Title: What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye
Summary: Jack and Ianto's epic journey, from the beginning to the end... and beyond. Spoilers for everything. Canon compliant, including selected books, audio books, and radio plays, through Children of Earth... with a twist.
Authors Notes: This is how I imagine it happened. This is what I wish they had shown. I'm switching back and forth between Ianto and Jack's point of view in this story. The title is from The Little Prince by Antoine de St Exupéry. The full quote is, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."
Disclaimer: Torchwood is owned by the BBC. I don't own anything, just having fun.
Acknowledgment: My eternal gratitude to my talented and tenaciously pedantic beta and friend riftintime for taking on the monumental task of editing this story, for writing several chapters, and for co-authoring several more. Words are insufficient to express my appreciation for your endless patience, acumen, brilliance, ideas, dedication, and hard work. You have have made this story complete – it is not my story, it is ours. Thank you.
Ianto Jones was desperate to get into Torchwood Three, if he had any chance at all of saving Lisa. He had left his partially converted cyber girlfriend fighting for life in a rented storage unit in London, near the site of the now destroyed Torchwood One.
Ianto had researched the other Torchwood branches. He had accessed what was left of the mainframe computer of Torchwood One to research Torchwoods Two, Three and Four. Torchwood Two: Glasgow seemed, in a word, weird. The leader was somewhat of a recluse, with no real team to speak of. Torchwood Four had apparently disappeared – Ianto thought he would leave that one alone. Torchwood Three: Cardiff, however, had a team of four lead by one Captain Jack Harkness. Captain of what? Ianto wondered.
The other team members consisted of Susie Costello, weapons expert and second in command, Dr. Owen Harper, who joined after his fiancé died from an alien brain tumor, so very Torchwood, and Toshiko Sato, computer genius, who had been imprisoned indefinitely by UNIT for treason, until she was pulled by Harkness for Torchwood. Treason? Really? Just how crazy is this Captain Jack Harkness?
Ianto had never met the Captain, but he had heard rumors around the proverbial "water cooler" at T1. He was apparently somewhat of an enigmatic figure with wild stories running from the pornographic to the absurd. Ianto had heard that he had a voracious sexual appetite – female, male, alien? Someone had to be making that bit up! He had heard that he was transplanted through time from the 1940's; some even said he had traveled with the Doctor. "You know they say Captain Jack Harkness is immortal. Been around for hundreds of years," Sheila the gossip had said to Lisa and him at the pub one night.
"What, like a vampire?" Ianto had snorted.
"That's one vampire I'd let bite me!" Sheila exclaimed. "He's gorgeous!"
Sheila was dead now… Ianto didn't want to let his mind drift to that. He had to focus. He had to save Lisa. He had to get into Torchwood Three to gain access to the equipment he needed. As desperate as Ianto was to get into Torchwood Three, he had to admit to a mild curiosity at the prospect of laying his eyes on this infamous Captain Jack Harkness. He had seen his file photo of course. He could admit that the Captain seemed like a handsome bloke, but what did Ianto know about that?
What he really wanted, no needed, was a job at Torchwood Cardiff. That would give him unlimited access to their kit. He wasn't sure which of his talents to tempt Harkness with. He thought that he'd play it by ear, since apparently Harkness had unusual recruitment policies. He figured that once he was in, regardless of his job title, he could gain access to the T3 mainframe and find a way to help Lisa. Before he left London, he had carefully rewritten his file. Harkness didn't have a great relationship with T1, and Ianto didn't want him to know his real position. The less T3 knew about him, the better. He created a man that he thought would intrigue the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness, but not make Ianto too conspicuous.
Ianto rented a car and drove from London to Cardiff. He knew the entrance to the T3 Hub was near the Millennium Center. He parked nearby and found a secluded location to set up surveillance. Within an hour he had spotted Harkness. Within two days he had discovered three of the Hub's entrances. He watched Harkness and his team racing in and out of the Hub at all hours. He watched Harkness standing on rooftops. He watched Harkness during some of his sexual escapades. Sex, is that my way in? Tempt him, but don't make it too easy? He watched Harkness leave a pub with a man in the small hours of the morning, and take him into a nearby alley. Ianto watched with a sinking feeling in his stomach as they kissed roughly and wanked each other off. Can I really do this? He had never even looked at a man in a sexual way before – never really thought about it. But he could feel Lisa's pain and resolved that he would do anything to get into Torchwood Three.
If Ianto was going to seduce the great Captain Jack Harkness, he needed to know what he was doing and what he was getting himself into. Ianto researched. He was good at research. Knowing things made him feel confident. He sat in his rented car near the bay, opened his computer and typed "gay sex" into the search engine. He read about gay sex; how to guides, homoerotic literature, safe sex, erogenous zones, prostate stimulation, anal sex, oral sex, and he watched gay pornography (which he took with a grain of salt). A couple of hours was all he could stomach, besides, he felt like he got the general gist of things. Sex is sex, after all, isn't it?
After a week of watching Harkness, Ianto was ready for his approach. He had carefully chosen his attire to match the style of the men he had seen Harkness with – fitted jeans, a studded belt, a blue button down shirt with the top few buttons left open, a fitted black jacket, and a chunky silver necklace around his neck. Almost within the hour of his arriving at the Hub, the black Torchwood SUV roared out of the underground garage and down the street, heading towards Bute Park. He followed in his rented car and parked several hundred meters away. He saw Harkness in his long military coat jump out of the SUV and run into the park. Ianto followed behind and watched Harkness tackle a Weevil with no backup in sight. This wasn't really the meeting that Ianto had planned, but he grabbed a large, thick tree branch lying near his feet, took a deep breath and stepped into the fray.