It was like Lisa all over again
The gun slipped from suddenly slack fingers as he stumbled back, bile rising swiftly to choke him with acrid guilt as he stared numbly at the body slumped against the wall. Someone must have heard the shot, some logical part of his mind prompted, urging him to call for back up. One shot- fired straight through the head- and there she lay, sagging and still. She could have been asleep. Asleep out in this dingy back alley, out in the rain and the cold and… and she wasn’t sleeping. oh god. He’d made sure of that.
Ianto barely felt his legs give way. The only notion he had of the ground beneath him was in the swift cooling sensation rushing through him as his clothes became swiftly sodden in the violent downpour. Ianto stared ahead; stared at her, lying there… just lying there…
He bit back a rising sob, but it made no difference. He was crying now, and that didn’t even matter. What mattered was the knowledge that they were being shed in grief of another love lost. like Lisa. He sucked in deep, gasping breathes. just like Lisa. And he knew, just by looking at her, her body so placidly positioned from her fall- her screams still so fresh and pleading in his ears- he knew, it was he who was the monster now.
- - -
There’d been reports all over Cardiff of missing people. Nothing that concerned Torchwood of course though Gwen tried her damn hardest to make them so much as look at the dossier she’d compiled.
“You’re not a policewoman anymore, Gwen.” Jack had tried to placate her only to be turned upon with angry eyes. The air a fission of emotion as she consciously calmed herself before replying.
“No. I’m not. But I seem to be the only one here who cares about protecting humans from the aliens and not the other way about.”
Jack pursed his lips, taking a long moment to consider her. Her shoulders were tensed, her face all sharp angles of righteous annoyance and Jack couldn’t help but smile. God, sometimes he forgot why he hired these people.
“Right then,” he grinned at her, holding out his hand. “Lets see what you’ve got so far then?” And her expression changed immediately. It was not satisfaction lighting her gaze as she handed over the file, it was simple and undeniable relief.
- - -
The missing people soon turned up. Only, once they did, Torchwood really started to take notice.
“It’s disgusting, is what it is.” Owen snapped, hiding a grimace behind an exaggerated look of distaste as he lifted chunks of body onto the array of autopsy tables he’d had to set up.
Gwen went across each one, matching photographs with DNA results. Perhaps she felt it helped aid the team in recognising these parts as having once been human. Whatever her reasoning, it was only Gwen herself who seemed to appreciate the effort.
Each decapitated limb or resemblance of limb (some parts just couldn’t be identified from a passing glance) had been ripped apart. Not by teeth, Owen was certain as he prodded and poked at bits of flesh and congealed blood, something more like pincers he was sure.
Tosh pulled up all the records she could of aliens that matched the doctor’s vague supposition. If there’d been an alien so much as caught holding a pair of scissors they made the list.
- - -
It had taken time. Weeks actually before they got any strong leads. A house in upper-market Cardiff was where they’d ended up. Not the type of establishment one expected to find evidence of a large insect-like alien for sure. Certainly not a place where one would have thought to look for the ‘missing’ body parts Owen had been jigsawing together.
There was evidence too that the alien they were hunting was able to co-exist with the rest of the population. A lived-in house was what they’d first happened upon. It was only the lower levels of the building that sported signs of recent… use.
It was Tosh who found the picture. Framed and sat upon the bedside table, she couldn’t resist lifting it for a look.
The glass covering smashed into millions of pieces as she accidentally dropped it.
A young olive-skinned woman smiled brightly up at her from the floor, her features dizzyingly exotic as she leaned into the arms of the man beside her. An undeniably familiar man.
“Ianto…” she breathed before screaming for Jack.
- - -
He’d known. He’d known when he’d taken her out behind the restaurant that he was going to have to kill her. execute her. The dinner had been his way of making sure. Of ensuring there was no way they’d made a mistake. That he was making a mistake. But he’d had no choice.
His grief overwhelmed him. He’d loved her. He’d loved her in a way he hadn’t felt since Lisa. Loved her with a pain so intense and burning it was like loosing her all over again. And he had, in a way. He’d lost them both. Killed them both…
And now she’s lying there, just lying there- he wants to call out, to apologise, to tell her he loves her and that he’s sorry and he didn’t have a choice and it was either him or them and… and… his sobs are choking. He turns away, he cannot look anymore, he drags his knees up to his chest and clings to them like an anchor, like a child.
His screams of pained frustration and denial are almost inhuman, a howl against the night as he rocks and cries and screams for another love lost; another lover stolen so cruelly from him. Only now, there was no one else to blame. No one else to hate and… and oh god…
“I’m a monster,” Ianto whispered, exhausted, as he lay in the Captain’s arms. Jack tightened his hold, saying nothing.
- - -
- - -