Title: Not as Planned. Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Summary: Jack and Ianto's vacation goes decidedly wrong.
Notes: This fic has no spoilers for anything. It does have the Doctor and Martha in it, but it was written before any of the 3rd series aired and so ignores anything that happened in it. This is also my first attempt at writing the Doctor or Martha.
Carrying Ianto is awkward, Jack quickly decides. He’s just about the same height, and although a little lighter, unconscious he’s a dead weight across Jack’s shoulders.
Jack can feel his own strength failing with every faltering step, the snow and biting wind making the task all the more difficult, but he knows if he stops that they'll die.
It’s his fault that they are out here on this godforsaken ball of ice orbiting some distant and dying sun. He’d promised Ianto a holiday, a well deserve break away from Torchwood, somewhere they could relax and enjoy each other company without the team bothering them every five minutes.
Crashing landing and freezing to death had most certainly not been part of his plan.
All Jack knows they have to find shelter soon, before the rapidly brewing storm hits and before the irate creatures whose home or lair or colony they’d crashed into, catch up with them.
He’s pretty sure that the creatures, which resembled nothing so much as lavender coloured yetis, were definitely less then friendly. The way they had thrown rocks at his head had done nothing to alter that image.
When Jack finally finds a cave, although cave may be too generous a term, as it's little more than a depression in a cliff face. With the storm already starting to rage around them, here at least they have some protection from howling wind and the worse of the ice shards that are now falling thickly outside.
Lifting Ianto carefully from his shoulders, Jack sits down with this back to the cave mouth and pulls Ianto into his arms, before wrapping his coat about them both, shielding Ianto from the worse of the weather.
Ianto is conscious now and shivering as hard as Jack, who’s attempting to rub some warmth back into his hands.
“Where are we?” Ianto tries to turn in Jack’s arms to get a better view of where they are, but has barely moved before he gasps, hands gripping Jack’s tightly, eyes squeezed shut.
“Ianto?” Jack can’t keep the fear from his voice. “What is it?” Jack hadn’t had time to check Ianto for any injuries as he’d dragged him clear of the wreck and escaped into the snow.
Ianto’s grip on his fingers is painfully tight, but if it’s providing Ianto with any comfort at all Jack decides he doesn’t mind in the least. “Where?”
“Ribs, right side.” Ianto’s panting now, trying breathe through the pain.
Jack holds him as still as he can, knowing the constant jarring movement of shivering can’t be helping, not if his ribs are broken, which is a distinct possibility given the force of their earlier impact.
“Ianto, you’ve got to try to stay calm.” Jack feels a lot less than calm right now himself, but he can’t afford to panic or to be anything less than objective: Ianto needs him.
“I am trying." Ianto bites his lip. "But it hurts.”
Jack knows Ianto, knows he isn’t the sort of person who makes a fuss over nothing. It’s that stoicism that has nearly got him killed on at least two occasions that Jack can think of. “I know it hurts, but you've got to stay awake." Jack squeezes Ianto's hand. "Come on, talk to me.”
“About what?” Ianto’s voice is pained and a little breathless.
“Anything.” Jack searches for a moment, there are still some topics that they aren’t comfortable talking to each other about, anything that's pre Ianto's time at Torchwood is generally safe though. “Holidays. Where did you first go on holiday?”
Ianto takes a moment to answer. “That I can remember? It was a caravan park near Rhyll with gran and gramps, they said mam needed a break, what with the new baby.”
“That would be you sister then, Rona, what’s she up to now anyway?” Jack’s rather impressed that he can recall her name given the circumstances, and instantly hates himself for it. Hates the fact that he still forgets to ask Ianto about his life, and still can’t, as it surely must appear to Ianto, be bothered with his life outside Torchwood.
“Gap year, backpacking.” Ianto makes a small noise of pain and clutches Jack’s hand again. “Jack?”
“What is it?”
“I can’t. It hurts to talk, to breathe. You talk.”
“Sure, anything you want.” At that moment Jack is glad Ianto can’t see his face because he’s sure his expression is one of fear, of out right terror that Ianto could be slipping away in front him and there isn’t a damn thing he can do to help.
Jack kisses his cheek, it’s all he can reach without moving Ianto, causing him more pain, and he doesn’t want to do that. This is your fault, echoes through his mind, he’s hurt because of you, because you couldn’t plan a normal vacation.
Jack talks until his voice is hoarse. Talks about anything and everything he can think of just to keep Ianto awake, to keep him alive. He talks about growing up, about his own family so far away in time and space, about love and being in love, about the most and least important things he can think of, of the places he has visited, of all the places he’ll show Ianto.
Jack knows that at least a day has passed, as he's seen the faint daylight dim to nothing and then slowly reappear.
Ianto is almost completely still in his arms now, barely breathing.
“Ianto.” Jack shakes him slightly, it’s an effort to move, he feels light headed with the cold. They've both stopped shivering, Jack know that’s a bad sign, but there is nothing he can do. He hopes his voice is calmer than he feels, as he asks, “Hey, how you doing?”
It takes a moment before Ianto answers, “’m ok, doesn’t hurt.” His voice has a sleepy quality to it. “Not even cold.”
“Ianto.” Jack can’t keep the sob out of his voice, he wants to be strong for him, to be the one to make everything alright again, but he can’t. “Ianto, please.”
“’m alright, ‘m with you,” Ianto mumbles, settling further into Jacks arms and is quiet.
“Ianto? Ianto say something, please.” Jack shakes him again. “Ianto, please.” Jack can feel tears freezing on his face as he buries it against Ianto hair. “Please, I love you.”
With fingers too numb to feel for a pulse, Jack can’t tell if Ianto is dead or just unconscious, but short of a miracle they will both soon be dead. Only for Ianto it’s far more than a temporary inconvenience.
He rocks Ianto gently, although there is no response to his touch now, rocks him until he is too cold to move and Jack knows it won’t be long now.
I haven’t frozen to death before, Jack thinks haziliy, and he wonders if he freezes, if he is dead for long enough, then maybe there will be no coming back for him either. Jack allows himself a small smile at the thought, and linking his fingers with Ianto’s, he closes his eyes and lets the storm claim them both.
* * *
“You’re back with us then,” says a far too cheerful voice.
Jack knows that voice, know what it means. He’s rescued, saved to fight another day, another lonely, empty, pointless day.
Despite the heavy blankets around him Jack feels frozen to the core, and he curls in to a ball, or as much of one as his protesting muscles will allow.
“Hey.” The Doctor pulls the covers from off from over Jacks face. “What's the matter?”
“Leave me alone.” Jack’s surprised at the hoarseness of his own voice and tries to pull the covers back. He really can’t deal with the Doctors particular brand of manic inquisitiveness right now.
“Um…” The Doctor considers him for a moment before shaking his head. “No, I don’t think so.” He sits down on the bed covers preventing Jack from disappearing under them again. “What’s wrong? You can tell me, I’m a doctor. Always wanted to say that.”
“Ianto…” It hurts even to say his name. He just wants the Doctor to go away, to leave him alone with his grief.
“Ah yes, your young man, he’s next door annoying Martha. He gave us a bit of a scare, not half as much as you did though, you’ve been asleep for a nearly week, didn’t seem to want to wake up.” The Doctor picks up something that looks rather like a pear from a fruit bowl by Jack bed and stares at it. “Can’t think why Martha thought you want these, they taste disgusting.” He takes a bite of it and makes a face. “Well not exactly disgusting, just odd, a bit like…”
“He’s alive?” Jack can barely believe it. “Ianto, he’s alive?”
“Alive and grumpy. Asking after you and complaining about the lack of decent coffee. So what were you doing on Plaxia Nine anyway?”
Jack tries to take a steadying breath, but it catches, becoming a sob and before he can stop it. He can feel tears running down his face.
The Doctor looks at him concerned. "Whatever's wrong?"
“I thought he was dead.”
"Probably should have said something sooner right?" He hands Jack a handkerchief. “You love him, don’t you?”
“I can’t imagine life without him.” Or rather Jack can only too well, and it scares the hell out of him.
“So it’s real thing then?”
Jack nods, not trusting his voice right now.
“I thought there was distinctly less flirting last time I saw you, wondered if it was the new face that you weren’t so keen on.”
Jack lets it go. Making any comparison between his Doctor and this new one is, even now, still painful, and Jack knows that he’s in no state to say anything that won't end up hurting them both.
“Ianto, he was hurt, how is he?” Jack has to ask the question, has to know, although since the Doctor has said he’s been complaining about the coffee he can’t be all that bad. It still feels like a lump of lead in his chest remembering Ianto’s pain, how he'd been unable to do anything to help. Jack closes his eyes against the memory.
“A couple of broken ribs and a lot of bruises, nothing permanent.” The Doctor places a hand on his shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “He’s going to be alright, Jack.”
Jack lets out a shaky breath, his hand coming up to cover the Doctor’s. “How did you find us?”
The Doctor gets up and pats the wall of the Tardis, which glows slightly and hums. “It's all down to her really, she seems to have taken a shine to you, decided you’re family, same energy and all that. Anyway she knew you needed help, so off she went off to you, dragged me and Martha along for the ride.”
He smiles at the wall and pats it again. “You don’t do a thing I tell you, do you old girl? Good thing too, sometimes I don't think even I shouldn’t listen to me.”
With the Doctor off the bed Jack takes the opportunity to sit up and pull back the covers.
“Where are you going?” The Doctor turns back to Jack.
“To see Ianto.” Swinging his legs out of the bed Jack stands for a moment before tipping sideways, where the Doctor catches him and sits him back down on the bed.
Jack hangs his head, there are grey spots in front of his eyes and a horrible feeling of vertigo from having been lying down for so long. Standing up, or at least standing up quickly, had definitely been an error, he decides, not that it’s going to deter him from going to see Ianto right now, after all he’s done far stupider things for less reason in the past and they turned out mostly okay.
He looks at the Doctor with what he hopes is one of his most persuasive smiles. “I don’t suppose…”
“That I could give you a hand? All right, I’m not going to hear the last of this from Martha, you do know that.” Pulling Jack’s arm over his shoulder he wraps an arm around Jack’s waist. “Now shall we try that again?”
Leaning heavily on the Doctor, Jack walks slowly and a little unsteadily to the next room.
Ianto lies in bed, propped up with pillows, looking pale and tired, but very much alive, he's talking quietly to Martha, who appears to be trying to get him to eat something that might be soup.
“Jack!” Ianto starts to try to get up.
“Oh no you don’t.” Martha places a hand on his chest. “You're going to lay there not doing any more damage to you ribs, and you're going get better.”
Stumbling as he lets go of the Doctor, Jack sits down heavily on the bed and is suddenly at a lost as what say or do. He wants to hold Ianto and not let him go, but he’s scared of hurting him, he wants to say how much the thought of losing him terrifies him, but he doesn’t want to worry him.
Jack still hasn’t said anything when Ianto reaches up and touches his face. “You’ve been crying,” he says half amazed, half concerned.
Jack sniffs, swallows down threatening tears and tries to smile. “I thought I’d lost you.”
“No.” Ianto says simply and smiles back at him, hand moving from Jacks face to curl into his hair drawing him close to kiss him.
The Doctor smiles fondly at them, before turning to Martha. “So, cup of tea?”
“But shouldn’t we…”
“Get them a cup as well? Brilliant idea, come on then.” The Doctor pushes Martha out of the room.
With the Doctor and Martha gone Jack crawls under the covers next to Ianto, who with a happy sigh, rests his head on Jack shoulder.
Jack kisses Ianto then, a slow, gentle, undemanding kiss. It’s an affirmation of life, of love, of the sheer joy and relief he feels from having Ianto warm and alive in his arms.
They kiss until Ianto tries, unsuccessful, to hide a yawn.
“Sorry, Jack.” He yawns again. “I can’t seem to keep awake.”
“Don’t then.” Wriggling down the bed slightly Jack curls against Ianto, it feels so good to hold him, even if they are both wearing some of the Doctor’s vaguely ridiculous stripy pyjamas.
“That comfortable for you?” Jack smiles at Ianto sleepy expression, as he moves Jacks arm and rests his head on it instead of the pillow.
“Now where have I heard that before?” Ianto gives a quiet laugh.
“You have such a dirty mind, Ianto Jones.” How he loves that laugh and the cheeky smirk that so often accompanies it.
“You wouldn’t want me any other way.” There is another quiet laugh.
“Go to sleep.”
Martha looks in on them twenty minutes later.
They are both sound asleep. Jack curled protectively around Ianto, who is snoring softly, his hands linked with Jack's, an expression of contentment on his face.
Smiling, Martha pulls an extra cover up over them, before dimming the light on her way out.