Jack Harkness makes a promise;
part 1, part 2;
Jack Harkness, Fem!Ianto Jones;
PG-Rated; Coda “Almost Perfect”; 1230words;
For erin_giles who wanted a "happier" woobie
(an endevour I've no doubt failed in XD)
It took a long while to calm Ianto down. The shock at not having woken up in the body he longed so desperately to be back in broke through the usually iron barriers of his control; emotions he’d fought so hard to keep inside since this whole fiasco started, began pouring forth in wave after wave of despair as he finally allowed the full scale of being stuck in a female body hit him.
It was a messy sight to behold. And it hurt so goddamned much to watch as Ianto broke down, unable- and perhaps no longer wanting- to keep it all inside anymore. He’d collapsed into Jack’s arms, his tears falling upon his flesh in hot splashes, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps as he tried to suck in the lungful of air determined to escape him. The sobbing had started shortly after; words garbled and nonsensical, but all his half-choked sounds of pain and would-be words hit at Jack like a blow to the stomach, a knife twisting in his heart as all he could do was wrap his arms about his lover and hold him as tight as he possibly could. Arms firm, hands clenching, heart breaking as he tried to make things all better through the mere power of his touch.
And he’d never felt more useless in his life. When Ianto’s legs had failed him, Jack wasted no time in lifting the young man- woman- into his arms. Ianto kept his face buried against Jack’s neck, his lips moving in a constant muttering against his skin as he carried him the few steps from the bathroom back to the bed. Coaxing Ianto into it had resulted only in him turning his back on Jack, curling in on himself and proceeding to muffle his cries against his pillow.
Jack slipped into the bed beside Ianto. He hesitated a moment only before reaching out towards his lover and coaxing him to turn back towards him; tucking his face against the crook of his neck and holding him close once again as he whispered sweet nothings and promises about how they’d find a way to make things better into Ianto's unhearing ears. He’d make things better for Ianto. Whatever it took, he’d made it all better.
About an hour later or so, Ianto had managed to cried himself into exhaustion. Jack himself inconspicuously wiped any trace of grief from his own face as he shifted the young man- woman- in his arms till he could look down upon his- her- face only to find that once bright-blue eyes were dulled now with a depression he didn’t know how to lift.
Jack stroked his fingers over Ianto’s cheeks; his tears had dried thickly upon them, and his eyes and nose were reddened from the last hour and a bit of constant sobbing and sniffling. And still he- she- looked completely gorgeous. He couldn’t imagine how hard it must for Ianto. To be stuck in an unfamiliar body was terrible enough. To be stuck in a body so perfect it actually resented the mind controlling it, that too was pretty damn horrific. But to have been promised the return to his own natural form after long days of fearing the worst (that he’d never ever be back to himself, imperfections and all), only to awaken and find that promise had been naught but a lie? Jack couldn’t even pretend to understand the culture shock. The alien sensation of it all. The pain and the betrayal.
And though he’s promised that he will do everything in his power, Jack honestly doesn’t know how he’s going to fix this. And he wonders- and fears- if either of them will survive it. No. He won't think it. They will survive this. The have to. They must.
“Hey,” he whispers softly, watching as Ianto’s eyes flicker into focus upon his own. A lone tear slips from one of Ianto’s eyes and Jack is quick to catch it with his thumb. Ianto bites at lips that tremble and Jack closes his eyes momentarily with the hurt of seeing Ianto so broken.
“‘M sorry,” Ianto whispers back a heartbeat later; his voice is hoarse from crying. His left hand is fisted upon Jack’s chest as he lies cocooned between his arms and the duvet Jack has wrapped about them both.
“Don’t be sorry,” Jack leans in to kiss at Ianto’s forehead but Ianto tips his head back and catches Jack’s mouth with his own. When they part, Jack tastes the salt of Ianto’s tears upon his lips. He lifts his hand from Ianto’s cheek and strokes it through the full length of his hair- hair that never looks out of place, no matter how much of a rough-and-tumble it ends up in- and he smiles sadly.
“I should have known it was too good to be true,” Ianto says after a moment and Jack shakes his head, tries to put a finger over Ianto’s pouting lips but he shakes Jack’s hand away. “No. I should have.” He shakes his own head and drops his face to Jack’s chest, hugging Jack to him.
“Last night,” he continues, his voice softer than before, “I let you explore this body- I wanted you to help me enjoy this body for the first time before I lost it forever. I let myself believe that for one night, my life wasn’t nearly as fucked up as it actually is. I let myself believe that this… this hell would be over with when we woke up. But it’s not, Jack,” his words hitched on Jack’s name and Jack’s arms tightened. “It’s not and I don’t know… I don’t want…” He shook his head again and lapsed into silence.
Jack kissed at his crown before rubbing a hand over his own face.
“Ianto,” he tried to speak. Ianto lifted a hand to press over Jack’s mouth, stilling further speech.
“Don’t.” And there was that lifelessness in his eyes again, a look that sparked a deep fear and a sudden fury in Jack.
“No, you don’t!” He hissed out, suddenly angry. He pushed himself upwards, leaning down over Ianto- his body more powerfully obvious and overwhelming against the lithe fragility of Ianto’s current form and despite the flash of nervousness in Ianto’s eyes at the change come over him, Jack refused to back down.
“Don’t you dare give up on me, Ianto Jones,” he demanded, his words fierce and commanding. He touched at Ianto’s cheek again- fingers soft and contradictory to his mood, Ianto’s own hand lifted to clutch at those same fingers with desperation shining upon his face. “Don’t you dare,” Jack repeated, “we will find a cure. We will fix this in any and every way we can find to fix this. I will not see you suffer like this, Ianto. I cannot watch you fall away into misery. I won’t watch you give up before the fight’s even begun.”
“I’ve been fighting this for weeks!” Ianto ventured, fingers tightening. Jack bent his head and kissed him hard- once, twice, his lips demanding and Ianto succumbed himself to the kiss, both needing and wanting the contact though at the same time despising his- this- body’s reaction to it. He pulled away first, breathing deeply.
“Yes,” Jack agreed, kissing Ianto quickly once more, “but now I’ll be fighting it with you.”
[ end. ]
[ written as part of Caspe-Wri-Mo ]