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03 November 2008 @ 09:50 pm
nov 3: TWFanFic: Rootless Tree [gen. Ianto/Lisa]  

Rootless Tree;
Ianto Jones/Lisa Hallett, team;
PG-13; Character Death; 1099words;
to those who aided me in finally mastering this fic

He hears their laughter even before the cog door begins to roll open. It is garishly loud and grating against the otherwise deathly silence of the Hub; Ianto inwardly cringes at the sound as he stands but paces away, still and unable to move aside as the team step into view. He watches as they stumble over one another amidst a chorus of giggles and conversation he cannot decipher- their words sounding garbled and incomprehensible to his ears-, walking past him as if he does not exist, as if he never has, and Ianto wonders if maybe that’s not a little bit true. He’s been a ghost of himself for so long now, hiding in the shadows of Torchwood Three (doing what he must to survive, to keep her alive, to keep him satisfied), that he wonders if he even remembers how to be himself anymore.

Ianto turns, seeing as the team take to their workstations with a professionalism hardly ever shown in this branch, he sees them working together as one and he laments for a time that he’s never had that here. That he’s never allowed himself that level of familiarity or friendliness with them for fear that the attachment would be his undoing. They’d tried, in the beginning oh how they’d tried, and he’d been politely distant as he answered their questions and requests and attempts to include him in their circle of closeness.

He’d resisted, of course, and over time- fickle interests soon waned and he was forgotten, dismissed as easily as an empty cup of coffee or a report three-weeks overdue- they lost their interest, stopped noticing him- Ianto Jones, looks good in a suit- when he walked into the room, delivered their coffee-lunch-archive requests, when he started disappearing for long periods of time, he’d gotten so very good at blending into the background. He did enough not to be noticed, appeared when he was needed, but the rest of the time he spent hidden away in the bowels of their base, with a secret so pivotal to be kept it left him sick and shaken and blind to the darker implications of what he was doing; what he was being made to do.

But he’d loved her. Loves her. And like a man possessed he’d sworn to do everything in his power to protect her, to save her and make her whole again for him, for them, so that they could be together- happy and in love and together for as close to forever as they could get.

He doesn’t know when it had all gone so wrong, when things had changed, when she’d changed; his Lisa, his beautiful Lisa, his beautiful- manipulating, deceitful, murdering- Lisa. The betrayal burns like fire in his gut. His hands shake with uncontrollable tremors and he looks down at them, scrunching his fingers into fists as he sees the blood coating them in thick, vermillion streaks. He clenches his eyes closed, chocking back the hysteria as he forces himself to breathe through it. There is no blood. He’s scrubbed it all clean; every inch of every surface. No trace left. No evidence to pinpoint that anything had ever happened-


-that she ever existed here, that he’d ever kept her hidden away like some dirty little secret- skeletons in the closet-, that she’d played him and used him, killed a man when he turned his back and offered him no excuses- nurture or nature or just the result of cyberman conditioning?- and he’d had no choice. No choice. No choice. No-



Ianto looks up and away. There are eyes on him when they should only slide over him. There are eyes staring intently at him, seeing him, noticing him, and he freezes, unable to think, to function, to make himself move away and out of their line of sight. In the back of his mind he knows that he should smile that bland smile of his, give a self depreciating shrug and slink off into the shadows. Slip off to make coffee or tidy away the rubbish or something- anything- that will stop them all watching him but he can’t. He can’t move. There is a sluggishness to his thinking, to his ability to assess the situation and react accordingly, that other times would have alarmed him. Not so now. Now. Now he is stood in numbness. and. he. can’t. move.


Can’t… can’t… couldn’t save her. He couldn’t. Not when she’d needed him the most. Not when it mattered. And he’d- he’d had no choice- the gun in his hand before he knew it, aimed at her and she’d stared, only stared, banking on his devotion to override his morals, knowing he wouldn’t fire now of all times, not after everything he’d done to save her, assuming that his love was unquestionable, and she was right. Right up until the moment she was wrong.- he’d done what he had to. For her. For him. For the godforsaken world that had in its own way damned her to this fate from the start. And oh god… Lisa!

“Ianto!” The voice startles him back to the present, ripping him from the pain of memory to find Jack Harkness standing in front of him, his hands grasping at his shoulders in a bid to get his attention. There is a strange mix of curiosity and worry in the Captain’s eyes that make Ianto want to cringe away from the man but he can’t move. His body shakes and Jack says something to him. The words sound distant, garbled, he shakes his head and Jack’s grip only tightens but Ianto barely notices as he leans in, as if to hug, as if looking for comfort and in his own confusion Jack allows him the gesture.

Ianto’s hands move before his mind is able to process the command. He’s shoving Jack bodily away, watching the Captain stumble back in surprise that turns swiftly to horror as Ianto raises the gun quick fingers had the forethought to grab. He doesn’t hesitate. Doesn’t take a moment to consider the consequences of his actions. He doesn’t want to think because all that matters is being with her. He killed her. He’s cleaned up her mess. Hidden her body in the furthest recesses of the morgue and soon, so very soon, he’ll be with her again- they’d be whole again. Together.

His eyes stay open as he presses the gun to his temple, the safety off, and hears someone scream before he pulls the trigger and prays for it to all be over.

[ end. ]
[ written as part of Caspe-Wri-Mo ]

music: rootless tree § damien rice
absinthefairy88absinthefairy88 on November 3rd, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)

Poor baby.

Loved the story though. So sad but so perfect at the same time
Campaspe: Original \\ Kitty eyescs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much, darling :)

I'm sorry it made you sad, but I just couldn't resist writing this piece, as the episode it's centered around is one always at the forefront of my mind when I think of Torchwood. It's such a powerful episode and a part of me wants to explore every possible route it could have taken.

em615em615 on November 3rd, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
OMG! I could easily have seen the episode going that way! Wow!
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.12 \\ Remembering Lisacs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they've said that it was the plan to kill Ianto if in this episode (and omg aren't we do glad that they didn't!) but I've always wondered how that could have gone and take it as a huge compliment that you think this fic could have been the episode.

Thanks so much!
CS WhiteWolf
Georgie: Torchwood - Ianto (bang bang)indiefairy on November 3rd, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
::wibbles:: So damn sad :(

Heartbreakingly brilliant m'dear.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 1.12 \\ Ianto hurtcs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)

Thank you, darling! X) I'm rather glad that it seems to have struck a cord with everyone reading, t'was definitly my aim- even if everyone's all sad now, heh.

Rhi: kill the painvipersweb on November 3rd, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. Dark and angsty and just perfect. I like that Ianto at least acknowledges that he pushed the others away after he came to Three, that it is not just that they are uncaring. I also like that he takes care of Lisa. Wonderful to read this from Ianto's POV and his inability to deal with what he has done.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.05 \\ Killer Ianto... shocs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
I've always held the belief that it was Ianto who kept the others away, despite his yelling at Jack to the contrary. I think that whole "when did you last ask me anything about my life" thing was Ianto lashing out with hurt and desperation. Even though he'd pushed them all away, he still secretly (desperately) wanted them to acknowledge him. omg he's such a woobie XD

Thank you so much for reading! I just couldn't stop myself from writing this and taking a route I've not really seen anyone else take in regards to this episode. Ianto put so much into caring for Lisa, especially after Canary Warf, that having to face the end of it all? Well... it just couldn't go any other way.

Thanks again,
CS WhiteWolf
laurapetrilaurapetri on November 3rd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
OMG that was so how I thought the episode was going to go when I was watching except Jack stops him in time
Campaspe: Harry Potter \\ Snupin PWNcs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
(omg I can has a Snape? ::licks your icon::)

Thank you! That's such a great compliment, I'm really pleased that you think so! I am glad that the epsiode didn't go this way right enough, but it's still fun to explore all the possibilities.

CS WhiteWolf
Erin Giles: torchwood - we're gonna die in Switzerlaerin_giles on November 4th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
I'm not crying! Honest!! *bites lip to stop it from wobbling*

That was just heart breakingly beautiful hun! It's so believable that if they hadn't been alerted to the 'tourists' things could have gone exactly this way... and that just makes me sadder. Brilliantly different take on Cyberwoman!

Campaspe: Wolf \\ Snugglecs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
omg I made you cry!? ::glomps you so tight::

Sowwy? ::big watery eyes:: ...but on that same note, thank you! X) I just cannot help but take that as a good sign. I spent so long angsting over whether or not to post this piece that I'm just so psyched that it's had the intended reaction when read.

(no subject) - erin_giles on November 6th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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davidishot: Ianto black and whitedavidishot on November 4th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
That was so sad, but amazingly written.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ Earpiececs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for reading, I'm glad you enjoyed the writing, even if it made you a little sad :) ...but then that was my aim, so I'm not too sorry!

CS WhiteWolf
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Campaspe: Torchwood \\ SinCity \\ Almost...cs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)

Thank you for reading!
CS WhiteWolf
galaxy_song: xmasgalaxy_song on November 4th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
poor broken Ianto and now poor broken me:(

but you are on a roll and I'm loving it.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 1.13 \\ Woecs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
::pets you::

I do so love torturing my baby. He's so easy to play with that I cannot resist. I promise to put him back together again in another fic before promptly breaking him again.

Thanks, babi. Really glad you're enjoying! heh.
daylyn: Jack Ianto kiss pronounced squee_love_jadaylyn on November 4th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Whoa! That is awesome and angsty and just so damn wonderful.

OMG, you so perfectly described Ianto's numbness and horror and dread and loss and... did I mention this was awesome?

You did such a great job capturing his horror. And the ending *faints* Perfect and heartbreaking.

Beautifully done. You absolutely made me feel his pain and isolation.

(one little typo I noticed though: "...that he wanders if he even remembers how to be himself anymore." Should be "wonders", not "wanders". Oh, and I loved this line, btw. His feeling of absolutely having lost himself).

So, so heartwrenching. Um... I think I'm gushing now.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.05 \\ Crying in the Raincs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
::blushy face::

THANK YOU! omg. That is *everything* I wanted to get through, all his heartache and horror over what she's done, over what he'sdone, but also how he's disassociating himself with it all because the pain itself would be too much to cope with. Even his actions at the end are to show just how lost and alone he's feeling and how he only sees one way out of it all.

::smishes you tight. Gushing is so totally allowed! XD

(and thanks so much! should be fixed by the time you read this <33)

Thank you so much for reading, hun!
mrs_cj_harkness: GDL (Con)mrs_cj_harkness on November 4th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC)
Wow. That was unexpected, here I was expecting some Jack/Ianto/Andy, instead I not only get Ianto/Lisa, but also angst and heartbreak and death ::giggles::

Fantastic, I could really feel the emotions coming through and the ending ... well, I love my Ianto Jones :(
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.05 \\ Comforting Squeezecs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
::grins:: well, you know, it can't always be about the porn ;)

Thank you, darling! I'm glad it worked for you, it's such a relief to know that the story came across as I wanted it to.

Rose Catrose_cat on November 4th, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
Oh, that was powerful. Ouch. Beautifully written, but --oh. If TPTB had wanted to write him out, I doubt they could have done better than this.
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.10 \\ J&I; starecs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
X) thank you!

I love exploring the "what-if's" to episodes like this one, and I take it as a huge compliment that you think it would have made a good episode had they wanted him out of the show.

Thanks so much for reading!
CS WhiteWolf
zibal_01zibal_01 on November 4th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
I totally loved this story. Heart-breaking. Poor Ianto, so lost and alone. No way forward for him.

I would really like to see a follow-up. How does Jack cope with the second suicide in his team within weeks? Does he find out why Ianto did it?

Please, please write a follow-up!
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ Eh?cs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I have to admit that I did consider the idea of a sequel to this piece back when I was still flailing over the writing of it. I heard many arguments for and against the idea of Ianto surviving and sequels for either or scenario, but in the end decided that the story reads better solo and that any attempt to expand would detract from what I'd already established- that and whilst I have no bother writing Ianto, Jack is just too damn complicated! X)

I'm really pleased you liked this story, and that the emotions I was trying to convey came through, but alas this is all there will be to it.

Thanks so much for reading though!
CS WhiteWolf
The Cleaverage: iantokel_reiley on November 6th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
that was so painful and real
granted, i hate that ianto probably just died, but it was tragic and i could see that having happened
Campaspe: Torchwood \\ SinCity \\ Helluva time...cs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
..well now, isn't this refreshing! You're the first person to think that Ianto may not have died after all ;) very fitting considering I'm not too sure myself! Alas, it'll always be up to each reader to decide, but it's nice to know it's not just me X)

Thank you for reading!
CS WhiteWolf
(no subject) - kel_reiley on November 6th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Campaspe: Torchwood \\ 2.12 \\ (can't) touch thatcs_whitewolf on November 6th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad that all that came through to you when you read it, it's exactly what I was going for and makes me feel rather chuffed that I managed to get everything out with a bit of coherence! :D

CS WhiteWolf