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Fic: Echoes Of Our Souls Chapter 11/13

Title: Echoes Of Our Souls
Fandoms: Torchwood/The Avengers
Pairings/Character: Steve/Ianto/Tony, Jack/Ianto/Steve/Tony, Natasha/Tosh/Darcy, Maria/Owen/Martha, Clint/Pepper/Coulson, Thor/Bruce /Jane, Nick Fury, past Steve/Bucky/Peggy and mention of Rhys/Gwen
Summary: After Jack left, instead of falling apart like the others him to, expected Ianto moved on with all aspects of his life. When Jack returned from his journey with the Doctor, nothing was the way he thought it would be. Now he's on a quest to win back Ianto's heart but Tony and Steve are not making it easy for him. The three men must figure out a way to put aside their differences in order to fit into Ianto's life, but it may take a mission gone wrong for them to finally see that Ianto loves them all equally.
Rating: R
Beta: RoyalLadyEmma
Art by: hollymarchosias see it hereand here
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or the Avengers.
Author Note: I had to mess with the Avengers timeline in order for this to work.




Chapter 11

It happened so suddenly that no one saw it coming, no one was prepared in any way. The Avengers had always had their fair share of villains to deal with, it was simply part and parcel of the job. An often-seen foe once again raising his head, Loki was the culprit. Ianto didn't like to think of Loki as a villain; he had the same haunted and broken look he saw on many occasions in his and Jack's eyes. Whenever he looked at Loki, Ianto saw a damaged man who just wanted to be loved for who he was instead of being vilified as someone he wasn't.

Ianto, his dad and Jack, who had just recently been okayed by Fury to become a SHIELD agent, were protecting the civilians while the Avengers took care of Loki's new pets. Ianto had been trying his best to get a group of children, out on a long-awaited fieldtrip with their teacher, to safety when a creature that looked like a combination between a wolf and a scorpion cut off their escape route. It stood directly in their path, drooling as it eyed the children like they were fresh meat waiting to be devoured. At the sound of the children's terrified screams, it grinning fiendishly and its razor-sharp fangs glistened as it looked from one tasty morsel to the next.

Just as it poised itself, ready to pounce on its first victim, Ianto reacted automatically. He didn't even think as he took aim at the creature and fired. "Over here, you piece of filth! Why don't you play with something that can actually fight back!" Ianto snarled as he bravely stared the monster down.

Barely affected by Ianto's bullet in the chest, the creature growled, its mouth twisting up into a sickening grin. "I'm going to enjoy ripping the meat off your bones and then I'll have these children for dinner," it viciously snarled as it charged at Ianto.

Ianto knew his gun wouldn't do much more against the monster, not if a direst shot to its heart had no effect, but he wanted to give the children and their teacher a chance to get away. Dealing with Weevils in Cardiff had helped him hone his skills at feinting, dodging and avoiding, but the genetically modified creature proved to be much faster than most Weevils and Ianto knew he wouldn't be able to keep up his pace for much longer.

A nearby agent, once he'd helped get the children and teacher to safety, turned back to offer his aid to Ianto. He stopped in his tracks, his weapon only half-drawn from its holster, as he watched in rapt horror as Ianto was lifted into the air by the creature's tail and flung nearly ten feet away, crashing into the wall with a sickening crunch. Knocked senseless by the blow, Ianto crumpled like a broken ragdoll, his weapon falling from his hand and clattering to the ground.

"Agent Jones is down! I repeat Agent Jones is down!" He yelled desperately over the comm as he rushed to Ianto's aid. Doing his best to land fatal shots, the man fired his own gun repeatedly at the monster. 'I sure as hell hope help arrives soon!'

The moment they heard those words come across the comm, Tony, Jack and Steve were sure their hearts stopped cold and their world suddenly became a little emptier. Tony and Steve wanted nothing more than to rush to Ianto's aid but they couldn't, they had their hands full holding back several of the same creatures. Jack, on the other hand could; he didn't care that he was mortal and therefore just as vulnerable as Ianto. All Jack could think about was getting to his beloved Welshman before it was too late.

The agent knew he was running out of bullets but if it meant saving Ianto's life, he was prepared to literally throw his gun at the monster. 'I'd rather meet my end by this creature than face Agent Coulson and tell him his son was killed. Even if he lets me live, there's no telling what the Avengers will do to me!' He looked around frantically, 'It would be nice to get a little help!'

Off in the distance, an angry roar out, rang rattling the nearby windows, and the agent couldn't help but smile with heartfelt relief; Hulk was coming and he didn't sound happy.

Seeing the danger Ianto and the agent were in, Hulk roared with renewed fury as he swatted all the puny creatures standing between him and the nicely suited man, the gentle man who called Hulk, and therefore puny Bruce, his friend. He was the one who'd said that Hulk was not a monster and that Hulk deserved to be loved. "Hulk smash!" he roared.

Growling ferociously as he flexed his enormous muscles, the Hulk landed in front of the hideous creature that had hurt his friend. Despite his success in bring down a mere human, the monster stood no chance against an enraged Hulk as the big green guy took it out with a single blow from his clenched fist. The creature smashed into a nearby metal lamppost, wrapping around the fourteen-inch diameter like it was nothing but a sheet of tissue paper.

With his greatcoat tails twisting in the wind, Jack arrived on the scene just in time to see the monster sag bonelessly to the ground. He paid no attention to Hulk who was nudging the creature with his giant green foot, hoping the thing was still alive so he could turn it into a pancake.

No, all Jack could see was Ianto's limp form lying sprawled on the ground. Dropping to his knees, Jack ran trembling hands over Ianto's still body, delicately checking for injuries. Seeing the blood on Ianto's face brought a massive lump to Jack's throat and scalding tears filled his eyes.

"Someone tell me what the fuck is happening?" Fury's voice came over the line and he did not sound happy. "How is Jones?"

"We need Owen down here, ASAP! Ianto's been seriously hurt." Jack was torn by overwhelming sense of helplessness; he wanted to gather Ianto in his arms but he was terrified that he might end up hurting Ianto even worse. He wanted to breathe his life force into Ianto's lungs the way he had when the Cyberwoman had thrown him across the Hub but he realised with sickening clarity that he would never be able to do that again.

"I'm on my way." Owen's voice came across the comm. "Just hold on, Jack, I'm only a few minutes away."

"Hurry, Owen!" The distinct sound of fear Jack's was clear to everyone who was listening in on the comm link.

*****
It took a lot longer than Steve and Tony liked to completely defeat Loki's deadly pets and then a few more hours to send the devilish God packing, but the instant they were sure they'd been successful, they hightailed it back to SHIELD, breaking every speed law on the books in their hurry.

"How's Ianto?" Tony demanded the moment he and Steve burst into the medical area at a dead run.

All it took for an answer was a single look at Jack's shattered face. Jack took a shuddering breath as he told them, "They're still working on him." He was doing everything in his power not to curl up on the floor and scream at the Universe for taking Ianto away from him again. The memory of being forced to watch the Master torture the young Welshman to death was a raw, open wound in Jack's mind and he knew his mortal heart would cease to beat forever if Ianto died now.

Steve didn't hesitate for a second before he was sitting next to Jack and resting a reassuring hand on Jack's shoulder. "Ianto's going to be okay, Jack, he's strong and he's not ready to leave us yet."

Jack gave Steve a shaky smile. "You're right; I'm not ready to lose him." He blinked furiously, trying to keep a sudden rush of tears from falling.

"None of us are and we're not going to," Steve promised. He looked up at Tony, silently telling him to stop being such a stubborn idiot and to sit down with them.

Tony desperately wanted to find someone who could tell him exactly what was going on with Ianto, but he reluctantly sat down on Jack's other side and clumsily patted the distraught man's arm. "Ianto can't leave us yet, we haven't even had sex yet!" He tried for a little levity, hoping it would ease the mood, and it did, sort of. Jack chuckled for a brief moment and then to Tony's abject horror, the older man burst into tears and buried his face in his hands.

Shocked by what he'd just done to Jack, Tony stared over the sobbing man's back at Steve, who just shrugged helplessly. Together they wrapped their arms around Jack's shuddering body and waited for news of Ianto's condition.

The number of people sitting in the private lounge grew steady until every available member of the Avengers was present. It seemed like hours as they waited, hoping for the best and fearing the worst, for Owen and Martha to arrive with some news about Ianto. Finally the two doctors appeared in the waiting room; they looked haggard and their scrubs were stained with blood.

The instant the door swung open everyone was on their feet clamouring for information but one voice won out in the din. "Is Ianto going to be all right?" Natasha tone simply dared Owen to give her bad news and the medic gulped when he saw he tighten her grip on her dagger. He was ready to step back and let Martha take the lead but then he saw the look of hopeful desperation on Jack's face and he bravely pressed on.

"Tea-Boy's pretty banged up, I'm not going to lie to you. He's got several broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung and caused it to collapse, a bruised kidney and some internal bleeding, a sprained knee, a broken collar bone and wrist. What we're really worried about is a severe concussion and a hairline skull fracture; we need to keep a close eyes on no pressure appears on his brain."

Owen hadn't been about to lose Ianto on his watch and he thanked his lucky stars that Ianto's seven-hour surgery had been so successful. He and Martha, who had also joined the ranks of SHIELD, and a team of other talented medics had laboured non-stop to save the young Welshman's life.

Martha crossed over, knelt in front of Jack, and took his hand in hers. Even though she spoke directly to him, her words were for everyone. "We're confident that Ianto's going to be all right, but it's going to take some time and probably some physical therapy. We're going to keep him here for about a week, maybe more, it'll all depend on how well he heals, but he's going to be pretty sore all over for quite some time. All in all, Ianto's pretty lucky to be alive after an attack like that."

"Can we see him?" Tosh asked softly from her spot nestled between Natasha and Darcy.

"Yes, he's awake now but he's very groggy; we have him on some powerful painkillers. They're moving him from recovery to a private suite right now, so give them a few minutes to get him settled, okay?" Martha gave Tosh a gentle smile. "Then you can go in one at a time for a few minutes. He needs all the rest he can get but we can work it so that that a few of you can stay around the clock with him."

Martha knew without asking who amongst the group would do that; there was no way Jack, Steve and Tony would be torn for Ianto's side. Her eyes twinkled with mischief as she squeezed Jack's hand before standing up. "We'll put an extra cot in Ianto's suite so there's enough room for the three of you."


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