The morning of the Battle of Canary Wharf
“Ianto! Hurry up! We’re gonna be late for work!” Lisa banged on the bathroom door.
Listening to the answering grunt she walked away grinning. She did try not to nag him too much, but they really needed to get moving. His continual nightmares about those bloody robots taking over the world were getting worse and worse, and she knew he hadn’t had much sleep at all last night, so she wasn’t too surprised he was taking a while to get ready. He had certainly woken her up enough times during the night with his endless tossing and turning. Recently, she had begun to wonder if she had done the right thing in convincing him not to tell anyone else about the nightmares. Maybe someone else could have helped him more than she had been able to.
Lisa smiled in admiration when Ianto finally emerged from the bathroom. He looked his usual handsome and immaculate self. It didn’t matter how long they had been together, seeing him dressed in his smart suits, he could still take her breath away. You would never be able to tell from looking at him how little sleep he had actually had the previous night.
Entering the kitchen, where she was sitting, he leant down and kissed the top of her head.
“Morning sleepy head,” she said, laughing, as once again all she got was a grunt for an answer. She watched him make their morning coffee as she served up their breakfast. She continued watching him as he took his first sip of coffee and finally seemed to wake up. Some of their friends had jokingly said Ianto’s coffee was magic, and watching how it seemed to transform him in the mornings; she figured it probably wasn’t that far from the truth.
“So, what’s the plan for today,” Ianto finally spoke.
Lisa went on to tell him what she had planned at work. Her job as an HR Assistant meant she was responsible for finding and observing people who were potentially a good fit for Torchwood. Ianto had always secretly wondered if she was the one responsible for him being approached by Torchwood, but knew that she would never be able to tell him due to the restraints placed on the HR department by Torchwood management.
On the way to work, Lisa told him of the latest developments in their wedding plans. Her parents were desperate for a big wedding for their only daughter, but Lisa was determined to keep it small. She knew it wouldn’t be fair on Ianto for the venue to be overrun by all of her family and hangers-on when Ianto wouldn’t have any of his own family there. As far as she was concerned, the wedding was supposed to be about the two of them, and she was doing her utmost to keep it that way.
Ianto only had his sister and her family back in Cardiff, but they hadn’t seen much of each other since Ianto had moved to London, and they were not coming to the wedding. Apparently, they couldn’t afford to bring both kids with them, and neither Rhiannon nor her husband, Johnny, was prepared to leave them behind.
Ianto sat there, only half-listening to Lisa as she spoke, just listening enough to be able to smile and nod at the right times. He simply couldn’t get his nightmare out of his mind. After last night’s nightmare particularly, he couldn’t shake the feeling that whatever was going to happen would occur fairly soon.
He forced himself to think of nicer things; it was Lisa’s birthday on Saturday, and he had a surprise trip away planned for them. He had put a lot of effort into getting all the details of the trip just perfect for her, and he didn’t want anything to go wrong.
Arriving at Torchwood, they were lucky enough to have the lift to themselves and couldn’t resist a quick kiss or two. Ianto pulled away just as they came to Lisa’s floor, glancing briefly in the direction of the security camera. The lift opened and they parted, agreeing to meet in the café on Lisa’s floor later, for their mid-morning break.
When he got out at his floor, Ianto noticed a young girl sitting in the waiting area. He thought it strange that someone so young would be sitting there unattended in the Torchwood building. Her head turned to follow his progress as he walked past, her long brown hair falling about her shoulders. Was that a nightdress she was wearing? Ianto arrived at the Archives and then promptly forgot all about her.
When the Cybermen first appeared, Ianto was locked away in the Dangerous Artefacts Zone. This particular section of the building was shielded, so if any of the artefacts contained within started to react or inadvertently got set off, nothing could escape. This meant Ianto was hidden in the only area of the building where life signs could not be detected from outside, and the area that ended up being the only section of the building that was not breached by either the Cybermen or the Daleks during the battle.
The seals on all the doors seemed to lock automatically just before the fighting had begun, and Ianto tried desperately to get them open again. Lisa was out there somewhere and he couldn’t do anything to help her while he was locked in.
Ianto managed to get the doors opened not long before the Cybermen and Daleks were all sucked back into the Void. Ianto immediately went looking for Lisa. He could hear people screaming everywhere and as he got closer to the conversion units, he began to despair of ever finding her alive. So much of the building was damaged, and fires were still burning in many areas. There didn’t seem to be many survivors, and he came across more UNIT soldiers than he did Torchwood staff. Some of the soldiers tried to stop him, but let him go when he started struggling. He clearly wasn’t injured or going to harm anyone, so they let him go as they continued their search for survivors, or for anyone who was partially converted.
Ianto found a conversion chamber that still contained someone. Looking into the chamber, he was horrified to see Lisa trapped inside, appearing to be partially converted and in absolute agony. Heedless of any danger to himself he grabbed her under her arms and started dragging her out. She was screaming, her body burning with pain.
He yelled out for someone – anyone – to help him but, unfortunately, all that did was bring him to the attention of some other soldiers. As soon as they saw what was happening they overpowered Ianto and tore Lisa out of his arms.
Ianto followed after them, refusing to let Lisa out of his sight. Lisa continued calling out to him, pleading with him to not let the soldiers hurt her.
They were taken to a makeshift examination room containing a group of scientists. Ianto didn’t recognise any of them, so he couldn’t tell if they were from Torchwood or from UNIT, or elsewhere. One of them ran a scanner over Lisa, who was still being held by the soldiers. Another two soldiers were holding Ianto back.
The scientist pointed towards an examination table and the soldiers manhandled Lisa onto it. Metal restraints slid into place as soon as they placed her down on the bed, causing her to start screaming again and Ianto to struggle against the grip of the soldiers even harder. One of the other scientists injected her with a sedative and her screams died away.
He turned to Ianto. “She has already been converted. There is nothing we can do for her.”
“No!” Ianto screamed. “Help her! You can find a cure!”
“Those who are converted stay that way. She will not be the exception.” He gestured to one of the soldiers who raised his gun and aimed it at Lisa.
“NO!” Ianto screamed again. “Help her. She’s not a monster.”
“I’m sorry, but there is no turning back for her now.” The scientist shook his head and turned his back dismissively on Ianto.
As Ianto continued to struggle against the soldiers holding him, the soldier who had his gun pointed at Lisa, swung his gun around and aimed it at Ianto instead.
Ianto stared back at the soldier without flinching. If they were going to kill Lisa, they may as well kill him too. He couldn’t bear to live without her.
But instead of firing, the soldier snarled at Ianto. “Say your goodbyes, and then get out of here.”
The soldiers holding onto Ianto let him go over to Lisa, the first soldier keeping his gun trained on Ianto the whole time to make sure he didn’t try anything stupid. Ianto looked at the faces of the scientists and all the soldiers, but didn’t find a trace of any sympathy in any of them.
He reached out and touched Lisa’s cheek lovingly. Her skin felt cold and clammy to the touch, as if she were dead already. He felt the tears running down his face, and he knew somehow that they were right. This was no longer Lisa. It may have been her body, but she didn’t feel like the beautiful woman he had fallen in love with. There was no sense of humanity left within her. Ianto didn’t know much about Cybermen, but his instincts told him there was one lying in front of him.
He leant over and kissed her anyway, saying his goodbyes inside his head. He didn’t want to share anything he said to her with any of the people in the room. When he finished saying goodbye, he turned slowly and left the room without speaking to or looking at anyone. He hoped he would never see any of them ever again.
Walking down the corridor, Ianto saw the young girl from earlier, standing in one of the doorways looking up at him. He opened his mouth to speak to her, but found he had nothing to say. He closed his mouth and started walking again. As he turned the corner, he heard the single gun shot that signified Lisa’s death and his steps faltered slightly. All the dreams they had for their life together, their weekend away, the kids they might have had, an actual family of his own, all of it, just disappeared in an instant, with one shot.
It seemed like his entire world had ended.
Ianto felt like he was floating. He felt as light as a feather and floating in a bright and happy place with his beloved Lisa. A warm, golden light surrounded them both.
They were on a picnic with some of their friends. He and Lisa were laughing and joking, and hamming it up for the camera. Their friends were taking photos of the two of them; Lisa had a hand behind Ianto’s head and was making fake antennae above his head with her fingers. Once Ianto found out what she was doing, he turned around and tickled her until she surrendered and swore never to do it again. They shared a kiss as a truce and their friends took another photo.
The kiss went on and on and now their friends were no longer there. It was just Ianto and Lisa, and Lisa and Ianto. Lisa wrapped her arms around Ianto and held on tightly. Soon Ianto’s entire world consisted entirely of Lisa’s kiss, her arms wrapped around him and those delicious pheromones. The pheromones relaxed him and excited him at the same time. He heard someone call his name…
Lisa didn’t have pheromones. Pheromones belonged to someone else. It occurred to Ianto the arms around him were both bigger and stronger than Lisa’s arms. It wasn’t Lisa’s lips pressed against his. The light surrounding him faded a little.
He heard someone call his name again. It wasn’t Lisa’s voice, it was a man’s voice, it was…
It was Jack kissing him. The light faded away completely, leaving him plunged in darkness.
Ianto regained consciousness with a desperate gasp for breath. It was Jack’s arms that were around him, not Lisa’s. He would never be in Lisa’s arms again.
Pulling back from Ianto, Jack pressed a finger to his lips to stop Ianto speaking too loud. When Ianto saw where he was, he tried to sit up and get away from Jack. As soon as he did though, he immediately felt dizzy and had to stop moving.
“Whoa, stay there for a second,” Jack whispered quietly but urgently. “You hit your head quite hard on the concrete when you went down. Just stay there for a bit.”
“Did you kiss me?” Ianto asked angrily.
After a pause, Jack shook his head. “You were unconscious, it was just a bit of CPR, that’s all.”
Ianto looked at him disbelievingly but didn’t push it. He looked around the Hub, disorientated.
While Ianto had been unconscious, the Hub had been sent into lock-down. After he collapsed, the Cyberwoman had begun attacking the team. Owen and Suzie had been forced to abandon assembling the big gun and run. After pulling Gwen away from the Cyberwoman’s path, Owen led her off to the Autopsy Room where they hid after trying to find some other weapons that could be used against the Cyberwoman. Suzie and Tosh had headed off in the other direction to see what they could find.
Jack had refused to leave the unconscious Ianto behind and had taken the full brunt of Lisa’s attack. He had been killed just after the others had left. When he revived, he saw that Lisa had disappeared and the others were still hidden. Spying Ianto lying on the ground, he dragged himself over to make sure the director was still alive. Jack was relieved to find he was still alive, just unconscious.
He pulled Ianto into his lap, and swatted at his cheek gently to try to wake him up. When that failed to have an effect, he bent down and pressed his lips to Ianto’s. One thing he had discovered since becoming immortal, was that if someone was injured Jack was able to transfer some of his life force to the other person to help them recover. It only worked on people who were still alive though; he had found out the hard way he could not bring a dead person back to life.
Once Ianto woke up, and regained his equilibrium, Jack pointed over towards the big gun. They needed to finish assembling it. Ianto nodded. Jack stood up, and pulled Ianto to his feet, holding on just long enough to make sure Ianto could walk unassisted, before moving away. Ianto and Jack made their way over to the gun and carefully and quietly finished assembling it.
They heard a stomping sound come from the direction of Owen’s Autopsy Room. Ianto was just about to head in that direction when the sound of a mobile phone rang out. The Cyberwoman paused in its tracks as it determined where the sound was coming from. All of a sudden, Gwen and Owen came rolling out of one of the drawers, trying to grab hold of the phone. The Cyberwoman immediately turned towards them and had just raised a hand to fire at them when Ianto called out to her.
The Cyberwoman stopped and, with one final glance at the thoroughly terrified Gwen and Owen, turned back around to head towards Ianto. Even though it was fully converted, something still caused it to respond to Ianto’s voice.
It stomped back into the main area where Ianto and Jack stood waiting. Jack was holding onto the gun, ready to fire. He wasn’t going to make Ianto shoot her – he had to fix this himself. Unfortunately though, the second the Cyberwoman saw the gun in Jack’s arm she fired on him again. It was a full strength shot that killed him again, instantly, and the gun fell to the floor.
The Cyberwoman turned to Ianto, her hand still extended, still prepared to fire. Electricity crackled at the end of its fingers, but it didn’t actually fire. It stepped closer to Ianto.
Ianto glanced quickly down at Jack on the floor at his feet; he wasn’t stirring. Owen and Gwen had disappeared back into the Autopsy Room. Ianto was on his own. Reluctantly he picked up the gun.
The Cyberwoman raised its arm further, the electric crackling growing stronger. They looked at each other, both of them seemingly unable to fire on each other.
Jack, please, wake up, Ianto thought to himself desperately. He lowered the gun slightly. I can’t do this.
Lisa stepped closer again. Ianto knew he had to shoot; this was a Cyberwoman standing in front of him, not Lisa.
“Ianto?” The Cyberwoman spoke with a human voice once again.
“Li…” Ianto started, but then shook his head. “You’re not Lisa.” Ianto tried raising the gun again to shoot the Cyberwoman, but try as he might he simply couldn’t bring himself to shoot her… shoot it. The gun started to fall out of his hands. He closed eyes and lowered his head, unable to look any more. In his distress, he had missed the gasp of breath from the floor, signifying Jack reviving again.
Ianto jumped, his eyes flying open as the big gun was finally fired.
One shot was all it took, one shot to end the Cyberwoman’s existence, once and for all.
Shortly after the Battle of Canary Wharf
As Ianto had left the examination room after saying goodbye to Lisa, the door closed and locked behind him. The soldier, with his gun poised ready to shoot Lisa, turned around again as two older men stepped from out of the shadows. They had been standing at the far end of the room out of sight of everyone, especially Ianto. They approached Lisa and the soldier.
“Stop right there,” one of them commanded.
A look of anger crossed the soldier’s face and he was about to comment that he didn’t take orders from random old guys, especially ones that were such fashion disasters as these two – because after all, who wears cravats nowadays – but one look at them and the words died on his tongue. There was something about them that made his skin crawl.
Smiling grimly at Lisa, one of the men turned back to the soldier.
“Change of plan.”