SUMMARY: The future of the characters is explored. Most questions are answered, but a few remain.
A/N: I think most of the your questions are answered here. The remaining issues may be addressed at a later time (but not immediately). If you are confused, you might want to look at the title of Chapter 24 and google the meaning of this poker term . I hope you enjoyed Treachery. I will be putting together a PDF and will post a notice on my home page.
Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far. Your feedback is always appreciated. If you've been lurking, this is your last chance to comment.
"Do you think what we did was ethical?" Owen asked several years later as the team ate dinner in the Hub.
"What else could we do?" Jack replied. "Lock him away for deeds he didn't remember and had no real control over doing?"
Owen raised an eyebrow at the irony of Jack's statement.
Gwen frowned. "I'm not sorry we let him go, but it troubles me that we can't keep closer tabs on him."
"We get feed from the cctv near their house several times a week," Tosh reminded them. "So it's not like he's out there totally unsupervised."
Jack smiled. They'd had this discussion many times and always came to the same conclusion. It wasn't a perfect solution, but with cooperation from John's partner, things had gone smoothly for the last three years.
It had taken a long time for Jack to earn back the respect of his team. Taking care of Ianto/John's future had gone a long way to healing the breach of trust that he had with all of them. Though Jack would never admit it, it was clear that he was financing John's current living expenses out of his own pocket but not interfering with his life in any way.
Late at night, Jack would often sit alone in his office at watch the latest video of John and his partner walking together down their street. They both looked happy and tan and in love. Sometimes he would feel comforted knowing that John was safe and content, but more often his eyes would fill with tears as he contemplated how much his mistakes had cost John and the team and even himself.
Tw Tw Tw
John Thomas stretched lazily and looked over at his lover sleeping beside him. He smiled as he watched the young man' chest rise and fall in a constant rhythm. He still wasn't sure how they had ended up living in a villa on the southern coast of Spain.
They never seemed to run out of money, a generous though not extravagant amount was wired to their joint account on the first of each month. Carlos reminded him that he had a sizeable inheritance from his uncle, but it was controlled by a trustee in Rio.
"I don't know why we can't get a bit more so we could live it up. I always dreamed of having a sports car and…"
"Not this again, please John," Carlos teased good naturedly. "You and your fast cars. Next you'll want beautiful blondes and fancy suits."
John chuckled. "I know, outlandish ideas, but sometimes I dream I'm a secret agent carrying out daring missions."
Carlos bit his lower lip in worry. "Would you trade this life with me for a more exciting one?"
"Gods no, of course I wouldn't. You're my constant in a confusing world. The love of my life."
Tw Tw Tw
"You know, I was reluctant to use Carlos this way, but he seems happy enough, don't you think?" Jack asked.
Owen nodded his head. "I can't believe how easy it was to get him to agree to go along with the back-story. I always worry that he'll grow bored with John or begin to deteriorate and then, well I don't know what we'll do."
"Don't go looking for trouble Owen, it will find us easily enough in due course," Gwen chastened.
"I don't think you need to worry about that," Jack replied. "Compared to being a prisoner at UNIT or Carlos' life before that, he's got a very cushy existence. An existence, I might add, that relies on the continuing goodwill of Torchwood. He's no fool, without us he'd be on the streets hustling in no time."
In the aftermath of the attack on the UNIT base, international pressure from the highest ranks of the UN and NATO assured that the illegal experiments were quietly hushed up. The soldiers who attacked the Hub (those that survived at least) were retconned and set up in new lives. Their families were told they had died on a classified mission to Afghanistan.
Lethbridge-Stewart came out of retirement to direct reforms to the UNIT command structure, reforms that would prevent a single senior officer from gaining total control of an entire base in the future. The scientists and other UNIT personnel who had played major roles in either the cloning or assassin projects were interrogated, and then retconned or imprisoned for life.
Tw Tw Tw
John stroked Carlos' face as they rested after making love.
"You really are my bright sun, though why you had to go and get that tattooed on your chest is beyond me."
"No, no John don't go there," Carlos thought. Carlos reached over and pulled John on top of him. "No thinking about tattoos, or secret agents, or flying dinosaurs."
Carlos wasn't sure if he loved John as much as John loved him, but he did feel genuine affection for him. There were moments when he regretted that his choices in life were being controlled by others, but compared to the demands of a pimp in Rio or being a prisoner of the Brigadier in London, Torchwood was a fairly benign dictator. All in all, it was a better ending to his story than he expected.
"Who am I kidding," he thought. "I'd be dead by now if I hadn't been kidnapped by the Brigadier. If the drugs hadn't killed me, a trick or my pimp would have eventually done me in."
As the surviving clone, created only a week before the attack on UNIT, he had all of the original Carlos' memories with John. His controller implantation had been scheduled but never took place. Jack had explained to him that he was a clone, but it meant nothing at all to him. He reckoned since he was genetically identical to Carlos and had all his memories; he was as good as the 'real' Carlos.
Owen had warned him about the physiological instability of clones but he wasn't worried. Though he had promised to notify them if he had any unusual medical problems, he'd be damned if he was going to tell them more than they needed to know. The occasional nose bleeds and muscle weakness were nothing to worry about, even if they appeared to be increasing in frequency.
Tw Tw Tw
Three years on, and even with the help of M15, no trace of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's niece had been found. The remaining clone in London and the assassin in Washington were easily apprehended, but it was clear that neither had been programmed for their next mission. While the assassin was able to provide detailed information about the murders of several high level Ministers from Eastern European countries he had no information on why he was in Washington or who was his next target.
And despite their best efforts, no one had been able to identify the real source of the experiments. M15 thought it was probably the work of agents from a rogue state (Iran and North Korea were most frequently mentioned), but Jack wasn't convinced. Somewhere out there, a dangerous enemy was biding its time, just waiting for the next opportunity to strike.
And Torchwood would be ready.