|What's Waiting After The Dark
Author: MizzSY PM
There's something waiting in the darkness, but what if it's something other than what Jack thought it was? After months of a self-destructive life style, someone intervenes. Post-CoE.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Jack H. & Ianto J. - Words: 1,651 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 6 - Published: 10-30-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6437139
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: There's something waiting in the darkness, but what if it's something other than what Jack thought it was? After months of a self-destructive life style, someone intervenes. Post-CoE.
Rating: T, for existence of Jack and some language
Word count: 1,543
Another drink, this time Dalazvia's most potent version of whiskey, made its way down Jack's throat. He smiled slightly at the burn it made at the back of his throat and the fog it made on his brain before gesturing to the barman for another. By now, they'd gotten to know each other pretty well.
It had been thirteen months since he'd left Gwen on the hill on earth, ("I have lived so many lives, it's time I started a new one". Hadn't been successful so far, all he'd done was get lost in old memories and new types of drink.) And ten months since he'd last seen the Doctor. In that time, he'd died twenty-four times for alcohol poisoning, three times from bar fights and once from falling and cracking hid head on the bar. Each time, the darkness promised him there was nothing left for the immortal man, only the pain of remembering and the guilt of forgetting.
Shaking away the count of time that had lapsed since he had fallen apart, Jack took the new drink and downed it. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a young looking Dalazvian, nursing a drink similar to his.
In a split second, Jack morphed a new mask onto himself and went for it. Nothing felt better than lying with someone again, or having his lights punched out by a drunk who had no times for his charms.
"Feeling lonely?" He asked, seating himself next to the man and flashing his best smile. The glare he got in reply wasn't reassuring.
"Nope, I can manage." He said in a flat tone, before turning back to his drink.
"Aw, come on." Jack persisted, leaning over. "I'm sure we can make it better than just 'managing'."
"I said I'm not interested!" he yelled, suddenly spinning round and punching Jack straight in the face. Looked like the man had had more to drink than Jack had first thought. He grinned as a sharp pain flared in his cheek. Time for plan B: Goad him into a proper fight.
"That it? Just don't want to hurt my pretty face I guess."
The man growled in frustration before hitting the Captain again, this time knocking him off the bar stool. He than stood up from his stool, getting ready to kick the Captain, then another, bigger man came over.
"Leave it Kli."
"Not in front of everyone, Ok?"
Kli grunted, before begrudgingly trailing after his friend, leaving Jack still smiling on the floor. Not as far as he'd wanted it go, but still enough. Ignoring the gaping faces of the bar's other patrons; he picked himself up and ordered yet another drink.
There were plenty of other ways to self-destruct.
A few hours and a lot of alcohol later, Jack was happily stumbling around the dimly lit streets of the city sector. The numbness that had set in felt far better than any buzz he could ever feel. It didn't even matter if anything happened to him in his inebriated state, he'd just heal and move on. Moving on, running away, the all came easy to him.
After a few minutes of staggering around the same alley, he finally came to the conclusion that he'd have to go through it to get to his hotel.
He got aboutfive feet in before something tripped him up, causing him to land painfully on his face. A foot stood on his back, pinning him to the floor as he twisted to try and see who was attacking him, though he could easily guess.
Kli emerged from the shadows, still pissed and now holding a compact laser deluxe. Keeping eerily silent, he nodded to some others, and all at once, they started laying into the Captain.
The sharp shock of hurt was all over his body as the group punched, kicked and tore at him. Ribs cracked and blood started to seep from his body as the buzz came over him. Jack smiled, revelling in the feeling of it all. Punishment, a twisted sort of self-harm, whatever it was, it felt wonderful and made him forget.
It went on and on, with the group becoming more and more intent on hurting the man just for the sake of hurting, the logic of it wasn't figuring into their drink fuelled minds. At long last, they backed off, allowing Kli to toy with his laser deluxe.
"Want me to put you out of your misery?" he slurred at the bleeding captain and his feet. Jack remained silent, not caring either way. If he didn't shoot, he got hours of this brilliant agony, if he did; it was a respite from the noise of his eternal life.
When he got no reply, Kli snarled, before clumsily shooting at the captains head. The group were shocked into silence, before one yelled and they ran out of the alley before they could see him be dragged back into the torture of existence.
Jack stood perfectly still in the darkness, alert for any signs of the thing waiting within its dark depths, the thing that had been robbed of keeping him here so many times.
But this time, he saw nothing, not one flicker of movement in the shadowed corners. It didn't put Jack at ease, he tensed further, searching it out, he knew for sure it would never just go.
Something touched his shoulder, causing him to jump round wildly. In the dark, he couldn't make out the figure, but knew the thing waiting for him was right in front of him.
He hadn't expected it to talk, or for it to talk using that familiar voice.
"Jack, it's me."
Still unsure, he reached a hand out to its face, searching and finding the familiar shape of it.
The Welshman, or the ghost of the Welshman, nodded beneath his touch.
"But that's not possible."
Ianto placed his hand, surprisingly warm, on top of Jacks.
"Something was waiting in the darkness, just not what you thought."
Tears pricked the immortals eyes.
"But, what about before? Who was it before, and why've you always stayed in the shadows?"
"There's always been someone waiting for you Jack, ever since you became immortal, Estelle, your dad, Owen, Tosh then me. We can't come near, because you always get dragged back to life before we can."
"So why now?"
Ianto took Jack's hand away from his face, holding it tightly instead.
"Because I can't stand back and watch anymore Jack. You can't keep this up, going out and trying to destroy yourself. I forgave you, we all did."
Guilt started eating away at the immortal as he realised Ianto didn't know the whole picture.
"What I did to Stephen-"
Jack shook his head, withdrawing his hands.
"You were right, I am a monster."
Ianto sighed, grasping Jack again by the shoulders.
"I can prove it." He said, using the beautiful welsh vowels Jack had missed.
In an instant, the darkness fell away to reveal a great changing landscape. It was filled with light and moved beneath Jack's feet.
"Where is this?"
"It's what's waiting for you after the darkness."
Before Jack could ask more about it, a voice pierced the air.
Spinning round, Jack saw his grandson barrelling towards the immortal, smiling as he threw himself into his grandfather's arms. Jack was too choked up with tears to do anything but hold onto Stephen tightly. At last, two words came out.
Stephen simply grinned up at Jack.
"Thought we'd got rid of him?"
Jack turned towards the voices, to see Owen, Tosh and all the other friends he'd lost at Torchwood.
"Oh come on, could this get anymore sentimental?" he cried, before going to hug all his old friends. After detaching himself from them, he saw Ianto had sidled up beside him again.
"Told you, we want you to get better Jack."
Jack blinked away tears, before wrapping his arms round Ianto, holding as close as he could. Suddenly, he felt the pull, signalling he was about to return to life.
"I don't want to go back." He said into Ianto's shoulder.
"You have to." Ianto replied, putting enough space between them so he could look into Jack's eyes. "One day, your immortality will run out Jack, and you can stay. But for now, you have more people and worlds to save. And we'll be waiting until then."
"But how can I carry on when I know I could be here?"
"You carry on because there are others to discover, trust me, you will get better soon. I promise."
One final tug and Jack was floating away, back to life and away from his friends. One by one, they faded back into darkness, until he could only see Ianto standing alone, mouthing something to him.
I Love You.
Jack gasped in air desperately, pain just about gone from his body as he stood up. Looking around, he saw the city was just starting to light up.
He smiled, remembering his own words, used a while ago.
The end is where we start from.
Jack walked out of the alley, and into the light.
Oooft that was a bit cheesy at the end wasn't it? Hope you enjoyed, reviews are much appreciated!