Characters: Ianto, Jack, Lisa.
Summary: After a late-night Rift alert, Ianto has a dream that stays with him after he wakes up.
Word Count: 878
Written For: m_findlow’s prompt ‘Any, any, “I need a plug so I can just recharge in the wall”,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A/N: Okay, so this one went in a direction I wasn’t expecting…
Ianto crashed back onto his bed with a groan, too tired to do much more than kick his shoes off. This was the third time in a week he’d been dragged out of bed in the middle of the night to help Jack deal with something. This time it had been a nocturnal Rift alert while the previous two had been Weevil problems. “I’m done in. What I need is a battery so I can just plug myself into the wall and recharge. Then it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t get enough sleep; I wouldn’t need it. Put me on charge for an hour or so and I’d be good to go. Think how much more I’d be able to get done,” he mumbled as Jack manhandled him out of his clothes and tucked him into bed.
“Recharging will never take the place of a good night’s sleep,” Jack informed his worn-out lover. “I should know; I’ve been to the future. There are a few races that do the whole recharging thing, you’ve already met a couple of them, but on the whole they’re not very nice. Switch over to running on electricity or whatever and you lose all the things that make you a living being. Robots and androids don’t have feelings and emotions. They’re not really people, and they’re not alive; they’re machines, just mechanical things.” Those were the last words Ianto heard before sinking into a deep sleep.
Perhaps because of what Jack had been saying as Ianto drifted off, in his dreams he saw Lisa again, looking the way he’d last seen her, half human and half Cyberman; a cyborg. Usually when he dreamed about her like that, she was the monster of his nightmares, intent on converting him, and Jack, and the rest of the team, the whole of humanity, into soulless metal monsters, but this dream was different.
“You wouldn’t want to be like me, Ianto; not really,” she told him softly, a sad smile on her lips. “I wasn’t me anymore; I was a metal and flesh shell with nothing inside. I remembered you, and my parents, and my life, but it all meant less than nothing to me. I forgot how to love, and I forgot how to feel. It wasn’t life, it wasn’t even death, just an endless limbo with nothing to look forward to. When I slept, I didn’t dream. I didn’t feel hungry or thirsty, happy or sad. In the end there wasn’t even any pain, but there was no pleasure either. The tiny bit of me that remained buried inside the Cyber mind was glad to die. People were never meant to be machines, Ianto; don’t wish yourself one. I know life is sometimes hard, but it’s also good, and it’s worth holding on to, so live yours for all you’re worth. Do that for me. Please, Ianto.”
“I miss you, Lisa.”
“I know you do; I miss you too, and I’ll always love you, but you have Jack now. Be happy with him and don’t worry about me. I’m fine now. I’m free.” In his dream, Ianto blinked, and Lisa was gone.
He woke to find broad daylight outside his bedroom window and a note from Jack propped against the alarm clock, which had been turned off.
‘I don’t have an Ianto-charger so I decided to let you sleep in instead; looked like you could use it. Don’t rush to work, just get up when you feel like it and come in when you’re ready. We can survive without you for a few hours. I’ll send someone out to buy coffee.’
Ianto looked at the clock; it was almost ten thirty, and he felt refreshed, more rested than he had in days. As he wandered through to the bathroom for a shower, he remembered his dream and smiled.
“I’ll do my best to be happy, Lisa,” he murmured, and for a moment, as he cleared the steam from the bathroom mirror he could have sworn that he saw her standing behind him, smiling, and heard her voice whispering, “I know you will,” but she was gone almost before his brain could register her presence, if she had ever truly been there at all, which when he thought about it, was unlikely.
He got dressed and made his way into the kitchen for coffee and something to eat, then froze in his tracks, staring at the calendar pinned to the pantry door as he realised what the date was; three years exactly since Lisa’s final death. The week had been so busy he’d practically forgotten that anniversary was approaching, but perhaps he’d remembered, somewhere deep in his subconscious.
Or perhaps Lisa really had stopped by to check up on him after all.
Laughing to himself he shook his head and dismissed the thought; if he’d learned anything at Torchwood One it was that ghosts didn’t exist, no matter how hard Yvonne Hartman had tried to make people believe otherwise. Still, maybe the dream meant he was finally ready to let Lisa go and move on with his life. Deciding to leave coffee and breakfast until he got to work, Ianto grabbed his coat, phone, and keys, and left his flat, heading for the Hub and Jack.