Title : Survival
Author : Nemainofthewater
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognise. It all belongs to the BBc.
Warnings: Spoilers for 'Cyberwomen'.
The prey ran; fear and disbelief on his face, breathes explosive blasts, almost doubled over in agony as the stitch he had protested with every footstep.
Behind him, the hunter ran; seemingly as unstoppable as a force of nature, a gun in his hand and his greatcoat whipping behind him.
12 hours earlier
"Where is he?"
"A Mr. Ianto Jones, an employee of yours."
"At home probably. He's under suspension."
"And that is your decision to make?"
"As leader of Torchwood 3, it is."
"Actually no Captain, it isn't. It is up to Torchwood 4, and we have decided that this transgression deserves the severest penalty. Enforced, of course, by the wronged party."
"You can't be serious."
"Oh, but we are. Deadly."
"And what makes you think that we'll cooperate?"
Don't look back...Don't look back...Don't look back...
The mantra pounded itself into Ianto's skull with every step he took. He had been chased from his apartment an hour earlier by Jack, who had taken a long time to batter his door down. Ianto didn't care why he'd done that; instinct kicked in, and he let himself out the backdoor and started running.
He hadn't stopped since.
Earlier that Day
"I'm sorry Tosh. We have no choice."
"We can't do it to him Jack! He made a mistake, we've all made mistakes!"
"Damn it, Tosh I know, but we don't have a choice."
"Of course we have a choice. We ignore them. There are four of us and one of him and this is our territory."
"You don't understand. Torchwood 4 disappeared years ago, but before it did, it was the enforcer of Torchwood law. That meant that if one of us even thought of stepping out of line, they would come, and they would punish. Then they disappeared into a timelock of their own making, and only come out to deal with the severest cases."
"I still don't understand."
"Tosh, you've been poisoned. No, don't interrupt me. It was in your coffee this morning, and if I had to choose between you and Ianto, I'd choose you."
"No Tosh listen. He brought a cyberman into our base. It could have taken over the world. I'm not denying that he did it for a good reason, but he did it. And now, because of that, he's forcing me to kill him!"
"Kill him! You're going to kill him!"
"He's my employee, my responsibility."
"There has to be another way."
"No, look; you go along with it at the moment. They'll monitor you from here, right? I'll get Owen to analyse some of my blood, figure out an antidote. Then as soon as we find it, we'll jump the guy, and Ianto'll be safe."
"That's an awful plan, but it might be the only one we've got. But Tosh, if it comes down to it, if you don't find the antidote in time, I choose you."
Ianto ran into the alleyway, cursing as he spotted the dead end. He turned around to face Jack.
"Do it." he said.
He backed up against the wall and spread his arms out. He closed his eyes, and he would have appeared calm apart from his hands, clenched into fists. It was the suspense that he hated, not knowing when the shot was going to be fired.
And his stomach exploded with pain...
...and, oh God it hurt...
...and his vision started blurring...
Jack stood beside him, tears making their way silently down his cheeks, as he grieved for te young man who had never realised his potential; and never would.
A beeping filled the air, and Tosh's voice spoke in his ear.
"Jack we've found it. Bring him home."
With a speed that astonished even him, he dropped to the floor and felt for a pulse, one hand already dialling 999.
It was there. The pulse was faint, but it was there.
"Come on Ianto," he whisered. "Live."