A locked door was all that greeted the Torchwood team when they arrived at the building. Other than a familiar looking white van with blue markings, there was nothing to show this building was even being used. There were no parked cars crowding the streets, no lights were visible from the street and there was no noise coming from within. Gwen had suggested calling Owen again on the way over to confirm this was the right place, but as she didn’t want to speak to him after their break-up, she didn’t push it when no one bothered responding. The team got out of the SUV and stood by the front door, looking around the area and each other in confusion.
“You sure this is the right place Gwen?” Jack asked eventually.
“Positive,” she replied, eyes wide.
Ianto turned to Tosh, who was already scanning the area. “Tosh?”
She nodded in acknowledgment. “I’m detecting about thirty to forty life signs.” She paused as she finished checking her readings. “Looks like there’s a Weevil in there too. Life signs show that it’s in a highly agitated state.” She paused again and then gave Ianto a concerned look. “It’s in a lot of pain.”
While Tosh was scanning the building, Jack started working on getting the door opened. By the time she had finished, the door was open and the sounds of people cheering came flooding out. The team entered the building; ready to find Owen and confident they were prepared to deal with whatever was inside.
Before the night was out though, Owen was in hospital and they were stunned by what they had found.
All of them were shocked that Owen had voluntarily entered the cage to face the Weevil. They knew he was upset at losing Diane, but not to the extent that he would be content to, or even eager to, die because of it.
They also had an additional two Weevils to put in the cells. There was one that was in the cage and another one Tosh had found chained up at Mark Lynch’s house. Neither of them could be released back into the sewers again. Now that they had both been used to attack humans, there was no way they could ever be set free.
After the majority of the reports for the case had been completed, Ianto sent Tosh and Gwen home for the night and gave them the next day off as well. Jack was still down in the cells getting the Weevils settled into their new homes. Ianto went into his office, taking the opportunity to sort out some of the paperwork that had been waiting for him.
Noticing that the container of Retcon on the desk had been moved slightly again, he was surprised to see the missing tablets had been returned. He stood in the office doorway and looked down at Tosh and Gwen who were still preparing to leave. Gwen turned around and saw him looking at them. When she noticed the Retcon container in Ianto’s hand, she looked away hurriedly and turned abruptly, nearly dropping her handbag in the process. Her reaction seemed to confirm for him that it had in fact been her who had taken the tablets. He wondered once again why she would have taken it. He’d talk to her the day after tomorrow, after their day off, he decided.
Waving good night to the two women, he went back into his office and picked up the package on the desk. He still hadn’t decided the best way to deal with what was in there. Taking the opportunity while Jack was not around, he quickly undid the packaging. Looking inside, he smiled when he saw what was in there and then pulled out the letter that accompanied it. Skimming through the letter, he was pleased to see it contained the information he needed. Hearing Jack’s footsteps coming back up the stairs, he opened the Secure Archives and placed the package in the container 1899-CJH-01. He slipped the letter into his pocket to re-read later on and closed the archives again, just in time for Jack to enter the office.
“All set?” Jack queried.
Ianto nodded. “Yep. Let’s go.”
They left the Hub and went back to Ianto’s flat. While Ianto tidied up after the previous night’s abandoned meal, Jack got himself ready for bed. They were both tired and catching up on sleep was all that either one had the energy for.
When Ianto got into his bedroom, he saw that Jack was already in bed. He was lying on his side facing away from Ianto and didn’t acknowledge him entering the room. Ianto was disappointed, but not really surprised. He had hoped that after the events of the past few days, they would finally get the chance to catch up, but they were both exhausted after the day’s activities.
Ianto still hadn’t decided whether to mention that he knew about Alice and Steven, or to just leave it. He wanted to think that Jack would tell him of his own accord, but there was a niggling doubt in the back of his mind. Jack had not felt able to trust anyone for a very long time and Ianto had hoped that this time, he would be the one to change that for him.
He did know that he had to find out what had happened with John Ellis. Ianto wanted to find out more than the basic facts that Jack had put in the reports. He wanted – needed – to know how John had got under Jack’s skin so completely and so quickly.
Looking at Jack again though, he decided it could wait for another day. They were going to see Owen in the morning, but after that, they would have the rest of the day free. Ianto had decided they would take the day off as well as Gwen and Tosh. He and Jack would still be on call if an alert came through, but with any luck, they would have a quiet day. There would be plenty of time to talk then.
Placing a hand on Jack’s hip, he leant over and kissed the side of his head before lying down to sleep.
That night Ianto dreamt of the man who had repaired Jack’s stopwatch. Although something had happened in the dream that sent his heart racing in fear, he couldn’t quite remember what had happened. Jack woke when the nightmare first came and he managed to wake Ianto up before it had time to take hold. The two of them fell asleep again, arms locked around each other, and Ianto didn’t dream again that night.
In the morning, Ianto and Jack’s first stop was to see Owen in hospital. They bought some breakfast at the hospital café before going in to see him. While they were there, Jack decided to buy Owen some grapes. The grin on Jack’s face as he bought the fruit made Ianto suspicious, but when he asked Jack what was so funny he wouldn’t answer. Jack just winked mischievously at Ianto and headed off towards Owen’s ward.
When Jack dumped the grapes on Owen’s table, the look on Owen’s face was enough to tell Ianto why Jack had bought them.
“I hate grapes,” Owen snarled at them.
This only made Jack laugh. Ianto rolled his eyes at them both.
Owen looked up at Ianto and Jack. Jack’s smugness at giving him something he hated was counterbalanced by the concern in Ianto’s eyes. Owen didn’t know which one pissed him off more.
“What do you want?”
Ianto looked at him. “We came to see how you were. The doctors say you can go home.”
“Doctors. What do they know, eh?” Owen looked away and shook his head. “I didn’t want saving.”
“You want us to apologise?” Jack asked.
Owen turned back to Ianto and Jack. “For a few seconds, in that cage, I felt totally at peace. And then you lot blunder in. Do you always know best? Is that what you believe?”
Ianto got ready to leave, there was no point arguing with Owen when he was in a mood like that. “I expect you back at work tomorrow.” He and Owen stared at each other a few moments longer before Ianto turned and walked out, Jack following close behind.
Jack paused at the door and turned back as if he wanted to say something more, but Owen had already turned away and was staring out the window once again. Jack shrugged and continued after Ianto.
When they got into the SUV, they went back to the Hub to check how the new Weevils had settled in.
While Jack was down in the cells, Ianto sat in his office going through some emails. Police reports showed a number of calls reporting music from the 1940’s coming from The Ritz, a building that had been derelict since 1989. When Jack came back up from the cells, he called him in to show him.
“You want me to go and look into it?” Jack asked him.
Ianto nodded. “It can wait until tomorrow morning though. You can take Tosh with you.”
Jack frowned. “I thought she’d been allowed to go to her grandfather’s birthday party tomorrow?”
“She has, but she said she would work until lunch time and then go. Don’t think she wants to be there too early. Plus with Suzie coming back sometime during the morning, it’ll mean a nice surprise waiting for her when you two get back,” Ianto grinned conspiringly at Jack.
“You haven’t told her Suzie’s coming back yet?” Jack asked in surprise.
“Nope, you know what UNIT’s like. I didn’t want to get her hopes up for nothing if they change their minds at the last minute.
“All you’ll need to do is take a quick trip out to the Ritz to confirm there’s nothing alien there and come straight back again. When you get back, Tosh will find Suzie here. It’ll cheer her up before the party.”
The two men smiled at each other. It was about time something went right for the team, and they were glad that Tosh would get her loved one back.
Owen came in unexpectedly after lunch. Ianto called him up to his office to find out why he was there.
“I wasn’t expecting you back until tomorrow,” Ianto told him.
Owen sat there, barely able to look at Ianto. He was still angry with him and Jack for getting him out of the cage, but since they had, there was something he needed to do. “The two Weevils. What did you do with them?”
“They’re downstairs in the cells. They can’t be trusted to be released back into the sewers. Not now that they have trained to see humans as the enemy,” Ianto replied.
Owen stood up and started walking out of the office. “I’m going to see them.”
Ianto followed behind him. Jack looked over at them curiously as they left the office, wondering what was happening.
“Why?” Ianto asked.
Owen didn’t answer; he just kept walking. Ianto sighed as they reached the cells and Owen opened the door. “You sure you’ll be all right?” Ianto asked in concern.
Owen turned slightly and stopped Ianto going any further. “Give us a moment alone, yeah?”
Ianto looked at him before nodding and reluctantly turning away. He closed the door to the cells and raced back up to his office. Jack was in there waiting for him with the CCTV to the cells already on the screen. They both watched as Owen stood in front of the cells, eventually baring his teeth and growling at the Weevils. They were amazed to see both of the new Weevils, and Janet as well, cower away from Owen in fear.
“Well, there’s something you don’t see every day,” Ianto commented.
Jack shook his head in wonder.
Owen came back up a few minutes later and stood in the doorway of Ianto’s office. There was an uneasy silence as the three men watched each other; their troubled looks saying more to each other than any words could.
“I’ll be off then,” Owen eventually broke the silence.
With one last look at Ianto and Jack, Owen turned and left the Hub. He headed for the nearest pub and stayed there until it closed.
Ianto and Jack enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the Hub together. Even though Ianto had given them both the day off too, they decided they might as well just hang around anyway. There was always work to do, and since it was quiet, it was an ideal time to catch up.
At the end of the day they decided to spend the night at Ianto’s flat again. After spending most of the day at the Hub, Ianto wanted to get out for some fresh air. Jack wasn’t bothered either way.
They ended up walking back to Ianto’s flat, rather than taking the SUV. It wasn’t raining that night, so they took a leisurely stroll back to the flat. After they had eaten, they moved onto the couch and the conversation finally got around to Jack and John Ellis.
Jack looked at Ianto, unsure of what to say.
“When the three of them first arrived,” Jack began hesitantly, “John seemed to be the one who would cope the best with their new situation. He had been on his way to Dublin to close a deal on a new shop. He sold food, knick-knacks, essentials, all that kind of stuff. He had a family, he had made a place for himself in life, he knew how to be independent. He was also completely domesticated. He was the complete opposite to me.
“We took him to the motel, he started unpacking his stuff and then he brought out this portable radio. All he wanted was to hear some music. That was when…” Jack’s voice trailed away as he gestured towards his coat hanging near the doorway.
“You’ve probably worked out by now that the 40’s was one of my favourite eras on this planet.”
“The music was fantastic and the people, well, they were something else. They could have been miserable and downtrodden. But instead, they never gave up. The war was always going to be ending in a few months, and even when it didn’t, they still didn’t give up. They were beautiful.
“The music still played, there were always dances and other ways of thumbing their noses up at the hardships the war was causing them.” Jack’s voice trailed off again and he stared into the distance as he got lost in his memories.
He remembered Algy, an army officer he had spent a few months with, the last time that he had been in the 1940’s as a mortal man. Jack had had to leave in a hurry after his failed attempt to sell a Chula ambulance ship and he never found out what happened to Algy. The next and last time he went through the 40’s, he was immortal and a prisoner of Torchwood. He had deliberately avoided Algy so that he wouldn’t see how far Jack had fallen.
Jack felt Ianto take hold of his hand. He squeezed back and smiled wanly at him. He thought about what to say next. There were so many things he wanted to tell Ianto, so many things he wanted Ianto to understand, but how to actually say it was another thing. Over 110 years of being a prisoner of Torchwood had made it hard for him to trust anyone and now he found it very difficult to bare his soul to anyone. Even to Ianto.
He sighed and started speaking again. “Well, the 50’s may have seen a lot of changes but people weren’t that dissimilar. The war had ended, but people still felt the effects of it. They had come off rationing, and now had all these bright and shiny new home appliances…”
Jack stopped and smiled at John’s recollections of charging the lads a shilling each to view the FA Cup final live in his own home. “But they still found joy in the simple things. Things like music. When John got out that radio because all he wanted was something simple like a bit of familiar music to listen to, that’s when it hit me.
”Despite his being a family man and despite me being, well, who I am, he really wasn’t that dissimilar to me. We had both fallen through time; both of our times were gone. We were both alone and scared.”
Ianto squeezed his hand a bit tighter. “Jack…”
Jack looked back over at him and shook his head. “I am alone Ianto. No matter who I’m with here and what I’m doing, I’m still alone. I’m so far out of my time it just doesn’t seem real and I’m obviously the only one anywhere who can’t die. And, just as with John, there’s nothing I can do.”
That was all Jack said. He looked downwards and just stopped talking. Ianto sat beside him quietly, trying to think how to tell Jack he was wrong. He looked at Jack and wanted to wipe that sad look off his face.
He got up and stood up in front of Jack. “Come on,” he said, holding a hand out to Jack.
Jack stood up and they both stood there a moment looking into the other’s eyes. Ianto raised his hands, placed one on either side of Jack’s face and pulled him in for a kiss.
As they kissed, their bodies pressed hard against each other and they began to be aware of something else they needed to catch up on.
Jack pulled away slightly and looked into Ianto’s eyes. He reached up and slowly undid Ianto’s tie. He had just begun to undo the buttons of Ianto’s shirt but suddenly they were kissing again, more desperately and passionately than before.
They started pulling each other towards Ianto’s room, barely making it to his bed before they had stripped each other’s clothing off.
Their lovemaking that night was hard and furious. There was no time for being gentle and romantic. As Jack pounded into Ianto, he was able to exorcise the demons of the past few weeks. And when he came, it felt like all the frustrations of not being able to save John came exploding out of him and were soothed away by the man lying underneath him.
Afterwards he collapsed onto the bed beside Ianto. Their hot and sweaty bodies seemed moulded to each as they clung to each other, needing as much skin on skin as possible.
“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” Jack asked a bit later.
Ianto smiled. “I’m not some fragile flower you know.”
“I know, but I’ve never been that rough with you before.”
Ianto smiled. “It’s OK, Jack. I’m fine.” He moved slightly and looked at Jack before kissing him softly.
Jack finally nodded and smiled back at him tenderly. They rearranged themselves, getting ready for sleep.
Ianto lay there for a while thinking about Jack’s mission the next day. “I kinda hope there is some 40’s music for you there now,” he murmured into Jack’s chest. Jack chuckled softly.
They fell asleep soon after, feeling safe wrapped up in each other’s arms.
Bilis Manger struggled to keep the sneer off his face as he waited to appear before the committee. The men had assembled in his shop for what would be the final full meeting of the committee.
Not that any of them knew that of course.
As far as they were concerned, this was just another ordinary meeting. Every single one of them were just as nervous as they had been at the last full meeting, but none of them had any idea of what was to happen.
Bilis spared one last thought for the girl sitting in his office. She still refused to let anyone else see her and, not for the first time, he wondered why. It really didn’t matter though. She had done her job over the years; supplying him all the information he needed, and most importantly keeping him up to date with what that freak was doing. He had no reason to doubt her. If she didn’t want to be seen, then that was her own prerogative.
The two senior committee members finished securing the room and took their place at the end of the table. Bilis materialised behind them, as he always did, and welcomed the committee to the shop, as he always did. Bilis was old fashioned and believed in always using his manners. The fact that once this week was all over, every other man in this room would be dead anyway, was entirely irrelevant.
The time for his Lord had come.