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Illusion Anxiety series - Jack

Title: Jack
Summary: The members of the Torchwood team are forced to face some of their deepest fears when an alien takes up residence in the Cardiff sewers.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato
Rating: PG-15 (some gory descriptions)
Spoilers: None
Author's Note: Sorry this one took so long! I kinda had a panic moment about how little I'd gotten done on my reel_torchwood submission and put everything else aside for a bit. Make sure to read Premise first, and then you can read the rest in any order you choose!

From the moment their comms went down, Jack had been on high alert. The devices were supposed to work anywhere, and the fact that they’d gone out made Jack a lot less secure in his decision to split up the team. Even though the alien was hardly the most threatening one they’d faced, wandering in unknown territory without any method of communication still seemed astoundingly stupid.

He really should have thought this through.

His shoes scraped against the ground as he walked down the tunnel, kicking up gravel and water as he went. He knew he could be stealthier. That it might be smart to be. But he needed the noise in order to keep the silence from clinging to his body and worming it’s way into his mind.

The damp bricks glistened eerily in the torchlight, drawing his eyes when there was really nothing to see. He glanced down the tunnel to see how close he was to reaching the meet point, and saw only emptiness in the space ahead. He could imagine the tunnel as a gaping maw, and the bricks as shining red teeth, ready to swallow him whole...

Just a trick of the light.

He refused to be daunted and continued down the path even as the shadows around him distorted, making the tunnel seem longer. Almost endless. His slow march towards… something… couldn’t be halted by something as insignificant as fear.

After a few minutes (that felt like hours) with no clues anywhere in sight, Jack began fiddling with his comm. He itched to talk to one of the others, to remind himself that he wasn’t truly alone. But all he could hear on the line was static. He picked up his pace, hoping to get to his destination soon and leaving the damned sewer behind. Alien, or no alien.

He turned a corner, and was relieved to see a glimpse of the meet point at the end of the corridor. It was illuminated for him by the entrance to the street above. He took a step toward it, and nearly lost his balance as his foot skidded in something slippery. He threw his hand forward and caught himself before he hit the ground. The substance wasn’t water. It felt thick, and sticky between his fingers. Almost like…

A terrible thought struck him, and he looked down at the palm of his hand.
It was covered in blood. He suppressed a shudder, and then cast his torch towards the walls.

They, too, were adorned with blood. The scent of it lingered in the air.

“Ianto!” he called. “Gwen? Tosh? Owen?” There were no answering voices. Jack scrambled to his feet, and looked toward the meet point again. He ran forward, heart beating wildly in his chest, as the water under him began to run red. The light grew brighter as he approached, further revealing the horror of the scene. He crossed the threshold.

And found the bodies of Tosh and Gwen.

“No,” he whispered, falling to his knees beside them. “Oh, gods… no.”

Tosh’s stomach had been slashed ferociously, and she lay wide-eyed and unseeing in a pool of her own blood. Gwen was face-down, neck bent at an impossible angle and skin pale as chalk. Jack stared down at them in horror, unable to contemplate how things had gone so wrong.

And then, a weak voice spoke over his turmoil. “Jack.”

Jack whipped around to see Ianto, clutching a wound at his side and leaning heavily against the wall of the tunnel.

“Ianto!” Jack leapt forward, catching Ianto before he collapsed. They slid down to the bloodstained floor, Jack cradling Ianto in his arms.

“What happened?” Jack whispered, applying pressure to Ianto’s wound.

Ianto gasped sharply. “T-turns out the thing was aggressive after all.”

Jack’s body went cold. “You found it?”

“Mm,” Ianto said, eyes drifting closed. “It was… too strong for us.”

“Hey! Ianto, stay with me. Stay with me.”

“It dragged Owen off,” Ianto said, opening his eyes again. “You need to find him, he might still… still be…”

“We’ll find him,” Jack promised. “You and I will both find him. You’re gonna be okay.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Hush.”

Ianto coughed, and his lips were stained. Jack’s eyes blurred, and a couple of teardrops fell onto Ianto’s face.

“It’s all my fault,” Jack said, voice breaking.

“Oh, Jack…” Ianto sighed, taking one last, labored breath. “Of course it is.”

The words felt like daggers, tearing his composure to shreds. The light in Ianto’s eyes faded, and he fell limp in Jack’s arms.

“Ianto,” he whispered helplessly. “Ianto, please…”

Your fault, Jack Harkness.

“You can’t leave. I need you.”

Your fault. They’re dead. And it’s

all

your

fault.


Jack pressed his mouth to Ianto’s, tasting the tang of iron on his lover’s unresponsive lips. “Don’t go. I’ll give anything. Just… don’t go.”

His world was falling apart around his ears, and he could feel the sea of blood rising to drown him in its depths. He welcomed it, clutching Ianto’s body in his arms as hope drained away.

“Jack? What the hell are you doing?”

Jack startled. He turned around to see the real, living Ianto Jones, looking a bit pale but otherwise none the worse for wear. He was looking at Jack with concern in his (haunted) eyes.

“You’re okay…” Jack said, looking over Ianto’s shoulder and seeing the others emerging from the darkness as well. The nightmare was falling to pieces. The blood seeped away between the cracks in the walls. Bodies disintegrating into nothing. “You’re all okay…”

“Of course we–”

Jack cut Ianto off with a kiss, and tasted nothing but spearmint toothpaste.


Masterlist

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
badly_knitted
Sep. 5th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
*MEEP*

Jack totally got sucked in by the illusion, it's a good thing the real Ianto showed up when he did!

Now they're all together, are they going to deal with the alien?
nemo_baker
Sep. 5th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yep! Jack was pretty shaken by the whole thing, so I imagine he and Ianto will be snuggling quite a bit when they get home to distract themselves =P

The situation will be resolved in the next (and final) part!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )