Author's Note: It's November. This means it's National Novel Writing Month, and I'm clinically insane and aiming for two. This means (hopefully) I will be uploading two chapters of this, each of at least two thousand words, every day. Except that I didn't get any done yesterday, so erm... Four chapters today, here we come. I hope you enjoy it, and I apologise for the padding (which will probably involve smut and comedy, because it's easy)
A dark coat billowed in the wind that blew its owner's hair into his eyes, but he didn't seem to notice either. His eyes were fixed far out in Cardiff Bay, but seeing something far beyond this world. Only one man saw him this late at night, the one man who saw almost everything the first one did. He sighed lightly with a fond smile and approached silently, slipping his arms around his waist from behind and resting his head on his shoulder, following his gaze out to see.
"It's all still here." He nuzzled his lover's neck with his cold nose and chuckled when Jack started away from the sudden chill, "Sorry, is my nose cold?"
"It is rather." He turned and pressed a kiss to Ianto's nose gently, "How long have we been out here?"
"Hours. Staring at it isn't going to make it suddenly different you know. It's not going to change any time soon."
"I know, I know." He slipped his arm around Ianto's waist and looked back out at the horizon briefly before turning and walking with him back to the TI office. "I just have trouble believing that it's all real, that it's here. That we're back and we have tomorrow."
"Tomorrow, it's a sort of magical never, never land isn't it?" The young man mused as he leant over the counter to let them down into the Hub, "And if it comes again we can go home. If not, we'll have to make the most of tonight here, won't we?"
Jack tugged him close as the door swung closed behind them, cupped his chin and kissed him deeply, hard and passionate, "Dear God Ianto I love you. I really, really do." He kissed him again, more gently and so full of tenderness and love that Ianto's knees went weak and he melted into Jack's arms completely.
Gwen scowled as the proximity alarm jarred her hangover and dropped her bag onto her desk, flopping into the chair behind it to cradle her head in her hands and glare at the grain of the wood as if it had personally offended her. When she realised the ridiculousness of this she laughed, but then regretted it. Her coffee mug appeared in front of her, filled with Ianto's special 'morning' blend, the aroma completely individual and already starting to emulsify the sludge of her brain. Still, it took a few moments for her to work out what had happened and reach out for the coffee, taking a first tentative sip to make sure she wasn't seeing things. "Ianto, you're an absolute darling!" She called out gingerly, her head already clearer but not so clear that the mistake didn't cost her.
The administrator descended the stairs with his own coffee and leant on her desk so that he could talk to her quietly, "I do my best. Good night last night?"
"Everything hurts." She fixed him with her widest doe eyes and an ironic half smile, the most she could manage for the moment, "Head, back, arms, legs, hair…"
"Sounds like a good night."
"Oh yeah, haven't had so much fun in…" She smirked, "Since that weevil hunt the night before last, but it's an unusual life."
"Tell me about it." He laughed and glanced up to Jack's office where the Captain was noticeable by his absence
When he looked back to Gwen she was smirking, "Good night last night?"
He smiled shyly, a mystified look in his eyes, "Always. He's just so… So Jack, you know? He can make you feel better just by being there. And then he smiles, and nothing in the world can get me down."
"And when he kisses you it's only you and him in the world and the world is perfect, and when you have sex the distinction between you and him disappears?" She smiled knowingly over the top of her mug and it broadened into a wide grin at his surprised but simply mushy expression, "Read it described like that in a Mills and Boon last week, and, you know, I knew what she meant."
The young man grimaced, "Yeah, and at this point I insist that I am a man and don't do soppy and romantic. Well, I didn't, never used to be able to do soppiness, but with Jack…"
"I wondered why my ears were burning." An American drawl reached them from the door of Jack's office and they looked up to see the captain smiling down at them, "You talking about me?"
"Yup, bugger off." Ianto turned back to Gwen and smiled, well aware of what Jack would do in the circumstance.
Gwen watched in amusement and Jack tried to approach them silently, then became rooted to the spot when Ianto escaped with moments to spare and disappeared down to the archives without another word. She followed his progress until he vanished from sight and had to fight hard to suppress the laughter, but the laughter vanished when she turned back to Jack. He seemed to have completely forgotten she was there and was staring after Ianto with a lost, terrified, confused expression; after a few moments he cleared his throat and glanced at her before his gaze moved to the leg of her desk, which was apparently fascinating. "Did I do something wrong?"
She reached across and took his hand, squeezing it gently, "He's just pulling your leg, probably hoping you'll follow him…" He gave her one more look, this one still perplexed but lit with brilliant hope, then followed his lover.
The Welshwoman smiled into the last of her coffee and set it down beside her computer monitor, starting up her regular systems and scans. How those two had ever got this far she had no idea; Jack was terrified of losing Ianto in one way or another, to the extent that he tried to push him away at every opportunity, whilst Ianto had hated Jack at one point and was now scared of hurting him. Add on to that the fact that Jack was generally perplexed about twenty first century dating customs and Ianto refused to talk about his feelings (used to, at least) and their relationship was an absolute miracle.
Almost absentmindedly, she reached for her phone and pressed the speed dial for Rhys, her wonderful, anchoring, normal husband, who actually had a clue. Thank God for small miracles.
"Heya Gwen." A smile danced across her face at his cheerful greeting and she span round in her chair, "How's the head this morning?"
"Hey love, Ianto's magic coffee sorted me out, I'll be clear as a bell before long."
He laughed, "Reckon I could get some off him, my head's banging, isn't it?"
"Not for a while at least, he and Jack are…" She grinned, "Being their usual hopeless selves really."
"Oh dear, are they fighting?"
"God no." She turned back to the computer and started going through the reports, praying for a clean bill for Jack and Ianto's sakes, "Just a lack of communication; Jack's a bit protective and sort of scared. And Ianto's rather too good at winding him up without noticing… It's complicated, I don't know what they're up to."
"They're OK though?" He sounded worried, understandably so. He and Ianto were close friends, so close that he had been Ianto's best man, and he knew how much the younger Welshman relied on his relationship with the enigmatic captain.
"Yeah, they're fine, or will be. I think I'd better leave them be for a while, if you know what I mean." She sighed and glanced at the clock, "I'd better get some work done and let you do the same. I'll let you know what time I'm likely to be home, alien invasions permitting."
"OK love, take care."
"Love you." She flipped her phone shut and pressed it to her lips with a broad grin, then put it down and put normality from her mind.
Jack pushed his hands into his pockets to keep them still and made his way down into the archives part annoyed, part scared and wholly confused. He paused just inside the entrance to the archives, out of sight of the former PC, to run a hand through his hair, a nervous habit he'd picked up off Ianto. The young man was his whole life; he'd faced down Abaddon with less fear than he'd felt when Ianto had been attacked in Switzerland and just now. Hell, he'd been less scared when he'd faced down Daleks; pick an occasion, any occasion.
With a deep sigh he advanced further into his partner's domain and within a few seconds he was convinced he was lost. The only sounds were echoing computer beeps and drips of water, and his own breathing and loud footfall. He gasped and would later deny forcefully that he squeaked as strong hands grabbed him from a dark doorway as he passed and soft, familiar lips attacked his own. His breath all escaped in one sudden go but he paid no attention, returning the kiss desperately and clutching the younger man close to him. Unusually, but not unexpectedly, he was the one to break away for air and raised a hand to stroke the other's cheek gently, drinking in the sight.
"Jack?" Ianto's voice dragged him back gently and he kissed him softly, chuckling when the younger man tried to draw it out further and moaned when he broke contact again.
"And there was me thinking I'd pissed you off." He chuckled, pressing his hand into the small of Ianto's back to bring their bodies flush against each other.
"What gave you that idea?" Ianto whispered against his neck between kisses, nipping gently at the sensitive skin under his ear, "I could never be pissed off at you."
The immortal moaned softly and grabbed Ianto's arse tightly, "Evidently so. God Ianto, the things you do to me…" He was cut off as his lover's lips found his and he moaned again into the kiss, hands scrabbling to bring Ianto impossibly closer, wanting to crawl inside him and disappear, so that they could never be separated or parted. An impossible dream for him; he couldn't be with Ianto forever, but it didn't stop him wishing.
His mind registered groggily that Ianto's nimble fingers were working at the buttons on his shirt and that he was doing the same; the young man's jacket was already discarded on the back of a chair and their shirts were untucked. "You were expecting me." He realised, tugging gently on his earlobe with his teeth
"Timing you." Ianto confessed with a gasp, plunging his fingers up under Jack's T-shirt and pushing it up, laughing at the gasp caused by his cold fingers against the older man's warm flesh. He traced the outline of well-defined muscles, moaning as Jack trailed his fingers down his chest and gasping as talented fingers pinched at a nipple.
Jack was fully prepared to lose himself completely in his young lover, but their version of real life cut across the moment in the form of a worried Welsh accent calling his name on the comms.
"Gwen? This had better be important." He rested his forehead against Ianto's, trying to steady his elevated breathing.
"Sorry Jack, but I think you'd better check this out. It's in the reports that came in overnight. I'm not sure what to make of it."
"On my way." Ianto let him go reluctantly and they fastened their buttons up quickly, hurrying up to the main body of the Hub as they did so.
They had long ago given up pretending to Gwen that there was nothing going on between them and that when they were missing together they weren't in a stationary cupboard or similar. The pretence had been dying ever since she'd walked in on them in the Hot House, and thoroughly dead since she'd kicked Jack's backside (quite literally) into repairing their relationship following Tosh and Owen's deaths.
The woman in question was on the phone and smiled nervously at them as they entered. Jack bounded up the stairs to take the readout and an inexplicable grin dawned on his face as he skimmed through it. As she hung up, and it became clear that she'd been talking to Andy, she stared at him perplexedly, "What are you grinning about?"
"What's going on?" Ianto called down from the kitchenette
"So many questions so little time… We've been hacked."
"And you're grinning?" Gwen glared at him, she really hated it when he knew something she didn't
"Oh yeah, cos I know who it is. I knew he wouldn't be able to stay away from us for long. What did he look at?"
"The general archive, specifically about Daleks and Slitheen, and your personal folders mostly. Did he get an eyeful of porn?"
"Nope." He laughed and pulled his phone out, "He found a job offer."