TADA! Here we are folks, the final chapter! I'm extremely happy with this, I think it ties everything up very nicely. I hope you all enjoy it too!
I want to say a huge thankyou to everyone who's read, commented and crtiqued along the way, it wouldn't be the story it is without your enthusiasm and input! Thankyou all so much, you're complete legends!
So this is for all of you who've been reading!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, they belong to RTD and the BBC.
So ain't that just like a man?
Jack headed back into the Hub with a strange feeling inside him. No painful hole, no urge to rip something to pieces, no need to drink myself to sleep. Odd, Jack thought with a slight frown. Could I be feeling peaceful?
He allowed himself a wry smile as he stepped through the cog door. It immediately turned to a scowl when he was hit by a wall of humid air. For God's sake! I swear… he stormed across the basin area to the door to the archives, thankful for the chill in the air as he walked deeper underground.
He reached the room with the climate control consoles and stepped inside, flicking the light on and undoing a few more buttons at the top of his shirt. With a sigh, he put his hands on his hips and surveyed the scene in front of him. To the untrained eye, the machine seemed to be humming along quite happily to itself. From Jack's point of view, it was smirking in triumph as it once again foiled his attempts to fix it.
"Okay, you and me. Right here, right now." He muttered to himself and he removed his shirt and snapped his suspenders off his shoulders, lying down on the floor and looking at the underside of the cranked up machine. He scanned the inside of the console for a long time, but found nothing wrong.
After an hour of retracing his steps, Jack finally gave up on the internal workings of the machine, deciding to attack it from a different perspective. Flexing his fingers several times, he gripped a hold of the nearest console and heaved it away from the wall, using his entire body to lever it away from the concrete. He squinted in the half light of the shadows cast by the huge piece of metal and saw his problem.
"Here we go again." He groaned, rolling his eyes in annoyance, huffing slightly as he reached for the two disconnected wires. With a yelp, he drew his hand back, sucking on his fingertips immediately as the sharp flare of pain hit him. It was only then that he realised the wires were still live. He had to step back to give himself room to think.
Ideally, he should shut off the power to the consoles and fix them safely. However, if he shut the power off to this room, he would first have to find out where the circuit also supplied. That would mean doing a substantial amount of work to fix something that could be sorted within minutes. Granted, those minutes would be sheer hell and more painful than having your internal organs spontaneously combusting, but he'd get over it. He always did.
With a grimace, he made his decision and walked back behind the console, flexing his fingers again as his hands hovered over the two disconnected wires. With a deep breath, he gripped hold of them and forced them together. The blinding pain that ricocheted through his body as the electricity flowed through him was momentary.
After a second or two, he felt his heart seize to a stop and the world went from the whiteness of overwhelming pain to the blackness of death.
Ianto had decided, almost as soon as Jack had left, that he was going to go lie on his bed and spread out across the whole of it. He smiled to himself as he quickly changed the sheets and bedclothes before flopping down onto the dark blue covers, spread eagled, his smile still firmly in place.
For once, he was enjoying being alone. It had been a long, long time since he'd felt like this, since before Lisa. When he'd been alone, he'd always wished she was lying with him, something which had convinced him that he loved her. He'd felt the same thing after the cyber woman who'd taken her was killed, when he'd first slept with Jack. Every night after that, when he curled up on his side of the bed (not that Jack had ever slept at his flat) he'd desperately missed his presence.
It only occurred to him now that when Tom had been there, he'd simply been filling Jack's place, no matter how long for. Ianto took that opportunity to think through everything that had happened with the UNIT accountant. Whilst they'd had a good time together, Ianto now recognised that he'd never thought of him as a permanent addition to his life. He really had just been filling in the blanks.
Now he was gone and Jack was home, Ianto realised that he didn't need those blanks filled anymore. Not by Jack and certainly not by Tom. For the first time in several years, Ianto felt peaceful at the thought. He sighed happily and folded his arms behind his head, staring up at the ceiling, illuminated by the soft glow of his beside lamp.
He let his attention return to Jack, going over all the things he'd learned since his captain's return. Jack had been, on the surface, just the same as ever; cocky, confident, playful, everything that he'd remembered him as. Underneath it all, on those few occasions when his emotions had gotten the best of him, he'd shown something completely new; genuine anger and concern about Ianto's relationship, undeniable love and affection on the night they'd slept together, things that he'd barely had a chance to glimpse before.
Now, it was like Jack wanted him to see beneath the surface, to see that he was a different person. Ianto thought about that as he pushed himself up and started to get changed. He gathered together some clean clothes and walked through to his bathroom, flicking on the shower and peeling the day's suit off. He carefully manoeuvred himself so that his hand and left cheek were out of the water and stood under the cascade.
As he felt the warm water run across his tired muscles, he smiled again, remembering the last time he'd felt this relaxed. Lying with Jack afterwards, his arms around me.. I didn't want to go, I don't want to be anywhere else… His smile drifted away and he frowned slightly, his brain firing on all levels as he worked out just what he wanted to do.
Determination surged through him and he turned the shower off, quickly towelling himself dry and pulling on his clean clothes, grabbing a hoody from his bedroom before slipping on a pair of tennis shoes and grabbing his keys from the coffee table as he headed to his front door. Knowing that he couldn't drive, he set off at a run for the Hub, enjoying the feel of the wind in his face as he jogged through the dark streets, closing in on the plass.
About fifteen minutes later, he slowed to a halt, opening up the Tourist Office and slipping inside. He found himself remarkably calm and allowed himself a smile as he locked the door behind him and headed through to the lift and then into the Hub.
He knew right away that Jack was in his office, so he headed straight over. When he walked through the door into the dimly lit room, he saw Jack sitting on the floor by his drinks cabinet, dressed the same way as he'd found him all those days ago. He raised and eyebrow and pulled over the guest chair, sitting on it backwards and leaning his folded arms on the back of it.
"I would offer to help, but I reckon I'd be worse than you." He said with a smile, gesturing to the bottle of unopened whiskey sitting beside Jack. The Captain looked up at him and grinned, his eyes meeting Ianto's. They sat and looked at each other for a while before Ianto managed to tear his gaze away to the mess of Jack's hands.
"Two disconnected wires in the climate control machine." Jack explainer, rubbing the raw, red skin of his palms together lightly and balling them into fists gently. "I'm just waiting for them to heal. They're already infinitely better than earlier. Anyway, what brings you here?"
"I've been doing some thinking." Ianto replied mysteriously, Jack's eyebrows raising slightly and he focused fully on Ianto, hope seeping unchecked into his mind. "I came to the conclusion that I was happy on my own, back at home. I was happy to lay there by myself and enjoy the feeling."
Ianto saw the expression in Jack's eyes crumple, but he chuckled lightly and held a finger up to stop the other man from interrupting. "But that led me to realise that I want to be with you, and I don't want it because I'm lonely. I want it because I want you."
Jack's lips slowly turned up into a smile, quickly stretching out further into a childish grin and he jumped up and grabbed Ianto's face to pull him in for a kiss. Ianto chuckled and allowed Jack's exuberance to rub off on him a little, one of his hands moving to grip onto the back of the other man's neck as their lips teased and coaxed each other playfully.
"However," Ianto pulled back and moved his finger back between them, Jack looking at him in a mixture of anxiety and concern. "You need to understand that I'm not going anywhere unless you do. If you need to leave with the Doctor again, I'd appreciate a warning, but I'll be here waiting. If you feel the need to get in bed with someone else, I'm out of that door so fast you won't even realise."
Jack pulled back completely and nodded, pulling the young man to his feet and snaking his arms around Ianto's waist, pulling him close and nuzzling his neck gently, ever fibre in him suddenly completely serious.
"Ianto, I promise you that those days are over." He spoke quietly, eyes closed as he concentrated on Ianto's scent and the heartbeats rushing through their veins. He brought his head up and opened his eyes again, gazing sincerely into Ianto's. "You won't have to see that side of me again. I lost it a long time ago."
Ianto stood and studied Jack's face for a moment before laughing gently. Jack rolled his eyes as Ianto's laugh increased, loving the sound of him letting go. After a few moments, their eyes met again and Ianto smiled, leaning in to capture Jack's lips in another, passionate kiss, hands running through his hair and resting on his neck and Jack just pulled him closer, biting on the young man's lip a little as he enjoyed the moment.
"Come on, lets start this thing properly." Ianto whispered, mouth against Jack's ear, the smile evident in his voice. Jack grinned and directed him down to his bunker, glancing around the room one last time for anything which might disturb them before following. He didn't want any interruptions for the rest of the night.
A/N: I'm putting this to a vote; Would you like to see a sequel for this or not? If so, please say so as I'll need to start coming up with ideas!
I currently have a crossover fic (with Iron Man and The Dark Knight) dabbling around with my muses, but I'll let my Joker fanaticism cool over my holiday to see whether I still like the idea later.