Sex & Pride
It wasn't often Ianto Jones did not know what was going on at Torchwood. He prided himself that no-one knew the archives and the history of the organisation better than he. So, it was particularly annoying to him, on returning from a quick coffee bean buying excursion, to find an extremely well dressed stranger being entertained in Jack's office. Even more annoyingly there was no sign of Gwen anywhere in the Hub, so there was no chance of getting any background on who this person might be or what he might want. Ianto could see through the glass that Jack and the strange man appeared deep in conversation and, he knew, with a small stab of jealousy, by the amount of times that Jack laid a friendly hand on the man's arm that there was a history there.
Finally he could bear it no more, he went to his tiny cubby hole where he kept his supplies and set about brewing coffee. Providing coffee was a legitimate part of his job and if that meant walking in on a private meeting and maybe getting a hint as to what was going on – so be it. However, as he was approaching Jack's office bearing a tray with two cups and cafetiere, the door opened.
'Sorry, Sir Justin,' Jack was saying, 'but you can see how I'm placed here. I just can't afford to lose a field agent of the calibre of Gwen Cooper'
'It wouldn't be forever.' replied the man 'Just until we get Torchwood London back on its feet. 12 months, two years tops'
Jack shook his head and smiled 'Nope'.
'What about the other one, what's his name...Jones'
Standing in the shadows, unseen by the two men, Ianto stiffened. No way was he going back to Torchwood London, too many memories, too many deaths, too much Lisa, not enough Jack.
'Ianto?' laughed Jack 'You must be kidding! OK, if you want someone to make fantastic coffee and keep the place dusted, otherwise...' he shrugged.
'Really?' said Sir Justin 'It's not because you want to keep him here for yourself is it Jack? There are only three of you left here now but this place runs like clock-work, is that down to the efficient Mr Jones? Plus, I know you of old, Jack; he looks your type, subservient, not much of a talker, desperate for the attention of an older man. I bet he doesn't get on well with his father – am I right?'
Jack shrugged 'wouldn't know, don't care.' The other man did not look convinced,
'Listen Harkness' he said 'I'm starting to think that maybe this Ianto Jones is exactly who I'm looking for to head up this project. There must be a reason you are so reluctant to let me interview him'
Jack smiled; 'OK' he said 'I can see I'll have to come clean. Look, I like the guy but honestly anything other than reception work and housekeeping and he'll be out of his depth and dead in a week. On a personal level, yeah, he does have his occasional mediocre moments but he's not that special. He's got nothing I couldn't find elsewhere but you know how it is, sometimes it's easier to take what's to hand than go on the prowl.' Ianto froze; he could not believe what he was hearing. He had thought that he was a respected part of Jack's team; he felt he earned the right to be so. OK, he had always known that what he felt for Jack was, well, deeper than anything Jack felt for him but he had believed that there was something there. What they had together was good he was sure of it. How could Jack be so casual about it, so dismissive of him? Was Owen right? Was he just Jack's part-time shag?
'Ok' said Sir Justin 'you can't spare your single useful field agent obviously and a needy coffee boy who's a second-rate shag I can source for myself. It was a long shot anyway.' He moved closer to jack and ghosted a hand over his crotch. ' Well, I have 45 minutes before my driver arrives to take me back to London, any ideas how I can use that time?' He met Jack's blue eyes and gave a wicked smile. Jack smiled back, it was a smile Ianto recognised.
For Ianto it was like suddenly being removed from the time stream, he had no idea how long he remained standing there. He was still there long after he had witnessed Jack take an affectionate and lingering leave of Sir Justin. He felt sick. He felt empty. He felt…erased. He didn't even realise he had been weeping until he tasted the salt on his lips. Moving like a man in a dream he carefully put down the tray of cold coffee; he walked slowly to his work station and fumbled for some paper and an envelope. He wrote a brief note, sealed it into the envelope, addressed it to Jack. Then he picked up his car keys and left the Hub.
Gwen had never been so bored in all her life. Torchwood had picked up a number of missing person reports, people of different ages, occupations and genders had been disappearing from at the rate of one a month for the past nine months, the first of which has coincided with a spike of rift energy. The one thing that they all had in common was the last place they had visited – the Gentle Souls Counselling Centre. This was Gwen's fourth visit to the centre, posing as a bereaved wife, and as far as she could see it was nothing more than a kind place where people who were hurting or damaged could find space to talk and heal. She found some of the counsellors a bit,...well, creepy but people who lived all too obviously on the pain of others had always made her feel like that. She stood in the corner of the room in which the bereavement support group were meeting, sipped a truly disgusting coffee that she suspected would have made Ianto cry and watched her fellow group members. Nathan, the group leader came up to her,
' Hello, er Gwen isn't it. How are you doing?'
Gwen smiled a brave little smile and nodded
'I..er..I wondered if you felt ready to share your story with us yet?'
Gwen looked down at the floor 'Not quite yet' she said. She was in no hurry to lie to these people, god they had enough trouble in their live as it was without feeling betrayed by one of the support group.
Nathan looked worried 'Only, you've been here four times now,' he said' but you have never said a word and I wondered….' His voice tailed off
'Oh no' Gwen reassured him 'I'm finding it all very helpful. I'm just a bit shy and not ready to talk about it quite yet…but soon, I'm sure, very soon'
'Ok' smiled Nathan and moved away. Gwen could see him go to talk to a young woman whose son had been killed in a road traffic accident, Nathan bent tenderly towards her, his hand resting protectively in her shoulder. He seemed so genuine. Could he really be a murderous alien?
'Blimey' thought Gwen to herself 'if there is anything dodgy about this place, damned if I can see it. I'll talk to Jack but I think keeping on coming here is a waste of my time' She decided not to go back to the group after the coffee break. She hadn't been home before 9 pm this week and she thought it would be a nice surprise for Rhys if she had dinner waiting for him when he got home, Lasagne maybe and a nice bottle or two of Chianti. She just had time to get down the shops. Smiling to herself she slipped out of the building and headed off towards her car.
One of the things that had driven Ianto's mum mad when he was a small boy was his habit of running and hiding when he was upset. Always a reserved and quiet child, if anything occurred to distress him he would take himself away until he felt better and had worked out what to do. His preferred refuges as a child were a big tree at the end of the family garden or, failing that, the cupboard under the stairs. Torchwood didn't run to cupboards under the stairs and no way was Ianto climbing trees in this suit so the simplest thing to do was just to get into his car and drive.
It was raining hard, Ianto drove carefully. He put all his concentration into his driving so that he didn't have to think about Jack, or Torchwood, or what he had learned or Jack, he just had to keep driving. When it started to get dark, he realised that he had no real idea of where he was. He had left the city far behind and was travelling along a single track, twisty country road. There were no streetlights and all he could see through the gloom was dark moorland sloping down to the road on the right and then dropping off even more steeply to his left. Ianto decided that, as soon as he could, he would turn the car around and head home. He had some thinking to do, he needed to try to process what he had heard and he knew that, at some point he would have to talk to Jack; even though that might mean the end of everything that held him together and got him through the day. As Ianto swung round a sharp bend he saw a body lying in the middle of the road.
'Jeeezus!' He slammed on the brakes and the car slewed across the wet road. Ianto leapt from the car and ran up to the body. It was a woman, blood spattered, just lying in the road. How the hell had she got so injured? This didn't look like a hit and run, more like a severe beating. He felt her dress; it was barely damp; she hadn't been there very long. Ianto scanned the area as best he could through the darkness, there was no-one else around that he could see, who could possibly have done this to her? Ianto thought he could feel a faint pulse in her neck, she needed an ambulance fast. Ianto fished in his pocket for his mobile, damn, it was on his work station back at the Hub. Then he saw it, in the valley below, the lights of a small cottage. Ianto moved his car as close to the side of the road as possible with its hazard warning lights on. He wasn't sure whether he should move the woman or not but reasoned if he left her in the road she may well get even more badly hurt. He lifted her carefully, gently laid her in the back seat of his car and covered her with a blanket that he had in the boot. He hesitated, the person who had done this may still be around, he didn't want to leave this unconscious woman vulnerable. Ianto closed the door and locked the car, putting the keys in his jacket pocket. Then he gingerly set off down the hillside toward the lights.
The side of the hill was much steeper than it had appeared from the roadside, and leather soled shoes were not the best fell walking footwear. Ianto soon found that he wasn't so much walking down the hill as sliding at some speed. Toward the bottom of the slope, his foot caught under a rocky outcrop and he fell. His head hit the edge of the rocks with a sickening thud. Feeling sick, Ianto struggled to his feet; he had to reach that cottage, get help. Swaying, with blood from the cut on his scalp obscuring his vision, he staggered a few more metres before collapsing unconscious outside the cottage door.
Ever since that time she had stumbled upon Jack and Ianto in the hothouse, and especially since she had learned about naked hide and seek, Gwen was always wary walking into the Hub when it was apparently empty. However, this morning everywhere was silent, the coffee machine was cold (clearly no Ianto, then) and Jack's office was in darkness. Just me then, thought Gwen. Dumping her breakfast pasty at her work station, she walked over to the office to collect some paperwork she had left in there the previous day and stopped, stunned, in the doorway. As the motion sensors in the office triggered the lights Jack was revealed, his head pillowed on some kind of coat, fast asleep, no make that passed out, across the desk. Was he ill? Nah, Jack never got ill; could he possibly be…drunk? As Gwen moved into the room her foot came up against some empty bottles that had once held rather nice single malt. The chink of the bottles sounded loud in the silent room and Jack awoke with a snore and a grunt. He raised his head and looked around blearily.
'Ianto? Oh…. Gwen. What time is it?'
'Never mind that' exclaimed Gwen 'What has happened to you? You look a right sight' Jack's eyes were red, crusty and swollen – surely he hadn't been crying? The coat he had been resting on was creased, moist from drool and stunk of whisky, he looked dishevelled, sorry for himself and very, very hung over.
'Have you been drinking?' Gwen asked accusingly 'I thought alcohol didn't touch you that much'
Jack looked sheepish, 'Three bottles of the best single malt in less than an hour' he mumbled 'You'd be surprised how drunk that can make you'
Three bottles? thought Gwen, Blimey I'm amazed it didn't kill him, then thought, Oh! Maybe it did!
Something else caught her eye,
'Bloody hell – is that Ianto's new Burberry overcoat you've been sleeping on?' said Gwen, 'He is so going to kill you! He loves that coat'
'He's gone' said Jack
Jack held out a crumpled note,
It was more than mediocre to me. I'm sorry I disappointed you.
'I don't understand 'said Gwen 'how has he disappointed you? What does this mean?'
So Jack told her. Told her how Sir Justin Fanshaw, who was attached to UNIT as government liaison, had contacted him to discuss a plan to re-establish Torchwood London, about how he had come to Cardiff to 'review' Jack's team with a view to seconding one of them to head up the project. Jack had quickly realised that what Fanshaw was after was not necessarily an effective field operative but someone who knew Torchwood protocol inside out, someone organised, someone, even, a bit anal, in fact, someone exactly like –
'Ianto' said Gwen flatly.
Jack nodded slowly.
'Don't get me wrong, you are great in the field and a excellent leader 'said Jack hastily, seeing the look in Gwen's eye 'but we both know that Ianto is brilliant at this sort of admin thing. I know Sir Justin of old, the only way to get him to do what you want him to is to make him think it's his idea'
Gwen raised an eyebrow and made a mental note to pursue that line of enquiry into Jack's life with him later.
'So, 'Jack continued hurriedly, 'in order to make sure Ianto stayed here with m…with us I may have...underestimated… his abilities a bit... drastically'
'So Ianto must have heard me'
'I still don't get it 'said Gwen 'So you trashed Ianto a bit. He's a sensible bloke; surely he would have talked to you about what you said. I can't believe he would have wanted to go back to London. It's not like him to just flounce off!'
Jack looked even more sheepish 'I may have trashed more than his work' he admitted.
'Oh Jack! You didn't'
Jack dropped his head back down onto the table. 'He heard me and he's gone.'
Gwen pulled out her mobile and dialled Ianto's number. Together she and Jack listened to Ianto's phone ring from a drawer his work station.
Ianto opened his eyes and tried not to panic. He had no idea where he was or why. He couldn't even remember who he was. He strove to remember what his name might be but the only name that felt right and familiar was 'Jack' Ok then, that must mean that Jack was who he was. It was a trustworthy name, comforting.
Don't focus on what you don't know; focus on what you can see for yourself. That sounded like sensible advice – he wished he could remember who had given it to him. So, what could he say he knew for sure? He was in a small bedroom, sun coming through a window to his left; he had a needle in his arm that was connected to a drip, his head hurt. He felt incredibly sad, like he had lost something or someone very, very precious to him but he couldn't remember why he felt like that. He didn't feel particularly badly injured although he had a killer headache. He could move his arms and legs with effort so he wasn't paralysed – good, but he did feel very weak and really, really sic. – not so good. He couldn't see his clothes anywhere in the room and a quick check under the duvet that covered him assured him that, where ever they were, his clothes were all together. Which was nice for them but left him naked apart from someone else's bedding. The door opened and a short squat woman entered the room.
'Hey, you're awake' she said 'How are you feeling?'
Ianto turned to look at her, and discovered that moving made his head hurt quite a lot.
'Can you remember anything about the accident? Can you tell me your name?
'Was I in an accident? I don't remember anything although I –I think my name might be... Jack, but I'm not sure'
'OK, Jack it is then for now. I'll fill you in with what I know. My name is Chantress and I live here with my sister. We found you just outside our door in our back garden; you were covered in blood, that's quite a nasty head injury you've got by the way. We don't really know how you got here, there's no sign of a car or anything – it's a bit of a mystery really. However, I've had a good look at you, I can't find any fractures so I think you will be OK with rest and time. I couldn't find any information about you in your clothes. Is there anyone you want me to call?'
Ianto looked panicked 'I don't know, I can't remember – I think there was someone but…not any more, no, I-I don't think there is anyone'
'It's alright' she said, after a pause 'Amnesia is common after head injuries. Don't try to force anything; it'll all come back in its own time. You can stay here until things get clearer. If there is anyone who will miss you I'd expect they'll notify the police. WE don't have a land line and mobile reception in this valley is poor or I'd ring them for you now but once you are feeling up to a car journey I can take you into Cardiff. Now is not the time to worry about that. She rested a cool and soothing hand on Ianto's head and inserted a syringe of medication into the cannula in his arm
'I'll take care of you'
Ianto wanted to ask her what the drug was that she was injecting into him, tried to tell her he didn't want to be sedated but there was a buzzing in his ears and he drifted back to sleep
Although Gwen was reluctant to leave Jack alone, the depth and ferocity of his hangover meant that he wasn't likely to be doing anything too drastic for a while. Instead, she had insisted he lie down, tried not to notice how he winced when she offered to make him a coffee and left him to sleep it off with pain killers and water close at hand. She wanted to go back to Gentle Souls for one last look
The community centre where the Gentle Souls Centre was housed was pretty deserted when Gwen drew up in her car. She wandered into the building and began to look at the pictures which lined the walls. The bereavement group Christmas party, the smoking cessation group coffee morning, the couples therapy group night out. Pictures of sad broken people trying to engage with a society that had disappointed them. She looked at the faces; they all seemed to look the same. That woman in the bereavement group for example, she looked exactly like the woman at the couple's therapy group. Wait a minute though, Gwen felt a tingle of excitement, she was the same woman, in fact she was in every single picture. Gwen knew she didn't work at the centre and no-one could be so unfortunate as to need 10 different support groups – was this woman the person they had been looking for? Who was she?
Gwen pulled one of the photographs down, a turned it over. YES! The names of all of the people had been lightly pencilled on the back. She counted along the row and found the name of the woman Sula…something she couldn't read the rest. Still, Sula, was not a common name. She needed to talk to Nathan to find out who this woman was. She could hear voices coming from one of the small offices. Nathan was undertaking a one-to-one session. Gwen couldn't hear what was being said but it sounded as if Nathan was doing most of the talking, which was odd. In the group sessions that Gwen had attended Nathan had been fairly quiet, just listening and prompting. The drone from the office changed pitch and Nathan's voice ran down and stopped. Gwen knocked on the door, 'Nathan, sorry to interrupt but I was wondering if I could have a quick word about one of the group members...Sula?' Gwen's voice died in her throat, Nathan was stretched out on the floor of the office a halo of blood around his head, he was alone and he was very dead.
Gwen was reaching into her jacket pocket for her phone when it began to ring. She looked at the caller ID. It was Andy
'Gwen, hi. Er you work with a Ianto Jones don't you?'
'Andy, you know I do – this really isn't a great time'
'Well, it's just that his car has been found abandoned 110 kilometres outside of Cardiff and I wondered if you knew what he was up to or where he was'
Shit, thought Gwen. 'OK Andy, send me the details and I'll get there as soon as possible' Gwen shut her phone, heaved a massive sigh, opened her phone again and dialled Jack.
Ianto woke up and felt better. Maybe he had been too suspicious of Chantress' motives. His memory was still very hazy but he was alert enough to wonder why he still felt so weak, why he could barely move. The pain in his head was unremitting still. However, one thing he knew for sure was that even though the sedation had done him some good he didn't want to give Chantress the opportunity to drug him again so with an enormous effort he reached across and pulled out the drip attached to his right arm.
The door opened and Chantress entered – 'Oh dear' she said looking at the thin trail of blood oozing from Ianto's arm 'You are making a mess of my lovely clean sheets'
'Sorry' mumbled Ianto 'I don't like the drip, sorry'
'No matter' said Chantress. She produced a plaster and pressed it down hard onto to the puncture wound. 'I bet your head is still hurting – yes? I have some tablets here that will help'
'No' said Ianto 'No drugs'
'Some water then?'
Ianto drank thirstily from the glass she held out to him. He flinched when Chantress laid her hand upon his head and gently pushed him back down on the pillow.
The buzzing and dizziness had come back, 'shit' said Ianto, 'the water… what….what was ...'
Chantress was watching his face, with a smile
'Oh you are a clever boy' she crooned 'But sometimes water is just water, I have something much more effective, it will help you forget yourself and make you share yourself with me'
Ianto tried to fight the numbness slipping through his body and his mind, 'What do you mean? Share what? Why are you doing this to me?' he slurred
She bought her face close to his own, her fingers were digging into his scalp 'Show me your failures' she whispered and Ianto slipped into the dark;
Memory; age 14.
Ianto has come in from school and overheard his parents talking in the kitchen. 'I'm telling you' his father said 'the boy is not normal'
'Nonsense' responded his mother 'He is neat, clean, tidy and smart – you should be proud of him'
'He's fourteen! He shouldn't be any of those things. I've never seen him with a girl friend, or any friends come to that. When I think back to what I was like at that age, I tell you the boy is a disappointment!'
Memory; age 21.
It's Ianto's university graduation day. As he walks across the sunlight grass towards his parents he hears his father, 'not the best degree is it? A 2:1 and in History and Literature – how hard can that be? All that time and money wasted; he still doesn't know what to do with himself! What a failure'
Memory; age 23.
Torchwood One is burning. Ianto is dragging the partially cyber-converted body of Lisa Hallett through the hall ways, screaming for help. He knows he isn't going to be able to save her.
Some months later, Ianto kneels on the blood soaked floor of the Hub. Lisa is dead, executed by the people he thought were his friends the look in her dead eyes shows him his own failure. He looks up and straight into Jack's eyes – so blue but ice cold, so distant and so very disappointed in him.
Hot tears seeped from under Ianto's eye lids and his body shook with the grief of his own remembered inadequacies. Standing beside his bed, her hand on his head, Chantress smiled
Gwen was feeling guilty. She had called a now completely hang over free Jack (how did he do that) to come to Gentle Souls with the SUV and got him to help her get Nathan's body back to the Hub. Whilst she was waiting she had done a quick search of the office filing cabinets but hadn't really been able to come up with any more information about Sula, not an assessment form, not a counselling record – nothing. That was odd in itself. She hadn't told Jack about Ianto's car being found abandoned yet, fearing he would race off to investigate leaving her stranded.
Once they got Nathan's body back to the Hub and down to the autopsy room, Jack had examined the five deep puncture wounds in Nathan's head. Gwen was about to come clean and tell Jack about the car and suggest that she go investigate when a sharp intake of breath from Jack snagged her attention
'What is it?'
Jack straightened up 'Gwen I know what this is! It's nasty. This is a succubus attack'
'Nasty little predator from the Cygnatious nebula. They feed upon emotions, the rawer and darker the better' Jack grabbed Gwen's hand and pulled her to his office; he rummaged in a book case and pulled out a book. He pointed to a picture of a painting – it showed a woman sprawled, either asleep or dead, across a bed and seated upon her chest was a squat goblin figure with toad like features and long pointed nails. 'There, 'said Jack 'Fusili painted this in 1781, it's pretty accurate actually. They mainly come in the night to feed and can materialise and dematerialise at will, hence they were seen as supernatural creatures. They secrete a neurotoxin through their skin that weakens or paralyses their prey. It's nasty stuff, stops tissue repairing itself so once they have punctured the skull they can feed as often as they like without having to sedate their victims too much. If they like you or if you are lucky, you get the most erotic dreams of your life and you survive, if they get greedy they kill. I think that is what has been happening to your missing persons'
'That would make sense' mused Gwen 'the people at the centre will all be full of raw emotion, pain, bereavement'
'An emotional smorgasbord' agreed Jack. 'We need to find them and fast'
'Them' affirmed Jack 'Succubae are very territorial and very loyal. They work as a dyad – there'll be two of them. We need to stop this. I say we go back to the counselling centre, see if there's anything we missed, talk to the other clients see if they can shed any light on this 'woman', what her name - Sula'
'Ianto!' yelled Jack, and then his face fell
'I forgot' he whispered miserably.
So Gwen hugged him and told him what Andy had told her.
In the bedroom of the small cottage, Chantress and her 'sister', Sula were looking at the unconscious body of Ianto Jones. 'This one is tasty.' said Chantress 'He looks like an innocent but his mind is dark, full of grief, guile and filth. If we were to be careful we could make him last a long time' she reached out a hand and stroked Ianto's hair. He moaned under her touch.
'How did you trap him?'
'The usual way – transformation filter, body on the road. I was quite impressive though I say so myself but then I was ready for him. I felt his pain from a long way away, like a scream in the night'
'I can't wait to try him' said Sula 'but I'm still full from that annoying counsellor man – he tasted of concern and altruism – it's all sitting a bit heavy'
'That's OK' said Chantress 'More for me this time' She placed the heel of her hand on Ianto's forehead, as if she were blessing him, forced her long sharp finger nails through his skin and into his skull and began to feed.
Memory; in the boardroom
It is a month after the Torchwood team put down Lisa. Ianto is tidying the board room. Ianto moves through each day like a ghost – he interacts with his colleagues but he feels nothing but constant pain. He can't imagine a time when clearing up other peoples mess won't be all of his life. Is this all he is now? The agony he is feeling is not decreasing, his stomach feels full of rats, every inch of him hurts. He feels tears pricking constantly behind his eyelids. Lisa….Lisa…
Memory; in the Hub
Ianto has just seen Jack return from the dead following the encounter with Abbadon. Jack had embraced and kissed him in front of the whole team – Ianto is a bit freaked by this but also quietly pleased that Jack had acknowledged their relationship so publically. He had gone out with Tosh and Owen to buy coffees to celebrate. On return to the Hub a distraught Gwen told them something had taken Jack. Ianto had torn the place apart searching for some clue, some sign that Jack had thought of him before leaving. Even when the others, shocked, had left the Hub, Ianto stayed behind curled up on Jack's bed, hugging Jack's pillow which still smelt of him and wracked with grief and misery. His only thought, 'Not again, please god. I can't lose someone I love again and survive it
Memory; in the shadows
Ianto is listening to Jack causally dismiss him to a stranger. This can't be…Ianto trusts Jack more than he has ever trusted anyone in his life. He believed that Jack needed him, loved him, how could he have got it so wrong? Was he as stupid and useless as his father thought? He watches Jack take the stranger to the bunker where he sleeps, where they sleep. Ianto can feel the exact moment that his heart splinters into tiny pieces; sadness overwhelms him, grief freezes him
Ianto stirred, his head still felt like it was being beaten with large metal hammers. He was alone. Carefully, he felt his face and head. There was a really tender spot where he had obviously hit a rock edge – he could feel a long scab forming and short strips of tape holding the edges of the wound together but it didn't feel like the major injury his - rescuers? Captors? - had implied. What puzzled him were the five deep punctures across the top of his skull. They had bled a lot but resting his fingers on them even lightly caused pain to flare through his head. This is wrong, he thought to himself, it shouldn't take this long to recover from a minor head injury, I shouldn't be this weak. He rolled to the side of the bed and pushed himself upright. The pain in his head was so intense for a moment he feared he would vomit or pass out again; using the bed head to pull himself upright Ianto staggered to the cupboard in the corner of the room. He opened the door, and recoiled in horror. The cupboard was full of clothing, men's clothes and women's, different styles and sizes – blood stained, covered in plastic and all neatly labelled with names, dates and, oddly, a list of descriptors. He pulled out a woman's dress; the label read 'Sandra Miller, 10/08/10 Sad. Relieved. Guilty'. A man's jacket read 'Ben Williams, 19/11/10 Predatory. Sexual. Aggressive' Wait a second, wait just a second, there was a jacket there he recognised. This was his suit. The label pinned to it read Ianto Jones but there was no date, no descriptors. Curious. He tried the name on in his mind – Ianto Jones hmm it sort of felt familiar, like it fitted him. OK, good but if he was Ianto, who the hell was Jack? Clearly, whoever Jack was he was important to him, his name was the first, the only thought in Ianto's mind when he had come round, it made no sense. But at least he had found his clothes. Carefully and slowly to accommodate his throbbing head Ianto slid into pants and shirt.
Hoping to find a telephone, although he had no idea who to call, Ianto moved silently toward the bedroom door on bare feet and opened it; he could hear Chantress and her sister talking.
'I can keep him amnesiac and confused for about a week, then his own personality will probably break through the drugs, no matter what the dose. I think we should have our pleasure now and dispose of him sooner rather than later'
'Is he good? What did you taste sister?'
'His grief and his failure – he has been grievously hurt by someone he loved deeply. It was glorious! I'm sure I could find the memory again. Do you want to taste that?'
'No. You spoke of filth, after living on these depressed do–gooders for the last few months I want to taste the spice of deviancy and debauchery'
'Very well, come then'
Ianto's mind was screaming at him to run but as he turned the pain in his head swelled and the floor tilted up to meet him.
Jack and Gwen were standing in the watery sunshine at the side of the road, looking at Ianto's car. 'This doesn't make any sense' muttered Jack 'what the hell was he doing out here?'
Gwen hesitated; reluctant to break what she sensed was a confidence but Jack seemed so...broken. 'He did tell me once' she volunteered 'that when he was upset as a kid he would just go off somewhere and hide – it used to drive his mam mad. Maybe this is just his way of hiding now'
'Because of me' said Jack grimly
Gwen cast around for a change of subject
'Look!' she exclaimed 'a valley rainbow! That's supposed to be lucky'
Jack gave her a look
'No really' Gwen insisted 'You don't see valley rainbows often. You have to be standing in rain above a valley with the sun behind you. It looks as though the valley is filled with a rainbow. My Gran used to tell me that's where rainbows were made in secret so to see one was lucky'
Jack gave the valley a brief glance, then, as something caught his eye, a much longer one
'Gwen' he said 'these rainbows of yours do they ever have big gaps in the middle?'
Gwen looked to where jack was pointing – the rainbow filled the valley below them in two perfect halves with a gap in the centre, through which she could see the hillside.
'That's odd' she frowned 'I've never seen that before'
Jack laughed 'Someone down there has a perception filter' he said 'and they don't know it's raining'
Ianto woke up with his memory back and his mind clear for the first time in 24 hours. He was sprawled across the bed, back in the small room that now, clearly was his prison. His clothes were on the floor and the two women who had abducted him were standing either side of his bed. 'No reason now, Ianto Jones to hide our true selves from you.' Their features flowed and flattened until they resembled nothing more than two fairy tale goblins.
Ianto struggled to rise but his limbs wouldn't obey him. 'What are you?' he whispered 'Why are you doing this to me?'
One of the goblin creatures hopped onto the bed and straddled his body. 'We are Succubae 'she chuckled as she placed her hand upon his head. 'and we are doing this because you taste so good
The pain flared and Ianto saw and felt his memories being dredged painfully into the light
Memory; with Lisa
Ianto is in a restaurant, he is with Lisa on their first date. Ianto really, really likes her and this is making him nervous and a little unsure of himself. She has just told the most ridiculous joke and made him snort wine down his nose. Oh God! How unattractive is that? This is going be a disaster. She won't want to see him again. She smiles, reaches across the table and touches his hand lightly. Ianto blushes, his body's response to her touch amazes him – he is so hard, so fast. She leans closer 'do you want to get out of here?"Hand in hand and laughing they run through the rain to Ianto's flat. They stumble to the bedroom hands all over each other. Lisa is doing things to his body that Ianto can't believe. She stays the night and never really leaves again.
Memory; wanting Jack
Ianto has been working for Torchwood Cardiff for six weeks. He is in the vaults feeding the weevil. He still feels a bit shy around Jack. The memory of lying on top of Jack after they had bought down the pteranodon is always in the front of his mind; the feel of Jack's strong body, the soft caress of Jack's hands, the feel of Jack's erection brushing against his own through his pants, the impulse, so strong, just to lean in and kiss him. Ianto is also about to learn the importance of keeping your wits about you when close to a weevil, the creature sensing his inattention attacks and savages his shoulder. When he staggers into the Hub, pale, blood dripping down his arm, it is Jack who takes him to the medical bay, gently strips him of his jacket and shirt; cleanses and binds the wound. Ianto stares stonily ahead trying not to think the thoughts he's thinking, trying to stop himself becoming erect. He tells Jack he has a clean shirt in his locker thinking, please just go, don't offer to help me. Jack seems to understand but as he leaves he casually runs his hand the length of Ianto's back and drops a light kiss on his naked shoulder. Ianto thinks he may come just from that small contact, he is learning new things about himself – the images and ideas he has in his head both disturb and excite him
Memory; the first time
Ianto is working late in the archive, it is three months after Lisa's slaughter, he doesn't want to go home to be sad alone. He looks up and Jack is there, leaning in the door way, hands in his pockets, just... watching him. Ianto straightens up and walks over to him. Jack reaches out and gently touches Ianto's face with his finger tips. Ianto doesn't want or need tenderness right now; he thinks, this is what I have been waiting for, this is my moment, and with a sense of truly finding himself for the first time he pushes Jack up against the door kissing him hard and aggressively; tongue probing intruding, sliding over teeth, clothing discarded. Then it becomes all about Jack and his cock - touching and stroking, licking and tasting, hot and amazing.
Sula dug her talons through Ianto's scalp and moaned, "Oh sister, you were right, join me this is incredible" From the other side of the bed Chantress also placed her talons into his head and Ianto screamed and screamed
Jack Harkness burst through the door of the small cottage. He had raced down the steep fell side, coat flying. He was vaguely aware of Gwen shouting something after him but he didn't want to hear it. He skidded to a halt in the hallway at the foot of the stairs, Webley at the ready. The first thing he saw, lying on the hallway table was Ianto's car keys – with the silly tiger key ring he had bought for him on their abortive date at the zoo.
'Ianto' Jack yelled 'Ianto'
A scream split the air, a scream of such agony Jack feared that its originator could not survive whatever it was that was causing such torture. Not stopping to think, not stopping to assess, only caring that Ianto Jones was in pain and needed him, Jack took the stairs three at a time.
The clarity of the erotic memories he was being forced to relive meant that Ianto's body was beginning to betray him, even through the unrelenting pain in his head; he is rock hard and feels a tiny dribble of pre-cum around the head of his penis. The talons of the two succubae scrapped across the vault of his skull as the secret, highly personal memories, memories that he kept hidden were exposed like raw nerves.
'Deeper' chanted the succubae in unison 'go deeper'
'No' pleaded Ianto as a memory was wrenched to the vanguard of his thoughts 'not that one please, I'm begging you, that's...that's the only thing I have left of him'
Memory; I love you
Jack has used his wrist strap to create a temporal bubble around the bed that slowed time. They lay exhausted, sweaty and entwined, both have come so long and so hard, Jack tells Ianto they are in danger of becoming potassium depleted. Ianto smiles and reaches towards the fruit bowl
'Lots of potassium in bananas' he grins 'lots of different ways to eat them too'. He peels one and slowly draws it down Jack's body, swirling it around his balls and squashing it against Jack's still hard cock, taking both into his mouth.
'Ianto Jones, I love you so much!' said Jack impulsively, and a look of absolute horror and alarm immediately crossed his face; he laughed and added quickly, 'always there with a dirty backup plan.' Ianto is busy, his mouth full, both of banana and Jack's penis so he doesn't see the sincerity or the panic, hears only the humour. Nonetheless, it was the first time Jack had ever used the word 'love' to him, even if it was in fun. A thrill of pure happiness glows through Ianto's body and he hugs Jack tightly.
Through the pain and the arousal, Ianto was only vaguely aware of the bedroom door crashing open
'Hi there ladies' said the familiar and much loved voice 'Got room for one more?'
Ianto felt the talons contract, and he screamed again
'Hey Ianto' said Jack ' You have no idea how very happy I am to see you' a small pause then a lift of an eyebrow and that brilliant, wide Harkness smile ' looks like you're pleased to see me too'
'Jack, get out' sobbed Ianto 'Jack, just run, please'
'Sorry' said Jack 'Can't do that! Ladies, playing with Captain Jack's toys; that's very naughty. I really don't feel like sharing today'
'Sister' hissed Sula 'This man is an annoyance, a distraction! Subdue him whist I finish this one, then we will feast together'
Jack stood calmly, head on one side at the succubus sidled round the bed towards him then he winked at Ianto and shot her through the head. As the body slumped to the floor Ianto felt the remaining succubus's' talons contract and then withdraw,
'Nonono' screamed Sula scrambling towards her companion. Jack coldly dispatched her in the same manner in which he had killed her sister; then in one stride was at the bed, kneeling at Ianto's side. He pulled him into a massive hug.
'Jack' murmured Ianto 'Jack. I thought I'd never…..' his voice broke on a sob and faded away
Jack stroked his face and smiled into Ianto's eyes.
'You, Mr Jones' He said 'You, are coming home with me
The roar of the SUV was heard through the window, closely followed by the sound of Gwen's feet pounding up the stairs. Ianto made a hurried grab for the duvet as Gwen burst into the room, gun drawn. She looked at Ianto cradled in Jack's arms.
'Bloody hell' Gwen smiled 'you two don't waste any time do you?'
Jack pointed at the two bodies on the bedroom floor 'Think that's your problem solved PC Cooper'
Ianto chipped in 'There's a whole load of clothes in that cupboard there. Shouldn't be too difficult to link them with your missing people Gwen
'Torchwood' laughed Gwen 'Together, we are bloody fabulous!'
Later that evening, back at the Hub, Ianto was lying in Jack's arms, his head on Jack's chest, sliding his fingers over Jacks skin and being comforted by the slow strong beat of Jack's heart.
'You know' he mused 'even when they had messed with my memory and I didn't know my own name, didn't remember anything really, the only thing that I did recall was you, well, your name anyway. It was so important to me that stupidly, for a while, I thought it was mine.
Jack mussed his hair, gently and Ianto winced, the puncture wounds caused by the succubae were starting to heal but they were still very tender 'About what you heard…' Jack began awkwardly
'It's OK' Ianto interrupted. 'Doesn't matter'
Gwen had already told him all about the circumstances behind Sir Justin Fanshaw's visit and the reason for Jack's behaviour. She had also told Ianto, in graphic detail, about the state in which she had found Jack on the following day, but Ianto was keeping that information close to his heart for the moment.
'It's funny, you know' continued Ianto, sleepily 'When I thought I'd blown it with you and we were over, when I thought you saw me as just a meaningless convenient shag, and I felt more alone and lost than I ever had before, worse even than when I lost Lisa, I never, not for one second, doubted you'd come looking for me, find me, save me - again'
Jack pulled him closer, kissed him hard, and held him tightly as if death itself wouldn't part them. He needed Ianto, more than he liked to admit to himself, and he never wanted to be as close to losing him as he had been in the last 48 hours
'No more talking' he murmured 'let's go to sleep'
'Jack' whispered Ianto, his breath hot on Jack's neck, his lips close to his ear 'Can you just tell me one thing?'
'What the hell happened to my overcoat?'