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?