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Fic: Taste the Fire Chapter 8/9

Title: Taste the Fire
Author: backrose_17
Fandoms: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, Martha/Tosh, John/Andy, Owen/Katie, Harold Saxon/John Smith, Rhys/Donna, James Harkness/Tommy Brockless, Mickey/Jake, Suzie/Lisa, Gwen, Rose, Rory/Amy, Kathy/Sarah Jane, Johnny/Rhiannon
Summary: AU. When investigative photojournalist Ianto Jones discovers that his newest assignment is to cover mob boss Jack Harkness and look into his nefarious dealings, he finds himself tangled in a web of love, lust and power when Jack sets out to make Ianto his.
Rating: Overall R but one NC-17 scene
Warning: Dark!Jack, may be some mentions of past torture, disturbing behaviour, character deaths
Beta: royalladyemma
Word Count: 35,718

Chapter 8


Before he’d met Jack, Ianto had had very, very few brushes with bondage, a situation that he and Jack were taking great deal of pleasure in changing. However, being tied to a chair while locked in a basement, and being at the mercy of a madman was something that Ianto was not enjoying. But, given the fact that Jack had also taught Ianto how to get out of bonds, Ianto had slowly begun to work on the ropes that kept his hands bound.

 

Thankfully, Grey was too busy planning their future together to notice what Ianto was doing. “You do know that Jack will tear the universe apart until he finds me, so just let me go and I won’t tell Jack it was you.” Ianto was trying to reason with Grey and he meant what he said; if Grey let him go, he would try and keep the info from Jack for as long as he could.

 

Grey turned to face Ianto with a mixture of patience, love and madness in his eyes, and he stepped over to the still-bound man. Ianto fought back a flinch as Grey stroked his cheek with extreme tenderness. When he spoke, Grey’s voice had an almost sing-song cadence to it. “Oh, sweetheart, don’t be silly! I love you and I will never let you go, Yan.”

 

Ianto shivered at the promise in Grey’s voice. “Grey, please try to understand that my heart belongs to Jack and only Jack, and nothing will ever change that.” He had a feeling that what he said next was either going to get through to Grey or push him over the edge.

 

“I’m not Estelle, Grey.” Ianto had figured it out days before. He had accidentally stumbled across one of Estelle’s journals and he hadn’t meant to read it but he just couldn’t help himself. He discovered that Estelle and Grey had fallen in love and they had been planning on running away together until Adam cut her life short. Ianto imagined that such a horrible loss of the woman he loved, coupled with the loss of his mother and the hatred Grey already harboured for Jack, had snapped Grey’s mind.

 

Sadness shone in the depths of Grey’s eyes. “I know you’re not my Estelle,” he said gently. “She was a beautiful shining light in this dark ugly world and her life was extinguished far too early. I see that same light in you, Ianto, and that’s why I can’t let Jack or Adam destroy you. I have to save you, don’t you understand?”

 

Ianto felt truly sorry for Grey; he was just so completely lost in his insanity that Ianto almost wanted to hug him and tell him that everything was going to be okay. “Grey, please listen to me. I’m so sorry for your loss but I cannot and will never love you like you want me to.

 

“It wouldn’t be fair to you to keep me; you deserve someone who will love you just as much as you loved Estelle. Jack is my choice and it’s my choice to make. You don’t control me.” Ianto tried to sound sympathetic but he ended up hissing out the words as he felt the ropes begin to loosen.

 

The look in Grey’s eyes scared Ianto and his fear only grew when Ianto saw the way the man smiled. “Oh, well,” he shrugged. “I figured you might be a long shot. Unlike Gwen, who was as fickle as a spring breeze, when you commit to someone you give them your whole heart. You may not love me now, but that doesn’t matter. Just as soon as I rid the Universe of my dear lying, deceiving thief of a bother, you’ll be free of Jack’s control, and then you’ll understand that I love you enough for both of us.” Grey smiled again. “We’ll have all the time in the world and no matter how long it takes, you will come to love me.”

 

It was the promise of violence to Jack that he clearly heard in Grey’s voice that stirred Ianto into action. There’s no way in hell that he would let this man hurt Jack!’ The ropes fell from his wrists and Ianto lunged for his captor. Grey wasn’t expecting such a move and was unprepared for Ianto’s body slamming into his. The two men went down hard on the floor, and they immediately began wrestling for the sonic blaster Grey had on his belt.

 

On a normal day, both men would have been evenly matched but Ianto was still recovering from being stunned earlier, so his movements were a bit sluggish. Once Grey recovered from his surprise at being tackled he was able to easily over-powered Ianto. With one swift blow to the head, Grey knocked Ianto for a loop, he managed to get his hands on the blaster.

 

Groggily, Ianto felt himself hauled to his feet and shoved backwards. Grey pinned the semi-conscious man against the wall – ‘This is strangely familiar,’ Ianto’s punch-addled brain told him – and pointed the blaster right at his head. Even thought Ianto’s vision was blurred, he had no trouble seeing that the look of demented love in Grey’s eyes had become blazing hatred. Grey jammed the barrel of the weapon against Ianto’s temple, pressing the muzzled in hard and making Ianto cry out softly from the pain.

 

“You stupid little boy!” Grey snarled, twisting the blaster into Ianto’s tender flesh. “My brother would have tossed you aside in a heartbeat just as soon as the next pretty thing came along! I would have treated you like a king!”

 

The pressure from the blaster against Ianto’s temple was becoming unbearable, and he was sure he’d pass out from the pain long before Grey even fired the weapon. “Grey, please!” he gasped. “We can work this out, please?”

 

Grey stared at him in disbelief. “Work this out?!” he shouted. “There’s nothing to work out, you fool! I love you more than life itself. You would rather die than love me! What’s there to work out?”

 

Out of the corner of his eye, Ianto saw Grey’s finger begin to tighten on the blaster’s trigger, and he suddenly began to cry. ‘I’m never going to see Jack again,’ he wept. ‘I’ll never be able to hold him in my arms again, or make love to him again.’ His tears increased and he whimpered.

 

‘I’ll never get to tell him how much I love him ever again.’ The loud cry that burst from Ianto’s lips at his last thought was enough to distract Grey from pulling the trigger.

 

Instead, Grey looked curiously at Ianto, noticing for the first time that his captive was crying. When he saw the agony in his eyes, he took the blaster away from Ianto’s temple. Using the back of his hand, Grey brushed tears from Ianto’s cheek and then he examined them closely. Bizarrely, he raised his hand to his mouth and licked at Ianto’s tears.

 

“Why are you crying, Ianto?” Grey seemed genuinely puzzled. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

 

“You… ‘re not?” Ianto managed to get out between sobs.

 

“Of course not!” Grey grinned. “Mother told me that dying never hurts and then she proved it to me by shooting herself in the head, right there.” Grey used the blaster’s barrel to indicate the very spot on Ianto’s temple that was now rapidly turning into an ugly bruise. “She had such a beautiful look on her face when it was over, like she was at peace or like she’d gone to a wonderful place.”

 

Hearing Grey announce that he’s witnessed his mother’s suicide just as calmly and casually as if he were reporting that the sun had come up once again, made Ianto’s belly lurch dangerously. Even though he hadn’t eaten in hours, Ianto gagged and coughed, his body insisted it wanted to purge itself, and his stomach muscles began to convulse. Ianto leaned forward and started to dry-heave.

 

Although he didn’t completely let go of Ianto, Grey instinctively stepped backwards just in time for Jack to make his grand entrance. 

 

“Grey! Let Ianto go!” Jack growled in a dangerous tone; it was undeniably the sound an alpha male made when his mate was in mortal danger. He felt rage and hate fill his heart to overflowing at the gut-wrenching sight of a blaster pointed at his Ianto.

 

A wise man would have either dropped to his knees and begged for mercy or fled the scene as fast as he could move. Grey was beyond thinking wisely, so he did neither. Instead, Grey tightened his grip on Ianto’s upper arm and pulled him upright again. “Never! You failed to keep my beloved Estelle safe, Jack! You let Adam shoot her down like an animal and you did nothing about it!”

 

Grey stabbed the blaster back into Ianto’s temple hard enough to make Ianto cry out through gritted teeth. “I’m going to save Ianto from you! I know you’re never going to keep Ianto safe. You already allowed Gwen to try and kill him!” Grey waved the blaster at Jack and laughed wildly. “She was going to shoot him with this! She was such an easy mark; her mind was an open book to someone like Adam.”

 

Hearing Ianto’s cry of pain focused Jack’s attention fully on his beloved little mouse for the first time since he’d burst into the room. He was pleased to see that there were no visible signs of injury, but when he gazed deeply into Ianto’s eyes, Jack’s heart shattered. His young lover was clearly terrified, but it was the look behind the terror that scared Jack to death. It was a look of sorrow and resignation, and it sent a knife through Jack’s very soul.

 

At that moment, Ianto Jones truly believed that he wasn’t going to get out of that room alive.

 

Jack tightened the grip he had on the blaster aimed at his brother and his heart was breaking. He never realised that Grey carried so much hatred for him. “Grey, you have no idea how guilty I feel over Estelle’s death. I wasn’t as blind; I knew Estelle was going to leave me for you and I was happy! I was happy that you were together and in love. Getting safely out of this life was all I ever wanted for the two of you.”

 

Praying that his words were getting through the haze of insanity surrounding Grey, Jack pressed on. “I knew Estelle’s happiness didn’t include me just like I knew that you were the only one who could love her the way she deserved to be loved.” He paused, trying to gauge Grey’s reaction. He could see the indecision and doubt beginning to creep into his brother’s eyes.

 

“Estelle loved you so much, Grey, more than she ever, ever loved me. You were her world; she thought the sun rose just so it could shine down on you. Every time she looked at you, there was so much love and pride in her eyes. She never looked at me like that, because she never loved me that much, not like she loved you, Grey.”

 

When he saw his brother gulp back a sob, Jack pulled out the big gun. “Estelle was so proud of you, Grey. She was proud of everything you did. Everything. But this? This is wrong. What do you think Estelle would say if she were here with you, right now, if she could see you right now?”

 

Grey’s eyes shot around the room, searching frantically for Estelle, and his lips moved as if he were speaking, but no sound came out. He peered at Ianto with a bewildered look on his face, as if wondering who the young Welshman was.

 

Jack immediately took advantage of Grey’s confusion. “Please, please let Ianto go, I’m begging you! He’s just an innocent victim. The only thing he’s guilty of is loving me.” Jack pleaded with his brother as he prayed silently. ‘Please keep Ianto safe! Please don’t make me hurt my brother!’

 

With Grey pressed so close against him, Ianto was surprised when he felt wetness land on his cheek and it only took him a moment to realise that Grey was crying. He was trying to think of something comforting to say when, with a heart-broken cry, Grey suddenly and forcibly shoved him hard away and into Jack’s hard body.

 

Jack pulled Ianto tightly against his body and gave his lover a quick glance before his gaze was drawn back to Grey’s desperate face. His heart stopped cold as he saw that Grey had the blaster pointed at his own head. “I will never forgive anyone who stole Estelle from me, especially you. This is your punishment for letting her die.” Grey gave Jack a sadly serene smile before pulling the trigger. His body crumpled to the floor with a dull thud and the blaster clattered away under a near-by chair.

 

Jack let out a ragged, guttural scream of pain and collapsed into Ianto arms. Ianto held on to his lover as tightly as he could, struggling to keep him upright. Martha lowered her own blaster and hurried over to stand next to Jack and Ianto. “Ianto, get Jack, out of here; take him home. I’ll deal with everything,” she ordered softly. “And Ianto? Please check on Tosh for me? Tell her I’ll be home just as soon as I can, okay?”

 

Ianto nodded and gave Martha a small, grim smile as he wrapped his arms protectively around Jack. His deep love for the older man was giving him an inner strength he didn’t know he had. Ianto placed a small kiss on his lover’s head, and Jack seemed to regain some control of himself as he allowed Ianto to pull him away from the room. As they passed Grey’s dead body, Ianto turned Jack’s face into his shoulder; he refused to allow the man he loved to be subjected to any more horrors.

 

Martha watched them go with unshed tears in her eyes before she turned her sad gaze onto Grey. “Despite all the pain you’ve caused Jack, I do hope your eternal soul can rest and that you find Estelle on the other side,” she whispered. “I hope you’re finally happy together.”

 

*****

 

The cool night air brushed over Jack and Ianto’s skin as they emerged Grey’s old house. Jack was lost in thought, wondering how he could truly have had no idea that his brother hated him so very much. But as he looked at Ianto’s tear-streaked face, he couldn’t help but feel relieved and happy that he had his beautiful boy in his life. Ianto was safe; those three little words filled Jack’s heart with joy. But he knew Grey had been right; ‘I’ll only bring death to all those I love as long as I remain in this life.’

 

He stopped walking and turned Ianto around to face him. “Run away with me.” The words left Jack’s mouth before he could rethink them.

 

Ianto blinked in utter confusion. “What?”

 

Jack ran his fingers gently and tenderly across Ianto’s vivid purple bruise. “I nearly lost you today, Ianto, and that would have completely destroyed me. The four months we’ve had together aren’t nearly enough, not for me. Come away with me, Ianto; let’s go somewhere and build a new life together,” Jack begged. “Just you and me and dozens – no hundreds! – of kids. We’ll make babies til they come out our ears.

 

“What about the others, Jack?” Ianto knew he loved Jack with all of his heart, and the very idea of a life with him, especially one without danger was very enticing.

 

“They’re all grown up; they can manage without us. Who knows, it might do them some good.” Jack took hold of Ianto’s hand and raised it to his lips, kissing each knuckle slowly before turning it over and licking a stripe across the palm. So what do you say, little mouse, will you run away with me?” Jack asked as he pulled their hands to his chest and pressed them over his heart. He knew they could be on the next ship leaving New Earth. They didn’t even really have to go home at all; Jack had enough money tucked away that they could buy anything and everything they ever wanted and live like kings for the rest of their lives.

 

“My heart belongs with you.” Ianto slipped his hand around the back of Jack’s head and he kissed his lips with loving tenderness. “Wherever you go, I go.” The smile that Ianto got in return made his heart beat faster and he knew he’d made the right decision.

Tags: au, classic tw_big bang, fic: taste the fire, pairing: jack/ianto
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