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A Posteriori | A Priori

Torchwood -- Hang On To Hope

Title: Hang On To Hope
redismycolour Challenge: Day Twenty-Nine
Date Written: 1/31/09
Rating: PG/K+
Word Count: 600
Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, the Doctor
Spoilers: Doctor Who 03, latest Christmas Special
Warnings: Mentions of character death
Author Notes: Sequel to yesterday's Before His Time and to space_monkey52, who wanted a sequel.


Hazy Shades of Winter
Simon and Garfunkel



Jack felt like a complete and utter bastard, but he couldn’t handle being around Ianto for too long anymore.

It wasn’t Ianto’s fault, not by a long shot. It was the immortality/mortality dilemma once again rearing its ugly head.

Everything would be fine. Ianto was strong and young despite the blast he’d gotten from the Aging Ray (Gwen had named it. Ianto was thinking up a rhyming name). The Doctor would know what to do, would fix Ianto, and Martha was brilliant. They’d have Ianto back to himself in no time.

He believed that. He did.

It still hurt.

Jack’s immortality was always hanging over them, even when they didn’t talk about it. Torchwood made realists of them all, even when they shot for the best outcome. They knew that one day, Ianto would die and Jack would be alone again.

Jack’s thoughts were interrupted by the familiar, beloved whooshing noise of the TARDIS. The door opened and the Doctor strode out, bigger than life and looking serious, big thick glasses perched on his end of his nose. Jack embraced him fiercely, patting him on the back even as the brainy specs made him miss Toshiko.

The Doctor mirrored his movements. Here was a man who could understand his pain.

“Captain.”

“Doctor, thank you so much.” He pulled back and looked at his old friend critically. “How have you been?”

“Fine! Fine. Never better.” It was bright and fake and Jack could practically feel the loneliness rolling off of him. “How’s Earth?”

“Still settling,” Jack said. “Sarah Jane’s been keep an eye on Donna as best she can. She’s doing well.”

A physical weight seemed to lift from the Doctor’s shoulders. Jack knew he’d worried that her mind wipe wouldn’t take. The Doctor had finally broken down to Sarah Jane after much browbeating (that woman was a born mother), and the three Companions had taken it upon themselves to care for their long-lost sister.

Companions were family, even when they forgot.

The Doctor patted his shoulder. “How is your Mr. Jones?”

Jack shook his head. “Old before his time, thanks to tech. Martha’s looking after him right now. We’ve never seen it before, we were hoping…”

“That a Time Lord could do something about it?” the Doctor said, a tiny little grin tugging the corner of his mouth.

“Well, it is the area of your expertise,” Jack said, leading the Doctor around towards the Quay. He’d parked on the Invisible Lift, so they couldn’t use it.

The Doctor smiled and gave him a studying look. “It’s like looking in a crystal ball, isn’t it?”

“… How do you do it?” Jack asked. “Pick up people, make them better than they were, the people they were born to be, and then… Just let us go?”

“You lot seem to be clinging to me,” the Doctor pointed out with a laugh. “You do it because you have to. It breaks your heart, but without them… Without people to love and care for and to love you and care of you in their own little ways, you’re not living. Not really.”

Jack stared at him, stunned. The Doctor always knew just what to say, just how to put his own feelings into words.

The Doctor looked back and gave a small smile. “Your Ianto is special to you.”

“They all are,” Jack said honestly.

“I know. Oh, trust me, I know.” He gave one of those reckless smiles, and Jack knew that everything would be okay. “Now. Let’s go see if we can make your Ianto Jones look a bit more like himself!”

Comments

( 18 Scribbles — Want to Scribble? )
vipersweb
Jan. 31st, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Lovely interlude between Jack and the Doctor. I like how you drop in hints about Donna and the other companions.
gracie_musica
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm gald that you liked it.
cjharknessgirl
Jan. 31st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
I just read both, eep! Poor Ianto. *wibble* Please say there's going to be another and you'll fix this. Pretty please?
gracie_musica
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
... No, I don't think so. *laughs* The muses are sorta quiet. But the Doctor's there so everything ends up all right. After some trouble. *laughs again*
katestamps
Jan. 31st, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Oh trust the Doctor to for once know what to say. And good for the companions for looking after each other. (This somehow reminds me of a fic where Jack meets companion after companion as he waits...one of Sam's, maybe? Anyway, that.)
gracie_musica
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
I know! I wanted the Doctor to be all "sorry I hurt you" but somehow this worked so much better.

And the line about Companions being family is personal canon for me. And Jack's like, Daddy Companion, since he lives forever. *laughs*
charlie_jae
Jan. 31st, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oh how these small things make my heart race. Just the thought of the Doctor coming back to help brings a smile tomy face.
gracie_musica
Feb. 1st, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you sweetheart!
luvinthe88and20
Jan. 31st, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
Very nice.
gracie_musica
Feb. 1st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!
gingerlr
Feb. 1st, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
"Doctor?"

"Jack, it worked."

"Yeah, it did work. Ianto is no longer old."

"Yep. He's no longer old."

Both Jack and the Doctor looked at the small toddler trying to stand on his chubby legs. Ianto didn't quite make it and fell backwards on the floor. His thumb popped back into his mouth as tears began to fill up his eyes.

"Don't cry, Ianto. Jack is here. Don't cry." Jack leaned over and pulled Ianto into his arms. Tiny little arms curled around Jack's neck and Ianto fell back asleep.

gracie_musica
Feb. 2nd, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
*curls up with baby towels and wibbles a little*
shiny_starlight
Feb. 1st, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
*sings* Here he comes to save the day!!!! Hopefully he can make Ianto his normal, young, hot self again.
gracie_musica
Feb. 2nd, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
*laughs* Yeah, when all else fails, call the Doctor.
thrace_adams
Feb. 2nd, 2009 06:32 am (UTC)
Oh I'm glad you continued this. I loved the bit with Jack and the Doctor - really nice to see them talk like this. Love the nod to Donna :)
gracie_musica
Feb. 2nd, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
etmuse
Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
Nice to see the Doctor being able to actually help Jack deal with the mortality thing, for a change :)
gracie_musica
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
I know! He can be a right bastard to Jack sometimes, but I know deep down he cares.
( 18 Scribbles — Want to Scribble? )

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gracie_musica
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