Title: Coming Apart (Part 3)
Fandom: Torchwood/BBC Robin Hood Crossover
Word Count: 6700
Summary: In which Guy has a decision to make, and things have consequences
Notes/Warnings: Final part. Seriously dark. There will be no sequels.
The room that Torchwood Three used for interviews was too small for the four of them to be comfortable. Mark picked over the sandwiches, found one he liked, ate it neatly in between chatting just as if he were the human that he appeared to be. He didn't look at Guy. Ianto sat down on the desk to eat, stood up again quickly, trying not to think about his bruises or how he'd got them.
Gwen was laughing at something Mark said as if Jack wasn't a prisoner somewhere under the waters of the Bay. Guy had been watching Mark single mindedly since entering the room, his hand tight around the handle of his pistol.
Mark had just started a second sandwich when Guy moved. Mark still refused to look up at the man standing closer than any concept of personal space would allow, black jeans rubbing against his blue chinos.
'What do you want with me?” Guy's voice was harsh. Mark glanced over to Gwen. “They didn't catch everything we discussed earlier.”
“Something came up.” Ianto said, a little too hastily. Guy's mouth twisted in amusement but he said nothing.
“I'll repeat it.” Mark didn't seen surprised. He spoke to Ianto as if Guy's hip wasn't in the way.
“When we- my species- are children we are raised by sub-adults in communities not entirely unlike your own. When we turn adult however, we form groups of seven, and from then on we take no part in any wider community. The others of our seven are everything to us that any human could possibly be to you; family and lovers and enemies and colleagues and rivals and friends. We do not separate, and we do not survive alone.”
He paused, picked up his mug. “We are a long established seven. We are..were...very successful in the work we did; influential and powerful people had obligations towards us, and our debts to others were not onerous. In your terms, we were wealthy.
“Like all sevens, we had our tragedies. Two of us had been killed, centuries ago, and we had mourned them deeply. Another died just a year or so ago, an accident but one for which one of us felt responsible. It was a very bad time for us.” He sipped his coffee.
“About eight months ago, subjectively for us, we were working with spatial anomalies when our brother was ripped from us, through a distortion in space-time- your rift. We called in most of our obligations, anything that might help us trace where he had gone. Eventually we had an answer. He had been taken half the galaxy away, and over a thousand years in the future.
“The web of obligations that my people weave does not travel in time, so nor do we. But we had no choice. We left behind everything that we were still owed, worse for us, left our obligations forever unfulfilled. We mortgaged our future to the Time Agency for a one way trip and we came here. Because he's part of the seven.
“We didn't have much hope. If he had known who he was, it is doubtful that he would have survived the weeks since he emerged without going insane. But, alone, disorientated, guilty and grieving, he found an unlikely form as a refuge and he's lost there, a rare occurrence but not unknown. We can retrieve him, if he doesn't shoot us first.” He still wasn't looking at Guy.
“Heartwarming,” Guy snarled. “Sadly for you, I've no desire to rejoin your happy little alien band. I'm enjoying being human just fine.”
“No.” Mark looked directly up at him for the first time. “You're not human, and you're not enjoying it.”
“More human than you.”
“Considerably less. Everything I feel as Mark Owen, everything I remember, is drawn from the records of a million human experiences. Mark is as human as a member of our race could ever be.
“You, on the other hand, have modelled yourself on a wholly imaginary story, filled in with far too much badly written perversion. There's barely anything human about you; you're a mockery, capable of nothing but fucking and posturing. And as for enjoying it; Jack kept the video file. I've seen it, and I've seen your nightmares. You think one chance to have sex with Ianto makes up for that? When Jack gets back he's going to mind wipe you and throw you out and you'll have nothing and nobody. And that will kill you, because it's only your pathetic attempts at connections with Torchwood that are keeping you close to sane. This isn't your seven, but God you''re pretending so hard that it is. This place, this identity, is going to kill you, unless you remember who you are.”
By now Mark was out of his seat, face flushed, his voice a shout of frustration. Guy was white. He pulled the pistol slowly from its holster, ignoring Ianto's protest.
“So what happens when I decide I've had enough of this delirium and shoot you in the head, Mark?”
“The seven disintegrates in madness and death. Don't.” Mark's voice had quietened.
Guy shook his head, grinning. “I don't believe a word of this. But you do, don't you?” He gestured with the gun. “Time for me to meet the family. Outside.”
“What are you doing?” Gwen was moving to intercept him.
“Posturing, apparently. He seems to think I might really shoot him though. And if his friends do go mad, with Jack still under there- let's just simplify matters. One gun, mine. You two, drop yours on the floor and we'll go and see if we can get Harkness back.”
Gwen glanced at Ianto, who shrugged helplessly. His own gun was in his hand, but he wasn't going to shoot Guy, not without further cause. She grimaced, dropped her gun and Ianto followed suit.
They led the way out of the Hub and down to the railings. Guy stayed ten yards or so back from the water, gun trained on Mark.
“Get your brothers and Jack out here. Madness and death are old friends of mine, so don't fuck me around.”
Mark nodded, eyes on the gun. Within thirty seconds the black cloud had deposited three figures on the concrete and departed. Jack was lying on his side, arms pulled behind his back. He struggled to his knees and Ianto saw the green cord around his wrists and ankles.
“That's really not necessary.” Mark gestured at his colleagues. “Release him.”
“No.” Guy, gun in hand, commanded attention. “That will do very well, for the moment. Move back to the rail. I want you all together, away from Harkness.”
Jack looked at Ianto, raised an eyebrow. “Another situation? You two do seem to be prone to them. Do what he says; he seems to be the only one with a gun. And I'd love to know how that happened.”
Ianto backed away reluctantly. He wanted to let Jack know how badly he'd screwed up, couldn't find a way to say it. There were several yards between the larger group and Jack. The gun was still trained on Mark.
Guy stalked up to the bound man. “On your knees, Jack. I like that.”
“Enjoy it while you can.” Jack was not amused.
“I intend to.” Guy dropped to his haunches in front of Jack, reached out with his free hand and his fingers closed hard. Jack didn't blink.
“I've been wondering. If I rip your balls off, will you kill yourself to get them back? That's got to be worth watching.” His hand twisted and Jack grimaced.
“No.” The gun swivelled onto Ianto, who had stepped forward without realising it.
“Keep the hell out of it, Ianto.” Jack's voice was tense. He looked back at Guy. “You're a vicious son of a bitch when you're not getting any, Gisborne.”
Guy frowned at the unfamiliar phrase, then laughed, let go of Jack's testicles. “You have no fucking idea, Harkness.” He stood up, looked down, grinning. “Fortunately for you, your Ianto and I did something about that a little over half an hour ago.” His grin widened. “This is my well fucking laid good mood. And the only reason you've still got your balls, so be sure to thank him later.”
Jack was pulling at the cord round his wrists, face twisted. “If you've laid one finger on him...”
“I did rather more than than.” Guy was laughing. “I had him naked and begging for it over that desk of yours, Jack. Good thing your lover likes it rough because I gave him rather more than he was expecting.”
Jack had stilled. He turned to Mark, eyes flickering over Ianto without pausing.
“I'm sorry. I can't imagine what it must be like to have done what you did, given up everything, to find your brother gone and this piece of shit in his place.”
Mark shook his head. “It doesn't quite work like that. These aren't masks, disguises; they are translations of ourselves into other forms. What our brother did when he came through the rift was, by our standards, madness; unsurprising given that he was alone for the first time in his life and utterly disorientated. What he's made himself is not entirely sane, not entirely human, but it was not created at random.
“Our leader and Guy of Gisborne had a very great deal in common. Unfortunately they both also had a great deal in common with you, hence our initial error. None of you are, if you don't mind me saying so, particularly likeable. But we are as lost without him as your people would be without you.”
“Great.” Guy was scathing. “So now I get to be in charge of a group of pathetic paupers who can't survive on their own. You are making this sound less desirable all the time. I've had enough of new worlds. I intend to stay here, fuck Ianto some more, maybe Jack if he begs me nicely, find myself a place in this one.”
Jack was struggling uselessly against his restraints. “You are not staying here. You can leave with your family, or you can die. You've had more chances than you deserve already. I am not having you alive on the same bloody planet as me, let alone in Torchwood.”
“I could shoot you now,” Guy said, thoughtfully. “It wouldn't achieve much, but it would give me a moment of pleasure.”
“That,” Ianto found himself saying loudly, “Will do. From both of you.” They were both looking at him now, ready to hiss at him like cats disturbed at fighting. “Guy, stop fucking Jack around. It's your family that you need to sort things out with, not him. Just because you've got a gun is no reason to play childish games. Jack, please stop rising to every goddamn bait. This is your fault, after all. He's only doing it because you hurt him and he can't stand to be scared of you.”
He pulled his penknife out of his jacket pocket, walked over to Jack and severed the cords around his wrists. Jack snatched the knife from his hand, glaring. Ianto ignored him.
“We've got Jack back. This is no longer any of our business, unless Guy needs our backing. If he doesn't want his personality erased, I'm prepared to support that. I'm sorry, Mark, I understand your position, but Guy's a person and he's got a right to say no.” He glanced over. “Gwen?”
She sounded exasperated. “While he's Torchwood, yes. If Jack chooses to throw him out, and I can't say that I'd blame him in the circumstances, Guy's on his own as far as I'm concerned.”
Fair enough. “Jack?”
Jack had freed his ankles, stood up. “I'm inclined to go a bit further than throwing him out. If Mark wants any help feeding him into their damn machine I'll volunteer. Especially if they could guarantee that it will hurt him as much as it did me.”
He caught Ianto's look, sighed. “But you're right, partly, at least. Mark, your brother came to us in need of help and I hurt him. I won't say that he didn't deserve it, but I never thought that there might be decent people out there who cared about what happened to him. I'm sorry if it's made your task harder.”
He looked at Guy, and Ianto could see him repressing a grimace. “Go back with them. Torchwood will never replace your seven. You and I are not compatible. I can't keep you here, not even for Ianto's sake. Particularly not for his sake; he deserves better than to be a bone for two bastards like us to fight over. Go home.”
Mark said quietly, “The memories, the man you are, will not be lost. Not ever. You will always still be Guy, just as I will always be Mark, and a hundred others, and myself. We need you back. Brother is not all of it, nor leader; we need you for a dozen other reasons and lover the most.”
Guy blinked. “You're offering me sex to come back to you?”
“Hell, yes!” Mark's grin gave him a uncanny resemblance to Guy. “You are, in any incarnation, unusually singleminded about the subject. We didn't come all this way for your charming personality, after all.”
Ianto felt a twinge of jealousy at Guy's speculative smile.
“So what would you do, if I agreed?”
“Take you back to the ship. Despite what Jack said, the machine we use will not hurt you. You will sleep, wake up remembering.”
Guy looked over to Ianto, who tried a small smile. “Go on.” he murmured. “I really don't think you can stay.” Blue eyes held his for what seemed a long time, then the man shrugged. “Very well.” He walked to the railing and the black cloud took all four of them, leaving only humans on the hard concrete.
They walked slowly back into the Hub. Jack's voice was sharp. “Back to work.” Ianto was halfway towards the coffee machine when he heard his name called.
“Yes?” Ianto pushed the office door open, stopped. Papers all over the floor, a smear of lubricant that had missed Ianto's hasty cleaning glistening across the desk, the half empty tube lay on the floor. He swallowed. “I'll get it all cleaned up.”
“Do that.” Jack walked downstairs, logged onto a terminal down there.
They spent the rest of the day cleaning up, physically and metaphorically. Jack talked to UNIT, Gwen to the police. Ianto dismantled the camp bed, picked up everything of Guy's and boxed it up for the archives. Five o'clock and Gwen went home. Jack had moved back into his office. Ianto was thinking about leaving, not sure if he should. They still hadn't talked, not really. He ought to try.
He made up some fresh coffee, knocked on Jack's door, pushed it open. The whimpering startled him. “Jack? What's wrong?” Then he realised that it was coming from the tipped-away screen.
Jack stretched a hand out for the coffee without looking around. The noise was disturbing; Ianto moved around the desk to look at the screen, flinched away.
“I'm impressed.” Jack's tone was conversational. “I wouldn't have thought you'd still be walking around today.”
“Paracetamol and codeine.” Ianto's calm voice was habit, only. He didn't look at the screen again.
“Do you have to watch that, Jack?”
“I wanted to see what sort of tornado had hit my office.” Jack took a gulp of coffee. “It was pretty hot to start off with, but it's getting a bit old now. Does he go on for ever?”
The noise was more like crying now. Jack's eyes hadn't shifted from the screen since Ianto came in. “Aha. That's more like it. There.” Jack smiled in apparent satisfaction. The bleep of the wrist com was unnaturally loud. “Now, our friend Mark knew when Guy climaxed; did you notice? Interesting; definitely a mindlink of some sort.”
Ianto glanced up despite himself, saw clothes grabbed, a naked rear running into the corridor.
Jack wasn't listening; he'd called up a directory to save the file. Ianto looked at the file list in bewilderment. “Ianto073? Seventy three what?”
“You and me, kid. All over the damn Hub.” Jack was entering a new name for the file.
IantoGuy002. “What was 001?”
“Alley. Pulled it just before Guy's friends grabbed me. Picture quality's crap, there's no sound and limited action, but that's amateur porn for you. Took a fair bit of imagination to take full advantage of that one. Fortunately 002's high def, fully zoomable and has your charming squeals in full stereo. That one's going to see a lot of use, I suspect.”
Ianto wasn't even going to ask about Guy001. Or IGJ001. He was too busy being appalled.
“You'd watch that? For...gratification?”
Jack looked away from the screen long enough to smile warmly at him. “Why not? That's why you did it, after all.”
Ianto was silent. After a long minute Jack sighed. “It's done now. I know your reasons. Maybe it will even make you a little less self-righteous.”
“Is that how you see me?” Ianto was stunned. “Criticising rape is self-righteous? You just don't get it.”
“What I get, Ianto, is that your new boyfriend is, at least in his human parts, a cold blooded killer and a betrayer of everyone he's ever been near. His idea of lovemaking leaves you needing prescription strength painkillers and the only reason he wants you is to spit in my face. What I did barely hurt him; he got off on it. You saw the video. I'm having real trouble working out why I'm always the bad guy here.”
Ianto's heart was aching. All this time, and Jack was as far away from him as ever.
“It's not about his behaviour.” A door slammed shut downstairs and he turned. Gwen had gone...he was out of the office, down the stairs, gun in his hand. Probably Gwen come back for something.
“Christ. I could use a coffee. Where's Jack?” The familiar lean frame was propped against the wall. Still wearing wrist link, and holstered gun.
“Here.” Jack appeared at the top of the staircase. “Didn't it work?”
“It worked.” Guy's grin was a smoulder. “I know exactly who I am.”
Jack snorted. “You don't seem to have changed. Simon suggested something more.”
Guy's mouth twisted in a sneer. “Simon and Mark are both hung up on authenticity. But I showed them some of what this body and mind can do, and I think they're coming round to my way of thinking. Guy of Gisborne suits me very well.”
“So what are you doing here then?” Jack's voice was cold. “Shouldn't you be halfway across the galaxy with your fuck buddies by now? Or have you had enough of them already?”
“No. Never.” Guy's mouth curled. “They're mine.” His voice was predatory, possessive. “Your Torchwood is the faintest imitation of a seven. You're nothing to your people, compared to what I am to mine.”
“I have no desire to run a seven, Guy. Answer the question. Why are you here, instead of taking your little tinpot dictatorship somewhere else?”
“I want my sword back.”
Ianto frowned. “Couldn't you just make another one?”
“Not the point. I take what I own.” He grinned at Ianto. “And sometimes things I don't. Up for another round yet?”
Ianto could feel his face flush. Jack rescued him. “Get it, Ianto. The less we have of this bastard, the better.”
Ianto took his time logging the sword out of the archives, filling in the paperwork pedantically. The minute he walked back into the main Hub Guy would go back to using him to bait Jack.
Damn. He'd thought, maybe, he'd made some sort of connection with the man- the alien. Not just the only available body to screw. Not just a stick to stir up Jack with. What must Jack think of him? Probably no worse than he deserved.
Guy had mentioned coffee- that was another excuse to take his time. Ianto walked back into the main Hub with a tray of mugs and Guy's scabbard slung over his shoulder. He put the tray down, tossed the sword down on the floor in front of Guy. Who was looking grimly satisfied, and not about the sword. Jack was carefully expressionless. Something had happened.
Jack looked at him. “I think you'd better leave.”
“Guy and I have something to discuss. Alone. I'll ring you later.”
This was insanely familiar. For the first time Ianto noticed Jack's revolver, pushed into Guy's waistband. What were they playing at?
“Get, Ianto.” Jack's voice had sharpened. Guy was watching them calmly.
Ianto hovered for a moment, but the habit of obedience was too strong. He picked up his jacket, walked out.
Ianto stood looking out over the Bay for a while, wondering what was going on under the sea, or in the Hub. Eventually he started off home, had got no further than a hundred yards when his wrist com beeped.
Guy's voice. “Come back to the Hub.” The com went dead. Ianto's nerves prickled, but he couldn't stay away.
Guy met him at the top of the lift, in the zone where no-one would see them, dark and serious. He put out a hand to Ianto's shoulder. “Can you trust me?”
It wasn't a simple question. “Trust you how?”
“Not to harm you, or him. To know what I'm doing.”
No, Ianto thought. Considered again. The strength of Guy's desires, his intensity, were frightening, but since he'd arrived he'd shown the restraint that Jack had always failed to credit him with. More restraint than Jack himself. That he couldn't, or chose not to, resist needling the man who'd raped him didn't make him untrustworthy. That he had not, in the end, hurt the bound and helpless man was very much in his favour.
“Fixing things. In a way.” Guy placed the revolver on the ground. “We don't need this.” He pulled the pistol out of its holster, emptied the chambers carefully, and handed the bullets to Ianto. “Keep these for me.” Ianto put them in his trouser pocket, bemused.
“Now. Come inside, keep quiet and do exactly what I tell you. You're not going to like it, but trust me. It's necessary.”
Ianto stepped off the lift, conscious of the empty gun hard against the back of his head. This seemed like a fast way to get Guy killed. Surely the man wasn't suicidal?
Jack wasn't going to be shooting anyone. Shackles on his wrists were chained around the central pillar. As they arrived he pulled himself to his feet, swearing.
“You fucking bastard! This wasn't part of the deal. Let him go!”
Guy's laugh was cold. “You're fucking immortal, Harkness. I could screw you over all night and you'd regard it as no more than an inconvenience. Do you think I'm going to be satisfied with that? Fear and sweat and helplessness- you promised me those, and you're damn well going to give me them.”
His voice turned harsh. “Ianto. Strip.” The gun moved away from Ianto's head. It was, Ianto reminded himself, empty.
Ianto resisted the temptation to demand to know what was going on. He was fairly sure that he knew. Jack's curses and threats were having no effect on Guy. Trust me, Guy had said. Guy, whose free hand was at his own belt buckle. Guy, who wanted him to pretend intimidation and helplessness for the sole purpose of breaking Jack's heart.
Fix things, Guy had said. Fix Guy's nightmares. Fix, maybe, other things that currently seemed utterly intractable. It was a terrible thing to do to the man. Ianto clung to the half promise of a traumatised half mad alien, because he didn't know what else might work. Fix things. In a way. He started, slowly, to remove his clothes, avoiding looking anywhere near Jack.
By the time he was naked, entirely unaroused, Guy had removed his jeans. The mass of his erection jutted in front of him and Ianto winced, remembering. How far did Guy intend to go with this? He couldn't- couldn't- take that again, not bruised and swollen as he was.
“That stuff you use, Ianto. In his office, still?”
“Yes,” Ianto led the way, out of earshot of the raging Jack. In the office he turned. “This is abominable, Guy. I don't think I can go through with it.”
“I'll tell you what we talked about, while you were gone. I told him how the dreams were getting worse. What affects me, damages them. The seven's been through hell, leaderless, to get me back. We're vulnerable, though I hate to admit it. Something like this could break us. Nothing less would have me back here begging favours from that man.”
“He doesn't care. Right now he's sorry that you're mad and he thinks it a shame that the seven is hurting, but that's all. He'd do it again. You know that; that's why you won't go back to him. I know it; that's why I wake screaming.
“When he understands what he did, maybe the nightmares will stop.” Dark eyes were intense on Ianto. “He agreed to be shown what it was like. To be helpless and hurt and angry and scared for your life.”
Guy's mouth twisted in a unamused smile. “He agreed far too readily, because he knew that it was an empty promise. He expected me to rape and torture him, and he knew it would be unpleasant, but bullets don't scare him and chains don't make him feel helpless and he wouldn't get angry over a bargain struck freely. So all it would do was hurt and he's done that often enough before. He'd understand nothing more at the end of it than he did at the start.
“He agreed to this, Ianto. He didn't think I could do what he was consenting to, but he did agree. Rage, and helplessness and fear- those exact words. Of course this is brutal- how else can he understand how brutal it was?”
He put a hand out to Ianto's bare shoulder. “I'm asking a lot here, I know. Trust me.” Fingers curled round his neck and Guy's voice lightened. “Damn, you're hot naked. I really need to kiss you, but you're meant to be terrified. You get an erection now, and we'd have to deal with it before we go back down. Which is tempting, but Jack will be wondering where we've got to already.”
“I am terrified,” Ianto pointed out. “I really don't think there's much chance of that problem arising.”
“Good.” Guy picked up the tube of lubricant, raised the empty gun again. “Move.”
Ianto had never seen Jack raging like this. It scared him, even though Guy seemed impervious.
“Right. Against the wall. Legs apart.” Guy's voice projected over Jack's shouting. Ianto complied, hearing Jack fall silent, the slick of lubricant right behind him. The gun was pressing hard into his spine; he shrank back, flat against the wall, his forearms cold against the metal surface. Cold flesh made him start, pushing insistently between his buttocks, resting up against the soreness of his arse. Guy hadn't told him how far he intended to go. The man must know how much he was hurting. He suspected that Guy would think it minor, compared to the nightmares.
“Scared yet?” Guy's voice was cheerful and, Ianto realised after a second, not aimed at him.
“I am going to kill you.” Jack's voice was almost unrecognisable.
“This is going to be fucking painful for him, I'm afraid. He's already bloody sore, and this time he's terrified and all tensed up. I'm probably going to rip him up a fair amount. Rough for him, but then he doesn't have a bullet wound, so it probably balances out. I really ought to throw him in a cell afterwards for a couple of days without food or medical care but it appears that I'm not that much of a bastard, and Ianto never asked for this. So I'll get him down to the medical bay when I'm done and you can patch him up there.”
“Of course, if my finger slips it won't matter. You might both want to keep quiet while I'm doing this, let me concentrate.”
Ianto was shaking, legs almost ready to collapse. He could feel Guy's cock twitching eagerly. Guy's cold brutality was entirely believable. He could have done this with the gun loaded and Ianto coerced, hurting Ianto just to cause Jack pain.
“I don't need to tell you any of this though, do I, Jack? I'm sure you thought of it all, before you raped me. Decided the damage, the risk, was worth it. I'm just following your lead.”
Jack's voice was barely audible. “Please, Guy. You've made your point. Don't do this to him. He's been nothing but a friend to you.”
Guy's voice was cold. “All you can do is beg. You can't stop me. Can't help him. You can't do anything except stand there and watch him get hurt, maybe killed. This is your fault, Harkness, and he's the one to suffer for it. Still think you were justified?”
“No. Bitterly, “I should have shot your fucking head off instead.”
“Yes,” Guy agreed. “Dead people don't get nightmares. Or revenge. Next time, stick to killing.”
“Please. You can have whatever you want. We have things in the archive; you know that. The seven could take them. Just let him go.”
Ianto heard Guy's deep breath. “Enough begging. I get to hurt you and to fuck Ianto. Nothing you can offer me is worth more than that. I'm not doing this just to teach you a lesson, Jack. I'm doing it for fun. Sound familiar?
“Right now I've had enough of the moral lessons. I just want to fuck this arse raw and bleeding. So shut up and let me enjoy it or this gun might just go off before I do.”
The empty gun was an irrelevance. Ianto was helpless, spread across the wall, wincing as Guy's cock probed and pushed. Guy had told the truth- he wanted to do this to Ianto, wanted to hurt Jack. Stopping had never been on his agenda.
“Please. Don't.” Ianto's voice was shaking. The cock pushed again, harder, slipping a bare half inch inside him. Bruised muscles complained, settled as the movement stopped. He could hear Jack's quiet, desperate profanities.
“How do you feel, Jack?” Guy's voice was merciless.
“For fuck's sake, Guy!”
“Answer the question.”
A pause. “Fucking terrified. And helpless. And murderously angry. Satisfied?”
“How is this different for Ianto, from what you did to me?”
Silence then. “It isn't.” Heavy defeat. “I'm sorry. Really sorry, that I did that. But I'm still going to kill you slowly for what you've done to him.”
“That's enough.” Ianto bit down a scream as Guy pulled back. “That's all I needed. Not,” he was grinning at Ianto as he turned from the wall, “all I want, by any means. You want to finish this off, we can go somewhere quiet before we unchain him. I promise to leave your arse alone.”
Jack's voice was hoarse, unbelieving. “You just tried to rape and kill him, Gisborne. He's hardly likely to want a piece of you.”
“Worked for me, remember?” Guy was smiling.
This had gone far enough. No more deception. Ianto pulled on his trousers, hand deep in the pocket, displayed the bullets to Jack. “Where's the key, Guy?” Jack frowned at the bullets for a moment, then the colour drained from his face. He turned to watch Guy extract a key from his discarded jeans. He didn't look once at Ianto as Ianto unlocked the shackles.
“Jack.” Ianto said, tentatively. How on earth did one start this conversation?
Jack was smiling. Anyone who didn't know him might have been fooled. He stretched out his cramped arms. Spoke to Ianto in a calm voice.
“You want to play pathetic little rape fantasies with your alien friends, that's your business. But you do not, ever, fuck me over like that, Ianto Jones.” He walked over to the door, opened it. “Your employment is terminated. Get out. The door accesses will be changed. Don't try to contact anyone from Torchwood again.”
He looked over to Guy. “The same, naturally, applies to you. Except that if your ship isn't out of my Bay and off world in the next 60 minutes I will call in UNIT and there won't be a bottom of that bay for your ship to be under.”
There was, at the moment, nothing to be said. Ianto took a long breath, pulled on the rest of his clothes and walked out after Guy. They stopped in the shadow of the Plass.
“He means that,” Ianto said, blankly.
“Yes”. Guy was buckling his belt. “We just put him through seven kinds of hell. Did you expect him to be reasonable?” A hand closed around Ianto's arm. “He might get over it.”
“Might?” Ianto's voice was nearly a squeal. “I've probably lost him, Guy. For good.”
“You'd already lost him,” Guy pointed out. “You weren't going to take him back, and he wasn't going to change. Now, if he's smart, you've at least got a chance.” He shrugged. “Otherwise you'll be looking for a new job and a new lover, I guess.”
That almost sounded like a proposition, but Ianto suspected that it wasn't. “What about you? The nightmares?”
“I'm not sure. But I think they may go, now.” He sighed. “I need to get back to the seven, before this gets any harder.”
“Is it difficult, being apart from them?” Ianto thought of Jack.
“Yes, but that's not what I meant.” Guy stepped forward, looked down on him from half a head. “Nearly five hundred years, and everything I loved was in the seven. That's how it is for us, always. Now I have a dead woman and a living man to leave behind. We don't say goodbyes, Ianto, except to our dead. What we care about is in the seven, and that we hold against the universe.”
He sighed. “But you're not seven; you don't belong to me and I can't stay. We need to say goodbye, somehow.”
“Oh.” He'd lost Jack, and now Guy was leaving. Ianto glanced at the man's crotch, had a fairly good idea of what Guy thought goodbye might entail. Bereft and miserable, he had seldom felt less desire, but he'd trade Guy all of what he wanted for a few minutes with a pair of warm arms around him. An unlikely source of consolation, but he felt dreadfully alone.
“Will you come back?”
“No.” Guy was definite. “This is an aberration. I will not indulge it.”
That was painful. “Where will you go?”
“First to the Time Agency. I have some issues with them to sort out; they ripped off my seven. Then maybe some gainful employment, although I'm thinking that I may copy a trick or two from Hood. We are as a species far too damn law abiding for our own good. Here, with no outstanding obligations to hold us back, it might be time to try a little banditry.”
He grinned at Ianto's shocked face. “We'll do fine.”
“Good.” Ianto tried a smile. “About that goodbye.”
Guy smiled, looked him up and down slowly and deliberately. “Sadly, I think not.” He glanced unerringly up at the camera hidden on the building, turned and was striding towards the water. The cloud this time came streaming halfway across the plaza. Guy reached its attenuated edges, blurred into darkness and the whole thing was gone.
Ianto stood alone on the concrete, waiting. A few minutes later the surface of the bay churned and water streamed off the huge green mass sliding upwards. It reached a height of ten feet or so and accelerated, slashing through the grey clouds. That would have set off every alert across the globe; presumably Guy didn't care. Somehow that seemed like him.
Ianto thought that he ought to at least try to talk to Jack, but it appeared that the man had meant it about changing the access codes. He didn't dare ring Gwen, not with Jack in that mood. So he went home.
Ianto had taken to cooking himself proper meals. Not out of any concern for his health, or his taste buds, but because fast food- pizza, chips, Chinese- all seemed to have too many associations. He'd also taken to drinking a large glass of wine with his meal, and finishing the bottle and maybe starting another one afterwards. Every night, on his own.
He balanced the plate of lamb chops and peas on the arm of the sofa, wine glass in one hand, and turned on the TV. When he reached the third channel a voice rang out, bitter, familiar, far too loud.
Ianto dropped the remote, scrabbled for it, spilling the wine, swore. He'd not known the series was being repeated. He jabbed at the off button, sat in silence, watching the wine stain spreading across the carpet.
He'd lost his appetite. Ianto took the untouched plate through to the kitchen, left it on top of the previous day's used plates, took the bottle from the fridge. The paper under the fridge magnet flapped. His P45, completed in Gwen's rounded handwriting. Date of leaving employment, it said, neatly filled in. Hand to your next employer.
That had come through the post on the second day, five weeks ago. When he had still been expecting the phone to ring. Since then it had rung half a dozen times; his sister, twice, and a handful of salespeople. Not Jack, Not Gwen. Ianto had wondered at first what Jack might have told her to stop her caring, until he'd realised that the truth would have been enough.
It was time to leave. Cardiff had nothing for him any more; a sister with a life and family of her own, a black SUV that he'd seen once from a distance, two weeks ago. A wrist com determinedly inert and nothing but silt under the Bay.
He could go tomorrow. The flat had a month to go on the lease but he could pay that; the three months' salary that had turned up in his bank account at the same time as the tax form arrived had barely been touched. At some point he'd need to find a job, but not yet. Now he just needed to go somewhere else, where he'd be no less alone but maybe he'd notice it less. Back to London, maybe. He'd a couple of acquaintances there, nothing to do with Torchwood One or Three. He'd not spoken to them in ages, but one might be willing to go for a drink, at least.
Ianto put the bottle down on the fridge. He'd do that. Clean the carpet, pack up his stuff, ring the landlord; that wouldn't take long. He'd been waiting five weeks for retcon or reconciliation; neither was likely now. Ianto closed his eyes, the pain suddenly overwhelming. His own fault, this time. As his mother used to say, nothing to be helped.
Ianto was on his knees with the carpet cleaner when the doorbell rang. At first it was just an interruption, but he twitched the curtains anyway, out of habit. His heart jumped, seeing the black car parked on the far side of the road. He was in the hall before he had a chance to think, then suddenly aware of the spray cleaner in his hand, two days stubble on his cheeks and the open kitchen door showing heaped dirty crockery.
It could be anything. It could be retcon, or a demand that he leave Cardiff, or Gwen returning his shirts or retrieving his gun. It probably was one of those things. He put down the cleaner, wiped a futile hand over his chin, pulled the kitchen door closed. Slid the chain off the door and opened it.
“Hello, Jack,” he said.