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Title: "A Boy's Own Ruin"
Disclaimer: I'm not RTD, I don't work for the BBC, and as much as I might like to, I don't own Jack or Ianto or any part of Torchwood. I do, however, order pizza under that name on principle.
Pairings: Jack/Ianto, albeit understated
Rating: PG
Notes/Summary: In which something mysterious is afoot. Written for the January 6 prompt at [ profile] redismycolour.

As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground.

“Good Heaven!” said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. “I was bred in this place. I was a boy here!”

-- Charles Dickens,
A Christmas Carol, Stave II - The First of Three Spirits

# # #

Ianto coughed and got to his feet. Behind him, Jack was already upright, torch in hand. The building was a ruin, but Ianto recognized it instantly. “This is my house!”

“You live in a flat.”

“No.” Ianto frowned as he crossed the rotting parquet floor, then made a half turn to take it all in. The place was near pitch black, lit only by a faint glow from outside the filthy front windows. “I mean this is where I grew up. We lost it when I was thirteen and had to move to a little flat. Here, see?” He opened up a closet door and pointed to a series of black lines up along the edge marked ‘Ianto’ and ‘Rhi,’ along with various dates. “It’s all wrong though. This house isn’t abandoned. Someone bought it when we left. Last time I drove past, there were kids outside.”

Jack reached down to pick up a peeling Rubik’s cube from a pile of disused toys. “Good to know.”

“How’s that?”

“It means we can mark simple teleportation off the list,” Jack answered. He dropped the Rubik’s cube and turned toward the window. “Though I guess that’s pretty obvious.”

Ianto took a couple of steps closer and followed Jack’s gaze. “Ah.”

Outside, the moonlit ground was so littered with broken furniture, ruined books, and other detritus as to seem to be comprised of it. He could make out what looked like an old television, and something else that might be a deflated football. There wasn’t another house in view. Just rubbish and ruin.

“Question is,” Jack said and turned to shine his torch beam in the direction of the darkened kitchen, “why here? And why like this?”

Ianto didn’t answer. Instead, he reached down and picked a crumpled photograph out of the broken toys. He opened it with gentle fingers, careful not to tear it, and then smoothed it flat with his fingers before he handed it to Jack. “I could be wrong, but I think that somebody is trying to teach me a lesson.”
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