Rating: NC-17 (for smut)

Word count: ~ 2100

Warnings: Sex. Like, immediately. There's not even an opening paragraph.

Summary: Ianto closes his eyes in Thames House, lungs full of choking alien gas, and opens them in his sister's house in Cardiff.

A/N: Here, let me hit you with the porn stick right off the bat. :P Anyway, it somehow turned a little smutty. Don't look at me; I was heading in an entirely different direction (an innocent one) when a muse hijacked my keyboard out of nowhere. So, yeah, the final chapter (this one) somehow turned into a fluffy, smutty mess. Um. I'm sorry?

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

5. this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

They tumble into bed together, hands grasping, gliding, greedy and demanding and so very, very gentle. Ianto feels as though he's drowning, if drowning can ever be warm and sweet as spun sugar, grounding like Jack's fingers on his skin. He sucks in a startled breath as Jack topples him back to the mattress, and is almost surprised to find that breath comes easily, that there's air to be had. And it's good, so good.

Jack is a warm weight on him, a welcome prison of strong limbs and searching, seeking lips against his own. He kisses Ianto like they're both on fire, as though he'll never have another moment of this, but somehow it's not desperate. It's…cherishing, almost, reverent, sweet and good and everything that a first kiss should be even though this is far from their first time. Ianto responds, answers Jack with everything he can call forth, the love in his heart and the awe in his head, the soul-deep wonder that this incredible, singular man is even willing to look at him, let alone do this with him. He tugs his wrists from Jack's grasp and winds them around Jack's shoulders, pulling the Captain down to him, and sucks in a sharp breath through the kiss at the silk-steel press of their entire bodies aligning.

Pulling back a little, Jack looks down at him and smiles, sweet and so very, very beautiful. They're nose to nose, close enough that Ianto can see the faint, barely-there freckles on the Captain's nose, could count his eyelashes if he had the mental faculties for it at the moment. His eyes are incredibly blue, even in the dim light, and Ianto can't help but smile at him, so impossibly happy at this moment that he thinks the world could end in the next moment, that everything could cease to be, and he would go without a single regret in his heart.

"I love you, Jack," he says, and he can't not say it, here and now. "I really, truly do. So much. You've no idea."

And Jack smiles in return, a slow, delightful, delighted curve of lips, and leans down until their foreheads rest together, until Ianto can feel every single one of those eyelashes against his own. "I think I might have some," Jack whispers to him, and somehow that's a thousand times more intimate than anything else, this breath of sound in the near-darkness. "Just an inkling, Ianto, maybe, but I'm pretty sure I feel the same."

Ianto kisses him for that, swift and heated and hungry, as though he can steal the sentiment from Jack's lips and keep it for himself forever. Jack meets him, equally hungry, just as hot, propping himself up on one elbow and tracing his fingers down Ianto's side in a smooth, heavy stroke that manages to set every nerve ending in Ianto's body alight. He gasps into the heated air between them and arches up into Jack, achingly hard and just a little desperate now.

"Please," he says, but it's more of a demand than a please. "Jack, please."

"So polite," Jack breathes back, wicked, though he also sounds suspiciously winded. His free hand curves around Ianto's hip, pulling him even closer, and then manages to slide between them, slotting their pricks together and wrapping them in a grip that's just shy of too hard. Ianto gasps in a breath that comes out as a moan, dark and deep. There's fire in his belly, and Jack is an impossible, impossibly dear weight on top of him as he starts to move, turning Ianto's spine to lightning and his brain to pleasuremoremoremore. He turns his head, blindly seeking as Jack's lips find his ear, and scores his teeth across Jack's throat. Jack shudder with his whole body, his hand on them losing its careful rhythm, and drops his head to sink his teeth into Ianto's shoulder.

It's unexpected, just on the edge between painful of pleasure, and Ianto's done. He cries out, rough and ragged, and arches into Jack's weight as he comes hard enough to turn his muscles to liquid.

"God," Jack gasps out, breathless and more entrancing than he's ever been, and with one more pull he's coming as well, hot and wet and messy on Ianto's stomach. He slumps down, forehead naturally falling against Ianto's, and he's close enough to kiss.

Ianto doesn't even attempt to resist the urge. He kisses Jack again, and it's soft and careful and full of the kind of intimacy that normally takes a lifetime to achieve.

We'll have that lifetime anyway, Ianto thinks, boneless and content and happier than he can ever remember being. That lifetime and many, many more besides.

Jack wakes with the sun, suddenly restless in a way he can't contain, and rolls over, carefully sliding out from under Ianto until he can sit up without waking him. He swings his legs over the edge of the bed and simply sits there for a moment, staring down at the man who, in a few short months—closer to weeks, really, if Jack's being truthful about it—has come to mean everything to him. He's Jack's compass, the string to Jack's kite and the earth he always returns to. Jack knows himself well enough to realize that he's always been a little flighty, a little wild for this world and this time—any world, any time, because that's just who he is. But Ianto is his earth, his stone, the rock upon which he can build a true home.

It's terrifying in the way that it's not terrifying at all, in the way that the thought just makes Jack want more and closer and everything.

He dresses silently, climbs up from the bunker, and snags his coat as he leaves the Hub through the invisible lift. It's still early, the city hardly awake yet, and Jack is all but alone in the Plass. His footsteps seem oddly echoing, loud on the pavement as he heads for the Bay, but there's a breeze and the sun is rising.

Ianto has been different lately, Jack thinks, looking out over the water as he comes to a halt. He's been different, enough so that Jack has noticed, but it's all right.

It's not that Ianto has changed noticeably, overtly. It's just that there's something…lighter about him, as though most—if not all—of his worries have lightened. He's smiling as he never has before, open and free and bright, and it makes him look his true age, rather than the extra decade his suits add.

Jack doesn't think that it's ego that makes him attribute at least a little of that to their relationship.

That's the best thing of all, really. Ianto loves him with his whole heart, and Jack returns the regard with everything that he has in him, because as much as it terrifies him, as scared as he is of loving a mortal and then losing him to the relentless pace of time, there's another part of him—lizard brain, hindbrain, id—that whispers this is all right.

It's the part that normally warns him off, sends him running, so this change is…startling.

A whisper of fragrance touches the air, cool and soft, traced with foxglove and rosemary and lily, teasing but strong enough to overpower the smell of salt and sea. Jack looks up to see a woman in a flowing white summer dress step up the rail, lifting a hand to hold a tangled tumble of red curls out of her face. She doesn't glance at Jack, never turns her head from the spread of the Bay, but murmurs, "Wales is a beautiful land, isn't she?"

"Hardy," Jack agrees, and he's thinking of the Welshman in his bed, probably waking up alone. Suddenly, Jack's restlessness is gone, and all he wants is to be back there, with Ianto. He can't even say what drove him from that place to begin with.

Because Jack doesn't believe in coincidences, not anymore, he glances at the woman. She's finally looking at him, smiling. The wind whips her long dress around her legs and sends it billowing around her, and surely it's far too cold a day for a dress like that, but she doesn't even seen to feel the chill.

Jack doesn't generally need to get hit more than once with a clue stick, so he raises an eyebrow at her. "Have we had the pleasure?" he asks, already knowing they haven't.

She must read that in his voice or his face, because she smiles at him, wise and winsome. "You've come into possession of something that's mine," she says, gentle and nearly teasing. Jack stiffens automatically, even though there's no anger in it, not even resentment.

"I have?" he asks, playing the fool, even though he's fairly certain he knows what—who—she means, and the mere thought of losing Ianto, of someone coming to take him back, is like a spear of ice stabbing into his chest.

The woman is clearly unimpressed, giving him a sharp look from blue eyes that shouldn't be familiar, but are. "Ianto Jones," she answers calmly, "for all that he's his own person to give. But I've grown fond of him, Captain Harkness, and I'd hate to see him hurt. Be wary with his heart, because it's the most fragile part of him."

She turns away, brushing windswept crimson curls out of her eyes, but then stops and looks back at him. "I'm giving you forever," she tells him plainly, something vast and ancient in her eyes. "Ianto was born here, on my land, of my people, and he is mine from now to eternity. His life is mine to continue, and his death is mine to subvert, but his heart and soul are yours. I share well, man from Boeshane, and I am more merciful than many of my kin, but do not mistake that for leniency. You are not one of mine."

There is a white horse waiting for her across the red bricks, a mare with silver braided into her mane, wearing neither bridle nor saddle. The woman strides up to the mare, inhumanly graceful, places a hand on the proud curve of her neck, and is gone.

Jack takes a long, slow breath, and lets it out again.

A shovel talk from the mother goddess of Wales.

Fantastic. That's a new one for his scrapbook.

Another set of footsteps makes him look around, but this time it's Ianto, smiling wryly and offering a steaming mug of coffee.

"Sorry," he says, but there's humor in his eyes. "She's loyal. It's her thing."

Jack remembers the legends of Rhiannon, and if they're even partly true, that's an massive understatement. He snorts softly, but takes the mug and sets it on the nearest post. Carefully, he grasps Ianto's wrist and tugs him forward, kisses him as softly and sweetly as he knows how, and it's everything he's wanted in his entire life, everything he's never allowed himself to seek.

"So. You've got a patron goddess?" he asks when they separate.

Ianto is flushed from more than just the chill, but he coughs, turning to the Bay to hide a smile. "Something like that," he admits.

Jack leans into him, pressing their sides together, and smiles as well.


This is good.