Title: Mythology (10/10 – Complete!)
Spoilers: Set after 2.13. Spoilers for both series 1 and 2, and a bit of DW: Last of the Time Lords and The Shakespeare Code
Summary: With mythical beasts turning up all over Scotland, Torchwood Two thought they were in charge; however, so did Torchwood Four. Unfortunately for both parties their main suspect was refusing to talk to anyone other than Torchwood Three's Ianto Jones.
Beta: Rakina – who is a marvel!
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em – unfortunately. And I ain't Shakespeare!
A/N: Set after my stories Lynchpin and Constant. Okay folks... time to investigate the other side of Ianto's family tree! This one is lighter in tone to Constant – time to have a bit of fun!
Blocking out everything around him, Ianto tried to concentrate on steadying his breathing. Ignoring the burning in his limbs, he took a slow, shuddering breath, focusing on the way his lungs expanded and the rising of his chest. Slowly he regained control, although his heart still thumped loudly, echoing in his ears.
Jack was still at his side, his fingers gently petting Ianto's cheek in a manner which was strangely intimate in such an open setting. His mind swam for a moment, jostled by a series of thoughts that clearly didn't belong to him. Whatever Kelis had done to him was still working, and Jack's emotions were, for the first time, laid bare for Ianto to see. Jack loved him, not just as a close friend or casual lover. Ianto blinked rapidly, as he realised that what he had thought Jack felt for him was a pale shadow of the truth; for Jack loved in the way that made a man's soul weary, a deep, almost painful love that sat upon a raft of misery built on the resignation of eventual loss.
From Jack's wide eyed stare Ianto guessed that Jack knew what he had discovered and was mentally raising his shields. Quietly, so only Jack could hear Ianto whispered: "It's mutual."
Ianto shook his head and, placing his hand on Jack's shoulder for support, he gradually stood. "I don't need, or want to hear the words spoken aloud any more than you do."
Jack's smile told Ianto far more than a collection of carefully selected syllables. He was happy, and if Ianto played his cards right he'd have an equally wide grin later that evening.
"Ianto!" called the Doctor, who bounced over in a manner that Ianto still thought was mildly disconcerting. "Wow!"
Ianto and Jack smirked at each other as the Doctor slid an arm around Ianto's shoulders, giving him a friendly squeeze. "The amazing Mr Jones. Now I really want to know what else you can do," exclaimed the Doctor, waggling his eyebrows.
"I think," said Jack, gently pulling Ianto out of the Doctor's grasp, "we should get Ianto back to the Armadillo. He could probably do with a bit of a rest before we head back to Cardiff."
The Doctor's face fell. "What, leaving so soon?"
"We've done what we came to do, and a lot more besides. It's not fair to leave Gwen on her own at the Hub."
"She's got Donna," insisted the Doctor.
Ianto dusted away the dirt from the knees of his trousers and watched the strange face-off between the other two men. It would have been funny in a way, if he wasn't at the centre of it all. "Jack's right. What I could do with now is a large caffeinated beverage and two paracetamol."
- - -
The Doctor, Ianto was surprised, made a passable cup of tea – although he doubted his beverage preparation skills extended to coffee by the way the Doctor had nervously handled the cafetiere in the Armadillo's makeshift kitchen. "Amazing stuff, tea," the Doctor said, filling the awkward silence. "I mean there is nothing quite like it, sort of a polyphenol elixir."
"I've always preferred coffee," replied Ianto, but nevertheless took a healthy swig from his mug.
"Well, you would, wouldn't you?"
The Doctor grinned. "Always different. I imagine I could present you with evidence that strawberry milkshake could end all wars and you'd still pick another flavour."
Ianto frowned. "I'm not sure what Jack has been telling you about me, but I'm not that contrary."
"Oh, er, no…" the Doctor babbled, backtracking. "What I meant was you're totally unique – fly your own path type of thing."
"No, actually, I'm not. I'm general support for Torchwood Three and – apart from the occasional call from other parts of the organisation – I'm pretty normal."
"Normal," scoffed the Doctor.
"Yes, normal," said Ianto firmly. "I didn't ask to be different, so as far as I'm concerned I'm normal."
"He's always been stubborn, even as a child." Both Ianto and the Doctor turned to see Kelis leaning against the counter. "Or so far in denial he'll drown."
"I am not in denial," snapped Ianto. "I came to terms with who – and what – I am many years ago. Kelis, for someone who claims to dislike my grandfather so much, you seem to agree with his philosophies regarding my future."
Ianto watched as Kelis visibly bristled. "What I want for you, Ianto, is to experience the most life has to offer. You grandfather is a reprehensible old charlatan who wouldn't think twice about using your abilities for his own nefarious schemes."
"My abilities? What abilities?" scoffed Ianto. "Whatever you did to me is already fading. I reckon within the next few hours I'll be back to how I was."
"That can be rectified."
"No," countered Ianto resolutely.
The Doctor suddenly started, almost dropping his mug. He grinned at Kelis, a knowing look plastered all over his face. "It was you, wasn't it? You sent that bomb? Oh my, you are very sneaky."
Kelis looked unrepentant. She shrugged dismissively. "I think I proved my point."
"Proved your point," Ianto repeated carefully. "All you've proved, Kelis, is that I don't want to be party to your tricks and machinations anymore than I did my grandfather's."
"Ianto, be reasonable..."
"Reasonable?" Ianto ground out. "You are impossible!"
Ianto pushed back from the table and stood up. "I'm going to say goodbye to Philip," he said stiffly, refusing to look at his great-aunt.
The Doctor watched Ianto leave. "I think I'll go after him – just to make sure he's okay."
Kelis chuckled to herself as she watched the Doctor scamper after Ianto, but stopped when she realised she wasn't on her own. "It's not polite to eavesdrop, Captain."
"He's quite smitten, isn't he?" Jack moved out of the shadows.
"Yes, but as you well know, the Doctor is amazed at new things."
Jack made a noncommittal grunt. "Are you sure there's not more to it?"
"If you are asking if I am behind the Doctor's attraction towards Ianto then I'm afraid I'm going to have to disillusion you. I had nothing to do with it."
"Yes, really. To be perfectly frank with you, Jack. The Doctor's mind is far more complicated than yours and I severely doubt I'd have had anywhere near the same effect on him as I did on you."
"Then..." began Jack, sounding uncertain.
"The Doctor likes him. Is it that difficult to believe?"
"No... that's not what I meant."
"Jack," said Kelis kindly, "it's okay to be jealous. The only reason I was able to do what I did to you was because I was building on what was already inside your head. Maybe you should talk to Ianto about it."
"But the Doctor..."
"...finds Ianto attractive. Get over it. Just between you and me, he had a rather soft spot for Ianto's grandfather too." On seeing Jack's brow crumple she quickly added: "But I wouldn't read too much into that, after all Ianto is nothing like Koschei and, as I am sure you are aware, he is a rather good-looking man."
Kelis patted Jack on the shoulder. "You should be grateful – I've changed my mind about you."
Jack gave her a look that clearly said he didn't believe her. "Grateful, eh? And what brought on this momentous change of events?"
"I think you're good for him. In a way no normal, short-lived human could be. You have potential to give him some continuity. But please don't think that means I like you."
"I wouldn't dream of it," replied Jack, somewhat churlishly.
"This is the part where I should threaten you with imminent death if you ever break my great-nephew's heart. However, since it is a pointless threat, both because of your unique abilities and that fact Ianto has proved to be more than capable of looking after himself, I suggest we end this conversation before it spirals into insults and slander."
"Agreed. But I do have one more question."
"Just the one?" she asked with a slight grin.
"What did you do to him?"
Kelis sighed loudly. "Nothing permanent, it seems. Look, Ianto could – if he wanted – embrace his Carrionite heritage. I just gave him the opportunity to do so. Now, I think it is time for me to placate Ianto and return Floxy to his owner."
They found Ianto in deep conversation with Henshaw, the other members of Torchwood Four surrounding them and Dunston looking pissed off. The Doctor, Jack noted with amusement, was seemingly hanging on Ianto's every word. Jack realised that the pang of mild jealousy that occurred when he saw his lover talking to Henshaw was something he'd been carrying around for a while, and not attributable to Kelis – much to his chagrin. Which meant that there was one thing he really had to do.
"Henshaw," he called. "I owe you an apology for my recent behaviour."
Ianto's look of surprise wounded him slightly, although Jack would admit that Ianto might not have actually seen him apologise to someone outside of Torchwood Three before.
Henshaw also looked out of sorts but hid his discomfort well. "I... er... think nothing of it," he muttered, accepting Jack's out-stretched hand and shaking it warmly.
"Well, if you've quite finished," drawled Dunston, "some of us have a secret organisation to run."
"I believe that was Stuart's gentle way of telling us to bugger off," translated Ianto needlessly.
"And that's my cue to leave," said Kelis, Floxy having appeared from his resting place on the large saggy armchair that was now covered in dog hair.
There was an awkward moment between Ianto and Kelis, but she grabbed hold of him and hugged him fiercely. "Do forgive me, Ianto? I can be a silly old woman at times."
Ianto hugged her back. "You do realise that I know this is just an act to get me to play along," he whispered into her ear. "Though I find it much harder to stay angry with you than with Grandfather."
She pulled away. "I won't leave it so long between visits. And Jack has strict orders to look after you properly."
"Does he now? For a military man, Jack's never been very good at following orders. Giving them – now that's a different matter."
She gently ran her hand down his cheek. "Take care."
"I will," he promised.
Calling Floxy to heel, she walked into an open area of the Armadillo and muttered something inaudible. A rectangle of white light appeared behind her and she waved to Ianto. "Don't worry; I'll make sure this doorway is properly closed behind me!"
She stepped into the light and was gone, but Ianto could just make out a series of muffled barks from Floxy as the doorway closed. "Please tell me you haven't any more relatives I need to watch out for," asked Jack imploringly.
"No. Just her and the Master – I think they're more than enough to be going along with."
The Doctor bounced lightly on the balls of his feet. "Since all the excitement is over, perhaps I could offer you two gentlemen a lift back to Cardiff. I imagine Donna will be getting quite anxious by now."
"Anxious? She didn't strike me as the anxious type," said Jack disbelievingly.
"Perhaps anxious is the wrong word, but nevertheless I must be getting back."
Goodbyes were said, and Ianto was once more enveloped in the Torchwood Four equivalent of a group hug. Promising to keep in touch, he reluctantly let Jack lead him out of the Armadillo and into the TARDIS.
"What's the matter, Ianto?" asked the Doctor, watching Ianto carefully as they entered the console room. "Surely you'd have seen Koschei's ship."
"No, I haven't."
"Ah," said the Doctor, "I assumed since you didn't wear the usual 'bunny in the headlight' expression that most people do when they first enter a TARDIS that you'd seen one before."
"I've heard a lot about her, his ship I mean, but I've not travelled with him – yet."
"Well, you know if you fancied a spin, we could always..."
"I don't think so. But thank you for the offer."
The Doctor looked hurt but he smiled, the forced happiness not quite meeting his eyes. "Yes, of course. Can't stand here all day gassing. Hold onto something," he ordered, pulling at a lever.
With a lurch and a noise that would always remind Ianto of one of the worst days of his life, the TARDIS did what she was designed to do and dematerialised.
"Jack?" began Ianto.
"Would you mind giving me and the Doctor a few moments alone?"
Jack exchanged a bemused look with the Doctor over the main console, neither man expecting Ianto's request. "Of course not, I'll go and have a look around the old girl. Maybe stroke a couple of her railings."
"Oi, no flirting with my ship!" warned the Doctor, but Jack merely laughed and left the room.
Ianto stood with his arms crossed over his chest. "For a while I hated you," he said quietly.
"Because Jack left?" guessed the Doctor, his eyes firmly fixed on a panel of green flashing buttons.
Ianto nodded. "But I told myself to stop acting like a child and quickly realised that Jack had left of his own free will and I had no right to blame anyone but him. Then he comes back, as if nothing has happened, and it takes him three months to tell me what went on while he was away. And then it was the watered down version."
The Doctor appeared confused. "Maybe I don't."
"You have always been the bad guy to me, Doctor. My grandfather was hardly one to extol your virtues, while my time with Torchwood taught me you were the enemy. And to put it
mildly, Jack's sabbatical didn't help. But now I've met you I realise I was wrong. Thank you for being Jack's friend. He's going to need you in the future."
"Ianto, I don't know what to say. I..."
"How about we're nearly back at Cardiff and you'd like a cup of tea before you leave with Ms Noble?"
They shared a smile that was interrupted by Jack calling through the door: "Can I come back in now? I promise I won't get jealous if you're both naked and have started without me!"
"Come on in, Jack," the Doctor said. "We're nearly at Cardiff and I could murder a cup of tea before I head off again."
The TARDIS landed and the three men disembarked, Ianto feeling genuinely glad to be back, and away from Torchwood Two, or rather Stuart Dunston. Donna hugged the Doctor as he stepped off the invisible lift and into the Hub, but no one missed the less than subtle once-over she gave Ianto. "Wondered when you'd get back," she said releasing him. "Kettle's just boiled. I swear you can hear the sound of a teabag hitting a cup from half a galaxy a way."
Gwen appeared from the conference, looking slight harassed, something she explained by means of a sort rant about the Prime Minister's office being manned by anal half-wits. Ianto slipped away to make tea, suppressing a shudder of distaste as he moved the box of teabags to one side and found the tea caddy containing loose tea leaves.
He rejoined the others moments later carrying a heavily laden tray and fixed the Doctor a cup of tea. The near orgasmic expression the Doctor pulled as he finished his cup was enough to ensure Ianto wasn't about to offer him a refill.
"Time to be going," announced the Doctor, and Donna picked up her jacket as he did so. "The offer still stands, Ianto. You're more than welcome to come along for the ride."
"I have a whole raft of potential travelling companions, Doctor, so for now you'll understand if I respectfully decline."
Again, Ianto noticed the Doctor's half smile, but it was covered as Jack pulled the Doctor into a tight embrace which the Time Lord returned with equal gusto. And as the Hub settled once more after the Doctor and Donna had finally left, Ianto reflected that maybe he wasn't so bad to have around after all.
"Well, I must say, it's good to have you boys back," declared Gwen happily. "And since you are back I'm going home. Rhys has been moaning something terrible about me not being home the last couple of days, the big lug."
Left alone, Ianto recognised the mischievous glint in Jack's eyes and moments later he was grabbed by the tie and pulled into a searing kiss.
"Ianto, bed now."
- - -
Ianto stretched out, enjoying the feel of the elongation of his muscles and the aftermath of an enjoyable hour messing up the sheets of Jack's camp bed. He looked over to see Jack wearing the same smug expression as the one he thought he'd be sporting, and spotting the leather band around his lover's wrist an idea hit him like a thunderbolt.
"Give me your wrist strap."
Jack raised a questioning eyebrow but did as he was told. "What are you plotting, Jones?"
Ianto looked almost furtive as he placed the wrist strap across the palm of his hand, and then laid his other hand across it. "You know I told Kelis what she did was only temporary? Guess what? I lied."
Jack's eyes widened comically. "Ianto..."
With a broad smile, that was more of a grin, Ianto handed Jack his wrist strap back. "There, all fixed."
"What?" Jack turned the offending article over in his hands and carefully examined the face. Quickly, he put it back on. "How?"
"That doesn't matter. What matters is that when we are ready to go travelling we can do so together and at our leisure – when we want to and not because of over-enthusiastic Time Lords or family members."
Jack lunged at Ianto, knocking him backwards and landing on top of him. "I tell you what, Ianto. There was one thing Kelis got right..."
"Oh yeah?" replied Ianto, leaning up to steal a kiss.
"You really are a marvel!"
Ianto chuckled. "Oh, I don't know about that, but I certainly have my moments."
End of fic author notes:
Firstly, sorry this bugger took so long, but a mix of real life and refusing to post anything that I wasn't really happy with resulted in a bit a delay at times. And I am so very happy that
people have enjoyed this beast, and the OCs that make up quite a bit of it! This is officially the long non-original fic I have written – bloody hell!
One thing I wanted to mention was that I deliberately used the psychic bomb in the way that I did because I wanted, for once, for the old cover story to actually be the truth... as in the CIA changed everyone's memories get out clause... and in this case the bomb really did make people hallucinate! And Kelis, well she was just too much fun not to use... poor Ianto, having relatives like that!
So, thanks to everyone who has read these three stories. I hope you've enjoyed them!