|CONFESSIONS AND LAMENTATIONS
Author: deetatarant PM
Very Dark: Rated for suicidal themes. How Ianto finds out about Flat Holm Island. ONE SHOTRated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Words: 3,685 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-11-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4589364
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: THIS IS SET STRAIGHT AFTER COUNTRYCIDE; A SCENE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR MY STORY 'PARADOXOSIS', BUT EDITED OUT BECAUSE I FELT IT WORKED BETTER ON IT'S OWN.
THANK YOU FOR READING
WARNING THIS IS VERY DARK: SUICIDAL THEMES.
He slid down on to the sofa, silently, stiffly, with a grace that belied the fact that he was hovering on the edge of borderline panic. The last however many hours, minutes and seconds had glided by in a blur of bad language and whimpering accentuated by his own silence. Silence was easier for him, it meant no one would turn to listen to him and he could howl inside with in the confines of his soul as loudly as he liked and no one would notice.
He rested his bruised broken hands on his knees and cautiously hauled in shallow breaths one after the other, his gaze fixed on a point on the floor a short distance in front of his feet. Any one on the outside looking in would sense a calm composure emanating from him in floods. He was good at the quiet calm washing like an outgoing tide, gentle and unhurried.
He wasn't sure how he was managing to stay upright, vaguely aware of the movement of his colleagues as they carried one of their own down to the autopsy bay. She was protesting loudly with further outbursts of appalling language, it was a shame coming from such a pretty mouth. He tried to ignore the offensiveness of the crude words; that kind of language always grated on his nerves. More breaths, damn he'd almost forgotten to keep that up. The voices faded off a bit, through distance. At that he rose back to his feet, his whole body exploding with pain, but he swallowed down an outcry from habit as much as anything. No one need know. This was his penance after all, Torchwood, pain, Torchwood; was there a difference? He doubted that very much. He fumbled about in the pocket of his filthy jeans, good, car keys still there then. Time to go home. Each step felt like the gravity of a black hole pressing into his nerves. Every nerve. He hissed between his teeth barely audible and he silently cursed himself for the small concession to the admission of pain. He wasn't entitled to that yet. Another step, another breath, pain like he couldn't believe, not like the pain in his soul though. This was welcome, distracting and reminded him that he was still alive when she wasn't. He deserved it, all the pain the universe could throw at him, because he was alive and she wasn't. That had become his mantra, self -loathing, disgust and hatred. They all boiled in his veins like some vile brew, the longer they simmered…….Well best not think too much about that. He could've been someone's supper by now if Jack bloody Harkness hadn't have charged in and saved him. A few more seconds was all he had needed and the cleaver would have done its work saving him the trouble.
His feet shuffled forward, propelling him back in the direction of the underground parking bay and his Mini Cooper; the security door sealing shut behind him automatically.
Home then, he'd have to do it at home, there was no getting away from it now the decision had been made for him. He should've died today. He should've died at Canary Wharf a year previously and yet here he was when she wasn't.
Is this all I am now?
The only answer he could find was yes. His own humanity in shreds, his will having abandoned him the moment those words had poured from her mouth.
"Then we are not compatible."
Isn't that what love is? To be so empty in its absence that you lose sight of who you are? He had lost sight himself that day 12 months ago when his friends had burned or had been raped by machinery.
As he struggled with his keys to unlock the door of his car he realised that that had been the day he had died too. Everything after that day had changed beyond recognition, he had lost his dignity, his compassion and his self respect to save a machine, to hold on to a hope that there was really something to live for. How wrong could he be? This world was a magnet for the filth of the universe because the indigenous people were not worth the effort for those that gave a damn. He wasn't worth the effort.
His hand went to his neck; he could still feel the sticky cold blade there. He pressed against the point on his skin savouring the moment of expected death, the last inhalation and the last exhalation. Death, the finality of it was strangely comforting and brought a weak smile to his cracked lips.
"The solace of death a welcome embrace."
How had he come to this? Lisa, Jack.
Life had once been so good to him. Too good perhaps? Why did everyone else have to die? And the one he hated the most get to live forever? He wasn't stupid; he knew Jack could never die. That foolish man wasn't half so good at keeping secrets as he thought he was. He would know of course, secrets were his life; secrets were Jack's life but some how the man wasn't so good at keeping them.
He realised he was fastening his seatbelt and keying the ignition. Clutch, gears, handbrake. Movement. Home, and time to put an end to this sorry mess that was his sad existence. How to do it? Pills? No, he wanted to feel himself go. Be sure he'd got it right. Bullet then? Somehow that was too much of an easy option. He needed to suffer this. That was critical, to go out screaming forgiveness. If he screamed it loud enough perhaps she would hear him.
Cardiff slides by like a bad movie. Kids at a crossing and a taxi cutting in on his right, the driver giving him the finger as he sped by. He gripped the steering wheel vice like. He didn't want to have an accident and kill someone on the way home. This was something he had to do in private, no fuss. All he wanted was to go away, unremarked and forgotten by the world. There was no one who cared enough to remember anyway. It was easy now the tenancy agreement on his flat was almost up and his possessions had already been given to charity. He'd burnt everything else, the photos he didn't deserve to keep. The memories that Lisa should have shared with a better man than him would be burnt with them at some council funeral service for a man with no will and no family and no friends. The rest of his money was in the form of a cheque to the Canary Wharf Survivors Fund, there were still families out there wounded by the losses from that day.
The journey home. The last journey to an empty flat that had never been home, just a bed and a couch and sleepless nights and black nightmares that swallowed him so deeply he drowned anew each time he had one.
Owen sighed as he stepped back feeling thoroughly exhausted by the events of the day. He smiled kindly at a battered looking Toshiko and peeled off his latex gloves.
"That bruising on your neck is going to be pretty sore for a few days, but there's no damage a little rest won't cure."
Toshiko nodded still numb. "Thank you Owen." She hopped off the exam table and looked at Jack who was standing nearby looking very agitated.
"Go home Tosh. I've booked you a cab to pick you up on the Plas. Take a few days and rest." He stepped forward and gently embraced her. "And I mean rest."
"Right that's the girls sorted. Where's Ianto?"
Jack eased Tosh in the direction of the steps and went up them ahead of her to fetch the young Welshman. A quick glance around the Hub was enough to tell him that Ianto was not there.
Jack went straight to Tosh's terminal and brought up the CCTV log and sure enough as he had instantly suspected the young man had left the complex in his car. The tracer indicated that he was driving in the direction of his flat.
Jack heaved out a heavy sigh, knowing just how serious Ianto's injuries were likely to be. Jack made a decision.
"Owen, he's not here. Looks like he's gone home."
The medic was at his side straight away.
"Take Tosh and Gwen home in the taxi and go home yourself. I'll go to Ianto's and take him to Casualty if he needs to go."
Owen frowned at the instruction. "Oh yes Dr Harkness?"
Jack glowered at him. "I'll get him checked over. Go on. Get everyone home. You need to get out of here and take a few days off."
It took a while for Owen to relent. "Take my med bag with you and call me if he refuses to go to hospital."
Jack nodded grabbing the SUV keys and a PDA to track Ianto's car he exited the Hub the words,
"Don't forget to lock up." Thrown over his shoulder as he hurriedly departed.
It took three attempts to get his key into the front door lock.
The shakes had started as he was turning his car into the top of his street. He had slammed on the brakes in the middle of the road and lurched out of the vehicle, leaving it there with the doors open and the keys still in the ignition. Some one would take it, he was sure. This wasn't the nicest of neighbourhoods. He shoved the front door open and closed it behind him drawing the bolts across the top and bottom, a hang up from when he had housed Lisa there before moving her into that basement. His house keys clattered to the wooden floor and he stumbled through to his kitchen. A drink, he needed a drink. The cupboards were yanked open a glass pulled down and a bottle of Vodka, an untouched Christmas present from? He couldn't remember who or when. Sod the glass. He grabbed a knife from the draw and slid down to the floor bottle and knife cradled to his chest. His breath hitched painfully under broken ribs, his respirations much shallower than before. He didn't much care; he just wanted to keep feeling the pain as he slid closer to the blackness. Those cannibals had done him a favour kicking the shit out of him. The pain was good. The vodka burnt his raw throat and he almost gagged on it. He practically forced it down, the whole litre in a matter of minutes. The disorientation from the sudden deluge of alcohol caused his world to flip violently on its head. The knife was in his shaking hand and he drew the blade over his white flesh. It barely scratched the surface as his own strength fled him. The blade was too blunt to do any damage.
Toolbox. There was a Stanley knife in his toolbox under the sink. Fiercely determined he leaned over and opened the cupboard from his slumped position on the floor. He grabbed at the grey plastic case and dragged it toward him prizing the lid open; the first thing he found was the short bladed craft knife. It was cold in his grasp and that was strangely arousing. Dying was within his reach at last. A loud banging from the outside caught his attention for a moment. A crashing and yelling then a familiar American accent. He drew the blade across his left wrist three times in rapid succession fascinated by the crimson tide that flooded over his lap. The knife clattered away and last thing he heard was.
"God Ianto. No, what have you done?"
Jack had to shoot at the bolts from the outside, hoping his bullets hit their targets as he then kicked in the front door. He bellowed Ianto's name as the door gave and he charged into the dismal looking house. He turned into the kitchen too late to stop Ianto from cutting himself open. Jack raced forward grabbing the torn limb as Ianto's blood surged vigorously out. Jack clamped his hand tightly over the wounds, trying to stem the blood flow as Ianto sagged the rest of the way down on the floor. With his other hand Jack pulled out his mobile and dialled for an ambulance.
"God Ianto. No, what have you done?"
The call made he pocketed his mobile and used both of his hands to try and stop his young…..Jack didn't even know how to define their relationship anymore.
"Don't die on me now Ianto. Not now not like this, please. Come on."
He was acutely aware of himself these days. The last month had been a difficult struggle between wanting to drown himself in a bucket or bury himself in a very deep unmarked hole in the ground. He couldn't understand why Jack had been so supportive. It made no sense that the older man, the one he had slept with in order to save Lisa, had been there to help him 'get well'.
There was no well, just constant surveillance of sorts. On discharge from Hospital he had been confined to the Hub. His lease had expired on his house and apart from a couple of sets of clothes in his locker he no longer had any possessions anyway. He didn't need things because he knew that sooner or later he would die either at his own hands or through doing something Torchwood.
The stitches in his wrist bothered him constantly. Shit, he hadn't even been able to get that right. The others, his colleagues, workmates, cohorts or whatever else it was they regarded themselves as were treading on eggshells, issuing false smiles and speaking in soft tones. They could've been speaking in tongues for all he cared because he didn't listen to them. He walked around his place of work, back ramrod straight, unspeaking, unsmiling and making the coffee four times a day. At least the coffee was good, that had never let him down yet.
Unbeknown to him his friends watched. They were angry with him, they were sad for him and they were worried about him as he slowly slid into a void of unreadableness. Owen went through the process of giving him a medical exam twice a week. Gwen brought in special snacks and packed lunches for him, sitting at his side to make certain he ate them. Toshiko would just sit with him and share a coffee break, not speaking, just sitting close by, there in case he wanted to talk. He never did. Jack paced his office unable to decide whether or not he should just Retcon the poor boy and cut him loose.
It didn't take Jack long to realise that letting Ianto go was not the answer to his troubles. The boy, as Jack's employee was his responsibility. Ianto had no family, no one on the outside who gave a damn about him and Jack found himself realising that he did, that he really did. This was not a revelation he was remotely comfortable with after all Ianto had betrayed him. The boy had allowed himself to be fucked over Jack's desk to divert Jack's attention from his other activities. Ianto had played him very well and Jack was forced to admit to a certain degree of admiration for the lad. Jack also knew that Torchwood needed someone with his tenacity and cleverness, not to mention his abundant organisational skills and fabulous beverages. Too many people had died at Canary Wharf; Jack was not about to add another name to the list of Retconned casualties.
He was aware that in some way he needed to discipline Ianto over the whole Lisa thing, suspension obviously hadn't helped him in anyway. Jack wasn't looking to punish, Ianto was doing a good job of that with out any assistance from any one else. He just wanted to find something to give Ianto a sense of doing something that would help him and others without exposing him to the dangers of the front line again. Ianto wasn't yet strong enough to face an enemy of any kind, but he desperately needed a purpose that went beyond filing, cleaning and catering. It came to him at 3am one morning whilst shagging a pretty blonde Australian tourist in her hotel room.
Jack settled himself behind his desk and waited for Ianto to arrive with the 10:30 coffee. Ianto was there, proffering said beverage bang on time, his pale thin face giving absolutely nothing away. Ianto turned about to leave the office when he felt Jack's hand firmly grasping his left shoulder. Ianto went rigid, the innate dislike of being touched more prevalent than ever.
"Sit down Ianto. I want to talk to you." Jack's tone was gentle but left no room for protest.
Ianto did as he was told and Jack closed the office door before resuming his seat.
Ianto sat there, hands resting on his lap, eyes focussed on a point just to the left behind Jack. Ianto never made eye contact with him these days. Jack missed that.
Jack raised his cup of coffee to his lips and gently blew on it before taking a sip. He savoured the taste for a moment bracing himself for the conversation he was about to try and have. The cup was lowered long elegant fingers wrapped around it.
"How are you Ianto?"
"Fine, sir." Ianto's blank expression was skilfully matched by his tone of voice.
"Fine, sir. Was there something you wanted in particular?"
This was going to be hard.
"I have an assignment for you, but before I tell you what it is I need a guarantee that this conversation remains strictly between us."
Ianto's composure appeared to falter for the tiniest of moments. Jack wasn't sure he could have imagined it of course.
"You trust me?"
Ianto still wasn't looking at him.
"I don't know. Can I?"
Ianto was obviously thinking about it because he hesitated before replying.
"What do you want me to do?"
Jack sighed. "When I first took over here, we had some people in our cells who had fallen through the rift. They had all disappeared in years past and then been returned to us. Trouble is they were so damaged they could not be returned to their loved ones so they were locked up. When I found them, I had a hospital set up out at Flat Holm Island to care for them. It's basic, and it is isolated and it is a safe haven for them. I employ two doctors, and several nurses and currently there are 16 patients there. I need you to help me run the place. Mostly the admin, the finance and occasionally dealing with any one that dies or the arrival of a new patient."
Jack took more of his coffee and watched gratified as Ianto finally looked him straight in the eyes. In the next breath he wished he hadn't. It was a wholly frightening thing to see your own pain and loneliness reflected right back at you.
"This facility isn't actually part of Torchwood then?"
"Correct. I've diverted some funds from Torchwood, but most of the money comes from the profits from ongoing investments and shareholdings that I have."
"So why can't these people go to a proper hospital?" Ianto asked. Jack suspected he already knew.
"They are very damaged people Ianto. The best we can do for them is make them comfortable and keep them safe from the prying eyes of this world. Their injuries are horrific, alien and potentially dangerous to those around them in some cases. It is the best I can do for them."
"Why are you asking me to do this? Why not Gwen?"
Jack sighed. "I am asking you because I believe that you would be the best person for the job. You understand first hand what the horrors of the universe are really about. You also understand that some things cannot be fixed. You have a great depth of humanity in you that the rest of us lack. If I asked Gwen, she'd be screaming at me to make it all public, to reunite people separated from their families. These things cannot be done. It is for the protection of the patients as well as their families. I know you understand this."
"Is this my punishment? For Lisa?"
Jack felt his heart sink. "No. This is me telling you that I forgive you and that I trust you to do this. I cannot do it alone anymore. I'd like you to help."
Ianto's expression softened very slightly. "Of course. I'll do what I can."
Jack smiled at him. "Thank you. I'll take you out there tomorrow and introduce you to everyone there."
Ianto got to his feet. "Would that be all, sir?"
Jack also stood up. "My door is always open to you. If you need anything Ianto, but I must ask you one thing."
Ianto sucked in a breath. "What would that be, sir?"
Ianto looked straight at him and Jack knew there and then that he wouldn't.