'You know who I'm travelling with?' Ianto repeated carefully, perching more comfortably on Jack's desk.
'It's the Doctor isn't it?' Jack sighed and rubbed his forehead, taking Ianto's silence for an affirmative. 'He has to meet the Doctor and persuade him not to let me go travelling with him years later so that you're not alone in your time.'
Ianto blinked. 'Well done,' he paused, 'it is of course completely wrong.'
'What?' Jack looked up sharply.
'Not even close. I've never met the Doctor. And you're,' Ianto looked down, 'travelling with him in the future?'
Jack cursed softly, 'Didn't mean to say that,' he admitted with a sad glance at Ianto, 'not like that.'
'Shouldn't be surprised then,' Ianto said bitterly, drawing his arms protectively around his stomach, 'where else would you be? I was nothing more than a time filler to you, was I?'
'That's not true, Ianto, and you know it,' Jack said steadily. Ianto shrugged and pushed himself off the desk, moving quietly out of the office. 'Shit,' Jack slammed his palm on the desk.
'And-' Ianto felt Jack's hand twist in his, 'turn!' They both laughed as Jack collided with Ianto's back, heads faced up as they watched the instruction video. His laughter muffled into Ianto's shirt covered shoulder, Jack gripped his waist, reaching for Ianto's hand, seizing his wrist in an inadvertent arm lock as Ianto yelped in protest and tangled his ankle through Jack's knees.
'Keep going,' Jack urged through his laughter, stealing a quick slap to Ianto's arse before spinning him out into what turned into a knot of arms.
'I don't think this was ever meant to be danced,' Ianto settled into a slower sway.
'You keep trying to lead,' Jack pressed up against Ianto, resting his head on his shoulder.
'So do you. Is this the future equivalent of dance mats?'
'Hm?' The head against his neck wasn't really listening. Jack's hand came to rest over his heart, that small gesture caused Ianto to instinctively clasp him tighter. That was Jack's little comfort move, the reassurance that someone else was there with him. Jack mused, a quiet murmur, half to himself, 'you just fit, Gorgeous.'
'Bet you say that to all the good looking men.'
'Only the really good looking ones,' Jack drew back with the familiar flirtatious grin back in place.
'Quick turnaround from before, you were going to shoot me.'
Jack just hummed and shot an amused glance at Ianto. 'I still might.' But the harshness had gone out of his words. 'Not going to shoot someone as special as you,' he murmured.
'You might have shot me before and not know,' Ianto offered back.
'Trying to change me for the better are you?'
Ianto didn't reply and stared down at the table. The phone rang and Jack flipped it open, wordlessly handing it to Ianto.
'Sorry about that. You died. Again. Honestly, I say duck and does anyone ever do it? No they don't. What were you saying about a Ianto Jones there? That's your man here.'
'What do you mean I'm his man there?' Ianto asked frostily.
'Oh. You must be Ianto, nice to meet you. Good job with sticking with Jack, although I suppose when you do decide to shoot him he just comes bouncing back. Why am I talking to you?'
'Actually no. What are you doing in the 21st century?!'
'And why did Jack already know you? Have you spilt the beans?'
'I was born here,' Ianto said firmly before the Doctor could cut him off, 'I met Jack in the 21st century, where he made me immortal.'
Jack winced and shook his head regretfully at Ianto.
'He did WHAT?!'
'I didn't mean to!' Jack yelled towards the phone.
'Oh that's good!' The Doctor said sarcastically, 'He didn't mean to. You just zoom across the universe, creating havoc everywhere, but it's all an accident. You made him immortal and you did it accidentally?'
'Now I'm in trouble,' Jack whispered to Ianto before taking the phone. 'He was dying! I kissed him goodbye and it brought him back!'
'When will you learn you can't just go round kissing everyone! And why did this future Ianto just decide to hop through a thousand years and come back?' There was a sudden silence, 'Jack,' the Doctor's voice lowered in sudden horror, 'Jack, don't tell me you've got two Ianto's there. At the same time.'
'No, no, only one.'
'Yes but the wrong one then!' The Doctor said impatiently, 'Where's the 21st century one gone now?'
'Future Ianto won't tell me,' Jack shot a glance at him, 'I thought maybe he was travelling with you.'
'Put him back on.' The phone was silent as Jack handed it over. 'Ianto?'
'Is this relevant?' Ianto started to pace slowly, '21st Ianto will be back soon and I'll be gone.'
There was a muted sigh, 'Humans. You can't just-' the Doctor spluttered, '-just do this!'
'I'm doing a patch up job,' Ianto's pace quickened, free hand gesturing slightly, 'I don't want to be here. Don't think I chose this. My past self had to help someone. I think you should know who.'
Jack drummed his fingers in irritation on the table, unable to hear and searching Ianto's face for clues.
'Jack?' The Doctor asked quietly.
With a growl Jack slammed his palm on the table, unable to hear.
'And you can't say with him there,' there was a heavy sigh, 'are you trying to make this more complicated? Ok, in Jack's past?'
'To help him do something? Yes. So,' there was the sound of something tapping thoughtfully on the phone, 'obviously he can't remember you, which means you're in incredibly well disguised or you've wiped his memory? The later I think,' he plowed on without need for an answer, 'but why would you want to do that? That just doesn't make sense, what change can you have made that'll stay after you wipe his mind? And Jack thinks you're travelling with me? That's why he called OH, noo, oh, can't be,' the Doctor's voice saddened, 'oh, that's very romantic.'
'What?' Ianto asked tersely.
'Oh I hate timelines. But you don't know what the 21st century you is doing with past/future Jack?''The Doctor made a noise, 'confusing, isn't it? All the pasts and futures and yous. I don't know, Ianto,' his voice sobered, 'the only person that does is the past version of you, and he's not exactly around, but just bear in mind,' there was something infinitely sad in his voice, 'the Jack in your past is going to have to forget everything that's happening to him.'
'And?' Ianto said impatiently.
'Always remember, Jack has lost a lot over the many years, even if he doesn't remember it now. When I first met him he talked about a missing two years. It fits.' The Doctor let it hang at that.
Ianto glanced across at Jack, his expression softening slightly. Jack spread his hands, mouthing 'what?'.
' Ianto, this is-' there was a pause and the Doctor's voice lightened to its usual pitch, 'well this mess seems to be my fault which, really, well it doesn't surprise me all that much anymore. In your future I meet Jack and I travel with him, I promised to bring him back within what would have been an hour for you. He talked about you. Apparently something went wrong.'
'Thank you,' Ianto said softly.
'I'll send Jack back from here, if you go home in about a week I promise he'll be there. I promise. Goodbye, Ianto. And I swear we are going to have a long chat about this immortality soon.'
Staring at the ground, Ianto quietly let the phone close.
'What did he say?' Jack demanded.
Ianto looked up into his face, taking in the familiar features, seeing the minute weariness of past life he still barely understood. Wordlessly, Ianto raised a hand to Jack's perfect face and cradled it silently for a moment. With a rustle of fabric and a sigh he pulled Jack forward, holding him tightly. 'I'm sorry,' he murmured, Jack's warm, solid body clasped in his arms, hands spread across his back.
'What did he say?' Jack repeated quietly, breath ghosting over Ianto's neck. Ianto just tightened his arms, holding Jack protectively.
Ianto lifted his head off the pillow, glancing around the dark room. 'Jack?' He sat up, 'Are you alright?'
'I'm fine,' Jack said quickly, hands clutching his upper-arms protectively as he wandered slowly across.
Ianto watched silently as Jack's bare feet shuffled through the rug, his bent head lifting minutely to glance at Ianto. 'Jack,' Ianto swung his legs out of the bed, bracing his hands on either side, 'what's wrong?' Jack just slowly approached, the mattress dipping as he sat beside Ianto in silence. The warm skin of Jack's arm brushed Ianto's before, with a sigh, Jack laid his head on the young man's shoulder. Ianto waited, then shifted, smoothing his hand over the firm muscles of Jack's back, rubbing his shoulders comfortingly. Jack swayed with the pull of his hands into him.
'I'm sorry,' Jack said eventually, pulling back.
'Nightmare?' Ianto offered quietly.
Jack's brown head just shook, he briefly met Ianto's eyes, glanced away, then leaned to press a gentle kiss to his temple. Standing, Jack walked away, leaving Ianto to stare after him in confusion.
Ianto woke two nights later with a warm weight curled around his back, the regular rise and fall of Jack's chest against him. Glancing down revealed a hand fisted in his t-shirt while Jack held him possessively.
'Jack,' Ianto squeezed his hand, looking over his shoulder. 'Jack,' he repeated patiently, waiting as his dark eyelashes fluttered before sleepy eyes met his. 'Your hand's freezing,' he said gently, 'get under the blanket.' A sleepy smile met that, the bed creaking as Jack moved himself beside Ianto.
In the morning Ianto rolled over in someone's firm arms, silently watching the man beside him sleep. There was a peace and contentment about him that Ianto had only begun to see in his Jack. The vulnerability was something that Jack must have learned to suppress later, he only saw it occasionally now. Life for this Jack was much simpler, although life for Jack seemed as though it had never really been simple, his grief filled account of his brother Gray another facet of a life that didn't run straight. Ianto wasn't sure if Jack fully believed what he had told him about Gray, but Ianto hoped that he had. He watched as a smile played across Jack's lips. So familiar.
Sinking back into the mattress Ianto smiled up as Jack pressed closer. 'Morning.'
'I couldn't sleep.'
'Didn't think you sleep walked in.'
'That'd be a talent I'd like,' Jack stretched, rolling over and taking the sheets with him. Ianto caught a glimpse of firm muscles and a flat tanned stomach, tilting his head back he bit back a grin. 'Something funny?'
'You remind me of someone,' Ianto smirked.
'Someone devilishly handsome and attractive,' Jack smiled at him, rolling back to lie on his stomach, 'wish you could stay longer?' He said softly.
'Someone at home might be missing me,' he replied honestly, lightly stroking the back of his hand over Jack's perfect jaw. Large warm hands caught his.
'Ianto,' Jack said simply.
'Am I with the Time Agency when I meet you again?'
'No,' Ianto tried to put all his views of the Time Agency into that one word.
'I'm thinking of leaving the Time Agency after this,' Jack announced unexpectedly, handing Ianto a plate.
'How come?' Ianto asked mildly, picking up the wrap.
Jack shrugged and shuffled back against the wall. 'I was in it for Gray, I think I'll give this one last go then try something new now,' a sock covered foot nudged Ianto's ankle, 'meet with your approval?'
'Very much so.'
Haven't posted for two million years. This little chapter was sat in some bizarrely named folder. Will not call folders 'stuff' again. Or 'other stuff'.