Characters: Ianto, Adam
Challenge/Prompt: fanfic100, 066. Rain
Rating: PG-15 (to be on the safe side)
Word Count: 1716
Spoilers: 2x05 Adam
Warnings: Violence, murder
Summary: You don’t know you have the strength until the moment your fingers find her windpipe and push.
Author’s Notes: Title was actually the title of a poem I wrote when I was like thirteen... Which I have sadly lost so I can't even laugh at the potential emo-ness of it.
You don’t know you have the strength until the moment your fingers find her windpipe and push.
One too many days being ignored and taken for a granted by a boss you want to kiss you and who won’t, and by a team who all have their little games and their little smiles and in-jokes and you’re not one of them. There was a time when you would have given anything to be one of them, to laugh like them, to be a fucking hero like them. Instead, you’ve wound up delegated to the paper cuts, to the coffee pots, to the stale innuendo that isn’t funny any more. And now you think you never wanted to be one of them anyway.
She makes this sound like a plea for mercy, spitting between her lips like desperation, and you press harder because you don’t like it, she should be quiet. Shhhh. She must’ve been to a library before; she must know what this part entails.
Jack is all glossy teeth and blue eyes except for the days when Adam gets near him and then he’s quiet and indecisive and it’s up to Adam and Gwen to cover. Your leader, screwed up like an old newspaper, words printed backwards and faded. Because he’s oh so damaged, haunted by a past he won’t talk about to anyone but Adam, and it’s strange because if you were running an organisation like Torchwood you would not appoint a near-psychotic man with a past so complicated he won’t even let himself remember most of it.
Of course, your opinion doesn’t matter around here, and they’ve all made that painfully obvious. Oh, they’ll laugh at you, and even with you when you throw yourself down and play the role of the court jester because at least then you’re not excluded, but it’s only too palpable how disinterested they really are. You’re just Ianto, who really doesn’t feel anything at all, but makes bloody lovely coffee.
It’s not enough. And you’re sick of the fact none of them will look at you.
Her mouth moves but she’s almost silent now, she can’t breathe because you’re cutting off her air, and you’ve never had the power over someone like this before. Jack put you on your knees with a gun and ordered you to kill your beloved; but you’ve never done that to anyone until now. Her eyes are fearful and you’re all that she can see and you… oh, to her, you’re everything.
Did they think that you wouldn’t snap? Did they think that you wouldn’t fall apart eventually? Of course you’re going to fall, slip, lose yourself. Looking for validation, because God knows you’re not going to get it from your teammates. Owen, who can hardly walk for tripping over his own feet, can’t see anything if Tosh is in the same room. Fat lot of good he is. And Tosh herself, who laughs and flaunts Adam and the way he touches her in every single meeting, eyes shining, enjoying the way Owen follows her around like a puppy.
Torchwood is selfish, full of selfish people. You think it’s about time you took the time to be selfish too.
Rain is getting in your eyes, and it’s already dim in the alley. Her legs are giving way beneath her, and although you’re not exactly emaciated or anything, you didn’t know you were strong enough to kill a woman. Her lips open one last time, though she’s too weak to plead and there’s nothing left in her to produce a scream. You like it, pressing your wet forehead against hers, the two of you streaming with water, as her last breath escapes against your face.
You can’t find the key to being happy again. You lost Lisa, watched her shot down and bloody by the people who later told you that they were your friends. Adam said a lot of things about it being for the best, but you think that he was wrong because you’re alone now, and falling apart and doing things that you shouldn’t simply because you don’t know what you need to make it all ok again.
You are sick and tired of disdain, of assumption, of ignorance.
You want the team to realise who you are, and what you’re capable of.
Years ago, you read in a book that a body loses twenty-one grams in weight when it dies, but perhaps that doesn’t include the rain because she’s so heavy when she finally falls slack in your arms. Her clothes are drenched, her face is pale and beads of water roll down it. Her hair is stuck, damp, to her skin. Repulsion fills you, you step back, and she falls awkwardly to the concrete.
It hasn’t always been like this, but Torchwood gets under your skin and rips you apart and it’s so exhausting. You have to let off steam somehow. Jack is crazy in the strangest of ways but you’ve seen him cry, and Tosh releases her tension with Adam and Owen does these weird experiments that no one understands and laughs in a way that sounds more like a hacking cough some days, and Gwen seems to have a never-ending supply of cheerful that you hate her for.
You need to snap your tension somehow, and this is how you’re going to do it. Taking the old Ianto Jones that they don’t understand, and pulling him apart.
It’s not as though anyone will miss him.
When her body leaves your hands the panic sets in, and your legs fold. You knew what you were doing when her neck was twisting in her hands, but now things are different and the guilt is sharp in your throat, like knives. That’s how you should have killed her, quick and merciful with the rainwater around to wash away the evidence, but… but it would have been so much messier. You have enough mess in your daily life, you don’t need it in your release.
They humour you because they think you’re unstable. Of course, you are unstable, but not in the way that they think. They think that you’ll burst out crying in the basement if they don’t keep an eye on you and smile with all their false niceties, but the truth is that their pretence is the part that makes you snap and break apart. Some honesty, some truth, that’s what you crave.
But you want them to know that this is what you’re doing, because you want them to keep themselves awake at night, wondering if they could have prevented it.
You don’t remember calling Adam, but you must have done because your phone is in pieces on the pavement and he finds you rocking and sobbing in the water. It’s funny, because you bloody wanted it when she was gasping soundlessly against you. Now, you can’t seem to reconcile what you wanted and what you did in your head. Adam appears at your side, red hair dripping with water. “Stand up,” he orders. “It’s going to be ok Ianto. After all, it’s hardly the first time, is it?”
Oh, right. You’ve done this before, twice before actually, you entice them out of bars and shut them up with a vicious grin on your face. And Owen looks sad when the unrecognisable bodies are pulled out of the rivers, and you look appropriately sombre and offer him extra mugs of coffee.
And Adam is always there, to help you pick up the bodies.
Silly of you to forget, really.
You and Adam drag the woman’s body – you don’t know her name, but you’re sure you’ll find it out when Tosh looks up her identity in a week or so’s time – to the SUV, load her into the back. Adam never admonishes you, and he never tells Jack even though you’re sure he ought to. He’s the only one you can trust.
This is what they have driven you to; killing in alley ways like a Welsh Jack The Ripper. Only not. Because that would be too messy and too noisy and Jack would find you and kill you for sure. But you’re sick of what your life has become and this is what you do, because it’s this or crack and kill yourself and take half the team with you.
Adam smiles like he always does, patting your shoulder, and you wonder why the hell he lets you get away with this. “We’d better go,” he says, “We’ll stick her in the Bay and I’ll take you for a drink, mate, how about that?” You nod numbly, and try to remember what you’re doing here. Right, she was dying under your hands, but you remember it like a movie, with none of the touches, with none of the feeling. Your vision blurs.
They drove you to it, of course they did.
Except that you’re not sure why you still hate them the way you used to, because Jack asked you out and once you’d dealt with Owen by shooting him he got a lot less cocky.
… But Jack won’t look at you and you can’t think of any logical reason as to why you’d shoot Owen, he’s too weedy and quiet to be worth the effort.
What the hell is going on?
What the hell is going on?
No, you’re imagining things, it must be the stress or some weird alien artefact Tosh pulled open that’s short-circuited all your heads. Of course the team have no real place for you, of course what you do doesn’t matter, not really, not in the scheme of things. You’ve saved more lives than you’ve taken, you’re still winning.
Maybe all this is getting to you more than you originally thought. Maybe you really are crazy, imagining things about the team that cannot possibly be true.
It’s their fault, and you bloody love the feeling of life falling apart beneath your hands.
“You ok?” Adam asks as you get into the car beside him. You nod; of course you’re fine, this isn’t the first time you’ve done this and it won’t be the last. He smiles. “Good.”
You close your eyes and hear her screaming. It feels… all right. You’ve made your choice, after all.