Pairings: budding Jack/Ianto, references to past Ianto/Lisa
Disclaimer: If I was the one who owned Torchwood, you think I'd admit it now?
Spoilers: Some information and events from s1,2. NONE for s3.
Summary: In the aftermath of Lisa's death, Ianto is struggling to cope - and new surprises don't help matters much. Can his friends on the team at Torchwood help him carry on?
Author's Note: Sequel to Guilt.
Thanks to: My beta cazmalfoy, angelzbabe1989 for idea bouncing, and morbid_sparks for cheerleading even when she
Previous chapters at master list
Ianto had drifted back upstairs to the Tourist Office shortly after Gwen had commandeered a large pinboard downstairs and begun pinning random snippets of Carys’s life to it.
He just needed a little space.
Jack had been brilliant earlier, had been a shoulder to cling to while he had pushed back the tears and the memories Gwen’s unknowing words had brought up. Ianto really didn’t want to get dependent on Jack’s presence, though.
And it wasn’t like the Tourist Office didn’t need a little attention. He’d been interrupted almost every time he’d been up there to sort things out in the last couple of weeks, and a job half done often left more disorganisation than a job never begun.
Double-checking that his comms. were on, just in case of an emergency back down in the Hub, he got to work.
He had made good progress, and was almost at a point where he could consider himself organised in the office for the next several weeks at least, when there was the sound of a kerfuffle behind him.
Spinning around, he was more than a little surprised to find Carys standing there, holding a large jar in her arms. After a second he recognised it as an oddity that had graced a corner of the Hub near the entrance since he had arrived. Only Jack seemed to know anything about it, and Ianto hadn’t quite built up the nerve to ask him why he was keeping what appeared to be a severed human hand in a jar.
Seconds later, Jack appeared behind her, his gun in hand.
Ianto took a step sideways, blocking the path to the front door. “Need me to do anything, sir?” He wasn’t entirely sure what he could do, but he’d give anything a shot if it would help.
He could see Jack’s eyes flickering between the door and the hand in the jar, the gun in his wand wavering slightly. “Just… open the door.”
Not taking his eyes from Carys, Ianto reached down to his side and hit the button that would unlock the front door. The hand in the jar, whatever the reason for it, was clearly more important to Jack than Ianto had realised, if using it as a bargaining chip meant he would allow Carys to escape.
With a quiet buzz, the door opened.
“Alright, then,” Jack said quietly, holding his arms out in a calming motion. “Now just… give me the jar.”
Almost before Ianto could blink, Carys had skirted around him and the jar was on the floor at the other side of the tourist office, the top thrown from the rest of the jar, the formerly bubbling gloopy liquid oozing across the floor.
And he’d only cleaned that floor an hour ago.
Jack crumpled to the floor beside it, not seeming to care when the liquid seeped into the material of his trousers at the knees, looking vaguely distraught.
Luckily for Ianto, Gwen and Tosh appeared at the door down to the Hub barely another second later, freeing him from the decision of whether he should go after Carys, or go to Jack.
All it took was a look to convey to Tosh that Carys had gone out of the open door, and she and Gwen dashed out after her. Ianto wasn’t at all sure that they’d find her – it was late afternoon in central Cardiff, plenty people for her to hide among if she wanted.
Skirting around the counter, he crouched down carefully next to Jack, trying his best not to get any of the spillage over his own suit trousers.
“Jack,” he said softly. There was no response. “Jack,” he tried again a little louder, gingerly resting a hand on Jack’s shoulder.
Jack looked round, almost seeming surprised to see Ianto down on the floor next to him. He had the severed hand cradled between his own hands, and Ianto shuddered slightly as the fingers seemed to move.
Looking away - looking at anything but the unnatural movement of the hand - Ianto realised that the jar it lived in was, although burst open, intact. All that would be needed was to refill it with… whatever it was that it had been filled with before – he wasn’t sure he actually wanted to know – and put the lid back on.
He was about to tell Jack that, in the hopes that it would alleviate the mild panic brewing behind Jack’s eyes, when the front door to the office burst open again.
Gwen and Tosh stumbled in, both a little breathless.
“It’s no use,” Tosh panted. “She’s gone.”
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