When Ianto Jones awoke, after he’d been convinced he was going to die after being exposed to an alien virus, well…to say he was shocked would have been a total understatement. The next emotion was complete mortification; after all, you only confess that you love your immortal, time-traveling lover when you know it’s your last words, to save yourself the embarrassment of possible rejection. Suddenly gasping back to life simply wasn’t in that particular plan.
Although, the strange squeaking sound that escaped Jack’s lips more than made up for it.
Gwen’s faint was nice, too.
“Ianto?” Jack asked quietly, his blue eyes so wide they looked as if they were going to pop out of their sockets.
“Yep, that’s me.” Oh, those were great ‘coming-back-to-life’ first words. He’d have to try better next time…wait…next time? All right, he was now accepting this way too easily. It must be shock…
“Might I suggest we figure that out later? There’s still ten percent of the world’s children to save…”
“Oh, right.” Yes, get Jack back on task. Worry about not being dead later…
After the 456 were sent packing – and hadn’t that been fun! – and Alice and Stephen were on their way home – and Ianto was very glad to have met them, even though he considered Alice to be just a bit abrasive – Ianto found himself on the bad side of a typical Harkness interrogation, and the handcuffs weren’t being used for fun.
“No, I don’t know why I didn’t die,” he answered for the fifth time, rolling his eyes. “Do you honestly have to look a gift horse in the mouth, Jack?”
He could see in Jack’s eyes that he really wanted to believe him. “Normal humans just don’t come back to life, Ianto. Or whoever you are.”
“Ianto Jones. Yep, that’s me.” He was seriously getting irritated by the third degree. He was tired, and had been wearing the same clothes for days. Oh, and he still hadn’t gotten his thirty minutes. Bloody beans…
He was about to open his mouth to say something else, when a very familiar whirring, grinding noise echoed through the abandoned warehouse they’d been using since the Hub had been blown up. And no, Ianto wasn’t cleaning that mess up!
That noise was soon accompanied by the trademark blue box that heralded the Doctor’s arrival. Bloody Time Lord…couldn’t get there a couple of days sooner, could he? And now Jack would probably drop back into hero-worship mode, and Ianto would have to swear off sweets for the time the Doctor was visiting, to avoid developing diabetes.
The TARDIS doors opened, and out popped the aforementioned Time Lord. He looked at Jack, then at Ianto…and shuddered. “Oh no…not two of you!”
The smile on Jack’s face froze, then dropped into something resembling anger. “And just where the hell have you been? We could’ve used you days ago!”
“Well, excuse me!” the Time Lord said, doing a passable Steve Martin imitation. “It’s not like there’s an entire Universe out there! I knew you could handle things just fine on your own! Although…I can’t believe you’ve done this, Jack. You should have known better!”
Jack’s mouth opened and closed, and Ianto uncharitably compared the look to one Gwen got sometimes when something went over her head.“What?” was the only thing that came out.
The Doctor rolled his eyes, and Ianto decided that he might actually like the man…he tried that out, and reconsidered.“You went and made another Fixed Point! Really, I expected you to have more brains than that, Jack.”
Jack waved his hands in surrender. “Let’s just pretend that I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, and explain what you mean?”
“I felt it all the way out at the Large Magellanic Cloud,” the Doctor fairly shouted. “The creation of a new Fixed Point. Him.” He jabbed a finger in Ianto’s direction. “And why is he handcuffed to that chair? I haven’t shown up in the middle of one of your little games, have I?” He looked a bit disgusted at the idea.
“No,” Ianto decided to speak for himself, as Jack was too busy going white as a sheet. “Jack thinks I’m an alien threat because I came back to life, after it was fairly clear that I’d died.” He wriggled a bit, in order to get comfortable. “Although, if I’m understanding you properly, you’re saying that I’m like Jack?”
“Exactly!” The Doctor looked as if he wanted to pet Ianto like a puppy, but luckily the Time Lord seemed to be holding in the urge. He resorted to a large, almost manic grin instead.
“But…that’s not possible…” Jack gasped.
“I always did say you were impossible, Jack,” the Doctor said, bouncing on the balls of his feet. Ianto wanted to wince at the bright orange trainers he was wearing…and with a blue suit, no less.
That was the question Ianto wanted the answer to. A part of him was shocked by the very idea of living forever; but the really big part of him was glad that Jack didn’t have to be alone anymore. Of course, that precluded Jack actually wanting to be with him; after all, Ianto had – somewhat foolishly, on reflection – admitted his true feelings. And Jack had avoided the issue.
The Doctor took a silver tube from his packet, made an adjustment to it, then ran it up and down Ianto’s body. The Welshman wanted to make a comment about keeping that away from him, that he didn’t know where it had been, but kept his mouth shut. There was a time and a place for that sort of thing.
“Well, that’s not good…” the Time Lord muttered, looking at his device and then back to Ianto.
“What?” Jack looked like he was about to snatch his hair out.
“His DNA has been rewritten.”
Ianto’s eyes widened at that. “How?”
“I would say by some sort of alien technology….” The Doctor took some more readings.
“But that wouldn’t make him immortal!” Jack protested. “It’s the Vortex that does that!”
“You’re right. But the Vortex has been soaked into every cell of your body, including your DNA. Why do you think you don’t regenerate into a blob or something after a really catastrophic injury?”
That prompted the guppy expression that didn’t look good on either Gwen or Jack. “But…what about my children?”
The Doctor went from manic to forbidding in 0.2 seconds. “Don’t tell me you’ve been spreading your genetics around this time? That’s it…you’re getting neutered!”
The look on Jack’s face would have been priceless if the threat hadn’t affected Ianto as well. “That doesn’t explain how it happened,” the younger man said, trying to distract the irate alien.
“Oh right.” The Doctor looked at his funny tube device once more. “I’d say it was Zalandian technology, judging from the rewrite signature.”
It was Ianto’s turn to go wide-eyed in shock. “But that…” Then the anger set in, and he turned to glare at Jack. “You swore to me that was a double-headed dildo!”
“I thought it was!” Jack squeaked, backing away from Ianto, even though the young man couldn’t do anything, as he was still cuffed to the chair.
“You used alien tech as a sex toy?” the Doctor spluttered. Then he turned to Ianto. “And you let him?”
“He told me it was a Zalandian dildo!” Ianto tried to defend himself. “Not having actually been to Zalandia, I plead complete ignorance. After all, he’s the one who’s supposed to have all this alien knowledge!”
“But it looked exactly like the double-headed Zalandian dildo I had back at the Time Agency!’ Jack exclaimed. “I had no idea it would…I’m sorry, Ianto.” He suddenly deflated. “I wouldn’t wish this existence on my worst enemy, let alone the man I lo – have feelings for.”
Jack might have tried to backpedal, but Ianto knew what he’d been about to say. “You love me?” he asked shyly.
“Um…yeah. Thought it was kind of obvious…”
“You could have said it while we thought I was dying, you know.”
“Yeah, well…I didn’t want to say goodbye to you. But you’re right…I should have.”
“Well,” the Doctor broke into their tender moment, “I should be off. But please…no more, Jack. I can barely handle one of you…two is going to drive me insane.”
“The dildo…I mean, the DNA converter…was destroyed when the Hub blew up,” Jack said.
“Good. Well, not that your Hub was destroyed…I’d tell you things will get better, but spoilers…” The Doctor grinned. “Nice meeting you…oh, sorry, I didn’t get your name.”
“Ianto Jones.” He might not like the alien all that much, but he could at least be polite.
The Time Lord’s eyebrows shot up. “Really? That’s fantastic!” He suddenly looked abashed, then said, “Sorry, more spoilers. Should get going now, there’s a supernova out there that’s just begging to be watched. Jack…Ianto…” He gave them each a funny little salute, then practically hopped back into the TARDIS.
And, with that really weird noise it always made, the time machine faded away.
Jack couldn’t meet Ianto’s eyes. “I really am sorry about this…” then he looked up. “No, I’m not. I'm just selfish enough to want you with me. And now we don’t have to worry about you dying before your time.”
“We do have all the time in the Universe,” Ianto answered. “But, I’d really like my thirty minutes now.” He rattled the restraints that kept him in the chair. “And you’ve already brought out the cuffs…”