Disclaimer: I own nothing
Spoilers: Last of the Time Lords, Doomsday, Exit Wounds (Most of the final episodes really)
It was late at night and the hub was empty. Empty because nobody was there, but mostly empty because Toshiko and Owen would no longer come into work. The days events raged through the dreams of Ianto Jones as he lay in the protective embrace of his lover. Then he woke up shaking. He looked into the deep blue teary eyes of Jack Harkness and realised both had been thinking the same thoughts.
Jack's warm arms comforted him slightly and he lay back down on the bed. Staring at the ceiling curiosity gripped his mind and he couldn't seem to stop himself asking the question he had been trying desperately not to ask for so long, "What happened while you were away?"
Jack sat up and looked at him, a deep frown clouding his face, "Why do you want to know?"
"I want to know because… because, I don't know if I'll survive here much longer. I don't know how much time I have left with you, and I want to know all about you Jack Harkness." He hadn't asked before because it was clear Jack didn't want to talk. And Ianto respected that. It was a secret, and secrets sometimes had to be kept. But now…
Jack groaned and thumped back onto the bed, "It doesn't matter."
Ianto felt his insides burn, "Yes it bloody well does matter Jack!" and then he said it; the thought that had been plaguing him for the past few hours; the thought that had disrupted his dreams, "Don't you see Jack. Your secrets killed Tosh and Owen!" Jack stared at him in shock. He added quietly, "I don't want a secret to kill me."
"What, like your secret killed me? Like how it nearly killed all of us?"
Ianto's face burned with shame, remembering the chaos Lisa had caused. Jack instantly regretted saying that. Ianto didn't deserve that.
"Yan," but the other man just looked away.
"If that's how you feel, what are we doing?" he said sharply. He stood up and climbed up from the room into Jack's office.
Ianto flopped sadly into Jack's chair. The captain hadn't burst from his bedroom as Ianto had expected him to. He hadn't heard any sign of movement from down there for a few minutes and assumed that he'd just gone to sleep or something, or at least the Jack version of sleep.
He wrapped Jack's greatcoat around his bare shoulders, enjoying the extra warmth. For no particular reason he opened the top drawer of the desk. It contained a framed photo that had been turned face down. The back of the frame was covered in a thin layer of dust, showing it hadn't been touched for a while.
The photo itself was incredible. The picture moved, the image must have been on a loop as every few minutes the figures jerked slightly and returned to their original positions. The sky in the photo was a deep red with three white suns in the background. The laughing figures seemed to be in the desert. He recognised one figure as Jack. He was wearing a pair of very tight jeans and a bright green t-shirt as well as a typical white dessert head-dress. The other man in the picture wore a battered black leather jacket and a dark green jumper. The last figure was a blonde girl who looked about twenty. She was wearing a beautiful white dress and a pair of sunglasses were perched on her head. Ianto gasped as he recognised the girl.
"I was with the Doctor."
Ianto jumped at Jack's voice and quickly attempted to shove the picture back into the drawer, but Jack stopped him. He carefully eased the picture out from Ianto's grasp. He pointed to the man that wasn't Jack, "Him."
"That's not the Doctor though. The Doctor is younger, and skinnier, and has mad brown spiky hair…"
"He regenerated." Jack looked as though this was meant to mean something to Ianto, although it was clear from the younger man's face it meant nothing. He sighed, "Yan, you worked at Torchwood One, don't you know about the Doctor?"
"I know he was supposed to be an enemy. But I never knew much about him, it was never my job to know much about him."
"Well, the Doctor's a Time Lord, which means that when he is close to dying he renews every cell in his body. I met this Doctor," he stabbed his finger at the picture again, "first. Then I met the other Doctor, your Doctor. He was the one I left with."
"Who's the girl?"
Jack smiled warmly, "Rose Tyler," the name itched at the back of Ianto's brain. He had often wondered what the girl's name had been.
"But what happened?"
Jack sat on his desk and gazed into Ianto's eyes. He told him about Utopia, and the Master, and Martha, and the Doctor, and the Valiant, and most importantly about the Year That Never Was.
He had wanted to know, so it was his own fault really. Jack had told him about how much he had suffered, but also about his own death. How the Master had caught the team as they had tried to get onto the Valiant, and how Jack had been forced to watch a recording of him being cut down by bullet fire, then finally killed with a shot from the Master's laser screwdriver. The knowledge of how he had died had frightened him to the core. He had experienced near death so many times. But this time…
He shook his head to get rid of the thoughts. He was alive. That was what was important. And yet again the Doctor had saved the world. Saved him.
The picture had awoken deep memories that he tried to bury when he came to Torchwood Three.
He could remember being told when he first joined that the Doctor was an enemy. But he wasn't. How could Torchwood have been so stupid? This man had been the saviour of the world so many times.
He could remember that day. The day when everybody was buzzing because they had the Doctor in custody. Everyone was so proud and happy and excited.
He could remember running from the Cybermen, and not being able to get back to Lisa. Then he tried to help with the people who had been injured. Innocent people who didn't even know that Cybermen or Daleks existed.
He could remember being shown the footage of the man and the girl. The Doctor and Rose Tyler. The team that had gotten rid of the Cybermen and the Daleks, but had paid the ultimate price. He had seen Rose being sucked into the Void and the pure burning anger in the Doctor's eyes when he lost her.
He could remember making sure not to be anywhere near the Doctor as he helped with the clear up operation.
Jack had explained that Rose was safe in a parallel universe, and that had settled the vast amount of guilt which pulled at his gut. He now wandered around the hub by himself. He had asked Jack to give him a few minutes as he attempted to cope with the discoveries. He supposed this was why Jack didn't talk. It hurt people. He wondered if Jack felt like this all the time. A wave of sorrow pummelled his mind.
He shivered and realised he was in the middle of the hub in his boxers. He realised that the CCTV would have to be wiped or Owen would never let it go… then he remembered. He wiped at the tears which were beginning to form in his eyes with his fist.
He sighed and blinked the tears away. He looked up to Myfanwy's empty nest. Then to Owen's empty desk. Then to Tosh's empty chair. Then to the girl standing in front of him. Then to Jack's office.
He paused. He looked in front of him again and stumbled backwards in shock.
"Oh my god!" This wasn't any girl.
"'Scuse me, is this Torchwood?" Ianto noted her strong London accent and her blonde hair. He nodded dumbly and she smiled. The smile turned into a grin when she realised he was nearly naked, "God, you're quite fit!"
Ianto felt himself go red but still couldn't seem to say anything. Especially when the girl faded in front of his eyes.
After a few seconds of shocked stuttering he managed to yelp, "What the hell?" before bolting up to meet Jack.
Jack stood up quickly from examining the photo when Ianto burst through the door. His eyes were wide and frantic, "Yan, what's wrong?"
"I just… she was… and I was… but she… she… I was in my boxers Jack!" he yelled accusingly, as though it was Jack's fault.
"What?" He gripped Ianto's bare shoulders firmly to steady the younger man, "Ianto, what are you talking about?"
Ianto just pointed to the photo while taking a deep gulp of air, "Her… Rose Tyler… was in the hub… just now."
Jack frowned. This couldn't be good.
A/N: She is returning… cannot wait!