Title: Shadows of the World (Coda)
Characters: Canonical Torchwood Three members… sort of.
Rating: Some chapters definitely not safe for work.
Disclaimer: Oh, please. If I owned them, would I let some of those idiots write the scripts? And if I were making any money off them, would I be where they could find me?
Summary: Torchwood battles a terrible curse to save a beautiful woman
Author's Note: This takes the place of A Day in the Death
Story is here
“Jack.... Ianto... well, Jack and Ianto... and now Andy and Carlos. Though not like Jack and Ianto, but still!” Rhys peered owlishly into his beer. “It's an ep... an epi... an epidemic, that's what it is.”
Howls of laughter greeted the pronouncement. Jack sipped his ale and enjoyed the chaos. They had taken over the team's favorite pub for Rhys's bachelors party. It seemed to Jack that every male above the age of consent in Cardiff was crammed into the small, low-ceilinged room. His own half-brother Andras sat a few places away, explaining the concept of dietary restrictions to Banana Boat while the eavesdropping Prince of Wales tried valiantly not to snicker. Across from them, Andy, Ianto, and Aaron ben Joseph were deep into a spirited argument about the Six Nations tournament.
“It sure is, mate.” Owen clapped Rhys on the shoulder, nearly propelling him face-first into the beer. “And you are patient zero. A toast!” He stood up, raising his glass. “To our gloriously pissed bridegroom!”
Glasses were raised and drained. At the back of the room a fierce game of darts broke out while five of Rhys's footie mates tried their best to belt out traditional American barbershop quartet tunes. Jack shrugged philosophically; they might not have been able to count but they could certainly sing.
“I wonder,” Carlos said idly, “what the ladies are up to?”
Ianto shuddered. “There are things men are not meant to know.”
“Gwen said,” Rhys could still manage to speak more or less clearly, “that since Leonora had never ex... ex...perienced a hen night, they were going to treat her to the full... monty.” He waggled a finger censoriously. “That's what she said. The full monty.”
An appalled silence descended. Finally Andy said, “Jack?”
Jack shook his head. “Andy, in all of our long association, have you ever known me to lack a sense of self-preservation? No sane man comes between the ladies and their hen night activities.” He set down his glass and stood up. “Now, since I have something none of you can boast of tonight, I am going to take advantage of it.” He held out his hand to Ianto. “I'm taking my groom home. Owen, make sure Rhys is presentable tomorrow by church time.”
“No worries, boss.” Owen grinned cheekily at him. “I have a cure for what ails him.”
“I'm afraid I have to go too,” the Prince stood up, “duty calls tomorrow early. Rhys, I am sorry We will miss your wedding. Just remember what We discussed.”
Rhys sprung to his feet, bowing. “Yes, sir. Sire.”
Jack could feel Ianto's hand tighten around his. In matters of Wales, the Prince was entitled to the Royal we, but it was the first time they had heard him use it.
“And what is that all about?” Jack asked mildly as they strolled out of the pub.
“Torchwood's next generation is on its way, Jack.” The touch of Power in the Prince's voice made Jack's hackles rise like a hunting dog's. “And it must be as bound to the Crown as this one. You know my family. We like to start early.”
The Prince grinned. “One for you, one for me.”
He waved goodbye as his security ushered him into his limo. Ianto whistled. “So that's how it's done.”
Jack led the way towards their SUV. “That's how it's done these days. It started with Bertie and his Elspeth. When they found out she was pregnant they summoned me to Craigowan Lodge and told me I was slated for godfatherhood. I think she had had a glimpse of the way things would go. The Lyons have always been a bit fey, not to mention politically astute. Then Andrew Sr. and Marged became godparents to Charles Macsen. And then Phillip and Lilibet stepped in when Andy was born. And I got Gwyllym.”
“Family as well as vassals.”
“It works well.” He slid behind the driver's seat and waited until Ianto was belted in before saying casually, “you're slated for Gwyllym's oldest, you know.” He chuckled at the horrified look on Ianto's face. “Did you think they would ignore your existence?”
“I'm a middle-class Welsh boy with a shady past, Jack. Hardly Royal godfather material.”
Jack grabbed Ianto's neck and gave him a quick shake. “You are a powerful empath. A member, in direct unbroken patrilinear descent, no less, of the oldest of the Druid lines. Charles Macsen and Gwyllym would be idiots to ignore the political implications, and no child or grandchild of my Lilibet is an idiot.”
Ianto narrowed his eyes. “And the fact that my mother is a Celtic Christian of a certain prominence in legal circles won't go unnoticed.”
“Now you're thinking like a Royal. More than that, you are the Guardian's Heir, chosen by Ynys Afalau itself. Not for for public knowledge, but those who for one reason or another need to know, know.”
“So I'm a counter in the game of kings?”
“Counter and player both. It's the nature of the beast.” He sighed. “Being married to me will have its own kind of difficulties, I'm sorry to say.”
Ianto chuckled. “And you think I didn't know that? I thought long and hard about it, Jack.” He shrugged. “I chose you, and everything you brought with you. I've never been sorry.”
“Ianto...” Jack's voice shook. “I don't deserve that much faith.”
“That ship sailed a while ago, Jack.”
The rest of the trip was made in silence. Jack held Ianto's hand as they walked to the elevator, kissing the knuckles from time to time. As the doors closed, he backed Ianto into a corner.
“It's way past midnight.” He nuzzled the soft skin at the base of Ianto's throat. “You can't expect me not to be turned on. Nobody has ever loved me like you do. Nobody has ever trusted me like you do.”
Ianto wrapped his arms around Jack's waist. “It was easy. You accepted me in spite of my past. You forgave me when I screwed up. You believed in me even when I didn't. And the Ecosystem knows you're gorgeous in uniform.”
Jack bit his jaw, then licked the reddened spot. “Is that a hint about your choice for my wedding attire?”
“Nope. We don't get a choice about it. I have been informed that I will wear a gray tuxedo. I am allowed to choose the color and pattern of my tie and waistcoat. You will wear a formal kilt as suits a proper Scotsman.”
Jack snorted. “I can do that, but it will be very disappointing. The Harkness sett is mostly browns.”
The elevator door opened. Ianto slow-danced Jack to their front door. “You forget the small matter of your vassalage.”
“Balmoral Gray it is, then.” Jack patted his pockets. “Keys?”
Ianto dangled them in front of his eyes. Jack grabbed them. After unlocking the door he held it open and waved Ianto in. “After you.”
“Very courteous of you.”
“I have ulterior motives.” As Ianto passed him, Jack took a possessive grip on his buttock. “Have I mentioned that your arse looks fantastic in these jeans?”
“You may have mentioned it a time or two.” Ianto slapped Jack's hand away and headed for the bedroom. “If I remember correctly we didn't bother to make the bed this morning. I'll take care of it while you set the wards. I'm knackered.”
Jack sighed. There went his plans for wild sex in front of the fireplace.
He took off his coat and made the rounds like he did every night, part of an evening routine that was somehow still surprising. He, Jack Harkness, had a normal life. Family, friends, a home, and someone to share it. Someone who loved him. Someone to hold through sleepless nights. Someone whose touch kept away nightmares those few nights when he slept.
Suddenly that freshly made bed sounded incredibly inviting.
He stopped in the library to pick up the newest shipment from Waterstones: the latest adventure of John Smith and his new companions, Commander Gabriel and Laksha. At first he hadn't been sure about these two – Dasan and Edlyn had been his favorites – but he had come to enjoy their banter. After Ianto dropped off, he would spend some time reading.
But when he got to the bedroom, his plan went completely out of his head.
Ianto had made the bed. He had also turned off the pot lights and lit his favorite pine-scented candles in the wall niches. And the man himself stood by the window, wearing only the jeans, unbuttoned and unzipped, barely clinging to his hips.
“Took you long enough.”
Jack ambled towards him. “You said you were knackered.”
Ianto stroked down his chest to the opening of his jeans. “I lied.”
“So I see.” Jack reached out and took Ianto's hand. “Uh-uh. Mine.”
“Well, then, get on with it.”
Jack chuckled as he grabbed the waistband of Ianto's jeans with his free hand and jerked him close. He nuzzled the soft skin under Ianto's jaw and delighted in the little shivers he could feel under his lips as Ianto's arousal built. He slid his hands around Ianto's waist to cup his arse.
“Come on. Let's get those clean sheets dirty.”