TITLE: Family Matters 7/7
AUTHOR: Erin Giles
RATING: PG (for swearing)
SUMMARY: Ianto asks for a personal day, which in itself is an oddity. Jack's curiosity gets the better of him and before he knows it he finds himself in the middle of Ianto's family. Set from Jack's POV.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, and never will be sadly.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: The final installment of Family Matters and I'm kinda sad now it's over, although this last chapter almost had me throwing a flakey! And for that reason this is for cailenbraern because she put up with my sniping at silly o'clock in the morning while I tried to write it. She also proof read it for me and was generally wonderful. Plus the first scene is for her and her alone! She knows why! ;) Enjoy and I bid you all adieu... (until I decide to write "Jack, Ianto and Finn go to Aberystwyth")
"Well that's one way to stop me trying to kiss you at inappropriate moments." Jack leered as he peered round the tourist office door. Ianto was leaning against the washboards of the tourist office wall, shirt sleeves rolled up, cigarette pursed between his lips. Jack watched the smoke curling up into the night air before he spoke again. "Just checking you'd not run out on us. Tosh thinks she's almost tracked down where they're coming from while Owen and Gwen are coming up with more weird and wonderful names. They were moving away from the less Disney versions when I left."
Ianto took another long drag from his cigarette before he replied.
"I'll just be a moment Sir. Just needed some air; it's been a long night."
Jack glanced to the horizon briefly where the sun was starting to break through the clouds. Jack let out a sigh and rubbed at the back of his neck, closing the tourist office door to lean against it.
"Long enough for you to take up smoking apparently." Jack glanced sideways to see if he got any reaction from Ianto. Ianto just continued to take long slow drags, relishing the taste, which suggested to Jack this wasn't something he had just taken up.
"Long enough to start re-offending." Ianto replied, "I used to smoke when I was younger, gave up because," Ianto swallowed, "Lisa didn't like the smell on me, or the way I tasted." Ianto finished off his cigarette and stubbed it out underneath the toe of his highly polished shoes, "Suppose that doesn't matter now."
Their gaze locked for a long moment before Ianto pushed himself off the wall of the tourist office and moved to go back inside. Jack wouldn't shift though.
"Why are you still here?" Jack's gaze moved slowly up, crystal blue eyes meeting in an intense gaze, "I know why you came here, because of Lisa, but why are you still here now Lisa's gone." If Jack could he would have taken another step towards Ianto to close the distance, but they were close enough already. "What else are you hiding Ianto Jones?"
Ianto looked like he was going to bolt for a moment but he remained where he was, staring the Captain down.
"I know you've learned a lot about me these last couple of weeks Sir, but some things are better if they remain secret." Ianto pursed his lips together as Jack bit back a retort he knew would get him a punch to the face. Instead he stepped aside and Ianto disappeared inside the tourist office.
Jack sighed, leaning back against the washboards and kicking at Ianto's fag end so it skidded away across the decking before disappearing between one of the slats.
"Jack I think I've figured out where they're coming from."
Jack stepped back into the tourist office and followed the smell of cigarette smoke back down into the hub.
"We'll need all four of us, and Tosh you can monitor from the SUV." Jack issued orders as Tosh displayed the CCTV that showed god knows how many of the hideous things that still remained un-named but Owen kept trying to affectionately call 'the little shits', swarming into a manhole just round the corner from the Millennium Stadium. Jack looked to Ianto to check if it was alright with him, considering how their last field expedition had gone and how vulnerable Ianto was feeling at the moment, but Ianto was already passing guns to Owen and Gwen from the armourer.
Turns out the buggers have teeth on them, and Ianto isn't the first to complain about his ripped clothing or the smell of the sewers when the four of them spilt up in the hope to trap them down one of the tunnels and try out Guy Fawkes' failed plan. Owen was however keen to point out the word failed. Ianto on the other hand was quick to offer his lighter to the cause when Tosh and him returned from the off licence looking like they were going to a New Year's party.
Jack however was having second thoughts as he and Ianto waded through the tunnel, Tosh directing them as they listened to the scuttling sound of what Jack hoped was rats as the alternative didn't bare thinking about. His coat was already torn in three places and he was down to his last two Molotov Cocktails, after being a bit over exuberant.
His attention span was lacking though, and when he wasn't absentmindedly following Ianto's arse down the tunnel he was fixating on their conversation earlier that morning.
A part of Jack was scared now that Ianto had stopped silently asking Jack to stay over and no more words had been spoken over the matter of his mother after the scattering of her ashes. Ianto had just gotten out of Jack's bed the next morning, dressed in a new suit and gone back to cleaning the hub like nothing had ever happened. Jack's bed still smelt of him though.
Jack was scared that all that time they had spent getting close had been nothing more than a momentary lapse of detachment on Ianto's part and Ianto was now regressing back to aloof office boy.
"So I take it the book of Ianto Jones is now firmly closed?" Jack asked, trying to peer round a corner with caution, but was too busy looking for Ianto's reaction.
"I never knew it was open Sir." Ianto replied as he too looked round the next corner cautiously. Jack noticed that Ianto seemed more interested in his reaction, which just made Jack smile. Ianto returned the smile, turning away bashfully before he was barrelling into the side of Jack as a group of the little buggers swarmed them.
Jack pulled Ianto back into the passageway, and pushed him, stumbling forward, back the way they had just come. He yanked one of 'the little shits' from Ianto's arm, ripping his suit and shirt, and probably a good portion of his forearm from him.
Jack doesn't remember lighting the last two of his cocktails with Ianto's lighter, or pushing Ianto into an alcove and shielding him with his body while 'the little shits' continued to gnaw at him in all the wrong places.
He can remember that horrible screeching sound though as they shrivelled up in the flames as he let out his own scream. The last of them trying to save itself by biting into his jugular.
Jack can feel himself fighting to stay, and he really wants to, really doesn't want Ianto to see him die. He can feel strong arms picking him up out from under sewer water but it's so cold down here now; so very cold now. He can feel shaking hands on his face, slick with either blood or water, he's not sure; can hear the Welsh vowels in his name as it's called repeatedly into the darkness; can taste Ianto on his lips. He tastes of nicotine and coffee and something so wonderfully alive and real.
He tries to stay, he really does but there is something in the darkness calling him, and he could never resist.
Jack awakes to the feeling of being dragged through water. He can hear sobbing and when his arm twitches of its own accord there's a shocked gasp before he's dropped rather unceremoniously into the water.
He blinks a couple of times in the dim light of the tunnel before he draws himself up out of the water on unsteady legs to meet Ianto's glassy blue gaze.
Ianto stumbles back into the tunnel wall, a look of shock on his face before he slides down into the stale water, no regard for his suit that is quite possibly already ruined beyond repair. Jack doesn't know what to do and just stands there staring at Ianto.
Both of them stumble into the blinking sunlight, wet and cold and drained, emotionally on Ianto's part and literally on Jack's.
"What happened to you two?" Owen half mocks as they stagger towards the SUV. Jack watches as Ianto lurches past Owen back towards the Hub without a backwards glance.
"Jack?" Gwen is looking at him with concern in her eyes.
"He's been bitten." Jack says, gesturing for Owen to go after him.
"What happened down there?" Gwen presses, moving towards Jack as he leans on the back door of the SUV, watching Ianto walking away dazed as Owen runs to catch up to him. He feels sick to his stomach but he's more concerned about Ianto than himself.
"Jack, is he ok?" Gwen demands, standing in front of him now.
"He saw me die." Jack grinds out through tired lips. He doesn't miss Gwen's small 'Shit' though.
Jack dismissed Tosh with a 'See you tomorrow'. Owen went with a 'He'll be alright now.' Gwen left reluctantly after her and Jack argued over the merits of leaving Ianto with a dead man after only recently losing his mother. Jack was firm on the matter though.
"I'll take care of him."
Gwen eventually left after several backward glances as Jack situated himself on the sofa beside Ianto. Words went unspoken for a long moment as their hands found each others, Ianto gripping on with desperate need, trying to reaffirm the presence of Jack.
"I thought that," Ianto's voice was rough when he eventually spoke and he cleared his throat before continuing, "I thought you were dead." The last word came out as a whisper and Jack turned slightly on the sofa so he was facing Ianto.
"I was." Jack sighed, squeezing Ianto's hand before continuing. "Something happened to me a long time ago, somewhere far away from here,"
"You make it sound like a fairytale." Ianto gave a nervous laugh and Jack smiled in return.
"Well it sort of was, in a way," Jack frowned and Ianto gave him a sceptical look. "Well, not really." Jack was impressed that Ianto was taking this all in his stride though. Too many years at Torchwood Jack supposed; too many years without something resembling normal. Jack knew how that went. "I died, and someone, somehow, brought me back to life, but they didn't realise and I got left behind." Jack's eyes glazed over at the memory; that sharp jolt back from the darkness and the nothingness that brought the harsh reality of the universe back into sharp focus. Ianto's voice tugged him back to the present.
"How long ago, I mean, when did -?" Ianto's question remained unfinished but Jack could see Ianto's eyes on his attire, a sparkle in those blue depths putting two and two together; that same spark of intelligence that had Jack captivated from the moment he'd laid eyes on the Welshman.
"I've been about a while."
"Estelle?" Ianto asked, that one name tugging on Jack's heart-strings like a harp player. Jack just nodded though.
"Is that why you need your doctor? To help you explain this?" Ianto's eyes are glazed with tiredness now and he's stifling a yawn, so Jack gracefully dodges the question.
"You ok to drive home?"
Ianto nods as a yawn escapes him before he's moving to stand, finally releasing his death grip on Jack's hand, tugging at the sleeves of his jumper nervously.
"It must be lonely," Ianto states, unable to look at Jack as he too brings himself to his feet, "Never being able to die, always saying goodbye to the people you love while you live on." Ianto's inquisitive gaze is on Jack now, and there is something in the intensity of those ocean blue depths that pulls at Jack's heart.
Before he can stop himself he's kissing Ianto. He still tastes of nicotine and coffee and that wonderful warm feeling that fills Jack up inside with hope. It's not a desperate needy kiss but Jack is reluctant to let go, scared that if he does Ianto will have that look in his eyes that says 'No'.
When they do eventually break away though Jack is very aware of Ianto's hand in his again holding on, no longer for dear life. It is with comfort and the want to be closer, and Jack suddenly feels at peace with himself, something he has not known in a long time.
Ianto is yawning again, the adrenaline of the evening all but gone.
"You should get home or you'll be falling asleep at the wheel." Jack realises his mistake too late. He's shown an aptitude for reading Ianto like a book recently, but Ianto's questions have left him unguarded.
Jack feels his hand drop to his side as the warmth of Ianto's disappears.
"I'll see you tomorrow then Jack." Ianto's walking down the steps towards the hub exit and Jack knows this is now or never; he's trying to get his mouth to form the words 'Stay' or 'Can I come with you?' because Jack doesn't want to be alone anymore.
"Jack," Ianto is turning back, the reluctance to leave plain upon his face, "I was trying to think of some lame excuse to invite you back to mine, but I'm too tired to think of anything laced with a suitable amount of innuendo." Ianto's eyes are looking up at Jack now, "So, do you want to come back to mine?"
Jack doesn't need asking twice. He's grabbing his coat and taking Ianto's car keys from him as he slips a hand into Ianto's half bandaged one, squeezing it gently.
"It's your turn to do the dishes though." Jack laughs heartily at his own joke and Ianto gives a half smile as the lift ascends back to the real world with Ianto's conscious.
"It's Sunday tomorrow." He comments, looking at his feet.
"A day of rest." Jack replies looking directly at Ianto, more words in his look than he's saying, "I plan to read the Sunday paper, something I don't think I have ever done, and eat breakfast in bed."
Ianto smiles warmly at Jack, pulling him closer.
"Sound's good to me."