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Metal Tears for the Tin Man (4/27)

Yes, the chapter count went down, but it is all done!


It took several weeks of prying for information and several illicit bribes to view the security tapes of the building on the nights before the mornings Jake showed up looking like a refuge from an all-night sex show before Ianto discovered the identity of his partner in crime. He tapped his thumb against his front teeth as he watched Jake get yanked into Jack Harkness' room for the third time, pondering his options. Anyone else and it would be easy to talk to Jake and the other person about cooling it down somewhat, at least when Jake was on duty, but this situation was different.

Harkness practically bolted any time he was in the vicinity, and even if Ianto could understand his reasons, it was annoying and a bit frustrating. "All right then, no point in trying to beard the lion in his den or in the cafeteria; the first is too much his ground, the second too open, too many escape routes. The lab it is then." A quick call to Doc got him out of the space to investigate a supposed problem with one of his improvements to the team's new SUV and Ianto his quarry where he wanted him.

On the way down to Doc's lab, he mulled over ways of handling the situation. He decided that direct was the best, and, after the lab door swooshed open, he stepped inside the large, cluttered room, spotting the person he was looking for leaning over a table, working on a piece of equipment.

The thought flitted across Ianto's mind that Harkness had a damn nice ass before he focused on the task at hand again, and he crossed his arms over his chest as he stopped about ten paces away from the other man.

"I need you to stop fucking Jake Simmonds stupid every other night."

Jack's posture went from loose-limbed and relaxed to tense and ramrod straight before Ianto got the first syllable out. He did not, however, turn around. There was no way in hell that Jack could look at this alternate version of his Ianto and still maintain his composure. God, what the hell was Jones doing here?

"Last time I checked, Simmonds was a consenting adult, and it's not like I'm the one paying visits to him," Jack replied with over exaggerated care. "However, if you think it's interfering with his duties, I suggest you take it up with him or his boss. Last time I checked that was Rose Tyler-Smith, not Jack Harkness. Now if that's all, Jones, I'm kind of busy right now," he finished, trying to refocus his attention to the sonic laser he was using to weld two slender pieces of polymer alloy together in order to form a crèche for some delicate wiring.

"I can see that, and I'm taking it up with the person who can do something about it," Ianto countered, closing the distance between himself and Jack's back. "I don't care who anyone fucks; my issue is that every morning after he's been with you, he's strung out for half the day. Sounds like he's been having a hell of a lot of fun but it's affecting his work. I'm going to have the same talk with him, but I figured I'd do you the courtesy of knowing why he isn’t going to be as available over the next few days."

"Didn't know team lead translated to den mother," Jack replied lazily, his voice dropping a few degrees. "But thanks for telling me my calendar's been lightened a bit. Maybe I'll take up crocheting in between fuck sessions."

"Being team lead translates into doing whatever it takes to keep them alive," Ianto said pointedly. "And make yourself a dick cozy; it might keep you warm on the off nights."

Jack barked out a laugh. "I doubt I’ll have any problems keeping my dick warm," he commented. "Besides Jake there’s a whole new world out there that I haven't even begun to explore, so I'm pretty sure I can find help keeping warm when Jake's kowtowing to you."

"Kowtowing? Jake? That's rich," Ianto chuckled. "Don’t bother trying Tom; his fiancée might come after you, and Ross is so straight he squeaks, but then, as you said, there's a whole world out there just waiting to have their IQ lowered."

"What's the matter, Jones, feeling neglected because I was fucking the other you but went for your friend here?" Jack retorted, dropping the sonic laser and rounding on Jones, ignoring the pain his words made him feel as easily as he ignored the way his chest constricted at the sight of that beloved face. But it wasn't his Ianto. That was the whole point. This wasn't his quietly resourceful, deviously kinky and deceptively mild-mannered, coffee-addicted lover; this was someone with the same face, same voice, same smell even, but not the same personality.

And suddenly Jack was enraged at the whole fucking universe for snuffing out that uniquely perfect man that he loved far too much, far too late. "Now if you've done trying to get under my skin, why don't you leave? I don't have time to deal with little boys throwing temper tantrums because they've lost their favorite toys," he informed the other man softly, trying to keep his rage under control until Jones was gone and he could leave as well and find something to kill.

"Wouldn’t you say that was my situation?" Ianto responded mildly, knowing he was goading the other man and realizing that was partly what he had come here for. "And you can finally look at me, very impressive. I was thinking you were too pissed at him and afraid you might snap if you got us mixed up."

Jack’s icy calm turned into molten rage at Jones' words, and before he'd even thought it through, he’d hauled back and thrown everything he had into connecting his fist to the bastard's jaw. "You son of a bitch. I loved him, and you are nothing more than a pale shadow of the man he was. Don't you dare compare yourself to him. You know nothing!"

Ianto reached up, wiping the back of his hand across the corner of his mouth and smearing the blood from his split lip across his chin. "I know that you're bloody well pissed at him for leaving you. Can’t take it out on him, so c'mon, give me a go; I'm betting I'll put up more of a fight."

"You fucking bastard!" Jack roared, losing all semblance of control as he threw himself at Jones, fists slamming into the other man's solar plexus and stomach. He continued to crowd Jones back, raining blow after blow on the man who wore his lover's face, his fury only increasing as it didn't seem to have any effect on Jones at all.

"Bastard! He didn't leave me; I killed him. I fucking killed him, you son of a bitch, so don't you dare tell me I'm pissed at him for leaving me. You know nothing!" Jack raged, not hearing the horrified feminine gasp coming from the doorway or the male voice promising dire retribution if Jones' antics damaged his lab.

"You didn’t kill him," Ianto got out as he moved defensively, his body armor absorbing those blows he couldn’t dodge. "The aliens did. Eventually you're going to have to realize it."

He glanced away to give Doc a thumbs up. "Works perfectly – oof." The last was added when Jack took advantage of his distraction and punched him in the face again.

"I really need to work on that head covering," Doc mused to himself.

Rose thumped Doc in the stomach hard. "He's going to kill Ianto, you realize that, don't you?" she demanded worriedly. "And you're thinking about head coverings? Men!"

Turning on her heel, Rose took off down the hall in a dead sprint, slamming into the armory and making for the locker at the back of the room. Grabbing a modified Decadron Crucible, Rose ran back to the lab, sliding to a stop next to her husband. "Just in case," she muttered as she watched the circling men carefully, looking for any sign that she would have to use the temporary containment device.

"He's dead; it's my fault; what do you know about it?" Jack snarled, ignoring Rose and Doc, his entire being focused on the smart-assed son of a bitch in front of him. "What do you know about losing the first person you've loved unreservedly in centuries!"

"Nothing," Ianto admitted, ducking another blow. "But I think I'm right in saying he'd be fucking pissed at you for acting like this."

"If I could only make the polymer selectively gas permeable," Doc muttered, wandering off to his workbench to start scrawling equations on his datapad.

"Shut up. Shut up!" Jack screamed, raining down a few more blows before he just stopped, dropping to his knees like a marionette whose strings had been cut as soul shattering sobs wracked his whole body. Jack could no longer hold onto his self-hatred and rage thanks to the bastard’s interference; he’d been stripped of the frozen shell he’d been using to protect himself from the excruciating pain of all the losses he’d suffered in such quick succession - Owen, Tosh, Gray, Steven, his daughter, for though Alice was still alive he was dead to her; and most devastatingly, his Ianto. Instead all he could do was sob as each loss stabbed him anew.

Rose started to step forward, and even Doc looked up at that before Ianto waved them off, crouching down beside the larger man, one hand rubbing over his back as he waited out the storm, saying nothing until the heaving of Jack's back slowed. "It's not your fault; it's not his fault; it’s life and it's bollocks at times, but it’s what we have, so you have to appreciate what you've been given. There was more to him than the ending; that’s what you hold on to."

Jack reached into his back pocket and fished out a handkerchief, wiping the moisture from his face. "Yeah, well, you're a little prick," he muttered, sounding like he'd swallowed shards of glass. "You have that in common with him, if nothing else; he could never leave well enough alone either. He'd keep right on digging even though I didn't want him to. Wouldn't stop until he'd gotten it out of me. Hurt like a son of a bitch then, hurts like a son of bitch now.

"Fuck," Jack scrubbed a shaking hand through his hair, wincing as skin that had been rubbed raw on Jones' clothing caught and pulled. "It was easier accepting I'd murdered my grandson – and yes, I did. I had no choice. It was the only way to stop the 456. I lost my lover, my daughter and my grandson – basically everything important in my life – in the space of twenty-four hours. It really wasn't a good day for me," Jack chuckled bleakly.

"Understandable," Ianto nodded, catching Jack's hand and examining the abraded skin then snatching the handkerchief and dabbing at the torn and bloody flesh, cleaning it as much as possible. "You did what you had to do; someone has to make those decisions, and if it didn’t bother you, you wouldn’t be human – oh, and just to clarify things, the prick? Not little at all."

"Forgive me if I'm not all that eager to find out," Jack murmured quietly. "But… thanks. I think I needed that."

"Didn’t imagine you would be, but you're welcome. Think you can stand on your own? I believe Rose is going to be on you the minute you do."

"Fuck,” Jack moaned. “I adore her but she's taking this whole mothering thing way too far." He paused a moment, his mind whirring as he eyed Rose carefully, trying to think of a way out of this and then asked loudly. "Rose, are you pregnant?"

"Wot?" she exclaimed, looking shocked, then yelping when Doc raced to her side, tutting and fussing over her.

"Nice distraction," Ianto murmured as they both got to his feet. "Take care, Harkness; I'm out of here while they're going on." With that the younger man was gone, slipping from the lab and vanishing down the maze of corridors.

"I'm the ultimate survivor," Jack murmured despairingly as he watched Jones disappear down the corridors. "I miss you, Ianto. So damned much," he murmured as he slipped out of the lab himself, heading in the opposite direction of Jones. Stopping off at Rose's office, Jack popped his head in to give Donna a watery smile. They were kindred spirits, he and this Donna – or they would have been if he were still the Jack Harkness that Rose first met.

"Hey, Red, be prepared to have Doc around a lot more and being insanely bothersome. Rose was getting ready to pounce on me, so I turned the tables – asked her if she was in the family way," he chuckled. "Doc's gonna be a bit more manic than normal for a while."

Donna burst into laughter. "You're a piece of work, Jack Harkness. I like you, dammit! And don't worry about Doc; I can handle him just fine."

"Should never have doubted it," Jack murmured, perching on the edge of her desk. "Listen, I'm gonna take off for a few days, so don't send out the National Guard or anything to look for me. I need to get away for a bit, and I think that maybe it's time I go make peace with my past. I'm going home – to Cardiff, that is. It's time to close that chapter of my life for good. Besides, I'd like to look in on this universe's versions of Gwen, Tosh and Owen – make sure they're okay."

Donna got up from her desk and came around to stand in the V of Jack's legs, hugging him hard. "Take one of the SUVs," she said, finally pulling back, her eyes watery but her voice strong. "And don't worry about a thing; I'll run interference if people start to get nosey."

"If you weren't head over heels for that Padawan guy…" Jack teased.

"Patinjali, you git," Donna laughed. "Rupesh Patinjali. Now get out of here. And don't forget to disable the GPS – the code is Blaidd Drwg."

"Bad Wolf? Are you kidding me?" Jack chuckled as he pressed a kiss to Donna's cheek and playfully swatted her ass. "These people have sick senses of humor, I tell ya!" he muttered as he headed out the door, making for the garage and pulling out his cell as he did to make a quick call to Jake's apartment in order to leave a message on his machine.

"Jake, it's Jack. Listen, I'm heading out of town for a little while. I'll call you when I get back, okay? Try not to blow up any more SUVs and… stay safe. Talk to you when I get back."


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
Great chapter! Looking forward to the next one.
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!More should be coming soon ::nudges Angyl::
Oct. 29th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Seriously good stuff.
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! We're chuffed so many people are enjoying it! Keep feeding the feedback monsters - it makes Angyl (me) edit faster!
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
No problem! The fic is great- its an pretty original angle and I can't wait to read more. :D

Does that help? LOL
Oct. 29th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
I'll drop in to say it helped me - though I had done my run through of the story already I'll keep poking Angyl though, I know where she works - and lives!

Oct. 29th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks! LOL! I'll keep an eye out for it.

Do you mind if I friend you so I keep up better?
Oct. 29th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
Feel free, we like having friends!
Oct. 29th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
ouch. good stuff.
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Jack is mine! Alll Mine! Bwahahahahahaha!!! (well okay he's Jones' because Jones is scary when he's crossed!) Love the icon, by the way :) And yes, we wanted this to be ouchy! Glad you agreed :)
Oct. 29th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
lol... Um, I think there's a few dozen or so fans who will beg to differ with you on that, heh...but... :) yeah, Jones' dude, this Jones is a WHOLE other kettle of chips from Ianto. Very interesting.

thanks... the icon was a crack! idea I had after spreading the TW love then getting inspired enough to try and tackle Photoshop. mmmmm... Jack
Oct. 29th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
:) really well done. I love the characterisation and the action is very positive and realistic. The story has a good pace, I'm looking forward to the rest. Good to see you're not rushing the 're-union' ;) it makes it that much more believable and realistic.
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! We're glad so many people are enjoying this - what started out as a kernel of an idea has become the monster that ate our brains!

As for the story itself, we surprised ourselves with just how plot driven this series is. The relationship between Jack and Jones is the heart of the story but the sex is more like the icing than the cake, if you catch my drift. We couldn't realistically see Jack, as broken as he was, just jump back into bed with the first Ianto he crossed paths with, and certainly not with Jones! So it needed to develop slowly and yet... with a bang. hehehe. and that's all I'm gonna say on the matter!
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
very good & powerful stuff, looking forward to where this goes
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it! Just 23 chapters left (for this part of the series )

so stay tuned, more to come!

Oct. 29th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
Oh that was kinda heartbreaking, especially JAkc saying
"I miss you IAnto, so damnd much" that made me want to cry.

This is awesome:)
Oct. 29th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
It made me cry too - and I was writing it! ::laughing:: There are a few moments that are very bitter sweet and were lovely to write but gah, tugged at me heartstrings, you know? (and don't you worry - Jones has his sniffly moments too!)

Glad you're enjoying the story!

Oct. 29th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
It just made me more impatient for the next one.

I really love your Jack. He almost made me cry. The entire scene with AU Ianto is just so 'Jack'. Brava! You've really got him down pat.

The Doc is adorable just as devoted to Rose and endearingly quirky as I always imagined he would be.

I'm having a great time reading this fic.
Oct. 29th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Awwwh! Thanks so much! I'm having a great time writing Jack and Rina came up with a seriously sexy Jones. Ask us to post the pictures that inspired us sometime We were the sandwich to GDL's filling - his words ::SWOON:: ...

Aaaaand we're back.... anyhow, glad you're enjoying the story. It's a blast to write and there are already sequels in the works

Oct. 31st, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'm asking right now! I'd love to see the inspiration pics.

Oct. 29th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)

beautiful chapter, even if it DID make me all sniffly. ::cuddles poor Jack::

Can't wait for the next chapter to see where things go from here.

the kendermouse
Oct. 29th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Ahhh the angst - she hurts so good! (Oddly enough I'm writing the angsty one when Rina's the angst queen - go figure!) But I can safely say we do happy endings.... or hot and happy endings So stay tuned!

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )