Disclaimer: I own them in my dreams. Does that count?
One-Shot “He’s back.”
Those two words kept playing in his head as the call disconnected, Owen’s voice echoing, tired and somewhat annoyed.
A year, a year since he’d kissed him, a year since he’d disappeared. He’d lasted a month after Jack left. A month full of sleepless nights, empty smiles, and breathless lungs every time he’d looked at Jack’s vacant office. He’d woken up that day, exhausted, getting dressed without thinking about the suit he was grabbing; didn’t realize until he got to the Hub that the one he’d pulled on had been Jack’s Cute Suit. His knees connected with the floor hard as he sunk down, arms limp at his sides, head bowed. Tears leaked down his face, sobs bouncing off the walls of the empty Hub.
He didn’t know how long he kneeled there, didn’t hear the cog door roll open, didn’t hear his name being called. He jumped when a hand fell on his shoulder, falling to his side as he turned quick to defend himself.
“Ianto! It’s me! Snap out of it!” Hands locked on his shoulders and Ianto shook, stiffening as he felt himself being pulled against a firm chest.
A firm chest that wasn’t Jack’s.
He sniffled shakily, catching the scent of cologne and alcohol.
“Damn it, Jack,” he heard Owen mutter as his shaking finally began to subside. “Fucking git.”
“Not a git,” Ianto whispered, his face pressed against Owen’s shoulder.
“He leaves you and you still defend him,” Owen sounded incredulous.
Ianto pulled away, a hand wiping at his cheeks hard, refusing to look up at Owen. “Can’t do this anymore,” he mumbled.
He’d left that day. Owen had driven him home, saying he wasn’t fit enough to drive. They both knew he wasn’t going back there. They knew he couldn’t. “Three should do it,” Ianto said, almost at a whisper as he sat on his couch.
“Retcon.” Three long-term Retcon would be enough, one being enough to erase up to two years. Six years of Torchwood including his time in London. Forget Torchwood. Forget Canary Wharf. Forget Lisa. Forget Jack.
“Fuck Torchwood policy,” Owen snapped. He exhaled harshly, taking a minute to calm himself down. “You’re not losing your memories.”
Owen wouldn’t budge on his verdict, just sat there as Ianto started packing, stripping off the Cute Suit as he went. The suits had stayed, street clothes being the only things shoved into the black duffle bag. Ianto stared at the fifty pound note in his hand, rising wide eyes to Owen a second later. “Owen, I can’t-”
Owen shoved both hands in his pockets, looking a bit uncomfortable. “Just keep in touch.”
It was the closest he thought he’d ever heard Owen come to saying that he cared, and Ianto bit his bottom lip, his fist curling around the note. “I will.”
Owen had driven him to the airport, muttering a ‘Later, teaboy,’ as he’d climbed from the car. He’d gotten on the first plane that was leaving, destination: Los Angeles.
He hadn’t liked LA. There had been something about it that made him nervous. Two days after he’d left Cardiff he found himself driving past the plowed down sign that had once said “Welcome to Sunnydale”.
It was only his luck that after he left a world filled with aliens, he’d stumble on one full of vampires and demons.
Life seemed to hate him.
A month after arriving he’d been attacked by a vampire, and now that he thought of it, he was amazed it hadn’t happened sooner. Buffy and Spike had found him fighting two vampires. Fighting and losing. He hadn’t known then what they were and, at that point, was just fighting to stay alive while his mind flashed back to the Brecon Beacons.
Why they’d dragged him back with them, Ianto still wasn’t sure. Maybe they’d thought he was a threat. Or maybe it had been him collapsing to the ground, holding his head as he screamed.
Yeah, it might have been that.
Either way, he’d begun training with them a week later. He’d caught on fast, falling back into the mindset he’d had when Torchwood London had trained him when he’d first been recruited. Within a month of leaving Torchwood for what he’d thought was going to be a normal life he was juggling training to fight demons and vampires from Spike and Buffy, learning the history of…everything from Giles, helping Anya with the Magic Box’s upkeep, and
magic training with Willow that had promptly started after he’d gotten mad at Andrew and blew up a lamp.
So he was a witch. Who would have guessed?
He was a former Torchwood teaboy turned vampire hunting witch-in-training that was helping his friends prepare for the biggest battle they’ll ever face.
And now Jack was back.
“Ianto, you coming? Buffy’s waiting. We’re going to be late for patrol,” Dawn said poking her head through the open doorway into Ianto’s bedroom.
Jack was back.
“Yeah, I’m coming,” he said, reaching for his jacket.
And he was staying.