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Reversible Damage

Word Count: 990
Summary: "One wrong decision and there's no turning back for everyone involved. All those people who died, all those people who had to endure the pain of being converted, who became those ... things. Irreversible damage.“
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa (hinted)
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Cyber Woman / Doctor Who: Army Of Ghosts
before Cyber Woman
Author's Note: Written for the jack_ianto_las  prompt "Arrogance diminishes wisdom".
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Torchwood and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.


The screams echoing through the corridors of Torchwood One were like nothing Ianto had ever heard before. They were an expression of pain, horror and the knowledge that death – or something worse – was near.

And there, in one of the conversion units, was Lisa, her body a gory mess, the tears on her face a stab to his heart and her screams ... someone grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back against an unyielding chest. It was his turn! He didn't want to die, he didn't want to leave Lisa, he didn't want to become one of those monsters. He pushed against the cyberman behind him, felt his arms being pinned to his side and because there was nothing else he could do to escape the bruising grip, he screamed, just like everyone else. He was turned around roughly and his face was pressed against the cyberman's chest, just ... it wasn't metal. It was skin and warm and smelling like a human being ...

… Ianto stopped screaming and opened his eyes, gasping his way back to the real world, leaving his nightmare behind. Lips touched his sweaty forehead and hands caressed his back soothingly. Ianto couldn't help but reach out and pull the other body closer, desperate for human contact, looking for that special scent of Lisa's shampoo – vanilla and coconut –, but unable to find it. Instead he smelled wood and leather, and a male voice said, “Damn, that was one hell of a dream.“

Startled, he pushed the man away and retreated, getting tangled in a woolen blanket and hitting his head against the concrete wall behind him. It was almost dark, the only light coming from a hole in the ceiling. He was in a bunker, the only furniture the narrow bed he was sitting on, a nightstand and a dresser. Awareness and memories returned. He was safe. No longer wrapped up in the battle of Canary Wharf, but in Jack's bedroom in Torchwood Three.

“It's okay,“ Jack said and raised his hands. “You're alright.“ He was naked, as was Ianto. Instinctively, he bunched the blanket in his lap and avoided looking at Jack, at the same time registering the distinct scent of sex lingering in the air and a dull ache between his legs. Then he remembered flirting, kissing, and following Jack down here – not for the first time –, and Jack whispering “Let me fuck you“, also not for the first time, and he remembered himself nodding ... for the first time.

“It's just me,“ Jack said, and Ianto noticed with some relief that he'd wrapped the second blanket around his waist. “Just me and you,“ he soothed. “There are no cybermen here, Ianto.“

At first, Ianto wanted to laugh, because they were here – there was Lisa in the basement –, but then he felt ashamed to think of her as one of them. Deeply ashamed. Tears gathered in his eyes, but he forced them back down. He was losing his grip, he realized. The only thing he'd been afraid of since he'd let Jack give him a hand-job down in the archives, three doors away from Lisa's room, and it was happening – he was losing his connection to Lisa, forming a bond with Jack.

Jack's hand touched his face and Ianto suppressed a flinch.

“Alright?“ Jack asked.

Ianto nodded.

Jack smiled slightly. “That was a terrible nightmare.”

“Happens from time to time. Don't worry about me, sir.“

“I have to,“ Jack answered, his thumb brushing over Ianto's cheekbone repeatedly.

“I'm not your responsibility. You said so yourself.“

“Well, that changed the minute you signed your contract. I take my responsibilities a lot more seriously than Torchwood One.“ His eyes darkened with anger. “I told them that the ghost shifts were a bad sign, but they didn't listen. Stupid morons. Look at what they did. Over 700 people dead and the survivors scarred for life.“

“It wasn't stupid,“ Ianto said, feeling defensive. “Yvonne was brilliant. Everyone working on the project was.“

“Well, maybe they were brilliant, but they were too arrogant to listen to their instincts and see what was really happening.“ Jack got out of bed and dropped the blanket to pull on his trousers.

Ianto looked at the clock – almost six in the morning. There was no way he could go back to sleep now, so he fished for his pants and pulled them on under the protective shield of the blanket.

Jack sighed deeply and shook his head. “Sorry,“ he said softly, and Ianto, by now sitting on the edge of the bed and pulling on his socks, looked at him questioningly. Jack sat next to him. “I'm taking my anger at Torchwood One out on you again.“ He cupped Ianto's back of the neck. “It just makes me angry. One wrong decision and there's no turning back for everyone involved. All those people who died, all those people who had to endure the pain of being converted, who became those ... things. Irreversible damage.“ He shook his head, got up and climbed the ladder to his office.

Ianto stared at the floor. “Irreversible,“ he muttered and squeezed his eyes shut. “It's not. It can't be.“ He took a deep breath. He would help Lisa, he would get her back. That scientist, Tanazaki, had answered his e-mail, assuring him that he would be able to help, revolutionizing their knowledge about cybermen in the process. Ianto clung to that promise. Everything would be alright soon. After all, Tanazaki was one of the smartest and most honorable persons on Earth and he was well aware of the risks of his pet project ... surely, he wouldn't make empty promises just to satisfy his curiosity.

And if there was a little stab of doubt that kept digging into his happy fantasies of how he would spend the rest of his life with Lisa, Ianto ignored it.


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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
I can imagine thinking this pre-cyberwoman...poor thing.

I enjoyed it, tnx for sharing :))
May. 5th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. :)
May. 5th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Poor Ianto, he wants to save Lisa so badly he won't let himself accept or even see the truth.
May. 6th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
It certainly took him awhile during Cyber Woman to see that, maybe, something wasn't quite right. And even then he just kept fighting. One really has to wonder about how lonely he must feel. :(
May. 6th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
The hope of saving her was probably all that kept him going since Canary Wharf, I guess that made it hard to let go even after he realised something wasn't right.
May. 7th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
I guess. He pretty much lost everything in that battle.
May. 7th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
I like what you did with this. :)
May. 8th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
May. 9th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
Beautiful story. So sad. :(
May. 9th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )