Project Jones – Chapter Seven

Disclaimer – I do not own the characters involved in this story, nor do I own Torchwood.

Summary – Ianto Jones worked for Torchwood One for two years. But after an accident leaves him different from the rest of humanity, he is imprisoned by his employers and two years on, it is time for him to escape. This is his story. This is how Ianto Jones joined Torchwood Three.

Ianto awoke feeling strangely weak. His back was aching and his neck felt sore. Ianto sat up and opened his eyes, immediately regretting it.

"What the-what the hell!" Ianto shouted, his breathing quickening. Ianto found himself in a cold concrete cell. There was some dirty glass with a door to his left and the rest was dirty damp walls. Ianto was sitting on a concrete block wrapped in a blanket and thin pillow. Ianto panicked. He had fallen asleep in his flat...and then...then somebody had broken in. He remembered seeing Tosh and some other man. But then the memories became hazy and Ianto shook his head to clear it, but to no avail. Ianto steadied his breathing and tried to peer though the dirty panes of glass. There was a corridor on the outside and Ianto brought up a fist and slammed it into the glass. With a yelp Ianto felt the knuckle break and he swore loudly then kicked out with his foot. Ianto was ready to throw another punch.

"Ianto, Ianto calm down!" It was Tosh. Her face appeared on the other side of the glass and Ianto backed away looking scared. The glass door opened and she slowly walked in, holding her hands up.

"It's ok Ianto. You're safe. We won't hurt you." She said but Ianto backed away shaking his head.

"Where am I?" Ianto demanded and Tosh sighed.

"You're in Torchwood Three." Said another voice. A man had appeared behind Toshiko. He was wearing a light blue shirt and a world war two style trench coat. Ianto immediately panicked at the T word and pressed himself into the corner of the cell. "Hey it's ok, we won't hurt you." He smiled but Ianto didn't buy it.

"That's what the Mrs Hartman said. You're the same." Ianto whispered but Jack advanced on him, looking angry.

"Don't you dare put me in the same category as that bitch. I'm nothing like her." Ianto's head ducked down and Jacks face softened. "Sorry. Let me prove it to you." The young man looked up, slightly startled.

"How?" Jack beamed and pointed at Ianto's neck.

"I took that collar off you last night. You belong to yourself now." Jack said, echoing the conversation they had started in death. Ianto's hand shot to his neck and felt the bare flesh where the collar had lived for the past two years. The young man choked back a sob and a lone tear tracked down his face.

"Th- thank you." Ianto managed, falling to his knees. Jack strode forwards and rested a hand on the young man's shoulder.

"No problem. Now, I don't suppose you could make us some coffee?" Jack beamed when the Welshman raised an eyebrow. Tosh led Ianto to the machine in the main part of the HUB once he had gotten over the sheer awe that the cavern inspired in many individuals. Jack was uneasy. Ianto would begin to feel the sting of the collar soon. The mixture of drugs addicted the wearer and Ianto's extremely long exposure to it would hit him hard. The addiction was much like that of a Class A drug, but it took less time to get over thank goodness. Jack sighed wearily and walked the short flight of stairs back up the main area of the HUB. He would need to keep Ianto close for the next month to make sure the guy didn't lose his grip on the world.

"Here you go Sir." Ianto handed Jack a cup with a shy smile.

"Don't go calling me Sir Ianto, unless it's reserved for bedroom talk." Ianto blushed a furious crimson and Jack couldn't help but chuckle. "Jacks fine."

"I think that would be classed as harassment Sir." Ianto stated just as Jack brushed past him. The Captain winked with a wicked smile. This is going to be so fun, Jack thought.

The early morning passed with Ianto being shown the layout of the base and retelling his experience at Torchwood One and what his job was whilst being kept in the cells. Jack thought for a second and glanced at Tosh.

"So Ianto, you were Head Archivist at Canary Wharf? Even when you were held captive?" Jack asked casually, sipping from his coffee. Ianto nodded and looked slightly wary. "How would you like to work for Torchwood Three? Our archives are a total mess...not my fault by the way."

Ianto was stunned. On one hand there were the memories of Torchwood One burning a hole in his heart, but here he could be...useful. Not making coffee every day. He could make coffee here since Tosh had come to the shop twice a day, every day, in the past week.

"Really?" Ianto exclaimed, Jack nodded.

"Only if you want too. Things can get a little hairy around here, but I'm sure having you on the team would make everything a whole load easier." Jack said and he could see the glint of hope in Iantos eyes. He just hoped that Ianto would take the job, it would make his life easier if he didn't have to follow the Welshman around in fear that the sudden addiction would take hold. Jack had seen it happen to many soldiers. The lines between right and wrong became blurred and they lost control, hungering for the drugs that the collar had once provided. Ianto beamed and Jack sighed in relief.

"I'd love to." Ianto said and Jack held out a hand.

"Welcome to the team Jones, Ianto Jones." Ianto shook it and Jack paused, he needed to check if Ianto remembered their encounter in the space between life and death. "By the way, do you belong to yourself now?" He whispered, just loud enough so that only Ianto would hear. It took barely a second for Ianto's eyes to flicker in recognition and Jack could see his mind ticking over. A glimmer of complete and utter surprise passed over his face before Ianto gained control of it and his face returned to its original happy state.

But now Jack knew that behind that mask was the man he had met in the cold darkness of death.

Two immortals existed; Jack could only hope that they would become friends. The thought of living an eternity with everything crumbling to dust around him was too painful to bare, but now Jack had something to look forward too. Someone would stand with him, a constant in the storm of time.

Perhaps Jack could final live his life again with a Welshman at his side.

No longer alone.

-Project Jones-

"By the way, do you belong to yourself now?" Jack had whispered. Ianto's mind flitted back to his chance encounter of who he thought to be death. But now here was this man, asking a question he shouldn't know. Ianto couldn't hide his initial surprise and only just managed to contain the last of it. He couldn't believe it. Here Ianto was, only just getting a hold on the notion that he couldn't die, it never occurred to him that somebody else was also immortal. Ianto took a deep mental breath and smiled. Jack knew he had flicked the switch and there was a tiny glint of hope in his blue eyes.

This man was lonely. Ianto had no idea how long he had been alive but they needed to speak privately...and soon. Jack broke Ianto from his thoughts with a slap on the back.

"Let's go get your details sorted, Owen and Suzie will be in soon." Jack steered Ianto towards his office and once inside the smile on his face dropped. Jack stood there with his arms crossed and legs apart staring Ianto straight in the eye. The young Welshman returned the heat and waited.

So," Jack begun "When did you find out?" Ianto blinked.

"When I died in Canary Wharf. Yourself?"

"Satellite Five. I died and was brought back to life by a girl named Rose Tyler." Jack said and ran a hand across his tired face. "I've been alive for a very long time Ianto. It's lonely and difficult. The sooner you accept it the better." Jack brushed past Ianto again and slumped down in his chair, Ianto sat opposite.

"I haven't really thought about it." Ianto admitted. "I...I don't know what to do. How do you deal with it?" The young man asked quietly.

"Well, the longer you live you can't help but be afraid. Everything around you will eventually die except yourself."

"And you." Ianto added. Jack nodded absent-mindedly, his eyes glued to Ianto's hands.

"How do you feel?" Jack asked suddenly. Ianto frowned.

"I'm Fine. Why?" Jack had stood up and was walking towards Ianto. The Captain pointed at his hands.

"You're shaking." Ianto looked down and sure enough he was shaking like hell. It was just then that Ianto's mind blacked out for a second. Jack managed to catch him before he smacked his head on the floor. With a groan Ianto tried to sit up.

"What's happening?" Ianto slurred, finding it difficult to focus on anything. His mind was like slush, nothing was fixed and he couldn't grab on to anything to steady himself. A blur of Jacks face filled his vision.

"Your body is craving ...for the...collar gave you." Ianto blinked and tried to clear his dizziness but it only made it worse. "Just...focus on me. Can you...that Ianto?" Jack said, he sounded distant and Ianto struggled to listen, his focus was dropping away like the leaves on an autumn tree.

With a curse Jack grabbed either side of Ianto's head and held him steady.

"Ianto. Look. At. Me." He ordered. The man tried, but the world dimmed. Jack couldn't let Ianto pass out, if he did then when he woke up it wouldn't be Ianto. It would be an insane addict that would do anything to get a high. That even meant killing. Jack could remember his friend in the war. After the collar came off Jason had passed out and awoke some hours later. Jason had shot Jack just to get out of the door. Nothing more than a simple "excuse me" could of cured the problem, but the crazed man had seen everything as a threat and killed 11 people just to get back the euphoric and normal feeling of aa drug running through his veins. That was why the Ja-law collar had been banned.

"Ianto, come on. Don't pass out on me now. There's nothing worse than an insane immortal. I don't want to have to kill you." Jack regimented. Ianto's eyes dropped and the lids closed. Jack smacked the man on the cheek but received no response. With his options running low Jack needed to wake him up, and fast.

As a last resort Jack closed in on the young and pressed his lips against Ianto's. With an effort Jack managed to summon some of his energy and reach out towards the unconscious man. For a moment there was nothing but then Jack found himself being kissed back.

It worked. Jack felt Ianto respond and was surprised by the fact that he didn't pull away. The Welshman's tongue darted out seeking entrance, but as much as Jack wanted to continue, he backed off and the younger moaned at the loss of contact. Ianto was breathless and incredibly alert.

"As much as I'd love to, and I really would, you need to be thinking straight first." Jack said with a chuckle as Ianto frowned, looking slightly drunk. "That was just a kiss; imagine the buzz you get from the rest." Jack smirked as Ianto smiled lazily and tilted his head to the side. Jack had to admit not for the first time that early morning that Ianto looked adorable. Ianto darted upwards and stole another kiss from Jack. The Captain shook his head in disbelief.

"You're something else you know." Ianto grinned mischievously and yawned. "Oh no you don't! No sleeping for you. Sleep is henceforth banned." Jack sighed, the lack of drugs hadn't affected the man as he had expected. It had done the opposite. Ianto was acting like a kid. But if he slept things would definitely get interesting.

Bad interesting. Jack fished out his phone and quick-dialled Owen. Ianto had snuggled under his arm and was attempting to sleep. Jack was forced to push the man over to wake him up. Ianto didn't appreciate this.

-Project Jones-

Owen was strolling to his car with a cup of shoddy coffee in his hand and waved goodbye to the woman that had kept him company last night. Owen unlocked his car and hopped inside. His phone began to ring. Owen groaned and answered it with a grunt.

"Owen? It's Jack. Can you pick up some- Ianto put the gun down!" There was silence for a moment and Owen listened intently.

"Jack? You ok?" He asked. There was a slam on the other end of the phone and then some heavy breathing.

"Yeah I'm here." Jack gasped and then chuckled as somebody shouted something in the background. "Can you pick up a 6 pack of Red Bull and some Caffeine tablets?" He asked. Owen frowned.

"What for?" There was another shout in the background that sounded vaguely like "You dickhead!" and Owen couldn't help but snort. "Who you got locked up in your office this morning Jack?"

"Sod off Owen, his names Ianto Jones. I'll explain when you get here. But as bad and dirty as this may sound I need to keep him awake for as long as possible." There was a shout of "You bastard!"again and Jack chuckled.

"Ok Jack, I'm on my way." Owen sighed and headed off for the nearest supermarket with a thundercloud of questions in his head. Today was definitely going to be interesting.

-Project Jones-

"So if he falls asleep he turns into an insane drug addict, yeah?" Owen sounded doubtful as he handed Jack the Tesco bag. Jack wandered over to a young man who was currently handcuffed to his desk and knelt down, opening a can of Red Bull.

"Yep. Drink up Ianto." He offered the can to the man who turned his nose up at it.

"He's a bit of a child isn't he." Owen chuckled and Jack managed to tip some of the sweet liquid down Ianto's throat.

"It's the collar he was wearing. Like I said, Torchwood One kept him prisoner using a Ja-law collar. I took it off, and if he falls asleep he'll go insane. We just have to wait for a while until his hands stop shaking and he acts normal. I hope. Simple." Jack shrugged and pointed a finger at Ianto."Drink up or you won't get another one." Ianto moaned and began to sip at the Red Bull looking incredibly grumpy.

"Get another what?" Owen asked as he peered at the man's face. He looked strangely familiar.

"Don't even ask." Jack sighed and sat on the floor next to the cuffed man. Just then it clicked.

"I thought I recognised you!" Owen exclaimed, Jack frowned. "You were at Canary Wharf and ran off when I tried to check you over." Jack barked out a laugh and Owen threw the packet of caffeine pills at his bosses head. "I thought you were on drugs even then!" Ianto glared and shook his head.

-Project Jones-

"Seriously! How childish is he normally 'cause this is just fucking ridiculous!" Owen exclaimed when for the third time in the past ten minutes Ianto projectile spat a pill out in Owens direction followed by an insult. Jack smirked.

"He's actually really nice and polite. Much better trained than you Owen." Owen flipped him off.

"I'm out of here. Even works better than babysitting him." With that Owen stalked out of the office. Ianto looked very pleased with himself.

"Well I think you should stay awake for another hour, and then you can sleep. Your hands aren't shaking as much." Jack said as he ran a hand through the dark curls of Ianto's hair and the man yawned.

"But I'm tired now." Ianto groaned and kicked out with his foot at a thankfully empty Red Bull can. Jack had managed to keep Ianto awake for the past 3 hours and the Welshman was becoming less and less childish as time went on. He was acting more like a teenager at the moment.

"I know. But just one more hour." Jack said softly and Ianto pouted then struggled for a moment with the handcuffs that were binding his hands behind his back and around the leg of Jacks desk.

"One more hour of boredom. Sod that. I'm sleeping now." Jack sighed as Ianto sat back and closed his eyes.

"Open your eyes Ianto." The man shook his head and remained still. Jack frowned and tapped the Welshman on the cheek but he didn't respond. Jack growled threateningly and still Ianto didn't open his eyes. But then Jack cottoned on.

"You want me to kiss you again don't you?" Ianto shook his head yet again, but more violently. "Did you not like me kissing you?" Jack hummed with a grin and watched as Ianto huffed and glared at him through half closed eyes. "So you did?"

The Welshman stayed silent. Jack suddenly had an idea. He snapped his fingers together and jumped up off the floor.

"Stay right there!" he shouted as the office door swung shut behind him.

"It's not like I can go anywhere..." Ianto muttered miserably and shook the cuffs to prove his point. "Stupid Americans and their stupid little accents and their nice chiselled jaws and-" Ianto paused mid rand and looked annoyed with himself. "Bloody Captain Jack tight pants-"

"You noticed then?" Jack's head had popped round the door and he was grinning wolfishly. Ianto shot the man daggers as he plopped down in front of him with a strange looking bottle in his hand. It was clear and filled with a strange glowing liquid. When Jack gave it a shake it bubbled, but instead of the tiny blue air bubbles rising they sunk to the bottom and formed a little fizzing base. Ianto looked at it with interest as Jack bit on the cork at the top and pulled it out with a loud Pop.

The Welshman couldn't help but think it looked really hot...he shook his head to clear the thought.

"This stuff's called Hypervodka, dangerous if you have too much but I think it's just what you need. Not too much though, I don't want to have you thrashing around in those cuffs - I can have you thrashing in cuffs without alcohol." Jack finished with a wink and poured out a tiny shot of the blue liquid and held it put to Ianto, who eyed it sceptically. "It tastes just like Red Bull."

Ianto rolled his eyes and swallowed the measure in one go. Jack grinned as the taste exploded in the Welshman's mouth. It was so much stronger than Red Bull. It felt like Ianto's world had been hoisted by the leg and thrown high up in the air. His senses were spinning and everything was slipping into the whirlpool. Jack's face surfaced from the mush of colours and his handsome face was split by the huge laugh that was working its way through his body.

"Ahhhuuuurrgggg." Was all Ianto managed to say. He was aiming for "Oh God" but his brain was having other ideas.

Jack could only watch with a huge grin as the young man swayed with a dizzy smile slapped on his features. One shot of Hypervodka was relative to 20 normal vodka shots. It was one hell of a drink.

It succeeded it keeping Ianto awake for another hour...and another hour and finally the young man fell asleep in Jacks arms.

Jack sighed deeply. Ianto joining Torchwood Three would be good, Jack didn't want to let the only other person who would live forever slip from his grasp. The captain could only hope that Ianto wanted to stay. He wouldn't be able to stop him from leaving.

Jack couldn't help but grin at the strangeness of the situation. There he was, thinking he was alone in the world. But here was Ianto. Sleeping soundly in his arms and gently nuzzling Jacks neck.

For once in his long eternal life, Jack felt truly at peace.

The world just got that little bit better.

FIN