asra_fic: Ralph Clarke (Default)
[personal profile] asra_fic
Title: Just ourselves, and immortality
Pairing: Ianto/Jack
Rating: PG
Words: 1,033
Warnings: Character death; Jack, so it's not permanent. No spoilers. A bit morbid, sorry.
Summary: When Jack is killed by a different sort of monster from the usual ones, he and Ianto are more than a little shaken.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Title from Emily Dickinson: “Because I could not stop for Death, / He kindly stopped for me; / The carriage held but just ourselves / And immortality.”


Later, I understood why I'd felt a sense of foreboding all evening, ever since Jack had left the Hub to investigate a routine Weevil sighting. "Nothing to it," Jack had said, far too accustomed to capturing the creatures and Retconning any poor unfortunates who'd caught a glimpse. "Go home. You've been at work too long."

Oh, I'd tried to protest, but that never worked with Jack. "But—" I'd begun, only to be shushed by Jack's warm lips against mine; a brief, firm caress that ended in a swift smile that I'd felt rather than seen. "That's an order, Ianto Jones." And with that he'd gone, his long strides eating up the distance between him and the door, leaving me with an inexplicable sense of unease.

Despite Jack's insistence that I go home, I'd waited an hour or so, knowing I'd rather go home after Jack had returned safe. Stop it, Jones, I'd told myself finally. Even if he dies, you know he always... I'd let the thought escape unformed, not wanting to think about it. It never got easier watching Jack die, no matter how many times I witnessed it. Every time, the hidden fear stretched like an elastic band inside my chest: the terror that this would be the time that Jack wouldn't come back, that he'd remain lifeless.

Stop it, I told myself again. I glanced quickly over to the medical bay where Tosh and Owen were deep in discussion over a metallic artefact the Rift had recently thrown up, their dark heads bent close together, and let myself out as quietly as possible.


It was only when I reached my floor and turned into the corridor leading to my flat that I noticed the dark trail of blood on the floor, for the light-bulb that was meant to illuminate the staircase up to the landing of the first floor was perennially fused. I was running before I knew it, dropping to my knees beside Jack’s prone form on the floor outside my door before the scene could register in my mind.

I took him gently into my arms, and he moaned almost inaudibly. “I knocked,” he murmured, his eyes closed. And then: “Don’t take me inside... get blood on the carpet.” His hand reached up, trying weakly to grasp at my shoulder in what was meant to be a reassuring gesture, but falling away. I grabbed it with mine, squeezing tightly. “It’s all right, it’s all right,” I said over and over again, rocking him gently in my arms until he went limp and his ragged breaths became further and further apart before they ceased completely. Hot, blinding, involuntary tears streamed down my face and into his hair and all I could think of was he came here, he came to find me, he knocked and I wasn’t there.


Twenty minutes later he sat on the floor of the bathroom as I cleaned the blood from his skin, bloody water trickling into the drain. I’d used warm water but he was shivering, his back against the wall, his arms limp by his sides. His eyes were shut, not tightly but in an almost apathetic way, as if he were in deep, exhausted, dreamless sleep.

I shut off the water and patted him dry with a towel, touching him as lightly as I could, in case he was still in pain. I’d shifted to autopilot as soon as I’d realised, while he was still lifeless in my arms in the corridor, that he hadn’t been killed by a Weevil, but by a human being with a gun. As I turned away to fetch him a bathrobe, his hand reached out and clasped my wrist. “Thank you,” he said, his eyes still closed.


“He came out of nowhere,” Jack said later. He was in bed, half-reclining against the pillows, one hand loosely wrapped around a glass of scotch that was balanced on his chest. I sat cross-legged next to him, listening, not asking any questions, letting him speak in a fragmented, halting manner that was absolutely unlike him. I held on to my own glass with both my hands so that I could keep from touching him. All my instincts wanted me to move closer, to hold him, to make him feel safe, but something made me hold back, made me sense that he needed to speak uninterrupted.

“The Weevil had just taken a bite out of me—it was just a flesh wound, but I was knocked off my feet. The alley was pretty dark. Damp. Rats scurrying around. He turned up just as the Weevil was getting ready to have another go at me. Shot it first. Only grazed it, I think. It yelped in pain and bolted. Then he came and stood over me, extended his arm. I thought he was going to help me up. The next thing I knew, he’d shot me in the gut. Searched my body expertly for valuables, took my wallet. He must’ve done this a dozen times before... just taking what he wanted and leaving his victim to die.” He stopped, his blue gaze blank and unseeing.

“Drink up,” I said gently, brushing my fingers against the back of his hand. He drained the rest in one gulp, wincing slightly at the burn in his throat. I took his glass from him and placed it on the bedside table along with mine before slipping under the covers with him. He lifted his head so that I could slide my arm under it, and rolled on to his side to bury his face in my neck. A moment later he was taking in harsh, shuddering breaths, his nose and mouth pressed into my skin as though he were trying to breathe me in. I tightened my arms around him and stroked my fingers through his hair, my lips against his temple, throwing one leg over both of his so that our bodies were securely entwined together. He pushed closer against me until there was no space at all between us, and I could not tell where I ended and he began. I held him as his breathing became calmer and more even, and nothing more was said that night.

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asra_fic: Ralph Clarke (Default)

June 2011


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