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Working Title: Rendezvous
Episode Title: Cardiff

Characters: Ianto Jones, John Hart
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Language, spoilers for Fragments.
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor ever will, Torchwood or the characters within.

First Rendezvous

 

Six months after the fall of Torchwood One, Ianto Jones meets the red-coated man again.


~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~~~~~~


Second Rendezvous 

 

Ianto Jones cursed as the weevil snarled at his throat. Heated breath carried a rancid stink that made him cough as he struggled to push the beast away. Muscles bunched tightly through his arms and shoulders as he took a deep breath and then shoved hard. The weevil fell back slightly but not enough for Ianto to reach for his back up weapon. He cursed again as the weevil surged forward again and he was pushed back against the hard unforgiving bark of a tree.

The weevil’s head exploded in a wet splash of brain and blood and Ianto, instead of holding the beast off, suddenly found himself holding it upright. He let go, slumping against the tree behind him and it fell into a huddled lump at his feet; a dead mass with half its head missing. 

He blinked and looked up.  In the dim twilight and half-shrouded by a tree someone was standing. Male, Ianto thought and he quickly scanned the ground around him for his dropped stun gun. He spotted it several feet away as the man began walking towards him. Ianto stiffened and began marshalling his thoughts. The last thing he needed was a member of the public seeing an alien, dead or not.

“Now this is a surprise,” a vaguely familiar voice said. “Hello blue eyes.”

Ianto froze and his eyes narrowed as the man came closer. “Red coat?” he queried softly in disbelief.

“In the flesh,” the man said with a light teasing tone. He stopped a few feet away. “Thought you would’ve gotten out of the alien hunting game,” he remarked as he casually kicked the body between them.

Ianto shrugged and didn’t respond to the question. “Did you have to shoot it?” he asked instead as he became aware of the wetness on his face and looked down to see splatter marks on his jacket. He wiped at his face and stared at the dark blood on his fingers.

“That’s what guns are for,” red coat said. “I’m not going to wear them and not use them.”

“They make such a mess,” Ianto said distractedly as he rubbed at his face with his sleeve.

“You weren’t so fussy last time,” red coat remarked and Ianto glared at him.

“I had other concerns last time,” he said stiffly and dropped his arm. He bent down to manouevre the weevil before lifting it up and draping it over his shoulder. He straightened with a soft grunt.

“You want a hand with that?” Red coat moved closer and Ianto took a few staggering steps away from him before he got himself balanced.

“I can manage.”

“Still as stubborn as ever,” Red coat laughed.

“What are you doing here, red coat?”

“Admiring your ass,” came the immediate reply and Ianto looked behind him to see Red coat standing there staring at him. “What?” Red coat opened his arms wide and grinned. “It’s a fine ass and I’d like to see more of it.”

Ianto looked down over his shoulder at his jean-clad rear and then back at red coat. “I guess you’re destined for disappointment,” he said and turned away slowly walking to his car.

“I’m never disappointed,” Red coat called after him and hurried to catch up to the younger man. Ianto’s eyebrow rose as red coat came in close enough to brush arms. “And nor am I disappointing,” he leered.

“There’s always a first time,” Ianto pointed out as he shifted the heavy weevil on his shoulder.

“Be nice, blue eyes. I did just save your life again,” red coat replied easily.

“And I’m disappointed,” Ianto snapped, adding without thought, “again.” Ianto stopped suddenly and faced the slightly smaller man with a hard stare. “Seriously this time, red coat. Why are you here?”

“John. Call me John. John Hart.”

“You took that name from a book!” Ianto exclaimed. “It’s not your name.”

“I know, but I like it. It’s grown on me.” White teeth flashed in a smile and Ianto shook his head.

“You’re avoiding the question,” Ianto said firmly. “Why are you here?” he repeated and then sighed in response to the ever-widening grin. “John.”

“Now that wasn’t so hard was it, blue eyes?” John Hart smirked.

“I should start insisting you use my real name,” Ianto muttered.

“Blue eyes, eye-candy, Ianto. I’m easy,” John said pressing in close. Close enough for Ianto to get a hint of that sea-scent he’d almost forgotten. “Oh, I am so very easy,” John added on a wafting breath of ocean salt.

“What is that aftershave?” Ianto asked before he’d known he was going to speak.

“No aftershave. Just fifty-first century pheromones,” John whispered close to Ianto’s cheek. “You have no idea,” he almost purred and Ianto took a step back.

“Fifty-first century?” he asked in obvious shock, his eyes wide.

John shrugged. “You did know I wasn’t from around here, didn’t you?”

“Well, yes, I got that, but… but… fifty first century? You’re from the future?” 

“You hunt aliens. You were at Torchwood and a bit of time travelling surprises you?” John Hart sounded highly amused.

“No. No, it’s not that. I know about time travel. It’s… it’s just that… I’ve never met anyone who has time travelled.” Ianto struggled to be coherent. He knew the reasons behind Torchwood’s inception. The story of a time travelling alien meeting Queen Victoria and involving were-wolves was part of the induction process for all new employees. And Ianto had seen and heard of things far more unbelievable but to actually meet someone who had travelled in time and from the future no less was awe-inspiring and terrifying all at once. And red coat… John seemed so blasé about it.

“It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, really,” John remarked. “Lots of rules and regulations and laws. Kind of takes all the fun out of it.”

“Somehow I can’t see you actually following the rules,” Ianto said with a frown.

“You know me so well, and this only our second date.” 

Ianto blinked. “Some things are obvious.” 

“Easy and obvious. That is me,” John agreed. “It saves a lot of time.”

Ianto shook his head. “You’re still avoiding my question.”

“You are persistent and stubborn,” John sighed.

“It’s a gift,” Ianto said blandly.

“It’s annoying, blue eyes,” John muttered and brushed his mouth across Ianto’s before stepping back with a smirk firmly in place. “Well, I’m not here to ask you to take me to your leader,” he said expansively. “In fact I’d rather not meet your leader. Politicians are a given constant no matter the time or planet.”

“Like old clichés,” Ianto interjected.

“Shush, blue eyes. I blame that on you lot developing space travel before time travel.” John pointed at Ianto and Ianto shrugged as best he could with a weevil over his shoulder.

“My apologies. I’ll make a note not to discover space travel this week then.” Ianto began to walk towards his car again and John followed with a laugh.

“Sassy. I do like that mouth of yours.”

“Get to the point, John.”

“Bossy too. Fine, if you must know, I’m just here to pick up stuff,” John replied. “There’s quite a demand for antiques…”

“Antiques?” Ianto dropped the weevil and turned to face John. He stared at the man for a long hard moment as his mind spun wildly. “You mean you take things from now back to your future and sell them? In some kind of futuristic op-shop?”

“Well…” John paused for a moment before nodding. “Yep. That sounds a much nicer way of saying it.”

“How would you say it?” Ianto demanded.

“It’s more a black market than a legit shop,” John responded with a shrug. “Look, I’m not going to take anything from you personally and I never steal anything too recognisable – that would be just asking for trouble. All I’m doing is taking a few useless and worthless knick-knacks from a time where they’re not appreciated to a place and time where they’re still useless but no longer worthless.”

“It’s stealing. You’re a thief. Ignoring all the time travelling and its theft plain and simple.”

“Ahh, but the time travelling makes it all the more fun, blue eyes. Anyone can steal things, but doing it across time and space makes it so much more.” John shrugged again. “Besides the Agency knows we do it, it’s not like I’m the only one.”

“The Agency?”

“Time Agency.” John tilted his head to one side. “The ones that set up all those rules and regulations. They kind of watch over the timelines and monitor most of the time travelling that’s allowed.”

Ianto took a breath. “It’s illegal,” he stated, working to get his thoughts into their normal logical patterns.

“Of course,” John replied. “Wouldn’t be any fun if it wasn’t. Temporal theft carries the death penalty in a lot of cases.”

“The death penalty.” Ianto took another breath. “And the Agency sanctions this?”

“Not openly and not those that are careless enough to get caught. I’m not careless.” John almost preened. “If I know the right times and events I can take advantage of them and not cause any trouble and I do know them. No-one gets hurt, no-one gets killed and I get paid. I admit I don’t go sifting through your garbage to get what I want, but I’m also not about to ransack the museums either. There are plenty of other, less obvious places to…”

“Torchwood,” Ianto gasped suddenly. “That’s why you were there. That’s why. You were … you were scavenging! Stealing as we were dying!” Ianto jumped over the corpse, his hands grabbing at John’s jacket and pushing him backwards. His hands fisted tight and he shook the smaller man before John reached up and gripped at Ianto’s wrists. Ianto growled. “You let us die for your profit! You could have warned us. You could have saved them. Saved her.”

“No, it doesn’t work like that.” John tightened his hold on Ianto’s wrists. “I can’t change what happens. That’s one law I do not break.”

Hypocrite!” Ianto hissed. 

“No!” John dug his fingers into Ianto’s wrists and twisted hard breaking the Welshman’s harsh grip. As his arms were pulled away, Ianto lashed out with a foot catching the side of John’s knee hard enough to unbalance the shorter man. They tipped sideways hitting the ground hard, momentarily stunning them. John recovered first and he rolled over on top of Ianto. Ianto bucked upwards but John was ready for him and flattened himself over the taller man trapping Ianto’s arms between them. 

Ianto found his extra height and reach didn’t help him as he pushed hard trying to dislodge John from him. John had a wiry strength and every time Ianto managed to get an arm or leg free, he was just as quickly trapped again. He struggled, trying to use his elbows and knees but John twisted and his elbows hit nothing. Ianto cursed and rolled them over with a violent twist of his back. John instantly grabbed him again, wrapping his arms tightly around the writhing Welshman.

“Nice try, blue eyes, but I’m not letting you go so easily,” John said as he flipped them back over.

Get off me, you bastard!” Ianto said through gritted teeth as he once again struggled against the other man.

“Keep moving like that and I will never let you go,” John leered with a rolling push of his hips against Ianto’s. The Welshman spluttered and his hands scrabbled at John’s chest trying to push him away with an incoherent curse. John laughed. “Come on blue eyes, time to calm down now.”

“Calm down?” Ianto spat. “You could have saved them! You could have stopped them! They could all be alive!”

“Idiot,” John stated, his voice showing no strain as he held Ianto still. “You were there too, blue eyes. You were there before I was. You worked there. Did you do anything?”

“I didn’t know what was going on!” Ianto shouted. “None of us did.”

“Now that’s a lie. You might not have known, but there were plenty others that did. What your problem is, is that you did nothing to stop it. You did nothing to decide if it was right or wrong and that’s where your guilt lies.” John kept his voice even as Ianto shuddered in his arms. “You’re angry at me because it’s easier than accepting your part of the blame.”

No!” Ianto protested.

“You hate me for taking advantage of a situation, but I didn’t create that situation. You hate yourself for surviving but you hate yourself even more because you did nothing to stop it.” John was the voice of reason and Ianto’s breathing faltered, his struggling eased for a second before he began fighting back again.

“NO!” There was an audible edge of desperation and John had trouble holding onto Ianto as the young man twisted and writhed fiercely in frenzied denial.  John avoided an attempted head butt and pulled the young man closer.

“Sorry, blue eyes,” whispered John and Ianto collapsed. He crumpled against John, the urge to fight leaving him in a rush, his hands scrabbling at the red coat without managing to grip anything. His fingers felt useless and his whole body felt heavy. Grief or guilt, he wasn’t sure which, ran through him, weighing him down.

“I hate you.” The words were so very soft and broken, almost lost in the hitching breath Ianto took.

“I know,” John’s reply was equally soft. “It’s ok.” John patted the Welshman’s back and shifted them both into a sitting position as Ianto struggled with the memories. John felt his neck become wet and wondered if the younger man was aware of his tears as he stayed almost boneless in John’s arms.

It was ten minutes before Ianto stiffened and John loosened his grip, shifting back slightly as Ianto pulled away. The pale face was blotched and Ianto scrubbed at his damp cheeks not meeting John’s eyes. The older man hid his smile and ignored Ianto’s obvious discomfort with the situation. Shakily Ianto got to his feet. John stretched lazily and stood up as well. He studied the younger man for a moment before nodding at the forgotten weevil.

“So… you have somewhere to take this beastie thing?” he asked.

“Usually back to …” Ianto stopped speaking abruptly and John grinned.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask to be invited into your Torchwood here,” John said, knowing exactly why Ianto had paused. “And you look exactly as if you’d fought and killed the savage beast,” he added and Ianto looked down. His jacket was torn and well-stained with blood and dirt. His jeans were stained as well from where they’d been rolling on the ground and he just knew his face would be equally stained.  He couldn’t go in like this. While the blood and dirt didn’t bother him, the implications they carried did and he certainly didn’t want anyone to know he’d been crying. He looked like the mess he knew he was and that he wanted to keep from the others. 

“I should change first,” he said as he thought about it. It would be easy enough to swing past his flat before going to the Hub. “What are you going to do?”

“I still have some things to do,” John replied with an unrepentant shrug.

“No,” Ianto shook his head. “I meant your jacket.” 

John looked at his equally filthy jacket and laughed. “It’s ok, blue eyes. I’ll clean it later or get another one.” Ianto looked offended and John wasn’t sure if Ianto was offended with John’s casual attitude to the dirt or his treatment of the jacket.

“You should at least give it a brush down,” Ianto said with more emphasis than he intended as he saw John tilt his head with a curious expression on his face. Ianto cursed silently before letting his breath out. “I… I like things to be neat and clean,” he said and John nodded without censure. Ianto thought there might even have been a hint of understanding but he couldn’t be sure.

“You offering, blue eyes?” John spread his arms out flamboyantly and arched his hips towards Ianto with a cheeky smirk. “I’ve no objections to you brushing me down,” he added, the very image of leering innuendo that Ianto nearly laughed but it got caught in his throat and he turned away with a choked cough.

“Come on, let’s get you home,” John’s voice was at his ear and a hand stroking his back. “Leave the body for the scavengers,” he added as he eased Ianto a few steps. Ianto shook his head and pushed away from John.

We don’t have scavengers here,” Ianto emphasised bitterly. All he wanted now was to go home and curl up in a corner for a few hours and John was still pushing all the wrong buttons. He’d already lost his self-control once and he was barely stopping himself from losing it again. He needed to be alone to regain his inner balance.

Everyone scavenges at some point. It’s what Torchwood does and you know it,” John replied without offense. “If you didn’t then there’d be no reason for me to be here.”

“So you’re saying it’s our fault?” Ianto asked in disbelief.

“No. It’s not a question of fault. It’s just what humans do,” John said with a shrug. “And not just humans. Scavenging is widely practised by every just about every life-form I can think of. It’s a practical and profitable way to survive.”

Ianto shook his head and took a deep breath.  “I meant we have no feral scavengers. No predators. No rats big enough or hungry enough to consume this weevil completely. It’s better if I take it and incinerate it.”

“No scavengers?” John asked curiously. “City life here must be rather boring without having to avoid the predators.”

“Our rats aren’t that big yet. Give them several hundred years and they may provide you with more excitement,” Ianto commented drily.

“And if I can’t wait that long?” John queried with a grin. “I could bring one back with me next time, if you like. Call it a gift from me to you.”

“No thank you. I’m not looking for a pet killer rat right now.”

“Shame,” John said. “Perhaps I’ll just bring flowers instead. The non-carnivorous kind. I wouldn’t want you to get eaten by anything but me,” he added with a friendly leer.

“How thoughtful of you,” Ianto said blandly. “But I’m allergic to flowers.”

“Of course you are,” John grinned happily, not believing him for a moment. “You just wait, blue eyes. I will shower you with flowers. The non-carnivorous, non-allergenic kind.”

“I’d prefer you not do that,” Ianto demurred and John’s grin got wider. Ianto mouthed a curse and turned his attention to the weevil. John moved to help him, taking hold of the shoulders and lifting it easily as Ianto picked up the corpse’s legs.

“You can be my twenty-first century guy and every time I visit I will bring presents and flowers,” John said cheerfully as they walked to Ianto’s car and Ianto sent him a suspicious look.

“And in return?” Ianto queried.

“You supply the sex,” John stated matter of factly. “That’s how it usually works and I don’t think this century is any different.”

Ianto blinked. “You have other … guys in other centuries?”

“Well, not just guys, some centuries really frown on that so I have a woman waiting, and then some planets, well, they have three or four sexes and I’m extremely versatile.” John shrugged. “I guess I have a someone for wherever I am.”

“The equivalent of a girl in every port,” Ianto muttered with a roll of his eyes. “How nautical of you. And I’m just supposed to go along with this?”

“I like sailors,” John shrugged. “And there’s no suppose about it.” 

“People of this time tend to have some expectation of fidelity,” Ianto pointed out.

“What’s the fun with that?” John scoffed. “Besides it would be selfish if you couldn’t have any fun while I’m not here.”

Ianto shook his head. John left him completely bemused. “I meant fidelity on your part too,” he remarked and John laughed derisively.

“That’s a ridiculous notion.”

“So I see,” Ianto murmured and John looked at him carefully.

“You didn’t think… you weren’t expecting me to say yes, were you?” John asked cautiously.

“No,” Ianto replied. “I would have been more surprised if you had.”

“See, this is why I like you, blue eyes. You’re realistic and you understand how things are,” John praised him and Ianto wondered how it was that John had avoided any hint of condescension. “So, you okay with us now?”

“That sounded like a question. I suppose I should be grateful you’re asking me as you seem to have taken my acquiescence for granted so far,” Ianto said.

“Blame rehab for that. It was so much easier to just take it before,” John said offhandedly as he adjusted his grip on the weevil. “That your car there?” he added with a head nod to the only vehicle in the parking area.

“Rehab?” Ianto blurted. “I don’t think I want to know,” he added with a shake of his head. “And yes, that’s my car. And I haven’t agreed to be your guy for this century. In fact I am going to refuse that no doubt dubious honour.”

“Not even going to reconsider it?” John pouted slightly.

“I’m not even going to consider it in the first place.”

John sighed. “You’re no fun.” Then he brightened. “But there’s always next time.”

“Next time?” Ianto asked with raised eyebrows as they lowered the weevil next to his car and began to fish in his pocket for his car keys.

“There’s always a next time,” John said airily as he looked at the sleek elegant lines of the Aston Martin. “This is yours? Nice, blue eyes, very nice. She looks a beauty.”

“It is,” Ianto said as he popped the boot.

“Chasing aliens pays well here,” John remarked and Ianto shook his head.

“Not really,” he replied. 

“I’d disagree with you there. I might not know anything about transport here, but that is one expensive looking vehicle,” John said approvingly as he helped Ianto manhandle the corpse into the boot.

Ianto let out his breath, his eyes dark. “Surviving aliens enabled me to get this,” he said without expression.

There was a small pause as John looked blank for a moment. “Ahh,” he began as he understood what Ianto meant and then he grinned. “Now that’s not bad, blue eyes. It doesn’t work so well in the future, but I could make some serious money if I get the era right.”

“What are you talking about?” Ianto asked puzzled.

“Compensation,” John said. “That’s what you meant wasn’t it? There are some events later on I could go to and claim for. Wouldn’t even really need to actually get hurt. This is brilliant. Easy money.” John’s eyes were bright and he looked remarkably happy as he planned. He missed noticing the hard right fist that connected with his chin or the equally hard left that broke his nose. He found himself sitting on the ground with blood pouring from his nose and a very aching jaw. He looked up at Ianto in surprise. “What was that for?”

“You unconscionable bastard!” The Welshman was incensed. “How dare you?! Do you think I wanted the money? Does any survivor want money? Of course we don’t! What we want is for it never to have happened. What we want are our lives and our friends and loved ones back. I want her back. And if the closest I can get to that is having the car she always said we should have then that’s what I did.” Ianto appeared to tower above him, hands fisted tight at his sides and bristling with outrage. John thought Ianto was actually trembling with the force of his anger. “And how low can you possibly go? Taking advantage of other people’s pain just to get money?”

“Oh come on blue eyes, I didn’t say I was going to con survivors or victims. Hell, I was being good by not going back and claiming right alongside you. I’d be aiming for the companies and the governments and probably not the Earth ones. There are other cultures out there that would be easier to take advantage of.”

“It’s still immoral and wrong!” Ianto aimed a kick at John’s side and the smaller man yelped as he dodged it, somersaulting quickly sideways before he sat back up again, blood smeared over his face.

“Why are you attacking me now? I haven’t done anything yet!”

“But you were planning to!”

“There’s no need to get so worked up about it. I’m not going to do it anywhere near you.”

I don’t care! It’s wrong!” Ianto kicked out again and John shifted out of the way.

“Will you stop with the kicking already?” he asked pointedly. 

“Not until you agree not to do this!” Ianto demanded.

“Not going to happen, blue eyes. We all do what we have to to survive in this universe. I might seem immoral and wrong compared to you but you have no right to judge me. I’m what millennia of humanity will breed. I’m what you will become. I am your future.” John’s voice was so calm and carried an almost palpable feel of inevitability. Ianto was beyond words. 

He kicked out for a third time and John didn’t avoid it. Ianto saw his booted foot connect to John’s unprotected forehead. He saw John slump backwards, his anger propelling him to ignore his conscience as he turned away to slam the boot closed before roughly pulling his car door open. With abrupt angry movements he started the car and revved the engine hard and fast, his tyres slipping and spraying loose gravel behind him as he left the car park. He looked back once and saw John still sitting on the ground. The man was laughing and Ianto’s hands tightened painfully on the steering wheel. Denial, anger and guilt swirled through him. 

He only just made it home and into his bathroom before his stomach completely rebelled at his emotional turmoil and acid bile – almost as bitter as his guilt – spewed from him into the toilet.

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Thirty minutes later he did not ask himself why he was pulling into the same car park with a small first aid kit on the passenger seat. Freshly showered and dressed, with antacid coating his stomach and shame on his mind he wondered why he was not more surprised to see John Hart standing there. Waiting for him.

“Welcome back blue eyes,” the bloodied and bruised man said. Ianto grabbed the first aid kit and got out of the car. John Hart whistled. “Eye candy,” he purred. Ianto looked down at himself. He’d changed into the black suit and white shirt he usually wore for work. 

“Obviously humanity’s future also loses its fashion sense as well as its morality if you’re that enamoured of my suit,” he snapped and threw the kit at John who caught it instinctively.

“If we all did for a suit what you do to it, morality has no chance of surviving,” John remarked admiringly as he kept staring at the Welshman. “You look good when you clean up, but wearing that suit, you look really good. Very edible and so damned fuckable.” There was a note to John’s voice that had Ianto blushing and he turned away hoping John hadn’t noticed. The soft laugh he heard told him he had failed.

“Clean yourself up,” he said gruffly and headed back to his car.

“You’re not staying?” John asked in disbelief. “Not going to make sure I leave. Not going to give me the ‘and don’t come back’ speech?”

“Would it work if I did?” Ianto stopped walking but didn’t turn back.

“No, but we could have fun with you trying to persuade me.”

Ianto gritted his teeth. He wasn’t going to respond. Any insult was just going to run off that red coat like water from a duck’s back. And what was there that would actually insult a man from the future with no apparent morals? Ianto couldn’t think of anything as he walked the last few steps to his car.

“Thank you eye candy,” John called and Ianto paused, his hand on the car door.

“You’re welcome,” his innate politeness took over and he mumbled a curse as he opened the door. A beeping behind had him turning abruptly.

John was standing there looking at something on his wrist. He looked up at the staring Welshman and grinned. “How would you like to make sure I really do leave here? Even if I don’t promise never to come back.”

Ianto kept staring and lifted a shaking hand, pointing at John’s wrist. 

“What… what is that?” he asked, shock plastered all over him.

“Vortex manipulator,” John replied slowly, wondering what had set the young man off this time. “All Time Agents have one.”

“My boss has one,” Ianto said blankly, his mind whirling.

“Really?” John was surprised. 

“Captain Jack Harkness,” Ianto told him. “He wears it all the time. He’s a Time Agent too?” Ianto was stunned.

John shrugged. “I’ve never heard that name before, but names aren’t important in the Agency. We’re not called captain either. We’re just agents."

“His beeps just like that.” Ianto was floundering for something to concentrate on.

“They all beep,” John said with amusement. “This one’s beeping because it’s picked up a disturbance in the time stream that I can hop onto.” He noted Ianto’s blank look. “It lets me travel through time,” he explained.

Ianto blinked. “That? A wrist strap is a time machine?”

John laughed. “Yep. It might not be as elegant as your car, but this gets me a lot further.”

“The Captain could travel in time as well then.” Ianto’s mind was flitting in all directions.

“If he’s an Agent, yes,” John said. “But I don’t know of any Agents in this time period and I’ve never heard of one being in Torchwood.”

“How would you know though?” Ianto asked. “If he’s anything like you, there’s no telling what he’s doing here.” Ianto’s heart was pounding as he thought of all the ramifications. For himself, for Torchwood, oh god, for the Earth itself.

John sighed as he saw the first signs of possibly impending hysteria. “Is he anything like me?” he asked loudly to get Ianto’s attention and Ianto frowned.

“No,” he answered after some thought. “He’s got morals.” And it was true Ianto thought. The Captain was often outrageous and flirted indiscriminately with most of Cardiff but not once had Ianto felt the need to question the Captain. The man was careful in his treatment with humans and aliens alike, never seeking personal advantages and – Ianto had to swallow hard – the Captain had never followed One’s more inhumane procedures. No, the Captain was probably more human than Ianto himself.

John rolled his eyes. “Morals mean little. They’re just there to make it easier for some people to sleep at night.” He walked over to Ianto and lifted his wrist. “The main function of this is time travel. If your Captain was an Agent, he wouldn’t be sat here, he’d be out there. We don’t stay in one place for long, we’re always moving around and we don’t get too involved with the natives. It’s against company policy and causes all sorts of trouble.”

Ianto studied the well-worn band. A small light blinked at the bottom of a tiny screen. Several buttons ran along the sides of the screen and Ianto’s fingers itched slightly wanting to press one or two. He’d never been able to closely study the Captain’s band so he wasn’t sure if it differed but they certainly seemed very similar. John tapped the red light and unfamiliar characters flashed on the screen.

“Thirty minutes and about five kilometres from here and I’ll be able to go home.”

“What language was that?”

“Universal Standard Variant Seven,” John said as he pressed a button.

“What?” Ianto asked.

“Universal Standard Variant Seven,” John repeated watching several lines twist across the screen. “Come on, you can give me a lift and even kiss me goodbye.”

Ianto found himself in his car with John beside him navigating their way across Cardiff before he could voice a protest. John seemed intent on his wrist, watching the lights and giving Ianto concise directions. It was such a contrast from the casual attitude that he’d seen so far. Ianto chewed at his lip.

“What is Universal Standard Variant Seven?”

“Universal Standard is the most common language for humans,” John answered without taking his eyes from the small screen. “Do you think you could go a bit faster?”

“Why Variant Seven though?” he queried as he increased his speed.

“There are variants for species and usages. Variant One is for formal negotiations whereas Variant Two is for telepathic communications. And Variant Three is more sign based for those that don’t have mouths. Not everyone needs to know all the variants, but most people know a few of each.”

“And Agents need to know them all?” 

“Not really. This translates most of them for me.” John looked up. “You still thinking your Captain is an Agent?”

Ianto shifted uncomfortably. “Yes,” he said on a breath. “He uses that strap for translating too. I don’t know if it’s that universal Standard though.”

“It doesn’t matter, these things can translate other languages too. Listen blue eyes, these straps do just about everything. It translates, it scans, it can integrate into most electrical systems. It’s a communicator, a database, it even tells the time. It gets updated every time I get back to the Agency. And it carries me through time. What does your Captain do with his?”

Ianto pondered. “Just about all that except time travel and I’ve never seen him use it as a communicator. He scans everything with it and …”

“And the database would tell him what he’s scanning.” John finished for him. “I think he’s found one that’s come through the rift and he’s figured out how to use it. It’s probably broken because he hasn’t managed to travel with it. Time travel’s the first thing you would find out if you got hold of a working one.”

“Really?”

“Oh yes. Press the button and gone. You’d probably get yourself killed on that first trip with no training, but you’d be gone. He probably doesn’t even know it can be used to travel like that.”

“But wouldn’t everything be in that Variant Seven language? If he’s using the database, doesn’t that mean he understands the language?”

“No. If he’s got it linked into your system then it would come up in English.”

“Which he has,” Ianto said slowly. “He controls the lift…” Ianto trailed off.

“Told ya,” John smirked slightly. “And I’ll be completely honest here. Do you think I’d be here if there was another Agent around?”

“No.” Ianto shot a look at John. “No, I hadn’t thought of that.”

“Slipping a bit there, blue eyes.” John leant back in his seat. “You might not like what I’m doing, but you can’t do anything about it. The Agency however can and would so I make sure there’s nobody else around. This picks up each and every working band within fifty years of me and I check it regularly.”

“And you don’t pick up his strap?”

“No. Which means it’s damaged. Probably burnt out. Agents work in pairs. If he was an Agent and his strap got broken his partner would start emergency procedures and they’d both be rescued. And if he was on his own, he’d know how to put out an alert for the Agency to get himself picked up. Agents don’t get stranded.”

Ianto took a deep breath and let it out slowly. It had seemed a bit far-fetched but it would have explained so much about the Captain. Mysterious sometimes didn’t come close to describing the man.

“Would his strap pick yours up?”

John shook his head. “No. His time travel circuits would have to be working for that to happen. The bands pick up on the vortex receptors in each other. That’s what sets the alarms off.”

“Should you be telling me all this?” Ianto wondered.

John shrugged. “Probably not.”

“Aren’t you worried about paradoxes or timelines or whatever else time travel can cause?” Ianto tried to recall the leaflets One had had on what to do in case of time travel.

“Not really. Someone else will sort it out if anything happens.” John shrugged again. “We should almost be there now. Another five hundred metres or so.”

Ianto looked around him. Warehouses and small factories were dotted on either side of the road. Some had for sale signs in front of them, some still seemed viable. 

“What are we looking for?”

“You won’t be able to see it yet, but a small gap should open up. Flashy lights and glowing stars, that sort of thing.”

“So that band can predict a gap?”

“Yes. Always need to know where the escape routes are.” John looked up. “Although Wentloog is one of the more stranger place names I’ve come across,” he said as his head turned, keeping an eye on the street sign.

“Gwynllŵg,” Ianto muttered and suddenly caught John staring at him. “What?”

“Say that again,” John said intently and leant closer.

“Gwynllŵg,” Ianto repeated. “It’s the original…”

“I don’t care what it is, blue eyes. That accent of yours is amazing when you speak in whatever that was.”

“Welsh. That was Welsh.” Ianto shifted closer to the car door trying to concentrate on the road as he felt John’s breath at his neck.

“Say it again, blue eyes,” John whispered with that sea-salt scent. “For me, say it again. Please.”

Ianto opened his mouth to repeat himself a third time before he caught himself.

“No,” he managed to say as he put his foot down hard on the brakes.

 John rocked forward and hit the dashboard with a thump before he pulled back and laughed. “Oh you are so rough tonight, my little Welsh eye candy.” He leered at Ianto. “I like it rough.”

Ianto groaned. “I’d like for you to go home. Are we close enough?”

John looked at his wrist band and then moved it around. “Yes. That building over there seems to be right where it will open.” John pointed to a large warehouse and Ianto dutifully drove into the car park. As soon as the car stopped, he looked across at John.

“Get out now.”

John sighed loudly. “So cruel and stubborn. Come on blue eyes, don’t you want to see me disappear right before your eyes? Don’t you want to make sure I actually leave?”

“You’re annoying.”

“I have chocolate.”

“What?”

“Chocolate.” John pulled out a bar from his jacket and waved it at Welshman. “I picked it up while I was waiting for you.”

It took Ianto several attempts before he could get his mouth to work. “Why?” he asked completely bemused.

“Told you. You’re my twenty-first century guy and I haven’t been able to get the flowers yet, so I got you this.”

“I did refuse your offer. You do remember that, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I ignored it. Have the chocolate and we can have the sex next time.”

“Next time? There will be no next time!”

“You already said that. You’re repeating yourself a lot tonight, blue eyes.”

Ianto swore under his breath in Welsh and John’s eyes lit up. “Oh, Welsh again,” he approved and slid close to Ianto again. Ianto gave him a harried and annoyed glare as he scrambled out of the car.

“Damn it John, stop that!”

“Oh come on blue eyes. You stand there like the Goddess’s gift, all gorgeous Welsh eye candy and you can’t expect me not to appreciate that.” John stumbled out of the car and walked around it to face Ianto. “We still have fifteen minutes. There’s a lot we could do in fifteen minutes.” 

John moved closer and Ianto took a step back. John kept moving and Ianto kept stepping back until he hit the warehouse wall. John smiled moving in with a predatory grace that had Ianto swallowing hard and stepping to the side. He wasn’t fast enough. John pressed right up against him. Ianto felt a hand slip into his jacket and a weight pulled at the inner pocket.

“Just the chocolate, blue eyes.” 

Sea-salt breath wafted across his chin and Ianto shivered. John was half a head shorter than he was but it didn’t seem to matter as a hand snaked around the back of his neck and pulled his head down six inches to meet thin warm lips. Ianto froze but John didn’t seem to care.

John’s mouth slid easily against his in a slow glide before the merest hint of a warm wet tongue traced a line around them. Ianto’s hands lifted and grabbed at empty air in an automatic protest as John’s mouth pressed more firmly. John’s scent intensified and Ianto had to close his eyes against it. He moved his hands intending to push John away but when his fisted hands rested against John’s arms he couldn’t unclench them. He opened his mouth to protest and John invaded. Ianto shuddered. 

Thin lips sealed themselves to his, an agile tongue swiped at his teeth and gums and then teased his tongue. Ianto responded mindlessly as his body jolted. Instinctively he wrapped his tongue around John’s, pulling and tugging it in deeper, chasing after it when it withdrew. Teeth clacked as he opened his mouth wider and their tongues tangled between them before John forced his tongue back into Ianto’s mouth again.

It had been six months since he’d kissed or been kissed by anyone properly and Ianto had forgotten how intense it could be when you just gave yourself up to the sensations. There were voices somewhere at the back of his mind shouting at him, clamouring for his attention but he ignored them. He didn’t want to hear them. He’d spent all evening on a rollercoaster of emotion and this was just one more trip. 

John kept his hand behind Ianto’s head and the other lightly held onto his jacket. The Welshman showed no sign of pulling back but John was ready if he did.  Blue eyes had his own intoxicating scent and taste he realised as he twisted his tongue around Ianto’s.  And the Welshman could kiss. It had been awhile since John had found someone who had no objections to just kissing. Of course it was usually John who objected, always wanting to get to the good bits.

A high pitched incessant beeping interrupted them and they pulled apart slightly, foreheads resting together, breathing harshly and trying to regain their composure. John looked at Ianto. His lips were swollen and glistened with saliva and John knew his were in the same condition. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and pressed at his wrist strap. The beeping stopped.

“Goddess, but you taste good, blue eyes,” he said hoarsely. He cleared his throat and stepped back. “Time for me to go,” he spoke more normally. Ianto stared at him before physically shaking himself free of his mental fog.

“Yeah, right,” he replied in an equally hoarse voice and had to clear his throat. “Won’t be missing you,” he added without meeting the shorter man’s eyes.

“Wasn’t expecting you too,” John said. “But you will,” he added cheerfully as he studied his wrist band screen. “Looks like it’s inside here.” He walked to the nearest door and opened it, disappearing into the building.

Ianto pulled out his handkerchief and wiped at his mouth. He could still taste John on his lips and he wondered how long it would last. He hurried after him and found the red-coated man surveying the large almost empty warehouse.

“Somewhere in here any minute now,” he said as Ianto slowed to his side. “And I’m not sorry I kissed you either.”

“Was I looking for an apology?” Ianto snapped.

“Give it a few minutes and you would be,” John replied.

A glow distracted him and he turned. A small circle of golden light swirled a few feet off the ground rapidly increasing in speed and size. Ianto took an involuntary step backwards and John held his wrist band towards it. 

“It’s a bit larger than I expected,” he said as the glow increased and a whining sound began echoing through the building. Suddenly there was a loud crack and it looked as if the air had broken open. Light flashed and a wind rushed past them. “Quite a lot larger,” John shouted over the noise that exploded around them.

“You don’t say,” Ianto retorted sarcastically as he kept backing away. 

John watched the increasing gap closely and kept his wrist band aimed at it. “I can still use it,” he told Ianto with a sideways grin. “Don’t worry, blue eyes, you are getting rid of me.”

Ianto scoffed and then ducked as something flew out of the rip. “What the …” he exclaimed as he looked around frantically. “Fuck me,” he swore as he saw it.

“Any time,” John promised from beside him. “What is that?”

“It’s a dinosaur.” Ianto was dumbfounded. “It’s a pteranodon. They’ve been extinct for millions of years. How the hell did it get here?”

“Through the rift, blue eyes. You just saw it,” John answered.

“Don’t be facetious,” Ianto said without heat as he watched the large leathery creature soaring around the rafters. “You said you were going home. Back to the future not into our prehistory.”

“I’m not. I can’t create an opening, I can only use the ones that appear. Once I find one, I can use my strap to direct where I want to go. But the gaps, the rips like this, they’re not like wormholes, they’re random and they’ll appear and disappear however they want. Your flying friend was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“Can we send it back?”

“How? Not me, blue eyes. I haven’t got time to catch it and it probably wouldn’t survive the return trip anyway.” John pointed at the still glowing rip. “I’ve got to go now before that disappears.” He kissed Ianto hard and quick and began to walk towards the swirling disturbance.

“What am I going to do with that?” Ianto demanded with a wild gesture at the pteranodon.

“Feed it the chocolate for all I care, eye candy,” John told him as he stood by the rip. He blew a kiss to Ianto. “Til next time blue eyes.” Two steps and he was gone, the light flaring brightly and then disappearing completely.

Ianto blinked his eyes furiously, feeling them water from the after effects of the blinding flare. All he could hear was the slow flap of giant wings and he reached into his pocket for the chocolate. A loud squawk had him running toward the door as the flying reptile swooped towards him. Ianto was through the door and slamming it behind him in record time. He leant heavily against the door, panting with an unexpected adrenalin rush.

There’s a dinosaur in there he thought. “A real live dinosaur,” he told the night. He suddenly laughed. A dinosaur, chocolate and John. He’d never had such a night of ups and downs, and it wasn’t finished yet. He took a deep breath and pulled out his phone. He blinked at the time on the display. Dear God, he’d thought the night must’ve been all over but it was only just gone midnight. Not even two hours since John had saved him from the weevil. It seemed like hours ago now. He speed dialled one and waited.

“Good evening Sir… I’ve come across something that I require assistance with…no, Sir, not a weevil…Yes Sir I have already taken care of that one… no Sir, I can’t handle this one on my own… Sir… Sir… Captain!… I need you to bring the SUV and the large nets from the garage lockers… Yes Sir we do have large nets…For the pteranodon Sir… The pteranodon I just found, Sir…”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Wentloog is an Anglicisation of the Welsh Gwynllŵg, the name of the early kingdom and medieval cantref. Wentloog Avenue is part of the B4329. So says Wikipedia and Google maps.


Author’s Note: It wasn’t meant to be this long but they just kept on talking, and Ianto was definitely not supposed to get so emotional either… but characters and bunnies will do what they will… so hopefully it’s not too out of character for them … although John is so much fun to play with…

 

 

.




(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-23 05:02 pm (UTC)
ext_422268: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ravenja1170.livejournal.com
brilliant! :) The voices are perfect, I could see them through this ;)
Continue, please? *puppydogeyes*

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-24 02:13 pm (UTC)
ext_422268: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ravenja1170.livejournal.com
oooh, the canary!! Looking forward to it already! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-23 10:17 pm (UTC)
aviv_b_artwork: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aviv_b_artwork
I'm liking the a lot. Got a thing for Johnto and you're hitting it just right!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-24 03:38 am (UTC)
wounded_melody: terra (Default)
From: [personal profile] wounded_melody
I really like this! Looking forward to the next part.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-01 07:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, this was fun to read!
Hope you'll write more about these guys:)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-19 12:03 pm (UTC)
reddevilpoes: he cheats (Default)
From: [personal profile] reddevilpoes
I especially loved Ianto's remark about the car...like a memorial to Lisa...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 06:53 pm (UTC)
black_shiro: ([TW] sex time)
From: [personal profile] black_shiro
Oh please say there will be more! It's awesome :D *_____*

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