Title: Patchwork of Memories and Fading Scars
Rating: R
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto (Ianto centric) also a little bit of Ianto/Lisa because I'm an angst addict
Summary: Can you say angst? Set Post-Cyberwoman but before finale. Spoilers up to Cyberwoman.
Warnings: Suicide, naughty words and a bit of male slash.
A/N: I know no one ever bothers to read the author's notes but please hear me through. Please don't read this particular story if you're sensitive about suicide and other closely related issues, a lot of my writings involve things like that, and I know it's not a happy topic, but it's the way I write. Also, this is my first time writing slash so umm…I'll be hiding over here.
A/N 2: First posted 04 January 2007. Unbeta'd. Comments are welcome.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'Torchwood' and have no rights to the show, blah, blah, woof, woof. However, all of the stories and poems quoted in this fic I do own and if you steal I won't be very happy – at all.


Ianto reads a lot, even more so now that she's gone.

There's nothing else to do when he eventually leaves the Hub and makes his way to his flat that he once shared with her. He tries to ignore the deafening silence and the eerie emptiness of his home, but with little luck. Every night he sees her; her ghost hovering in the corner of their bedroom, or sitting next to him when he's forcing down tonight's excuse for dinner, or just watching him…Everywhere Ianto looks, he is reminded of her - of what they did to her. At night, it's nearly impossible to sleep. Memories plague him and he no longer knows whether her scent is still on the pillow or whether he's simply imagining the all too familiar smell. When he finally does catch some sleep, he's haunted by nightmares; visions of her mangled body lying in his arms, her screams of pain, his pity, Jack's face when he found out…

He doesn't find it odd anymore to wake up at two in the morning, tears streaming down his face, covered in a cold sweat and aching for someone, anyone, to hold him and tell him it's all right. He sometimes imagines Jack's strong arms around him; Ianto doubts he'll ever feel that again, not after what he did. But it feels good just to daydream for a while, no matter how lame his visions may be, and this sometimes helps to drift him to sleep. Sometimes not even that works, and after hours of tossing and turning, reaches for a book or for his laptop to try and find something to read, or occasionally, to write himself.

One night, at an unknown hour, he stumbles across a short story on a website. It was nothing out of the ordinary, probably just written on the spur of the moment by someone like him, but for some odd reason it captivated him. Not even three hundred words…but the words it did have were heartbreaking.

Thoughts race through his mind as he holds her fragile body closely in his warm embrace. He buries his face in her soft hair, inhaling her scent for what could be the last time, stray tears dripping down his face.

Pictures of her dead body flash before Ianto's tired eyes…

His hands are soaked in blood. Her blood.

Fresh tears prick Ianto's eyes, the memory of her blood on his hands far too vivid for his liking.

A sob gets caught in his throat as he reads the last line.

He doesn't look back as he wipes the tears from his eyes, closes down the computer and goes back to his tormented sleep, ashamed of the fact that a couple of hundred words made him cry.

It doesn't stop him thinking about it though. About what it says - about what he could do. No, he won't commit suicide. He won't give up, and besides, what would Jack think if he did? And then he thinks that he should stop thinking about what Jack thinks of him. He has a job to do, he can't give up - he won't give up.

Yet somehow a few days later he finds a gun in his hand.

It's Tuesday. Not a bad day to die, he thinks, as he stands alone in the Hub. Everyone's long gone and the only sound is the odd whirring of a machine echoing in the empty room or the screech of the pterodactyl high above him. Ianto takes a breath, remembering the lines of a story he once read…

The guilt sickens him, the anxiety chokes him, the pain tears him apart and the loneliness stakes him down to the ground…

He can't stand it anymore. He just wants it to end. He barely remembers finding the gun on Jack's desk but somehow it found it's way into his hands. Ianto briefly wonders if Jack is still here; he doesn't recall him leaving. He wonders if Jack will be the one to find his bloody body on the cold stone floor or whether it will be one of the others. Maybe he'll get lucky and the pterodactyl will clean up the mess before anyone arrives. He then decides that it's probably best not to think about that.

He closes his eyes and lets the tears fall; he knows that no one will come for him; he knows that he is truly alone.

And he hates it.

Random bits of poetry and stories come into mind as he tightens the grip on the gun; his memories muddled as tears pour unceremoniously down his face.

Patchwork of memories,
And fading scars,
Sleepless nights and,
No-one to hold when he,
Breaks and cries and,
All so alone.

Day after day goes by.
And all the same.

He just needs it to end. He can't do this any longer, he can't live his life with that fake smile on his face, pouring coffee and clearing up Weevil shit, when inside he's broken and alone. So alone.

His eyes drift close and he lifts the gun. He feels the cold hardness of the barrel dig into his chin and he knows that it's got to end.

"Ianto."

The soft voice startles him and the gun unwillingly falls from his hand with a loud clatter on the stone floor. He's shaking. He didn't realise he was shaking. He turns around to see Jack in the doorway; he should've known, the captain never leaves his ship. Before he knows what's happening he's in his arms, tears falling faster than ever onto his boss' shoulder. He tries to apologise to him, but Jack doesn't have any of it. He just holds Ianto, lets him cry and whispers unknown words of comfort in his ear.

He doesn't know how long it takes, but eventually his tears dry and it's only when he lifts his face from Jack's shoulder that he realises he's been crying too. He sees a stray tear fall from Jack's eyes, and almost like a reflex he reaches up and wipes it away. Jack stares at him with an odd look in his eyes and Ianto was about to apologise when he feels a hand against his. He looks down to see their hands entwined, Jack slowly rubbing small circles in his palm, and he desperately tries to convince himself that it's the cold and the anxiety that's making him shiver, and not because of the handsome man in front of him.

No. This shouldn't be happening. His mind was desperately trying to find excuses for his behaviour; maybe it's because Jack saved him that he's feeling this way, no, it's the anxiety wearing off, that's why he's shivering, no, maybe in all the chaos he's confusing his feelings with Lisa, or maybe he's dreaming. Yes, it must be a dream; no one would find him in real life. He was just Jack's "part-time shag", nothing more, nothing less, no strings attached, no feelings involved …at least that's what he thought. He looks back up to face him and their eyes meet, both still shining with tears, and Jack smiles a little smile and he can't help but smile back.

Who the fuck was he kidding? Ianto Jones the coffee boy was in love with Captain Jack Harkness. It's amazing how screwed up life can be sometimes; it took the death of his girlfriend, months of hell and a suicide attempt to make him realise that he's in love with a man who's been standing right in front of him all this time.

The feel of soft lips against his rapidly brings him out of his reverie. Depressing thoughts can wait, he thinks, as he finally processes the thought that Jack's kissing him. Ianto doesn't think he's ever been kissed so tenderly; it was almost like Jack was afraid he would break in his hands like a china doll. It was gentle and chaste, almost like an invitation rather than the somewhat possessive kisses he's given him before. Ianto's arms creep around his waist, pulling him closer and deepening the kiss, needing the comfort of his embrace. Jack responds, hands roaming through his soft hair, and soon they both break apart, Jack pulling him back into a hug as they both try and catch their breath.

He lets himself relax in his arms, savouring the feeling of safety and serenity that comes with it. He can barely believe that only a few minutes ago he was staring down the barrel of a gun desperately wanting it to end. Jack had the unbelievable talent of making everything seem okay even if it was as shitty as life could get. Jack would help him get through this, Jack won't let him let go, Jack will look after him…And, as if on cue, he hears Jack whisper the words he's been aching to hear for so long:

"Let me help you, Ianto."

And he does.