After Effects

Summary: Ianto finds himself with custody of his two daughters and decides to quit Torchwood and take retcon. This is about how Jack deals with losing what was right in front of him and what could happen to a person with four years of his memories altered. Eventually dreams and hallucinations he doesn't understand drive Ianto mad and Jack has to do whatever it takes to save him. Jack also suffers, goes a bit mad himself, stops being the man Ianto fell in love with.

Time frame: starts after DW episode Journey's End

WARNING: Depends on your definition of "Gwen bashing" but if you think she's all that and a bag of chips then you probably won't want to read this.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: you know the drill

A/N: I've been working on this story for, like, maybe two years. I didn't want to post it till it was done and I think I like that way of doing things.

There will be 15 chapters including this little bit here so be on the lookout.


Once upon a time…

Jack did not want to do this. He really had no desire to do this. But Ianto had asked him to and had given him a pretty good argument and looked at him with those gorgeous blue eyes and pleaded with those beautiful Welsh vowels.

In the end, Jack couldn't refuse, if he did Ianto would never forgive him, never speak to him again. Granted, doing this Ianto would never speak to him again but at least he wouldn't know he wasn't speaking to Jack.

Jack stood outside Ianto's flat for a long time, gathering up the courage to go through with this. He understood and supported Ianto's reasons for leaving Torchwood. The mother of his children had been killed by daleks and now Ianto was responsible for two little girls. Ianto wanted to be there for them, watch them grow up. Jack understood that, hell Jack wanted that for Ianto.

But what Jack still couldn't fully grasp was just why Ianto felt their relationship had to end; why he felt he had to forget being in Torchwood, forget loving Jack. Ianto had given him a good argument. Jack didn't agree with most of it now that he thought it over. But if Jack didn't do as Ianto asked it would just make things worse.

So, taking a deep breath and fighting tears he wished he didn't have, he went up to Ianto's door and knocked.

Jack held Ianto as the drug began to overtake him.

"I left detailed instructions to the Archives and coffee machine," Ianto said, voice and eyelids heavy.

"I know," was all Jack could say in response.

"You'll give me the memories and ideas I want, yeah?"

"Yeah," Jack's eyes stung "Ianto?" it looked like he'd fallen asleep but then his eyes opened again.

"Hey, it was good, yeah?"

"Yeah," Jack forced a smile, he meant it of course but it was just so damn hard to smile at the moment.

Ianto swallowed "I love you, I…"

"Don't," Jack interrupted, not wanting to hear what would only make things harder.

"You'll forget me?" there was such uncertainty in his eyes.

Jack held him closer, "Never could, I promise."

Ianto opened his mouth to speak again but finally sleep claimed him, the retcon taking hold. Jack sucked up his tears and whispered in Ianto's ear the story Ianto made for himself. He then quietly went through the flat, looking for anything Ianto may have forgotten to remove himself.

Ianto had decided not to forget Lisa entirely—Jack wouldn't have let him anyway, the way he loved Lisa was part of who he was. But he would forget though, just how she died and he would forget Torchwood, and worst of all, he would forget Jack.

Jack stopped himself in time before slamming his fist down on the kitchen counter. He didn't want to wake Ianto's daughters—Ianto would be out till morning. He washed the coffee mug he had drunk his last cup of Ianto coffee from and put it away. Then Jack's eyes fell on Ianto's coffee machine and he saw that an envelope was taped to it—it was addressed to him. Jack took the envelope and stuffed it in his pocket. He'd read it later, he had no desire to have his heart broken anymore tonight. He gave Ianto one last kiss, whispered words he couldn't say before and left the flat without a sound.

No worries mates, story's all typed up. The next chapter will be up in a couple of days, at the most.

Reviews will help expedite the process.