Bit of a long one, this. I got major writers block on my other fic, A Grand Day Out, so this is making up for that fact. Enjoy. (I do not own Torchwood, but I wish I did!)
The Torchwood Three team filed into the conference room. Ianto immediately walked to the back of the room, making coffee. He shuffled around, making everyone's favourite brews. He gave them to everyone, and then sauntered over to a seat near the end of the table, yawning and putting his head on the table.
'Late night Ianto?' asked Tosh.
Ianto jumped, lifting his head off the table. His eyes looked raw, as if he had been rubbing them and he stifled another yawn.
'No, no, I just feel overly tired at the moment' sighed Ianto, yawning. The yawn quickly spread.
'Thanks Ianto' said Owen, yawing deeply. He scowled at the young Welshman, who yawned again, his breath coming out in shuddering rasps.
'Your welcome Owen' said Ianto, his voice muffled by the fact that his head was back on the table.
They all looked around as Jack came bounding into the room.
'Well, today, as Tosh tells me, there is no Rift activity. So that means, boys and girls, today is a free day. Go home and do things. Fun things.' Jack smiled at his team. Owen let out a whoop and fled from the room, before Jack could change his mind. Tosh smiled and walked slowly out.
'Great and Rhys has got work today' growled Gwen also make her way out of the room.
'And then there was two' Jack turned to look at the last member of his team. Ianto Jones was busy collecting the half- drunk cups of coffee from the table, putting them in a small bowl to wash them up. Jack watched as the young man nearly dropped a cup, trying the stifle another yawn. He put the cups down and stretched, his eyes closed.
'Yup' Jack leaned back in his chair, his hands behind his head. 'Don't you ever stop cleaning?' he asked as Ianto straightened a book on the shelf. He laughed as Ianto shrugged, pushing the book neatly.
Ianto tried to step past Jack, but grinned as Jack caught him around the waist, fingers twisted in his belt, pulling him closer. 'Just you and me Mr. Jones.' Smiled Jack.
'Yeah. Whatever will we do with so much time on our hands?' asked the young Welshman, his hands around the older American's shoulders, stifling yet another yawn.
'I can think of a few things' whispered Jack, leaning in and kissing Ianto passionately. Ianto kissed back, cupping the captain's cheek in his hand. Jack reached up and put his hands around Ianto's head, ruffling his hair. He pulled Ianto closer.
They both broke apart, staring at the door. Owen was stood there, his mouth slightly agape, but holding his ground. Ianto straightened up, grabbing his bowl of cups and hastily backing out the door.
Jack sighed loudly and stood up. 'Owen you have an annoying habit of ruining the perfect moment' he scolded the Londoner. Owen shrugged.
'He didn't have to leave' sulked Owen ruefully. 'Just letting you know I'm leaving that autopsy for tomorrow. I'm gonna leave it on ice. Just in case you wonder what it was still doing on the table.'
'Yup, ok' Jack smiled at the young medic.
Owen nodded and walked out of the room.
Jack stared after him, wondering where Ianto had got to. He sighed and shook his head, making his own way out of the boardroom. He walked slowly down the metal gantry. He walked over to Ianto's station. 'Ianto?' he called. He turned the corner. 'Ianto!' he shouted, throwing himself on the ground. The Welshman was lying flat on the ground, shaking violently, his eyes wide and staring. Jack grabbed his head, checking he was breathing. 'Owen! Gwen! Tosh!' he screamed, fortunately finding a pulse. He heard three sets of footsteps running to him. 'Oh my God!' shouted Gwen. Ianto started moaning, his hands flailing. Jack caught one and held it tight. Owen bent down and looked him over. Ianto moaned louder, his free hand clutching his head. 'Is he in pain?' asked Jack. Owen shrugged.
'Get him up to the bay' ordered Owen. He and Jack grabbed Ianto under the arms and hauled him up. Ianto continued moaning, grabbing hold of Jack's shoulder and gripping tightly. 'God' he moaned. 'It hurts' They reached the autopsy table, laying Ianto down. He immediately bent over, holding his stomach and gasping for breath. 'What's wrong with him?' asked Tosh in a concerned voice.
'This part is always the hardest'
Jack spun around. There, standing on the little balcony above the bay, was Billis Manger.
'What have you done to Ianto?' he growled. The old man looked sad as he walked down to join them.
'I am using him' said Billis simply. He cocked his head as Ianto writhed and let out a pitiful moan.
'My head' he said quietly. Jack strode over and took his hand.
'What do you mean 'using him'?' asked Gwen.
'I am gifted with the power that i can control flesh and blood. You yourself have felt my power.' He was cut off as Ianto cried out again.
'The process is nearly complete.' Said Billis. He bent over Ianto, but Jack put himself in front of him. 'No closer' he hissed.
Suddenly Ianto made a large rasping noise and suddenly fell limp, his eyes closing.
'Have you killed him?' whispered Tosh.
'No. He isn't dead' said Billis softly. 'I can wake him up' he clicked his fingers and slowly Ianto's eyes opened.
'Oh my God' whispered Gwen.
Ianto's eyes were milky white. He had no pupils and his eyes were flicking from side to side. Jack stared at Ianto in horror, his mouth open. 'What the hell have you done to him?' he whispered. Billis looked sadly at him for a few seconds before looking back down at Ianto.
'I have control of him now' he said quietly.
'You can't do that!' hissed Jack. He stared into Ianto's white eyes, terrified.
'Yeah' put in Owen, 'you can't just take over our bodies Willy nilly.'
'Oh but i can' smiled Billis. He clicked his fingers and suddenly Owen fell limp. He lay on the floor, unable to move. Billis clicked his fingers again and Owen slowly clambered to his feet.
'But only for a short amount of time. But now, with my conquest of Ianto Jones' he motioned over to Ianto, who was still milky eyed and staring. 'I have the ability to control him full time. The tiredness was just the beginning. You've done this yourself Jack. Countless times i have asked to have access to your Hub, but you have refused. Now i can finally get what i want.' He smiled and clicked his fingers. Gwen watched as Ianto sat up. Then he swung his legs off the table and stood on the floor. Jack stared wordlessly at him. 'Ianto?' he whispered. He cupped his lovers face in his hands.
'No touching Jack' said Billis. Ianto suddenly gripped Jack's hands and pulled them off his face. His face showed no emotion at all. He was eerily calm. He then grabbed Jack by his lapels, shoving him to the floor.
'Ianto it's me!' shouted Jack from the floor.
'He can't hear you Jack. He can't talk, hear, smell, or feel. He is but a puppet of flesh.'
'Can you reverse it?' asked Gwen. She pulled Jack off the floor, staring at Ianto.
'Of course' Billis clicked his fingers and life suddenly returned to Ianto Jones.
'Jack!' he cried hoarsely. Jack rushed forward.
'Oh God Jack it hurts. So bad' whispered Ianto. He was shaking, but now he had colour in his eyes. He looked around him, fearfully. 'It's just full of light. It's blinding and scorching, Jack' he looked Jack in the face, his eyes pleading with him. 'Make it stop' he whispered. Jack looked like he was fighting an inner battle; he was grinding his teeth in anger and was having trouble not crying.
'I will make it stop' he vowed to Ianto, putting his hands on his shoulders.
Ianto smiled at him.
'Enough of that' hissed Billis. He clicked his fingers and Ianto cried out once before his eyes went milky and he stared straight ahead.
Jack rounded on Billis. 'Why him?' he challenged. Billis shrugged.
'It could have been any of them' he said, motioning to Gwen, Owen and Tosh. 'But this one is closer to your heart'
Jack ground his teeth again. 'What do you want?' whispered Jack.
Billis smiled widely. 'Open the Rift and i will let Ianto go' he said.
A spasm crossed Jack's face. 'You're joking' he finally choked.
Billis shook his head. 'Either open the Rift or i will kill Ianto Jones'
'You said you couldn't kill him!' Owen shouted.
'Oh no, no i didn't' said Billis sweetly. 'I said i didn't kill him, not that i cannot'
He turned back to Jack. 'Well?'
Jack looked from him to Ianto. He sighed and shouted into the air in frustration. He composed himself. 'I can't' he whispered. 'Isn't there something else you want? A day all access in the Hub?' he asked desperately.
Billis shook his head. 'No i have asked for that too many times and too many times i have been refused. This is more to my liking now. But if the answer is no...' he smiled evilly, clicking his fingers. Suddenly Ianto was choking. He eyes had colour and was grasping his throat. 'Now i will kill him'
Jack and Owen darted to Ianto, who was gasping for breath, his eyes wide and panicky. Owen looked over him. 'For Gods sake Jack, what are we gonna do?' he hissed.
'I don't know, i don't know!' cried Jack, holding Ianto's head. His Ianto was dying. Ianto's eyes bore holes into his own, silently pleading, bulging in their sockets.
'Jack, there is still time' Billis was suddenly at Jack's side.
'I can't open the Rift, not after what happened last time' Billis shook his head.
'He doesn't mean very much to you then?' he asked.
'He means everything to me!' growled Jack. Ianto made spluttering noises before he stopped breathing completely. 'Jack!' screamed Gwen. Jack looked down at Ianto as Owen started giving him mouth to mouth.
'It won't work' warned Billis. Owen carried on, trying to keep Ianto breathing.
'Jack the clock is ticking' warned Billis. Jack looked into his eyes.
'Jack I'm losing him!' shouted Owen.
'Jack?' crooned Billis. Jack looked hatefully at him.
'Jack, he's gone' whispered Owen.
'Fine' said Jack. 'Open it'
'Thank you' Billis turned around and walked to the exit.
'Are you just going to leave?'
'I've got what i wanted'
'What about Ianto?' screamed Gwen.
'Oh yes, the Welsh boy' Billis clicked his fingers.
Jack looked down as Ianto let out a huge gasp and lurched to the side. He tumbled off the table and fell to the floor, breathing very heavily. His eyes were wide and staring and his hands were flailing. Owen grabbed one hand while Jack grabbed the other.
'Remember our deal' warned Billis. He walked slowly out of the Hub.
'We'll get after him' said Gwen and Tosh. They ran out, intent on finding Billis.
Owen bent over Ianto, who was still breathing heavily.
'Jack... Owen' he breathed.
'Shh don't talk' soothed Owen.
Ianto took in some small deep breaths and tried again.
'Where'd he go?'
'He left' said jack, who was bent over him, smiling. 'Gone'
'Good' Ianto coughed. He looked up at Owen. The Londoner had sweat on his forehead and he was also breathing hard. 'Thank you Owen' he smiled.
'Couldn't let you die could i?' joked Owen. 'Who'd make my coffee?'
'Jack we lost him' Gwen and Tosh ran into the room.
'We'll find him' vowed Jack, still holding Ianto's hand.
Remember our deal Billis's voice rang around the Hub.
'Stuff your deal' shouted Owen.
Ianto gasped and Jack looked down. Ianto was staring at him. His eyes were white and staring.
Ianto smiled slowly, looking demonic.
'Jack, come away' Gwen dragged him up and they all looked down at Ianto, who was staring at each of them in turn.
'Ianto, mate' Owen reached down to him.
'He is no longer Ianto Jones' the voice came out of Ianto, but it wasn't his. It was Billis.
'In a better place.'
'What does that mean?'
'It means nothing to you, but everything to him. Open it Jack. And I'll let him go.'
'Can you do that?'
Ianto let out a shuddering gasp and blinked furiously, colour slowly leaking back into his eyes.
'Its hell!' he gasped. Jack took his hands. 'Burning, scorching. The screaming Jack. Just endless screams.' He looked terrified. He gasped again as his eyes turned milky.
'Open it Jack' said Billis through Ianto.
'I cant!' shouted Jack.
'Then i will kill him'
Ianto stopped and put his hands on his hips, evidently Billis was thinking. 'Be warned Captain Jack Harkness. Today it may not happen, but it will. And you will never know.' Ianto smiled and began walking away.
'Wait!' called Jack.
'See this' Ianto clicked his fingers and suddenly the Torchwood three team were in a red room, full of screams and fire.
As quick as they arrived the room disappeared. The girls had their hands on their head and Owen and Jack were breathing heavily.
Ianto spoke. 'That is the world that Ianto will now be a part of. He will be endlessly tortured by these visions and sounds. Until you open the rift.'
Suddenly Ianto fell to the ground. His eyes had colour and he had his hands clamped to his head, his eyes wide and staring.
Jack ran over to him and knelt down. Ianto didn't acknowledge him coming closer, his just looked around wildly. 'Ianto?'
But Ianto ignored him. 'Jack!' he shouted. 'Owen! Anyone!' he couldn't hear himself over to screams that were in his head and needed someone to hear him. Jack tried to catch his flailing hands, but Ianto whimpered when they touched and moved away.
'Jack, dammit where are you?!' he screamed, looking around desperately.
Jack felt the tears fall down his face, and sat back on his haunches. He watched Ianto, who had his eyes clamped shut, whimpering as vision of hell played through his brain.
'Ianto!' he shouted.
'Jack he can't hear you' whispered Owen, who had knelt down next to him. He reached out and touched Ianto's shoulder. Ianto whimpered and hissed in pain, trying desperately to move away.
'He hurts when you try to touch him' he said in disgust.
'We have to open the rift' stated Jack. Owen looked at him in shock.
'No, Jack we can't! Not after last time!'
'What choice to I have!' yelled Jack. 'It's either that or... or' he gestured at Ianto. 'This' he said simply.
'There has to be something else we can do'
'Have you got any bright ideas then?' Owen looked at him, thinking hard.
'We're gonna have to bargain with Billis. It's the only way. We can't afford to open the rift.'
Jack looked sadly down at Ianto, who was whimpering and flicking his head from side to side. His fault, Billis had said. This was happening to Ianto because of him. Watching Ianto he felt his heart break.
'Jack!' Owen poked him in the shoulder to get his attention. 'We can try the all day access bargain with him again. That's what he was after in the first place.' He shrugged helplessly and fell silent.
'Jack!' Ianto shouted out again. Where the hell was Jack? Why was he not helping him? He turned his head and facing the fire. There was so much fire, burning so bright, threatening to engulf him. He tried to keep his breathing normal. He tried not to panic too much. But where was Jack? Why would he abandon him? Did he mean nothing?
And how the hell did he get here? The last thing he could remember was pushing Jack to the ground and then asking him to help him. Then nothing.
He felt around on the floor, surprised that his hands did not burn when they touched the flame. Strange. He crawled along on his hands and knee's until he hit his head on something. A chair leg. He frowned and slowly felt his way up to the desk, hauling himself up. He smiled despite himself. He wasn't in Hell at all. It was all in his head.
Owen watched sadly as Ianto began to move away from them, slowly crawling across the floor. Jack had moved to follow him, but Owen had held him back; Ianto needed his space. He watched and winced as Ianto hit his head on the desk and slowly started climbing up, using his hands as guides. He craned his neck and noted with some curiosity that Ianto was smiling. He frowned and looked at Jack, who stood up and made his way over to Ianto, watching his face intently.
Ianto stood up and let his hands wander over the desk top. His fingers found a keyboard and he realised that he was still in the Hub. He pushed off from the table and slowly walked forwards. He knew every inch of the Hub; it was his job. He could get anywhere in the dark, in case of emergency's. He shuffled forwards, intent on finding something else to latch onto.
Jack smiled as Ianto walked towards him. He stood still and let Ianto come closer. He tried not to touch him. He didn't want to hurt him anymore.
Ianto kept walking, with his arms outstretched and felt his fingertips touch something soft. It sent a weird feeling running up his arms, as if he had just immersed himself in a bucket full of ice. He gritted his teeth and pushed his hands flat against the soft thing. He frowned. He could see that his hands were covered by flame, but he could definitely feel something soft. He moved his hands upwards and suddenly the texture changed. Now it felt silky and smooth. Like skin, Ianto noted. His arms were going slightly numb but he carried on. He let his fingertips brush upwards until they were stopped by something harder, but still as soft. A jaw line. He kept going and he felt as his fingers ghosted over a pair of lips. Ianto would know (and feel) that face anywhere. He smiled and murmured 'Jack'.
Under his hands, he felt Jack nod. This meant he could hear him.
'Ianto?' breathed Jack. Ianto gave no sign that he could hear him. 'Owen, I think he's worked out what is happening.' Owen walked over to him.
'Do you reckon he could come out of it? By himself, I mean. He seems more lucid now. Maybe he could break Billis's hold on him.'
Jack was about to answer, but was cut off when Ianto spoke.
'Jack? I reckon you can hear me, but if you can't this means I'm rambling on to myself.' He gave a small smile. 'Look, I'm ok, as far as I can tell. My arms are going numb because I'm touching you, but other than that I'm good. The screams are really loud though, so I apologise if I'm shouting. I can feel my way around the Hub, which means that this vision of hell is just that. A vision. This means that this is in my head. Like my head wasn't full of rubbish anyway. '
Owen snorted and shook his head.
Ianto twitched and looked around, shaking his head as if he had something in his eyes. 'I can see... things. Shapes.' He stopped and watched some more. He screwed his eyes up as if he was concentrating really hard on something and then they snapped open, wide and staring. He blinked and looked around.
Ianto blinked and shook his head. He could definitely see something coming into focus. He screwed his eyes up concentrating really hard on his own visions of the Hub, of Jack. He opened them. He could see everything. Back to normal. He could see Jack into front of him, watching him.
'Hey' he said his hand still on Jack's face.
Jack didn't say anything, but a smiled played on his lips. Ianto smiled back and rolled his eyes.
'I can hear you, you know.' Jack started.
'Ianto? Ianto? Are you ok?'
Ianto nodded. 'Slightly scared but other than that fine.' He smiled at him and then at Owen.
'What brought you out? The medic asked.
Ianto shrugged. 'Don't know. I suppose once I realised it was all in my head it lost its effect on me. It was all in my head.'
'You are wrong!' Their heads whipped around and they were amazed to see Billis Manger walking towards them, seething in anger.
'This is wrong!' he shouted again, marching up to Ianto, staring up at the taller man. 'How could you disperse my vision? It was impenetrable; there was no way that could have happened.'
'Well it did' deadpanned Ianto.
'Indeed' sneered Billis. He stopped thoughtfully. 'You are something else. Something wrong. You are not right.'
Ianto gulped and looked at Jack, who shrugged back.
'One day' cautioned Billis 'I will find out why. And then I will be back. Only someone with psychic training could have dispersed my vision.'
'Ah' Ianto held up a finger. 'That's because I have. Yvonne made sure all of her staff had psychic training. Up to level 10. To help prepare against psychosomatic aliens that might come through. Which they didn't. I got up to level 15.' He looked at Billis. 'And that was only because I was interested in it. I found that if concentrated enough on the Hub, then I could break your vision. It was how I was trained to do it.'
Billis turned defiantly to Jack. 'Open the rift.'
'No' said Jack simply.
'Fine' Billis puffed himself up and walked closer to him. 'One day, I will be back. And you WILL open the rift.' He smiled slowly and walked out, carefully not looking back.
'Why would he let us go that easily?' Wondered Owen out loud.
'I dunno. But we had better be on our guard from now on.' Jack reached out to Ianto, who was looked much like his former self; he straightened his tie and wiped the dust from his trousers, which he had picked up from crawling on the floor.
He took Jack's outstretched hand and let himself be drawn into a gentle embrace, Jack putting his hand behind his head, massaging his neck with his thumb.
'You ok?' Jack whispered.
Ianto nodded. 'Where are Tosh and Gwen?' He craned his neck and saw them standing next to Owen, looking at him worriedly. 'I'm ok' he told them, smiling bravely. They nodded and walked over and hugged him. Owen snorted loudly and joined in, laughing out 'GROUP HUG!'
Later in the bunker beneath Jack's office, Jack draped an arm around Ianto's waist, pulling him close through the bed sheets. He kissed the top of his head and breathed in deeply.
'I don't smell bad Jack' Jack smiled as Ianto spoke.
'I know' He felt Ianto move into a more comfortable position and fall back into a deep sleep. He smiled again and kissed him yet again. 'Your ok. Your fine. I'll keep you safe.'
He smiled and turned his head, so he was resting his chin on Ianto's shoulder. They fell asleep like that together, soothed to sleep by the gentle sound of each others breathing.
There you go. I hope you liked it. I though it worked better like this rather than loads of chapters. A bit of a soppy ending, but I like that sort of thing.
Please, please review. I'd love to know what you all think, good or bad.