Title: Constant (7/7 COMPLETE)
Spoilers: Set after 2.13. Spoilers for both series 1 and 2, and a bit DW: Last of the Time Lords and The Shakespeare Code
Summary: There has been one constant in Ianto's life. And Jack will just have to deal with it.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em – unfortunately
A/N: This is the sequel to my story Lynchpin. I would suggest you read that first otherwise it might be a tad confusing. Those of you who asked for a sequel... I hope you're happy – it's all your fault! Lynchpin was very much Jack's POV... this is overall more Ianto's show. Where Lynchpin focused more on Torchwood Four, Constant is more about Ianto's rather unique family background – and a certain relative of his.
Ianto blinked, wondering if the explosion had caused a delayed effect on his hearing. His grandfather looked at him expectantly; Jack, still on the floor, wore an expression half way between incredulous and abject horror.
"You can't be serious," Ianto finally managed to say.
"Of course I am," replied Koschei. "I wouldn't joke about something like that."
Ianto was flabbergasted; he put his hands on his hips and scowled. "You arrive here – out of the blue, as always – break into the Hub, murder a defenceless man and then calmly ask me to go travelling."
"Would you have preferred a written invitation?"
"This is no time to be facetious!"
Koschei rolled his eyes. "Ianto, listen to me. You're wasted on this backwater of a planet. I'm giving you the opportunity to see things that most of the simian life forms on this rock would kill for. I know you've always wanted to come with me and I think now is the perfect timing."
"You have absolutely no idea what you've done, do you?"
"I've saved your life, Ianto! I think you should be a little bit grateful!"
"No, saving my life would have meant you explaining to me what might have happened in the future and then us finding another way of preventing it," said Ianto sounding a lot calmer than he felt. "What you have actually done is murdered my lover's only living relative."
Koschei huffed loudly. "Trust me – if I'd have had my way I'd have got rid of Harkness too, but Freaky's never been one to cooperate."
"His name is Jack," growled Jack through gritted teeth.
"No it's not. I've no idea what his real name is, but it's not Captain Jack Harkness!" snarled Koschei. "He is a lying, manipulative conman who has drawn you in the same way a spider would a fly."
Koschei stepped away from Jack and grabbed Ianto by the arm. "Listen to me, Ianto, just when did your gallant captain tell you what happened on the Valiant? Hmm… let me think, was it after he'd summoned you back here after finding out you were on a beach with me?"
Ianto's eyes flicked unwittingly to Jack, who started to get to his feet. "What of it?"
"Think about it. Why then? Why didn't he tell you before – or why say anything at all? I'll tell you why: he releases crumbs of information when he deems it worthwhile. When it gives him the most leverage over you."
Ianto shook his head violently, trying not to listen to his grandfather. "That still doesn't excuse your actions – today or on the Valiant!"
"Bloody hell," exclaimed Koschei. "If I thought you were going to make the Valiant thing such a big deal I'd have told you myself!" Ianto tried to wrench his arm away, but Koschei held firm. "I've never hid anything from you, Ianto. Can you say the same for him?"
"I suggest – if you're going to make accusations – you make them to me!" Jack pulled Ianto away from Koschei, shoving the Time Lord forcefully in the chest.
Ianto had never seen his grandfather react so fast. With reflexes born of running towards trouble, Koschei knocked Jack's legs from under him and pinned him to the floor by his throat. "I'll give you one warning, Harkness, put your hands on my grandson in my presence again and I will remove them. Understand?"
Jack croaked something unintelligible and Ianto stood rooted to the spot, momentarily frozen by the sight in front of him. His grandfather's fingers tightened around his lover's throat, and Jack writhed underneath him, thrashing against his assailant. A lucky left hook on Jack's part unsettled Koschei and Jack pounced. The two men brawled. Arm and legs punching and kicking, a whirlwind of fists and elbows connecting with sickening crunches and painful blows.
"Stop it!" yelled Ianto, weighing into the fight, somehow managing to separate them by pulling his grandfather off Jack. "This ends now!"
Jack had a split lip to add to his earlier bruised cheek while Koschei appeared unscathed apart from his rumpled clothing and ruffled hair. They looked up at Ianto, both waiting for his pronouncement. "Jack, if you wouldn't mind, I need some time alone with my grandfather."
"Ianto…" Jack said uncertainly.
"Go and check on Gwen," Ianto said firmly, refusing to look at his lover. "It wouldn't do for her to wake up alone and not know what's going on."
Ianto held his hand out to his grandfather and helped pull him to his feet. "Come on, we'll talk as we go." He guided Koschei out of the vaults, not daring to turn back, not wanting to see the look of confusion and hurt on Jack's face.
"Where are we going?" Koschei asked.
"Out of the Hub," explained Ianto. "The less time we spend down here the better."
"So do we need to go back to your flat first to pack a bag?"
Ianto counted silently to ten, first in English then in Japanese. "At what point during today did you actually think I was coming with you? After everything that has happened, you must realise that I'm staying here."
His grandfather gave him the kind of penetrating look Ianto remembered from childhood – especially during the times when his grandfather was trying to determine if he was lying. "You're actually happy here, aren't you?"
"Yes," Ianto said earnestly. "Well, on the whole."
"I don't understand this need you humans – or mostly human in your case – have for stability. Why tie yourself to one place?"
"It's not always a place."
Koschei screwed up his face in disgust. "Oh, don't make me vomit!"
Ianto tutted loudly. "I'm not just talking about Jack! I like being here at Torchwood Three. Yes, the last few weeks have been hellish, but I feel like I belong here. You do understand, don't you?"
"No, you wouldn't. Look it at from my perspective – just for once. Try thinking about what I actually want, not what you think is right for me!"
Koschei looked incensed. "You ungrateful brat! I'm not here for my own good, you know? I could be dancing with dusky maidens on Installa Nine or playing ping pong with Stalin, but no, I come here to make sure you are safe and what thanks do I get?"
"This is exactly what I'm talking about!" They halted outside the door to the Tourist Office, where they were still hidden from potential prying eyes belonging to anyone who might want a leaflet on the 'Railways of the Valleys'. "Always the same. You show up when you feel like it and expect me to drop everything and behave like the thirteen-year-old you left behind."
Koschei started to respond but stopped himself, his expression softening. "Why do we always end like this? Fights and arguments that mean we don't speak for a year and then spend six years rebuilding our relationship via postcards and rude text messages."
"Probably because you think you know best and that I'm still a young child who needs protecting. You need to treat me as an adult – an adult who wants to spend time with you, but not at the expense of the whole world going to shit."
Ianto leaned against the door and put his hands in his trouser pockets. He smiled, slightly. It was time for his grandfather to leave. They both knew it.
Koschei bounced awkwardly on the balls of his feet. "If you change your mind and ever feel the need for a break, maybe when one wet August Bank Holiday in Cardiff gets too much, just let me know. And since I actually understand temporal loops and time manifolds – unlike certain other Gallifreyans I could mention – Harkness wouldn't even know you're gone. See the universe in your lunch hour."
"I will come with you one day."
Koschei nodded and reached into the inside pocket of his coat, removing his laser screwdriver. "Here, you'll probably need this. I did quite a bit of damage to your security system using this to get in – should speed up the repairs."
Ianto took it and held it tightly. "Thanks – I think."
They exchanged a hug. Ianto was the one to step away. "I think it's time for you to leave."
"Yes, universes to terrorise, people to enslave. I really must try and reduce my To-Do list." His smile was infectious and Ianto couldn't help but return it. "I won't stop watching over you, Ianto. I can't. But I'll try not to be so... overbearing."
It was the closest they were ever going to get to a compromise.
"Okay. But next time you're in my solar system give me a bit more warning."
Ianto knew it was a blatant lie. But compared to everything else his grandfather did it was a minor character flaw. He pressed the red release button and led them into the Tourist Office. Opening the door to the Plas, Ianto guided Koschei out. "Please behave yourself, at least till you leave my planet."
"For you, Ianto, anything. But I've a couple of thing I want to do first..."
Ianto groaned. "Oh no. What?"
"The number 72 bus route, and get the recipe for those fruit buns."
"Want some company or are you happy wallowing on the sofa?"
Jack lifted his head and Ianto saw the surprise in his lover's eyes. "Ianto?"
"The one and only. You didn't think I'd actually go, did you?"
"We need to talk about this belief of yours that I'm going to leave you – I'm starting to think you've got abandonment issues. First you think I'm going to join Torchwood Four and now you think I'm about to run off with my grandfather. Haven't you learnt by now, Harkness, that I'm much harder to get rid of than that?"
Ianto sat next to Jack and took hold of his lover's hand. For a fraction of a second he wondered if he'd done the right thing by staying, his continued presence acting as a reminder to what Jack had gone through and the people he'd lost. But then Jack grabbed him fiercely and pulled Ianto in a bone-breaking hug, and Ianto knew that this was where he belonged. He pulled away, wanting to see Jack properly. They had much to discuss, and although he couldn't put everything right with mere words Ianto had to start somewhere. "Even though you knew my views on keeping Gray, I am sorry for your loss."
"The only time you've agreed with John Hart was over him," Jack said, trying to intone a little humour into his voice. "Do you think he was telling the truth?"
"Who? My grandfather, about Gray?"
Jack nodded slowly and Ianto sighed. "He's a selfish man, Jack. He really believes he's looking out for me – that he knows best. He'd have no reason to lie about Gray, although he could have warned us rather than do what he did."
"I'm not sure I could have killed him; Gray, I mean. In a twisted way it's a kinda relief. I knew he was dangerous – you're not the only one to question my decision about keeping him – but I couldn't ..."
"I know. But don't listen to the Master, Jack. He wasn't doing you a favour – he was acting in his own interests."
Jack barely nodded. "I still can't believe he's actually your grandfather."
"Yeah, I have days like that too. I can't change that, Jack, and I know it must be difficult for you at the moment. Would it help if I kept my distance for while?"
"What? No!" Jack almost shouted. "I'm not saying we're gonna be all sunshine and roses, Ianto, but the last thing I want – I need – is you being distant."
Ianto leaned closer, allowing Jack to wrap his arms around him. "Who needs sunshine and roses? You know I burn easily and roses make me sneeze."
Jack chuckled against his neck and Ianto couldn't forget his grandfather warning about Jack being manipulative. He pushed those thoughts to one side for now. They'd never been a perfect couple, just like he'd never had a perfect family. The flaws and schisms that made up their relationship were never going to be healed with dinner dates and visits to the cinema, but as he gently held Jack the problems didn't seem important. Nothing they couldn't deal with. And one thing was for certain, he wasn't going to let his grandfather drive them apart.
"I've been thinking…" said Ianto.
"Uh-oh," came Jack's reply, nuzzling into Ianto's neck. "Should I be worried?"
"Oi, watch it you, it's not too late for me to leave."
"Sorry." Jack squeezed him apologetically. "So what have you been thinking about?"
"Can you get in contact with the Doctor?"
"Why?" asked Jack sceptically. "Your grandfather hasn't put the idea of travelling into your head, has he?"
"Hardly," scoffed Ianto. "If I was going to do that I'd have gone with the Time Lord I actually know! No, I was thinking that he should be warned that the Master isn't as dead as he thought he might be."
"Really? I can't imagine you grandfather being happy with that!"
"Oh, he'd be livid. But he needs someone who can challenge him. He's far too dangerous to be left unchecked." Ianto chuckled. "And the Doctor would drive him to absolute distraction with all his 'we're the last of the Time Lords' malarkey."
Jack laughed. "Ianto Jones, you are positively evil."
Ianto stretched and then settled back against the sofa, grinning. "It must be in the genes."
A/N: Please don't feel you have to read my waffle – just a few spare thoughts!
Gray: Ever since I saw Jack put him in the vault I've thought 'He's gotta go!' – Sorry Jack, but I don't think your little brother is going to get better. So, using the idea of having a rather protective grandfather I thought this is a job for the Master insert evil laugh here.
The Master: He's ginger because that's what the doctor wanted to be grin. He still psychotic and always will be a right royal pain in Ianto's arse. Having said that he is so fun to write! I know a few people aren't comfortable with Jack staying in a relationship with Ianto because of who his grandfather is – and I can understand that – but I feel that Jack wouldn't hold Ianto responsible, especially since Ianto forgive him for Lisa.
Gwen: What I wanted to show is how she is coping with a post-Exit Wound TW3. Although I'm not overly bothered by her as a character (I can take or leave her tbh) I think she would react differently to what happened compared to Jack and Ianto, since Ianto survived TW1 and Jack's – well Jack. I hope the writers on the show will cover that – but I ain't holding my breath!
The future: I have one more idea for this AU-verse of mine. It involves TW2 and TW4 and the other side of Ianto's family tree. However, I've my Stopwatchexchange fic to do first (some poor sod has picked the short straw there!) and RL is rather pesky at the mo, so no promises to when I'll start posting iMythology/i.
And finally, thanks for reading – you're all lovely!