Ianto awoke with his face buried in Jack's neck. He didn't remember falling asleep that way. In fact, he was pretty sure they'd been lying a couple of feet apart. He wasn't going to complain, however, as the man's pheromones and heat were a lovely combination, and from what he could already tell, it was going to be a chilly morning.
"Hello there," Jack murmured, winking as Ianto shuffled back a bit.
"Good morning, Jack," he replied. He cleared his throat; it was suddenly a bit dry. He blamed it on the dust and dirt. It wasn't the nearness to Jack.
"Yup. Well, as good as could be expected, considering."
"Hey! I make a good pillow."
"I meant our captivity, Jack."
Ianto pushed himself up into a sitting position. It was incredibly awkward, the ropes tied the way they were. He'd hoped at some point their captors would remove the bindings, but they'd been left bound instead. He couldn't blame them, really. A couple of men, obviously from "out of town." Hell, he wouldn't trust them either.
Glancing over at the families he sighed. They were still sleeping, one or two of them even snoring. It must be pretty early yet. The light was shining through the slats of the barn but it didn't seem bright enough for the sun to be fully risen.
"Do you think we'll get breakfast?" he asked the man beside him. Devlin had been true to his word, only granting bread to the families. One of the men had stood watch, while another physically fed them all. No one's ropes were coming off. Jack and Ianto hadn't been fed, but they were at least given sips of water.
"I hope so, Ianto. I could really go for a full English."
Ianto rolled his eyes. "I believe it's bread or nothing, Jack."
"Damn." Jack shuffled into a seated position. "And I need the toilet."
It took another thirty minutes – or so Ianto guessed – for the families to start to come around. First up were the boys, followed by Rebecca and her parents, and then Elizabeth and Benjamin. They all sat exchanging pleasantries until the barn door opened.
In walked Devlin, smiling. "Well then, sun's up. New day. Who's gonna be the first to talk today, hmm boys?"
Ianto was mildly surprised Devlin was the first one in. From what he'd gathered the man usually liked to send in his lackeys, preferring not to get his already dirty hands dirtier. Apparently even a gang leader like Robert Devlin liked to change things up every now and again. Perhaps he was trying to keep them on their toes.
"Actually, I'd like to take a piss first, if you don't mind," Jack replied.
Ianto knew that if the man's arms had been free they'd now been crossed over his chest in defiance. He was even doing the stubborn chin lifting thing that Ianto found ridiculously endearing. He had it bad. Pathetic, really.
"I ain't stoppin' ya," Devlin shot back.
"You gonna hold it for me?"
The look on the gangster's face made Ianto wince. Devlin moved well into Jack's personal space, leaning over and saying, "You can piss your britches far as I'm concerned, boy."
"Well, that's not very friendly," Jack scoffed.
"Do I look like I'm your friend, son?" the man replied, pulling out his gun and once more pressing it to Jack's chin. "You got a hell of a lip on you."
Before Jack could snap back a sarcastic reply Ianto gave him a look, shaking his head. Jack caught his eye, nodded minutely, then drew his eyes back to the man in his face.
"I'm just asking to use the restroom."
Devlin stepped back, laughing and holstering his weapon. "Fancy words, fancy clothes... I think you're just a might too fancy there, boy. How'd ya like to go without breakfast, too?"
Ianto's stomach took that opportunity to announce its complete disapproval. Luckily Devlin either didn't hear it – it was unnervingly loud, actually – or chose to ignore the sound. Ianto swallowed down the slight burn that clawed its way up from his stomach. Wonderful. He was stuck in the wild, wild west, with all of its dangers, and his tombstone was going to read, "Here lies Ianto Jones. He died of heartburn."
"In fact," Devlin continued a moment later, "how 'bout all of you go without breakfast? I reckon that might tighten your lip 'bout things I don't need to hear, and loosen it 'bout things I do."
There was a general murmur from those across from them and Ianto frowned. Damn. They were going to get those poor people killed if they didn't think of something soon. As much as Ianto hated him and Jack being stuck where they were, he was even more concerned with the others. Ianto knew he and Jack could fend for themselves, but these families – actually one extended family, really – had no one to fight for them.
"We've already told you as much as we know," Jack replied. "And that was probably more than we should have."
Devlin sneered. "I say when it's enough."
"Look, there is a time line to protect," Jack began, but Devlin slapped him across the face. "Okay, ow!"
"Your friend here's real mouthy," Devlin said to Ianto, putting a fist in his hair and yanking backwards. Ianto hissed. The gun was drawn again and Ianto felt cool metal at his throat. "Maybe he needs a reason to tell me what I wanna know."
"Well, now, that's not nice, is it?"
"Doctor!" Jack gasped, shifting on the ground and making scuffling noises.
Ianto's eyes widened, but he dare not move his head. Doctor? Jack's Doctor? He knew he should probably be pleased a rescue had been mounted, but a part of him still held the notion Jack might leave again. His heart began to thump wildly in his chest.
Devlin released Ianto and spun around, pointing his gun at the intruder. "Who the hell are you?"
"Me? Oh, why...I'm the Doctor!"
Ianto lowered his head and got his first good look at the Time Lord. That was the Doctor? He was a tall, skinny man in a brown pin-striped suit, sporting a camel-colored long coat. His hair was a complete mess, he was wearing glasses, and...were those trainers? Who wore trainers with a suit?
"Doctor, how'd you get here?" Jack asked. His eyes were bright and there was a huge grin on his face. Ianto scowled. "I didn't hear you."
"Now wait a damned minute here..."
"Well, that's because I put the old girl on silent," the Doctor replied, interrupting and ignoring Devlin. He had shoved his hands in his pockets and was literally bouncing on his feet.
"She has a silent mode?"
"Of course she does, Jack," answered the Time Lord, grinning from ear to ear. He turned and seemed to notice the families for the first time. "Oh, and who do we have here? Hello!"
"Hello!" It was a bright and cheerful greeting from Edward. "Are you here to rescue us, sir?"
"There will be no damned rescuing of nobody," Devlin snapped, waving his gun from person to person. "Where the hell are my men?"
"You mean those gentlemen outside?" the Doctor asked, lifting a hand and tilting a thumb back in the direction of the door. "They're a bit tied up at the moment. Did you need them? I could bring you to see them. No, but you'll be seeing them in just a moment anyway, won't you? No need to rush into anything. Oh, and look at you! You're a lovely young thing!"
The Doctor was now addressing Rebecca, whose face blushed considerably at the praise. Ianto watched as she practically batter her eyelashes at him. In a way it reminded him of Gwen. Rebecca, however, was just a child. Ianto forced himself not to make any further comparisons.
Devlin stormed towards the barn door and swung the door wide. Ianto cringed when it slammed into the wall. "Where are they, boy? Where the hell did you put my men?"
"They're just inside the TARDIS."
"TARDIS," the Doctor replied. "Time and relative dimension in space. Surely you've heard of it? No? Well then of course you've heard of me. I'm a Time Lord. Last of my kind."
"What you tryin' to pull, son?" Devlin asked, voice low and dangerous as he pointed his gun at the Doctor. "I could pump you fulla lead right now."
"No, you really couldn't."
"I sure as hell could!"
"Actually no, I'm afraid not."
Devlin stiffened his posture, finger on the trigger. The Doctor pulled something out of his pocket that lit up, emitted a piercing, high whistle, and a bluish white stream of some sort of energy knocked the gun right out of Devlin's hand. Devlin jumped backward.
"He tried to tell you," Jack said. He was smirking.
"I think you'll find that weapon's a bit useless now," the Doctor said, returning his hand to his pocket. The smile was no longer on his face and Ianto swallowed, seeing the intense frown that replaced it. "Silly things, guns. So violent. No real purpose."
"Who the hell do you think you are?"
"I told you. I'm the Doctor. And that's my friend Jack. And you must be Ianto Jones," the Time Lord said, addressing Ianto.
Ianto licked his lips. "H-hello, Doctor."
"I've not yet met these fine people," the Doctor said, voice rising to a cheerful lilt again as the grin returned to his face.
Ianto watched and listened as introductions were made. The Doctor untied Jack and Jack then tied up Robert Devlin. Ianto was next to be unbound, and then they both joined the Time Lord in untying the families.
It seemed ages later when the families had hugged and shaken hands with the Doctor, Jack and Ianto, and then set out on their way to their homes. The Doctor had then reunited Devlin with his gang, gave them all a huge tongue-lashing, and sent them out into the morning without their weapons. He threatened if they returned he'd know about it, and be back to deal with them each in turn. Ianto had never seen a group of men look so scared.
Finally they were aboard – it was bigger on the inside - the Time Lord's TARDIS, and settled around a table with cups of tea and delicious scones. Jack and Ianto had also both made trips to the toilet as soon as possible.
"But how did you know where to find us, Doctor?"
"Oh, that was simple, Jack," he replied, nodding toward Jack's wrist.
"My wrist strap? But it doesn't work anymore."
"Well no, you can't go gallivanting off into time and space," the Doctor said, shrugging, "but the TARDIS can track it, track you. She's brilliant, aren't you girl?"
Ianto shook his head. It all seemed so surreal. This was the second, and hopefully last, time they traveled into the past, and he really couldn't enjoy either one. Maybe if they'd been given a choice, but they were victims of an artifact and the Rift. Hell, still wasn't even sure the Rift had the ability to dump them off in America. It certainly didn't extend that far.
No matter how they'd gotten there, he was looking forward to getting home to Cardiff in their own time and taking the hottest shower he could. He felt filthy, even though they'd not even been in the wild west for even twenty-four hours.
"You're awfully quiet," Jack said, nudging his shoulder.
The Doctor had gotten up and wandered off, without Ianto realizing it. He put down his cup on its saucer, rubbing his left thumb over his right hand. "Just taking it all in, I suppose."
"I will be, Jack," he replied, offering a small smile.
Jack leaned in and planted a kiss on his nose. "You held your own out there. I'm proud of you."
Ianto blushed. "I didn't really do anything."
"Sure you did. A lesser man might have cowered at Devlin and his gang. But not my Ianto."
"Seriously, Jack, stop."
Jack winked, grabbing their soiled dishes and getting up to place them in the sink. Ianto followed him back into the control room where they found the Doctor, hopping around the machine before them like his feet were on fire.
"All ready to head back to Cardiff, I presume?" he asked them, suddenly stopping all his movements and shoving his hands into his pockets once more.
"Ready when you are, Doc," Jack replied, smiling at Ianto.
"Very well then." With another flurry of motion the Time Lord began turning knobs, pulling levers, and flipping switches.
"Better hold on," Jack told Ianto, reaching for any part of the ship he could get his hands on.
Ianto did as was suggested, barely establishing a hold on the console when the TARDIS began twisting and jerking around. By the time they'd landed and the Doctor announced they were back in the proper time in Cardiff Bay, Ianto thought he'd have to do a thorough search along the floor for the stomach he'd lost.
There was what seemed to be an obligatory offer of a trip to the stars for the both of them, at which time Jack's eyes lit up, but Ianto's frantic look at Jack seemed to be what made the final decision.
"That's alright, Doctor," Jack told the Time Lord, "I think we'll be just fine right here." He seemed to think for a moment. "Doctor, where's Martha?"
The Doctor's smile fell. "Home."
Jack nodded, putting a hand on the Time Lord's shoulder as if in understanding. Ianto wasn't sure what their silent communication meant, but he figured it was personal.
"Right then," the Doctor said, smile returning. Ianto wondered if he might be bipolar. "Off you go. Shoo shoo. Things to do, and all that."
Jack broke into a smile and Ianto couldn't help but join him. The Time Lord might be a bit off, but there was no escaping being swept up in his enthusiasm.
"Thank you, Doctor," Jack said, opening the door and holding it for Ianto.
"Yes, thank you very much," Ianto agreed.
"Oh, it was nothing," the Doctor replied.
Jack shook his head and took Ianto's hand. Their fingers entwined, Ianto followed behind him as they stepped onto the Plass. With one last wave at the man in the little blue box, they turned towards the water tower. There was a grinding and whirring noise and Ianto turned to watch the TARDIS slowly disappear.
"I thought he had it on silent?" he asked.
Jack chuckled. "Apparently it's no longer necessary."
They began walking and suddenly Ianto stopped. "Oh God, Jack!"
"What, Ianto? What's wrong?"
"Your Webley. We left it behind!"
Jack's face crumbled for a moment before he regained his composure and smiled. "It's alright, Ianto. I have a feeling the Doctor would have destroyed that too, if it was with Devlin's men."
Ianto frowned. "First your coat, now your gun. Time travel is for the birds, Jack!"
Jack shook his head, swinging Ianto's hand as they started walking again. "They can be replaced, Ianto. I'm just glad we both made it back in one piece. You, especially."
"Love you, Jack."
"Love you, too."