badly_knitted (badly_knitted) wrote,

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Fic: Heart-To-Heart

Title: Heart-To-Heart
Characters: Ianto, Jack, Gwen, Rhys.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Meat.
Summary: After the events of Meat, Ianto has a heart-to-heart talk with Jack, setting him straight on a few things.
Word Count: 1027
Written For: Prompt 005 – Long Shot at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.

Pouring himself another stiff drink from Jack’s private supply, Ianto perched on the edge of his lover’s desk and looked down at the hunched figure in the chair. Jack’s eyes were glued to the monitor, watching CCTV footage of the Plas above, where Gwen and Rhys were finishing ice creams.

“You had to have known it was a long shot at best, Jack,” he said quietly. “The chances we’d be able to save that poor creature’s life were slim at best. Even with its healing abilities, it was so badly injured.”

“I know,” Jack answered in a small voice. “I just wanted so badly to help it; no creature deserves to be butchered alive, least of all one that never hurt anyone and doesn’t even belong on this planet. She should have been out there among the stars, swimming through space with her pod, living her life, not…” He trailed off miserably, shaking his head. “It wasn’t fair.”

“No, it wasn’t, and we did all we could for her, but she was just too far gone, maddened by pain and fear. She’s not suffering anymore, at least we could give her that much.”

Jack nodded wearily. “You’re right, I know that. It’s just…”

“She reminded you of yourself, chained up and tortured, unable to escape. You thought if you could only save her you might get some peace from your own nightmares.”

That brought Jack’s head up and he stared at Ianto in surprise. “How’d you know…?”

“I know everything.” It wasn’t so much a smile as a grimace. Ianto took another sip of whiskey. “You talk in your sleep; you never used to, but you do now, begging the Master to just kill you and get it over with, cursing him, threatening retribution. How many times did he kill you?”

“I don’t know; I lost count. It went on for so long.” Jack sighed and buried his face in his hands, elbows on the desk. “So long.”

Ianto rested one hand on the bowed shoulders, squeezing gently. “It’s over now though; you’re home, where you belong.”

“Home, yes.” Jack raised his head, gave Ianto a wintry smile. “Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is what’s real and the rest is just memories and bad dreams. Thank you. You did good today.”

“I got myself captured,” Ianto corrected. “I wouldn’t call that good.”

“You were trying to make sure Rhys got away.”

“Yes, well, didn’t do a very good job of that, did I? We both got caught.”

“That’s what happens when a civilian gets thrown into the mix. You kept your head, got yourself free, and captured Dale and his brother. If it wasn’t for you they’d have probably escaped.”

“Well, when you put it that way; makes me sound all brave and heroic.”

“If the cap fits…”

“Speaking of heroic.” Ianto twisted around to look at Jack’s monitor. “For a civilian, Rhys handled himself pretty well.”

Jack grunted. “I suppose.”

“You’re still angry with Gwen.”

“We have rules for a reason, and now an outsider knows about us, about what we do. Can we trust him to keep quiet? He thinks it’s some big, exciting game! Look at him!”

“He’s a good man, Jack, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I’ll keep an eye on him if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary. He won’t do or say anything to jeopardise Gwen’s safety.”

“That’s not the point. I didn’t want him to remember, he shouldn’t have to; he’s not part of the team. Now his world’s been turned upside down, and he’ll worry about Gwen even more than he already does, and as for Gwen… She needs someone outside all this madness, an anchor to the real world. It scares me what might happen to her now she’s lost that last little bit of normality in her life. She’ll become jaded and broken like the rest of us.”

“We’re not broken, Jack; none of us. If we were, we wouldn’t be here, saving the world, we’d be locked up somewhere. We’ve been tempered like steel by our experiences; they’ve made us stronger than any of us believed we could be. Don’t count Gwen out, she’s made of sterner stuff than you give her credit for, and she’s too stubborn to break. Her idealism might get a little worn around the edges, but she can take it. She’s Welsh; we’re a tough bunch.”

“I hope you’re right. I never should’ve recruited her.”

“You didn’t have much of a choice after she broke through the Retcon. Besides, you can’t tell me you don’t like having her around. Thick as thieves, you too are. I’ve seen you, heads together, giggling about I don’t know what.”

“She’s a breath of fresh air, always smiling and happy and optimistic.”

“A good antidote for Owen’s pessimism.”

“Owen’s not so bad.”

“You and Gwen are a lot alike; you try to see the best in everyone.”

“She reminds me a lot of me, when I was younger, before… before I lost Gray. I love her. Not in a romantic way.” He glanced guiltily up at Ianto. “I should have told you a long time ago, should’ve explained…”

“There was no need to. All seeing, all knowing, remember?”

“Right, how could I forget?” Jack sighed again. “She hasn’t quite lost her innocence yet; I was hoping she’d never have to.”

“Everyone does in the end, no matter how hard you try to protect them. You haven’t been doing Gwen any favours, trying to shelter her from the ugliness of the world, but I suspect that’s not going to stop you trying.”

“You know me so well.”

“Of course I do. I’m the world’s foremost expert on Jack Harkness.”

“You are. So, in your expert opinion, what should I do now?”

“Turn off the CCTV, give Gwen and Rhys some privacy, and come back to mine. We’ll slob in front of the TV eating takeout, then go to bed and see if we can make each other forget about today.”

Jack smiled, reaching to turn off the monitor. “I like that plan.”

Ianto returned his smile. “Thought you might.”

The End

Tags: fandomweekly, fic, fic: one-shot, fic: pg, gwen cooper, ianto jones, jack harkness, jack/ianto, rhys williams, rhys/gwen, torchwood fic

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