The End Of Days

"Well now, guess I haven't been to China before so I'm not wild versed in their customs," Oswald Danes crowed, "but I gotta say, I never knew about that."

Gwen helped Jack up so they could both take a look at what Oswald's attention had been drawn to – blood. A tiny droplet of Jack's blood which had dripped from the saturated bandages Gwen had just removed from his abdomen was now making its way purposefully across the floor.

Both Jack and Gwen frowned, whilst Gwen bent down on her hands and knees to take a closer look.

"Wow, wow wow wow." Oswald grinned.

"It's your blood!" Gwen exclaimed. "No wonder it's killing you, I think…" She followed the blood droplet and made her way over to the window to take a look down at the city below. "I think it's showing us the way."

Jack struggled to his feet.

"It's the blessing, it's somewhere over there." She gasped – turning to look at him. "And I think, whatever it is, it's calling you Jack."

Jack froze, rooted to the spot with pain. 'The Blessing' was slowly killing him – but this time he genuinely didn't have a clue what any of this had to do with him. The pain was growing in intensity – as agonising as it had been when it had first happened – and he swallowed hard.

He could take it no longer, and he doubled over with a strangled grunt, clutching at his side.

"Right you, back into bed." Gwen ordered, wrapping a guiding arm around the small of his back and helping him back down onto the mattress – the support in it had gone years ago, and the twisted and broken springs dug uncomfortably into the base of his back – but it still brought some relief.

"I'm sorry." He apologised.

"Don't be sorry." Gwen smiled. "It's alright… shhh… it's alright. We'll figure something out – we always have. Here… just let me take a look at this."

Jack grimaced as she gently examined the area of the infected gunshot wound – he was going to need anti-biotics and fresh dressings before the night was out, but she hadn't brought anything with her. Why would she have? Jack had told her that the wound had healed, but with what felt like the whole world on the lookout for them she didn't fancy her chances out alone in a strange at the moment.

On the other hand they were hauled up in a hotel owned by drug runners – what they didn't know about do it yourself first aid probably wouldn't be worth knowing. They must have some supplies stashed away somewhere.

Gwen knew it was a risk – they might kill her – but she knew she had to get some help for Jack. He would die otherwise, and Gwen couldn't bear the thought of losing him again.

"I've got to go out for a while Jack." She explained. "I need to find something with which to redress these wounds… and I honestly can't believe I'm saying this, but Oswald, I'm leaving you in charge!"

"What me?" He drawled, jumping down from the top bunk with a heavy thud. Her skin crawled, just to look at him. The sick bastard was enjoying this.

"And by in charge I mean for you to keep an eye on Jack!" She snapped, as she removed Jack's shoes and braces, and did her best to make him as comfortable as possible.

"Are you sure that's wise?" Oswald sneered, but Gwen did her best to ignore the added note of malice in his voice.

"Make sure that he doesn't get up, and start moving around." She insisted, turning back to look at Jack with a smile "I know what he's like." She added with a playful wink, before turning back to look at Oswald – her expression hardening once more.

The man looked on, an expression of mild amusement on his face as he watched her remove a small hand revolver from her back jean pocket, and then squeeze it tightly into Jack's pale fist. She folded his fingers over the top of the weapon. "And if he tries anything," She snarled at Jack through gritted teeth, whilst pointing at Oswald, "shoot him!"

"My pleasure!" Jack smiled, and Gwen kissed him gently on the forehead, before finally getting up and leaving the room – making sure to lock the door carefully behind her.

"Well now," Oswald smiled, perching himself at the foot of Jack's bunk once she'd gone. Jack still clasped the gun tightly within his sweaty palm – he evidently still didn't trust Oswald. "Look like it's just you and me!"