Title: Through Time And Space: Chapter 1 - In The Dark
Characters: Ianto, OFC, mentions Jack
Rating: PG-13 for some swearing.
Word Count: 842
Spoilers: CoE, House of the Dead
Summary: The House of the Dead is destroyed, the Rift closed. What of Ianto? Fix-it.
Written For: Challenge #93: Amnesty at fan_flashworks using Challenge #80: Shinies – "Nothing So Simple As Darkness, My Dear"
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
A/N: This is a fix-it set in the same universe as my drabble ‘Living Paradox’. It’s the start of the story. I have no idea where I will go from here; it may well be dependent on inspiration from future challenges.
He’d done what had to be done; the House of the Dead was destroyed, the Rift closed for good. He should be dead. Again. That he’d been alive again, however briefly, had been unexpected but he’d been grateful, nonetheless. It had given him the opportunity to see Jack again, one last time. To kiss him and say goodbye properly, something he hadn’t really been able to do lying on the floor of Thames House, unable to see and barely able to speak.
It had given Jack a chance too; to finally say the words Ianto had longed to hear from him. He’d already been pretty sure Jack loved him, but still, it was nice to hear him say it.
He didn’t feel dead, which was odd. If he were dead, he shouldn’t really be able to feel anything, should he? Well, he wasn’t sure about that. It rather depended on whether there was anything after death. He wanted to believe there was, but everything Suzie had said that time she’d been brought back to life seemed to indicate that there really wasn’t. Owen had agreed.
Cautiously, Ianto opened his eyes; not that it did any good. It was dark. Such a heavy, thick darkness it was like being smothered in black velvet. He shuddered and closed his eyes again. That idea was either deeply disturbing or seriously kinky, and he wasn’t sure which bothered him more. On top of that, he could almost feel the darkness moving around him.
“Oh, it’s nothing so simple as darkness, my dear,” a sultry woman’s voice whispered. There was no sound, the silence that surrounded him was deafening; the voice had been inside his head. “Darkness is merely the absence of light, but this place has never known light, or sound, touch, scent or taste. Technically, it isn’t even a place. There has only ever been nothingness here, the absence of everything.”
“What is this place that isn’t a place then?” Ianto asked, the words taking form in his head, “and who are you?”
“It is nowhere; it doesn’t exist in any dimension, it is the void in between, half a step to the left of everywhere. Things sometimes get lost and pass through, disturbing the nothing for an instant, but they never stay. There is no time here either and time, as much as space, is required for things to exist.”
That jolted Ianto.
“I’m in the Rift!”
“No. The Rift was merely a doorway, one of many. You are in the nothing that exists between Rifts. The doorway you entered by no longer exists. Another doorway will pull you through instantly.”
“Instantly? Then why hasn’t it happened yet?”
“There is no time here. Everything happens in one single instant. You leave at the same moment you enter, but your brain must process everything in a linear fashion, as is its nature.”
“Like dreaming. Dreams happen in a moment but seem to last a long time.”
“Yes, like that, in a way.”
“You never said who you are.”
“I am… unsure. There was an explosion at the nexus of the Rift. I was close by and was caught. I was immature, but now I am grown. Such things can happen when time isn’t a factor. You are within me, it would seem that I have grown around you; we are one, yet separate. I do not understand; perhaps I will when time becomes a factor once more.”
Ianto tried to get his head around what he’d been told, though he understood little of it. He was jolted out of his musings when he hit a very solid floor. Hard. The fact that there was a floor came as a surprise; the brilliant light that filled his vision came as more of a screaming agony along his optic nerves.
“Fuck! Too bright!” He shut his eyes tightly and buried his face in his arms, still blinded by afterimages.
“Apologies,” the voice in his head murmured. “I will lower the lights to a more acceptable level.”
“Thank you, I appreciate that,” Ianto muttered, voice somewhat muffled. “Still in my head then, are you?”
“Where else would I be? You are within me, as I am within you.”
Opening his eyes again, more cautiously this time, Ianto risked peering carefully between his lashes. His vision was still a bit blurry from being dazzled, but the light was soothingly on the dim side of comfortable and he was able to make out his surroundings. He was lying on a waxed wooden floor in a large octagonal room with a high, vaulted ceiling. Comfortable sofas and chairs were arranged around the wall, with a variety of low tables arrayed in front of them. The air smelled of excellent coffee.
In the middle of the room stood a large and complicated looking bank of machinery, full of levers, buttons, dials, computer screens and flashing lights, along with a number of less identifiable attachments and doohickeys. He stared, dimly aware that his mouth was hanging open.
“Bloody hell! I’m in a TARDIS!”