Title: Torchwood High
Chapter: 14 – Road to Recovery
Fandom: Torchwood/Doctor Who
Size: 116,000 + and growing
Pairings: Jack/Ianto mainly but many others
Characters: Jack, Ianto, Tosh, Owen, Gwen, (Torchwood). Others from Doctor Who.
Rating: PG - 14
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: Wow these chapters seem to run away with themselves. I started with an idea but as usual the characters had different ideas. Jack meets someone in the hospital and has an interesting conversation – more fluffy this one, for a change.
Chapter 14 – road to recovery
The next day Ianto was back at the hospital. He found Jack watching the Christmas concert and laughing.
‘Ianto you were right, Gwen’s singing might have brought me round, if only to reach for the off switch.’
Ianto reached over to kiss Jack. ‘How are you today? Any news?’
‘I’m fine and they say that they’ll let me out at the weekend, if there are no problems. We’ll need to talk practicalities. Do you think you can carry me up the stairs, as I’d rather be in bed with you than alone in your front room?’
‘Don’t worry Jack, I’ll get something sorted and the others will help. I think Tosh will be here soon. She was going to meet Tommy today but she really wanted to see you. The others are all drawing straws to pick the order in which they can visit. The kids are collecting for you. I’ll be surprised if you can get your head through the door it’ll be so swollen.’
‘Sorry Ianto, what can I say? It must be my pheromones’ He noticed him looking more serious. ‘Is there something wrong Ianto?’
‘Jack, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you about; something John said.’
‘Yes,’ said Jack cautiously.
‘Yeah, he said I should ask you about you and him but not when he was there. Did something go on between you?’
‘My God Ianto, you are being an insecure little Weeble aren’t you?’
‘Did you just call me a weevil? Aren’t they insects you get in flour?’
‘No Ianto a Weeble. They were toys I had when I was little. My Mum used to call me her little weeble because I always got up every time I fell down, without crying. Their slogan was weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.’
‘Looking at you now she had a point but I think those painkillers might be affecting your brain! Weeble! I’ve been called many things but not that.
Anyway, having failed miserably to get me off the subject, about you and John? I know so little about your past Jack.’
‘John and I consisted of some drunken fumbling one night at university, after which John decided he wasn’t gay and didn’t fancy me.’ Jack stopped.
‘But you fancied him and still do.’ Ianto continued.
‘John is very special to me. He’s been my friend for over twenty years and he knows me better than anyone. I love him Ianto. I will always love him. He is the finest man I’ve ever met. He has almost never judged me and he’s always accepted me, except after that night, when things went wrong for us. It took us a bit of time to get things in perspective but we both didn’t want to lose each other. After that, what ever I did, he’s always been there for me and I will always be there for him. Does that answer your question?’
‘Yes Jack. I want to get to know you as well as he does.’ Ianto held on to Jack’s hand.
‘We’ve got the rest of our lives for that Ianto.’
‘Have we Jack? Is that what you want?’ Ianto still felt so insecure in this relationship.
‘Sometimes I forget how much younger you are than me, Ianto. Yes you fool, that’s what I want.’
Just then there was a knock at the door. Tosh was standing in the doorway with Tommy.
‘Tosh, Tommy, it’s so good to see you. How’s things? You can’t have been back long Tommy.’
‘No, a matter of hours. Just enough time to drop my stuff off at home and then get here to see you. Tosh couldn’t wait. I think she wanted to see you more than she wanted to see me.’ Tosh looked at Ianto with panic in her eyes.
‘Well, is someone going to introduce me?’ Tommy continued.
‘Oh yes, sorry. I forgot you two haven’t met. Tommy this is Ianto Jones. He joined the staff in September and as you might have guessed him and Jack are together,’ Tosh explained.
‘Typical Jack; didn’t take you long did it?’ He reached out to shake Ianto’s hand. Ianto was trying to look more confident than he really felt.
‘I’ve heard a lot about you Tommy, from Tosh and Jack. Tosh and I have played a lot of chess and eaten a lot of take aways in your absence.’
‘Yeah, she mentioned you in her e-mails and letters. At least I didn’t need to worry that she’d be led astray by you in my absence. Thanks, I appreciate it; I know it’s hard when soldiers are away from home. Still, at least I managed to get back in one piece, unlike you Jack. I hear you’re going to get an award for what you did, trying to save Captain Harness.’
Ianto looked at Jack. ‘You haven’t really said much about what happened Jack.’
‘No I will sometime, but not now. So what have you got planned for this evening then you two, or shouldn’t I ask?’ Tosh went red as she blushed. She was already nervous about the evening ahead.
‘Jack you are incorrigible. I expect Tommy is just looking forward to sleeping in a decent bed, without worrying about getting shot at,’ Tosh replied. Tommy put his arm around Tosh. ‘Yeah but not on my own eh.’
They all sat for a while and chatted about things until the nurse came in to remind them that time was up. Tosh and Tommy got up expecting to leave Ianto behind. Instead Ianto kissed Jack and said, ‘I’ll come out with you. See you tomorrow Jack. Sleep well.’ Jack mouthed ‘love you’ at Ianto who mouthed ‘me too cariad’ back at him.
Standing in the car park Tosh asked, ‘do you want to come back for something to eat Ianto?’
‘No you’re alright. I’ve got to get home to walk Myfanwy. She’ll be desperate by now, love her and I’ve got some assessments to mark. Anyway, I don’t want to play gooseberry. I’ll see you tomorrow.’ Ianto kissed Tosh and shook Tommy’s hand. ‘It was nice to meet you. When Jack is out you’ll have to come round to dinner.’
‘Dinner,’ Tosh laughed, ‘courtesy of Pizza Hut!’
‘Hey, I can cook,’ Ianto protested.
‘We look forward to it.’ Tommy replied.
Tosh watched Ianto drive off and realised that she now had to spend the rest of the night with Tommy. They had a lot to talk about but she didn’t know if he’d talk about what had gone on and she didn’t like to bore him with work. There was also the topic that she never intended to talk about. ‘So take away and 24 then tonight Tosh, and curling up on the sofa. You don’t know how much I’ve looked forward to ordinary life. Looking at Jack, I know how lucky I’ve been. Now I’m back, I want to make the most of it, before I’m posted again.’ Tosh leaned over to kiss him and then they set off for home.
The next day Ianto managed a brief chat with Tosh about how the night had gone.
‘Are you okay? he asked.
‘Yes I’m fine, we’re fine, I hope. I have missed him. We’ll have to see. It’s always difficult when people have been away. We’re planning a day out on Saturday down to the Mumbles.’
‘Anything else you want to share?’
‘Ianto Jones, I am not telling you about my love life.’ Ianto raised an eyebrow to acknowledge that she’d always shared information before. ‘Well, not his time anyway. Go and do some work Ianto. You’re getting as bad as Jack.’
The next couple of days passed by and Jack was told he could go home at the weekend. His leg was in plaster but that was all. He could manage on crutches for a short while and then in a wheelchair. Ianto pushed him out of the hospital. John and Rose were going to be waiting at home for them. Rose had volunteered to cook a meal.
‘So, John and Rose, fill me in Ianto. Do you think they’re serious?’
‘Why don’t you ask him yourself? They’re seeing a lot of each other and the kids get on well with him.’
‘He’s good with kids. He nearly married once before, but it didn’t work out. She was a matron at a public school he worked at briefly. He’s never really talked about it.’
Ianto helped Jack into the car. He’d got the SUV out because it had more room for the wheelchair. When they arrived at the house typically Jack refused to use the chair.
‘Okay we’ll do it Officer and a Gentleman style then,’ as he swept up Jack into his arms and carried him into the house. Ianto just about got him to the sofa because they were laughing too much.
‘John, could you get the crutches and wheelchair out of the car? I know what this man wants more than anything else.’
Rose laughed and asked, ‘should we leave the room?’
‘I meant coffee,’ Ianto replied smiling. ‘And you can stop looking disappointed Jack Harkness. Stop pouting.’
Ianto went into the kitchen and turned on the coffee machine. He made coffee for them all and brought it into the living room.
‘Something smells good in there Rose.’
‘Just a lasagne I put together. There’s garlic bread and salad. We’ve got ice-cream for afters.’
‘Sounds wonderful after hospital food,’ Jack added.
They had a lovely evening. Jack noted how his old friend behaved around Rose. Later, while Ianto and Rose were cleaning up in the kitchen, he sat with John.
‘You really like her don’t you John.’
‘Yes I do. She is so level headed and sensible. I like her kids and she’s done a really good job with them. I….’
‘What? What’s the problem?’
‘I’m older than she is and set in my ways Jack. I’ve never even lived with someone. The nearest I got to that was you and I sharing digs. I don’t know if I can live with someone else. I’m also not the easiest person to live with. Running a school takes a lot of time.’
‘These are just excuses John. Look at me and Ianto. He’s twelve years younger than me and in his first relationship with a man but I’m prepared to risk it because I can honestly say that I’ve never met anyone as special as him in my life.’
‘Even you! He asked about you and me while I was in hospital. I told him the truth.’
‘How did he take it?’
‘Very well. He knows I have a past and I will tell him about all that I’ve done but not all at once. I don’t want it to turn into a how many people have you slept with conversation. I know my list would be a hell of a lot longer than his!’
‘What about Gray? Have you mentioned him yet?’
‘Not exactly. He knows about Alice and Steven but not much else.’
Rose and Ianto came back in with coffees. Ianto put some Sinatra on the CD player and got out one of the Trivial Pursuit games.
‘Me and Jack v you and Rose.’
They played happily for the rest of the evening. Ianto kissed Jack every time he got an answer right. He felt no embarrassment having John and Rose there. At the end of the evening John offered to help get Jack upstairs. They managed with Jack using his crutches and standing on one foot. Ianto saw them off at the door and returned upstairs to Jack.
He was sat on the edge of the bed.
‘You don’t know how much I’ve looked forward to being here Ianto. When I was lying there in the dark I wasn’t sure I would ever lie in your arms again.’
‘Come on then, let’s get you undressed. Do you need the bathroom?’
‘I think I can manage without you holding it for me Ianto. Although if you’re offering, perhaps later!’ Ianto rolled his eyes.
‘All you’re getting from me tonight Jack Harkness is a cuddle. The doctor says you need to rest.’
‘Spoilsport,’ Jack replied and limped to the bathroom on his crutches. Ianto followed him in to brush his teeth and to check that Jack could manage without him. A little while later they were lying in bed with Jack resting his head on Ianto’s chest. He kissed him gently a few times, breathing in his scent. Ianto could feel his hot breath brushing over his skin. However, within minutes Jack was asleep. Ianto turned off the bedside lamp and soon he was asleep as well.
Jack got stronger over the next few weeks. He was now able to get himself upstairs. He was desperate to get back into school even in a wheelchair or on crutches. Ianto wasn’t sure how he would cope with Jack being back. He had a pretty good idea that some of his year 13 pupils knew about him and Jack. Also Jack would be upset if he made him come to school in a taxi just to keep up appearances.
It was now nearly half term. Jack had been back for six weeks and in plaster for seven weeks. He was due to have the leg checked to see how it was healing. Ianto wanted to go with him but Jack wanted to go by himself. He rang the helper. Jamie who’d been coming in to check on him as necessary and he said he would make sure Jack got in. As his appointment was late afternoon Ianto said he would come and pick him up after school.
Jack had been relieved to see the plaster removed and then the leg was x-rayed. The original plaster was replaced with a lighter one. Jack was then taken to the physiotherapy section and told that he would need to work there when his leg was out of plaster. It could take up to eighteen months for his leg to be as strong as it was. Jack sat on a bench at the side of the room watching a young woman on one of the machines. She was rather pretty. The physio came in and sat with Jack explaining what his treatment would consist of. The young woman suddenly turned around to look at him, and kept looking. Jack was trying to listen to what the physio was saying but he was distracted by her staring at him. After the physio had gone Jack sneaked a text message to Ianto to tell him where he was. Ianto said he’d be about thirty minutes. The young woman sat down beside him. Jack wondered what was going on.
‘Sorry you must wonder why I’ve been staring at you,’ the woman said.
‘Yes I was a little concerned,’ Jack replied.
‘I overheard the man calling you Mr Harkness. That’s not a very common name. Is your name Jack?’
‘Yes,’ Jack replied, now feeling even more concerned.
‘My name is Lisa Hallett.’ Then the penny dropped and Jack for once in his life was lost for words.
‘I see you recognise my name. I always wondered what I would say to you if I ever met you. I should want to hit you, but strangely I don’t. How are you? You were injured in Afghanistan weren’t you? You probably know that I found out about you on the night Ianto was told that you’d been injured. He was a wreck. He hadn’t told me about you until then.’
Jack didn’t know if she was trying to hurt him or not. Ianto had been very sketchy about how Lisa came to know about him, and Jack hadn’t asked, so he lied.
‘Yes, Ianto told me all about it. I’m sorry you had to find out that way. He should have told you before.’
‘Do you make a habit of stealing other people’s fiancées?’
‘How nasty a conversation do you want to have Lisa? I love him and he loves me. If he’d have stayed with you it would have ruined both of your lives and you know that. There’s no need to be bitter.’
‘To tell you the truth Jack, do you mind me calling you that?’ Jack shook his head. ‘The truth is that it’s probably the best thing that could have happened. You’re right we’d have never lasted if he’d have stayed with me. He couldn’t have kept away from you and it would have broken him. He’s a lovely man and you’re very lucky. I hope you realise that.’
‘Oh I realise it. He is the most wonderful man I’ve ever met in my life.’
‘He’s pretty good in bed as well,’ she replied smiling. ‘God the things he made me feel. He has a great imagination.’ She raised her eyebrows as Jack found himself getting uncharacteristically embarrassed. He didn’t know how to reply. After all there were only two people in the world who Ianto had slept with and they were now comparing notes.
‘They always say that it’s the quiet ones you need to watch. He is beautiful and as you say very imaginative, bordering on the avant garde. He always thinks that I’m in control of the relationship but really it’s him. Still I have no complaints.’ Jack grinned.
‘I bet his ears are burning right now. He’d die if he knew we were discussing what he was like in bed. Does he still have a thing about being kissed on the back of his neck? I could get him to do anything if I did that.’ Jack smiled and replied, ‘oh yes!’
‘Do you fancy a coffee? Let’s go down to the café at the entrance. You can text Ianto to meet us there.’
Just then a handsome doctor, about Jack’s age, came in the room. He came over to Lisa and kissed her.
‘Takaya, this is Jack Harkness. Yes that Jack Harkness, he’s come to look around the physio department before his treatment begins. Jack this is Dr Takaya Tanizaki. He treated me for a while and now he’s my boyfriend. We are very happy, so you can see you did us a favour after all. I’ll see you later darling,’ she said, kissing him again.
‘Nice to meet you Mr Harkness. I hope you get better soon.’
They walked down to the café. Hospital corridors always seemed impossibly long. However, Jack was managing well on his crutches. He texted Ianto to let him know that he had gone down to the cafe.
‘Do you mind me being here when he comes, Lisa asked,’ swallowing her coffee.
‘Well, we’re all grown ups,’ Jack replied. ‘I think it may be time.’ They sat talking for a while until Jack saw Ianto enter the foyer. Jack waved to attract his attention and then saw the smile die on Ianto’s face as he saw who Jack was sitting with. Ianto walked over and sat down.
‘Hello Ianto,’ Lisa said calmly. ‘You’re looking well. I’ve just been having an interesting chat with Jack, mostly about you.’
‘What!’ was all Ianto could splutter in reply. Lisa and Jack laughed.
‘It’s okay Ianto. We’re fine. I like him. I can see what you see in him. He is very handsome.’
‘Would someone like to tell me what the hell is going on?’ Ianto loosened his tie and grabbed Jack’s coffee and gulped it down.
‘We met up in physio,’ Jack replied, ‘and got talking. It’s been fun comparing notes about you.’ Ianto went the colour of a beetroot.
‘But shouldn’t you be slapping him not having coffee with him?’ Ianto asked remembering that Lisa had slapped him.
‘I did think about it but I’m happy Ianto. You did me a favour. We’d never have worked, not with Jack around. You’d have sneaked off behind my back and we’d have ended up being unhappy and then divorced. Anyway, I have a gorgeous new boyfriend and so do you; so we both win. My goodness this is all so civilised.’
Jack grabbed Ianto’s hand. ‘Time to get you out of here Ianto, before you faint. Come on help me to the car. It has been wonderful to meet you Lisa.’
‘You too Jack. I can’t say that I think we should double date but I will keep in touch. Have you spoken to your sister yet Ianto, about Jack?’
Jack looked at Ianto.
‘No, not yet, but I know I have to get round to it and meeting you like this has made me more determined to do so. Thanks Lisa you’ve been better than I deserved about all this.’ He kissed her on the cheek and then they left.
Sat in the car Jack asked, ‘so when are you going to tell Rhiannon about us? Why don’t we invite them to Sunday lunch?’
‘Okay we may as well get it over with. I want to tell her Jack. I’m not ashamed of you.’
‘I know that Ianto. Telling the family is always the most difficult. Mind you you’ve had to tell the girlfriend, so a sister should be a doddle!’
‘So what was the new boyfriend like?’ Ianto asked winking at Jack.
‘Nowhere near as handsome as you, Ianto Jones but not bad. Lisa was telling me how imaginative you are. Perhaps you could show me later!’ Jack traced his fingers slowly up his lover’s thigh. Ianto raised an eyebrow, removed his hand then kissed him. They drove home laughing.