sariagray: (TW: Ianto and Some Clouds)
[personal profile] sariagray
Title: Whispered in the Dark
Author: [ profile] sariagray
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, Mentions of Ianto/Lisa, Team
Word Count: ~1600
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Countrycide
Warnings: Language
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood, its characters, or its environs, nor do I receive any monetary gain.
Beta: [ profile] analineblue <3
Summary: In which Ianto thinks, Jack prevaricates, Gwen prods, and then cannibals happen.
Author's Note: [ profile] beesandbrews posted that she really wanted to read “an internal monologue….From Ianto: "What do I do if he says me?"” from the “Who did you last snog?” moment in Countrycide. This…may have gone a little off-track, but here it is. Finally.

Whispered in the Dark

Ianto digs his toe under the corner of a rock and nudges until it flips over, revealing dark, wet soil. He shifts it a little, back and forth, and watches the way the dirt falls off the uneven surface of the stone. He kicks at it until it creates a good sized divot, the grass and earth coming up in a perfect misshapen clump.

No one notices. Or if they do, they don’t seem to care.

It’s not too cold yet, but it’s windy and the wind brings a chill that gnaws right through his jacket. Well. It’s not even his jacket, but Jack’s. At least, he thinks it is. Jack had thrown it at him as they were leaving. “Gets cold up there,” he’d said. Maybe it belonged to some one-night stand lost to the annals of time, and he hates the way that thought makes him shiver more than the wind.

Jack’s in the SUV now, separate and superior sitting on plush leather seats while the rest of them grab respite on camp beds and mismatched crates. Perhaps he feels disconnected. Ianto thinks of joining him, of taking away some of that loneliness that the Captain seems to wrap around himself like a security blanket, but that’s a line he’s not ready to cross. Besides, Ianto’d feel just as out of place there as he does here and walking over requires an effort he’s far too tired to make.

Ianto likes the scent of grass and earth and stone, the cool freshness of it, and the way it reminds him of centuries. Time had threaded itself into these mountains like the bands and seams of the rocks themselves. It wouldn’t appeal to someone like Owen, he knows, or even Toshiko, but he’d seen Gwen’s eyes light up at the sight of the rolling green hills as they rode up here, and Jack had looked around like he was greeting something familiar.

It doesn’t matter, though. He stamps on the rock, shoving it back into the ground, and glances up. There is a tension to the air that he hadn’t noticed before and he listens for a moment. Their voices compete with the whine of wind in his ears, all meaningless and petty and full of faux-grief. His stomach clenches painfully.

“It was complicated,” Gwen says and fixes Owen with a look.

Ianto puts two and two together rather quickly, and then remembers why they were all gathered around in the first place. His stomach clenches again.

In normal circumstances, he wouldn’t mind. Sure, the “last person you snogged” game is childish, but it’s relatively harmless and silly (and Torchwood could certainly do with a bit of both now and then). Until you start kissing the man, your boss, who killed your girlfriend, just weeks after, of course. Well, fuck. Then it just becomes some Freudian horror show.

And if they’re all shocked and uncomfortable at Owen’s revelation…well, he’s just glad that Jack prevaricates so well. Ask the man what he had for breakfast, and he’d probably misdirect you, no matter how innocuous. The problem is, Ianto knows perfectly well that he’s the last person Jack kissed.

As kisses go, it was fairly innocent. They had all been tentative and chaste lately, ever since his suspension ended; a soft press of lips here and there that led nowhere. Neither of them seemed to know what they wanted from each other, but they wanted all the same. That morning had found Ianto in the Hub even earlier than usual, pulling boxes and bags from storage and sorting through each to make sure they contained functional equipment. When he was almost finished, Jack had bounded in to do his own thorough check, ever the considerate leader. Upon finding everything in order, he’d pressed a hand to Ianto’s shoulder in gratitude and, at the last second, leaned forward and kissed him.

That was seven hours ago, maybe a little more, and while Jack may have kissed someone else since then, there were only three other options. Three other people who had already answered the question with names other than “Jack.” He’s a little surprised at how relieved he feels.

There’s a war inside him, too. Ianto needs Jack to deny, to misdirect, to put a stop to this completely. But what he wants is, as usual, an entirely different thing. There’s a part of him, small and contrary and dangerous, that wants Jack to claim him. It’s the bloody fool romantic part of him, he knows, only exacerbated by being on a cloudy windswept mountain.

That part of him, tiny and inconsequential, is willing to risk the blowout that would follow such an admission. His sensible self is decidedly not. He watches Jack take a seat with them, near Owen.

“Jack?” Owen asks.

Ianto can tell that the question is meant to relieve some of the building pressure, and it would have been wildly successful if it didn’t create an anxiety of its own. The wind has slowed down a bit, as though it has a vested interest in hearing Jack’s answer, too. His heart beats rapidly, and he wants to tear it out of his chest as punishment for its betrayal.

“Are we including non-human life forms?”

It’s hard not to laugh, at least a little, at the complete innocent expression on Jack’s face. It may not even be a misdirection; for all Ianto knows, Jack kissed a hearty oak or ash or roan an hour ago. He’s grateful, he really is, for how discrete Jack can be. It’s good, a very good thing, and he’s grateful.

He has to look down, though, away from Jack, because for some reason, his stomach seems to have plummeted. And it fucking hurts, which bothers him more than the hurt itself. Jack laughs, and Ianto knows that if he looks up, their eyes will meet. He doesn’t look up, though, afraid of what he’ll see there. Instead, he starts by speaking to the ground.

“It’s my turn, is it?” he asks.

He can still feel the laughter in the air, its willingness to bubble over again at the slightest provocation. Killing it feels like the most wonderful idea. He looks at Gwen and Toshiko, because it’s easier, and if he looks at Owen, he’ll see Jack, too.

“It was Lisa.”

It wasn’t meant to be quite so vindictive, but a thrill of pleasure travels through him at the venom in his own voice. It feels good, soothing and exhilarating at the same time, like the addictive feeling of letting rage take over.

Gwen’s eyes go wide. “Ianto, I’m sorry.”

“Sorry she’s dead or sorry you mentioned it?”

“I just didn’t think.”

“You forgot.”

And he smiles, because he’s almost glad she forgot. They all have, really, and that’s the strongest sign of forgiveness that he’s ever going to get.

Gwen and Owen get up to collect firewood (which Ianto’s fairly sure is euphemistic) and Ianto’s resistance to Jack’s stare finally crumbles. He meets his eyes and has to brace himself against the anger and the pain. As if Jack has a right to feel either of those things. He glares back and then turns away, because that damned piece of him wants to cross over, grab Jack’s hands, and kiss apologies into his skin. Which is a bit stupid and a lot ridiculous and completely unnecessary, anyway.


It’s dark when he’s finally lain out on his own bed, the mattress soft against his battered body. He’s not sure if it’s night, or if the curtains are drawn, or if it even matters. It’s dark, and he’s being urged to rest, and it just feels so good.

His muscles aren’t working properly, heavy with both abuse and deliciously numbing medicine. He attempts to raise his head and gives up, letting it drop back down onto the pillow.

“Don’t you want to change?”

Ianto closes his eyes defiantly.

“Let me take off your shoes, at least.”

Ianto would shrug if he had the energy, but he doesn’t, so he grunts. He wonders, briefly, what Jack is still doing in his bedroom. He feels his leg lift a bit, but it’s hazy and insubstantial. He opens his eyes and, once they adjust, he sees that Jack is carefully undoing his laces. That shouldn’t make him as happy as it does; he blames the pills Owen shoved down his throat.

“You’re an idiot,” Jack says and rubs his foot lightly. Ianto can’t feel it quite as well as he wishes he could. “I was trying to protect you.”

“You did. Saved the day.” His mouth aches.

Jack shakes his head. “No, when…forget it. Get some sleep.” He stands and crosses the room, then pauses at the doorway. “Do you want me to stay?”

Ianto tries to smile. Jack probably has equity in his sofa at this point. He’d spent enough time there during Ianto’s suspension that the cushions are possibly permanently Jack-shaped. He chuckles a hacking cough and manages a nod. Being alone now is not something he even wants to contemplate. Maybe it’s weak, but he doesn’t much care. And maybe it’s weaker to pretend that he doesn’t need the company.

Jack smiles and goes to close the door as Ianto closes his eyes. The door doesn’t shut, though, and instead he hears the creak of the loose floorboard close to his bed. Jack’s hand strokes his forehead tentatively and Ianto opens his eyes again.

Bending down, Jack kisses his mouth. It’s soft and sweet and completely chaste, and Ianto smiles despite the uncomfortable tug of his lips, and the sharp pain in his jaw.

“Who was the last person you kissed, Ianto?” Jack whispers.


The End
Page 1 of 2 << [1] [2] >>

Date: 2011-10-27 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I KNEW you were going to write something awesome. And I was RIGHT!

That was fantastic!

Date: 2011-10-27 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad someone knew, because I sure didn't. <3 Thank you so much! It was your prompt, really. It's such a fun bit of back-and-forth to play with.

Date: 2011-10-27 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww. Love the last bit! This is my canon now!

Date: 2011-10-27 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
<3 Thanks hun! And yay! I'm so tickled you adopted it! ;) lol

Date: 2011-10-27 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was just gorgeous. It really was. :)

Date: 2011-10-27 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awww! Thank you! :D

Date: 2011-10-27 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Melting in a complete puddle of happy RIGHT NOW. This is what happened. :D

Date: 2011-10-27 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Melting people: My favorite activity! ;) Thanks!

Date: 2011-10-27 10:19 pm (UTC)
ext_105653: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
wonderful ... and just as it should have been ... thanks for filling the gap so gorgeously ...

Date: 2011-10-27 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much! I wish we got to see something like this. And yet, part of me doesn't - it means more to play with for us! ;)

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-10-27 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-10-27 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Forgetting as forgiveness? That is brilliant, and the scene totally fits that, but I NEVER thought of it that way. Wowsa!

*deletes own prompt fic from computer*
Edited Date: 2011-10-27 10:22 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-27 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
<3 Thank you! I always thought Ianto's smile is almost relieved and sweet there, and I love it.

*dives into recycle bin and dusts of your prompt fic* Excuse me, but I think you dropped this!

Date: 2011-10-27 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sweet :) I want to hug Ianto. Poor lamb

Date: 2011-10-28 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I totally skipped replying to you! Sorry about that!~ And thank you! :D Ianto could do with some hugs, yes!

Date: 2011-10-27 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Once again you took my by surprise. You have amazing insight into human nature.

Date: 2011-10-28 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, that's quite the compliment. Thank you! :D

Date: 2011-10-27 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
loved it

Date: 2011-10-28 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! :D

Date: 2011-10-28 12:04 am (UTC)
chamilet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chamilet
This totally happened.

Date: 2011-10-28 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Yes it did. :D Thanks! :D

Date: 2011-10-28 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Brilliant - I always thought there was a bit of vindictiveness in Ianto naming Lisa, but I never thought that them forgetting might be a good thing.

Date: 2011-10-28 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much! :D I like the spin of positive forgetting, so I'm glad others seem to be interested in it. <3

Date: 2011-10-28 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice! It's difficult to breathe fresh life into a Countrycide fic, but you managed it wonderfully.

Date: 2011-10-28 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm really pleased that I was able to do that for you! :D

Date: 2011-10-28 01:58 am (UTC)
ext_76727: (TW: countrycide ianto)
From: [identity profile]
Beautiful! Everything you write is my canon. :)

Date: 2011-10-28 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*eyebrow raise* ... I've written some pretty weird stuff before. ;) <3 Thank you! That means a lot to me, you have no idea!

Date: 2011-10-28 02:22 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-28 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why thank you! :)

Date: 2011-10-28 06:38 am (UTC)
ext_3966: (Ianto in black and white)
From: [identity profile]
This is quite lovely, but I may be alone in wanting the team to remember. It's not like Gwen forgot to pick up Ianto at the airport, or Ianto didn't give the team their phone messages. That part just made me terribly sad.

Date: 2011-10-28 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, I don't think you're alone! :) I see it both ways, really. And it's a good point that there is such a sadness in that they've forgotten killing this woman. And thanks!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2011-10-28 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-10-28 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was so wonderful and so sweet at the end.

Date: 2011-10-28 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much! <3 :D

Date: 2011-10-28 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is just great.

Date: 2011-10-28 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

Date: 2011-10-28 02:21 pm (UTC)
sammydragoncat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sammydragoncat
Great fic

Date: 2011-10-28 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

Date: 2011-10-28 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] bk_forever
Awww, such a sweet, gentle ending! Jack can be very caring and sensitive.

I still think Ianto was fully justified for saying 'Lisa' though, whether it was true or not. It was a necessary reminder to the others that he is not suddenly, miraculously fine and they should at least try to be more tactful around him instead of rubbing salt in the fresh wounds!

Date: 2011-10-28 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not all sad all the time! I actually just think I'm backwards girl - I make sad things sweet and sweet things angsty. Muahaha!

Justified he may be! I think, though, that it's a really unique set of circumstances. I HATED Ianto for a while after Cyberwoman. I understood him, yes, but I also thought he was a bit of an idiot. And then he grew on me. *Sigh* lol

Date: 2011-10-28 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very well written and an interesting take on that scene. I think most of us assumed that the last kiss with Jack was when Jack revived Ianto in Cyberwoman, but maybe not. Maybe there was something after that. I think they were not "back" together yet, not until TKKS, however, your story is a possibility. Well done.

Date: 2011-10-28 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! And yeah, I keep changing my mind on the state of their relationship from the first episode through TKKS. It's so open-ended, so it's a fun period to play with.

Date: 2011-10-28 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really like your insight into the characters. And that last scene would have been the perfect conclusion to that episode. *is sad it wasn't*

Date: 2011-10-28 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much! :D Wouldn't that have been nice?

Date: 2011-10-28 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is lovely. A very good resolution to an uncomfortable situation.

Date: 2011-10-28 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm pleased you found it a good resolution! :D

Date: 2011-10-28 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that was just and simply too_beautiful!!!!

Date: 2011-10-28 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much, hun! :D <3

Date: 2011-10-28 09:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-28 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! :D

Date: 2011-10-29 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh now, I LIKED that.
I finally did my rewatch last night and watched that scene really hard.
Well done.

Date: 2011-10-29 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
<3 Thank you! It's a really interesting scene, especially the way it's shot, with marked focus on their faces. I love it.
Page 1 of 2 << [1] [2] >>


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