TITLE: Being alone is lonely

AUTHOR: Erin Giles


WARNING: Themes of suicide.


WORDS: 1,100

DISCLAIMER: Torchwood belongs to the BBC.

SUMMARY: Two weeks into Ianto's suspension after the events of Cyberwoman and he can't take the loneliness anymore.

"Ianto, stop!" Jack reached out a hand towards Ianto, trying to reach him, but still impossibly far away, "Ianto, why are you doing this?" Jack's voice sounded strained to his own ears as he watched the young man standing on the edge of life.

Ianto let out a sob, glancing briefly over his shoulder at Jack but not turning to look at him. He flexed his fingers instead, trying to stop himself reaching for the gun in the back pocket of his jeans.

"Ianto, please, talk to me." Jack's voice was desperate as he took a tentative half step towards Ianto, scared that if he moved too quickly he would spook him like he was a wild animal.

"Why not?" Ianto spat out, tears streaming down his cheeks now. He felt his limbs shaking with the effort of composure, trying to hold back the grief that seemed to be at the centre of his being.

"What is there now Jack?" Ianto turned sharply on the ledge, causing Jack to almost leap forward in an effort to save him. Instead he just held his hands up in a gesture of desperation. "What have I got left now?"

Jack struggled to find an answer to Ianto's impossible question for a moment, his mind flailing at the possibility of losing Ianto.

"You've got your life Ianto, you're whole life still to live."

"I'm nothing without her." Another pained sob escaped Ianto's lips as he shuffled backwards, closer to the edge.

"You've got us Ianto, you've got me and Tosh. You've got Gwen and even Owen." Jack gushed in desperation.

"You don't care about me, you didn't even want me on your team. I spent days tracking down that Pterodactyl, and it was all for Lisa." Ianto hung his head, realising how pathetic he sounded to his own ears, how useless he was.

"I couldn't even save her Jack. I couldn't save any of them. They were all screaming." Ianto raised his hands to his ears, cupping them as if he could still hear the screaming even now, months later, hundreds of miles away on a roof in Cardiff, "I just hid. I didn't know what else to do." There was a look of deep conflict on Ianto's face as he glanced back at the thirty storey drop below him, hands falling back to his side.

"You think you could have saved them? You think you could have battled thousands of Cybermen and saved hundreds of Torchwood employees? You think you could have made a difference?" Jack could see the look of anguish in Ianto's eyes growing, and Jack knew he was treading a thin line now. "You are just one man Ianto. You're only human, but that's what makes you great." Jack smiled, the emphasis on great as he watched Ianto's face transform to a look of confusion. "You went back for her, you risked your own life for someone you loved. You didn't run and hide, you fought. So why stop fighting now?"

Jack was stood within reaching distance of Ianto now, still standing precariously close to the edge of the building, but he could see Ianto's resolve crumbling.

"I'm so tired Jack." Ianto's voice was weak now, resignation of a different kind evident in it, "I'm so tired of fighting, of being so alone."

"You're not alone." Jack reached out a tentative hand towards Ianto in a welcoming gesture. Ianto glanced down at it, and for a moment Jack thought he was going to reach out and take it. Instead Ianto took in great shuddering breaths every part of him shaking as he stumbled forwards off the ledge of the building, his legs no longer able to hold up the weight of him and his grief.

Jack's reactions caught him in a half hug as a gust of wind whipped round them, Ianto's shuddering frame resting like a deadweight against him.

"You're not alone." Jack repeated, conviction behind his words as he ran a hand up Ianto's back and into his hair. Ianto let out another choked sob as Jack felt fingers scrabbling at the back of his coat for purchase of something solid; something human. There was such desperation in the way Ianto clung to him like he had been too long starved of the simplicity of human touch.

Jack pressed his lips to Ianto's forehead in an act of comfort as Ianto continued to sob, but when Jack pulled back stormy blue eyes were looking up at him hungrily. Before Jack knew where he was he was locked in a bruising kiss, tongues warring for space in each others mouths, teeth clattering against each other, Ianto's hands groping at Jack in desperate need.

Shaking hands undid buttons and flies, fumbling for flesh that was not their own and Jack did nothing to stop it, had wanted Ianto since the first day he had laid eyes on him in those tight jeans and studded belt. Jack's hands groped in return, cupping and stroking, mouth biting and exploring the taste of Ianto. He tasted of need and want and grief. So much grief that it nearly overwhelmed Jack as they lay on the roof panting afterwards.

Tears had finally stopped making tracks on Ianto's face but he looked beyond weary now as he buttoned his jeans back up, unable to look at Jack. He sat hunched on the roof of the building, shivering, as if waiting for Jack to leave now that they had finished so he could get back to throwing himself off the roof. A hand on his shoulder made him start.

"Come on," Jack's hands were under his armpits, pulling him to his feet, Ianto's legs wobbling beneath him, "I'll take you home."

"You don't have to." Ianto's voice was hoarse from crying, but he let Jack half carry him through the fire escape and back down the stairs, an arm round his waist in support and comfort.

He didn't protest when Jack settled him in the passenger seat of the SUV; didn't complain when Jack took his keys from him and lead him up the stairs to his flat; didn't grumble when Jack undressed him and put him in a pair of pyjamas; didn't object when Jack crawled into the bed beside him and pulled Ianto into his arms.

He did cry though. He didn't deserve this kind of compassion from a man he had betrayed; he didn't merit this kind of salvation.

"I'm so sorry." He garbled into Jack's shoulder, one hand wrapped around Jack's braces, the other trying to wipe away his tears. He felt Jack let out a warm breath against his forehead before it was replaced by Jack's soft lips.

"So am I."