Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Children of Earth Fix-It.
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Gray, Eleventh Doctor, Amy/Rory
Ratings/Warnings: R – sex, rape, abuse, torture.
Spoilers: All series.
Summary: When the Hub explodes, and the cryogenic chambers are flung open, one of its inhabitants manages to flee the wreckage. Seeking revenge, he decides that the best way to hurt Captain Jack Harkness is through a certain Welshman. There's one problem, however – Ianto Jones is dead…
A/N: Thank you for your comments. I'm so thankful for your continued support for this fiction. I've never had this kind of response to anything I have ever written, and it really is overwhelming. So thank you so very much. As you can see, I have used my free time wisely by redoing my sidebar layout, with links to all my fictions so that they can be easily found, as well as few choice quotes of my own. Please feel free to try this out and let me know that it's all working right.
Please be warned that the depictions of torture in this chapter are stronger than in the others, so if that is a trigger or a problem, please feel free to skip over that section.
The blue box reared in front of them as they turned the corner, hurtling into the space that the fallen Rhyfelian had directed them to. It sat snugly in a tiny alcove, the remnants of the chains that had been used to haul it in position still pooled lightly around its base; the scratches that the metal links had made shone starkly in the dim light of the open door.
The Doctor raised his hand, running his fingers over one of the scuff marks, his face darkening ever so slightly. The pad of his thumb brushed against the chipped wood, the tiny splinters pricking the end of his thumb, drawing a droplet of blood to the surface. Blinking silently, he raised the splintered finger to his face, smearing the blood between his thumb and forefinger.
"What have they done to you?" he whispered, resting his forehead briefly against the wood of the door.
Jack stepped forward, brushing past Amy and Rory to stand beside the Doctor at the door of the Tardis. Reaching out, his hand brushed the deep blue of the painted wood.
"A lot has," The Doctor raised his head, drawing himself up and away from his ship. "Now…shall we?"
His companions nodded as he opened the door, following him silently into the bowels of the ship. Jack scanned the new interior with curiosity; it was so much less ordered than the Tardis he had been familiar with. That Tardis had been so natural, as if it had been moulded on the shell of a living organism, reminiscent of coral almost. This new Tardis was more synthetic, like the insane creation of a mad professor; it was clumsy, disordered, and yet beautiful in its own maniacal way…sort of like this new regeneration, he decided.
"So…" Jack turned as he heard the Doctor voice, watching him flit between the controls like a bee to flowers. "Where do you want to go, Jack? I can take you to the Beaches of Algorn…"
"Or the moons of Sengalia, I always said we'd go there…"
"Or, I know this really nice little bar down on the Outskirts, looks like a rip off from a George Lucas movie but the drinks…well…"
The Doctor stopped in his tracks, shoving his hands nervously into his pockets and swivelling on his heel to face the impossible man clinging to the railing of his ship. There was a crease in the Timelord's forehead, his whole face slightly skewed as he tried awkwardly to relax all the muscles of his body; he seemed to be trying at some semblance of normality, obviously unable ignore the rather large elephant in the room.
"Why am I here?"
"Well, if you didn't want me to get you out, I could have left you in the cell…"
"Why didn't you?"
The Doctor winced at the cold tone, a sudden flush creeping to his cheeks.
"Because you're…my friend, Jack…you're my friend and I won't just leave you; not now, not ever again."
Jack looked as though he would have scoffed, if he'd had the energy.
"You've changed your tune."
"Well, I'm a different person now, Jack," the Doctor raised his arms, bending them at the elbows to gesture at his new figure. "And…I'm older, as well."
Slumping back against the rail, Jack let a small smile, the expression not quite reaching his eyes as he locked gazes with the Doctor.
"And here I was thinking you were the eternal youth," he let out a huffed laugh. "I think I'll miss that. But, I suppose there's a lot to be said for experience as well."
"Oi, leave it," The Doctor smiled, casting a quick glance to Amy and Rory as they loitered in the corner, wisely steering clear of the conversation. "But I mean that. The Tardis has changed as well."
Jack shot him a questioning glance.
"Think about it. In the past, she's always run away…well, usually, that is. But this time she took us completely off course, landing us here for no real reason, and you just happened to be here? Something tells me she wanted us to find you…she wanted us to help you."
"She did?" Jack took a step forward, shucking his coat from his shoulders and hanging it haphazardly from the railings. "And will you?"
"Of course," The Doctor turned to the console once again, gesturing to Amy and Rory to come forward. "Amy, if you'd just like to hang on to that lever there…yep, just like that…and Rory, over here…that's right, hold on to that until I say otherwise…"
He spun around, hair flying wildly with the maniacal enthusiasm that Jack realised he was going to have to get used to.
"So, Jack…wherever you want. We'll get you there, I promise."
Jack swallowed hard, stepping forward to run his hands over the assorted buttons and levers adorning this shiny new console. It seemed to sing out to him slightly, the reverberations of the ship running up his arm and humming through his veins. He closed his eyes briefly, letting the calmness of the ship wash over him; reassuring and understanding, ushering him forward, almost willing him not to give up just yet.
He opened his eyes, casting a glance at the three people who now stared at him patiently.
"I need you to…"
The vibrations from his wrist strap cut him off, that familiar, hateful movement sending a shiver through his spine. The Doctor and his companions looked at him curiously as he fumbled for the buttons, holding his wrist out in front of them as he raised his gaze to their eyes.
"I'm sorry…" he whispered, as the crackly blue projection emerged from his strap and began to play.
"No one's coming."
The madman twisted the knife roughly, the jagged edges tearing at the flesh of his side with each swift turn. Ianto closed his eyes against the feeling, drawing his hands to his face and biting down hard on the leather strap encircling his wrist. He could feel tears forcing their way from his eyes and trickling down his cheeks as the harsh metal tore its way through his muscles, carefully avoiding any major organs in favour of prolonging the pain.
"You know where I learnt to do this?" his captor whispered, his fingers moving expertly over the hilt of the knife, twisting slowly and pushing deep. "They used to wake is up with this in morning, impaling us like animals so that we woke up knowing exactly what we were."
The knife slid out, pushing back in again roughly, the angle shifting so that the split skin was widened and forced outwards.
"Can you imagine what that's like? Every morning…sometimes we didn't even sleep because if we didn't go to sleep then we wouldn't have to be woken up."
A pained grunt forced its way from Ianto's throat as the knife continued to move, in and out, in and out, twisting and forcing and tearing. He could feel a scream bubbling in his windpipe, his chest hammering with the force of keeping it back. He wasn't quite sure why he was holding it back, but all he knew was that he didn't want to scream; he didn't want to drown out the gentle humming of the golden organisms that were now nestled just below his ear. If he screamed, he wouldn't be able to hear the singing.
"You know something?" he thought he could hear the voice of the madman catch ever so slightly, emotion filtering through the normally cold veneer. "After a while we began to realise that no one was coming. No one cared enough to come running after us. I always waited for him, for Jack, for my brother, but it didn't take long for me to realise that he wasn't coming."
The knife plunged in again, all care forgotten as it ripped through flesh and bone alike, puncturing the organs that lay beneath the muscle. The shock ran through Ianto's body, his limbs spasming against the pain and a cry gurgling from his throat.
"He does that, you know. He gets you to believe in him, and then he lets you down. He doesn't care enough about anybody – all he ever does is run away," Ianto heard a choking sound from above him, a strangled sob; he couldn't bring himself to open his eyes, but he felt warm wetness drip onto his cheek.
"And yet everybody loves him – Jack the hero, Jack the stud, Jack who can have whoever he wants. You loved him, and what did he do? Even when you were dying he wouldn't give you what you wanted. He didn't even care enough to lie to you as you lay dying. That's how selfish he is, and yet you'll die for him. Who would die for me, Ianto Jones? Who could be bothered to risk their life to come and rescue me from the monsters?"
Ianto saw stars dancing in front of his eyes as the knife was pulled away, a numbness running through him as the blood drained slowly from the his veins.
"No one came. Do you hear me? No one came…no one ever came!"
The singing grew louder in Ianto's ears as he felt himself slipping into the darkness, the stuttered cries of the madman growing faint, as though the sound was reverberating back from the wall of a cave. He could feel his own breath rasping against his throat, growing shallow with each inhalation. The gentle humming of the nanogenes vibrating through his body soothed him as he slipped away.
In the split second before he died, the knife plunged once more into his side, wet, hot tears falling onto the wound as a hiss whistled into his ear.
"I'll never forgive them for that."
Silence rang through the Tardis as the projection faded, the quiet crackling through the large space with more painful force than words could ever have. Amy reached out behind her, clutching blindly until she caught hold of Rory's hand, squeezing it tightly enough to cut off the blood circulation. He turned to her briefly, worming his hand away from hers so that he could drape an arm over her shoulder uncertainly, breathing out a sigh of relief as she moved closer and rested her head on his shoulder.
The Doctor cleared his throat.
"No, I won't don't."
Jack's head shot up, his hand falling from his wrist strap and burrowing into his pocket. The Doctor stepped forward, mirroring Jack's defensive position as he squared up to him, hands in his pockets and back straightened.
"When I said that I wouldn't leave you, not now, not ever and never again, I meant that. Now, you tell me what's going on, because I have the rest of time to wait for you to be ready to talk."
"So do I, unless you forgot."
"Yes I know, and no I didn't. And I'm waiting."
Jack sighed, stepping forward and resting his hands against the console, bracing the weight of his body on his arms. The Doctor sauntered towards him, hands still in pockets, perching himself on the side a few feet away from him.
"Now, I know that that's Ianto Jones. I also know that he died. So logic dictates that something must have happened for him to be alive. So, if you know what happened, it would probably be best to tell me because otherwise we'll be in orbit for all eternity."
"You realise how confusing your new look is? You look like you've just come out of school and yet when you open your mouth…well…"
"Oi. Stop trying to distract me," he adjusted his bowtie, leaning lower so he could eye Jack from beneath the immortal's arms. "Now…"
Jack sighed, closing his eyes before casting them upwards to meet the Doctor's.
"It's my brother."
"Gray. We lost him as a kid and he always blamed me…as he should…and he came back to get his revenge. He was completely insane. The ones who kidnapped him, they were torturers, and that was all he had ever known. We lost Tosh and Owen to him; he killed them and he buried me under Cardiff for two thousand years," a sharp intake of breath from Rory was silenced by a sharp look of the Doctor's. "And I still couldn't kill him…" he cut off, breathing in deeply. The Doctor nodded knowingly.
"No, you don't," Jack looked up, his face tight and eyes slightly reddened. "I should have. He was a danger. And then when…when the Hub blew up the cryogenic chambers must have been released. He must have escaped, somehow, and now he's getting his revenge."
"By bringing Ianto back? But how…"
"Nanogenes, Doctor," he smiled wryly. "We have a strong history with those little bastards, remember? And now that's what he's doing – he takes him to the brink of death then brings him back, and then he films it and send it through this."
He tapped his wrist strap, not even glancing down to look at it.
"He knows that that will hurt. I don't…I just…I wouldn't wish that on anyone. And I don't even know where to start looking for him, to rescue him, and Gray knows it. He knows just how to hurt me. He should do…we were so close, we were like one person when we were kids."
Burying his face in his hands, he sighed.
"It's all my fault. I was the one who got Ianto into this mess, I was the one who was stupid enough to let him die, I was the one who wouldn't do what was necessary when it counted. I should have told him to get out before he got too deep, before it was too late to get out, but he followed me like a lamb to the slaughter. I might as well have held the knife that killed him."
He stopped suddenly as a hand cuffed him around the head, turning in surprise to see the fiery haired woman standing stoically beside him.
"We'll never find him if you're both going to stand here moping. That doesn't achieve anything," she tossed her hair, looking to the Doctor determinedly. "Can the Tardis follow the signal that was sent to the strap, Doctor?"
The Doctor stood up straight, a grin spreading to his face.
"It's very primitive technology, all things considered, but we can have a jolly good go."
"Good," she nodded, turning to Rory. "Rory, will you help him?"
"Of course, anything for you, my dearest."
Rory smiled at her, brushing a hand past hers as he moved to join the Doctor at the console. She grinned at him, slapping her hand to his shoulder before turning back to Jack, the smile falling from her face as she took in the dullness in his eyes. Stepping forward, she laid a hand on his shoulder.
"We'll find him," she said quietly. "I hardly know you, but I'll say from what I've seen that he's lucky to have someone like you looking for him. I can imagine what Rory would be like if it was me; he's stupid for it really, but I can tell you're the same when it comes to that, even if you don't realise it."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean you'll go to the end of the world for the person you love."
Jack smiled sadly, shaking his head.
"Ianto was…I don't know what he was, what we were, but I know we weren't that. I think it's more that I did care about him, whatever else, and that it's my fault that all this is happening…"
"You keep telling yourself that, kid," she winked. "But when we find him…and we will, you trust me on that, because I won't let him sit down until we do…maybe then you'll…"
"I dunno. You don't need to listen to me...but as with most people, you'll be a lot better off if you did."
"You're that good, huh?"
"You catch on quick," she smiled, squeezing his shoulder. "Now, come on. We need to find your man."
Thank you so much for reading!
Please review. They will truly cheer me up for the sad anniversary that takes place this Friday. One year on, and Ianto Jones is still the heart of Torchwood.
Thank you again.