Mercury Pheonix (mercury_pheonix) wrote,
Mercury Pheonix
mercury_pheonix

Served Cold | Chapter 10

Title: Served Cold
Author:
mercury_pheonix 
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: You are all incredible, absolutely incredible, and I wouldn't be anywhere without you. Unfortunately, this chapter took a little longer than usual, as I was distracted by newborn cousins and sent into such a rage by the homophobic attacks on the Ianto Shrine that I couldn't get anything out. But, here it is, finally. Not much happens in this chapter, but this is the lead-on chapter - this is the necessary build up to get things moving. Many of you have made comments regarding "please, just rescue Ianto already" and I assure you that we are nearly there. But all roads are bumpy, of course.



Chapter 9 | Masterlist | Chapter 11


Served Cold

Chapter 10


"No, no, NO!"

"What is it, what's wrong?"

"We've lost it!"

The Doctor ran a hand through his hair nervously as Jack slumped against the railing, his chin dropping to his chest. Amy hovered anxiously in the background, hands twisting in the material of her skirt as her eyes fixed on the man before them, obviously debating whether or not to reach forward.

Eventually, Jack raised his head, back straightening against the metal rail.

"Can you find it again?"

The Doctor shook his head, and Jack turned away, hands buried in his pockets.

"Jack," the Doctor stepped away from the console, leaning towards him. "You know it's not that simple. The signal's temperamental as it is – we can only pick it up again after another signal comes through, and even then it took us three days to fully latch onto it last time."

Jack turned back, fixing the Doctor with a glare.

"Another signal? Through this?" he tapped the wrist strap with such a force that Amy winced behind him. "So what you're saying is, and tell me if I'm getting this right, we can't trace the signal again unless we get another one of these…these…presents?"

The Doctor straightened, one hand still resting on the console of the ship as if for support.

"Jack, stop it…please…"

"So, in order to save him we need to wait until he's tortured again," Jack began to pace, his feet beating out a rhythm to his frantic words. "We have to wait until he's…he's…you know…or else we don't find him? What kind of a rescue is that? What kind of a fucking…"

"For goodness sake, Jack!" the Doctor brought hand down on the console, the noise startling the immortal into stillness. "You think we enjoy this anymore than you? You think we don't want help you? We're doing the best we can."

"But that's not good enough!" Jack's hand came to his head, scraping through his hair harshly enough to tear at the roots; Amy winced as she saw the obviously painful tugging at his scalp. "You're the Doctor. You fix things. That's what you're supposed to do."

He laughed quietly, air whistling gratingly through his teeth.

"I suppose fixing things is something you've always fallen short on when it comes to me."

"Jack, I'm so sorry,"

"Don't be."

Jack swivelled on his feet, stepping towards where his coat had been slung in the corner of the Tardis. He swept past Amy, reaching out for the heavy blue material and slipping it on his shoulders, sagging ever so gently with the weight of it. The red-haired woman stepped out as he passed, blocking his path.

"You can't just run away."

Jack huffed.

"Why do people insist on telling me that?"

"We've been searching for weeks..."

"Just over two months, actually."

"Exactly. We'll get there, just give it time."

Jack lowered his gaze to the floor, fiddling absent-mindedly with the strap at his wrist as he refused to meet her eyes. Rory walked in at that point, stopping abruptly as he saw the sombre expressions and kept his distance, taking in the sight of the handsome man and his fiancée standing almost nose to nose.

Eventually, Jack looked up.

"I have so much time."

Amy reached out a tender hand to rest on his shoulder.

"Exactly – we can still find him."

"No, Amy," he backed away, her hand falling from his shoulder. "You don't understand. I have too much time."

He glanced to the side, catching Rory's eye.

"You should go back to your boyfriend. Stop messing around in these things. It'll never end well."

Amy's nostrils flared as she turned her head, catching Rory's eye. He shook his head, stepping towards her and taking a hold of her hand in what she could only perceive as a supportive gesture. She knew that, in Rory's dreams, they would land back on Earth, get married, and have a normal life, with all the wonderful memories that they had made with the Doctor just that - memories. She also knew that she could never do that – and Rory would follow her into whatever danger she led him to.

Her heart gave a small leap as she squeezed Rory's hand back, her head whipping around to fix Jack with glare that was tinged with anger and guilt.

"Who are you to judge me on that?"

"The perfect judge, trust me," Jack snapped, pushing past her. "Either go home or leave him. Don't do what I did."

The Doctor stepped to block his path, his gangly arms stretching as far as they could; it was hardly much of a barrier, but Jack had never really been able to disobey the Doctor's orders. He stopped short, hands buried in his pockets and eyes boring into the Timelord's face impatiently.

"Jack...just wait…"

"Land her, Doctor."

"Just think about this."

"I have, Doctor," Jack's whole body seemed to wilt. "And I have to go. I have to get out. Please just…land her wherever we are, and then let me go."

The hands of the Timelord came to his bowtie, readjusting it nervously before hovering over the multiple switches on the console, seeming to dance in the air before going to work at the numerous levers and buttons. The whole ship juddered as it came to a halt, forcing the passengers to grab hold of the nearest raised surface. None of them managed to look at each other as the vibrations came to a halt; no sound was heard as Jack straightened his shoulders and headed towards the door.

"We'll be waiting for you," the Doctor called as Jack placed both hands against the door and pushed, but he refused to turn and acknowledge the words. As the door slammed shut behind him, a deathly silence descended on the three occupants still present in the ship. The Doctor's foot scuffed nervously against the metal floor, the sound echoing around the empty space.

Eventually, Amy broke the stillness, breaking free from Rory's hand and walking briskly towards the door. The Doctor stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

"Don't."

She turned to him, eyes blazing.

"We can't just let him go, Doctor."

"Yes, we can."

"We've no idea where we've landed! He could be anywhere!"

"He can look after himself," the Doctor ran a hand through his hair, scowling at Amy's disbelieving look. "What? He' a grown boy, he can look after himself – I can't hold his hand and tell him it'll be alright. He can deal with himself if he wants to…he's been doing it for over a century, after all."

"You keep coming out with this stuff, but it makes no sense!"

There were tears in Amy's eyes, her fists clenched by her side.

"A century? Buried under Cardiff? He's human, Doctor. Isn't he, Rory?"

The man shifted uncomfortably.

"Amy…"

"No, Rory, you're a nurse. Tell me he's human."

Rory shrugged.

"He looks human enough," he shuffled his feet, flinching somewhat as the glares of both bore into him, both asking something different of him. "But then, so do you, Doctor, so I really don't…"

He broke off as the Doctor sighed, leaning one hand dejectedly on the console to steady himself.

"It's a long story," the Doctor turned to Amy, his eyes softer than they had been. "He died, he was brought back to life and now he can't die – well, that's a lie, what it's really like is that he…well…he can't stay dead."

Amy blinked.

"You say that like its completely normal."

"Well, I've done my fair share of reeling," the Doctor adjusted his coat, reaching around to pull the screen of the centre column towards him and peering at the numbers. "But that's done, that's over with – I'm over it. Now…let's see where we are…"

He punched in a few numbers, frowning as the screen lit up with information. Amy folded her arms and stepped forward, her unhappiness still etched across her face; she subdued it, however, joining the Doctor to peer over his shoulder, unable to decipher the information scrolling across the dusty screen.

"Oh…ah…"

"What?"

"Oh dear…well, that explains a lot."

Rory stepped forward, obviously eager to get into the conversation and, with that, to attempt to alleviate some of the tension still simmering in the air.

"What does it explain?"

The Doctor looked up.

"I've been here before."

x

x

The madman sat before him, their positions almost identical; legs bent to chests, their kneecaps so close they were almost touching. Only, he was holding himself up on his own strength – Ianto couldn't quite manage that, his spine supported by the rough metal of the side of the ship. He could hear a gentle dripping somewhere, a steady beat echoing out through the harsh material of the transport, whatever it was. The madman had told him that it was an ambulance at one point – or was it that it would be an ambulance at some point?

He couldn't remember, exactly. But the irony didn't escape him. Even here, he had enough of his faculties left to recognise when something would be funny, even if he didn't feel like laughing. Not particularly.

The madman wasn't laughing. At least, not this time. Instead, he had his hands clasped together in front of him; fingertips brushing at the tattered material of what had once been Ianto's suit trousers, the pads of his fingers moving in small circles. Ianto watched them, the rotation almost hypnotic in its consistency; the touch light and soft. It had been some time since he'd felt anything light or soft.

He quite liked it. It was better than the rest, better than the knives and the pain – he willed his captor to carry on with this, not to be distracted; he wanted him to keep quiet, to keep still, to in some way forgive him and just stay like this for as long as he could. In some ways, the quiet presence was comforting. It would be easier; he could spend forever like this, with the small constant movements on his knees and the gentle breathing in his ear.

But it didn't last. Nothing ever did. He saw the mouth of the psychopath open before sound came out, and he flinched instinctively, his ears ringing already with the words he was expecting to come.

"It's not my fault," the madman's voice was fragile. "I didn't mean to be this."

Ianto shuffled back as far as he could, not quite enough to break the contact but enough to feel safer. He buried his bound hands to his chest, squashing them between his ribs and his knees protectively; this strange tone was more terrifying than the usual harshness, because at least then he knew what was coming. This was quite and soft – deceptively so. He could feel his heartbeat speeding up against his fingertips, his breath catching as he tried to still it; he knew his captor could hear the drumbeat coming from his chest, knew that he could smell his fear.

That made him vulnerable. He hated being vulnerable. Even after all this, he retained enough humanity to want to be in control – if only in control enough to still be able to hate the man in front of him. The minute that failed…he didn't know what would happen…

The madman inched closer, the rubbing on his knees becoming more frenetic.

"Why are you trying to get away? I'm not bad…I never wanted to be bad…all I wanted was to be good."

Hands reached forward, plunging down behind the right-angle of his legs and gripping hold of Ianto's fingers. He felt his whole body tense against the touch, the frozen muscles quivering ever so slightly. The ringing in his ears grew even louder as he felt their two heartbeats together, pulsing out of synch against his fingers. He wanted to get away as the sensation burned through his skin… but he couldn't.

"Do you hate me?" the grip grew tighter, squeezing so tightly on Ianto's fingers that he felt his hand would explode. "Why do you hate me? Why? You don't hate him, you love him, but you'll hate me? How is what I have ever done worse than him?"

Something cracked. A small noise escaped Ianto's mouth as he felt his hand snap, the bones crunching together as the quivering hand of his captor squeezed. The madman didn't notice, tears pouring down his cheeks and falling like searing lava onto Ianto's skin.

"Why can't you love me, too? Why can't anyone love me like you love Jack?"

The hand moved from his now withered fingers to his chest, inching aside the torn and tattered buttons of his shirt. Ianto's breath hitched as the fingers pushed against his ribs, the nails digging painfully against him and pushing the tired skin against the bone. The madman leaned in close, using his free hand to grasp the leather binding Ianto's wrists and force his arms above his head.

"You know he doesn't love you like you loved him."

He leaned in closer, his breath ghosting over Ianto's lips, hand carding down to caress gently over his sternum, then his stomach…lower…

"But I can love you…"

x

x

The hustle and bustle of the bar hit Jack as soon as he walked through the door, enveloping him with a blessed wave of incoherency. This was something that he hadn't been able to get in the Tardis; after all those months of losing himself in the vastness of the universe, the claustrophobic nature of the Doctor's ship had trapped him in his thoughts. He'd gone from hiding away to being forced to confront everything he hadn't wanted to face.

It had been a shock to the system.

Here, however, he could lose himself. He stepped forward, his coat rustling behind him masterfully as he surveyed the interior. A wave of disappointment hit him as he saw the familiar surroundings, the grotty, cheap nature of the place eliciting a distinct shudder as opposed to the thrill of excitement these places usually brought him. The whole building was built and designed in such a way that would have George Lucas suing them over copyright issues, if only humanity had developed the technology to get him here.

Unbeknownst to George himself, Jack knew that the Star Wars films were every bit as popular in the greater universe as they were on Earth – even though their depictions of space life were grossly inaccurate (even with Jack himself as a source, though, of course, he'd never disclosed that particular venture to his Torchwood employers), they excited the sensibilities of many species, garnering a huge fan base. Torchwood had more than once had to divert the attentions of fans arriving on Earth, eager to meet the creator of such a quaint little series.

As such, many bars, such as this, had sprung up as "space outlets". Modelled upon the inaccuracies of the original films, they attracted fans and non-fans alike. That vision, that inaccuracy, had become a reality, and bars like this were a melting pot of outsiders from everywhere in the universe. It was full of every being he could imagine; ranging from the carpet cleaners of the universe to some of the bigger bullies, the more impressive flexing their muscles and size in front of the many females.

He tried for a half-hearted grin as he continued to walk, flashing his teeth at the nearest girl he could find. She glared at him as he passed, the forced nature of his look stretching his features into more of a leer. He quickly realised that he was looking much more creepy than seductive, and he quickly sealed his lips, hurrying away to the other side of the bar.

He needed a drink.

As soon as his order arrived, he took a sip, grimacing slightly as the liquid burned his throat unpleasantly. He let it drop to the bar surface, focusing his eyes on the rippling of the surface and letting the movement lull him into a sense of complacency. The noise he had hoped would distract became an annoying buzz in his ears, the words and sounds of outsiders like himself serving to make him feel even more excluded.

He just wanted to lose himself, and all this rip-off bar was doing was reminding him of Earth. He remembered that Ianto had liked Star Wars, remembered him telling him once that, with the hell they had to deal with in Torchwood, the sheer ridiculous nature of the films had helped him to escape. They'd made him feel as though it wasn't all bad, that somewhere out there, there really were heroes and people who actually didn't want to kill him.

Jack lowered his head further, the tip of his nose almost brushing against the rim of his glass. He should have shattered those illusions as soon as they'd arrived. Perhaps if he'd have given him a reality check, forced him to be alert…after all, Ianto had been his…his colleague and friend…and he had cared about him. He should have tried harder, with him and with Owen and with Tosh and Stephen and Alice oh God…

It was his fault. Of course, Ianto always had been alert, more aware of the dangers than the others had ever been, but Jack still felt that he could have done more.

What if…what if…what if…

Suddenly, he became aware of the barman trying to get his attention, shattering the painful circles his mind was travelling in. He shook his head slightly, looking up as the man handed him a folded note, his brow furrowing ever so slightly.

"From the man over there."

Jack looked up, his eyes narrowed as his fingers tightened over the note. He wasn't expecting to see what he saw.

His Doctor.

Standing separately from everyone, hands in his pockets, looking at Jack with an overwhelming expression of guilt and repentance and…was that affection? Jack gulped. The only thing he wanted to do at that point was get up and fulfil the promise he had made all those years ago, to kiss him and then kill him, but something in the look of the Timelord's face stilled him in his tracks.

Jack felt something in him lurch as the Doctor nodded, motioning for him to read the note. His fingers trembling, he managed to inch the folded corners apart, spreading it before him and taking in the words that it said – and as he did so, a young man with a forlorn expression sat beside him. He followed the Doctor's gaze to him, taking in his expression before flicking his eyes back to the Doctor.

The Doctor nodded.

That was all he needed – he was tired of thinking, and the soldier in him thanked the Doctor for giving him an order to follow. It was a lot easier than making his own way in this world, and, as the good soldier he was, he brought his hand to his forehead, saluting this Doctor for what he realised would be the last time

He pushed aside the faint memory of the Doctor – well, the other one – asking him where Alonso was as he sidled up to the young man. He tried to ignore the fact that this was the Doctor's repentance, his forgiveness; that this was all the Doctor felt he needed to heal from the events which had shattered his life apart. And, as he flashed that grin that he had perfecting for decades, he refused to acknowledge the part of his mind screaming "I need more from you!"

All he knew was that - right here, right now - he needed to forget.

That was all he wanted.

He didn't need anything else.

He didn't...

 

TBC...


Thank you for reading.

Please review! The bunnies promise to perform their special little happy dance if you do!

Oh and...



Is that a good enough reason for a late chapter? XP.


Tags: amy pond, amy/rory, angst, coe fix-it, eleventh doctor, fanfiction, ianto is alive, ianto jones, jack harkness, jack/ianto, rory williams, served cold, torchwood
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