galadriel1010: (Default)

Looong delay on this, for which I apologise. Actually wrote it a few month ago, but failed to crosspost, because I am silly. Going to try a masterlist soon, see if that works.

Author's Note: I apologise, this has turned into an inglorious crack!fic. This chapter, and all Jack Saturday related yumminess in this story, dedicated to Lizzy, but belong to Jesse Hajicek.

By the way, I now Tweet lol. Same username if you're interested.


“Where the fucking chuff is it?”

Ianto smirked into his mug and took a slice of toast off the pile on the table, staying out of the activity. His Jack was sitting opposite him with his own mug and a bowl of Coco Pops and trying very hard to make sure that Other Jack didn’t look at him. Jacob looked slightly worried as he and Other Jack passed each other in the kitchen doorway, “He’s not found it yet then?”

“Apparently not.” Ianto pushed a mug of coffee towards him and indicated a chair. “Just how serious is the situation?”

Jacob accepted the coffee and sank into the seat with a sigh, “Very serious. Jack, well, I don’t know what he’ll do if he doesn’t find it.” Jack was smirking, so Jacob pointed a spoon at him, “It’s serious! Jack and the Jolly Roger go way back! He’d easily trade me for its return.”

“Is that an offer?” Jack’s grin turned mock feral.

Jacob sucked his spoon clean and released it with a pop. “No,” he stood up, “but now I know who has it.”

Ianto rolled his eyes and exchanged a long-suffering smile with Jacob as he left, reaching across the table to pat Jack’s hand. “Don’t worry, Jack. Jacob’s just intelligent.”

He huffed, but turned his hand over to squeeze Ianto’s fingers, “You two are running rings around us, aren’t you?” He glared and pouted, not quite pulling it off in the face of Ianto’s impish grin, “In fact, I seem to recall that this was all your idea.”

Ianto’s eyes widened theatrically, “Don’t be absurd, I would never suggest such a childish, immature course of action.”

“That was tautological...”

“Harkness!” Jack stormed into the room and slammed his hands down on the table, leaning forwards to loom over Jack. Ianto grabbed a slice of toast and went to lean against the work surfaces, next to where Jacob had perched with a heel on the edge of the surface and his knee hugged to his chest. They made an attractive but dangerous pair.

Jack gave Jack his best devil-may-care grin and nodded towards the other men, “I think we may be in trouble there.”

“Oh you are definitely in trouble Harkness.” He leant forwards, cranking the glare up from ‘threatening’ to ‘kill’, “Where. Is. My. Bandana?”

“I think you might be a bit too attached to it, Jack. I’m worried about you.” Jack’s death-glare met Jack’s best concerned-innocence. Ianto’s head was starting to ache, and not just because of the tension in the room (oh come on, he was used to tension – sexual and otherwise).

“I don’t think you’re attached enough to your head, judging by your cavalier attitude.”

Jack smirked and took a casual sip of his coffee.” Really, Jack? Threatening me? What are you going to do, kill me? Or curse me to immortal life?” Jack’s eyes flicked towards Ianto and Jack froze, his expression switching from ‘smirk’ to ‘warning-glare’, “You wouldn’t dare.”

Whatever it was he wouldn’t dare, he clearly wouldn’t, because he merely snatched Jack’s coffee off him and turned away. “If I don’t find it by the end of today, who knows what I’ll dare?”

Jack frowned after him as he left the room, then got up to get himself another coffee. He stood between Ianto’s legs, fingertips resting on his waist, whilst he waited for the new pot to heat through. Jacob returned from checking on Jack and jumped up onto the table, getting Jack’s attention by flicking a grape at him. “You know,” he commented when Jack glared at him, “I’m not sure that baiting him’s the best idea you’ve ever had, Captain.”

Jack pulled away from Ianto reluctantly and poured three fresh mugs of coffee. “No, possibly not.” He grinned, “Damned good fun though.”

“Jack.” Ianto’s warning tone was in contrast to his affectionate eye-roll and the way he pulled Jack back between his legs, with Jack’s back to his chest so that they could both look at Jacob, and his arms went around his waist. Apparently he’d caught Jack’s protective moment too.

Jacob rolled his eyes in a startling imitation of the Welshman and threw a grape at them again. “So where is it?”

“Where is what?” Jack was genuinely distracted, rather than evading, for a change.

“The Jolly Roger,” he tilted his head on one side and smiled, “’cos if he doesn’t find it, he will make your life unpleasant.”

“Jacob,” Ianto grinned, “our normal life consists of chasing aliens through the sewers and trying not to get eaten. Jack Saturday is a kitten compared to a Weevil.”

“We’ll see about that!”

Ianto looked mildly surprised, “His hearing’s good, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is, now where’s my Jolly Roger?” There was a crash from upstairs, followed by the sounds of feet thundering down to the ground floor again, and Jack and Ianto beat a hasty and giggling retreat to the garden.

Ianto shook water out of his hair and wiped it from his eyes with one hand, holding onto the side of the poor with the other and bobbing gently in Jack’s wake. The moonlight seemed to slide off the familiar smooth lines and angles his partner made in the water, transforming them into something less human, less solidly there. Even touch was changed by the cool water, so skin was cooler, softer. And then Jack was there, holding him close against the cold of the water and the power of the moonlight, warm lips and tongue seeking for droplets on his back and shoulders whilst strong, supple fingers and hands turned him and lit fires to chase away the darkness, and it didn’t matter any more. Shadows fled, light became simply light, the water was less cold and Jack was solidly Jack in his arms again.

He chuckled breathily as Jack’s lips ghosted across his ear, then chased his lips with his own and sealed them together, taking Jack’s water-reduced weight in his one-armed grip, whilst the other arm anchored them to the pool wall. They lost themselves in sensation, holding on to reality just enough to remember that they were outside where anyone could see them, but not quite enough to care.

Well, not until they were suddenly deluged from above and an empty plastic bottle bounced off the pool-edge next to his head. They both gasped with shock and glared upwards at a very smug Jack Saturday. In Ianto’s arms, Jack growled and reached out to cover the hand on the pool side, anchoring them more firmly and shifting his grip on Ianto to hold him more possessively. Ianto rolled his eyes.”Hello Jack, can we help you?”

“And why are you wearing my coat? And...” Jack hesitated and his grin slipped slightly, “what are you wearing underneath it?”

When Jack pulled the coat back and put his hands on his hips, they got their answer. He grinned and crouched down next to them, “Now, see, here’s the thing Jack. I know that you know where my Jolly Roger is. And you now know that I know where your coat is. So how about my Jolly Roger finds it way back to me, and your coat will find its way back to you? Savvy?”

Jack dragged his eyes up to Jack’s face and scowled. “Savvy.”

With a smirk, Jack turned away and headed back to the house, leaving the Torchwood men wrapped around each other in the darkness. Ianto shifted his grip on Jack to move behind him, his chest against Jack’s back and his hand on Jack’s chest. He leaned forwards and kissed the skin where Jack’s neck met his shoulder and rested his chin there, “He doesn’t look as good in it as you do.” With his cheek pressed against Jack’s, he could feel him smile when he added, “But then I would think that.”

Jacob sprang and grabbed onto the tree branch above his head, swinging from it idly with a broad grin for his friend. “If the words ‘hanging about’ are anywhere near likely to come from your mind, I’ll leave you behind.” Jack warned him, arms folded grumpily, fighting the smile he wanted to return. “We’ve not got long until dawn, remember.”

“Hmm, yes, of course I could forget, I was just going to hang around out here and burn into a little Jacobs Crisp.” He twitched his legs so that he swung more and finally pulled himself up to sit on the branch. The Captain’s coat fell open around him and hung down under the branch, revealing... quite a lot of Jacob really. There was more of Jack on show though, as he hadn’t put his clothes back on when he’d passed the coat on. It wasn’t like he needed it to keep warm. Ianto had poked his head outside earlier and gone an appealing shade of pink - Jack could see what the other Jack saw in the polite, intelligent, gorgeous... Yeah, there was quite a lot to see in him really.

Jacob swung his legs and tilted his head back to study the stars. “They seem so far away.”

“The stars?” He too gazed upwards and smiled slightly, “Yes, they do. Can’t believe that people like Jack and Ianto have been out there, can you?”

He shook his head and sighed, his gaze drifting over to the house. A smile quirked his lips and he pointed with one foot, “Look what I found.”

From a first floor window, a familiar flag flew. Jack yelled in delight and reached up to encourage Jacob down from his branch, tugging on the coat and on Jacob’s ankle until the lithe form crashed down onto him, knocking him over and pinning him to the floor, both of them now covered by the heavy wool coat and laughing uproariously. He wrapped his hands around Jacob’s neck and pulled him down for a brief moment of silence, then pushed them both up and ran over to stand below the Jolly Roger. Jacob followed him at a more leisurely pace and leaned against the wall, watching him in amusement. “Sometimes, Jack, I think you’re a bit too attached to that thing.” He scoffed and grabbed onto pulled himself to stand on the windowsill. Jacob frowned, “Erm, why are you going up the wall?”

“What, you think I could turn into a bat and get it?” He looked down at Jacob, then launched himself for the next handhold, “Don’t be daft.”

“Erm, stairs?”

He laughed again, “I repeat, don’t be daft. Jack wouldn’t make it that easy.” Jacob wandered off to let him concentrate, for which he was grateful from the first floor up where it got more difficult. He’d just got within reach when the bandana was pulled back suddenly, back through the window. With a snarl, he pulled himself up to the window and found Jacob dangling the bandana in front of him and wearing nothing but a smirk.

“Jack made it that easy.”

Jack glared at him for a moment, then snatched the Jolly Roger and tied it in place. “what did you do with Jack’s coat?”

Jacob shrugged and nodded out of the window, “Scarecrow.” Jack nodded his approval. “Two doors down.”

“Jack Saturday!” Blinding grins, door locked, blinds down; Bed suddenly messy.

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It’s been a while since we got a proper comfy bed like this one, so even I am persuaded to just lie there for a while after I wake up. Motels are all well and good, but this is better. Eventually I sit up and stretch, running my fingers through my hair in a redundant attempt to detangle it a bit and swing out of the bed to the window. It’s pretty dark outside, but not fully middle of the night dark. “No clocks.” I mutter, looking around as I search for my jeans, “Definitely a Liberty Towers place, time is relative.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Jacob mutters sleepily from the bed, watching me with one eye open and a hand covering the other, “And don’t give me the ‘Liberty Towers hunt aliens’ shit, I get that bit. Where do you fit in, what is this place, why are we here?”

“Okay.” I lean against the window and look at him, “Jasmine, that girl I was talking about last night, helped to found the organisation back in the 1930s with her husband and his lover and another couple. They were all retired or dead by the time I got involved with Lady in the 1970s, but she’s immortal, more immortal than us because whatever kills her she always comes back. So she was still there and sorta… borrowed me occasionally.” I close my eyes and grin, “Fun times, not what you’re thinking I suspect. I could get accepted places she couldn’t, so I tracked down drug dealers, run-aways from justice, that kinda thing. Alien bars are the second best place to go after vampire bars for guys like us, but there aren’t that many of them. When we got picked up by the Crime Lab, Liberty Towers was pretty much our only hope of getting out of there unautopsied.” I open my eyes again and find him watching me with both eyes now, intelligent interest gazing back at me, “And they bit and rescued us like the gallant knights they are.”

“Your friend sent them?”

I turn away and look out of the window again, “Sounds like she’s not around anymore. Besides, she was based out of New York, although she would have been the first to spring me back when we ran together.”

“Did you sleep with her? You said that you used to date girls.”

“Nah.” I laugh, “Her son though. Youngest son, eldest two died in World War 1. He was way older than me, but a bit nutty and used to alien weirdness, so sleeping with a corpse didn’t really bother him.” I shift gears rapidly and pull on my jeans, “I need coffee, you coming down?”

“Yeah, yeah, pass me my jeans would you?” I oblige and watch as he gets dressed, off in a world of his own apparently. That doesn’t bother me much though; I have a feeling that no matter how long we know each other, watching him is never going to get old. He doesn’t call me on it though, just drifts to the door, so I stop him by holding it closed so that he finally looks at me, “What?”

“Right back at ya. You’re miles away.” I tap something as I think but stop when I realise that it’s his arm, “Are you okay with this?”

He looks shocked, “Do you care?”

I think about this, “I guess not, but I’d like to know.”

Jacob is looking at me very oddly, “Yeah, I’m fine with it, just processing. A few months ago I didn’t believe in vampires or aliens. Now I am one and staying with people who hunt the other, it’s a kinda big leap.”

“Hah, no kidding.” I release the door and clap him on the shoulder, “Let’s go get breakfast, we can deal with the weirdness later.”

Breakfast is a simple affair in the city that never sleeps; we both manage to find ourselves clean, healthy breakfasts within half an hour, which kinda sucks because now we have nothing to do. Some instinct tells me to head back to the house and figure things out from there, and I approve of the idea of, for a change, not having to think or plan or do. We walk in a comfortable silence, my mind on not a lot, Jacob’s probably on far too much. I’m surprised to see both cars still in front of the house; surely one or both of the guys should be at work by now?

But when we get in, Nick is sprawled out on the couch with a forensic science magazine and there are the sounds of a second person coming through from the kitchen, shortly followed by a mountain of toast in the company of Greg. He already has a piece shoved in his mouth as he spots us, so he fumbles in embarrassment for a moment whilst Nick rescues the toast from him and gestures for us to sit down.

“Sleep well?” Greg asks us now he can

“Like the dead.” I intone

Greg shivers ever so slightly and I grin internally. He gestures to the table, “Toast?”

“Thank, but we already ate.” Jacob joins in and even Nick smirks at Greg’s reaction. He blinks at us twice, then seriously considers the toast in his hand, it’s fucking brilliant.

“Okay, don’t think I want to know.” We all laugh, “Just so you know, we’re expecting…” The doorbell rings and he stands up, “That’ll be them I guess.”

“A couple of friends of ours, over here on their honeymoon, they said they’d drop by today. That’s why we’ve got the day off.” Nick explains. One unfamiliar accent and one surprisingly familiar one join Greg’s in the hall and he eventually returns with two men behind him.

I’m on my feet in an instant. “You’re supposed to be dead!”

Jack Harkness grins that annoying, oh so gorgeous megawatt grin and looks down at himself, “Am I not? Oh.” Then the grin drops and he glares at me, “You shot me!”

“You’re looking very well for it, considering that I shot you twenty years ago and you don’t look to have aged a day since then.” I point out, unconsciously baring my fangs, “I didn’t turn you.”

“I’m immortal, when you shot me I bled out, but then I came back.” His partner hasn’t even attempted to get involved I notice, just shrugged and turned away to chat to Greg and Nick; Jack ignores them, “And if you’d stuck around, I would have told you.”

“What?” That got pretty boy’s attention

“He’s a vampire.” Jack explains, glaring at me still, “Shot me when I found out about it to cover his tracks.”

“And because you were smug.” I add

“Fair enough.” The younger man (aren’t they all?) smiles at me and extends his hand, “We’ve not been introduced, Ianto Jones.”

“Jack Saturday, this is Jacob Glass.” I squeeze his hand firmly, and he grins at me.

“Jack,” he turns back to his partner, “we’re going to need a way to differentiate between you.”

“He could be Smug Jack.” I suggest, slightly childishly

He stares at me (downgraded from a glare by now), then that grin bursts out form behind the clouds again and he wraps me in an extremely unexpected bear hug, “Jack Saturday, it’s been too long.”

“Captain Jack Harkness; let go of me, or I’ll shoot you again.” I mutter, but hug him back anyway. When we release each other I turn to Jacob and drag him forwards, “Jacob, this is Captain Jack Harkness, drank me under the table six times in the 1980s until he realised that I was undead and I thought we probably ought to… go our separate ways. The cheesiest, corniest, most arrogant and most handsome man I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.”

“Ianto.” He turns to his partner and slips an arm around his waist, “This is Jack Saturday: vampire, loose canon and expert on obscure American bands of the 1960s and 70s. Jack, this is my partner Ianto, he works with me and we’re on our honeymoon.”

“So I heard, congratulations. This is Jacob Glass, my travelling companion and best friend.” Okay, that description felt weird, and he’ll probably ask me about it later, but I didn’t want to just call him a fuck buddy or take it further. Ah semantics, “Drink?”

“God yes.” Ianto grins, “I think we’re going to need one.”

The six of us get settled again, the breathers reaching for toast as Greg grabs a couple of bottles of wine and beer from the kitchen and dumps them on the table, “So you two know each other?”

Jack and I are fighting between laughing at each other and thumping each other, just like old times really. I lean back and settle for a predatory grin, “Yeah, we met in the 1980s in San Fransisco. I cannot remember what I was doing there.”

“Sex, drugs and rock and roll I think.” Jack smirks, “A couple of decades late, but timing was never your best talent.”

“Fuck you Harkness.” I scowl and crack two beers open, passing one over to Jacob, “So how do you know Greg and Nick?”

“We came over here with work a couple of months back.”

“With Jazz as well.” Nick adds, “And her boyfriend.”

“What?” I almost spray beer everywhere, “Hang on, you’re telling me that Jasmine Donovan and Jack Harkness have both settled down and adopted labels? Does not compute.”

Jack wraps an arm around Ianto and pulls him closer, “Got a problem with that?”

“Yes.” I answer with a completely straight face, “The world must be coming to an end.”

Ianto roars with laughter and knocks back his beer, “So you know Jasmine as well?”

“Yeah, since the 1970s. We were close, until I started screwing her son.”

“Oooh.” Jack grins at me, “Which one?”

“Albert. The youngest.”

“Still, what, twenty years older than you?” He asks with a sly grin, “I should have tried harder.”

“Yeah, cos he’s still younger than you gramps.” I smirk, “Anyway, how do you know Lady?”

“She’s my ex.” Jack answers

Ianto has something to add, “She’s his boss.” Jack glares at him and he chuckles, “Means he actually has to do the paperwork.”

“That’ll be the day.”

“Yeah, so, how do you four know each other?” He looks to me and Jacob, Greg and Nick.

“Nick rescued us from the morgue.” Jacob explains before I can get in, “Because someone,” he smirks at me pointedly, trying and failing to glare, “got us picked up as dead bodies.”

I decide not to answer that one, “How did you know to rescue us then Nick?”

He’d been watching the reunion with interest and amusement (and nowhere near as much discomfort as Greg was showing, although the younger man appeared to have settled by now), “Jacob has a file on the Liberty Towers system, something about his ‘suicide’ that didn’t gel. So they flagged him up for people to watch out for, just in case he was in trouble. One of the lab techs, Archie, picked up on it and sent me down.”

“Someone was looking for me?” Jacob looks worried and surprised, “I thought I’d been removed from the system.”

“You had, but not this system.” Nick leans forwards to explain, “I don’t know all the details, but apparently there’s some means of indicating a faked suicide, so that certain groups like us can pick up on it and know that you’re ours to look out for now.”

“Sounds very organised. And slightly creepy.”

Greg laughs, “You’re dead dude, how can you consider anything creepy?”

“I’m an expert on creep.” Jacob intones with a deadpan expression, if you’ll pardon the pun. “I’m with him.”

“And when you say ‘with him’…” The other Jack asks, “Do you mean…”

“Don’t ask.” We answer at the same time, looking at each other slightly uncomfortably, “One of those questions.”

“Ah, they sort themselves out in the end.” Ianto commented with a smile, “Everything does generally.”

“Wise words.” Nick concurs, “Sorry we couldn’t make it over by the way, how did your special day go?”

Ianto and Jack exchange warm smiles and lean back into the sofa and each other. Jack starts with a grin, “Now there’s a story.”

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Greg ran a hand through his hair and felt the embarrassing tug of dawning comprehension. He wagged a finger at the two men, then pointed behind him, “I’m going to put some pants on, then I’ll… do breakfast? Or should I not suggest that?”

“Pants fist.” Jack Saturday fell backwards into one of the armchairs and grinned, “Close your mouth, you’ll catch flies.”

Greg glared at him, nodded once to Jacob and retreated upstairs to his room. He grumbled to himself as he pulled out a pair of jeans and a band T-shirt, then grabbed for his phone as it finally rang, “Nick, do you know anything about the weirdos in the living room?”

“Ah.” His boyfriend paused, “They arrived safely then?”

“Yeah, they arrived. Why does the name Jack Saturday ring a bell?”

“Vampire, popping up all around the country with his companion Jacob Glass, who was reported dead in Minneapolis.” There was the sound of Nick changing ears, “They didn’t wake you did they?”

“Wasn’t sleeping anyway, not without you baby.” He lay back on the bed and rolled over so his head was almost buried in Nick’s pillow, “Someone needs to point out to Ecklie that we function much better awake than unconscious.”

“Yeah, but it can’t be either of us. Or Grissom.” Nick pointed out with a sigh, “I gotta go babe, my suspect has just arrived for a little chat.”

“Good luck, love you.”

“Thanks, love you too.” Greg sighed sadly and dropped the phone onto the bed, rubbing his hand across his eyes tiredly before levering himself upright and padding across the room again and heading downstairs.

Jack and Jacob looked up at him in amusement as he entered and Jacob bounded upright to greet him, “Let’s try again shall we? I’m Jacob, that’s Jack, you’re Greg. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice… to meet you.” He frowned, “Can I ask what you’re doing here? Not that this is entirely unusual, but you know. Coffee?”

They nodded their amused assent and followed him through to the kitchen, where Jacob sat on the work surface and Jack leant on the table, watching Greg fussing around with the coffee. Jack sighed happily into his mug and remembered the question because of Greg’s questioning glance, “Oh, yeah, we’re dead. Hello.” He waved and Jacob grinned, “Vampires, so when we sleep… Someone called it in, we ended up in the morgue, your boyfriend sprung us, here we are.”

“Right…” Greg stared at his coffee mug, “Did I put something in this? Furniture polish for example?”

“No, vampires are real, we’re two of them.”

“Yeah, I know.” He sighed heavily and ran a hand through unruly hair, “Life has got so weird since we met Jazz, two months ago I didn’t even believe in aliens.”

“Yeah, you’re going to have to run this by me in words of one syllable.” Jacob cocked his head on one side like a bird, or the cat watching the bird, “Aliens?”

“Well that’s got two syllables for starters, so we could be in trouble.” Greg tipped his head back and tapped his mug, “Basically, I sort of clean up after aliens who aren’t supposed to be here.”

“They’re not?”

“No, all part of being aliens. First official contact won’t be for another…” He shrugged, “It’s a while off, anyway.”

“So how many people know about them?” Jacob was fascinated by the new concept; Jack just looked bored

The older vampire beat Greg to the explanation with a languid wave of his hand, “You, me, him, Nick… There are loads of secret organisations around the world, all doing the same job, making sure that people like us never find out that aliens occasionally visit and either try to take over the world or are just genuinely lost. Except that we get to know about aliens, because they’re also keeping the existence of us secret. We like Liberty Towers.”

“Right.” Jacob stared between them, “So, how do you go about finding out about a secret organisation?”

“Well Nick and I were chosen to do it because of a case we were working on. Other routes are being chosen for your specialist skills, encountering aliens first hand, dating members of the organisations or generally living in Cardiff.” Jack snorted at that one and Greg grinned about him, “So which box do you tick? Or did you just refuse to die?”

“Met the head honcho in a bar in New York during the 1970s, in the heat of the punk invasion. She bought me a drink, I tried to get a different drink, she thumped me and we headed off to a different bar.” He laughed, “I drank her under the table. Several times. Is she still around?”


”The Lady.” He shrugged one shoulder, “Jasmine apparently though.”

“Oh Jazz!” Greg’s face cleared beautifully, “Yeah, she’s around, she was over here last month actually, she recruited us.”

“She’s back in the UK then?”

“Yeah, living with her boyfriend in London.”

“Sorry pardon what?” Jacob waved a hand and smiled cheerfully, “Hello, feeling like I’m on another planet here.”

“Don’t worry about it; Jasmine is immortal, Liberty Towers hunt aliens, Greg works for Liberty Towers, Nick works for Liberty Towers, I refused, we’re all cool.”

“You’re not going to explain, are you?” Jacob sighed

“Nah, you don’t want to know.” Jack grinned at Greg, “You enjoy it then?”

“It’s not a bed of roses. I mean, we’ve not had to do much, but in the first week we were doing it Jazz and Nick got kidnapped and we were outed, so now we’re on different shifts.” He sighed, “Speaking of which, I need to head into work soon, will you be OK on your own here?”

“You’ve got blackout curtains?”

“Yeah, of course, every room.” Greg nodded and smiled dryly, “Nick will be back at about one, unless he pulls overtime. I think the far bedroom’s already made up, catch you later.” He saluted them casually and headed upstairs to change into a smarter pair of jeans and pull a shirt on, then headed out to work.


Nick rubbed his eyes tiredly and closed the file, starting as a warm hand landed on his shoulder. “Hey!” He grinned broadly up at Greg and covered the hand with his own, squeezing briefly before grabbing the file and standing up, “I gotta get this to Sofia, walk with me?”

“Sure thing.” Greg straightened up and held the door open for Nick, “You pulling overtime today?”

“Yeah, Sofia’s keeping tabs on how often I do it, but when we’ve got a case to close,” he waved the file, “She loves my dedication.”

“She’s taking advantage of you.”

”And I’m taking advantage of her, it’s a win-win situation.” They stopped as Sofia emerged from her office and Nick flipped the file open, “Sofia, I found plant matter at the scene, it comes from a rare breed of orchid, not naturally occurring in the USA.”

“That narrows the search down, any idea where it may have come from?”

“Not yet, I’ve checked with all the museums and botanical gardens in the state and none of them has an example. I’ve widened the search but there are a few private collectors in the state who are…” He pulled the universally recognised face for ‘reclusive, uncooperative and generally unpleasant’. Every planet in the universe has them, although none of the CSIs knew that then. “Still waiting for some of them to get back to me though.”

“OK Nick, I’ll approve your overtime.” She raised her hands with a laugh, “Good work on closing that case yesterday by the way.”

”Thanks, I’ll try to repeat it.” He grinned

“Do do, and no lab nookie!”

“Got it.” Sofia waved and headed off away from them down the corridor, whilst Greg and Nick returned the way they came, dropping into the break room for Greg’s briefing.

Nine hours later, after Nick had tracked down his illusive orchid and the Police Department were tracking down a gardener, and after Greg had come face to face with a killer with a fetish for… you really don’t want to know, Greg unlocked the door of the house and tugged a barely awake Nick in, pushing him up the stairs gently, “Come on, straight to bed,” he encouraged him with a soft smile, “we can sleep all day.”

Nick got into their room at last and managed to undress clumsily before falling onto the bed and blinking up at Greg blearily. The older man had been lagging towards the end of his second shift and had then fallen asleep in the car on the way home, so he was now seriously dozy. Greg thought he was adorable.

He got all the washing into the laundry basket and pulled the covers back on the bed, manoeuvring Nick under them and crawling in after him, curling up against his lover with his head on Nick’s chest and Nick’s hand coming to rest automatically on his hip. Nick was asleep by the time Greg’s head settled on his chest, but it didn’t stop Greg from talking, “One day, we’ll go somewhere where we can do the same shift and actually sleep, novel idea I know. I’m not giving you up though, not for anything.” He held on tighter as Nick muttered something incomprehensible and chuckled as he nodded off as well, “Glad you agree babe.”

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Author's Note: An explanation. Jack Saturday and Jacob Glass are the main characters of one of my favourite stories, which is called 'Jack Saturday Can't Fail'. They're vampires, and it's possibly, nay probably, the most awesome vampire story you will ever read. *Stops gushing* All you really need to know is that the Hunt Club is like a vampire mafia who are starting a war, so Jack and Jacob are trekking across the USA to warn other groups of vampires or stir them up or just piss them off. Oh, and Jack and Jacob are gay. And I can’t write story summaries. Seriously, read JSCF, it's brilliant

Contextually within the story, this chapter is set about a month after the last one, Jasmine is back in the UK. Within the wider story arc, Lost Souls and Unexpected Future have both happened and Jack and Ianto are on their honeymoon in the USA. Any questions, feel free to ask me, I don't bite (unless you ask nicely)

Praise be to Miss Bob, who beta'd this chapter for me and introduced me to the wonderful works of Jesse Hajicek.

If you’re aware of him already, then the answer to “Did you just do what I think you just did?” is probably ‘yes’. I’m very nearly shameless

I just lost the game by the way

I open one eye cautiously and groan, biting my lip in annoyance when I realise the stupidity of the action. When no one comes to investigate I allow myself to cover my face with my hands and roll over. Suddenly I am aware that I am on the floor, and I wasn’t a moment ago. Also, I am naked, which I was a moment before. I shouldn’t be naked, I should be in that silk T-Shirt that Jacob loves and with guns and knives and things. Not naked, definitely not naked. Although, considering where we are I shouldn’t be surprised.

There’s a thump and muffled “ow” from behind me and I pick myself up, grabbing the sheet that had covered me, wrapping it toga-style as I locate the source of the aggravated tone. It takes a moment to get the lock open, during which time there is shuffling and cursing and more than a hint of panic coming through the bond, then the door is open and I can see and feel his overwhelming relief. “What the fuck?”

Straight to the point as always, and so eloquent. I reply in kind, “It’s gone bad.”

“How bad?” I thumb over my shoulder and he turns over (a difficult process in such a confined space) and raises himself on his elbows to see past me easier, “Jack.” He swallows and looks up at me, almost begging me to tell him he’s delusional, “Where are we?”

I smile, trying to reassure him, but it probably comes out as a grimace, “Morgue.”

And I can feel and see his “Oh shit.” Before he says it.

Something wasn’t right with these records. Someone had tried to remove Jacob Glass from the system, but they weren’t quite up to date with the latest system or something so the ‘suicide’ was less than convincing. His counterpart over in the Minneapolis lab had picked up on it and flagged him up on the Liberty Towers system; not quite unconvincing enough to tell the world that he was missing, but enough to make sure that someone was looking out for him. And considering he’d come from Minneapolis and arrived in the company of Jack Saturday, yes he could understand why they’d chosen the Liberty Towers system.

Archie sighed and pulled up the CCTV coverage of the morgue, resigning himself to minimal official work once again as he did so. He grabbed a loop of footage as soon as he was certain that there was no one in there and prepared to cover, then paged Nick to come over and set the footage recording straight onto the secure server. One of the bodies in the morgue covered his face, then rolled over and landed on the floor. Archie chuckled; at least he wasn’t the only one for whom it would be a long night.

I pull on one of the dresses that they put corpses in; identical to the one that Jacob was wearing, and have an abortive search for our stuff. Jacob seems to be fascinated by the whole idea of being in a morgue, now that he’s got over the fact that we’re in a fucking morgue. He looks up at me suddenly with a worried frown, “You didn’t get autopsied, did you?”

I snort a laugh and pull the collar of the dress away so that I can look down at my chest, “Nope, all functions appear nominal.” He frowns, not getting it, so I sigh, “Not yet anyway, but I don’t see how we’re going to get out of here now we’re in the system. Fuck.”

A face appears in the glass panel of the door and looks at us with irritated amusement. He raises a finger, then fiddles with the door, so I figure he isn’t supposed to be in here any more than we were, and pushes it open, standing with his feet slightly apart and hands on his hips in a classic power stance. I roll my eyes and raise my hands theatrically, “Officer.”

I can feel the worry rolling off Jacob in waves, but he covers it well and stalks past me with his hand outstretched, “I’m Jacob, this is…”

“The famous Jack Saturday?” I glare at him in my shock, “I’m Nick Stokes, with the Crime Lab and Liberty Towers.”

“I should have known.” I bark out a laugh, “The place is still running then?” He nods with a smile, “And is the nutty teenage fag hag still in charge, Lady?”

“Not the best place to compare notes, don’tcha think? I’ve called Liberty Towers to get you out of here, but you’ll have to sit tight until then. You can stay at my place, especially seeing as it’s not mine.” I catch the key. Now there’s an invitation I would take up in a shot if Jacob weren’t around, and if the smooth Texan drawl wasn’t a pretty good indicator of exactly how he’d take my interpretation of the invitation.

“Thank you.” I remember to say – nice, polite Jack, politeness gets you things – “I’m assuming you want us to stick around?”

He shrugs, “Up to you, but if you’ve got the time you’re welcome to. With the Hunt Club on the move…”

“How the fuck do you know that?”

He laughs and moves to the door, “I’ve only been doing the legwork for Liberty Towers for a couple of months, I still read all the memos they send me. I’ve got to get back to work, someone should be along for you before very long, and you’re already flagged up so you won’t get autopsied or anything. When you get to the house you can do what you like, as long as you don’t wake Greg. He’s in the second room you come to upstairs. If he’s already awake, tell him I’ll be back late.”

Jacob frowns, “Just so we know, which room is your room?” Nick just smirks and disappears and Jacob looks at me with his head on one side, “Second one you come to upstairs I assume.”

I snort, “I’d say so. Should have guessed really, Liberty Towers has a tradition in that department; it's a secret alien hunting organisation by the way." I say in reply to his quizzical stare, "Come on, we’d better put you back in your drawer.”

He groans, but complies, dragging me down for a goodnight kiss before I roll him in and shut the door. It’s a bit tricky getting myself onto the table as I was before, but I manage it and try to slip back into sleep. Times like this I wish the bond was stronger, so that we could communicate without words, cos this is going to get Dull.

Nick chuckled into the lab and leaned on the back of a chair to look down at Archie, “Dude, I just met Jack Saturday.”

He laughed and finished covering up the action down in the morgue, “Is he as cool as the legends say?”

“Dunno, ask me when I’m not totally star-struck. And on a completely different subject, have you got the files from that scan for me?”

“Yeah, have a look at that.” He passed over a printed set of emails, “Your girl was lying, she knew him extremely well.”

“Am I reading email sex?” He looked through it and raised his eyebrow, “Now, that’s when technology gets weird. Why use email when you can use a phone?”

“Do not want to know, but they did both. I’ve sat through three hour-long phone sex sessions. No indication in any of their communication that they actually met face to face though.”

“So she might not have recognised him, thanks Archie, I’ll take these and have a word with her.”

“No problem. Oh, Nick?” The older man turned back with a questioning smile, “How’s Greg? I haven’t seen him in a while, anyone would think he’d changed shifts.”

Nick sighed heavily but with a fond smile, “I’ll get him to pop by later then. He’s good, not sleeping all that well, but I don’t think we’ll be doing this long anyway. I’ll tell you about it later, I assume you’re coming round to the house?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you round there.” He turned back to his computer and concentrated on getting the files cleaned for Catherine.

I clench my fists under the sheet and tense as the movement wakes me, swearing as fluently and freely as I like in my mind. As soon as the doors slam shut and we start moving, I let rip vocally, “Shit, fuck, arse, bollocks.”

There’s a laugh that isn’t Jacob’s and someone tugs the covers down just enough to see my face, “You’re a very rude corpse.”

I frown as scarily as I can at the idiotic girl in front of me and resist the urge to hit her until she stops smiling, “I’m a corpse, I’m allowed to be rude.”

She shrugs and slips as the van takes a corner too sharply, “Fuck Brian, I’m moving here! Goddamnit.”

“Sorry Lizzy-Lou.”

“And don’t call me Lizzy Fucking Lou, my name is Elizabeth. If you really can’t manage that, then just Bet. Simple, easy to remember.” She flips him the finger and turns back to us, lunging across the space, “I’ll find your clothes.”

I sit up and pull at the sheet covering Jacob, strangely sad at seeing him looking so… dead, then poke him firmly to wake him up, “You’re a not very polite breather.” I point out as Jacob blinks at me.

She swears again as she is thrown against the wall, then she hurls my clothes at me and Jacob’s at him before grabbing onto the back of the seat and hurling another tirade of abuse at Brian. She’s certainly got the gift of the gab.

Jacob and I exchanged bemused glances, his more anxious than mine, and dress hurriedly. Elizabeth seems to be more concerned with berating her companion than eyeing us up – although she does plenty of that too – and by the time she turns back, the air now decidedly bluer than it was when I first woke up, we’re dressed and watching her in anticipation. Jacob breaks the silence, “Who are you?”

“Elizabeth Warren, I work for Liberty Towers, and this is my useless brother Brian.”

“Wotcha.” The back of a dark head is all we can see of Brian, but he raises a lazy hand in greeting, before demonstrating the Warren family grasp of linguistics when he’s cut up by another driver. All I know for certain is that the other car could be classed as a posemobile.

Elizabeth is watching us with a sort of amused detachment, “Fuck you’re hot, together?” We nod, “Damned shame. So you’re the famous Jack Saturday?”

“My reputation precedes me.” I grin, “You work for the Lady?”

“The Lady?” She purses her lips, then appears to have a brainwave, “Oh, is that an old name for Liberty Towers, like after the Statue?”

“No.” Her face creases up in confusion again, “The Lady ran the place, that’s what they called her. Of course, that wasn’t her real name… She was a Lady.” I frown and click my fingers, trying out names in my head, “Curbishley! She was Lady Curbishley. Ringing any bells?”

”You mean Jasmine Donovan?” Elizabeth has swung around into the front now but is kneeling up on her seat to look back at us, “She’s not used her married name for years, not since she left Liberty Towers, she must have dropped the title before that even.”

“When Roger died I would imagine.” I speculate, faced with the facts of mortality, “He was a nice bloke, him and his boyfriend. Coped brilliantly with Lady.”

“You’re not making a lot of sense.” Jacob pauses to think about this one, “Again.”

I’ve realised this, but he’ll make it up as he goes along, “It’s a long story, I’ll tell you when we’re not being thrown around the place constantly.” This is posing a problem, as we’ve dropped onto the floor of the van (probably an ambulance) but we’re still being slung against the walls and each other regularly, “Are we there yet?”

“Nearly.” Brian answers with a chuckle, “I think.”

”You think!” Elizabeth screeches, deafening us all, “What do you mean you think!?”

“Well if you’d been up front helping me to navigate rather than mooning over the dead boys.”

“You shouldn’t have needed my help, you’re the driver!” She throws her hands up in the air, “And I wasn’t mooning over them, I was watching to make sure they were safe.”

”They’re bloody vampires, they won’t die if they fall off the table.” He points out. An abandoned book slides off the edge of a chair in the wall and hits first me, then Jacob as it passes us to the other wall, “Or if things fall on them. Are you still reading that damned thing?”

“Magical gay outlaws rock. You enjoyed it as much as I did.”

”Correction, I enjoyed it until you liked it.” He growls, “You wreck everything.”

Jacob and I exchange glances, fighting not to laugh. As we slide around again I grab hold of him and lie down, bracing my feet against the opposite wall and one hand against the wall above my head, holding tight to Jacob as I feel the movement of the van jolt us again, “I have a feeling that without the tables crashing around, this could be quite fun.”

“Probably more fun without an audience.” He points out, helping to brace us both and grabbing onto me as Elizabeth laughed at our situation, “Not funny Elizabeth.”

“You have no idea how funny it is.” She argues with a grin, “You look stupid.”

One of the sheets drops on top of us and I growl. “A little help please?”

“You’ll have to wait until DoDo here finds where we’re supposed to be taking you and I dare to move again. Oi Fuckwit, straight lines.”

“Oi, Moron, corners.” He snaps, “Strap yourself in, I don’t want to kill you. No, wait, that’s a lie.”

“Ha ha. Geez.” She is looking over her shoulder out of the windscreen now and spins around suddenly to point. “There it is! That’s the Denali we’re supposed to watch out for.”

Jacob and I slide rapidly towards the front of the van and thump into the back of the seats. We stare at each other for a moment, then scramble for the back door. Jacob tumbles out onto the floor, whilst I jump down more gracefully. Not that I blame him, if he were alive he would be green. “Never again.”

I grin and turn to the brother and sister pain, sorry pair. “Thanks guys.” Brian hasn’t got out of the vehicle, so I realise with relief that they won’t be coming in with us, “We’ll see you around sometime maybe.”

“Yeah, maybe, don’t get in trouble again.” He tips us a mock salute, slaps his sister and pulls away from the kerb, showing us exactly why we’d been thrown around so much.

Jacob shudders, “Never again, I mean it, if we see them coming down the street we leave the city.”

I laugh and tug him towards the door; pulling out the key Nick gave me, “You’re saying you don’t like crazy?”

We get into the living room and he stares around the bright on white explosion, “Jack, they’re more scary-crazy than you are. And you’re a fucking psychopath.”

“Oh God.” A sleepy Californian drawl gets our attention from the doorway and we turn to see a bleached blond in just his boxers leaning on the doorframe, “More wackjobs.”

How do you reply to that? “Hi.” I grin, showing off my fangs, “I’m Jack Saturday.”

galadriel1010: (Default)

Grissom met Catherine by the door and they walked out to his car in silence. Catherine was clearly waiting for him to say something, but he didn’t know how to broach the topic, so he didn’t. Jasmine was leaning on her car and staring up at the stars, sucking on a lollipop and twitching one foot in time with the music coming from the car’s sound system. He apologised to Catherine and made his way across to the young lady, “Jasmine?”

“Yuh-huh?” She smiled at him, “I’m waiting for Greg and Nick, Nicky’s scene is on the way to ours.”

“I know. Look, I want you to take the house invasion and Nick and Greg to take the homicide. They’ve found a second victim out there and I want two of my team on it.”

“Yes Sir.” She looked down at the floor, “It’s not good then.”

He looked at her closely, “What makes you say that?”

“You’re sending me to a scene on my own. If you wanted two of your team out there you’d have switched me and Catherine.”

“Ecklie asked me to choose which of them I wanted to keep, I told him I couldn’t make that decision at such short notice. I have them both until the end of the week, then I have to choose which I need most or I’ll lose them both.” He patted her shoulder uncomfortably, “They’ve been split up like this before, they’ll make it work.”

She sighed, “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”

“I know. By the way, notice accepted.” He nodded and turned back to Catherine, who was waiting with her door open.

“What was that about?” She asked as the slid into the car and he started it up

“Shifting people around.” He strapped himself in

“We’re losing one of them.” She stated sadly, “Which one?”

“I have to make that choice.”

She was horrified, “Ecklie can’t make you choose between them!”

He shrugged, “Apparently he can. One or both of them will be taken off the team. If I don’t state that I want to keep one of them, they’ll both go, one to swing and one to days.”

“So what’s the choice?”

“Days need a DNA tech, I don’t want to take the chance on pushing Greg back into the lab. But on the other hand, swing have an opening for a CSI at the moment as well. If I cooperate, I can probably get him on there rather than in the lab. But on the other hand, Nick could only go to swing, so maybe I should let him go instead. Whatever happens, I dare say we’ll lose them both in the end.”

“To where?”

“To a team that will allow them to be together, maybe even in the UK. Jasmine is leaving and returning there, maybe they’ll go with her.”

Catherine sagged back into the seat as her own recollections and regrets flooded through her, “Good for them.”

Greg flipped the boot on the car and put his and Nick’s kits in there with Jasmine’s. The girl was still leaning on the side of the car, gazing at the stars dreamily, but she was completely with it as she swung into the driver’s seat and smiled at them in the rear view mirror. “You know that you two are working the same case now, right?”

“What?” It was the first thing any of them had said since the two men got out there, their expressions had said it all, no matter how hard they were trying to hide it

She pulled out of the parking lot and nodded, “They’ve found a second victim on the strip, so Grissom wants you two out there rather than have a novice on it. I’ll run you out to the house and pick up my bike, then you two can have the car.”

“Good plan.” Greg murmured, glancing briefly at her before gazing back at his lover, “We owe Grissom one.”

“I think he considers this equalling the balance out.” She tapped the steering wheel absentmindedly and swore at a ‘nurk in a Merc’; displacement activity, but it worked to relax her co-workers.

Greg reached out and took Nick’s hand, stroking the back of it with his thumb, “We’ve got one week on the same team, then we don’t know where we’ll be.”

“It’ll all work out in the end.” She sighed and swore again as a bike cut her up, “He’ll be under a bus in a week, everything works itself out somehow.”

“Cheerful thought.” Nick chuckled sadly

“I thought so.”

One Week Later

Nick signed off on his report and passed it across to Greg to countersign. They’d done their best over the last week to ignore the impending end, ignore the fact that each case together could be their last – even though Grissom put them together as often as he could. Of course, they had been largely unsuccessful, but it didn’t stop them trying. Greg hesitated a moment before he too signed it, closing a large part of their lives for good. “Case closed.”

This would have been the perfect moment for a long, silent, heated gaze, followed by a slow lean into their one and only kiss in the lab. Of course, that only happens in fiction, so Catherine and Jasmine arrived, Jasmine tripped over the table and Greg let out a laugh that was half sob, half resigned amusement. “Good morning sweet Jasmine.” He swallowed back the choking in his throat and helped her up, pulling her down to sit on the sofa before she fell over anything else, “How did it go?”

“It was the girlfriend.” She paused, “The second girlfriend, which maybe explains things.”

“Sounds like a story.” Nick leant forwards

“Gage had two girlfriends happening, didn’t know about each other. Number two walked in on him and number one and killed him in a fit of rage. Number one kept it secret because she was as mad as number two and because the two of them got together over their ex’s cooling body.”


“Yeah.” She sighed, “And I thought my usual work was weird.”

“They hot though?”

”The girlfriends? Hell yeah.” She sighed and sat back, just catching Catherine’s disapproving frown, “What?”

“You’re hopelessly innocently filthy at times.” Jazz just grinned, far too comfortable with that assessment.

The whole team were invited around to the safe house for breakfast that day, for a combined leaving party for Jasmine and Nick, but mostly Nick. He was moving to the Swing Shift, and officially moving in with Greg. The couple relaxed noticeably as soon as they got through the door of the house that was rapidly becoming their home, moving in synch with each other as they put away their kits and coats. John appeared from somewhere with food and drinks and wrapped his arm around Jasmine’s waist, “Good day?”

”Extremely interesting.” She smiled and leaned into him, fading into the background as the CSI team gathered together around their friends, “Is this my fault?”

“No.” He kissed the top of her head and squeezed her hard, “These things happen, you had no influence on it. Fate intervened.”

Catherine was looking around the house with interest, “I thought you both had apartments?” She asked with a quizzical smile

Nick looked in Jasmine’s direction and smiled when she nodded her consent, “We’ve been staying here whilst we’ve been working with Jasmine, and it’s bigger than either of our places, so we thought we’d use it again for the party.”

Jazz fished in her pockets and pulled out a set of keys, tossing them over to him with a grin, “The place is yours for as long as you want it. I reckon we owe you that at least.”

“You’re serious?”

“Absolutely, it deserves to be lived in.” She grinned up at John, “Just expect visitors every so often.”

“I think we can probably cope with that.” Greg answered with a sad smile, “How long are you two going to be around?”

“We’re going back to the UK the day after tomorrow.” John checked the date on his watch, “Yeah, day after tomorrow.”

“What do you do in the UK?” Bobby asked, “You’re a specialist of some sort?”

She sighed and nodded, “Special ops, I can’t say much.”

“What, like MI-1?”

She frowned, “What part of ‘I can’t say much’ didn’t you get? Higher than MI-5, seriously top secret. So top secret I don’t really exist.”

“Have we ceased to exist?” Greg asked in confusion

“No, you’re real. You existed to start with.” She shrugged, “My parents forgot to tell anyone I’d been born, so I officially don’t exist. It’s kinda cool.”


”Yeah. Anyway.” She perched on the arm of a chair as John returned to the kitchen, “You’re real.”

“I’m a real boy.” Greg did the Pinocchio dance and laughed, putting on some music in slight embarrassment, “It’s weird how things have changed since we met you.”

Catherine looked up at him when she saw Jasmine look away guiltily, “Do you regret it?”

“Not at all.” He grinned across at Jazz, “As for outing us, that was entirely my fault, but the rest is cool. And to be honest, I’m glad we can live openly together now.”

Nick wove his was across the room and hugged him, “Me too.”

“Awwww, camera moment!” Catherine grabbed her phone and took a photo of the two of them, “We’ll miss having you on the team Nick.”

“Yeah, me too, but as long as I have Greg, it’s worth it.”

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John covered his eyes with his hand and flopped onto his back, growling up at the ceiling for want of something more… responsive to growl at. He thought about that fact for a couple of moments, then sat up and looked around the room blearily. It was reasonably neat, his weapons (lots of them) piled on the desk with Jasmine’s laptop, a pile of his clothes draped lazily across the chair and hers tucked away neatly in the drawers, but the room was noticeably devoid of any other intelligent life. She swung himself out of bed and panicked for a moment, before pulling himself together and stalking to the door. It turned out that he only had to poke his head out onto the landing to locate her.

“Jack Sodding Harkness!” What had he done this time? “And Ianto Gethin Jones you’re no better! Just stop it the pair of you.”

“Yes miss.” Jack’s tone was far too light when compared with hers, he was in for one hell of a bollocking.

“Right, that does it!”

“Ow! Jazz, Jasmine, ouch, stop with the… Oi!”

John chuckled and closed the door again, leaving them to deal with whatever Jack had done noisily and apparently violently. What he’d done this time, John had no idea, but it was more likely to be kitchen related than work related if she was yelling at Ianto as well. At least he had the sense to keep his mouth shut and let Jack take the brunt of her ire.

He pulled on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, then slouched downstairs to join Ianto, Greg and Nick at the kitchen window, watching Jazz chase Jack around the garden with a bucket of water. Ianto passed him a mug of coffee and he smiled into it gratefully, “She’s cheery this morning.”

“Hmm, look up.” Ianto smirked, “I thought I’d let Jack take the blame for that.” ‘That’ was a pancake stuck to the ceiling. And another, and another. “We got a bit… giddy.”

“Really? I thought that was all the range in Wales.” He sipped his coffee and glanced up again, “The one closest to the light’s going to fall.”

“Yep, I’m hoping it gets one of the two of them.” He shrugged and gestured generally towards the other side of the kitchen, “There’s a couple in the oven for you if you’re interested.”

John got the pancakes out and grabbed the jar of chocolate sauce, spreading it thickly and adding marshmallows before folding the whole lot over in aluminium foil to shove back into the oven to melt thoroughly, “What’s the situation out there?”

“They’re both in the pool.”

“How?” He looked up without standing up; sadly the three men were still watching the events in the garden. Should he be disappointed that not one was checking out his arse?

“Jack grabbed her and jumped. They’ve both gone a bit see through.”


“Only Jack.” Ianto’s smirk was in his voice, “Those jeans look really good on her when wet.”

“Eyes off my girlfriend.” He prodded the pancakes again for want of anything more productive to do

“Can’t help it, she’s got a good bum.”

“That she has. Good pair of…”

“Idiots!” Jasmine dripped her way across the kitchen and glared at Ianto and Jack, who had come to stand with him and was getting him thoroughly soaked by hugging him, “And as for you Ianto Jones, I know it was you…”

Ianto’s wish almost came true, in the form of a pancake dropping past Jasmine’s shoulder with a wet, almost disappointed ‘thwarp’. She looked down at it for a moment, then up at the other two and finally back at Ianto. Jack bit his lip and nudged his lover in the ribs, “I’d run if I were you.”

“Yep.” He hid behind Jack’s shoulder, squeezing his hand tightly, “She’s scaring me Jack.”

“What do you think I can do about it?” He laughed, “Come out you big baby.”

“I’m only hiding behind your shoulder.” Jack moved, “I’m only hiding behind my fingers.”

John pulled his pancakes out of the oven and dumped them on a plate, deciding that this was the moment to distract the slight blonde monster from terrorising their friends any further, “Good morning by the way.”

She glared balefully at Ianto for a moment longer, then swung round and bounced over to kiss John happily, “Good morning.”

“I’m all wet now.” He looked down, “And not in a good way, go drip over there.” She pouted but complied, “Did you sleep alright?”

Jazz shrugged and wrung her hair out over the sink, “A bit, I guess. I’ve been awake hours, done all the reports and stuff. You’re being very quiet boys.”

Greg looked up, startled from what was a very interesting introspection, “We, erm…”

Nick chuckled, “Didn’t have anything to add to the conversation. You working tonight Jazz?” They’d got used to living at night, so pancakes as the sun set and a full meal as it rose were pretty much common place now. The CSIs had maybe two hours before they needed to leave for work.

She had found a hairbrush and was attacking her hair with fervour, “Yeah, I am. I’m going to try to work something with Liberty Towers so I’m not at the Crime Lab, but sort of a roving agent until we know the situation here better. Then we can decide whether we need a permanent agent in the city or not. Probably wouldn’t take a bigger team than Cardiff’s got at the most, it’s not like you’ve got an active rift over here or anything like that.”

“So you’re leaving?”

“Can’t stay here forever, I’m needed back in London.” She growled at a particularly stubborn knot, “Did you really need to dunk me Jack? I mean, guh.”

He laughed, “Yeah, we’ve been here how long? And I hadn’t done it yet. It needed to be done.”

She wasn’t impressed, “Bugger off back to the land of the sheep. Weren’t you only supposed to be here a couple of days?”

“Yeah, but things conspired.”

“I’ve booked us on a flight back tomorrow morning.” Ianto interjected, “Probably before you get back from work. We need to get the Weevils back into as close to their natural territory as possible.”

“Okay.” She wandered across and hugged him, “I’ll miss you.”

“Yeah.” He hugged her back, “You’d better.”

“H’okay.” She leant her head on his shoulder and frowned in Nick’s general direction, “So I’ve done our report and the full incident report, I still need reports from the rest of you though. Then we need to go through the overall report on the Weevil transportation and finish off the fight club report. And I’ve got…” She grabbed Ianto’s wrist and checked his watch, “Ooo, lovely, I need to leave the house in one hour and thirty seven minutes. Approximately.”

Ianto pushed her away gently, “We’d better get on with it then, John with me?”

“Makes sense, you can do a joint report if that makes it easier. Jack, overall report?” She looked over her shoulder at the captain and he sighed, nodding grumpily, “Now I know what to do to get the files off you on time.”

“Sit on him.”

“Yep. No, sit on you!” She grinned up at Ianto, “I’ll go collect all the laptops I can find.”

Nick and Greg exchanged a glance, recognising that they weren’t needed at this point, and escaped into the garden, flopping down under the tree in the soft afternoon light, “You see all these sci-fi shows, read the books, watch the movies. You never expect there to be so much paperwork involved.”

Nick laughed, “That’s true enough. The Men in Black never seem to do paperwork, just wipe the evidence.”

“Hmm, listening to Jazz moan about them I think that’s pretty accurate.” Greg smirked, “I’m going to miss her.”


“No.” He sighed and sat up, tucking his knees up to his chest, “I’m hoping that everything will go back to normal, but it won’t, will it? Everyone knows now.”

“Do you wish they didn’t?” Nick sat up too and pulled Greg against him, relieved when the younger man sagged into his arms and rested his head against his shoulder

“I wish Ecklie didn’t know. I mean; I know we can do it, but I don’t want to work without you.”

“I know babe, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what we’ll do.”

Greg appeared to consider this for a moment, just long enough to make Nick nervous again, then turned around, knelt up and kissed him slowly and thoroughly, leaving the older man in no doubt about his intentions.

Jazz flexed her shoulders and checked through the notes she’d made with Jack, scribbling down a reference number on one of the printouts and entering it on her system, “I think that’s about it.” She commented, sending the files back through to London to be dealt with. “Oh God, time to go I think. I’ll go get the guys and get off.”

He stood up too and shut his computer down, “I guess I’ll see you then.”

“Yeah.” She hesitated a moment, then threw her arms around his waist and tugged her head in against his chest, “I’ll be back before long. I hope so, anyway.”

“Hey, John’s staying, you won’t be on your own.” He stroked her hair and hugged her tightly, “Are you OK?”

“I will be.” She pasted on a smile and shrugged, “You’d better get back to Cardiff, you’ve got a civil partnership to organise. I’ll be over in time for that. In fact, I’ll aim to be there by the start of September, OK?”

“Sounds good, now go on, work calls.”

Catherine stopped halfway down the hall as she saw her friends approaching and smiled in greeting, “Hey guys, thanks for getting Nicky back to us Jasmine.”

She looked pained for a moment but covered it so quickly that Catherine thought she’d imagined it, “That’s what I’m here for.” They entered the break room together and sank down onto the chairs to wait for Grissom and their assignments. Jazz automatically flopped down almost on top of Nick and snuggled into him in such a way that he could only put his arms around her. She closed her eyes and smiled happily, “You’re mega comfy.”

“You’ll get me in trouble.” He grumbled good-naturedly, not letting her get back up

“He’s right.” Catherine watched them in bemusement, “I would have thought after last night…”

Nick shrugged and accepted a coffee from Greg, “We’re in the frying pan anyway, might as well make the most of it. Besides, Jazz isn’t going to be around for long.”

“You’re leaving?” Catherine asked in surprise, her own coffee forgotten.

Jazz sat up and moved over so that Greg could sit next to Nick and rested her elbows on her knees, “Yeah, I’m needed back at my base in London, and I need to help Jack and Ianto organise their civil partnership in Cardiff. This was only supposed to be a very temporary thing. It sort of… stretched. I’m aiming to be back in London at least temporarily by the start of September.”

“That’s not far off.”

“No, it’s gonna be a bitch to organise.” She sighed, “But I’ll manage it. Probably. I can’t believe they’ve only been out here two days. Feels like a lot longer.”

“Yeah.” She punched Greg playfully and he laughed, waving his coffee warningly, “We’ll miss you, you know.”

“Good thing too, otherwise I’d have to come back and haunt you. Which I suspect I’ll have to do anyway. Oh, hi Arch.”

“Hey guys, how’s it going?”

“Pretty good. How’s tonight looking?”

“Busy, Grissom’s on his way.” They groaned and he was about to head off, but stopped and looked directly at Greg and Nick, “And Ecklie wants to see you both.”

When he left, Greg took Nick’s hand and squeezed it, seeking reassurance as much as he gave it. Nick turned slightly and smiled at him, but they didn’t let go. Grissom, when he arrived, appeared for be completely oblivious to it. “Nick, you’ve got another house invasion, looks like being the same as the last few we’ve had. Catherine, we’ve got a multiple on the strip. Greg, take Jasmine out to a 419 on twenty third. Oh, and Ecklie…”

“We know. Should we do that before we go?” Nick stood up and straightened his shirt self-consciously

“Probably for the best.” Grissom agreed.

They exchanged nervous glances and Greg quirked a smile at Jazz, “Meet you by the car?”

“Sure thing.” She watched them go with concern and followed Catherine out to the locker room. They changed in silence, but Catherine stopped her from leaving with a hand on her arm

“Look after him, won’t you? Both of them I suppose. I have a feeling Nick’s going to hate being on his own on this one.”

She nodded sadly, “Stupid office dating rules, especially with hours like yours.”

“It’s to cover them for sexual harassment charges.”

Jazz snorted, “Ianto used to complain of sexual harassment at Torchwood. Unfortunately, the highest powers he could complain to were both trying to get into his pants. Me and Jack.” She added in response to Catherine’s concerned look, “And he never really complained, just wound Jack up with it. Good times. Half of Torchwood seem to have slept together, on the premises in fact.”

“It’s another world.”

“That it is.”

“Yeah, well, just look after him.”

She swept out and left Jazz smiling sadly at the floor, “I will.”

galadriel1010: (Default)

Greg and Nick bade the other two men good night and headed up to the bedroom they seemed to have commandeered. Apart from the clothes that had been in there to start with, a surprising quantity of the couple’s clothes had found their way there, from bits and pieces that they thought they might possibly need to items that had been left behind when they’d stopped. A pair of toothbrushes were on the side of the sink, shirts were thrown over the back of the chair and, bizarrely, one of Greg’s shoes was poking out from under the wardrobe, all on its own.

Nick closed and locked the door behind them and pulled Greg gently into his arms, kissing him tenderly and holding on for dear life. Greg held on just as tightly, and kissed him back with a fierce intensity that they’d never felt before. They didn’t need to say anything; they both just knew that tonight was the night. It felt so much like their first kiss, the same awkward tenderness and passionate communication, hiding nervousness and genuine fear. Although it wasn’t the first time with a man for either of them, it would be their first time together. “Two years.” Greg whispered, trailing his fingers down Nick’s sides to rest lightly on his hips, “Two years Nicky.”

Nick kissed him tenderly again and trailed his lips down to the sensitive spot just below Greg’s ear and gently scraped his teeth across it, causing him to gasp and sag in Nick’s arms. “G.” He breathed, the air puffing warm and slightly moist across Greg’s ear, “G, do, do you want…”

Greg let out a groan as they ground against each other and gripped tighter to Nick’s hips, pulling him impossibly closer and kissing against his neck, “I need, I need you Nicky.”

They stumbled backwards to the bed, tripping over each other’s feet as they tried and failed to get shoes off. Greg eventually tumbled onto the bed and was soon squashed when Nick managed to trip over the one shoe that they’d managed to get rid of between them and fall on top of him. They held onto each other for a moment, staying almost perfectly still for fear of damaging each other further, but soon the laugher was bubbling through both of them. When Nick pulled back enough to look at Greg they lost it completely and he tipped forwards again, pressing his forehead against Greg’s shoulder as they both shook with laughter. Greg squirmed slightly and then rolled them both, so that he was straddling Nick’s hips and looking down at him. The laughter died as their gazes met, and the younger man leant forwards to crash their lips together, gripping Nick’s upper arm with one hand whilst using the other to lift his head slightly to get better access to his mouth. Their tongues swirled against each other, giving and taking in equal measure, and their teeth clashed as they strove to get even closer together.

Nick groaned in encouragement as Greg got a hand between them and started working on the buttons of his shirt, brushing just the tips of his fingers against Nick’s chest as each button ceased to be an obstruction before he moved on to the next. Once he’d got a couple undone, Greg dragged his mouth away from Nick’s and kissed down his chest instead, following the opening line of buttons downwards until they were all open and his shirt was spread wide. He kept on kissing across his lover’s torso, leaving a wet trail with his tongue, then blowing warm air across the trail before nipping gently at the soft skin, whilst his fingers traced and enjoyed the planes of hard, defined muscle. Nick fought the instinct to wriggle as hard as he could, letting Greg enjoy the moment, but couldn’t keep completely still as Greg dove his tongue into his navel before blowing across it, “God G.” He gasped and tangled his fingers in Greg’s hair, tugging gently to pull him up to that he could kiss him again, hungry, fierce and passionate. Greg let him have his way for a moment, but only so that he was distracted whilst the Californian got his belt and fly undone.

Greg’s smile when he pulled away was positively devilish, and Nick soon found out why when his lover’s hand slipped into his boxers and grazed across his dick. He arched up at the touch and dragged Greg’s head back down to crush their lips together, smothering his own heated cries in his lover’s mouth. Greg’s hand hesitated a moment, just brushing his fingers across Nick’s heated erection before he squeezed it gently. “Nick?” He didn’t pull away this time, just whispered so that his lips were still touching Nick’s, “Nick, do you want this?”

He smiled at that and kissed him again, reaching up into it, “Greggo, I’ve wanted this, wanted you, ever since I met you. And right now, I can feel every,” he kissed Greg again, “single,” and again, “day of it. So, if you don’t do something!” He gave a strained chuckle and thrust his hips up into Greg’s hand, “I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

“Confident words.” Greg gasped, “But said surprisingly calmly, considering that I can barely form a sentence.” He cut off Nick’s response before he could get it out by squeezing more firmly and twisting, sending heat and pleasure blazing through him.

Heat and want flooded through both of them, surrounding and encompassing them until they couldn’t identify anything but each other and either could they care. As he finally slid into Nick, revelling in the tightness and warmth of his lover’s body, he gave in to the emotions and sensations: feeling, giving, taking, loving. They seemed to be tuned in to each other more so than ever before, so he knew without Nick telling him that the other man was close, as close as he was himself. “Nicky.” He breathed out, “Nicky, I’m…”

“I know.” It went both ways then, “G, with me.” He didn’t need any more encouragement, and when he felt Nick tightening around him it was the final straw to push him over the edge, sending him spiralling upwards out of control until he landed safely back in Nick’s arms.

They lay like that for quite some time, regaining control of their breathing and thought processes, until Greg felt able to stand again and pulled out of Nick, padding softly across to the sink to get a washcloth. He cleaned them both up and lobbed it back across the room, missing the sink but not caring as he settled closer into Nick’s embrace, now leaning against the wall behind the bed. “Remind me, why did we wait two years to fly like that?” He asked softly with his eyes closed

“I don’t know.” Nick chuckled, “But promise me we’re not going to wait another two years for the next?”

“I don’t think I could.” Greg smiled against Nick’s chest. ”They all know now, we don’t need to hide any more.”

“Hmm, you scared?” His soft Texan accent was full of concern as his fingers trailed down Greg’s side gently

“Scared of losing you. Ecklie’s gonna split us up.”

“Nothing’s gonna split us up babe. I promise. If it gets too much, we’ll jump to Liberty Towers, or to London.”

“If we went to London, we could get married.” Greg commented lightly, nervously, “If we did, would you want to?”

Nick was silent for so long that Greg had to look at him, scared of finding that he was in shock or had fallen asleep. Instead he found his lover staring at him with tears and love in his eyes, “Oh G, there’s nothing I want more.” He eventually found the ability to speak again and was rewarded by a dazzling smile from his young lover as he settled back against him.

Greg tugged the quilt up to cover them and lay silently for a while, tracing idle patterns on Nick’s arm, “I nearly lost you today. It could have gone so differently so easily, and you wouldn’t have come home and I’d be alone again. And whilst I was waiting outside the house, all I could think of was the fact that we’d never made love, that I’d never told you I wanted to marry you, that I didn’t tell you often enough that I love you.” He looked up at Nick again, “I want to spend the rest of my life here.” He paused to consider, “Well, maybe not exactly here, but here in a general sense meaning with you.”

Nick pulled him closer and kissed his forehead, then his eyelids, and then his nose before moving down to his lips, “That’s good, because I had no intentions of letting you go. I love you so much G. Fuck Ecklie, fuck the world, we’ll make it. Somewhere.”

Ianto’s face nearly cracked with the force of his grin when Greg and Nick disappeared out of view. Chuckling quietly to himself, he turned to the drinks cabinet and poured out four tumblers of whiskey, adding water to two of them and ice to the other two before offering one to John. The other man was watching him in amusement and leaning on the back of one of the armchairs, “You did it?”

“Of course not. Jack beat me to it.” He shook his head, “They’re so sweet.”


“Not for long.” He slugged back his own drink and set the empty glass on the table, falling onto one of the sofas and toeing his shoes off before resting his blue socked feet on the arm, “She’ll be OK John, she’s tough.”

“Yeah, I know.” John threw himself into an armchair and downed his drink more slowly that Ianto had, savouring the burn and twist of the liquid as it worked through him. He knew that Ianto was watching him carefully, studying his tense posture and the worry that must be written in every line of his body. “If I’d known what happened in there, I would never have let her go alone.”

“She just…”

“Yeah, I know, but what we could really do with not happening is her getting so wrapped up in guilt that she walks under a bus or jumps off a bridge. The cover-up would be a nightmare.” He sighed, “I love her so much, but sometimes I feel like I’m swimming against the tide.”

“She’s still struggling?” Ianto asked in slight shock, Jazz always seemed so bright and cheerful

But john just nodded and clasped his hands between his knees, “She’s better now than she was. The Dalek invasion really knocked her for six, but as long as she had you to look out for, it was something to keep the darkness away. Once she knew that you were happy again, she sort of lost her way. Getting out of London’s done her good at least. She wasn’t born to make those decisions, to carry that weight.” He smiled sadly, “Now Jack, Jack’s a born leader. I remember when they first paired us together, it was because he’d gone off the rails and found his way back onto them, and they thought that he’d be able to help me find my way back. Never worked, but he wasn’t the right person to do that. He told me what to do, but he couldn’t lead me, just direct me. He’s a natural leader, I’ve sometimes wondered if something made him that way, or if he was always that strong.”

“He’s not invulnerable.” Ianto stated, sitting up and mirroring John’s pose facing him, “He cares so deeply and it hurts him so much.”

“I know, but Jazz… Jack’s tough all the way through, you get below the Captain posturing and underneath he’s still a hero, but in a different way. Get under Zee’s skin and you find a very scared little girl. She takes it all so personally. If it had been two of her team.” He swallowed and looked away, unable to meet Ianto’s gaze as he thought about the consequences of his cowardice, “She wouldn’t have coped, she would have run away. Jack, every time Jack gets knocked down he gets back up again stronger than before. She can’t do that.”

“I never realised.” Ianto’s voice drew his gaze back to the young man who was so much older than his years, “She always seems so…”


“Yeah, I guess. You’d never think that anything could get her down.”

John shrugged again and rolled his shoulders, feeling them crack, “She’s probably not as bad as I make her sound. She copes, but she has dark days.” He smiled sadly, barely a quirk of his lips, “I guess we all do, don’t we?”

Ianto nodded silently and sadly, “I need another drink.”

“Amen to that.” John beat him to it and passed the double measure across, smirking slightly as he did so, “Well now we’re both definitely over the limit.”

Ianto snorted, “I was when I drove us back.”


The smug Welshman smirked, “Young ladies, and some young men, have been buying me drinks all night, what do you think?”

John stared at him in shock and pure admiration, “You’re a fucking genius Ianto Jones. A twisted, brilliant genius.”

Ianto just nodded, biting back the automatic response as it flooded him with memories of Tosh. He couldn’t help but blame and hate John for her death, for the wholesale destruction that Cardiff was still recovering from, but he also recognised that Jack needed him, that Jasmine needed him, so the world needed him. He also recognised a brother soul to his own, albeit one twisted and darkened almost beyond recognition. “I hate you.” He said eventually

John looked surprised, saddened, but not like it was news, “I don’t blame you.”

“I blame you.” Ianto added, eyes fixed on the carpet, “But it doesn’t mean that I don’t like you.”

He smiled at that and met Ianto’s gaze again, “That means a lot.”

Once again, Ianto merely nodded in response and lay back down again, staring fixedly at his toes, “I would suggest doing our reports. But quite honestly, I can’t be bothered.”

“She’ll eat you.”

He huffed out a laugh, “It’ll wait until the morning.” A yell came from upstairs and they both moved their gazes pointlessly to the ceiling, “Do you think they know just how un-soundproof the rooms are here.”

“I think that if you get your way tonight they’ll find out. What is it with that, why aren’t they better soundproofed?” Ianto had choked with laughter at the first comment, but didn’t deny it, and it took him longer than usual to get back under control. John watched him in amusement, “You are one kinky couple.”

“Yup.” He glanced towards the kitchen, "You don't know the half of it."

“And I don’t think I want to. Where’s that errant Captain of ours?”

On cue the door opened and Jack arrived noisily, removing his coat and boots whilst Ianto looked at John with an eyebrow raised, “How do you do that?” He didn’t wait for the answer though, but stood up to meet Jack and pull him close for a kiss before releasing him, “Clean up go smoothly?”

“Yeah.” Jack sat down next to him on the sofa and grabbed one of the two remaining tumbler, drinking it slowly whilst Ianto settled against him and wrapped Jack’s spare hand in both of his own, “Where are the others?” He asked at last

“Nick and Greg have gone to bed.” John smirked in a way that told Jack exactly what he meant, as if he weren’t already fairly sure, but the smirk melted away to be replaced by a more sincere, concerned look, “Jazz went out running when we got back, probably won’t be back for an hour or so, maybe a lot longer.”

Jack looked across at him with worry dancing in his eyes, “Why, what happened in the house?”

“The guy who was holding them threatened to kill Nick if she didn’t comply. She stood her ground.”

Jack nodded in understanding, “She got him out though. That’s…”

“Impressive, to say the least, but you know what Jasmine’s like. She’ll stew over it for ages.” He reached for another drink but appeared to think better of it, “So, anyway, what’s the next stage of the plan?”

“Our jurisdiction was the Weevils. We’ve got that sorted out; Liberty Towers are rounding up the last of the tagged ones and are instructed on dealing with any more that come through. Once we’ve got the paperwork done…” Jack waved the hand holding the now empty glass, “We can go home.”

“That’s a relief.” John sighed and flexed his shoulders, “But what about Greg and Nick, I get the impression that now their secret’s out, life’s not going to be pleasant for them.”

Ianto shook his head and settled even closer to Jack, “No relationships allowed between members of the same shift. They’ll be put on separate shifts. Apparently it happened to Gil and his then girlfriend a couple of years ago. But their relationship, as far as I can tell, was already strained. Greg and Nick are strong, they’ll cope.”

“And if they can’t, there’re always options open to them.” Jack put the tumbler down and wrapped his arm around Ianto, completing the circle and pile of hands, “Catherine caught me before I left, she said that it was just unfortunate that Ecklie was there, none of the other team members would have said anything, and it just confirmed their suspicions.”

“Yeah.” Ianto sighed, “Hell of a way to do it though.”

Jack squeezed him tighter, “Oh yeah, almost as impressive as Gwen finding out about us.” Ianto snorted but John just looked bemused, “Oh don’t tell me she hasn’t told you that one!”

Ianto laughed out loud at that and squeezed his hands, “The poor thing nearly died of embarrassment. Would have served her right too.” He added darkly, “We were… You know the rift takes people as well as bringing stuff here, and that the people who get taken occasionally get brought back as well?”

The former Time Agent nodded scornfully, “Of course.”

“Yeah, well it wasn’t common knowledge. Jack knew, I knew, and that was about it. The nurses on Flat Holm Island didn’t even know how they came to be like that. But Gwen found out about a disappearance, just one lad, but she met his mother and you know what Gwen’s like, she’s like a dog with a bone. Anyway, she was on her way in to have it out with Jack, follow it up as her own private project, I was secretly going to lead her to the island and explain it all so that Jack would think she’d just dropped it and she’d maybe learn to do what Jack told her.”


“Unlikely but worth a shot.” He had tensed up in Jack’s arms and wouldn’t look at either of them, “I’m not proud of it, but I thought it was necessary.”

John waved his moralising away, “Come on, I want to get to the good bit.”

“What, you mean the bit where she must have seen movement in the hot house and walked straight in not realising that we were enjoying some… down time.” Jack pulled a face, “I couldn’t look her in the face for a week.”

“Fortunately, she thought he was mad at her and just avoided him. And didn’t check me out after the first time when he growled at her.”

“Showed great restraint I think.” Jack commented, freeing a hand to run a finger lazily up and down his side, “I couldn’t look away after…”

“Get a room!” John rolled his eyes and groaned, but there was no rancour in it, “Honestly, you’re like a pair of rabbits. And Jazz won’t want to deal with too many people when she gets back anyway, get yourselves to bed.”

They hesitated a moment but he glared at them until they moved. Ianto stood up first and collected the empty tumblers together, heading for the kitchen, “I’ll just wash these, then follow you up.”

John settled back in his chair and gazed at the far wall, formulating plan and ideas, wild schemes and half-baked plots to follow the life he’d left behind, combined with what seemed like madder ideas of security and stability. That wasn’t why he was with Jazz and they both knew it. The sound of soft, Welsh humming drifted through from the kitchen and, after a surprisingly long time, Ianto reappeared, carrying a bowl of what appeared to be melted chocolate and a bag of marshmallows.

John managed to ask his question with just an incredulous look, Ianto shrugged in reply and disappeared up the stairs. That seemed to cover it, kinky bastard.

Upstairs, Ianto pushed their bedroom door open with his hip, grateful that it was a handle rather than a knob, and smiled at the sight of his lover sprawled on his front on the bed, with the covers drawn up to his waist probably more against the slight chill in the air than out of modesty. His smile when Ianto entered was only made more stunning by the slight confusion and more than slight horniness when he saw Ianto’s presents. “Playtime? Or dinner time?”

Ianto just shook his head with a smile and set the bowl and bag down on the desk. He crossed to the bed and pulled the covers back, rolling Jack over with firm, insistent shoves. Jack complied with a grunt and lay on his back, eyes widening when Ianto pulled out two sets of restraints. The Welshman remained silent as he secured Jack right where he wanted him, stripped off himself and went to fetch the chocolate, dribbling a line of the sticky substance down Jack’s nose. He kissed it off, then kissed him full on the mouth before answering, “Oh, definitely playtime.”

Quite some time later, Jack flexed his shoulders and wiggled his hips, feeling the stiffness ease now that he was finally released. He used his newfound freedom as soon as Ianto returned from the sink and the desk, sitting up only long enough to pull him down into the circle of his arms so that he could cuddle him close. When they kissed he could taste the rough, smooth sweetness of the chocolate, mixed with the familiar muskiness of his own taste mixed with that of his lover. “Love you Yan.”

“Mmm…” Ianto nuzzled in closer and took up his usual position with his head and one hand on Jack’s chest, “Love you too.”

John now sat in the dark, eyes definitely not fixed on the doorway and equally definitely not fixed on the two glasses in front of him, one empty and one full. Instead he watched the pattern of lights on the wall as car headlights bounced off the front of the cabinet behind him and lighted on that one patch by the light switch. He didn’t know how long he’d been sitting there, but figured it must have been a while, judging by the fact that he’d heard Jack yell out and Ianto had had… He shook himself, it sounded like they’d had fun at least. Letting out a sigh he considered standing up and walking around the room (was that pacing? Too desperate maybe) when he heard footsteps outside. He wanted to say that they sounded tired, or familiar or anything descriptive really, but they were just footsteps. Trainers, heavy enough to make the middle step creak but not heavy enough to make it audible if you weren’t listening. The steps paused outside the door and he stood, moving to stand in the hall doorway, waiting for her to enter.

Minutes ticked by, he could see her forehead pressed against the glass, until she pulled away and the door opened. Jasmine had her eyes on the floor, and it would have been funny the way her gaze paused on his feet, and then dragged up the length of his body if it hadn’t been so sad, so scared. He bit back a sigh, recognising that look, and moved around, shutting the door with a firm click and following her as she backed away from him until his chest was touched hers with every heaving breath she took. They watched each other, eyes locked, until he leant back slightly and braced his hands on either side of her head. “Where did you go?”

“Running. I don’t know.” She looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights and he got the feeling that although she knew he would never hurt her, right this moment she was scared he would. Or hoped he would. Which was why he never would. “It’s all I’m good at, running away from things.”

He hadn’t been expecting that, “Why do you say that?”

“Because it’s true.”

“No it’s not.” One of his hands slipped slightly closer and she flinched, “You run towards things, not away from them. And you’re good at lots of other things besides.” She opened her mouth but he cut her off, “Thinking, planning, fighting, gymnastics.” He pulled a wry smile, his first since she returned, “Filing. You are good at what you do.”

“I nearly killed him, how is that being good at what I do?” She nearly spat the adjective

“But you didn’t, you got him out of there, he’s safe upstairs in the arms of the man he loves because of you, because that guy respected you. You did that, you brought him home.”


He moved his hand again and this time she didn’t flinch away, letting him cover her lips with his finger, “You did what you had to do.”

“I just want to stop hurting people.” The whispered words, the look towards the stairs, the tightening of her shoulders… He pulled her away from the wall and crushed her against his chest, stroking her shoulders and back as she shook with sobs, “I want to stop hurting.”

“I know sweetheart, I know.” He held her close and cursed the fates that brought them together. This wasn’t what he wanted; he didn’t want to have this vulnerable, innocent girl relying on him when he could be off tasting other worlds and seeing other stars. But once he had her in his arms, once he’d lost her and got her back, how could he turn away. The call of the stars was strong, but to be wanted, to be needed… It was worse than a drug. He’d give up everything to have her cling to him like this.

Gradually the tears slowed and then stopped and her grip on his shirt loosened. She was almost asleep in his arms, so he lifted her gently and carried her up the stairs to their room, “How far did you run?”

“To the stars.” She answered sleepily, arms laced loosely around his neck and eyes half closed, “But I got called back.”

“By what?” He was pulling the bobble out of her hair, running his fingers through sweat damp hair, pulling off her running top and shorts and supporting her to slip her into a vest top and long, loose pants.

She sighed and nuzzled in against his side again as soon as he let her, curling up so that all he could do was wrap his arms around her and hold her, “By you. I had to come back to you. The stars aren’t so bright when you’re not there. I think… I think it’s because I love you.”

She relaxed even further ad he knew she was asleep, but still held onto her for the moment, “Yeah, I know what you mean sweetheart.”

galadriel1010: (Default)

Ianto spotted Ecklie moving towards the men and intercepted them, drawing them away from his wrath, “Guys, we need to get back to the house. Liberty Towers will clean up here, but Jazz and Nick need to get back and be checked over.”

Jack turned to the discussion and also caught sight of Ecklie, who had stopped briefly, recognising Ianto’s superiority. John had arrived back with them and was watching Jazz and with Jazz, so he detached himself and headed past his partner, resting a hand on his shoulder on his way to the irate director. “Director Ecklie, I’m going to have to request that you and your people pull back from this scene.”

“How far?” Ecklie attempted a sneer that wasn’t insulting; he didn’t quite pull it off

“To the crime lab?” Jack did a sneer that was definitely insulting, “And let me rephrase that, pull back.” He was right in Ecklie’s face, and he could see the way that the smaller man tried to see past him to glare at the CSIs, “This is a Liberty Towers scene.”

“Then what…” Jack glared him down, “Understood, when shall we expect your report?”

The captain shook his head and turned to where Ianto was watching Jazz and John, “When it arrives.”

The former time agent had his arm around his girlfriend’s waist supportively and she was visibly shaking. John turned to look at Jack with concerned eyes that spoke volumes and pulled Jasmine closer to him, “Can we get out of here?” Translation: ‘Can I get her out of here?’

“Yep, you and Ianto go back with them and relieve David and Archie, check Nick over.” (Check her over, look after her.) He nodded towards Sergeant Collins, “Simon and I will finish up here.”

John nodded and squeezed Jazz for a response. She dragged her eyes away from the house and blinked quickly, forcing a smile and nodding as well, “Sure, see you back there.” They walked hand in hand to the car and got in, waving briefly as they drove away.

The drive to the house was quiet and thoughtful; Greg and Nick sat in the back, curled into each other as much as their seatbelts allowed, with Ianto, whilst John drove and Jasmine stared out of the front passenger window blankly. When the atmosphere got too heavy, John reached across and flicked on the radio, wincing when he realised that it was one of Jasmine's corny love songs albums that she liked to sing along to. She gave him a soft look, but changed the CD, slipping in a folk rock disc instead. Her eyes drifted back to the window, shutters firmly down.

Two blocks down, Ianto leaned forwards and rested his arm on the back of John's seat, "Archie and David are just going to hang around long enough to see us, then head back to the lab, unless you think we need them?"

They both looked to Jazz for an answer, but she remained silent and distant, lost in her own thoughts, so John shook his head, "No, I think we're good."

He nodded and sat back, casting a glance across each of his companions. John was tense and kept shooting looks across at Jasmine, tapping his fingers in time the the music as he did so. Jasmine, he could tell just from her rigid and defensive posture, was frowning. That look she got when she wanted to stop the world and get off, because she thought that it would be better without her, or when she was just about to or had just done something that she didn't want to do on a deep emotional level. He couldn't see her face, but her shoulders were so still she had to be either very tense or controlling herself, and she wasn't moving with the music.

In the back seat, Nick leant against the door with his head back and his eyes closed and Greg leaned sideways and backwards, one arm laying across his own body to where his fingers were laced with Nick's and the other resting on top of Nick's other hand where the older man's arm was wrapped around his waist. Greg's eyes were open but glazed over, and from where his head rested on Nick's shoulder his gaze was fixed on the rear-view mirror. The steady stare was pensive, concerned and overwhelmingly relieved. He blinked and looked across to meet Ianto's contemplative gaze, which was mixed with soft concern. The Welshman smiled at him gently and dropped his gaze back to his PDA, not as if caught in the act Greg realised, just like he needed to move on.

He shifted slightly in Nick’s embrace and smiled when the strong arms holding him tightened and moved him slightly further, bringing him closer to the warm solidity of Nick’s chest and within reach for Nick to press a kiss to the back of his head. Sighing, he settled back and smiled, hiding his worries about the future, their future, from even himself. They were together, that was all that mattered.

Archie pushed his chair back and glanced across at his partner, meeting his eyes for just a moment before he hurried out of the room to meet the car they had heard arriving. Hodges turned back to the screen and informed Captain Harkness that they'd arrived, then got up to follow Archie to the living room. By the time he got there he could already hear voices drifting through, and he'd heard footsteps going upstairs. Nick was sitting in one of the armchairs whilst John gave him a quick check-over and Greg perched on the chair arm with his hand resting lightly on the Texan's shoulder. Ianto and Archie were close to the door, discussing the rescue and voicing their relief at how well it had gone. He arrived just in time to hear Ianto remark, "She's got a cool head in a crisis, but a nerve-wracking fondness for heights."

He entered the room fully and nodded across to Greg and Nick, "Good to have you back Nick. Where's Jazz?"

John answered without looking up, "She's gone to get changed so that she can run off the adrenaline, apparently. She'll be OK."

Footsteps came down the stairs and he turned just in time to see the door swing closed, "Hi Jazz, bye Jazz. She's gone, and we should do the same." He turned to Archie, "Ready for off?"

"Yeah, sure, we'll catch up with you later guys." They waved and followed the now disappeared Jasmine out of the house, leaving the four men in relative quiet.

John pushed himself upright and shoved his hands in his pockets, "No lingering effects, although I'd stay hydrated as much as possible just to knock the sedative on the head."

"Sure, thanks." He stretched his legs out now that John had moved over to the sofa and pulled Greg round a bit so that he was more comfortable, eventually giving in to the gentle tug towards the other sofa. Greg sat at one end, so he stretched out full length and laid his head in his partner's lap, letting him play gently with his hair. Ianto brought some drinks through form the kitchen and settled down in an armchair across from them, whilst John had his feet up on the coffee table. "This happen to you a lot?" He asked eventually, breaking what had been a not uncomfortable silence.

John rolled his shoulders in a sort of shrug and looked across at Ianto, "Less since I settled down. When I was travelling a lot, with Jazz and before her with Jack, then it seemed to happen a lot. These days, I could count on the fingers of one hand how many time's it's happened."

"I'd need more than one hand to count the number of times you've done it." Ianto pointed out, then looked away, "Sorry, I shouldn't have..."

"No, you're right." John sighed and waved his hand, "Yeah, but I'm good at what I do. It won't happen again."

"What..." Greg looked from one to the other

Ianto shook his head and met John's eyes again, "You don't want to know. Anyway, are you going to tell us what happened in there, or are we going to have to guess?"

Nick told the story of their capture, the threats, right through to Jasmine's decision and refusal to back down. When he told them this, even though he tried to lighten it, to hide the facts, Greg's hands tightened in his and John and Ianto exchanged worried glances. "She did it because she had to," he explained, "she had no choice."

"We know that." Ianto answered, standing up and moving to the window, running a hand through his hair, "But she'll never be able to accept it."

"How, how could she?" Greg asked, baffled and scared, unconsciously holding tighter to the lover he'd so nearly lost today

Ianto had returned to the sofa but was leaning his elbows on the back of it, with his hands clasped together. "What you have to understand, Greg, is that Jasmine is... not who she appears to be. She is physically young, but she has been alive for somewhere in the region of a hundred years. And she runs a very powerful and very important organisation, barring Jack she won't take shit from anyone. She in the key, if you like, and as a result she's both powerful and vulnerable. People want things from her that could put the whole world in danger, and have gone to great lengths in the past and will do so in the future, to get their way. For the sake of the world, she cannot surrender. None of us can. Jazz couldn't do it for John, Jack couldn't do it for me, if they had children... Their lives, our lives, are entirely devoted to protecting this world, and John and I will one day give our lives in its defence."

John was watching the Californian carefully, "We've accepted that, and Jack and Jasmine... They don't like it, but they know that they have no choice in the matter. They can either love and lose us or not love at all."

"And what about us, do we have a choice?"

"There's always a choice, but for what it's worth, this is unlikely to happen again." Ianto added, clearly deep in thought, "Once we're out of here the target moves with us, and we'll always be on call if you need us."

"Who... who's in charge?" Nick asked, "Of Jack and Jasmine, who calls the shots?"

Ianto groaned, "You noticed, huh? Jasmine is the head of Torchwood; theoretically she can give orders to anyone who works for Torchwood and can request co-operation from any official body in the world. Torchwood is always a good card to play, especially for Jazz, as she's travelled quite a lot and gained respect, so she can pull rank over almost anyone, but Jack would never let her do it."

"You say it like it's a bad thing." Nick reflected

"She shouldn't let him stand up to her." Ianto explained, "She is the boss, but she would let Jack get away with murder."


He shrugged and turned to the window to watch for Jack's return again, "Because he's Jack, because he's gorgeous, because he was her first." He smiled at the predictable questioning looks he could see reflected in the window, "Or just because she trusts him. Maybe all of them. It works, I suppose, but it's maybe not a brilliant idea."

John looked round at him, "Have you spoken to him about it?"

"Yeah, but you know what Jack's like. He's been the Captain for so long that he forgets how to be anything else. They'll get back into a rhythm again, once she gets over the shock of yelling at him."

The former time agent nodded and stood up, "I should go and find her."

"You won't."

"No, I know. You waiting up for Jack?" The conversation was closed and finished for the moment, an internal Torchwood matter that only time could deal with

Ianto just smiled at him and turned to the two Americans, "I would suggest that you two get some sleep. It's been a tough day, thank God it's over."

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“Interesting Commander, you didn’t even blink.” Peter Hilona lowered his gun without taking his eyes from the young woman in front of him

She shrugged one shoulder, “Did you expect me to?”

Her aggressor smiled grudgingly and looked over her shoulder, “And what do you have to say Mr…” The moment his attention left her, Jazz had moved and found the point in his neck that made him crumple silently and ungracefully to the ground.

The blonde secured him quickly and efficiently, tears now streaming down her face. She didn’t dare look around, didn’t dare see if Nick was safe and silent or just… silent.

A hand landed lightly on her shoulder and she dropped her head, heaving a huge sigh of relief and closing her eyes against the fresh flood of tears. Nick rubbed gently at her shoulder and crouched down with her, “You did the right thing.”

“Doesn’t stop me hating myself for it.” She puffed her cheeks out and dashed her tears away, then pulled Hilona up to dump him unceremoniously in the remaining chair. He wasn’t a big man, but still bigger than Jazz, and Nick realised just how deceptively strong she was.

“You were just doing your duty.” He pointed out softly as she secured the man to the chair with quick, spare, brutal movements. “And I’m still here.”

“Yeah.” The smile failed to meet her eyes, “I guess you are.” Between them they went through his pockets and pulled out keys, another gun, mobile… Everything they found really

“You looking for anything in particular?”

“Don’t know until I find it if I’m honest. Doesn’t seem to be here, whatever it is. No surprise there.” She brushed a stray strand of hair out of her face and held it on top of her head, “No PDA even, he wasn’t taking any chances on me getting hold of it.”

“What do we do now then?” Nick watched her as she sorted through the contents of his pockets and glanced out of the window, “We’re on the second floor.”

“I know.” She found a paperclip in the bottom of one of his pockets, “We’re going out the window.”

“We’re still on the second floor. Haven’t moved since I last spoke.”

She looked at him with a raised eyebrow, “Relax, you’re with the commander.”

Ianto noticed movement in one of the upper windows and focussed in on it through the binoculars. This got a lot easier when the window opened, removing the reflected dawn light from the equation, and revealing a familiar blonde head. Jasmine scanned the surroundings and froze, staring straight at the point where they were concealed. The Welshman hesitated only a moment before raising his head for the briefest second, just enough for Jazz to see him and recognise him. She relaxed and waved slightly, then turned away from the window. After a couple of minutes she returned and swung herself out and onto the roof. They had been held in a room close to the roof, with a dormer window, which gave her easy access to the sloping tiles. Now she was there she was easily visible, her white vest top practically glowed and her skirt kept catching in the wind (practical, not exactly), so he checked back to the window. With a smile he lowered the binoculars and passed them to a twitchy Greg, "The window she just came out of."

The Californian looked at him questioningly, and then did as he was bid. His face lit up as he saw the man watching nervously out of the window, trying to see where Jazz had disappeared to without leaning too far out. Greg bit his lip to keep quiet and looked at Ianto with his eyes shining, "He's alive."

"Yep." Ianto muttered, distracted with sending a message to Jack, "What's she up to?"

Jazz had moved around the roof to where, although Ianto couldn't see it, there was a skylight set flat into the roof. She crouched down and bent her paperclip carefully, slipping it into the lock (how many skylights had locks, really? That was just paranoid) and turning it gently. The wind picked up slightly and tugged at her skirt lightly, blowing it out behind her and pulling her slightly off balance. She swore and grabbed onto the edge of the skylight, then changed her paperclip lock pick slightly and went at the lock again. This time it caught properly and she was able to unlock the window and open it, with great difficulty as it stuck repeatedly, and slip inside. Her skirt, bane of her life at the moment, caught on the edge and flashed her knickers at a, thankfully empty, landing. Only two rooms led off this landing, and one door was already open, which left only one room as the one where Nick and Hilona were still imprisoned.

After a quick hunt, the key turned up on a shelf close to the door, and after tapping on it gently she unlocked it and opened it slightly. Her hesitance was justified when her chair leg glanced off the edge of the door and Nick’s grunt of annoyance, “It’s only me.”

Her friend was silent for a moment, so she pushed the door open fully and slid into the room, grateful but guilty at Nick’s relieved smile, “How did you manage that then?” He asked with a huff of laughter, chucking the chair leg into the corner

“Like I said, you’re with the commander.” She forced a smile, “Now let’s get you out of here.”

They went down to the first floor and hesitated there, hearing the sounds of movement from the ground floor. Jazz pulled Nick back into what appeared to be a storeroom as they heard someone coming up the stairs. They listened to the footsteps with baited breath and didn’t relax until they had gone back down the stairs, “We need to get out of here.”

The commander looked out of the window and scanned the back garden easily. With a slight frown she pushed the window up and leaned out, resting her elbows on the edge to sign vaguely towards where Ianto had been watching them. Nick watched her with interest and confusion, not recognising some of the signs, “Was that very complicated, or am I just not as good at signing as I think I am?” He asked when she’s finished and smiled at an apparent reply

She grinned and waved her hands, “British Sign Language. Some times I think it would be easier with one universal one, but at least no one watching me will be able to understand what I told Ianto.”

“I got the basic gist.” He protested, “Just not the detail.”

“Shh.” Jazz pulled the door open and listened carefully, and then led him across the landing to another room. This room was larger and appeared to have been a bedroom at once, but was now yet another storeroom, this one containing an array of weaponry. They both stopped in their tracks at the sight and stared in shock, “Wow. I just…” She shook her head and pocketed a couple of small guns, “Work with them all the time, but guns never cease to scare me. Especially when they’re in the wrong hands.”

“Same here.” Nick also picked up a gun and shoved it into his back pocket, glancing out of the window, “We’ve got a balcony.”

“Good, then that’s our way out.” She opened the window and looked down the street both ways, “Oh good, there they are.”

The girl stepped back from the window and pointed in the right direction for Nick to look. There, watching the window with an amused, concerned and relieved smile, was Jack. Ianto stood just behind him, and his hand rested on Greg’s shoulder, “They found us.”

Ianto pulled out his phone and tugged on Greg’s arm, indicating for him to stay silent and out of sight and dialling Jack’s number. They made their way around the edge of the yard to a point where the fence had been breached for the forces to get in. Hilona’s desire for secrecy had in some ways made it very easy for Liberty Towers to infiltrate.

“Jack.” As soon as they were outside the yard, Ianto was dialling, “Jazz and Nick are going to come out the front; get a force around the back of the building to attempt an entry from there, but let them know about it.” His instructions were short and concise and he knew that Jack would interpret it as well as ever. Why explain what he knew Jack would understand?

They finally reached the front of the house and went around to where Jack stood watching, eyes narrowed against the increasing light and arms folded, “How’s it getting on?” Ianto asked.

“Two squads around the back. Jazz and Nick just poked their heads out of that window. I’ve sent the signal. They should…” Right on cue, as Nick withdrew his head they heard a gunshot from the other side of the house. “They’re on their way in.”

Up above, Jasmine glanced behind her and grabbed at Nick, pushing him towards the window, “Let’s go.”

They scrambled out of the window, Nick first, and paused on the balcony. As the door burst open, presumably someone after weapons, Jazz pushed Nick back against the wall and dropped off the edge, holding on with her fingers until they’d gone. Once the shouting in the room above them had died down, she pulled herself back up just enough to reach out to Nick, “Come on, easy enough.”

“We’re still on the first floor.” He barely managed to whisper

Somehow she managed to shrug, “You know Greg’s behind me, right?”

“Bitch.” He grinned over the top of her head at his lover as she pulled herself up properly, “You’ll have to help me down.”

“Of course.” Nick swung himself off the edge of the balcony and grasped Jazz’s hand, letting her lower him, then pushed off and dropped when she reached the length of her stretch.

Greg watched with baited breath as Nick dropped to the ground, and then couldn’t hold back any longer. As the older man turned towards them he took a step forwards, then another and another. Soon he crashed into Nick’s arms and wrapped his own arms tight around his lover’s waist, feeling Nick doing the same. They held each other for a long moment, but he needed more reassurance. He pulled back slightly and cupped Nick’s cheek, stroking gently and drowning in his soft gaze. Then he leaned forwards and closed his eyes, pressing their lips together softly and tenderly, holding on to that moment. “I thought I’d lost you.” He whispered at long last, “I thought this would be it, that I’d never get to hold you again.”

Tears were flowing from the young man’s eyes, so Nick kissed him once more and tugged him close, threading his fingers through his soft hair and pressing kisses against his temple, “Shh, I’m here, we’re safe.”

“I never want to lose you.”

“You won’t, you haven’t, I’m here and I’m not letting go.” He held tighter, savouring the moment for just a little while longer, then pulled away and led Greg to where Jack and Ianto waited with Jasmine, all watching the house to give them some privacy and all with weapon drawn to give them cover.

Those three weren’t watching, however a group from the crime lab, including Grissom, Catherine and Mandy, were watching them closely. The two girls looked secretly thrilled and quite excited, Grissom looked stunned and Ecklie… Shit, Ecklie was there too. And he looked furious.

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Greg grinned with the familiar buzz of excitement as he lifted a complete print from the edge of the window. He was about to call across to Grissom and tell him when the older man’s phone rang, distracting him from his study of the bookcase. The Californian smiled to himself and secured the print, humming under his breath and turning back to the window. He didn’t often get to work a scene with Grissom, for which he was secretly extremely grateful, but just occasionally he found the quiet, methodical nature of their leader soothing.

“Greg.” Nothing soothing about his voice now. Grissom sounded faintly terrified, which was definitely not a good thing

He stood up and turned to face the older man, “What’s up, what’s happened?”

“It’s Nicky, he’s been taken from a scene.” The unspoken ‘again’ hung in the air.

Greg struggled to breathe, this could not be happening, not now, not to Nick, “Who was he with?” His brain had turned to mush, he just couldn’t remember if his lover was alone at the scene

“He was with Jasmine.” Grissom was already packing up his things, “Stay here and finish the scene, I’ve got to get back to the crime lab.”

“Griss, no, I can’t…”

“I’m sorry Greg, but this scene needs to be processed and I need to get back to the lab.” Grissom watched him closely, “I know it’s a shock, but do your best work, we’ll get him back.”

Greg bit his lip so hard it bled, he couldn’t say what was running through his mind, the ‘Grissom, that would be my husband if the law allowed it’, or even ‘you have no idea what’s running through my mind now’. Grissom couldn’t know the nature of their relationship, it was just against the rules. And so he had to stay here and let other people find and save the man he loved beyond words. He settled for, “Okay.” Even though it wasn’t, not at all.

Grissom packed up the last of his stuff and straightened up, turning for the door, “I’ll call you if anything comes up. Just get back to the crime lab as soon as you can.”

It was at that precise moment that the door flew open.

Jack clapped a hand to Simon’s shoulder and tugged slightly, pulling the younger man into his wake as he headed for one of the vans, Ianto just behind the two of them. “Let’s get a move on.” He signalled to one of the UNIT guards, who tossed him the keys, and paused with his hand on the door, “We’ll probably need backup at some point. Can you arrange that?”

Simon glared at him, “I’m coming with you.”

“Good answer.” Jack met his glare, “Can you arrange it?”

“I’ll have a squad ready to move on my orders as soon as we have a location.”

Ianto had slid silently into the middle seat, ignoring the alpha-male posturing going on and concentrating on linking up with everyone who needed to know what was happening. Jack swung himself into the seat, leaving Simon to come around to the other door and get in on the other side of Ianto. “I give the orders if it comes down to it.”

“Of course Captain.” Simon smiled grimly, “I wouldn’t trust anyone else with the job.”

“Where are we heading Jack?” Ianto spoke up for the first time as he grabbed hold of the Captain’s arm to steady himself when Jack took a corner too sharply

“Back to the house, get Archie, David and Greg there too. Especially Greg.”

“On it.”

John looked around the room once, took in the stunned expressions and stunted protests and turned on his heel, “Come on.”

Greg hesitated a moment, then pulled his gloves off and dumped them in his kit, closing it hurriedly and going after the former Time Agent, “Where are we going?”

“Back to the house.” John held the door for him and nodded curtly to Grissom, who looked thoroughly perplexed by now, “The moment they got taken, you went onto Torchwood time. Chances are they wanted Jasmine, and Nick was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Jasmine.” John vaulted a railing and watched as Greg came around it, opening the doors of his car and swinging in, starting the engine before Greg had even got there, “Stuff happens to us.”

“Stuff happens to us too. This isn’t the first time Nick’s been kidnapped from a crime scene.” Greg pointed out, half to himself. If Nick had been hurt…

John shook his head, but didn’t reply directly, “We’ll get back to the safe house and let Jack take over proceedings. He’ll know how to go on.”

Captain Jack Harkness and Sergeant Simon Collins set the systems up in the dining room of UNIT Safe House 376 and started scanning for tracers, tracking devices, sightings and known enemies. “Her tracking devices and phone are all at the site still.”

Jack hurried over to him and studied it in surprise, “What, all of them?”

“Every single tracking device or tracer tagged to the Commander is at the crime scene.” Simon brought up the list, “Any that have been missed, or secret ones?”

“Not on Jazz, you know what she’s like on sharing information.” Jack shook his head, “The only way I would know all of her tracers is by checking that list, and she wouldn’t carry any that didn’t come up automatically on the system. She wouldn’t see the point.”

“No, I thought not. But look, they got the one out of her boot heel.” He pointed to one of the results and shook his head, “Either she’s still there, or someone really knew what they were looking for.”

“Oh shit.”

“Yeah.” Simon chuckled, “That’s the concise way of putting it.” A car pulled up outside and he checked another screen, “That’s them, and John’s just behind.”

“Okay, they can catch up when they get in.”

Ianto was first through the door, with Archie and Hodges close behind him, and made his way straight across to his partner, resting a hand in the small of his back and glancing expertly through the data feeds, “What do you want me to do Jack?”

The immortal turned as John entered the room and nodded a greeting to him and the CSI with him, “Brief them, we’ll concentrate on this.”

“OK.” He turned back to the table and gestured for everyone to sit down, “What we know is that Jasmine and Nick have been taken from their scene. The professionalism - all of the tracking devices have been removed - suggests that Jasmine, rather than Nick was the target. This means that they want information or something else that Jasmine can get them access to. Our main concern, therefore, is Nick. I’m sorry Greg.” He looked directly at the older man, “But his chances aren’t good. Either they have already disposed of him, or they will try to use him to get to Jasmine. If they try the latter, she’ll probably be able to get him out of there, but she can’t give them what they want.”

Greg just nodded, too stunned to speak and worried that if he tried he’d break. Jack watched his boyfriend out of the corner of his eye and smiled sadly at his constant professionalism and expertise. He was the youngest person in the room, but still held such an aura of command that the CSIs and lab technicians, even Simon, were hanging on his every word. No explanations, no theorising, just the plain facts, all gleaned form a single glance at the readouts; he’d learnt from the best after all.

They shared a worried look as Ianto checked for new information and Jack turned his attention back to finding their friends, “There will be a very short turn around on this. They won’t have taken them far, because they know we’ll get onto finding them immediately. Assuming that they’ve knocked them out somehow, they’ll want to get them secured before they wake up. Maximum of fifteen minutes travelling distance.” Jack mused as he set a search radius. “Which means we can knock out quite a lot of houses, but gives us quite a lot of desert to work at.”

“It doesn’t matter to them if we find them once they have the information or carry out their threats.” Simon glanced up at Jack, seeking approval

“But it would be better for them if we did.” Ianto pointed out without turning

“Captain.” Simon’s voice had taken on an excited, adrenaline fuelled quality that John, Jack and Ianto recognised well, “How does this sound, Peter Hilona, illegal casino and brothel owner, fingers in a lot of criminal pies. Suggested links to alien drug rings, illegal domestications, we’ve managed to link him to plants in the past, but not had enough to convince us to move.”


“And one of his places is five minutes from the scene. More to the point, the body that Jazz and Nick were investigating has come back as one of his main rival’s boys.” The Sergeant pointed to it on the map

Jack grinned, “I think we’ve got a location. Ianto?”

“Thirty seven minutes gone. Estimated twenty three minutes left.” He grabbed the keys and tossed them to Jack, then caught them as he threw them back, questioning only with a puzzled glance.

Jack tossed another set of keys to Simon, “Sergeant, you take John and Greg in the car, we’ll go in the van. I want you two,” he pointed to Hodges and Archie, “Stay here and monitor the systems, be ready for us coming back and send us any messages that come through. The systems should run themselves, but if anything goes wrong, call Ianto and he’ll put you straight. Greg?”

The young man hadn’t moved and suddenly looked much older than he was, rather than his usual ten years younger, “Jack?”

“Come on, we’ll get him back.”

The immortal hurried out towards where the sounds of the cars starting up could be heard easily and Greg followed him more slowly. Archie squeezed his arm softly as he took up his seat at the head of the table and Hodges smiled grimly, “They’re the best Greg, he’s coming home.”

Outside he hesitated a moment, watching Jack and Ianto already leaving in the van, before going to get in the back of the car with John, the only person he felt he had anything in common with at the moment. He stared blankly out of the window, not really seeing the streets going by. A gentle touch startled him as John took his hand and held it. He smiled weakly but gratefully and squeezed the hand, holding on to it like it was his only lifeline.

A Liberty Towers force met them outside the house. It was a severe, professional operation; residents evacuated and a perimeter set up within minutes of Jack’s orders. The house they had come to had had signs of activity until their arrival; then it had gone deadly silent, curtains closed, doors locked. It was more than slightly suspicious. Jack had sent Greg and Ianto around to the back of the building with a couple of Liberty Towers guards, setting them to watch the house, giving the CSI something to do, something to distract him, and also putting him as close as possible to their probable exit point. He just hoped that that was the right decision.

He met John’s eyes grimly and pulled him into a one armed hug as they both watched the house, “So what, talk first, shoot second?”

“Get an assurance that Nick is alive, then go from there. If he isn’t, then we knockout gas the place and get Greg out of here. He…”

John squeezed him reassuringly, “You can’t win them all Jack, you know that better than any of us.”

“Yeah, well, let’s just hope that this is one we do win.”


Ianto looked across at his friend and covered his hand with his own, “How are you doing?”

Greg looked surprised, “That’s the first time any of you has asked me that.”

Ianto nodded, returning his eyes to the back of the house but not removing his hand from where his thumb rubbed soothingly at the back of the other man’s hand, “We’ve all been there, friends and lovers in trouble. The trick to coping is to not think about it.”

“I can’t not think about it, what if he doesn’t come out? What if I’m alone again, I never even got to take him home to meet my parents.” He looked wretched

Ianto smiled slightly, “I know, that’s why I asked. Trust us Greg, we’ve done this more times than I care to remember, with John, with me, with Jack and Jasmine, with the other members of our team… Jack’s never lost someone from a situation like this yet.” As long as Nick’s still alive, as long as he’s still there, living and breathing, then they can get him out.

But as Greg pointed out in a voice so quiet that it was barely audible, “There’s always a first.”

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Nick shook his head in a vain attempt at clearing it of the fog clouding it, but found that that just made his brain rattle. He was tied to a chair with his hands behind his back, facing one corner of the room where bare wooden floorboards met dull concrete walls with peeling paper. The room was in half darkness, with the only light coming from behind him, presumably a window. The concentration made his head ace, so he closed his eyes again and steadied his breathing. Fingers tangled with his own behind his back and squeezed softly, “You awake yet?”

He turned his head as far as he could but found that A) That wasn’t very far and B) It would never be enough to be able to see Jazz behind him, “Yeah, where are we?”

“No idea, he’s in and out by the way, been gone five minutes so should be back soon. Who he is, I’m not sure.” She fell silent for a moment and squeezed his fingers again, “We’ll be OK, I promise.”

“OK.” He struggled against the bonds but her fingers stilled him, “Have you done this before by any chance?”

Her tone was bitter but amused, “More often that I’d like to have. Did that sentence make sense?”

“Just about.” He sighed and dropped his head, the headache was just getting worse, “So what do we do now?”

“Leave it with me.” Her fingers left his again and the backs of her hands started moving against his, “I’m working on these bonds. Put it this way, I have a very, very kinky boyfriend. And he likes nothing more than for me to escape.”

“Any connection to the fact that you came into work looking like something out of Lady Heather’s place the other day?” He asked, trying the knots and finding them impossible

“That was because we’d been to Lady Heather’s place.” She answered, “Like I said, kinky boyfriend.”

“So are you…”

“Submissive, in bed at least.” She stilled for a moment, “I hope that was the question you were about to ask.”

“Yeah, it was.” He chuckled, “And Jack, is he the same?”

She laughed, “I really don’t know. Although I have a feeling that it’s a bit of give and take. I mean, I have walked in on them on more than one occasion and they used to keep me up at night until I got my own place in Cardiff but I don’t know what they get up to… Just that Ianto swears in Welsh. As a result, most of the Welsh I know is swear words. He can be very creative in that department.”

“You’re gabbling.”

“My head hurts.” She was moving again, just slightly, “He’s coming.”

“Who’s…” Nick started, but then he heard a door swing open and the question was answered for him.

“Ah, other one, you’re awake.” The voice was smooth, English received pronunciation, so he could have been from anywhere really. It had a hint of an accent, but not enough to give a location

He sighed and desperately wanted to rub his head, “Unfortunately, that is the case.”

“Yes, sorry, we had to drug you, and we still get the dosages wrong. Still in the experimental stages you see. Oh, by the way, you are completely disposable, so I’d stay quiet. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if Commander Donovan complies with my wishes, you should both be able to go unharmed.”

Jazz sighed behind him, “Do you know how likely it is that I will agree to your demands?”

The man, still out of both their lines of sight, chuckled, “Yes my dear, I do, that’s why I had them bring your friend. We’ve not been introduced by the way. My name is irrelevant, but you are?”

“CSI Stokes, Mr Irrelevant.” He wasn’t in the mood, and the fact that the other man just laughed didn’t help matters, “So what do you want?”

“CSI Stokes, just because you’re here, doesn’t mean you will understand what’s going on. But just so you know, I need information, my boss, in fact, needs information that only the Commander or the infamous Jack Harkness…”

Captain Jack Harkness.” Jazz seemed to find it amusing

“Indeed, Captain Jack Harkness, can supply.” He snapped his fingers theatrically and a slim blonde entered the room, came over to them silently, blindfolded them and left again without a single word. The man chuckled and started walking around them, “You will have realised by now that I am good at what I do. Little Sally is not remotely experienced at this, she just does my bidding, and as a result you both saw her as she came in. No matter, her name is Sally Lockhart…”

“As in the fictional character from the Ruby in the Smoke and subsequent books by Phillip Pullman?”

“Ah, never try to pull the wool over the eyes of someone with such an evident love of contemporary literature. Indeed, are you going to believe anything I tell you now?”

“Only when you’re telling the truth.” Nick wished he could see Jazz, but her fingers had wound back into his and squeezed softly, reassuring him. She at least sounded confident, “What is it that you want?”

“As I said, I want information. Now what I am going to do is leave you alone for a while, so that you can make your decision. I know of your almost unique… talent, Commander, so you should be aware that it will be Mr Stokes, not yourself who will suffer the consequences if you choose to refuse. Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal.” Jazz sighed

“Good, I’ll leave you two to it then. You have exactly thirty minutes.” The door opened and closed, then opened again and footsteps crossed the room. Their blindfolds were removed and they watched Sally leave the room again.

“He’s good, he’d very good.” Jazz muttered, releasing Nick’s fingers again and going to work on her bonds.

“Yes, I can see that. What happened?” Nick thought back to the scene, it had seemed perfectly ordinary

“What do you remember?”

“Ordinary scene really. Seemed like a body dump. You found something, you called me…”

“I got whacked over the head and had my throat cut.” She huffed out a laugh, “Which means the scene’s now contaminated. Not that that matters now.”

“That still weirds me out, but why doesn’t it matter?”

“Scene belongs to Liberty Towers now.” She shrugged and appeared to have more movement, “Got it, anyway, after they whacked me I have to assume that they drugged you somehow.”

“Needle, I can feel it.” It was in his neck, they had to have known what they were doing otherwise he wouldn’t still be here.

“Thought it must have been, the alternative would be a patch, and I don’t think they’re advanced enough to have those yet. We only have them because John took a day trip for me.”

“A daytrip where?”

“Wrong pronoun, it’s more when. Long way in the future.” He felt her roll her shoulders and she stood up, then turned her attention to the bonds on his hands, “Tell me I’m good.”

“Yes, you’re good, how long have we got?”

“No idea, there’s no clock, no way of knowing. Can’t have taken more than five minutes though.” It was easier with one she could see, but this knot was more complicated, “He’s playing with me.”

Nick didn’t reply as she got his bonds off and stayed silent as she paced, waiting for her to speak. Finally she turned to him, “I need to get you out of here.”

“I’m not leaving you.”

“Nick, I cannot give in to his demands and he means what he says. If you stay here, you will die, and I couldn’t live with myself.”

“It won’t come to that.”

Jazz rubbed her forehead and waved a hand, now he was face to face with her he could see the blood that stained the front of her white top, her blood, so much blood. “He left us alone so that I would untie us, so that we have to have this conversation so that…” She swore, “Fuckit, he’s playing me, and I’m not sure yet whether I should be dancing a tango or a waltz.”


She started pacing around the room again, “Half an hour, and I’ve no tracking devices on me, or traceable devices, they must have left them at the scene to only give us half an hour. And I don’t even know what he wants.” her gaze fell on the chair and she stopped, staring at it. “Maybe…”

Nick leant on the wall and watched and she pulled the chair apart and put crafted it into some sort of weapon, “Is that supposed to do anything?”“It’s mainly symbolic, it’s just… Just trust me, OK?”

“Why should I trust you? You’ve already told me that you won’t agree to his demands, you’d trade my life for your secrets.”

Finally she met his eyes, “it’s not a matter of won’t Nick, you have to believe that.” He snorted and turned away, “I just can’t.”

“You can actually look me in the eye and say that?”

“If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this job.” She turned away and thumped her hand against the wall, “I will get you out of here Nick, I just don’t know how yet.”


She could hear the slight forgiveness, or at least acceptance, in his tone and was grateful for it, “I will do my best.”

The door swung open and they turned to face their captor, Jasmine moving closer to face him properly and put herself between him and Nick. He was in his late forties or early fifties, obviously kept in shape and was dressed in a three piece suit that would have put Ianto to shame. It was black, with a deep plum pinstripe that seemed to be barely there. The waistcoat was probably the only reason it was visible, because it matched the stripe. He didn’t have a tie, probably because of the heat, and instead wore his shirt collar unbuttoned to just above the waistcoat. “You know,” Jasmine started, “It’s very hard to get away with a three piece and your top button undone.”

“Do I pass?” He smirked

“I guess you’ll do, I feel like I should have dressed for the occasion. But then again, I didn’t know there would be an occasion.”

“Indeed not, that was part of the plan really.” He smiled, a pleasant enough smile were it not for the fact that it didn’t reach his eyes, which really should have been sparkling emerald or glittering blue but were actually just a dull brown. It came as something of a disappointment, “very well done by the way, I wasn’t expecting you to have time to get yourself loose and craft a weapon from the tools I gave you in the time allowed. I’m sure that gets you bonus points.”

“It certainly should do, it took a moment of brilliant parallel thinking.”

“Indeed, and have you considered my threat?” He hadn’t moved from the doorway, and Jasmine could see people moving around in another room of the house, but she could also see a window, a road. A fairly busy road at that

She shrugged, “I don’t know what you’re demanding, but I cannot agree to your demands. Unless, of course, you just want to know where Ianto gets his suits; in which case I would say that you don’t really need to know as your supplier is excellent.”

“Ah, but I shot the man who made this suit, so I need a new tailor.”

“I’m sorry, I really don’t know. He may even make them himself, his father was a tailor.”

“That would be rather impressive.” He commented

“Yes, he is rather.” She swung the modified chair leg thoughtfully and pointed it at him, “So what did you really want to know?”

“the entry codes for the Torchwood archive.”

Jazz started and raised an eyebrow at him, “Really?”


“Well, erm…” She stared at him, “No.”

He rolled his eyes and pulled out a gun, pointing it over her shoulder towards Nick, “Reconsider?”

Her eyes flicked to the gun and back to his face and the horror was easy to read, “I can’t.”

“Not even once, to save the life of your friend?”

“And if I do it once, and people hear that I backed down, what then? I will be in this job long after you are gone and I will be making these decisions long after you are gone, but if I choose to save someone once, I set a precedent. People will see me as weak and will try to take advantage of that. More people will be put in danger.” The immortal in a teenaged body shook her head, “You’re not going to get the codes off me, no matter what.”

“I wonder, if it were your boyfriend…”

“he’d have flirted you to death by now.”

“Or Mr Jones?”

“Outcome would be the same.”

“Captain Harkness would never forgive you.” Their captor seemed genuinely interested by the idea

“No, neither would I though.”

“But you’d still make this choice.”

“It’s all very academic, it’s the only choice I can make.”

He shook his head and pulled back the catch, “But you know as well as I do, that all actions must have consequences.” He smiled smugly and pulled the trigger and a single tear trailed down Jasmine’s cheek as she felt its path pass over her shoulder.

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John and Ianto wound their way through the grinding, milling throng to the busy bar. It took ten minutes to get served, which gave them plenty of time to locate their friends from the night before. Ianto caught the eye of the frazzled barmaid and leaned across the bar to talk to her, seizing his chance. He had to yell to be heard, “Do you want a hand? You look like you could do with another person.”

“Can you do a screaming orgasm?” He just grinned at that one and she rolled her eyes, “Flaming Lamborghini?”


“You’re overqualified then, come on round.” He came round to join her and she looked him up and down appreciatively, “Definitely overqualified, what’s a guy like you doing in a place like this?”

“Serving drinks I assume.”

She laughed again and gestured along the bar, “They’ll mainly be wanting bottled stuff, the occasional Tequila Slammer and ‘tough’”, she mimed the inverted commas, “college kids who think that ordering a screaming orgasm makes them look cool. Just keep up.”

He nodded and smiled at her, “Do you normally let people behind the bar?”

“No, but you’re cute and we’ve got two girls off tonight.”

Ianto winked at her and turned away, catching John’s eye, “What can I get you?”

John smirked, “You can give me a screaming orgasm any time you like, but right now I think six bottles of WKD.”


“Oh, two of each.” He laughed internally at Ianto’s efficiency as the drinks appeared on the bar and picked them up, giving the younger man a nod before heading across the room towards where he’d seen the other guys. They spotted him before he got there and greeted him enthusiastically, but not as enthusiastically as the drinks. “Evening.”

“James!” Alice at least was already fairly drunk, “You’re here!”

“Yes I am, and so are you I see.”

“Yeah.” she gazed at him with wide eyes, “But you’re on your own again.”

“Not anymore I’m not.” he pointed out with a grin, “And Matt’s here, but got distracted.”

“He’s behind the bar.” The other James looked at him questioningly, “Why?”

“He has a gift for it apparently. Go order a screaming orgasm and you’ll see what I mean.”

“Why would I want a screaming orgasm?” They all laughed at that one and he shook his head, picking up one of the red bottles, “Yeah, yeah, OK. Foot in mouth or what.”

“He’ll give you ‘that’ look.” John explained, “He’s very good at it.”

“So what are you both doing here again?”

“I speak for only myself when I say that I’m enjoying the atmosphere. He called me today and I persuaded him to come along. If I’d known he’d end up behind the bar I wouldn’t have bothered.”

“I thought he had a boyfriend?” Alice asked giddily

John raised an eyebrow and took a sip from his drink, “At the moment, yeah.“

On a nearby rooftop, a commanding figure watched the last revellers enter the building before it was locked down. The hot desert wind blew his hair around and he smiled into it, revelling in its burningly soft touch. Down below he could see the first of the Liberty Towers team getting into place; lounging against walls with studied casualness, packing and repacking gear into vans. No one looked at them twice. He smiled to himself as his comms beeped into life, “Harkness.”

“Captain, this is Sergeant Collins, where are you?”

He sighed, “I’m on the roof, do you need me?”

“Not yet, we’re going to move in forty five minutes.”

“Yeah, I know, I can tell the time.” He huffed and put his hands in his trouser pockets; he’d not brought his coat and was glad of it, although if it didn’t get much cooler he’d have to get rid of the shirt as well. “Are your lot in position?”

“The lockdown takes place in five minutes, the first trucks will arrive five minutes after that.”

“OK, and the guys in position now are reporting back to you?”

“Yes sir. I’ll let you know if they have anything to report.”

“Thank you.” Jack smiled to himself as he imagined the slightly officious but very accommodating sergeant. He was young, from New York; probably dark haired, cut short and spiked and in the stylish but functional Liberty Towers uniform. Polo shirt, white, no logo. Slim black trousers which invariably hugged a trim waist hidden below the polo shirt and showed off developed thighs, because everyone at Liberty Towers started on the ground, doing the running around and world saving, then moved up as their talents were discovered. Then again, if he was joining the exercise he might be in one of the extremely flattering dark blue T-shirts that highlighted every muscle.

Still, Jack reflected, he still wouldn’t look as good as Ianto (although maybe he was biased on that count). The young man had spent almost an hour getting ready and has asked Jack to ‘help him’, which meant the older man sitting on the bed and watching with undisguised lust as Ianto put on tight T-shirts and jeans, unbuttoned shirts, his cutest suit, even a pair of shorts at one point, and took them all off again. Jack had eventually got frustrated (more frustrated than he could cope with) and had him up against the bedroom wall. Ianto’s only coherent reply had been “Finally!”, which hadn’t helped matters.

The captain ran a finger along his bottom lip and smiled even more when he felt where he’d bitten it and drawn blood. Yeah, Ianto drove him crazy, but very good crazy. He sighed and gave up on the shirt, glad he’d listened to Ianto and not put his suspenders on as he unbuttoned it and pulled it off. The sun was even warmer as it hit his now bare arms and he turned to close his eyes and face into the dying rays, smiling in the warmth. He sat down facing along the edge of the roof, one foot on the roof and one leg dangling down, his face angled so that the sun’s rays hit maybe two thirds of it, leaving the rest in shadow. Textbook relaxing hero as Jasmine would call it.

The comms beeped again and he sighed. “Captain, dare I ask why the codeword is Cheeky Vimto?”

He laughed and shook his head, “Are you bored by any chance Sergeant?”

“Nothing more to do until they move in, is there?”

“Are we going to answer all questions with questions?”

“Will it pass the time?”

“What do you think?”

“Erm… why are you asking what I think?”

“Why do you think I’m asking what you think?”

“Do you know how juvenile that is sir?”

“Do you know how old I am Sergeant?”


“Hah.” Jack laughed and looked up at the sky, “You lose, and a Cheeky Vimto is a cocktail. It’s a John thing.”

There was silence for a moment, which piqued Jack’s interest, “Technically sir, I win. ‘What?’ is a question.”

He shook his head in amusement, “OK, you win, I’ll buy you a Cheeky Vimto as a prize.”


“What’s your name?”

“Playing that game again sir?” The young man chuckled, “It’s Simon.”

“Nice to meet you Simon, and call me Jack. “

“Thank you Jack.”

The immortal stood up and stretched as the last glimpse of the sun disappeared blow the horizon. He walked to the other edge of the roof and gazed out at the as yet untouched desert, stretching as far as the eye could see. He’d once read somewhere, or heard someone say maybe, that space was too big to comprehend but much smaller things could seem enormous, so they seemed somehow bigger. Standing here, looking out, he believed it. The desert filled his whole vision, his mind was consumed by it. Shaking his head he turned back and headed down through the building to street level where the Liberty towers forces were gathering.

Sergeant Simon Collins of Liberty Towers jumped out of the truck as soon as it stopped moving and advanced on the easily identifiable figure of Captain Jack Harkness with his hand outstretched. The captain greeted him warmly with a firm handshake, a hand clapped to his shoulder and an appreciative grin, “Thanks for your help Sergeant.”

“Not at all.” He smiled back warmly and fished a necklace out from underneath the dark blue T-shirt, “You could say it runs in the family.”

Jack bent close to look at it already knowing what he would see and laughed, “You’re one of Jazz’s brood? Go figure.” He had her hair, the immortal reflected, blonde with blue streaks (not natural mind) and slightly longer than he’d expected. Not dark. Still…

“Yes I am, comes in very useful, opens many doors. It’s a shame she couldn’t come out tonight, I was looking forwards to meeting her.”

“Yeah, she’s on at the crime lab, will join us if she can. You’ll be what, grandson?”

“Great grandson actually.” He smiled and looked down at his watch, “Cheeky Vimto went active two minutes ago.”

“Good.” he shook his head with a smile, “Let’s just hope that Yan didn’t get so annoyed with John that he drugged him too.”

Simon laughed, then sobered, “Is that possible?”

“No… Probably not anyway.” He gave the younger man a reassuring grin, “Ianto’s a professional.”


Inside the warehouse, operation Cheeky Vimto was progressing apace. John had got three bags of the new memory drug spread around the place and being sold as uppers, whilst Ianto was slipping more into drinks. It was a new formula without the sedative and acted immediately, so people were effectively put into a dream state and would remember no details of what happened from the instant they took the pill until the effects wore off six hours later. John had suggested pumping cannabis fumes into the room, but that had been vetoed with alacrity.

He made his way around the edge of the room, slipping yet more pills into unattended drinks. He’s tried to get into the back room, but had been sent on his way in no uncertain terms. Still, it was reassuring to know that the “Sorry, thought it was the toilet” line did work. He was almost back at the bar now, and grinned at Ianto’s serene expression, which he knew very well his dark feelings of “going to stab someone in a moment or screw Jack into the mattress when we get home”. Jack liked it when he got that look on his face, and had occasionally paid Owen, the late Torchwood medic, to cause the exact same expression.

John cleared his throat and slid up to the bar between it and a group of very drunken revellers. He checked his watch and grinned at Ianto, “I’ll have a…” The doors burst open and the lights all went out as Liberty Towers stormed the building. He raised his voice and leaned forwards, “A blast off please.”

Jack scanned the room and noted the island of calm among the mad panic that was John slipping behind the bar to duck below it with Ianto and smiled grimly. Now that those two were safely out of the way they could start moving people out to the Liberty Towers vans where their memories would be modified and they would be sent on their way with false memories of a noisy, drunken mess, vomiting, an unpleasant fumble in the toilets and a bad trip. Not quite as satisfying as retconning them back to puberty, but possibly more vindictive; and all in the name of negative reinforcement.

He looked around the room again as the doors closed, cutting off all light, so only the three of them and the Liberty Towers team, all of whom had night vision contact lenses, could see. The DJ booth was quite close to where he was, so he made his way over to it and used a portable piggy-backer to give it just enough power to be useful, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a government raid.” Not technically true but it shut them up and would hopefully drag out the people they wanted to be dragged out. His eyes never stopped scanning as he spoke, reassuring the crowd, giving instructions. Two Liberty Towers guards took up positions by the door whilst others huddled close by, ready to move on his orders, “Right, you will be escorted from the building in an orderly fashion for questioning, then released. I suggest you go home and sleep it off. Gentlemen, it’s all yours.”

Four hours later and everyone in the building was now out of the building, the civilians on their way home and the not-so civilians locked up to be taken care of later. Seven Weevils had been removed from storage cells in one of the back rooms and were on their way to be flown back to Cardiff. Jack wiped his forehead and grinned at Simon, “What have we got?”

“Two dozen complicit, five different alien drugs, no one in overall control though, orders come from higher up and he’ll have moved on.”

Jack nodded, suddenly grim, “We’ll get him.”

A shout came from behind them where Ianto and John stood talking quietly, or not so quietly now. John was on the phone, his face deathly pale, and Ianto was beckoning to Jack. “Jack, we’ve got a problem.”

John snapped the phone shut and fished his keys out, “Jazz and Nick.” He started, stopped, shook his head, started again, “Jasmine and Nick have been taken, from a crime scene. I’ve got to…”

Jack nodded, cutting off his explanation, “Go!”

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Ianto blinked, “Bless you.”

James rolled his eyes, “The Chupacabra is a mythical creature. Vampiric, humanoid figures that attack and kill livestock. Wikipedia informs us that they have been sighted in Russia and Spain, although the legend started in Puerto Rico.”

They snorted with laughter, “Wikipedia?” John laughed, “Oh dear. So what of the ‘Chupacabra’?”

“It’s not an urban legend. It’s real.” Sally leant forwards, “There are some loose in the city, but you can see them, you can fight them, in a warehouse out on the edge of the desert.”

“Fight them? Why would you want to fight a vampire?” Ianto asked, knowing the answer and feeling things dropping into place. His comm. activated suddenly and he heard Jack’s warning in his ear, telling him to let John go alone from this point.

Jack shook his head, “Not a vampire, vampiric. We don’t know that they drink blood, but they eat human flesh. If you let them, that is.”

“Best not to let them really.” John grinned dangerously, having got the same message as Ianto, “Well I’m game, you Matt?”

Just then, Ianto’s leg vibrated and he stood up in surprise, fishing his phone out of his pocket, “Hello? Oh, hey.”

They watched him as he talked to the other person on the phone with a definite expression of ‘oops’, “Yeah, I’m just in the bar. Some guys I met here. No, he’s not with me. Yeah I’ll… Yes… No, I’ll… Yeah, OK. Alright then, I’ll… Babe.” He pulled a face and grabbed his wallet from the table, pulling his coat on with a very worried expression, “I’m coming back now… No, no I can’t drive. Yeah, yes I’m sorry. I’ll… OK, bye.” He hung up and ran his fingers through his hair, “Sorry about that, my boyfriend. I’ve got to go. Nice to meet you all, maybe I’ll see you around again?”

“Yeah, yeah, that’d be cool.” After Ianto had made his goodbyes, John was left feeling surprisingly bereft, even though he knew the conversation had been staged and both he and Ianto were spoken for. His remaining companions were staring at him with expressions ranging from compassion to outright bemusement, “What?”

“We just assumed that you two…” Alice blushed, “You know.”

“Yeah.” He shrugged, “I guess so did I. Ah well, you win some you lose some. Tell me about the Chupacabra.”

Jasmine pulled up by the side of the road and grinned up at Ianto as he pulled the door open, restraining herself from ruffling his hair until they were on the move again, “Has my boyfriend been getting you drunk?”

“Just a bit.” He chuckled ruefully, “I’m going to regret that in the morning. How’s it going?”

“They’re just on their way out, heading to the warehouse. John’ll check it out and if it’s the right place we’ll arrange a plan before tomorrow night.” She tapped on the steering wheel as she controlled the car effortlessly and sighed, puffing her cheeks out, “Sounds promising though. We’ve had a look at the Wikipedia page.” Ianto snorted, “Yeah, I know, but it’s the best we have. Officially the Chupacabra is an urban legend, most reported sightings are just coyotes.”

“This ain’t no coyote.”

“No, it’s not.” She glared at a swerving driver and licked her lips, “Bed for you when we get in dear. Bed and lots of water.”

“Yes Commander.” He laughed when she shoved him playfully, “Sorry boss.”

“Not to worry. Jack’ll be glad to have you back safe.” She hesitated, “He’s not good when he can’t protect you, when it’s up to someone else.”

Ianto smiled, “Yeah, I know.”

“You’re smiling about it.”

He shrugged and turned his soft glow on her, “It all shows that he cares, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, yeah I guess it does.” She smiled, but it was strained

“You want him home?”

“Oh yes.” The laugh, the smile, the body were those of a teenager, but the eyes were so much older as they flicked easily around the street, anywhere but at him, “But he’s doing the job he has to do, like we all do. But there’s no risk if it’s me or Jack.”

“Hey.” Ianto shook his head, “The risk’s as high for you two as it is for us, it’s just different. And you know that you’re both too high profile to go in there. They’d heard of Jack at least.”

“Yeah, we heard.” She worried at her bottom lip lightly, and then sighed, “We’ll talk about it later.”

Jay pushed the door open with her hip and passed Jack one of the mugs of coffee she carried, setting hers down on the desk and looping her arms loosely around his neck from behind, “I sent Yan to bed.”

“Thanks.” He covered her hands with one of his own and smiled up at her, “One day he’ll learn not to try to keep up with John.”

“Hah, yeah, maybe.” She squeezed Jack’s shoulders gently, “How’s he doing?”

“They’re just heading out there. I’ve told him not to face one, we don’t want them knowing how much experience he has.” The Torchwood commander simply nodded in agreement, so Jack felt the need to fill her silence, “I’ve checked the location, it’s close to where we’re getting the signals from.”

“So they’ve escaped?”

“Or been let loose. Maybe someone thought they’d been killed.” He shrugged, “Even we can’t always tell.”

“True enough. You want me to do anything?”

“No, I’ve got it covered. He’s just going to hang around for an hour or o, have a couple of drinks, then get a taxi back. I’m just here because it’s procedure.” He smiled into his mug, “One of Ianto’s, yeah?” She nodded, “Thought o. You get some sleep, or try to. I’ll wake you up when he’s on his way back.”

“Thanks.” She moved back and ran her fingers briefly through his hair, bending down to kiss his forehead before she left the room.

John got out of the car and shivered involuntarily at the brooding presence on the edge of the city and the burning hot wind that blasted around it from the desert, even this late at night. Sally followed his gaze and smiled slightly, “This whole area used to be miles out of the city, but the desert’s being encroached on further and further. They fell out of use, but now they’re closer…” She sighed, “Give it a couple of years and this’ll be busy and industrial. No wonder the creatures of our nightmares are coming closer.”

“The city’s encroaching on their territory?” He took a deep breath and regretted it, the air seemed to burn; unlike the air in Cardiff which was always cold and wet, “Did you know that a higher proportion of the USA is wilderness than Africa?”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows and looked around as the second car arrived with Jack, James and Alice, “Maybe there’s more to find out there then.”

“Yeah, maybe there is.” He pulled Alice into a one armed hug as she got within reaching distance and ruffled her mad curls, “Tell me this place has got air conditioning?”

James laughed, “You know what they say, if you can’t stand the heat.”

“Get out of the fire.” Jack finished for him, “Don’t want to back out?”

“Not a chance.” He grinned wolfishly, “I can cope with ‘heat’.” And he made inverted commas with his fingers, “It’s just heat I have a problem with.”

“Haha, well said.” Dan thumped him on the shoulder and he stumbled slightly. The guy had to be a body builder or something, and quite a bit taller than the former time agent, “Let’s get in there before the party’s finished guys.”

Inside it was similar to the alien bar, but louder, smokier, much more crowded. There were more humans, and more different species, but there wasn’t the variety, they were all humanoid and could pass as human, especially in the dark, smoky atmosphere. Under the heavy thump of the bass, the shouting and yelling, he heard the distinctive snarl of a Weevil. Suddenly it all became real.

“Do you want a drink?” James had to yell in his ear

“On me.” He insisted, “What do you fancy?”

“Thanks mate. You choose.”

John nodded and made his way across to the bar, leaving the group to find a quiet corner and him to have a look around. Apart from that first snarl, he hadn’t heard anything more from the Weevil, but the smell indicated that it was definitely there. “Five hypervodkas please.”

“We don’t do hypervodkas.” The teenager behind the bar looked frazzled, stressed and unbelievably bored.

He winked, “It’ll have to be doubles with a shot of Absinthe then.”

“We’ve got Absente?”

“That’ll do.” Would it? Who knew, he was making it up as he went along. “Thanks doll.”

“Cath.” She glared at him and it was clearly not an invitation to use it, “My name is Cath.”


“None of your business.”

“That’s a yes then.” He shrugged as she shot him a look to kill and picked up the glasses, “My loss.” That seemed to mollify her slightly, even though she tried to pretend she hadn’t heard.

“To new friends, and damn good fun.” He raised his glass with a laugh

Half an hour later, Jack and Alice and Sally and Dan were grinding against each other on the dance floor, well lubricated by the cocktails John had been inventing since they got there. John scanned the crowd constantly, looking for faces he recognised, accents out of place. It was like trying to find a specific needle in a box of needles. And God knew, Captain John Hart loved a challenge.

James tapped his arm and giggled slightly, “Hey, other James, the cage’ll be here soon, we should get a good place.”

“Yeah, yeah OK.” He stood up and followed James across the dance floor, not really surprised when the man ground back against him occasionally. Just for good measure he grabbed hold of his arse and squeezed, but it felt wrong, “You’re drunk.”

“Very.” James laughed, “There’s the others.”

They joined the rest of their group around a raised area and now John could hear the snarls of the Weevil and smell it even better, “Shit.”

“Wait till you see it.”

The crowd was gathering around them and they were jostled almost constantly. John jostled back for good measure and Alice laughed at him, “You enjoy that.”

“What, being arsey? Love it.” He tugged her close and grinned at Jack over her head, “Don’t worry, I’m just tactile.”

“I wasn’t worrying. I’d only worry if you did it to me.”

They laughed together again and John felt strangely guilty, but pushed it aside as a countdown started, rippling through the crowd. “What are we counting for?”

“Watch and see!”

He turned back to the raised area and hugged Alice, joining in the countdown with gusto, “Three, two, one!” There was a clank of gears and whirring of machinery and a cage rose up through the platform. Inside was the easily recognisable form of a Weevil. “Oh shit indeed.”

Alice laughed, “You should fight it, go into the cage.”

He shook his head fiercely, he didn’t know how Jack and Ianto did that almost for fun, although he had his suspicions about a euphemism, “Not likely. Not when I’ve had this much to drink.”

“I got ya.” Jack agreed, “Yeah, I wouldn’t either.”

Two hours later they fell out of the warehouse together as part of a milling throng. Everyone was high, some on drugs, some on alcohol, some on the atmosphere. John seemed to be the only person there who had noticed that, quietly, in a corner of the room, one of the guys who went into the cage had died of his injuries. He shivered and blinked in the soft dawn light that suffused the area and studied the desert that would soon be eaten up by the ceaseless urbanisation and reflected that whilst many things changed, humanity never would.

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Jack rested his chin on his hands and watched John check off his weapons inventory, “Flick knife in my boot, two sets of handcuffs, gun, another gun.” He patted his breast pocket, “Passport.”

“Passport?” Jack raised an eyebrow in amused bemusement, “You planning on leaving the country?”

“Following the evidence wherever it takes me.” He shrugged and grabbed a set of keys and a knuckle-duster from the table top, “And a knuckle-duster.”

“You sure that’s all you’ll need?” Jack looked at him thoughtfully, “And do you want backup?”

“Yes to the first and yes to the second, but only so far as they keep to the shadows.” He grabbed his wallet and slid that into his pocket with his passport

Jack looked impressed, “You know your popular culture.”

“Yeah.” He looked up and chuckled as the knuckle-duster went into a pocket in the lining of his trousers, “Blame young missy over there.”

“Should have guessed, so what back-up do you want?”

John hesitated a moment, then looked Jack straight in the eye, “I want Ianto.”

Jack nodded silently and turned to his partner, “Are you good with that Yan?”

The younger man nodded and stood up, “Give me ten minutes to get changed. What do you want me to do John?”

“A second pair of eyes around the place.” John grinned at him, “And a drinking partner if it goes wrong and we can’t find anything. You know, maintain the impression, give us a valid reason to return.”

Ianto rolled his eyes and disappeared up the stairs, leaving the two former time agents alone in the room, waiting for him to return. They studied each other over the tops of their coffee mugs, silent communication flying between them. Jack didn’t need to say anything like ‘Don’t let him get hurt’, or ‘Take care of each other’; John and Ianto were both professionals, experienced at working in all situations. Still, “Daring choice there.”

John grinned, knowing that he’d won something because Jack was the first to speak, “Ah, you know, best tool for the job.”

Jack raised an eyebrow, “And Ianto’s a tool is he?”

“Must be, to try to tame you.” He raised a finger as if listening intently, then reached out to grab Jasmine as she tried to pass him, “Good morning oh fair and beautiful angel.”

She gave him what could only be described as ‘a look’ and kissed him briefly, “I know, my hair’s a mess. I’ve got a bandana somewhere.”

“On top of the TV.” Ianto had returned in tight black jeans and a white shirt with the top three buttons undone, revealing a black choker.

Jack’s eyes widened and he swallowed, his mouth suddenly very dry and his trousers suddenly, inexplicably and uncomfortably tight. He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again, apparently deciding that discretion was the better part of valour in this case.

Ianto looked decidedly uncomfortable, but very smug, under the scrutiny and put a black leather jacket over the back of one of the chairs, “This do?”

“I think that’s a yes.” Jazz fanned herself as she returned with her bandana, a bright blue one, and slipped an arm around his waist, “You’re practically edible.”

“I’ll say, I’ll be beating them off with a stick.” John laughed, “Jack, you’re very quiet.”

“The older man glared at him for barely a moment before his eyes swung back to his partner, “Wsgfl. Ahem. Yeah, you look great, really… Bloody hell.”

Ianto chuckled and grabbed his keys, “Don’t wait up.”

A tall, slim but well built, dark haired young man made his way across the almost deserted dance floor to the bar and leaned back against his whilst he waited for the Valarian barmaid to finish with the other customers and get round to him. The bar was busy, but not crowded. A couple of Raxacoricophalipatorians had the dance floor to themselves, probably mainly due to their large bulk, and their skin suits hung over the backs of two chairs, watched by an apparently human, probably disguised Raxacoricophalipatorian. Towards the back of the room, two aliens with lots of tentacles were playing table football; egged on by a couple of Toxions and another Valarian. There was a raised seating area off to one side, and a loud, distinctive voice was regaling anyone who would listen with far-fetched stories of far-flung travels. Judging by the laughter and cheers, he was proving popular.

“What can I get for you doll?” The barmaid’s question snapped Ianto from his scan of the room and he turned back to her with his most flirtatious grin,

He made a show of scanning the drinks list quickly and nodded towards the top shelf, “I’ll have a Venusian shock.”

She blinked all three eyes and turned to get the mixers, “With an accent like that, I’ll trust you now what you’re ordering.” He laughed loudly, loudly enough to alert John to his presence, and she grinned at him as she mixed the cocktail. She passed it over and smiled approvingly as he bit off a lump of banana before downing the drink with it. “Do you know what they did before bananas?”

He put the glass back down and took another bite of banana, “Marzipan, or icing, anything like that really.”

She nodded approvingly. “You know your drinks, you looking for a job? Mr…”

He shook his head and laughed, “Smith, Matt Smith.”

“Tracey. Well, actually it’s Traclejanratasuraly, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.”

“No kidding.” He raised an eyebrow as she poured him another shot

“On the house.”

“Muchas gracias.” They downed their shots together and he slid the glass across the counter, “Don’t think I can keep that up.”

Tracey laughed brightly and removed the glasses, checking along the bar to see that no one else wanted her attention, “I like a guy who knows his limits. So what brings you to Vegas, Matt?”

“Holiday. Seeing the sights and all that.”

“Speaking of sights, the Captain’s noticed you.” She nodded across the room and smiled wickedly

Ianto looked in the direction she had nodded and caught John’s heated gaze, smirking to himself when the time agent winked and turned away, “He one of your regulars?”

“No, first time here, same as you. Rumour has it he’s been this way once before, but many years ago.” she grinned, “He’s got some fantastic stories to tell.”

“Yeah?” He looked at the drinks list again and smirked, “He’s coming this way, isn’t he?”

“Yes he is.”

Sure enough, Ianto soon felt a hand in the small of his back, which slid down to grab his arse briefly before it moved away to rest on the counter. John grinned at him sidelong and winked at Tracey, “Heya handsome, what’s a guy like you doing in a place like this?”

The Welshman had slid a blank mask into place and merely raised an eyebrow coolly, “That’s the worst chat up I’ve heard in a long time.”

John sighed and leaned forwards against the bar, “Can’t blame a guy for trying, not when you wear jeans like those. Let me buy you a drink?”

He pretended to consider the question and treated John to a slow, lecherous smile, “That I can cope with.”

The time agent smiled predatorily and turned back to Tracey with a wink that made her blush, “Hey Blue, two hyper vodkas thanks, and whatever you’re drinking.” He turned to Ianto and passed him one of the drinks, “Think you can manage that, Eyecandy?”

“Is that a challenge Captain?” He took the drink and raised his glass

“I do love a challenge.” He too raised his drink and downed it, slinging the burning drink back and watching in grudging admiration as Ianto did the same. “So, and that’s quite enough of that I think, so, what brings you to Vegas Eyecandy?”

Ianto ordered two rum and cokes and gestured across to a table, letting John lead the way and seat them so that the time agent could watch the door and Ianto could watch the bar. He leaned back in his chair and smiled at the ceiling, “I’m doing on of those lists, the hundred things to do before you have kids.”

John looked amused, “You know, an alien bar in Vegas wouldn’t be on most people’s lists.”

He shrugged with a smirk, “Depends where you’re from. I’m from Cardiff.”

“Yeah, the accent gives you away.” An idea formed in John’s mind and he leered at Ianto for a moment before taking his gaze very deliberately back to the door, “You know, I’ve heard that Captain Jack Harkness is on the list of every alien in Cardiff?”

“Done it.” The Welshman’s expression never changed, apart from a flicker of amusement deep in his blue eyes.

John frowned, “Touche.” They exchanged mindless small talk for a while, flirting easily and enjoying each other’s company, not letting up their careful scrutiny without knowing what they were looking for.

After about ten minutes the door swung open again and a group of three men and two women breezed in, making straight for the bar. John stood up, “I’m getting another drink, can I get you one?”

Ianto nodded in understanding and ran n expert eye along the line of backs along the bar, “Same again thanks.” As John headed across to join them at the bar, the Welshman studied their body language closely; their posture, the way one of the women moved her hands in excitement whilst the other kept them perfectly still, one of the men kept his left hand close to her at all times, whilst the other two men touched each other too often to be just friends but in the wrong way to be lovers. He pretended to scratch his ear and activated his comm, “Looks like two brothers, maybe one of their girlfriends and then definitely another couple.”

John couldn’t reply, and Jack and Jazz were leaving them to it, but John acknowledged his message by winking across the room at him before turning to engage the more active girl and the nearest brother in conversation.

“Heya cutie, you come here often?” He leaned on the bar and tried to catch Tracey’s attention with a smirk

The man, tall and with spiked blond hair, scowled at him, “She’s spoken for.” and wrapped his arm around the giggling brunette’s shoulders.

John shrugged and winked at him, “I wasn’t talking to her.”

“You new in town?” The other man looked him over with mixed amusement and disgust

He shrugged and turned back to the bar, “Just got in today.”

“Then I’ll give you a friendly warning, watch who you try to chat up.”

John smiled as Tracey made her way across to him, “Thanks for the advice. Hey Doll, two cokes thanks.”

She laughed in confusion, “Normally people’s drinks get stronger through the night, not weaker Captain.”

He shrugged, “Yeah, well, there’s a very good reason for that. Let’s just say that I’ve had better ideas than starting at the top and working down, and the night is yet young.”

“You got plans for tonight then?”

The group of humans were watching him quite closely, and he silently thanked the blue alien for her inquisitiveness, “Not yet, we’ll probably head out somewhere, don’t know where yet though.”

The brunette appeared to be hanging off her boyfriend’s hand now, “Who’s we?”

Her boyfriend tried to shush her amicably, but they both ignored him. John gestured over his shoulder, “Me and Matt, we’re both new in town today.”

“That so?” The other man, who he thought was with the other woman and wasn’t related to either of the other men; so probably two brothers, one of their girlfriends and her sister, then sister’s boyfriend; grinned at him, “We could show you some fun.”


He waved his girl off, “Aw, come on Sal, they’re new in town, it’s the least we can do.”

The older of the brothers laughed and thumped his brother, causing him to remove his arm from around the giggling sister to rub his shoulder, “Dan’s got a point Jack, what do you say?”

He shrugged, “Can’t get out of it now, can we?” A smile quirked at his lips, “I’m Jack, this is James, my brother, Alice my girlfriend.” She waved at him, despite being the closest one to him, her mass of brunette curls bouncing around her face madly, “Her sister Sally, and Sal’s husband Dan.”

“Pleasure to meet you all, I’m also James, that’s Matt over there.” He turned and gestured for Ianto to join them

The Welshman slid out of the seat and had to wind through a crowd now to join them, “Wondered when you’d remember I was there.”

John laughed and did the introductions, then they followed Alice and Jack across to a corner booth and dragged enough chairs over so they could all sit around.

Sally still looked less than impressed, “So, you two tourists here?”

“Yup, second gap year.” Ianto fabricated, “Getting the boxes off my list that I couldn’t afford to do first time round.”


“Hundred things to do before you have kids.” He raised his glass in a silent toast to anyone who’d listen, “But it’s the Cardiff list.”

“What’s so special about the Cardiff list?” James asked

Ianto smirked, “We live on the Rift, all sorts of weird stuff going on over there.”

“That’s how come you’re in an alien bar and not batting an eyelid at the fact that the barmaid’s blue and has three eyes?” Alice giggled

Ianto pulled a shocked face, “I thought that must have been the alcohol.” they all laughed, “Nah, I’m cool with it. My best friend’s a Blowfish.”

“Really? We get some great drugs from them. Do you have trouble with Torchwood?” Jack asked with a raised eyebrow

Ianto was impressed, “You’ve heard of Torchwood?”

“If you go to the right places, you hear these things. I take it you have too?”

“Yeah, and as for trouble, have you heard of Captain Harkness?” He smirked, hiding the sudden concern carefully

Jack laughed, “Heard of him, never had the chance to meet him, mores the pity. I’ve heard his sexual appetites are all round entertaining, if you know what I mean.”

“Oh I know.” Ianto winked at him, “Yeah, I know all right. Suffice to say, I don’t get much trouble from them. Not the sort I don’t want, anyway.”

“You want to be careful what you say around here mate.” Jack warned, “That sort of thing around here can land you in a whole lot of trouble.”

He shrugged carelessly, “I’m from Cardiff, I’ve probably dealt with worse.”

“Yeah, you reckon you can handle yourself?” Dan made it sound like a definite challenge

Ianto rose to it, “Yeah, I reckon so.”

“We’ll see.” he leant forwards conspiratorially, “Have you heard of… The Chupacabra?”

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Jack leaned back in his chair and looked at the screen for a moment, then reached out lazily to switch it off and grinned at the other men in the room. “I think that’s us off for the time being gentlemen, and I know what I want to do with my time off.”

“Jack…” His lover rolled his eyes with a groan

Jack’s smile was deliciously wicked, “What? It’s a gorgeous day and I haven’t been swimming in ages, might as well make use of the pool in the back garden. Weren’t expecting that, were you?”

“No one who knows you ever would Captain.” Nick sighed, “Although that idea is extremely tempting.”

Ianto was wandering around the room with drinks and dropped something down the back of Jack’s T-shirt as he passed. The look on Jack’s face revealed that it was an ice cube, “You little git!” He bolted upright and grabbed his young lover from behind, “I’m so glad you’re not in one of your suits, because you’re going straight in the pool.”

The CSIs laughed as Ianto struggled ineffectually and Jack carried him out of the room in a fireman’s lift, but Greg’s laughter was cut short by strong arms seizing him from behind and turning him. Hands gripped his shoulders and pushed him back against the wall whilst lips found his own insistently. He allowed the probing tongue access to his mouth and kissed Nick back with equal fervour, winding his fingers into Nick’s short hair whilst the other hand trailed down the Texan’s back to press him closer, “You are gorgeous, you know that?” Nick asked him breathily when they parted for air, “And their energy is contagious. Come on.” He grinned as he lifted the younger man into his arms, more gently than Jack had with Ianto, and carried him through to the back garden where he placed him on a bench under one of the trees.

Greg watched with undisguised lust as his boyfriend pulled off his shirt and T-shirt and then sat down beside him to pull off his shoes and socks, “You swimming G?” The older man asked softly, brushing his fingers across his cheek. Jack and Ianto were already both in the pool, a pile of wet clothes by the side testifying to the fact that they’d both gone in fully dressed and were no longer. The captain let out an undistinguished shriek as Ianto surfaced just behind him in an eruption of water and dunked the younger man with a laugh.

Greg smiled up at him gently, “Maybe later, once those two have calmed down a bit.”

“You could be waiting a while.” Nick surprised him by leaning forwards to kiss him briefly, not something they ever did in public, then turned and dived into the pool. Greg laughed as the two Torchwood operatives greeted his boyfriend enthusiastically, with a dunking of course. It was impossible to be ashamed of who he was around Jack and Ianto; they were so natural, so normal about it, unlike many people he’d met in the past. With Jack and Ianto, and Jasmine and John, he felt like they belonged, like they were more than accepted.

It was such a long time since he’d felt like that in company, like someone could see him for him, could see past the defences and formality he’d created to help him deal with the change from lab-rat to CSI. They looked at him and stripped all that away, encouraging him to come out and play. His mind made up, he slipped off his shoes and shoved his socks into them, then stood up and pulled his shirt off in one movement, running to the edge of the pool and bombing in on top of Nick.

Jack and Ianto shifted out of the way as they saw Greg coming and laughed at the shocked expression on Nick’s face when he finally surfaced again, “Finally come out to play Greg?” Jack laughed, swimming to the side and grabbing a ball, “Anyone for piggyback… piggy back netball?”

“Jack.” Ianto grabbed the ball from him, “We don’t have a net.”

“Meh, make it up.” He dived and Ianto wooped as he rose into the air on Jack’s shoulders. “Come on Yan, lighten up.”

“You picked me up you dozy git.” Ianto wound the fingers of one hand into Jack’s hair and tugged lightly, tossing the ball over to Greg, “You in then?”

“What are we doing?” Greg asked sceptically as Nick ducked to pick him up, “Nicky, what are you doing?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you do something with that ball?”

“I’ll do something with this ball, Nick!” He threw it to Ianto, who caught it with a laugh, and leaned over backwards so they both tumbled backwards into the water. “You’re a pain in the arse sometimes Nick Stokes.”

“And you love it.” Nick grabbed him and kissed him, then dunked him again

Greg surfaced spluttering and glaring half-heartedly, “You know, last week we were in the closet.”

“We don’t count.” Ianto insisted, having dropped from Jack’s shoulders he was now standing with his back to Jack’s chest and the immortal’s arms wrapped possessively around his waist

Nick grinned at them as he mimicked their pose, with his arms around Greg’s waist, “Are you two…”

“Don’t ask.” Ianto laughed, “Most of the questions you could ask, we don’t know the answers to. We’re together, we’re engaged, and beyond that your guess is probably better than ours.”

“I don’t do labels.” Jack explained, “Just Ianto.”

“What about you two? Jazz only told us that you were off limits. Eventually.” Ianto glanced up at the only window with the curtains closed, “And she’ll be pissed if we wake her up.”

“True enough. We’re, we’re together.” Nick smiled, repeating Ianto’s comment even as he felt Greg tense in his arms, “We can’t be out about our relationship, because we’d be split up at work. I’m out bi, but very few people have noticed. I think it’s the Texanness, they assume I’m a straight laced Texan Christian good boy, so I couldn’t possibly fancy blokes. Greg’s not out.”

“I got beaten up for it when I was in high school, haven’t had the confidence to come out since. It, it took a lot to come out to Nick. A hell of a lot.”

Jack’s face had tightened when Greg said that he’d suffered for it and he sighed heavily, “Yeah, I used to get it pretty bad in Cardiff after I’d had a couple. My boyfriend and I got beaten to death when someone found out, but I always wake up. He didn’t.”

“I’m sorry.”

The captain shrugged; apparently Jazz had told them about their ‘talent’, which made things easier, “It was a long time ago, I wouldn’t let it happen again.” He kissed the pulse point just behind Ianto’s ear, “He’s mine.”

”Oh yeah?” Ianto grinned

“Yep. I’m going to get some sleep before this evening, you coming?” The captain stepped back and tugged on Ianto’s arm, encouraging to join him.

“Yeah, I’ll join you.” He grinned knowing full well that they probably wouldn’t be getting that much sleep if they went together, “You two staying here? By here I mean the house by the way.”

“Yeah, we will, or at least I will.” Nick leaned to the side to study Greg’s face, “You G?”

“Yeah, yeah I’ll stay.” He leaned back into Nick’s embrace and managed a smile, whispering as soon as the other two men were out of earshot, “As long as you’re here, I’ll stay.”

Ianto gasped as his back hit the door hard and warm lips attacked the pulse point in his neck. Jack’s teeth grazed briefly at his neck, then moved up to tug on his ear before his lips covered Ianto’s own, smothering his groans and gasps. Nimble fingers undid the buttons of his shirt and pulled his tie off, then Jack pulled his arms up and looped the tie around his wrists, tying it just tight enough to hold him in position, but not so tight that he couldn’t escape. He'd only just got dressed again, but found that he didn't really care.

“Mine.” Jack’s eyes never left his as the captain declared his possession and his hands wandered down, pinching at his nipples, digging nails in down his sides, brushing shockingly softly against his navel before gripping tightly to his hips, bringing their now straining erections to rub against each other painfully.

“Yours, always yours.” Ianto gasped and strained against the bonds, “Jack!”

“Yan.” Jack dragged his lips away as Ianto’s head tilted back and moved down to his neck again, sucking and biting gently to mark his lover. His fingers went to work on the buckle of Ianto’s trousers as his mouth moved down, sucking first one nipple and then the other into his mouth, tugging and biting, reducing Ianto to a quivering mess. He slipped his hand into Ianto’s boxers, gripping his member tightly, meeting his lover’s eyes briefly to give his reassurance, seeking the same in return.

Ianto swallowed hard, but strained forwards as much as he could to kiss Jack. The kiss was more tender than he’d expected. But Jack was unpredictable in this mood; he was very rarely so possessive, so almost-violent. Their lovemaking at times like this was rough, passionate, mind-blowing. He gave into the mood willingly.

Reassured, Jack squeezed at Ianto’s sides, then turned him around to face the door. “Stay right there.” He growled, hurrying across to the bedside table to get the tube, the last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt his lover, and shedding his clothes at double pace. Returning to his young lover he stroked his hip gently and removed the last of his clothes, apart from his shirt which was slightly stuck because his hands were tied together, “Should have thought of that, shouldn’t I?”

“Yes sir.”

He smacked Ianto’s arse, open palmed, and growled in his ear, “Hush, that was a rhetorical question.” A grin appeared at the startled yelp Ianto emitted, “Did you like that Yan?” The younger man just nodded and gasped when Jack struck him again, “You like it when I’m rough, don’t you?”

“Jack, need you now!” The captain pulled the lid off the bottle and coated his fingers in it, slipping one finger into Ianto’s tight tunnel, twisting it around and letting him accommodate the intrusion before adding a second, scissoring them gently and brushing against his prostate to stretch him further. “Jack!” Ianto groaned and let his head fall back, biting his lip hard, “Jack, bugger that. I need you!”

The immortal stilled momentarily, fighting the urge to do as Ianto insisted, “I won’t hurt you.” He growled, “I won’t do anything to hurt you.”

“You won’t, Jack take me!”

Jack bit his lip hard enough to draw blood and slicked himself up, lining himself up and sliding roughly into him, “Yan, don’t let me hurt you.”

The young man managed to roll his eyes and pushed back against his lover, taking more of him in. It did hurt, God it hurt, but it was fantastic. “Jack, for God’s sake! Make it up to me, I need you.”

The captain gave up his reservations at that point and wrapped one arm tight around Ianto’s waist, loosening the bonds around his wrists so that the younger man could brace himself and covering one of Ianto’s hands with his own, lacing their fingers together and gripping tightly. Then they started to move against each other and with each other. Jack bit gently at the back of Ianto’s neck and changed his angle, increasing the pace and striking deeper with each stroke. “Ianto!” He gasped, “Close, so close. God Yan, you’re so tight, so perfect.”

“Jack.” Ianto cried out and rocked back against his lover fiercely again as Jack’s hand slid down and gripped his member tightly, twisting and pulling expertly and fiercely.

“Ianto, come for me.” The young man didn’t need any more encouragement and cried Jack’s name as he climaxed as fiercely as they’d made love, and the tightening drew his lover into following close behind him.

They fought to steady their breathing together and, when he felt he could stand without support, Jack turned Ianto gently and leaned into him again, kissing him softly and tenderly, “Mine, always mine.”

“Always yours.” Ianto agreed, tangling his fingers in Jack’s hair and smiling, capturing Jack’s lips again, relishing the soft pressure and the familiar, exotic, wonderful taste

He smiled when Jack swept him up into his arms and rested their foreheads together, then carried him across the room to the bed, “Thank you, I’ll make it up to you.”

Ianto grabbed Jack’s shoulders and tugged him down into bed with him, kissing him passionately, “You already have, every day. Besides,” he huffed out a laugh and stroked his lover’s sweat-dampened hair out of his eyes tenderly, “I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t enjoy it.”

“I’d never consider it if I thought you didn’t.”

“I know.” He kissed Jack again and pulled the older man so that his head was resting on his chest, “I love you.”

“Love you too.”

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John Hart groaned and rolled over away from the insistent shaking, “Go ‘way. Jack?”

A distinctly Welsh chuckle told him that this wasn’t the case and he poked his head out in embarrassment, less comfortable around his ex-lover’s new partner, not for that reason though. Ianto had a habit of laughing at him. The young man put a coffee down on the desk and slipped back out to the door as smoothly as ever, “Jasmine’s doing a briefing, she needs you there.”

“Thanks Yan, tell my girlfriend she’s a bitch.”

“Tell her yourself.” Ianto shot back, disappearing with a chuckle as John buried his head under the pillow.

As soon as the Welshman had gone, John swung himself out of bed and hurried to dress reasonably neatly. The coffee helped to wake him and he was following the sounds of chatter and laughter to the dining room in under five minutes. “Hey guys, how’s it going?”

“Study.” Jack didn’t bother with a greeting other than his stunning smile, the one that still made his knees go weak, and he hurried out of the room with a wave to the others, heading down the corridor to the room at the back of the house

“Hey baby.” He tugged on her ponytail to tip her head back and kiss her softly, then threw himself into a vacant chair and grabbed the bacon and egg sandwich off the side, “Why are we in here and them in there?”

“Because…” She swallowed down a mouthful of her own sandwich and opened up the connection to the interactive screen in the dining room, “Because there isn’t room for all of us in here, and the dining room doesn’t have all the tech we need. So two of us working in here, the rest of them in there.”

“OK, what do you need me to do then?” He buried the annoyance at the idea of working yet again, Jazz hadn’t been officially off duty since he got here and he hadn’t seen her for weeks before that. But they were here to do a job.

“First things first, I want to run the photo Ianto got of the other guy, more reliable than running names. If you can do that for me, I’ll see if we can dredge anything more up on these guns or on the guys we found. You know, stuff we can’t get at the lab.” She passed him the photo and turned to the camera, “Watch and learn Captain, watch and learn. Even Ianto can’t do the magic I can with a computer keyboard.”

“Take that back young lady.” The Welshman growled with a grin, “I’m better than you any day.”

“Hah!” Her fingers blurred across the keyboard and school records layered up with bank details, photos, a Facebook and MySpace account, favourited videos on YouTube; and next to them a different life entirely, one where the school records cut off sooner, more convictions, no Facebook account. “Admit it, I’m good.”

“Yes indeed, you are good. Face and name match up, fancy working some more of your magic?” John grinned across at her, “You guys getting this in there?”

“Yep.” On another screen they could see the video from the dining room where Jack was studying the feed closely, “Jazz, focus on the one who was being dumped for a moment.”

She spread the feeds out, “What have you spotted Jack?”

“Moved from Wales.” He pointed out, “Specifically Cardiff.”

Ianto stood up and looked closer at the picture, “I recognise him from somewhere. Where did he go to school?”

There was silence for a moment as she flicked through the school records, then Jazz sighed, “Two years above you, and we flagged him up with the Weevil fight club thing in Cardiff.”

“So that’s the link between the two, maybe it’s not as random as we thought.” Jack groaned and scrubbed his hands across his face, “So what do you want to do about it Jay?”

“Someone needs to talk to his girlfriend, see what she knows, and tell her that she’s in danger. Someone also needs to speak to the witness, and we need someone to go and see if there is a fight club, or if someone just thinks they’re useful around the place. John, can you do that?”

“Sure thing, you want me to go now and catch up with me? You need some sleep honey.” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and reached for his gun but she stopped him

“No, I want to be on the other end of the comms when you’re out there. You’ve got a few hours before you go to get ready.” She looked up at the screen, “Once it goes to field, Jack, you’re in charge. You’ve more experience in that department.” She yawned, “Anyone got any questions?”

When everyone answered in the negative she stood up and drained her mug, “OK, John I want you to talk to Jack and prepare yourself thoroughly. And yes, I know exactly what your mind did with that sentence. Wake me up when you’re ready to go, but give me at least three hours. See you in the morning guys.”

Jasmine buried her head in the pillows and groaned as the bed sank behind her, “Whut? John.”

He chuckled as he slipped into bed and pulled her so that she was lying on top of him with her head tucked under his chin. His arms wrapped around her tightly and he felt his heart swell when she nuzzled into him happily, “Now you’re allowed to sleep.”

“Now you can watch me?” She grumbled against his chest

“Yeah, of course.” He pressed a kiss into her hair and sighed, “So why did you really want me to wait until you wake up?”

“John, let me sleep.”

“Now till I get an answer. Why do you want to watch me, don’t you trust me?”

“It’s not that.” She sighed and her breath ghosted warm across his chest

“Then what?”

“I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I knew you were out there and I was in here.” Her voice was quiet, barely there at all, but he heard every word, “And, quite honestly, I need you here to be able to sleep properly full stop.” She fell silent for a moment and he let her think, “I’ve always slept better with someone there.”

“Someone to protect you?”

She was clinging to him now, more asleep than awake, and nodded slowly, “Some people wouldn’t believe it.”

John stroked her hair and squeezed her gently with his other arm, “They don’t know you. You look after everyone else, you and Jack both, and now you both have someone who’ll do the same in return. Just don’t ask me to make the coffee.”

She fell asleep still smiling, and still holding on to him tightly.

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Ianto pulled out his hand-held computer as he and Archie sat down and scanned through the message from Jack with concerned eyes, “Shit, we’ve got more Weevils to track down.”

“You what?” Archie tried to peer over his shoulder, “How do you know?”

“Arch, found you at last.” Catherine handed him a bag, “Can you go through that for me pronto, we’ve got a missing child and we suspect that that hard drive will contain evidence of her presence in the house. Photos, emails, anything that proves she was there and gives us an idea of where she may be now.”

“OK Cath, I’ll page you if I find anything.”

“Thanks Arch, hey Ianto.” She headed off to find someone else and left them to it

Ianto stretched and smiled at him, “OK, you do that, I’ll work on these Weevils.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I do it all the time in Cardiff.”

“OK.” He pointed across the room, “You can use that computer, it should have everything you need. Not that I know what you’ll need.” The tech expert was already loading up the hard-drive that Catherine had given him

Ianto nodded and sat in front of the computer, plugging in his PDA as it booted up. The hand held device contained all the tricks he could need on a computer; like a total override of the network, the software to connect him to the Hub, advanced anti-virus software and a ‘Bad Wolf Dropper’ to cover his tracks when he left, as well as all the scans he needed to run. He pulled out his mobile and called the Hub, working out the time difference in his head whilst he waited for someone to pick up.


“Who else would be using my phone Gwen?” He chuckled, “How’s things going back there?”

Fairly quiet. Had a Weevil hunt this morning, currently following up one of Atraxet’s leads, a bit of rift activity but nothing above the normal. How about over there?”

“Dead Weevil and four dead humans.”

There was a pause, “In Vegas?”

He sighed, “Yeah, and there are another three tagged Weevils around. Is Mark available? I need his help.”

Sure, I’ll pass you over.”

After a beat the cheerful voice of Mark Bond, Jasmine’s second in London who was covering for them whilst they were in Vegas, greeted him, “What up mate? Gwen says you need me?”

Ianto smiled despite himself, “Yeah, I’m just connecting this computer to the Hub, I need you to help me build a 3D map of Vegas.”

Got it. OK, we’re connected.”

“Not something I ever wanted to hear from you Mark.” He laughed and started typing commands one handed, “I need a map of Vegas first.”

Got it. There we go. Now what?”

“Now I need to add in the heights and overlay a map of the sewers.”

Underlay, surely?” Mark chuckled, “You got what you need?”

“Yeah, whilst I’m doing that can you put in the Weevil scans?”

Yup, on it.” They worked in silence for a while and Ianto switched from his phone to his Bluetooth headset until Mark spoke up again, “Just, how did you miss four Weevils going missing? That’s like, nearly 10% of the tagged population.”

“That’s what worries me, if they’ve got 10% of the tagged population, they’ve either picked up our scan frequency to track them down or they’ve got a lot more. We did pick up on it actually, but it coincided with big rift activity so we never followed up on it, you know how it is.”

Not like you Ianto.”

He chuckled, “I’ve had other things on my mind, haven’t I? Got that in place?”

Yup, let’s see how this looks.”

Ianto turned round and projected it onto the board so he could look at more of the map at once, “They’re all underground, that’s good. Jack and I can go round them up tonight. Seem to be in the same area too.”

One close to your location Yan.”

“That one’s dead.”

Oh.” Mark laughed, “I’ll not worry about it then. You need me for anything else?”

“No, that’s great. Thanks. I’ll get it loaded up and sent out, stuff like that. Don’t trash the joint, or you’ll find Janet in your closet.”

Hannah wouldn’t be impressed.”

“I’ll get her to help, I’m sure she’ll understand. Now bugger off, I’ve got work to do.”

See you mate.”

“Yeah, see you soon.” He flipped his phone shut and turned the projector off, downloading the map to his PDA and sending it to the others’ computers and PDAs. With that finished he moved on to the video, starting with the nearest camera to the scene and moving on from there, trying to locate his DBs whilst they were still LBs.

Archie set a scan running and wandered over to check on what Ianto was doing, “You found something?”

The Welshman was deep in concentration, clearing up the focus on a black SUV so that he could see inside it, “Possibly. They must have driven in and parked between the closest camera and the site, possibly right at the end of the alley even. But I found this, which seems the most likely. It came past three times, then not for a long time, then back in the opposite direction. Mind you, I’ve looked at two cars that did similar already.”

“That’s incredible.” Archie had missed most of what he was saying, so surprised was he at the level of clarity Ianto was achieving, “How do you do that?”

“Do what?” Ianto smiled to himself

“Get it that clear, I mean, you shouldn’t be able to do that.”

“I’m not using normal tech. You should have this. Don’t you?” He was slightly surprised

Archie shrugged but his eyes glowed, “Maybe, but I tend to use the system we have here. That’s just amazing though, I’ll have to have a play with the stuff I’ve never used.”

Ianto smiled at him softly, feeling ten years older than the other man, rather that about that much younger than him. “Yeah, it’s pretty incredible. I’ve been working with Torchwood for five years now, and it still throws up things to amaze me.”

“What’s it like, working for Torchwood?” Archie asked, “I mean, I assume it’s similar there to what it’s like at Liberty Towers?”

“You’ve worked for LT?”

“No, but they’ve made me an offer.” He smiled, “What do you think?”

Ianto turned to face him fully, leaning on the desk as he considered his answer carefully. He was always wary of encouraging people into this life; as wonderful and as amazing as it could be, it still had a very low life expectancy and little to no chance of a life outside it. “It’s brilliant, but terrifying. You see the wonders of the universe and the scum of the universe, more scum than wonderful stuff most of the time. Some things are so amazing that I dream about them for weeks afterwards, but the nightmares of others still linger years later. Any relationships outside get totally screwed up, inside it’s like having a family; complete with the fighting, the wings of the family not talking to each other and the cousins whose names you can’t remember.” He shrugged, “I wouldn’t change it for the world, even if I could.”

“You really sell it.”

“Not trying to.” He answered honestly, “It’s dangerous and I’d feel guilty if I felt I were trying to persuade you into it. I was one of twenty-seven survivors of the Battle of Canary Wharf, out of over eight hundred employees. I know how dangerous it is.”

“I’m sorry.”

Ianto smiled at him, “You see what I mean though.”

Archie was silent for a while, digesting what Ianto had said. After watching him for a couple of minutes, the Welshman turned back to the picture he was clearing up, confident that he was onto something. Archie’s voice broke his concentration, “But it’s worth it. The madness, the danger, the lack of a life, it’s all worth it?”

“Oh yeah.” Ianto chuckled, glancing across the halls and catching a glimpse of his lover passing through with Nick, “Very, in my case. But even if I hadn’t found Jack, I’d still be saving the world on a daily basis. And that’s got to count for something.”

“Yeah, that’s quite something.” Archie smiled, “Thanks Ianto.”

“Anytime, I got something.”

“Great.” He hurried over to have a look, “Oh that’s amazing. Who is that?”

“That’s the guy who arrived with our two DBs, his friend is in the driving seat.” He printed it off and grabbed the picture, “I’d better get this across to Jay, then I can get back to the house and set a search running, better system there. You coming?”

The techie sighed and sat back down, “Nah, I’d better get this sorted for Catherine and actually get some work done. Good luck.”

“You too. Come round to the house once you get off duty? I suspect Jay will be cooking.”

“In that case, I’ll see you there.” He waved once as Ianto disappeared down the corridor in the same direction that his lover had taken, slipping into the room as Jack started his explanation.

Jack slipped his ear protectors on and glanced over at Nick to check that the younger man had done the same. When he got a reassuring smile he squared off and fired a shot into the gel from the gun they’d found at the scene. He hurried to retrieve the bullet and pulled a chair up to the microscope to compare the two. Nick looked through the other eye piece and whistled, “It’s not a match.” He looked up at Jack, “But what’s it not a match to?”

The immortal chuckled and met Nick’s eyes, “It’s not a match to the bullet that Jazz pulled from the gut of the Weevil. Ergo, not the gun that killed our dumpee.”

“Great.” Nick sighed, “So where does that leave us?”

“Well I’ll run that through your databases, then if that doesn’t bring anything up I can run it through our database as well.” He switched one of the bullets and compared the new one with the one he’d shot into the gel, “But two of the shots that hit the wall were fired by our dead dumper. In addition to that…” he moved to another microscope and Nick followed him, “This is the bullet that killed our Weevil on the left, your right. And the other one is the bullet that killed the dead dumper.”

“Same gun.”

“Same gun indeed. A very lucky shot at the Weevil, a very unlucky shot at his companion.” Jack tapped the desk thoughtfully, “Or that’s what he wants us to believe and it was actually a very good shot at his companion.”

“Cheery thought.” Nick folded his arms, “Where do we go to from here then?”

“Scanning. Scanning through databases.” Jack straightened up and set the searches running, “We can leave these running and go tell Jay what we’ve found. I’ll lock the computers down so that no one sees what we’re up to.” He smiled up at Nick, “You’re got a burning question Nicholas Stokes.”

Nick blushed and looked down at the ground, “What’s it like, with everyone knowing that you live with a guy?”

“It’s fine, there are some arseholes who disapprove, but for the most part no one bats an eyelid. I’ll tell you something though, I wouldn’t do it here. Not for me, I can take it, but I wouldn’t put Ianto through it.” Jack smiled sadly, “If, if you ever want to make a go of it, and you think living in the UK would help, I’m saying it personally but I’d love to have you in Cardiff, and I’m sure Jay would say the same about London.” He smiled, “Consider that a job offer, for both of you.”

“Thanks. We’ll consider it.”

Jack nodded and led the way from the room down to where Jasmine and Greg were staring at computers and apparently chatting animatedly about what they were seeing.

“I got a DNA match on our vic.” Greg leaned back in his chair, “The one eaten by the Weevil. His name’s Dean Carinas, rap sheet as long as the Amazon for crimes ranging from drugs, illegal gun possession, lots of minor level mob connections that have never been confirmed.”

“I’ve just got into the FBI servers.”

“Got into?” Greg raised an eyebrow

She shrugged, “OK, hacked in, but I do have legal access. Do you want to know what I found?”


“He was the name the FBI were currently working on, trying to track him down.”

“They found him.”

“But someone else got to him first.” She printed out the file and closed the connection, “OK, so we have an idea of what he was doing there. What about the other guy?”

“Ah hah.” He whirled around and grabbed the printed sheet, “I got a name.”

“I got a search box.”

“You and me, together we could rule the world.” Greg grinned at her, “James Anthony Dru.”

“James…” She typed it in and her eyes widened, “Jebus, you know your rap sheet as long as the Amazon? Well this one would reach from here to the moon.”

“That’s impressive. All the same sort of stuff?”

“Pretty much.” She printed it out and read through it on the screen, “You know, if you ever feel you want to get out of Vegas, I would love to have you in London.”

“I wouldn’t come alone.”

“I wouldn’t let you. Working in London could have other advantages.” Jay smiled at him softly, “If you ever fancy it, just give me a call.”

“Thanks. I’ll ask him at some point.” He looked through the sheet and sighed, “So where do we go from here?”

“Well if you work on getting a background on the dumper, I’ll have a look and see if I can find who he was with when he died.”

“How will you do that?” He asked, searching first for school records

“You don’t want to know.” Her eyes sparkled as she danced through phone records, on to email inboxes and computerised diaries. “Oooh, I got a name.”

“Leggo my Greggo, what have you got?” Nick’s hands landed heavy but gentle on his shoulders and the older man’s thumbs rubbed light circles on the back of his neck, “Jazz.”

Jack had crossed the room and laid his hand on the young woman’s shoulder, bending to kiss her forehead gently, “Hey sweetie, how’s it going?”

“We’ve got names, I think I have the name of our witness even.”

“What?” Greg’s head snapped up and he glared at her, “How on earth did you do that?”

“Jay, I got you a picture.” Ianto waved the piece of paper at her as he slipped in and leant against the desk, “I’m going to have to run it through the system back at the house.”

“And I got a name that it will, hopefully, match.” She leaned back into Jack’s touch and grinned up at Ianto, “How about we head home and see if we can combine them into something that makes sense?”

“And we can locate him easier from home.” Jack agreed. “OK, let’s…”

“Jack!” Jazz tilted her head to the side and rested it on his hand so that she could look up at him with a half glare, “Jack, who’s in charge around here?”

“Sorry boss.”

“Hmm. OK, back to the house, we can wake John up and run the search.” She yawned, “Then I can get some sleep. And when I wake up we can send John out.”

“Wouldn’t it make sense for him to go whist you’re asleep and wake you when he gets back?” Jack asked

Jazz blushed, “Not if I want to get some sleep.”

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Nick looked up as Jazz entered and raised a hand idly, “How did it go?”

“Interesting.” She brushed her hair out of her eyes and sank into her chair, “You’ve been and gone I take it?”

“Yeah, crashed back at yours with Jack and Ianto. When did you two finish with the autopsy?”

“Just now.” She laughed, “Tiiiired.”

“Where’s John?”

“I sent him home to get some sleep.” She yawned and waved out of the glass window, signing a request for coffee across to Ianto who nodded briefly and disappeared smartly. “He’s only mortal after all.”

“You should do the same.” Greg suggested, “You can’t work if you’re exhausted.”

“I’ll be fine.” She shrugged, “Want to see what I’ve got?”

“Go on then.”

“Human vic number one from the closed end of the alley. Oh, this is useless.” She looked up and waved across to get Jack’s attention, signing a message to him, “Jack, get your arse over here.”


I want you.”

You always want me. Ianto’s just coming.”

OK, bring him with you.”

A minute or so later, the two Torchwood agents appeared in the doorway and Ianto passed out mugs of coffee, leaning idly against the desk with Jack’s arm wrapped around his waist, “I understand you wanted us commander?”

She glared at him moodily over the top of her mug, “Call me commander and I’ll have Jack stand on the opposite side of the room to you.”

“Sorry Jazz.” He attempted a look of absolute contrition and held onto Jack’s hand possessively, “He stays there or you’re on decaff for the rest of our stay.”

“Erm… Touche.” She took a deep sip and sighed, “Thanks Yan, you’re a lifesaver.”

“You’re such a swinger.”

“You’ve slept, I haven’t. Remember that dear.” She sighed, “Anyway, you want to know how our three DBs became DBs?”

“Yes. And were you right about it being the wrong Weevil?”

“Yes she was.” Greg jumped in with a printed sheet and passed it across to Jasmine, “DNA doesn’t match. You know, I never thought I’d be comparing the DNA of two aliens.”

“You can have a look at my DNA later if you like.” Jack winked at him, grinning when Greg blushed brightly, but the grin dropped completely when Ianto unwound the arm from around his waist and crossed the room to stand behind Jasmine with a scowl. “Oh come on Yan, you know I don’t mean it.”

Ianto remained silent and merely took a measured sip from his coffee. Jazz sighed and reached back to clip him round the ear, “Stop enjoying it!” They exchanged a steady stream of silent communication until he glanced away and met Jack’s eyes instead, sending an equally silent apology. “For God’s sake, men!”

Ianto crossed the room again and wrapped his arms around Jack’s waist burying his head under the Captain’s chin, sighing sadly and happily at the same time, “Sorry Jack, I’m an ass. Flirt all you like.”

“Oi. Sweet and all that, but these two are off limits.” Jazz scanned through the readings. “I need to have a look at these back at the house, see what the DNA reader can give us.”

“OK. And you were right on the mouth shot?”

“Yeah.” She stiffened suddenly and her gaze became fixed on the door

“CSI Donovan, welcome…” Conrad Ecklie also froze, he in the doorway, and glared at Jack and Ianto who were still wrapped in each other’s arms, “What is going on here?”

“Assistant Director.” She greeted him, “Good to meet you at last. This is Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones, they’re assisting us with our investigations.”

“Then surely they should be securely contained?” He demanded, still glaring at them as they moved only slightly into a more defensive pose

She snorted, taking a dislike to him even more than she had after Nick and Greg’s tales, “When I say ‘assisting us with our investigation’, I mean what I say. They’re experts from my team in the UK. They are not on your team and they do not work by your rules. Understood?”

“Who do you think you are?” He snarled

“Commander Donovan, UNIT level 1 and I know that you know what that means.” She glared, “Thank you Assistant Director. I’ll tell you what we find out.”

His face blanched when she announced her position and he turned and walked away without another word. Jack looked at her over the top of Ianto’s head and sighed, “Stuck up prat.”

“He’s been called that before.” Nick sighed, “Glad it was you two caught rather than us though.”

“You should be careful how you phrase things Nicky.” Catherine poked her head around the doorway, “Who steamed Ecklie?”

They pointed at Jazz, who was smirking at the table, “I do my best.”

“Yeah, well remember that you don’t actually have to work with him.” She warned, “Getting anywhere?”

“Started the same conversation twice, not finished it yet.”

“I’ll leave you to it then.” She disappeared with a wave and Jazz smiled down at the report on her desk

Jack shook his head, “You know, I’m really glad our director and assistant director are relaxed about the whole relationships in the workplace…”

“Sex in the workplace.” Ianto added

“Sex in the workplace, casual reports thing.” His partner sighed happily, pulling Ianto back against him and resting his hands on his arse, “Yep, definitely has its advantages.”

The Torchwood team chuckled, but Greg and Nick looked slightly suspicious, “Who are your director and assistant director?” Jack and Jazz pointed at each other, “Ah, thought so.”

“Anyway, can we please concentrate?” Jazz sighed, “Yes, Weevil killed by a one in, one in what Jack, one in fifty?”

“For me, yeah, for anyone else, one in two hundred?”

“Show off, but yeah, highly unlikely shot. But the fifteen shots before it and quite a lot that hit the walls probably improved his odds.” She sighed, “Human vic number one, the one who wasn’t killed by the Weevil.”

“He wasn’t?”

“No. He was shot. Twice in the back.”

“That would explain the FBI crawling over the scene.” Nick sighed, “They think it’s a mob killing.”

“Ianto, can you hack in and find out why they think that. Post them some demands for information, then hide it. You know…”

“Annoy them as only an archivist can. Got it.”

“You’re tampering with government files?” Greg asked in shock

“Yes. I’ll rubberise them so that they spring back after twenty-four hours. With integrated music videos of course.”

“Why music videos?”

“We Rick-Roll people we don’t like.”

“Nasty.” Archie wandered into the room with a file for them, “Mind if I join you?”

“Welcome to the party.” Jack grinned, extending a hand, “Archie Johnson I take it. Captain Jack Harkness, nice to meet you.”

“Captain Jack, it’s an honour. And Mr Jones, loved your report on the activities of Blowfish.”

“My… Oh.” He shook Archie’s hand and grinned, “Yeah, that was a rush job. Archivists annoying each other. It’s like war fought with post-its.”

“Well it made me chuckle on a long night.” He laughed, “Is it all true?”

“All completely factual based on observations. Observations made of a friend of ours who got very drunk the night she demanded the report.”

“That’s Atraxet?!” Jazz threw her head back and laughed, “I should have knowned.”

Ianto stood up and beckoned to the teenaged immortal, “Got that file Jazz, two similar deaths. All connected to a drug ring the FBI have been trying to crack for a while.”

“And now the ring is cracking itself and falling on them.”

"Basically. Files sent over to us. So he’s the next link they were after.”

“And let me guess, the last person they got on to was the last person to drop dead.” Jazz sighed, “So someone’s covering their tracks. Were the drugs terrestrial?”

“Completely, just normal E.” Ianto confirmed. “So where does the Weevil come in?”

“In the alley. Body dump.” Jack answered, “The other guy went to dump the body, got attacked by the Weevil hiding in the back of it. Presumably he was the one who shot the Weevil, but was too badly injured to get out of the alley and survive.”



“Unless he somehow shot himself in the back with a 9mm when he had a .45?” Jazz laid out her hands, “He wasn’t alone. He had a friend who tried to defend him.”

“And ended up killing him.” Jack sighed, “I hate it when that happens.”

“You’ve done it?”

“Had it done to me.” Jack touched his shoulder reflexively and shrugged at Ianto’s concerned glance, “Before your time, long before your time actually, early 20th century.”

“If it helps, the Weevil inflicted wounds would have been fatal too, just not as soon as the gunshot.”

“So now we have to find our witness?” Jack straightened up and folded his arms, “OK, Ianto and Jazz…” He quailed under her glare, “Sorry boss.”

“OK, Archie check the video feeds, see if you can find them on their way there. Ianto you go with him and give him some ‘help’.” The Welshman nodded his understanding and headed off, giving Jack a quick peck on his way out. “Jack, I want you to do fun stuff with Nick regarding those guns, see what you can find. Greg, you’re in here with me chasing paper regarding our vics. And I’m going to send John in to see what he can find out.”

“Are you sure?”

She hesitated a moment but nodded, expelling a great breath as she did so, “He’s the best man for the job.”

“Agreed. One more thing though.”

“It’s a Cardiff Weevil.” They nodded and she leaned on the desk, “I don’t want to know how many more there are.”

Jack tapped his wrist strap’s controls and looked up at her, “Sending the readings to you.”

There was silence whilst she waited, then Jazz dropped her gaze from the screen and swore violently, “Three, there’s another three.” She pinched the bridge of her nose, “I’ll get Archie and Ianto to deal with the mapping.”

“OK.” Jack sighed, “That can only mean one thing.”

“Someone’s importing Weevils.” Jazz agreed, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Only if you’re thinking Weevil fight club.” Jack told her through clenched teeth

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Nick studied the scene over the shoulder of the fed keeping them out, he could see three bodies, one partially obscured by a metal bin but the other two out in the open. Somehow the feds had beaten them here and were now keeping them out because of the apparent mob connection. Add on to that the fact that Jasmine had disappeared and he had a headache forming, “Look, we have jurisdiction here. Don’t ask me how, or how to prove it, we just do, OK?”

“No, CSI Stokes, it’s not OK. This scene is in our hands.”

“Have you looked at all the bodies? This is not a run of the mill case… Look, Greg, where has she got to?”

“No idea.” His boyfriend had been scanning the street but hadn’t seen her, “She’s vanished”


Two tall men approached the cordon and pushed past them, lifting the tape and going under it without saying a word. The fed looked around in shock and grabbed the last one by the arm, “Hey, you can’t go in there.”

“Erm, yes we can actually. We’re specialists.” The man had a thick Welsh accent and a friendly, slightly smug smile. His partner had stopped and turned back to join the conversation

He baulked slightly but didn’t let go, “I didn’t know the UK was co-operating with us on this case.”

“We’re not.” Jack flashed him a megawatt grin, which fell completely flat in the darkness, “We’re taking over your scene. Come on Yan, let’s leave the nice man to do his job and make sure we’re not disturbed. Oh, hey, CSIs Stokes and Sanders?”

“Yeah, Captain Harkness, Mr Jones, what are you doing here?”

“What do you think?” Jack asked with a laugh, “What are you doing out there? Come on, it’s your scene.”

They shrugged at each other and ducked under the tape to join the two Torchwood agents who waited for them. They greeted them with warm, firm handshakes before turning to the scene, “So, what have we got? Two humans and a Weevil, one of them actually killed by said Weevil I understand.”

“So how do you know about this?”

“It came through on the messaging service. We’re having a slow day so we figured, what the hell?” Jack laughed, “So where is she?”

“I’m over here.” Jasmine’s voice hailed them from the back of the alley, “Been waiting for you.” She was crouched by the body of a Weevil and looked up at them with a grin as they approached, “There’s always an easier way to get where you want to be. Especially if you do gymnastics and have lots of experience of getting to places other people don’t want you to be. What are you two doing here?”

Jack pulled her up and into a hug, squeezing her against him tightly, then let her go on to Ianto who actually picked her up, “Heya baby, missed you too.”

“Oh you have no idea how much.” She smiled up at him when he put her down, resting her hands on his shoulders gently, “So you’ve come to help out?”

“And flirt some with my favourite girl, yeah.” Ianto laughed, “So where do we start?”

“We start with you getting out of my crime scene.” She teased, standing on tip-toes to kiss him gently on the lips, “Go on, go play with the FBI. Actually, get them out of there. Really out. Send them home.”

Ianto nodded and turned for the end of the alley, trailing a bemused looking Jack in his wake. Jazz watched for just long enough to see the captain grab hold of his lover just beyond the crime scene tape, “That’s my good deed for the day. I wish they were all that pleasant.”

“Good deed?” Nick asked, pulling on his gloves

“Yeah, Ianto loves a possessive Jack.” She grinned naughtily and donned her own gloves, gesturing to the alley, “One body each? I’ll take the Weevil.”

“I got the one in the middle.” Nick said

“So I’m at the end.” Greg picked up his kit and headed towards the far end of the alley.

He finished with the body carefully, it was a simple gunshot wound to the back, more would be revealed at autopsy. Some wounding that appeared to be from a wild animal, presumably the Weevil. He groaned and sat back on his heels, looking up at Jack and Ianto who were leaning on opposite sides of the alley watching him, “You want a look, I’m done here?” They ducked under the tape again and he showed them what he’d found, “Clawed by a Weevil on his front, must have been ante-mortem judging by the blood. Then a single gunshot wound to the back, which killed him. Either that or he bled out from a combination of the injuries and the gunshot wound. We’ll be able to tell with an autopsy.”

“OK, want to see what the others have got?”

“I’m game.” He let Jack help him up and stretched, “God I’m glad I’m not doing this in Cardiff. Better in the warmth of Vegas than the rain of Wales.”

“Amen to that.” Jack laughed, his volume increasing when Ianto slapped his arse, “Hey, I will admit that Cardiff has its advantages.” The young man merely smirked. “Hey Nick, good to see you again, what have you got?”

The Texan looked up and smiled at Jack, but it was tense, “I don’t know what to make of it. He’s been badly mauled, but it didn’t bleed. He was already dead. I’m not a coroner, but that much is clear.”

“Oi, Jay, how’s our Weevil buddy?” Jack hollered

She laughed and pulled herself up, coming over to join them, “Killed with a 9mm.”

“A 9mm, that’s unlikely.” Jack folded his arms and leaned back, “Even I can’t do it with one shot.”

“I know, unless you get very lucky.”

“He got lucky?”

She grinned, “You know it, mouth shot.”

“A mouth shot?” A voice came form behind them and they swung round, “I dream of those.”

“John!” Jazz whirled round as he caught her up and kissed him, lacing her arms around his neck, then pulling back, “Hm, we’re on duty John.”

“We’re always on duty.” He moaned, “And I’ve missed you.”

“Horny git.” She laughed and pushed him away slightly, “Later baby, later. Right now, two dead men and a dead weevil. And bad news.” She ran her hand through her hair. “It’s not the one that killed Ellen and Mike.”

“What, you mean there’s more than one?” Nick asked, “Great.”

“More than one in Vegas.” Ianto shook his head, “It doesn’t make sense, there’s no rift here. How can you tell?”

“Wrong height, Mike Gartan was 6’1”, that’s an inch taller than you two. This weevil is an inch shorter than me.” She beckoned Jack over and stood face to face with him, “Now, if you try to fend me off… We know from experience that there’s no way I can reach your neck. Even if I had the strength of a Weevil.”

“Could it have jumped on him?”

“No, nothing to jump from. And the injuries were sustained, a prolonged attack. The weevil that attacked him was what, about half a foot taller?”

“So how are multiple weevils getting to Vegas, unless there’s another way apart from the rift?”

Jack raised his wrist, wrapping his arm around the back of Jay’s neck so that he could study the readout over her shoulder. She huffed theatrically, “What you looking at?”

“You know we tagged those Weevils about six months ago so we could keep tabs on the population?”


”Well this one was in Cardiff at the time.”

“Oh. So someone or something brought this weevil from Cardiff to Vegas. Why? And how?” She looked around, flashing her torch beam around the alley, “And… What were the guys doing here?”

“Welcome to Vegas honey.” Greg chuckled.

galadriel1010: (Default)

Jack stamped on the brakes and pushed the door open, rushing around to the boot and pulling it open to get out the containment box. “Any further instructions before I go in there Jazz?”

“Nothing new, readings are fairly consistent and the CCTV’s not showing any activity. Good luck Jack.”

“Thanks.” He pulled the box out and checked it, then turned to the street. “I won’t be long.”

“Hey.” Ianto stopped him with a hand on his arm and leant close to kiss him gently, “Be careful, OK.”

Jack pulled him closer for just a moment, holding on to that reassurance, “Always.” He kissed him once more and turned away, pulling out his gun with one hand and carrying the box with the other, “Let’s do this.”

The two mortals watched him go nervously and waited on his call. Ianto shivered and turned up the collar of his coat, trying to pretend that it was the cold that had him shaking and on edge. Unsurprisingly, John didn’t buy it and laid a hand gently on his arm, “You OK?”

The Welshman shook his head but smiled, “It never gets any easier, watching him go off into danger and having to stay behind. What wouldn’t I give for a normal life?”

“Well?” John leaned on a lamppost and watched him carefully, “What wouldn’t you give? What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?”

Ianto smiled at the floor as he leant on the SUV, “You don’t half ask stupid questions.” He sighed, “Point taken though.”

“I wasn’t trying to make a point.” John smiled, “Just wondering. I guess it was a stupid question though, the way you look at him.”

Silence fell between them for a moment until Ianto broke it, “Are you ever jealous?”

“Hell yeah.” John chuckled, “Who wouldn’t be? He’s drop dead gorgeous and looks at you like you’re the only other person in the world, like he can’t quite believe that you’re his.” He grew suddenly serious, “But would I change our positions? Not for a second. A) I like you too much to do that to you. B) I have Zee, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. C) I couldn’t put up with him, I don’t know how you do it.” He grinned, “Do you ever wonder how it happened?”

“Every day. Every single day.” The young Welshman confessed with a soft smile.

Jaaaay.” Jack’s drawl was even more drawn out than usual, into an almost petulant whine, “You had me all worried there for a moment.”

The responding laugh was girly and relieved, “It’s not dangerous then?”

“Not very, come on you two, it’s safe to come out.”

Ianto and John shared a secret look as they strolled idly around the corner, although his casual demeanour did nothing to hide Ianto’s intense relief, especially as he hurried straight into Jack’s arms as soon as he was in sight. “Heya baby, didya miss me?”

“I was only around the corner.”

“Hah, flattered.” Jack wrapped a single arm around Ianto’s waist and gestured at the floor, pulling out his phone and taking a photo to send to Jasmine, “You know when you checked for biological visitors, how come you missed this one?”

There was silence for a moment, then a sigh, “Well OK, I checked for life signs, not that there’s any other way to scan for biological. How did he die?”

“You’re the CSI.” He pointed out with a smirk

“Yes, but I’m in the wrong country, wrong continent even.”

“True enough.” He let go of Ianto reluctantly and bent closer to check the body, quickly identifying the cause of death, “Whoa, OK, so he died because he’s very bad at surfing.”


“Yeah, surfing, what does that look like to you?” He sent her a photo and laughed at her reaction

Is that a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator?”

He bellowed with laughter and clapped, “Couldn’t have put it better myself. Yeah, so basically he was out surfing.”

Caribbean Galaxies?”

“Entirely possible. God that was a long time ago.” He shook his head, “We’re having a Shrek marathon tonight Yan. But yeah, out surfing, caught a burst he couldn’t handle, got sucked into the rift.”

“Dead before he got here.” John finished, “God I’m glad we were good.”

“Hell yeah, although I do remember some… unexpected deviations from our intended route.”

“Hell yeah, they were fun.”

Erm… hello, gentlemen, the present please?” Jay sighed at them down the line, “You need my help anymore? Cos I gotta go put some clothes on.”

“We’re good Jay, we’ve got it from here.” Jack sighed, “Just got to get him into the freezer and his surfboard into the archive.”


“No.” He mock-glared at his ex-partner, “No, you’re not having a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator for Christmas darling. Get that thing in the boot, we’ll deal… On second thoughts; Ianto, can you deal with the board, we’ll do the body.”

“Got it Jack.” They cleared up quickly and were gone before Andy got there, waving to him as the disappeared. John even blew the frustrated PC a kiss, chuckling as they pulled away. Ianto caught a glimpse of him in the rear view mirror and groaned, “Do you ever stop?”

John stared in mock horror, “My girlfriend’s in America, I’m sexually frustrated. Would you rather I flirted with your fiancé?”

“Quite frankly, yes, it’s more entertaining and I won’t get an earful from him this evening.”

Silence greeted this announcement, until Jack grinned broadly, “So John, whilst Ianto’s busy getting an earful from Andy, how about it?”

“Hey.” Ianto slapped his thigh, leaving his hand there and stroking gently, which made Jack’s driving even more interesting than usual, “I said he could flirt with you, not the other way around.”

“I love it when he gets possessive.”

“Well once I’ve finished getting an earful from Andy, you, me… chocolate?” He laughed as Jack swerved left slightly, “OK, let’s finish this conversation once you’ve parked up.”

“Sounds like a good idea.” Jack gulped, moving Ianto’s hand slightly to make concentration easier, “But the best part is definitely resuming the conversation.”


Jasmine, Greg and Nick wandered into the break room laughing together and drawing subtle glances from members of their team. Some people knew there was something going on between Greg and Nick and were wondering at the fact that this was the first time they’d arrived together, some thought there was something going on between Jasmine and one of the guys and they were very confused at the three of them arriving together. Others, like Grissom, were completely oblivious, “Commander Donovan, I understand your case has stalled for the moment?”

She sighed, “Call me Jazz Doctor, I feel ancient when people call me Commander, and yeah. It has, nothing we can do on it for the moment.”

“Can I have my CSIs back then?”

“Sure, and you’ve got another one if you want me.”

He looked at her intently, “Do you have the training?”

“Sure I do. Forensics and criminology from Stanford, and forensic science from Glamorgan. Trained with Scotland Yard, served with NYPD, but that was for all of three weeks before I packed my bags and moved back to the UK.” She shrugged, “Sure, my specialty’s in cases without evidence or courts, but I’m more than capable.”

He continued to look at her slightly askance, “You look seventeen.”

“I know, it’s a curse, I can’t get served anywhere. So how about it?”

He shrugged, “You’re in, I’ll put you on the case with these two.” He moved away before they could respond and left them staring after him in amusement

“OK folks, this is Jasmine Donovan. She’s a bit strange.” They stared at him openly, “She’s joining us for a while, and she’ll be working with Greg and Nick, so you three have a double at a club on the strip. Catherine you’re got a B&E. Riley, you’re on a hit and run, and Doctor Langston you’ve got a home invasion. Vegas is reasonably quiet for once.”

“Nice.” Catherine stood up, “I’m not going to complain.”

“Me either.” Nick stood up and offered his hand to Jazz, who took it with a laugh and let him pull her up, “Let’s clean these streets up.”

Jazz was good, everyone had to admit it. She was thorough, patient, prepared to take calculated risks and never complained about being sent dumpster diving. Well, not much anyway. She sat now with Catherine in the break room, going over a case they were working together. The older woman found the apparently younger one a complete mystery, which was aggravated by her constant answers of ‘classified’. It was getting to her after two weeks. “So, Jasmine, what really brings you to Vegas?”

“You know I can’t tell you that Catherine.” She sighed and closed the folder, running a hand through her hair tiredly, “My work’s normally top secret; it’s nice to be doing a job I can talk about with someone other than my co-workers and my boyfriend. Not that I have anyone else to share it with.”

“No parents, friends?” Catherine asked in surprise

“Parents died in… In gang warfare when I was thirteen. Sister tried to kill me in retaliation for their deaths a few years ago, not many people have survived doing that.”

“You killed your own sister?”

“No, my extremely defensive boyfriend did. I was lucky to get out alive.” She rested her head in her hands and smiled gratefully when Catherine touched her shoulder gently, “And as for friends, my hours are worse than yours. What’s the most you’ve had to pull, a triple?”

“Yeah, done a few triples in my time though.”

Jazz chuckled, “My longest was a week with two hours of sleep. I don’t meet people outside work, which is why I relish the chance to get away and do stuff like this.”

“I’ll bet, so a triple homicide is reasonably easy for you.”

“Hell yeah. Heya baby, how’s things going?” She looked up at Greg as he walked in and made himself a coffee, chuckling all the way

“Very well actually.”

“You got him?”

“We got him. Easy, he trapped his thumb in the lid of his pen.” They looked confused, “In the victim’s apartment. Where he said he’d never been. Fessed up quickly.”

“Nice one.” Jazz laughed and grabbed his coffee mug, breathing deeply before taking a sip, “Nice stuff.”

“I know that.” He glared at her and took the mug back, “And you wonder why people think we’re together?”

“No, I don’t actually. I know exactly why they think that, it’s a carefully constructed impression.”

“And no one who knows Greg very well thinks it, we all know he’s with Nick.” Catherine stared at them both, “But why pretend you two are together? Or that you’re with Nick, which I’ve seen you do?”

“Because I’m bored and I know they can take it.” Jazz laughed, “I left my boyfriend in London, he’s now in Cardiff and I speak to him twice a day by video conferencing. These two are great fun.”

“And how, how did you know?” Greg asked with evident discomfort as he sat down next to Jazz, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and letting her curl against him happily

“OK, that’s a bit weird.” Catherine shook her head, “I’ve known for years. You don’t know how hard I pestered him to make a move before he did.”

“He didn’t, I did.”

“Then you probably know what I’m talking about. There’s a few know, but we’d never tell anyone.”

“Tell anyone what?” Grissom asked as he came into the break room

“Well that would defeat the object or not telling anyone, wouldn’t it?” Jazz asked with a laugh, “Hey Nick.” The CSI had followed Grissom in

“I guess it would, Jasmine, Liberty Towers sent a message, they want you and your two. Whatever your two is.”

She bolted upright and grabbed her bag, pulling out her blackberry and navigating through it, “Shit. Greg, Nick, you’re with me. We’ve got a triple, two of which are distinctly hinkey, one more than the other.” She slung her bag over her shoulder and checked the contents, alarming them when she pulled out a gun and checked it, “Let’s go.”

“Pardon?” Grissom looked astonished, “And no guns in the lab.”

“No phones in the call centre, I know.” She skirted past him and paused in the doorway, “This is why I’m here Doctor Grissom, remember?”

“And you need two of my CSIs why?”

“I have three dead bodies, why do you think?”

“Fair point, good luck.”

September 2017

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