Rating: NC17, for both sex and violence
Notes: Written for the 2008 "Come As You're Not" Halloween fanfic party. My challenge to myself was to have Jack say "I love you" to Ianto and mean it. Please keep in mind my well-known views on the pairing and read the warnings carefully. Brilliant, hard-core Beta provided by beta_goddess and much hand-holding done by hllangel along the way.
WARNINGS DARK!FIC!!! This story contains torture, both physical and psychological involving sharp weapons and blood-shed, as well as potentially offensive views about sexuality. Special warning to J/I fans and Gwen-haters: Jack is fucked up and timing is still everything.
Summary: Jack knows what he wants and how to get it.
He’d survived. That’s what was important. Not just physically, since that was a given, confirmed by the Doctor as incurable. What mattered more was that Jack had come through a year of torture, death and cruelty, and could still call himself sane when others would have receded to a dark, safe place and never come out. Not him. He’d plastered over any psychic wounds and come swaggering back like he’d just gone round the corner for a pint instead of taking off on a guided tour of hell.
The illusion held up until he felt the ring on Gwen’s hand, shattering the dream he’d held onto. It had been shocking enough to encounter suspicion and hostility instead of completely open arms, but the fact that Gwen Cooper, his Gwen Cooper, had the nerve to say, “No one else would have me” with those wide, innocent eyes put him right back on the Valiant, having his heart cut out, literally and figuratively.
It was no surprise that Gwen had a fickle streak. Willing to trash her boyfriend when Jack flashed his grin at her in a pub, hitting the sheets with Owen when the reality of Torchwood got overwhelming. Gwen would always bounce between what she wanted and what she thought she should want. The girl was terminally afflicted with the human condition. He couldn’t fault her for that, much as it hurt.
Ianto on the other hand…
Jack had expected better, demanded more, and was in no mood to offer any dispensation to his most recent diversion. If he couldn’t have Gwen, he’d have Ianto, in every way possible and without reservations. The slightly desperate tone when Jack had admitted to seeing the Doctor again was a good start, but the standoffishness when they’d been searching the office for John’s canisters was completely unacceptable. He’d allow the sarcasm to be aimed at the other members of the team, never himself.
To accomplish his goal, extreme measures might be necessary. Which was why Ianto was currently naked, tied to the chair in Jack’s office, looking as much offended as concerned by the rough ropes.
“Is this absolutely necessary, sir?” he asked, earning a sharp slap to the face for both the detached tone and the use of “sir” when Jack had specifically told him not to.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is. We need to have a little talk about your attitude, among other things.”
Ianto had flinched at the slap and there was a red welt forming along his left cheekbone. So far no tears, but Jack knew they had a long evening ahead of them. If Ianto didn’t end the night crying in Jack’s arms, swearing devotion and offering himself up to any future amusements Jack might have in mind, then the evening would be an utter failure leaving Jack to wonder why he’d come back at all.
“You have an interesting concept of the word date.”
He could feel his hand itching to deliver another blow, but physical pain was the least of the tools at his disposal. It was time to unleash the thing that had been building up since cool metal had interrupted his caress of Gwen’s arm, reminding him of what he’d learned in that long year.
Jack prided himself on being the best torturer the Time Agency had ever produced, better than his former partner, which was really saying something, but he had to admit that when it came to the targeted infliction of pain, the man he’d vote for was indeed the Master.
Nothing could have prepared him for the erstwhile Harold Saxon’s sheer delight in delivering pain compounded by the ability to probe minds, finding the most sensitive spots and hitting again and again. The one-two punch was devastating. Cutting Jack’s body to shreds while reminding him that everyone he’d ever cared about had left him or, far worse, raping him while talking matter-of-factly about how this was as close as he’d ever get to making love to the Doctor and how the Master could only stand to be so close to Jack’s odious wrongness because he was a stronger man than the now-aged fool residing in a dog’s tent.
He’d spent a few weeks lying low in some of Cardiff’s darker quarters, trying to vanquish those memories before he came back to the team. Now he embraced them. Jack needed that pain, the humiliation, the sense of disgust, to do what was necessary.
“Let’s talk about Lisa,” he said in what he knew would be a chillingly conversational tone, punctuated by a firm squeeze of Ianto’s cock.
“Jack. Please. No.”
Ianto’s voice cracked with the stress of his situation, but no man could fail to respond when Jack Harkness had a hand on him.
“We never really talked about what happened, did we? Because you came crawling into my bed, begging for forgiveness. It was a good trick. Almost as good as getting her in here in the first place.”
“I’m sorry.” Ah, the delightful hint of a whimper creeping into that oh-so-reserved voice. “I betrayed you, Jack.”
“Twice,” he pointed out.
Ianto seemed genuinely perplexed.
“First you nearly got the team killed and then you were willing to sacrifice the world when Bilis waved Lisa in your face.”
“But...we all did. The mutiny was unanimous.”
“I thought you were different. You’re the one who really hurt me. And you did it for Lisa. You must have loved her very much.”
It had been a long time since he saw a face reflect that much torment, or took such pleasure in it. He’d let Ianto’s first deception slide and there’d never really been time to deal with the second. Now there was nothing but.
With a flick of his wrist-strap, he had a laptop booted up and the night’s entertainment ready to begin in earnest. He spun Ianto’s seat around so he could face the screen. Home movies of the happy couple. Lisa Hallett had been a beautiful girl and the Ianto Jones who stood by her side waving at the camera with a slightly goofy look on his face was younger in spirit than Jack would have believed without the evidence.
Emails between them scrolled by, full of hope and promise and various emoticons, both adorable and obscene. Either the IT department at Torchwood One was excessively lax, or it was impossible to lower the boom on all that cuteness. Jack had no such compunctions.
“Yes, Jack. I loved her. I’m sorry, but I did, and I did horrible things because of that. I thought you’d forgiven me, but if you haven’t…I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“You’re going to start by telling me exactly what you loved about her. The sound of her voice? The touch of her skin? The colour of her skin?”
“Yes, all of that!”
“Or was she just the first girl who ever gave you the time of day?”
Clearly a bullseye, producing another flicker of pain across Ianto’s face.
“Why are you doing this?”
Ianto’s voice rising in pitch, each word a plea for mercy, but Jack had none to offer. Ianto would get what he’d always wanted from Jack. In return, he’d have to give up the possibility of loving anyone else, especially a woman.
“It’s for the best. You give your heart too easily, Ianto. I’m going to fix that for you.”
Attempts to modify sexual preference had been pretty well discredited by this point in the twenty-first century, especially the crude aversion therapy of the fifties and sixties. The politically correct point of view stated that it couldn’t be done. Attraction to a specific gender was biologically hard-wired all the way back to the womb. To say otherwise was to be branded a religious fanatic or political Neanderthal. You were born straight, gay or bi and nothing could change it.
Things were different in Jack’s time. Just because all aspects of love were acceptable didn’t mean everybody wanted the option to experience them. Scientists had revisited the issue at the behest of couples who wanted to have one path closed in order to insure their own fidelity and by the time Jack joined the Time Agency it was considered as easy to change sexual preference as to change eye colour.
The basic technique hadn’t changed much since the bad old days, just the emphasis. Electrodes were passé when there were more elaborate ways to associate pain and revulsion with the object not to be desired. Unfortunately that equipment hadn’t fallen through the rift and wouldn’t be available on this planet for two hundred years, so he’d have to make do with what he had. In this case, a small, exquisitely sharp knife that he’d kept as a souvenir of John’s visit.
Each cut would sting and bleed, but they’d heal nicely once the job was done. Just for fun, he’d have Owen see to Ianto’s wounds, with the implication that Ianto had done it to himself, reinforcing Owen’s contempt and keeping Ianto isolated from the rest of the team. Brilliant, said a voice in his head that sounded more like the Master than he wanted to admit. The Doctor wouldn’t approve, but he’d left after making it clear that he’d rather spend eternity with a madman than spend another minute with Jack’s wrongness, so his opinion no longer mattered.
Ianto was clearly terrified, erection gone to fear and Jack hadn’t even made the first cut.
“Jack, please, don’t. You don’t have to. I promise, I’ll never leave you.”
“And think how bad you’d feel if you broke that promise. I know guilt, Ianto. It can destroy a man’s life. I don’t want you to have to suffer that way. I’m not doing this for me. It’s all for you. You are the one I came back for.”
He’d equivocated once. Now that he knew how unworthy the others were, he wouldn’t do it again.
Ianto looked up at him. Naked, trembling, and desperate to believe. Only one thing was lacking. He found Ianto’s stopwatch in the pocket of the trousers that had been dropped to the floor when Ianto was still under the impression this was one of their usual office parties. He’d allowed Ianto to maintain his illusion that the stopwatch had been instrumental in helping him get over Suzie’s last demise. It seemed only fitting to introduce it now. This way he’d know exactly how long it took.
Ianto’s screams echoed throughout the Hub, heard by no one but Jack and the pterodactyl. The pictures streamed by. Ianto’s first junior-school crush. The actresses who’d been popular during his formative years. Lisa. Lisa. Women who looked like Lisa and more Lisa. Every physical response was met by a cut to Ianto’s arms or torso or the delicate skin on his inner thigh, tantalizingly close to his dick. Pain and blood. Sweat and fear. Jack let his words fill Ianto’s brain with disgust for women. All women were whores and he was well free of them, now that Jack was here. Lest Ianto find himself attracted to other men, Jack had pictures of some that he suspected Ianto might fancy, along with the same knife and the same voice to remind Ianto that only he cared about him. Only he could provide fulfillment and salvation.
It took longer than Jack would have guessed. Either an innate toughness or Torchwood One training. He was almost proud of Ianto’s ability to hold out. It made the victory that much sweeter. Three hours and twenty-two minutes later, Ianto was bleeding, broken and completely Jack’s.
The sight was absolutely beautiful. Pale torso streaked with blood. Tears streaming silently down Ianto’s face. Jack bent down to undo the knots, unable to resist kissing one shoulder, tasting the salty mixture of sweat and blood. The tang hit his tongue with the force of life, another return from death. This was his world now. This place, this man and he was willing to take what was his and commit to one person for as long as it could last. He bent down to caress Ianto’s damp face and kissed him gently on the lips.
If he’d gotten hard using the knife and his voice on Ianto’s skin and soul, he had barely noticed, or wasn’t willing to admit it to himself. Now that the result had been achieved, he could acknowledge his own physical needs. Ianto wanted him and only him, and he wanted Ianto. Immediately.
This was Ianto’s reward as well. Jack had barely untied him before he sank to his knees, looking up at Jack with a devoted gaze and open mouth. Jack undid his trousers and let them drop, leaving himself exposed for Ianto to show how much he loved him.
Jack closed his eyes to appreciate what he’d accomplished tonight. Ianto, on his knees, sucking Jack’s cock as his cuts still bled. This might be the first time they’d ever had sex with no ulterior motive on either part. Now it was pure, and that made it special, made his own heart ache a little.
He let himself enjoy the physical sensation until he felt the combination of need and emotion crescendo in unison, and pulled Ianto onto his feet. Jack took one hand and pushed his cock into Ianto’s slippery fist, letting him finish the act while they looked at each other as equals. He drank in the sight of Ianto’s swollen lips and moist eyes, even the sticky blood against his shirt as Ianto’s hand worked him hard and fast.
This was what he’d come back for. This planet. This place. This man. These lips and hands.
Oh, god, the hands.
At the moment of release, he felt complete calm wipe out the cares of the planet. Maybe that was the best gift he had given himself, a place to be free of his heavy load of knowledge.
“I love you,” he said, believing it.
“I know, but we need to get you cleaned up now.”
Jack didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was Ianto who needed to be cleaned and have his wounds tended to before being cuddled carefully to sleep in Jack’s bed.
He said it again, because it felt so good to mean the words after so many decades of using them as a ploy. He wanted to go up on the roof and shout his love to the stars, hoping that bastard in the blue box could hear him.
Ianto would die, of course. Sooner rather than later, if Torchwood history was anything to go by, and Jack would mourn when it happened. Until then he had something worth staying on Earth for. He had the perfect companion.
Ianto could be taken away, but he’d never leave.