A/N: So there's going to be a fourth season of Torchwood. Which is great. And John Barrowman's signed up. Which is also great. But. Doesn't make any sense, considering. So. Two possible conclusions. The terrible 'it's all a dream' one, and... crack. Everyone, have some crack. ...it turned out sweet somehow. Uh. Dunno. Shh.
Ianto Owen Williams. That was the name of the toddler. The toddler that Jack was currently running after. Funny story about all that, really. Less than a year after he'd left Earth, Martha Jones had called him. Rhys was dead. Crashed lorrie. Sad, pathetic death. Unfortunate. So Gwen needed him. Or something.
So he'd gone back. Four months later and he was married again. Uh. Yeah. Gwen had taken over his hidden bunker, so the easiest way. Now he was raising Rhys' kid. The one named after his dead lover. Yep. It was a living.
That hadn't been the weird part.
"Oh, here you go, buddy." The blond man that had just come through the rebuilt cog entrance picked the boy up, settling him on his hip. "You running away from mean old Jack?" John grinned, tickling the boy under the jaw. "Hello you," he greeted, a kiss on the older man's cheek.
Yeah, that was the weird part. John Hart. He'd shown up one day, out of the blue, guns blazing (and then throwing knives, swinging that blade of his, when he'd run out.) 'Thought you might need some backup,' he'd said with a cheeky smile, wiping his sword against the red of his tattered coat. Jack really wasn't sure why Gwen had let him join, but it had gotten farther than that. Now it was the three of them in his tiny room downstairs.
Only it wasn't tiny anymore. Gwen had had the hub rebuilt a little differently- she'd intended on living there with her child and Rhys, so there was a whole flat down there, artificial sunlight through the window and all.
And a pterodactyl. Apparently Myfanwy had hidden an egg before the original hub had exploded. And it survived. And now he was raising Ianto AND a pterodactyl. Weird. Weird was what it was.
So when Martha Jones showed up with her husband and a nice bump, he knew it was a bit too bizarre. When he said Torchwood needed a new generation, he hadn't meant a nursery!
He turned suddenly at the voice, John cocking his head. "You okay?"
"Jack." He heard again, in his ear, a chuckling amusement. The voice was too familiar. Ianto- no, not the dark-haired little child in John's arms, but his Ianto. The dead one. The memory he'd failed to run from.
"Uh. Yeah. Do you hear that?"
He shocked awake, eyes wide as he looked up into a smile, Ianto fixing his tie up to his chin. "Time to get up. Are you alright there?"
"Just. A very strange dream." He frowned, trying to hold on. "A very long, strange dream." Ianto Owen Williams. Traveling the stars. The 456. Steven. Ianto. Torchwood exploding. Pain- and then insanity. "Never mind. I've got to check on Alice."
"Alice?" he cocked an eyebrow, smiling faintly. "Who's Alice? You have a life out of work, Jack?" He laughed. "I thought I took up all your spare time?"
He regarded the man long and hard. Was it worth it? Ianto had said he loved him- in that dream. But he'd heard him, for real, when he'd been in that viral coma. He grinned suddenly, pulling him in for a quick kiss before climbing out into the office. "Tell you when I get back. Have coffee ready!"