anduria_trianys (anduria_trianys) wrote,
anduria_trianys
anduria_trianys

We Could Be Heroes 3/30

Title: We Could Be Heroes 3/30
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, John/Nick, Gwen/Rhys
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Rhys, John Hart and a cast of (probably!) thousands.
Spoilers: Set after Exit Wounds. Sequel to 'Will My Arms Be Strong Enough?'
Rating: Adult - it's going to get very dark in some places.
Warnings: Slash, language, angst, dark themes.
Summary: Nick's sister gets married.
Disclaimer: I'm a student. I don't own Torchwood.


The Master List (as it stands) is here:
anduria-trianys.livejournal.com/27610.html#cutid1

Chapter 3

One week later…

Ianto rested his hand against his cheek as he listened to the words of the speeches buzzing around him, mingling with each other. He knew he should be paying attention, but all he could see was Catrin Jones – Catrin Ashford now, he reminded himself – gazing up at her new husband with an expression of rapture on her face.

He knew that he should feel proud of her for going ahead with the ceremony, so soon after what had happened to her brother, but he didn’t. Instead, as he focused on the green trimming on her ivory wedding dress, all he could feel was anger that she could even have considered cancelling the wedding when it was clear that Nick would never have wanted that. He hated that he had been the one to tell her that, hated that it had brought home the fact that he had known her brother better than she did.

And, most of all, he hated that he felt guilty for it. He knew that there was no reason for it and yet it was there, gnawing at his insides and causing him pain. He suddenly wished that he hadn’t been so insistent that Jack stayed at the Hub with the girls. Right now, never mind what anyone else thought, he needed someone beside him who he could trust; someone to support him.

Suddenly, he realised that all the guests around him had stood up and were raising their glasses in a toast. It was a few minutes before he realised what was being said, but when he did, he instantly jumped to his feet and rushed onto the small stage that had been set up beside the dance floor. Wordlessly, he pulled a CD out of his pocket and handed it to the DJ before stepping up to the microphone.

As he listened to the twanging sounds of the guitars, he allowed his gaze to sweep across the room before gripping the microphone stand and letting the words flow.

“And the light of a fading star
Is what you were, is what you are.
Like the glow that christens the moon,
You shone to soon, you shone too soon.

Oh when will this war be over?
And the madness leaves the air?
This brick that's found between us
And the pulling of the hair.”


He didn’t look at anyone in particular when the first words flowed from his lips. Instead, he allowed his eyes to drift across the tables, never lingering too long, just long enough to take in how their expressions were shadowed by the flickering candlelight. At that moment, he could have been literally anywhere, but he knew that the words were right for the moment.

“But if there's a reason
I don't need to know right now.

And the light of a fading star
Is what you were, is what you are.
Like the glow that christens the moon
You shone too soon, you shone too soon.”


The spotlight flew into his face, causing him to wince slightly and half-close his eyes for several seconds as he grew used to the bright glare. When he did, however, he removed the microphone from the stand and calmly walked into the pool of light, this time fixing his gaze on the top table – or, more specifically, on the astonished, yet beautiful, face of the bride. He felt a sharp pang in his chest as, for the first time, he realised the resemblance between Catrin and her brother. Before, he barely given it a passing thought, but now it suddenly hit him and reminded him of exactly why he was standing up on the stage doing what he was doing.

“Volunteers are soon forgotten
And many more of us shall die.
The sick still feed the hungry
And the last battle song has cried.

But if there's a reason
I don't need to know right now.”


He knew that no one here needed to be reminded of just how much Nick had meant to Ianto. That had been made clear so many times; in the little moments, such as their childhood games in the old tailors shop, and in the more important events, such as when Nick had asked Ianto to be little Trevyn’s godfather.

Not to mention how he risked his life to help me get Lisa out of Canary Wharf and how he stood by me when she died,
he mused to himself. He would never forget how, when he had turned up at the hospital exhausted and distraught, Nick had instantly called for someone to cover for him and had taken Ianto home and stayed by his side…and also given Jack a rather impressive bruise to go with the cut lip Ianto had given him earlier.

“And the light of a fading star
Is what you were, is what you are.
Like the glow that christens the moon
You shone too soon, you shone too soon.

Oh and I always thought
That you, you wanted me.
Oh and I always thought some how
That you, you wanted me.”


Ianto paused to catch his breath, letting the wild music fly over him. Suddenly, he felt as if he was outside, the music becoming gusts of wind, surging through him and giving him the energy and strength to carry on. As that thought dawned on him, he felt his heart jump in his chest as he caught sight of a familiar figure standing in the doorway, his hair as perfect as ever and the familiar chain of his pocket watch glinting from his waistcoat.

So you came,
he thought, the initial shock giving way to joy and gratitude and the dull ache of loneliness that had been gnawing away at him for most of the day began to ease slightly.

“Ahhh, but if there's a reason
I don't need to know right now.

'Cause beyond the pale eyes' evening
And the shadow of the cloud.”


Eventually, as he came to the end of the song, Ianto noticed that his heart was beating so fast he almost expected it to burst out of his chest. However, he brushed his hair out of his eyes and belted out the final words.

“And the light of a fading star
Is what you were, is what you are.
Like the glow that christens the moon
You shone too soon, you shone too soon.

And the light of a fading star
Is what you were, is what you are.”


When the final chords faded, Ianto leaned on the microphone stand and picked up his champagne glass from the floor. “To absent friends,” he said breathlessly.

Catrin raised one eyebrow briefly before she nodded. “Absent friends,” she echoed. We need to talk later, she mouthed at Ianto, who gulped and nodded before hopping off the stage and making his way through the stunned crowds towards Jack.

“I saw you come in,” he whispered. “Is everything all right?”

“Everything’s fine.” Jack smiled. “The girls practically threw me back onto the lift after they promised me that they’d call me if there was an emergency.” He wrapped an arm around Ianto’s waist. “I was impressed with your singing, although I didn’t think you were into that kind of music.”

“I’m not,” admitted Ianto. “But that song is one of Nick’s favourites. And no, I really don’t need to know if you’ve slept with any of the members of the band.”

Jack raised an eyebrow, but didn’t push him. “So, where’s the bride gone off to then? I thought I might just go and grab a quick dance with her.” He tapped his feet, revealing that he had changed from his usual brown boots into a pair of highly polished black patent leather shoes.

Ianto’s mouth twitched slightly. “She’s over there,” he said. “Just make sure I get a turn at helping you break in those dancing shoes!” he called out as his lover half-walked and half-glided off.

Jack chuckled softly when he heard Ianto’s voice calling after him. “Don’t worry!” he threw casually back. “I wouldn’t make you go through a wedding without one dance from the champion!” Without waiting for a reply, he walked up to Catrin, who was dancing with a small boy who he suddenly realised was Nick’s son.

“Hi, Junior!” he said, smiling and bending down to the little boy’s height. “What say you go dance with your Uncle Ianto while I whisk your Auntie off her feet?” He chuckled as Trevyn gave a cheerful laugh and scurried over to Ianto before he straightened up and holding out a hand to Catrin. “May I have this dance?”

The bride took his hand with a smile. “You may indeed, Captain,” she said with a blush, making Jack feel a pang inside as he registered the resemblance between her and Nick. Forcing the painful thoughts aside, he wrapped his arm round her waist and led her across the dance floor.

“You look gorgeous,” he complimented her. “David’s a lucky man.”

“I know he is,” she agreed. “And I’m a lucky woman.” She tucked a loose curl behind her ear and stumbled slightly on her train. “Admittedly, he didn’t pick the best dancer.”

Jack laughed softly and helped her stand upright again. “I’m glad you didn’t cancel the wedding today,” he admitted quietly. “Nick wouldn’t have wanted that.”

“Ianto said the same thing. Our friends thought we were going to postpone the wedding, but we spoke to Ianto and he told us not to. He said Nick would want us to get on with our lives.”

“And he was right.”

Catrin frowned slightly. “What happened to him, Jack?” she asked. “You know the whole truth. I know you do. Tell me.”

Jack swallowed slightly. “Catrin –”

“Don’t blow me off, Jack. I’ve had enough of being lied to now. Nick couldn’t even tell me what he did for a living. Little Trev is starting to ask what’s happened to his dad.”

She dropped her voice, but there was a cold edge to it. “Two of your colleagues came to my flat the day after it happened and neither of them could tell me what happened to my brother!”

~*~

Ianto walked outside, carrying Trevyn in the crook of his arm. There was a faint wind springing up, but, considering that it was only the middle of March, it was still fairly warm and he soon found himself loosening his tie and unfastening the top button on his shirt.

“Uncle Ianto?” Trevyn’s little voice cut through Ianto’s thoughts. His large brown eyes gazed innocently upwards from underneath a fluffy auburn fringe.

“What is it, Trev?” Ianto asked, forcing back a small murmur when he suddenly realised just how much his godson looked like Nick.

The toddler’s eyes grew larger as he started looking around, his bottom lip trembling. “He not here, is he?” he whimpered. “Not here?”

“What d’you mean?” asked Ianto, tilting his head slightly. “Who’s not here?” To his surprise and dismay, however, Trevyn started whimpering even louder and his eyes began to fill with tears as he gripped onto the lapel on Ianto’s jacket.

“Hey,” he cooed softly, dropping a kiss into the boy’s hair. “What’s wrong? Who’s not here, kiddo? Who are you looking for?” He suppressed a shudder, suspecting that he actually knew the answer perfectly well, but wasn’t able to say it. “Talk to me, mate…talk to Uncle Ianto.”

“Da…Daddy,” stammered Trevyn, hiding his face in Ianto’s shoulder, his small body shaking. “Where he gone…he not here…Daddy…Daddy…” The words were fading as his voice became taken over by gasping sobs and he gripped Ianto’s jacket tightly in his small hands.

“Shhh,” whispered Ianto, cradling him gently and rocking him. “Shhh, Trev; it’s okay.” He rubbed his godson’s back gently, singing a lullaby to him, but he felt a sharp pang in his chest when the only result was the dampness of the boy’s tears hitting his jacket as he cried for his father.

Silently, he grimaced. Damn you, Nick Jones, he thought to himself. Damn you and your self-sacrificing habits…

Eventually, Trevyn looked up, his rosy cheeks stained with tears and his mouth trembling. “Uncle Ianto…does Daddy still love us?”

Ianto blinked several times. “Why would you ask that?”

“He’s not here.” The answer came as if it was obvious. “He’s stopped coming to see us…doesn’t that mean he doesn’t love us any more?”

Ianto took a few moments to recover and compose himself after hearing those words. “Oh, Trev,” he whispered, “I don’t know who told you that, but it’s certainly not true. Your daddy loves you very much…and that’s why he had to go away.”

“He left us…because he loves us?” Trevyn looked scared and confused, tears still filling his eyes and running down his cheeks.

“Yes, he does.” A different voice cut into the conversation and Ianto turned around to see his uncle Evan, Catrin and Nick’s father, beside him, a weak smile on his aged face. “He loves you very much – more than I think even he knows.”

But Trevyn still wasn’t content. “But…where’s Daddy gone?” he whimpered, his lower lip trembling even more.

Ianto took a deep breath and exchanged a quick look with his uncle before he lent in and wiped the tears off his nephew’s cheek, feeling himself welling up, but fighting it all back for the sake of his godson. "Daddy had to go away with John. They got called away on an urgent mission. He didn't get time to tell me where he's gone."

He watched another tear roll down Trevyn’s face before it hit his shoulder, splashing into the wet patch that was already there. "But the one thing I do know is that he loves you and misses you very much – you and your sister."

“That’s right,” Evan chipped in with a smile that didn’t hide the haunted look in his eyes as he gently gathered his grandson in his arms and stroked his hair. “And he will come home one day.”

Ianto stared at his uncle incredulously, but quickly swallowed the words he would have said, knowing that now wasn’t the time or the place. “And I know you’re going to get sick of hearing this, Trev,” he remarked, managing a small laugh as he realised that the little boy was starting to fall asleep. “But you really do look like your daddy.”

He waited until Trevyn was properly asleep before he turned to his uncle. “Why did you say that?!” he hissed angrily. “How can you know that Nick’s going to come back? I don’t even know if he’s going to come back!”

Evan looked firmly at him. “I know my son, Ianto,” he said. “And I know that he’ll find a way back here again.” He smiled sadly and started to walk away with the baby asleep on his shoulder, but turned back before he re-entered the hotel. “But I won’t be here when he does.”

***

Next Time: The team finally has to face the difficult task of clearing John and Nick’s flat.

Tags: adult, angst, fanfic, jack/ianto, john hart, john/nick, the soldier and the healer, torchwood, we could be heroes
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