Endings and New Beginnings
Jack and Ianto stood silently next to each other both watching the other two men. Luca and Marcus were doing nothing exciting enough to deserve this apparent interest. They were sitting side by side and talking quietly together. Their heads were bent close to each other and their hands had fingers intertwined. Even from this distance Jack could tell the men were smiling and as he watched Marcus lean in and kiss Luca he sighed.
Ianto pressed closer to Jack understanding that the sigh indicated Jack's thoughts. The captain felt his lover press against him and spoke.
'They're happy together' he said.
'Yes' said Ianto'
'I feel jealous Ianto' he admitted.
Ianto turned to look at him.
'Of their happiness?' he questioned, was Jack saying he was not happy with his own relationship?
'No' said Jack 'of their ability to commit so thoroughly to each other...to be just with each other for the rest of their lives...to have each other so very completely...' he continued sadly.
'Hmm' answered Ianto ambiguously.
'I am always jealous of such things' Jack continued to muse.
Ianto looked at him again.
'Why?' he asked.
Although suspecting that he knew the answer, he sensed that the older man wished to talk about his sorrows.
'I'll never have it Ianto...I didn't fall in love when I was mortal and could have had the full joy of it and now, no matter how I feel about my partner I can never have it' he said sadly.
'You have me completely Jack' whispered Ianto desperately wanting his lover to feel better.
'Thank you' Jack whispered back his eyes full of unshed tears 'but what saddens me the most is that I can never give myself to you completely...one day I will be with someone else...I don't want to be, but it will happen...I know that and you know it...it's not the same as what they have got' he finished indicating the Luxorians sitting on the old sofa.
'No it's not the same' agreed Ianto, because to try to pacify the immortal man would be insulting when nobody could imagine the torment he must suffer daily.
'I wish I could make it better for you' whispered Ianto not looking at him.
Jack sighed and rubbed the unshed tears from his eyes.
'Thank you' he said with conviction 'but I must learn to be happy with what I can have...after all this is how I will be forever and I really don't want to be miserable for that long' he tried to smile at his lover.
'Come on...enough introspection for one day I think' and Jack slapped a smile on his face and headed down to talk to the two aliens.
After his confession of jealousy earlier in the day Jack had been increasingly temperamental and Ianto was exhausted. What was wrong with the man? Ianto knew he was looking into ways to integrate their two Luxorians into society and that this was proving more difficult than he had perhaps anticipated, but was there really the need to take his frustration out on Ianto?
Luca walked across to Ianto. Toshiko was showing her latest computer programmes to Marcus and he was listening intently to her guidance around the innovations she had made. Luca had already seen these programmes and diverted his attention to his old Master who seemed subdued and puzzled.
'Ianto?...I think Jack is cross about something' he said.
'Yes' admitted Ianto 'I think he is just frustrated at his lack of progress with finding suitable employment for Marcus...but he is allowing his annoyance to show more than he usually does'
'If he is not cross with you then why does he use you to ease his frustration?' questioned Luca not understanding.
'Because I am here...because he knows I'll forgive him' suggested Ianto.
'Marcus would never shout at me unless I was at fault' mused Luca 'maybe he wishes you to appease him'
Luca could not understand that Ianto had no desire to appease his lover when he was being unreasonable. The slave boy would always bury his own annoyance in favour of making Marcus happy. His desire lay solely in soothing his Master and fulfilling all his needs. Ianto had needs of his own and saw no reason for Jack's to take precedence over them. However he knew Luca was only trying to help.
'How would you appease Marcus?' he asked smiling, hoping the answer would take his mind off his own problems.
'I would try to soothe him...find ways to make him comfortable physically if I could not alter his mental frustration...feed him...stroke him...caress him...kiss him' answered Luca earnestly.
Ianto almost laughed. Whilst Jack was in such a mood feeding him copious cups of strong coffee might work temporarily but stroking and caressing would only earn him confused looks at best and a swift snarky remark at worst. He held back his opinions though out of respect for Luca's differing ways of coping with a moody partner.
'Ianto!' yelled Jack and Ianto rolled his eyes at Luca and went to answer his captain's call.
'Yes Jack' he said as he entered the man's office.
'Where is the F51 file? Why haven't I got any coffee? And when are you going to do some work and stop chatting with your little friend?' sniped Jack.
Ianto bridled at the tone.
'The file is right here on your desk' he snapped indicating the paperwork 'I only made a coffee for you twenty minutes ago but will of course replenish your mug immediately and I had no idea talking to one's co workers was no longer acceptable'
Ianto turned and swooped out of the door his entire body posture radiating annoyance. Jack sighed. He knew he was being unreasonable to Ianto and knew he should apologise. He had been in negotiations with UNIT over the two aliens and contact with the officious people there often made him lose his temper. He was making progress however and was pleased, but was now annoyed with himself that he would need to make up with Ianto for his petty outburst.
Ianto returned moments later with a refilled mug of coffee which he placed on the desk without speaking.
'Ianto' said Jack as the man made to leave the office.
'Yes sir' said an aggrieved Ianto.
'You can speak to Luca' said Jack trying to take back his earlier words.
If anything Ianto bristled more. He knew Jack was trying to apologise but why wouldn't he just do it. The man had no problem accusing him unnecessarily so why not be able to communicate an apology as effectively?
'Thank you sir' he muttered and retreated from the office.
Jack did not like that Ianto was obviously refusing to accept his somewhat pathetic apology and went after him.
'Ianto!' he shouted.
Ianto stopped and turned to look at him blankly.
'Ianto' tried Jack again more softly.
Ianto still looked at him without expression determined not to help him.
'Ianto' whispered Jack unsure what else to say.
Ianto knew he would find it difficult to apologise in front of the team. But neither of them were terribly good at communication they had already decided that. This could end up being a stand- off with neither of them willing to give any ground. Ianto could hold out for a dignified apology and Jack could be stubborn and refuse to give it. Or Ianto could take a leaf out of Luca's book and put his partner's needs first.
But Ianto was a twenty first century free human and that was not as easy as it sounded. Eventually he chose to compromise. He used Luca's ideas on physical expression. He walked over to the captain and taking him by the lapels of his shirt pulled him into a passionate kiss, then pushed him away and walked out of the hub. Neither man had truly given ground but both knew the argument was over, the apology had been given and accepted.
Ianto had gone home from the hub soon after kissing Jack so publicly. Tonight was Thursday and he was expecting to spend it alone. By the time he and Jack met back at the hub tomorrow he hoped the day's frustrations would be forgotten and work could continue as normal.
He stepped out of the shower to hear his doorbell ringing insistently. Who on earth would be calling at this time? Whoever it was they were persistent and loud, he didn't feel he could safely ignore the call. He quickly kilted a towel around his waist and still dripping raced to the door. Opening it he found Jack on his doorstep looking sheepish and then lustful as he took in Ianto's state of undress.
Neither of the men spoke. Today was Thursday. Although they had agreed upon exclusivity they had said nothing about rescinding the Thursdays are off limits agreement. Ianto had assumed that Jack would still want his space on this one day a week and was just happy that he no longer had to torment himself with images of the captain with another person in his bed.
Jack should not be here yet he was looking longingly at Ianto and without questioning his motives Ianto stood silently away from the door to allow the captain to enter.
Ianto closed the door carefully and turned to find Jack almost anxiously fidgeting. He considered him for a moment. What was he doing here on a Thursday? Was he trying to tell Ianto something? Did he want the Thursday agreement terminated?
Ianto decided to leave contemplation on the subject until morning. If Jack was here then it was because he needed Ianto and Ianto would try to take care of him.
He took the captain's hand and gently pulled him towards his bedroom. Once there he removed Jack's coat, laying it carefully over a chair and then turned his attention to Jack's shirt and trousers. Jack made as if to speak but Ianto placed his fingers over his mouth and then pulled him into a soft kiss. Now was not the time for words. That would come, but for now they just needed to lose themselves in each other.
Ianto dropped swiftly to the floor and disposed of Jack's boots and socks. He knelt on the floor at the feet of his captain in one of his most submissive poses and yet Jack felt all the power to belong to the other man at this moment. He stood and returned his gaze to Jack's face and began to unbutton his shirt, eyes never leaving his. The shirt was slipped off shoulders as Ianto watched the puzzlement wander across Jack's face. He had obviously expected rejection when he turned up here tonight and was pleased but confused by the turn of events.
Jack's arousal level was notching up and Ianto could feel his own cock beginning to stand to attention under the towel. Ianto pushed Jack's trousers down over his hips and pulled him closer to be greeted by a hard cock brushing up against his own.
Their moans and gasps of arousal were much quieter than usual, as if they both felt the need for quiet to analyse what was happening. Neither of them wanted to break the spell that was allowing them to do this thing on a Thursday. Jack still watched Ianto for signs of annoyance and with wonder on his face for this new turn of events.
Ianto pushed Jack onto the bed and quickly disposed of Jack's underwear and his own towel. Naked they lay together and gently explored each other's bodies as if this were the first time. As their arousal grew Ianto climbed atop of Jack and rubbed their cocks between their bodies, simulating the actions of love making and kissing Jack's face, neck and shoulders as he did so.
The only sounds in the room were those of heavy breathing and lips pressing together. By unspoken agreement Ianto had taken control of their actions. Jack had made the decision to come here tonight but it had been Ianto's decision to allow him in. Both men recognised that something new was happening and both admitted to themselves that they wanted it.
Ianto reached out for lube and Jack almost imperceptibly nodded agreement. They had not indulged in penetrative sex since Jack had regained his memory but this was Ianto's time, he was making decisions for them tonight and this was what he wanted. He wanted to claim Jack, to mark him as belonging to him on this day of the week, as on all the others.
Jack's legs wrapped around Ianto's waist and he pulled the young man into his body with a short gasp. Ianto buried his face in Jack's neck whilst he struggled to gain control as the tightness and heat of his lover wrapped around him.
As Ianto regained control of his breathing he leaned up to look into Jack's face. Neither man smiled, they were too engrossed in the sensations of the moment and in the realisation that they were moving their relationship forward by their actions.
Never looking away from the other man Ianto began to move his hips in the time honoured fashion, biting his lip slightly as the pleasure threatened to overtake him. This was not going to be a long session but luckily they were not concerned with endurance or finesse. Ianto picked up his pace and Jack grabbed his own cock and began to stroke in time with Ianto's thrusts.
Watching each other constantly they drew themselves to the edge of oblivion and smashing their lips together threw themselves over the precipice. They lay, panting and still not talking as they fell into a light doze.
Rousing twenty minutes later Ianto wandered to the bathroom and then to the kitchen to fetch drinks. Bringing two bottles of water into the bedroom he handed one to Jack and climbed back into the bed.
At last they faced each other in the knowledge that the time had come to talk about what was happening.
'Is it ok that I came here tonight Ianto?' asked Jack still nervous about rejection.
'Yes' answered Ianto simply.
'But today is Thursday' reminded Jack 'is it still ok?'
Ianto turned to look him full in the face and answered him earnestly.
'Want to know a secret Jack?' he asked 'I haven't wanted Thursdays off in a long time'
Jack looked at him in surprise. All these weeks he had been tormented by thoughts of Ianto seeing other people on Thursday nights, wondering who he was with and what he was doing. All the times he had fought not to feel jealousy coursing through his veins. Suddenly he laughed, he held the man in his arms and felt the pleasure of relief flood through him.
Ianto looked at him indignantly. He had just admitted to Jack that his feelings for the man had been blossoming for longer that he had previously acknowledged and his reaction was laughter. He tried to pull away from Jack, out of his embrace.
'Wait!' stuttered Jack seeing that Ianto was not happy with him.
Ianto allowed Jack to kiss him gently on the lips.
'Neither have I' whispered Jack.
'What?' asked Ianto confused.
'I haven't wanted Thursdays off since I came home' admitted Jack.
'Oh' said Ianto not really knowing how else to react.
'I haven't wanted it' continued Jack 'and I most certainly have not wanted you to have it' he admitted somewhat shyly.
Ianto grinned at the other man's admission.
'Thursdays were your idea Jack...I didn't mind...but I think I'd prefer it if we went straight from Wednesday to Friday.
'Oh I really don't think so' said Jack and Ianto's face fell as he tried to understand Jack's switch from admitting to not wanting Thursdays off, back to insisting on keeping his options open.
'I think we should keep Thursday as our day' continued Jack 'whatever else is going on at the hub we should always have Thursday nights like this...here in your bed'
Ianto grinned as he realised where Jack was going with his line of reasoning. He reached over to kiss him on the lips.
'Ok' he agreed.
They both settled back onto the pillows.
'Does this mean we're a couple now?' asked Jack smiling.
Ianto returned the smile with a wicked gleam in his eye.
'One step at a time captain' he said enigmatically.
A week later and Marcus and Luca had settled in the lower levels of the hub. The rooms set up for them were serving their purpose well, but something more permanent was still necessary. Jack had called them and the team to a meeting.
'Tosh, what can you tell us about the device that brought Marcus here? Any chance of it being repaired for a return trip?' asked Jack.
Toshiko looked around at the aliens sadly.
'Sorry, I can't fix it...it was rigged for a one way trip only and has burnt out beyond salvage...from what I can tell it is only sheer luck that it got you here in the first place...it could have taken you to any time fifty years either side of Luca's arrival' explained Toshiko.
'I know' whispered Marcus.
'You do? Why would you risk that?' asked Owen incredulously.
'I wanted to find Luca' answered Marcus simply whilst the man in question looked at him adoringly.
Gwen coughed, she remained unsure of the relationship between the two aliens. She was genuinely trying to understand and accept their different ways of living but still had difficulty coming to terms with the notion of slavery, however apparently acceptable it was to both parties involved.
'May I ask you the two of you something?' she looked at the aliens.
'Of course' Marcus answered for them both.
'Do all the Masters and slaves have relationships like yours? I mean...I kind of assumed something less...well...less nice' she finished lamely.
Marcus smiled at her.
'You assumed there would be no emotions, no care, no love' he stated.
'Well..yes' Gwen admitted.
'Most of my people have relationships like ours...like most races we require love and have a need to belong, we desire a purpose in life...we have evolved a Master and slave culture because it works for us...one partner works and one takes care of the worker...it is mutually supportive, each needs the other and although the Master is dominant the slave's wishes are rarely disregarded...but, like any culture we have abusive relationships...' he admitted sadly as he looked around 'can you seriously tell me they don't exist here?' he finished.
The team bowed their heads in recognition of the truth.
'But for the most part our relationships are based on mutual respect, care and love' he continued.
Gwen looked chastened. Of course abusive relationships existed here, she knew that. Maybe the power dynamic made it easier to become abusive on Luxor, but maybe it also made them more aware and more likely to work at avoiding it. As she had never seen examples of the culture apart from Marcus and Luca she was not really in a position to judge.
'Forgive me for asking' she said looking apologetically at Marcus.
'You are fascinated by a different way of living I understand that' answered Marcus.
'I find your way of life frighteningly unstable...I know Luca loves me, I know he will always be there to support and help and care for me, as I will for him...I cannot understand how you people can find joy in constantly looking for someone who will better fill that role for you, constantly looking for love and rarely finding the joy of companionship and care that has been mine for years...Luca and I will grow together and discover more about each other all the time, we will always be there and the stability that gives us is liberating in a way you cannot understand with all your freedoms' he continued.
Jack shuffled in his chair to return attention to himself and the reason for the meeting. The Luxorians and the humans around the table would never fully understand each other's cultures but they were beginning to respect them and that was the most important thing.
'I have found a job for Marcus and a place for Luca and Marcus to live' he announced to the surprise of everyone except Ianto.
'Marcus, UNIT would like you to accept a position as ambassador to visiting dignitaries and their scientific advisors. The work will involve much entertaining which I know you and Luca have previous experience with from home and will call upon your language, diplomacy and negotiating skills...Ianto and I can give you more details later'
'What about their skin markings Jack...will they need to pass for human?' asked Owen.
'Well clothes cover all but the facial marks and fortunately the people that UNIT will require you to mix with are unlikely to ask awkward questions...Luca has been shown how to cover his markings if that is what they both want...but for the majority of the time it will be unnecessary' Jack answered.
Luca looked at Marcus and received a small nod in permission to ask a question.
'Captain, where will we live?' he asked.
Jack smiled at him.
'It is a large house Luca that will require all your skills of household management...many rooms for many and varied visitors...hospitality will be a large part of Marcus' work and that will involve your help'
Luca grinned at him and looked around at Marcus.
'It will be just like home' he said 'working together...I will make the visitors feel cared for and relaxed and you will persuade them to find ways of dealing with each other' he said his eyes shining at the thought of having a purpose again.
'It does sound very similar to the work I did in the future' said Marcus in surprise.
'What the future has lost will be our gain' said Jack 'this time has more need of diplomats knowledgeable and accepting of aliens and scientific breakthroughs than the future does...I do not doubt that you will both be a great asset'
The whole team looked pleased at this satisfactory ending for the two men. They would live out their lives in peace and with usefulness. Bar getting them home it was the best that could be done for them.
'Ianto will help you settle into your new home and arrange furnishings, clothes, help you to order anything you may need over the internet and so on' Jack continued.
Ianto, Marcus and Luca smiled. The three of them liked each other and would enjoy a final time to cement their friendship.
Later as Jack and Ianto concluded paperwork for the day Jack initiated a conversation about his memory loss. It had all but been forgotten by the team and was certainly no longer affecting Jack's ability to lead, but the man himself was still a little shaken by the experience.
His relationship with Ianto had taken on a new level of understanding, probably helped by the memory loss episode, but they still did not communicate terribly effectively with each other. Jack wanted to talk more thoroughly with his lover and he wanted to begin this new openness by discussing their past mistakes.
He stood up and walked closer to Ianto and spoke in a low tone.
'I remember everything now Ianto...and I remember I was not always good to you' he said sadly.
'I know you remember it all Jack...and it's in the past...it wasn't that bad' said Ianto.
'Ianto' chided Jack gently 'I remember... and I did not treat you well'
'We didn't treat each other well Jack...I betrayed you more than once' said Ianto sadly.
'I want to do better...I want us both to do better' said Jack quietly.
'You make me happy and that's all that matters...I don't care about before' said Ianto.
Jack looked at him and pulled him into a hug.
'But I want to make it up to you...I want to always be good to you from now on' said Jack.
'Oh come on Harkness, we all know you'll continue to do stupid things that upset me...if only for the joy of making up with me afterwards'
Jack smiled in recognition that Ianto knew him so well.
'Yeah' he admitted 'but I want you to know that whatever I say and do I always want to be good to you'
Ianto hugged him.
'I know' he whispered 'I'll try to remember when I'm furious and ignoring you'
'I don't mind if you ignore me...I'll probably deserve it...but I want you to be around to do the ignoring' said Jack.
'I'm always around Jack' said Ianto.
'No...because sometimes you go home' insisted Jack.
'I'm not going to live permanently at work just so that you can see me ignoring you Jack' he smiled.
'I don't want you to live here' said Jack enigmatically.
Ianto frowned again in confusion.
'Then what?' he asked.
'I have a home Ianto' began Jack but then started to flounder not quite knowing how to frame his request.
'Come live with me and be my love' he said eventually.
Ianto looked at him shocked as the line of poetry and its implications sank in. He wasn't sure how to reply, they had never gone in for this sort of romantic introspection before.
'Are you seriously quoting Christopher Marlowe at me Jack?' he asked smiling at his lover.
'Hey he was a great poet...terrible morning breath, but still a great poet' announced Jack laughing.
Ianto looked at him in mock horror.
'Please don't tell me you and Marlowe...you've really ruined the romance with that revelation' he laughed.
Jack laughed with him.
'I knew Marlowe briefly but not that well...I know about his breath from Raymond his servant boy and sometime lover...Raymond was a plant from the time agency and took his mission very seriously' he said with exaggerated solemnity.
Ianto looked horrified and mildly disgusted.
'Anyway I'm not quoting Christopher Marlowe at you' Jack continued.
Ianto merely raised his eyebrows at the denial.
'I'm asking you a question in poetical form...it's supposed to be romantic' finished Jack.
Ianto felt the full weight of that question but could not resist a final dig before replying.
'If you think that is romantic then you need serious help' he laughed.
'So help me' begged Jack.
Ok' agreed Ianto.
'You'll live with me?' asked Jack beginning to smile.
'And be your love...yes Jack' Ianto rolled his eyes to conceal how affected by emotion he was.
They grinned at each other until Owen ruined the moment by shouting.
'Oi gay boys!' across the hub to gain their attention.
Ianto glared at him but Jack just laughed, kissed Ianto and answered Owen's call.
Three months after Luca and Marcus left to begin their new life Jack and Ianto were invited to a function at their home.
Marcus had begun his job at UNIT and General Thornton was well pleased with the new addition to his team. The function was to welcome visiting delegates from America and Europe. UNIT was hosting a conference which would attempt to form working relationships between alien experts from the visiting nations.
UNIT and especially General Thornton were delighted to have help from someone used to dealing with such delicate topics and encouraging wary experts from different cultures to find common ground.
As Jack and Ianto entered the house Marcus was already helping a touchy American ambassador to open negotiations with a German counterpart on information sharing. General Thornton spotted Jack and immediately joined him.
'I can't tell you how useful these friends of yours are captain' he said.
'I'm glad' said Jack looking around and admiring the decor and the welcoming feel of the whole gathering.
'Luca really knows how to make people feel welcome and at ease and Marcus is a fierce but persuasive negotiator...they are a great boon, both to UNIT and to our country as a whole' the General continued.
Jack beamed at him. He often had difficulties in dealing with UNIT but Marcus was even helping to smooth these sores by being a buffer between the two organisations and for the first time Jack was enjoying talking to a UNIT official. He accepted a drink from the General and continued the conversation for a short while. Ianto grinned from behind him and wandered off hoping to find Luca.
He spied the young man conversing and surely that was flirting, with a captain from the French delegation and a Spanish scientific advisor. Ianto watched him bemused. Luca was confident in his role and was obviously making the two men he was speaking to feel good about themselves and welcome in his home.
Luca spotted Ianto out of the corner of his eye and excused himself to his two companions, leaving them with a question hanging in the air which the two immediately fell to discussing avidly. Ianto admired the technique that enabled Luca to leave his guests whilst ensuring they did not miss him or need his help to keep the conversation going.
Luca trailed provocatively over to Ianto ensuring the other man did not take his eyes away from his seductive approach.
'Well where did my shy slave boy disappear to?' asked Ianto with a huge smile.
'I am making people feel welcome Ianto...they will not feel at ease around a shy and uncomfortable host...this is what Marcus wishes me to do and I will do it as well as I am able' he explained looking at the other man from under his lashes.
'But the flirting Luca' insisted Ianto laughing 'surely that is above and beyond the call of duty?' he asked.
Luca grinned at him.
'Not at all...for all the races I have ever met flirting is an acceptable mode of making an acquaintance' he laughed.
'Really?' asked Ianto thinking that maybe Jack's time travelling accounted for his continual flirting with anyone he met.
'Oh yes' answered Luca 'and Marcus does so enjoy reprimanding me when the guests have left if he thinks I have overstepped the mark' he finished.
For a brief moment Ianto was alarmed at the thought of Luca being punished but a quick look at the slave boys face showed just how much he anticipated the reprimand and the cheeky grin he gave Ianto made the Welshman laugh out loud at his own fears and give some consideration to suitable admonishments for his captain if he took the flirting too far tonight.
'Please' said Luca guiding Ianto to a different room 'I think there is an old friend of your captain's here who is anxious to meet you, she tells me she has heard much about you'
Ianto joined a group from UNIT and was introduced to Martha Jones.
Jack joined him within ten minutes and spent some time happily chatting and flirting with Martha. Ianto watched him with an enigmatic smile on his face. Jack's gaze flicked to him a number of times and there were questions in his eyes. What was his Welshman thinking? Eventually they had a few moments alone before leaving.
'Are you ok Ianto?' asked Jack.
Ianto turned his steady gaze upon his lover and Jack saw the desire smouldering just below the surface and knew he was in for a good night.
'I've been watching you flirt Jack' whispered Ianto.
Jack opened his mouth to apologise. Ianto did not normally object to his flirting with everyone he met, but the promise in Ianto's gaze made him willing to apologise for behaviour that would not ordinarily be a problem between them. Ianto held up his hand.
'Apparently Marcus enjoys punishing his slave boy for excessive flirting after these functions...I'm thinking of following his example' he announced sternly.
Jack's mouth fell open in surprise and then a brilliant grin lit his face. He regained control and fixed his features in a contrite expression.
'Yes Master' he whispered.