A/N: Spoilers for Children of Earth.
By Lizabeth S. Tucker
Captain Jack Harkness was bloodied and beaten, but once again he and the Doctor had prevailed. Another planet had been saved. Another people rescued from the horrors of alien invasion.
He reached into his pocket, gently touching the photograph encased in impenetrable plastic. Ten long years since he had last visited Earth, said his goodbyes to Gwen and Rhys, visited Ianto's final resting place. Four years of trying to drink himself into oblivion before he was found by the Doctor. Not his Doctor, but one of the newer regenerations. Still the memories remained. Memories of a man who not only loved him, but understood and forgave him for his past. Where at first he wanted to forget, now Captain Jack was glad to have those rare moments when he was sleeping, when the dreams brought him his wonderful Ianto. It was the only happiness he had now.
*We thank you.*
Jack brought himself back to the present. The leaders of the race that they had saved were trying to thank them. The Doctor was much better dealing with that effusiveness than Jack ever was.
*We wish to reward you.*
"No reward necessary, Gracious Leader," said the Doctor, tweaking his bow tie back into place.
*Captain Harkness, you have a wish.*
"What? A wish?" Jack smiled, a pale imitation of his usual gleeful grin. "My wish is something that you can never fulfill, but I thank you for the thought."
*We are stronger than you know. Speak it.*
Jack looked to the Doctor, receiving a shrug in response. "My wish is to be reunited with my beloved again. But he is long dead and I shall never be.*
The Doctor and Jack watched as the leaders floated from the room, befuddled by them.
"What do you think that meant, Doctor?" Jack wiped the sweat from his forehead, finding himself on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion.
"I have no idea." The Doctor looked to where the planet's leaders had disappeared, before he felt a body collapse against him. He turned to find Jack grabbing onto his arm. "Jack! What is it?"
"Don't…don't know. I feel…strange." His descent to the ground was slowed by the Doctor's strong arms. "My heart…racing. Can't…breathe."
"Jack? Jack! Don't do this, you can't die." The Doctor straightened up, looking around for help. His face set, he turned back to where Jack gasped for breath. He was shocked to see a look of relief on his old friend's face. "Jack?"
"They did…it, I'm going to…Ianto." Tears began to flow down his paling cheeks. "Take me…home…want to be…put beside my love…please."
"Damn it!" The Doctor signaled his latest companion, calling for medical assistance.
"No!" Jack's grip was a strong as ever despite his body's failing. "I want…this."
Against his better wishes, the Doctor gave in. He sat on the floor beside Jack, watching as the life slipped out of the blue eyes. At the very last moment, he was shocked by the joy on Jack's face and the softly uttered "Ianto" before he breathed his last.
"Doctor, here's the…" The latest Companion arrived, her red hair in a cloud around her face. She slowed as she saw the identity of the man on the floor. "Oh, it's only Jack. He'll be fine. He always is."
"Not this time. I think our Jack has found peace at last."
And so it was. They had taken Captain Jack Harkness back to the Tardis, watching over him as the Doctor aimed them back to Earth. It took over a month to make it there, the natural deterioration of the man's body obvious to both Doctor and Companion. They landed near the Rift in Cardiff where the rubble of Torchwood Three had been cleared away, a simple plaque notating its location.
The Doctor sighed, then got to work. Gwen and Rhys Williams were contacted as well as his old friend, Martha Jones. It took all of them to convince Ianto Jones' sister, Rhiannon Davies, to allow Jack to buried beside his lover.
"I don't want him there. He's the reason Ianto is dead." She protested shrilly, barely contained by her husband.
"No, he wasn't." Gwen moved to enclose the grieving woman in her arms. "Sweetheart, Ianto loved him. And Jack, for all his sins, loved him back. It destroyed something in him to lose Ianto."
"His only wish was to be reunited with Ianto again," the Doctor said softly. "And he was given the means to be so. Let them rest together for eternity."
"Johnny, make them leave."
She was startled. "What?"
"Ianto did love him. He'd want to have Harkness next to him. What will it hurt?"
"He took Ianto away from us!" she wailed again.
"No, he didn't. Ianto left us long before then. If anything, Captain Jack Harkness brought him back to us." Johnny Davies took Gwen's place, his own arms wrapping around her. "C'mon, love, let them be united in death as they were in life."
With a sniff, Rhiannon nodded, burying her head in her husband's chest.
There was no service nor an announcement of Jack's internment, yet people seemed to hear about it, simply arriving at the cemetery. People who had known Captain Jack Harkness, some who had been saved by him, and others who knew Ianto Jones and his great love for the Captain. To Rhiannon's amazement, many came to give their condolences, to express their thanks, to pass on stories of adventures and laughter and saving the world.
The Doctor and his Companion slipped away from the crowd. They made their way to the Tardis, the Doctor unusually silent. As he began the preparations for them to depart, he noticed that there was a rectangle block on the floor. He reached down to find an encased photograph. The Doctor smiled at the two grinning faces of Ianto and his Captain Jack, arms thrown about each other. "Be at peace, my friend."