Author's Note: Written for LJ user Michael_le_car for the mistletw prompt fest and uploaded late. I'm sorry! Prompt was Lonely This Christmas.

Ianto kept glancing over at his phone, willing it to ring whilst he put up his Christmas decorations. He'd put it off until the last minute in hope of someone rescuing him, but now he was facing up to the fact that his mum and his sister would be coming over in twelve hours, and he wasn't going to escape.

The irritation at the season of goodwill had started in September, when the Christmas things started appearing on the shelves before either he or Jack had had even a weekend's summer holiday, let alone the chance for one together. He supposed that that was where the slide in their relationship had started as well, in his irritation at their inability to have anything like a normal life. Four months later, and Ianto had left work that afternoon knowing that there was no way that Jack would want to spend tomorrow with him, much less his mum and Rhi, and that Ianto would have a tough job ahead of him in the new year to make it up to him.

He growled as he dropped the tinsel yet again and turned in desperation towards his phone, squeezing tightly and debating making the call. He could make it all right, probably, by asking Jack to come over, by including him in his life, but that seemed too much like a quick fix, too easy to work. Besides, Jack had taken it upon himself to be on duty tonight, as he was every night when Ianto didn't arrange otherwise. The next option was to call his mum, tell her everything and go back to Jack. He sighed and set his phone aside to attack the tinsel again.

A shrill repeated beeping dragged him off the sofa a couple of hours later. Level three alert, Jack responded to it but hadn't checled in for half an hour. He fired off a message to the others, telling them that he was on it but to stand by, and grabbed his coat, wallet and gun, then ran out of the door in search of the alert.

It led him to a near-derelict industrial estate. A couple of the units had signs still, advertising a mechanic and a small scale computer builder, but most were in a state of disrepair and disarray, peeling paint and rusting metal daubed with gang slogans. The alert was in one of the abandoned units, and he crept around the outside until he ascertained that the best way in would be through the small back door that someone or something had forced open. His torch cast enough light to see by, and he manoeuvred carefully between discarded syringes and an abandoned shoe.

Keeping his gun raised with his torch, he stepped further into the space and started methodically sweeping the beam across the floor. The element of surprise was gone, but whoever was in here with him gave himself away too in a low, muffled moan. Ianto swung his light in the direction it had come from and took a step towards it. "Who's there?"

Jack's voice rang out in reply, shaky, tight with pain and surprised. "Ianto?"

He'd found Jack's leg, so he swept the beam away and carried on searching the unit. "Is there anyone else in here?"

"No, I got it," Jack told him.

"Good," he lowered his torch and holstered his gun as he hurried across to Jack. He was stretched out on the floor next to another figure, a species that Ianto didn't recognise, flat on his back, one hand clutched at his stomach and the other holding his gun. Ianto dropped to his knees next to him and lifted his head into his lap, stroking his fingers through hair damp with sweat and trying not to look at the way that the torch had fallen to reveal the spreading pool of blood. "I've got you," he promised as Jack shook. "Are you..."

"Yep," Jack told him breathlessly. "Not long. Don't, until..."

Ianto hushed him and glanced to the gun still clutched loosely in Jack's limp hand. "I could..."

"No," Jack shook his head and coughed fiercely, tears of pain streaming down his face as the shuddering coughs wracked through his body. Ianto shifted him and pulled him up so that he was cradled in his arms, cupping his face gently. "'S fine," Jack told him at last and, finally, let go of the gun. The clatter as it fell to the concrete floor was loud and startled Ianto. Jack turned his face further towards Ianto and groaned. "Ianto... Stay? Talk."

He nodded and swallowed back his emotions, searching for something to say that wouldn't matter if Jack forgot it or remembered it. When Jack gave another huge shudder in his arms he started rubbing his thumb over his cheek gently, and sang.

Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na'i berlau mân:
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lân.

Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon lân all ganu-
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.

Pe dymunwn olud bydol,
Hedyn buan ganddo sydd;
Golud calon lân, rinweddol,
Yn dwyn bythol elw fydd.

Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon lân all ganu-
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.

Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
Gwyd i'r nef ar edyn cân
Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Ngheidwad,
Roddi i mi galon lân.

Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon lân all ganu-
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.

Jack fell still on the second verse, but Ianto kept singing to him still. When he came back to life with a great coughing gasp, he turned his face into Ianto's neck again and clung onto him, and Ianto kept singing until he reached the end of the carol for the third time. By then, Jack was breathing normally again and a lot of the colour had returned to his cheeks, so Ianto helped him to sit up and knelt behind him, wrapping his arms around his waist and pressing his cheek against Jack's. "You okay?" he asked quietly.

"Yeah," he sighed and wrapped his own arms over the top of Ianto's, leaning back into him further. "Thank you."

Ianto replied with a kiss to Jack's pulse point and extracted one arm to pull his phone out of his pocket. He leaned his chin on Jack's shoulder and sent the all-clear to the team, then hovered over whether to call his mum or not. In his head, it was merely a question of when.

Jack spotted his hesitation and sighed, rubbing his cheek against Ianto's he told him, "You need to get back to your family, it's okay. I'll drop you off on the way back to the Hub."

"No," Ianto chuckled and kissed his cheek. "I'll come with you. Mum doesn't live far away, I'll call her in the morning and tell her..." he hesitated. "I mean, if you want, I could tell her that there will be another for dinner after all... She wanted me to ask you, but I thought you wouldn't want to, so..." he swallowed. "If you want me to go, though..."

"I thought you hated Christmas," Jack stated in confusion and pulled away to be able to look back at Ianto. "You've been grumpy about it for weeks."

He shrugged self-consciously. "I like Christmas on Christmas Day, not in September. I thought you hated Christmas, though. You've not said anything about it."

"I was following your lead," Jack told him slowly.


"You didn't seem to want..."

"I did," Ianto interrupted hurriedly. "I just didn't know how to ask. If I'd asked..."

"I'd have said yes."

"Can I ask now?" he chanced.

"I might have to leave," Jack pointed out.

"Yeah, but so would I," Ianto bit his lip. "Would you... Would you like to..."

Jack took pity on him. "Love to."

(The hymn that Ianto sings is Calon Lân)