24 April 2015 @ 02:11 pm
Fic: Last of the Rift Born (2/?)  
Title: Last of the Rift Born (2/? Probably about 10)
Rating: Adult over all – this part PG.
Word count: This part 1875. Total will be at least 20k.
Pairing. Jack/Ianto
Contains: Mention of canon character death (Ianto – but this is a fix-it fic, so not permanent) and temporary Jack death in later part.

Summary: Alone in the House of the Dead Ianto has a choice to make. The result of which will change his life forever. (Set directly after Jack leaves in House of the Dead radio play.)

Starts here: http://the-silver-sun.livejournal.com/247907.html#cutid1





Ianto groaned and rolled over. Blinking in the bright sunlight, he looked up at a dazzling emerald green sky and the world's two suns shining down hotly on him. Definitely not Earth then, he decided. It was disappointing, although he'd already known that the chances of the Rift returning him home had been negligible at best.

Feeling dizzy and disconnected, Ianto got unsteadily to his feet and looked around. There was no sign of habitation or life anywhere. He took a shaky breath, trying to calm himself. All around him pale, pastel coloured sand stretched out to the horizon. The monotony of it was broken only by the occasional towering rock formation; the outcrops of honey coloured stone scoured by sand and wind into twisted spires and strange, sinuous curves.

What if the entire planet was like this? A completely barren land with no life, water or food and no means of escape. He shivered despite the heat. He was a dead man on a dead world.

Only he didn't feel dead. He'd not felt dead when he'd been in the House of the Dead either, it had only been Jack and Siriath who'd told him that he was. Ianto closed his eyes, trying to fight off the feeling of absolute helplessness that threatened to overwhelm him. Falling apart now was not an option, not if he wanted to find out what had happened or survive.

The heat was oppressive and Ianto was sure he was starting to get sunburn across his nose and on the back of his neck as he opened his eyes again. He wondered whether ghosts could get sunburnt. Logically the answer should be no. Ghosts weren't real and even if they were they certainly had no physical body which could get sunburnt. Or bruised for that matter, although the discomfort in his shoulders said otherwise.

Knowing his luck of late, Ianto thought dejectedly, he'd end up being the exception to the rule. It certainly wasn't worth standing around to find out and so he started to walk over to the nearest outcrop of rock. The sand was fine and loose under his shoes, making them sink in slightly with each step, the sun baked grains hot against his feet where they tipped in over the sides and into his socks.

Eventually he reached the twisted stone structure and sat down in the deepest part of shade he could find. Leaning back against the rock, Ianto let the coolness of the stone soothe his aching shoulders.

He felt a little better than he had when he'd first woken up, which was surprising as he'd just walked about half a mile in baking heat. He frowned. Too many questions were crowding in now that he'd stopped walking and had time to think. Had it really just woken up or was revived a better description? Was he was still a ghost? He didn't think he felt like a ghost. Not that he had any real experience of ghosts apart from what Gwen had told him about Eugene Jones and none of that seemed to apply to his current circumstances. He certainly hadn't had a Dogon's third eye with him in the House of the Dead.

He prodded a finger against his arm and then against the sand scoured rock. He was as solid as it was, definitely no ghostly insubstantialness there. He could feel the heat of the suns on his skin and the wind in his hair. He ran sand through his fingers, feeling its coarse and gritty texture. He was tired, thirsty and was going to develop some spectacular bruises across his back and shoulders where he'd struck the door if the way they ached was anything to go by. No, Ianto decided, all in all, he really didn't feel like a ghost.

Nor was he anything like Owen had been in his zombiefied state. He hadn't been able to feel anything or breathe or sweat or feel thirsty. He stopped and pressed a finger to his neck. He could feel a pulse. Not a zombie then either. That was a relief really given what life or rather unlife had been like for Owen.

So if he wasn't dead, that only really left being alive. Yet it wasn’t as simple as that. He'd been dead and buried for who knows how long and then he'd been a ghost, so even if he was now somehow alive again, the chances of being completely, normally human again probably weren't all that high.

It scared him, if he was honest with himself. There were too many questions that he had absolutely no way of answering and the desolate nature of the world he'd found himself in meant that he might very well die there before he got answers to anything. Could he die? There was another question right there. He'd died once already, could he die again? And if not would he age? Could he get sick? What would happen if he got badly hurt, but couldn't die? Would he continue to survive in terrible, unending pain or, given time, could he heal any damage?

Shaking, Ianto covered his face with his hands. He liked to think of himself as self-sufficient, that he didn't need anybody and most of the time he knew that was true. Right now, though he wanted Jack. He wanted to talk to him, to be able to bounce ideas back and forth until they found the solution or at least a few answers. He wanted Jack to put an arm around him and tell him some outrageous story to take his mind off his current situation and then kiss him and let him know that somehow things would be alright in the end.

He thought of Jack as he'd been in the House of the Dead, grief stricken and so weary with life that he'd wanted it all to end and he really hadn't cared how it did. Jack needed somebody to comfort him just as much as he did right now, maybe even more so. It hurt to think of Jack being so desperately unhappy and knowing that there was nothing that he could do to help and that he was at least in part, a cause of some of that unhappiness.

Ianto rubbed his eyes, determined not to cry. It never seemed to make him feel any better when he did and without anything to drink something that would increase dehydration was definitely best avoided.

He had known for some time that Jack saw his immortality as a curse than a blessing, and although Jack had appeared to be dealing with it better since he'd found the Doctor, Ianto was that those feelings had never really gone away. The deaths of Owen and Tosh and the situation with Gray had hit Jack incredibly hard and there had been times when Ianto had wondered how Jack hadn't broken down under the strain of it all.

Losing everybody you'd ever known or cared about was the worst part of the curse of immortality, Jack had been very certain about that. What if he really was like Jack now? Would he be able to cope with it? He knew Jack had hated the idea of anybody else becoming like him. When it had looked like being a possibility for Suzie he said he'd rather have killed her than let her suffer it. So what would Jack think of him? Would it bring them closer or drive them apart?

Ianto shook his head trying to clear his thoughts, knowing that it wouldn't help to dwell on it. He could do that later, once he'd survived. What he needed right now was a plan. There was little to be gained from walking in the fierce heat apart from possible sunburn and probable heatstroke, so although he had no idea of how long a day lasted on the world he was on, Ianto decided to wait for nightfall before trying to find food, water and, with any luck, a way off the planet and back to Jack.

Darkness might help with finding habitation as well, he decided, as if there were any houses nearby he'd stand a better chance of seeing any lights, even if it were just a glow on the horizon. It would at least give him something to aim for in otherwise featureless desert.

After taking off his suit jacket and folding it into a pillow, Ianto lay down in the little shade the rock formation provided and waited for it to grow dark. Exhausted, he closed his eyes, and in a short time was asleep.


-X-X-X-


One of the suns had already set when Ianto woke and the second sun was low on the horizon, casting long shadows from the rock formation across the cooling sand.

Sitting up, he realised that his shoulders hurt less. The discomfort now just the dull tug of old bruises, rather than the deep ache that he'd come to associate with fresh, deep bruising. What that meant in terms of his newly not exactly dead status he couldn't say, so he decided to be grateful for the fact that he could move without pain. He was still thirsty though and Ianto knew that he really needed to find water tonight if he was to survive.

The heat of the day had subsided to a more comfortable level Ianto found as he left the shade of the rock shelter. There were still no signs of life anywhere around him, not so much as an insect or reptile seemed to make this desert its home.

The rocks didn't look too difficult or dangerous to climb. So hoping that the extra height might allow him to see something or someone who could help him and with the light from the second sun fading fast Ianto climbed as high as he could safely manage up the stone outcrop.

He stopped twenty feet or so above the desert and looked around. There still didn't seem to be any signs of life, but unwilling to admit defeat Ianto decided to wait until it got darker in the hope of seeing a distant light that might be too dim to be seen by day.

The remaining sun set rapidly, creating a sunset that was brief but spectacular. The stars were brighter than he'd ever seen them, whether it was because of the lack of light pollution or whether the planet had a very thin atmosphere Ianto couldn't say. The moon when it finally rose was near full. A huge, pale golden disc that seemed to rise out of the desert sands.

Ianto was about to climb down and head in the direction of the brightest of the stars when he saw it. A small red glow just to the side of a distant rocky outcrop. It flickered in a way that Ianto associated with open flames, although whether in this case it was just wishful thinking he wasn't certain.

It was however the only thing that he'd so far seen that offered even the faintest possibility of help. Hoping that whoever the light belonged to was friendly, Ianto climbed down and set out across the desert.

Part 3: http://the-silver-sun.livejournal.com/248327.html