Pairing: Jack/Ianto Tosh/Owen
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood. I wish I did though.
Summary: “If you had a second chance to save the people you’ve ever cared about, to start over, would you? Even if it meant changing everything you knew?” Ianto asked himself as he wrote it into his diary. Thinking back, he saw what Torchwood would do to his friends. He realized how he had been too late to save them, how he had missed out on truly knowing them, missed out on a myriad of things with Jack. He knew his answer; he wasn’t going to relive that.
A/N: I wrote this because I felt really bad for not updating “I am what I am”; I’m still working on it. Hopefully it will be up soon. Oh and thanks to Monica for going over it! Love you!
E/N: I apologize for any confusion this might have brought up. Most of it was my fault although I've made some minor changes which should dispel any confusion that has arisen.
Everything was slipping away from him quickly. He had often imagined this final moment, the moment when his mind would race to find the right words to say. Yet, none seemed to come. It was silly of him to think that all those times he spent preparing for this would actually mean something now. He used to lie in bed, thinking that the will and money he would leave behind for what was left of his family, would mean very little when he died. They were just pieces of paper that told them nothing of who he really was. He would talk himself into thinking that he should spend more time with his family and made plans for a visit as he drifted off to sleep. The next morning, just as he was about to hit the talk button on his phone, he would stop himself. His thoughts would then drift to the job that had risked his life every single day. It was the very same job that had kept him from seeing them for so long. It was too late to for him. He was already in his twenties. No one in Torchwood ever survived to make their pension. If he had started visiting them then, it would have only broken his family apart once he was gone. He couldn’t do that to them. He would then close his phone and get ready for the day.
When Jack held him, his family was the furthest thing from his mind. All he could think was that he was leaving Jack alone and it broke his heart more than anything. The thought of Jack having to see him die and bury him, like he would do for so many to come, was heartbreaking.
“It's all my fault.”
“No its not”
“Don’t speak save your breath.”
“I-I love you”
“Ianto, Ianto, Ianto stay with me. Ianto stay with me please. STAY WITH ME, STAY WITH ME PLEASE!!”
“Hey……it ...was good ya?”
“Don’t forget me”
“In a thousand years time you won’t remember me”
“Yes I will...I promise, I will”
“Ianto...Ianto…..don’t go...don't leave me, please...please don’t…”
He longed to stay, to reply that he wouldn’t leave, but the words refused to form or let alone leave his mouth. He could no longer feel Jack’s warmth as he held him. Everything was getting colder. A faint haze of warmth tickled his lips and he was sure that it was had been Jack.
Ianto had often heard that a light greeted the dead, but after what he had heard from Suzie and Owen, he knew that it wasn’t true. There was nothing but darkness waiting for him, and it frightened him. Darkness all around him and there was nowhere to hide or run. The sound of movement sent chills though him. Whatever it was moved closer, circling him, and all he could do was stand there. Clenching his eyes shut really tightly, preparing for whatever it was that was breathing down his neck; he realized he had never felt so alone, so scared. His chest began to fill with fear and the feeling of hope, of someone coming to his aid, began to rot inside him. He gave frightful sob as he sank to his knees.
“Leave him alone!” a rich voice boomed from somewhere in the dark.
“Jack...” Ianto whispered softly as he opened his eyes to the darkness. He knew that voice from anywhere, that lovely American voice that could warm the day with just a few words, and just as he opened his eyes, there he was. “Jack!!”
The man gave him a soft smile as he pulled him to his feet. “I don’t have much time,” he spoke quickly as he pulled Ianto into an embrace. “I’ll wake soon, you’ll be dead, and I won’t remember this.” Ianto let out a soft sob at thought that this would be the last time he would hold Jack.
“I’m sorry,” Jack whispered as he caressed Ianto’s cheek softly in small soothing circles.
“For not telling you sooner that I love you. I’ve fallen in love with you long ago and I never said anything. I should have told you every day, and now I’ll never get the chance to.”
“It's okay, I knew.”
Jack pulled him closer, before making enough distance for them to see one another. “I will always love you Jones, Ianto, Jones. I’ll love you longer than I will ever live.”
“I love you too Jack.”
Jack closed the gap with a soft and gentle kiss, putting every ounce of him in it that he had left. The kiss seemed so short that Ianto never wanted it to end. Even so, it was then that Jack was gone and he was left alone again.
Tears streamed faster down his face as his heart began to race. At first, he thought it was because Jack had gone but suddenly, his heart felt like it was given a jerk. He clutched his chest and began to panic. The pain came again, bringing him to his knees. It came faster and harder than the other few times. From a distance, he could hear someone calling his name, but it was too faint for him to tell who it was. His eyes slid shut as his heart gave another painful tug.
The hub was quiet today which meant that there was nothing to do all day, and Jack was stuck behind his desk with a mountain of paper work. Though he never left his office, it seemed that he never made a dent out of all the paper work. To make matters worse, Ianto took this day to press everyone on their late paper work that had been piling on the others’ desks which made Jack’s mountain bigger. He peered from the work in his hands to look out the window, almost hoping that the paper would be gone when he looked back. It was when he heard someone making their way up the stairs that he had enough. Without looking away from the window, he remarked with a forced smile, “Leave it on the desk and go home. It’s obvious that the rift won’t be active and the weevils aren’t going to come out and play, but if they do, I’ll take care of it myself. And whatever it is you came up here for can wait until tomorrow.” With that, the employee left without another word.
It was only then that he thought that something important was missing. Looking at the strap on his wrist, he noticed that it was past the lovely Welshman’s fourth round of coffee.
“That explains everything,” Jack said to himself as got up from his chair. If he could remember correctly, he had only seen the man twice today. It was unusual that the man had not been seen; he had more work than anyone in the hub. Even if it didn’t involve saving the world from anything that chose to destroy it, it didn’t mean that the man didn’t deserve a medal for putting up with the mess they made. Jack would be the first to say that they did take advantage of him. The man was too busy with his usual tasks but when he was asked to do something that wasn’t normally asked of him, he would do it with no question asked.
For example, one of his jobs was to make sure that the SUV was clean and equipped with what it needed for the missions to come. It was also to be fueled so that it would get to where it was needed to be. It was a quiet day like this that he and Owen had faked an alien attack to get out of doing paper work, and took the SUV off road instead. They had so much fun that it hadn’t occurred to them that the Welshman might suspect something if they cleaned it themselves, and even more without the alien in question. So they come up with the next best thing and told him that it was alien DNA on the SUV and that he’d have to sample it for Tosh before having to clean it. The Welshman closed his eyes for a few brief seconds before putting down the files he had been working on and did what he was told. It was a rare day when he was ever was asked to take a sample so they thought they would be safe, although it took some convincing for Tosh to keep it to herself. They had laughed about it at the time but it only made Jack feel guilty about it later.
Jack headed off to the archive where he knew the young man would be. He found it strange that Ianto could be down here for hours on end. It could have been because the archives were one of the places no one knew better than him. This was Ianto’s domain and he was very defensive on who went in. Jack had to walk into two or more corridors before he headed off in the direction of Ianto’s desk. It wasn’t very often that he could find him there, he was more often found leaning against the wall, reading a file in order to determine whether it would stay in the section it had been placed in or in a stack that would have to be removed.
Jack walked in to find papers scattered on the floor next to one of the open drawers, panic began to fill his chest at the sight. Something was wrong. Ianto was all about neatness, order, and everything had its place here. The Captain slowly walked in as he pulled out his personal gun. “Yanto!” he yelled out, hoping for a reply. However, the only sounds of reply were the echoes of his voice. “Answer me!” Jack demanded, not wanting to think the worst. He gazed across the room as he made his way towards the nearest sheet of paper before crouching down to pick it up. It was then when something caught his eye, something small and gray peeking from underneath a piece of paper. Jack slowly made his way to it. Ianto’s com. Cursing to himself, Jack realized that there hadn’t been any sign of a struggle with another person in this room. The only two places that had been disturbed were where he stood now and Ianto’s chair. It had been pushed away from the desk. Jack cursed himself again for being such an idiot as he ran to the other end of the room, and he was. “Yanto!” Jack yelled as he saw the man lying on the floor face down, left arm stretched out, loosely holding his mobile. “Be okay, please be okay.” Jack turned the man over to check for a pulse. For a brief moment, he hesitated when he saw that he was clutching onto his own chest. Jack took a deep breath as he pressed his finger over Ianto’s throat, and there it was. A wave a relief washed over him as he felt the rhythm brush his finger tips.
Jack sighed, realizing that he was holding his breath for so long. Quickly, he pulled out his own cell and called for Owen. “Come on pick up, pick up!!”
“It the same thing every time, you leave the building and you get a call.”
“OWEN SHUT UP! HOW FAST CAN YOU GET BACK TO THE HUB?”
“OWEN, HOW FAST?!”
“I never made it out of the parking lot.”
“Good, get the med bay ready.”
Not waiting for a reply, Jack hung up. His eyes never left the sight of Ianto on the ground. Guilt began to rise up in his chest over the fact that he had never paid much attention to him as he should have. The thought of the “if’s” and “should haves” began to fill his head. Pushing them to the furthest part of his mind, he knew that now was not the time to think over that. There would be plenty of time to worry about that later, after Ianto was safe.
Jack kept his eye on Ianto’s face for any sign of discomfort as he pulled the young man’s arms around his neck. He brought one of his arms behind Ianto’s back and the other under his knees scooping him up into his arms. This wasn’t right. The man was too light. Well, it made it easier for him to carry Ianto through the long corridors of the archives.
Reaching the surface, Jack hastily made his way to the bed bay where Owen seemed to be on his way down the steps. Judging by the way he had his back turned, he was very irritated that the local pub wouldn’t be graced with his presence.
“Owen, give me a hand,” Jack ordered as soon as he saw the man.
Owen turned on his heels as he thought of something ugly to say to Harkness for leaving him in the dark. But as soon as he saw his Captain rush toward him with the Tea-boy in his arms, it seemed that nothing else mattered. Not remembering how the distance was closed between them, he found himself helping Jack lay the young Welshman on the table. Placing his finger on the man’s neck as he stared at his wrist watch, he began to count. Owen shook his head as he pulled his fingers away, “This isn’t good, his pulse is 50.” Pulling out his pen light, he got a good look at his eyes before doing anything else. “WHAT HAPPENED?!”
“I found him on the floor in the archives,” stated Jack, panic filling his voice as he watched Owen work, pulling out what he need from his med cabinets.
“That doesn’t tell me anything,” Owen snapped back at him as he continued to tend to his coworker, “What had he been doing? Was this the doing of an Alien Tech?”
“I don’t know Owen,” Jack shot back angrily, more annoyed with himself rather than Owen. He should have known something was wrong, “I went to tell him he could leave, but I found his files on the floor and him behind the desk face down with his hand on his mobile and the other clutching his chest.”
“Then find out then,” Owen hissed at the man, “I need to know, and you can’t help me here so be useful.”
Jack quickly climbed the stairs two at a time, getting up into the center of the hub as he made his way to the nearest station which happened to be Toshiko’s. Her desk was covered with projects that she was going to start, ones she was working on, or ones she had already finished and forgotten to put away. Even with the all the things she had going on, she still managed to get all of her paper work done. It was one of the reasons Ianto would always seem to put more of an effort into whatever she asked of him.
Jack’s fingers typed hurriedly over Tosh’s computer, bringing the day’s CCTV footage on one of the three screens on her desk. He watched as Ianto walked in the hub at Five, like every morning, to do his rounds. The man was graceful at everything he did, putting every ounce of care as he prepared everyone’s morning coffee, fast forwarding to Ianto working in the Archives. He smiled more to himself as he saw how Ianto would roll his eyes and make a comments in welsh every time as he found a file that didn’t belong in the fight section, or when Ianto gave a soft smile every time he came across a file that held his interest. Jack fast forwarded to a part where the Welshman had been working at his desk when he received a call. Jack smiled as he watched the Welshman close his eyes and give an annoyed sigh as he saw who it was before answering it.
“Hey,” Ianto said softly at first as he put the mobile to his ear and continued to work on the file in front of him. Damn that man for being able to multitask. If he were to try doing the same thing, the paper would only read off what he was saying. Well, whoever was calling seemed to get a soft smile from the man and Jack found himself wondering who it was. Out of all the times he had talked to the Welshman, he had never hinted that he had a life outside of Torchwood. “It’s not a good time right now, I’m busy.”
“…..” Watching someone have a conversation over the CCTV was another version of ease dropping but not as fun. Not being able to pick up on what the other person was saying on the other side of the phone wasn’t fun, left to wonder what they would reply during the pauses. Well, that would have to wait until later. Jack wanted to know more about Ianto’s personal life and knowing that if he had asked the man, Ianto would just brush it aside. He fast forwarded through Ianto’s conversation which only ended with him angrily throwing his mobile in one of the desk drawers. It was a little after four-thirty when Ianto had begin to fan himself with one of his hands as he continued to read a file. A few minutes later, he began to readjust his tie. The next thing he knew, Ianto dropped the papers in his hands to grab his chest. His face showed that he was in a great deal of pain. The look of confusion and panic came upon his face as he tried to figure out what was going on, trying to steady himself as he tried to think what could be happening, as he seemed to be reaching for his com with a shaking hand. Then, there it was again. The pain brought the weak Welshman to the ground, knocking his com peace off his ear, and knocking the stacks of files which covered Ianto as he landed on the floor. Paper everywhere made it impossible to find the man. Then, he did the only thing he could. He crawled his way over to his desk, pushing his chair aside in order to get to the drawers. He pulled himself up with the support of the desk. Jack watched in horror as he watched Ianto fumble though his things before he finally found what he what he was looking for. It was his phone. But before he could dial, it seemed another sharp pain attacked him for he gave a sobbing yell as he reached for his chest one more time as he fell to the floor. From then on, the room was still and it was two hours before Jack went looking for him.
“Owen, I need you to run scans on Ianto’s heart,” Jack order as he replayed the CCTV, “something is wrong with his heart!”
Owen wanted to protest that it was very unlikely that the heart would be the problem in someone around their twenties. However, the fact was that this was Torchwood and anything could happen. So when the leader of an alien organization tells you to scan your coworker’s heart, you keep your mouth shut and do what he says. Owen quickly pulled what seemed to look like a regular skinny paper scanner without its top over to the table. It was an alien scanner that had fallen from the rift before Owen himself had entered Torchwood. At first, Owen didn’t really seem quite keen on using it but as soon as he saw what it could do, it became one of his favorite toys. All that the thing needed was a hand on its glass screen and it would send its findings to Owen computer, letting him look at the inside of the body. As Owen began to turn the knobs, making sure that everything was on the right setting, he placed Ianto’s left hand on it.
Owen didn’t have to wait long before the Ianto was displayed onto the screen. Yet the scanner only told him what he already knew, that his pulse was a little week at least he was out of danger for now that he had done his job. Other than that there was nothing on else on the screen, “what am I suppose to be looking for Jack?”
“I don’t know, you’re the doctor, you tell me,” Jack shouted over from where he was at.
“There's nothing out of the ordinary here!” Owen yelled as he made his way to where jack was he needed to know what was going on.
Jack replays the scene from where Ianto starts to readjust his tie. “Just watch.”
Owen didn’t understand why Harkness couldn’t tell him what was going until he saw for himself. “Looking from the footage, it would seem that Ianto was having some sort of heart attack but the scanner hadn’t stated any damages in the heart. This doesn’t make any sense.” He said softly as he rushed back to the scanner making sure he had everything on it right. He took off Ianto’s hand and placed it with his own. Looking up at the screen, he saw his information all there in order. He tried Ianto again and again but all in all, he got the same. “I don’t know what to tell you, other than he may be stressed. I mean, he does do a lot of work here, more than the rest of us. Judging from the dark bags under his eyes, he hasn’t been sleeping well. My main concern though is that he’s underweight. He hasn’t been eating properly. It could have been the combination of the three.”
“He burned himself out,” Jack said softly as he walked over to the young man that lay on the cold metal table. Too young. “It’s hard to believe he’s still a kid behind those suits. He cleans up after us, takes care of us, keeps in line; it’s a lot of work for someone this young. I don’t even know how old he is.”
“It’s easy to forget that he’s the youngest member of the team,” Owen replied softly. Even he hadn’t remembered and he was the man’s doctor, for god sakes. He should have seen that the man hadn’t been taking care of himself. He reached over and looked at the chart. “He’s only twenty and he’s the most mature one out of all us.”
Jack didn’t say anything after that and stared at the young man lying on the table. Stroking Ianto’s hair neatly back into place, he could only imagine what the Welshman would say if he saw what state it was in. He brought his hand down to softly caress the pale, young Welshman’s cheek, before placing a kiss on his forehead. Jack hoped he’d be alright, that he’d come back to him soon.
“Ow!” Jack pulled back, putting his hand over his over his lips trying to nurse the injury, “He shocked me.”
“That’s what you get for trying to molest him,” Owen said with a smirk on his face. He pulled out a small hand held device, waving it over Ianto’s body. Owen burst out in laughter as he walked away calling over his shoulder, “Prince charming.”
Something was wrong. Ianto could feel it. He wanted to open his eye but they felt so heavy that they wouldn’t move. He tried to move his fingers but it seemed he didn’t have control over them. He couldn’t understand. He could feel that his body was lying on top of something cold and hard, but he couldn’t make anything move at his will. He felt imprisoned in his body. It felt horrible. It felt as if he was drowning.
Faint voices made him wonder how long he had been laying there but he couldn’t recall. It seemed like forever since all he could do was think. He began to wonder how things were getting on without him, if his family was okay… Jack would be alright without him. He should have taught Jack to make his own coffee or at least left instructions on how to take care of his coat.
It was when he felt something soft and warm brush against his hair. The touch felt safe and familiar, but it seemed so far away. He felt the urge to open his eyes even more, because he knew that there was something in the dark. He wanted to know the source of the comfort he felt which was a lot better than the dark. He felt his heart give a small spark of pain as he felt a small brush on his skin. For a moment, it felt as if a rush of energy moved through his veins but it died out as fast as it came. He needed more. It was then that he felt he could move his eyes underneath his heavy eyelids, his fingers twitched, and even though he couldn’t physically: he was bursting with excitement in his mind.
That was, until he felt the jolt of pain thousands of times worse than the first one. Sparks raced through him, going through every single fiber of his being. His body felt as if it was on fire. It was then that he snapped his eyes open and gasped as he felt a rush of cold air fill his lungs. His heart began to pound ferociously in his chest and sound came from every direction at once.
Those cries, those sounds, he’d heard them before. His mind raced to figure out who or what they belonged to and then he stopped. It was his name that they called out, his name. Tears began to run down his eyes. He had only got a glimpse of where he was before the tears began to fog his view. He was in the hub again, but it didn’t make sense because it was gone. He had nearly gone down with it if it hadn’t been for Jack. Though it had done him no good, he had died only a few days after. Seeing the place only brought back memories of Tosh, Owen, Myfanwy, and the late nights he had with Jack. Ianto closed his eyes refusing to be fooled by it. It had to be a lie. He was dead and Jack had left him. Left him in the dark and with whatever was out there, toying with his mind. “It’s not real,” he repeated softly to himself, trying to stay strong even though his own voice betrayed the fear and uncertainness he felt inside.
“Yanto,” said the American voice that had brought him so much happiness. Now, it only saddened his heart. As heavy as his own limbs were, he managed to bring his hands to cover his ears. He wanted it to stop, for that voice to go away. ‘It's not real, it’s not real!” he repeated over and over again. A whimper slipped from him as he felt a pair of hands touch him. He pulled away from it, trying to sit up, only to be pushed back down. The friendly gestures turned on him and his thoughts quickly changed. He needed to get away from whatever it was that was holding him tight. Fear filled his heart once again as he began to thrash and squirm for freedom.
“Yanto, it okay it me, its Jack!” it said as he placed his hands over his check, caressing his face. Softly, just like his Jack use to do, to calm him down just enough to catch his scent of gun, oil, and dirt mixed in with his 51 first century pheromones. “Open your eyes, please.”
He was uncertain and scared. He wanted it so badly for this man to be Jack but he was too scared that it might not be. What if it was? He didn’t understand how they could be back in the Hub. Unless, unless everything else had been a bad dream. No, as much as he wanted it to be a nightmare he knew that it was real. He had died in Jack’s arms. Then, all he could think of was that Jack might have come back for him after all.
“Yanto,” a rather concerned voice said as a pair of warm hands turned his head to face the direction where the magnificent sound was coming from. Not knowing what to expect, he slowly opened his eyes to meet a pair of concerned beautiful sea blue. A wave, mixture of relief and concern, washed over him. That’s when he broke. “J...Ja...ck?” he choked out louder than he intended as he let out a hard sob. “Yanto, what’s wrong? Tell me what’s wrong. Are you alright, are you in any pain?”
Ianto didn’t reply but instead, pulled the older man by his braces into a deep kiss. He could feel that Jack was stunned at first by the fact that their lips where brought together. It didn’t stop him from pulling the man closer to him, deepening the kiss. This kiss hadn’t been as gentle as the one in the dark; it was filled with passion and need from Ianto that made the other man pull away. Ianto look looked down at his lap. “You’re not my Jack, are you sir?” he whispered so softly that the other almost didn’t catch it.
“I knew it,” the other voice made itself known, making both men turn to look at him. “You’re shagging the Tea-boy!”
“OWEN!”Ianto yelled as eyes grew wide at the sight of the man standing before him. This was wrong. This wasn’t right. The man looked so alive, like he had just before he had turned into a Zombie. This was all too much; he didn’t know what to think at all.