TITLE: God's Own Tears
AUTHOR: Erin Giles
DISCLAIMER: Torchwood is property of the BBC and RTD.
SUMMARY: Ianto's mother always told him when it was raining it was because God was crying.
"Come on," Jack said, placing his hand in Ianto's and tugging as he started to jog down the embankment at the side of the road. The mud slid out from underneath Ianto's feet as he tried valiantly to keep his balance, but it was becoming too hard now as his polished shoes sank beneath what used to be grass.
"Jack, where are you going?" Ianto called in annoyance as Jack ploughed on through the thicket, dragging Ianto by the hand behind him. Ianto didn't know how Jack could see where he was going, the rain was falling that heavily now. Ianto was soaked to the skin - his jacket advertised as shower proof and not waterproof. He remembered his mam telling him when he was younger that when it rained, God and the angels were crying. He could full well believe that now, if the last week was anything to go by. His dad used to counteract that statement with 'It runs off when it gets to the skin'. Ianto supposed that was his parents in a nutshell, though. His dad, always practical, such a straightforward man who didn't believe anything beyond what he was shown. His mam, always believing that there was something more than what was there, always some higher purpose to everything that happened.
"Jack!" Ianto called out again as he skidded further down the embankment, clinging onto Jack like he was his life raft in the flood they now found themselves in. Jack leapt over the recently created stream at the bottom of the embankment, leaving Ianto no choice but to jump into the unknown after him - either that or watch as his leather shoes disappear beneath the rain-made river.
Jack still didn't answer as he pushed on through the field they now found themselves in with no way of knowing what was in front or behind them. Ianto risked a glance over his shoulder and found that he could no longer see the broken down SUV at the side of the road. He caught a brief glimpse of headlights flashing their way before they were gone again, drenching them in darkness.
"Jack, this is ridiculous, where are you going?" Ianto called again as lightning flashed overhead causing Ianto to start slightly. Still he continued to follow Jack as they started to climb, dodging round hillocks. There was a brief noise from in front that sounded like Jack crying, not that Ianto would have noticed, there was that much water already in the air.
Jack eventually came to a stop, still holding onto Ianto as lightning flashed overhead again, lighting up Jack's face. It was then that Ianto could see that Jack was not crying; he was laughing.
"What are you laughing at?" Ianto yelled over the thunder as Jack tugged on his hand again, swinging him round to look out across the landscape. Ianto could see Cardiff in the distance - like an orange beacon, lighting up the sky in a fiery haze through the torrential rain. He could barely make out the road in front of them as raindrops dripped from his eyelashes like tears.
It took Ianto a moment to realise Jack has finally let go of his hand and is unbuttoning his greatcoat, throwing it aside on the ground without a care in the world. He watched in bemusement as Jack turned his face to heaven, opening his mouth and sticking his tongue out just like Ianto remembered doing as a kid, his eyes closed against the relentless rain.
It was in that moment that Ianto understood. He watched Jack throwing out his arms, spinning in a tight circle as rain fell onto his shirt, soaking it through so Ianto could see every muscle, could see the white t-shirt beneath. He watched as Jack's red braces bled into his shirt and he knew that the shirt was ruined. It didn't matter. Something gurgled in the pit of Ianto's stomach that, for the first time in over a week, was not grief. Laughter spilled from his lips that was deep and wholehearted as he watched Jack, now dancing on the side of the hill, Cardiff behind him like a hazy watercolour as lightning flashed overhead again.
That morning in the church felt like a lifetime ago as he'd tried hard to remember all the good times. All that had swum before his eyes though was both Owen and Tosh lying on the floor, bloody and broken. Now, as he laughed until his stomach ached, he could see Owen and Tosh laughing with him at something so ridiculous as Jack dancing in the rain.
Jack eventually stopped in gales of breathless laughter, falling to the ground with a soggy squelch. His hand reached out and grasped Ianto's in his own, tugging him down beside him before Ianto had a chance to react. He fell with a bump beside Jack, rain soaking through his already damp trousers. Jack was shivering, but he was still smiling as he turned to Ianto, hand on the back of his head before they were kissing. Ianto felt Jack's hands clinging onto his coat and arms, anything he could get enough purchase on, like he was afraid Ianto was going to wash away in the rain. In that moment Ianto felt his worth, felt that he was as much Jack's life raft as Jack was his. Their kiss didn't fix everything. Kisses only made things better for children. But they could feel it, and sometimes that was enough.
When they parted Jack flopped back onto the hillside, his eyes scrunched up as the rain continued to fall down on top of them. And even though it was cold, and it was wet, and it was muddy, and Ianto would probably get sick, he lay down beside Jack, his hand searching blindly for Jack's through the mud and grass. Rain wrinkled fingers fit together snugly, creating a small bubble of warmth in the frozen landscape.
They both watched as lightning lit up the sky again, thunder following not long after, surrendering to the sheer force of sky and Mother Nature, who held them in the palm of her hand. Neither of them believed in fate; they always believed in choice - have to believe in choice. For better or for worse. But in the middle of all the fire and destruction something had to go right, no matter how small.
As Ianto lay in the rain and mud, Jack's hand in his, watching the sky light up above them and a broken Cardiff City, he realised that was probably the moment.