Pairing: Jack/Ianto, small amount of Tosh/Owen and Gwen/Rhys
Word Count: 750
Warnings/Spoilers: All through COE, no Miracle Day
Summary: Ianto finally has a way to always be at Jack's side.
Notes: I've had the prompt 'Ianto kept a button off Owen’s lab coat and Tosh’s rubber duck' in my head for ages and this is what happened. It's been a darn long time since I've written in the TV fandom (trying to find my Ianto voice again), so I hope this is good.
Ianto kept a button off Owen’s lab coat and Tosh’s rubber duck. It's this fact that has Jack breaking down in tears when he's putting Ianto's belongings in a box to give to Rhiannon.
Gwen comes in from where she's been packing up the kitchen. Rhys follows behind her, a stack of plates still held in his hand. “Should one of us... do something?”
“What can we do?” Gwen asks her husband. “We're not the ones he wants anyway.”
Ianto watches all of this from across the room, wanting nothing more than to be able to go to his... Jack and pull him into his arms. To somehow be alive again and able to wipe that haunted look off of Jack's face.
“It gets easier,” Toshiko says beside him.
“She's lying to make you feel better,” Owen adds, on his other side.
Tosh swats Owen on the arm and Ianto smiles for a brief moment. If anything, death had made their relationship stronger.
Ianto reaches out. “Can I... can I just touch him? Let him, I don't know, feel my presence?”
Owen smirks, “Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”
Tosh frowns. “Owen, he's hurting and so is Jack. Have some compassion.”
Owen's expression changes instantly. “He can't do anything, Tosh. You know that as well as I do. How many times did we try to get his attention? Or Gwen's or Jack's? This isn't what happened with that Eugene kid or with me before, we're completely dead.” He paused. “I'd shake Jack's hand. If I could have done so after I died this time, I would have shaken Jack's hand and thanked him. He saved me after Katie. And Diane.”
“I'd hug Gwen,” Tosh says. “I... maybe we weren't as close as we could have been, but I still loved her, loved all of you. And I'm not sure she knew that. So I'd hug Gwen.”
Ianto takes a few steps forward to where Jack is sitting alone (Gwen and Rhys having discreetly gone back to the kitchen). “I'm here, cariad,” he whispers to the crying man. “I know you can't hear me or see me, but if you can sense me just know, I'm here and I'm going to be with you forever. I couldn't do that sort of thing when I was alive, but I can now.” He kneels down. “I know you're going to think its your fault or that I'm haunting you, but I'm not. I'm staying at your side because it's the only place I want to be.” He leans over and presses his incorporeal lips to Jack's forehead. “I'm always with you.”
Jack's sobs abate and he looks up, right where Ianto is standing, although Jack doesn't know that. “I'll remember you, Ianto Jones. In a thousand years time, in a millions. I'll keep you with me always.” With that he takes Owen's pin, Tosh's duck and picks up one of Ianto's ties. He bundles these things together and places them in the pocket of his coat, tapping as if to reassure himself they're there. Jack then heads into the kitchen to suggest a lunch break to Gwen and Rhys.
“It's sweet that you kept those things of ours,” Tosh says, laying a hand on Ianto's shoulder. “And it's sweet Jack's going to keep one of your ties.”
Ianto stands. “That was the tie I was wearing the night Tommy went back to his own time. The navy blue with the light grey stripes.” He smiles.
“He could have just grabbed the first one he found,” Owen points out, 'oof'ing when Tosh gave him an elbow to the ribs. “Dead for sure and I can still feel that. I need to file a complaint with someone.”
Ianto shook his head. “Jack took that one on purpose, I know it.” He went back to his friends. “I meant what I told him; I'm staying at his side forever..”
“You know how to find us,” Tosh says, hugging her friend.
Owen holds out his hand for a shake, then pulls Ianto in by their clasped hands. “Don't be a stranger, Ianto.”
The man nods and closes his eyes, when he opens them he's in the pub down the street, watching Jack listlessly eat his fish and chips, hand straying to his pocket. “Always, with you,” Ianto says.