Written for prompt #006 Hours, from the Big Damn Table. Beta'd by the lovely Hobbit985, who really is amazing. ;) Thanks, Em. Please read and review!

I hope you enjoy it! This is the first of 5 connected short one-shots, which start with the events in Countrycide, and ignore most of Torchwood thereafter.

Hours later, Ianto could still feel the meat cleaver's sharp edge hugging his throat. He could still smell the overwhelming tang of human blood. He could still hear distant, disgusting voices threatening to bleed him like nothing more than a piece of meat. He could still see them if he closed his eyes.

He knew he'd never again forget his part in the food chain - he doesn't think he's at the top, not anymore. Because really - they're all at the bottom, aren't they? All nothing more than an energy source for whatever hungry animal comes growling. It makes him sick. He wretches, knowing he has nothing to wretch.

Ianto thanks God for Jack. Or maybe Jack for God - because really... which one came first? To Ianto - beaten, bloodied and bruised... God and Jack were one and the same. Ianto knew, with the complete certainty that comes from near death, that Jack was his knight in slightly dimmed armour. Jack is the one he belongs with. In those last few moments - when he truly thought his life was over - there was only one person on his mind. Not Lisa. Not his family. Jack.

If it hadn't been for him, Ianto would have died.

Jack tosses and turned. Just hours ago, he'd seen his Ianto nearly killed and - Jack shuddered for the hundredth time that night - eaten by a group of cannibles.

He'd killed the ringleader, of course. Well... what was he supposed to do? Surely not just lock him up and have done with it? No. That bastard had hurt Ianto. Jack would make sure that never happened again.

He'd never forget how close he'd come to losing this man - this uptight, beautiful man, a man he was struggling not to love. He wouldn't forget. Ever.

Jack thanked all the deities he knew that he'd got there when he had. He'd lost an entire team before - memories of his time in the army and a New Year's Eve gift from hell came to mind - and didn't think he could bear losing another. The thought of losing Ianto, too... He might as well have an unlimited supply of bullets and a machine gun.

At least that way, Jack might get to stay dead.

Ianto looked at his watch. They'd only been back for a few hours. Back from hell.