It had taken a lot of research and a few phone calls. In fact he had initiated a long distance phone call. And that was an understatement.
Ianto smiled at the thought of the conversation a few months ago and what followed. First he had been a little jealous when Martha arrived at the Hub and how familiar she seemed to be with Jack, but when she told him about the UNIT cap and he saw her enthusiastic reaction to his confession about dabbling with Jack, he knew he liked her. They had a few conversations after that in the small kitchenette in the Hub. Martha told him about the time she spent with Jack and the Doctor and she told him about the year that never was.
Jack had never mentioned much about his travels with the Doctor, but Ianto knew the basics and he was glad that Martha filled in some of the blanks. It helped Ianto lengths to understand Jack better.
In the evenings, when everyone but Ianto and Jack had left the Hub, they would speak about Jack's time with the Doctor and even about his time on the Valiant. It seemed to Ianto, Jack was glad Martha had filled him in. They had never talked so openly about Jack's past and Ianto enjoyed every moment of it, although it ripped his heart apart to hear about the things Jack had to endure in the hands of the Master. Martha had opened this door for them and Ianto would be forever thankful. Those conversations deepened their understanding of each other and they grew even closer. Jack would have never told Ianto all those horrible things without Martha initiating it. The beautiful moments yes, eventually, but not the bad times. It was not like Jack to spill his guts, it wasn't that he didn't trust Ianto. He just wanted to protect him from those ghosts of his past.
After one of the more horrific stories when Jack was trembling and sobbing from the memories in Ianto's arms he said so much. Ianto just tightened his embrace and held Jack, telling him that he didn't need that kind of protection. That Jack wasn't alone and didn't have to fight the ghosts on his own. That night Jack slept engulfed in Ianto's arms. Usually it was the other way round, but Ianto was happy he could offer Jack the same kind of safety he received from him.
In the short time Martha was stationed in the Hub the two of them became good friends. And so it was her, Ianto called when he needed help. He assigned a task to himself a while ago when he realized that the relationship between Jack and him could be more. He searched the archives and every file he could find about Jack, but there was nowhere a single word about the information he sought. Asking Jack was out of the question as it would spoil everything.
One afternoon, after he hit yet another dead end, he decided to get help and called Martha. He explained the situation to her and she agreed to help. He had no idea that she would involve the Doctor in this until the day he received the all solving phone call. Ianto was a bit stunned when he realized who was calling him, but managed to squeeze out a thank you and an invitation before he ended the call.
He could barely keep the wide grin off his face and every time in the following weeks when Jack asked him why he was smiling he dismissed it with a sweet kiss and the fact that he was happy in their relationship.
He let the rest of the team in on his plan one after the other and got them to promise to keep absolute quiet about it.
It was one evening when Ianto collected forgotten mugs from Tosh and Owen's desk that the rift monitor beeped a warning.
"Jack, we have rift activity," he called out to Jack who was sitting in his office, filing some reports.
The others had left the Hub two hours ago and so it fell on to Ianto and Jack to check it out.
"Where is it? Any indication that something had come through?" Jack asked coming out of his office, already putting his coat on.
"It's in an alley near by, probably a Weevil. I'll get my coat."
Jack caught his hand when Ianto walked by. "You don't have to come, I can take care of it when it's just one Weevil."
"IF it is just one. We don't know that and the last time you went alone, Owen had to patch you up and I didn't get sex for over a week. No I'm coming."
Jack looked into Ianto's determined face and grinned. Giving him a quick kiss he let go of Ianto's hand. "Ok, let's go."
They crossed the Millenium Square and Ianto led them into a small and dark alley.
"Stay behind me."
Ianto sighed half annoyed and half flattered that Jack would still try to protect him. As if he hadn't had his fare share of Weevil fights. He was the one feeding them after all. But he stayed behind and kept an eye out to make sure nothing would crawl up behind their backs. A dull sound drew their attention to a narrow iron door. When they came closer they saw it was open and swung slightly. Jack put his arm out to keep Ianto behind him when he pushed the door open with the other. Darkness greeted them when Jack slowly entered the building, Ianto close on his heels. Just when their eyes started to adjust to the darkness the door behind them slammed shut and the lights went on. Jack's hand went instinctively to his holster but stopped when he saw who was standing in front of him.
"Surprise!!!" Gwen and Toshiko yelled enthusiastically, quickly echoed by a equal enthused Martha and less enthused Owen and Rhys.
Jack didn't say a word but looked completely stunned and swayed a little when he took the "Happy Birthday Jack" banner in that hung above his team. Ianto seemed to bring him back to the here and now when he slid his arms around Jack's waist and whispered a "Happy Birthday, Jack" in his ear.
"Happy Birthday, Jack," said another familiar voice and the Doctor stepped out from behind his team with one of his big smiles plastered on his face.
"Doctor?" Jack stared at the Doctor disbelievingly.
"The one and only." Closing the short distance between them, the Doctor pulled Jack into a bear hug. "And mind you, it's not that easy to hunt down the day of birth of a Time Agent. But I was persuaded very nicely not to give up."
"Happy Birthday, Jack," Martha appeared behind the Doctor and took her turn to pull Jack into a hug.
Still completely overwhelmed Jack returned the hug. "But I still don't understand, how..." Sudden realization dawning on his face he turned to look at Ianto. "You did this?"
"Guilty as charged," Ianto replied carefully, not able to read Jack's expression. But the worry was blown away by the all consuming kiss he received a second later. Jack only stopped when the Doctor cleared his throat.
"I believe there is cake, so if you two could separate for a moment, I'm hungry."
Jack chuckled and beamed at Ianto before he turned around. "Let's get the party started!"
Eating, drinking, laughing, dancing and some presents followed that command.
In a quiet moment Jack pulled Ianto in his arms. "You little devil, since when were you planning this?"
Ianto smiled at Jack. "For a long time and with a little help from your Doctor I could finally pull it off. You didn't make it easy."
"I'm impressed Ianto Jones. And I love you for doing this."
"Only for doing this?"
"Cheeky," Jack grinned and pulled him into a kiss.
It was already dawn when the group ended the party and Jack and Ianto returned to the Hub. Hands entwined they sauntered across the plass, enjoying the calmness of the beginning day. There was no need to talk the knowledge of being together was enough for the moment.
When they entered Jack's office, Jack espied immediately the small package on his desk. A glance in Ianto's direction confirmed his suspicions.
"That's from you?"
When a nod and a smile answered him, Jack took Ianto's hand and tugged him to the desk. Sitting down on his chair, he pulled Ianto on his lap and put his arms around him, looking at the in blue paper wrapped package.
"Don't you want to open it?" Ianto asked, tangling his fingers in Jack's hair.
"I'm not sure."
"I have the feeling, when I open it the spell will be broken."
"What spell?" Ianto watched Jack confused. "There is no spell Jack, this is all real. Believe me, I've made pictures to prove it."
"I know you have. I just want to enjoy the moment."
"Can you enjoy it while you're opening your present?"
"A bit impatient, aren't we, young man?" Jack teased.
"Just open the bloody present, will ya."
Jack chuckled but reached for the small box and started unwrapping it with nitpicking concentration. Ianto had to restrain himself from grabbing the present and ripping the paper open. He knew Jack was teasing him. He held his breath unconsciously when Jack finally reached the black box inside and opened it. Ianto watched Jack's slender fingers lifting the black pendant from it. When Jack carefully turned the pendant in his hands the silver necklace slid through his fingers. He followed the form of the pendant with his index finger. It was formed like a tear. Jack swallowed hard before he looked at Ianto.
"This is beautiful, thank you."
Only know Ianto released his breath again and smiled. "You like it?"
"Of course I do."
"Good, because if you won't wear it, it wouldn't make any sense for me to wear the other half." With that Ianto reached beneath his collar and produced a similar pendant. Only this one was white. "Do you know what this is?"
"Yes, together they are the symbol for Yin and Yang."
"You are my Yang, Jack. I wanted you to know that." Ianto took the necklace from Jack and fastened it around his neck. "I love you."
A single tear ran down Jack's face when he looked at Ianto. "You are one of a kind, Ianto Jones and I'm glad I met you. I will be your Yang when you are my Yin. I love you." Smiling at Ianto again he pulled him in a tender kiss.