Faddau 'm - part one

a Torchwood story

by RoadrunnerGER

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, I just borrowed them from the BBC.

Summary: With horror Jack realized that he made a terrible mistake. Can he make up for it? Janto of course. ;)

A/N: Hello! I'm new to the Torchwood fandom (thanks to blucougar57 who got me hooked with her CI crossover Another World) and did not realize at first that Ianto is a character whose birth-date is actually known. LOL So my muse made a virtue of necessity and came up with this. It has three chapters and I plan to post the first two as part one, rated T, while part two would be rated M. Enjoy!

Very special thanks to my beta Bammi1. Thank you!

Faddau 'm Forgive me

For blucougar57.

Jack's mistake

"No!" Captain Jack Harkness panted.

He could not believe his eyes. No way. No, no, no. Don't let that be true!

Guilt flushed his cheeks almost scarlet.

There was no excuse. After all the long years he had spent on earth he should be able to read. He should be able to remember. He should be able to combine both and not do what he had done.

But it was too late.

In vain Jack checked to see if he had accidentally placed a perception filter on the wall, but no, he still found no excuse.

Nothing but nothing could serve as explanation for why he had not once looked properly at the calendar hanging over the cupboard.

I'm such a fool, Jack berated himself. Don't I notice the time passing anymore because it won't affect me? How could I miss that date?!

And I know exactly which date it is!

I remember that cup of coffee… He chuckled with the memory. I came out of the tourist office just to run into him again… after that night when he helped me in the park. And there I was thinking that I'd have to search for him. No, he just stood there, waiting for me, a mug with fresh coffee in hand.

He had a real mug, not a paper thing from a coffee shop. Just how the heck did he know when to pour it? He could not know that I was about to show up, could he? Still the coffee was fresh and hot… and the best coffee I've ever tasted until then.

His memories were vivid and to the point when he recalled the morning when Ianto practically ambushed him right outside the entrance to the Hub.

And by the way, how did he know where to find me?

"Wow!" he had said as he gave the mug back to Ianto.

"I want to work for you," Ianto had said and Jack declined, "Sorry. No vacancies."

"Look, let me tell you about myself."

But that was not necessary. Jack knew exactly who he was. Well, he knew it since he had checked him out that night after he had returned and locked the weevil up in the vaults. And he had told him so, "Ianto Jones, born August 19th 1983."

See, Jack, he scolded himself. You know exactly when he's born.

He had walked off, talking, trying to leave the young man in his dust, but he followed him. So he continued, "Able student but not exceptional, one minor conviction for shoplifting in your teens. Number of temporary jobs, mainly a drifter, until two years ago you join the Torchwood Institute in London. Junior researcher. Girlfriend, Lisa Hallett."

"Deceased."

"I'm sorry." I'm sorry… it echoed in Jack's mind. In hindsight he was quite quick to tell me that she was dead. But no alarm bells went off. Why would they? If I only would have known…

There was no sense in agonising over that question. What happened had happened. They could not change it, so what was the point in brooding?

Chasing the dark memories away Jack concentrated on why he liked Ianto so much. For nothing in the world would he have shown it that day, but he already knew during their talk in front of the tourist office that he really liked Ianto.

"You checked me out," Ianto had said.

"You knew what a Weevil was," Jack answered, knowing that his sympathy for the young man was irrelevant. He told him the truth. Back then there were no vacancies and so he tried to get rid of him. "Thought I was gonna have to come deal with you."

"But instead you could see I have the right qualifications for the job."

"There is no job," Jack insisted. "We're nothing to do with Torchwood London. I severed all links." And once more he tried to just walk away from him.

"Yet when it burned," Ianto said, getting in front of Jack and stopping him with a hand against his chest, "two members of your team scavenged the ruins."

Jack would have loved to laugh out loud. The young man's bravado impressed him, but he really could not give in now. So he took hold of Ianto's hand with finger and thumb and removed it from his person. "Don't want the equipment getting into the wrong hands," he said.

"And you're the right hands, are you? Trial period, three months."

Jack really had to fight to keep his stern expression as he told him, "No."

"Three weeks. Three days. Let me prove myself to you. I'll work for nothing."

"No." And he walked off again, the young man right on his heels… or rather keeping up beside him.

"I saw what they did at Canary Wharf," he now grabbed Jack by the shoulder and pulled him back to get in front of him again. "What am I supposed to do with those memories?"

"You are not my responsibility. And we're not hiring."

Now his amusement was gone. Ianto had chosen the perfect place to corner him. On the walkway he was trapped between the wall on one side and water on the other… and Ianto in front of him.

His blue eyes became hard and he pushed past the young man who chose not to follow him this time.

"Same time tomorrow then!" Ianto shouted instead.

But Jack kept walking. If he caved in now he would never get rid of the boy. "There is no job for you here and there never will be."

"I really like that coat," was the last Jack heard Ianto say and he raised one eyebrow at the implication but kept walking. He felt his defences crush. The young man was not only brave, stubborn and clever, he also was breathtakingly sexy and knew how to make coffee.

If he had any idea that the way he dressed would push me to a state where I hardly knew how to hide it? That jeans and shirt with open collar. He looked soooo damn hot!

I didn't want to admit it back then, but Ianto already had won my heart. Jack smiled to himself. It just took the incident with Myfanwy to make me realize that we could actually have use for him… beside seducing him and screwing him senseless.

They had been on their way to a rift alert when a man stepped out in front of their car. Jamming the breaks Jack made the SUV screech to a halt. When he recognized Ianto Jones he was ready to tear him to pieces. Jack climbed out of the car and slammed the door, yelling, "Okay, this has to stop!"

"No, listen to me," Ianto said.

"I don't have time for this. Look, I don't care what your problem is, I want you out of this city by sunrise. There is no place for you here. Go back to London, find yourself another life. Keep stalking me, I'll wipe your memory."

But the threat of getting ret-conned did not seem to impress the young man.

"No, but the thing is..."

"Any conversation between us, no matter what the subject, is over! Finished! Done! Forever! I'm getting back behind the wheel of that car and if you're still standing in the road, I'm going to drive through you." Pivoting around he stalked off back to the car.

"You're not gonna help me catch this pterodactyl then?"

Spinning around Jack had stared at him incredulously. Then he sent Suzie, Toshiko and Owen to sort out the rift activity while he went with Ianto.

When they reached the vacated warehouse Jack asked, "How did you find it?"

"Rift activity locator."

"Torchwood London."

Ianto held the item up for him, "See, quality kit."

"Yeah, it's quite excitable."

"Must be your aftershave."

Jack would have loved to laugh. "Never wear any," he said and knew what was to come. It was not the first time and would not be the last.

Ianto did him the favour and asked incredulously, "You smell like that naturally?"

"51st century pheromones," Jack panted, excited by the hunt as well as the slowly building tension between them. Flirting in highly dangerous situations. He loved that. "You people have no idea. Ready for another go?"

"I'm game if you are."

"Three, two, one..."

They burst through the door and the pterodactyl screeched and dove at them. They split up and ran in opposite directions. The dinosaur landed near the door and Ianto caught up with Jack on the other side. Jack grabbed him and held him back, started moving forward. Soothingly he spoke to the prehistoric creature and offered him the Hub as flying ground.

"Okay," Ianto pouted, "so you'll let the pterodactyl in and not me."

"We need a guard dog," Jack stated flatly.

"I can be that," Ianto said. "Like a receptionist. Building maintenance, food and drink, dry cleaning even. That coat of yours must take a battering. Like a butler, I could be a butler."

"We don't need a butler," Jack told him in exasperation. He had other things to do right then than deal with the pushy Welshman.

Ianto grabbed his arm and pointed at his greatcoat, "Excuse me, dried egg on your collar."

"It was a busy week."

Then Jack explained to Ianto what he planned to do but when he tried to push the syringe in the Welshman's hand Ianto pushed back. He told him he would be the better decoy and before Jack started an argument with him he agreed. Ianto distracted the pterodactyl while Jack stalked closer. He had already reached it when it took off and Jack just could grab one leg. Before he even knew it his feet left the ground and the dinosaur flew him all around the warehouse. How he managed to get the syringe in he could not tell, but he did and injected the dinosaur.

Then he dropped.

And he dropped perfectly… right into Ianto's arms. The impact threw the younger man to the ground and Jack landed on top of him. Both were grunting. Then Ianto saw the pterodactyl coming and rolled to the side just before it crashed on the concrete where they had been a second earlier.

Jack and Ianto laughed out loud together. Now Ianto was on top.

And that was it, Jack thought, revelling at his memories. He was so close, close enough to kiss. Our noses almost touched already. And he smelled so good. He chuckled at that thought. It was the first time I saw him in a suit. Now I held him by the arms and the fabric was so smooth under my fingers, his muscles so firm beneath the jacket. I could've got lost in his eyes that were staring at me in wonder that we actually brought the pterodactyl down. I could feel the tension build and I guess he could feel it, too. My defences were down. If Ianto would have asked me now, whatever it might be, I couldn't have denied it to him.

But then the hope died in his eyes and he got up. I have no idea what he saw in my eyes, but I guess he resigned himself to the fact that I would never hire him. Then he got up and the moment he left me I knew that I didn't want him to go.

Jack rolled to the side and scrambled to his feet.

"Hey!" he shouted. "Report for work first thing tomorrow." I saw him pause, just for a second and wondered if he would turn, but he just kept walking so I had to try and convince him, "Like the suit, by the way."

The next morning he showed up for work at exactly eight 'o clock. Not one second earlier, not one second later. Ever since he was obliging, reliable and loyal… with the exception of the Lisa-incident. But I couldn't even be mad at him for that. I know how much love can hurt.

Like I hurt him now!

Like I hurt him when I forgot his birthday!

No wonder that he gave me the cold shoulder during the last few days, Jack thought. A hug and a kiss would have been the least I could have done. Even under the circumstances.

The circumstances.

The circumstances were a totally inadequate way to express what had happened.

Late at night, barely August 18th, the rift alert shook Jack out of nightmare disturbed sleep. He was alone at the Hub and as soon as he realized that he ran to the workstation to check what was going on. If it was a simple weevil alert he would not have to call in his team, but if it was something more serious he was left with no other chance.

One look at the monitor told Jack that the proverbial shit hit the fan.

And that was when he heard an all too familiar grinding noise that grew louder and louder until…

…the Doctor's TARDIS materialized right in the centre of the Hub.

One click on a field on the monitor showing the rift activity placed four calls simultaneously, sending the alert to Tosh, Gwen, Owen and Ianto.

"What have you done this time?!" yelled the Doctor as he burst out of the TARDIS and ran up to where Jack was standing beside the workstation.

"Nice to see you, too," Jack retorted dryly.

"What have you done?!" the Doctor repeated urgently.

"I've been sleeping until the alert woke me," he said. "I don't know what happened. All I know is what I can see on the monitor."

"And what do you see?"

"That the rift spreads further and further," Jack replied tonelessly. His gaze was glued to the monitor where he got one weevil alert after the other as well as numerous other alien activity alerts. Helplessly he had to watch as the rift grew and finally parted Cardiff in two halves.

By then the team members had arrived and hurried in through the cog door just to stop dead in their tracks at the sight of the blue police box in the middle of their Hub.

"What's wrong, Jack?" Gwen shouted. "I almost hit two weevils with my car and a huge something with six black eyes and an exo-skeleton."

"Oh, my God!" Tosh exclaimed as she looked at the monitor, too.

No! Don't go there now, Jack thought and his insides constricted at the very idea of reliving the memories. It kept us busy for five days. Five days during which the rift grew and grew and grew, destroying not only Cardiff but several other towns, too…

In the end it had been the Doctor who found the solution. Placing the TARDIS in the centre of the rift storm he managed to close it. What happened exactly no one could tell, but they actually had a Cardiff to return to. Once they were safely back at their Hub the Doctor took off again, but this time they were glad that he had been there to help them.

The circumstances. Jack shuddered. How inadequate is that word really? We wouldn't have been able to deal with that rift storm on our own. Circumstances.

The circumstances led to him not realizing that August 19th had passed by as good as unnoticed.

August 19th! Ianto's birthday!

Jack felt his cheeks heat with shame.

I didn't even hug him and tell him happy birthday. Not even while we were safe in the TARDIS. I'll have to make it up to him.

Determined to show his young Welshman how much he loved him, Jack began his preparations.

xXx

"Time to go home!" Jack yelled down from the upper level right outside his office. Myfanwy's screech was the only reply he got. Were they already gone?

No, they were not. Jack saw Toshiko on her workstation and Gwen was sorting some files. Where was Owen?

He came up from the autopsy bay, following his captain's voice.

"What's wrong?" the medic demanded to know. "It's not even six!"

"Nothing's wrong," Jack shouted back. "The last days were hard. Thought you'd appreciate the evening off."

"You won't have to tell me twice," Owen said, then set a syringe down on his own desk and grabbed his jacket. "See you Monday if no alert comes!"

"Okay!" Jack laughed.

Reluctantly the two women left their workplaces.

"C'mon, Gwen. Go home to Rhys!" Jack told her. "Before he forgets what you look like."

That made them chuckle and Jack revelled at the sound. It was good that they could laugh again. Then he spotted Ianto.

"Ianto! If you wouldn't mind… You could help me bring a few artefacts down to the archives. Will you?"

"Sure, sir," Ianto said and continued his task of throwing empty food boxes in a black plastic bag.

Jack did not miss the bitter tone in the two words even though Ianto did his best to hide it. I'm sorry, love, he thought. I hope that my surprise can make it up to you.

He watched Tosh and Gwen leave before he strolled down the stairwell to join Ianto.

"It shouldn't take too long," he said. "Thanks for staying, Ianto. You know I'd be lost without you. Administration's not my thing, really."

"I know, sir," Ianto grumbled. He was torn between staying and leaving. If he stayed he probably could find out why Jack did reject him, what he had done wrong to make him stop loving him. If he left he would not have to bear Jack's rejections. After what they had shared it was the hardest thing to bear.

Ianto followed Jack to a shelf where they labelled and catalogued the artefacts before they tucked them safely away in boxes. When just a few were left Jack turned to Ianto and said, "I just remembered that I need to call UNIT. Can you finish here and bring the boxes down to the archive?"

"Sure, sir," Ianto agreed obediently. He did not even look around as Jack walked off, assuming that the captain went to his office.

"Oh, and Ianto! I think that the first archive room is quite cramped already. You should bring the boxes to the next one.

"I will, sir."

Ianto put the last artefacts away and closed the boxes. Then he put all three of them on a cart and started for the vaults. The mazy tunnels were hard to distinguish. It was easy to get lost in them, but Ianto who had a knack for numbers and an almost photographic memory did not hesitate once on his way down.

As Jack had said that he should take the boxes to the next room he did not even stop at the old archive room. He opened the door and pushed the cart through.

But just as he searched for the switch to turn the lights on the door fell closed behind him with a loud thud.

tbc…