A/N: Still haven't heard anything from my beta reader, so this is largely un-betaed.
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to BBC.
Warnings: Violence, cannibalism, M/M relationship
Chapter 18: Countrycide
Ianto was running. He could taste blood in his mouth. His breath was coming out in gasps and huffs and he felt like all the attention he had spent on getting into shape during the last months had been futile. He fumbled with his tied hands, trying to slip out of them, but the knot was too tight. Ianto swore under his breath but kept moving. He had to get to Jack. He had to run. He couldn't let them catch him. If they did, Toshiko would die.
Ianto stumbled on a tree root and almost fell, but as soon as he regained his footing again he was running again. He could hear them coming after him, shouting obscenities and threats into the cold air. Twigs were snapping under his feet and leaves shuffled around on the ground. It was dark, but he could see a small road coming closer and closer, until finally he reached it. To his relief, he ran straight in front of a police car that had been patrolling the area. He let out a sigh of relief. The police car halted to stop as its headlights reached him, and a man dressed in a police uniform stepped out, a torch in his hand.
"You all right, mate?" he asked, looking dubiously at Ianto's bloodied and ragged outfit.
"Please, you have to help me!" Ianto begged. "They're after me!" He struggled with his tied arms, his wrists felt incredibly sore. He felt a blinding jolt of pain as he moved his shoulder. It was probably dislocated.
That's when they came through the woods. Two ragged looking men, both carrying cricket bats, hunting knives tied to their belts. Ianto took a step closer to the police officer and turned around to face them, his face set with grim determination.
"Look what we've got 'ere," the first man chuckled.
"Looks like someone escaped, dunnit?"
The officer shone a light at the two men, and took out his bat. He turned to Ianto. "Don't worry, I can help."
"Untie me first," Ianto said in a hushed whisper, leaning in towards the officer while keeping an eye on the man who seemed to be hesitating. "They're dangerous."
"My own uncles, dangerous? What a joke! "
Ianto slowly turned, his eyes widening. "Uncles...?"
He barely saw the hit coming. His world went black and when he woke up, he was being dragged inside the town hall. He could barely breathe, and as he tried to shout he realised he'd been gagged. As they dumped him on the floor, he looked around. He couldn't see Toshiko anywhere, but noticed the shape of another person sitting where she had been lying before.
"You didn't change a thing," the person croaked out. Ianto's head was still spinning as he took in the mans appearance. The man's face was bloody. He had a split lip and a black eye, and he was holding his arm in front of his chest, probably nursing a cracked a rib. He was dressed up a white shirt and pale jeans... As he focused on the mans face, Ianto realised he was staring at himself.
"Tosh is dead," Ianto Jones spat out. "And it's your fault!"
He woke up with a gasp. He lay there just breathing for a moment, making sure he was really awake and not having another dream. He could hear Jack mumble something in his sleep, so he sat up and shook his shoulder.
"Jack!" Ianto whispered urgently. "Jack!"
"Mmhh," Jack mumbled as he tried to get properly awake. He blinked. "Ianto?"
"I just remembered something important," Ianto said and swallowed. "I think you should hear this."
Jack sat up and looked a bit more awake now. "What is it?"
Ianto bit his lip. He didn't know how to explain... Where to even start? "Do you know if people have people been disappearing in Brecon Beacons lately?" he asked.
Jack blinked again few times. "Brecon Beacons?" he mused. "Yeah. I was going to assign it as our next case if the police found out nothing by next week."
Ianto groaned and covered his face. "Shit."
"Ianto?" Jask asked and put a hesitant hand on his shoulder.
"I didn't remember about it... I didn't want to remember. I had nightmares about it for weeks..." Ianto mumbled through his fingers and groaned. He dropped down his hands and looked at Jack, who was growing intensively more worried. "Those people disappearing in Brecon Beacons..." he said, and Jack nodded him to continue. He swallowed a lump in his throat. "It's cannibals."
"They're just humans," Ianto clarified and burrowed his face in his hands again. He let out a hollow laugh. "Humans, kidnapping all those people and eating them."
"What happened?" Jack asked, his voice low.
They sat in silence for a moment.
"We went there to investigate," Ianto whispered finally. "The whole team. We were almost having fun, camping out like that. Of course Owen hated every second of it," he laughed.
Even Jack huffed out a small laugh.
"I forgot to take the SUV keys with me, and while we were investigating something in the forest, someone took the car and drove it to a nearby village. We followed the car and split up. I went with Toshiko, and..." He took in a ragged breath.
Jack rubbed his shoulder gently. "It's okay."
"We walked around this house and we heard noises," he shut his eyes. "I turned around and Toshiko was gone. I tried searching for her, and someone must have hit me on my head, because the next thing I knew I was waking up in this dark room. There was meat hooks hanging from the ceiling and...We saw a shoe on the floor, then more... God, there must have been at least twenty pairs of them," he shuddered. "And then we looked inside the fridge... It was..."
Jack let out an strange noise and Ianto looked at him. He looked angry. Ianto understood his feelings perfectly well. It took a moment before he could continue again.
"This woman came to the door, pointing a gun at us. She told us she was a prisoner too, that they were making her to do this," Ianto explained. "She looked so scared that we believed her. We tried asking her what they looked like... We all thought they must have been aliens. We had no idea what we'd walked into."
Jack seemed to be holding his breath. "And then?"
"She escorted us into a large room that looked like a butchery. We could see meat, some kind of flesh hung from the ceiling all over the place... Then they came, and explained. It was their harvest." He shuddered. "Toshiko managed to escape, but they caught her again, and this time they had Owen and Gwen too. Apparently even the police at that town were involved. You found out about it yourself and came to rescue us, just in time..."
"What did I do?" Jack asked, his face dark.
"You shot all of them, but you aimed so that they didn't die," Ianto explained. Jack squeezed his shoulder again. "You wanted all of them to be taken responsible for their actions... And then, later, Gwen just had to ask why they were doing it." He shuddered again. "The leader said, 'Because it's fun.'"
Jack cursed under his breath and pulled him into a hug. Ianto burrowed his face to Jack's warm chest and just stayed there for a moment.
"I'm sorry Ianto," Jack said. "I'll let the police know we have evidence to suspect there's something weird going on at that village. We'll catch those bastards before anyone else goes missing."
"It's not your fault," Ianto said and rubbed his eyes. "I should've remembered it earlier. But I guess I didn't want to... I almost died, I guess part of me was trying its best to repress those memories."
"Owen needs to know about this," Jack said, his voice holding no room for arguments.
Ianto groaned and slumped forward to lean against Jack. "Does he really? It's been over two years... I don't want to talk about it."
"He's your doctor, Ianto," Jack said and gently brushed his fingers through Ianto's hair. Ianto hummed. "We'll tell him when he gets here and you can talk it out between yourselves."
"All right," Ianto said and sighed. Owen was going to really go for the blood this time, he seemed to dislike when Ianto kept things a secret.
And he wasn't wrong. Jack called the police and explained their suspicions about the town people, and afterward they called Owen into Jack's office. As they had recapped the situation for him, he narrowed his eyes at Ianto and stepped into his personal space.
"Do you have PTSD?"
Ianto spluttered. "What? No!"
"Are you sure?" Owen leaned forward to look him in the eye.
"I am!" he whisper-shouted. "And even if I ever did, it's been over two years since it happened, I haven't even had any nightmares about it until now!"
"You had a nightmare?" Jack and Owen asked at the same time. Jack raised an eyebrow at Owen, who just huffed.
"That could be a sign of regressed memories," Owen muttered. "You say you didn't even remember this case was going to happen until now?"
"I didn't," Ianto said hesitantly. "I wrote out some cases I remembered into one of my journals but this one didn't even cross my mind at the time."
"That sounds suspicious to me," Owen said. "You tell me if you have any more of those nightmares, all right?"
Ianto rolled his eyes. "I will."
"And now, are you sure you don't need to talk about this with..." Owen lowered his voice. "With a professional?"
"Owen!" he groaned. "I'm sure. And what would I even talk about?" he said. "Those events never actually happened in this timeline. If this professional happened to check my records, they'd think I'm either talking complete bullshit or just wrong in the head."
Owen hesitated for a moment, before looking away and scratching his neck. "Well how about that pint later tonight?"
Ianto blinked. Oh. He had forgotten about that. "Sure, why not."
Owen mumbled an excuse and left swiftly. Ianto realised why as he turned to look at Jack whose jaw was hanging open.
Ianto tilted his head. "Jack?"
"Did he seriously just ask you out?" Jack asked, his eyes wide. "Our resident, Mr-Incredibly-Straight Doctor Harper asked you out for a drink?"
"It's just a pint between friends, Jack," he said, amused. "Are you jealous?"
"Well I'm a bit jealous that he's never tried to hang out with me after hours," Jack admitted, but grinned as Ianto raised his eyebrow. "But I know you don't like him that way so I'll let it pass..." He paused, his brow furrowing. "Unless... He's your special someone?"
And laughed more.
And a little bit more.
By the time he stopped laughing, Jack was beginning to look annoyed.
"Sorry," he breathed out. "That was just too ridiculous."
Although... One of his plans did center around saving Owen. He looked thoughtful for a moment and Jack's jaw dropped down again.
That didn't mean anything though. He loved Owen as a friend, and as their doctor, but he was definitely not the one for Ianto.
"Stop looking at me like that," Ianto said, smirking.
"That's slightly disappointing to be honest," Jack said, his eyebrows raised. "I was hoping you could persuade Owen to join us for a threesome."
"I swear, I have no desire to have sex with Owen," Ianto said and crossed his arms. "I suggest you also let that thought go or Owen will find out and kill you, even if he's completely oblivious to your immortality."
"He would, wouldn't he?" Jack asked and pouted. Ianto just laughed.
Later that day, before Ianto was leaving to his flat mostly to get a fresh change of clothes, Jack cornered him in the hallway. Ianto recognised the heated expression on his face and put his hands up. "I seriously need to go to my flat today. I need to change out of these clothes and Moses needs to be fed."
Jack stepped closer and grabbed Ianto's backside with his left hand. "You could just walk around naked, I wouldn't mind," he purred into his ear.
"Seriously, Jack," Ianto said, amused and not to mention a little bit turned on.
Jack stepped back a little and his right hand started playing with Ianto's tie. "Are you really taking care of Moses?"
Ianto wanted to groan at the speed Jack's mind changed the subject. He nodded. "Yeah, that's why I need to go to my flat, today."
"Hmm," Jack mused. "I guess I could let you go..."
Ianto sighed. "I could give you the keys to my flat if that would make you feel better."
Jack's hands froze.
"I'm not getting all relationshippy on you Jack," Ianto said quickly, bit amused at the position Jack had frozen into. "I just thought maybe you'd like to come see Moses sometimes... And to be honest, my bed is a lot bigger than yours."
Jack's left hand squeezed Ianto's bum. "You should've told me that before," he purred again as Ianto bit his lip. "I'll definitely have to visit more often."
Then Jack let go and walked away.
Ianto stood there for a moment before his brain caught up with what had just happened.
"Seriously, Jack?" Ianto groaned out to the empty hallway. "I hate you."