When Ianto awoke the following morning, he was alone. He stretched out in the empty bed with a quiet sigh and tried not to feel too disappointed. Even though he preferred to wake up with Jack there with him, he was no longer surprised when Jack disappeared during the night.
He also knew it had taken a lot for Jack to open up to him as much as he had the previous night. Despite there being more that Ianto wanted to know, the last thing he intended to do was push Jack into a corner. He didn’t want to make Jack feel pressured into talking about things he wasn’t comfortable discussing.
It was for that very reason that Ianto had decided against asking him about Alice and Steven. Jack would tell him when he was good and ready, and if he didn’t, that was fine too.
A smile appeared on Ianto’s face when he realised the smell of breakfast cooking was seeping through the flat. It seemed Jack hadn’t left after all.
Sliding his feet into a pair of slippers, Ianto made his way to the kitchen. He leant against the door frame and stood there for a moment, just watching. When Jack realised someone was there he turned around, an enormous grin lighting up his face as he saw Ianto.
“Oooh! The naked slipper look. Very sexy Mr Jones!”
Ianto looked down at his slippers, which were the only things he had put on when he got out of bed. He raised an eyebrow and pointed at Jack who was wearing nothing but an apron himself.
“Just copying your naked apron look,” he replied.
Jack laughed. He walked up to Ianto and, placing a hand on the back of Ianto’s head, kissed him thoroughly.
“Do you think the boss would mind if we were late for work?” he asked Ianto before turning back to the breakfast.
“Dunno, he seems a fairly reasonable sort to me,” Ianto replied.
Ianto attention wandered as Jack bent back over the counter to cook their breakfast. Ianto’s eyes tracked their way up from the floor, looking at Jack’s well-defined calves, his strong thighs. He deliberately skipped over Jack’s perfect backside, knowing that his eyes might get permanently distracted looking there, and carried on up Jack’s back. He watched Jack’s muscles stretch and flex as he moved back and forth between the stove and the counter tops.
Ianto suddenly realised he had been standing there, staring, with his mouth hanging open slightly. He couldn’t help admiring how attractive and sexy Jack was though. There was no other way to describe him; Jack really was a beautiful man. Jack bent down to get some plates out of the cupboard, giving Ianto a tantalising glimpse between his legs. Ianto’s throat went dry and he fled the room.
Jack looked up in surprise, not expecting to see an empty room. He wondered why Ianto had left in such a hurry. He shrugged and turned back to the bacon sizzling in the frying pan. Jack got his answer when Ianto’s return was announced by the warmth of Ianto’s body behind him and the sensation of Ianto’s cold, lubed fingers moving purposefully at Jack’s entrance. Ianto gently prepared him while running his other hand up and down Jack’s chest. Jack moaned in pleasure and encouragement.
Jack spread his legs slightly, giving Ianto easier access, and grabbed hold of the counter. He held on tightly as Ianto entered him. He felt Ianto’s hands moving against his body before Ianto leant in close, bringing their bodies against each other. Ianto’s lips closed in on the back of Jack’s neck and he kissed his way up the side of Jack’s neck to his earlobe. Jack turned his head back towards Ianto and their lips met in an intense kiss.
Jack turned back to the front as Ianto’s thrusting became more and more frantic. He looked idly down at the breakfast cooking below him. He was decidedly grateful he was wearing an apron; it would not only be protecting him from hot oil spatters, it would also protect the food from him. He wondered briefly if he should turn the stove off, but his thoughts were rapidly losing coherence as Ianto continued moving inside him. Breakfast was soon forgotten.
Jack pried one of his hands off the counter and reached out blindly for Ianto behind him, needing to feel as much of him as he could. In response, Ianto reached a hand around in front of Jack, and after a bit of adjustment, started stroking Jack’s erection in time with his own thrusting movements. Jack closed his eyes and arched his back slightly to rest his head against Ianto’s shoulder. Both of them were getting very close to their climax and they wanted to be as close to each other as possible.
As they moved together, their world narrowed down to the sensations of the friction between them and the sounds of their breathing combined with the occasional popping of the bacon cooking in front of them. For the first time when Ianto had taken the lead, they came simultaneously, Ianto clinging onto Jack while they regained their equilibrium. Ianto rested his forehead on Jack’s shoulder in front of him and Jack leant his head gently against Ianto’s.
With a grunt, Jack finally took the bacon off the burner and shucking off the apron, he turned around and held onto Ianto.
“We’re definitely going to be late for work now,” he gasped into Ianto’s ear.
Ianto grinned in response and they clung onto each other until they had recovered. Breakfast ruined, they had a quick shower and went out and bought breakfast instead.
As they had walked home the night before, the SUV was still at Hub. Neither man was in any particular rush to get back to work, so they took a slow walk to the Hub. They had enjoyed their time alone together yesterday, after Owen had left the Hub, and were in no hurry for it to come to an end. While they walked, Ianto phoned Tosh to let her know Jack would come and pick her up, then he sent the information he had on the new case through to her PDA.
When they arrived at the Hub, they went in through the garage entrance from where Jack was going to leave to collect Tosh. Ianto and Jack were joking and laughing with each other as they entered the garage. Jack hesitated before getting into the SUV, putting off leaving Ianto behind for just that little bit longer. He leant over to kiss Ianto goodbye, knowing full well that Ianto wouldn’t let him kiss him at the Hub during work hours. Sure enough, Ianto dodged him playfully and they both grinned at each other.
“Not here, Jack!” Ianto said, glancing up at the CCTV camera.
“There’s no one else around. You know Gwen won’t be in for ages. And who knows when Owen will arrive, if he even bothers showing up.” Jack angled in for another go, only to have Ianto’s finger pressed over his lips.
“La – ter!” Ianto insisted, over-emphasising each syllable.
Jack gave an exaggerated sigh. “Fine. Spoilsport. No goodbye kiss then.”
They smiled at each other again then Jack finally got in the SUV and left.
Ianto wandered up to the Hub and was surprised to see Owen asleep on the couch. Judging by the snoring coming from the sleeping man, Owen must have had a big night. Ianto was glad he hadn’t entered through the cogwheel door and woken him up. He was about to get a blanket to cover Owen up but decided against it, instead walking quietly into his office, taking care not to disturb Owen.
When in his office, Ianto looked at the Secure Archives door, at about the level where Jack’s container and the package inside it was. He grinned joyfully. Tosh was going to have her surprise when she came back and found Suzie here; Jack could have a surprise of his own when he got back too. Ianto could barely suppress a laugh of joy; he’d had a good night and great morning so far, and Jack and Tosh would get something they both thoroughly deserved. The only downside to the day that he could see was that he had to talk to Gwen about the Retcon tablets she had taken and then returned, but not even that could spoil the good mood he was in.
Today was going to be a good day.
“Jack! Mind my laptop,” Tosh exclaimed half an hour later, as Jack spun her around the empty dance floor at the Ritz.
Jack’s good morning with Ianto had manifested itself in an exuberance Jack hadn’t felt in ages. Being imprisoned by Torchwood for so long had gradually worn him down and his true over-the-top personality didn’t always come to the fore. Recently though, with things starting to go so well between him and Ianto, the old Jack – the one from over a hundred years ago – was creeping through more and more.
He laughed at the exasperation on Tosh’s face. “I was thinking more along the lines of, ‘And how long before you head off to war?’”
Tosh just shook her head and continued moving through the room.
They had searched through the derelict building and had so far only found boxes of junk and lots of dust. Coming up the main stairs they had come across the dance hall they were now in. They went down the stairs at the back of the room, only to find more dusty boxes of junk scattered around the place. As with the rooms they had looked at earlier, there was nothing of interest to their case.
“Come on. There’s nothing here but memories and dust,” Jack said before heading down the remaining stairs.
Tosh agreed silently and started following him down. Just before they reached the bottom though, the sounds of people talking and jazz music playing came from upstairs. Jack and Tosh looked at each other in disbelief before turning and rushing back up the stairs.
Just after he got to his office, Ianto got a call from Gwen to say she was running late. She apologised and said she would be there as soon as possible. Ianto sighed. With Gwen coming in late, he wouldn’t be able to talk to her about the Retcon before Suzie arrived and he would be tied up with her.
He stood up and looked over at Owen sleeping on the couch. He watched in amazement as the cogwheel door suddenly started to open and Owen still didn’t stir. It must have been a really big night.
Ianto put Owen out of his mind as he turned to look at Suzie who was standing uncertainly in the doorway with Major Tomich standing beside her. He smiled at them both and gestured at them to come in. They walked over to him with Suzie glancing curiously at Owen as she walked past. Ianto shook his head at her, telling her not to ask.
There was a bit of paperwork that had to be done to complete Suzie’s transfer back to Torchwood and Ianto had three coffees waiting for them.
Major Tomich sighed in relief as he sipped at his coffee. “Ah!” he exhaled. “It’s been too many years since I’ve had your coffee, I.J.”
Ianto laughed at the old nickname he hadn’t heard in so long. “You’ve always known where to find it, I.T.!”
Major Tomich – Ivan – looked at him carefully. “I know. I just didn’t want to remind you of… well, you know…”
Suzie looked from one to another, unsure of what was going on. She knew the two men were friends, she had just thought it was a working relationship between a couple of Torchwood and UNIT employees, but now it seemed to be something more.
Ianto sat up in his chair suddenly; interrupting the steady look he and Ivan were giving each other. “It was a long time ago. I don’t hold any grudges.”
Ivan nodded. “Just one of the things I’ve always lo… liked about you.”
Suzie’s eyebrows nearly shot up out of her head at that slip of the tongue. The two men looked at each other before they both erupted into laughter and the moment of tension passed. The major glanced at his watch and stood up. Ianto and Suzie stood with him.
“I have to go. I’m expected in London this afternoon.” He shook hands with Suzie and then Ianto, holding onto his hand for a bit longer than necessary before turning around and exiting the office. “I’ll show myself out,” he said.
As Jack and Tosh reached the top of the stairs, they saw the dance floor had changed. The room was lit up, covered in decorations and was full of people dancing to a band playing in the background. They looked around them in wonder.
“They look so real,” Tosh said in awe.
Jack looked at the results showing on Tosh’s PDA. “They’re not ghosts. It’s a simple temporal shift.” He laughed in glee. “And it’s beautiful!”
Looking more closely at the people there, Tosh suddenly felt uncomfortable. “We should get out.”
Reluctantly, he knew Tosh was right, they had to leave so they started walking back to the exit.
As they made their way back downstairs to the front, Jack kept looking around him in wonder. Like he had said to Ianto last night, this really was his favourite era on this planet. He was so taken in by his surroundings that he failed to take in who opened the front door for them.
He heard the man tell him to come again and managed to reply that he would love to. Taking one last look around, Jack completely failed to see how much like the committee the man actually was.
When he and Tosh stepped out of the front door, they both stopped in shock. It was now night. They glanced around, trying to work out what had happened.
Tosh ran out onto the road. “Where’s the SUV? Has it been stolen?”
Jack saw a poster across the road and looked at it curiously. “No. We have.”
He looked back to the dance hall. Having been stuck in the same timeline for so very long, he had now been unexpectedly flung back to his favourite time. Jack smiled, he could think of worse places to be.
Suddenly though, he felt a sharp pain in his arm. He lifted his arm to look at where the pain was coming from and realised it was in the same position where… The smile dropped off his face and his eyes widened in horror.
A groan came from the couch as Owen woke up to see two blurry figures standing by Tosh’s desk. As he sat up and rubbed at his eyes, he realised with a shock that he was looking at Ianto and Suzie who were watching something on the monitor.
“Where the hell did you come from?” he said to Suzie.
Ianto turned and glared. “Well, if you had been around you would know,” he said and turned back to Tosh’s workstation.
Suzie looked at him a bit longer. “Nice to see you too.”
Owen sneered at her and looked at Tosh’s computer. “What the hell is that?”
“Tosh’s rift monitor programme. She set it to alert me if there were any further movements.”
Owen went and stood behind Ianto and Suzie to see what was being displayed. Ianto glanced at him; he looked like shit.
“Coffee?” he asked Owen.
Owen nodded as gratefully as he could.
Owen stood with Suzie while Ianto went off to make them all a coffee. They were monitoring Jack and Tosh’s progress when alarms sounded from the workstation and their life-signs disappeared. Owen pushed Suzie out the way and started typing at the keyboard, trying to work out what had happened.
As he did that though, they heard a bloodcurdling scream of agony come from behind them, followed by the sound of a tray falling to the ground and mugs shattering on the concrete floor.
They spun around and were shocked to see Ianto had collapsed and was convulsing on the floor.
“What the fuck!” Owen yelled as they rushed over to see what was going on.
Ianto started thrashing around even harder and Owen had to try to hold him down to prevent him doing any damage to himself.
“Suzie! Quick! Get me the med kit. We need to calm him down.”
Suzie sped off immediately and brought him the kit, dumping it on the ground beside Owen and opening it up for him. Owen was finding it impossible to keep Ianto still; Ianto was simply too strong for him. Suzie had to practically kneel on Ianto’s legs to weigh him down before Owen was able to inject a sedative into his left arm.
Even with the sedative, Ianto was still jerking about. It took a while but Owen was finally able to take Ianto’s blood pressure. He was alarmed at how high it was and how quickly it had got that high. Ianto had never had any history of high blood pressure, which made it even more disturbing.
Owen grabbed a scanner and ran it over Ianto, trying to work out what was going on. The results didn’t match anything Owen had ever seen and the scans of Ianto’s right arm seemed to be the most confusing. Suzie undid Ianto’s cufflink and pushed his sleeve up for Owen to have a look. She almost dropped his arm in horror at how his arm looked.
All the blood vessels seemed to have swollen up so much that they stood out from his arm. The skin on his arm itself had gone a deep, angry red colour that seemed to be spreading out from a particular point on his wrist. The redness seemed to spread even as they watched. Owen scanned Ianto’s hand in more depth; parts of the skin on his hand were starting to turn white, after having been affected the longest. Owen paled as he read the results.
“Owen! What is it?” Suzie asked urgently, seeing the look on his face.
He looked at Suzie. “He’s dying!”
Owen opened his mouth to answer but shrunk back into himself, unable to speak. “I don’t know,” he said eventually. “The cells in his hand are dying, that’s why they’re going white. I-I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
They looked down at Ianto again and saw with dread that the redness was continuing to spread out relentlessly. Owen grabbed the scanner again and changed the settings slightly before scanning Ianto once more.
“Fuck!” he yelled before throwing the machine down in disgust. He shook his head; he felt absolutely helpless.
“What is it?” Suzie asked, surprisingly gently.
Owen looked at Suzie dully. “Something is wrong with him I’ve never seen before.”
Suzie nodded, she already knew that much.
“Suzie, at the rate it’s spreading, he’s got maybe fifteen to twenty minutes tops, and then… and then once it’s reached his heart… he’s going to die!”