And the Night Would Give You Up

Notes: Watching "Cyberwoman" and "Small Worlds" back to back gave me this. I blame the magic mushrooms. Coda to "Small Worlds"; my thanks to lemniskate for looking it over for me.

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Torchwood and its characters are the property of the BBC and Russell T. Davies. I make no profit from this fanfic.

When they return to the Hub, Jack doesn't need to tell everyone to clear off. The icy atmosphere in the SUV on the drive back told him as much, but he's relieved anyway to see Gwen grab her handbag and storm to the door, Owen on her heels. Even Tosh, who's normally generous with her forgiveness, throws an angry, disappointed look at Jack's office as she takes her bag and clatters after Owen.

Fine, Jack thinks, dropping into the chair behind his desk. He starts to reach for the whiskey decanter and pauses. It's tempting, the way these past few days have gone: from losing Estelle to Gwen's flat being trashed by the spiteful demons to being forced to make one of the hardest decisions in his history as head of Torchwood Three. Of course he hadn't wanted to let Jasmine go with the demons: who on earth would want to make that kind of sacrifice? After a moment of contemplation, he puts the decanter back in its usual spot. Bad enough he had to do that; worse was enduring the glares of the rest of the team, as if he could have found some other solution.

The quietest shuffle of a footfall at the door to his office makes him look up. Ianto's standing there, tray in hand, a mug of steaming coffee and a plate of biscuits arranged on it. His face is a careful mask.

Jack sighs and shakes his head. "Go home, Ianto."

Instead of paying attention, Ianto comes into the office and sets the tray down on a clear spot on Jack's desk. "I've started on the paperwork for the report. I'll take care of the amnesia pill distribution tomorrow."

"What," Jack says sardonically, "you gonna make her forget she had a daughter?"

"I thought I'd make it a little more peaceful for her." Ianto stands by the desk, hands loose at his sides. "Jasmine might not be dead, but it'll be easier for her mother to come to terms with it if she thinks she is."

"Unlikely," Jack mutters. Still, he reaches for the coffee and takes a sip. "And the boyfriend?"

"Car accident," Ianto says. "From what I can tell, he won't be much missed. The kids on the block were all scared of him."

Jack tilts a look up at Ianto. "You've been thorough," he comments.

Ianto shrugs, slides his hands into his pockets. "I needed something to do while you were off saving the world."

"So you know what happened," Jack states. Ianto nods.

"You did what had to be done," he says.

It's not often that Jack's surprised these days. He raises an eyebrow at Ianto. "You don't blame me?"

"Given the choice you had to make?" Ianto gives Jack a wry, faint smile. "A choice between giving a little girl to a group of murderous fairies who'd chosen her to be one of them, or the end of the world? You did what had to be done," he repeats.

Jack swallows and looks down into the coffee mug. "Thank you," he says quietly.

"Nothing to thank me for," Ianto says. His voice is as soft as Jack's. "You forgave me. It's the least I can do."

When Jack looks up again, his eyes are clear and Ianto's back in the main area of the Hub, working on Tosh's computer. Taking another drink of coffee, Jack begins to smile.

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this page last updated on 24 june 2009