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Torchwood: Fanfic: The monsters in my mind

  • Apr. 10th, 2019 at 9:56 PM
Title: The monsters in my mind
Fandom: Torchwood
Characters: Jack, Ianto
Author: m_findlow
Rating: PG
Length: 1,793 words
Content notes: none
Author notes: Written for Challenge 259 - Light and Challenge 85 - Monsters (Bingo square)
Summary: Jack has finally come up against a monster he can't defeat.

'It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day,' Jack said, standing by the tall windows and staring out as the first morning light was beginning to stream through them. 'We should go for a stroll along the beach. Maybe some fish and chips for lunch, hmm? Or maybe ice cream. I know you always think it's too cold, but I say it's never too cold for ice cream. Maybe they'll have a special coffee flavoured one for you.'

He waited a moment for a response, praying to all the gods that maybe today would be the day. Disappointingly, there was nothing. He turned his back on the sea views to watch the bed and his lover, curled up underneath the covers. There wasn't an inch of movement, even though he knew Ianto was awake. He just lay there, turned over and staring blankly at the walls instead of the ocean.

Jack sighed. He'd made such a mess of things and now everyone was paying the price.

He'd never seen Ianto like this, so completely depressed that he wouldn't even engage. They'd managed to deal with the threat from the 456 but nothing since then had been right. The Torchwood hub was gone, leaving them adrift in the city with nothing to do.

There was still a nervous tension in the air over their general safety. Frobisher might be dead, and presumably the blank page order to have them executed gone with him, but one thing Jack knew was that there were no certainties in life. Gwen and Rhys had, under Jack's instructions, packed up their flat and moved down to Swansea to be closer to Gwen's family. Ianto had stayed with his sister for about a week whilst Jack made several trips back to Ianto's own apartment to grab clothes and necessities. Jack was bunking at their place with Ianto for a lack of anywhere else to stay. It was still a risk, but the lads on the estate knew every car, and would have mentioned if there'd been any strange vehicles prowling the streets, looking for an opportunity to spy on them, or to make them disappear the moment they stepped out through the front door. After nothing happening for several days, Jack had conceded that perhaps so long as Torchwood went to ground and didn't cause trouble, any actions against them would similarly stay inactive.

He'd watched Ianto's mood grow slowly darker day by day. The city they loved had been somehow tarnished, the hub and their whole lives destroyed. Myfanwy was nowhere to be found, assuming she'd survived the blast. The news hadn't reported any strange skeletal remains being found at the site, so Jack prayed that she'd been out, and having discovered her home now gone, found a safe place to hide herself away. If only he could bring back news that she was okay, perhaps that might have made a difference.

It had been Rhiannon's idea for them to go. Not because she wanted them to - because she'd been mothering the pair of them endlessly - but because she could see the toll it was taking on them staying in Cardiff. A bit of time by the seaside in Aberwystwyth, far from their troubles, seemed like a good idea.

Jack bought a pedestrian looking, white colored sedan under a fake name and then destroyed the record just to be safe. No one needed to know where they were and where they were headed. It took Jack no time at all to pack their measly possessions and to put Ianto in the car, itching to go now that he'd made the decision to get away. If then rift wanted to play up, or weevils roam the streets, then that was just too bad. People had wanted Torchwood out of the way and now that's exactly what they'd get. Any sense of duty he had was tarnished by what they'd been through.

If he'd hoped that the drive might relax his lover he was sorely mistaken. Ianto seemed just as distant and silent as ever, having barely muttered two words the whole time they'd been back home, apart from "yes", "no" and "thank you", and most of those directed at his family rather than Jack. It was as if he had a limited supply of words each day, doling them out with stringent care. He didn't seem to have any words left over for Jack.

Jack could understand why Ianto might not want to speak to him, and that his lack of verbal communication might be construed as a polite form of displeasure. He'd done terrible things, all to save the world, but he'd destroyed things that were unforgivable. His daughter would never speak to him again, and with every justification. He began to wonder if Ianto ever would either. They hadn't talked about it, but the fact that he allowed Jack to stay under the same roof with him was a consolation that Jack would happily take.

No one hated Jack more than he hated himself, but his own self loathing manifested as a restless inability stay still. Where Ianto would sit in front of the TV, staring through it rather than watching it, for hours on end, Jack would pace around the house, taking to wandering the local streets just for something to do. He had too much time to mull over the actions of those tumultuous few days, replaying them in his mind and thinking about all the things he might have done differently if he could have a second chance. He wondered if that was what Ianto was doing.

He wished desperately that he'd never been a part of Torchwood back in 1965, handing over those twelve innocent children. If he hadn't, they never would have come back wanting more. Perhaps the world would have been destroyed by the virus they'd let loose, but perhaps not. Perhaps they could have found a cure on their own. Twelve kids had seemed such a small price to pay. Ten percent was something else entirely, and finally knowing truth of what they'd done with them was enough to turn even the hardest heart. Jack knew how much it would have broken his lover's heart, seeing that poor child trapped in a room full of poisonous gas with that monster, a prisoner for nearly half a century. Jack had done that. And having been powerless to stop the world's governments from condemning millions more to that same fate would make anyone lose their faith in the human race. How could they go back to the way things were before, knowing what they knew now? They both needed a break away from a city that was threatening to suffocate them.

The apartment Jack hired was right on the main esplanade, overlooking the Irish sea that spread out up and down the entire west coast. It was two storey with large windows to let in the afternoon sunlight, and painted a pale blue, wedged in between identical apartments in pale pink and buttercup yellow. On their arrival, Jack had dumped their bags and insisted they go for a walk straight away. The sea air was bound to do them both some good after the long drive.

Ianto towed along beside him, Letting Jack latch onto his arm guiding him along the waterfront, but he was as silent and sullen as ever. Jack had taken them into town to lunch at a café with piles of french toast and half decent coffee that Ianto only picked at. Determined not to be defeated yet, he then dragged Ianto around the quaint little high street shops, even putting up with wandering around an old antiques house, which normally would have had him chomping at the bit to get out of, but which Ianto had always enjoyed. Every attempt to elicit a reaction however was met with complete disinterest. A darkness had descended over them and Jack was desperate to drag them both back into the light.

A week became two, and soon Jack had the apartment rented on a short term lease. They had nowhere else to be and here seemed as good as any place to hole up until whatever storm clouds that were brewing overhead subsided. He was sure that with time everything would be okay. They just needed some space, though the lack of routine was wearing Jack down as well. With no Torchwood, he felt cut adrift himself, but nothing hurt more than watching his lover trapped in some terrible despair only he knew. It was becoming an effort to get Ianto to do anything. Just getting him out of bed long enough to shower and dress, only to have him pad back to bed afterwards and stay there.

On days when the weather was fine, he'd drag Ianto down to the beach and make a fuss of collecting seashells or watching ships drift by on the horizon. On grey or windy days he'd come back from the local library with a half dozen books of various kinds and a bag of warm croissants. Jack filled the house with groceries, cooked meals, hired movies, went for drives in the hinterland and tried a dozen other ways to fill in their days. He wanted to grab Ianto and shake him hard, certain he could physically wrench a reaction out of him if he really tried, but he didn't have the heart to do it. Ianto was always the level-headed one, often sombre and quiet, but never completely detached from the world like he was right now. Together they'd faced all kinds of aliens and monsters, but Jack didn't know what to do to thwart the monsters that had taken up residence inside Ianto's mind. He'd never thought he'd face anything as terrible as the 456, but this was somehow so much worse. This was a monster that couldn't be reasoned with, couldn't be killed with a gun or any other technology he had. It was invisible and insidious and it was slowly killing the person he loved more than anyone else in the world.

He walked across to the bed and lay down on it, reaching over to hold Ianto in his arms. At least he didn't flinch at Jack's touch. He was beyond reacting to it, apart from to comply with whatever Jack wanted. He squeezed a little tighter, pulling Ianto's back close to his chest. Jack paused, about to say "it'll be okay" before stopping himself. He didn't know if it was going to be okay. He could only hope. If they had to stay here in this room for years then that's what they'd do. He would fix this if it was the last thing he did.


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