AN: First off – Don't own Torchwood or Sandman and I ain't making a cent off of any of this. Now that I've got the potential lawsuit taken care of - I know we're all torn apart by the way RTD gave us all the heave-ho by tearing apart the 'Torchwood' we know. But I have to seriously thank all of you for reading Death's Memoirs. 112 of you have read it – THANK YOU!! TW: Archangel has 437 hits this month alone – and 275 of my overall hits are from you in the UK!! You guys SUPER ROCK!!! So…I've decided to delve into more of the Death mythology…ENJOY!!
Death's Memoirs: The Century Mark
We watched, Ianto and I, as the current government-of-the-month commemorated one hundred years since the appearance of the 456 and the souls lost in the clashes with the military and police, the destruction of several government buildings and the general decimation of the government at the time. This was a beautiful for November 2109, really. Not too cold, not too cloudy and no rain. The Prime Minister then asked for silence as the names of those lost were read.
'So,' Ianto mused aloud as they read his name. 'They finally learned how to say it right.'
'No,' I said, smiling my wicked smile at him. 'The PM is Welsh.'
Ianto suddenly gripped my hand, I turned to see him go paler than usual…after all, he's dead. I gripped his hand just as tightly.
'Is this too much for you?' I asked. 'We can leave now if you wish.'
He shook his head and pointed into the crowd. 'He's here,' he whispered softly.
I looked towards where Ianto was pointing – and got the shock of my long existence when I saw him. Captain Jack Harkness. Only…these days he went by the name of Jackson Jones. He doesn't wear his RAF off-duty gear either anymore. No…he wears the uniform of an assassin, an acolyte of mine if you will. All black – demin pants, black jumper and black leather duster. Jones…one hundred year later and the poor thing still couldn't let go.
Alice passed around 2035. Broken heart, I don't care what the coroner's report said; she never really recovered after the loss of her son. Jack killed himself twice that day…we stood by and watched. Ianto cried softly on my shoulder afterwards. Steven, however, couldn't contain his excitement as he collected her. I let him go with tears in my eyes and a promise to collect him myself when his time came anew. He and his mum now are fraternal twins in their twenties living in Singapore. Have at least another 50 years to wait for those two.
'He…looks so old,' Ianto mused, then looking to himself. He was still as young and gorgeous as the day I collected him. What? Why should I doctor the truth? I'm Death and I know a fine specimen of human male when I see one. I looked to Harkness aka Jones. Ianto was right – the century had not been kind.
He had gone gray, totally gray…and a myriad of wrinkles and crags were all over his face. The worst was his eyes…his beautiful blue eyes had lost their spark of life. They were the eyes of a walking dead man. For although he could live forever…he was as good as dead inside. I turned to Ianto and smiled.
'Are you ready?' I asked. He nodded. 'Twenty four hours…I can push it to thirty six, but that is it!' My apprentice cum Angel of Death looked at me – and hugged me so tightly that if I needed to breathe, I would have died.
'Thanks Dee,' he whispered thickly.
'Don't thank me,' I said, extrapolating myself from his stranglehold and kissing him on his forehead. 'Thank the other Endless…and the Rules.'
Now, I have to stop here so I can explain a bit. When I was created in the dawn of time, I did not understand the emotions of mortals. I only knew what I felt, what I knew. I did not care. So…the Powers That Be deemed that every one hundred years I was to become mortal for one day and a half, to understand what was so precious about life. So…today was Ianto's hundred year mark. Today he was going to become mortal…again.
I hopped off the K-rail we had perched our bums on and patted the dirt off mine…black is hard to keep black sometimes. 'Let's get moving – lots to do before tonight,' I said, patting his knee. He gracefully hopped down and straightened out his suit.
'Where?' he asked. 'Cardiff?'
I nodded. His teleporter has been working for at least eighty years now.' We watched as Jackson Jones ducked into a dark doorway, a bright flash illuminating it for a second, then it and Jackson were gone. Ianto and I nodded and began walking away from the crowds behind us and to…the Plass in Cardiff. 'God,' Ianto breathed, smiling broadly at me. 'I'll never get over that.'
I simply smiled – then tapped his shoulder. A group of teenagers were rough housing near the getty's edge. Three were going to fall in – only one would survive. There were also several OD's in a few of the public estates, I took care of those. And then, later in the evening there was going to be a weevil attack. Jack would get there, but be too late to do much more than hold the dying man.
We took care of the others and I tapped Ianto on the shoulder. He turned to me and I adjusted his suit and tie – and made sure my sigil hung round his neck.
'Now I'm giving you lots of leeway here,' I said, flicking imaginary lint off of his shoulders and straightening his lapels. 'You'll be able to change his appearance,' I said, motioning to the living man, a Emrys Tynant, who in one hour's time would be weevil meat as he passed by with his mates towards the clubs near the Quay. 'I'll try to get him to slow down,' I said as we now stood in a rundown pub somewhere in the underarm of Splott. I remember when Ianto first told me the 'correct' pronunciation…I was laughing so hard, my tears ruined my makeup. Only him….only him.
It appeared as though poor Jackson was a regular in the dive – the bartending service bot tooted a greeting, automatically accepted his cred ID and began pouring. Gwen had told us a bit of his woes when we collected her fifty years back; drinking until he was practically blind, starting fights with anybody and shooting anything alien first and asking questions later. He changed for a spell after she passed. When we collected Rhys five years later he said Jack had been living with him; watching over him in his last years. Their children left Jack the house, but thankfully they stuck around. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren live at the house with him now.
I told Ianto they reminded me of Charlotte's children in 'Charlotte's Web'. The majority takes off with the wind – but two or three stay behind to watch over the pig. And yes…I said PIG. After watching a few of Jack's drunken walks home and the shenanigans later at said home, when it's time to collect those kids – I'm putting them in for Instant Sainthood.
Jackson's wrist strap chirped and I tapped Ianto on the shoulder. The service bot returned Jackson's cred ID and he headed out and flashed from the alley behind the pub. We followed. The weevil had already done its work and the poor young man lay bleeding out onto the tarmac. Jackson removed a particularly evil looking weapon and shot the weevil point blank. The creature dropped unceremoniously with a hole the size of the Channel Tunnel in its chest. Jackson then holstered the weapon and, not sparing a glance at the weevil, went to the young man. Lifting him carefully into his lap, he cradled the dying in his arms. Ianto trembled next to me…that was the way Jack held him as he died. I gave him my hand; he squeezed it back in silent thanks.
'Hello there,' Jackson said as the young man's brown eyes looked up tiredly in his. 'What's your name?'
'Emrys,' the man gasped out. 'Emrys Tynant. You?'
The young man tried to look down at himself. 'I'm dying, ain't I?' he asked calmly.
'Yeah,' Jackson confirmed. 'Sorry…came too late.' He then chuckled ruefully. 'Story of my life. I'll stay with ya 'til the end. Not long now.' He then thought for a second. 'You got anyone you need contacted?'
Emrys went to his pocket and with a bloody hand, pulled out a digi-card. 'Family,' he explained as he handed it to Jackson. Jackson in turn took hold of his hand and held him closer.
'Not long now,' he repeated as Emrys closed his eyes.
'No,' I intoned. I then looked to Ianto and flashed him a small grin. 'Good luck.'
'Thanks,' he said, a tad distracted.
I turned to the almost dead man. 'Emrys Tynant,' I said softly, holding out my hand to him. 'It's time.' As he lifted his hand to mine, I took hold and pulled. As his soul vacated his body, his hand fell. I breathed onto his body, healing all the wounds. Jackson shifted suddenly, pushing the body off of his lap. I took hold of Ianto and pushed him into the dead man's corpse.
Jackson yelped as he watched the young man's clothes change into a dark pinstriped three piece suit with a claret red silk shirt and red striped tie. The man's face changed…to one that haunted his dreams every night. The haircolor and style changed from blonde and brown spikes to dark brown curls.
The body flew up to a standing position and groaned loudly as he opened his now crystal blue eyes. 'Whoa,' he said as he gripped the alley wall for support. 'Thanks for the warning, Dee,' he groaned, glaring at me. The soul of Emrys Tynant and the poor Weevil stood beside me.
'Thirty-six hours,' I said, tossing a stopwatch at him. Then, with a wave of my hand, my sigil of old appeared round his neck: a silver ankh with a leather strap. Catching the stopwatch, he clicked the button on the top.
'See you in thirty-six hours then,' he said, turning away from me to Jackson, crumpled to the tarmac and swearing his mind had finally snapped. I could hear the poor man's thoughts.
Buried for two thousand years didn't do it. Buried in cement didn't do it. Murdering Ianto, Steven and Alice by proxy didn't do it. Nope…helping a dying man in a crap-filthy alley is what cooked my mind but good.
I vanished with the two and returned in a flutter of wing feathers. I didn't allow either of them to see me…I just wanted to make sure Ianto was all right.
'Jack,' Ianto whispered. 'You haven't gone mad…it's me. Honestly,' he said softly, walking towards the broken man. He offered him his hand. 'Let's get you up off the floor, shall we, Sir?'
At that, Jack began crying as if his soul had burst. Ianto sidled next to him and put an arm on the other man's shoulder, pulling him close. 'It is me, Captain Jack Harkness of the 133rd Squadron…only…that isn't your real name. Just as Jackson Jones isn't your real name now,' he whispered into his ear. Jack tried pulling away, sobbing hysterically. Ianto would not let go, just pulled him closer.
'It is me, Jack. Please, look at me. Ask me anything Ianto Jones would know. Ask me when we first met? It was in a park, you were fighting a weevil and I went after it with a stick, trying to beat it off you. I dressed in those tight jeans and that studded belt just for you. It was to help Lisa…but there was always something about you – like I told me sister when she asked me about you. It was just you for me, Jack. Always has been. I…help a friend now. A beautiful dark creature…but she could never measure to you – and she has never tried. Because you have always had my heart, my love. I have gone through Hell to be here with you now…I can only be here for,' here, he pulled out the stopwatch. 'Thirty five hours, forty two minutes. Then I have to go back…to wait another century before I can feel you again. Touch you again.' Ianto then reached up for Jack's chin and tried to turn his face towards him. 'Please, Cariad. Please…look at me.'
To my relief Jack turned to Ianto and buried his tear stained face into Ianto's neck, breathing in his dead lover's now living scent. 'You smell like you,' Jack said suddenly, grabbing onto Ianto's lapels. His hands went up to Ianto's face, running his fingers over Ianto's features: his pert nose, his eyebrows, his petal pale lips. He couldn't stop himself at that point and crashed his lips onto Ianto's. Ianto returned the kiss with equal fervor. After a few moments, when Ianto realized he needed oxygen desperately, he broke the kiss gasping for air.
Jackson Jones aka Jack Harkness aka…ah, ah, ah. Not my place to say…looked at the younger man in his arms. 'How much time do we have?' he asked, emotion choking his voice.
Ianto fished out his stopwatch and looked. 'Thirty five hours, thirty two minutes,' he said smiling softly at Jack as he inched his face closer and closer. 'I don't want to waste a second, Jack. Take me to your home, lay me down in your bed and make love to me. Or pound me into your mattress, or just speak to me all the time we have. Just…take me,' he whispered, taking Jack's lips again.
After a few minutes, Jack released Ianto and with Ianto's help, stood up from the cold tarmac. 'So…how did you do this again?' I heard Jack ask as they walked away.
'Well…I work with Death,' Ianto answered truthfully. I heard Jack's boots stop.
'You what?' he asked.
I could almost see Ianto's infamous eyeroll. 'I work for Death of the Endless. The one who collects all souls at the time of their passing. We ferry them on to their next lives or their final rest – it's all up to the soul.'
'And what about me?' I heard Jack ask. Now I heard Ianto stop walking.
'When it is your time, I will be there,' he answered softly. 'But it will be a very long time until I can collect you for the last time. But when I do, we will be together…forever.'
I then heard them kissing again and silently prayed that they wouldn't start shagging in the alley. Don't know what happened after that, I had double duty to do now that my right-hand man was having someone else man handle him for a bit.
Thirty six hours later, I found the pair sitting on a bench in a quiet park in a nice residential neighborhood. Jack's house wasn't that far off; they had spent most of his time in Jack's bed. I was happy for them…and sad as well. For now, the pair had to wait another century before they could meet again. But perhaps this one day and a half would be enough to set Jack's destructive patterns and angry mind back to rights. I allowed the Immortal to see me as I approached.
'And this is Death,' Ianto said, holding his hand out to me. I took it as I smiled at him. He looked well and truly bed-rumpled. Ianto laughed when he heard me think it. 'Your terminology is ancient sometimes,' he said smiling. 'What you meant to say is I look well and truly -.'
'AH! Language,' I said, holding my finger up to him.
'But I look it in a good way, yeah?'
'Yes,' I conceded. I then looked to the Captain. 'Jackson Jones. Pleasure is all mine,' I said, holding out my hand to him. He hesitated, but only for a second. Instead of just taking my hand, he yanked me into a bear hug.
'Thank you,' he whispered into my ear as he righted me back on my feet.
'It is time, Ianto,' I said softly. He nodded to me, then turned to Jack, putting Jack's hand to his lips.
'One hundred years, Cariad,' he said softly. 'But until then, I will watch you everyday. And I hope your dreams will be happy ones.' Jack sighed softly, pulling Ianto into another heated kiss before letting him go.
'They will be,' he whispered as he stood up. He watched as I stretched my hand out to Ianto – and as he took hold, the corpse of Emrys Tynant fell back into the park bench, lifeless and cold. Jack then looked back to us – and I knew at that point he would always know when we were present. 'Take care of him for me,' he said to me. 'Because I have a lot of living to do.'
'I know,' I answered to his retreating back, feeling Ianto take his place at my side again. 'But don't worry…eventually I'll see even you.'