Title: Ghost That Kept Me
Fandoms: Torchwood/The Avengers
Pairing/Characters: Clint/Ianto, Jack/Ianto implied, past Ianto/Lisa, Natasha Romanoff, Toshiko Sato and Phil Coulson
Summary: Lisa isn’t the only secret Ianto’s been keeping from the others.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or the awesomeness that is the Avengers.
Author Notes: Written for the h/c bingo prompt: skeletons in the closet. Set S1 ‘Countrycide’ for Torchwood and per-Avengers movie
Every inch of his body hurt. It had been a very long time since Ianto had felt this kind of pain, not since his days as an SHIELD agent. ‘Of course we’ve never encountered Cannibals before.’
Ianto forced himself not to think of the blinding pain surging through his body as he fought the urge to give into the darkness that was calling to him. Ianto refused to be sick or faint in front of these monsters.
Ianto wanted to put as much distance as they possible could away from this village and forget this night ever happened, but Ianto knew that would not be happening. ‘Just what I need, new nightmares to add to the growing collection,’ Ianto was so tired of seeing blood and death ever time he closed his eyes.
The sound of a commotion reached Ianto’s ears but he didn’t have the strength to open his eyes or lift his head, he just wanted to go home to his tiny flat and try and find away to numb the pain.
“Where is he?!” A very familiar voice, at least to Ianto, demanded.
Ianto shot to his feet, a move he instantly regretted when pain racked his body and his knees buckled from beneath him. Closing his eyes Ianto waited for the pain to come when he met the hard ground, only that meeting never came as a set of very familiar arms caught him and brought him against a warm and strong body and the same voice whispering in his ear, “I’ve got you Ianto.”
Tears pickled in his eyes and Ianto didn’t care as he opened his eyes and a tiny sob escaped his lips as he came face-to-face with a man he thought he’d never lay eyes on again. “Clint,” he murmured with pure disbelief as he clung to the other man.
Lifting his head Clint exchanged a worried glance with Natasha and wasn’t at all surprised to see rage and the urge to hurt someone in her eyes, he had no doubt the same could be seen in his eyes.
Their little group was joined by a third and Clint could feel the protective and murderous rage pouring off the man and Clint honestly couldn’t find it within him to pity anyone who earned Phil Coulson’s wrath. He just hoped that Phil left a few for him and Nat to play with.
One look at the trembling man in Clint’s arms and Coulson felt his heartbreak for the obvious pain and distress his son was in. “Agent Barton, please take care of my son. Agent Romanoff and I can deal with this mess.”
Clint was no fool that was Coulson's Agent voice, a voice that demanded to be listened to and obeyed. “Just remember to leave a few for me.”
The hard and cold look in Phil’s eyes was one rarely seen but it promised pain. Clint and Natasha couldn’t tell who the look was for, the cannibals for harming Ianto or his team for putting Ianto in this type of danger.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Coulson wasn’t going to make any promises, these monsters had hurt his son and he was going to make sure that they never saw the light of day again.
Coulson turned his steely gaze to Natasha. “Agent Romanoff, please inform the local police that SHIELD is now in charge of this while I speak to Captain Jack Harkness, I have a few things to talk to the Captain about.”
The pure calmness of Phil’s tone was a true testament to just how furious he was and Clint was grateful that for once it wasn’t him who earned Phil’s anger.
Despite everything that had gone down between him and the others, Ianto couldn’t let his father take his anger out on them. Ignoring the pain that wracked his body Ianto reached up and snagged his father’s hand. “Tad, please don’t be angry with them. Captain Jack Harkness did rescue us.” Despite how much they had hurt him in the past with their actions of completely ignoring him and seeing him as nothing but a glorified butler, Ianto did not want them on the receiving end of his father's anger.
“I know son, I’ll go easy on them.” As much as Coulson would love to rip Jack and the others apart it was clear his son cared for them and he would let them live, this time.
Blue eyes narrowed into slits as Jack felt his body fill with tension and jealousy as he watched the three strangers care for his Ianto. ‘Okay, so he’s not my Ianto, technically, but this trip was supposed to be a fresh start for all of us.’ This trip had not gone the way he planned and from the light that appeared in Ianto’s eyes as he was cared for by the newcomers they were maybe losing him, and that thought brought fourth an ache in Jack he hasn’t felt since he was left behind by the Doctor and Rose.
They were all threats in Jack’s mind, but none more than the blond-haired man holding his Ianto, a right he no longer had after everything that had gone down between them. It hurt watching Ianto favour someone with a true happy smile, one that Jack has only seen a few times.
A gentle hand on his arm and a soft, “Jack,” pulled his attention away from the heartbreaking scene before him and onto Tosh's worried face.
Jack's steely gaze softened as he noticed the terror in Tosh's eyes and pulled her into a hug. "I'm so glad you're okay," he whispered into her hair, thankful that he hadn't lost anyone, but as he gazed over at Ianto with the three strangers he feared that might change soon.
Resting safely in Jack's arms Tosh turned her head and watched as the handsome blond man helped Ianto to his feet and led him away from this nightmare. "We're going to lose him, aren't we?" She hadn't missed the way Ianto was at utter ease with the newcomers something he never was with them and part of that was their own fault.
Jack couldn't lie not to Tosh. "I think we are Tosh. I really think we are." Jack straightened and tightened his grip on Tosh as the older man and deadly-looking woman approached them.
"Captain Jack Harkness, I'm Agent Coulson and this is Agent Romanoff of SHIELD. We need to have a talk about Torchwood's treatment of SHIELD Agent Ianto Jones." Coulson knew he shouldn't but he rather enjoyed the stunned looks that little piece of news earned him.
Reaching the SHIELD SUV Clint helped Ianto into the back and grabbed the medical kit and began to attending to Ianto's injures. Ianto fought the urge to shiver as Clint’s rough hands tenderly cleaned his wounds. The look in his ex’s eyes nearly undid Ianto right then and there; it had been so long since someone looked at him with concern for him.
"How did you know we were in trouble?" Ianto asked softly breaking the comfortable silence.
"SHIELD's been keeping an eye on you and Torchwood, waiting for the right time to bring you home and once we found out about your investigation here we did our own digging and something didn't seem right, Director Fury sent us to give you back up," Clint explained as he finished tending to the cut on Ianto's neck, wanting nothing more than to hunt down the bastard that placed a blade against his Ianto's neck.
Sensing Clint's growing rage Ianto rested his forehead against Clint’s and neither said anything just enjoying the feel of being in each other's arms once again.
“Come back with me,” Clint's soft whisper ghosted across Ianto’s lips. “Let me take care of you, like you deserve to be.”
The air in the SUV was thick with tension as Clint waited for Ianto’s answer. Looking into Clint’s eyes Ianto could see the fear of nearly losing him and the love that still existed between them and he knew his answer. “Yes. I’ll go with you. I’m tired of being the invisible one, the forgotten one until a file needs to be fetched or they need coffee. I want to be cared for like I was with you.”
Thrilled at Ianto's answer Clint gently cupped Ianto's face and brushed a tender kiss across those lips he loved. The kiss was brief but it was enough to reassure Ianto that he was doing the right thing.
‘How did I find the strength to walk away and stay away from his man?’ Ianto wondered to himself as he watched Clint speak on his comm. informing Nat and his father that he was coming with them. There was no denying that Ianto did love Lisa but she was a rebound after his break-up with Clint and nobody came close to the depths of love he had for this man.
Beautiful blue eyes flashed before Ianto’s eyes and he knew why he stayed in Torchwood Three after losing Lisa. Closing his eyes Ianto fought the urge to cry. He loved Lisa and Clint, and there was no doubt that both of them had a hold of his heart. But what Ianto never expected to do was to fall in love with Captain Jack Harkness as well, but right now he knew that there was no future for them at this time, the hurt they caused each other was still too fresh and needed time to heal. 'Maybe someday we'll meet again free of the hurt and pain we caused each other. I hope your Doctor comes for you Jack and you get the answers you're seeking.'
“Agent Jones will be returning with us.” Coulson calmly informed Jack after finishing his talk with Clint.
Rage filled Jack. “I don’t think so. Ianto belongs here with us and you can take him from me over my dead body,” he snarled at the other man. He was prepared to fight for Ianto.
Coulson looked completely unimpressed as he shrugged his shoulders. "I can arrange that, Agent Romanoff." Natasha appeared at Coulson's side and the look in her eyes promised nothing but pain.
Luckily there was a voice of reason among them. "Jack, if Ianto wants to leave then it is his choice. Torchwood has hurt him enough. Please give him a fresh start," Tosh pleaded with Jack. Not that she wanted Ianto to leave anymore than Jack did but she knew Ianto wasn't happy here and Torchwood was slowly killing him.
Jack didn't want to lose Ianto but he couldn't force him to stay, not when Jack knew his own time on Earth was limited. 'The Doctor could be here any time and Ianto has the power to make me want to stay which I can't afford. Maybe this is for the best, to allow Ianto to find happiness so I won't feel guilt when I leave with my Doctor.'
Pain-filled blue eyes met Coulson's, Jack knew he needed to let Ianto go for both of their sakes. "Take care of Ianto and tell him I hope he finds the happiness he couldn't with Torchwood." Jack's voice was guff with emotions as he willingly let go of a man he could have opened his heart to.
Emotion that wasn't lost on Phil or Natasha as Phil nodded his head. "I will and thank you for letting my son go." He nodded once at Jack and Tosh before signalling Natasha to follow him. They needed to get Ianto checked out before heading back to the States.
Reaching for Jack's hand Tosh linked their fingers together. "You'll see Ianto again. You two are destined for each other," Tosh told Jack with pure confidence.
Jack gave Tosh's hand a squeeze and sent her a small smile. "I hope you're right Tosh," he muttered under his breath as he tucked Tosh's words of hope away deep in his heart. "Come, let's get out of his hellhole and after we stop by the hospital to check on Gwen and Owen, I'll take you home."
Jack cast one last lingering look at the SUV that was taking Ianto away from him for a time. 'Someday when the time is right I will come for you Ianto and win your heart, because Tosh is right we are destined for one another.' Jack knew it would be a battle for Ianto's heart and it was one he was going to win, no matter how long it took.