A/N: Welcome to my fix-it for CoE. If you enjoyed CoE, including the death of Ianto, then this fic is likely not for you. (: I'm not sure if the updates will be regular with this, but I'll do my best to make sure there are some updates. The title is a portion of a Blink-182 song I like, named Stockholm Syndrome. I'd recommend you listen to it as it and the rest of the songs from the album it is on inspired this fic. Enough from me, anyways. Enjoy, and do review.
He was dying, he was fairly certain of that fact.
It didn't feel like he thought it would. He'd always imagined it being like fading away, not being able to feel his toes, then his ankles, then his legs, and so on in a similar vein until his mind and his brain and his memories were gone.
He was right about one thing. His head was the last to go. He could have sworn his whole body was dead for an age before his mind deserted the world.
25 years. Such a long time to him, but so short in the grand scheme of things. And he could see the man looking down at him crying, and he could remember that this man was hundreds, thousands of years old, but so young on the outside, nothing betraying his lifespan except the careful, sage look in those blue eyes.
"It's all my fault."
"No it's not…"
"Don't speak. Save your breath."
Truth be told, it was like a sponge being wrung out of water. He could feel the life seeping out of him, could feel it almost pooling on the floor around him, and could feel it humming as it left his body. He knew even if he tried, he couldn't lift his arms to circle them around the older man. They lay like weights at his sides. But breath, that was one thing he wasn't worried about. That he had plenty of.
He exhaled, tears escaping his eyes. What a waste. Limited time left and all he could think of to say was –
"I love you…"
That word halted all thought as yet more life was wrung out of him by the virus surging through his slowing blood. His eyes glazed, and eyelids fluttered shut. He opened them again upon being shaken urgently, his lover's voice reaching a pitch of panic. A pitch which reassured him – this is as hard for you as it is for me.
"Ianto? Ianto? Ianto, stay with me, Ianto, stay with me please! Stay with me, stay with me!" No. No. Don't. Stop crying, Jack. Jack. That's his name. Remember his name.
"Hey…it was good, yeah?"
A laugh, almost like a sob. "Yeah."
He panicked as he realized he couldn't feel his body, "You'll forget me."
Jack shook his head, "Never could."
Ianto watched as Jack's anxious hands stroked his arms, his chest, smoothing out imaginary creases, but dimly registered that his time was running out.
He had to make sure someone knew who he was, really. This was his last chance for someone to remember his name, his existence.
"In a thousand years time, you won't remember me."
Please. This was desperation. Promise me, Jack. Do me this one favour even if you can't say those three words.
"Yes I will. I promise, I will."
The last of his strength deserted him, and he closed his eyes, slumping uselessly onto Jack. His heart beat sluggishly, the last bit of him alive, and his mind raced through all his memories at once – his dad's frown, breaking his leg, school, petty thefts from the corner shop, Torchwood One, fresh out of university, Lisa, falling in love, Cybermen, his life destroyed, fighting to be at Torchwood Three despite the new nightmares he knew it would bring, losing Lisa, loving Jack, losing Owen, losing Tosh…now losing himself.
"Ianto? Ianto? Don't go, don't leave me, please! Please, don't!"
Those words broke his heart. He last felt Jack's body slump against him, as their inner lights left them.