pressing into her flesh and the rough arm crushing her chest fell away.
The tunnel vision was still there–she felt her heart beat twice, heard the rush of air into her lungs and then the creature fell to the floor beside her, completely and utterly deceased–the neck at the weird angle was the tipoff.
Drawing in another slow, painful breath, she turned around as she slowly straightened herself, expecting to see Jack, but instead of a large grey coat she was confronted with a the collar of a navy suit jacket, right at eye level. “Ianto?” Gwen hadn’t meant to sound as surprised as she had been. With trembling hands she pulled the errant dark locks out of her face. “Thank you, I mean. Thank you.”
For a moment, Ianto had seemed as surprised as she had been, but his eyes had gone back to being an enigmatic mask similar to the one that Jack usually sported. Wiping his hands against each other once, the oils didn’t come off. He simply let them drop to his sides, clutched carefully around the mess so as not to soil his impeccable attire. “It’s dead.”
As Owen slowly, repentantly approached, something crackled in Gwen’s ear. “Guys?”
She touched her headset still breathing heavily. “It’s dead. Ianto got it.”
Above them, boots clomped on a grated footbridge as their leader approached. “What the hell took so long?” Jack asked.
Gwen’s eyes met Owen’s and he didn’t break away, but he didn’t apologise either. Finally she looked to Ianto, to see who’d be the first to explain. The Welshman was also staring at Owen, his eyes just as unreadable. Suddenly she understood Toshiko’s temptation with the alien necklace, to hear her coworker’s thoughts. Even their body language revealed nothing.
Finally Ianto turned away, pressing his headset to talk. “Somebody forgot to bring a weapon to the party.”
Jack didn’t respond, he simply clamored down the remaining two flights of metal steps. As he approached the scene, he frowned. “Gwen--”
She glared at her former lover. “It wasn’t me, Jack. Just how stupid do you think I am?”
Owen’s face went from passive to defensive in a fraction of a second. It was probably the closest to an honest response as she’d seen from any of her coworkers lately. “What? I thought we were going out for drinks?”
Disgusted, her hands came to rest upon her hips, thumbs sliding into the belt loops of her jeans. “And would it have killed you to bring a gun? What if the bartender just so happened to be harbouring a vicious alien in his back room? Oh wait, HE WAS!”
Jack may have been about to reprimand the guilty party, but he just folded his arms over his chest and took a step back, glancing to Ianto for an explanation. He only got a shrug in response.
Brow furrowed, Owen chanced another step forward, pointing at the thing on the ground. “We were just going out for drinks! Sometimes … drinks are just drinks!”
There was something…vindicating about finally not being the one to make such a rookie blunder. That was somewhere in the back of her mind, behind the anger and frustration…and even fear of the last ten minutes. She could see it there, but it didn’t stop her from yelling at him once more. “We left the office, Owen! The gun is implied!”
Biting his upper lip, Jack quietly turned away, grabbing Ianto’s shoulder and urging him to just back up slowly.
There were just some things it was better to let folks sort for themselves.
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