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Here to Utopia [userpic]

Fic: The Calming

July 7th, 2007 (06:18 pm)
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miss_zedem went and fluttered her eyelashes at me and since I'm a sucker for a pretty face (especially my betas' ;)), here is the follow-up to "The Doldrums" that she requested. Hope it fits the bill, hon.




This is a sequel to The Doldrums, which is also very short and sweet, and this will work much better if you've read it. It'll probably still work if you haven't, but don't say I didn't warn you :)


Title: The Calming
Author: jadesfire
Words: ~1100
Rating/Warnings: G/only for soppiness
Spoilers: None. But is set some way down the road after "Last of the Time Lords."

Summary: Ianto's first trip into space isn't quite what he imagined.



The Calming

Ianto hadn't known it was possible to get space-sick. His only comfort was that he wasn't the only one. No-one had seen Owen since twenty minutes after they'd come on board, but Ianto guessed he was now regretting having lunch. Neither of the women seemed affected at all and then there was Jack.

It was hard to remember the last time Ianto had seen Jack so happy. In fact, now he thought about it, he couldn't remember ever seeing Jack this happy. Not with all his clothes on. When the Hraltin had offered them a quick spin through the stars in return for the life-saving medicines Torchwood had agreed to provide, Jack had practically jumped out of his seat. The others hadn't had much choice in the matter, although only Owen was now complaining. Tosh was loving wandering round the spaceship, prodding things and asking more questions than the Hraltin could answer. Gwen looked completely overwhelmed by the whole experience, grinning goofily and apparently quite content to just sit and stare out of a porthole.

When Jack had finished bounding round the ship like a hyperactive Tigger, he'd dragged Ianto up to the observation deck, to stand and watch the stars together. In truth, it made Ianto more than a little dizzy, especially once Jack had dimmed the lights, creating the illusion of standing in the middle of, well, nothing. But then Jack wrapped an arm round his waist, steadying him as they leaned on the rail together.

"Beautiful," he breathed, staring out at the tiny spots of light.

"Impressive," Ianto managed, his own breathing coming a little faster now. It wasn't that he didn't like being up here, seeing things that most humans would never experience. It was more that he would have preferred it if it didn't make him quite so nauseous.

"Impressive?" Jack echoed, disbelief in his voice. "Is that all?" Letting go, he bounded down the steps from the small platform towards the window, pointing at things as he went. "This is the Darges cluster. They've got three stars in their system and the planets' surfaces are so hot that all life evolved underground. Then this," he jumped straight upwards, stabbing his finger towards a gaseous shape in the far distance, "is the Ponjale nebula. There are more pirates in that quadrant of space than there are in the neighbouring three solar systems. This one," he ran across the room, waving his arms at a huge spiral of stars, close by, "is the Endalay ring. Well, it's not a ring really, unless you're an Endal but that's a whole other story. What?"

He stopped, putting his hands on his hips and looking up at Ianto, who was shaking his head, a wry smile on his face.

"Is there anything you don't know?"

Grinning sheepishly, Jack stuck his hands in his pockets and made his way back up the steps. "Sorry. I just-" He broke off, sighing. "There's so much to see out there."

"I can tell." Ianto scanned the deep blackness again, frowning as something caught his attention. "What's that?" He pointed to a patch of space in the middle distance.

"I'm not sure. Hang on." There was a small panel by the door, and by pressing a few buttons, Jack managed to zoom in on the place Ianto had indicated. Streaks of colour were splashed across it, like a child's drawing of a rainbow. Ianto heard Jack suck in a breath, then there was the beep of the communications unit.

"Captain Prala," Jack said, his voice suddenly business-like, "have you seen the anomaly in quadrant forty-eighty three-twenty four? Good. Just checking."

"What is it?" Ianto could make out more colours than he had names for, blazing across space, backlit by the stars and sparkling with their own light.

"I don't know its proper name," Jack said, his voice oddly soft. "But it's a patch of dead space, where nothing can fly, nothing can move. Get caught in it and you just have to sit and wait it out."

"Sounds dangerous."

"If you're properly stocked up, it's mostly just dull." Jack was close now, his arm against Ianto's as they leaned on the railing. "But the light show makes up for it." He must have linked his wrist comp to the controls, because Ianto felt the arm against his shift, and suddenly the ceiling was transformed, covered with the coloured light.

Half-laughing in wonder, Ianto held out a hand, watching his skin glow yellow, then a deep, fiery red, then the blue of the clearest ocean. He turned to Jack, expecting to see similar delight on his face. Instead, Jack's expression was one of deep wistfulness, sorrow and joy mingling into one.

"Jack? What's wrong?"

Jack blinked at the sound of Ianto's voice, then brushed a hand across his face. In the strange, ever-changing light, Ianto could see his cheeks were glistening.

"Nothing. I'm fine." Jack lifted his eyes to the ceiling, watching the colours play and shine. "Isn't it beautiful?"

"Stunning." But Ianto was looking at Jack. After another moment, he reached out and covered the other man's hand with his own. "You've seen it before." It wasn't a question.

"Once. I was told it's called the Calming."

"Who told you?"

There was no answer for a long time, and Ianto had actually given up hope of getting one. He jumped when Jack's voice whispered in the quiet. "A good friend."

It was barely even code any more, and Ianto didn't bother to ask. After another minute, Jack tugged on his hand, leading him towards the side of the room where Ianto vaguely recalled a wall being at some point. Jack seemed to remember where it was, because he put his back to the starscape, sliding down until he was sitting on the floor, apparently leaning against the vacuum of space.

Ianto joined him, letting Jack wrap his arms around him, holding him in an almost too-tight embrace. He didn't say anything else, but then he never did. For every secret that he told, everything that he knew and lectured and warned about, Ianto knew that Jack had at least ten more, haunting his dreams and hiding in the shadows of his mind. He'd talk about them when he was ready or when he needed to. Ianto had long since accepted that there were some things he didn't need to know.

So, tipping his head back, he leaned on Jack's shoulder, linking their hands together and listening to their gentle, steady breathing as they watched the rivulets of colour widen and narrow, twist and flex, interweave and separate, carrying their dance across the stars.

Comments

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Posted by: Claudia (therandomgirlie)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)

Gah! You killed me with this fic!
I really love this - it's something I can definately see happening (especially the part about Owen getting sick) :.)

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)

Oh dear! *revives you*

Glad you enjoyed, thanks :)

Posted by: Champagne and Racing Stripes (athousanderrors)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)

oh, just read Doldrums, and then this, and...awww. Lovely, both of them.

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)

Thanks! :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)

*squishes back* It was just one of those things that seemed to come together in my head...

Glad you enjoyed, thanks :)

Posted by: Becca the Wonder Penguin (sunnyrea)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
Jack

Beautiful, loved the descriptions, very nice images

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)

Thanks - I could really see what they looked like, so I'm glad that came across on the page :)

Posted by: Laligin Tashika (laligin)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)

*applauds quietly*

Somehow I managed to miss Doldrums first time around. Thanks for sequelling and linking and making me read it. :P

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)

You're more than welcome! Thanks for commenting! So glad you enjoyed :)

Posted by: kitsun3 (kitsun3)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)

Oh, that's just beautiful!
::loves::

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)

Thanks *beams*

Posted by: Crystalshard (crystalshard)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)

Oh, that's gorgeous. I love how Jack still misses the Doctor, and how Ianto understands.

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)

I just figure it's going to be something unsaid, without that being a problem. It's one of those things that just feels right.

Thanks :)

Posted by: donutsweeper (donutsweeper)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)

"For every secret that he told, everything that he knew and lectured and warned about, Ianto knew that Jack had at least ten more, haunting his dreams and hiding in the shadows of his mind."
I am constantly amazed at the way you can express so much in so few words.
absolutely lovely!

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)

Thanks - that paragraph was a last minute addition, so I'm glad it worked! Glad you enjoyed :)

Posted by: hellenebright (hellenebright)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)

Lovely lovely lovely, both of them.

And the evening sun is actually shining here in the frozen north, folks.

Here's a toast to better times ahead.

Posted by: jadesfire2808 (jadesfire)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)

They made me smile, which was the idea. And we had sunshine for most of the day, which is the first time in weeks - makes me feel much better.

*clinks glasses*

Thanks :)

Posted by: Sunshiny Me (sunstar77)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)

Oh, that was so sweet. And I love that Owen gets sick. (Serves him right. I love him, but he's a bit of a prat.)

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)

Thanks - I felt kind of sorry for Owen, but the idea made me smile too much to leave out :)

Posted by: in_the_bottle (in_the_bottle)
Posted at: July 7th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Jack looking

You're just going to kill me with 'Aww' aren't you? It just seems like I'm incapable of any other reaction!

Aww....

::hugs Jack and Ianto::

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)

Killing with cuteness...not something I'm often accused of, but sounds quite fun ;)

Thanks!

Posted by: shara50 (shara50)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
jack/ianto 2

That was sweet and lovely.

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)

Thanks :)

Posted by: galaxy_song (galaxy_song)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)

oh I liked this alot so sweet

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)

*grin* Thanks!

Posted by: louiex (louiex)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 06:57 am (UTC)
Jack/Ianto- If looks could fuck

Oh I love it for far too many reasons! Geek!Jack is truly one of my favorites, so you had me giddy with him flailing about naming what they could see~

Really just breathtaking imagery here that I could easily wrap my head around and picture. Really, really, really good~

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)

Thank you so much - geek!Jack is incredibly cute and so much fun to write :) Glad you enjoyed!

Posted by: szm (szm)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 10:11 am (UTC)
Jack ooh

Just read this and the one before, they're beautiful. I'd give Jack a hug but I think Ianto's got that one covered.

Posted by: Here to Utopia (heretoutopia)
Posted at: July 8th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)

Thanks! There've been so many people lately who I've thought needed a hug - this is one in story form! :)

40 Read Comments
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