Disclaimer: I do not and never will own Torchwood or the characters within
Characters: Ianto Jones
Notes: Part of my siren ‘verse. Takes place during The Year That Never Was. Bingo card prompt ‘Coming of Age’.
Summary: During the Year That Never Was, Ianto Jones dies
Ianto Jones screamed. He screamed in defiance, in anger, in hate. He screamed at the whirring metal ball with its slashing blades as it attacked.
The scream echoed around shattered buildings and rebounded against the gloating Toclafane. Slashing blades suddenly became clouds of dust. The round metal casing cracked and collapsed in seconds and the now screaming alien inside exploded in a red mist.
Ianto Jones screamed again as another Toclafane appeared. This time even the buildings became dust. Nothing remained standing.
A third scream of pain and agony and then there was silence.
Once for the mind.
Once for the heart.
Once for the soul.
Thrice bound. Voice bound.
He swallowed a sob as he wrapped the long thin chain around his neck. The words he should have heard in the Academy’s Great Hall were a forlorn whisper in his head. There would be no Graduation for him. He had known that as soon as he’d been told there was no way of sending him back through the Rift. He hadn’t known he’d miss it until now as he stood in the middle of what had once been Cardiff.
He wrapped the chain around his neck three times. He didn’t need to touch his skin to know of the damage … changes … that had been wrought in the final screams of Ianto Jones.
He had read of them. There were fairy tales about them. They were the Sirens of myth. And it had been centuries since the last Full-throated Siren had lived.
He had been warned, as was every siren, about the dangers of losing control of his voice, but no-one had ever told him that losing that control could bring about the changes that would make him Full-throated. A slow tear tracked through his dust covered face. No-one would ever trust a Full-throated Siren. They were the reason Sirens were so restricted and bound in their dealings with others. The damage a normal siren could cause was nothing compared to the near limitless powers of a Full-throat.
The chain given to every siren at birth was wrapped around their throats at various times during their long training to symbolize control and restrictions. Upon graduating it was physically melded into their throats as a visible reminder of that control. He could feel it resting against his skin and as he completed the last pass around his neck the chain grew warm and tightened. He tried to press the ends of the chain into the back of his neck in the traditional manner but the chain was short and he found himself pushing the ends into the hollow of his throat.
The metal sank in as the chain shifted and settled around his throat. Three lines of silver lay like a tattoo on his skin. His fingers could no longer tell where metal and skin joined. He could feel no difference. Only by actually seeing it would he know.
It made him instantly recognizable for what he was. The chains were unique and once bound could never be removed. They had become the symbol that all the peoples of the universe associated automatically with Sirens and their rigid ethical and moral codes were symbolized in slender silver bound around their throats that eased the uneasiness of allies and enemies alike.
He wondered if because his chain was sealed at the front of his throat rather than the back of his neck, if his aberration would be obvious. His chain wouldn’t fit properly because of the changes his throat had undergone. His already complex physiology had changed – mutated – and painfully too, as the deep ache in his throat and the blood still speckling the corners of his mouth proved.
Owen would have had a field day he thought wryly - if the irascible doctor had ever gotten the chance to examine him. Extra vocal chords, extra cartilage and extra spaces folded and tucked neatly within his already enlarged larynx. The chain that could have - would have - prevented these changes now bound them in place. There was no way to reverse it.
He took a deep breath and coughed as his throat burnt. He looked around. He couldn’t stay here just waiting for another attack. He needed water for his dry throat, maybe some food if he was lucky. He wiped a hand over his face smudging dried tears, blood and dust and straightened up.
He was a Full-throated Siren. Revenge beckoned. Saxon would pay for the deaths of Owen and Tosh and Gwen and for Cardiff and for all the dead and terrorised he had found over the last three months. Now he had the means to do something about it. He could sing in ranges beyond sound. He could bring the world to dust.
He had taken no oath. He would never take the traditional promises.
But … he looked at the blood and dust on his hands. He looked around him at ruined Cardiff and he remembered his dead and that Jack was probably - hopefully - still a prisoner somewhere. And that maybe there were other promises he could make. And keep.
He had heard stories of the nightingale walking the earth. Nightingales have sweet voices he thought, but they aren’t particularly strong. Word of mouth could only go so far. With the help of a Siren, he decided, the whole Earth will hear it.
Siren stumbled wearily along what had once had been a bustling motorway. London was mere miles away.
Nine months he had been following the nightingale and now, nearly a full year since the Toclafane had appeared, her message had spread everywhere. Siren had made sure of it. Even now as he placed one tired foot in front of the other he was singing, reinforcing her words in ranges beyond human hearing as he followed in her unflagging path. Subliminal tones pulsed towards everyone he met or passed.
When he had begun he could only influence those within a hundred yards, now he could send the messages out for miles. His skills of voice and song had grown beyond anything he had ever known and it both terrified and fascinated him. If - when the world was saved Siren planned on exploring just what he was capable of. After he slept for a month.
He was beyond exhausted from his almost continual traveling but the end was near, he could feel it. There was a growing expectation in the air the closer to London he got. Saxon was there and the Doctor was there and the nightingale was nearly there. He hoped whatever the Doctor had planned with the nightingale worked. But if it failed then Siren would be there.
And Siren would not fail. He had promised.