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Fic: Echoes Of Our Souls Chapter 6/13

Title: Echoes Of Our Souls
Fandoms: Torchwood/The Avengers
Pairings/Character: Steve/Ianto/Tony, Jack/Ianto/Steve/Tony, Natasha/Tosh/Darcy, Maria/Owen/Martha, Clint/Pepper/Coulson, Thor/Bruce /Jane, Nick Fury, past Steve/Bucky/Peggy and mention of Rhys/Gwen
Summary: After Jack left, instead of falling apart like the others him to, expected Ianto moved on with all aspects of his life. When Jack returned from his journey with the Doctor, nothing was the way he thought it would be. Now he's on a quest to win back Ianto's heart but Tony and Steve are not making it easy for him. The three men must figure out a way to put aside their differences in order to fit into Ianto's life, but it may take a mission gone wrong for them to finally see that Ianto loves them all equally.
Rating: R
Beta: RoyalLadyEmma
Art by: hollymarchosias see it hereand here
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or the Avengers.
Author Note: I had to mess with the Avengers timeline in order for this to work.




Chapter 6

 It was a nightly ritual Ianto had indulged in ever since he'd come back to New York. After dinner, once the sun had gone down and stars had emerged in the inky darkness, he would slip up to the roof and stand there, relishing the solitude. Being high atop the Avenger Tower reminded him of all the nights he and Jack had stood atop the Millennium Centre, looking out across the city they worked so hard to protect.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the Avengers, Ianto found solace in simply watching the stars and wondering where Jack was among them. Was he happy? Was he safe? Every nightly visit to the rooftop ended the same way, with a heartfelt whisper, "Are you thinking about me, Jack?" There was never an answer.

 But tonight was different. Tonight was the night Ianto was letting go of Jack.

Despite the number of times he'd looked at the stars and told them about his day, tonight, Ianto felt a little foolish as he began talking to the night sky. "I don't think I'll ever truly be over you, Jack, but I can't keep my life on hold anymore. I have a real chance to be happy, something I haven't truly felt since Lisa, and something I honestly thought I had with you."

Ianto paused as he felt the usual pain stab in his heart as he thought of the lost futures he could have had with Lisa and Jack. Resolutely pushing it to the back of his mind, Ianto looked up and found the farthest star he could see. "I think I've found a new place to belong and that's with Steve and Tony."

A soft smile graced Ianto's face as he thought of his soon-to-be lovers; 'Tosh was right, I do need to take a chance on Tony and Steve.' "While a part of my heart will always belong to you, Jack, just like a small piece will always belong to Lisa, it's time I let you go and start living again." He sighed deeply, but there was no sadness in it now.

"Since I know I'll never get a chance to tell you this in person, I hope this finds its way to you somehow. I love you, Jack Harkness, more than you'll ever know. I hope you're finally happy and that you've found the peace you've been looking for with your Doctor. I'm sure that now you're once again among the stars you're happier than you ever were here on Earth. I just wish I could have told you how I really felt before you left."

*****

Tony was sulking; Jarvis, the traitor, had completely shut him out on trying to find Ianto. Tosh was staying every tight-lipped and he didn't dare try and bug her for information, not after Natasha growled at him the first time. Tony was nobody's fool; he wanted to live.

From his spot on the couch, Steve watched as Tony stalked up and down the living room mumbling under his breath. "Tony, we need to give Ianto time. When he's ready he'll be the one to seek us out. We can't push him or we risk losing him."

Tony halted in mid-step and pouted prettily. "I hate it when you're sensible." He knew that Steve was right but he hated feeling so incomplete.

"You should listen to Captain Spangle over there. Tea-Boy has had his heart ripped out twice. He's just a little more cautious in risking it again." Owen's voice cut through the air and both Tony and Steve turned to see him leaning casually against the wall.

Under normal circumstances, Owen would have stayed the hell out of Ianto's love life but he had seen how Lisa's final death had destroyed the younger man. 'And that was nothing compared to Jack's death at Abaddon's hands and then the man suddenly leaving to be with the Doctor.' Reluctantly, Owen admitted, "I may not act like it but I do like Ianto and I care about what happens to him. I can tell you that when he loves someone he gives them his whole heart. Once he crawled through fire and almost certain death to save the woman he loved only to realise that the monster he was trying to save her from had been fooling him the whole time."

Owen sighed deeply. "Then, just when he'd finally found happiness with Jack and he dared to open his heart again, the bastard left him without so much as a good-bye note."

Steve and Tony both bristled; they were torn between the intense need to seek out Ianto and comfort him, and the burning desire to hunt down Captain Jack Harkness and rip him apart with their bare hands. No one broke Ianto's heart and got away with it!

"Ianto won't want you fighting his battles for him."

The other two men looked at him in surprise. "Huh?"

 Owen had correctly read the looks on both their faces. "He's been to hell and back, twice, in fact, so trust me when I tell you that he doesn't need you to fight his battles for him. If you push too hard, you'll just force him further back into his shell. Just give him time and he'll come to you when he's ready," Owen advised as he pushed off from the wall. He had a cocky modern-day Robin Hood's arse to kick and he was done playing counsellor for Tea-Boy's love life.

Steve and Tony didn't notice when Owen took his leave; they were both lost inside their own heads, reflecting on the words that had just been spoken. Steve sighed as he stretched and climbed to his feet. "Owen's right; we need to be patient and wait for Ianto to come to us."

"I know," Tony gave a pout that would have made any five-year-old child jealous. "But I hate waiting," he whined petulantly.

"Who says you have to wait?" A soft Welsh voice drifted across the room to them.

In unison, Steve and Tony's heads shot up and over to the doorway; instead of Owen's wiry frame standing there, they saw the man who'd captured both their thoughts and their hearts.

Tony blinked rapidly as he mulled over Ianto's words. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?" There was no mistaking the unspoken question in his words.

Looking at the two men standing before him, Ianto saw the looks of hope and vulnerability look in their eyes. "I am" he nodded slowly. "As long as we go slowly and take the time to get to know each other as completely as possible I'm not rushing into anything this time." Ianto knew that he would take his time before giving his heart away to anyone ever again; he honestly didn't think he could handle getting it broken a third time, especially so soon after losing Lisa and Jack.

Steve favoured Ianto with a shy boyish smile. "We can do that, Ianto. We want this relationship to work and we won’t push you into anything you’re not ready for.” Steve was perfectly fine with the slow approach; in his own way, he was still mourning Peggy and Bucky. He understood and shared Ianto's sense of loss and pain.

Slow and patient wasn’t something Tony was used to, but if the reward for such actions was the love of Steve and Ianto, then he would do his very best to make it so. “We’ll take it as slow as you want, but can I at least have a kiss?" Tony took a few tentative steps toward Ianto. "I’ve been dying to kiss you since I first laid eyes on you and I’m not sure how much longer I can wait,” he admitted. His eyes were fixed on Ianto's mouth; 'I really want to find out if those lips were as soft as I think they are.'

'I don't see how one kiss could hurt,' Ianto thought with a smile. Moving forward until he was in front of Tony, he reached out and cupped the man's face with his hands and then ever-so-slowly, he brushed his lips across Tony’s in the tenderest of kisses. 

It took all of Tony’s willpower not to deepen the kiss; he wasn’t going to push Ianto into something he wasn’t ready for, but damn, it was so hard not to give into the need that coursed through his body at Ianto's touch.

'They're gorgeous together!' Steve couldn't help but think as he watched Tony and Ianto together and his heart swelled with the knowledge that they were his and his alone.

As the kiss came to an end of its own accord, Tony rested his forehead against Ianto's for a moment; 'I could stay here forever,' he thought. He forced himself to release his hold on the Welshman knowing that Steve would like his turn with Ianto.

Steve smiled gratefully at Tony as he brushed his fingers gently across his lover's hand as he passed him. Stepping into Ianto's space, Steve reached out and ran his fingers across Ianto's cheek, smiling as the young man leaned into the gentle caress. "I'd like to kiss you now," Steve whispered softly.

A shy smile graced Ianto's face. "I'd like that." Never before had anyone asked Ianto if they could kiss him and Ianto found Steve's gentlemanly ways absolutely charming.

Letting his smile grow Steve stroked Ianto's soft skin, watching as Ianto's eyes fluttered closed before opening back up. "You care and look after everyone, Ianto; let us look after you for a change." From the moment he'd met the young Welshman, Steve had seen that Ianto carried the weight of the world on his shoulders and the burden was slowly wearing him down.

A tiny whimper escaped Ianto's lips; no one had ever offered to look after him before and he thought it sounded wonderful. "I'd like that very much," he sighed quietly.

"Okay." Steve murmured before lowering his head and finally tasting the lips that had been driving him insane for so long.

As Tony watched Steve and Ianto together, he made a mental note to get the image from JARVIS. 'It'll make a great wallpaper for my phone and computer screen.' A leer spread across Tony's face; 'The only thing that would make it any better is if they were naked!' He made a mental note that when they finally took that step in their relationship he'd have to make sure those pictures were for his eyes only.

Ianto couldn't help but whimper at the softness of Steve's kiss; no one, not even Lisa, had kissed him like he was something precious, someone who needed to be cared for and treasured. Feeling so loved brought a tear to his eye and a warmth to his heart he'd been so afraid he'd never feel again.

At the taste of salt on his lips, Steve pulled away and his eyes widened in worry and horror at the sight of Ianto's tears. "Ianto, did I hurt you?" That was the last thing he ever wanted to do.

Ianto shook his head and smiled crookedly at Steve. "You didn't hurt me, Steve, I just haven't felt so cared for in a very long time," he admitted softly.

Steve smiled and pressed a quick and tender kiss against Ianto's lips. "Well get very used to it, Ianto, Tony and I are going to make sure you know just how much we care about you every single day."

"Damn straight! You're stuck with us now." Tony voiced his agreement as he wandered over to his two future lovers. Linking an arm around each of their waists, he rested his chin on Ianto's shoulder and placed a tender kiss of his own on his cheek.

"I think I can live with that." Ianto smiled broadly, feeling happy for the first time since Jack had left him; it was time to start living again.


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