The sudden sound of Jack’s phone ringing brought their kiss to an abrupt end. Jack reluctantly reached into his coat pocket to pull out his phone with one hand, his other arm keeping a firm hold around Ianto’s waist.
“Gwen,” he mouthed in response to Ianto’s curious look.
Jack and Ianto kept their eyes locked on to the others and their arms around each other, during Jack’s conversation with Gwen. After a couple of days apart, neither man was in any rush to let the other go.
The phone call with Gwen had started out friendly enough but, as she asked how it went with John and she heard about his death, her mood soured. When Jack moved the phone away from his ear, it became obvious she had changed to all out fury, having just been told what happened to her car.
Ianto playfully poked his tongue out at Jack; after having suffered through more than one of her tirades over the past few months, he knew exactly how Jack felt. Jack gave him a look of mock anger and then, with a cheeky grin at Ianto, he told Gwen that Ianto would love to help her out, now that he was back from his trip. Jack switched his phone to loudspeaker just in time for Ianto to hear her say she would most definitely be speaking to Ianto the very moment she saw him.
After Gwen had hung up and Ianto’s phone rang almost immediately, Jack burst into laughter at the filthy look Ianto gave him. Ianto raised an eyebrow though, as he looked at who was calling.
“It’s Owen,” he said in surprise. “Maybe she dropped her phone and picked up the wrong one,” he added with a grin.
Jack just smiled agreeably back at him, not yet willing to tell him that Gwen’s place in Owen’s bed had most likely been replaced by someone else. Ianto’s grin, however, faded away as he listened to what Owen was telling him.
It seemed that John Ellis was not the only one unable to cope with their “new world”.
On the drive back to the Hub, Jack had filled Ianto in on the basics of what had happened over the last couple of days with the three travellers. He didn’t go into the full details about John’s suicide, or the reasons for it, as the previous night was still a bit raw for him. He promised Ianto he would tell him about what happened a bit later that evening.
He was more willing however to tell Ianto what he knew about the two ladies, especially the fact that Owen seemed to have fallen heavily for the pilot, Diane Holmes.
Piecing together this information with what Owen said on the phone left Ianto feeling troubled. If Owen had fallen for this Diane woman so quickly and she was, as Owen had said, about to fly her plane back into the rift, Owen would be devastated. Losing Diane so irrevocably, after the tragic death of his fiancée – who knew what effect that could have on the already volatile young man.
It seemed there was more hope for Emma though. She had an emotional start, when it first sunk in that she was never going to see anyone she had previously known ever again. After Gwen took her under her wing – including having a somewhat embarrassing sex talk – she ended up fitting in with the new times better than the other two.
Being the youngest of the three, she was better able to adapt and had even managed to score herself a job. Gwen had told Jack on the phone that initially she had been reluctant to let her travel all the way to London alone, but after a fight with Rhys last night she was reconsidering that decision.
When Ianto and Jack arrived at the Hub, only Tosh was there. Her face lit up with a gentle smile as she saw Ianto walking in with Jack.
“Welcome back,” she said to Ianto as she walked over to the men.
“Thanks!” Ianto replied.
Knowing that Gwen would most likely be in later than normal, given that she didn’t have her car, Ianto decided to take Jack and Tosh into the boardroom to give Tosh an update on what had happened overnight.
Tosh was upset that John had chosen to kill himself but, as she thought about it, it didn’t really surprise her. She could almost feel the despair rolling off John when he had come back from the nursing home after visiting his son Alan, and she realised that this would have been the final straw for him.
Tosh also felt sorry for Jack, having been the one to discover the dead man in Gwen’s car. Ianto and Jack had decided that would be best way to report the discovery, given that Jack’s immortality was still a secret to the team.
But overriding all that was Tosh’s concern for Owen. While her relationship with Suzie had gone a long way to helping her get over her unrequited feelings for Owen, she still cared about him very much and didn’t want him hurt again. She resolved to keep an eye on Owen whenever he came back. Ianto had given him the day off, knowing that if he didn’t manage to convince Diane to stay, he would be in no condition to work.
Not long after they updated Tosh, Gwen called through to say that she too wouldn’t be in until later that afternoon. Not, as Ianto first thought, because she didn’t have her car, but because she had realised she was going to have to let Emma go. Thinking things through, she had changed her mind about not allowing Emma to take the job with the London fashion house. She was helping Emma arrange the journey to London and would take her to the bus terminal afterwards.
That made for a very quiet morning at the Hub. Tosh busied herself with the rift predictor programme she had been working on for some time. Ianto took the time to read through the reports for the last couple of days and catch up on paperwork while Jack disappeared down into the lower levels somewhere. He told Ianto he had some outstanding repairs to be done, but Ianto knew that he really just wanted to be alone for a while longer. Jack was still processing what had happened the previous night and would be back up when he was ready.
Ianto also took some time to think through what he had been told by the committee. He deliberated over whether he should tell Jack he knew about Alice and Steven or if he should just let it go. He understood that Jack was a man with many secrets, but he had hoped that by now he would be someone with whom Jack would feel comfortable to share those secrets.
Just after lunch, he heard the cogwheel door slide open, announcing Gwen’s arrival. He looked up to see that Jack had also come back upstairs again. Jack handed him an envelope that Ianto had sent him out to get when he bought the lunches.
“Thanks,” he smiled at Jack as he stood up. Ianto was encouraged to see Jack smile back at him; it had been a while since Jack had smiled a genuine smile. Ianto hoped it meant he was starting to recover from the shock of John’s suicide.
Gwen looked up to Ianto’s office to see him standing in the doorway, with Jack just behind him. She had just taken a tentative step towards them when Ianto called down to her.
“How did it go?” he asked.
Gwen shrugged noncommittally. “OK, I guess. She really wanted to go. It’s something she never would have had the chance to do if she was still back in the fifties. I guess…” Gwen paused slightly, trying to work out what to say. “I guess it wasn’t really up to me whether she went or not. I had to let her go.”
She looked away from Ianto as a vision of Emma bouncing up and down excitedly saying “London, Gwen”. How could she argue with the joy and excitement radiating from the young girl? She knew what her response would have been, if someone had tried to stop her from following her dreams. Gwen had to content herself with knowing that she had bought Emma had a return ticket to Cardiff, so she could get back if things went wrong in London.
The last few days had been a bit of a revelation to Gwen. If she had thought that Jack and Owen were becoming distant from her before, they were now positively isolated. Owen seemed to have disappeared with Diane for most of the week, and Jack just didn’t seem the same without Ianto around.
The only one who seemed to treat her the same as normal, and who so clearly loved her just as much as ever, was Rhys. And she had nearly spoiled that by lying to him about who Emma was. Rhys had still been angry with her in the morning, and she really needed to spend some time with him to sort things out with him.
Gwen had felt that she couldn’t turn her back on Emma, but she was finding it increasingly hard to keep Torchwood separate from her real life. They were two separate worlds, yet they kept crashing together in unexpected ways.
Gwen looked back up at Ianto and Jack standing in the office. They did sort of look good together, she thought begrudgingly. And as for Owen… She glanced around the Hub and couldn’t see any evidence that he had even been in today. She had begun to think her affair with Owen was not one of the best decisions she had ever made.
Ianto and Jack came down the stairs and stood in front of her. Ianto handed her an envelope which Gwen looked at curiously before ripping it open. A smile crossed her face as she read the vouchers inside.
“Thanks!” she said in surprise.
Ianto had bought her some vouchers to take care of her car: a thorough clean up of the interior and upholstery as well a full detailing, wax and polish the outside of the car.
“I hope that will make your car presentable again, after what happened. Or, if you still want to get a new car, it can wait until you get one.”
Gwen smiled once more. “Thanks again Ianto.”
Not long after that, Ianto sent Tosh and Gwen home for the day. With Owen gone for the day, and not much else happening, he didn’t see the point of keeping them hanging around. He told Gwen to take Rhys out for dinner and promised her that she would not be called in if anything happened that night.
Ianto promised Tosh a night off the following week as well; he had an inkling that she might want some time off as well. He’d had a call from his friend in UNIT, Major Tomich, that they were just about to release Suzie Costello after having served her punishment time.
Ianto and Jack also left the Hub for the night, after having the rift alerts diverted to Ianto’s PDA. Together, they cooked some dinner and settled down in the lounge room to eat. They had just started to eat when Ianto’s PDA started beeping loudly. Sighing in annoyance, he grabbed the device and looked at the display before showing it to Jack. Jack groaned in response.
“Looks like we’re going weevil hunting…”