Pairing - Jack / Ianto
Rating - R-15
Summary - After Thames House, Jack asks the Doctor for help.
Spoilers - Children of Earth day 4.
Captain Jack Harkness stood in the middle of the TARDIS control room, his determined gaze fixed on the man before him.
“I’m sorry, Jack, but it’s already happened.” The Doctor folded his arms across his chest and leaned back against the wall.
Jack glared at him. “Don’t give me that crap; I know what you can do, where the TARDIS can go. Just go back, stop him going inside the building.” He paused, his voice shaking slightly as he added, “Please. I died for you a thousand times. All I ask is this one thing in return.”
“You’re right, I could go back,” the Doctor agreed, “but are you willing to pay the price? Everything has a price, Jack, to keep the balance. His lifeline no longer exists. The only way he can live is if his lifeline is bound to another, co-existing, sharing.”
“I have enough time for the both of us, Doctor.”
“I don’t know how it will affect you, or him.”
“I’ll take that chance,” Jack insisted. “Just give him back to me.”
The Doctor studied him for a long time, weighing up the brash, fun-loving Jack he knew with the broken, desperate man he saw before him now. He had known he and Ianto had been seeing each other for some time but he hadn’t realised just how deep those feelings went.
“He really means this much to you?”
Jack nodded. “Yes.”
The Doctor sighed. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” He shook his head. “You think this is easy? Well, let’s see how you cope with the responsibility. His life is in your hands, literally. What happens to one of you will happen to both; if you die, he dies.”
Ianto remembered those last few minutes in Thames House, the feeling of suffocating as he tried in vain to get air into his lungs, knowing that the poison was working its way through his body.
He looked around him- whatever he had been expecting, it certainly wasn’t this. Then again, what was this? Was this the afterlife?
Ianto turned toward the voice and saw Jack standing next to the bed he was lying in, next to a tall, brown haired man in a pinstripe suit and dark-framed glasses. The man was watching them curiously as Jack came to sit on the edge of the bed. He leaned down to draw Ianto into a tight embrace. When he finally let Ianto go, Jack indicated to the man.
“I’d like you to meet the Doctor.”
So, this was the famous Doctor, Ianto thought, the one who Jack had spoken of in such reverent tones.
“I think you two need to talk,” the Doctor told them, leaving. “Come and find me when you’re finished?”
Ianto waited until they were alone before turning back to Jack. “I remember, Jack. I died. How can I be here now?”
Jack thought about the Doctor’s words, about the responsibility of having another man’s life in his hands. He had no idea of how to explain this. Looking back, he knew that it was selfish, especially knowing that he had essentially condemned Ianto to a life of remaining young whilst the world carried on around him, of watching everyone he loved growing old and leaving him. He still couldn’t bring himself to regret the decision. He had Ianto back and that was all that mattered; even if Ianto spent an eternity hating him for this, at least he would be alive.
Half an hour later, when Jack finished talking, he risked a glance at Ianto. He hardly dare, not knowing how the other man was going to react.
“Please, say something.”
Ianto reached out to lay his hand over Jack’s. “It’s going to take me a while,” he said. “This is a lot to take in.”
“I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t lose you. You mean too much to me to just let you go.” Jack stood up. “I’m going to go and find the Doctor, give you a bit of peace and quiet.”
He tried to leave but a tug on his hand stopped him.
It was six months after the 456 had been defeated, sent fleeing with their metaphorical tails between their legs, and Jack stood on the hilltop, overlooking the city. Gwen and Rhys had just arrived, joining him, Gwen pulling her jacket around her heavily-pregnant belly.
“So, did you find what you were looking for?” she asked.
Jack nodded, holding out his hand. As Ianto took it, coming out of the darkness to stand beside him, he thought he was going to have to step in and catch Gwen before she passed out. It appeared that Rhys had thought the same as he took her arm to steady her, even thought he too looked as though he had seen a ghost.
“Wh- I mean, how?” Gwen stared at Ianto, eyes wide.
Jack smiled. “A rather unique kind of Doctor,” he replied.
Gwen got over her shock and grinned, going to throw her arms around Ianto as Rhys came forward to greet him too.
“So, is this like Owen was? No, you’re breathing- Oh my God, that was insensitive, I’m sorry.”
“It’s OK. In answer to your question, I’m like Jack now,” Ianto replied. “The Doctor linked us; I’ll live as long as Jack does.”
Gwen handed over the wristband that Jack had asked her to bring and he fastened it on. It had been found among the ruins of the hub, still working, and now Jack used it to signal the spacecraft he said was nearby. He had explained that, after what had happened with his grandson, he needed to get away from this world but that didn’t stop her attempts to persuade him to stay.
“I’m sorry, Gwen, but I have to go.”
Ianto held tight to Jack’s hand as the blue light covered them, his heart racing. He had no idea of where they were going or what would happen but, thanks to Jack, he had an eternity to find out.
Continued in the Old Town New series