Characters: Ianto, Jack.
Warnings: Contemplation of suicide.
Summary: In the aftermath of losing Lisa, Ianto wonders what’s going to happen to him.
Word Count: 1073
Written For: My own prompt, ‘Torchwood, Any, fear of losing their memory,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
“You execute her or I'll execute you both.”
Kneeling, sunk in abject grief, beside what was left of the woman he loved, her bloodstained body in his arms, still encased in cold metal, Ianto fully expected Harkness to carry out his threat. Why wouldn’t he? He’d given Ianto an ultimatum, and Ianto had failed to do what he’d been ordered to. If this were Torchwood One, he knew he’d be dead already, and he welcomed the prospect. With Lisa gone, what did he have left to live for? He’d rather join the woman he’d planned to marry than try to go on without her.
Perhaps that was why Harkness didn’t do it; death would be a relief, not a punishment. No doubt Harkness considered it a better fate than his subordinate deserved, and he was probably right. After endangering the whole planet the way he had, Ianto wasn’t at all sure he deserved to get off so easily.
He didn’t resist when the others pulled him away from Lisa. All that was left of her was an empty shell, disfigured by metal implants. That wasn’t Lisa anymore, probably hadn’t been since she’d been strapped to the conversion unit and the ‘upgrades’ had begun. ‘Upgrades,’ he thought bitterly. Like she’d been a piece of computer hardware that needed to be updated rather than a living, breathing, feeling woman!
Lisa. Oh God, Lisa was really dead! He’d only wanted to save her, he’d tried so hard, but it had all been for nothing! Unable to process the sheer insanity of the past few hours, Ianto’s mind shut down, and for an unknown length of time there was nothing. No grief, no anger, no pain, no fear, just a cold, black emptiness.
When he was finally able to register his surroundings again, he found himself somehow back in the poky little flat he’d rented on arrival in Cardiff, even though he couldn’t remember how he’d got there. He was a mess, the clothes he was wearing still smeared with Lisa’s blood, but it didn’t matter; the flat itself wasn’t much better anyway. He’d rented the cheapest furnished place he could find and mostly used it just for storing his and Lisa’s stuff, since as soon as he’d succeeded in getting her into the Hub he’d spent most of his time there with her.
The thought of Lisa brought his world crashing down around him again. He’d never see her smile again, hear her laughing, or singing along with the radio. Never lie in bed with her late at night, talking into the early hours of the morning. The future they’d planned would never happen, because she was gone and never coming back. His world had been reduced to that one bleak, hopeless word: Never. To Ianto, it spelled the end of all hope.
What would happen to him now? His life was effectively over; he’d lost everything that mattered to him, his girlfriend, his sense of purpose, his reason for living… even his job. It wasn’t like he’d be allowed back at Torchwood, not after what he’d done, so if Harkness wasn’t going to execute him, then what?
The answer hit him so hard it took his breath away; Retcon of course. If he was out of Torchwood, which seemed inevitable, they wouldn’t let him keep his memories, not any of them. They’d strip away everything, from before he joined Torchwood One in London right up to the present. He’d already lost Lisa, but now they’d take away every memory he had of her; it would be as if he’d never met her, never known her, never loved her, never planned a life with her, marriage, and kids, and growing old together.
Ianto panicked, jumping to his feet, turning round and round until he became so dizzy that he fell. He couldn’t let them erase Lisa from his mind, couldn’t allow her to be wiped out of existence that way! He had to get away, but where could he go? Was there anywhere in the world that they wouldn’t be able to find him if they wanted to badly enough? And they would want to, because he’d be a security risk, a loose end left dangling, and even though he’d only spent seven months at Torchwood Three, he knew they never left loose ends. Hell, he’d been the one to deal with a lot of them!
Running wasn’t an option then; he had to assume they’d find him, and if that happened, they’d probably wipe all of his memories instead of merely excising the last four years or so. They could leave him as a vegetable. But if he couldn’t run and couldn’t bear to lose his memories, what options did he have? Into sat up on the floor and thought it through.
Option one; he could kill himself. He checked quickly, but as he’d expected, they’d taken his gun. Okay, didn’t matter, there were other ways. He could overdose on painkillers, or slit his wrists, or tie a plastic bag over his head, jump off a roof, or… He stopped his frantic thoughts in their tracks. No. He couldn’t do any of those things, he didn’t have it in him; he was either too much of a coward, or not enough of one. He neither knew nor cared which.
Option two; he could negotiate. Harkness was a reasonable man, right? He could offer to be Torchwood’s slave, live in the cells, work for them without pay or privileges. He could promise to do whatever Harkness wanted if he could just keep his memories of Lisa. He’d beg, plead, and grovel, whatever it took, and if that didn’t work…
Option three; he’d ask to be executed, or frozen in one of the cryo chambers in the morgue. He didn’t care; anything would be better than having to live on after losing his memories, the only part of Lisa he had left.
Decision made, Ianto picked himself up off the floor, stripped out of his soiled clothes, and bagged them up for incineration at the Hub, then he went into the bathroom and took a shower, scrubbing himself raw until he was certain that every trace of blood was gone. Dressing in a clean suit, complete with neatly knotted tie, Ianto sat down on the sofa and waited for Harkness to come, as he was sure he would, and when that happened he would plead his case.