A/N: Hey Guys! Okay, so those of you that do know my stories, you'll probably be surprised to see me writing a Torchwood Story. Those of you that know me, probably wont be as surprised. Those of you in the Torchwood Fandom that have come across this story, I hope I didnt do too much of a terrible job with these beloved characters. I love them too. Those regular readers, if you decide to read despite the fandom change, I hope you enjoy and thank you.
I want to thank Gareth David-Lloyd whose presence at Supanova Melbourne 2010 allowed me to catch on to the awesome thing that was Torchwood (I dont count the new series thank you) I would like to thank my mother and Angelustatt for their help and support. And I would like to say a big thank you to my wonderful friend Gaelicspirit for her betaring on this :) You rock!
All mistakes are my own. Now I'll shut up and let you read LOL
The Hub was quiet.
That was the first thing that Captain Jack Harkness noticed as the cog door slowly rolled open. It wasn't all that unusual for the Hub to be quiet. It was late afternoon after all and his team, if they hadn't left already, would probably be starting to make their way to their homes, leaving Jack alone. Things had been tense the last couple of days, every one working through what had happened with the Cyber Woman.
Ianto's Girlfriend, Jack reminded himself.
It still shocked Jack just how everything had gone to hell so fast. One minute it had been a normal day and the next they had been fighting for their lives against something one of their own had brought upon them. Ianto had made a mistake … a big one. And Jack hadn't let him off easy. In fact as told he hadn't seen the young man since he had sent him home two days before.
Well enough, Jack thought. He didn't want to see Ianto right now, anyway.
But it wasn't just because he was angry with what Ianto had done. In way, he could even understand Ianto's motives. Jack was angry with himself.
He was angry for not seeing it―for not seeing anything for that matter. He was angry because Ianto was right: he had been taking him for granted and in doing so allowed Ianto to use him to get what he needed which, ultimately, put them all at danger. And it was this last disaster that made Jack realise just how much he cared for the younger man. Jack had kept trying to tell himself it had been a casual fun fling … but if that were true then why did Ianto's deception hurt so much?
Ianto Jones had gotten under his skin. That was why.
Jack walked through the doorway and into the Hub's main area, a sudden feeling he couldn't explain washed over him … something unsettling. It sounded like a television on somewhere across the room. He didn't know why he hadn't picked up on the sound before but he could hear it now. Apparently not everyone had left for the day.
As Jack climbed the short amount of steps that lead to his team's workstations his stomach turned to ice. A massive sense of Déjà Vu hit him like a tidal wave. He gasped; he was frozen to the spot, shaking his head in denial at what was in front of him.
On the floor was Gwen Cooper … or what was left of her. Jack forced himself to approach, his legs feeling like lead. As he got closer, Jack swallowed thickly, his eyes wide, cold fingers of shock snaking along his skin.
Gwen was still, lying on her back, her head a mass of blood, hair and flesh like someone had pointed a gun right at the former police officer's head and pulled the trigger, creating a big bloody gap where her mouth and nose used to be. But that couldn't be right. Gwen was supposed to be heading home right about now, heading home to Rhys and probably an evening of bad TV. She wasn't supposed to be lying there with her head almost blown off.
Jack's hands hovered over Gwen's unmoving form, small tremors raced through them as he got close enough to touch but couldn't bring himself to actually do it. Guilt rushed in around his horror. Gwen was the newest addition to Torchwood. What the hell had he done by bringing her into the fold? He had recruited her and now she was dead.
What the hell had happened? Jack bit his lip, trying to ignore the burn of emotion travelling up his throat
Jack's head snapped up as he heard a sound—something crashing to the floor—in the otherwise quiet Hub. It had come from his office, and suddenly he could move again, worry for the rest of his team spurring Jack on, allowing him to push past the knot of dismay in his stomach
Jack moved quickly. Stopping by the railing just above the autopsy room, Jack reached inside his jacket for the Webley he always kept in a holster attached to his belt. He froze when his hand came up empty and he looked down. The holster was there but the gun? Was nowhere to be seen.
Where had he been before he had returned to the Hub to find his newest team member blown away? Why was he without his gun? Why the hellcouldn't he remember?
Everything was blurry now, real time replaced by the image of blood and gore and a harsh reminder of another time he had returned back to the Hub to find his team dead all around him. No … this couldn't be happening again. Not now, not with this team
He needed to move, to determine the fate of everyone else, but the world was clocking a slow spin around him. Jack stopped and put his hands on the railing, trying to balance himself, and looked down into the Autopsy room. His mouth went dry at the sight before him. Slumped down at the bottom of the stairs was Dr. Owen Harper, blood on his chest from an obvious bullet wound bright red against the stark white of his lab coat.
"No … Owen..."
Jack's gripped the railing so hard he thought it might crumble in his hands; his knuckle went white with the force of it. A cry for help snapped Jack out of his shock. He knew that voice. Two members of his team were still unaccounted for and that voice belonged to one of them.
Jack took the stairs to his office two at a time at a time before skidding to a stop just inside the doorway
The younger man's head snapped in his direction, his eyes wet and wild. Jack had seen that look too many times over his many lifetimes. It was the look of a man that had been pushed too far, a man balancing so precariously on the edge that one false step and he would tumble over.
"Jack!" Toshiko Sato sobbed; the IT genius was openly crying and shaking, backed up against the back wall of Jack's office. The look on her face was one of relief at Jack's arrival.
"Ianto," Jack said carefully, holding his hands out in a placating manner. "What? What is this? What are you doing?"
"You weren't supposed to be here yet, Jack. You weren't supposed to witness this."
Witness ..." Jack stopped, took in Toshiko, her fear and the gun pointed in her direction, held by none other than Ianto Jones himself. Jack's eyes widened, looking from Tosh to Ianto and then images of Gwen and Owen crashed into his mind and Jack finally grasped the insanity of the situation. Ianto had done this? His Ianto? "Ianto, put the gun down ..."
Ianto sniffed, his eyes and nose red from crying. Jack wouldn't have thought that so strange considering it had only been a couple of days since he and the rest of the Torchwood team had gunned down their colleague's cyber girlfriend. But Jack had never seen this coming. Never. He was still trying to wrap his head around it all.
"I can't, Jack. I can't." Ianto's grip was firm, his countenance calm despite the situation. That scared Jack more than anything.
"Yes, you can, Ianto. Just put the gun down and we'll talk about this."
Ianto gave a small desperate, choked laugh and shook his head. "There's nothing to talk about, Jack. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
Ianto, please ..." Toshiko pleaded, close to breaking point
Jack took a step forward but stopped when he saw Ianto flinch and tense, his hand flexing around the grip of the gun … but not just any gun. The gun Ianto was holding was his Webley. Ianto was using his gun.
Ianto took his eyes off Jack and looked back at Tosh, sorrow and anguish folding his face, shining from his eyes, wetness clinging to his lashes. "I'm sorry, Tosh. I never wanted to hurt any of you. This … this is the best way to save you all. I'm sorry ..."
Ianto's words ended in a small sob, his voice wavering, but he didn't wait any longer. Even as Toshiko was shaking her head, another plea for her life about to escape, Ianto pulled the trigger.
No!" Jack shouted, leaping at Ianto and tackling him to the ground even as his saw Toshiko's body slump to the floor, lifeless eyes now added to the everlasting shock on her face.
Ianto fought back with surprising strength, rolling on top of Jack; using that momentum and strength, Jack kept them going as they rolled along the floor.
It crossed Jack's mind for a split second that rolling on top of one another would have been considered fun and give promise for more in the future only a few days ago … before Lisa, before Jack learned that Ianto had been lying to him, using him … and the team. Before Jack had killed the woman Ianto loved right in front of him. Now, he was fighting with the boy for his own gun in the wake of his team's murder by one of their own.
Jack pulled back his arm, ready to land a punch to Ianto's jaw. Ianto was quicker though, blocking the move and following it up with a jab to the ribs and a knee to the groin. Jack howled, an automatic response to the pain and lost his grip on Ianto and the gun.
Ianto scrambled out from under Jack, gripping the Webley tightly as he pushed himself to his feet, aiming the gun at Jack. "Don't you get it, Jack?"
Crouched in a protective ball, Jack looked up at Ianto, wincing at the pain from his groin and the crazed look in Ianto's normally calm blue eyes. "Get what? You killed them. They were your friends!"
"That's why I had to kill them. I had to spare them this pain … I feel like I'm dying inside, Jack. It … hurts so badly. That's what Torchwood does to you. It kills you. I just wanted to spare them … spare them the pain of the inevitable."
"I'm sorry I can't to do the same for you, Jack." Ianto's words mirrored Alex's back on New Year's Eve 2000―right before he'd shot himself in the head. The former leader of Torchwood Three had believed they couldn't win against what was coming; he'd been scared and in one simple act of well-intentioned insanity he'd killed them all, the whole team … and then apologised to Jack before taking his own life.
The memory flashed before Jack's eyes just as he registered Ianto's hand rising toward his head, his thumb pulling back the hammer, ready to …
"Ianto, no!" Jack screamed, jumping up.
Jack's head snapped up and he looked around the room, blinking in confusion. He was still in his office in the Hub but he was no longer on the floor. He was sitting at his desk .
Twisting frantically in his chair, he looked for the horror he remembered to be nearby, but there was no sign of Toshiko's dead body. Jack stood quickly, his eyes searching the room and coming up with nothing out of the ordinary. No dead Tosh, no dead Ianto … nothing.
Jack heard voices coming from the main area of the Hub and his heart ached to the point that he actually brought his hand up to rub at his chest as he quickly made his way around his desk and over to the observation window. The relief that surged through him at the sight that greeted him left him weak.
Toshiko was turning off her computer as she spoke to a very alive Gwen and Owen―who was divesting himself of his lab coat and pulling on his black leather jacket. The small group continued chatting as they left the Hub, Tosh glancing up at him before walking through the opened cog doorway, offering him a small wave and a smile. Jack tried to reciprocate, watching them as they left all together.
They were alive. All three of them were alive.
Jack reached up and ran a hand through his hair, seeing the images of his dead friends merge with those of the friends he'd just seen walk out the door the moment he closed his eyes.
God, he'd been dreaming. He'd fallen asleep at his desk of all places. He'd fallen asleep. It was just a dream. Jack repeated the words over and over in his head to try and calm himself down.
Jack slumped back down into his chair and just sat there for a few moments, his head in his hands. Why both of those instances had come together to make one hell of a nightmare he didn't know, but he would be lying to himself if he said it hadn't rattled him.
But he knew Ianto and Ianto wouldn't do that. He wouldn't do what Alex had done.
Then again ... he had thought he had known Alex; he had never imagined that he would come back to the Hub one night to find that one of their own had killed them all. He had thought he knew Ianto, but he hadn't even guessed something was up. Ianto had been able to get a Cyber woman into his base without him even batting an eye. Ianto had kept himself hidden from them all.
Jack knew he'd screwed up as much as Ianto had done the wrong thing. Jack didn't believe that Ianto would ever do what had happened in his dream but part of it was true. Ianto was hurting and right now he was alone. Jack had sent him home to his empty apartment after making him clean up the mess he'd made. He'd been pissed off at the time and just wanted Ianto and the reminder of the lies out of his face, but now …
Jack reached down to feel for his Webley and his heart froze for a moment when he couldn't feel it in the holster, the memory of the dream hitting hard. Then he remembered where he was. Sliding open the desk drawer, Jack drew a relieved breath when he saw his trusty side arm was in its place in the drawer.
It was okay … only it wasn't okay.
Nothing was okay.
They had all paid a price in a harsh lesson with Ianto's actions. And Ianto was the one dealing with it all by himself.
Making a decision, Jack stood and grabbed his blue greatcoat off the coat rack, picked his gun up out of the drawer and slipped it into his holster and then strode out of his office and headed for the door.
He was going to start rectifying his mistakes. Ianto might have done the wrong thing but he'd done it for the right reasons and Jack was going to make sure that he wouldn't have to deal with his pain alone again.
They would get through this ... together.
A/N2: Thanks to all that read this. I really, really do appreciate your time :) If you want to slip me a review that would be beyond awesome. Love to hear all ya'll thoughts :)