Title: Torchwood High
Chapter: 8 - Christmas
Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Size: 108,000 + and growing
Pairings: Jack/Ianto mainly but many others
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, (Torchwood). Others from Doctor Who.
Spoilers: The story weaves through Torchwood from the beginning so there will be spoilers for all series. There are also some references to Doctor Who series. But as this is AU things won’t exactly be the same or turn out the same way.
Warnings: some sexual content including m/m, f/f and m/f
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters as they belong to Russell T Davies and the BBC but I do get to play with them.
Author’s Note: This chapter is mostly but not all unadulterated fluff – well it is Christmas. It isn’t based on any episode.Estyn is Welsh version of Ofsted, the school inspection service.
Chapter 8 – Christmas
It was Christmas morning. Ianto was getting ready to go to Lisa’s parents’ house. He decided to dress formally, so put on a grey suit and purple shirt, with grey tie. He looked at himself in the mirror and thought of Jack. He smiled that secret smile he kept for when he was thinking of his lover. It felt strange and wonderful to use that word. Jack was spending Christmas day at Rose’s with John. Rose had invited both for appearances sake. Ianto went downstairs and put the coffee on. He phoned Jack.
‘Hi, it’s me, Nadolig hapus, cariad.’
‘Happy Christmas to you too. I love it when you call me cariad.’
‘I know that’s why I say it. What’s your plan for today?’
‘I’m going to Rose’s at eleven thirty. I was going to John’s for our usual bachelor fest but Rose has invited him and so me. It’ll be nice to be with some kids on Christmas Day instead of us in front of the TV having eaten and drunk too much. When are you off?’
‘I’ll be going mid morning. Lisa’s family is going to church and I’ll catch up with them later. Then its dinner, drink and slumping, while watching rubbish TV all night.’
‘What time will you be finished?’
‘Not sure, why?’
‘Ianto, why is easy; just because I want to see you, all of you. Do you think that you can come round to mine for the night?’ There was a pleading edge in Jack’s voice and Ianto could imagine him stood there with his hands together as if in prayer. A gesture he often used when he wanted something from Ianto.
‘I don’t know Jack. You know I want to. I really, really want to.’
Jack sighed. ‘It doesn’t matter how late it is. Ring me. I’ve got your present.’
‘I thought we opened them Wednesday.’
‘Well not all of them,’ replied Jack. ‘It’s amazing what you can tie with a ribbon!’
Ianto spluttered his coffee and blushed at the thought of how Jack might use ribbons.
‘You’re incorrigible Jack!’
‘Oh no I’m easily incorriged!’
Ianto laughed out loud. ‘I’ll try Jack; with that incentive believe me I will try.’
‘OK see you later and don’t drink too much. I want you in tip top condition.’
Ianto smiled and hummed ‘Santa Baby’ to himself as he ate his breakfast. He gathered together his presents and took them to the car. It took twenty minutes to get to Lisa’s, as there was hardly any traffic.
The day passed with the usual activities but strangely Ianto’s mind was elsewhere. He was up to twenty ways in which he and Jack could use those ribbons.
Lisa sat and looked at him. ‘Ianto where are you lately? You’re off with the pixies again.’
‘Sorry, what were you saying?’ Ianto felt guilty and tried to concentrate.
‘Mum and Dad were asking whether we’re going to get officially engaged in the New Year. You did ask me to marry you Ianto. I know it was a year ago and things have changed but we do need to think about these things. Weddings take such planning.’ Ianto stopped himself from sighing.
‘Yeah we need to sort things out but let’s get past the New Year aye?’
‘OK Ianto, I’ll feel stronger myself by then.’ Ianto noted the shadow of doubt pass over Lisa’s face. He spent the rest of the day clock watching.
Jack had a day that was much more fun. He played with Rose’s kids, Michael and Maisie, and watched John slip easily into family life. Mickey would be around on Boxing Day to pick up the kids so John was planning to take Rose out. Jack wasn’t sure what he’d be doing but he had some hopes for the early hours of Boxing Day. Jack ate lunch and wondered what the other members of his family were doing. Alice and Steven were probably with her parents. He’d sent some gifts to her last address with no idea whether they’d receive them.
And as for Gray, his brother, he had no idea where he was but Gray had never forgiven him. He thought back to what had happened. They’d been sledging one Christmas when Jack was ten and the sledge had hit a rock. Jack had let go of Gray with the force of the impact and he’d tumbled off and rolled down the hill. He’d hit a fence and nearly died. The accident had left him paralysed from the waist down and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Jack had never forgiven himself and Gray had grown up bitter and full of hatred. When they’d inherited the money from their parents Gray had disappeared and Jack hadn’t heard from him since. He had no idea where he was, but he often wondered.
‘Jack what are you thinking about or should that be who?’ John asked. ‘You’re miles away.’
‘Sorry John, I was just thinking of what’s left of my family.’
‘Ah Gray, have you heard anything of him?’
‘No, not for years. Oh well let’s think of something nicer.’
‘I wonder who that could be.’ John laughed. ‘You’re really stuck on him aren’t you Jack. Does he feel the same as you, as he’s got a girlfriend to consider?’
‘I think so. I’m hoping to see him later tonight. I hate this sneaking around but I’m going in two weeks time so we want to make the best of it. Ianto’s going to tell Lisa after the New Year, at least that’s what he says. I’ve got to believe he means it.’
‘It won’t be easy for you or him Jack; if he tells her and you’re in
‘Nothing worth it is ever easy, is it John?’
Owen spent the day on his own cursing that everything was closed. The other night he’d met this amazing woman called Diane. He wondered what she was doing now or what Gwen was doing. Gwen had been fun but there was no future in it. Gwen would stick with Rhys and she was right to do so.
Rhys was good for her, as he was nothing to do with schools; the number of teachers who lived with other teachers was large – who else would put up with them!
At the same time Gwen was thinking much the same. Rhys was good with her parents and his own and generally just an all round good bloke. She really did love him. She realised, looking at him stood there carving the turkey in his Santa hat, that he was the one that she wanted over that Christmas time, not Jack or Owen, but steady, loyal and lovely Rhys. As she sat down Rhys stood behind her. ‘Come on Gwennie give us a kiss.’ Rhys held up some mistletoe and she kissed him with genuine feeling. He made her feel safe.
At eleven that night there was the sound of a key turning in Jack’s door; it opened and Ianto came in bearing a small gift wrapped with ribbon.
‘I thought you said we’d exchanged our presents on Wednesday,’ Jack said.
‘You can talk. This is a special one for Christmas Day.’
Jack produced a box as well.
‘Snap,’ he said. ‘Let’s go in and sit down.’ He kissed Ianto and grabbed his hand. As they sat Ianto asked,
‘Well do we open the boxes?’
The boxes were the same size, ring size. They both unwrapped them and opened them at the same time; both gasped simultaneously. They did contain rings, both white gold, both inscribed. Ianto took out his ring and noticed the inscription on the inside, I & J am byth. Jack looked at his and inside Ianto had put the message Fy nhariad am byth. (My sweetheart forever)
They each slipped the rings on wedding fingers and the kiss they shared, holding hands, seemed to last forever. Both knew their time was limited and the kiss continued and grew more intense. They began to explore with their hands. Without words they went up the stairs and made love for the rest of the night, until they fell asleep in each other’s arms.
The next morning Ianto sat looking at Jack sleeping and wondered, once again, how he had got himself into this situation. He had no regrets. He knew he loved Jack. He knew this love was strong and true. It wasn’t something he ever expected to find, a love like this, but he knew it was what he wanted. He had very little time left with Jack and he wanted to make the most of it but it would be difficult. He lightly kissed Jack’s lips and then settled back down, lying with his head on Jack’s chest. Jack opened his eyes briefly, smiled, and then closed them again, feeling Ianto breathing in and out he pulled his arms tighter around his lover.
Over the next week they saw each other a few times but only briefly. They snatched a few hours together whenever they could. Ianto found it difficult to get away from Lisa’s, especially as he was working on adapting the house to make it easier for her to use.
‘We need somewhere of our own Ianto and your house won’t do. We have to face it that I may never be strong enough to use the stairs on my own so perhaps we should look for a bungalow in the New Year.’ Lisa looked at him expecting an answer but Ianto didn’t really know what to say.
‘Let’s just sort out your parents place first and we can get a stair lift put in here or in my house if we need to. I can carry you up for now and at least here there is a loo downstairs.’ Ianto really didn’t want to have this conversation.
On New Year’s Eve Ianto desperately wanted to see Jack. He knew Jack was going out with some people from work and he wanted to join them. Lisa had felt a little off colour all day and when Ianto mentioned his going out she asked,
‘When do I get to meet your friends?’
‘We could go out tonight but you’re not feeling well are you?’ He really didn’t want to have to face this situation. He didn’t want Lisa to meet Jack, because he thought that if she saw them together she would guess something was going on.
‘I think I’ll be in bed long before midnight. You could join me Ianto, I won’t break.’
Ianto felt bad. He’d hardly touched Lisa since she’d come home and he certainly hadn’t had any sexual desire. He was also, truth be told, worried about hurting her in more ways than one. His face must have been obvious.
‘It’s alright Ianto. Why don’t you go out with your friends tonight and I’ll see you tomorrow. I am a bit tired.’
‘Whatever you want Lisa.’ Ianto could hardly wait to get out. He texted Jack as soon as he got in his car.
‘C U 2nite <3 U’
Jack’s answer consisted of ‘Yay’.
Ianto dressed to impress Jack. He thought that they were likely to end up in a club so he wore a three piece dark grey suit with purple shirt. He whistled as he dressed; drummed his fingers as he waited for the taxi and almost ran into the pub. Jack was there with John and Rose. Ianto wanted to hug him but sat down beside him just managing to stroke Jack’s thigh. John got up to get in another round. Rose joined him to carry the drinks.
‘Can we spend the night Ianto? You don’t have to return to her do you?’
‘She’s Lisa Jack, and no she doesn’t expect me back so we can spend the night and wake up together to face the New Year. Seven days from now you’ll be in
‘This is Diane. We met in a pub a couple of weeks ago.’ He introduced all of them.
‘Diane is a pilot. She ferries rock stars and the like around in private jets. She goes all around the world. Diane looked at him.
‘Sounds glamorous but it isn’t really.’ Tosh thought that Owen looked happy and felt pleased for him. She’d always fancied him but kept it to herself. Now she had other problems on her mind as Tommy was returning towards the end of January. She didn’t want to think of the decision she was going to have to make but she was beginning to realise what she would do in the end and it was going to break her heart and of course someone else’s.
They all enjoyed the evening and Jack suggested they go back to his housed for Midnight. Aidan had decided to go home earlier to have his first New Year alone with Bronwyn. He also had a certain question to ask. So the party at Jack’s consisted of himself and Ianto, Tosh and Mary, John and Rose and Owen and Diane. By the time the clock struck midnight most of them were too far gone to care who saw what. As the clock struck twelve all four couples were kissing enthusiastically. Owen was probably the most surprised, as although he’d guessed about
Jack and Ianto, he had no idea about Tosh and Mary. ‘Why did that suddenly make Tosh far more interesting?’ he wondered to himself. After this it was stupid to deny anything and they all became much more touchy feely with their partners.
‘I’ve got four bedrooms if anyone wants to stay,’ Jack suggested. Ianto raised an eyebrow.
‘Thank goodness, I thought I was looking at an orgy happening and I don’t want to share you with anyone.’ He hugged Jack around the waist from behind and rested his head on Jack’s shoulder.
‘Not sure I can cope with all this,’ Owen added. ‘I think we’ll get off. Diane doesn’t live far away and we could do with a walk.’
‘Fine by us,’ Ianto said, continuing to cuddle Jack.
‘And the rest of you? What do you want to do?’
‘I’d better go John,’ Rose declared. ‘I can’t let the babysitter stay all night, as I said I’d be home.’
‘I’ll come with you,’ John said. He phoned a taxi which amazingly came within thirty minutes.
‘We’ll stay if you don’t mind,’ Tosh said, ‘as long as you two aren’t too noisy.’
‘That’ll be him,’ Jack said looking at Ianto. Ianto punched his arm.
‘Hark who’s talking Harkness. You were the one who bought a detached house so your noisy antics wouldn’t shock the neighbours!’ As they continued to playfully push each other the taxi arrived.
‘Saved,’ mouthed John at Rose. They hugged the others and got in the car. Arriving at Rose’s John got out and held the door open for her. On the doorstep John wasn’t sure what to do. Kissing at midnight was one thing but this was somehow different. He stood looking down until Rose took the initiative and kissed him tenderly. They held there until the driver shouted that he had another job so could they get on with it and they were brought back to reality.
‘Do you want to come round for lunch tomorrow John?’ Rose asked still holding his hand.
‘Yes that would be great.’ He kissed her again quickly and got in the car. Rose opened the door and then turned and waved as he left. John felt happier than he had in some time.
Ianto grabbed Jack’s hand and said, ‘time for bed, Captain. You know I can’t stay long in the morning and I’ve at least twenty uses for ribbons to explore with you!’
‘Night girls, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,’ Jack said as he was being dragged out of the room by an eager Ianto.
‘That gives us a lot of wiggle room,’ said Mary. She smiled as she said it but then the smile disappeared as she looked at Tosh. Tosh was looking at the floor.
‘You’ve decided haven’t you and it’s not me. Is that why you wanted to stay so we’d be on neutral ground when you told me?’
Tosh now looked at her, tears streaming down her face.
‘Sorry this is going to be our last night together if you decide to stay here with me. I wish it was different but I guess I’m just not brave enough.’
They were sat on the sofa and Mary laid her head in Tosh’s lap. Tosh stroked her hair.
‘Do I get to see you at all? We might bump into each other at work. Then again I think I’ll try and swop schools as I couldn’t bear seeing you and not be able to touch you. I always knew I’d come second; you’re too conventional Tosh.’
‘What do you want to do now?’ Tosh asked.
‘Can we go to bed and hold each other for one last time? Then in the morning we can walk away.’
When the morning came Mary got up early and dressed quietly. She left Tosh a note saying that she would always love her. She looked back once and blew a kiss. She padded silently downstairs and left. She cried bitter tears as she walked along the street not caring where she was heading. She felt like a part of her had died.
When Tosh woke she read the note. She couldn’t stop herself from crying out. Her noise woke up Jack who rushed into the room.
‘She’s gone Jack, without even saying goodbye. I got no chance to say anything. She says not to phone or visit her as she couldn’t stand it. Unless I chose I won’t see her again.’
‘Oh Tosh I know this must hurt but she has made it easy for you. It’s for the best. Tommy will be back soon and you do love him don’t you?’
‘Yes, but it’s not the same. Sometimes I feel like I’m settling for convention and I feel too young for that. After all you never have.’
‘But I am leaving Ianto soon and I’m terrified that he’ll choose Lisa because I’m not there. You know out of sight out of mind, more than some other people.’
‘On the positive side it could be absence makes the heart grow fonder.’
‘I can only hope so because I really love him. I can’t remember feeling like this about anyone. I only have to see him and butterflies fill my stomach. The way he looks at me I have to remind myself to keep my hands off him. Tosh I’d marry him tomorrow and I’ve never thought that about anyone.’
‘Oh Jack, you will keep safe won’t you.’ Tosh put her arms round Jack and hugged him tightly.
‘I’ve got him to come home to haven’t I and that’s all the incentive I need. I’ll see you downstairs.’
Ianto left a few hours later after experiencing what active service with Jack could mean that morning. Kissing Jack goodbye he said, ‘I’ll see you Monday seven thirty in your office for coffee. I wish it could be more but I’ve got a lot to do in the house this weekend and preparation to do as well. You know John is afraid that we’re going to face Estyn this term and I don’t want to let him or the school down.’
‘You could never do that Ianto.’ Jack grabbed him and pulled him into a hug. They stood there for some time neither wanting to let go. In the end real life interrupted again as there was a beep on the horn from the taxi.
As the car left taking Ianto home Jack thought only six more days and I’m gone.