Fic: Chosen. (Part V)
Summary: They stole him. Just a little. Seconds of him, snatched out of time, out of space, taken beyond the World. To protect it. To protect Him.
Jack is on the floor, Ianto is still in his arms but he isn't breathing. He isn't moving and Jack can't find a pulse. "Come on! Don't leave me... Not now!"
"Captain, move." Someone is tugging at his arm. "We have a med-kit sir, let us in!"
But Jack can't. Ianto is his, his lover and he is dead on the floor once again. His hands fly over Ianto's body, checking for some sign, some tiny insignificant sign that he hasn't just lost everything. The past few hours were nothing more than a beautiful dream and Jack's mended heart shatters. He didn't even get to say goodbye.
Jack can't look at them. All he can see is Ianto's pale face behind the sheen of his tears. "Don't leave me. Please."
He's lost lovers before, but this feels more. Ianto was more than just a lover. Ianto was his friend, his colleague, his confidant. The sex was a bonus. He'd have loved Ianto without it. "Ianto."
A petal falls, black as night, then one crimson like blood, and they land on Jack's hand. Then another. And another. It's snowing sweetly scented petals and Jack wonders if the Faeries are mourning. If they care at all for what's been lost.
"We took him." Jack looks up. The men and women, Alice and Steven included, have gathered around him and Ianto but that isn't what catches his attention. Hovering above them all, all around filling every little space, are Faeries. "We took him. Out of time. Stole minutes and took him out of the World."
"So he could save it."
They shake their tiny heads. They are mournfully beautiful, scattering their petals instead of tears. "He did it for you."
"I don't understand." Jack clutches Ianto tighter, scared that they might try to steal him again. "What did he do for me?"
"Saved you. Saved him. Saved us."
Jack shakes his head. The tears are streaming down his face and he doesn't understand. They are talking in riddles, twirling dolefully around his head and Jack just wants to understand. "Steven? He did this for Steven?"
They nod. "Father of the father of the mother of the father of the great great great great grandmother of the father of the father of the grandfather of the mother of the father of a Chosen One. Scattered across Time. Only One."
"All of this for a Chosen One!" Jack roars and some of the people stumble back. The Faeries don't though. If anything, they hover closer. "All of this for one of your precious Chosen Ones!"
"You don't understand. You can't see. He could. We Chose him. Guardian of the Chosen Ones. He agreed... For you."
They are right. Jack doesn't understand. He doesn't even care – he's lost Ianto to them and it hurts more than had Ianto just been killed by the 456. "Leave. Leave now or I'll find some way to destroy you." That said, Jack buries his face in Ianto's neck, hauling his dead weight even closer so that there isn't an iota of air between them.
Any other day the Faeries would have laughed at his threat. But not today. "Bad Wolf."
Jerking like he's been electrocuted, Jack's head snaps up. "'I bring Life.' You're wasting Time."
Rhiannon is sobbing. Even Johnny has tears on his cheeks. Gwen is clutching Rhys' shirt in one hand and Andy's hand in the other but she can't take her eyes off the television. Jack has to do something. He came back from the dead after days and Ianto's only been gone minutes. He brought back Owen, with that damned glove but this... Gwen wants to scream. This isn't fair.
It feels wrong, laying Ianto on the floor like that, with nothing cushioning him but Jack needs to. He's done this before, though Ianto has no idea, and Jack thinks that maybe he'll keep doing this forever, just as long as it keeps Ianto with him.
"Dad, what are you doing?"
Jack ignores his daughter, in favour of laying himself over Ianto's body. They are touching from nose to toes, their hips snug together, their chests pressed tight and Jack thinks that perhaps this is the closest they've ever been. It flickers into his head that the only way they could be closer would be if they were naked but Ianto would kill him if he stripped them down, even if it was a life saving effort. He hooks one hand behind Ianto's head, while the other threads through his wild hair and dives in for the kiss he was denied earlier.
"What the hell is he doing?" Johnny yells, entirely sure that what he is seeing is inappropriate.
"Being Jack," laughs Gwen, not caring that everyone is looking at her funnily. She knows, deep in her gut, that everything is going to be ok. Just the way she knew that Jack would come back after Abaddon.
There are more people in the room now, parents retrieving their children, but all of them have been caught up by the drama on the screen. It's more compelling than Coronation Street. No-one even seems to care that it's two men kissing and Gwen thinks that Jack would be proud. And somewhat smug.
And then angry when he realised that no one had recorded it.
Jack pushes more and more energy into Ianto's body, searching out that elusive spark that he'd been able to grip the last time. Ironically, his search is like Ianto's earlier one but Jack would probably consider it more important. His hands are now cupping Ianto's face, pulling him into the kiss. It might be his imagination but Ianto feels warmer than he did earlier.
Disturbed by the necrophilic display one of the soldiers step forward, determined to stop the man defiling Ianto Jones. He gets within inches of them, his hand ghosting over the wool of Harkness' coat before he is tossed into the wall. When he opens his eyes, he is staring into the cruel visage of a warrior Faerie, its teeth bared.
All of them are in that visage now, no longer sweet and sorrowful. They drive the humans back and away, preventing intervention. Ianto Jones will live. The Bad Wolf brings Life.
The petals are still falling and the floor is covered with them, black and bloody crimson but slowly more are turning white and red and the scent of sage begins to build. If anyone bothers to look, to realise, they would see that the Faeries are painting pictures in the flowers, speaking their own language of death and love and life in twirling petals strewn on the ground.
Jack delves deeper into the kiss. He doesn't see the crumpled soldier or the warriors protecting them. He doesn't see the petals all around and over them. All he sees is Ianto's face, wild and beautiful and alive and he chases after it like Spring does Winter. His lips are tingling, burning from the energy and for all its length and depth the kiss is entirely chaste.
Until Ianto kisses back.
He comes to life in an instant, his hands wrap around Jack and bury themselves in his hair and his tongue sneaks its way to Jack's mouth His eyelids flutter, and Jack can feel the movement against his cheeks. He can feel Ianto breathing, his heart pounding and his blood pumping and Jack just keeps kissing him because he dare not stop.
Eventually though Ianto needs the air and he takes in great lungfuls. Jack doesn't move far away, just draws back enough to watch Ianto breath and it's a sight he rates up there with the birth of a star.
The Faeries are laughing, pin-wheeling above them and the only person they let past is Steven who races towards them, kicking up drifts of rose petals.
"I love you." Jack whispers, determined to say it – if only once.
Ianto smiles and whispers back, "Good to know. I might just pass out now, Sir," before his eyes flutter closed.
When Ianto wakes he is lying on a very comfortable hotel bed. He can hear a television blaring and wonders if maybe it was all a dream. But he can still smell roses and sage and feel Jack's Kiss on his lips and he knows it was real. He saved Steven. He saved Jack.
He'd been saved.
The Faeries hadn't told him that he would survive it. He'd gone into it, knowing that he would die the minute the Future was safe and he was ok with that. Jack would have been ok too, eventually, because this time he wouldn't have destroyed everything he had. He'd have still had his family and Gwen and probably Rhiannon and he wouldn't have gone chasing the stars. But that future doesn't matter anymore.
He stretches, feeling his muscles coil and relax and he wriggles his toes in soft cotton sheets. He hopes that it was Jack who put him to bed because he is quite sure he is naked. The pile of clothes on the floor kind of gives it away but in all honesty, he's alive and doesn't care if the Queen herself tipped him into bed. He's saved the world. He thinks he deserves it.
The door cracks open and the scent of coffee wafts at him, followed immediately by the scent of Jack.
"Hey there hero."
Ianto blinks lazily and smiles up at Jack. Who is clutching only one coffee cup and doesn't look inclined to share it. "Coffee?"
Jack grins. "Not until you've showered and dressed."
Looking down at his crumpled clothes Ianto scowls. There is no way he can wear the clothes he'd been in earlier, yesterday, today, they were torn and destroyed and have been lying on the floor for God knows how long.
"There are fresh clothes in the bathroom." Jack knows his lover too well. It was the first thing he sent the soldier assigned to them out for when he'd settled Ianto into their suite at the hotel. The second thing he'd done was ring Gwen.
Ianto looks disinclined to move, burrowing his way beneath the covers and so Jack really has no other choice but to rip them off him. The view is entirely worth the furious glare he receives, Ianto's long pale body stretched out just for him and Jack just has to kiss him. It's a slow, gentle kiss that isn't heading anywhere. Jack traces his tongue over the back of Ianto's teeth, stroking at his palette making Ianto's toes curl into the mattress. His hands smooth down Ianto's flanks, assuring themselves that he is still there and still his and his knee worms its way between Ianto's thighs.
A phone beeps in the other room and Steven shouts out something unintelligible but it's enough to break the kiss. Jack draws away slowly, with soft presses of lips to lips, until he can bear to let go. "They'll be here soon."
"Hmm." Ianto's arms are looped round Jack's neck and his nose is tucked between Jack's throat and his collar. There is something undeniably erotic about Jack fully clothed and pressing him into the mattress, but he is just too comfortable to do anything.
"Your sister and Gwen – they'll be here soon."
"What!" Ianto sits up, barely missing head-butting Jack, and looks round the room wildly. "How long?"
Ianto growls and pushes a laughing Jack off him, hurrying into the bathroom. "UNIT sent a chopper for them, by way of a thank you!"
"Some thank you," Ianto mutters twisting the shower knob.
"Want any help in there?" Jack leers.
Ianto puts his head round the door. "No. You stay there." He ducks back into the bathroom. Then changes his mind. "Actually, go get me a coffee. Then maybe you can scrub my back."
Jack stretches as he gets off the bed. "Mr Jones," he says, kissing Ianto gently, "You are a whore for coffee."
"I only said you could scrub my back. The rest depends on how good the coffee is."
Jack swats him, catching his bare buttock with a satisfying smack of flesh on flesh. "Shower. I am not facing Gwen alone."
"It's my sister you have to worry about. They've had time to compare notes."
Jack groans and Ianto laughs, feeling freer than he has done in a long time. Jack starts shoving him back into the bathroom. "Get in there and clean up."
"Sir, yes sir." Ianto says, saluting Jack before dashing back into the bathroom before he gets another smack.
"Don't sass me Jones!"
Ianto chuckles as he hears the door to their room shut before stepping into the shower. The water tumbles over him, warm and clean, and Ianto smells roses and sweet water and he smiles. He thinks that maybe, just maybe, he's still a part of it.