Instead, plot bunnies for various other fandoms take its place; more specifically, as I watch series 2 of Torchwood unfold, Ianto/Jack keeps my brain pretty well occupied.
However, I remain as dark as ever. While I adore reading about the near-canon sex-capades of our dear Janto in the fantastic fanfic out there, this one is not quite about sex. Only if you squint.
Title: A Hole in the World 1/1
Rating: R for violence, nudity, swear words, and sexual situations
Spoilers/Setting: Sometime after S2E5, "Adam"
Disclaimer: Not mine; no major harm intended; will return when finished, only slightly scathed.
Warnings: THIS IS A DARK FIC. It's what I do. Also, this is unbeta'd so all grammar/spelling mistakes and content inconsistencies are mine.
Summary: Sometimes the hole that is left when memory is erased needs to be filled.
Here you go:
A Hole in the World
by daedreams (aka daedream_fanbot)
Anything could have happened in those two days. Only Rhys was left to fill in the gaps. And he wasn’t much help. Whatever happened to make Gwen forget her fiancee was bad enough that Jack felt they all needed to forget. It was Jack’s signature code on the deleted files. They were all anxious about what had gone on in their missing time. Rhys the only one who felt relief that Gwen, at the very least, remembered him.
With their trust in Jack, however, they pressed on. Clearly they needed to forget. And if this job taught them nothing else, it was to clutch onto what made you feel secure and let the rest just happen.
So on they went. With no looking back.
Except… It was like something heavy on their minds. Not necessary important, but pressing none the less. It worked its way into everything. That feeling that something was missing, that feeling of longing, of love. Of death.
Every night when Gwen unlocked the door and entered her familiar flat, she was startled, just for a moment, that Rhys was standing there. And there, just at the edge of her mind, was a horrible thought. A phrase itching to be spoken. Who the bloody hell are you? was screaming at the stranger in her living room. Then it was gone. And it was just Rhys standing there in his silly frilly apron, or uncorking a bottle of wine, or to give her a peck on the lips and a quick squeeze on the buttocks as he headed out the door for a pint with mates.
Rhys was always there to come home to. Just as he always would be, and had always been. He had said that she had forgotten him for two days. How could she? If there was no Rhys, she would not be able to survive her job. So what was this hole? The gut reaction that Rhys’s existence was wrong. It terrified her. But she pressed on. As she was taught to do. And the hole got a little bigger. And a little darker.
Sometimes, just sometimes mind you, Owen caught himself staring at Tosh. He would blink back to consciousness and discover that he had just spent one or two minutes staring. Usually at the back of her head. Or at her bulky ankles covered by those clunky boots. And occasionally at the curve of her neck, and the way the stray black hairs from her messy up-do whispered across her skin and the way that made her seem far more delicate than he had ever seen her.
At the pubs, late at night, he would chat up certain girls. Young girls of a certain skin color, and frame, and perhaps even with a geek-like quality that never appealed to him in the past. But when he settled on one, the one who would warm his bed for a few hours or his back seat for a few minutes, she would always be the same. Blond. Tall. Flighty. And the other girls never crossed his mind again. Until the next time, and the time after that. Like something out of reach. Like reaching out for something solid but coming up empty. Right there, just to the side, was a hole, dark and lonely. And growing.
It would start in the lift, as it descended from the Tourist Office, every morning coming into work. She could feel it – her heartbeat picking up just a bit. Like something was about to happen. Something good, something exciting. Her breath would quicken and she’d smile. It felt as if she’d been waiting for it all morning, though she knew all she’d really been thinking about was the latest alien artifact they’d found, and the most recent translation formula she’d written.
Even so, every morning, as she stepped from the lift and through the security door, her heart dropped into her stomach with disappointment. It was just the Hub. Jack in his office, brooding over paperwork, Ianto at her side offering coffee, and Owen with his feet up on his desk, surfing the internet for god-knows-what. A few minutes later, Gwen would enter behind her, with a cheerful greeting for everyone and a silly Rhys-induced smile on her face. It was the same every morning. So why did it feel so empty? What was she expecting to happen when she came into the Hub? Something more. Something warm. Someone. Someone who wanted her. Someone was missing. Someone who was meant to fill this expanding hole in her heart. This dark black hole. She was lonelier than ever.
Jack watched his team. Watched them closely. Just in case. But they were fine. Whatever had happened in those two days hadn’t changed anything. So why was he so weary? They were in good spirits. Optimistic. Had gotten over the missing time, as he told them to. Pressed on.
Jack was proud. Surely they weren’t feeling as empty as he was. That something more than just forty-eight hours was wiped away. There were a few parts of Jack’s long long life that he had forgotten -- whether it was due to retcon, or regretful nights of over-indulgence, or just not enough space in his brain to recall it all. But there was something more. Something was missing that was there before. Sort of. Like it had been repressed. But he missed it now. He would reach deep for the memory, but there were no hints. No blurry edges, No…grains of sand. Like a hole. Spread wide across an ocean and covering the beach evermore as a tide flowed further and further up the land. This hole was wide and deep. And Jack feared its darkness. Its nothingness.
Ianto walked home in the rain. Every night he walked home in the rain. Whether it was raining or not. But tonight was different. Tonight he wasn’t watching the shadows. He wasn’t searching for the perfect moment, his insides craving a certain touch, a certain need. No, tonight his mind was on other things. Tonight Jack was coming over for dinner.
It was silly to be so anxious. It’s not like he and Jack hadn’t been doing this for the last couple of months. They’d been out to dinner. They’d been out to the pubs. They took in a movie once. They had been back to Ianto’s many many times. Shagged in just about every room in the flat. But tonight was different. Tonight it was going to change. And for the life of him, Ianto couldn’t figure out why.
There was a knock at the door. Fuck. He’s early. Who shows up early? Inconsiderate prick. Ianto opened the door to offer Jack a scowl.
Jack’s bright smile faded. “What?”
“You’re early,” Ianto informed him while stepping aside to clear the doorway.
"Am I?" Jack smiled again, holding up his wrist strap as he crossed the threshold into the flat. “This gorgeous piece of technology is many things. However, a watch it is not,” he said, ignoring the actual watch on his other wrist, clearly so he could make the quip.
Ianto grinned to spite himself, and walked past Jack back into the kitchen. Jack relieved himself of his cumbersome coat, tossing it across the back of the couch, and followed Ianto.
Perched atop the kitchen counter as Ianto poured them each a small tumbler of scotch, Jack sniffed the air. “Smells amazing,” he commented, talking the drink from Ianto. After a sip he added, “What’s for dinner?”
Ianto had returned to chopping tomatoes for a simple salad. “What else would one man be making another man for their first domestic dinner together?”
Jack tilted his head to the side, narrowed his eyes and studied Ianto's face as if all the answers in the world were written there. Displaying his cheesiest smile, he responded, “Frozen lasagna?”
The tomatoes were added to the salad, and Ianto looked up. “Bingo.”
Jack set down his glass and hopped off the counter. He stepped up behind Ianto and wrapped his arms tight around the young man’s waist, burying his face in Ianto’s freshly-washed hair. Ianto let Jack hold up his entire weight as he fell back into him, relaxing into those strong arms. Jack squeezed hard for a moment, then let go and spun Ianto around to face him. He leaned down and kissed him lightly on the lips. "Perfect," he said.
Ianto reached up and ran his fingers through Jack's hair. Yeah, tonight was special alright. But was this why? Because it was their first "homemade" dinner? Seemed such a simple thing. A tiny milestone. Perhaps it was something more. Was there a plan? Events, set into motion, destined to culminate this very night. Ianto couldn't recall. He kissed Jack again, harder this time and with more promise. Ianto lost himself in the kiss, as he did many times before.
They broke apart when the oven timer began to buzz. "Dinner's ready," Jack said with a remarkable amount of composure.
"What?" Ianto looked honestly confused.
"Dinner." Jack pointed to the still-buzzing oven. "Food. Meaty-goodness. The meal you slaved over all evening."
Snapping back to reality, Ianto wiggled out from under Jack's grasp and clicked off the timer. Steam filled the kitchen as Ianto opened the oven and pulled out the bubbling lasagna with pink and green floral oven mitts his sister had given him as a flat-warming joke.
He unceremoniously slammed the cheap tinfoil pan onto the stove-top and whipped off the mitts. Gesturing proudly at the steaming dish, he grinned at Jack. "Voila!"
Forty-five minutes later, they were on more familiar territory. Ianto's bed. Jack on his back with Ianto hovering over him, setting to work. Ianto was already half naked, his jumper and t-shirt being remarkably easy for Jack to tear off.
Ianto was more careful with Jack's shirt. Methodically unsecuring each button and placing a wet kiss on every inch of new skin exposed. He knew that Jack purposely refrained from his usual undershirt when planning an evening with Ianto. Jack liked this particular method of foreplay. The slow burn. The anticipation. Soon, the shirt would be gone, and Ianto will have kissed and licked every part of Jack's chest. But right now, the shirt was only half open. Jack's eyes, wide and dark, were watching Ianto with hunger and need.
Ianto glanced up at Jack's face and stopped in mid-lick. He tucked his tongue back into his mouth and shimmied up Jack's body until they were face to face.
Jack's breath caught. "Why'd you stop?"
Ianto tried to find it. The reason. He was normally very careful. Very precise. But tonight was different. And he had no idea what was going to happen next.
He leaned down to whisper heavily in Jack's ear. "Something new." He closed his eyes, feeling hot skin on his lips as Jack's entire face reddened at the prospect. "I crave," he gasped, and Jack's body shook beneath him.
"Yessss," Jack hissed back, and Ianto captured Jack's tongue as it spoke, turning the word into a moan.
Ianto broke the kiss too soon. Jack reached up for him as Ianto pulled away. He swatted away Jack's hands and grabbed hold of the partially open shirt. In one quick pull, Jack's upper body was completely exposed and five buttons could be heard bouncing off every surface in the room.
Jack was panting now. Eyes roaming over Ianto like he had never seen him before. Quick work was made of the rest of their clothes, Ianto tossing them aside like they were dirty and unimportant. Except for one item. Through it all, Ianto managed to keep Jack's braces within reach. And now, naked and wanting, needing, Ianto didn't pause before snatching up those braces and wrapping them tightly around Jack's wrists, then around one of the slats of the wooden headboard.
Finally he stilled, straddling the figure beneath him, balls resting against hardness that seemed wanted and unimportant at the same time. He ran his hands across the chest and up the arms, then back down again, resting on a firm waist. He smiled.
"Liking the new," it spoke, and Ianto startled. "May I make one tiny reque--" it tried to say, but Ianto placed a finger on its lips and it was silenced.
He took in the body beneath him hungrily. It was somehow not what he expected, but welcomed all the same. He finally looked down and noticed his own hard-on. He grasped it and started stroking, understanding this was good, better even then before. Below him was a groan and Ianto looked at its hard and dark eyes. Ianto's smile broadened and he asked himself out loud, "Should I fuck it?"
A shadow passed over its eyes briefly, but then they sparkled and it nodded. The enthusiasm confused Ianto. His smile fell away and his hand stopped stroking and instead flew up and slapped the face hard. "What the fuck!" it shouted and Ianto punched it this time.
"Ianto! Stop it!" he heard, and was almost thrown off of it when it bucked its hips up. Ianto stretched out across the body and hooked his ankles around its calves, slowing its movements. He slammed a hand over its mouth, fingers digging into its cheek.
"Shhhhh," Ianto whispered. "Just a game, love," he heard himself say. "Don't worry. I'll take care of you." He took his hand off the mouth and it tried to speak, but Ianto shook his head.
It was confused. It was worried. It was scared. Ianto smiled again.
He stroked the cheek where his fingers had left a red mark. Traced the jaw line, down under the chin, and finally both hands landed on the flesh of the neck. He stroked there and his heart beat loud against his chest. Yes. This is it. Finish it.
As he began to squeeze, the dark walls of the hole rose up around him and he found light above shining down and it showed him how good it was. It was fighting him, and yelling, but Ianto didn't let go. He just squeezed harder and he was giddy and happy and it was good.
Then he felt it. The life in his hands begin to fade. It stopped shouting, and stopped squirming, and the glow in its eyes clouded over. And Ianto held on. Drawing it into him. The life, the goodness, the need, the control. All his. And he wasn't sharing.
Soon it was still. The air, the room, the body. Ianto let go and admired his work. He got up gracefully off the bed and found his jeans. Partially dressed, he picked up his phone from the night stand and flipped it open. Time to call him. Time to clean up.
But he couldn't remember the number. There was no one to call. That didn't seem right. Why wasn't he there? Who would help him now. He looked at the body on the bed.
Ianto dropped the phone. Jack's dead body, trussed up and naked on Ianto's bed. He scampered onto the bed and released Jack's bound wrists, watching his arms fall heavy to the mattress.
Then he climbed off the bed again, found the darkest corner of his bedroom, sat on floor and hugged he knees to his chest. And waited.
A few minutes later, Jack gasped and his eyes flew open. Coughing, he rubbed at his neck. He sat up and look frantically around the room, glare finally landing on Ianto. "You killed me."
"Yeah," Ianto answered slowly.
"Ianto." Jack moved to sit on the edge of the bed. "Are you alright?"
Ianto glanced around the room, seemingly looking for the answer to Jack's question outside of himself. All he saw was the room. And Jack, sitting naked on his bed, with bruises starting to form on his neck. Ianto got up and sat beside Jack. He reached up and touched his lover's damaged skin.
Jack let him for a moment, then grabbed his hand. With his other hand, Jack took hold of Ianto's chin, forcing Ianto to look him in the eye. "Why'd you kill me, Ianto?"
Closing his eyes, Ianto took a deep breath and thought. Searched the depths of his mind for the hole that had been haunting him, keeping him in the rain. Keeping him hunting and empty. But it wasn't there. The hole was full. It was complete. He had found something. That missing piece.
He looked at Jack again. "Because I needed to remember."
Ianto began to shake and Jack wrapped secure arms around him, pulling him to Jack's chest. "Remember what?"
Clutching at Jack's warming body, Ianto search desperately for that evasive haunting memory. His fear calmed and a final wholeness spread through his body as he answered, "I don't know."