Jack Harkness felt his age as he stood at the bottom of the stairs. It had been a busy day and night saving the planet but he knew that she was up there waiting for him. It didn’t matter how often he told he not to, she somehow managed to stay awake until he returned home. He smiled but the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. Even after 400 years, unless Jack’s was with her, the smile wasn’t the one he used when he was there.
Even now when he came home his thoughts were of him, of Ianto Jones. Even after 400 years the pain hadn’t gone but she always gave him love when he didn’t feel particularly loveable. Jack opened his wallet and took out the photograph; the only one he had of them both, taken at Gwen’s wedding as they were dancing. He chuckled quietly to himself and remembered Gwen’s face when he took Ianto into his arms. Even then Ianto still had the capacity to surprise him.
The world had changed so much in 400 years but the job remained the same. The faces were different now but there was still a Torchwood, of sorts, and still aliens to be dealt with, although now there were ones who were friends as well. He can’t help thinking how Ianto would react to working with aliens on his team. He’d probably be concerned about keeping things clean, as always, not to mention worrying about what Ro could do with her tentacles. Like today, every time he came shining through he thought of him. He removed his coat knowing that it needed to be taken to be cleaned. Jack looked at the pink sludge on the greatcoat and threw it over the bannister. Ianto would have frowned at him.
‘It’s a good job the dry cleaners don’t ask any questions, Sir,’ he’d say.
‘Fancy adding some more interesting stains,’ Jack would have replied, knowing how much Ianto loved that coat.
Even now it was still so hard without him, despite having her. There was a pain that went on and on. It was a pain he lived with like it was part of him. With every death he looked for his love. He wondered where Ianto was and hoped that he was somewhere, not just in the blackness that Jack peered into every time he died.
Slowly he climbed the stairs and opened the door to her room. He was right she was still awake, her head in a book as she watched the images play out all around her. As she read she made them look as she wanted and Jack didn’t tell her that dragons weren’t usually pink with flowers on their skins.
‘Daddy!’ she shouted. ‘You’re home.’ She bounced from the bed and into his arms and he held her tight.
‘You should be asleep,’ he said, as always.
‘But I was waiting for you and reading, Daddy. Did you make the monsters go away?’
‘Yes cariad, the monsters have gone away.’ His heart flipped as those eyes looked at him. They’re the palest of blue just like his were; just like her real Daddy. He’ll tell her about him soon. Now, she’s only five and more interested in her toys and pets but one day he’ll sit her down and tell her about her other Daddy. He’ll tell her how much he loved him and how he wanted her so much. How he came to the future with the DNA and used it to get pregnant so that he could have her some part of Ianto Jones. He hugged her to him and felt the tears slide down his face.
‘Don’t cry, Daddy. Let me read you a story. You know you like my stories.’ Jack settled down and watched the pictures form around them as she told her tale again. The unicorns and dragons defeated the trolls once more. Jack hugged her again.
Even now Ianto was with him and the smile reached his eyes as he held Carys tight. His child, their child and life went on. He wished that Ianto could have met her for he would have loved her just as Jack loved them both, even now.