It’s Thursday! It’s fan fiction! I know you don’t care! Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. Most readers probably don’t care, but I do. So here’s another piece of Torchwood fan fiction (again more or less hurt/comfort). Written in the present tense, which was a lot harder than it sounds. I don’t usually do that and I kept switching to past tense… Oh, and SPOILERS – it’s set between “Children of Earth” ep. 2 and 3.
Before the actual piece starts, I want to give a very quick shout out to the wonderful mobile puzzle game Doctor Who: Legacy (available for Android, iOS and Kindle). It’s completely free to play (yes, you can buy stuff in-game, but you will have the same amount of fun if you don’t – trust me). They recently added Jack to the list of playable characters and Ianto will follow with the next update in about two weeks! So go download! (after you’ve read my work 😉 )
In the Deep of the Night
The middle of nowhere, some place between Cardiff and London. Only the moon illuminates the bumpy road ahead of them. Of course, it would be easier to take the M4, but since they’re on the run, the long way is probably the safest.
Gwen and Rhys are sleeping on the rear bench seat, his arms draped around her. Already the protective father. Ianto has to smile as he sees them in the rearview mirror. Jack is sitting on the passenger seat, eyes fixated on the road. Ianto doesn’t want to imagine what the past 24 hours must have been like for him. The thought alone makes him shiver.
They haven’t had the chance for a private conversation yet. Just a brief embrace before they got into the car and sped off for London. There was so much that Ianto wanted to say, but didn’t want to in front of Gwen and Rhys. And now that he finally has the chance, he finds he lacks the courage.
He tries to concentrate on the empty road ahead, when suddenly Jack’s right hand reaches out and takes Ianto’s left. They squeeze each other’s hand tightly, reassuring each other that they’re still alive.
“Thank you for saving me,” Jack whispers.
“You would have done the same for me.”
There is silence for a while, as they continue holding hands, fingers entangled, caressing each other’s skin.
“I can drive if you want to sleep,” Jack offers.
“No. You should rest. Recover from…”
“You know I don’t have to.”
“I know.” But even if you would drive, I couldn’t find the peace to sleep.
Ianto fixates the road, but the lack of traffic makes it all too easy for his mind to wander to the past 24 hours. To the horror of leaving Jack in the Hub, to the constant fear of getting killed or (maybe even worse) not finding Jack. In spite of himself, he squeezes Jack’s hand tightly. And then he feels Jack placing a kiss on his hand.
“It’s okay, Ianto. I’m here.”
Ianto wants to say something, but fears he will start crying if he opens his mouth, so he stays silent.
It’s Jack who finally brakes the silence. “I know you’re scared, but we’ll make it through this. We’ve defeated the Daleks, and there’s no race more vicious than them. Trust me.”
“I do.” Ianto wants to sound confident, but instead a sniff mixes with his voice. His lower lip trembles. But they tried to kill you. With a bomb! … I never want to let you go again.
“Maybe you should stop for a moment.”
“No, I’m fine.” Ianto considers an instant, then: “But maybe you could hold the wheel for a moment?”
Jack chuckles, but in a sympathetic way. He lets go of Ianto’s hand and grips the steering wheel. Ianto takes a handkerchief from his jacket and dries the tears that threatened to roll down his cheeks. Then he reclaims the wheel, his left hand once again wrapping around Jack’s right.
They’re silent again for a while, but eventually, Ianto just has to ask the question that had bothered him the last 24 hours. “Do you really hate the word ‘couple’?”
“No. But I hate it when you make it sound like it’s a weird thing to be together with me.”
Ianto gulps. “I’m sorry,” he whispers. Almost inaudibly, he adds “I just don’t know what to think anymore.”
Jack caresses Ianto’s hand. “Did you cry when you had to leave me behind in the Hub?”
“Then you don’t have to think anymore.”
Ianto’s eyes widen. He told Rhia it was weird, but deep inside him, his heart was screaming. Because it wasn’t weird. Far from it. It was good. It is good.
“How do you always know what my heart is saying?”
“It’s my special ability.” Jack grins and Ianto has to chuckle.
They drive in silence again for a while, Ianto feeling closer to Jack than ever before.
“You know, those two in the back won’t notice if you stop and we get out for a moment…” Jack suggests in the flirtatious voice Ianto loves so much.
Ianto sighs. “It’s too dangerous… We have to keep moving.” He caresses Jack’s hand, letting him know that under any other kind of circumstances he would all too willingly follow the suggestion.
“So you’ll just keep on driving until we’re in London?”
“I could tell you a story—or would you fall asleep if I did?”
Ianto stifles his laughter so as to not wake up Gwen and Rhys. “No, that would be nice.”
“What do you want me to tell you about?”
Ianto smiles. He doesn’t have to think twice. “Tell me about those game show robots.”
“Again? I’ve told you that story at least a hundred times.”
“I know. It’s my favorite.”
Jack grins and once again kisses Ianto’s hand. “Fine. So, when I woke up, I was lying in a white room…”