A/N I do not own these characters, Torchwood is owned by the BBC and Russell T Davies.
Life Without Jack
As Ianto lay in Jacks arms dying, Jack knew what Ianto was going to say to him, he just wasn't prepared for it. 'I love you.' As soon as he'd said it, he knew that Ianto wasn't just admitting this because he was dying, Jack knew that he truly meant it. What Jack found frightening about this admission was the fact that deep down, he felt exactly the same way and he couldn't say it, he couldn't tell Ianto how he felt because it would rip his heart open even more than just knowing it inside. Jack knew that there would be no one meaningful after Ianto because he had cared for him too much and he was pretty sure that Ianto knew how he felt about him, so all he said was, 'Don't.' He knew that Ianto was hoping and praying for him to return those three little words but he couldn't admit his feelings to him, not whilst he was dying in his arms.
Watching Ianto die was one of the most difficult and the most heart-breaking things that Jack had ever had to do. Sure, he'd found many of his partners or lovers dead, but even out of all the deaths he had seen and out of all his lovers he had watched die, Ianto's death was definitely the most painful and the one that he would remember for the rest of his life. He had loved Ianto so much, he even loved him now he was dead and Jack didn't think he could cope with living on Earth surrounded by memories of Ianto, as well as all the other friends and lovers he had lost. Jack had lost too many people that he was close to, many people blamed him for their deaths and that's why he always told himself that he would never get emotionally attached to anyone, never have too many good friends, and never fall in love. However, Ianto was the exception. He was just meant to be a part time shag, as Owen had correctly put it, but somehow they had become closer, more loving and then he had fallen for him; he was in love with Ianto Jones but he would never admit it to anyone, especially not himself.
Jack knew what he had to do. For the first time in his life he would take John Hart's advice and travel to the Vegas Galaxies and find other amazing planets. He would travel from one planet to another and stay away from Earth, stay away from the memories that haunted him and he would go back to his old life of drinking and going off with a different person, or alien every night.
Only one day after Ianto's death, after he had killed his grandson and left his daughter distraught, he told Gwen that he was leaving this planet and didn't know if he was ever coming back.
As Jack left for the distant planets, he remembered kissing Ianto for the last time, as the life drained out of them both and he could feel death about to take him, he kissed Ianto and he felt the last of his life drain out of him.
Ianto woke up somewhere dark and in a confined space, he wasn't claustrophobic but he was terrified. He felt around to see what he was lying on and to get a clue where he was. As he came to his senses he realised that his back ached and he felt like he had a migraine. He was struggling to remember anything from the last few days and presumed that whatever mission they were on, he must have been knocked out. He tried to sit up but as he did so he felt weak and dizzy. As he moved he realised that whatever he was lying on felt cold, like stone but slightly soft and as he felt above him, he found that he was covered in some sort of cloth material. He had no idea where he was, the only thing he could think was of the possibility that he was in a body bag on cold, hard but carpeted floor. He thought this idea was highly unlikely but as he reached his hands above his head, he found a zip that he immediately began to move and luckily enough, it unzipped the body bag that he was lying in.
He sat up and looked around. Surrounding him were hundreds of other bodies and he desperately tried to remember what had happened. His mind swam with unanswered questions and thoughts and he stayed there trying to recall what got him here in the first place. Then he remembered, and the questions in his mind were replaced with deep emotions and sadness. He remembered being in Jack's arms, Jack telling him not to leave him, not to go. He remembered telling Jack that he loved him, he had done for so long now but this was the first time he had said anything and he remembered Jack looking at him, his eyes full of sadness and emotion but all he said was 'don't.' Ianto remembered it all now, the 456 and the children but what he didn't understand is that he remembered dying. He remembered being on the edge of death and thinking that he was about the same age as most other Torchwood employees are when they die. He was in Jacks arms, his big comforting arms and he died, he didn't collapse or faint, he actually died. The last bit of life he felt before he lost completely was when Jack kissed him, he felt a rush of life enter him but seconds later he was in the darkness and he knew, well he thought he knew, that this was it, his life was over and he was gone forever. So unless this was the afterlife, he must have been wrong because there was no way he had just come back to life. His mind was suddenly filled with just one question, was he immortal as well as Jack?