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Torchwood: Survivors (Fanfiction)

Survivors

Word Count: 1.859
Summary: “Don't be sorry for surviving. I need you.” It was the ultimate truth.
Characters: Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (blink and you'll miss it)
Setting: Season 2, sometime after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Warnings: Slash, dark, sad
Author's Note: Written for the redisourcolor  prompt #05 – Darkness. Had to contain "I'll be here for as long as you need me." and the words blue, numb and wind. This is the darkest I've ever written. I'm just starting to play with that sort of story.
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
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.

***
***


It came silently, sneaking up on him in quiet hours when he was at home cleaning or watching tv. He could never tell when it would hit him the next time, choking him, making him sick and reducing him to silent tears in the darkness where no one could see him. Where Jack couldn't see him. It was sadness and depression, grief and guilt, pain and fear. It was the one big secret he was keeping from everyone including Jack. And he couldn't even put a name to it.

Ianto stared into the darkness of the archives, his legs pulled to his chest, his arms wrapped around them. But despite the lack of light, he could still see them.

A streak of light hit the concrete floor, chasing away the darkness and highlighting the edges of the shelves and filing cabinets, now sharp shadows against the dim light of the corridor.

“Ianto?“

Light flickered, blinding him, and Ianto closed his eyes.

“Ianto?“

Jack wouldn't be able to see him in his corner far away from the door, behind shelves and dusty boxes.

“I know that you're in here.“

Ianto let the silence stretch, rubbed his wet eyes and rested his head on his knees. Jack's shoes scuffed over the concrete. Ianto heard him taking a few steps into the room.

“Are we playing naked hide and seek? Because it would be fair to let me know beforehand.“

Tears kept trailing down Ianto's cheeks and he wiped them away angrily.

Screams.

Ianto closed his eyes with a startled gasp and curled into himself some more, willing the memory to disappear. “Turn off the lights. Go away,“ he said softly. There was so much he didn't know about Jack, but this … this was something that Jack didn't know about Ianto and now that the captain was about to find out, Ianto felt ashamed.

Fire. Blood.

“Come again?“ Jack answered, insulted.

Empty eyes. Cold skin. Death.

“Turn off the lights!“ Ianto screamed, losing the “go away” in a sob.

Jack switched the lights off. He even closed the door some more, reducing the intruding light from the corridor to a minimum. “Ianto? Where are you?“ He sounded concerned now. A torch was lit – the one Ianto kept next to the door in case the power went out unexpectedly – and his steps towards Ianto's hiding place were fast and determined.

Ianto wanted him to go away and squeezed his eyes shut, wishing to be somewhere else, to be ...

“I thought so,“ Jack muttered, close to him now, and he stopped walking. “Why are you hiding down here?“

Twenty-eight.

“Why are you coming after me?“ Ianto answered, keeping his eyes closed. But even through his eyelids, he could see the light of the torch destroying the tiny bit of comfort the darkness had brought.

“I thought I'd do something boyfriend-y, you know? Since you've been gone for three hours now and nobody seemed to know where to. And we're dating. So … it's my responsibility to check up on you.“

“Sorry to be a burden.“

There was shocked silence for a second or two.

“I didn't mean it that way. You have to know that I ...“ Jack let out a frustrated breath. “What's wrong?“

“Nothing,“ Ianto answered. He heard the fabric rustling and the leather of Jack's shoes creaking and he could just picture him crouching there, looking at him in confusion.

“So, you're sitting here in the dark refusing to open your beautiful blue eyes because ...“ Jack waited for him to finish the sentence.

Ianto didn't want to. He wanted to be alone.

“Ianto?“ A hand cradled his cheek tenderly.

Ianto turned his head away, choking on a sob when the loving gesture slammed home.

Jack whispered, “Cariad?“

And Ianto broke. Before he knew it, Jack had let go of the torch. It was hitting the concrete with a clatter while hands grabbed Ianto's shoulders and yanked him out of his corner.

Then he was crying into Jack's shoulder, surrounded by Jack's arms.

“What's wrong?“ Jack asked, his voice betraying that he was at a loss. “What's wrong?“

Ianto hated himself for being so weak and tried to push him away. “You aren't supposed to be down here.“

Jack pulled him back into his arms, holding him tight even though Ianto tried to escape.

“I think I am.“

“No,“ Ianto answered and fought against Jack's hold. His foot hit the torch and it rolled under one of the shelves, leaving them in an almost-darkness. Ianto sagged in Jack's arms and the captain pulled him closer, until Ianto was straddling his legs, his face buried in Jack's shoulder and his arms around Jack's neck. Jack leaned against the shelf behind him. “It's okay,“ he whispered. “Whatever it is.“

“It's not,“ Ianto cried, twisting his hands in Jack's shirt and staring into his eyes, angry at Jack for even suggesting that everything was alright. It was in that moment that he realized that Jack's eyes were wet.

“Ianto.“

There were tears in Jack's voice as well. Ianto put his head on Jack's shoulder, clinging to him. A kiss brushed his temple, fingers carded through Ianto's hair and they sat like that for a long time.

Finally, Ianto whispered, ”I want to be dead.” He could feel a hitch in Jack's breathing.

”Ianto ...”

”I should be dead.”

“Don't say that,“ Jack answered. He kissed Ianto's forehead, then his lips. “Don't say that!“ He tucked Ianto's head under his chin. ”Don't say that ever again. I need you. I need you!”

Screams cutting the hot air. Fires everywhere. Blood on his hands, on his clothes. Empty eyes staring at him while his fingers were searching for a pulse, a sign of life, under cold skin. Death. For everyone but twenty-eight people.

Ianto sobbed.

”What is this about?” Jack asked.

Ianto hid his face against Jack's shoulder.

Jack gave him some minutes, then he asked softly, ”Lisa?”

Ianto shook his head.

”Then what?”

Ianto stared at a box labeled 1938 and whispered, ”Canary Wharf.”

Jack kissed Ianto's head, knowing that the battle was still having its effects on his lover.

Ianto wiped his eyes, but new tears were clouding his vision again just a few seconds later. ”We were 823 people there. Twenty-eight survivors.”

Jack knew the numbers. He'd read them again and again when he'd finally held the official report in his hands, unable to grasp the huge loss. UNIT listed 467 dead and 356 MIA. But …

”The report says that there were only twenty-seven survivors.”

”I'm including Lisa,” Ianto answered. ”I reported her MIA, that's why she didn't make it on the list of survivors. Officially, there were twenty-seven of us. We were lucky, they said. Lucky.”

Jack tightened his hold, getting an inkling of what could be wrong with his lover. ”You survived. That's a good thing.”

”It isn't,” Ianto answered weakly. He was exhausted and Jack's warm body against his, the strong arms surrounding him … they made him drowsy. ”Look what it got you.”

Survivor's guilt. Jack knew it all too well. It was his constant companion, too. ”That's what I'm doing. I'm looking.”

”I betrayed you, brought Lisa here and she almost killed all of you.”

Jack tipped Ianto's chin up. The torch shone enough light to let him see Ianto's reddened and tired eyes. ”But she didn't and we made it through and look what it got me – a passionate, sweet, brave and cute man in my bed and my life. A companion and a lover.”

Fresh tears were gathering in Ianto's eyes.

Jack rested his forehead against Ianto's. ”I'm glad you survived.” He pressed his lips to Ianto's, deepening the kiss when the younger man moaned quietly and opened his mouth. He tasted tears and desperation as Ianto pulled him closer. Jack broke the kiss, finishing it with a gentle nuzzling of Ianto's temple. He felt the younger man shiver and was reminded of their whereabouts. Of the malfunctioning heating system. He tried to bring some distance between them, to get Ianto to his feet, but his lover held on tight. “Don't. Not yet. Please ...“

Jack nodded slowly. “Okay. I'll be here for as long as you need me.“

***

It came suddenly, crashing through his body with blinding force. He could never tell how painful it would be the next time or if there was going to be a next time. It was choking him, making him sick and reducing him to his basic needs. Breathing, struggling, looking for comfort. It was hurting him and taking something from him, making him vulnerable and small, needy and sad. It was the one big secret he was trying and failing to keep from everyone close to him. And there was only one name for it.

Jack was a survivor … and it was a curse.

”It's okay.” Warm breath against his cheek and arms around his chest. A strong heartbeat. Jack pushed his head against Ianto's chest, listening to the comforting rhythm. Wind teared at his clothes. They were outside, surrounded by abandoned warehouses. The sky was gray.

”What?” he asked.

”The Weevil wasn't alone,” Ianto said softly, knowing just how much Jack needed an explanation now. Sometimes he remembered. Sometimes he didn't.

”Another one got to you from behind.” Ianto's next words were punctuated by a sob. ”Ripped your throat out.”

Jack was numb. There had been a time when he'd been shocked by the many causes of his death. Now he was used to it. To him, it was just another information to file away in his memories. To Ianto, it wasn't. Jack turned his attention to the younger man. ”Did you see it?”

A nod and Jack sat up a bit, wrapping an arm around Ianto's shoulders and pulling him closer. Ianto gagged and Jack realized that there was blood all over his shirt and coat. His blood. Ianto's coat was covered in it too and Ianto's hands were smeared with it. Even his face, where he'd wiped at his eyes, his tears.

Jack was used to this.

Ianto wasn't. Would never be. And that broke Jack's heart.

”C'mere.” He pulled Ianto into a tight hug, not caring that they were kneeling on dirty wet concrete, two dead Weevils just a few steps away.

”I'm sorry,” he whispered, feeling tears track down his cheeks.

Ianto shook his head. ”Don't ever be. Don't be sorry for surviving.” He pushed his forehead into Jack's neck. ”I need you.”

”Need you too,” Jack answered.

It was the ultimate truth. It was I love you, I'll take care of you and I want you. It was them.

Ianto sighed. ”I'll be here for as long as you do.”


END
07/10

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Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
toshiani007
Sep. 2nd, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
That was beautifull!!! It really touches my heart.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
(Deleted comment)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
amcpep
Sep. 2nd, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
I've just discovered you via tw_proper and had to say that I loved this so much I have been through your TW fics and read them all this evening. They are all so beautiful, and well written. Hope to read more from you soon.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you. :)
remuslives23
Sep. 2nd, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
This made me all teary. Well done. :)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
ms_bekahrose
Sep. 3rd, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Oh, this was so lovely! Angsty without over-blown dramatics, and a wonderful take on Ianto's state of mind post-Lisa and post-Canary Wharf. Adding to my memories to read again. :)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) I'm glad you liked it that much.
lone_star_woman
Sep. 3rd, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing. :)
owensheart
Sep. 3rd, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
that was a heartbreaking but touching story and I love how Ianto used the same words on Jack that Jack did on Ianto.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) Did I ever mention how beautiful your icon is? I saw it before but I honestly don't remember ever commenting on it. :)
(no subject) - owensheart - Sep. 3rd, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
jo02
Sep. 3rd, 2010 10:13 am (UTC)

That was dark, but quite wonderful as well :)
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) Yeah, I was in one of those moods. :)
fiwen1010
Sep. 3rd, 2010 10:29 am (UTC)
Absolutely gorgeous, and 100% them
Gxxx
jolinarjackson
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
tartan_tarte
Sep. 3rd, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
That was very touching and so beautifully written. Made me cry but in the end left me with a hopeful feeling, like they'll get through it all - together.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 4th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
badly_knitted
Sep. 3rd, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Heartbreaking, yet beautiful in the tenderness they show each other, the depth of their feelings.

They've both survived so much, but in some ways, surviving the guilt of still being alive when so many others aren't, is the hardest thing of all.

Compelling and very well done.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 4th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I'm glad you liked it.
aviv_b
Sep. 4th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
Very nice look at how Jack and Ianto have experienced similar losses in their lives.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 4th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
chocolatenianto
Sep. 5th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Seeing them comforting each other. Made me all teary.
jolinarjackson
Sep. 6th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
*hands over tissues* Thanks. :)
black59
Dec. 10th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
what's that beautiful!
Survivors: sniff!
but in their misfortunes, they are at two! So lucky!
jolinarjackson
Dec. 11th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)

You had a lot of time on your hands, didn't you? Reading practically all my Torchwood fiction in one go. :)
(no subject) - black59 - Dec. 11th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
royalladyemma
Jan. 16th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
Phenomenal story -- powerful emotions, so raw. You really killed me, tho, with this: ”I'll be here for as long as you do.”
jolinarjackson
Jan. 16th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )