A/N: This was originally written as a companion piece to a Jack/Ianto video I made to Cosmic Love by F&tM.
And something inside him just broke in that moment, and he was sobbing, heaving out great wracking sobs, as he slid down the wall that had only a minute ago been doing a good job of keeping him upright. His head fell back thudding against the rough, clay bricks behind him, and he poured out the grief that battered against him. And he sobbed. He sobbed for his loss, he sobbed as his heart shattered and he sobbed, against all logic, with relief.
She was dead.
And his relief was palpable.
A sound reached his ears and his hands fisted tight. They didn't care. No one cared. He cleaned up their shit, no questions asked. And in return they had never enquired after him. They had never asked. They never thought to. He was invisible. He was shit on their shoes. He was nothing. His fingers itched. His hands fisted, nails digging painfully into his palms. Something wet. Red. Iron. And the noise sharpened, high, painful to his already much abused ears. A wail, a keening and then... Laughter? They were laughing? They had done this to her. To him. And now they were chuckling to themselves at a job well done.
His heart twisted, clenched tight. His throat hitched as he struggled to breathe. He couldn't find enough air. There was so little air left for him. It was then that he realised. He heard the hysterical bark of laughter wrenching itself from his sore throat. He had gone to enormous lengths to save her and then he had killed her anyway. The irony was acute. The things he had done, only for it to end like this. So he laughed. Gruesome, derisive laughter hoarsely eked out of a body that had nothing else to give. There was nothing left for him. He wished, oh how he wished he could beg for an end to all this. He had been nothing until her.
And now he was nothing again.
Success had eluded him. And now hope slinked away behind an endless future blanketed by darkness. It had to end here.
It would end here.
His eyes slid shut, a barrier against the cruel world he had encountered more than he should have in his twenty three years of life. The sobbing and laughter had long since stopped only for that familiar tickle to begin again as tears slid silently down his burning cheeks, squeezed out of tear ducts that surely had no more tears to give. He raised his hand to wipe them away in a futile gesture.
Soft, feather light strokes against his skin, soothing away the burning salt of the tears. His eyes opened slowly, as if afraid of what he would see and met that oh so familiar azure gaze, only marginally brighter than his own. Just that whisper of a touch and that minute hint of something in those eyes and he felt that doused hope rekindle itself. A tiny ember that would guide him.
When he was ready.