Title: Without Lisa
Characters: Ianto, mentions Lisa, Jack, Annie, Tanizaki
Summary: Ianto has lost everything that mattered to him. How can he go on?
Word Count: 902
Warnings: Feelings of depression, grief, and contemplation of suicide.
Written For: My own prompt ‘Torchwood, Ianto, With Lisa gone, he doesn't know how he can go on, or even if he wants to,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Alone is his tiny, barely furnished flat, all he’d been able to afford because of the cost of caring for Lisa, Ianto sits slumped on the old mattress that serves as his bed. Lisa is gone; finally, completely dead, slaughtered in a hail of bullets, killed by the people he worked with, some of whom he’d liked, even thought of as potential friends if circumstances had been different.
He wants to blame them, but he can’t. After Tanizaki had fixed her so she was able to breathe independently of the machines that had been keeping her alive for the last several months, something had changed. Like a switch being turned off, Lisa had stopped acting and sounding like Lisa, and though the metal monster she’d become had tried to convince him otherwise, he’d gradually come to the realisation that the woman he loved no longer existed. He still hadn’t been able to kill her though, not even when the Cyberman put Lisa’s brain in poor Annie’s body; he wasn’t a murderer, had never fired his gun at a living being, not even at a monster. He couldn’t do it.
Head in hands, rocking back and forth in his grief and despair, he finally understands that he’d been tricked. Lisa couldn’t be saved because she’d already been too far gone when he’d pulled her from the conversion unit. It would have been better for her if he’d just left her there, but not better for him. He’d needed hope, something to hold on to, some kind of purpose to keep him from crawling into a corner and falling apart. Without her, or what he’d thought was her, he would have lost his mind. No one could see the things that he had and remain unaffected. The fear and horror he’d felt, the shock he’d suffered as a result, would have overwhelmed him, but for Lisa’s sake he’d been able to push it aside, ignore it, focus on her needs and keep going, taking one day at a time.
Things are different now that she’s gone; he feels like his legs have been cut out from beneath him and his heart ripped to shreds. Even breathing takes almost more effort than he can muster. Saving Lisa had become his sole purpose; everything he’d done had been for her. Even things like eating and sleeping had only mattered to him because he’d needed to keep his strength up so that he could be there for her. None of it seems important now.
What does he have left? He betrayed the people he worked with for nothing; they must all hate him now, especially Jack. Selfishly, he’d taken what he’d needed from Jack; the companionship, the comfort of human contact, the welcome forgetfulness that great sex delivered, when he stopped thinking about anything and simply existed in a world of pure, blissful sensation. It hadn’t all been a lie, he’d genuinely liked and cared for Torchwood Three’s leader, but that’s beside the point; Jack will never believe him now.
Ianto’s lost, adrift; Lisa had been his anchor, his homeport, his whole world. How can he go on without her now that all the dreams and plans they had have turned to ashes? Does he even want to? It would be so much easier to just give up, lie down on his mattress and never move again. How long would it take him to die that way? Days, a slow death from dehydration; killing himself would be quicker, but he already knows he won’t be able to do that, and as much as he wants to, he can’t give up either. That would be taking the easy way out and after everything he’s done, he doesn’t deserve that kind of mercy. He hurt people he likes, is responsible for the deaths of two innocents. Well, one innocent, Annie, and one scientist who may well have had ulterior motives for helping Lisa beyond the huge sum of money he’d demanded as payment for his services.
Ianto knows that he has a lot to make up for, so maybe that can be his new purpose in life; to make amends for all the harm he’s caused. At least it will give him a place to start, if Jack doesn’t decide to execute him. Torchwood One would have done that already, but he’s worked for Torchwood Three long enough to know that they do things differently; he might still have a chance.
But not right now. The woman he planned to spend the rest of his life with is gone forever, and before he does anything else, he needs time to grieve for all that was and all that might have been, a lost future and the home and family they’d hoped to have. There are things to remember too. Lisa as she had been before the battle, and all the good times they’d shared, the camping trips and picnics, lazy Sunday mornings in bed, birthday dinners, concerts, walks in the country, and snowball fights. That’s the way he wants to remember her; not half encased in metal and connected to a machine, and not as the monster stalking his colleagues through the Hub, but as a vibrant, beautiful, energetic woman full of passion and life.
Lying down, Ianto closes his eyes. Tomorrow, he’ll start to live for the future, but just for tonight he’ll lose himself in the past.