Pairings/Characters: Tony/Ianto, Natasha/Pepper, Jack, Rhys/Gwen, Rhys/Suzie, Owen/Diane, Nick Fury, Coulson/Clint, Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell/Tosh and Jack/AU!Ianto
Summary: After the events of Countrycide Ianto comes to the realisation that Torchwood was no longer the place for him. As he struggles to find a new life for himself Ianto is approached by Nick Fury and unexpectedly finds himself working for SHIELD. Given his past experience in working with ‘difficult’ alpha-males, he is assigned as Tony Stark's new handler; does Tony have the compassion and willingness to help heal someone whose as broken as him?
Disclaimer: I do not own Torchwood or The Avengers
Art by: hollymarchosias
Ianto had been right; Tosh and Tony did get along famously, mainly because Tony said that “Tosh is just as smart as I am and she can carry on a conversation with me that I don’t have to dumb down.” Realising what he’d just said, he had looked at Ianto with enormous eyes. “No offense, Ianto!”
With a classic Ianto Jones eye roll, Ianto had merely punched him lightly in the shoulder and mouthed the single word, “Decaf.”
Tosh had read his lips and instantly burst into gales of laughter. No matter where he was, Ianto still used decaf coffee as a disciplinary tool.
Fury had assigned Tosh to work almost exclusively with Tony, often on projects with top level security clearance, although those were rare. Most of the time Tony never hesitated to share the progress of his work with his lover, although they never allowed the job to invade their bedroom; that space was sacred. The biggest thing Ianto didn't know about was the changes Tosh and Tony were making to the Iron Man suit. They were developing a new feature that Tony was going to use to keep those he cared the most about safe, even if it meant sacrificing himself.
The opportunity to test out the new feature of his suit came sooner than Tony would have liked. Since the day they began their relationship Tony and Ianto had made it a rule that the weekends were just for them, at least when the world wasn't in danger.
When he’d first revealed to the world that he was Iron Man, Tony hadn't realised the danger he would be placing his loved ones in. Unfortunately, he’d continued to live in blissful ignorance until the very moment the rocket-propelled grenade slammed into the road just inches from back of the sports car he and Ianto were travelling in. The violent impact shattered the early morning peace and sent them swerving off the road. The car hit a rock, flipped onto its roof and then crashed into a large oak tree with a sickening crunch, sending them both slamming against their seatbelts.
"Get out of the car! Now!" Tony snarled as he reached over and unbuckled Ianto's seatbelt; he didn’t care about his own safety. All that mattered to him was getting Ianto away from the car before it exploded. "JARVIS, send out the Mark One!" Tony barked out his order as he bodily pushed Ianto out of the car through the shattered remains of the windshield and then watched him stumble several yards away. Only when he was sure that his lover was safe did he start work on freeing himself.
"It's on its way, Sir, and I have alerted SHIELD to the attack." JARVIS' disembodied voice promptly informed him and that was all Tony needed to hear before he was crawling out of the ruins of his car. Looking up to locate Ianto, it appeared that he was just in time to stop his lover, as it looked like Ianto was about to come back to the car.
As he lay in the grass trying to figure out where their attack had come from, he kept returning his attention to the crumpled metal wreck that had once been a beautiful sports car. “You’ve got ten seconds to get your happy arse out of there before I come and drag you out!” he yelled but there was no response. Ianto's heart remained in his throat and he was just climbing to his feet when he saw Tony came crawling out of the car. Staggering over to meet him, Ianto fell to his knees and anxiously examined the fallen man. "Tony! Are you all right?" Ianto demanded as he helped his lover move farther away from the car.
"I'm fine! What about you? Are you hurt anywhere?" Tony demanded in return as he looked Ianto over for any sign of injury.
Feeling a little safer once they’d put a good distance and a large boulder between themselves and the potential exploding vehicle, Ianto cupped Tony's face with his hands and pressed a gentle kiss on his lips. "I'm okay, Tony."
Thankfully they weren't too far from their home and within minutes of the crash the familiar sound of the Iron Man suit's booster rockets filled the air. As the red and gold suit appeared before them, a very strange thing happened: instead of heading for Tony as it had done hundreds of times in the past and therefore should have done again, it flew straight towards Ianto.
"Tony, no! What about you?" Ianto cried out in panic even as the armour wrapped itself securely around him instead of Tony. “Please take this…”
Grateful beyond measure that the suit had responded like he‘d prayed it would, Tony shushed him with a wave of his hand. "I need to protect the one thing I can't live without, the one person that if I lost him would shatter me." Tony knew if it came down to protecting himself or saving Ianto’s life he was going to choose Ianto each and every time.
Ianto shook his head in distress. “Without the armour you’re completely vulnerable! Please, Tony, I can’t lose you!” Ianto pleaded with his lover.
“No, listen to me, Ianto,” Tony gripped Ianto’s glove-encased hand in his. “I love…”
Before either one of them could finish the argument a strangely haunting grinding noise filled the air as something seemed to surround both Ianto and Tony. As the structure became solid Ianto blinked in pure shock as he came face-to-face with his identical twin. The man was dressed in an outfit similar to the one Ianto had worn the night he’d first met Jack in Bute Park. Glancing beyond his doppelganger, Ianto saw a figure rushing around the central control panel looking for all the world like he belonged there.
“Jack.” The single word escaped Ianto’s lips as a soft whisper of shocked wonder.
Giving himself a strong mental and physical shake, the pseudo-Iron Man turned his attention back to what mattered to him the most. "Tony," Ianto breathed out as he remembered what his lover had earlier. "Tony!" he cried when he saw Tony laying too still and too silently on the metal grate floor. He gently lifted Tony's head so it rested in his lap. "You stupid fool! Why would you do something so foolish as to give me your armour when you needed it!"
Grunting in pain as he realised his shoulder ached, Tony looked up at Ianto with an adorable pout on his face. "Is that any way to talk to the man who saved you?"
A mixture of choked sob and relieved laughter bubbled from Ianto's lips. "It is when that man puts himself in unnecessary danger. What were you thinking? I could have lost you, Cariad."
Tony shifted so he could look up at Ianto. "Just as I could have lost you and that’s not I could have survived. I need you in my life, Ianto Jones; you are the most important person in my world. I love you.”
“And I love you, too,” Ianto pressed his lips against Tony’s. “I love you.”
"I hate to interrupt this touching moment but there are some bad guys trying to kill you.” Jack's bemused voice cut through the air, ending the moment before it could get out of hand.
"How did you get the suit to do this?" Ianto asked as he began removing the armour; he’d had plenty of practice getting Tony in and out of the suit made the task that much easier for Ianto to take it off.
Grasping Ianto's hand in his, Tony began moving the armour off to the side of the room. "Toshiko helped me, she is so brilliant and with her knowledge of alien tech and programming it wasn't hard for the two of us to whip something up that would allow you to call the suit to you. Remember how I asked you to always wear that watch I gave you for our anniversary?" Tony waited until Ianto nodded his head and raised his sleeve to reveal the watch strapped to his wrist. "Yeah, well, that has a chip in it that will signal to any of the suits when you're in danger. Wherever you are, it will find you and come to your location."
Tony pressed his fingers to Ianto's lips when it was clear the Welshman was going to argue with him. "I know you’re upset with me and I understand that but I need to keep you safe and if you even think of giving back me back that watch I will find some other way of chipping you and you know I’ll get Tosh to help me."
Ianto knew that he was facing a battle he wasn't going to win. "This isn't over by a long shot," Ianto warned. “We’ll discuss this when we get home.”
Despite the sinking feeling that ‘discuss’ was Ianto-speak for decaf, Tony refused to budge from his position. ‘I can’t go on living if Ianto doesn’t live as well.’
On the other side of the TARDIS the alternate Ianto was studying his twin. "So that's the other me?” He nodded with grudging approval. “I can see why you would’ve fallen for him and I don't mean that just because he's my alternate self." There was a strength to this Ianto, one that had been born in battle and had continued to grow with every challenge and hardship the young Welshman had managed to overcome. The alternate Ianto was impressed that throughout it all, his twin hadn’t lost himself or his ability to love.
‘If anything, I’d say his capacity to love is what’s kept him alive and sane all these years.’
Jack shook his head affectionately and reached out to grasp his Ianto's hand, bringing it to his lips for a quick kiss. "I’ll admit that I will always have this what-if feeling about that Ianto but at the same time I know that nothing could have come of it. We hurt each other so deeply, almost cruelly, and,” Jack’s eyes filled with remorse, “I’m ashamed to admit that I failed him when he needed me the most.”
His Ianto pulled Jack into a comforting hug and murmured, “I’m sure you did your best, Cariad,” unwittingly using the same affectionate term that the old Ianto had spoken to Jack once or twice. With his arms around Jack, he didn’t see the wince of pain flash across the older man’s face.
“It would have taken a lot of time and work for the two of us to find our way past everything and to one another, plus there was the whole Gwen factor.”
“The what?” Now Ianto was confused. “The dead woman? Don’t tell me you’re into necrophilia?” He pulled back and stared at Jack.
“Don’t be silly, Yan,” Jack chuckled. “Even Jack Harkness draws the line somewhere! No, when Ianto was with us I wasn't subtle in my wish to bed Gwen Cooper – in fact, it even played a part in why I hired her in the first place. I'm ashamed to say that when she joined the team I let Ianto slip even further into the shadows. I was such a fool when it came to her, Yan, and I knew even then that I was hurting my team so deeply by favouring Gwen over them all. I let her get away with everything; she came in later most of the time, she was insubordinate, argumentative, and incredibly manipulative.”
Ianto frowned and leaned back against the console. “I will admit that doesn’t sound like the Jack Harkness I’ve come to know and love.”
For a moment, Jack’s eyes shown with joy; “I love you too, Ianto,” he answered softly. “But the worst part was the way she treated Ianto, as if he were something she needed to scrape of the bottom of her shoe and I’m ashamed to say I did nothing to change that behaviour.” Jack’s shoulders slumped in defeat, “No, there was just too much between us for us to ever work."
Leaning over and pressing a kiss onto his lover's lips Jack gently stroked his Ianto's cheek and when he spoke again, his voice was thick with emotion. "Besides I’ve found someone better, the one person in the Universe I’ll never have to lose. I love you, Ianto, with all my heart and I hope you never doubt that." Jack didn't want his lover to wonder about his place in his heart.
His Ianto smiled sweetly and pressed his hand to Jack’s chest, right over his heart. "I'm not jealous of what could have been, Cariad, and I don't doubt your love for me, not at all. I am thankful every single day that the TARDIS brought me here to you, because without you I don't think I would have survived losing my Jack and my Doctor. You have healed me just as much as I healed you.” Ianto pulled Jack into to the vee of his spread legs and caressed his back, feeling the tense muscles beneath his shirt. “The past is behind us and it’s going to stay that way. Now it's time we started looking towards our future, our future together; we're going to live for a very, very long time and it won't do us any good to let old regrets weigh us down."
Rays of pure love beamed from Jack’s eyes as he looked at his Ianto. “I like the sounds of that,” he murmured as he closed the distance between their lips and began kissing his immortal lover as if their lives depended on it.
A cough broke the moment and as they fought to catch their breath and calm their passion, they turned to see Tony now fully dressed as Iron Man and Ianto standing next to him. "I hate to interrupt this touching moment but there aren’t there some bad guys trying to kill you?” Tony grinned wickedly as he quoted Jack. "Actually, I guess I should say they’re trying to kill me, so as much as I hate to ruin this touching moment I do have some bad guy ass to kick!"
With a regretful smile to Jack, the other Ianto shook his head as he turned to the main monitor above the console and flipped the power switch. Indicating the scene playing out beyond the TARDIS’ doors, he announced, "No need, Iron Man, they’ve already been captured by SHIEILD. Apparently they aren't very smart bad guys since the Black Widow and Hawkeye easily took them down.” and He nodded towards the ship’s front door. “You two now have a few worried people waiting for you."
Behind his helmet Tony's eyebrow lifted in surprise. "Well that's convenient. I guess there’s nothing left to say but thanks for the lift."
Ianto stepped out from behind Tony and moved towards his former boss. "Thank you, Jack, for saving us. I don't know what I would have done if I’d lost Tony." Ianto placed a gentle kiss on Jack's cheek as both a thank you and a final farewell. In his heart Ianto knew that this was the last time he would ever lay eyes on Captain Jack Harkness and he felt the prick of unexpected tears sting his eyes. Despite the pure and enduring love he felt for Tony, Ianto felt sorrow that his first love had never been fully realised.
Reading the emotions in Ianto’s eyes, Jack pulled him into a tight hug. “I’m sorry I let you down, Ianto. You’ll always have a special place in my heart and I will never forget you.” His voice was a soft whisper in Ianto’s ear as he said, “I’ll always love you.”
“And I you, Jack.” Ianto buried his face in Jack’s neck and took in one last deep breath, savouring the scent of the mysterious pheromones that were uniquely Jack. Pulling back, he smiled and said, “Have a wonderful life, Captain Jack Harkness.”
“Actually, you should be thanking the TARDIS; she brought us here at just the right moment. I think she likes you,” he joked weakly. Jack swallowed hard as he smiled back at Ianto. "You're very welcome, Ianto, for everything. I have to admit I have missed your coffee…” there was a loud cough behind him and Jack hastily qualified his statement with, “but my Ianto’s coffee is simply divine and I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate every single drop.” He turned around and gave his Ianto his biggest, cheesiest, most irresistible ‘I’m-too-sexy-for-you-to-be-mad-at-m
“Oh, nice save there, Jack!” Tony chortled. “Very smooth!” He saw the way his Ianto was frowning at him and he shrugged. “I’m just saying…!”
“Ignore him, Jack,” Ianto smiled fondly at his lover. “I do.”
Jack looked at Ianto, memorising his features; he knew they were exactly the same as his Ianto’s but he couldn’t help himself. “I'm happy you’ve found a piece of the happiness that Torchwood robbed you of. Take care of yourself, Jones, Ianto Jones."
"You too, sir." Ianto smiled one last time at Jack before turning away and heading for Tony who was waiting for him with open arms.
As Jack watched Ianto move away from him and towards Tony, his heart felt lighter but there was still a bitter sweetness that ruined his good mood. Despite knowing that he had eternity to spend with his Ianto, Jack knew that he would always have this ‘what could have been’ feeling whenever he thought of Jones, Ianto Jones.
Sensing his lover’s melancholy, his Ianto slipped his hand into his and effectively pushed those thoughts away. Yes, it was true, Jack had he lost his chance with this particular Ianto, but given the deep roots of hurt and betrayal between them, ones that he doubted either man would have been able to get over, they would never have found their way to one another. Ianto said nothing, his comforting presence enough for Jack. ‘Everything happens for a reason, Cariad, even heartache.’
‘I hope you’re happy in your new life, Ianto, and I hope you have a long one with Tony.’ Jack kept his gaze on Ianto until he and Tony were out of sight and the TARDIS’ doors had closed behind them before turning his gaze onto his Ianto. Love overflowed his heart and filled his eyes as he stared at the man he planned on sharing the millennia of his immortal life with. “Let’s go home,” Jack said as he brushed his lips gently across his Ianto’s mouth.
With those three simple words, Jack let his lover know that there was nothing left for him here; it was time to move on from old regrets and start building a future with the man he loved. He sent out one last prayer to the Universe that Ianto did the same, because if anyone deserved to be happy it was Ianto Jones.
With the sound of the TARDIS’ doors closing behind him, Ianto laid rest to his past, and he was mildly surprised to find that it didn’t hurt as much as he expected. Strolling away at Tony's side Ianto linked his fingers with his lover’s and smiled at at the man behind the mask, thrilled to feel the cool touch of steel against his skin. "Let's go home, Cariad," Ianto whispered; all he wanted to do was curl up in Tony's arms and forget this day ever happened.
"Sounds like a plan." Tony lifted up his helmet so he could press a kiss against Ianto's mouth.
"Hey," Jack's voice suddenly called out and startled apart, the two lovers turned to face him. Jack stood in the ship’s doorway with a serious look face as he glared daggers at Tony. "You take good care of him and treat him the way he should be treated, otherwise Iron Man or not, there will be no place for you to hide," the immortal threatened with deadly seriousness.
"I have no plans on ever letting Ianto go. He is the most important person in my life and I would die for him.” Tony’s serious demeanour matched Jack’s perfectly as he returned the vow. “And the same could be said for you, Captain, you take good care of your own Ianto or we’ll see how you stand up against my armours."
Standing next to their two posturing mates in silent support, two identical pairs of blue eyes met with perfect understanding and in unison they shared an eye roll as their alpha males growled and glared at one another.
"I think it's time we get out here before Tosh and Natasha find a way to get into the TARDIS and start trying to find out what makes her tick," Ianto pointed out, although he knew that it didn't matter if she was a Time Machine. If those two determined women put their heads together there was nothing and no one that could stop them.
Both Tony and Jack winced at Ianto's warning. "Right, I do like having my arms and legs, not to mention other more delicate body parts, still attached to my person, so let's before they get here!” With great gentleness Tony clutched Ianto's hand in his metal one and led Ianto away from the TARDIS.
Glancing back over his shoulder, Ianto favoured Jack with one final smile before turning his gaze to Tony and wrapping his arm around his lover’s waist.
As the sound of the TARDIS’ engines faded away, Ianto found himself stumbling back as Tosh and Natasha both threw themselves at him. "Thank goodness you're both all right! When JARVIS alerted us that you were in trouble I thought the worst," Tosh whispered as tears filled her eyes.
"Oh sure, just ignore me. It’s not like I was just nearly killed as well," Tony grumbled under his breath although his complaint was mellowed by the slight twinkle in his eyes.
Joining the group, Clint wrapped his arm around Tony's metal shoulders. "Hey, it's the three-piece suit and the tie, the accent and the whole sweet boy thing he’s got going on that draws the women to protecting him," Clint pointed out.
Tony had to admit that the archer had a point; all the women at SHEILD, including Pepper, seemed drawn to mothering Ianto.
Tosh couldn’t resist adding, “Plus, his coffee has us completely under his spell!”
When Tony opened his mouth to comment, Ianto shot his lover a look that promised decaf for the foreseeable future and when Tony winced and snapped his mouth shut, Ianto returned his attention back to the women who still held him in their arms. "We're both okay, ladies. The TARDIS arrived just in time for Jack and the other me to save us," Ianto soothed his friends.
"That is going to be an interesting story," Tosh murmured to herself; she knew there had been a lot left unsaid between Ianto and Jack.
"Are you all right? Do I have to kill him?" Natasha demanded her eyes flickering to the where the blue box had once been.
Ianto shook his head. "No. It was interesting to say the least and a little odd meeting another me. But, I needed it as final closure to my old life.” Separating himself from Tosh and Natasha, Ianto put his arms around Tony and looked deeply into his eyes. “It didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would to know that my past with Torchwood is truly over. I know that my place, my home, is here with all of you and I wouldn't change that for the world," Ianto promised them all. His gaze never left Tony's as he spoke, and he hoped that his lover could see the pure truth in his eyes. ‘This is where I belong; you are my family and my future.’
A weight Tony didn't know he was carrying lifted from his heart as he heard Ianto's words; he’d been a little worried that Ianto might going with Jack and the other Ianto.
"Great, so brother, does this mean you'll make us some coffee?" Clint favoured Ianto with his best pleading, ‘I-am-so-desperate’ look.
As one Ianto, Natasha and Tosh all rolled their eyes while Tony just copied Clint's look. Giving in to the inevitable Ianto suggested, "Why don't you track down Phil and invite Pepper and Jasper to join us and we'll all hit the fair."
Tony and Clint's eyes lit up like it was Christmas come early and both men rushed off to do Ianto’s bidding while Natasha shot Ianto a look of fond exasperation. "You do know they’re going to be like four-year-olds on a sugar rush later one,” she pointed out patiently, “and they will more than likely find some kind of trouble."
Ianto shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah, but we wouldn't have them any other way." Always the gentleman, he offered his arms to Natasha and Tosh.
“Just making sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for,” Natasha declared as she slipped her arm into Ianto's. "And I want lots of goodies when we get there."
A mischievous smile appeared on Ianto's face as he happily informed them, "Don't worry, Tony, will be paying for everything."
Laughing Tosh linked her arm with Ianto's as well. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go have some fun putting a dent in Tony's wallet!"
Ianto knew that no matter what troubles might come in his future ‘I will never regret choosing this path.’ Thanks to his new friends, family and especially Tony he had managed to put the ghosts of Torchwood behind him. His future stretched out before him and as long as he had the others by his side Ianto know knew he could face whatever was to come.