A/N: This idea just came to me today, and I had to write it down. I will probably continue it, but because this is my first attempt at writing a fic that has only canon characters in it, I won't make any promises about how fast I will continue. Please review and tell me what you think, and if you are interested to read more, tell me. This will be sort of a COE fix!it fic.
Huge thanks to Kausingkayn for beta reading this chapter! She's amazing.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC. Cover art by Mad-Hattie. I do gain any profit from writing this.
He's lying there, in Jack's arms, gasping for breath as death tightens its grip on him. Jack looks down at him, tears in his eyes, desperately cradling his body closer and rocking him soothingly.
"It's all my fault," Jack sobs.
"No, it's not." Jack shouldn't be blaming himself.
"Don't speak; save your breath," Jack says, and touches his face gently.
He knows that he only has moments left, so he says it. He knows he shouldn't, that it will only hurt Jack more, but he has to say it.
"I love you."
He can see Jack shaking his head. "Don't."
Everything gets blurry. There's a silence, and for a moment he just hears Jack breathing in gasps and hovering over him. Then a voice is calling him, Jack, shaking him, willing him to stay awake.
"Ianto. Ianto? Ianto, stay with me. Ianto, stay with me please – stay with me, stay with me, please!" His eyelids start feeling heavy, but he refuses to shut them yet, as he knows that it will be for the last time. He glances upwards, eyes filled with tears.
"Hey," he breathes."It was... good, yeah?"
"Don't forget me."
"Never could." Jack's fighting the sobs now.
"A thousand year's time... You won't remember me." His lover is silent, breathing in broken gasps, the tears falling down his face. Jack sounds broken. He's the man who can't be fixed.
"Yes I will. I promise, I will," Jack says desperately, and he has to fight to hear the words. The pain is breaking him, he feels his death coming... A blip in time... Broken... He's aware of Jack chanting his name as he closes his eyes. Then the darkness consumes him, for the final time.
He wakes up. Gasping, he lays there, frozen in place as his brain slowly tries to comprehend what the hell just happened. He died. Then he woke up. After dying.
Ianto Jones gasps for a few moments before sitting up, looking around and realizing that he is in his flat. Just his ordinary flat. Is this what heaven is like? Trapped in ordinary and boring apartments, for all eternity, all alone. He looks down and notices that he's wearing his own pyjamas. Actually, his old pyjamas, the ones he had thrown away almost a year ago. What a strange choice of clothing for the afterlife.
He touches his face. Yep, he definitely feels alive, but how could he really know? It's not like he has died before. Wait, there's something different about his face. He can't feel the little scar he had there. Had it healed when he died?
He shrugs it off and finally stands up. The floor is cold, but he doesn't care. He just wanders through his apartment and heads for the bathroom. Maybe he has wings now. Wings and a halo. Or maybe horns and bat wings. He had done some pretty bad things after all. Working for Torchwood and all that.
But no, his reflection doesn't show any remarkable differences. He's only missing the little scar on his face; in it's place are circles under his eyes and the sickly pale-colored skin. He had almost forgotten looking like that once. Back then when Lisa had been... When Lisa was still hidden in the cellars under the hub, he had looked exactly like the person in the mirror.
While he's staring at his reflection his eyes widen a bit. Why would he look like this after dying? Why would he be reminded of her death? Is he in hell?
Absentmindedly he brushes his teeth, figuring that it couldn't do any harm whether he was in heaven or hell, and fixes his hair. Then he changes into his day clothes and wanders towards the kitchen. On the way, he notices something even stranger than a missing scar. The morning paper is lying on the floor before the front door. That's odd, he thinks. Morning papers in after life?
He picks it up on the way to the kitchen and out of habit, starts making coffee.
After he sits down and takes the first sip from a mug of excellent coffee, he glances down at the paper. And promply spits the coffee out. The date on the corner of the paper says clearly as day: 14th of July, 2007. The day he met Gwen for the first time.
Oh, he thinks. Maybe I am in hell after all.