Jack asks for help from an Unexpected Source, well unexpected for him anyway. No offence intended. Just covering my bases.


Ianto was home alone and it was blissfully quiet until that North London dickhead showed up. He was by far Ianto's most hated hallucination, the bastard was loud, lecherous, psychopathic and dressed like an extra in a space age version of Pirates of Penzance.

"Hello Eyecandy" and he called him that god awful nickname, it would be flattering if he wasn't so rude about it.

Ianto glared at him "What do you want? I'm not in the mood."

"You know what I want."

"Yes I know, you want Jack. Excuse me a moment, I'll go and fetch him" Ianto went upstairs, found what he needed and went back down "Still here? Good. I know you're not real but this will make me fell so much better." He pulled the trigger.


Cardiff to London felt like the longest train ride Jack had ever been on and when he got to London he got on the first flight to San Diego. It was the longest flight of his life.

"Finally grew a brain, I see."

Jack turned so quickly he almost got whiplash "Owen? I've heard your voice before, why am I just now seeing you?"

The image of Owen shrugged "Don't know. You're an idiot?"

"What do you want?"

"Just don't cock things up this time, Harkness."

"I'm not planning on it. Why is Ianto's hallucination of you so rude to him?"

"Man's gotta grow a pair, don't he? And who said I was a hallucination for either of you?" with that he vanished.

Jack pretended he didn't hear that.

When he landed in Chicago for a two hour layover he realised he could have used his pull with UNIT. Oh well. He needed the time to think about what he was going to say other than the obvious.

As he wandered around O'Hare the gay couples particularly stood out. A few of them were holding hands and Jack realised that that was what he wanted, a normal life. A normal life with Ianto, the craving intensified when he saw a couple with a baby. Jack wanted to give Ianto a family, he could be a second father to Branwen and Ceinwen, he could do everything Ianto wanted…except grow old with him.

Was that so much to ask? He was tired of this, tired of this life of fighting aliens and saving the world. When the Doctor first told him he couldn't be fixed, he thought he'd be able to live with it, so much to see, to do. But he didn't think just how much that handsome young Welshman would come to mean to him. He didn't realise how much he already did. He wanted Ianto since the night they met in the park. Maybe Jack had confused love at first sight for lust.

He had loved Ianto all this time and he'd been too stupid and scared to realise it. If only he was mortal, if only there was a way…ah, what the hell, it couldn't hurt.

Jack found a men's room that was closed for maintenance, he needed privacy. He stood in front of the mirror and took a breath "My people believed that the Divine, the Creator or Creators of the universe had many faces; that He and/or She were to the individual however they wanted. My mother believed in a Goddess. I went both ways, figured it made more sense to have a Goddess and a God. But when I died and died again and again and didn't see anything, I guess you could say I lost my faith. But I'm talking to You now, You in charge up there because well, I'd like to give you another chance if you'll have me. I read in Ianto's diary that he believed I never see anything when I die because I'm not meant to yet. I hope he's right. I love Ianto and I want to give him the life he deserves. I want to be mortal again, I want to grow old with Ianto. You know, I've loved a lot of people in my life but no one as much as I love him. I'm tired of fighting, tired of this whole thing. Torchwood doesn't need me, do they? I just want a normal life with the man I love and his children. I want a loving family, that's all I ever really wanted. Please, just please make me normal again. At the very least help Ianto remember and if you can't fix me then I will still say with him for as long as he'll have me."

He was still in tears when he got on the plane. He was quite surprised, more people asked him if he was all right than he would have thought. Maybe these 21st century people weren't so bad after all.

"Are you okay, mister?" a little girl asked him when he stepped out of the lavatory about halfway into the flight "it sounded like you were crying."

Jack sighed "No I'm not okay but hopefully I will be soon. I'm going to save my knight in shining armour."

"Was he kidnapped by an evil wizard or dragon?

"No but…he took a potion that made him forget me. I need to make him remember. It's making him sick."

"Is he your true love?"

"Yes he is."

"Then kiss him, kissing always works."

"I'll try that, thank you."

"Remember true love always gets a happy ending." She stepped into the lavatory Jack had just vacated.

Smiling at the simple innocence of a child, Jack went back to his seat. He watched for her, wanting to see where she was sitting but he didn't see her leave the lavatory.

"Excuse me miss" he pulled aside a passing flight attendant "could you check the left hand lavatory back there, a little girl's been in there a while. She has blonde pigtails and is wearing a white dress with a pink sash."

"Certainly sir, I'll do that now."

As the woman made her way to the back of the plane, Jack realised that the little girl had been dressed a bit old fashioned, either that or she was wearing her communion dress.

The stewardess came back "Sir, there's no one in there."

"Oh, I must have missed her. Have you seen a little girl like that? I'd like to buy her an ice cream."

"No sir I haven't seen anyone like that. The only little girl on the plane is wearing jeans."

A shiver ran down Jack's spine "Right well, thanks anyway." Jack looked out the window, nope nothing on the wing. So why was the theme to The Twilight Zone suddenly in his head? Oh, because Owen was standing in the aisle, humming it. Jack glared at him but didn't say anything—he didn't want anyone to think he was schizophrenic though that one stewardess probably already did.

Jack decided to go to Ianto's brother first so Devin could introduce them. Devin's house was a modest one storey in La Mesa in San Diego's East County. It was afternoon when Jack got there; there was a UNIT issue car in the driveway so someone was home. Jack parked his rental along the sidewalk and then went up to the door. He took a deep breath and knocked. Maybe he should have called first.

After a minute the door opened. Devin blinked "Captain Harkness?"

"Hi Colonel, I know I should have called first but it was a spur of the moment decision, you know?"

"Um, come in, please."

Jack did and Devin closed the door.

"What brings you by, Captain?"

"Call me Jack. Listen, I want him back. I've been trying to come up with an antidote to retcon but so far I haven't had any luck so I thought I'd try talking to him."

"What brought this on?"

"I found this letter he wrote me before…and…the point is I love him and I want to give him everything he wants. I was such a complete idiot and…"

"We knew it!" two twin girls appeared from behind a corner. They were around ten and had Ianto's blue eyes.

Devin sighed "Girls…"

The one in a t-shirt that said Rios Roadrunners stepped forward "You're Prince Jack. We knew that story Tad told us was based on real life experiences."

Devin scratched his head "They're uh, very smart for their age."

"What story?" Jack asked.

The other one was wearing a blue peasant top and she said "He told us a fairy tale the night before we left Cardiff. It didn't have a happy ending and the next morning he had no idea what we were talking about."

"What fairy tale?"

"It was about Prince Jack and Sir Ianto and how Sir Ianto was always saving him."

Jack smiled "That's right, he did even though he didn't have to. Now I'm here to save him."

"I heard voices that night" said the one in a t-shirt "you were there and you flashy light thinged him."

Jack blinked "What?"

Devin sighed again "Branwen, I said it was a pill."

"You what?" Jack asked him.

"Well I had to tell them something didn't I?" Devin's Welsh accent was more apparent "Girls, please go to your room. Jack and I need to talk privately" Devin led Jack to the kitchen.

"You told them the truth?"

"Sort of. They're very bright, Captain, they knew all their Tad's tests were coming back normal and they wanted to know why he was hallucinating. I told them he used to work for the Crown version of UNIT and that like Men in Black when one quits their memory is altered. So his subconscious is trying to make him remember by causing these hallucinations."

"Did you tell Ianto? Where is he? Why are they with you?"

Devin pulled up a kitchen chair "You might want to sit down."

"I'll stand thanks."

"No, I haven't told Ianto yet. I haven't had a chance" Devin sighed heavily "yesterday Ianto's neighbours called the police reporting gunshots."

Jack felt dizzy "What?"

"The police got there, found Ianto curled up on the floor sobbing and the TV shot to hell. Ianto said that a North Londoner had been taunting him. They had to sedate him. When I explained the situation to the cops and got him away from them, at his request I checked him into UNIT's psychiatric facility."

Jack sank onto the chair "You did what?"

"He doesn't think he can function in society anymore, Jack."

"But the UNIT psych ward isn't much better than their prison."

"There wasn't time for anything else Jack. He could hardly move for all the hallucinations."

Jack put his face in his hands "I want to see him. I need to talk to him."

"Dressed like that?"

"I thought about shaving but I figured if I went to him looking like myself he might think I was another hallucination."

"Fair point."

"Colonel, I love Ianto and I wish to God I had realised it sooner. Please take me to him, maybe once I explain things, the hallucinations will stop."


*Ducks behind chair* Will Jack be able to convince Ianto he's not crazy? Thank you to those of you who reviewed the last chapter, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Reviews make the world go 'round. Sugar on top?

TTFN