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Friends in Dead Places 7

Title: Friends in Dead Places

Rating:
PG13 (for a couple of bad words - Owen!)... However there is one NC17 chapter which will be clearly marked.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Gwen Cooper, Jack/Ianto, Ianto/OMC, mentions Jack/OMC
Spoilers: Small ones for Cyberwoman, Countrycide, End of Days, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Exit Wounds but nothing major!
Warnings: M/M relationships, violence, blood, Character Death, angst. Don't like any of those - don't read!
Length: apparently: 25,381 (oh dear.)

Summary: Ianto gets a lesson in dining, morality, mortality and the betrayal of friends.

Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to RTD and the BBC, unfortunately. But if I owned them they'd have a lot more fun! This is a non-profit work of fiction and the only thing I lay claim to is the OMC and the plot (and I still have reservations on that one!)





Jack finally convinced the team to leave the Hub. Go out and live. They'd seen too much death and pain and perhaps it was time to start clawing something back. It might be too late for Jack and Ianto, but the others were still hail and healthy and Jack couldn't let that slide. He wouldn't let it slide. So he let them go; Gwen and Tosh still tearful but had following Owen and his suggestion of drinks. And he would sit and wait for Ianto to wake up.

But, either he'd slipped into a waking coma or fallen asleep because Ianto had gone and Jack was alone in the Hub. A quick scan of the monitors and CCTV revealed that he'd managed to slip out, leaving Jack asleep at his bedside. So Jack followed, grabbing his great coat and left the Hub. Tracking Ianto wasn't difficult, it might have been without his Vortex Manipulator, but as it was he had it programmed to be able to find any member of his team at the drop of a hat. Small sample of DNA in its CPU and voila, instant tracking device. So much more reliable than a bug, and its range was infinite. Time and space.

Ianto was sitting, high above the city, legs dangling over the edge, on the roof of the Capital Tower. It was the highest spot in the city, and Jack himself had spent many an hour here, watching over his city, thinking of all the things he had to do, to remember, to say to keep it safe. He'd never known Ianto come up here though. Not even when he'd been looking for Jack. He'd usually wait in his car, parked outside the building, reading the paper or listening to Radio 4, simply idling away the time until Jack came down.

But Jack was coming for him now, and he wasn't content to wait on the ground whilst Ianto faced his new demons alone. Carefully he moved across the room, not silently or stealthily but not loud enough to startle Ianto from his musings; he just made enough noise for Ianto to hear him coming.

Although, the vampire had probably caught his scent and heard his heartbeat when he'd gotten out of the SUV.

And he hated thinking of him in that way. He was determined not to think of Ianto as anything other than Ianto. He was still the same quiet boy of pristine suits and orgasmic coffee. He'd just changed slightly. He wasn't as frail or frangible; he was almost as indelible as Jack. And Jack couldn't quash the bright feeling of hope and relief that gave him.

He knew he shouldn't feel anything but extreme guilt and self loathing for what had happened, but he couldn't help it. He was happy. For the first time in forever, he didn't have to face the prospect of eternity alone. A weight had vanished from his shoulders and he felt as though he could breathe again.

"You knew him." It wasn't a question and Ianto didn't turn to look at him, but Jack answered anyway. After everything, the very least he could do was offer Ianto the truth. It wasn't much and it was most definitely late, but it was all he had.

"Yes."

"How?"

Jack huffed slightly and thrust his hands into his pockets. "It's complicated."

"I have time. I have nothing but time, and after today I think I have the right to ask you anything."

Jack shuddered at the bleakness of Ianto's voice. It was as if he'd given up before he'd even begun, but there was a spark there, an anger, that meant he hadn't quite stopped fighting yet. But he was right, he did have the time and the right and Jack hadn't a leg to stand on.

"It was 1893 and I'd just returned to Cardiff from the States. I hadn't joined Torchwood yet, hadn't heard of them even. I was working, in a little pub in the centre of the city. It wasn't much but it kept me in food and board and I didn't need all that much. I was just biding my time, waiting for the Doctor. I knew the people in the bar, the regulars, but there was no one really."

He paused, sitting himself down on the ledge with Ianto. Usually he stood, like a conqueror or a defending knight standing guard, but that wasn't appropriate now. The thing he should have protected, the one person he should have guarded with all he had was the one who had been hurt.

Changed forever and Jack couldn't take it back. All he could do was give Ianto his story and hope the young man forgave him.

"One night I was cutting through the park, it was late and quiet and all the respectable people were in bed at such an hour. I didn't know I was being followed until the last second and then the only thing I could do was look at him whilst he killed me."

Beside him Ianto flinched. He knew what that felt like, the crush of Webb's grip and the steel of his determination. Jack had just been a meal though. Obviously, Ianto had been right in his summation that Jack wasn't meant for immortality.

"I knew I'd never forget those eyes. Bright amber, like they were on fire. But then everything went black. I knew I wouldn't die, had already come back twice, so I don't even think I struggled as he killed me. I don't think I even screamed. I just stared at him whilst he drained me dry."

Jack shook his head and scrubbed his hands over his face. He hadn't wanted to be melancholy. He had wanted to know how Ianto was, but Ianto wanted to know his past and parts of it were messy.

"Anyway, I woke up a while later, wet and cold and staggered off home. I didn't really think anything of it. I mean, sure vampire. But I've seen stranger things and it made about as much sense as anything does. I had put it out of my mind by the time I went into work the next night, but Cardiff was a small town in those days and there were so few places where the more unsavoury aspect of society could get a drink.

"Webb came in with a small group, a couple of prostitutes and their pimp and he seemed quite popular with them. But I swear I've never seen anyone look so shocked as he did when I asked him what he wanted to drink."

Ianto snorted a little laugh, imagining Jack doing just that, lacing the words with the right amount of innuendo and flirting with those big blue eyes. He could even imagine Webb's face, supposing that everything he'd said and done last night hadn't been a lie. Most of it had been, but he had to hope that some of it at least was true.

If not, then he was just as cursed as Jack. More so even.

"Anyway, we got chatting. I knew what he was obviously and he was intrigued with me. I did hope that he could help me in some way but he'd never heard of anything like me before. Not that surprising really, but I did hope. I was lonely Ianto, so goddamn lonely, I'd been trapped in the nineteenth century for nearly thirty years and all I wanted was for someone to understand. And he offered it.

"He knew what living forever was like. What being out of time was like. And he offered me a good deal. A home, money, a bed. Sex. And all I had to do was let him drain me every so often. Dying wasn't exactly hard and compared to some deaths it was more than pleasurable."

Ianto nodded, his throat hot with the memory of Webb's fangs invading and penetrating, and he could imagine just how pleasurable it had been for Jack to die in such exquisite agony.

"So I stayed with him and he taught me a lot. I don't think he loved me, I think he could only love those like him, other vampires, but he cared. I was like a pet or something. I do know that he was worried about me. Soemthing about immortality and suitability. But I didn't really listen. I was just idling time with him, waiting for the Doctor. I stayed with him right up until 1898. He left to travel in Europe and I couldn't risk leaving Cardiff and missing the Doctor so I let him go."

Jack's voice sounded sad and Ianto wondered whether he was regretting leaving Webb or the Doctor or both. One never knew with Jack, one never knew just when an ex was going to crawl out of the woodwork and try to destroy them all.

Ianto laughed, bitter like the wind that whipped around them. "Why is it that your past comes back to hurt us Jack? Captain Hart, Webb. What's next, a long lost family member turning up?"

Jack ignored the shudder that ran through him. Gray. He stepped closer to his… lover he supposed. Ianto had earned the affection of such a title. He'd started out as a fuck buddy, but now, he was most definitely a lover. If not loved.

"What do we do now?" he asked bombast voice gone, instead unsure and tired. Heart worn and weary and slightly mad with the need for everything to be ok.

"Carry on I suppose. Go back to work, make coffee, feed Myfanwy and Janet." Ianto gazed out over Cardiff, the twinkling lights almost blinding to his new eyes. He turned to Jack, "Write our reports." He shrugged and stuffed his hands in his pockets.

It was amazing. The cold was biting, he could feel it gnawing at his skin, but he didn't feel cold. It was as if his skin could just take it, allowed the freezing wind to roll over him and not affect him. It was abstract, like banging your elbow when drunk. You register the hit but you don't feel the pain until the following morning, when you wake up covered in bruises you have no idea of.

There was a light pressure on his arm and he glanced down to see Jack's large tanned hand resting on the wool of his coat. He could feel Jack's touch, scalding through the cloth. He could see Jack's veins, eternally pumping blood through his body. Fine hairs flecked the back of his hand, almost invisible and barely there, but he could see them. Looking up, tearing his eyes away from the hand least he get lost mapping the lines and cracks in the skin.

Jack's eyes were pained; Ianto didn't think he'd seen them that dark or that sad since Suzie's second death and he was split. A dichotomy of emotions warred for supremacy in his heart. One, the white, pained and sad and absolutely desolate for making Jack look so forlorn. Ashamed and guilty that he had been the one to hurt Jack so. But the other, the black, the beating heart of the animal he now was, was gladdened. Delighted, preening proud, elated and giddy at the thought that Jack actually did care. That he could be the one to hurt Jack's heart for once.

"I meant for us," Jack clarified, voice calm but tense, worried but determined not to let on. "What do we do now, Ianto?"

Shrugging the hand off his arm he caught it, lightning quick, before Jack realised it had even been dislodged. It was a heady thing, the power he now had. He could move quicker than they could think, sense things that were beyond their imaginings. He'd distanced himself from the others for his survival upon his arrival at Torchwood Three, but never had he felt so alone. Even in the weeks of suspension after Lisa's death, lost in a pit of grieving despair, even then he hadn't been alone. On his own perhaps, but not alone.

Now he was.

Even Jack, with all his quirks and oddities, he was closer to the team than Ianto now was. Webb had lied about so many things, but what struck Ianto as his worst falsehood was the claim that humans and vampires were alike. As far as Ianto could tell, he was as disparate from the human race as Janet or Myfanwy and perhaps it would be better for all concerned if he was gone.

"Ianto?" Jack's voice was full of concern, like his eyes, solicitous oceans of blue that stretched into Infinity. Ianto had never seen such blue, whispers of dark thunder colour swamped by light cerulean, spangled specks of stars scattered here and there making them luminescent even in the twilight.

He shook his head. It was so easy to fix on something now, see the world as never before and need to scrutinise it down to the last detail. It was maddening. Almost maddening enough to wish that Jack hadn't run Webb out of 'his' city.

He sighed.

"I don't know Jack." It was the honest truth and that was all he had to give. He didn't know where he and Jack stood, precisely because he didn't know where he stood. His life had literally changed overnight and everything he had known yesterday was no longer true.

He wasn't even human anymore.

"I just don't know. Everything is so different now. It's all changed." He laughed, small and low, "You said that the 21st Century was where it all changed, I just never thought…" He trailed off, his breath turning into a sob. His shoulders shook and he tried to hunch them over, curl up into himself and stop the shaking but it just wasn't working.

"Hey, hey, shhh." Jack reached out and pulled the young man towards him, curling himself around Ianto and letting him bury himself in whatever strength he could get from Jack's arms. One hand drifted up to smooth its way through Ianto's dark hair, rubbing at his scalp and stroking his neck. Calm, soft caresses meant only to soothe and comfort.

For the first time, ever most possibly, Jack was touching Ianto with no desire to bed him. All he wanted was to ease his suffering. If he could, he'd dig into Ianto's very soul and remove all the pain and torment and nightmares he knew resided there. He'd tear them out with his bare hands and burn them. All he wanted to do was make this better.

And he couldn't.

He hadn't realised he was crying too until he felt the wet warmth on his cheeks and tasted salt on his lips. Ianto clung harder, his lithe frame shuddering with sobs, mumbling nonsense into Jack's woollen shoulder. Jack didn't say anything; words were beyond useless now even if he could think of something to say.


Eventually though Ianto's tears slowed, stuttered and stopped. His breaths went from staccato hitches to smooth and calm, and Jack thought that he had simply cried himself into oblivion. It would be understandable given what the young man had been through in the past twenty-four hours, and all Jack could do was thank deities he wasn't sure he believed in, for Ianto letting him be there to hold him. It was the only sign he had that maybe, just maybe, Ianto didn't blame him for everything.

He should. This was all Jack's fault.

Ianto wasn't asleep though, he was merely drifting, sitting half on Jack; finger's curled into the lapels of his great coat, and the steady thump of Jack's heart under his ear. Slowly he pulled away, wriggled a little, and finally settled. For the longest time he simply sat there, straddling Jack's lap, staring at the man before him. He counted every sooty lash fanning out from those blue, blue eyes before leaning forward and capturing Jack in the sweetest of kisses.

It was like no kiss Jack had ever shared before, and there had been a lot. It was a soft slide of lips and gentle stroke of tongues and Jack felt that if he even dared to participate he would break the fragile beauty of it. But Ianto, sweet Ianto, coaxed and drew him in. There was no teasing or flirting, it was simply kissing in a way so foreign that it brought tears to Jack's eyes. It was pure passion, and set Jack's blood on fire and he'd never felt so alive nor so at peace. Jack swore he felt the world just stop as Ianto kissed him. And with a blinding flash of certainty, he realised. This was love. This was what Ianto felt for him, had felt for him for god knows how long and Jack had been so fucking blind.

He could have had this, this peace, this security, this gentle soothing soul balm for months and he hadn't seen it.

Webb had though. Webb and his fucked up sense of protection and destruction and caring and he'd given Jack the most precious gift in the world. And he shouldn't have had to. Jack should have seen it, Jack should have realised that it was there all the time, just waiting for him. Waiting and watching and never wavering no matter what Jack did.

Gently, almost as soft as a whisper, the kiss broke. They barely parted though, nothing more than a sliver of light between them and a single strand of saliva, glimmering in the night, kept them together. Jack raised a hand and stroked the side of Ianto's face. The skin was different now, silkier but infinitely harder. Like smoothed marble. And he adored the feel of it under his finger tips. His own skin felt so rough, so inadequate now, and he just couldn't stop stroking.

Ianto kissed him again, softly spreading his lips to Jack's. This time though it was chaste and brief and when he pulled away, he pulled away. And when he spoke it was soft and lilting and those Welsh vowels Jack had fantasized about so many times turned his words into lyrics.

"I don't know what we do now Jack." Jack opened his mouth, desperate to tell Ianto that he knew now, he understood, he felt it, but a soft finger gently pressed itself to his lips and Ianto shook his head. "No, listen. I don't know what we do now," he smiled slightly, "But, I think, we have eternity to figure it out."


Comments

OMG

Omg!!
I love it it was so beautiful and sad and hopeful
love it!!

Re: OMG

Thank you! Glad you liked it!
Wow x forever! Stunning, beautiful,creepy and many more words I lack the eloquence to use, especially after a busy late shift!. Webb is a brilliant original character, and maybe he'll turn up in more fic? Had to mem this to and hope to see more fic from you soon :)
Well, I am not promising anything but if I get a decent bunny I might write a sequel with Webb in it... or maybe a prequel - but it would have to be a good bunny!

Glad you liked it - even happier you found it creepy... it was written for Halloween after all!

Thank you!
Oh wow! Beautiful and wonderfully written. I loved it.
Thank you very much!
That was brilliant. Horrible and nasty in places, I found the NC17 chapter difficult, mainly because of the non con, but I felt that it did add depth to the story, and to Webb, how violent and hateful he is, but a fantastic OC. I was wondering if Jack would offer himself to be Ianto's food, that could get very odd.
Thank you.

The NC17 chapter was hard to write and there were points I wondered whether it was needed - which is why the fic can be read without it - but I did agree that it added something. Mainly to Webb's character and the juxtaposition of his 'human' side and his true animal self.

As for Jack being Ianto's food... It's a thought - weird you're right but at least Jack would survive it. He'd probably find it kinky!

Glad you liked it and sorry its taken me so long to respond... I'm a bad person x
I rarely read vampire stories. But I have to say, this is one of the few that I enjoyed and I'm glad I read! XD It was rather hard for me to read the NC17 chapter, but when I went through it, it was still beautiful (... I don't know if that makes sense, but in my head it does ;P) and I'm glad I read it. I loved how you wrote about the minute differences between vampires and humans,and how you wrote your OC and how in character everyone was, was exquiste. This is definitely going into my memories. Defintely a lovely story. I hope to read more of your fics in the future! XD
Wow! Thank you!

The NC17 chapter wasn't meant to be nice but I didn't want it just to be a gratuitous rape scene so I tried to step back from that and do something different - I'm glad it worked for you.

Vampires are a love of mine purely because of the differences and similarities you can have between them and humans. They are animals in human form really.

I'm glad you liked it and that you felt it was in character.

Thanks!
I just read "Friends in Dead Places" I wish to commend you on how well you have portrayed Ianto and Jack, each with their individual demons, needs and pain. The character of Webb was well written, mysterious but more in tuned and believable as a Vampire might be. Well written and an excellent read
Thank you very much! I am glad that you enjoyed it - and liked Webb... I think he's my first real OC so it's nice to hear he's liked!

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond - I've had a crazy RL recently - going back to Uni and everything has gone wrong if possible! Hopefully everything is calm now!

Thanks x
I just finished this and wanted to tell you how much i enjoyed it.
Thank you!

Sorry the response has taken so long - RL has been crazy but I did want to say thanks x
I loved this story so much. I've left a more detailed list of all the things I loved about it on FF.net, but there's something I left out and due to the foolish policy of one review per chapter that the site sports, I decided to tell you here. A sequel to this fic would be amazing, if you are still willing to write one. There are so many things that could be done differently now that Ianto can't die as well. You've already hinted at one when you mentioned Gray, and it's an exciting prospect. So, what do you say? *winks*