Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Title: Lovers In a Dangerous Time
Fandom: Torchwood
Word count: 4900
Rating: Adult content: sex.
Pairing: Jack/Ianto
Warning: Set at some point between “Greeks Bearing Gifts” and “They Keep Killing Susie”
Author’s Note: Sometimes I feel like writing something really smutty. This was one of those times.
Summary: “I’m baring my soul and you’re just thinking about the laundry.”

Big love and fresh pizza to for saying it was ready.

That the innards of the alien were purple was a surprise–that they smelled vaguely like rotten eggs and had the staining power of red wine was not. Ianto walked down the length of the showers with an open plastic bag, collecting ruined clothing and trying not to gag at the stench.

Gwen dropped her sweater into the bag and gave him a pleading look. “It’s my favorite,” she said mournfully. “I’ve had it for years.”

“I’ll see what I can do to recover it,” he assured her and moved on to the next stall.

“Oi, back up,” said Owen, balling his shirt up in his hands. “Let’s see if I can make it a three pointer.”

Ianto sighed, took a few steps back and held the mouth of the bag wide open. “If you hit me you’re paying for the dry-cleaning.”

“I’m not going to hit you,” Owen said and tossed his shirt, hitting Ianto square in the face. Ianto sighed again and dropped the shirt into the bag. “Er. Oops?”

“Get cleaned up, please,” said Ianto and moved to Toshiko’s stall. She had already pulled the curtain closed and merely stuck out her hand to drop her blouse and trousers into the bag. “Got them,” Ianto said and her hand disappeared.

He took a deep breath, steadied himself and stepped to the last occupied stall. Jack was stripped to the waist and he was sniffing his undershirt as if he expected it to smell of something other than dead ugly-growly-and-toothy. “Sir,” Ianto said and Jack dropped the shirt into the bag.

“On some worlds, roasted Reptilius is a delicacy. And believed to be an aphrodisiac. I think it’s the spices, myself.”

“Some people will believe anything, sir.” He nodded to Jack. “The rest of your clothes?”

Jack grinned as he put his hands on his waist. “Gonna stand there and watch?”

“I could put on some burlesque music if it would make you more comfortable.”

“You’d be surprised how little encouragement I need to take off my clothes, Ianto,” he said with a laugh and stripped down to his skin. Ianto looked away until Jack had dropped his clothing into the bag, and merely nodded and started to move away. “Wait, Ianto,” Jack said quietly and rubbed his thumb against Ianto’s cheek. “You’ve got some guts on you.”

“Owen’s aim needs improvement.”

“Hm,” Jack murmured and there was no mistaking that the rubbing thumb was caressing now, along Ianto’s cheekbone and down the side of his face.

“Sir, I need to get these to the cleaner before the smell becomes unbearable,” Ianto said in his steadiest voice.

Jack let his hand drop. “I think I got it all.”

“Thank you, sir.” He met Jack’s eyes and gave a quick nod and a nervous smile, and hurried up the stairs to the ground floor.

* * *

Tosh was the first to leave, calling “Good night, Ianto!” as she left Reception, and was soon followed by Gwen, already on the phone with Rhys though she paused to say, “Good night!” just before the door closed. Owen was last, and he surprised Ianto by tossing a paper airplane made from a twenty pound note onto his desk. “That ought to cover the cleaning.”

“Thank you, but it’s not necessary. Nothing got on my suit.” Though he had to change his shirt and tie, but he always had a few spares of those.

“Still,” Owen said with a shrug and left Reception.

That left only Jack and himself, and Jack didn’t go home at night. He left Torchwood, of course, and came back either very happy, very depressed or very drunk. But that hadn’t happened for weeks now–not since the fiasco with Lisa–and Ianto tried not to think it meant Jack didn’t trust him on his own anymore.

But he’d been slow to trust Jack again, himself.

Ianto drove to his preferred dry-cleaner–they never asked about all those bloodstains–and wrote out a few special instructions regarding Gwen’s sweater. The proprietor made a face when he opened the bag. “Good God! And I thought you lot were a research firm!”

“We are,” Ianto said and tipped him Owen’s twenty pounds.

Back at Torchwood, Ianto went through the entire main level, collecting coffee cups and empty boxes of takeout, turning off lights. The pterodactyl–another thing Ianto felt he should have lost his affection towards, yet hadn’t–chirred in its nest, the water tower hummed, and Ianto was starting to think Jack had gone out for the night after all when he noticed long legs sprawled out on the couch by Tosh’s workstation.


“Go home, Ianto.”

“Good evening to you too, sir.” He went to the coffee table and began gathering together papers, filing them back into their proper folders. He did not remark on the open bottle of whiskey or the two glasses.

“Ianto, Ianto,” Jack said quietly but didn’t continue, and when Ianto turned to return the files to the archives Jack unfolded one leg and blocked his path.

Ianto sighed. “Was there something you needed?”

“Have a drink with me.”

Ianto sat on the edge of the couch, his back perfectly straight. Jack leaned forward and poured a shot into the glass–finding it necessary, by some perversity of Jack-ness, to reach across Ianto to do it so that Ianto could smell his soap and his skin. “What are we drinking to?”

“I think,” Jack said, “we should drink to you.”

Ianto laughed, surprised. “To me.”

“Yes.” He tipped his glass against Ianto’s. “To Ianto. The steady center in a world rapidly spinning out of control.” He clicked their glasses together and drank.

Ianto looked down at his glass, then took a quick sip. The burn of the alcohol felt good, like the burn in one’s muscles after hard exercise. “You flatter me, sir.”

“Who takes care of us so well we don’t even see you doing it? Ianto. Who keeps his head steady when the rest of us panic? Ianto. Who stops the arguments before they turn into World War Five? Ianto.”

“How many have you had, sir?” Ianto said with a slight nod to Jack’s glass.

Jack shook his head. “Two or three. Not enough to matter.”

“Just don’t drive tonight.”

“I won’t. And if there’s an emergency, you’re here. Why is it that emergencies only happen at 2 a.m. and never at half-past noon? That’s a real mystery.”

“I suppose so,” Ianto said and took another sip.

“Ianto,” Jack said, “why don’t you have somewhere else to be?”

He held the glass to his forehead a moment. “I suppose I’ve been waiting to see what happens next. We’re in stasis right now, it seems.”

“Weevils, artifacts, slight fluctuations hardly worth noticing,” Jack said. “As if the Rift is inhaling before it starts to scream.”

“Sir,” Ianto said, “you are a morbid drunk.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Jack answered and did so.

Ianto watched the colors in the whiskey and decided if now was not the time, it would never come again. “Sir.”

“Yes?” Jack hissed a little on the S.

“If I were to ask you a direct question, would you actually answer me? Or just sidestep it like you usually do?”

“I do not sidestep,” he said in an injured tone. “I answer every question I know the answer to.”

“And avoid the rest. When were you born?”

Jack smiled at him. “In the summer.”

“See? A simple thing as your birthday and you won’t tell me that. Your records are so classified no one even knows where they’re stored. I feel like I could choose any name from the book and it would be as likely to be your real name as any other.”

“My real name isn’t in the phone book,” Jack said and there was an ironic twist to his mouth. “That much I can assure you.” He put his glass down and looked at Ianto directly. “So what is it? You just want to know my birthday?”

“Why didn’t you fire me?”

Jack stared at him a moment, then shook his head and smiled his jester’s smile. “For the same reason I didn’t name you as my last snog when Gwen asked.”

“I just assumed you were classifying me as a non-human life form,” Ianto said tiredly and finished off his whiskey.

“I was trying to respect you,” Jack said.




Jack laughed. “All right. I keep you around because I like to look at you. Does that confirm all your suspicions?”

Ianto felt himself blush and muttered, “Yes. I know you’re–fond–of me.”

“Fond,” Jack repeated. “Oh, ask me a direct question about that, Ianto, please.”

“Very well: are you merely fond of me or is it something else?”

Jack’s face lost its smile, and Ianto couldn’t name the expression that replaced it. Something sad and frustrated and nervous–words he’d rarely put to Jack Harkness. As quickly as it came, though, it was gone, and Jack said, pouring himself another shot, “I’ve changed my mind. I’m sidestepping that one.”

Ianto swallowed hard and said, “You’re a coward, sir.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re too afraid to be honest and I don’t understand why. It’s only me, sir.” He swallowed again–his mouth felt painfully dry but the only thing to drink within reach was the whiskey. “It’s only me.”

He could feel Jack’s eyes on him but he couldn’t look back. Not just yet.

“That’s because you’re terrifying, Ianto,” Jack said and downed his shot. “God, if you knew the things I want to do to you . . .”

Ianto swallowed again and wondered why he didn’t want to move. “And that makes me terrifying.”

“Yes. You’ve got something very few other people have ever had: power over Jack Harkness.”

“If I truly had power over you I’d make you pick up your own damn dry cleaning.”

A beat passed, and then Jack laughed and said lightly, “Exactly. Sweep it under the rug. I’m baring my soul and you’re just thinking about the laundry.”

Ianto pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes, took them away and looked at Jack. “What do you want me to say? Power over you? Tell me another. I’m the tea boy–the bloody housekeeper. I’ve noticed the comments, I know you go out of your way to touch me, but what does that really mean? It means nothing. Nothing.”

Jack said softly, “Oh, Ianto . . . you are so much more than a tea boy.” They were already close on the couch, nearly hip-to-hip, and Jack moved closer still, closing even that small space. He whispered, gaze darting from Ianto’s eyes to his mouth and back, “You’re the only person in existence I’d wait this long for, and that scares me to death, Ianto Jones.” He closed the gap between them and kissed Ianto with lips that tasted like weariness and whiskey.

Well, there were no doubts left about this, were there? Ianto thought with something like terror and something like lust. All that wondering, every look and touch that had made him think, No, it’s not what I think it is–it was exactly what he thought it was.

Jack was still kissing him, not touching him with anything more than his lips and an undemanding tongue. That made it easier somehow, for Ianto to shut off the part of him that said shouldn’t and listen only to the part of him that said must.

I want this, he thought, and the knowledge made him dizzy. I want this.

Jack shifted closer still, as if he sensed the decision had been made–he cupped Ianto’s head and deepened the kiss, licking inside Ianto’s mouth. Ianto gripped Jack’s wrist, feeling his blood race under his fingertips, and when Jack’s tongue teased along his Ianto moaned into his mouth and wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck.

They had to part at last, Ianto gasping, Jack shaking, and they pressed their foreheads together, breathing against each other’s mouths. “Good God,” Ianto said finally and Jack chuckled.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes–yes, of course.”

He stroked Ianto’s cheek. “Your face is hot.”

“I can’t imagine why.”

Jack chuckled again, kissed him lightly, and got to his feet. He held out his hand. “Come on. I don’t fancy doing you under the CCTV.”

“Oh,” Ianto said, not taking his hand. “We’re going to have sex.”

“I sincerely hope so.” He paused. “Ianto?”

Ianto bit his lip. “Jack, I never–I’ve never done it with another bloke before.”

Jack smiled, and it was surprisingly tender and reassuring. “That’s okay. I’ll show you how.”

Ianto started to speak, and found he didn’t have the words. He put his hand in Jack’s and stood, and followed him down to his quarters.

* * *

Once Ianto made up his mind to do something, he did it. It had got him his education, his collection of A-levels, his employment in the prestigious and mysterious Torchwood. It had got him through losing Lisa. It was a straightforward way to live, he found: if you kept a goal in sight, not even grief could stand in your way.

So, he’d made up his mind to have sex with Jack–and was now on his back, legs splayed open, tie tossed aside, shirt undone, as Jack kissed his chest and licked his nipples. He gasped for air and focused on the only light in the room, his hand in Jack’s hair. Jack lifted his head and grinned at him, his teeth seeming sharper than Ianto remembered. “Still okay?” he asked in a voice that was hoarse and happy.

“Yes,” Ianto whispered and hauled Jack to him for another kiss. Jack made an “mph!” sound and started laughing, still kissing him, running his hands over Ianto’s ribs.

“You’re not what I expected,” he whispered and kissed Ianto’s neck.

Ianto worked his hands under Jack’s shirt and undershirt, wanting them off, wanting skin. “And what did you expect?” he said and licked Jack’s ear, gratified by the shiver that ran through him.


Ianto snorted and kissed his mouth again. “I usually don’t have sex if I don’t want to,” he said imperiously, and yelped when Jack blew a loud raspberry on his belly.

“I’m honored, then,” Jack whispered and set about undoing Ianto’s trousers, “to be in this place of mystery and magic.” He yanked and Ianto arched, toeing off his shoes before he could get hopelessly tangled in his trousers.

“Not that mysterious,” he muttered and set about helping Jack get naked. Shirt unbuttoned, belt unbuckled, trousers undone, shoes thrown to the wall. He forgot to unbutton Jack’s cuffs before tugging off his shirt and Jack pulled his arm too hard and his elbow rammed into Ianto’s nose.

“Ianto!” Jack cried and grabbed his shoulders, while Ianto held his nose and blinked away the stars. “I’m sorry! Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” Ianto muttered, pressing his nose cautiously. There was no further pain, only a little flare, and he lowered his hand. “No lasting damage.”

“I’m sorry,” Jack said again and gently kissed the tip of his nose. “You’d think I’d never done this before.”

“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me,” Ianto said and Jack kissed him, not gently at all.

“Figured out I’m all talk, have you?” he said, pulling Ianto onto him so that Ianto straddled his legs. He kissed Ianto hard, pressing lightly on his back to coax him closer. His cock, harder and hotter than Ianto expected, brushed Ianto’s and they both shuddered.

“Yes, sir,” Ianto whispered and licked his neck. Jack tasted salty and earthy, and he hummed in his throat as Ianto kissed him. Kissing was easy, though, and Ianto hadn’t dared put his hands below Jack’s waist. He gasped when he felt Jack’s fingers on his inner thigh, and pressed his forehead against Jack’s neck.

“It’s been a long time,” Jack murmured, “much too long since you’ve been touched, hasn’t it,” and Ianto nodded, squeezing his eyes shut. He bit Jack’s shoulder as Jack’s hand closed around his prick. “Trust me,” Jack whispered and Ianto nodded again, his teeth scraping over Jack’s clavicle as Jack began to stroke him. “Let yourself enjoy it.”

Ianto moaned and his fingers dug into the back of Jack’s neck. He was trying, he really was, to relax and be swept into the experience, and he thought, I do trust you, Jack, and wrapped his own hand around Jack’s cock to do the same to him. Jack gasped a soft “Ahh!” and kissed Ianto’s cheek, and whispered into his ear, “Oh, the things I want to do to you, the places I want to take you,” in a voice that felt like velvet against bare skin.

“Do them,” Ianto whispered. “Take me there.”

Jack pulled his hips closer still and arched, rubbing their pricks together blatantly. Ianto closed his eyes and let his head fall back, his body writhing. Jack was right: it had been far too long since he’d been touched, longer still since he’d been touched like this, since someone had whispered, “I want you so much,” and made him shiver with pleasure.

Jack turned them to the bed and had Ianto lie on his stomach. Ianto braced himself, expecting the fucking to start–but instead felt Jack’s slick tongue tasting him slowly down his spine. “Jack,” he said and Jack said, “Trust me,” and Ianto said, “I do, I do,” and rested his head on the stiff canvas of the camp bed. He groaned when he felt Jack’s tongue inside him, his entire body shuddering with surprise and lust. He clenched his fists and bit hard on his lower lip, arching his hips up as Jack held him open and licked into him deep. “Christ, Jack,” he said in a near sob, “it’s too much–” and Jack nibbled his arse with a low chuckle.

He crawled onto the camp bed with Ianto and draped himself over him, and kissed the back of his neck. “All right?” he whispered and Ianto nodded, bracing himself again. “Why do you keep doing that?”

“Doing what?”

“Tensing up.” Jack played a fingertip down Ianto’s side. “I’m not going to just climb on top of you and start pounding away. I’ll give you a little warning, at least.” He kissed Ianto’s shoulder. “Be right back,” he said and went into the tiny bathroom off his quarters.

Ianto rolled onto his side and leaned his head on his hand. He heard Jack gargle and spit, and then search for something among his toiletries. When Jack leaned against the doorway, a condom wrapper in his fingers, Ianto felt his breath catch at the sight of him, long and solid and–“Fuck but you’re beautiful,” Ianto said and Jack laughed and joined him on the narrow bed again, kissing him repeatedly.

“You know, if you’re not ready for anything–”

“I’ll never be more ready,” Ianto said truthfully and kissed him, holding his upper arms. They kissed, Jack cradling him in one arm and his other hand sliding over his skin. He paused long enough to suck on his fingers, and then pushed them into Ianto as he kissed him again. “Oh my god . . .” Ianto breathed and turned his face away, squeezing his eyes shut.

“Don’t,” Jack whispered and turned it back with an insistent kiss. “Don’t shut me out.”

“I’m not–”

Jack kissed him harder, his fingers already moving inside Ianto in a rhythm that was maddening and slow. “This is happening,” Jack whispered, “this is happening right now, and I want you here.”

Ianto looked up at him, then grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him as hard and deep as he could, tasting Jack’s mouth–no longer bitter, but cool and sweet, like water. “There’s no place else I want to be,” he said and Jack rewarded him with his most beautiful smile.

Jack took his fingers from Ianto and gave him a serious look. “Ready?” Ianto nodded and started to turn over when Jack stopped him, a hand on his stomach. “No, no, I want to see your face.” Ianto nodded again and bit down on his lower lip–Jack lowered himself onto him and kissed him, using his tongue to free Ianto’s lip from his teeth. Their tongues touched and Ianto thrust a hand into Jack’s hair. He settled his body under Jack’s weight, his knees pressing against Jack’s hips, shuddering as Jack’s cock rubbed against his own. Jack’s hands and mouth left him, and Ianto watched with wide eyes as Jack tore open the condom wrapper and eased it onto his prick. Ianto’s breath quickened and his eyes locked onto Jack’s, his arms around Jack’s back. Jack touched his cheek and kissed him, and whispered into his ear, “This is your warning.”

Ianto gasped a chuckle, and then gasped more roughly as Jack lifted Ianto’s leg over his shoulder and he felt the first hard press of Jack inside him. It wasn’t like his fingers, it wasn’t like his tongue, it was altogether different, strange, intense. It was overwhelming–it was like drowning.

Ianto clutched his fingers into Jack’s back, watching his face. He didn’t know what to make of Jack’s expression–hungry and beautiful and full of wonder. He started to smile and Jack smiled back, and pushed into him hard and sudden so that he could kiss him. Ianto tangled his fingers in Jack’s hair and kissed him back, only pulling away when the pressure inside him was too much. He fell back, supporting himself on his elbows, and Jack followed him down to lick his throat.

Ianto didn’t know what to do or how to move. He touched Jack’s shoulders, ran his fingers down his chest. He flexed his hips, trying to follow Jack’s rhythm. He could feel Jack all the way down to his toes, each thrust sending a jolt up his spine directly into his brain. The sounds he was making were positively obscene–if anyone were listening to them there’d be no mistaking what was going on.

Jack lowered Ianto’s leg and Ianto let them sprawl open, wrapping his hand around his cock to stroke himself. Jack kissed him, holding his chin in one hand, and whispered to him, “Hold on just a little longer, Ianto, hold on just a little longer for me.” Ianto nodded and let his hand fall away. Jack kissed him again, tongue plunging deep, and he curled his arms under Ianto’s shoulders so their bodies pressed even tighter together. “That’s better, isn’t it?” Jack said and Ianto nodded again, moaning at the heat of Jack’s body and the texture of skin sliding against his own.

Jack began moving faster, harder, still kissing him–licking his lips, stroking his tongue–and Ianto clung to him, his throat feeling raw, his body on fire. He cried out Jack’s name and his body shuddered, and Jack groaned and shuddered with him.

They lay still.

Jack touched his face and turned it up, stroked his knuckles along Ianto’s cheekbone and smiled. Ianto smiled back, wrapped his arms around Jack’s chest and held onto him.

This small room, this narrow bed, Jack’s solid body and strong hands and blunt fingertips that touched and stroked his skin.

He’d never forget this. Never.

* * *

Jack climbed down the ladder, leftover takeaway boxes and a few bottles of spring water in his arms. “Supper time!”

Ianto blinked at him sleepily. “Supper?”

“I don’t know about you but I’m starved.” He kissed Ianto and got under the covers with him, and handed him one of the boxes. “Only one set of chopsticks, though.”

“I think we can manage,” Ianto said as he sat up. He pulled the blankets to his waist, feeling shy.

Jack watched this maneuver with bemusement. “I’ve seen it, you know,” he said and ripped open the chopsticks wrapper.

“I know.” He took the chopsticks when Jack offered them and ate a bite of cold lo mein noodles. “It’s just–sex is a bit absurd when you get down to it.”

“Absurd,” Jack said and ate some fried rice with his fingers.

“Yes. All the sweat and moaning. It’s absurd–it’s ridiculous.”

Jack said, as if he were just realizing it, “You haven’t had a whole lot of sex, have you, Ianto.”

Ianto poked the chopsticks into the noodles and felt himself blush. “I’ve only had the one serious girlfriend,” he muttered. “There weren’t many other girls. Nor any boys.”

“That’s a pity,” Jack said softly, “for you are a lovely fuck.”

Ianto blushed hotter and twisted the cap off a water bottle, drinking the water down with relief. “I suppose I seem very pedestrian to you. You’re always saying–things.”

“Ianto, do you want to know why I find sex amazing?”


“Because every time, it’s new.”

“Every time?” Ianto said.

“Every time. New partners, friends I’ve had for years, it doesn’t matter. There’s always something–it’s hard to say what–to make it . . .” He paused, then smiled and said with a self-deprecating shrug, “magical.”

“I never thought you were a romantic at heart, sir.”

“Jack,” Jack said gently and Ianto smiled with embarrassment.

“Sorry. Habit.”

Jack dismissed it with a shake of his head and ate another fingerful of rice. “I believe in the connection,” he said. “Not so much in romance, though romance can be very sweet sometimes.”

“The connection?” Ianto said, and he thought, It’s just like any other day, Jack and I just talking. Doesn’t matter that we’re naked in bed together–we’re still us.

“Right. Every living species has one thing on common: some way of joining. For children, for amusement, to express some kind of loyalty or fealty, even.” He fixed his gaze on Ianto. “And to say I love you. No alien has ever asked me, ‘What is this thing called love?’ They know for themselves.”

Ianto drank more water. “Or to say ‘I like looking at you.'”

“That too.” Jack looked at him a moment, then opened another bottle of water and drank.

“Sir–Jack–I don’t know what to make of all this.” He sighed and put down the box of lo mein. “I’m completely at sea here.”

“What happens next is up to you,” Jack said quietly. “We can go back to being boss and secretary. Or . . . we can do other things.”

Ianto bit his lip a moment. “Date?”

“If you want,” Jack said, and his smile was pleased and mischievous.

“Shag,” Ianto said and Jack’s smile grew broader.

“Definitely. Lots of shagging, I hope. I do like that part.”

“So I gathered, sir,” Ianto murmured, and then turned to him and tucked himself against Jack’s side. Jack kissed the top of his head, and Ianto inhaled deeply, reveling in the scent of his skin. “And what exactly is this power I supposedly have?”

“The power of yes, Ianto.” He kissed Ianto again.

Ianto opened his mouth, then closed it again. He left his head on Jack’s chest, feeling it slowly rise and fall. “Surely everyone else you sleep with says yes, too.”

“Oh, of course,” said Jack, “but I had to wait for you.”

“Oh,” Ianto said, frowning and still a little confused. “I see.”

He watched Ianto a moment, then tapped his nose with a fingertip and said, “Get some sleep.”

“It’s all right if I stay?”

“Please do.”

Ianto got as comfortable as he could on the narrow bed. Jack turned out the light, settled in behind him, one arm over Ianto’s ribs. After a few moments of listening to him breathe, Ianto said, “Some night we’ll have to stop at my flat. There’s actually room for two people in the bed.”

“Sounds ideal,” said Jack, and Ianto closed his eyes.

* * *

Ianto woke up early to find Jack gone, which didn’t surprise him. He went home to his flat, showered and put on a clean suit, stopped by the dry-cleaner’s for their clothes and returned to Torchwood.

Gwen hugged him when she saw her sweater. “It looks good as new,” she said, pleased. “You don’t, though: are you all right?”

“Quite all right,” Ianto said. “It was a long night last night.”

He went about his usual duties: coffee, messages, weeding out the serious problems from the imaginary ones. He listened for Jack’s footstep on the stairs and thought, idly, that he might make pasta primavera for supper tonight–Jack did need to eat more vegetables . . .

Someone stopped by his workstation and Ianto looked up, trying not to smile too widely when he saw that it was Jack. “Sir?” he said in his most professional tone.

Jack said briskly, “There have been complaints about a train running on the closed Drury line. I need you to find if there were any accidents on that line in the last hundred years that might be having an echo.”

“Yes, sir,” Ianto said and got to work.

After a moment of watching him type, Jack said, “July 22nd.”

“What, sir?”

“July 22nd. My birthday–or as near as.”

Ianto glanced at him and said, “I’ll remember.”

“No singing,” Jack said and grinned at him, went into his office and shut the door.


Though I may play in this particular universe more. I feel there’s more to say. (Not sure just what more, though.)

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