This is an extended song fic... loosely based around the song Just Like a Man by Del Amitri. You'll find out why it's loosely based as it progresses.
Warnings now, there's an OC in this for the majority of the fic, and it's Ianto/OC sometime,s but there's still Ianto. I hope that doesn't turn anyone away. The Oc is visually supposed to look like a cross between Aragroan (LotR) and Sawyer (Lost), if that heps the description at all.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, sueing is pointless, I'm broke and the rest belongs to RTD
Just Like a Man by Del Amitri
Jack whistled happily to himself as he strolled across the plass, hands in pockets as he headed to the slab of the invisible lift. All he could think about was seeing Ianto again. After everything he'd been through over the past year, he just wanted to see his face and hear his voice. Of course, he missed the rest of the team, but it was the thought of Ianto which made his heart race that little bit faster.
As the slab descended, he heard a loud squawk behind him and twisted round to see Myfanwy circling the hydraulic tubing that lowered the slab to the basin of the Hub. He grinned at the dinosaur and chuckled to himself as the slab came to a halt. He jumped off and took a moment to look around him, appreciating the familiar sounds and smells of the place: the soft humming of computers, the dripping of the broken faucet in the hot house, the gentle, all encompassing smell of ground coffee beans that drifted from the kitchen area.
He felt another smile play on his lips as he made his way slowly through the base to his office. He stopped at the doorway and shrugged his coat off, tossing it onto the stand before looking around him, feeling instantly at ease. It was just how he'd left it, desk covered with his usual array of items, a few piles of neat paperwork, even his empty coffee mug.
Hang on, that can't be right… Jack headed over to his desk and looked at the mug. Surely Ianto wouldn't just leave it there. This unusual discovery pushed Jack's forehead into a frown as he rolled his sleeves up and shoved his hands back in his pockets. It seemed to him that the rest of his office had been cleaned, the floors vacuumed and the surfaces polished, so why was this mug still sitting on his desk?
Had Ianto kept it there for a reason? Surely he'd not been brought back before he'd disappeared, not even the Doctor was that bad. A paradox was the last thing he needed. No, that wasn't the answer, there was something else. Jack felt a tingling sensation in the pit of his stomach as he inexplicably related it to Ianto.
Wandering back out into the hub, he went to check Tosh's computers, seeing whether the team was on a call or not. He got less than three feet out of the door before he stopped, frozen in place. At Tosh's workstation, there was a man he'd never seen before, standing and looking at the readings of the Rift monitor.
"Yeah, Tosh… Okay, I'll make sure there're forms are ready for filling out… No medical stuff needed? Alright… I'll get a storage box fixed up too… Okay, see you in a bit." With that, the man reached up and tapped the earpiece, muting his side of the comms.
Jack stood there and surveyed him as he continued to work, apparently unaware of the captain. He was about the same height as Ianto, perhaps a bit taller, with chin length brown hair. He was reasonably slim and stood in a way that suggested he was used to standing around waiting on orders. Jack compiled a mental list of points: English accent, roughly thirty, attractive body, roguish good looks. Hell, if he didn't know why a stranger was in the Hub, he'd be turning on the charm.
Instead of pulling his gun out and pressing it to the back of the man's skull, he used the knowledge he'd gained – that he obviously knew Tosh and was helping them on a run – and he simply cleared his throat, arms folded across his chest as he waited for the man to react.
"Captain Harkness, I presume." The voice sounded vaguely amused as the man turned around to face him. Jack was barely surprised to find that his face did justice to his physique.
"You presume correctly. And who might you be?" Jack looked at him inquisitively, a small smile on his face.
"Thomas, Thomas Greene." He stepped forward and extended his hand for Jack to shake, which he did a little wearily. "I work for UNIT, they sent me to sort out your finances before they authorised the year's relief money."
"UNIT?" Jack's face suddenly dropped and he unconsciously shifted his weight into a more hostile stance.
"Yeah… They told me you wouldn't be happy…" Thomas pulled away a little and rubbed the back of his head, grimacing apologetically. "If it's any help, I'm only doing an audit, then I'll be going back to London. I'll be done in a couple of weeks, three at the maximum."
Jack watched him with disapproval for a moment before suddenly having a thought. "Say… how long have you been here for?"
"Well, all I remember is that my superiors talked to you and you refused to let me in… Then they called again a couple of days later and told me that I was leaving that afternoon." Thomas looked a little confused. "When I turned up, about a month ago, you weren't here… None of the others really said anything, just that you'd left."
Jack grimaced to himself. A month? The Doctor promised a couple of days at the most… How the hell am I going to explain this? He silently cursed the timelord's lack of temporal awareness and brought himself back to the task at hand: there was a UNIT accountant in front of him. He was just about to open his mouth to question him some more when the proximity alarm went off and the light started to flash.
Jack looked wearily up as the door rolled back to reveal Tosh and Gwen, followed by Owen and finally Ianto. They all stepped into the hub and towards the workstations before any of the noticed the captain. Gwen rushed forwards with fire in her eyes and shoved him back against the wall, knocking him off guard and making his back slam against the doorframe. He winced slightly before looking up to find Tosh standing by her desk, a hopeful smile on her face. This contrasted starkly with the look of disgust on Owen's. Ianto was stood stock still at the top of the stairs, his blue eyes fixed on Jack with a cool indifference, betraying nothing of his thoughts.
A sharp slap to the face brought Jack back to the problem at hand. Gwen Cooper.
"You left us!" Jack cringed away as her hand came up, eyes screwing closed as he waited.
"Gwen, don't." Two words in the most beautiful voice he'd ever heard, a voice that he thought he'd forgotten months ago. He opened his eyes again to find Gwen standing a little further back and Ianto in the same place, hands in his pockets as he watched. "I'll get everyone a coffee."
Jack watched with a pained expression as the young man walked carefully towards him and into Jack's office to collect the captain's mug before turning his back on the group and heading off the to kitchen area.
"Where were you, Jack?" He turned his head to Owen and looked at the medic, meeting the solemn eyes.
"I had to go… I had to go find my Doctor." Jack felt the pleading look in his eyes, but he didn't try and stop it. They needed to know how sorry he was.
"Did he fix you?" Owen's question was simple but a deep well of emotions bubbled through Jack until he barely knew how to phrase his reply.
"Who messes with this level of perfection?" If in doubt, make a joke out of it, he thought bitterly. Tosh smiled and Owen nodded in acceptance, a hint of his usual cynical self returning. Gwen was still glaring at him, pouting in disapproval. He met her eyes again and waited for her to acknowledge him. After a few moments, she darted forwards again, Jack shrinking away to avoid another slap.
To his surprise, he felt arms around him as Gwen squeezed him in a hug. "Don't you ever do that to us again, Harkness. Next time there'll be bullets waiting for you."
She pulled away and headed off to her station grudgingly. Owen had already left to go down to the autopsy bay and Thomas seemed to have disappeared as well. The only person left was Tosh, still smiling at him in welcome.
"Welcome home, Jack." She spoke softly.
"It's great to be back, Tosh." Jack smiled in earnest at her and headed towards where she was seated, perching on the edge of her desk. "So what's the deal with this Thomas guy?"
"Tom? Oh, he's great." She beamed at him, twisting in her seat so she was facing him. "He's doing a full inventory take of the archives and, with Ianto's help, he's sorting out the finances. They've gotten pretty messy over the last year."
Jack nodded thoughtfully as he chewed on the inside of his cheek, thinking about the temporary member of the team. Maybe he could live with the UNIT accountant working in his Hub for a couple more weeks. He seemed nice enough and it wasn't as if he was imposing on anything Jack usually did. He suddenly wondered what Ianto thought about him and the notion made him stand up and head off to find the young man, suddenly eager to hear his voice again.