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Silence Lived With Us Instead Of You

Series: Lyrics 'Verse
Word Count: ~ 2.000
Summary: After Jack leaves with the Doctor, Ianto has to pick up the pieces by himself.
Characters: Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper
Pairing: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa Hallett (hinted)
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Cyber Woman, Countrycide, End Of Days / Doctor Who: Utopia
Setting: after End Of Days
Author's Note: The German song Still (Silence) inspired this story and is quoted at the beginning and in the title. I translated the lyrics myself. Sorry for them seeming a bit rocky. It's difficult with songs. Let me assure you that the German version is really beautiful.
Beta: Eleanor Harkness-Jones, thanks!
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.

All The Shades Of Blue
Lyrics 'Verse Masterlist

***
***


It was so loud
The hours after the crash when I had to grasp
And understand all that had happened
And it was so loud
That all we thought about brought us nothing but an emptiness
It just became that loud and lost here
When silence lived with us instead of you
(Still by Jupiter Jones
, translated from German)


"This is your fault!" Gwen said loudly and turned away from Tosh's screen to glare at Owen.

He glared just right back, his jaw set in a stubborn mask. "How can it be my fault?" he answered and put his hands on his hips. Ianto caught a slight flinch on his face when the pain from the gunshot wound in his shoulder protested the movement, but he didn't back down. "As far as I remember, I wasn't the only one going against Jack's orders!"

Ianto saw Tosh pull up her shoulders and roll her chair closer to her desk, anything to escape the immediate vicinity of the emotional explosion behind her. Now Ianto could see, from his vantage point in the shadows of the corridor leading down into the archives, what her screen was showing. CCTV images of a figure in a long coat running over Roald Dahl Plass and jumping to hang onto a blue police box, just to vanish into nothingness.

Jack was gone.

Quite possibly forever.

Ianto swallowed thickly, swallowed tears. He'd done enough crying over the last several days when they'd thought that they'd lost Jack to death. Now they'd lost him to life – a life he preferred – and Ianto wasn't surprised really, given how everything had ended. He couldn't stand the shouting match between Gwen and Owen, but unlike Tosh, he had the possibility to get away. And he made use of it, melting into the shadows and vanishing from sight.

***

The archives were about the only place in the Hub that didn't reflect Jack everywhere Ianto looked. It was a relief, as if he was finally able to breathe again. He lost himself amongst folders and paper and boxes. Everything down here had a certain system, a structure, and nobody would be able to just come in and disrupt it. It was Ianto's domain, his choice to change something … he wished life would be just as easy to control. Or love. His love for Lisa had been wonderful, uncomplicated ... neat. They'd loved each other, they'd shared a flat and Ianto had looked at wedding bands a week before the battle of Canary Wharf. Love, a flat, so marriage was supposed to come next, and they'd both been ready for it.

His love for Jack was all over the place, messy and complicated. Jack had left them. Ianto knew that he would one day, but it still hurt to even think about it. Jack had left them without even a goodbye. Or a note. Or anything at all.

Ianto felt like he could still feel the gentle touch of Jack's lips against his own after Jack had woken up from his long death. He could still feel the warmth of his body when he'd hugged him and hear the softly whispered words, "You're okay." Relief so palpable. Ianto had felt ashamed, since he hadn't deserved that relief at all. After all, he'd betrayed Jack just like everybody else, but with far less honourable reasons. Not because he wanted a loved one back like Gwen and Owen, not out of desperation and because he didn't know what else to do like Tosh … no, he'd done it just out of malice. Just because Jack had hurt him, had rejected his love. Ianto had sworn to himself that their personal relationship would never intrude into their professional lives and yet, he'd let it happen. And now Jack was gone. Presented with a choice, he'd chosen to leave. And why wouldn't he? Cardiff, Torchwood and Ianto couldn't compete with the universe, the TARDIS and the Doctor.

Tosh's voice echoed through the room. "Ianto?" He startled and looked up at her standing in the door to the archives. She smiled hesitantly. "Gwen and Owen left and I'm about to head out as well. You should go home. We're all getting back together the usual time tomorrow and then we'll talk about… what happens next."

"Someone has to monitor the Rift," Ianto said softly.

Tosh shook her head. "I linked the detector with all our mobiles, so…" She stepped closer and there was concern in her dark eyes. "You should go home. You look exhausted. It's been a rough few days."

More like a rough few weeks, Ianto thought, but he didn't say it out loud. Nobody knew about him and Jack and he wanted it to stay that way. Telling somebody would only add to the humiliation, because Jack had left him in the dust like some shag. Of course that was what he had been and Jack had never given any indication he wanted more. Ianto couldn't fault him. Jack had been honest about his intentions from the start. It was Ianto who had been at fault. After all, falling in love with somebody who didn't want it was stupid. To practically admit that much to him had broken them beyond repair. Jack's relief expressed in a kiss at finding Ianto okay after Abaddon didn't mean anything. Jack had been scared for all of them, his reaction to finding them all alive and well instinctive. Jack had always been overly tactile, accepting boundaries set by others but never coming up with them himself.

Tosh cleared her throat and Ianto startled. "I'm fine," he whispered.

"You need rest."

"I'm going to get rest. Don't worry." He gifted her with a smile that didn't even convince him.

"Alright," she answered, clearly not believing him. She would probably keep an eye on him over the next few days and talk to Owen if necessary.

Ianto sighed deeply when she was gone and her steps had faded away. Then he got up and went to the main Hub.

In the three days that Jack had been dead, they'd managed to piece it together again. Just the window in the boardroom needed to be replaced and some of the computers. Ianto considered some changes. A few months back, Owen had suggested to use one of the rooms in the basement as a boardroom, since it was bigger and closer to the garage. That would give Owen the possibility to put the greenhouse where the boardroom was now and to establish the lab he'd wanted for months where the greenhouse was. Jack had liked the idea, but the time had never been right to put the changes into motion. Ianto couldn't think of a better time than now. He would suggest it in the morning.

He entered Jack's office. It was strangely empty, just a room without its occupant, but Jack's ghosts lingered: in the chair behind the desk, looking up at him with an expectant smile; leaning back against the desk, unbuttoning his shirt and urging Ianto closer; opening the hatch to his bedroom, winking before descending the ladder.

Ianto closed his eyes. He felt lost, lonely and cold in a room that had always been associated with soft laughter, stolen kisses and warmth.

Ianto opened the hatch and climbed down into Jack's hidden bedroom. It was only a bunker really, big enough for a closet, a narrow bed and a night stand, but it had been enough for Jack. Enough for Ianto when he'd been here with Jack. They had had sex down here for the first time. Unhurried and perfect like Jack always was in bed. Tosh may think that Ianto wouldn't sleep, but he intended to. He knew that it wouldn't make any sense to stay awake and risk someone's life because he was overtired. He didn't know if they would want him in the field like Jack had, but he was always prepared for everything. And Jack wouldn't want him to neglect himself. Not after he'd so carefully picked up the pieces after Lisa, after the suspension and after the cannibals. So Ianto undressed, ignoring the heavy gaze of one of Jack's ghosts lying stretched out on the bed and waiting for him. He got into bed and wrapped himself in the blanket, burying his face in the pillow to breathe in Jack's scent.

For a moment, it was as if arms cradled him against a broad chest, soft breaths sounding near his ear and gentle kisses planted on his back of the neck. Everything was as it should be.

But then Ianto woke up and he was alone. And it was time to start his day.

***

"Ianto," Gwen said and he turned around to her. She was sitting at her desk, holding a mug of coffee. A muffled thump could be heard from the shooting range, where Tosh and Owen were testing a gun that had come through the Rift yesterday. Whatever it did, it was incredibly loud. Gwen's eyes darted towards the corridor leading down to the shooting range and she grimaced. Then she turned her attention back to Ianto. "Owen, Tosh and I talked during lunch." There was a quiet concern in her words. A question as to where he had been.

Ianto hadn't felt like joining the others for meals or visits to the pubs in the last few days. He hadn't felt like eating. He hadn't felt like sleeping. He'd fallen into a pattern: he worked to exhaustion – in the archives, in the main Hub, coordinating retrievals, never in the field, always at the Hub – and then he collapsed in Jack's camp bed in his bunker and slept for a few hours before repeating the process. He knew what was happening. It was the same he'd done during his suspension. After Lisa. If there had been any question about whether he loved Jack, this would have been his answer.

Gwen's gentle voice broke through his thoughts. "We think that you should come out on field missions with us."

Ianto frowned. "Who will be manning the Hub?"

"Nobody needs to be here, but we need four people in the field. In case we have to split up."

"I'm sure we can hire someone-"

"We want you," Gwen interrupted. "Jack started training you up. Owen could finish the job. I don't think there's a lot left you can learn. We want you to be part of the team. In the field…" She hesitated for a moment, before adding, "… and outside working hours." She folded her hands around the mug. "We're worried."

"I'm fine." The answer was automatic and sounded robotic even to Ianto's ears.

"You're tired. You've lost weight – not that there was anything you could lose to begin with." Gwen looked away, as if the topic was embarrassing her in some way. "We know how much you relied upon Jack as a… friend and… he was the only one you seemed to have a real connection with, but… we want to be there for you." Her eyes met his again. "Don't distance yourself. Give us a chance."

Ianto swallowed, then, having nothing else left to do, he nodded. "Alright."

Gwen smiled in relief. "Alright." Ianto turned away to head for the coffee machine, but Gwen called him back. "Do you think…" She stopped and hesitated, then she started anew, "Do you think he'll come back?"

Ianto had thought about that question a lot in the last few days and he'd always come up with only one answer. "No," he replied, "I think he went home."


END
12/11


My Soul Aches
Lyrics 'Verse Masterlist

Icon created by ms_bekahrose

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
aviv_b
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Not the ending I expected, but a better, truer ending. I don't see Ianto as mooning around for months over Jack's leaving. I think he'd be hurt and angry and then get on with things because TW doesn't allow for wallowing in self-pity.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) That's exactly what I think. He'd suffer in silence, but get on with his job.
teaboyfan
Jan. 1st, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I think one of the reasons we loved Ianto was that he was deeply damaged, but still indestructible. No matter how badly he was hurt, he never quit. And once he loved someone he never stopped.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
Well said. :)
lazy_8s
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)

Gorgeous, melancholy! I especially loved the ending. :)
jolinarjackson
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
ldarkfire
Jan. 1st, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
I like how Gwen approached Ianto, putting the job as part of it so it was more difficult for him to refuse. It also shows more the empathy that always is mentioned that Gwen has but is never portrayed all that well in the show.

Great work.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
rabecka
Jan. 1st, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
Nicely done and very believable, with a killer last line. Must admit that my mind immediately flashed on to the reception that Jack actually got. Ouch.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
sammydragoncat
Jan. 1st, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
Great fic
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:37 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
larsinger29
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
You do a wonderful job delving into Ianto's complex and shifting emotions in this piece. One of the things you really illustrate well is his reliance on throwing himself into the job in order to cope with the "loss" of his lover. It's so characteristic of him, yet you really flesh it out beautifully and in such a way that it's palpable.

I also though the ending was a nice touch and made the connection between the more office oriented Ianto we saw in Series 1, and the field agent we saw in Series 2. The awkwardness of the conversation between Gwen and Ianto we well handled and reasonable.

Unsurprisingly, a really lovely piece! I've got some catching up to do on some of your other stories you've posted in the last month (December just got away from me!), but know that I hope to do so soon. I know that good things await me when I do!
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) I actually didn't post that much in December. It was a quiet month.
jedirita
Jan. 2nd, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
Ah, the lovely pain, the exquisite agony of Jack running off. I love Ianto quietly wasting away, but no tears or recriminations. I love Gwen talking to him, sharing their concern about him.

Perfect - as always.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
veritas6_5
Jan. 2nd, 2012 05:16 am (UTC)
Beautiful and sensitive. Ianto is so damaged and so sweet. Thanks especially for showing Gwen's heart and her sympathy for Ianto's feelings. Her feelings are just as entwined with Jack, and she does a good job of hiding her own fears except for that one question. What a lovely ending.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:41 am (UTC)
Thank you. :) I imagine Gwen did a good job of leading the team in Jack's absence. Hiding her own fears is part of that job.
nancybrown
Jan. 3rd, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Lovely. I like how it ends, how he chooses to pick himself up again, and I like the notion that he doesn't think Jack is coming back.
jolinarjackson
Jan. 3rd, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
lyryk
Jan. 3rd, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
This was lovely. That last line killed me!
jolinarjackson
Jan. 3rd, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
kfirah
Jun. 20th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
This is lovely again! Your short stories are SO cool and intense.

Ianto thinking that Jack won't come back is my headcanon too.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 21st, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
triquetralin
Jul. 7th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
Another thing that I suppose there wasn't room for in the series but that few fic writers have dealt with - how the team reacts to (and functions during) Jack's absence rather than just his leaving and returning. Very nice. And Ianto is very much in character here, I think; hurting but dealing with it and becoming a real member of the team.
jolinarjackson
Jul. 8th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )