Suicide Watch by Danny_B
Chapter 1: The Morning After
Chapter 2: Too young to die
Part 1: The morning after
"All that deception. Because he couldn't bear to live without her."
Gwen sighed as she watched Ianto go about his duties, cleaning up the Hub. She turned to Jack.
"So have you ever loved anyone, that much?"
Jack didn't answer.
"When she got hold of you, I thought, just for a moment, I thought maybe you could die after all."
It was then that Jack turned to face her.
"Wanna know a secret?"
"So did I. And just for a second there, I felt so alive."
They turned and watched Ianto go about his chores wordlessly. Ianto hardly said anything for the rest of the day. He hardly looked at any of the other team members, keeping his eyes down whenever anyone else was around. He didn't join them for lunch, just placing the family-sized ravioli and four bowls & forks on the boardroom table. He didn't feel like eating.
For the rest of the Torchwood team, it was their most uncomfortable lunch yet. They ate the ravioli in silence. They all felt guilty, to a greater or lesser degree. No questions asked, ever. They'd never really thought of Ianto as one of them, and it had come back and bitten them on the butt. Hard. It was about five or six minutes before Gwen broke the silence.
"I suppose we're all to blame."
There. One of them had said it. A wave of relief went around the table. But there was still silence, until it was broken by Jack.
"What else don't we know about Ianto Jones?"
"What do you mean?" Tosh asked.
"What are his hobbies? Favourite music? Movies?"
The other members of the team shrugged. It was a shock to them to realise how little they knew Ianto. Jack paused for a second, then leant in.
"It's time we did something about it."
It was about half an hour after lunch, and Tosh was running a routine scan for alien ships. Owen was going over some samples in the medical bay and Jack & Gwen were out investigating a suspected Weevil attack. As the computer ran its scan, Tosh let her mind wander. She often did, while waiting for the computers to do their tasks. She found her thoughts going over what Jack had said at lunch, about Ianto. She'd always thought of him as the polite receptionist and support officer, much in the same way she thought of the checkout operator at the local supermarket. It had simply never occurred to her to ask about Ianto's private life. Well, as Jack had said, it was time to do something about it. A glance at the monitor revealed that the scan still had half an hour left to run, and she rose from her chair. She looked around the Hub, seeing no sign of Ianto. A quick check of the security monitors showed he wasn't up in reception.
"Owen, have you seen Ianto?" she asked over the Hub's intercom.
"No, not since this morning."
He wasn't in view of any of the cameras, and a scan for human heat signals showed one in the storeroom at the bottom of the building. As she stood up, Tosh glanced over at the arsenal. A jolt of horror went through her as she saw that one of the pistols was missing. Hoping she'd be in time, Tosh sprinted for the elevator.
The elevator ride wasn't quick enough for her. She was out before the doors were halfway open, striding rapidly yet silently down the corridor. As she approached the storeroom, she could hear music playing. It took her a second to recognise it. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. The storeroom door was half-open and she pushed it open slowly. She stepped cautiously into the room, looking around. The bodies had been cleared away, but the cyber-conversion unit was still in place. It had been isolated from the base power supply, but Jack hadn't decided to remove it just yet. Ianto was standing in front of the cyber-conversion unit, his back to the door. The pistol was in his hand. As Tosh watched, he began to raise it to his head. He placed it, slowly and deliberately, against his temple.
"I know you're there, Toshiko."
"I'm standing in front of something made of metal, Toshiko. Do you really think I'm stupid enough not to watch the reflection?"
Tosh took a deep breath.
"I never thought of you as stupid, Ianto. Charming and witty, yes, but not stupid."
She had to keep him talking. Anything to prevent him pulling that trigger.
"Do you really mean it, Toshiko Sato, or are you just saying it?"
His voice was calm, no different to that he used when greeting them in the morning.
The music stopped, leaving just an eerie silence. Tosh took two steps towards Ianto, then stopped as he turned to face her.
"Don't come any closer!"
Tosh took a step backwards. She could have asked why, but she didn't need to. Yesterday had made it pretty clear. She remembered what Jack had said at lunch.
"What's your favourite film?" she asked. The question caught Ianto off-guard.
"Your favourite film, what is it?"
Ianto shook his head.
"You'll laugh at me."
"I promise I won't laugh."
Tosh reached up and took off her glasses. He met her eyes and saw that she was sincere.
"It's called Hoodwinked. A family movie."
His voice broke on that last sentence, a reminder of what had been taken from him. Tosh hadn't seen the movie, but she had to keep him talking.
"I haven't seen it. Is it a crime movie?"
A laugh escaped him as he remembered his favourite scene from the film. His gun arm relaxed slightly, and Tosh took hope in that. She was getting there.
"You should see it, sometime," he said.
"We'll watch it together," she said gently. There was a second of silence, in which Ianto could have gone either way. He chose life.
He lowered the gun, and Tosh strode forward and took it from him. Her heart was pounding. She took him by the hand.
He allowed himself to be led up to the main level of the hub, and he waited by Jack's office as Tosh replaced the pistol in the arsenal. He was staring, still seeming a bit lost.
"You missed lunch," Tosh said.
"I didn't feel like eating."
"You must be hungry."
Ianto admitted that he was, and Tosh offered to call for a pizza.
"I'll just have some of the ravioli, if there's any left."
"There was some."
He heated it up in the microwave, then joined Tosh at her computer. She glanced over as he set it down on the desk.
"Careful you don't get it on the machines."
There was still a note of pain in his voice, and Tosh gave him a look of concern.
"Do you want to talk about anything?"
He shook his head.
"No. But...is it alright if I sit with you for a while?"
The scan she'd initiated had completed, and there was an unidentified object in geostationary orbit over the south of France. She sent a secure email to Torchwood Five, in Marseille, and received a reply less than a minute later, written in French. Tosh didn't speak French. As she went to run it through a translator, Ianto leaned in.
"It says 'Thank you, Ms Sato, we are aware of this. We are taking action. Cordially yours, Andre Ressin."
She didn't know he could speak French. Before she could ask, he volunteered the information.
"Studied it at Oxford."
Tosh didn't know how long Ianto stayed with her, but he was back behind the reception desk by the time Jack and Gwen returned.
"How did you get on?" Owen asked as the two of them walked in though the garage. Jack shot a look of annoyance at Gwen.
"You'd think Cardiff's finest would know the difference between a Weevil attack and a Hannibal Lecter wannabe."
"And it took you three hours to determine that?" Owen asked disbelievingly.
"It would have taken five minutes, but PC Cooper here wasn't convinced. We caught the bastard red-handed, about to attack his second victim."
Gwen shot a smug look at Tosh.
"We were right to get involved. Don't ask me how, but he'd faked a set of Weevil teeth out of steel."
As she spoke, Jack took off his overcoat and stepped into his office to write up a report on the case. Tosh joined him a minute later, closing the door behind her and locking it. His office was soundproof, and there were no cameras or microphones inside. Whatever passed between them would remain within these walls. He looked up curiously as she sat on the other side of his desk.
"What's up, Tosh?"
"It's about Ianto."
She described what had happened downstairs, Jack's expression growing more and more worried by the second.
"Have you told anyone else about this?"
"Don't. Leave this with me."
Tosh nodded, stood up and left the office. Jack leant back in his chair, deep in thought.
The Eleventh Doctor had stopped by recently, and she had explained that Jack was supposed to meet up with the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones. But she'd also given Jack her contact details, under the alias of 'Dr Jane Townsend', if he ever needed to call for backup. He was seriously considering it. Ianto seemed to be recovering, now. But on the other hand, what Tosh had seen had Jack seriously worried. It was more than possible that something might trigger a relapse, and if Ianto thought Torchwood was watching him he might snap completely. Jack needed someone outside of Torchwood, but whom he could still trust. Someone who could save Ianto from himself. And that brought him right back to the Doctor.
He reached into the top drawer of his desk and pulled out the business card with the Doctor's number on it. He slipped it into his pocket, along with his mobile phone. Jack then rose from his desk, then crossed over the slab lift and used it to leave the Hub. He crossed Roald Dahl Plass and entered a doughnut shop on the other side. It wasn't a cheap one, but one of the better ones, where they made the doughnuts fresh. And it was out of the range of any of the cameras Torchwood could access.
"I'll have half a dozen, please," he ordered. As the girl behind the counter went to make them, he pulled out his phone and dialed the Doctor's number. It went through to the TARDIS message bank.
"Doctor, it's Jack. Something's come up, and I could really use your help. It's not a big crisis, but I think you're the only person who can help me."
Jack hung up. He watched as the doughnut machine did its job, but his mind was elsewhere. He couldn't lose Ianto. He'd already lost Suzie, and to lose two personnel in the space of two weeks would look extremely careless.
Gwen was usually the last to leave, normally around six-thirty or so. The others had usually left by six, unless there was some sort of major crisis on. As Jack lived at the Hub, he didn't maintain office hours. Gwen stepped onto the slab lift.
"See you tomorrow, Gwen."
Gwen activated the remote she'd been given, a small device no bigger than a car key remote. There was a slight jolt and the elevator began to raise. As it reached the top, a strange sound reached Gwen's ears. A sort of wheezing, groaning sound. She went to glance over the edge, but the elevator had already reached street level.
Below, Jack watched as the TARDIS thumped into solidity. A woman stepped out. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties and had short, dark-reddish hair. Her eyes were a striking, deep green colour. She was wearing a dark green nylon tracksuit top and pants, and Jack could make out what appeared to be a black sports top underneath the tracksuit top. This was the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, and Jack had met her when he'd visited Raxacoricofallapatorius with the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. She shot Jack a look of curiousity.
"What's happening, Jack?"
"I could tell you, Doctor, but it might be easier for you to see for yourself."
Jack led the Doctor over to the computer desk and brought up the security camera recordings of the previous day's events, including the ones Tosh had restored after Ianto's attempts at deleting them. When it reached Ianto's speech about how the rest of the team treated him, about how they never asked him about his social life, the Doctor reached out and paused the playback. She then looked closely at Jack.
"Is this true?"
Jack couldn't meet her eyes.
The Doctor said nothing, just reached out and resumed the playback.
When the video finished, the Doctor turned and inquiring look on Jack.
"What happened then?"
"As you saw, we immediately followed Ianto into the Hub. We kept back, to give him his ten minutes. Lisa had transplanted her brain into the body of the pizza delivery girl, and it seemed she'd managed to cure herself. I would have let her live. Then she told Ianto that they could be upgraded together."
Jack paused, the guilt he felt coming to the fore.
"We shot to kill."
It wasn't something he was proud of. But he'd done what he had to. He met the Doctor's eyes, then, and saw quiet understanding.
"So what do you need my help with?" asked the Doctor. Jack told the Doctor what had happened today, between Toshiko and Ianto.
"I'm worried about Ianto. If there's anyone that can save him, you can. After all, you did it for me."
Jack's confidence in her meant a lot to the Doctor. And she knew what it was like, to lose someone you loved. Ianto hadn't been the only one to lose a loved one in the Battle of Canary Wharf.
"What's his address?" she asked. Jack gave it to her, and she strode over to the TARDIS. It dematerialised a second later, and Jack returned to his office. He'd done what he could.
Halfway across town, the Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS, which had materialised in an alleyway near the apartment block Ianto lived in. She quickly located the correct block, and entered, catching the lift to level four. The 'Hi, I just moved in and can I borrow a cup of sugar' routine should work, she figured. The lift reached the fourth level, and she stepped out.
Apartment 40, Jack had told her. As the Doctor approached the door, she could smell the distinctive odor of gas. It got stronger as she approached apartment 40, and she quickened her pace. She reached the door and knocked.
"Mr Jones! Ianto!!"
No answer. She tried the handle. Locked. The Doctor feared she may already be too late. But what had triggered the relapse?
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Part 2: Too young to die
Apartment 40, Jack had told her. As the Doctor approached the door, she could smell the distinctive odour of gas. It got stronger as she approached apartment 40, and she quickened her pace. She reached the door and knocked.
"Mr Jones! Ianto!!"
No answer. She tried the handle. Locked. The Doctor feared she may already be too late. But what had triggered the relapse?
She no longer had the sonic screwdriver, or she'd have been inside in a flash. As it was, she'd have to do the best she could. She delivered a strong karate kick to the lock, putting all her strength behind it. The door splintered a bit, but didn't open.
"What are you doing?"
It was a woman's voice, and the Doctor turned to see a young woman standing in the corridor, looking suspiciously at her. The Doctor recognised her immediately, from the footage Jack had shown her. Toshiko Sato, Torchwood Three's resident computer genius.
"Take a whiff. There's a gas leak."
Tosh sniffed, and her suspicion turned to horror. She met the Doctor's eyes, and there was no communication needed between the two women.
"On my count," the Doctor instructed, "One...two...three!"
They launched themselves at the door, and with a massive, splintering crash they were in. The Doctor went for the kitchen, Tosh for the living room. The kitchen was empty, but the gas stove had all valves fully open, as well as the oven. The Doctor quickly hit the emergency stop valve on the kitchen wall, then turned off all the valves for good measure. Her respiratory bypass system meant that the gas didn't affect her. But it would affect Tosh, and the Doctor turned and left the kitchen.
"Have you found him?" she called. There was a cough from the living room, then Tosh's voice replied.
"He's in here! Hurry!"
The Doctor ran into the living room, taking in the scene. Ianto Jones was lying back on the sofa. His hand was draped over the edge, and fallen from it onto the floor was a photo frame. The frame had landed the right way up, and the Doctor saw that the photo was one of Ianto and Lisa before she'd been cyberised. So that was it.
The Doctor quickly grabbed Ianto under the arms, and between the two of them, she and Tosh managed to carry him out to the apartment block corridor. The Doctor leant down next to Ianto's prone body and felt for a pulse. A sense of relief went through her as she felt a feeble pulse. He was still alive. She glanced up at Tosh.
"Call an ambulance. Tell them there was a gas leak. Then hit the fire alarm."
Tosh nodded and pulled out her phone, as the Doctor turned and began to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Breathe, check, breathe. Eventually, after what seemed like hours, there was a hiccough and Ianto's eyes fluttered open. It was at that point that Tosh hit the fire alarm, and the blaring of alarm bells was enough to jolt Ianto fully into consciousness. He immediately pushed the Doctor aside and sprung to his feet, heading for the door into his apartment. Tosh got there first, grabbing the sides of the doorframe and blocking the way. He took her by the shoulders. There were tears in his eyes.
"My life's nothing without them! Let me in, Toshiko!"
He went to pull her out of the way, but Tosh held her ground.
"I thought you'd reconsidered, Ianto."
"I was wrong."
With a sudden surge of strength, he threw Tosh across the hallway. He'd gone two steps into the apartment before the Doctor caught up with him. The Time Lord grabbed him by the shoulder, spun him around and delivered a knockout punch to his jaw before he could react. The Doctor caught him before he slumped to the floor, and dragged him back out into the now-crowded corridor.
"I'm sorry," she said, "but you're too young to die."
She turned to Toshiko.
"Are you alright?"
Tosh nodded, absently, and looked at Ianto as if seeing him for the first time.
"I had no idea he could be so violent."
Her image of him as the polite, mild-mannered receptionist was gone.
"I don't think he's himself," the Doctor commented.
They carried Ianto down the fire escape, reaching the street just as the ambulance pulled up. Two paramedics hopped out and looked around, searching the crowd of evacuees.
"Over here!" Tosh called. They pulled a stretcher out of the back of the ambulance and brought it over. They helped the Doctor and Tosh put him on the stretcher.
"Keep an eye on him," Tosh said. She lowered her voice and leant in.
"That's his second suicide attempt today."
The paramedic nodded.
"We'll have him put on suicide watch."
As the ambulance sped away, lights flashing, Tosh turned to the Doctor. She had no idea who this woman was, who had shown up and saved Ianto's life. Tosh had just come by to check on Ianto, to make sure he was alright. But she knew that if this woman hadn't been there, then she wouldn't have been able to break the door down on her own.
"Are you a friend of Ianto's?" Tosh asked. That was the impression she'd gotten, based on the other woman's words. But to Tosh's surprise, the Doctor shook her head.
"Not exactly. I'm a friend of Jack Harkness. He asked me to keep an eye on Ianto for him. My name's Jane, by the way. Jane Townsend."
The Doctor had no problem using the alias. She'd lived under it in Cornwall for three years.
"Toshiko Sato," Tosh said absently. She was lost in thought. She'd thought Ianto had gotten over his suicidal urges. But why 'them'? He'd said his life was worthless without 'them'. There was more to this than met the eye, and she was determined to get to the bottom of this. She realised the Doctor was asking her something.
"Do you have a car? I came by public transport."
A little white lie, but a necessary one. She couldn't really take a member of Torchwood aboard the TARDIS, could she? Tosh nodded to a red BMW Z8 parked across the road.
"Just over there."
They got in, and Tosh drove while the Doctor called Jack. He said he'd meet them at the hospital.
Tosh pulled the BMW into the visitor parking lot and they climbed out. They'd gone all of five paces when the Torchwood landrover pulled in a couple of spaces down and Jack jumped out. He locked the SUV and joined the two women. His expression was grave.
"I'm glad you two got to him in time," was the first thing he said. The Doctor just nodded, and left Tosh to do the detailed explanations.
They reached the emergency room and Jack took the lead, as he was accustomed to doing. They crossed to the reception counter.
"Excuse me, a friend of ours was brought in a few minutes ago. Ianto Jones?"
The receptionist indicated down the corridor.
"Room E207, sir. He's on suicide watch, there should be a guard outside the door."
They turned and made their way down the corridor, the Doctor falling back behind the other two. They reached room E207 and Jack nodded to the guard outside before pushing the door open.
The room was empty. The window was wide open, and it didn't take a genius to put two and two together.
"Shit, he's gone," Jack swore. He could have dived out of the second-level window, but instead he turned and ran out of the room. Immortal he may be, but that still didn't compensate for stupidity or arrogance. He turned to the guard outside the door.
"Whatever they pay you, it's too much."
Then he bolted down the corridor, the Doctor and Toshiko hot on his heels. Jack burst out onto the street and looked around desperately. No sign of Ianto. He glanced back at Tosh.
"Can you see him?"
She shook her head, confused.
"He should be down here."
"Come on. We've got to find him before he does something stupid."
Jack knew that if the fall hadn't killed him, Ianto might find some other way to finish the job. Like jumping in front of a moving bus...or ambulance. Gesturing for Toshiko to follow him, Jack turned and headed for the emergency arrival bay. As he ran, Jack realised something else. The Doctor wasn't with them.
Ianto peered over the edge of the hospital's roof. It had been a simple matter to slip past the so-called 'guard' outside the door while he'd been chatting up an attractive nurse. Ianto could hear Jack and Tosh's voices drifting up to him from the street below, and allowed himself a bitter smile. It would be simple. He just had to fall forwards, and peace would be his. He'd be with Lisa and his family.
"What would Lisa think if she saw you now?" asked a female voice. The question stopped Ianto in his tracks. He turned around, slowly. Standing on the roof was the woman that had shown up at his apartment, the one who'd knocked him out. He didn't know who she was, but she could throw one hell of a punch. Ianto considered the woman's question. He was surprised to feel a tear roll down his cheek. She'd think he was being stupid. But there was more to it than that. The woman spoke again.
"I know what you're going through, Ianto. I also lost someone I loved that day."
"You don't understand," Ianto replied. Her reply was light and gentle.
"Let me understand."
He might as well. He had left no note.
When Lisa had died yesterday, Ianto's future had died with her. There was something about Lisa noone else had known, and as long as she had been alive, Ianto's future had lived within her. He took just one step forwards, away from the edge.
"Two nights before-"
He broke off, his voice choked with emotion. He paused for a second, composed himself, and started his story again.
"Two nights before the battle, Lisa took me out to dinner. She said she had some big news for me."
"She was pregnant. With my child. She'd only just confirmed it that day."
The Doctor's hand flew to her mouth.
"Oh my God."
"Now you understand."
He turned and stepped over to the edge. Behind him, the woman spoke again.
"Do you think it was luck that brought me to your apartment tonight?"
Ianto was beginning to get annoyed. Why wouldn't this woman just let him join Lisa and their child? The stranger answered her own question.
"Jack sent me. He was worried about you. And Toshiko showed up to check on you. How do you think they would feel, Ianto?"
The woman stepped over and joined him, but still didn't make any moves to stop him. She peered over the edge, then nodded.
"Take a look, Ianto. Jack and Toshiko are down there running around like headless chickens, worried about you. And unless I'm mistaken, Jack's on his mobile phone, probably to Owen or Gwen."
"Nice of them to pretend."
"This isolation of yours...is it really all their fault?"
She was good, he'd give her that. It had been the Battle of Canary Wharf that had changed him. He'd been withdrawn since he'd arrived at the Hub, not wanting to give anything away. He hadn't wanted them to find out about Lisa, or anything about himself that might lead them to her. No, his isolation had been his own fault.
The stranger took him by the shoulders, and he met her eyes. There was something in them that spoke of immense pain silently borne, more than anything Ianto could ever experience. When she spoke, her voice was gentle yet there was a trace of emotion in it.
"I have lost more than you could ever know, Ianto Jones. I won't lie to you. We all have our burdens to bear. Time makes it easier, but the pain will always be there. Learning to live with it is what makes us human. It's what separates us from the Cybermen."
In his heart, Ianto knew she was right. He had lost his lover and his child, but to die would be to let them be forgotten. And he couldn't do that to them. He stepped away from the edge and looked over at the stranger, this friend of Jack's who'd saved him.
"Who did you lose?" he asked softly.
"Her name was Rose."
"Thank you, Jane."
Ianto let out a sigh, and with it he felt something lift from his heart. He had lost, and would mourn, but life was still worth living. He saw that, now.
The Doctor followed Ianto down the staircase. She'd saved planets, solar systems and even whole Universes, but nothing was as rewarding as saving a single person. To touch a life and change it for the better, it was one of the things she lived for.
Jack was getting more and more concerned by the second. But at the same time, he had enough confidence in the Doctor to know that everything would turn out alright. And sure enough, it did. Tosh was the first to spot them.
Jack glanced over, then looked in the direction of Tosh's pointing finger. Ianto and the Doctor were emerging from the fire escape of the hospital, both very much alive and well. A grin crossed Jack's face. The two Torchwood agents ran over to their colleague, and Tosh beat Jack by a matter of seconds. She embraced Ianto and planted a kiss on his cheek, catching him by surprise.
"We thought we'd lost you," she said when she let go. Ianto just shook his head.
He allowed Jack to embrace him. The commander of Torchwood Three let go and took a step back.
"Come on. I think it's my turn to get you a cup of coffee."
As the three Torchwood agents headed into the hospital cafeteria, Jack glanced back and waved at the Doctor. She waved back, then disappeared into the early evening shadows. Her job was done.
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