Author: Milady Dragon
Rating: PG-13, for language and m/m kissing
Summary: What if Ianto Jones was recruited to the Impossible Missions Force after Jack left with the Doctor? And Jack found himself in the middle of a mission with Ianto's new team?
Pairings: Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones
Warning: None really
Spoilers: None for Mission: Impossible; minor for Torchwood S1 "Cyberwoman" (blink and you'll miss it) and "End of Days:' also for Doctor Who S3 "Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords"
Author's Note: An AU crossover between Mission: Impossible (the TV Series) and Torchwood. And let's face it...we all have wanted to see Ianto Jones as a spy...
Disclaimer: Torchwood belongs to the BBC and was created by Russell T. Davies. Mission: Impossible belongs to Paramount Television and was created by Bruce Geller.
Jack Harkness had no idea why he’d agreed to come to this stupid party.
It was just another UNIT reception, and he’d been invited in order to foster “inter-agency good-will”, which was something Jack didn’t particularly care to do. Although, it did help to be on terms with UNIT, since they could sometimes be called on to help with some of the really big messes the Rift seemed to leave behind every once in a while, but Jack really couldn’t be arsed to put in all that much effort.
The person who would have, wasn’t around anymore.
He should have brought Toshiko with him, since she’d been the one to convince him to go.
Also to be fair, Jack knew that Tosh – and the rest of his team – were just concerned for him. He’d been seriously distracted since he’d come back from traveling with the Doctor, and they must have thought getting him away from the Hub would be a good idea. They’d been wrong, of course…but once Tosh had sent the RSVP email back he’d really hadn’t had any excuse to get out of it, outside a major Rift blow-up or alien invasion.
Neither which obliged.
And so, Jack showed up at the reception, being held at some swanky country home that he couldn’t be bothered to know where, since he’d been picked up by limo and driven there, dressed in a monkey suit that felt ill-fitting and holding a flute of champagne that he didn’t care to drink.
He didn’t even feel like flirting…which was saying something.
Jack was just getting to the point where he wanted to get out, because really once he’d done the meet and greet with the UNIT brass whom he really didn’t care if he saw again, he caught a glimpse of someone he recognized…and whom he thought he’d never see again.
And his heart lurched painfully, feeling like it was being physically yanked from his chest.
The party had been in full swing by the time Ianto Jones and Casey George had arrived.
They strolled arm in arm through the crowd, Ianto snagging champagne for them both even though he knew neither had any intention of drinking it. No alcohol on duty; that was one of Nicholas’ rules, and one that Ianto was more than willing to obey. He didn’t need it, not really. And in fact hadn't drank in months, not since he'd been recruited. Before though...that had been another matter entirely.
He’d been a member of Nicholas Black’s IMF team now for five months, and it hadn’t been long into his training that Ianto had realized that, despite having enjoyed working for Torchwood, being a covert agent was what he’d been born to do. It didn’t stop him from missing his friends in Cardiff, but not enough to contact them. There was too much heartbreak there, and Ianto wanted to avoid it at all costs.
It wasn’t that he’d run away – okay, well maybe he had, a little – but it was the start of his new life.
A new life without Jack Harkness.
But then, if Jack hadn’t taken off with his Doctor, Ianto wouldn’t have found his true calling. So maybe he had Jack to thank for something.
That thought didn’t help the heartache, though.
He glanced down at his companion; Casey looked radiant, her ash blonde hair in a fancy chignon and her black dress clinging in all the right places. Just enough of a distraction to the men in the room, to let Ianto get on with his part of the mission. His eyes scanned the room, noting the stairs leading up to the second floor, where he knew his target would be.
He caught sight of Shannon Reed chatting with a UNIT general, laughing in all the right places. She looked wonderful in her red gown, but he let his eyes slide right past her, it wouldn’t do for him to notice her, when they weren’t supposed to know each other.
And then, just as he was about to signal Casey that he was ready to head upstairs, he found himself looking into a very familiar pair of blue eyes. Eyes he’d thought were long gone, off somewhere in space and time.
His heart did something extremely painful.
Jack couldn’t turn away.
Ianto was standing by the ornate staircase, a beautiful blonde on his arm. He was wearing a tuxedo that had to have been tailored specifically to him, it hugged in all the places it should. His blue eyes widened slightly behind the glasses – Ianto wearing glasses? – that really decorated his face nicely….not that it needed it.
Jack wanted nothing more than to go over and talk to him, but stopped himself. He didn’t have the right, to put a fine point on it. Jack had been the one to leave without a word; he’d been the one to abandon his team – and Ianto – when the Doctor had finally shown up. Sure, Jack had come home…eventually. But he’d found out the consequences of what he’d done the moment he’d seen his team…his fractured team.
And Ianto was gone.
The one person he’d really come back to, had left.
It had broken Jack’s heart.
He’d tried to find Ianto, of course he had. But it had been as if the Welshman had dropped off the face of the planet. And, eventually, Jack had given up, respecting his former lover’s desire to remain hidden.
Yet here he was….at a UNIT reception dressed to kill with a gorgeous blonde woman whom he seemed quite intimate with. Jack was instantly jealous, he couldn’t help himself.
There was nothing in Ianto’s expression that said he recognized Jack, except for the widening of those blue eyes. Then he leaned over and murmured something to the woman, who smiled.
Jack felt sick.
Ianto felt sick.
It was going to go to shit just because Jack Harkness had suddenly appeared back on Earth, and just happened to be attending the same party Ianto was.
It was all he could do to drag his eyes away from Jack’s intense stare. He put his mouth to Casey’s ear, so no one would hear him. “Nicholas, we have a problem.”
“I saw,” came the voice of Ianto’s new boss over his concealed earpiece. “I thought he was gone?”
Of course Nicholas had seen, through the camera in Ianto’s glasses. “So did I.”
“You going to be okay?”
Nicholas knew Ianto’s history with Jack; in fact, it had been one of the first things the IMF leader had brought up when he’d recruited the young man after Jack had left. Ianto hadn’t questioned it; after all, the IMF had ways of getting information, as Ianto had soon found out.
Casey gave a small laugh, so people would think Ianto was flirting with her. He wondered if Jack would even care if he was.
“I’ll have to be. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by.”
“Good man.” There was a pause. “Maxwell is over in the corner. Casey, you ready?”
“You bet,” the woman answered, nodding. It would look like they were conversing with one another, the nonchalance of their movements lending credence to their cover as lovers.
“Make him good and jealous, Casey,” Ianto whispered, his mouth even closer to her ear than before.
“I think that’s a foregone conclusion,” his team mate laughed quietly. “The man’s wanted me since our first meeting.”
“Just shows he has good taste,” Ianto answered, leaning still closer.
“Such a charmer, Mr. Jones,” she said teasingly. “You could put your other arm around me too, I don’t think he’s glaring enough. I can’t feel the heat in the back of my head yet.”
Ianto did as she asked, risking a glance in Robert Maxwell’s direction. “Looks well pissed off,” he reported.
He did his best to ignore Jack. It was hard though, knowing that the man he’d loved – and still did, truth be known – was watching him with someone else. Despite everything, he really didn’t want to hurt Jack, but he had no choice.
The mission was what was important.
Jack had to watch, he didn’t have any choice. It was a sick horror that filled his stomach as Ianto – his Ianto, he wanted to scream it from the rooftops but the words just jammed in his throat and choked him - got very much more intimate with his date.
This was a nightmare.
What was even worse, was that Ianto had seen him, had looked into eyes and in a small way had acknowledged Jack’s presence in the room.
And worse than that…was that Jack knew of Ianto’s horror of public displays like this. Yet there he was, practically making out with that woman in a very public place.
So much had changed.
Jack didn’t know what to do. He really wanted to storm out, find the nearest pub, and get stinking drunk. Then to go back to Cardiff and take his frustration, pain, and anger out on a few dozen Weevils.
But the stubborn part of him wouldn’t let him. Wanted to stay there and watch his former lover make a spectacle of himself, because Jack needed to see that Ianto had moved on, and was now with someone he obviously was very attracted to.
It didn’t have anything to do with being a masochist and that feeling this agony would punish him for leaving in the first place, even though Jack knew he’d had to, to get the answers he’d needed.
He gulped down the warm champagne, suddenly wishing it was something stronger.
“I think we have him,” Ianto murmured.
“Good,” Casey answered just as softly. “I was afraid we’d have to get a room or something.”
He smiled into her shoulder. “I have a feeling this is going to hurt…”
“Sorry – “
It was all Casey had time to say, as a very angry and jealous Robert Maxwell – their mark – strode up to the pair and grabbed the woman’s arm roughly. “What the hell are you doing?” he hissed sharply.
“Hands off her!” Ianto shouted, playing the slightly drunk lover as Maxwell glared at him.
“She’s mine,” Maxwell snarled.
“Bloody hell she is!” And with that proclamation, Ianto took a swing at their mark.
Of course, he swung wide, because he didn’t really want to deck the man. He purposely overbalanced, and Maxwell used the opening to get his own punch in, which Ianto took manfully and allowed himself to be knocked to the floor, even though it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be. Good thing he’d come prepared.
Ianto bit into the blood capsule he’d secreted in his cheek, bemoaning the fact that he was going to get fake blood all over his tux. All in the line of duty…
“What the hell are you doing?” Casey screeched, doing a good job of pretending to be shocked by what had just happened.
They’d gotten a lot of attention…which had been the plan all along. Problem was, there was one person Ianto knew would come running, and he wasn’t at all surprised to see Jack Harkness coming to the rescue…
Jack watched in shock as Ianto promptly got into a drunken fight with another guest, and it was apparently over the blonde.
Before he knew it, Ianto was on his ass on the floor, blood dripping from his mouth. Jack automatically went into overprotective mode, heading toward the fight even as the other man began to drag the blonde off. No one seemed to be willing to stop him from hauling her off.
But Jack never actually made it to the scene.
He found himself colliding with an older woman in a long red gown, nearly sending both of them to the plush carpet.
“I’m so sorry!” the woman gasped, as Jack put his arms around her in order to steady her.
“No, it’s my fault,” Jack said automatically, as he tried to move her aside in order to get to Ianto.
“No, it’s not! I totally wasn’t watching where I was going,” the woman went on, looking at Jack carefully. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” No, he wasn’t. He was frustrated that he was being held up when the man he…well, the man he never expected to see again lay bleeding on the floor. He could hear a female voice cursing; he looked past the woman in his arms, and saw the blonde walking off in a huff, followed by the stranger who’d punched out Ianto.
And Ianto wasn’t where he’d fallen.
Casey was doing a very good job of deflecting attention from him, but then she was so good at distracting people.
“Shannon’s distracted your…friend,” Nicholas’ voice came over his earpiece. “Get going.”
Ianto didn’t need to be told twice. He got to his feet, pretending to stagger a bit. “Need the loo,” he mumbled to anyone who’d listen, heading up the staircase and toward his ultimate destination…which wasn’t the bathroom. But the bloody lip would give him an excuse to go upstairs, without too many questions. They’d thought about having him fake unconsciousness, but that hadn’t guaranteed that he’d be in the position to reach his goal.
A part of him was feeling guilty, about Jack having seen that and not known that it had all been a game, a carefully planned scheme to get what they needed to from UNIT…or rather from the corrupt UNIT general who was selling alien secrets to various governments who weren’t ready for that sort of information.
He spat out the blood capsule into his handkerchief, wiping the mess from his mouth, as he headed up and around the corner, into the hallway. No one was in sight, which meant the fight had also had distracted the guards that had been on duty. It left Ianto free to move around, for the time being.
“Second door on your right,” Nicholas directed. “Oh, and Shannon couldn’t hold your friend any longer.”
Ianto wished the man would quit calling Jack his “friend.” That wasn’t what Jack was, not any more. Not when Jack had run off without saying anything, after kissing Ianto in front of the entire team. That had made the act even crueler, because having all that happiness destroyed wasn’t something Ianto was quite able to forgive Jack for.
And it had all led to this: him sneaking around a country house, looking for evidence that the man they were after was actually very much corrupt.
Maybe after this they could take a mission not so close to home...meaning Cardiff, of course. For Ianto, New York was home now.
Of course, the door Ianto wanted was locked. “Any sort of alarm on this?” he murmured.
“Nothing our information shows.”
Ianto had learned pretty early on to trust any information the IMF had on a target location, although he really didn’t know how they got it.
Glancing down the hallway to check the coast was clear, he pulled out the lockpick he’d secreted in the cuff of his formal shirt, then went to work on the lock.
He had it open in seconds. Ianto pushed the door open, then darted inside the room. He quietly closed the door behind him, making his way toward the desk and his target – the computer.
Ianto knocked the mouse to wake it up, then began his work. He knew he didn’t have a lot of time, but he also had some interesting hacking tricks he’d learned from Tosh, back in the day, and the security protocols weren’t that impressive to begin with. It took him three tries to guess the password, and he was in.
“You’re going to have company,” Nicholas suddenly said urgently in his ear.
Jack was finally able to disentangle himself from the clingy woman, and continue on in his search for Ianto. It was as if the man had vanished, and Jack was beginning to get frustrated all over again when he caught a very familiar ass vanishing around an upstairs corner.
He hesitated for a moment. Would Ianto really want him following? After all, in their momentary eye connection earlier, Ianto hadn’t given him any indication that seeing Jack had actually been a good thing. Then there was that woman…who seemed to have left with the man who’d punched Ianto. What had that been all about? The vibes he’d gotten was that she and Ianto had been together, and yet she stormed off with the man who’d decked her boyfriend, leaving Ianto to fend for himself.
It was very bizarre behavior.
It made Jack very curious.
And so, Jack headed up the stairs.
He made it just in time to see Ianto stop at a door down the hallway. Jack had to jerk back as his former lover glanced in his direction, as if checking to see if the coast was clear.
Okay, this was just way too odd. Ianto was acting like some sort of burglar.
Jack leaned against the wall nonchalantly, hoping no one would wonder why he was just standing there. But his current state of confusion was growing, because what he was seeing just seemed so out of character for Ianto – not that he’d really known that much about the man, he could keep secrets like no one’s business – but this making out in public, getting into drunken fights and sneaking around just didn’t seem normal at all.
Something was seriously up.
Jack poked his head around the corner, just in time to see Ianto vanishing into the room. He made his way down the hallway, following quietly, his need to know what was going on becoming a near obsession. It was bad enough that he’d thought he’d never see Ianto again, but to see him there….well, Torchwood made a person paranoid for the weirdness, but it didn’t help that Jack still had definite feelings for the younger man and if there was some sort of trouble involved…
He had his hand on the doorknob before second thoughts popped into his head. Jack was putting his nose into someone else’s business…not that that’s stopped him before, but this was business concerning someone who’d once been special to him, and it was obvious that Ianto didn’t want to have anything to do with him.
Jack twisted the door handle, letting himself into the room.
And he saw Ianto sitting at a desk, quite obviously hacking into a computer. He had a gun pointed in Jack’s direction.
Ianto didn’t even have time to thank Nicholas for the warning and to pull the gun he’d kept concealed at his waist, before the door was opened.
Although, he’d known it was Jack, and that the gun wouldn’t do any good against him. But for some reason it just felt good to look intimidating. This was going to take all his acting skills to pull off being around Jack after so long.
“Well,” he drawled, “look what the Time Lord dragged in. Close the door, why don’t you? You’re letting in a draft.”
Jack did as he was told, not really having much of a choice despite the fact that the gun wouldn’t really kill him. But then, he really didn’t want to come back to life in front of a bunch of party-goers…which would draw them like flies once a shot was fired.
The smirk he was being favored with was just a little bit scary, if Jack could admit that to himself. He’d been on the receiving end of lots of Ianto’s smirks, and this one was new to him. This Ianto was very much different from the one he’d left, all those months ago. This man was dangerous, and not afraid to show it.
“So,” he said, taking a seat in a chair opposite the desk, “what have you been up to, besides breaking into other peoples’ computers?”
“We don’t have time for the chit-chat, Ianto,” Nicholas warned in his ear.
Ianto was well aware of that. He looked at Jack, really wishing this was just some sort of bizarre dream and that he’d wake up in his very lonely flat in New York.
No such luck, though.
He fished the flash drive he’d prepared from his jacket pocket, sliding it into a port in the side of the computer. “”I’ve been up to a lot of things, Jack,” he answered, trying to keep it light but the anger was welling up again and there was no way to stop it.
“Casey is clear,” Nicholas reported. “Shannon is look-out and Gareth is outside, waiting for you to finish up.”
Ianto hit return, and the information from the hard drive began transferring to the flash drive. “Really,” he went on, “did you think I’d actually wait for you?” He didn’t add that he would have, if he’d known that Jack would be back.
Ianto’s tone made Jack flinch. He wanted to say yes, that he had hoped that Ianto would wait for him, but he couldn’t. That would have been unfair, really. After all, Jack had been the one to walk out, to leave his responsibilities, without taking into consideration what his leaving would do to the team.
It had apparently driven Ianto into something criminal.
But Jack was beginning to notice things, and putting things together. Like the way Ianto’s head would cock to the side, as if he was listening to something. Jack would have bet good money there was some sort of comms unit in Ianto’s ear, which meant he wasn’t working alone.
“So, you’re working with that woman you staged the fight for, I would assume?” he asked calmly, when he really wanted to say so many other things, to try to repair what had happened between them.
Ianto couldn’t help but notice the flinch. Well, that was a surprise, he hadn’t expected that. After all, Jack had just swanned off without any thought to anyone. Why should he apparently feel guilty now?
The flash drive gave a little flash, signaling that it was done sucking the information from the computer. He pulled it out and put it back in his pocket.
He ignored Jack’s question. He didn’t want to give him any more information than was actually necessary. “Well, this has been fun,” he said instead, “but I have another engagement I need to get to. I would vacate the room if I were you, I’d hate for you to get in trouble for something I’ve done.”
“Shannon says something’s going on,” Nicholas’ voice spoke urgently. “Security has just gone on alert.”
Jack was looking at him closely, and Ianto didn’t care for the scrutiny. This was actually painful enough without it. “We have a slight change of plan, apparently security knows I’m here. “
Ianto finished working at the computer, and Jack saw the flash drive go back into his pocket. There was so much he wanted to say, but he was being cut off. Well, at least he seemed to care enough to warn Jack that he was leaving and to get the hell out.
Then he got confirmation of the whole comms theory, because suddenly Ianto got this vexed look on his face, then announced that security was on the way.
“Let me help you get out of here,” he offered, suddenly very much afraid of what would happen if they got their hands on Ianto.
“You’re going to be trapped,” Nicholas warned, even as Jack was offering to help Ianto escape.
Ianto was touched, despite himself, that Jack apparently cared enough to help him. Then he realized just how cynical that sounded, even for him.
He stood, sliding the gun back into its holster and favoring Jack with the first real smile since the other man had entered the room. “I do have a back-up plan,” he answered, “although that plan didn’t count on you being here. So I’ll have to improvise.”
This was going to be really hard, the idea that suddenly popped into Ianto’s mind. Possibly harder than anything he’d ever done. He knew what he’d be risking, but at the same time he also knew there was no real way out unless he did some serious misdirection.
And honestly, he had no desire to be disavowed.
So, he came around the desk, and in one swift move grabbed Jack by the lapels and pushed him back onto the desk.
Then Ianto kissed Jack.
That smile did things to Jack’s heart that it really shouldn’t have. It was the first genuine expression he’d seen Ianto give, and was inordinately glad that the man he’d cared for was still in there somewhere.
And he really, really loved Ianto’s idea of improvisation.
Jack felt every bone in his body turn to mush as Ianto kissed him. He moaned, he couldn’t help it, he’d missed this so much and it was so not fair that this probably didn’t mean anything more than a way to get out of a tight situation. That they’d escape and that he’d never see this man ever again.
That he had so much to say, and he wouldn’t get a chance to say anything.
He put his arms around Ianto, hands on his waist to pull him closer. He was gratified that the younger man seemed to be as affected by this closeness as Jack himself was.
But he knew it wouldn’t matter, in the end.
Because the door of the room was slammed open, light from the hallway illuminating three rather large men in UNIT uniforms.
Ianto hadn’t forgotten what it was like to kiss Jack Harkness. How could he, when it still haunted his dreams six months on?
And of course his body was completely betraying him, as Jack pulled him closer. Ianto wanted to lose himself in the familiar scent that was purely Jack, and to not ever come back. He knew then he would have been with Jack until the day Ianto himself died, if only Jack hadn’t left.
That bit of pain allowed him to concentrate enough on his surroundings so, when the door was flung open and UNIT soldiers entered the room, he could pull off the act he needed to.
He broke away from Jack, turning slightly in the man’s arms. “What the hell…?” he demanded, putting his drunken act back on.
Ianto had that drunken act down pat…because Jack had known it was an act the moment he’d realized that the younger man had been up to something hinky. So it hadn’t been a surprise that it had come back out the moment the guards barged in.
They were followed by General Horace Mann, the owner of the house.
And, of course, this was the part where Jack’s own reputation played into Ianto’s plan.
“Jesus Christ, Harkness!” Mann practically shouted. “In my own house? Can’t you keep it in your pants at all?”
The accusation actually hurt. Mainly because Jack hadn’t taken anyone to his bed since he’d gotten back, simply because in some small way he felt like he’d be betraying Ianto, even though the object of his affection had buggered off himself in response to Jack’s abandoning him.
Suddenly, Ianto was struggling in Jack’s arms. “You’re him? “came the accompanying undignified squeal. “Bloody hell! You’re Harkness?” Now there was outrage.
And Jack suddenly realized just how good an actor Ianto had become. Well, he’d been good before, what with the whole Lisa thing. But this…this was BAFTA material. Give this man an award, because the performance he was giving was truly worthy.
It really pissed Jack off.
So he did the one thing he could do…
It had been child’s play to get out of the house, once Mann had put the blame for the near-sex act on his work desk squarely in Jack’s lap.
Ianto felt guilty about that. It hadn’t been the first time he’d shifted blame for something mission-wise onto someone else, but this was Jack. He could still taste Jack on his lips, smell him on his clothes.
God, he’d missed that man something terrible.
And now, he was walking away. A part of Ianto felt that Jack deserved it, that Jack had walked away from him with no explanation, and karma was a bitch. Problem was, that wasn’t who Ianto was. He cared, maybe too much.
That thought didn’t stop him from leaving.
Ianto met Gareth at the end of the driveway, where the blond Australian was waiting to drive them away. Shannon would catch up, leaving later in order to avoid any sort of suspicion. Gareth had opened his mouth to say something, but Ianto simply glared at him. And so Gareth closed his mouth and put the car into gear.
They drove back to the hotel in silence.
Jack got a cab back to Cardiff.
That had been the most embarrassing thing to happen to him in quite a long time. Usually being caught with someone didn’t bother him, but he’d been used, and that was what was so embarrassing. And it hurt like hell.
After Mann had gotten done raking him over the coals, Jack had tried to find Ianto again, but in his heart he knew the younger man had already left. Ianto had left him to cover things up, because he’d known Jack wouldn’t want him to get into trouble with UNIT. Ianto knew him. All too well. And he’d taken advantage of that knowledge.
But Jack had gotten a bit of his own back.
He reached into his pocket, and pulled out the flash drive he’d picked from Ianto’s own jacket.
“Take it easy, Ianto,” Nicholas tried to soothe, as the rest of the team tore down their equipment. “You didn’t know that was going to happen.”
“I should have,” Ianto groaned, running his hands through his hair.
He’d arrived back at the hotel way too early in the morning to even think about going to bed. He’d started to remove his tux…and that was when he’d noticed the flash drive missing.
And only one person could have taken it.
“I just blew the mission – “
“Not really,” Casey pointed out. “It’s not like we don’t know where it is.”
“Bloody Torchwood,” he muttered darkly. “Okay, I’ll get it back. It was my fault Jack got it in the first place.”
“Someone else can handle it,” Nicholas said.
“No…it’s my responsibility.”
Shannon put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “You going to be okay?”
Ianto didn’t answer. Mainly because he didn’t have an answer to give her.
The first thing Jack did when he got back to the Hub was to strip out of the tux, although there was a perverse part of him wanted to keep the jacket close, mainly because there was still a lingering scent on it that he’d known so well.
He left the jacket on his bed.
He made his way to his desk, taking the flash drive with him. He turned it over and over in his fingers, wondering just what Ianto had downloaded onto it. What had been so important that he’d risked hacking into a UNIT general’s computer to get.
What the hell had Ianto been doing all this time? What was he involved in?
Jack jammed the end of the drive into his computer’s port a little harder than was strictly necessary, accessing what was on the small piece of hardware. And his eyes widened when he realized what he was seeing.
It made him completely rethink his assumptions about Ianto Jones.
Ianto took the flash drive from Jack’s hand, fingers lingering perhaps longer than they should, then he slid the drive into his jeans pocket. “No, I’m the one who’s sorry. I used you, Jack, for the sake of the mission.”
They were standing on the quay overlooking Cardiff Bay. It was after midnight, and on a week night, so it was late enough where they wouldn’t be disturbed.
“I…saw what was on it.” Jack was apologetic again.
“I can’t say I’m surprised.” The smirk came naturally.
“Just who are you working for, Ianto?”
The younger man sighed. He debated mentally for a second, then decided to be honest. It wasn’t like Jack couldn’t keep a secret, after all. “IMF.”
Jack whistled. “Impressive. The Impossible Missions Force doesn’t just recruit anyone.”
“They came to me about a month after you’d left,” Ianto went on. “They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” He looked at Jack straight in the eye. “As much as loved working for Torchwood, I can’t imagine ever leaving the IMF.”
“I see.” Jack’s heart sank. He’d hoped to talk Ianto into coming back.
Ianto saw the expression. “We’re doing good work, Jack. You know that, if you know anything about the IMF.”
“Of course I do. It’s just not the same without you. For one thing, the coffee sucks.”
Ianto laughed. “And I’m sure you’re tired of Owen bitching about it.”
“Oh yes. It gets so bad even Tosh wants to throttle him some days.”
They shared the laugh.
After a few minutes, Jack sobered. “I’m also sorry about leaving without telling you. I hope someday you can forgive me for it.”
“Maybe…some day.” He smiled. “I’d certainly like to try.”
It was another genuine smile, and Jack returned it. “So would I. I have missed you, Ianto.”
“And I’ve missed you too….sir.”