Hi guys! New story! This one's more serious than my other works. Not that there won't be any humour, it's just that I'm trying to do a deep character analysis (kinda) The pairings are all canon though there might be a bit more janto :) But then, that's something you people wouldn't mind, right?

A million thanks to my beta HydroJen for her help. She thinks this is better than 'Paradise Lost' so I hope you guys like it as well

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Torchwood, the characters or anything else that you can recognize.

Darkness is all I see

The air seems to be closing in on me

I scream out, trying to find a way

A way out, out of this place

Everywhere, fear stands tall

From far away, a voice calls

The cold creeps through my skin

Yet it feels like I'm burning

A cavern so damp and deep

Loneliness, no company to keep

So many sorrows and guilts quell

I thrash my arms, call out for help

I'm falling,

I'm falling into the Darkness

Ianto Jones was throwing the last bit of garbage into the bin when Jack called out. "Ianto, my office, now." There was no anger in the voice, no commanding tone, just the detachment. Maybe, it was pain being disguised by indifference but the Welshman couldn't have cared less.

He knew this was coming. With heavy steps, he made his way to the Captain office wondering whether he would be killed or Retconned. Most probably, it'd be Retcon, if Jack wanted to kill him he'd have done that when he killed Lisa. Lisa, it hurt to think of her, his wounds were too fresh. But he put it all aside as he went to receive his punishment, the punishment for daring to love.

When he entered the office, Jack was seated behind his desk, elbows resting on the wooden table, hands entwined.

"Sir?" Ianto said, stepping in.

"Sit down Ianto," Jack said, gesturing to the chairs opposite to the immortal. Taking a deep breath he looked at Ianto. Keep it short, don't show any emotion, don't make it sound too harsh, he thought to himself as he proceeded to tell the Welshman of his suspension. "You have been suspended from Torchwood for a month. The first Monday after that, I want you here in the Hub on time," he said a finality in his voice. But on afterthought, he added - "And, don't bother with dinner tonight, I'll stop by at your flat in the evening with something. Now go home, rest for a while"

The tone of Jack's voice left no room for argument. Ianto gave a quick nod and left. He did not let his tears show until he was back at his apartment.


As soon as Ianto left his office, shutting the door behind him, Jack slumped into his chair. He held his head in his hands, still unable to believe that Ianto had been betraying him all this while. All those flirtatious 'sirs', their light banter full of innuendoes, those seemingly accidental, feathersoft touches - they were all false.

At first, the Captain had been angry. He'd trusted Ianto the most, in all of his team. Not just because they were on their way to shagging, but because he'd liked the man himself. Ianto Jones had intrigued him, excited him but at the same time, this was the very man who brought Jack back on earth when he got too self-absorbed and uncaring. No, they might never have shouting matches like with Owen or any long disagreements like Gwen, he never gave silent disapproving looks like Toshiko or angry, powerful comments like Suzie. Ianto made him realize his mistakes just by that light smile and calm look. He always knew what Jack wanted, bringing him his coffee just a moment before the call of 'Ianto' left the Captain's lips, getting all his clothes dry-cleaned, getting the archives in perfect order - retrieving information from the Torchwood files had never been easier in Jack's tenure. The perfect butler, the one who listened to him when Jack felt like pouring out his melancholic memories out, Ianto Jones was the one he could have relied on. In fact, this fiasco made Jack wonder how faithful the rest of his team was?

But as he sat alone in his office, the anger gave way to sadness and confusion.

Jack realized that Ianto had been right. Did he ever care to say - 'Morning Ianto' or 'How are you today, Ianto?" No, he never did. Ianto was always there for the team but they'd never been there for him. No one ever cared about the man. The youngest member of the team, who'd seen so much death, destruction, pain in such a young age.

He grieved for Ianto's loss. He understood the power of love and all that it could make you do. He knew how far one could go to protect their love. It was always the same. As cliché as it might sound, hadn't Romeo and Juliet died for each other? There were very few men who could sacrifice someone they truly loved for the sake of greater good. Wasn't he himself alive today because Rose had loved him?

No, what Ianto did was not a crime. If he punished the Welshman for what he did, it would be an insult, it would be a crime in itself. All it would do was end Ianto's faith in love. How could he punish him for loving someone with all his heart?

Gwen said it'd be the best to Retcon him and let him lead a normal life. But Jack couldn't do that. He couldn't let Ianto go, he knew that the Welshman was special. Owen and Tosh both felt that Ianto deserved a second chance. He knew that they both felt that Ianto had been right. They treated him like shit, even though it was unknowingly. After talking to the team, Jack had come to the decision of suspending Ianto. This would give the archivist some time to grieve as well as to get ready for a new life.

He'd make it a point to visit him daily and understand the real man behind those suits.


Toshiko sat at her desk, unable to concentrate on the program she'd been working on. Her mind kept drifting to thoughts of Ianto. He'd been so right, he cleaned their shit, without any conditions, but they never gave him a thought. She'd just ignored him all this while. Never cared to say thanks when she got her favourite cookies with the coffee. No, she treated him like he was invisible. How could she have been so cold? The Japanese girl knew that Jack would give him another chance. This time, she promised herself, she'd make amends.


Owen threw away his latex gloves into the bin as he finished the autopsy. He couldn't help feel sorry for Ianto. He knew he hadn't treated him well. The others just forgot about him but he? He'd always remembered the young Welshman and made it a point to send a spiteful comment his way, just for sake of some fun. Had they been more considerate, maybe Ianto would have thought of asking them for help. But sadly, they had not been so.

Hell, Owen had been Ianto's doctor! He should have been attentive enough to see any signs of tension, PTSD or anything! In fact, considering the situation, Owen should have been the one to help out the young man. Had he himself not suffered the same loss? Ianto losing Lisa was the same as him losing Katie. However, the past was gone but he'd make sure to set things right this time. Yes, he would, because life rarely gave you a chance to redeem your actions. Now that he had a chance, he wouldn't let it go.


Gwen sat at her workstation, recalling the recent incidents. So much had chanced in such little time. She'd felt so many emotions, all at the same time - fear, anger, grief and even arousal. The cyberwoman placing her in the conversion unit, Ianto's betrayal, Jack dying, being caught in the morgue drawer with Owen, his hard-on digging in her thigh, Ianto hitting Jack, Jack threatening to execute Ianto, Ianto sitting by the dead cyberwoman, her conversstion with Jack, there was a myriad of sentiments flowing inside her. When she asked Jack if he'd really have shot Ianto, she could make out the fallacy in his answer, and she couldn't help feeling a bit jealous; why it was so, she did not know. She urged Jack to Retcon Ianto, let him lead a better life, devoid of the daily horrors they witnessed but she knew from the look in his eyes that he wouldn't do it. Unable to make any sense out of the thoughts running through her mind, she just lay her head down on her desk and closed her eyes.


Tears rolled down Ianto's cheeks, unashamedly as he sat on the floor of his bedroom, slumped against the wall. Again and again, he went through the photo albums, unable to believe that she was gone. His Lisa, who he had loved with all his heart, would never talk to him again. He could hear her laugh in his head, see that beautiful smile as if she was there with him, feel the touch of her skin against his own.

How she had smiled and said yes immediately when he finally found the courage to ask her out, how they'd walked hand in hand before Ianto dropped her home after their first date, how she would blush and pout when she saw Ianto staring at her, he ran through all the memories. Memories were all he had now that Jack had so ruthlessly made him kill his love. Anger flared inside him as he relived the moment of Lisa's death. But somehow, Ianto could bring himself to hate Jack. However, his mind was too much in distress to ask questions of what, why and how. So he just lay there, the album clutched to his chest.


So, what say? Review and let me know :)