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Title: The Sea After a Storm, Chapter 103

Rating: R

Warnings: Violence and extreme running aroundness

Spoilers: Season Two thru Something Borrowed (2x09)

Pairings: Jack/Ianto

Disclaimer: Torchwood, Doctor Who and all their wonderfulness belong to the Mighty Beeb and He Who Must Not Be Named. No infringement, only worship intended! All ©'s to Phil Ford for situations borrowed from Something Borrowed.

Summary: In which the team interrupts Gwen's wedding to save her from the Nostrovite hunting her down...

Notes: Thanks for hanging in there with last week's miss. Will try super hard not to do it again! You can find all the previous chapters of The Sea After a Storm here. This is a sequel to Vizzini’s Rule and To The Pain. Thanks again and forever to my amazing beta and wonderful friend [personal profile] thraceadams  for all the help and support and beta work; any mistakes are mine!


The Sea After a Storm: Chapter One Hundred-Three
Previously on The Sea After a Storm: The team discovered that a Nostrovite had impregnated Gwen and rushed to the country to stop the wedding and save the day...

Ianto had just freed Tosh from the Nostrovite's web when someone started to scream, making them all jump. Tosh, Owen and Ianto turned to see an attractive young woman standing in the door wearing a dark red bridesmaid dress and screaming at the top of her lungs.

"That's all we need," Owen muttered under the shrieks.

The bridesmaid turned and ran from the room. Before any of them could react, Jack ran through the door.

"Ianto, after the girl," Jack ordered. "I need this contained."

Ianto gave Jack a nod and stepped forward, falling back a second later when Rhys barrelled through the door. He tried again, only to be blocked again, this time by Gwen. He finally escaped the room and ran down the hallway, guessing the girl would be heading for the chapel. His instinct was correct. He could see her running just ahead of him. He'd almost caught up with her when she put on a burst of speed and sprinted through the doorway of the chapel.

"Call the police!" she yelled as she ran down the aisle. "Mervyn's been murdered!"

Shit, Ianto thought. He tapped his comm. "Jack, I'm afraid the situation is uncontained."

"Okay, Ianto, get to the SUV, jam the phone lines. The last thing we need is someone calling the police."

Ianto spun around and ran full-out for the SUV. He engaged the mobile phone jammer and then fired up the computer, thanking Tosh silently for her tutelage as he hacked into the phone lines of the hotel and cut the service. He was just locking up the SUV when Jack's voice came over the comms.

"Ianto! Need you back upstairs. Bridal Suite. The Nostrovite shifted into Rhys' mother."

Ianto ran back to the hotel at full speed, gun drawn. He caught up with the rest of the team just as Jack kicked open the door to the Bridal Suite, shouting, "Get back, you ugly bitch!" and pointing his gun at the surprised woman.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Rhys yelled. "That's my mother!"

"No! It's the alien," Jack growled.

Rhys' mum looked terrified. "I'm not an alien!" she protested.

Jack sneered. "Oh, you're good, I'll give you that."

"But I'm not!"

"Yeah, and the Lone Ranger didn't have a thing with Tonto."

Gwen broke in. "Jack, does the shape-shifter copy smell too?"

"No," Owen answered. "Just physical."

"Well, I'd recognize that bloody awful perfume anywhere. It's Brenda, Jack. It's Brenda."

Convinced, Jack lowered his gun only to be blindsided by a right hook from Rhys.

"That's for calling my mother an ugly bitch!"

Jack got in Rhys' face, ready to retaliate when Tosh interrupted.

"If that's Rhys' mum, then who's that outside?"

"Oh!"

Turning as one, they all ran back outside to the garden. Ianto couldn't help feeling as if they were in some kind of French farce, running in and out of rooms, dealing with mistaken identities and other absurdities. The ridiculousness of the situation faded as soon as Jack pulled his gun on the shape-shifter and the figure of Rhys' mum was suddenly distorted by claws, red eyes and sharp, blackened teeth.

The Nostrovite lunged at the woman nearest to her and grabbed her by the neck.

"Mum!" Gwen screamed.

"Don't move!" Jack yelled at the Nostrovite.

"The bond between mother and child is a wonderful thing," the Nostrovite crooned.

"Let her go, okay?" Gwen said calmly. From his vantage point behind her, Ianto could see Gwen reach into Rhys' suit pocket for something as he tried to shield her from the monster disguised as his mother.

"Your mother for my child."

"There's no deal," Jack said, his gun held unwaveringly on the creature.

"You don't have a say," she scoffed.

"Don't listen to it, Gwen!" Mrs. Cooper yelled.

"It's okay, Mum. I'll make sure you're safe," Gwen said calmly. "It won't kill you, you'll be okay."

Clearly Gwen gets her nerves of steel from her mum, Ianto thought admiringly.

She started to move forward but Rhys blocked her way.

"You can't do this."

"It's my mum, Rhys."

"Gwen, I can't –"

"Jack..." Gwen said in that same calm voice, never taking her eyes off her mother.

"Rhys!" The order to stand down was clear in Jack's voice.

With a sigh of frustration, Rhys stepped away.

Gwen began to walk towards her mother and the Nostrovite, her steps measured, her bouquet front and centre, looking oddly as if she were walking down the aisle.

"Okay, Mum... "

"Gwen..."

"You're going to be okay. It's okay, Mum," Gwen kept repeating soothingly. "Stay calm, still."

The Nostrovite was getting more and more agitated the closer Gwen got. She finally broke, pushing Gwen's mother away while screaming, "Come to mama!"

The sound of gunshots was deafening as Gwen opened fire, hitting the Nostrovite square in the chest with the gun she'd had hidden behind her bouquet, but the Nostrovite didn't go down. She stumbled back as the bullets hit her and then ran from the garden and promptly disappeared. Owen and Jack followed her while Ianto and Tosh each covered the side entrances, protecting the wedding guests.

"Tosh! Ianto!" Jack called. "Owen is dealing with Gwen and Nostrovite, Jr. We need to find Mama. Split up, cover as much ground as you can but be careful. I'm going to get all the guests back inside and make sure no one goes in or out."

"Right!"

Tosh went left out of the garden while Ianto went straight out the back where the Nostrovite had disappeared. The open lawns yielded nothing, no handy blood trail, not even footprints. It was as if the creature had dematerialized the moment it left their sights. Ianto trudged on, however, looping back around to the front of the hotel where he met up with Tosh.

"Anything?" he asked hopefully.

She just shook her head.

"I wonder if –"

The sound of gunshots interrupted Ianto. A lot of gunshots. He and Tosh ran back inside to see Jack sprinting up the staircase.

"Was that you?" Ianto yelled as they rushed back down the hall to the Bridal Suite.

"No, must've been Owen."

Once again, they stormed into Gwen's room, guns drawn but all they found was Owen, jamming a fresh clip into his gun.

"Whoa!" Jack said as Owen covered Jack for longer than was strictly necessary, a wary look on his face. "What happened?"

Owen didn't respond immediately, his gun still trained on Jack.

"Put it down, Owen."

Something in Jack's tone put Owen at ease and he finally let his weapon fall. "It thought that I'd gone off," he said casually.

Tosh looked around the empty room. "Where are Gwen and Rhys?"

"They've done a runner. Listen, I emptied a clip into that thing," Owen said. "As did Gwen, but some mother instinct or something's making that cow unstoppable. Our guns don't work."

"Then I guess we're going to need a bigger gun." Jack gave Owen a smile. "Okay, you two make sure the wedding guests are still contained. Keep them safe. Ianto, with me."

"Up, down, up down," Ianto muttered as they ran back out of the hotel to the SUV. "We're getting our cardio in today, sir."

"You ain't whistlin' Dixie, I haven't worked out this hard at a wedding since my friends Dax and Jana married an acrobat named Triey. After the service we all took turns on the highwire and let me tell you... well, that's a story for another day," he added with a wicked grin.

Ianto just grunted in response. When they arrived at the SUV, Ianto unlocked the boot and then opened the cases in the floor and began handing Jack the pieces of the RBG Disintegrator Cannon. The "RBG" was actually an unpronounceable alien trademark from a far distant planet, but Jack insisted that it stood for "Really Big Gun."

Jack finished assembling the parts and rested the gun on his hip, striking a pose like the model on the cover of a magazine.

"Oh, shit," he said suddenly, letting the gun sag. "We still need to find the damn thing."

Ianto furrowed his brow. "We didn't have any luck with residual rift energy when Tosh and I lost her the first time."

"And it would have faded too much by now even if it had worked originally."

After a long pause, Ianto snapped his fingers. "Heat signature! We boost the scanner with the SUV."

Jack was already shaking his head. "Nostrovites are cold blooded bastards – literally as well as figuratively."

"Doesn't matter," Ianto said excitedly. He pulled open the door to the SUV and slid inside to fire up the computer. "You said you got all the wedding guests contained in the chapel, right?"

"Yeaaaah," Jack said slowly, clearly not following Ianto's train of thought.

"We know the Nostrovite is looking for Gwen," Ianto explained, his fingers flying over the keyboard. "So we don't need to find her, we just need to find Gwen."

"Owen said she and Rhys did a runner."

"Right, but given Gwen's condition..."

"They wouldn't have run far. So you just need to find two heat signatures somewhere on the grounds away from everyone else!"

The computer beeped loudly. "Which I just did," Ianto said proudly. He tapped a few more keys and the two infrared figures were magnified for a moment before the display zoomed out again and changed to a satellite photo of the outbuildings. "Looks like a barn on the west side of the hotel."

Jack cocked his gun. "Time to put this bitch down."

TBC...

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