Ianto watched as the man known as Robert Devlin spoke with his men, then turned to face them. "You're gonna tell me how you got here, son," the man said, addressing Ianto.
"I'm not sure I understand what you mean," Ianto replied.
"Don't mess with me, boy," Devlin told him, stepping closer. "You and him...you showed up out of nowhere, and you're gonna tell me how you did it."
Ianto figured it really couldn't hurt to bend the truth, since he wasn't positive on the details himself. He had an idea, but that was all. Glancing at Jack he found his smile and nod encouraging. "I've actually no idea."
That wasn't exactly true. Ianto knew there had been no artifact nearby when he and Jack had been sent here. They were returning from an anonymous police call regarding a disturbance, which had turned out to be nothing more than a domestic. They were on foot since it was local. There'd been a giant flash of light and then they'd been dropped right in the middle of this mess. Ianto could only assume that this time around the Rift was to blame. The truth of the matter was they just had no way to get back home. They were at the mercy of the Rift.
Devlin didn't seem to like that answer, his eyes narrowing. "You tryin' to to get me angry?" He stepped even closer, his face barely a whisper from Ianto's. "I don't think you quite understand what's at stake here."
"Oh, he understands," Jack put in, "but he's telling the truth."
Devlin spun on his heel and turned towards Jack. Ianto closed his eyes for a moment, breathing in the fresh air once the other man had moved away. If there was anything he knew for sure, it was that hygiene wasn't very important to Robert Devlin and his crew.
"You think you're real big, don't you boy?" asked Devlin, now getting right up into Jack's face.
"Well, I've certainly never never heard any complaints."
Ianto bit back a smirk. Now wasn't the time for dirty humor, but leave it to Jack to decide otherwise.
"You sassing me now?"
"That depends," Jack replied.
"On what?" the man ground out between his teeth.
"On whether or not you find it endearing."
Ianto knew then that they were in trouble. It was one thing to make an ill-timed joke or two, but Jack was now starting to flirt, and these were not the men to flirt with. Especially not when such behavior was likely to get them both killed.
"Are you some sort of sodomite, boy?" Devlin growled, jamming a gun up into Jack's chin. "You know what we do with your kind around these parts?"
"Boys, I think you need to find me some more rope," Devlin said, not removing the gun from its position under Jack's chin. One of his men hurried off, presumably in search of the aforementioned rope.
"Oh, so you do like me."
"Jack..." Ianto hissed.
He knew he didn't need to tell Jack what Devlin meant to do with that rope. At this time in history, both British and American, homosexuality was punishable by death. Jack had to know that. The man was incorrigible, but he wasn't an idiot.
"What are you doing?" asked Ianto, not taking his eyes off the gun.
"Just getting to know our friend better," Jack responded, smiling.
"Maybe you're both that way?" Devlin asked, turning to face Ianto. "You a sinner too, boy?"
Ianto sighed, shaking his head. He didn't consider himself a sinner. He wasn't even religious. As far as he was concerned, what he and Jack got up to in private was exactly that, private. The thought that he had once been ashamed of his attraction to Jack was pushed to the back of his mind. He loved Jack, and Jack loved him. Nothing else mattered.
"Got it, boss," Devlin's man called, heading back toward them. He was grinning ear to ear, as if truly relishing what was going to happen.
Devlin took the rope and shook it in Jack's face. "I would love to use this, son," he said, glaring, "but there's something you have that I want."
"I'm not usually big on audiences, but I suppose I could make an exception."
Ianto saw the flicker of hate in Devlin's eyes only a split second before his hand moved, slapping Jack across the face with the rope. Jack's head snapped to the side and then he straightened it, flexing his jaw. The red marks on his cheek would be there a while.
"You got a big mouth, boy," growled Devlin, shaking the rope again. "I wanna know where you came from and how you got here. Those are some fancy clothes you're wearin', and fancy guns too. I'm bettin' there's more like that where you came from, and I want 'em."
Jack smirked. "So it sounds like you need me alive."
"I reckon I do," the man replied, pulling the gun away from Jack's face. He walked over to Ianto and placed it under his chin instead. "Not sure I need him, though."
Ianto swallowed, breathing out of his nose. It wasn't the first time they'd pointed a gun in his direction, but it certainly was a lot more intimate with the cold metal against his skin. His eyes flicked to Jack's, sending him a look that said not to do anything stupid. He hoped Jack would interpret it correctly.
"There's no reason to hurt him," Jack stated. "I'm sure we can work something out."
"If you care about this one's life you'll do as I say," Devlin told him, nudging the barrel of the gun deeper into Ianto's flesh.
Ianto's mind began playing over the events of the last few months. When they'd returned from their last trip to the past Jack had made an obvious effort to change. There had been far less flirting with Gwen, several dates, and often they'd just spent the night on the couch, watching a movie. Where before there had been nights filled with passionate sex and words of lust, there were now nights filled with passionate sex and words of love.
Of course, they still had their moments of raging need, with one or the other of them bent over Jack's desk or up against a filing cabinet in the archives, but Jack had made it clear he was willing to take things to the next level. They were a proper couple now. Unfortunately, that could be detrimental to the situation in which they now found themselves.
"Whatever I can do, I will," Jack said. "If it's within my control."
"I do believe you'll find a way," replied Devlin, snickering. "Lots of things could happen to your pretty boy if you don't. I'm bettin' you don't want to see this one roughed up a bit. Johnny over there would be more than willing to try anything once."
Johnny, or so Ianto had to assume, winked at him and licked his lips. Ianto felt a bit nauseous. Devlin already assumed he and Jack were gay lovers, and Ianto didn't want to find out if this newest threat meant what he presumed it did.
"There's only one problem," Jack stated.
"In order to get what you want, one of use would have to get back home, and we really don't know if that's possible."
"So we're back to that, are we?" Devlin shook his head and turned to his men. "What do you think, boys? Should we show these two what it means to cross Robert Devlin?"
There was a loud and rowdy consensus, a couple of the men clapping their hands and grinning maniacally. Ianto's brow furrowed as he caught Johnny's eyes. The man was looking him up and down. Oh God.
"Listen to me," Jack pleaded, though his voice was only slightly raised. "There's a rift in time and space that runs through Cardiff, Wales. That's where we're from, only we live in the twenty-first century. On occasion this rift picks up things or beings from one place and deposits them somewhere else. That's what has likely happened to us. That's how we got here."
"This here is eighteen twenty-three," Devlin replied, looking between the both of them and scowling. "You tryin' to tell me you two are aliens who travel through time?"
Jack looked amused. "Aliens?" He looked at Ianto and Ianto shook his head minutely. "No. No, we're not aliens, and actually, we don't normally travel through time. This just happened. We were as surprised as you."
Well, Jack didn't travel through time now, anyway. Ianto also didn't think Devlin needed Jack to try to explain his human birth and upbringing on the Boeshane Peninsula, either. It was complicated at the best of times. Better to keep it simple.
"And I'm just supposed to believe you, am I?"
"They do have fancy clothes and guns, boss," one of the men said.
"Yeah," added another. "I ain't never seen no one with britches like them."
He was pointing at Ianto, and Ianto looked down at himself, since the gun was no longer pointed at his chin. He was wearing one of Jack's favorite combinations: a charcoal jacket with black pinstripes over matching trousers, charcoal waistcoat, red shirt, and a gray and red striped tie. He looked good. Good enough to eat, if he believed what Jack had told him when he'd arrived at the Hub wearing it.
"Fancy clothes or no fancy clothes, ain't nobody come through no rift type thing from the future," Devlin proclaimed. He waved the gun in his hand in their general direction. "Get 'em back in with the others. Maybe they'll tell the truth once they spend the night with no food or water."
Ianto breathed a sigh of relief as one of Devlin's men grabbed him by the wrists and pushed him back toward the barn. While he didn't cherish the idea of no food or drink – his stomach was already starting to growl as they'd not yet had lunch before they were transported – it meant they'd be alive for the foreseeable future. They'd come a bit too close to a hanging for his piece of mind.
As the door slammed shut and was secured behind them, Ianto let his eyes adjust to the dark and settled onto the dirty floor. Jack took a seat beside him.
"That didn't go so bad," he said, giving Ianto a grin.
"For you, perhaps," Ianto argued quitely. "You weren't the one threatened with rape."
"Are you two alright?" It was Elizabeth, and she was watching them with concerned eyes. "We was a bit afraid you'd been taken out for a beatin'."
"They got a little rough," Jack told her, still smiling. "Nothing we couldn't handle."
"You still gonna save us?" asked Henry, eyes wide.
"We're going to try our best," Ianto replied.
He hoped they hadn't given the families a false sense of security. In order to get free Ianto and Jack needed to obtain control, and at the moment they had anything but. He had no idea how they were going to get out of this situation. They needed a miracle. One in the shape of Toshiko Sato.