Summary: Ianto knew working for Torchwood would take him to new heights, he just didn’t think it meant literally
“Oh,” said Ianto as he came onto the third floor landing to be confronted by a pack of Pesc’il’an.
“Erm...guys...I think I’ve found them,” he said into his comm. as the pack started to advance and he was backed towards the stairs.
“Okay, where are you?” asked jack, the voice of reason as always.
“Erm...third floor of the office opposite Bute Street,” said Ianto as he was forced up the stairs.
“Okay, we’ll be there in about ten minutes; just make sure you’re taller than them, they won’t attack if you’re taller,” said Jack as he cut out.
Ianto laughed nervously to himself; make sure you’re taller than them; they were 6’3’’, he wasn’t, thus fore he was up the metaphorical creek without the metaphorical paddle.
Still, Ianto hadn’t made it to the grand old age of 25 without making use of his resources. He knew it would be pointless to shoot them; there were too many and height aside, they would attack. However, he was on a stairwell which, unless he was very much mistaken, led to the roof.
Ah, the roof, the roof that was over 200 metres above ground and would no doubted end in a bone destroying splat. Still, it wasn’t as if he had much choice he thought as the Pesc’il’an continued to advance; apparently they had not heard about the height rule.
They were on the fifth floor by now and he really hoped that he wouldn’t run out of stairs before the other came; the reasons for this were twofold; firstly, the roof was high and gale force winds aside, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to control himself long enough to not fall and secondly, if he got to the roof, there would be nowhere to run except off of it and that wasn’t particularly appealing either.
By the seventh floor, he was acutely aware of the frantic beating of his heart and the shallowness of his breathing as that reality came ever closer. It was pathetic really, he was a grown man who faced death on a daily basis but there was something...different about heights. Of course, he knew exactly what it was about heights that terrified him but he didn’t really want to think about that right now either.
By the tenth and final floor, he was aware that his luck and stairs had run out and his back hit the door. Shakily, he reached behind him and pushed it open, backing slowly out as the Pesc’il’an followed; their hackles raised as Ianto suddenly realised he was no longer taller than them. Shit.
“We’re coming; just two more minutes I promise; where are you?”
“The roof,” replied Ianto, his breath hitching as the Pesc’il’an advanced, trapping him on the edge. Closing his eyes, he forced himself to think; directly behind him, there was a thin beam that jutted out by several metres from the building. If he could make it onto there, he could buy himself time for now.
Blindly, he reached behind him until his foot found the beam and he stepped onto it, keeping his eyes firmly on the monsters now swiping at him as they too mounted the beam, cutting off all escape routes.
“Jack...” he whispered as his own body betrayed him and he froze; unable to move as the Pasc’il’an advanced.
“I’m here, Ianto, now listen to me; you’ve got to aim at their left shoulder and shoot to kill,” came Jack’s soothing voice over the comm..
“Ianto, if you don’t, you will die now do it!”
Summoning his last vestiges of courage, Ianto slowly reached for his gun; all the while keeping eye contact with the Pesc’il;’an who were barely a foot away. Forcing himself to relax, he shot on the out breath just as he’d been taught.
The effect on the Pesc’il’an was phenomenal as they seemed to explode; blood spurting everywhere, covering Ianto and the majority of the beam in the hot liquid.
Then seemingly out of the blue, came the rest of the team with typically crap timing.
“I could’ve used you an hour ago,” he said in a weak attempt at hiding his very present terror.
Jack raised an eyebrow, seeing through the attempted mask, “you seemed to do fine on your own,” he said as he mounted the beam and slowly edged over to him with an ease that took decades to achieve.
“Come on,” he murmured, gently taking Ianto’s clammy hand in his own.
“We won’t; I’ve been up and down roofs for the best part of a century; do you really think I’d make a mistake now?” asked Jack logically, waiting for Ianto to process this as he gently stroked soothing patterns on the back of his hand.
“Trust me,” he murmured, waiting for Ianto to nod his assent before patiently guiding him off the beam and to safety.
“I hate heights,” muttered Ianto burying his face in the crook of Jack’s neck as the could haves washed over him
“I know, Sweetheart,” murmured Jack, trailing his hand up and down the younger man’s trembling back as he felt Ianto’s shaky breaths ghost over his skin.
“I am so proud of you though,” he murmured, kissing the top of his head as he glanced over the edge of the building; ten storeys, enough to make anyone a nervous wreck.
“Why don’t we go back to yours so you can get cleaned up before we go back to the Hub?” he suggested, his fingers idly carding through Ianto’s soft hair.
“Mmm....where did the others go?” asked Ianto, glancing up.
“They took care of the evidence; don’t worry about them,” murmured Jack, coaxing his head back down to rest on his shoulder.
“Well at least we can’t say working for Torchwood never takes us anywhere,” said Ianto wryly.