"Call them."

"Hmm?" Jack spit dirt from his mouth, confused by the ceasing of dirt being poured on his chest. John pitched the shovel to the ground, fixing Jack with a hard stare.

"I said, Call. Them. You're going to be under here a very long time-pretty sure you don't want the last thing you hear to be your loving brother's oath of vengeance against you." John clasped his hands with a mockingly tender gesture, then rolled his eyes.

"But the commlink won't work-we're centuries apart!"

"I can make it happen."

"That should be imp-"

"Don't question it." John cut him off. "I shut it off, I can turn it back on. Now, while he's still away, call them quickly."

With effort, Jack brought his bound hands up next to his face, and, fingers trembling, pressed the button.

The call patched through immediately, not letting him have a moment to worry if it would work or not.

He took a deep breath, voice shaking.

"Hey, kids. Miss me?"

On the other end, Gwen gave a shriek of 'Jack!', cut off by Ianto's gasp.

Jack nearly cried to hear his voice. It felt like so long since he had heard it, although it had probably only been an hour or two.

"Are you okay?"

He felt like answering, 'oh, you know, just being buried alive- see you in a millennium or two!', but that would probably defeat the purpose of a 'comfort call'.

"Just fine. The problem is, are you okay?"

"We're just fine on our end, Jack." Gwen answered shakily. Ianto continued for her, "What has he done to you? Where are you?"

"Hey, hey- listen, I'll be just fine. In fact, you'll probably see me in a couple of hours." 'Hours for you, anyway.'

Suddenly, Jack felt a thump on his legs. His blood felt like it had turned to ice-John had resumed his burial, gazing down at Jack with eyes full of regret.

They must have heard his breathing quicken, because both Ianto and Gwen suddenly shot questions at him in concerned voices.

"Okay, long story short, I'm being buried alive, and I'll see you in a couple thousand years. In my time. For you, it'll just be a couple hours."

A stunned silence met him, and he felt tears beginning to creep out of his eyes, making tracks in the dirt on his face.

He bolstered himself. "I haven't got much time to talk. Ianto… Can you please keep talking to me? I just need to hear your voice…"

Gwen spoke a few more comforting words before letting herself off the conversation to let the two have their space.

The dirt was now coming up to frame his face, and Jack still felt John's eyes burning into him. His breath was catching in his throat, making it hard enough to breathe, even without the dirt.

"Well, Jack, what do you want me to say?"

"I don't know- anything. I'm going to be here for a couple thousand years; I just need to hear your voice." he could feel the soil now, smell it mixing with his scent. Suddenly, every part of him was hypersensitive- he could feel the earth climbing up around him, its solid weight anchoring him 20 feet below ground. It was too much. He had died so many times, so many ways, but never before had he been buried alive like this.

"Uhm… well, Jack, do you remember the first time we met?"

"You beat the weevil with a stick and made a comment about my coat?"

"Yep. Can you just remember that for me?"

"The weevil-he had torn my throat out, but then there you were, out of nowhere, beating it with a stick as f it were nothing but a rabid dog."

"Mm-hmm. When I asked, you said you had 'had worse from shaving.' I still don't know why I believed you." Ianto chuckled, remembering that night.

Distantly, he could feel the soil piling higher- John must be making a conscious effort to give him as much time as possible. "Because you fancied me." a smirk. "And what was with that comment about the coat?"

"Oh come now, Jack, you know how much I love that coat. I had a weakness for it even then."

Jack felt the world around him slip away, lost in Ianto's voice.

"And then with the pteradactyl… how did you know to use chocolate?"

"That was actually because I just wanted to get your attention, look professional. "

"I remember hanging from her leg as she flew -not a first, by the way-, and you were down there, looking so shocked."

"You must admit, that's not exactly an everyday occurrence!" he could hear wet chuckling, as if Ianto was laughing through tears.

Jack opened his eyes to find a thin layer of soil covering him, increasing every moment. He closed his eyes, then forced himself back into the memory.

"And then you were falling out of the air, and I was racing around like something out of an Abbott and Costello act, trying to catch you!" more laughing, now through audible tears.

"And then we were rolling around on the ground together…"

There was a slightly awkward silence as both of them reminisced.

"You know, in that moment… I thought you were going to kiss me…"

"…I thought I was going to kiss you, too. I certainly wanted to."

"…I wouldn't have minded…" he could practically hear the blush on the other end.

'I wish I could do it now. I guess you'll just have to wait a couple hours until I get back."

"And you'll have to wait 2000 years. I don't think that's fair."

"Well, you'll just have to make it up to me, won't you?" He was teasing now. His breath was growing shorter-he could feel the dirt pressing down on him. He could feel his life ebbing away, Ianto's voice swimming in his ears. Finally, he was pulled into the first darkness of many to come.

"Definitely will. When you wake up, I'm going to hold you for as long as you want. As long as you'll let me. Would you like that, Jack? "

"…"

"...Jack?

Jack!

…Jack… "

He went silent, and refused to turn his commlink off until Jack's ran out of battery, two hours later.

AN: not my best work, but I'm just not willing to work on this anymore.