Characters: Ianto, Jack
Summary: Watching his lover die and come back to life never gets any easier for Ianto.
Word Count: 500
Written For: Prompt 442 - Resurrection, at slashthedrabble.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
It’s strange really. Watching someone you love die never gets any easier, even when you know they’ll be back in a few minutes, or an hour, or a few hours, depending on what killed them. Then again, death is seldom pretty and Jack rarely dies peacefully. He goes down fighting with everything he’s got, holds on to life for as long as he can, always hoping this time he might heal faster than his injuries can kill him.
Ianto knows his lover doesn’t relish going to the between place, where something lurks in the endless, intangible blackness, so he doesn’t blame Jack for clinging to life, but it’s hard to watch the man he loves bleeding out and fighting for every breath. For Ianto, sometimes it’s almost a horrible kind of relief to see the life fade from Jack’s normally sparkling blue eyes, because at least it marks the end of his physical suffering for a while, gives him a brief respite from the agony of being ripped to shreds by a rogue Weevil, or dismembered by some other hostile alien.
But Jack doesn’t have it easy even after the blackness claims him. He’s helpless, can only wait, floating in nothingness, sensing something searching for him and hoping against hope to get dragged back into life before it finds him. He has no idea what that presence is, only that it scares him enough to make him eager for resurrection. Maybe that’s its purpose, to make sure he doesn’t linger any longer than he has to, because death doesn’t want him. He never gets to see the smallest hint of paradise, if it even exists. That the blackness might be all there is beyond life is a chilling thought; Ianto tries not to dwell on it. Easier said than done, knowing he’s probably living on borrowed time.
You’d think that coming back from death would be the easy part, but you’d be wrong. For all Jack’s miraculous healing abilities, he often resurrects before healing is complete. The more serious the injury that killed him, the more likely it is that he’ll wake up while bones are still knitting back together, muscles and tendons are re-growing, gaping wounds are still closing as if some invisible zipper is being pulled by equally invisible hands.
That’s not a sight Ianto enjoys, but he forces himself to watch, so he’ll know which stage the healing process has reached when Jack gasps back to life. It helps him gauge Jack’s pain levels and know where it’s safe to touch without hurting him further. Jack’s always grateful for that, grabbing at any part of Ianto he can reach in order to anchor himself while he rides out the final agonies of accelerated healing. Ianto just wishes there was some way he could absorb Jack’s pain so he wouldn’t have to suffer so badly. He knows that’s not possible though, so he simply offers the comfort and support of his presence. It’s the best he can do.