a/n: spoilers for Torchwood Series Two finale.
The church is empty, save for one. In a pew at the back of the room sits a man with his head bent in prayer. He does not acknowledge the creaking of heavy oak doors as they are opened and closed, not the soft squelch of wet footsteps as they tread their way with an unsteady pace towards the alter of candles at the front of the church.
Ianto’s hand shakes as he lights first one then two of the candles and falls to his knees where he stands. Tears streak down his face and mingle with the rain water already dripping from his hair as he turns his face heavenwards and bites back the sob sitting at the tip of his tongue.
His fingers curl firmly into one another as he presses his palms together, he grips until his knuckles turn white and his hands twinge with the hurt; he feels none of it, not in comparison to the hurt eating away at his very core, nor the pain of loss and grief that is tearing up his soul and wrenching at his heart with every aching breath he heaves through tightly clenching teeth.
Why God? He wants to yell and cry and curse the heavens. Why? They’re dead. Dead and gone and he cannot help but consider for even a moment the possibility that he is cursed in some way, that maybe there is someone up there playing a really sick and cosmic joke on him. Canary Warf was hard. Losing Lisa harder. Now Toshiko and Owen are gone and he just wants a goddamned answer as to why. Must he lose everyone he loves? Must he carry this never-ending grief inside of him for an eternity and beyond?
He looks to the flicker of the candles he has lit and closes his eyes. He’s lost track of how many souls he’s come here to pray for. He wonders if maybe he should have lit one for himself. He lifts his joined hands to his mouth and whispers words of prayer into his white-knuckled grip, he stutters and gasps over those words but the meaning- the desperation, he is sure- filters though.
A clap of thunder overhead and the door behind his slams wide open. Ianto twists on his knees, hands grappling instinctively for a firearm he does not carry, eyes growing wide with disbelief as the man he spotted upon entering the church stands now in the open doorway, a beige trench coat flapping wildly with the wind and rain blowing in from the outside.
A flash of lightning and Ianto gasps aloud as the shadow of wings paint themselves across the length of the building, large and outstretched and Ianto’s hands fall limply to his sides as he watches- powerless to move- as the being walks towards him, his pace steady and measured till he stops before Ianto and stares down at him without expression.
The- angel, Ianto is half-convinced already, it’s a feeling, a deep-rooted need to believe what his eyes are telling him is the truth- it reaches down to him, a palm laid gently upon his crown and Ianto shudders, eyes wide and desperate as he stares up into the fathomless blues of the gaze meeting his own.
“Ianto Jones,” the voice is calm and measured and Ianto holds his breath to hear every enunciation as he speaks, “you have not been forsaken,” he says and the words wash over him like a benediction, “this hurt, it will not last forever,” Ianto shivers at the words, at the promise in them.
“God has a plan for you yet, Ianto Jones. Believe.” He is gone then, in the blink of an eye, and Ianto is left staring down the length of an empty church.
Unseen, behind him, a third candle springs to life and flickers in the wind.