As the lights flickered and died the two men sprang apart, each instantly alert for anything that may come out of the darkness. They had been so wrapped up in each other that they had failed to notice the small jolt before the lights had failed.
"Jack? What's going on?" asked Ianto, a small hint of panic showing in his voice.
Jack began pushing buttons on the leather wrist strap he was never without. The light from the manipulator illuminated the carriage, giving it an eerie glow. "Shit! There's been a power cut, looks like we're not going anywhere for a while".
Silence filled the carriage, each man becoming caught up in their own thoughts. Soon the slow, even breaths became shallower and more frantic.
Jack could feel the warm, clammy air thickening around him, solidifying and taking on the rough, grainy texture of earth. His heart rate accelerated and his breath began to hitch as he found himself back in his grave, the dirt filling his eyes, nose, ears and mouth. As he gulped trying to take in desperately needed oxygen the dirt moved further down his throat.
Jack began to shake his head, desperately trying to dislodge the choking soil. As he shook his head a sound began to filter through, pushing him towards logical thought. Its not real, I'm safe, I'm with Ianto, we are in a lift and we are safe. Oh God! Ianto!
Jack could hear the archivist reliving the nightmare that had haunted his nights after the Brecon Beacons. He turned expecting to find the young man next to him but felt only air. He cocked his head listening to the sound of Ianto's pleas. He couldn't understand what Ianto was saying but he understood the meaning. Jack's heart broke at the despair coming from the corner of the metal container.
He moved towards Ianto and knelt beside his young lover, cooing words of comfort, never actually touching Ianto. He knew from past experience that touching Ianto when he was in the grip of a nightmare only made things worse; his touch misconstrued as the cannibals coming to prepare him for slaughter.
"Hey Ianto" he whispered close to his ear "You are safe, you're with me, I promise not to let anything hurt you. There is nothing to fear in the dark, it is just you and me. We are in a lift in a large office block, there is no-one here but us, and you are safe." He saw that his words were beginning to register and kept talking until Ianto's breathing had calmed, the danger of fainting from hyperventilating passing.
He still didn't touch Ianto, but sat beside him on the floor of the lift, close enough that Ianto would feel his body heat, but not close enough to crowd the young man. He began to sing softly, his voice filling the small space. After what seemed like hours he felt Ianto's body unfurl, the muscles gradually relaxing.
After a moment Ianto moved closer to Jack and rested his head on Jack's shoulder. Jack moved his arm to slip it around the young Welshman's shoulder. He paused as Ianto tensed and waited until Ianto had relaxed against him again before pulling the young man closer to him.
Jack continued singing, lulling Ianto into sleep. The dark closed around them and Jack felt the earth surround him again but Ianto's soft breath on his neck reminded him of life and safety and his fears were pushed back.
Although Ianto slept, still Jack sang, he sang until his throat was raw and his notes gravelly but still he sang, the notes chasing away the silence and the monsters that lurked in the dark just waiting to consume them. He sang until the lights flickered into life and the lift gave a jolt back into movement. He sang as he removed his arm from around Ianto and rose, pressing the button to take them back to the ground floor. He sang as he lifted the still sleeping Ianto into his arms and carried him to the SUV.
When Ianto was safely in the SUV he turned the CD player on, soothing music filling the small space until he had returned from finding the source of the rift activity, a small device that he recognised as a futuristic child's toy. When he returned to the SUV it was to find Ianto beginning to stir.
Ianto opened his eyes, his breath hitching at the momentary panic he felt remembering his last memory before he relaxed and moved across to embrace Jack. Ianto never said a word but his kiss, so soft and tender spoke volumes. It spoke of love, trust and faith; faith that together they would keep each other safe in the dark.