A one-shot follow up sequel to my fic, 'The Death Note Discovery'.
Set during Day Four of Children of Earth and features dialogue and events that I can't (and wouldn't want to) take credit for.
I own no rights 'cause I'm poor :P
"Look, I've gotta go. I love you." Ianto spoke on his mobile as he followed after Jack, both of them weaving their way through the streets of London after abandoning their stolen car on the city's gridlocked roads. "Don't let the kids out of your sight. I love them too. I'm even warming to Johnny a bit."
"We love you too." He gave just enough time to hear his sister's words before hanging up on her. If he was to let her continue further until the point when she'd likely burst into tears after what he had just told her, then he surely would crumble and fall apart. That was something which he simply just couldn't allow. The fates of millions of children were at stake. They, and his team, needed him.
Forced into a metaphorical corner by the aliens undergoing the name '4-5-6' who had recently demanded ten percent of the Earth's children, the deceitful, scheming, British government had come to the conclusion that people of lower class society were to be the ones targeted for parting with their offspring. The children would then be used as the sacrificial 'gift' needed to satisfy the alien threat to mankind.
Knowing that Rhiannon and her family fell into this social category he had to warn them and keep them safe. It was one of the few things he had promised his father before his death. To stick by his sister, no matter what, and be 'the better man' according to his old man's words…
Having run up huge sums of debt, his parents had lost everything that they had when he was still very young. This included; the family business of a master tailor, the detached four bedroom house in one of the most upmarket areas surrounding Newport, the latest model of Ford car, the caravan situated by the coast that was used for holidays during the summer months, and even other family members who had chosen to turn their backs on such a 'disgrace' once bankruptcy had been declared.
The stigma that had attached to the Jones' family name is what drove his father to push him into obtaining a 'better life' for himself. With his sister having the added option of being able to wed herself out of their name and back up a social class also, - a wasted opportunity by marrying a man who happily claimed benefits from the system whilst lazing his days away, - Ianto was forced to study academically so that he could become more than just a shop worker, labourer or 'benefit sponge'. As a boy he'd viewed his father as harsh, and on some occasions he still did, but also saw that his old man had only wanted what he thought was best for his family.
Over the years it wore his father down as his pride was still unable to cope with the fall of class from 'middle' to 'working'. Struggling to gain the opportunity to advance from his debunked and belittled minimum waged job in a department store, and feeling like a failure to his wife and kids, he eventually he took his own life. To this day Ianto still blamed himself as it happened not long after he'd moved to London and started working for Torchwood One.
He'd been on the phone back home to his parents and not being able to tell them about the institute, had fed them some story about having gotten a ridiculously high paid job on the stock exchange, knowing it would suffice their wanting to know. That was when his father had told him how proud he was of him and that he should always remember where he had come from, what could be achieved with a little perseverance and to never turn his back on those he cared for.
Several hours later he received a phone call from the police informing him of the suicide…
The Welshman quickly cleared his mind form painfully strolling down memory lane. He had to make sure he stayed focused. Just like his lover, who was hung up over the hostage taking of the newly-revealed daughter and grandson, but refused to let it be shown to anyone. Ianto knew that he was lucky to have been told such a secret which would otherwise have still remained so if he hadn't confronted Jack about keeping things to himself all the time.
As much as he'd been confided in by the other man he was never told the things that truly mattered to him. Like where were they in their relationship? Was it something serious or just convenient? The reaction he'd gotten from his lover a few days ago, - after having expressed his excitement several times when called a 'couple' by various people, - he'd begun to think the latter. Even Jack's true name had remained a mystery to him until he had gained use of the Shinigami eyes.
Ianto tried not to look at the people they passed by on their way to their destination. It wasn't so much them he was trying to avoid, but rather the numbers displayed above their heads, dancing in a bright red glow which told him each person's date and time of death. The so-called 'gift' from the Shinigami had lost its appeal a long time ago. What he thought would be a useful ability had instead become a curse as he was able to identify anybody just by looking at their face, even if it was only a picture their name would instantly be on display to him, as well as their time of death.
It had become especially hard for him to look those people in the face who he was close to. Toshiko's death had been particularly hard for him to take since he had vowed to remain with her for when the time came. But in an act of stupid fate, he had found himself trapped in one of the Hub's cells with an unconscious Weevil whilst his lover's vengeance seeking younger brother delivered the wound that allowed her to slowly bleed to death.
Jack's interest in the young Dr Patanjali, - 'potential recruit to their team', - had also been difficult for him to keep quiet about the medic's closely looming end. Many times he'd tried to dissuade his lover's opinion of the man but had just been considered as nothing more than dry humour, sometimes irritating him to the point were he wanted to scream that he was a wasted cause.
And how was he meant to face his sister on a regular basis knowing that she and her husband would die at the same time in eleven years to come, their son less than a week later whilst their daughter would reach to see her seventy-first birthday. Providing that his niece and nephew weren't handed to the 456 beforehand. He had no idea if the alien being's involvement here on Earth would alter the children's lifespans he'd witnessed and wasn't willing to take the chance to find out otherwise, hence his concerned phone call just a moment ago.
But it hadn't all been nasty digits for him to view. Owen had been part of the walking dead since the night he had taken the bullet at the Pharm, so there were no dates on display for him because of it. Which was just as well as the pre-outlook of losing two team members at once may have been enough to make him panic and reveal the bargain that had shortened his own life to be able to see the end of theirs. With Jack, he knew he would live for a long time to come; five billion years until he would finally be laid to rest. Perhaps that was to be the end of all time? And Gwen's death date told him that she would live to the ripe old age of ninety-three, outliving her husband by almost a decade.
He relaxed in the fact that because of this he knew she'd be safe from the 'expected' raid at the warehouse in just a short while as they'd planned to lure the team that had tried to kill them several days earlier, to their hideout in an attempt to expose the government's deceitful plan. It would be the old man, - Clement McDonald, - with her who would take that fall, he was fairly certain of it. What else could cause the man to die so suddenly during their plan of action?
With Thames House now in sight, the Welshman took out his mobile once more and called to inform his colleague of their situation so that the 'bigger' plan, - involving the young woman who'd helped them so far by going undercover with the use of the institute's hi-tech contact lenses, - could continue. "Okay Gwen, we're here." He contemplated hinting about the old man's fate as he knew just how attached she had grown to him, but held back.
"Take care." She told him before he hung up.
They were making their way up the steps now to enter the huge building where the 456 had settled the previous day.
"Ready?" Jack asked as his hands fumbled with his gun to remove the cartridge from it.
"As always." Ianto replied coolly and did the same to his own weapon.
The unbreakable bullet-proof glass doors at the entrance of the MI5 building slide open as they strode quickly, arms raised in the air to show their unarmed handguns. Every member of security was quick to lock onto them with their rapidly draw weapons as the captain spoke clearly and loudly, "Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones. We're Torchwood."
Both men continued to approach the reception desk and slammed the handguns down on its surface top. Jack continued to talk in the manner of authority that he always adopted when taking over a case. His words were nothing more than murmured garble to Ianto as he looked around, terrified at all of the faces in the building's lobby.
According to the glowing red digits displayed above their heads, everybody present was due to meet their end within the next fifteen to twenty minutes. Something was wrong. The Welshman's heart started to beat double-time. What could it be that would soon wipe out all of these people in one sweep?
His lover's voice sounded slightly irritated as it broke through his trance. He regained as much composure as he could and turned to face Jack.
"Come on, time's ticking." The handgun and cartridge was handed back to him before the captain turned and set off down one of the corridors, greatcoat flapping along behind as a result of the long swift strides being taken.
For a moment Ianto was frozen with fear at the thought that his own death may lie shortly ahead of him if he was to stay inside the building. No matter how much he tried to come to terms with the fact that he had shortened his own lifespan by bargaining with the Shinigami he was still terrified at the thought of his own end. He didn't want to die. That brought a dark ironic laugh which he suppressed. Funny, the only thing that is truly certain in life is the one thing the majority of people fear the most.
Now that his moment of paralysis was over, he picked up his feet and chased after the man he'd vowed to follow, whatever the circumstances. He passed by several more people whose lives were due to end at roughly the same time before he finally joined Jack's side. Together they waited for the elevator doors to slide open and then entered into it as though they were one.
Once inside it wasn't long before the motion of ascending was felt as they rode up in silence. At least the Welshman assumed it was silence. He was beginning to wonder if the sound of his thundering heart could be heard aloud as he tried to remain calm but couldn't quite vanquish the scared feeling that the whole of the occupied building was about to meet its end. A gulp managed to ease the quivering of the vocal cords that wanted to scream his thoughts of fleeing the scene.
The silence was becoming unbearable. Maybe I should tell him about the Shinigami eyes and everything that I've seen? That way if I am going to die…? Ianto wasn't able to stop himself as his lover's name left his lips. "Jack."
"Yeah?" The captain was drawn from his own thoughts but continued to watch the floors flick by on the tiny indicator screen above the doors. They'd almost reached their final destination on the very top floor.
No answer as the younger man clammed up. What if his revelation angered his lover? Since the incident with Lisa he'd always been honest and told Jack everything, regardless of whether or not the confidence was given back in return. This was the only thing he'd kept completely to himself, so what kind of reaction would it evoke?
Jack let his eyes divert from the floor counter and redirected them to Ianto. "What is it?"
"I …" Ianto started but found that the look he received made it impossible to continue. He now felt ashamed of all the times he'd ever contemplated about if their relationship was serious or not. Jack's face, along with his tone of voice, had said it all. The love and concern shown from those mysterious blue eyes was enough to break his heart. There was no doubt that what he had to say would deeply upset the other man.
PING! The elevator doors slide open on the top floor.
A dim glowing light caught the Welshman's attention and he saw the details dancing above their waiting escort's head. It was good news for his spiralling imagination as he saw the man's death date was to be several years from now and not within the next quarter hour like those he had seen at the bottom of the building. Maybe he wouldn't be dying today after all. "It can wait until later." He told Jack with a feeble smile.
The captain nodded his understanding and then leapt from the elevator as he handed the man a piece of paper along with instructions. "I want you to feed the live TV pictures direct to this number. Can you do that?"
"I can do it." Dekker, - Ianto knew the man's name to be, - agreed. He gestured for the two men to follow him down the corridor only to have the greatcoated man barge by him to take the lead.
Several security guards stood along the route they were taking to get to the room containing the 456. They either had their backs to the Shinigami eyed Welshman or the peeks of their caps obscured their faces, making it impossible for Ianto to view their names or deaths. Dekker confirm that he would just be in the room a little further along before returning to them after carrying out his task. This was the information boosted Ianto's confidence that his life was not in any danger but also caused a horrible guilty feeling running through him as both he and Jack were clear of whatever threat it was that would wipe out all life on the ground level of Thames House.
The couple entered the darkened room whilst their escort continued down the hall. To their right was the huge glass chamber that had been built especially for the alien being to submerge itself inside the gassy atmosphere that posed deadly to the human race's respiratory system. Both of them came to a stand directly in front of it though feeling a little bit intimidated by the 456's size, Ianto wishing that he'd scoured the remains of the exploded Hub for the Death Note so that he could at least put the child strapped to the alien, out of his misery as the red digits glowed through the mist. They'd been told that the children felt no pain with their newly extended lives but he wasn't buying any of it, the terrified agonising look of the mute boy said otherwise. But of course he hadn't the time to do so as tracking his captain's splintered remains had taken priority.
Acting like the true hero that his lover had had to remind him of just a short while ago and aware that the government now sat watching every moment as the room's images were streamed directly to the Prime Minster and his cabinet, Jack stood up to the extraterrestrial visitor. "I'm Captain Jack Harkness. I've dealt with you lot before. I'm here to explain why this time you're not getting what you want."
"You yielded in the past." The 456 protested just as calmly as the man had spoken.
"And don't I know it." He'd never forgive himself for handing the children over. But now wasn't the time to sink back into the wallowing state that had almost consumed him hours earlier. "I was there. In 1965, I was part of that trade. And that's why I'm never gonna let it happen again."
"There's a saying here on Earth. A very old, very wise friend of mine taught me it. 'An injury to one is an injury to all.' And when people act accordingly to that philosophy, the human race is the finest species in the universe…"
"Never mind the philosophy." Ianto cut in. "What he's saying is you're not getting one solitary, single child. The deal is off."
"Uh, I like the philosophy." Jack complained to the Welshman beside him.
"You yielded in the past." The creature repeated itself from a moment ago and added, "You will do so again."
"In the past, the numbers were so small they could be kept secret." Still the captain remained calm and diplomatic as he put across his point. "But this time, that is not going to happen. Because we've recorded everything. All the negotiations, everything the politicians said, everything that happened in this room, and those tapes will be released to the public. Unless you leave this planet for good."
"You yielded in the past. You will do so again."
"When people find out the truth, you will have over six billion angry human beings taking up arms to fight you. That might be a fight you think you can win, but at the end of it, the human race in defence of its children will fight to the death. And if I have to lead them into battle, then I will."
The Welshman was growing thin on his patience so god knows how his lover was managing to stay so cool. "You've got enough information on this planet. Check your records. His name is Captain Jack Harkness. Go back 150 years and see what you're facing."
"This is fascinating, isn't it? The human infant mortality rate is 29,158 deaths per day. Every three seconds, a child dies. The human response is to accept and adapt."
Finally Jack's patience had come to an end, but still he spoke calmly with his confidence. "We're adapting right now and we're making this a war."
"Then the fight begins."
Ianto turned to look at the older man as if to ask 'what next?', his thoughts momentarily straying towards to lives that were shortly due to be lost on the ground level of the building.
"We're waiting for your reply." Jack told the 456.
"Action has been taken."
Alarms started to sound and echoing thuds of the security doors and blinds making the entire building airtight could be heard. The MI5 building was built to withstand chemical and biological warfare so nothing and no-one was getting in or out from now on.
"What have you done?" The captain had lost his calm exterior.
"You wanted a demonstration of war. A virus has been released. It will kill everyone in the building."
Ianto's mind froze in horror as he felt Jack's hands on his arms to swiftly move around him. At last he knew why there was to be a high death count within such a small space of time. He watched his lover race out of the room yelling for precautions to be taken to combat the now-poisonous air. Fear clawed at his heart as he had a gut feeling that he too wasn't going to make it out alive either.
The gun was pulled from his belt and he loaded it before aiming it directly at the huge glass chamber in front of him; the creature's life now held in ransom alongside the people's inside the building. "If there's a virus, then there must be an antivirus." He wasn't going to let himself and the others die, he would alter fate save them all. "Release it now or I'll blow a hole in that tank. And we'll all die together."
Jack returned to the room and also drew his gun to stand beside the Welshman. "You've made your point, now stop this and we can talk." His voice was struggling to not portray his anxiety.
"You are dying even now."
The first bullet to be fired in response to the taunt came from Ianto's gun and Jack's almost simultaneously open fired too. Even though his death scared him, Ianto knew that it would be worth it in order to take down the threat to their planet. Like Tosh and like Owen, he'd receive a hero's death, and not just an abrupt ending based on a couple of combined decisions he'd made by joining Torchwood and trading with the soul taker for the use of Shinigami eyes.
Each one of the bullets that had been fired hit the gas filled chamber and ricocheted with a clink.
Seeing that it was hopeless, - why hadn't he thought about the glass being bullet-proof? - Ianto stopped his firing and found that his mind was unable to think about anything other than the fact that his death was worthless. He didn't even register the 456's thrashing and high pitched screeching from inside its man-made haven.
Jack grabbed his lover and tried to jolt him out of his shocked state. "We've gotta get you out of here. I can survive anything but you can't."
"Too late." What else was he meant to do? "I breathed the air."
"There's gotta be something. There's gotta be an antidote."
Ianto's head lowered not wanting to see the terror displayed within his lover's gaze. This was it for him. He felt the backs of his eyes starting to prickle as it finally hit him that he was about to live his last moments.
"You said you would fight."
"Then I take it back, all right?" The captain's voice was full of distress as he yelled back at the alien being. "I take it all back. But not him!"
It was becoming harder to breath and the room was beginning to blur, to spin. His legs felt like they had turned to lead and suddenly the Welshman dropped to the floor.
"No!" Jack raced to grab hold of his lover during his descent. "No, no, no, no, no. No! No, Ianto. No." His voice was fighting back against the anguish that threatened to break him.
The Welshman was now cradled in his lover's arms as Jack knelt on the floor trying to support both of their weights. His eyes were big and watery as they stared up and with what little strength he had, he reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out the small silvery device that would block out the camera images of them for as long as it registered his body's electrical charge. There were things he needed to tell Jack. Things that he didn't want other people to witness. He pressed the button to start the black out required. "Please don't be angry with me."
"I've never been angry with you." Jack's voice wavered as he spoke the truth. Sure they had had their moments in the past where they'd clashed, and in the heat of the moment his annoyance may have seemed hateful, but he hadn't ever felt the feeling of anger towards his lover.
Ianto tried to smile but his lips just wobbled. "I made a deal with Bob."
"The Shinigami, remember?"
Jack nodded. He remembered alright. The god of death had caused trouble to try and tempt his team into becoming mindless killers. But he'd failed; at least he assumed he'd failed. "What kind of deal?"
"In return for halving what was left of my lifespan, he granted me the ability to know people's names just by looking at them." He chose not to mention that he could also see when they were to die. "You only ever once talked in your sleep and that had been about Gray."
The words sent a shiver down the captain's already numbing spine. Ianto had figured out that he could defeat the Shinigami and save his own life by entering his true name in the Death Note. Only he'd never been honest and open enough to confide that piece of simple information which wouldn't have resulted in the current situation. "It's all my fault." He bit his tongue to keep back the remorseful cry that festered at the back of his throat.
"No, it's not." His head wobbled as he began to reassure his lover. He didn't want him to blame himself for what was happening. It would only eat away at him along with everything else that he hadn't been told.
"Don't speak, save your breath." Jack knew that a lecture was about to come his way. And even though he'd told him not to respond, he felt even more devastated when the usual trait of his lover was abandoned. Instead the words to leave the dying man's lips would unintentionally tear his heart clean in two.
"I love you, I …"
"Don't." The captain shook his head. He wasn't ready for hearing the goodbye between them.
The darkness was calling and it sounded so inviting to the Welshman as he struggled to stay conscious.
Nothing but silent stillness.
"Ianto, stay with me." Jack shook his lover. No! He couldn't be dead. Not yet, he hadn't said his goodbye. He couldn't say goodbye. "Ianto, stay with me please."
The shaking dragged Ianto back from the darkness closing in around him. He had to tell Jack now before it was too late. "Shinigami eyes … with them I can see everybody's name … except those who also possess … or have possessed … a Death Note." It was becoming hard for him to form words as the darkness continued to beckon. "The politicians Jack … several of them … several of them display no name to me…" He fell under the darkness' spell once more.
His attention had momentarily been unfocused from the situation to think about the scheming government that they had been watching via the contact lenses worn by Lois Habiba. Ianto knew that he wouldn't be able to let them go unpunished for any murders they may have committed with the notebooks. But that would have to wait until another time. The here and now was more important.
Jack realised that his lover had fallen mute again and this time he failed to hold back the panic and tears. "Stay with me!" In his desperation, he violently shook the younger man. "Stay with me please! Please."
The vigorous shaking pulled the Welshman back from the shadows of darkness. He opened his eyes to see the older man crying, his lover so distraught that through the tears he hadn't seen him staring back up. "Hey …" Ianto knew that the time had come to say goodbye even if that wasn't what the other wanted to hear. "It was good, yeah?"
Ianto had hoped there'd be more to hear but there wasn't. "Don't forget me." He pleaded with a croak in his voice.
Jack hesitated his reply as he fought back more tears. "Never could."
Even in their final moments, the immortal captain failed to fully express himself and only replied with the minimalist responses that broke the Welshman's heart. "A thousand years time… you won't remember me." He was crying now.
"Yes, I will." Jack assured. "I promise." He was only just now realising the sorrow he'd caused by being so reserved and almost choked. "I will."
It had turned silent again. The stillness only tainted by the soft clunk of the small transmission jammer as it fell from Ianto's dissolving grasp and hit the tiled floor.
"Ianto?" Jack saw the breathless mouth partly open. Those gorgeous blue eyes had rolled back in the Welshman's head and were covered by closed eyelids. "Don't go. Don't leave me, please. Please don't…" But it was too late. His lover was dead, and he hadn't even said goodbye.
A lot of people had entered and exited his life over the years, but never had he felt so alone as he did right then. No matter what Ianto would have said to persuade him otherwise, it was all his fault. He was now nothing more than a helpless and broken man, incapable of saving those he loved, all because he was too proud to let them get too close to him…
"You will die." The 456 taunted the immortal captain who was now struggling to stay conscious in his wallowing thoughts. "And tomorrow your people will deliver the children."
Something clicked inside him and Jack felt a sudden bursting overload of rage and hatred for the creature protected behind the glass casing. His eyes burned in the chamber's direction and what could have been used as fuel for revenge died out just as quickly as it had flared. There would be nothing he could do to protect the children of Earth. Silently he preyed that Steven and the two Davies children would be spared from the government's selection process.
His glare melted as he turned back to his motionless lover, his beautiful Ianto, who had died needlessly because of him. As he lovingly stroked the cold face of the young Welshman, careful not to catch the scab on the wound to his right cheek, the captain became somewhat delusional. He'd managed to breath life back into him once before when that woman, - that machine, that 'thing', - which had tried to brainwash Ianto with false belief of love had knocked him out in her, - 'its', - attempt to take control of the Hub, and now he was convinced he could do it again.
The darkness was coming for him quicker now as he bent over to let his lips touch the coldness of his lover's mouth. But death was too overpowering and it stole his last breath of air before he had had the chance to pass it across, making his actions seem like one last pathetic attempt at expressing his goodbyes.
Jack slumped down beside Ianto as he too was claimed by the darkness of death. One arm was still supporting his lover's head whilst the other was wrapped around his lover's upper chest. As he sensed the last fragment of life leave his body he could have sworn he'd heard the Welshman's dark humour ghostly whisper to him, 'Damn those bloody beans!'
A/N: Well there you have it. Hopefully I managed to blend in the Death Note aspect with this episode. And I think it's given Ianto's death just that little bit of meaning and dignity that I personally felt was missing from the original.
The back story I've given Ianto is a dumbed down version of another fic I had been contemplating but abandoned since it was ploting out to be too long and the fact that I just don't have the time to write it right now.
Originally, I had wanted to end this fic from Ianto's point of view when he died but I just couldn't leave Jack there on his own. The beans comment is there at the end to try and add a little light-hearted moment though I'm not sure if it works or not.
The seeds have been sown for another fic to follow this one with Ianto telling Jack about the politicians who own/ed Death Notes. I would write this as filler for the six months Jack is on his own before he meets up with Gwen and Rhys again at the end of Day Five. Unfortunately I don't have time to write it, so if someone else wants to use this idea of an off the rails Jack seeking vengance with the salvaged Death Note from the Hub/murdering politicians/bring Ianto back somehow (I hadn't worked out a plot yet so anything would be possible) then please go ahead and write it. :)