Title: Conversation for another time
Author: Ceindreadh
Fandom(s): Torchwood
Genre (general, hetero or slash) : Slash
Pairing/Characters: Jack/Ianto, also features Ten, Martha
Rating: T, NC-15

Spoilers: Torchwood S1, written prior to Utopia, so doesn't follow what happened there.
Warnings: a little slash, a little angst, some gratuitous nudity!

Disclaimer. I don't own the Torchwood/Doctor Who characters, I'm only borrowing them, and I promise to return them in minty fresh condition when I'm finished.
Notes: Just a bizarre little fic that came to me. Unbeta'ed, but spell checked.


Jack knew that the conversation was going to happen sooner or later. You didn't just die in front of your co-workers - twice in one day no less – and expect them not to ask you about it later. Sure he'd managed to put it off a bit, sending Ianto off for coffee, but he knew that sooner or later he and his 'teaboy' were going to have a bit of a heart to heart. He wasn't really looking forward to it…after all his ranting to Ianto about the dangers of keeping secrets from each other, it was a bit hypocritical of him not to have mentioned even in passing "Oh yeah, I can't die".

He'd been trying to find the right words to explain when he'd wandered out into the Hub to find the Doctor's hand twitching frantically in its jar. Even before he'd heard the engines, Jack knew that he was finally going to find the answers he'd been seeking for so many years. Running for the TARDIS as it materialized, a part of Jack was breathing a sigh of relief that he could put off that conversation with Ianto for just a little while longer.

A 'little while' turned out to be another six months…at least from Jack's point of view. He'd gotten some answers, finally finding out that Rose had been responsible for his continuing existence, and also that she hadn't died as reported at the battle of Canary Wharf. But other answers hadn't been quite so forthcoming. The Doctor – while agreeing that Rose had probably channelled the power of the TARDIS right into Jack to revive him – had freely admitted that he didn't know why the power kept bringing him back. "To be honest I'd have figured it to be a one shot deal. You know, a get out of Zog free card, one use only." He'd shrugged his shoulders, "But she wasn't exactly experienced in what she did. Maybe she just charged you up a little too much. You'll probably run down eventually…maybe…we all do…well sort of…"

Jack's disappointment had been tempered somewhat by the Doctor's promise to take him for a quick trip round the Galaxy before dropping him back home. "The fifty-first century is only a step away," he'd said, patting the TARDIS controls lovingly. "Anytime you want, just tell me where and when."

Of course the 'one quick trip' had turned into a dozen or more, Jack and the Doctor and Martha had gone from one end of time to the other, getting into trouble and out of it again, saving the world and the Universe on more than one occasion. Jack had died once trying to have sex on the planet Haeypullafu, not having realized that the inhabitants preferred to do it while flying.

The second time he'd died from radiation poisoning on Mars, two thousand years in his future, or three thousand years in his past if you were looking at it that direction. But he'd stopped a reactor from overheating and had saved the entire population from extinction, which almost made up for all the 'glowing in the dark' jokes he'd had to put up with from the Doctor afterwards.

It was while he was recuperating after the poisoning that Jack made his decision.

Slipping on a bathrobe over his shorts, he made his way to the control room. The Doctor was there, tinkering around with his sonic screwdriver. "So," he said, not looking up as Jack came into the room. "Time to go home?"

Jack stuck his hands in his pockets and avoided meeting the Doctor's eyes. "Yeah…I just feel…I've died twice already…what if next time's the last time? What if I've used up all my nine lives? I think it's time to go home, with my family, where I belong."

"But you don't have any family in the fifty-first century."

"That's not the home I was talking about."

"Oh…ooooh…well it's been fun having you around Jack, I wish you could stay longer." The Doctor moved over to Jack and gave him a hug. "Try not to die any time soon."

"I could say the same to you!"

"Well then," said the Doctor, letting go of Jack and bounding over to console. "The only question now is, when do you want to get back?"


They'd argued the point at some length had Jack and the Doctor. Jack wanted to return as soon as possible after his departure. "I left them without warning. Least I can do is make sure I get back before I've been gone too long."

"No, no, no, we get too close to the time you could end up meeting yourself and that's never good…especially for you."

"Hey, just because one time, I suggested shagging my younger self, doesn't mean I was serious!"

The Doctor had wanted to leave at least a month, Jack less than an hour. They'd compromised at two weeks, only to find that the TARDIS had overruled both of them, bringing Jack back to Cardiff less than twenty-four hours after he'd departed.

"They'll hardly have had time to miss me!" Jack was jovial as he caressed the TARDIS's console. "Thanks girl."

"If you start making out with her, I will not be responsible for her reaction," the Doctor had a smile on his face as he hugged Jack goodbye.

"Good luck," said Martha, as she hugged Jack as well. "It's been fun knowing you."

Jack stood outside and saluted as he watched the TARDIS dematerialise. He felt a quick pang of regret, wishing that he could have stayed with the Doctor, or better yet, brought the Doctor with him to meet the team. But while the Doctor was no longer 'enemy number 1' of Torchwood, bringing him back into the Hub could cause all sorts of problems.

Jack waited until he was alone, and then returned for a conversation he'd been putting off for far too long.


All things considered, Jack felt he'd done rather well in avoiding the subject with Ianto for several hours after his return. He'd glossed over the subject with the rest of the team, "Yes I was dead, then I came back, now I can't die, at least not permanently. And now you know as much as I do, can I have some more coffee, pleeeeze?"

He'd sent the rest of the team home as soon as decently possible, and then had turned to the altogether more pleasant task of avoiding the conversation with Ianto. Naturally this had involved making sure that Ianto's mouth was occupied with other things than talking, but insatiable as both men were, eventually there came a point where it was time to talk rather than shag.

"So," said Ianto, sitting on the side of the bed, his back to Jack. "You're immortal?"

Jack lay back against the pillows and sighed, "Maybe. I don't know, Yan. All I know is that so far I should have been dead…" He counted mentally on his fingers, "I don't know, maybe twenty times or more, only every time I keep waking up. Maybe it's a permanent condition; maybe I've only got a finite number of lives. I honestly don't know." He could see by Ianto's posture that the younger man was thinking.

"So you don't die…at least not permanently. And when you come back, all your injuries are healed?"

"Fatal injuries yes," said Jack. "Bumps and scrapes not so much. I heal faster than an ordinary human, but not so visibly."

"Your recovery time is certainly quicker…"

Jack could see Ianto inhale sharply. "Ianto?"

"You cheating bastard!"

"What?" Before Jack could move, Ianto had turned around and grabbed one of the pillows from under him.

"You…" Ianto thumped Jack in the face with the pillow, "cheating," another thump, "bastard!"

Jack finally managed to grab the pillow and wrench it away from Ianto. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"All the time with the stopwatch," growled Ianto, "All your 'oooh, lets see which of us can get hard again quickest…oh look, I win'!" He grabbed the pillow from an open mouthed Jack and thumped him again, "Do you know how many blow jobs you've cheated me out of?"

"Ianto!" Jack was trying not to burst out laughing.

"Seventeen! Seventeen times I sucked you off when it should have been the other way round!" Ianto punctuated his words with thumps from the pillow. "Seventeen!"

Jack decided that this had gone far enough, "Now Ianto, be reasonable. Put the pillow down and we'll ta…" His words were cut off by a well-aimed feathery blow. "Okay, that's it…this means war!" Grabbing the second pillow from the bed, he managed to get in a few whacks as he scrambled off the bed. "I'm sorry that you feel hard done by, but trust me, immortality or not, there's no way you would have beaten me."

"Oh yeah?" Ianto whacked Jack.

"Yeah!" Jack whacked back, somewhat harder than he'd intended. There was a ripping noise, and the next second; both men were surrounded by a cloud of feathers.

"Oh shit!" said Jack, realizing he was now effectively disarmed. He grabbed a clump of feathers as they settled to the ground, and held them out in a threatening manner. "Stay back," he warned, "Or…or I'll tickle you!"

Ianto couldn't help but laugh at the sight of Jack standing there, naked, and with a handful of feathers. "I think perhaps you should think about surrendering, since you seem to be a little bit outgunned!"

Jack grinned widely, "And what terms of surrender are you offering?"

"Well you could start by compensating me for those blow jobs you cheated me out of…and after that, I'm sure we can agree on suitable…reparations!"

"I do love a good negotiation!"


The end