Gwen looked out of the picture window of Garrett and Jack’s apartment. It was dawn. Below the city was starting to come alive as another morning began. It was going to be a beautiful, sunny one. On mornings like this she used to wake up glad to be alive and ready to enjoy her day’s work.

That was before she joined Torchwood, before she began to look up at the sky and wonder just what strangeness was waiting up there to terrify and gross her out and shake her certainties about her world.

Now, she tended to wake up even on nice mornings and wonder what was going to happen to spoil the niceness.

This morning was spoiled already. The whole day yesterday was spoiled after Jack failed to turn up for work. After his car was found abandoned by the Severn Bridge, it went from bad to worse. Of course, nobody at Torchwood believed the obvious for one minute. Jack had not thrown himself off the bridge. Why would he? He was happier than he had ever been. He had Garrett and Gray completing his life. He loved them both. He came to work smiling every morning no matter what he had to face when he got there. He had no reason to kill himself and even less reason to disappear of his own volition.

Which left only one possibility.

Jack had been kidnapped.

She looked around. The little boy was asleep on the sofa with a blanket around him. He had refused to go to bed until Jack was home. He had fallen asleep with his thumb in his mouth. Gwen had taken it out twice and then decided he needed any comfort he could get and left him alone. She felt like curling up with her thumb in her mouth herself. But she was a grown up and somebody had to be strong.

Rhys was curled up in a big armchair, though not with his thumb in his mouth. He was meant to be the one being strong for her, but he fell asleep about two o’clock. She had stayed awake, stayed by the phone. It had rung from time to time, but only to say there was no news.

It rang again. She grabbed it.

“It’s ok,” said Garrett’s voice on the other end of the line. “He’s been found. I’m on my way to the hospital.”

“Hospital? Why would Jack need to be in a hospital?” she asked. “He gets better by himself. He’s never needed a hospital before…”

“I don’t know,” Garrett admitted. “All I know is he’s alive, and he’s in hospital. And… that’s enough for me, right now. Ianto’s there already. I’ll ring you as soon as I know more. I’m just… just glad he’s…”

Garrett was struggling to hold in his emotions. Gwen was, too. Jack was alive. They knew where he was. That was better news than they had all night. But until they knew why he was in hospital, there was still reason to feel the bright blue sky of this perfect late summer morning was just mocking them.

She thanked Garrett for ringing and closed the call. She turned and saw that Rhys was awake. He had obviously heard most of the conversation and guessed. His eyes and hers turned towards Gray on the sofa. Gwen stepped towards him. She shook him gently. The boy opened his eyes and looked up at her.

“Jack is in hospital,” she told him. “We don’t know anything else, yet. But I’m sure he’s going to be all right. So… you go on back to sleep for now. And later, I’m sure you’ll be able to see him.”

The boy managed a half smile. He understood. Gwen tucked the blanket around him and watched him fall asleep again, a little easier in his mind, now.

Garrett was surprised to be directed to the renal department of St. Helens hospital. He had expected to be sent to intensive care or to an isolation ward. But the nurse brought him to a curtained off bed in the long ward and reminded him not to make too much noise as other patients were asleep.

Ianto was by the bedside already. Garrett noted the way he was leaning forward, clinging to Jack’s hand. He wasn’t jealous. He was grateful to him for being there for Jack when he needed him.

Ianto looked around and nodded to Garrett. He stood and let him take his place. Garrett grasped Jack’s warm hand. He reached out and stroked his face. He looked pale and sickly. A monitor was reading his vital signs. They were all steady enough. But he was unconscious.

“He was in a lot of pain when they brought him in,” Ianto whispered. “He’s heavily sedated. He’s going to be ok, though.”

“What happened to him?” Garrett asked. “Why does he need to be in hospital? How did he get here?”

“He was found in the hospital car park,” Ianto replied. “A nurse going off duty spotted him lying there. When they examined him, they found…” Ianto hesitated. It seemed incredible even for him, after so many years of Torchwood weird shit. “They found that he had a kidney missing. It had been surgically removed… But…”

Garrett pulled back the bedsheets. Jack was dressed in a pale blue pair of hospital pyjamas beneath. He pulled the shirt of it up and examined his abdomen.

“How?” he asked. “There’s no incision.”

“That’s what nobody understands,” Ianto answered. “They did ultrasound scans that show where the kidney was taken. A neat surgical job, apparently, and done no more than a few hours ago, but there’s no scar.”

“Why is he… I mean… why didn’t it grow back. I’ve seen bullet holes in his head that just close up… gaping holes in his abdomen… I’ve seen him shot through the heart and it mended… This is Jack… he shouldn’t be lying there looking like he went through seven shades of shit like any ordinary man…”

“That only happens when he dies,” Ianto explained. “The regeneration of his body. He didn’t die this time. He was still alive when they brought him into the hospital. Losing a kidney is debilitating but it isn’t immediately fatal. So the thing… the magic… whatever… doesn’t apply.”

“So he’s sick just like anyone else?” The idea startled Garrett. It had startled Ianto when he got to the hospital and found him looking like that, too. “He’s… vulnerable?”

“He’ll be ok,” Ianto assured him. “People live with one kidney all the time. He just needs a day or so in hospital and a bit of TLC when he gets home.”

“He’ll get it,” Garrett promised. He leaned over and kissed Jack’s cheek. He stirred slightly, but he was too heavily sedated to respond fully to the affection offered him. His hand tightened around Garrett’s, though, and there was a very slight smile on his lips. He knew he wasn’t alone. Ianto suppressed a small pang of envy. He had sat by his side for nearly an hour, and Jack didn’t even know he was there. Now he had Garrett. He didn’t need him.

“I’m going to see if I can find out anything more,” he said. “You’ll stay with him?”

“Nothing short of a royal assassination would drag me away,” Garrett answered. He stood and embraced Ianto. “Thanks for looking after him.”

“Any time,” Ianto replied with a catch in his voice. “Jack is…”

He didn’t have to say anything else. He and Garrett were on the same wavelength when it came to Jack. Ianto slipped away quietly and went in search of the doctor who had treated him when he was brought in.

He found him in his office. He was looking at Jack’s ultrasound scans very carefully. They were obviously troubling him.

“I am right, aren’t I?” Doctor Goudge said to him. “You’re from Torchwood. Mr Harkness… his name is infamous around this hospital. But not usually as a patient. And… I’ve seen you here before… when we’ve had unusual things going on.”

“Yes, we’re Torchwood,” Ianto confirmed. “We’re…”

“You’re a government agency that deals with… things that can’t easily be explained.”

“Yes… that sums us up quite nicely. Is there…”

“Something that can’t easily be explained?” Doctor Goodge sat back in his seat and sighed heavily. “I’ve been told not to make a big deal out of it. We don’t want panic. But…”

“Jack isn’t the first.” Ianto looked at the doctor’s eyes as he hesitated and read him like a book. “There have been others with missing organs and no surgical incision?”

“This has to be confidential,” Doctor Goudge insisted. “If it were known that I had discussed patient records with somebody outside of the profession…”

“You don’t actually have to tell us anything,” Ianto told him. “Now we know what to look for, we could access the hospital records and compile our own data. Yes, we’re that good. But if you want to volunteer information…”

Doctor Goodge volunteered the information. An hour later, Ianto headed back to the Hub with a very interesting collection of information on the data stick in his breast pocket. Martha Jones’ eyes popped as she read it off on her own computer.

“It’s like that urban myth about people being kidnapped and their kidneys stolen,” she said. “Except this is the uber-weird Cardiff version where the organs are… I don’t know, transmatted out of their bodies?”

“Oh, fuck! Yes!” Ianto exclaimed. “Yes, that’s what they’re doing. Somebody has a singularity scalpel. They’re using it to steal people’s internal organs.”

“Errkk,” Martha commented. “But if so, what can we do about it? These victims, apart from living in the greater Cardiff area, they have nothing in common. Age, gender, social status. There’s nothing to link them. Where do we start?”

“Check other hospitals, and the morgue,” Ianto replied. “People can survive with only one kidney. But what if they’re in the market for other organs, too?”

“Errkk,” Martha said again and set to work accessing the records for all the NHS and private hospitals in Cardiff and South Wales. Ianto left her to it and headed down to the archive. Alun was there. His reaction to the overnight crisis had been to bury himself in work.

“Is there any more news about Jack?” he asked as Ianto stole a quiet moment up against the filing cabinets covering alien incursions into Earth’s atmosphere from 1960 to 1969.

“They’re going to keep him in hospital another twenty-four hours,” Ianto replied. “Just for observation. After that he has to have three or four days bedrest.”

“Does Jack understand the concept?” Alun asked. “Garrett is going to have a hard time keeping him in bed for three or four days.”

“I managed it once,” Ianto answered with a suggestive lift of his expressive eyebrows. “Mind you, neither of us did a lot of resting.”

Alun laughed. Then Ianto filled him in on what was happening. He swore like a soldier.

“Owen took the singularity scalpel to Scotland. He said he wanted to find out more about it. You… should check with him to make sure he still has it. I mean, he’s not usually careless with artefacts, but that’s the one bit of technology we know of that could do that to a Human being. So it’s worth a try.”

“I think we should check out the place where we got that one from,” Ianto suggested.

“The basement of the old lying-in hospital?” Alun looked doubtful. “We cleared everything out of there. The building was demolished three months ago.”

“They haven’t started building on the site yet?”

“No. It was meant to be luxury apartments. But… you know, the credit crunch…”

“Let’s take a look, anyway. It might give us a lead.”

Alun nodded and grabbed his coat. He followed Ianto up to the garage where he carefully filled in a booking out log for the SUV before getting into the driver’s seat. Alun belted himself into the passenger side and waited for Ianto to start the car.

He didn’t.

“Hey,” Alun said, putting his hand over Ianto’s hand on the steering wheel. “Ianto… I just… want to say… I understand why you’re so worried. I know you still care a lot about Jack. I’m not jealous that you rushed to the hospital to be with him.”

Ianto turned to him. He reached out and held him around the neck.

“I love you, Alun,” Ianto replied. “Never think otherwise. But Jack… when I thought we’d lost him. I felt so hollow inside… as if a part of me was missing with him. I’m sorry. I’ve been a basket case for the past twenty-four hours, and all over another man. It’s not fair on you.”

“It’s all right, cariad,” Alun assured him. “Come on. Let’s see if we can help him by finding out who or what did this to him.”

Alun meant it. He wasn’t just humouring Ianto. He really did understand why, right now, he took second place to Jack Harkness in his own husband’s affections. Jack had been there before him. He was the first man Ianto ever loved. He would always love him. But there was room in his heart for them both.

The ‘old Lying In Hospital’ referred to the former St. Malachy’s free hospital in Penarth. It dated back to before the National Health Service, when poor people with ailments needed free treatment. It had been closed in the mid-1990s because it was too old fashioned and upgrading it would have been more expensive than building a new wing at St. Helens. Not that they ever built the new wing, mind you. That was the NHS for you.

Quite how a collection of alien medical equipment ended up in the basement of the building, Torchwood never actually found out. But they had cleared eight packing crates of the stuff two summers ago. The singularity scalpel was voted as the most lethal of the job lot and originally archived as too dangerous to use on any sentient being. But Owen had retrieved it and done some experiments before declaring that he knew how it worked. He said it could revolutionise surgical procedure. Jack had replied with something like ‘not while I have breath in my body’ which more or less ruled out use of the singularity scalpel before the sun actually exploded.

Which was why Owen had taken it with him to Scotland. A quick phone call confirmed that he still had it with him. He also confirmed that there was nothing else in Torchwood’s inventory that could do what they were describing. And in any case, Torchwood’s stock of alien artefacts was secure.

So somebody had found another one, and figured out how it worked.

And was using it on unsuspecting members of the public?

Who would have knowledge like that?

And what was the point of it?

His thoughts were disturbed by a crackle in the communicator on his ear. He heard Martha calling him.

“You were right, Ianto,” she said. “I’ve found twenty-three patients admitted to hospital in the past three weeks with sudden renal failure. That’s an abnormally high number of people with failing kidneys. I double checked their medical records and found that they’ve been altered. Every single one of them was found to have a kidney missing. But somebody changed the record after the initial diagnosis, to make it seem as if they had an ordinary renal disease. Ianto… that includes Jack’s medical record. It says he was suffering from acute renal failure.”

“Bastards!” Ianto exclaimed. Alun, listening in to the conversation as he drove the SUV, wasn’t sure if that was because twenty-three people’s medical records had been altered or because one of them was Jack Harkness.

“There’s more,” Martha added. “I’ve found four bodies, two in St. Helen’s mortuary, one at Cardiff Royal Infirmary and one at University Hospital. The two at St Helen’s had their livers removed. The one at Cardiff infirmary was missing his stomach, and at University Hospital the patient had her heart extracted.”

“And all of them had altered records?”

“Yes. All given natural causes of death. Liver cirrhosis, bowel cancer, heart failure.”

“Is there any kind of doctor’s signature on the amended records?” Ianto asked. “Or would that be too much to ask for?”

“No,” Martha answered. “They all appear to have been amended by the senior consulting doctor in each case – including your Doctor Goodge who tipped you off. So my guess would be somebody using a backdoor into the system to infiltrate their user accounts.”

“I’m the technical and IT officer at Torchwood, Martha,” Ianto replied, teasingly. “I’ll make judgements about the computer system. You stick to the medical side.”

“Ok,” she replied. “But, you know, I bet I’m right about the backdoor.”

“We’ll see about that,” Ianto countered. “Thanks for the information, Martha.”

“You’re welcome,” she answered. “I think… there’s nothing I can do here. I might go to the hospital and see how Jack is. He’s… my friend, too.”

“You do that,” Ianto told her. “Thanks, Martha.”

“Turn right here,” Alun said as he ended his conversation with Martha. “Half a mile down this road.”

“I know,” Ianto replied. “I remember. Looks a bit different now. There were more trees and big gates. But I remember it.”

Doctor Goodge looked at Jack Harkness’s file and sighed. He closed it and turned off his computer monitor. He stared at the blank screen for a long time.

He sighed and put the computer screen back on. Jack Harkness’s altered medical record stared him in the face again. He looked at his own electronic signature certifying that the information was correct.

He was tired of lies. He wanted it to be over. That was why he had been almost pleased when he realised that his latest victim was somebody with friends who asked questions. He had given the young man from Torchwood more than enough clues. Would he be able to work it out? Would he be able to expose them, put a stop to what they were doing?

If Torchwood couldn’t nobody could.

The Lying In hospital wasn’t there any more. It had been completely demolished now. Alun and Ianto walked across the rough remains of the foundations. It looked like the preserve of late night dog walkers and children blackberry picking in the dense thickets of brambles that had grown wild since the hospital was closed.

“It’s a long shot,” Ianto admitted. “I’m not sure we’re not clutching at straws. There’s no reason why there should be anything here. We’re just… I’m just… I’ve been worried about Jack since yesterday. Now I think I have to do something, anything, to… I don’t know… avenge him? Am I being stupid?”

“No, you’re not being stupid,” Alun answered him. “This is as good a place to start as any. Besides, look at that.”

Ianto didn’t see what he was pointing at first of all. Then he noticed the tyre tracks. A commercial vehicle, something like a transit van, had been here regularly.

“What’s that? Alun asked. He kicked at a metal cover set into the ground. It was about six inches across with a groove that could be turned.

Could it be that simple? Something that the Famous Five’s dog could have sniffed out in five seconds? Alun was ready for it to be dead end. Real life wasn’t that easy.

He reached out and turned the cover. It did so easily with no sign of rust or stiffness. It didn’t lift up or push, though and he was trying to work out what it was for when Ianto gave a startled yell. Alun turned and saw his lover’s legs disappearing into the ground. He jumped onto the descending flagstone and clung to Ianto’s arm.

“Definitely don’t remember the hospital having its own pavement lift,” he pointed out. “Not as scenic as ours, mind you.”

Ianto found a torch in his pocket. Alun grinned. Even in broad daylight Ianto, the last boy scout, carried a torch on the offchance that they might go somewhere dark. He shone it on the concrete walls of the shaft they were slowly descending through. He spotted a couple of markers that suggested they were descending at least two floors into a sub basement.

“We definitely didn’t see this the last time,” Ianto said. “In fact, I’ll swear this isn’t even on the blueprints we were using. There’s a whole extra floor down here.”

The lift stopped. They stepped off. Ianto turned off his torch. He didn’t need it. There was plenty of light.

Martha reached the renal ward. She had flowers and chocolates with her. She wasn't sure if Jack was ready for flowers and chocolates, yet. Was he even the sort of man who would want that sort of thing? But she brought them anyway.

She found the still curtained off bed and stepped inside. She dropped the flowers and chocolates and sprang forward to Garrett’s side. He was slumped across the bed, unconscious. Her first guess was that he was drugged with something. There was no sign of Jack.

The swish of the curtains made her turn around. Doctor Goodge was there. He looked upset.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I am so very sorry, for my part in all of this. I really am… believe me.”

“Your part in what?” Martha asked. “What is going on? Where is Jack?”

“Your friend is dead,” Doctor Goodge answered. “Or he will be, soon. I’m sorry. But… I can help you stop it happening to anyone else. I’m sorry. I’ve been a fool. And I know I’m going to go to jail for what I’ve been a part of. But I don’t care any more. It has to stop.”

“What has to stop? What have you done?” Martha demanded. She looked around at the doctor, then back to Garrett. He was still completely out of it. He wasn’t going to be any help at all. She lifted him onto the bed and put him into the recovery position, then reached beneath his shirt and found the service pistol he always wore in a shoulder holster. Doctor Goodge was alarmed when she pointed it at him, but seemed to accept that he deserved it.

“We’re going to walk out of here quietly,” Martha said. “Tell the nurse at the end of the ward to come and look after the patient, here. He’d better be sitting up and drinking tea when we get back.”

Doctor Goodge did as she said even though she had jammed the gun into her coat pocket.

“I wanted this to be over, you know,” he said as they stepped into the lift. “I wanted somebody to stop it.”

“The signatures on the changed medical records,” Martha said as she slowly worked it out. “They weren’t faked by somebody using a backdoor. You… and the other doctors, too, signed them. You changed the records to cover up what you did. Then what? Bribed the doctors who made the first diagnosis – or threatened them – forced them to keep their mouths shut…”

“Yes,” Doctor Goodge admitted. “Yes, we did.”


“We were paid well,” he answered. Martha sighed, not only for herself, but for another ‘Doctor’ whose blood would be boiling right now. She could guess just what he would say right now. Because it was exactly what she said.

“I’m ashamed to be in the same profession as you,” she said. “Ashamed, disgusted. We all took the Hippocratic oath. I know it seems old-fashioned, stupid even, these days. But we pledged ourselves to relieving pain, alleviating suffering, saving lives where it was humanly possible. But you people… you…”

She ran out of words. Doctor Goodge sighed and hung his head. He accepted her censure.

They didn’t need a torch, because there was plenty of light. Alun put the theory that there was an electricity generator somewhere down on this hidden floor. Ianto agreed.

“Hang on,” he said. He reached in his pocket for a small device that looked like a tyre pressure gauge and aimed it at the ceiling, apparently randomly. The cctv cameras discreetly placed at intervals all began looping back and showing empty corridor. “We’d better move carefully, all the same,” he added, taking his gun from inside his jacket. Alun did the same. They moved stealthily, listening for any other footsteps than their own as they turned a corner into a wider corridor with doors leading from it. Ianto tried one of them. It opened into a small private ward. There was a patient lying in the bed. She was a young woman who would be attractive if she wasn’t a yellow colour that suggested severe liver problems. Ianto moved closer to examine her while Alun looked at her medical chart.

“Are you a doctor?” she asked, her eyes opening as Ianto leaned over her. “Is it time for my operation?”

“I’m a nurse,” Ianto answered with a winning smile. “Just taking a quick look at you. The doctor will be here soon.”

“You’re a very handsome nurse,” she managed to say. “This is definitely better than the NHS.”

“You get some rest,” he told her. “That’s what you’re here for.”

He stepped away. Outside in the corridor he breathed a deep sigh of relief. He had got away with that, but they might not be so lucky the next time.

“A woman waiting for an operation, who knows she’s not in an NHS hospital.”

“She was suffering from complete liver failure,” Alun confirmed. “She needs a whole organ transplant.”

“Huge waiting list for that sort of thing. Hard to find compatible donors.”


“Unless somebody is going out and harvesting them.”

“What else would they want all those organs for?”

“I thought it might have been that,” Ianto said. “Then I had this wild theory about some alien that enjoyed braised Human kidneys for breakfast… and the odd liver and heart treat. You know… Torchwood… stranger things have happened. But… this isn’t going to be about aliens, is it? This is one of those times when the monsters turn out to be Human.”

He sighed. So did Alun.

“I prefer the aliens. At least they make sense. But humans doing sick things to each other…”

They opened more doors and found another six patients waiting for transplant operations two kidneys, a liver transplant, two bone marrow patients and one cornea replacement.

They both looked at the set of double doors ahead of them. There was something about the design, with the two small porthole windows, that said ‘operating theatre’. There was a panel above the doors with ‘do not enter’ in large red letters.

They entered.

There was an operation in progress. A very delicate operation even with alien technology to assist. A diseased heart had just been removed from a patient, a man in his early thirties. It was done using a duplicate of Owen’s singularity scalpel without having to crack the chest.

The heart was placed on a tray and the surgeon in charge told a nurse to set it aside for analysis later. Meanwhile, he used the same gadget to remove the working heart from the body on the other table.

Nobody had noticed them yet. They were too busy with the operation. It was only when Ianto edged around the operating theatre until he could see the body the heart had just been removed from that he made his presence known.

“Shit!” he cried out, unable to help himself. “It’s… it’s Jack.” He pushed two of the theatre nurses out of the way in order to reach the operating table. He looked at the body lying upon it. There wasn’t a mark on him. But he was obviously dead. Ianto had seen Jack dead often enough to recognise the subtle difference in his skin tone, the dryness of his flesh. He looked at his face and reeled in shock. Jack’s eyes were open. They were dead and lifeless, the sapphire blue staring into nothing.

“You operated while he was still awake! You heartless bastards!” His rage was such that his voice carried even over the emergency siren that had begun to wail and Alun adopting a defensive position by the door and demanding that everyone stop what they’re doing and put their hands in the air.

“I can’t,” the surgeon said. “Unless you want this man to die as well. I have to finish this operation. So point your gun somewhere else.”

“Let him finish,” Ianto said. He had gathered enough of his wits now to raise his gun and hold it steady in one hand while he lifted Jack’s cold, lifeless body from the table and pressed it against his own breast. “Don’t let Jack’s sacrifice go to waste.”

“You get on with that,” Alun said. “YOU, shut that bloody noise up.” He waved his gun towards one of the nurses who reached and stopped the siren. It had already done its work anyway. A gunshot missed his shoulder by millimetres as three armed security guards ran down the corridor. The surgeon performing the second part of the heart transplant operation yelled in outrage and told them to hold their fire. But they were doing so anyway. Alun had returned fire and wounded one of them while the other two dived for cover. He slammed the doors shut and slid a heavy hospital cabinet in front of them.

“How many more guards are there and what arms do they have?” he demanded.

“The sort of money we’re making, we can afford an army,” replied the anaesthetist. “You two are dead men. You’re not walking out of here alive.”

“Don’t be sure of that,” Alun answered. “There’s more than the two of us. We have an army, too. And it’s coming. We’re just going to stay right here until they get here. So everyone stay very still and quiet and I won’t have to use this gun on anyone else.”

“You wouldn’t shoot unarmed people, medical people?” the surgeon said as he worked with his alien gismo. Alun glanced at the video screen above the operating table. He was a soldier, not a doctor, but he thought he understood what was happening. The heart taken from Jack’s body had been ‘transported’ into the empty chest cavity of the patient. The surgeon was now using another alien tool to connect the arteries and veins. As he watched, the heart began to beat again and pump oxygenated blood around the patient’s body.

It was nothing short of miraculous. Operations like this usually took hours. It had been accomplished in minutes. But at what price? His gun arm never wavered, but he glanced at Ianto who was still clutching Jack’s body desperately.

“I don’t know,” he said, meeting his gaze with tear-filled eyes. “I think… I think they might have killed him for good this time. I don’t think he can come back without a heart in his body. He’s gone, Alun. They… they murdered him.”

“Hold on,” Alun answered him. “Don’t break, Ianto. He would want you to hold on.” He turned back to the surgeon who stepped away from the table while his assistants took care of the patient. “Is that what it was all about then, money? You took organs from ordinary people… ordinary people just kidnapped and used… for people who could afford to jump the queue and get their organs… you killed or maimed those people to give life and health to those with money.”

Nobody tried to waste their breath justifying their actions. They had committed terrible crimes for money. There was no justification.

“Your little set up is closed down as of now,” Alun told them. “It ends here.”

“I don’t think so,” replied the anaesthetist. “You two are history.”

There was a sound in the corridor behind Alun’s hastily assembled barricade that suggested he was right. There must have been a small army out there. Bullets were pumped into the doors. The glass windows shattered. Without having to be told, the medical staff all ducked and covered their heads. Ianto pulled Jack’s body down with him behind the operating table.

Then there was another noise and the bullets stopped hitting the door. There were shouted orders and the sound of arms being grounded.

When a voice called out in a commanding manner, Alun’s heart leapt in relief.

“Open this door, now! This is an order from U.N.I.T. Drop your weapons and come out with your hands up.”

“Martha!” Alun called back as he pulled away his barricade and opened the door. “The only guns in here are with the good guys.”

Martha Jones stepped into the operating theatre followed by Doctor Goodge and a group of U.N.I.T. soldiers. The medical staff all surrendered immediately.

All but one. The anaesthetist gave an angry cry when he saw Doctor Goodge.

“You fucking grass,” he screamed. “I knew you would crack. You soft fucking bastard. You’ve screwed us all. I’m going to fucking kill you.”

He twisted and grabbed the sidearm from the U.N.I.T. man who was trying to restrain him. Doctor Goodge stepped back as he raised the weapon, but there was nowhere to run. His way was blocked by more soldiers pouring in.

Then there was a sharp crack that echoed around the room. The anaesthetist gave a cry that counterpointed it as blood billowed from his wounded shoulder and the gun fell from his hand.

Alun looked around to see where the shot had come from and saw Ianto on the floor under the operating table, and Jack lying on top of him. Ianto’s gun was in his outstretched hand. He looked to make sure nobody else wanted to play suicidal games with guns then made it safe and gave it back to Ianto.

Ianto gave a soft cry and hugged him joyfully. Alun still wasn’t jealous. He felt like hugging him, too. He settled for helping Martha to apply a field dressing to the injured anaesthetist before he was taken into U.N.I.T. custody.

“The other doctors involved are being arrested right now,” Martha told him. “There are ambulances coming for the patients they have down here, still. They’ll have to be questioned. They must have known something illegal was going on. But these…. These ‘doctors’ are going to jail. There’ll probably be some cover story about them selling illegal prescription drugs. We don’t need the public knowing about alien medical tools and stolen organs…”

Alun nodded. The cover stories were for other people to worry about. He watched as Doctor Goodge was taken into custody with the others and then he went to Ianto and Jack. He hugged them both.

“I didn’t think you were coming back from that one, Jack,” he said. “Good to see you standing up. Is everything ok now? Are you… whole?”

“Everything in the right places and right proportions,” he answered. “But if it’s ok by you, I’m going to just hold onto your husband for a few more minutes. You can have him back when my head stops spinning.”

“You can let him go now, Jack,” Martha said. “Your own man is on his way here. And there’s a little boy on the other end of this phone wanting to know if you’re in once piece.”

“One more sentence with the word ‘pieces’ in it and it’ll go down hard with you all,” he said as he took the phone and suppressed a happy sob when he heard Gray’s voice on the other end of the line.


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