Ianto was quietly talking to Tosh at her computer, Gwen watched them furtively as both of them seemed very restrained. Then deciding she had to…see Jack, which meant walking by Tosh and Ianto.
She could just hear Ianto whisper, “He asked me out on a date.”
“When was this?” Tosh asked
“When we were in the office building…” Ianto replied.
Gwen didn’t hear any more of the conversation, and did not even wonder if the desperate and pathetic Welshman had said yes, it was so obvious. Gwen tried not to snort. Of course Jack comes back and Ianto comes at a run, ready and willing to do Jack’s bidding. Doesn’t he have any self-respect to not be used by Jack? Gwen saw Jack’s door was closed and went back to her desk. She told herself that what she was about to do was for Ianto’s sake, so he was forewarned. She was doing it for his benefit, and not for any other reason just that he should know.
Later that evening Ianto was home, when an email arrived, he saw it was from Gwen and though it odd. Ianto watched the grainy CCTV video she had attached with just, I thought you should know as the subject.
Ianto swallowed and closed his eyes. He fell for it every time and damned himself for once again falling for Jack’s charism. It just that when he and Jack talk and made love, it seemed so much more.
Ianto put the phone to silent and went to bed, thought of that year still etched firmly in his nightmares, which had replaced the cannibals that used to torture his dreams. He had been going to tell Jack he remembered that year. No one else had on the team he was sure of it, but Ianto was in Cardiff when time reversed and he was protected. Mind you he wished he had lived in blissful ignorance like the rest of the world. He knew Jack remembered he could tell, they both carried the invisible mark of seeing horrors no war could ever come close to. The world burned, people burned it was hell on earth for a year. Then it was over and everyone was back to normal. Then Jack came back and the world tipped upside down once again.
The following day…..or Ianto’s Revenge
Ianto graciously accepted Jack’s proposal for dinner and a movie that evening and shoed everyone out of the hub by 4. Gwen looked at Jack, “what are you up to Jack Harkness?” But Jack just flashed her a grin and told her to enjoy her evening. Gwen huffed as she left, knowing Ianto had stayed behind. Even after I had warned him. She thought driving to the flat she shared with Rhys.
Back at the hub Ianto had just finished his report and excused himself telling Jack he wanted to change before going out. Jack could not help notice the difference in Ianto from the day before and wondered if Ianto was as nervous as he was. Jack was looking forward to their date ever since Ianto had said yes in the office. But he did notice Ianto was more subdue today, and hoped some alone time between them Jack would be able to sort out things between them. Ianto said he had already forgiven Jack for leaving, but his whole demeanor said otherwise.
Jack excitedly wrapped on Ianto’s door, and was disappointed when he answered wearing a pair of dark denim jeans tucked into combat boots and a dark gray jumper, smart and casual. Jack was sort of hoping Ianto would be wearing a suit without a tie.
“Something wrong?” Ianto asked, seeing Jack’s face fall. “You did say casual.”
“Yeah…no…you look good.” Jack said smiling. Truthfully Jack felt old when Ianto dressed his age and he looked good…and so young.
Ianto shrugged and wrapped a black and white scarf around his neck then followed Jack outside to the SUV.
They drove in silence to the restaurant. “I thought we could go to Café Citta,” Jack said offhandedly, hoping Ianto would be sufficiently surprised.
“I really don’t like Italian.” Ianto replied offhandedly.
“What? But we get pizza all the time.” Jack sputtered.
“Exactly.” Ianto countered. He was about to ask Jack to just skip it that he wasn’t in the mood when the SUV was gunned, tires squealing, cars honking Jack made an illegal U-turn.
“Okay, how about Park House.” Jack asked, knowing they had been there before and Ianto had enjoyed it.
“Maybe we should go some other time, Jack, I’m really not up for going out tonight.” Ianto said staring out the side windscreen. He could see Jack turn and look at him in the reflection. No Ianto realized, he did not feel like spending time with Jack, not tonight, maybe not ever. Ianto reflected that when Jack was gone he just wanted his lover back, forgetting all the bad time. And now that Jack was back Ianto just wished he was gone again, his life was so uncomplicated when Jack was gone.
Jack reached over and squeezed Ianto’s thigh, “please Yan.”
Ianto refrained from rolling his eyes and once again reminding Jack he hated that damn nickname.
“Fine but I would prefer The Clink.”
Jack squeezed Ianto’s thigh once more then preformed another U-turn speeding onto their destination.
It was a short wait at the restaurant as both men were very well known. Jack watched Ianto who seemed nervous, eyes shooting around the restaurant. He saw Ianto tense as a waiter lifted a sliver dome off a couple’s food.
They were lead to the table by a waitress who smiled and flirted with Jack. Jack grinned and basked in the young women’s flattery.
They ordered drinks and opened the menus. Jack eyes roved over the waitress as she read them the specials. Jack looked at Ianto and noticed the Welshman was not even paying attention, Jack sometimes flirted just to get a rise out of his lover, he thought it was good for Ianto, as he was so buttoned up most of the time. Also Ianto was more….enthusiastic in bed when he thought someone would poach on his territory.
“Yes, I will have the same.” Ianto replied handing the menu back.
“Same as wot?” The waitress momentary forgetting she was not back serving at the pub.
Ianto shook himself out of his revelry. “The lamb, and…soufflé as a starter.”
Jack ordered his food then turned to Ianto as the waitress walked away.
“Are you okay Ianto?” Jack could see Ianto was under duress.
“I remember….” Ianto began as in a haze. “The Master….the Toc….”
“Don’t!” Jack said loudly, causing several people to look at the table with the two men.
It was loud enough to start Ianto out of his revelry and look at Jack.
“That…event is time locked, and could be open again if we are not careful.” Jack said quietly his mind racing, Ianto remembers….Ianto remembers.
“Everything okay here?” The waitress asked as she placed their drinks on the table.
“Fine,” Jack smiled up at her, while Ianto just ordered another drink as he downed his first one.
Jack reached out to place his hand over Ianto, but Ianto just pulled his hand back and under the table.
“So you remembered, does….anyone else?” Jack asked hesitantly.
Ianto shook his head and cursed about starting this conversation, and mentally berating himself for the two large whiskies he had while waiting for Jack to show up, it seemed to have loosed his tongue.
Another waitress came by and set another drink on the table for Ianto, who smiled and thanked her, and took another drink.
“The heart of Torchwood, the one you hired to ‘remind us all of what we are fighting for, when really you hired her because you just wanted to fuck her, died in the first wave. After the introduction to the Tol…”Ianto saw Jack wince. “Silver spheres, she gallantly proclaimed she needed to save Rhys and without listening to better judgement raced outside. She was killed on the door step of the tourist office the second she opened the door. Tosh was able to initiate lock down before they found us. She was…is..not a very good field agent without you around to clean up after her….or die for her” Ianto says on reflection.
Ianto pleasantly high from alcohol, gave a Mona Lisa smile as he held up his glass and catching the eye of a waitress passing their table.
Jack was about to protest when Ianto continued on. “I know you think we are damaged, Owen, Tosh and I, but you have never given us credit for being survivors, for being able to adapt to our situations and being bloody brilliant while we are doing it. Owen and I handled most of the field work while you were gone. Gwen ballsed it up big time casuing several bystanders to die and over 100 people needing retcon. She actually tried to say she was second in command…” Ianto smiled at the memory and chuckled. When Gwen had insisted she be in charge Owen, Ianto and Tosh all bust out laughing, Ianto had to wipe tears from his eyes.
“Owen Tosh fared better. They survived for over eight months, he died with Tosh. Funny how it took hell on earth to bring them together.”
“And you?” Jack asked hypnotized.
“Oh, well I survived it all to see time unwind. I thought I had gone mad…” Ianto faded out.
A waitress appeared and set their plate in front of them and another drink for Ianto. The two men ate in silence, Jack thinking about everything Ianto was said.
The meal was over far too quickly for Jack. He felt that this night was pivotal between him and Ianto, and did not want it to end. Jack persuaded Ianto to forgo another drink and settle on a pudding instead.
After the bill was paid Ianto amazingly enough walked outside on steady legs. The cool Cardiff air sobering him up, slightly. Jack caught up with him.
“Thank you for dinner Jack.” Ianto shook Jack’s hand then turned and walked away in the general direction of his flat.
Astonished it took a moment for Jack to catch up.
“Ianto wait.” Jack caught up and turned Ianto around, there was a tear sliding down his cheek. This date was not going to plan. Jack pulled the Welshman into a hug placing tender kisses on Ianto’s temple.
Jack persuaded Ianto to allow Jack to drive him home. Ianto leaned back in the SUV closing his eyes. Jack’s phone alarmed signaling a rift alert. Cursing Jack pulled over to see the cause. Luckily it was only rift debris and it was close to the hub.
They stopped off at the hub, Ianto deciding a cup of coffee was in order while Jack set the rift debris to be examined by Tosh, on her desk, then enjoyed the steaming cup of coffee Ianto had placed on the small table next to the ratty sofa behind Tosh’s desk.
One thing lead to another and soon the men were making out, both know it was the last time they would be intimate with each other. Too much had happened between them, Jack could taste the sorrow on Ianto’s lips. They moved into the small recovery room in the basement, preferring space for their last encounter rather than Jack’s camp bed. Their love making heated and intense so much so it made Jack weep knowing he was losing his lover.
Earlier in the evening………..
Gwen arrived back at her flat and was surprised to see Rhys was home.
“Hello love,” she says walking through the door.
“No one else would have you, that’s why you agreed to marry me Gwen? ‘Cause no one else would!” Rhys said his face red with furry.
“What!” Gwen said taken aback.
Rhys held up his phone and played the CCTV video of her and Jack in the cells.
“Where did you get that?” Gwen’s eyes narrowed.
“Does it fucking matter Gwen! I…I just can’t believe it.” Rhys said.
“Rhys, love, it’s not what it looks like.” Gwen tried to explain, using her most persuasive voice.
“Not what it looks like! It’s on bloody camera! Get out! Give me my ring back and get out. I don’t know why I asked you to marry me Gwen. My mother was right about you, saying how you only used me. Now no one is marrying you. Get Out!.” Rhys shouted.
“Rhys no wait.” Gwen pleaded. This coulnd’t be happening.
“I said get out! It’s my flat. Pack a bag and go. You can get the rest of your things later.” Rhys commanded.
Sobbing Gwen raced into the bedroom and grabbing a suitcase filled it with as many clothes as she could all the while sobbing how much she loved Rhys and that it was all a mistake.”
Rhys just watched arms folded across his chest. Gwen pulled her suitcase towards the door, still begging for understand.
“Wait.” Rhsy said.
Gwen’s heart rose, Rhys wouldn’t let her go after all.
Anger boiled up in Gwen, so she ripped off the ring and threw it on the floor. Then slammed the door.
Gwen drove furiously, she knew who had sent the CCTV video to Rhys and she was going to make them pay.
Gwen arrived at Ianto home and pounded on the door screaming for him to open up. When Ianto didn’t answer she began to kick the door, all the while screaming profanities. Gwen was so wrapped up in her anger that she failed to notice the blue light pulsating on the door and a call out from a police constable to cease and desist. It took Gwen thirty minutes to convince the constables not to arrest her, but they did give her a citation.
Gwen drove to the hub, she need to talk to Jack.
There was low lighting in the hub when Gwen arrived.
“Jack! Jack!” Gwen shouted as she came through the door.
Jack came up from the lower level wearing nothing but trousers, “Gwen what is the matter?” he asked alarmed.
“Where is Ianto?” She yelled.
“Gwen calm down. Why do you need to know where Ianto is?”
“He sent a video to Rhys! And now Rhys has kicked me out and….called off the engagement.” The situation hitting Gwen she sat down and started to sob huge gulping sobs.
“What video?” Jack asked patting the Welshwoman’s back in sympathy.
“The video of us…in the cells.”
Jack still looked perplexed.
“When you said you came back for me, and I told you I was engaged” Gwen cried, her tears were subsiding. Hope was building as she started to realize her situation.
Jack could see the change in Gwen and stepped back. Yes he lusted after Gwen, but really Jack lusted after many people. And he would admit he was….saddened to hear Gwen had become engaged while he was gone. Absent makes the heart grow fonder and all that, and he did harbor strong feeling for the woman. But the same could be said for Ianto, and tonight’s date and love making had reminded Jack just why he had chosen Ianto rather then Gwen.
But then his date with Ianto and the thought that he was losing him, no he could let Gwen go. She could and should marry Rhys. But his heart would break if he lost Ianto.
Just then Ianto made an appearance, dressed similarly as Jack, but was slipping on a shirt.
“You bastard!” Gwen shouted seeing Ianto. He anger fueled by the fact that Ianto was screwing Jack while Rhys was throwing her out of the flat and calling off the engagement. She wanted Jack, and finding Ianto here.
Jack stepped between the two.
“Ianto, did you send a CCTV video of mine and Gwen’s conversation in the cells to Rhys?” Jack asked calmly, his anger slow to rise. How could Ianto do this, it was so out of character. But then Jack remembered the conversation at dinner and Ianto bitterness towards Gwen. He knew Ianto was jealous of Gwen, afraid Jack would leave him for the passionate woman. But his behavior was unacceptable!
“You have just cost Gwen her relationship with Rhys.” Jack turned and faced the nonplussed Welshman.
“Me? What about Gwen being responsible for her own actions?” Ianto replied venom laced his voice.
“Did you even ask her why she sent the video to me?”
Jack paused and turned towards Gwen. “You sent that video to Ianto? Why?”
Gwen not one to back down in a fight. “For his own good Jack. I didn’t want Ianto to get hurt. That’s all. I heard you had asked him on a date, and I wanted him to know you only asked because I was engaged. I was looking out for him.” Her face softened. “I know you love me, and the only reason we haven’t acted on our feeling was because of Rhys.”
Jack felt his emotions become conflicted, and hated being put in this situation. He heard movement behind and saw Ianto had gotten dressed and was leaving.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Jack shocked that Ianto was planning to leave.
“Home. I’m tired and it is late.” Ianto replied dryly. He was done with the drama. Granted he caused some of it, but honestly, Gwen deserved a taste of her own medicine.
“Ianto wait.” Jack pleaded then turned towards Gwen.
“Gwen, look, talk to Rhys….” Jack heard a faint swish and turned to see Ianto rising on the invisible lift, letting out a curse Jack began to run towards the cog wheel door all the while shouting to an astonished Gwen.
“Just call Rhys and apologize or something.”
“Where are you going?” She shouted back.
The cog wheel door rolled opened and Jack looked at her, “after Ianto.