YO! Wassup dawgs?

I know this has been absolutely ages coming, but I'll admit freely that my muses have been giving me a run for my money recently. I've also gone back to school, and it's really tiring already! Though these aren't real excuses!

Whilst I may not be updating regularly from here on out, I'll try to get through in a reasonable amount of time :) My main problem is finishing this Part, but once I have, the next couple are going to be rolling off me like quiksilver!

Thankyou to everyone who's stuck with me, I hope I don't disappoint! Please, please comment, they make me REAL happy :)

Disclaimer: I don't own anyone sadly, they're RTD's and the BBC's

Chapter 5: Words of Wisdom

Gwen had finished every single piece of paperwork on her desk, including the pile Ianto had distributed to everyone mid afternoon. There'd been a lot of it left over from the past few months. She suddenly realised that she'd been far more worried about being in charge and having the final say in everything that she'd neglected the rest of her work.

Am I really that bad? She mused as she silently left the Hub at around seven that evening. I wasn't asking that much, just why he was there. I deserved to know - we all did. She nodded her head stubbornly as she walked across the plass and towards the flat she shared with Rhys, deciding the fresh air would do her good.

Jack watched this from the safety of his office, brooding silently over everything that had happened. He desperately didn't want to retcon Gwen, but he couldn't have a renegade employee, not in Torchwood. It was too dangerous for Gwen, far too dangerous for Jack and even more dangerous for the other three. Look what had happened last time an employee had ignored his orders – Owen had opened the Rift and… well, the rest was history.

"Excuse me, Captain?" Jack looked up in surprise and saw Donna standing just inside the doorway. "I'm sorry, but Ianto asked me to come and 'save you from yourself', as he put it."

"I swear he can read my mind sometimes." Jack said with a surprisingly honest laugh.

"No, but I know when you're brooding." Ianto called from a station just outside the door. Jack sighed and stood up, walking towards Donna and grabbing his coat, pulling it on as he walked her outside to where Ianto was standing expectantly. "I'm taking Donna and the Doctor out for dinner and I would appreciate it if you stopped moping and joined us."

Jack frowned for a moment before stepping over and pulling Ianto to him, dipping him into a dramatic kiss, eliciting and laugh from Donna. He pulled his head up and looked at Ianto, grinning at the obviously fake look of annoyance on his face. After a couple of moments of being drawn into each other's eyes, Jack pulled Ianto back upright and turned to Donna, holding his arm out for her to take.

"Right, where would you like to eat?" Jack asked the woman with a smile.

"How about that little place that overlooks the water?" The Doctor asked from behind him, a grin on his face. "You know, the one with the glass walls? It's only been a year or so on this timeline, right?"

"Yeah, it's running, and it managed to repair the damages as well." Jack said with a raised eyebrow and a hint of disapproval. The Doctor grinned innocently at him and stepped over to the invisible lift, waiting on the slab for the other three to join him. Jack was next to move and turned to find Ianto as he too stepped onto the slab.

"I know where you're going, I'll meet you in ten. There's some scans I told Tosh I'd finish for her." Ianto said with a smile, lying through his teeth. Jack gave him a wistful look before jumping onto the stone and activating it.

Chatting amicably, the three of them strolled across the plass to the small restaurant and booked a table for the four of them, Jack saving the seat next to him for when Ianto decided to join them. He was a little confused as to what exactly was happening, knowing for a fact that Tosh hadn't started any scans in the hours she'd been at the Hub that day.

Ianto sighed and waited for the slab to stop moving before he pulled out his mobile phone and dialled Gwen. She picked up after the fourth ring with a defensive tone to her voice. "Hello?"

"Gwen, it's Ianto." He said with patience he didn't feel.

"What've I done this time?" She was instantly on the defensive and he could see the accusation in her eyes through the connection.

"Nothing at all. I was calling to make sure you were alright." Ianto replied coolly, not letting her rile him up. "I heard some of what Jack said earlier, and whilst I do agree with him, I think he overreacted."

"I didn't do anything, Ianto." She was angry now, the defensive, hostile tone setting Ianto's teeth on edge, putting an itch in his right hand.

"Snapping at me isn't going to solve anything." Ianto said in a cold voice, knowing that Gwen had a great deal of issues concerning his and Jack's relationship. "Believe it or not, I'm trying to help you."

"How're you going to do that?" Scepticism next, the patronising tone she gave him every time he tried to say something in a team meeting or to anyone in front of her that didn't involve food or coffee. He very almost hung up then and there.

"By telling you to listen to Jack, despite how much you think you were in the right. You seem to forget that he's lived longer than all of us put together and has a great deal of experience. He's good at his job, Gwen, and he's trying incredibly hard to be fair and just with you - and has been since your first day. If you make it any harder for him to do his job, you'll find that his seemingly unending patience runs short."

"Ianto-" Gwen began, but the young man cut the call and sighed heavily. It had been a warning and a threat tied into one but he still didn't know why he'd done it. A part of him still disliked Gwen for her carefree and cavalier way of working, using the rest of them as if she was ruler of the world, ignoring Ianto like he was nothing more than a picture hung on a corridor wall.

The rest of him knew that Jack couldn't function if he lost her from the team. That's why he was doing it. Jack needed them all to be able to keep the world safe. Anything that jeopardised that was Ianto's job to sort out, whether it was cleaning up a dead body, washing the SUV or pulling rogue team members back into line.

With a satisfied nod, he powered down the remaining computers and patched the Rift alarm through to Jack's wrist band, as Tosh had shown him earlier in the day. Once he was finished, he left through the Tourist Office, locking up behind him and walking slowly across the plass, enjoying the feeling of the air on his skin after a day in the underground base.

The restaurant was fairly quiet, only a few other groups of people and several couples enjoying a romantic evening out. When Ianto stepped in, the waiter at the bar immediately showed him over to Jack's table, having obviously been tipped quite well to do so.

Ianto sat down with a sigh and shot Jack a look before shrugging his jacket off and leaning back, glad to be out of work and in a place where relaxing was more than just possible, it was expecting. He turned his attention then to the story the Doctor was telling the other two, grinning madly as he watched Jack shake his head in embarrassment.

"… and then Jack here hooked it up to the TARDIS and it all but ripped the city apart! I mean, not that he knew what was going to happen." The Doctor blew his cheeks out at the memory. "Of course, she managed to get back on and grabbed Rose…"

He stumbled then, frowning as if something had gone wrong in his memory. Before Donna had a chance to really notice, Jack dived in to finish the story. "She'd half turned back into a Slitheen, but the TARDIS was angrier than I'd ever seen! The hatch flips open and she just stares straight into the heart of it, completely hypnotised."

"Next thing we knew, there was an egg in a Margaret suit." The Doctor said with a grin, having recovered from his lapse in concentration. "Honestly, you should have been there. Of course, next thing we know, I'm trapped in Big Brother, Jack's being striped to the bone by Trinny and Susannah and daleks are about to take over the world!"

Jack laughed along with him, but he too had noticed that the Doctor had missed out Rose from his story. Jack had told Ianto the tale of his first death a long time ago, in the middle of the night when neither of them could sleep for worrying about one thing or another. Ianto remembered the look in his eyes when he'd spoken of thinking she was dead and finding her alive, only to be abandoned.

He had that same look in them now. Ianto couldn't stop himself from reaching out and linking his fingers with Jack's. Then the Doctor and Donna dived into a story for Jack, telling him all about a library in the fifty first century that covered an entire world.

Jack was happy by the time he and Ianto walked home, hand in hand as they enjoyed the stars shining in the clear sky. Diamonds in ink, Jack thought with a wry smile. The old clichés always were the most effective.

The dinner had gone smoothly, but Jack hadn't failed to notice the slightly distracted and absent look about his lover. He'd eventually put it down to the fact that the other three were talking about things he'd never participated in. The things that happened at Torchwood on a daily basis were hardly the glamorous and breath-taking adventures of the TARDIS.

When they arrived back at the flat, Ianto headed into the kitchen on autopilot to make coffee, having kicked his shoes off and hung up his coat. Jack took a few moments longer to do so and waited for a minute to follow Ianto in.

"What were you doing after we left?" Jack asked carefully, leaning back on the counter next Ianto.

"I had a phone call to make." Ianto said, watching the coffee mugs in front of him, his voice not wavering.

"Gwen?" Jack eventually asked, knowing already that the only reason Ianto wouldn't have just told him he was on the phone earlier was that the call wouldn't be one Jack wanted him to make. Or one he didn't want Jack to hear.

"Yep." Ianto replied casually, with a slight shrug of his shoulders. Jack nodded and didn't say anything else. Whatever had been said was between the two of them. "When do you think she'll come back?"

"Ideally?" Jack mused for a moment. "A couple of days, three maybe – a week tops."

"Realistically?" Ianto looked up, a knowing smile on his face.

"Tomorrow morning." Jack said with a laugh. Ianto handed him his coffee and they moved over to the large sofa in front of the television.