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Mouse Trap: Chapter 5

Mouse Trap
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or Doctor Who, nor do I make any claim to. I also make no claim to the rovie and the character Erimem, who are both from the Big Finish audio plays.
Warnings: More cliff hangers and more Ianto torment. I apparently get off on all this. XD
Author's Thanks: Thanks once again to Cy for the timely beta.

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 


Peri sat on the floor, tied hand and foot with her back to her dear friend Erimem, who was also tied. The ropes wrapped around their midsections to tie them together firmly. Over all, it was a very uncomfortable position to be in, especially with Erimem's bony shoulder blades against her back. "Any luck with the ropes?" Peri asked for the tenth time since they'd been tied up this morning.

"No," Erimem said as she shifted against the ropes. "What about you, Peri?"

"Nope." Well, that was disheartening. Their first few days here hadn't been so bad. The room was bland and a little on the small side, but not the worst place they'd ever been captured in. It certainly beat being held captive by Richard III!

Unfortunately, the guards were infuriatingly good at keeping the prisoners in. They'd tried faking illness twice, making a break for the door, whacking the guards from behind... not to mention Erimem simply trying to take them on physically with her abilities learned as a warrior. Which was what eventually lead them to both be tied and sitting the floor as they were now. Still, Erimem's necklace had a sharp edge and they were able to free themselves with that three times before it was discovered.

Four times after that, Peri had managed to swipe a knife from dinner and they broke free, attempting once again to bean their captors over the head when food was brought in. Unfortunately, the guards stopped putting food that required knives to eat after the first attempt. Now they tried their non-existent ability to imitate Houdini and wiggle out of the knots. They were actually currently focusing on the times they were allowed showers and other necessities, but it never hurt to keep trying with the ropes.

"Oh, this is useless! Where is the Doctor?" Erimem asked in frustration. Peri could feel the other girl's shoulders slump forward in defeat. "Peri, we need to face it. Surely, if that mouse had been lying..."

"The Doctor's not dead!" Even though Erimem couldn't see it, Peri shook her head firmly as she tried to squash down the despair that coursed through her at the thought. "It's not the first time we thought he was killed. I'm sure it's just taking him a while to get out of whatever that... that mouse thing has put him through."

"It's been over a week now," Erimem said softly, her regal voice attempting to mask her own grief. "The Doctor is a very brave and noble warrior. He's one of the best that I have had the honor to fight beside, but even the best warriors fall sometimes, Peri. We have to accept that this could be a possibility."

Peri just shook her head again, redoubling her efforts to outwit the pesky knots keeping them captive. Her wrists felt raw, but Peri would much rather wear her wrists out than ever admit the Doctor was dead and unable to help them. "That's all the more reason for us to break free and stop the 'rovie' or whatever it's called, in case the Doctor needs our help!"

Erimem was still for a moment, but soon Peri felt her attempting the ropes again. Their attempts might be futile, but they both had to keep trying, for the Doctor's sake.

About an hour later, they were both taking a break when there was a small crash outside the door. Peri craned her neck to see, but Erimem was facing the door as it opened slowly. Both of the women tensed, but there was nothing either of them could do to stop the guards from coming in. It wasn't time for dinner or any of the other allowed activities they were freed for. Which meant this had to be the mouse...

"Hello?" a feminine voice called from beyond the door which still only remained ajar. "Peri? Erimem? Are you both in there?"

Hope filled Peri at the soft Welsh accent. "We're in here!" Erimem responded warmly. "Who are you?"

"Gwen Cooper," the still unseen woman said. "I'm from Torchwood and we're here to rescue you, so don't try to attack me when I come in?"

"Don't worry, we're a bit too tied up for surprise attacks," Peri said, the excitement of traveling with the Doctor returning full force now that an escape attempt was actually likely. It was only marred by the fact they still didn't know what happened to the Doctor and the fact she couldn't see anything. Speaking of the Doctor... "How'd you know our names?"

She could hear the door open up further and footsteps as the woman came in, but Peri was frustrated to know she still couldn't see anything other than the dreary concrete walls. At least the Welshwoman's voice sounded nice, probably a little bit older than herself. "I was told your names by-" Gwen started to answer, before abruptly cutting herself off. "You weren't kidding about being tied up, were you? You've been kept like this the whole time?"

"Just the past three days," Erimem replied, squaring her shoulders as she spoke. They poked into Peri's back painfully. "We have been trying to escape and the guards decided this was the best way to keep us."

"We still haven't stopped," Peri added, poking back at Erimem in revenge. She got a small noise of annoyance from her friend. "Trying to escape, I mean. I'm glad you're here to get us out though. That makes things a lot easier." All of their previous attempts had, after all, ended in failure.

The woman laughed. "That's the spirit, girls! The Doctor said you would be."

"The Doctor's alive?" Both Peri and Erimem sat up straighter at that, their shoulder poking contest forgotten in the excitement and relief washing over them. Not that Peri had ever believed any differently of the Doctor... Of course not. It was just good to be right.

"He's alive. Things are a bit complicated, but we'll hopefully have things sorted soon," Gwen said, her voice sounding farther away. Peri strained to see what was going on, but once again had no luck other than to bang against a loudly protesting Erimem.

"Do you know where the guards would keep a knife?" Gwen called out, disgust in her voice. Peri didn't blame her, as she thought back to the guard who had tied them up this morning. None of the guards were lookers, but two of them looked like their face had been mauled at birth.

"It's in his back pocket," Erimem called out. Things went silent for a few moments after that, but soon enough there were footsteps coming closer and the ropes that were binding them together fell to the floor.

Squirming around, Peri finally caught sight of the dark haired woman, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket over a black t-shirt. Was that what is considered fashionable thirty years in the future? She didn't like this silence either, so Peri tried to think of something to say. There was always complaining about the Doctor. "So the Doctor really is alive... What took him so long? It's been a week!"

"Peri, he's alive," Erimem said. Peri could tell she was smiling from the tone of her voice, though she still couldn't see her friend as Gwen was still cutting through the bindings and blocking her view. "I'm sure whatever kept him was important, so let us give thanks to the Gods that he is still safe."

"Oh, I'll give thanks to him for taking so-" Peri was cut off as she felt the knife sliding down through the ropes on her wrists. Oh, that hurt. Not the knife, because Gwen was very careful about not cutting her, but the blood flowing through to her hands again. The last guard took no chances on them escaping and had bound their hands tighter than the others had.

By the time she was able to flex her hands without pain, Gwen had already freed their feet. Erimem had taken the pain without a sound, not even the small gasp that Peri had made, and Peri felt a little envious of how impassive her friend could be for such matters.

Once they were free, Gwen touched her ear - no, not her ear. There was a small silver device that was some how attached to her ear. What was that, some kind of futuristic earring? "Doctor? Ianto? Come in, please," Gwen said to the air, calling out a few more times.

"What is she doing?" Erimem whispered to Peri, so as not to interrupt whatever Gwen was doing.

"I think she's got some kind of walkie talkie. It lets her talk to people who aren't in the same room," Peri explained, though the silver earpiece was like nothing she'd ever seen before.

Gwen frowned softly, a worried expression entering her eyes. "It's a cell phone," she said absently. "With Bluetooth technology so I don't have to hold the phone in my hands. Ianto and the Doctor aren't answering though and all I'm getting is some kind of background noise."

"Blue... tooth?" Erimem asked, giggling as Gwen tried calling one more time. Peri shrugged, because it was nothing she'd ever heard of before. The earpiece didn't look like a tooth, nor was it blue.

Shaking her head, Gwen turned back to the two time travelers with a smile that didn't quite meet her eyes. "Whatever's happened to them, we've still got potentially six more guards roaming about that need taking care of. Are you girls up for some more escape tactics?"

"Let me at those brutes. They need to be taught how royalty should be held captive," Erimem said, causing Peri to smile. Oh, yes. They were ready for pay back.

* * *

Pain and fear were the two emotions that were surging through Ianto. Despite that, he still attempted to squirm his arm out of the thug's hold. The movement earned his arm another sharp pull up, causing Ianto to nearly black out. It was only the press of cool metal against his throat that forced him to not slump into it and cut his own throat. Ianto didn't make another attempt after that, simply stumbling forward as directing.

He thought he heard Jack's voice shouting through it all, but Ianto couldn't hear much above the pounding in his ears. The Doctor's voice, a small part of him that was still able to think through the haze of pain reminded him. The Doctor was still talking... no, yelling. Must be, for the noise of it to get through to Ianto. He felt his arm being pushed upward again and he wasn't able to hold back a small cry at the pain.

The Doctor fell silent after that and the grip on his arm moved down again so Ianto could draw in gasped breaths. It was another five minutes of being pushed along before his vision cleared enough to see his surroundings again, though the grey walls made him doubt he was seeing at all until he caught sight of Jack's greatcoat.

They were both pushed into a decent sized room with lively mechanical hums, clicks and flashing lights. It was almost too much for Ianto to take in over the pain, but he adjusted to it slowly, so he focused on keeping his lungs from stopping their movement in the meantime. The Doctor was talking again and this time he could make out a few of the words. "Treatment," "wound" and "Ape-like buffoons" stood out among the rest.

This time whatever the Doctor said had worked. The knife was taken away form Ianto's throat and the hand keeping his wounded arm on his back released him. Without the support, Ianto stumbled forward and would have probably added a concussion to his myriad of hurts if someone hadn't caught him.

Jack. It was Jack's arms that caught him and helped him safely to the floor as fifty-first century pheromones enveloped him with a sense of safety. The fear didn't leave, but it was now muted enough for Ianto to clutch at the immortal's greatcoat and bury his head against Jack's chest.

It was only when Jack awkwardly patted his head instead of tenderly kissing his forehead that Ianto remembered this was the Doctor, not his lover, holding him. Under normal circumstances, Ianto would have been embarrassed and off the Doctor in seconds, but the hurt and fear kept him from even considering it. Even though Jack wasn't here, he could at least take comfort from Jack's body. Ianto doubted he could stand on his own at the moment anyway.

Gently, the Doctor turned him over to start checking the wound. Ianto gave a small gasp as those probing fingers started to pull off his suit jacket. It didn't matter how careful the Doctor was, the pain of moving his bad arm overwhelmed Ianto and this time he welcomed the fall into oblivion.

He woke up about twenty minutes later to find a cool cloth wiping away some of the sweat on his forehead. Groaning, Ianto tried to sit up. He was very grateful when a pair of strong hands gently helped him lie back down. Jack... No, it was the Doctor in Jack's body, not Jack.

The Doctor had found a make-shift dressing for his wound and was just finished bandaging it. Ianto realized his shirt was unbuttoned and half hanging off him, but he there was too much pain for him to really feel embarrassed over it. Besides, the blood... the amount of blood he could see was dizzying and Ianto didn't want to think about it as his. Over all, he was very glad to have been unconscious through most of the dressing, especially since the pain had doubled when he tried to move.

Slowly, the Doctor helped him sit up, keeping one arm around Ianto's shoulders to keep him stead. "Easy now," the Doctor said softly. "I need you to swallow something for me. Can you manage?"

Without waiting for a reply (for which Ianto was belatedly grateful since he didn't think nodding would be a pleasant experience), the Doctor carefully placed a small, cool pill against his lips, which Ianto willingly parted to receive it. Even before the Doctor brought up a cup of water, Ianto had swallowed the pill dry, praying it was a pain killer to rival Owen's. Unfortunately, no pain relievers ever worked immediately and Ianto and the Doctor were still presumably captured. Which meant... "Gwen?" Ianto gasped out, trying to look around for his co-worker and friend.

The Doctor shushed him lightly and Ianto had to fight to focus on the warning shake of the Doctor's head. The light squeeze on Ianto's good shoulder told him enough. Gwen wasn't here, which meant she was still at large and a potential rescuer. Hopefully, the thugs didn't even know she was here yet.

Whether it was the pain killers going to work or simply a placebo effect of knowing he had taken the medicine, Ianto did start to feel a little better as his head cleared. The Doctor still used the cold compress against his forehead, gently wiping away at Ianto's temples every so often.

"Where are we?" Ianto asked finally, leaning against the Doctor when sitting on his own started to tax his strength. Ianto justified it as trying to conserve his strength for when he actually needed it. Being this close to Jack's body and those fifty-first century pheromones was just an added plus he wasn't going to argue with. It might not be Jack himself, but Ianto sorely needed at least that small comfort and the Doctor didn't push him away.

"The main computer room, I think," the Doctor replied softly. "Jack should be in that computer over there."

That got a reaction out of Ianto, as he tried to get up again, but the Doctor held him firmly in place. He was forced to lean back against the Doctor, attempting instead to keep his eyes focused. At least this was a less fruitless pursuit, because he could soon make out the flashing lights of the console and the dimmed screen. That was Jack? The computer gave no notice of them, if it even could, and Ianto felt a small wave of despair wash over him. How were they supposed to get Jack back from that machine?

His despair must have been apparent, because the Doctor smiled reassuringly at him with that uniquely Doctor expression. "We'll get him back," he said. "Just rest for now until the rovie comes."

Ianto felt bad, simply leaving everything to the Doctor like this, but he was right about not being able to do anything at the moment. He allowed himself to be guided by the Doctor back down to the makeshift pillow of Jack's coat, drifting in and out of consciousness for another twenty minutes. The Doctor was never far, which comforted Ianto far more than he cared to admit right now.

The pain was still constant, but thankfully dimmed enough so that when Ianto finally heard the approaching squeaky voice he was able to sit up without needing the Doctor's help. When he finally caught sight of the rodent... Ianto found, no matter how much pain he was in, it was impossible to keep a straight face. Which was no mean feat, considering he had spent years perfecting the art of a professional poker face. A mouse with a top hat and curly mustache... "It really is a mouse," he said, stifling a laugh.

"Yes," the Doctor agreed with quiet amusement, "and it gets more ridiculous every time I see it."

"I am not an it! And you will stop ignoring me this instant!"

Ianto honestly couldn't have said which was more ridiculous, the gaudy villain get up that looked like it was straight out of a 1920's melodrama, or the squeaky voice that was at such odds with an evil megalomaniac. But oh, laughing hurt. That didn't seem to matter, however, nor the slightly hysterical tone to Ianto's fit of mirth. After everything that happened, Ianto found he really needed that laugh. Even for Torchwood, this was just too out there.

The Doctor joined in the laughter, neither of them able to look straight at the top hat or cape without laughing harder. "Stop laughing!" it squeaked again, indignantly stomping one of its lower paws.

Which only set Ianto off more, much to his discomfort. Their merriment was abruptly cut short when one of the thugs forced Ianto to his feet and once again pulled his bad arm up behind his back. Ianto's laugh changed to a cry of pain as his vision started swimming again.

Immediately the Doctor scrambled to his feet as well, glaring at the mouse with self-righteous fury. "That is hardly necessary if you wanted our attention. Let him go before your thugs reopen his wounds."

It was the rovie's turn to ignore the Doctor's words, eying the Time Lord suspiciously. "I thought you were dead, the last time I saw you. Yes, I'm sure you weren't breathing when I had my minions drop you in a ditch. You spoke with a different accent last time too. Those are the Doctor's speech patterns."

"You should know I'm not that easy to kill, if you traveled in the TARDIS for as long as you claimed." The Doctor's eyes flickered between the rodent and Ianto as he weighted his options. Ianto quietly willed the Doctor not to be hasty, but the Doctor fell quickly into submission after another pained gasp from the Welshman. "I'll do what you want," he said quietly, fury carrying his voice. "Just let Ianto go. There's no reason to keep hurting him like this."

Ianto found it harder and harder to keep up with the conversation over the agony in his shoulder. It was, granted, a much easier task than the last time, thanks to whatever it was the Doctor had given him for pain killers, but the blood loss was taking its toll and he felt like he was on the verge of fainting.

He could understand what the Doctor was doing when he put his hands up in surrender, because that was fairly obvious even to his pain-hazed brain. "Doctor, don't," he gasped, his voice rough and breathless to his ears. "I'm fine, so don't-" Another pained and involuntary cry forced Ianto's words into meaningless sounds. Fire spread from his arm up to his shoulder as that bastard moved Ianto's arm ever higher, causing his vision to tunnel.

"You've made your point!" Did Jack's voice just go all squeaky in surprise? No, that had to be the pain talking. Pain that didn't recede until the Doctor was forced into a chair with straps that were obviously meant to bind him. Once the Doctor was secured, Ianto was thrown to the floor. His relief at his arm being released was short lived as the impact of the ground jarred his shoulder even more, sending needles of agony up his back.

This time Ianto didn't get up, despite how the Doctor thrashed about and yelled trying to get to him. For one thing, it hurt like hell. There was just no getting around that simple fact and not moving was looking ever more appealing even as the darkness of fainting threatened to overwhelm him.

Ianto was also a lot smarter than most people gave him credit for. His own parents had never seen how clever he was, always so disappointed when he brought home his report cards, but Ianto had learned to use people's underestimation of him to his advantage. Even the Torchwood team had been frequently surprised by him, both before and after the incident with Lisa that should have taught them differently.

The thugs were nothing better than mindless muscle, so struggling against them was useless. If he got back up now, he'd be put through more pain and probably confined by one of them, which - call him crazy - he'd much rather avoid. Instead, he curled in on himself, playing the spineless rookie who was far more hurt than he actually was, mostly unconscious. Not all that hard, considering he did, as previously stated, hurt like hell.

He collected himself as well as he could so he wouldn't faint dead away the second he moved and waited for his chance to surprise the rovie. Ianto didn't pay attention to the Doctor's angry words, instead trying to focus long enough to get a good look around. Staying as still as possible, he attempted to recall the layout of the room for anything that might be useful...

There. It was a small radio dish, potentially meant to be part of the computer, but tossed aside. Whether it was superfluous or simply not attached yet didn't matter, if Ianto could just get to it...

Slowly, he started to roll over, then realized that would be a Very Bad Idea. He bit back a moan of pain as his shoulder reminded him vocally that, yes, it still hurt, thanks for asking... At least neither of the thugs noticed, since both they and the mouse had decided he was a non-threat.

Since rolling to the other side was out, that meant a slow crawl. Ianto started painstakingly moving across the floor, pausing every so often to make sure he wasn't being watched. The pipsqueak voice of the rovie and the Doctor's strange British accent filtered through Jack's voice drifted through Ianto's consciousness, but he didn't attempt to make sense of it. He hurt far too much to think past the radio dish and the crawling itself felt like an eternity. Vaguely, he realized that the wound had reopened and he was losing more blood. Well, that explained why he was slowly going numb.

Finally, the tips of his fingers touched the dish and after a bit more wiggling and propping himself up, he had the dish in his hands. Okay. Now what? It took him a long moment to remember the plan and a moment longer to realize he was very probably in serious trouble with his wound re-opened. How much longer did he have until he bled to death? There wasn't much he could do about that, other than to end this as quickly as he could since the only help he was likely to get would be from the Doctor or Gwen.

Looking over to the Doctor, Ianto managed to catch his eye for the briefest second while the mouse was fiddling with a lever. Relief passed over Jack's face so quickly that Ianto nearly missed it, along with a glance at the dish in his hands and an almost imperceptible nod. Then the Doctor went right back into banter with the rodent - more words Ianto couldn't focus on long enough to understand, but he didn't need to.

With the Doctor keeping the rovie and thugs occupied, Ianto realized he was going to have to stand to get to the mouse who was currently sitting on the computer console. Biting back a groan, Ianto focused all of his attention on the two thugs. They hadn't noticed him yet, nor were they even looking at him. With the Doctor now bound to the chair, one thug had gone to stand guard at the door while the other waited on the caped villain's whim.

Ianto clutched at the radio dish with his bad hand and started to push himself up with the good one, trying to ignore how much agony he was in. It wasn't working all that well, the ignoring bit, but it was the effort that counted. Once he was sitting, Ianto had to stop and let the dizziness pass. He couldn't let himself linger over the pain, since the longer he stayed like this the more chances someone would notice him. So he pushed onward, biting his lip to keep from crying out and giving away his presence. Finally, he was standing, though shakily and barely feeling his legs as he moved toward the mouse and the thug.

When he got close enough, the mouse's words started to finally make sense, the high pitched squeak cutting through his thoughts with painful clarity. "It doesn't matter now, Doctor. My plan has already been set in motion and will be carried out before the week is out! This Jack who saved you is no longer necessary. I will erase him from the computer memory banks and put you in his stead!" The mouse moved towards a big, blue button as it grinned menacingly.

Jack... Jack being erased? Not even an immortal could come back from that, right? And even if he did, it would be as someone completely blank, someone who had no idea who Ianto was. No... No. Ianto loved Jack and maybe Jack couldn't return that intensity, Ianto still had what Jack could give him. Ianto couldn't lose that, not now.

Fear and anger gave him enough adrenaline to push forward past the thug and trap the startled rovie beneath the radio dish before it could take a step nearer to the button. Its top hat got knocked off in the process, but that was the least of Ianto's worries as it started to bang at the dish and try to knock him off.

"Get this stupid ape off me!" the mouse squeaked from under the dish. It was surprisingly strong and Ianto had to throw most of his weight into holding the bloody thing down, so he didn't notice the thug moving to obey the rodent's summons. Not that he was in any position to do anything about this major oversight to his plan, but he did at least get to look up when the Doctor yelled his name just in time to see a fist coming down to beat him to death.

Ianto closed his eyes and ducked the best he could, hunching over the bowl. The first punch only clipped him, but even that light touch practically incapacitated him. He cried out as his shoulder was jarred, but even that cry was cut off by his lack of air. He'd never be able to avoid a second punch. God, was this is? He was going to die because of a megalomaniac mouse, without even seeing Jack one last time...

The second blow never came, however. The thug had swung wide and momentum had taken him past Ianto to the computer console. When the man started to scream death throes, Ianto looked over in surprise. The thug was being electrocuted by bolts that were some how coming out of the computer. Ianto watched as the man fell to the ground, dead. Had the computer done that, or was it just a fluke?

No time to dwell on that, not when the mouse was still yelling under the dish with muffled cries for help. Whether it was from those cries or the other man's screams, the second thug that had been guarding the door came rushing in and Ianto was just as badly off. He was dizzy and reeling, but he still clung to the dish and the rodent as he waited for the inevitable death.

There was a sickening crack and a cry of pain that was followed by a female voice he didn't recognize. In fact, it took him a few moments to realize he wasn't the one who'd cried out. By that time, someone was trying to take the dish away from him and there was so much yelling that he couldn't single any of the words out. No, he couldn't let go. If he did, Jack would be erased...

"Ianto! Christ, the blood..." That was Gwen's voice, wasn't it? It cut through the rest and the relief nearly drove him to his knees. He focused on her voice as best he could, though he was quickly going so numb that the ringing in his ears nearly drowned out everything. "All of you, shut it!" she said. "Ianto, it's all right. You can let go now."

"But the mouse..." Was that his voice? It sounded so weak and far away, which Ianto put down to another Bad Sign. There was just so many of Bad Signs by now that there was no point in counting.

"Rest at ease, brave warrior. I will keep the mouse from escaping." Who..? Ianto vaguely recognized it as the female voice from earlier, though he had no idea who she was and was too dizzy to even attempt to look up at her.

At more prompting from Gwen, he finally let go of the radio dish, glad to relinquish his guard over it. Gwen was trying very gently to steer him over to a chair after a bit more shouting, but he was solely focused on her voice. "Ianto... Fuck, Ianto stay with me!"

"-'m fine," he slurred, knowing it was a lie. Gwen's voice - panicked, stricken, and on the verge of tears - confirmed his suspicions. Ianto was dying. He'd lost too much blood and he was dying without seeing Jack one last time. Typical Torchwood. He couldn't even muster up the energy to get angry or even be terrified. He was just too tired. What was it Tosh had said? She hoped she did good. Ianto hoped so too, that at least Jack would be saved.

He had two last thoughts before passing out as Gwen screamed at him. The first was that he was sorry for the trouble his death was bound to cause Gwen and Jack. The second was to wonder who would take care of the Hub and the Torchwood team once he was gone. The coffee machine would get dusty...



Memory: Hm, I do hope Ianto survives. T'would be a pity if we lost him. Then who would I torment?

I think I might have used this quote before for another fic, but ah, well. It is a good one.

Quote of the chapter:

"The first obligation of prisoner is to escape."
"Ah, So if one is a prisoner of love, one must escape to solitude? If one is a prisoner to joy, must one escape to sadness?"
-Captain John Sheridan and Lorien, Babylon 5