"Hello? Is anyone home?" called Jack loudly.
He had arrived at the Tourist Office entrance to the Hub 5 minutes earlier. Although he had hoped everything would be alright when he'd teleported to the Doctor's location hours earlier he had found the Tourist Office empty, metal and debris embedded in the wall and strewn over the floor of the clog door entrance to his home. Jack recognised the metal remains as Dalek, and he started to panic. Although the two Doctor's and Donna had made sure the Daleks. There was no way Ianto or Gwen would have survived an attack from a Dalek.
"Please let them be ok, please?" pleased Jack under his breath. Jack picked his way through the debris and jogged down the steps into the hub.
"Ianto? Gwen?" Only silence greeted him. He checked his office, all the rooms on the second level and found no bodies. Although he hadn't found any sign of his friends he was beginning to believe they had been killed. Jack felt a deep, dark sadness descend upon him. Having lost Owen and Toshiko two months before, he had not fully recovered, but to lose Ianto and Gwen, both of whom he loved very much, he didn't think he would be able to recover. Ever.
Just then he heard a shuffle of feet below him. Jack raced along the gangway leaping down the steps five at a time. He pulled up short when the owner of the shuffling feet came into view.
"Sir?" said Ianto surprised at seeing Jack. Ianto had thought he would never see Jack again. Jack had promised to come back, but Ianto had thought bad of Jack not believing that Jack would have the strength to leave the Doctor a second time. Ianto had let his imagination run a little wild and thought that Jack would take up with the Doctor and they would continue on their travels, forgetting all about him.
Ianto spotted the look on Jack's face, which quite resembled a fish, his mouth opening and closing but no sound leaving it. Ianto could see a mixture of shock and relief on his lover's face.
"Ianto!"said Jack eventually, on a sigh. Jack moved forward to stand a foot away from Ianto, not sure he could control himself to touch him, less he fell apart.
"I thought you were..." said Jack worriedly.
"I thought the same about you," replied Ianto after a deep breath he continued, "but I didn't think you'd actually come back to...Cardiff."
Jack looked at Ianto's hands which were holding a tea tray with empty mugs. He released Ianto of his burden, placing it on the floor next to their feet, before taking a final step towards his lover.
"I promised I'd come back. And here I am, back for you."
"I'm sorry," said Ianto downcast for not believing in Jack. Jack understood immediately what Ianto was apologising for.
"I should be the one apologising, for making you find it hard to trust me. But I said I'd come back. I'll always come back to you, no matter where I go to, or who I go with. He had no hold over me anymore, and I couldn't leave without you. If he comes calling again because he needs he saving the human race from the end of the world I will go running to him, but I will run right back here, to you and my home once it's all over."
Ianto looked up into Jack's eyes and wondered if Jack could get any closer to pouring his heart out. Ianto felt guilty about his issue with trust. He moved quickly and sealed his lips to Jack's showing how sorry he was for not believing in the man he loved. Jack was taken by surprise by the heat of Ianto's feelings in his touch.
Ianto pulled back, breathing heavily, before returning himself back to professional mode.
"I love you and I'm sorry. So I take it the earth is back where it should be? No planets in the sky apart from the moon?"
"Yes, we're back in our rightful place in the solar system. Is Gwen ok?"
"She's fine. Should I make some coffee and you can tell us what happened when you left, and we can fill you in on what happened here?"
Jack kissed Ianto's nose and released his grip of Ianto's waist which he hadn't realised he'd continued to hold. Ianto smiled and picked up the forgotten tea tray and walked to the kitchen to fill three cups with coffee.
Ianto touched his comms, "Gwen! Jack's back...Yes he's fine...We'll meet you in the conference room in five okay?"
Jack stood at the entrance to the kitchenette and waited patiently for Ianto to finish filling the cups then they walked companionably down to the conference room to find Gwen already seated at the far end of the room. When Gwen spotted her colleagues she jumped out of her chair and vaulted towards jack, crushing him in a bear hug.
"You're okay!! You came back with all limbs intact and no daleks in sight."
"Well they put up a hell of a fight but the Doctor's secret army prevailed."
Gwen and Ianto exchanged looks as Jack took his seat and Ianto passed out the drinks.
"The Doctors Secret Army?" questioned Gwen.
Jack proceeded to tell the story about what had happened when he left the hub. He explained the Doctor's predicament when he arrived in London, meeting an old friend and the Doctor's regeneration/body repair. Their capture by the Daleks, the creation of the second Doctor, and Doctor Donna, half human, half time lord. Jack, being Jack, didn't tell them everything just the important facts.
Once Jack had finished giving them his account of his time with the Doctor he looked expectantly at his friends indicating that it was their turn to fill in what he had missed out on. Gwen took the lead, while Ianto added a few comments here and there.
When Gwen spoke about how a special program Tosh had created had saved them, Jack smiled warmly and had nostalgic thoughts on Tosh's brilliance. She had saved Torchwood from beyond the grave.
Jack suggested Ianto look into the 'lifesaving' program when things were quiet. Ianto agreed and privately scheduled to devote his free time in the coming weeks to the project.
Jack finished his coffee and stood before saying, "Let's clean up the mess of our unwanted guest or what's left of him. We've all had a hectic day so reports can wait till tomorrow."
After Gwen's departure, much to Rhys' happiness no doubt, Ianto ordered food and questioned Jack about several parts of his story that he wanted to learn more about.
"What happened to the people we saw on screen? And who were they?"
"Well you know Martha. Sarah Jane, the woman with the genius son, used to travel with the Doctor years ago. When we were taken to the Crucible Rose was there. She was travelling with the Doctor when I met her. I thought she'd died at the battle of Canary Wharf."
Ianto had always been curious about why Jack had insisted on seeing the list of the dead at Canary Wharf. He must have been searching for her.
"Rose's mum, Jackie, and her ex-boyfriend Mikey came to help the Rose and the Doctor from a parallel world. Turns out Rose had joined Torchwood in a parallel universe and they'd built a time machine like the Doctor's to help stop the end of the world."
"So everyone survived?"
"Yup. Well...everyone except the Daleks, but Donna absorbed the mind of a time lord and I don't think that's supposed to happen. I just hope she's okay. Not that the Doctor would say anything if she weren't."
"Couldn't you ring him and find out?"
"He wouldn't tell me if I did. When the time's right he'll be in contact."
Ianto stood and rounded the desk to stand next to Jack.
"So are you glad to be home?"
"I realise it's too soon, but would Martha be interested in giving up her job with UNIT to join us? Everyone seemed to like her when she was last here, I think she would fit in well here. We could use another female presence in the Hub."
Ianto looked at Jack to see a glimmer of understanding to accept their losses and move on, and also the practical need to employ a medic for wounds they couldn't heal themselves and perform autopsies.
"I think we should leave her to her family for a few days, then call her, see what she thinks. She may turn it down, but you never know."