Jack knows he’s come back from far worse deaths before, it’s only been a few days since he came back from being blown apart, reviving even as his body was regenerating. Physically, that had been the most excruciatingly painful experience he’d ever lived through. He’d spent the entire time screaming, wishing he could die again to be free from the never-ending pain, even if just for a few minutes.
Right now though, he can’t remember ever feeling so numb on his return. He revives for once without his customary gasp, instead there’s only a reluctant, shallow indrawn breath. He knows he has nothing to return for this time except grief and emptiness. Never again will strong arms hold him as he revives, a quiet Welsh voice soothing and calming him. He’s lost too many lovers over the years and it always breaks his heart, but somehow this time it hurts more than usual.
The worst of it is that he knows he’s to blame for Ianto’s death. There was no good reason to bring his lover to Thames House; he should have ordered him to stay at the warehouse, working on a backup plan. Pride comes before a fall; that saying has never seemed so apt. He wishes he could trade places, give Ianto his life and take his lover’s place in death, but he can’t. The burden of immortality is for him alone to carry.
All he can do now is make sure that Ianto didn’t die in vain.