impressive in a slightly boring 18th century way (solsticezero) wrote,
impressive in a slightly boring 18th century way

A Song Incomplete (1/2)

Title: A Song Incomplete
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Gwen
Spoilers: DW 1.13, The Parting of the Ways; DW 3.13, The Last of the Time Lords.
Summary: An alien device shows Jack and Ianto parts of each other's past they wish they had not seen. (This icon has never been more accurate for a story.)

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”


Ianto could hear them arguing before the cog door even rolled back.

“He’s not useless, Jack! He’s just a bit clueless!”

“He touched this thing without any idea what it was! It could have killed him instantly!”

“He was curious.”

“He’s an idiot.”

The alarms flashed and the door finally rolled, revealing Gwen and Jack, carrying something heavy and dirty between them. They were covered in mud. Ianto noted with displeasure that he’d have to clean the floor again. And the SUV.

“Who are we yelling about now?” He came toward them, hoping they wouldn’t drop the heavy, dirty thing on the first table they saw.

Jack glanced up and smirked. “PC Andy, Cardiff’s last defense against alien threat.”

“Ah,” Ianto said. “Well, we’re in safe hands, then.”

Gwen rolled her eyes. “The two of you.”

They dropped the thing on the first table they saw.

Ianto sighed inwardly.

Jack started prodding at it, wiping the dirt away with his fingers. It looked incredibly complicated – but, Ianto noted, entirely symmetrical. Beneath the grime, it was a bright metal, cylindrical, about ten inches in diameter. From either side extended four thin, curved prongs. Pressed into the metal were symbols – some unfamiliar alien alphabet. Ianto stepped forward, taking a biro from the table and using it to knock some of the dirt away from the writing for a better look.

Jack, still using his fingers, explained what happened. “The police call – ‘we’ve dug something up in the woods, looks like one of your spooky-dos’ – and Gwen and I drag ourselves out there in the pouring rain to find that our dear police contact has been fiddling around with the thing for the better part of an hour. Raises hell when we kick him out of the police tent.” He glanced at Gwen. “You’re gonna have to keep a collar on that one, Gwen.”

Ianto dropped the relatively useless pen in favor of Jack’s hands-on method.

Gwen balked. “Why’s it my responsibility?”

“Your ex-partner? Gee, I dunno, let’s think about-”

Everything went black.

- - -

“Doctor, you’ve got twenty seconds maximum!”

Ianto landed on the ground against a red metal wall, the sound of shooting somewhere close by.

And Jack yelling.

He looked toward the noise; Jack came into view at the end of the hall, wielding a machine gun and shooting at – something. Ianto couldn’t see what it was; the wall blocked his view. The gun jammed and Jack slung it off and threw it down the passage. Ianto had to scramble out of the way to avoid being hit by it. Jack pulled out a pistol and kept firing – what the hell was he shooting at? Ianto got to his feet and started down the passage. Jack’s pistol ran out. He threw it – Ianto dodged it. Then, that voice.


Ianto’s eyes went wide; his breath caught. Daleks.

Jack said, defiant, “I kind of figured that.”

Jack’s body flashed green and skeletal and he was thrown backwards against the wall. Ianto held himself still, fighting every part of him that wanted to run to Jack and pull him away. The Daleks went past him, into a room on the other side of the corridor. When they were gone, Ianto hurried to Jack’s side.

“Jack, come on, quickly.” Ianto spoke under his breath, eyes scanning everywhere, on alert. Someone was speaking in the room the Daleks had gone to. “Come on, come on, just come back-” He reached out to grab Jack’s arm.

His hand went around it.

Baffled, he tried again.

He couldn’t make his hand touch Jack – anywhere. Like there was a forcefield around him. His fingers slid an inch above Jack’s skin, Jack’s clothes.

And that was something else. Jack’s clothes were different. No braces, no coat. Just a vest that, frankly, made him look a little ridiculous. And he was younger. Much, much younger.

“What the hell?”

The sound of movement down the passage. Ianto looked. More Daleks. He froze, staring. Terrified. But they stopped. They stood still in the center of the passage, as if listening to some internal command.

Then they disintegrated into dust.

Ianto just stayed still, completely lost. Jack, younger, dead and taking too long to come back. Daleks dissolving. And in the next room he could hear shouting in monotone – then, nothing. Silence.

Then Jack came back to life.

Ianto fell back, surprised. Jack looked shocked, afraid. He looked around with eyes that, Ianto thought, were incredibly different from the ones he knew. “Jack,” he said, coming forward. “What the hell’s going on? How did we get here?”

Jack ignored him, painfully pulling himself to his feet.

“Jack, really, what just happened?”

He watched as Jack walked unsteadily forward, then knelt and incredulously took a handful of Dalek dust. As he let it run through his fingers, he heard something and looked up. Ianto heard it, too; a sound like a synthesizer mixed with an engine. It was remarkably similar to the sound file Tosh captured the day Jack disappeared-

Jack took off running.

Ianto shouted and went after him, but the first step he took went through the metal floor, and he fell forward into darkness.

- - -

He landed on his feet in the hub. Gwen and Jack whirled around to see him, identical shocked expressions melting into relief.

Ianto stared at them. “What happened?”

“You tell us!” Gwen came forward, holding out her hand to touch his arm, as if making sure he was real. “That thing kicked on and hooked into you two. When it fell off, Jack went to touch you and you disappeared.”

Ianto looked to Jack, eyebrows raised. Jack nodded and pointed. “Look at your arm.” Ianto did. Around his right forearm were four identical black marks. Jack held up his own arm; the same.

Ianto shook his head. “I don’t remember any of that.” To Jack, “And why the hell did you ignore me back there? Bloody Daleks and you go running for that noise again.”

Jack’s face clouded with confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Ianto stared. “Not three minutes ago. Hallway. You were-” Ianto stopped. It finally hit him. “I’ve just time traveled.”


“I think I was in your past.” He looked at Jack, thinking hard. “There was a hallway with the number five hundred on the wall, and three Daleks. One of them shot you, then they left, and new ones came, and then they disintegrated. Then you woke up and ran. You didn’t see me. You couldn’t see me.”

Jack stared, his mouth nearly hanging open. He fell back into a chair. “What the hell?”

Gwen looked between them, annoyed, “I’m sorry, but what in God’s name are you two talking about?”

Jack looked at his arm for a moment, then smacked his own forehead, cursing. “We’re idiots! I know what this is.”

Ianto stepped forward. “What?”

“There’s a race of aliens, completely monogamous, born among their own gender and never allowed to meet the opposite until they’re going to get married. This thing,” he said, pointing at the device still sitting on the table, “implants a biological-telepathic-temporally specific time traveling device into the happy couple the first time they meet. Touch it in just the right place at just the right time, and it activates.” He met Ianto’s eyes. “It sends them back to specific points in each other’s lives. The times that they feel are the most important. So they know each other completely without having met each other before.”

Gwen took a breath. “And it works by touch?”

Jack nodded.

“How long?” Ianto asked.

Jack sighed. “I don’t know. I don’t know that much about this. Just vaguely how it works. Could be a day, could be a month.”

Ianto groaned. “This is a disaster.”

“You’re telling me,” Jack said, his face grim.

“But what did Ianto just see?” Gwen looked at Jack. “Why was that an important moment?”

Jack looked at Gwen, then Ianto. “You just saw the first time that I died.”

Ianto’s face clouded in confusion. “The first time-” He paused. “You were with the Doctor. I heard the TARDIS. Where was that?”

Jack shook his head. “A long way in the future. It doesn’t matter.”

Gwen protested. “Yes it does! How did-”

Ianto interrupted her. “Why couldn't you see me?”

Jack shrugged. “The time travel implant must have a built-in chameleon circuit perception filter, like the invisible lift. Could you touch anything?”


“Well, there you go. Smart tech. You have no way of changing the time you’re sent back to. All you can do is watch.”

Ianto fell silent, thinking. “This is going to make it difficult to work together.”

Jack laughed without humor. “Among other things.” He sighed, then stood up. “All right, here’s what we do. Ianto, go home. If there’s an emergency, the end of the world, we’ll call you. We’ll hope that this is just a twenty-four hour thing. If it isn’t, we’ll figure it out from there.”

Ianto looked at him for a moment, then nodded. He made his way toward the door, swallowing his annoyance at being sent away. He heard Gwen quietly attack Jack the second his back was turned, badgering him about what Ianto had seen.

Ianto understood. Jack didn’t want to have to explain his past. For that matter, nor did Ianto. There was a lot that both of them had long ago decided to bury. Ianto was not the type of person who needed to know every intimate detail of someone’s life.


The absolute resistance from Jack to share himself was sometimes grating. There are things that you keep – Ianto had plenty, stored tidily away in his head, that he was sure Jack and Gwen knew nothing about. But those things are offset by what you give away. And Jack gave nothing.

At the top of the first flight of stairs, Ianto wavered slightly. He brought a hand to his head, trying to focus. He called out, echoing in the stairwell, “Jack, I-”

A huge stab of pain struck behind his eyes.

He shouted and lost his balance. The world seemed to shift into slow-motion as his feet left the stairs and he was falling backwards through the air, his stomach knotted in panic.

He felt hands catch him, then he hit the floor.

- - -

Jack landed off-balance in a narrow hallway. He put his hand on a wall to steady himself, then looked around. The decorating was sort of old-fashioned; wallpaper, framed photos that looked like they were taken in the eighties. He heard running behind him and turned around just in time to leap out of the way of two young children in pyjamas, both laughing as they raced past him. The older one, a girl, a bit chubby but very cute, cried “Ianto, quit it!” as the younger boy steered her from behind to go faster.

The younger boy with bright blue eyes and a rather adorable bowl cut.

Jack grinned despite himself. Ianto had a bowl cut when he was a kid. He would have to try and find pictures to show Gwen.

He followed them down the hallway and into a cramped living room. The issue of space was not aided by the large Christmas tree in the corner, which seemed to push every other piece of furniture closer together. Ianto and – his sister, he supposed – stopped in front of the tree, reaching for wrapped gifts with their names on them. Jack stopped in the doorway, watching, and jumped when a second later someone else did the same right next to him. It was an older man – mustache, bit of a beer belly. Ianto’s father. Jack gave the man a once-over. He looked pleasant enough.

“Wait for your mother!” he called to the kids, who stopped and looked at him over their shoulders. “She’ll be out in a minute.”

Then, from somewhere in the house, someone screamed.

Ianto’s father jumped, then ran toward the sound. Jack followed, and heard two pairs of small feet behind him.

They crashed into the kitchen in time to see a woman with wildly mussed hair backed against a counter, holding a knife out in front of her.

“Stay away from me!” she shouted at Ianto’s father. “You’re with them!”

Ianto’s father motioned the kids behind him with one hand while approaching the woman slowly, his other hand held out to her. “Love, you’re meant to take your medicine when the doctor’s said.”

“No!” She waved the knife at him. “That’s how they keep me away! I won’t let you drug me!”

Ianto’s father looked back at them – Ianto, his sister, the unseen Jack – and waved them away. They didn’t move. They stared, terrified, at the woman.

Their mother.

Jack, for the first time, realized that he was intruding on something truly horrible.

While the father was distracted, the mother lashed out with the knife, cutting his extended hand. He howled with pain. Ianto’s sister screamed and tried to pull him out of the room. But Ianto didn’t budge. He stared with huge, horrified eyes, as his father bled on the kitchen floor and tried to fight the knife away from his mother.

Then everything dissolved.

- - -

Jack was back in the hub, in the stairwell. Gwen and Ianto were nowhere to be seen.

He leaned against a wall and exhaled. He was shaking.

He shouldn’t have seen that. He shouldn’t have followed – should have waited in the hall until it was over. Screw curiosity. There were things he should not know. That moment was definitely one of them. He looked up at the stairs above him, closed his eyes, took a breath, willed his hands to stop shaking. Then he went back out into the hub.

Gwen had dragged Ianto up to the couch and was sitting next to him, helping him hold an ice pack to his head. She caught Jack out of the corner of her eye and looked at him, her relief obvious. “God, Jack. That was stupid.”

He came closer and grinned sheepishly; even that didn’t reach his eyes. “I tried to catch you,” he said to Ianto.

Ianto looked up at him over the crook of his arm holding the ice pack. “You failed. No points.”

Jack sat on the coffee table. “Well, I would have. You okay?”

“He doesn’t have a concussion,” Gwen said, shifting a little to look at Jack. “Nothing broken. Otherwise, no idea.”

“I’m fine,” Ianto said, taking Gwen’s hand away from his head. “Where did you go?”

Jack looked at him. “Don’t worry about it.”

Ianto looked back. They stared that way for a few long moments, Gwen sitting awkwardly between them, her eyes doing the tennis-match bounce from one face to the other.

Finally, Ianto nodded and looked away.

Jack clapped his hands together. “Okay! So apparently being separated induces pain. This race is surprisingly sadistic.” He looked at Gwen. “Go home. Hug Rhys. Be grateful that your wedding ceremony didn’t involve this kind of thing.”

Gwen looked startled. “Why? It’s early yet.”

Jack looked at his watch. “Your concept of ‘early’ has been desperately skewed, working here. Make Rhys take you to a late dinner.” Jack glanced at Ianto. “I want to keep an eye on him, and I don’t want any unnecessary risk of sending either of us back. Forward. Wherever. If a call comes in, unless it’s a definite danger, it can wait until tomorrow, when these things will hopefully be gone.” He held up his arm, indicating to the little marks made by the device. “Okay?”

Gwen, reluctantly, sighed and nodded. She stood.

“I’ll see you later.” She patted Ianto’s fringe against his forehead. “Feel better.”

“Good night,” Ianto said.

She left.

Ianto looked at Jack as he heard the rolldoor close. “That is an incredibly touchy woman.”

Jack smirked. “Touchy?”

“Obsessively tactile. Likes to pat things.” Ianto groaned as he sat up, pressing the ice pack to his head.

“We should get you to bed,” Jack said, standing up.

Ianto looked up at him. “You can’t very well help me there.”

Jack deflated slightly. Ianto’s brow furrowed.

“Jack, where did you go?”

Jack looked at him, debating.

“It’s all right,” Ianto said.

Jack sighed. “Christmas. You were a kid. Your mother. In the kitchen.”

Ianto stared up at him, blinking. Then he winced, remembering. He nodded, looking away. “Rhiannon tried to get me out of the flat – to our neighbors’, to call the police. I wouldn’t go. Just stood there staring while my mum tried to kill my dad.” He grinned bitterly. “Nadolig Llawen.”

“You don’t have to explain.”

Ianto looked up at him. He paused for a moment. Then he nodded again and stood, using the arm of the couch for support. “I suppose we aren’t both going to sleep in your bed.”

“I’ll stay up.”

Ianto moved slowly across to Jack’s office. “Good night, then.”

“Do you need anything?”

He stopped, gripping the doorframe, and looked back at Jack. He looked like he was about to say something – but all he did was shake his head, then continue into the office.

Jack watched him descend the ladder to the bed, guilt eating away at his stomach.

“Good night.”


Ianto woke up in the dark to his mobile ringing and a dull ache in his head. He flung his hand out to Jack’s bedside table, landing on either side of the singing, vibrating bit of machinery before finally grabbing it, flipping it open and pressing it to his ear.

“Ianto Jones.”

“Ianto? It’s Andy.”

Ianto looked at the time on the screen of the phone and huffed an aggravated sigh, bringing it back to his ear. “PC Davidson, unless the world is currently ending I suggest you call back at some point after the sun has risen.”

Andy went on as though he didn’t hear him. “There’s been – uh – an incident. I thought Torchwood might want to take a look.”

Ianto slung an arm over his eyes. “Incident?”

“A meteor kind of thing crashed in the woods just outside Cardiff. Big green fireball. Scared some of the locals.”

“Meteor kind of thing,” Ianto repeated.


“Andy, why didn’t you call Gwen?”

Andy sounded embarrassed. “She wasn’t – ah – wasn’t answering her mobile.”

Ianto smirked. “You’ve made her angry, haven’t you?”

“Can you please just come out here? The police don’t know what to do with it.”

“Fine,” Ianto groaned, rolling over. “You’re to have coffee for us.”

“Thought that was your job.”

“Watch it.” He hung up.

He slipped out of the bed and padded over to Jack’s wardrobe, not bothering to turn on the light, knowing his way around through repetition. He had an extra suit there, among Jack’s clothes, tucked away between his dated trousers and suspenders and shirts. He pulled it free and dressed in the dark, trying to ignore the ache at the back of his head.

At the top of the ladder, Ianto beheld Jack slumped over his desk, his head in his arms. Ianto came toward him and reached out, meaning to shake him awake, but he stopped, catching sight of his own arm. The four black marks. He remembered.

He looked at Jack for a moment, sleeping at his desk. The guilt that had been on his face last night. As thought it were his fault he had gone back to that particular moment. The sadness of it washed over Ianto in a very slow, gentle wave. That was something that he had not intended to reveal. He knew that Jack would find out eventually, but he would keep it quiet. He wouldn’t talk about it. Because if Jack was good at anything, he was good at not talking about things. And that was often for the best.

Quietly, Ianto said, “Jack.”

Jack stirred lightly, his forehead creasing.

“Jack,” Ianto said, a bit louder, though still gently. “Jack, wake up. We’ve had a call.”

Jack took in a breath and opened his eyes, and Ianto was immediately reminded of the way he looked when he came back to life. That breath. A sudden, complicated mixture of feelings pervaded his stomach as Jack blinked at him and sat up.

Jack rubbed the place between his eyes. “Dozed off,” he said, with a yawn. “What time is it?”

Ianto swallowed the unexpected emotional rush and managed to sound natural as he said, still quietly, “Four thirty.”

Jack groaned, leaning back in his chair. “I might as well have stayed awake.” He looked at Ianto. “You feeling all right?”

“Fine,” Ianto said. “Headache. Nothing I can’t manage.” He went to the coat tree and took Jack’s greatcoat down. “Shall we go?”

Jack sighed. “Suppose we have to.” He stood up and let Ianto slip the coat over his arms.

Ianto was about to settle the coat on his shoulders automatically when he caught himself and stepped back, pulling his hands away. Jack turned, brow furrowed. When it struck him, he smiled – it was dazzling. Ianto felt his butterfly-stomach feeling redouble at the sight of it.

“Guess we’re so used to that, by now,” Jack said, and his voice was uncharacteristically soft. He picked up his keys. “Come on. Let’s go.”

- - -

Jack called Gwen from the SUV on the way to the site – “Wouldn’t want to deny her the joy of this little adventure” – and she met them there, her hair still bed-mussed and her eyes half-closed.

“You drove in that condition?” Ianto asked, accepting a coffee from a nameless police grunt. He took a sip. It wasn’t terrible. He let his eyes follow the kid back through the crowd outside of the police tape.

“You bastards called me out here,” Gwen mumbled into the lid of her coffee. She couldn’t seem to raise her head any higher.

“Retribution for Davidson waking me up,” Ianto replied sunnily, scanning the crowd for Jack. He spotted him speaking to a police sergeant, who looked incredibly angry. Jack did have that effect.

The conversation subsequently ended with the sergeant turning on his heel and storming away, and Jack returned to them, looking pleased.

“All ours,” he said, and lifted the police tape to let them through.

The hole that the thing had made was impressive. It extended about nine feet in diameter, eight feet down into the wet earth. Whatever it was, it sat at the center, infinitely less impressive; two feet in diameter, the height of Jack’s knee. It glowed green through some cracks in the outer shell. It reminded Ianto of a prop from a bad 70’s science fiction movie.

Gwen moved a bit of blinking Torchwood kit over the surface of the meteor. “No radiation,” she said, moving to the other side carefully, her shoes nearly lost in mud. “High rift energy, though.”

Jack nodded. “This thing would never have made it through the atmosphere. Way too small. It must have fallen through the rift.”

Ianto squinted up at the sides of the crater. “How are we going to get it out?”

Jack grinned and looked at Gwen. “Think you can bully your ex-partner into rounding up some young and able bodies for us?”

Gwen took a moment to glare at him before resignedly scaling the crater. Ianto followed, Jack falling in behind him. At the lip, Ianto caught sight of Gwen and Andy – Andy looking the way Andy normally looked when he spoke to Gwen: half annoyed, half in love. Ianto pulled himself up to the surface and looked behind him, reaching out to help Jack out.

Jack grabbed his hand without thinking.

He disappeared the second their skin made contact.

Behind him, Ianto heard Gwen stop talking. He slowly turned his head to look at her, and met her glare with an apologetic smile.

- - -

Jack was somewhere with very terrible wood paneling. That was what he noticed first. Next, the sound of crying.

He turned around. Chairs arranged in rows. People huddled in little groups, sitting down, standing. Wearing black.

A casket at the top of the room.

Did Ianto have no good memories?

Jack hesitated, unsure of what to do. Was there a way that he could avoid seeing whatever he was meant to see?

The decision was taken out of his hands when Ianto walked through the door.

Even at sixteen, Ianto looked remarkable in a suit. That upright posture, that purposeful way of walking, all incredibly familiar but still so incredibly different.

The look on his face, though, was exactly the same.

Jack realized that here, today, at this moment, was when Ianto perfected his pleasant, emotionless mask.

He moved through the groups, shaking hands, whispering back and forth short, sympathetic conversations, and he never wavered. Not for a second.

Even as he stood next to his father’s coffin, looking down at the too-bright morticians’ makeup, Ianto’s formal expression did not slip once.

Jack came closer, getting a better look at him. Wanting to catch something, anything, that would show what he was feeling. He came around to Ianto’s side and looked.

His eyes.

The incredible weight in his eyes as he stared down at his father’s body. It was a weight that Jack knew well; the only way that Jack had been able to tell what Ianto was feeling, after Lisa.

Jack reached out to touch Ianto’s arm, but the world dissolved again before he got there.

- - -

Jack materialized with his feet halfway over the lip of the crater, but this time Gwen caught him, pulling him backwards before he was able to fall.

“Well, you got out of hauling the thing,” she muttered. “Good for you.”

Jack looked at Ianto, off to the side, directing the lifting of what they were apparently now referring to as The Thing into the SUV. He looked over and saw Jack, and a private sort of grin touched his lips, only to fade when Jack met his eyes. He quickly looked away from the expression on Jack’s face.

Gwen, beside him, asked suddenly, “What’s wrong?”

Jack shook his head. “Nothing.”

She grabbed his arm before he could wander away. “Where did you go?”

He looked at her. “Do you really think that’s your business?”

Her eyes widened, surprised, then turned stormy with anger. “It isn’t yours, either!”

“Yeah,” he said. “But I can’t help it.”

He walked off.

- - -

The ride back to the hub was silent. Jack had sent Gwen home to sleep and come in at a reasonable hour – she’d gone off angry, and Ianto wasn’t certain why, but he could manage a guess, taking into consideration the look she’d given Jack before she’d left. He stared down at his hands in his lap, aware of Jack’s unwavering gaze out at the dark road. Behind them, The Thing glowed dully in the backseat.

As though having come to some sort of decision, he turned his head purposefully to look at Jack, and felt the words Where did you go? at the base of his throat. Then, Jack’s words from the night before echoed through his head.

You don’t have to explain.

He looked away, out of the window, at the slowly brightening streets.

Jack said, “Your dad’s funeral.”

Ianto looked at him, surprised. He said nothing else. He didn’t take his eyes away from the road.

Ianto looked away again, aware of both of their breathing in the heavy silence.

- - -

They rolled The Thing into the hub on a dolly. It was, apparently, superdense – much heavier than its size warranted. It took them a few tries to lift it onto a table, and when they finally managed it, Jack told Ianto he could go back to sleep.

“I’ll stay up.” He looked at his watch. “I’ve slept enough.”

Jack looked at him, but said nothing. He turned back to The Thing – the meteor, the glowing rock – Ianto would have thought of a name for it, that being his presumed specialty, if he had not felt suddenly invasive. Unwelcome. Jack’s silence, his forced focus, filled the area around him, and pushed Ianto out.

He left the room.

Jack felt him go, then heard the clink of cups somewhere in the hub. He sighed quietly and relaxed against the table, leaning on his arms. This was not going to work.

He’d never been curious before – at least, not actively. Ianto was private. It had hardly occurred to Jack that he had a reason to be curious; the important parts of Ianto were here, physical, almost constantly close by. But, now. Forced in front of him. The things he didn’t know. The things he didn’t want to know.

He slowly began to examine The Thing, absentmindedly hooking it up to a bit of alien technology that Torchwood picked up in the 80’s, able to detect foreign energy levels.

It was – cheating. That’s what it was. The things that Jack had seen, those were moments that are shared in hesitant, hushed voices, in the dark. The types of conversations that he might have with Ianto, at some point. Just not yet.

(A low beeping began as the machine turned on.)

And maybe never. Because Jack could never reciprocate that sort of thing. There were so many things about himself, his past, that he could never explain.

(The beeping grew louder.)

He heard footsteps and the clink of china approaching, and turned to see Ianto carrying a tray with coffee and toast. He raised his eyebrows at Jack and nodded at The Thing. “Figured it out yet?”

“Not yet.”

(And louder.)

Ianto’s brow creased. “What’s that beeping?”

Jack looked surprised, then turned to look at the readout on the energy detector.

It was cycling to a point where the machinery could no longer measure it.

Jack looked at Ianto, eyes wide.

Fear flashed across Ianto’s face.

Jack quickly reached out and touched Ianto’s cheek.

Ianto vanished.

The Thing exploded.

( Part Two )
Tags: fanfiction, jack/ianto, torchwood
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