Title: Who Walks Amoung the Stars
By: Amy
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Rating: PG-13

Out from the silent portal of the hours, 
When frosts are come and all the hosts put on. 
Their burnished gear to march across the night 
And o'er a darkened earth in splendor shine, 
Slowly above the world Orion wheels 
His glittering square, while on the shadowy hill 
And throbbing like a sea-light through the dusk, 
Great Sirius rises in his flashing blue. 
-- Bliss Carman 
The Winter Scene - Part II

Ianto Jones shivered, frozen to the core of his being. He thought, numb and resigned, that he’d never know warmth again. He stood, wrapped in Jack’s greatcoat, atop the Millennium Centre and gazed forlornly at the clear, starry expanse overhead.

Jack was dead.

Jack, whom Ianto had witnessed miraculously return to life after Owen murdered him in a rage before they all betrayed Jack and opened the Rift, was dead. Jack had died before Abaddon burst into the world. He’d died before people had simply fallen, suddenly lifeless, where they stood. Ianto had been feet away from Owen when the round had burst into Jack’s skull and crimson had bloomed through the thin cotton shirt over his heart. He had watched it all in horror..

What have you done?

Ianto had watched, frozen with fear and hurt and the beginnings of anger, as Jack demanded that Gwen-bloody-Cooper, and only Gwen, take him away from the city to an open space. Jack had flashed Ianto a quick, guilty glance as Gwen helped him into the SUV, blue, blue eyes trying to impart a message that Ianto had yet to decipher.

I would have driven you, Ianto had thought sadly as the SUV disappeared around a corner.

Ianto’s throat constricted painfully and he gulped the cold air in sobs. He pulled the coat tighter about his body, seeking the warmth Jack had once given him before he had sacrificed himself, and the movement stirred the folds of the coat. For a brief moment, Jack’s scent drifted around him, and Ianto was drowning in a mnemonic deluge of Jack’s touch and taste and voice. Ianto’s eyes slid closed and he remembered the feel of Jack trembling above him; imagined Jack’s exquisite expression of agonized ecstasy seconds before he came. He could almost feel Jack’s weight, heavy and relaxed on his chest, and Jack’s lips, pressing along sweaty skin.

What have I done?

The memory, sharp and incisive, sliced into him. Sick with despair, Ianto broke down completely.

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He felt stiller inside, though the feeling more closely resembled numbness than peace.

Ianto leaned against the access door; eyes closed, and let the cold seep into his bones. The beloved coat embraced him, but the warmth it once possessed had departed with its owner, lying cold and pale in the morgue below.

Gwen insisted Jack wasn’t really, truly dead. He’ll be back, she said. Wait and see.

Ianto thought that once was a fluke, but a second resurrection from such a complete death could be nothing short of impossible. Ianto had been with Torchwood for too long to think anything could be considered truly impossible; he’d seen and experienced too much.

Ianto had also been with Torchwood for too long to allow himself to believe in miracles.

He opened his eyes and searched the night sky. For once it was clear and beautiful; the stars hung low and bright against a black velvet backdrop. His eyes wandered listlessly along half-recalled patterns, following the lines and arcs of the constellations, until one magnificent figure suddenly caught his attention.


Ianto frowned, trying to remember long-ago tales, and for a moment, his sorrow was forgotten as his mind sorted through the minutiae of ancient mythology.

Orion, the mighty hunter. Born in Boeotia. The most handsome of men, slave to his lust and victim of unrequited love. He died for love, after which he was raised to walk among the stars and live forever.

Ianto shuddered violently in a way that had nothing to do with the biting wind.

Orion rises in the darkest, coldest days of the year, wheeling faithfully about the skies year after year until time ends.

Ianto studied the outline, searching for something he couldn’t name.

Jack? Will you come back? Can you really not die?

Ianto was colder now, and he unconsciously pulled the greatcoat snugly around him. He pulled his watch from its neat waistcoat pocket and squinted at its face in the dim starlight.

He’d been outside for over an hour.

With a reluctant sort of eagerness, he tucked it away and glanced at the night sky a final time, fixing his eyes on Orion.


He turned and went inside. Perhaps Gwen would leave him alone with Jack for a while.

He wanted – needed – to say goodbye.