Characters/Pairings: Lisa/Ianto, Suzie(/Jack implied)
Spoilers/Warnings: Uh. Blood? Also implied character death.
Summary: There were many things Lisa never told Ianto before she died.
Beta credit JESUS: nancybrown was simply THE AWESOME. bookwormsarah Britpicked.
Author's Notes: Written for tw_femficfest for czarina_kitty. Kinda spiraled off Czarina’s Prompt #3. Hope it pleases. :)
There were many things Lisa never told Ianto before she died.
She never told Ianto what it was like to be put through a Cyberconverter, what it was like to feel the metal screws drilling through her flesh and then slowly grind to a halt as the power died, while she wept and screamed and prayed that she might die, too. She remained tight-lipped throughout the entire move, from the ruins of Canary Wharf to the boiler room of Ianto’s tiny Cardiff flat, and from there to the sublevels of Torchwood Three, not once complaining of the jolts of pain that every bump sent through her entire body, nor of the burning fire that coursed through her sluggish blood when the anaesthetics ran out (though she did go through three different languages’ worth of cursewords and nearly chewed through her cheek in the process).
And Lisa never told Ianto about the voice she could hear in the back of her head, a grating mechanical monotone that whispered to her of metal dreams and human blood and making everything compatible. It grew louder and more insistent almost hourly, but she never told Ianto because, really, what good would it do to add being crazy on top of everything else?
Lisa also never mentioned the time she caught a glimpse of a woman with frizzled hair, washing her hands in the sink just outside Lisa’s door and scrubbing off streaks of fresh blood (that couldn’t have been the woman’s own, there was just too much of it) from her arms and fingers. Lisa had unintentionally gasped, the sound echoing eerily in the otherwise-quiet corridor; the woman had reared back in surprise and looked for the source of the noise, her eyes passing over the crack in the doorframe that led to Lisa’s room before coming back and narrowing—
“Suzie!” Ianto’s voice rumbled from upstairs, and Lisa let out the breath she didn’t know she’d been holding as the woman’s head whipped around and away from discovery. “Suzie, are you down there? Jack needs you—there’s been another body!”
“Yeah!” the woman yelled back. She turned off the water and wiped her hands dry on her jeans. Lisa could still see the glint of red under the fingernails. “Coming!”
And then the woman was gone, and Lisa could breathe just a little easier—until she thought about the new body, the whole spate of new bodies that Ianto had mentioned were popping up throughout Cardiff. Lisa’s heart started to pound again, whether from terror or excited anticipation, she didn’t know.
And Lisa never spoke of how she was startled from a light doze that night to find cold gunmetal pressing against her temple.
“Well, look what we have here,” whispered Suzie, and Lisa tried to squirm away from the gun, only to be held immobile by her very own machines that kept her alive. “And look, it moves!” The safety clicked as it came off. “Give me a reason, monster, and I will kill you. Understood?”
Lisa wanted to snap back, to ask who the monster was in this scenario, but her more rational side won out. “Don’t kill me,” she breathed, words cracking as they passed her chapped lips. “Please. I beg you—don’t. I’ll do—I’ll do anything, just please, my boyfr—”
Lisa suddenly stopped, realising she’d said too much, until Suzie prodded the gun against her hair. “Yes? Go on.”
“My b-boyfriend,” Lisa stammered.
Suzie inhaled sharply. “I swear, I will kill Jones if it’s the last thing—”
“No! Not him!” Let this woman kill her if she would, but there was no way in hell that Ianto’s name was coming into the picture, not if Lisa could help it. She closed her eyes, searching for the name Ianto had brought up in conversation once or twice, and blindly grabbing when it produced itself. “Jack. He—he’s my boyfriend. Please, don’t hurt him, don’t kill me, please...”
Suzie’s breath hitched, the gun dug into Lisa’s skin, and Lisa was almost certain that she was going to die until Suzie finally spoke. “That bastard,” she muttered, almost to herself. Then, this time to Lisa, “Why are you here? What do you want?”
You are weak and ruled by emotions, human, hissed the voice in Lisa’s head. You are unfit for existence. You must be upgraded!
“I just—I just want to live,” Lisa said instead. “I want to be human again. Is that too much to ask for?”
Suzie remained silent, but she did lower her gun—as good as a “no,” in Lisa’s opinion. There were no other words between them, and Suzie’s back as she left the room was the last thing that Lisa ever saw of her.
The next morning, Ianto visited Lisa before he set up the morning coffee and pressed a kiss to her damp forehead. “Long night?” he whispered in her ear.
Lisa thought of bloody hands under running water, of a gun placed exactly where Ianto had kissed her, of the voice in her head raging for death and upgrades and always more blood. Then Ianto smiled down at her, the voice slowly faded into a static silence, and Lisa found that in the silence there was nothing else to say.
“Not really,” she replied, and kissed him back.