It was the third time in as many weeks that a body had turned up in a secluded alleyway, drained of all blood with a large bite mark on the pallid shoulder. Although his superiors believed that there was a serial killer on the loose, PC Andy Davidson felt that there was something else to it. So, loathe as he was to meet with his former partner, PC Andy called up Gwen Cooper-Williams and asked her to bring the rest of the special ops team she worked for to come take a look.
The “special ops” were actually, in fact, a supposedly secret organization that dealt with strange occurrences across the entirety of Cardiff, Wales. Gwen said that they worked with aliens, but Andy didn’t believe her, and rightly so because, really, who would be stupid enough to take anything a consistent lier like Gwen bloody Cooper said without a grain of salt the size of a salt lick.
On the day that Torchwood was to come examine the bodies, Andy stayed at the station long after his patrol was over in order to wait for them.
The large black SUV came to a stop in front of the station and three people emerged. In the lead was the boisterous American boss, Captain Jack Harkness. Behind him was the medic Owen Harper and, to Andy’s disgust, Mrs Cooper-Williams herself.
‘PC Davidson,’ Jack greeted jovially, ‘fancy meeting you here!’
Andy couldn’t help but allow a small smile as he shook hands with both Jack and Owen. Gwen, on the other hand, believing as always that she was better and more important than him, marched past Andy with her nose in the air and into the headquarters. Well, she tried to, at least. She pushed and pushed at the front door, but it would not budge. Stifling his laughter, Andy stepped forward, grasped the door handle, and pulled it open. Chuckling lightly, Andy lead the Torchwood operatives directly to the cold storage toom where the bodies were kept. He pulled out the drawers that held the three victims and Owen began to examine each with a strange, blinking piece of technology, taking occasional notes.
‘So glad the police decided to call us in,’ Jack commented to Andy as Gwen stood idly and uselessly on the far end of the room, nose wrinkled in disgust.
‘Actually,’ Andy said, rubbing the back of his neck, ‘It’s just me that’s called you in. My boss thinks it’s just some serial killer.’
‘Who does what? Sucks the blood out through a straw?’ Owen asked sarcastically, ‘There are absolutely no puncture wounds on any of these bodies. They’re all in pristine condition except for a single bite on the right shoulder.’
Jack leaned over one of the bodies, a young woman named Kelli Llewyn, tracing the outline of the ellipse-shaped bite mark. He stretched open his own jaw then closed his mouth and frowned.
‘Whatever it is, it has a huge jaw span,‘ Jack said.
‘Yeah,‘ Owen agreed. ‘The indentations show that each tooth is pointed, but look at this,’ he pointed to where the canines should be, ‘The marks are much deeper here.’
‘Oh my goodness!’ Gwen exclaimed, zooming over, eyes bugging out wide, ‘Are you saying this was done by a vampire!’
Owen rolled his eyes tiredly, ‘No, Gwen, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s just something we can use to identify what did this.’
‘Right,’ Jack concurred with a nod, ‘Andy?’
‘Would it be possible for us to take one of these bodies for further observation?’
‘I suppose,’ Andy replied, ‘But if I get in trouble...’
‘We’ll take care of that,’ Jack promised.
Andy helped Owen put the body of Kelli Llewyn into a body bag and carry it out to the black SUV. He handed over a copy of the case information and watched solomnly as they drove away.
‘What in the bloody hell did this!’ Owen grumbled, prodding at the bite mark with one latex gloved finger.
Owen looked up to see Ianto Jones holding a tray with two mugs of steaming coffee.
‘Oh, Ianto, you’re a godsend!’ Owen sighed, slipping off his gloves.
Ianto handed Owen his yellow mug and the medic took it gratefully, taking a deep inhalation of the scent, the only way he could enjoy the coffee since his death. Ianto took his own black mug and sat on the edge of the overlook, legs dangling below him.
‘So, you can’t identify our newest friend?’
‘Nope,’ Owen confirmed.
‘And Jack has no idea?’ Ianto asked.
‘Nope,’ Owen repeated.
Ianto let out a low whistle. Owen echoed the sentiment with a grunt. If there was one thing that they all knew about Jack Harkness, it was that he knew a lot of existing and future aliens. It was uncommon that Jack did not know exactly what they were up against.
The two quietly finished their coffee in companionable silence and, collecting Owen’s now-cold mug, Ianto shot him a friendly smile before climbing to his feet. Owen returned to the body and snapped on a fresh pair of latex gloves, resigning himself to more fruitless prodding.
Jack called for a meeting later that day and, once they were all gathered, he pulled up three pictures on the screen. The first was Kelli Llewyn. In life, she had been quite beautiful, with pink cheeks, sparkling hazel eyes, and a wide smile. Her golden ringlets of hair were swept into an updo. The second picture showed a sullen-looking man in his late thirties or early forties. He had a receding hairline and drooping green eyes, The final picture was another woman, about the same age as the man, with crows-feet just starting to show at the corners of her dull brown eyes, mouth pulled into a sour frown,
‘What do these three people have in common?’ Jack asked them, ‘We have twenty-year-old Kelli Llewyn, thirty-nine-year-old Mason List, and forty-two-year-old Julia Beck.’
They sat there silently, faces as blank as Gwen’s usual expression.
‘Nothing?’ Ianto tried.
‘Exactly,’ Jack replied, tapping himself lightly on the nose, ‘The only thing that these three people have in common is that they’ve been killed by our unknown alien. On the nights of their deaths, they were out on the town. Our first victim, Kelli, was at the Scatter Club; the second, Mason, was at Shelty’s Pub; the final, Julia, was also at Scatter Club. Each of the killings occurred on a wednesday night so, since today is wednesday, I have reason to believe that our alien friend will strike again.’
‘An intelligent alien,’ Tosh said, ‘That still has a primal killing instinct.’
‘Got it in one,’ Jack said with a nod, ‘Now, our friend doesn’t seem to have a proper MO, but, if the pattern holds, then tonight he’ll strike at Shelty’s Pub. So Owen and I will stake out there. Ianto will be at Scatter Club just in case and Tosh will stay here to moniter the CCTV cameras. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see our guy coming.’
‘What about me?’ Gwen whined.
‘You can stay here with Tosh,’ Jack said, sending the Asian woman an apologetic look.
Gwen crossed her arms and pouted in what she thought was a sexy way, but really just looked like she had a lip injection gone wrong.
Jack ignored her.
‘Ianto, you can take my car and Owen and I will go in the SUV. Let’s go.’
Shelty’s Pub was a fairly quiet place that night with small groups of people chatting over their drinks. Jack and Owen settled down to wait.
Scatter Club was throbbing with loud music and gyrating bodies, twenty-somethings snogging unashamedly on the dance floor. Ianto struggled his way through the crowds and into the back alleyway where the other attacks had been made. He leaned against one of the walls then, grimacing, pulled away and brushed dirt and cigarette ash from his jacket.
Meanwhile, at Shelty’s, the bartender approached Jack and Owen, a glass in one hand, the other cleaning it with a small rag.
‘Ain’t seen you chaps ‘round here b’fore,’ he said.
‘We’ve just heard great things about this pub so...we...,’ Jack trailed off as the man raised his eyebrows skeptically, ‘Alright,’ he said, ‘you remember that murder that happened here two weeks ago?’
‘Acourse,’ the man said, ‘S’my pub. I know everything that goes on here.’
‘Well,’ Jack told him in a pseudo-secretive voice, ‘We’re with the police.’
The man nodded knowingly and tipped an imaginary hat at them before turning to answer the call of another patron.
Jack smiled then frowned and tapped his earpiece.
‘Yes? We’re on our way,’ he turned to Owen, ‘Ianto’s got it.’
The two swept from the pub, leaving a some money for their drinks on the bar.
A sudden noise made Ianto start and he pulled out his gun quickly.
‘Who’s there?’ he called out, cocking the firearm.
From the shadows, a young man stumbled forward. Ianto knew immediately that something was wrong. the man’s eyes were purely pitch black and his lower jaw hung awkwardly low. Ianto fixed his stance and pointed his gun at the creature.
The creature cocked it’s head and, faster than Ianto could react, it was on top of him, pushing him to the grimy ground.
‘Jack,’ Ianto breathed into his earpiece, ‘It’s here. Hurry!’
The creature bared its teeth and Ianto could see that each one came to a sharp point and was coated in a film of saliva. Ianto let out a gasp, eyes wide, as the creature bit down into his shoulder, Ianto could feel the teeth go through his jacket, waistcoat, and shirt to pierce skin. the Welshman let out a yelp of pain and his fingers clenched reflexively, setting off the gun.
The creature’s teeth scraped across his skin as it was tossed away, the recoil shoving into Ianto’s stomach and winding him. Ianto gasped and panted for breath, his shoulder stinging
Jack’s face appeared above him and Ianto tried to smile, tried to tell him that the creature was probably dead. The pain in his shoulder throbbed as everything went black.
Ianto awoke to find himself in the med bay, Owen leaning over his bitten shoulder, swabbing it carefully. Ianto flinched as the liquid stung and Owen looked at him, surprised, the glasses perched on his nose magnifying his eyes slightly.
‘Welcome back, Teaboy,’ Owen said without the usual malice that accompanied the nickname, ‘Feeling any urges to bite people?’
‘No,’ Ianto replied, ‘How long was I out?’
‘Three days,’ Owen told him, ‘Jack’s been beside himself, Tosh keeps crying randomly, and Gwen keeps throwing herself at Jack.’
‘So what’s new with Gwen,’ Ianto muttered sarcastically.
Owen chuckled, ‘Exactly.’
The doctor carefully taped up Ianto’s wound.
‘Good to go,’ he announced, ‘I’m afraid that pink shirt of yours is ruined, though. The jacket and waistcoat as well.’
‘Damn,’ Ianto murmured, ‘I liked that suit.’
With a sigh, Ianto got up and carefully slid on the shirt Owen offered him, wincing as his shoulder throbbed.
‘You be careful tonight,’ Owen said, his voice full of uncharacteristic concern. Then, he was snarky again, ‘I know Jack.’
‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,’ Ianto replied with mock innocence.
They practically fell into bed, hands groping and pulling at clothing, lips as if one.
‘I was so worried,’ Jack gasped as Ianto nuzzled him neck.
The Welshman simply growled, pulling away fiercely, eyes shining with lust, pupils blown wide. Suddenly, his jaw went slack and his pupils grew wider, covering his blue irises and spreading even farther. Jack tossed the man off of him, but Ianto landed on his feet, eyes pitch black and sharp teeth shining.
Ianto rammed himself against the reinforced perspex of the containment cell, snarling madly. He was wearing only his boxers and his slight muscles were bulked up and rippling powerfully as he moved. Jack seemed to be in shock, watching this creature-Ianto thrash about angrily, saliva dripping from its glistening teeth.
Owen and Tosh each had a hand on Jack’s arms, offering comfort and holding him back at the same time while Gwen stood off to the side, watching Jack like a love-sick school girl mixed with what she probably thought was concern.
‘What is this thing?’ Tosh asked softly.
‘It’s a vampire,’ Gwen said, snapping out of her love-sick slack-jawed vacant look for a brief moment.
‘Vampires don’t exist,’ Owen scoffed, ‘Do they?’ he asked Jack uncertainly.
Jack didn’t answer, still watching the creature-Into.
The American man snapped from his daze, ‘I know who to call.’
Buffy Summers was bored with a capital B. The Hellmouth that lay below Sunnydale had been strangely quiet for the past month or so, leaving Buffy and her friends at liberty to actually relax over their spring vacation. At first, Buffy had been excited to spend her evenings relaxing instead of running, but now she had run out of things to do and was just bored.
So, when Giles had called her to come to his home for a meeting, Buffy was ecstatic. She arrived at her Watcher’s flat an hour later and found Cordelia, Xander, Oz and Willow already there, along with, to her surprise, Angel.
‘What’s up?’ she asked cheerily after giving each person a welcoming hug.
‘I got a call from a friend of mine from back in London,’ Giles explained.
‘He needs our help with something.’
‘Wait,’ Xander interrupted, ‘Are you saying that we’re going to London?’
‘Actually,’ Giles corrected with a slight smile, polishing his glasses on the hem of his shirt, ‘We’re going to Cardiff, Wales.’
‘I can’t believe that you convinced our parents that this was a school-related trip,’ Willow commented excitedly, her face pressed against the airplane window as they closed in on Cardiff.
‘I can’t believe we’re bringing Fangface,’ Xander grumbled, glaring at Angel.
‘Deal with it,’ Angel growled back.
Buffy rolled her eyes.
‘So, who is this guy?’ Tosh asked.
She and Owen were standing at the international arrivals gate, waiting for a man they knew simply as Rupert Giles.
‘No idea,’ Owen replied, ‘Somebody Jack knows.’
‘I hope he can help us,’ Tosh sighed.
The alarms blared as the cog door rolled open. Jack, with Gwen practically hanging off of him, walked over to where Owen and Tosh were leading a group of seven people into the Hub. The first, Jack recognized as Rupert Giles, the others he didn’t recognize at all, though one looked vaguely familiar.
‘Rupert,’ Jack greeted with a grin, shaking the hand of the man in question.
‘Wait,’ said the blonde girl, ‘I thought he was your friend from London.’
‘This is Buffy,’ Giles introduced, ignoring her question.
‘She’s the Slayer?’ Jack asked.
Giles nodded and continued the introductions, ‘These are Buffy’s friends Xander, Willow, Oz and Cordelia. They help her out during hunts. And this--’
Suddenly recognizing the final man, Jack grinned.
The man looked surprised for a moment then grinned as well, ‘Jack!’
The two embraced.
‘You know each other?’ Giles asked.
‘Jack is a friend from my youth, and it’s Angel now.’
‘Wait, real youth or fangy youth?’ Xander asked.
‘Real,’ Angel replied, ‘Angelus had no friends.’
‘Why the name change?’ Jack asked his old friend, ‘And who’s Angelus?’
‘How do you think I’m still alive now?’ Angel laughed, ‘And Angelus is who I used to be when I was first turned.’
‘Hold on a second,’ Cordelia interjected, ‘Angel’s real youth was a long time ago. How could you have been there unless you’re like him!’
‘So, we know all of you,’ Jack said, ignoring Cordelia’s curiosity, ‘It’s time to return the favor. We’re Torchwood. What you guys do for demons and vampires, we do for aliens. Although, we try to kill as little as possible.’
‘Demons and vampires!’ Gwen squealed shrilly, which everyone ignored.
‘You’ve already met our medic, Owen, and technology expert, Toshiko. I’m Jack, that’s Gwen, and this--’ Jack fell silent suddenly, his grin fading, ‘Come with me,’ he intoned softly.
The seven guests exchanged confused glances, but followed Jack, the rest of the Torchwood team close behind. They arrived at the underground holding cells. they passed by a strange toothy creature, which Willow stopped in front of, eyes wide with wonder.
‘I see you’re found Janet.’
Startled, Willow looked up to see Owen at her side, eyes trained on the creature.
The creature, who had perked up at the sound of the name, began to lumber over.
‘Janet,’ Owen confirmed, putting a finger through one of the small holes in the perspex for Janet to sniff.
‘What is it?’
‘A Weevil,’ Owen replied.
‘Weevil?’ Willow asked, intrigued, as the fearsome-looking creature nuzzled Owen’s finger.
‘Dirt is to the Earth as Weevils are to the Universe,’ Owen explained, ‘They’re all over the sewers here. Nasty buggers.’
‘Nasty?’ Willow asked with surprise, ‘She seems to like you.’
‘It took me quite a while to earn the title King of the Weevils, so they aren't as bad to me anymore. I guess dying helped,’ Owen intoned, cooing at the Weevil.
‘Dying? the Weevil is dead?’
‘I never said the Weevil,’ Owen said nonchalantly.
Before Willow could question this statement, Jack said his medic’s name warningly and so they rejoined the group. Willow could hear Jack whisper a reprimand.
‘Owen, she’s underage.’
'And taken,' Oz grumbled, grabbing his girlfriend's hand.
‘I’m not the 51st century pervert,’ Owen replied with a smirk.
Jack flicked the medic’s ear in annoyance, ‘Tosh, keep a leash on your boyfriend.’
‘He’s not my boyfriend,’ Tosh hissed back, face flushing. Owen looked equally embarrassed, though his cheeks never colored.
When they reached the end of the long row of empty cells, Jack stopped and gestured them to come closer. Inside the cell was a man sitting curled up in the corner. Buffy admired the light muscles of his arms as he fidgeted in restless sleep, he calm face belying his fitfulness.
‘This is Ianto,’ Jack said softly, ‘We had this recent set of murders which we though were right up our alley. Turns out it was some guy. Not just any guy, though, he had fangs and bit Ianto before we killed him.’
As if responding to Jack’s voice, Ianto woke, opening clear blue-gray eyes.
‘Jack,’ Ianto whimpered, ‘Hurts.’
‘I’m here, cariad,’ Jack murmured back.
Ianto crawled over to the perspex and sat down, knees pulled up to his chest. Jack placed a hand on the clear, reinforced plastic and Ianto slowly lined his hand up with it. Ianto closed his eyes and, when he opened them, they were pure black. He leapt up, snarling, a beast again.
Cordelia gasped at the sudden change and tucked her arm into Xander's. The others didn't let out any exclamation, but the looks on their faces betrayed their shock. Jack leaned his forehead against the perspex, the creature-Ianto pacing angrily. Jack sighed and stood.
‘So, that’s the story, Rupert,’ Jack said with a hint of desperation in his voice, ‘How do I get this vampire to leave him?’
‘That’s not a vampire,’ Angel replied, drawing Jack’s attention.
Angel’s face shifted, his forehead becoming ridged. Everyone ignored Gwen’s cry of fear and fake swoon, much to her chagrin. Angel shifted back.
‘That’s a vampire.’
His face falling, Jack looked back at Ianto, ‘What is it, then?’
It had been quite some time since Giles had had to go through a list of every type of demon he knew, but this was what he found himself doing in the dim lighting of the Torchwood Hub. One of the suitcases he had brought was filled with books and these he doled out, every person contributing to the research effort, except for Gwen, of course. She was, in her opinion, too good for mere research. Instead, she sat dolefully in the corner and wished that Jack would forget about his part-time shag teaboy and concentrate on her, the amazingly beautiful unattainable woman she knew (thought) she was.
The search, however, was fruitless.
‘This is hopeless,’ Xander groaned on their third full day of research, ‘Maybe it’s a new type of demon, or, hey, a new breed of vampire!’
‘It’s possible,’ Giles said, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes tiredly, ‘Not very likely, but possible.’
‘That’s helpful,’ Cordelia muttered sarcastically.
‘So what do we do?’ Tosh asked, sliding off her own spectacles.
Giles sighed, ‘I don’t know.’
On the fourth day, a Rift alarm broke through the sound of turning pages. Snapping into Captain Mode, Jack jumped up, called Tosh to go with him, and asked Owen to stay and monitor. When the two had left, Owen grumbled and went to the computer console.
‘What’s that all about?’ Angel asked, following the medic.
‘Probably just a Weevil,’ Owen said, wistfully.
‘Why didn’t he ask you to go with him?’ Willow asked, looking up at them, ‘Seems like you would be the ideal choice, Mr King of the Weevils.’
‘I would,’ Owen grumped, ‘He still thinks I’m too fragile for it. I’ve been working here longer than anyone!’
‘Why didn’t he take you then?’ Oz piped up, putting down the book he was studying in exchange for joining in to the conversation.
‘Because I’m dead,’ Owen replied simply
‘Owen!’ Gwen shrieked, ‘Jack said not to tell!’
‘He said nothing about that.’
‘You have to listen to me,’ Gwen whined, ‘I’m second in command!’
‘No,’ Owen told her, ‘You’re not. Ianto is ‘cause A) he knows pretty much everything about this place and B) he’s been here for more than a single bloody year!’
Turning his back on the annoyance that was Gwen Cooper-Williams, Owen grinned at the Americans.
‘Vampire?’ Buffy asked, automatically reaching for the stake at her hip, ‘Demon?’
‘Nope. I was shot in the chest, still have the bullet hole to prove it,’ his face darkened slightly, ‘Jack brought me back to life with a piece of alien technology. The only thing is, it’s not exactly life, more like a living death. Any injuries I get, I don’t heal.’
The medic held up a hand to display his wrapped fingers, ‘Broke my pinky,’ he explained. he then pointed at his palm, ‘I accidentally cut it with a scalpel. Didn’t feel it at all. Every few days, I have to re-stitch it when I change my bandage. I can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t get drunk.’
‘How terrible,’ Angel intoned seriously.
‘Not much of a life,’ Buffy commented.
‘You’re telling me,’ Owen shot back wryly, ‘I’ve been denied my two favorite things, alcohol and sex.’
'Aren't we just a merry bunch,' Xander said, 'The Slayer, a vampire, a fledgling witch, a werewolf, and a dead man. It sounds like the beginning to a very bad and long winded joke.'
The others there laughed harder than they probably usually would due to some slight delirium from staring at books for so long.
‘Owen,’ Jack’s voice crackled over a hidden speaker, interrupting the levity
‘Yup,’ Owen said, turning back to his computer console.
‘It’s on the move. Where to?’
Owen pulled up a tracking screen and set about directing his colleagues. The rest of them, minus Gwen, returned to their books.
Jack and Tosh returned with a dead creature in tow. It was not a Weevil.
‘What is that?’ Xander asked, wrinkling his nose.
‘It’s a foamasi,’ Jack answered cheerfully, ‘The first one we’ve ever captured! Would have loved to study it alive, but circumstances were not permitting.’ he gestured to the blood on his arm and neck, although there were no cuts in his skin, ‘Owen, you’re up.’
The medic nodded and helped his coworkers bring the creature down to the autopsy table. Leaving Owen to his work, Tosh returned to the main Hub, Jack joining them after cleaning the blood from his skin.
‘Anything to report, my intrepid researchers?’ Jack asked, his smile forced.
‘Unfortunately, not,’ Giles replied, placing a comforting hand on his old friend’s shoulder.
All pretense gone, Jack’s face fell glumly.
‘I’m going to go check on Ianto.’
Gwen hopped up to follow him, but a withering glare from the usually sweet-faced Tosh made her sit back down, pouting.
Angel was wandering around down near the cells when below the noise of the Weevil, he heard a low murmur. He found Jack sitting against the wall, watching Ianto and talking to him softly.
‘Don’t worry,’ he was saying, ‘They’ll find out how to fix you, bring you back to me. I trust Rupert. Oh, Ianto.’
Angel could see the faint glistening of tears on Jack’s cheeks and approached his old friend. Jack looked up at Angel’s sudden appearance and then back at the slumbering Ianto. Angel said nothing, but simply sat beside him, offering comfort by just being there.
‘Jack,’ Tosh said gently, ‘It’s the only way.’
The protest was weaker now as Buffy led Ianto into the medical bay, explaining what they were going to do while he was still in his right mind.
‘But,’ Jack paused, catching Ianto’s eye.
The Welshman walked over and Tosh stepped away from the Captain, dragging Gwen with her.
‘Ianto,’ Jack said, softly, but still loud enough that everyone could hear ‘You can’t possibly want to do this.’
‘It’s the only way,’ Ianto told him.
And so it was. they had been brainstorming for days and had finally settled on the only viable option.
‘If it doesn’t work--’
Ianto cut Jack off with a searing kiss, ignoring the odd noise that came from Xander’s general direction. Ianto finally broke away, resting his forehead against Jack’s.
‘You’ll hold me?’ Ianto whispered, the brave face he had put on breaking.
With a final chaste kiss, Ianto turned atound and let Jack restrain his arms behind him. There was no way of knowing when the creature would emerge from within him, so they just had to wait. By the stiffening in Ianto’s arms and the arching of his back, Jack knew that the time had come. A loud snarl further confirmed.
‘Do it,’ Giles told his Slayer.
Buffy approached the men and raised her stake. Jack closed his eyes.
Gwen watched the blonde girl approach Ianto with the pointy stick, glee shining in her cow eyes. Finally, Ianto would be gone and Jack would be free to pursue her! She was thoroughly convinced that Ianto was slipping Jack some sort of drug or was using mind control to get the Captain to dote on him. When Jack closed his eyes, Gwen frowned. She had wanted to watch as Jack’s eyes changed into a look of adoring love as he gazed on her once the teaboy was dead.
She just stopped herself from jumping for joy as the pointy stick was plunged into Ianto’s heart.
The creature let out a piercing wail as the stake entered its chest. It writhed in Jack’s grasp, twisting and turning and trying to get away. The shrieks of a beast gave way to the pain-filled screams of a man.
‘Take it out!’ Jack shouted.
Too surprised by the sudden change to argue, Buffy complied. As soon as the stake was removed, the hole closed and Ianto collapsed, saved from hitting the floor by Jack, who placed him down gently.
There was silence. Then, quietly, so quietly it could barely be heard.
Jack let out a relieved laugh as Ianto opened his eyes.
‘It’s gone, Ianto, that thing is gone.
‘So is the bite mark,’ Owen supplied.
And it was. Ianto’s shoulder was a smooth as ever.
‘Brilliant,’ Ianto murmured softly and slipped into unconsciousness.
They were going home. After the demon had been banished from Ianto’s system, the Welshman was put on bed rest for a few days in order to recover. Buffy, Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Xander took the opportunity to do all of the touristy things Cardiff had to offer, once again enjoying the freedom of spring vacation. Angel and Giles remained mostly in the Hub during the day, the former because of necessity. On Ianto’s first evening out of bed, Jack took the team and their guests up onto the roof after the sun had set. The multitude of stars was becoming visible in the slowly darkening sky. The ten of them sat in companionable silence on the metal roof of the performance space.
‘So, there are really aliens of there, huh?‘ Willow asked, looking upwards.
‘Thousands of them,‘ Jack replied, gripping Ianto’s hand tighter and making the Welshman smile.
‘Are they all bad?‘ Xander asked.
‘Not all of them, no,‘ Jack said. He pointed over in a seemingly random direction, ‘Somewhere over there, way to far away to be visible to the naked eye, is a little planet called Gallifrey. I knew someone from there. Great guy. Big ears.’
‘You’re lucky,‘ Buffy told Jack quietly, ‘I only get the bad guys.’
‘Hey,‘ Angel protested.
‘Alright, mostly bad guys,‘ Buffy amended.
‘Maybe you just haven’t met the good ones yet,‘ Ianto suggested.
They all sat silently, watching the night sky.
‘Do we really have to leave?‘ Buffy whined at Giles, ‘I like it here.’
Giles smiled down at his Slayer, ‘Unfortunately, there’s work to be done back in Sunnydale. Who knows what kind of menace has destroyed the town in our absence.’
‘Yeah yeah yeah,‘ Buffy grumbled.
They were all packed up and ready to go. Owen was giving them a ride to the airport, grumbling good-naturedly about being treated like a chauffeur. Angel was going to be staying for a few extra days to catch up with Jack. It had been quite some time since they had seen each other and they had a lot to talk about. Giles offered his hand to Jack, but the captain ignored it and drew the Watcher into a hug, which Giles returned after only a moment’s hesitation, surprising his companions. Ianto stuck with the formal hand shake, thanking Giles and Buffy politely.
‘Near-death experience, and he’s still polite,‘ Jack commented with a grin, throwing an arm around the Welshman’s shoulders, ‘That’s my Ianto!’
Goodbyes made, Giles and his teenaged companions made their way out of the Hub, each with a take-away cup of Ianto’s coffee in hand.
‘How much Retcon did you use?‘ Jack asked once they were gone.
‘Just enough,‘ Ianto replied, ‘Mr Giles will tell them a story about some sort of vacation.’
‘Shame,‘ Jack said sadly, ‘We could have used them as contacts.’
‘They have their world to think about,‘ Ianto told him, ‘Demons and vampires and such. No need to add impending alien doom to that list.’
Jack laughed, ‘You’re right. How are you always right?’
‘I know everything,‘ Ianto told him primly.
Back to business as usual for Torchwood Three.