They pump bullets into her. Shot after shot firing into her body. All he can do is stand and watch as her body falls, lifeless, against the conversion unit. He turns to look at his team, lowering their guns: Gwen turns her head away, she can’t look at him; Owen averts his eyes to look at the bodies on the ground; Tosh looks at him, not directly in his eyes, but just at him; Jack, like the monster he is, looks him dead in the eyes, his face still full of resentment. He twists back around and makes his way back to the bodies. This was his fault, he knew it, they knew it. He sinks to his knees between the pizza girl, filled with bullets and Lisa’s brain, and Lisa’s body, trapped in a cyber shell. He is kneeling on the concrete wet from leaking water and Lisa’s blood, the blood covering his hands.
Blood on his hands.
This was his fault. Dr. Tanizaki. The pizza girl. Lisa. Their blood was stained on the very floor he knelt on because of him. They were dead because of him .
He sobs. Endless, painful crying that aches his head and his jaw and makes his eyes sting. They just stood and watched him. He can’t take it anymore, he screams. He screams and he shouts and he stumbles back up onto his feet, clutching his gun. He points it at them, vaguely to all of them but slightly focused on Jack. They all flinch and step back slightly, raising their arms - all apart from Jack, who just stays staring at him with that same look of betrayal and anger and pain. Gwen speaks first, “Ianto, I am so sorry, so, so, sorry but please put the gun down.”
He drops the gun, and his legs go to jelly beneath him as he falls to the floor once again. He covers his face with his blood stained hands and continues to weep. Gwen takes cautious steps forward towards him, and slowly crouches down beside him. She puts a gentle hand on his shoulder and starts to softly rub his back. He tenses at first at the touch, but begins to rest into it. He hasn’t been touched in God knows how long. Sure there was the deliberate lingering of fingers when handing coffee to Jack, or the odd brush of arms or hands or legs when Jack would walk past him, but nothing like this. Her hand was warm against his back, it reminded him of Lisa’s warm touch. Her tender embraces and gentle kisses; the way her soft hands held onto his arm or slipped perfectly into his hand when they were out together; her cordial body wrapped around his as they lay in bed, her head resting on his chest. He missed her touch, after Canary Wharf her lips became lifeless, her hands were cold, it wasn’t the same. He should’ve seen that, she was already dead. The hand leaves too soon as Jack’s harsh voice emerges.
“Gwen. Leave it.” Gwen opens her mouth to protest but shuts it as Jack gives her a stern glare. She retreats back to stand with the rest of the team.
Ianto finds it somewhat absurd to be here kneeling in front of his team. Sure, he could make a joke about being on his knees for Jack Harkness, but that wasn’t it. He finds it funny that he looks like he's praying for forgiveness like a sinner in a church and it’s very entertaining that they think that’s what he’s doing. Jack’s words echoed in his head, ‘Your loyalty is to us now.’ like fuck it was. His loyalty was to her. She was his everything, his life. All his dedication was to her. Everything he had, everything he was, everything he would ever do was for her. And now that she is dead, he has no purpose, he has nothing. It’s amusing that they think his loyalty will be to the thing that took everything away from him. His loyalty will never be to the monster that is Jack Harkness. He won’t worship the Church of Torchwood. He’s not going to beg for forgiveness or a second chance or his life. He has no life to beg for. Even if he did, there’s no point trying. He knows Torchwood procedures. He’s either going to lose 5 years to Retcon or lose 23 years to a Webley. He will take the latter any day. If he was going to make it out of this alive, he was going to do so with memories he had of Lisa. Lisa, oh beautiful Lisa. Those memories were the only thing left of her now. Torchwood would not take those too. He will not submit himself to Torchwood and their procedures and their rules. He owes them nothing. He would give them nothing. He has nothing to give them anyways. They’ve taken it all. How can they expect him to be loyal and dedicated to them after all this? He will not pray in the Church of Torchwood. He doesn’t need the prayers. He doesn’t need their forgiveness. He only needs one thing from them: their bullets in his body.
He was going to do just that there and then. He reaches for the gun to hold it to his head but stops for a second to plan. One of them would probably try and stop him. Then they’d probably have him on some sort of suicide watch so they could do whatever they wanted to do to him themselves. Before he could even properly consider anything, Jack speaks, still a bitter tone in his voice. “Tosh, head back to the hub and sort out a cover story for the girl. Owen, take the body to the autopsy bay, to clear her up a bit, then take her to the morgue, Gwen, you help him. Ianto and I will clear up down here.”
Tosh quietly hurries back to the hub, Owen jogs off to get a body bag, Gwen doesn’t really know what to do with herself. She lingers by Jack’s side as he stares at Ianto with so much disgust it wouldn’t be surprising if he were to spit on him. Ianto’s eyes are on the gun hanging loosely in his hand but when he turns them up to look at Jack, they are filled with more emotion than Gwen has ever seen the young man portray in his time here prior to today. Ianto breaks the long minutes of silence with a grunt as he pushes himself from the ground, legs and hands still shaking. Before anyone can say anything, Owen comes back with a body bag and him and Gwen place the pizza girl's body inside then take it upstairs. Not a word is spoken.
Now it’s just Jack and Ianto, with Lisa’s half converted body laying on the ground by the conversion unit. They stand and stare at each other for what feels hours, until Ianto tightens the grip of the gun in his hand. Before Jack can protest he speaks, raising the weapon. “Don’t start. I know things, Jack,” He practically spits out the name. “I work in the archives, I’m a researcher. Don’t think I haven’t noticed the fast healing injuries and traces of you across files from decades and decades ago. I’m not stupid, I put two and two together.”
Jack glances at the firearm aimed at his head, then looks back at Ianto, relaxing his posture slightly. “Fine, shoot me. Shoot me in the head.” Ianto doesn’t say or do anything except slightly adjust the grip he has on the gun to stop it slipping out of his bloody hands. “You won’t do it will you, you could never do it. Not really. I know you, Iant-”
“You don’t know shit! ” Ianto screams, “You fucking monster!”
“Ianto, believe me, I do know you. I know you w-” he is cut off by a gunshot, his vision falters, his world turns black as he collapses to the floor.
Ianto’s whole body shudders as the shot tears through Jack’s forehead. The sounds bounce off the walls of the otherwise quiet room - mind the drip of leaking water and slight buzz of the conversion unit. He assess his surroundings quickly, figuring out the others most probably didn’t hear the gunshot from the hub. He alternates the gun from one hand to the other to wipe some of the blood off of them. Now is his chance. He cautiously glides his way over and crouches by Lisa’s body. He lifts his free hand to gently brush her cheek. He sits down, not caring about how dirty and wet it is, his suit is already long gone. He continues to stoke her face, ignoring how cold she is. He speaks to her. “I’m going to be joining you soon. I hope you saved us a place up there,” he nods his head upwards, “or wherever we end up. Wherever it is, it’ll be okay if I’m with you.” he eyes Jack for a moment then turns his attention back to Lisa. “I don’t have a lot of time... I’ll see you on the other side.” Ianto leans over and presses a tender kiss to her cheek. He takes a deep breath and re-adjusts his grip on the gun in his hand. Ianto raises the weapon to his temple, the safety is already off and it is already cocked, squeezing his eyes shut. His heart is thumping so loud in his chest he doesn’t hear the tiny gasp from across the room. Nor does he hear the footsteps, as quiet as a mouse, creep along the room to him. He does, however, feel the hand that goes over his. Ianto looks up to see Jack by his side, his hand trying to pry the gun out of Ianto’s hand. He squats down to Ianto’s level.
“I think you should put the gun down.” he says, his voice surprisingly somewhat gentle.
“Why? So you can shoot me yourself?” He elbows Jack out of the way, pressing the barrel of the gun firmer against his head. “I’m not gonna let you do that, I’m doing it myself. I’m not having my death certificate say ‘Death by bloody Torchwood’. I’m not letting you kill me and…” his breathing starts to pick up again, “me and..oh God Lisa, oh God, oh-” he breaks out into a painful sob, the gun falling looser in his hands as he curls to a ball. Strong arms slowly wrap themselves around him, Ianto tense slightly but Jack pulls him closer to his body. He doesn’t have the energy to fight against the action so his whole body relaxes into Jack’s embrace. He turns his head slightly into Jack’s shoulder and continues to weep. Fingers find their way to his head and gently stroke through his hair.
Jack’s voice is soothing as he speaks in low tones. “Shh, shh, it’s okay.”
“It’s not okay.” Ianto chokes. He screams “It’s not fucking okay!” as he starts to vehemently thrash in Jack’s arms, desperately trying to escape. The older man doesn’t let go, he keeps his grip firm on Ianto. His body stops again from exhaustion and he drops his head back down to Jack’s shoulder. Jack continues to softly rub his hands on Ianto’s back, on the square of his shoulders, on his head, and through his hair. He hopes the touches will somewhat calm Ianto, even if only slightly. “It’s not okay.” he whispers again, voice hoarse from crying. Jack can feel his own eyes start to well up a bit, he understands what Ianto is feeling. Sure, Jack feels betrayed and angry, but he needs to take it easy on him right now, even just for a moment. Ianto is mourning the loss of everything.The terrible loss of love, like the world has ended. The loss of purpose, like there is nothing left to live for. It is too much for him to take, especially at his young age. So for now he must hold Ianto because that’s what he needs. He rocks Ianto as he continues to violently sob.
“I know it’s not. But what can we do?”
“You could’ve sav… you could’ve helped h-” he is too breathless to form sentences.
“Ianto, she was dead the moment they took her in canary wharf.” he can feel his eyes start to burn with tears fighting through. “I am so sorry, there was nothing we could’ve done. I know I couldn’t make it better then but I can try now.”
“There’s something you can do now.” Ianto whispers.
“Get your gun and get it over and done with.” he pauses “Please.”
“Ianto, I wasn’t going to kill you.”
“You weren’t?” he asks.
“That’s the easy way out.”
Ianto looks up at him startled. His face twists with anger, “You bastard. If you want to make it better, let me fucking die.” he struggles in Jack’s hold once again.
“Ianto, I am not letting you go.” he says, meaning it more than just physically.
“I’m not letting you Retcon me.”
“I wasn’t going to do that either.”
“Well, what are you going to do to me?”
Jack sighs, “I’m thinking about that now.”
“Please, just let me go. I have nothing left.”
“I can’t do that. I’m sorry if it sounds selfish but I can’t let you go. I am not losing you.” The words hit Ianto like a truck. “I know you hate me right now, more than anything in the entire world. I want you to know I don’t hate you. In fact, I care about you. And if you need to hate me because of the monster that I am, know that I understand. Now listen, this is what’s going to happen. We are going to go back up to the hub, and I will take you home.”
“What about.. um...what about.. her.. you know..” he trails off.
“I’ll take care of the body tomorrow. Once we have gotten into your flat, I will help clean you and dress you, I will make you something to eat and make sure you eat it. Then I will sedate you and put you to sleep. The next day you will come in at 5pm, do not wear a suit. Wear something you wouldn’t mind chucking. Old jeans and a t-shirt perhaps. I will write a note and leave it by your bedside reminding you. First, you will dismantle the conversion unit and place the parts in an area I will show you tomorrow. Once you have cleared all the equipment and your personal belongings from this room, I will bring the appropriate cleaning equipment out and you will clean all of the blood from this floor. I know about Dr. Tanizaki and you will clear up any blood left behind by his body. Gwen and Owen will come and collect his body soon and take it to the morgue, I told them where he is. When the floor is cleaned, you will meet me in my office and we will discuss your future within Torchwood.” Ianto gulps, Jack’s voice was surprisingly still quite soft.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Ianto weeps.
“I know.” he kisses Ianto’s head “I’m sorry too.” Jack cradles him gently. He taps his coms, trying to keep his voice steady as he speaks. “Tosh you can go home. Finish the cover stories tomorrow. Gwen and Owen, once the two bodies are dealt with, either in the morgue or medical bay, head home. Owen before you leave, drop those sedatives at my desk.” he receives a chorus of murmured 'okay’s' in response.
The hub is awkwardly quiet. Tosh packs up her stuff and says her goodbyes to the other two before heading home. After dropping the second body in the morgue, Gwen grabs her stuff, nodding to Owen then takes off. Owen takes the already prepared sedatives for Ianto’s body type and places them on Jack’s desk. He finds a pen and scrap of paper. Leaning on the desk, he writes a sentence then pauses and ponders. He then writes four more short lines. Then he places the note on the desk, and puts the syringes carefully on top of it.
Ianto and Jack stayed silently in each other’s arms for a while, the only sounds being dripping water, quiet mechanical whirs, small sobs and laboured breaths. Once Ianto is somewhat calmer, Jack loosens his grip. He looks down at the younger man who almost looks like he’s asleep. He must be shattered, Jack thinks to himself. He runs a gentle thumb across Ianto’s cheekbone.
“Come on, sleepyhead. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Ianto’s eyes flutter open, and they dart around his surroundings as an embarrassed blush creeps onto his face. Jack helps him up onto his feet and by the time they get to the hub, thankfully, everyone has gone home. “Wait here.” Jack instructs, before hurrying off to his office to grab the sedatives, he notices a handwritten note underneath them.
These sedatives will give him the start of a decent night's sleep but once they wear off and he is sleeping on his own, nightmares will most definitely be prominent.
I know you are angry and upset and you feel betrayed but take it easy on him for a bit, please.
He has a lot to recover from.
He is still very young.
Give him some time.
Owen may seem like an utter twat sometimes but he is a doctor and he cares. Though he will never admit he cares. Jack smiles sadly and slips the note into a draw in his desk before putting on his greatcoat and placing the syringes into a pocket. He heads back down the stairs to Ianto who looks as though he is lightyears away. He stops on the stairs for a moment.
“Oh, Jones, Ianto Jones,” he says to himself, “what am I gonna do with you?”