Title: First Day of Spring
Characters/pairings: Ianto/Lisa, Jack
Summary: AU after Cyberwoman. It’s the first day of Spring and Ianto watches Lisa.
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or the characters within.
Notes: Written for the redisourcolour Challenge 12. The prompts were Spring, truncate, demonstrable, earth and the phrase “It was a week before (s)he could walk normally again."
Author's Notes: This is in the same world as 'The Season Between.' Could be seen as a sequel. :)
First Day of Spring
Ianto Jones leant against the door frame as Lisa smiled at him and he watched her with indulgent eyes as she wheeled slowly along the small path of their garden. She was bundled up in his red jumper and had a thick rug over her legs.
“First day of Spring indeed,” he murmured as he looked at the piles of snow he’d cleared from the path earlier. His back ached and his hands were still sore from all the shovelling he had done. But it was worth it to be able to see Lisa smile like that. She deserved to be out in the sun – even as weak and cold as it was at the moment.
“She’s not really smiling, Mr Jones. The implants are controlling her facial muscles. I need to remove them but I can’t guarantee that she’ll ever regain full movement of the muscles.”
And she hadn’t. Half her face was frozen and it had slipped downwards from the stroke she’d suffered when the doctor had taken the last of the implants out. But half a smile was more than enough for Ianto.
Half a smile, half a life. It was better than no smile and no life and the regrets he had were not about her. He smiled again as she turned back to him.
“Four more, Ianto!” she called.
“That’s good,” he nodded.
Lisa had taken to watching the bulbs appearing in the dark earth of the garden. Flowerbeds ran the length of each of the small walls and last week young Sean had begun clearing away the straw packing from the various shrubs. The bulbs had started poking through soon after and Lisa had begun to count them, watching them appear with delight. Neither of them knew what the bulbs were and they had had fun guessing before settling in to watch and wait.
Spring. A time of growth and hope.
And it was good exercise for Lisa. Her arms were weak and letting her wheel herself helped strengthen her muscles. She’d been out now for nearly fifteen minutes and while he always made sure she didn’t overdo it, on this first day of Spring he was too happy to see her enjoying herself to bring her back indoors.
Although Lisa didn’t remember the long months spent hiding under Cardiff, having to survive a long and absolutely freezing Highland winter - most of it housebound – had driven them both a bit stir-crazy. Snow was still piled in drifts along the icy roads, the temperature hadn’t lifted past freezing yet and Ianto couldn’t help wondering if the first day of Spring was merely the halfway point of Winter up here. Only the calendar and the bulbs appearing told him otherwise.
Last Spring she had pulled him through Hyde Park wearing the elegant green dress he’d given her for Valentine’s Day and that he’d spent two weeks wages on. She got him to dance with her under a full moon and said ‘yes’ when he’d asked her to move in with him and another ‘yes’ to his proposal that he promised he would repeat on the next first day of Spring when he’d saved up enough for their perfect ring.
Except she didn’t remember anymore and their perfect ring sat unopened on the top shelf in their wardrobe.
Ianto felt awash with melancholy watching her wheel herself along and he left the doorway and walked over to her. With a smile he moved the rug from her legs and put it over the back of the chair.
“May I have this dance, my lady?” he asked as he held his hands out. She smiled that half-smile he loved and nodded. He lifted her up carefully, letting her settle her arms around his neck as he wrapped his arms around her. Her head rested against his shoulder, the bobbles on her hat tickling the skin of his neck and he held her securely as he began to hum. He moved with a slow waltzing movement and she hummed with him as she settled against him.
It was a week before she could walk normally again. A week of tests and scans and Doctor Tanizaki had pronounced her all but cured – fixed – human again, with the few remaining implants dead and disconnected. And then she had tripped. And the implants hadn’t been as dead as they had appeared to be.
“The nerves truncate at the fifth lumbar implant. I’m going to have to remove the implant after all,” the doctor had said.
“You said it was too dangerous to remove,” Ianto had managed to state calmly.
“I know, but given enough time and the implant will start replicating itself.” The doctor had paused and then looked at Ianto with a regretful expression. “We should remove the remaining implants as well. They probably aren’t dead but in a similar state of stasis that could be triggered by anything.”
“Is never going to walk again, I’m afraid.”
“I feel like I’m flying,” Lisa murmured as her feet dangled three inches above the ground. “Next Winter we should fly south and then return here for the Spring.”
Ianto blinked hard with wet eyes. To be dancing with Lisa now and thinking of next Spring with her after the last year was demonstrable proof that sometimes – just sometimes – prayers could be answered.
He laughed softly. “I love you,” he whispered, bending his head to kiss her.
“Love you too,” she replied against his lips.
Eventually he let her slip from his grasp and settle back into her wheelchair. She smilingly refused his offer to push her so he followed her as she wheeled back along the path to the cottage. A flash of movement above the wall had him pausing mid-step.
The dark-haired man in the thick greatcoat met his gaze and Ianto felt Spring wither away.
Continued in With The Rain