Erin (etmuse) wrote in etmuse_fics,
Erin
etmuse
etmuse_fics

Guilt - 69/69

Title: Guilt
Fandom: Torchwood
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Ianto/Lisa
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Torchwood is not mine. No matter how much I sometimes wish it was.
Spoilers: Some information and events from s1,2. NONE for s3.
Summary: Why didn't you tell us? We could have helped you. - Well, what if he did?

This chapter: There's nothing left to do.

Thanks to: My beta cazmalfoy for all her wonderful work, and my cheerleaders angelzbabe1989 and piper08 for putting up with me when I whine about being stuck.

Fic starts here
Previous chapters at the master list for this fic

Warning: MAJOR TISSUE WARNING for this chapter. I literally sobbed while writing it, so I'm serious here.

Chapter Sixty-Nine

“Please. Just another few days. Maybe we’ll find something that could help. Please.” Tears streaked down Ianto’s face as he pleaded with Lisa, gripping her hand, stroking down her face.

Lisa’s face was tense with the effort of holding on. She’d had more than one brief lapse of control since the one Ianto had first witnessed, and they were getting longer. “You know we can’t take that chance, Ianto,” she pushed out. “You know what’s been happening. It’s… it’s already gone above 60. A few more days and…”

“I know, but I don’t want to lose you,” Ianto whispered hotly. “I can’t.”

The others stood around the room, trying desperately not to intrude; knowing there was nothing they could do or say that would make this easier on either Ianto or Lisa; wishing there was something that could be said to make this easier on them.

“I don’t want to be lost,” Lisa whispered back, and Ianto might have laughed had the situation not been so devastatingly tragic. “But it’s getting too strong. I can’t fight it much longer. You’re going to lose me either way.”

Ianto’s body shook as he tried to withhold a sob. “I know, I just…”

“Please, Ianto. Let me go while I can still say goodbye.”

Ianto took a step back, not letting go of her hand, and nodded slowly, tearfully. “Okay.” He looked around at his co-workers, his friends, the meaning clear.

Owen was the first to step forward. He made a show of re-checking the readings on all her monitors.

“You understand how this is going to happen, right?” he said, falling back on the comfort of medical distance.

Lisa nodded fractionally; Owen had already explained the procedure to her in full.

“You’ll be out, it will be painless. You won’t even know it’s happening.”

“I know,” she whispered.

Owen finally looked at her properly and his eyes filled with emotion. He stepped back before it could overwhelm him. “I’m sorry,” he told her, utter sincerity in his tone as he turned away and walked over to the wall where he could hide the pain it was causing him.

Tosh didn’t beat about the bush, her hands enclosing Lisa’s free one between them. “I am so very sorry. I wish I could have done more.”

“Not your fault,” Lisa croaked.

Tosh nodded, collecting herself. “I’m going to miss you.” Nodding again, shortly, she pulled back, biting her lip as she joined Owen at the side of the room.

Jack wasn’t even attempting to mask his emotions as he stepped up to take her place.

“The world is going to be a sadder place without a beautiful woman like you in it,” he said in a choked voice, making a failed attempt at a grin. “I wish it didn’t have to end this way.” He swallowed hard.

“You did everything you could,” Lisa assured him adamantly. He squeezed her hand tight, taking everything he could from the contact.

He bent low over her, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “I’ll look after him for you, I promise,” he whispered fiercely, just loud enough for her to hear.

“You’ve been a good friend to me, Jack Harkness,” Lisa told him as he straightened. “Thank you.” The look in her eyes told him that her gratitude was for more than everything he’d been to her in the last months; she was acknowledging everything he’d vowed to do for Ianto in the future.

Jack nodded, reaffirming his promise. “It’s been an honour to be your friend, Lisa Hallett.” He stepped back, releasing her hand. He opened his mouth to say something else, but found that he couldn’t get the words out. She understood though; with a slight tilt of her head, she let him know that she had heard every word he couldn’t say.

He joined the others, and Ianto was vaguely aware of him ushering them all out of the room to let Ianto and Lisa say their goodbyes in private. He wiped the tears from his cheek with the back of his free hand as he moved closer again.

Lisa’s eyes met his, and with the same hand, he stroked a single finger down her cheek in what had become a very familiar gesture in the last months.

“I… I don’t know what to say,” he said quietly. “There’s so much I want to tell you, so many things that I thought I had years to say.” A tear tricked down his cheek, dripping from his chin, but he barely noticed. “I love you so much, Lisa. My sweet, sweet cariad, I love you so very much, and…” He shook his head slightly.

“I love you too, Ianto, more than I’ve ever been able to tell you.” Lisa’s voice was fierce beneath the strain; she needed him to believe. “Which is why I need you to promise me that you won’t grieve me forever.”

“But…”

“Don’t let your life end with mine, Ianto. You have to go on without me, find a way to be happy again.”

“I don’t know if I can,” Ianto wept. “You’ve been a part of me for so long.”

“And I always will be,” Lisa whispered. “That part of me will always live in you. When you’re happy, that part of me… will be happy with you.”

She squeezed his hand. “We’ve found out the hard way that life is too damn short. When you find something, or someone, that makes you happy again, grab onto that, Ianto. Grab on and hold it tight.”

Ianto nodded through his tears. “I will. I’ll try.” He bent low, putting all of his emotions into his kiss. “I’m going to miss you so much, but I’ll try.”

He took a deep breath, trying to compose himself as he stood up. Their eyes met, and they knew that this was it.

They stood in silence, letting their eyes say the final goodbyes, as the others crept back in.

Ianto looked up and nodded at Owen, biting his lip in a futile attempt at holding back the floodgates on his tears.

Efficiently, mechanically, Owen disconnected the fluid drip and connected up a syringe. He blew out a calming breath of his own before depressing the plunger.

Within seconds, the strong sedative started to take effect, Lisa’s eyes beginning to droop. She briefly locked gazes with each of them for one last time before they flickered closed.

Owen checked with Ianto once more before he started to disconnect or switch off the myriad devices that supported Lisa’s life. Monitor readings went haywire as Lisa’s body started to shut down.

The final switch was that on the breathing device they’d connected up all those months ago.

After it was turned off, Lisa took a couple of shallow, stuttering breaths before stopping.

A few seconds later, the heart monitor flat lined.

Even though there was no sound, they could hear it in their heads just as surely as if there was.

Beeeeeeeeeeep

There was no sound at all in the room for a long moment, a moment that felt like it stretched on forever.

It was broken by Ianto’s gulping sob as his legs gave out beneath him. Jack caught him before he fell and they slid to the floor together, both in tears.

Lisa was gone, and nothing, now, would bring her back.


The End

Well, not really The End. I'm already several chapters into the sequel. But while I write the sequel, I have two other fics which will start posting in the next 2 weeks:
Guilt: Redux - an alternative ending, which will start on August 2nd - click here for a teaser-trailer.
Yesterday Is But Today's Memory - a whole new AU, starts on July 29th - click here for a teaser-trailer.

Click here to go to the sequel to this fic, 'Turning Point'

All comments and concrit welcomed! (Comments = Love <3)
Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with me this long - I love you all.
Tags: fandom: torchwood, fanfic, fic: guilt, length: 40000+, rating: pg/pg-13, tw: ianto/lisa, tw: jack/ianto, verse: guilt
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