Characters: Jack, Ianto, Owen somewhat, Tosh and Gwen barely
Spoilers: Brief reference to post-End of Days
Set: Sometime in season 2
Summary: Ianto catches a glimpse of Jack's vulnerabilities when his illness worsens.
Jack woke up screaming.
“Not him!” he shouted, scrambling out from under the duvet and falling out of bed. Moving frantically on the floor until he had wedged himself into the corner between the wall and the bureau, he continued. “No, no no no no, not him, take me instead! I’m the one you want!”
Having been on the verge of sleep, it took Ianto a few seconds longer to get to Jack’s side. He crouched beside the other man, touched his face, his shoulders. “Jack?” he said, then again with more force. “Jack. Talk to me. What’s wrong?”
Anger flared in the captain’s eyes. “That’s right, take me,” he challenged. “Don’t you touch him again.”
Confused, Ianto tilted Jack’s face up so that he could look into his eyes. “Jack, it’s me, it’s Ianto,” he said gently, “No one’s going to hurt you, you’re safe here.”
Jack stared off, seemingly through Ianto for a few long seconds. He shook his head quickly and blinked once, twice. Relief quite obviously flooded through him. He grabbed Ianto’s collar and pulled him in for a kiss. “You’re alright,” he whispered, his hands flying over Ianto’s body. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
Ianto shook his head. “I’m fine—where—“ he paused, unsure of how much he should play into Jack’s hallucinations. “Where are we?”
“The basement, I think. We have to get out of here, they’ll find us again soon,” Jack explained, although Ianto was quite certain that they were still in a fifth-story flat. “This is my fault, they were looking for me, but I won’t let them hurt you, I’m so sorry, Ianto.”
Jack spoke very rapidly, and he was sweating, his shirt sticking to him and his hair plastered to his forehead. His hurried speech was interrupted by frequent bouts of coughing. Ianto pressed the back of his hand to the other’s cheek. His fever had risen. He didn’t know by how much, but he didn’t know that humans could get that warm. This was getting to be too much for Ianto to handle, although he was loathe to admit it.
“It’s okay, Jack, I’ve got you,” he said softly, “We’re safe here, but we have to be very quiet.” He ran his fingers through Jack’s damp hair. Carefully, he shifted position so that he was kneeling on the floor with the captain reclining against him. He continued to do his best to comfort Jack, but it didn’t appear to be working—Jack kept trying to get up, trying to get Ianto to leave so that he would be safe from imagined attackers.
“I’ll be fine, Ianto, they can kill me and I’ll be fine, but you have to get out of here.” His eyes were wide as he tried to wrest himself from Ianto’s arms. “They’re too strong—we can’t fight them. You have to leave, now!” There was more than a hint of desperation in his voice. Jack wasn’t the type to beg or plead, and while this was technically an order, it didn’t sound like one. It scared Ianto.
The Welshman freed up a hand and reached under the collar of his shirt. He pulled out a small, opaque container on a black cord. Popping the top off, he shook three capsules into his hand, looked at them closely, and tilted two of them back inside, capping the container with his thumb. Taking the pill between his fingertips, he held it out to Jack. “Alright,” he said, “I’ll go. But you have to take this first. It will, um—” he faltered. He was decent at lying when he had time to come up with something, but not so much on the fly. “It will make you invisible to their scans. Buy you some time.”
Jack nodded and took to pill from Ianto, swallowing it dry. “Go now.”
But Ianto didn’t go. He patiently counted to thirty in his head and, sure enough, the captain had fallen asleep by the time he got there. After pressing a kiss to Jack’s forehead, Ianto stretched his arm over to the bedside table and grabbed his phone. It was time to call for backup.