Title: Time Heals All Wounds (3/3)
Summary: Does time really heal all wounds? Depends on what you do to time. Where and when did Jack end up after he returned from 2001?
Rating: M for adult themes
Characters: Jack and ?
Word Count: 2498
Spoilers/Timeline: No spoilers, but read to find out where Jack went
Beta: czarina_kitty. Thank you for all your help. Your insight helped tie everything together in a nice little bow.
Notes: This fic filled the prostitution prompt in hc_bingo. Thank you for all of you that have followed this crazy journey. I hope you enjoy the conclusion.
"Ianto?" Jack asked with uncertainty, holding his sore cheek. Was this a hallucination? Why was his mind still torturing him? The slap felt too real to be made up in his mind.
"Who else?" There was the classic eye roll and sigh of frustration. "Were you expecting someone else? Rhi was right, wasn't she? It was only a matter of time before you got tired of this life. I didn't expect it to be so soon." Ianto ran his hand through his hair, making it even more wild than it already was.
"What? No." Jack threw his arms around Ianto and held on as tight as he could without breaking any ribs. He knew this was not a good sign. Having Ianto here was good for him, but it was not supposed to be like this. He made sure he gave the eighteen year old enough Retcon so he would not remember the evening. When exactly did he remember? Or was it still before the 456 and this flat was the only thing different. How could he ask without making Ianto suspicious? 'Bed head is so sexy on him.' Jack grinned to himself.
Ianto struggled to free himself of Jack's grasp but he was holding too tight. The last month of their relationship had been the roughest of the six years they had been together. There were almost daily fights that always ended up with one of them in tears, but they never went to bed mad until Jack disappeared three days ago. Ianto stopped struggling when he felt tears on his shoulder.
"What's going on, Jack?" Ianto asked, sensing something had changed with Jack.
"You're here. That's all that matters. You are here and you are alive," Jack said with amazement. He pulled away and put on his million-watt smile.
Ianto silently cursed the power of that smile, but he resolved to not let his anger be tempered. "Where else would I be? Where have you been? I know things haven't been great between us lately, but I thought you would have showed at the party last night since it was originally your idea." Ianto rolled his eyes at the confused look on Jack's face. "Thirtieth birthday party. Remember? It was your idea."
Jack closed his eyes as the revelation hit him; he had changed the time line after making sure that could not happen. Of course, memories could always be recovered by certain triggers. He had been in too much of a panic when he realized that the prostitute he picked up was a younger version of the man he had been grieving to remember Ianto had an eidetic memory. What was the trigger that made Ianto remember? Was it the reviving in his arms? Was it Thames House? Or was it something else. "You remembered?"
"Remembered what?" Ianto was clearly trying not to sound annoyed and perturbed by the vagueness of the question.
"That night in London in 2001."
"What are you talking about? I didn't meet you until 2006." Ianto wondered if the years had finally caught up with Jack and he lost his mind. It would explain his sudden disappearance.
Jack scratched his head in confusion. If Ianto did not remember that night then how did he survive the 456? "What about the 456? What happened at Thames House?"
"Okay, you are scaring me now, Jack. Let's sit down. You know that happened. Everyone died except for you." Ianto hid the panic in his voice. Rhiannon was due in an hour or so and he didn't want her to see Jack like this. As the couple sat, Ianto put a comforting hand on Jack's back. If there was something wrong with Jack then they would get through this together.
"Just humour me, please?" Jack was desperate for answers.
"The panic attack. Don't you remember? Don't know why it happened. I just felt going in there was wrong."
Jack's hands started to shake. Ianto did not remember being picked up twelve years ago, not that Ianto ever mentioned ever selling himself for money either. Something had to trigger for him to know enough not to go to Thames House, but not everything else from that night in 2001. It was just another mystery of retcon's effect on memory and the human brain. Jack was not in the mood to talk anymore and he was going to savour having Ianto back in his life. "I love you, Ianto. Love you so very, very much."
Ianto had not seen that look of pure love and desire in Jack's eyes in a long time and he sorely missed it. "What happened to..." He was silenced when Jack placed a finger over his lips, which then was quickly replaced by his mouth. Things quickly progressed from there and in no time the men were tangled in each other, the smell of sweat and sex hanging in the air.
Almost an hour later, the two satiated men laid in each other's arms, Jack's head resting on Ianto's shoulder watching his chest rise and fall. Ianto noticed his lover was being unusually quiet. It seemed Jack was beyond content as his fingers trailed up and down Ianto's chest, enjoying the simple intimate moment.
"Jack, something bad happened didn't it?" Ianto's brow creased with worry as he ran his fingers through Jack's hair. He knew well enough when something serious was weighing heavily on his lover's mind.
"But I fixed it," a lump got caught in the back of the immortal's throat. A few tears slipped down his face landing on Ianto's chest. 'But I didn't mean to.' It was beyond words to be in the arms of his other half again, but in the back of Jack's mind he wondered what consequences there would be because he inadvertently changed the timeline.
"What are you talking about?" Ianto whispered as he placed a kiss on top of Jack's head. Somehow, this man seemed different from the one who left three days ago. He could see the pain in his eyes and Ianto did not know what caused it. "What happened to you?"
"I don't know. I did something I shouldn't have. It's right up there with never messing with the rift." Jack did not know where to begin, what he remembered of the last four years was vastly different from what Ianto remembered.
"What did you do, Jack? Crap, you didn't. Were you that tired of us that you need to have your needs fulfilled elsewhere?" Ianto was fuming, thinking after all the years of monogamy that Jack had enough of it.
"What? I didn't do anything like that. God, no, Ianto. I would never do that to you...to us." Jack was offended that Ianto thought that, but then again he did not know what problems there were in their relationship. How would he even begin to explain the truth?
"Then what happened?"
"Why didn't you ever tell me you used to sell yourself on the streets of London?" Jack knew this was the wrong way to tell the truth but it would be easier if Ianto remembered it and had what at the time was a non-biased opinion of him.
Ianto froze and quickly sat up, throwing Jack off him. "Is that why you've been acting weird the last month? You found out about that? My failed attempt to survive in London on my own. What does that have to do with any of this?"
"It has everything to with this. It's why I'm here right now." Jack was purposely cryptic. He wanted to try to push Ianto to remember on his own.
"How so? I was only picked up once and I don't even remember it. The man must have drugged me."
"Like being retconned?" Jack ran his hands over his face, taking in a deep shaky breath.
"Like being...no, Jack, you didn't. Why are you telling me this now?" That answer could only mean one thing, that Jack was that man twelve years ago. The night that was a total blur and he could never remember anything other than leaving his room that night and waking up in a hotel the next morning. But why would he Retcon him if they had not met yet or did something happen that he should not have seen.
"For me it only happened last night."
"That's impossible. That thing doesn't work like that anymore. Why would you do something like that?" Ianto pointed to the leather strap on Jack's wrist.
"I was in a very bad place and deep down you know why. You might not remember the whole night, but some things from that night managed to stick with you."
"Why are you bringing that up again?"
Before Jack could respond, there was a loud knock at the door. Given the nature of the conversation, Ianto would have ignored the door but that was not an option at this point.
"That would be Rhi. Put some clothes on." Ianto tossed Jack's trousers in his face. "My sister." The annoyance came through loud and clear when Ianto saw the older man's confused face.
"I know who your sister is." Jack tried not sound defensive, but they needed to finish the conversation and a visit from Ianto's sister was the last thing they needed. "I think finishing this conversation is more important than a little visit."
Ianto rolled his eyes as he pulled his pair of sleeping bottoms on. "I left Franklin with her last night. She's bringing him home."
Jack looked panic stricken and he remembered the baby bottles in the kitchen. So he and Ianto had a son sometime recently and apparently named him after his father. "Shit," he let the foul language slip out and saw the anger again in Ianto's eyes.
Suddenly, Jack felt very shaky and went very pale. "I'm just going to splash some water on my face." He made a hasty exit to the loo and he made it barely as Jack heaved into the toilet.
Ianto hung his head and rubbed his temples, not sure what just happened. Not to mention his attempt to comprehend the role Jack played in his deepest secret. He opened the door and tried to put on his best smile for his sister.
"Bloody hell, you look like shite, Ianto. Did you get any sleep last night?" Rhiannon did not even greet with a hello and she groaned when she saw the clothes on the floor. "So the jerk finally came home and you just welcomed him home like nothing." She pointed to the bruise that was starting to show on his neck.
"Rhi, I'm not in the mood for an argument. Thank you for watching Franklin last night. Jack and I are working through our problems." It was Ianto's polite way of saying this was none of her business.
"You're my brother and I'm worried about you. With all the problems you and Jack have been having are you sure adopting a baby was a smart move?" Rhiannon wanted to make sure this innocent baby was not subject to a childhood like she and Ianto had; parents who were constantly fighting.
"Every couple has rough patches. Jack and I are no exception, isn't that right Franklin?" Ianto reached into the pram and ran his finger along the sleeping infant's cheek. This was one of the moments Ianto regretted that he and Jack used the lie that their son was adopted. Rhiannon was not ready for the truth that Jack was the one who carried the boy to term and the boy was biologically his and Jack's.
"Jack and I still love each other and we will..." Ianto's statement was cut off by a loud crash from the bathroom.
"Stay with him," Ianto barked orders at his sister as he dashed to the source of the sound.
Ianto gasped as he saw Jack seizing on the floor, his head hitting the hard tile. Any anger and confusion vanished as he got onto the floor and placed Jack's head in his lap. "Jack! Jack! Jack, can you hear me?"
A minute later, (even though it felt like an eternity to Ianto) Jack finally stopped seizing and fell limp into Ianto's lap.
"Christ, is he okay? I'm going to call 999," Rhiannon had seen the tail end of the seizure and ignored the fact that Jack was naked.
"No, don't. Jack'll be fine." Ianto glared at his sister. It was a good thing Jack was still breathing and he would not have to explain Jack gasping back to life. "Jack. Come on, wake up." He lightly slapped Jack's face, trying to wake him up. That was life with an immortal; you still worried when things happened even if rationally you knew they would be fine.
"He had a seizure, Ianto. A doctor should check him out," Rhiannon begged and started to rock the pram when Franklin started to fuss.
"I'm fine," Jack said as he tried to sit up, but the vertigo was too great Yes, Ianto's lap made a fine pillow. He gripped his lover's wrist for support. "Think I need to stay here a few minutes." Jack managed his best flirty grin, inappropriate yes, but inappropriate was his middle name.
"Okay..." Ianto froze when he felt the squeeze on his wrist and his and Jack's eyes locked. His own light eyes dilated as a torrent of memories flooded his brain. After all this time, the memories from that night were remembered.
"Ianto?" Jack tried to snap the man out of the daze he was in. When the tears started to fall from the young man's face Jack forced himself to sit up despite the waves of dizziness.
"Ianto, what's wrong?" The concerned captain took Ianto's face in his hands, trying to figure what was wrong.
"I remember, Jack." Ianto pulled Jack into the tightest embrace possible. "I remember that night in London. You were so broken." Numerous times during the last month, Ianto had questioned whether Jack really loved him and now with the memories recovered he knew just how much Jack cared.
"I don't want to be broken anymore." Jack started to cry as well. His emotions started to overwhelm him as he felt the twinges of real hope in years.
"We will put each other back together. You mean the world to me too," Ianto whispered to Jack. "Let me introduce you to our son." He ignored the confused look Rhiannon's face. Ianto knew that if Jack had changed the timeline, that the new memories might not have all hit him yet.
"We'll tell you about it one day," Ianto winked at his sister.
There was a smile on Jack's face that did not leave for two weeks straight. After four years of pain and devastation, domestic bliss did wonders for Jack's battered soul. If and when the repercussions of changing the timeline struck, Jack and Ianto would be ready. For now, they enjoyed their strengthened and tighter relationship and the insanity and pride that being parents gave them.
The end! End note:
End note:I hope you enjoyed this ending. Thank you for taking the journey with me. I know I might have fudged around with the timelines of the show, but it was to make this work.