Characters/Pairings: Owen, Ianto (Or Owen/Ianto)
Summary: Time has stopped. Ianto can't cope with more dead friends.
Authors' Notes: I was just thinking, what did Ianto and the others do in the span of time when Jack was getting the second Glove after Owen's death? So this happened.
There’s a ringing hush when the alarms stop blaring, when Jack is gone. Martha stares up at the doorway. Tosh stares at Martha. Gwen is looking at her hands. Ianto gazes down at his dead friend. The silence is broken by a sharp sob from Gwen. Owen is pale and still on the metal table, and he looks like he’s sleeping, but Ianto knows he’s not. There’s a hole where his heart is.
Tosh and Gwen are speaking in low tones and Martha is organizing her equipment, the metal tool clinking together in a way that’s far too familiar for Ianto and yet different in such a fundamental way and he can’t take it. He turns sharply on his heel and walks as quickly as he can without running to the deepest part of the archives.
There’s a computer there; he mostly uses it to look up dates of events or certain locations or people, but it’s as functional and equipped as any of the other Torchwood computers. He pulls up a file and flinches at the name — Doctor Owen Harper, Torchwood Officer 565. But his fingers don’t waver, and a file pulls up from within. The cursor hovers, shaking, uncertain, nearly unwilling to pry, but Ianto suddenly needs this. Somehow, he feels like it should have been him and that hurts, and he needs to see him move. He clicks the button with more force than necessary.
It’s just videos. CCTV footage from the years that have passed, marked with Owen’s name. Owen, laughing at a bar with a random woman. Owen, saving a man’s life with quick work and rough commands. Owen and Ianto shoving each other around during a stakeout. Owen dancing in an empty carpark at night with a woman in a red dress. Owen, bleeding and jerking, being dragged out of a building by Ianto and Jack; Ianto is visibly shaking. Owen, talking with Toshiko by the Bay. Owen, leaning against the outside of a warehouse, hands over his face. Owen, laughing with the rest of the team in a bar, his arm stretched over the back of Ianto’s chair.
The images flash across the screen and Ianto can only see Owen’s face in his vision, superimposed over everything he sees. The reels of footage stop, a freeze frame on the blur of Owen’s wicked grin as he steals Ianto’s pizza slice. Ianto feels like he’s the one with the hole inside of him. Time has stopped somehow, and it feels like Owen’s just popped out for a fag and will be back in a moment, but he knows in the back of his mind that that’s not true, it isn’t true. The memory of Owen’s eyes as the fear bled away to emptiness is proof of that.
The comm unit in Ianto’s ear beeps, and Martha’s voice asks if he’s okay.
“I’m here.” Ianto can’t really say anything more. Nothing else is definitive.
With a last glance, he turns off the monitor and heads back up to the main Hub. Tosh has stopped crying and gone back to work. Gwen is staring at the computer, then at the ground, then at the pile of papers on Owen’s desk. Ianto tries to clear away pizza boxes on the coffee table, but ends up sitting on the sofa staring into space, trying not to imagine that Owen’s just on the other side of the Hub, clattering about in his med bay. He tries not to notice the deafening silence, the black, obvious absence. Martha sits down beside him with an apologetic look and he tries to smile blandly at her. It doesn’t work. Everything’s skewed.