“I’ll be perfectly safe; I’ll come back to you in one piece,” Ianto mimicked his lover angrily. “Yeah right! I am going to kill that man!” He’d instinctively known that something violent was going to happen and sure enough, someone had tried to kill Malcolm.
It was the last thing they would ever do.
Faster than the eye could see the assassin’s bullet moved through the air getting closer and closer to Malcolm's heart. Without warning time began to slow before stopping completely and the air in the penthouse visibly rippled as a furious Ianto appeared. His stormy blue eyes glowed with pure amber light as he reached out and wrapped his hand around the bullet and threw it to the side with a violent motion. “Malcolm, are you alright?” Ianto demanded as he knelt down next to his lover and ran his hands over his body scanning for any type of wound. “Answer me!”
Relishing the feeling of Ianto’s hands on him as well as the look of love and worry in his eyes, Malcolm smiled up at Ianto. “My guardian angel,” for in his eyes that’s what the Welshman truly was. “I’m fine, I promise.” He hoped his calm words would reassure both his lover and his son but the look in Ianto’s eyes proved he had failed miserably.
“Yes, because you look the picture of health. We will be having a long talk later about your definition of fine.” Ianto ground out the words from between clenched teeth although there was no true anger behind them. In his heart he knew that he didn’t really had room to talk. After all, how many times had he said “I’m fine” when one of his Torchwood team mates had bothered to ask him how he was doing.
Confused by the obvious intimacy he was seeing between his father and the new arrival, Tommy looked back and forth from one to the other. “I’m sorry but who are you?” he asked the newcomer, “and how the hell did you do…” he waved his hand around them distractedly “… whatever that was?”
Ianto held Malcolm’s hand in a tight grip as he studied his lover’s son intently, finally deciding that the time had come for a bit of truth. “Ianto Jones and that was is a little talent of mine.”
"Some talent," Tommy muttered under his breath, he had never seen anyone with this kind of power. What he really wanted to say was ‘Why are you holding my father’s hand?’
A wicked grin appeared on Ianto's face. "You have no idea."
Watching the exchange between the two men made Malcolm smile fondly; this wasn’t exactly how he wanted Ianto and Tommy to meet but it was too late to change that now. “Ianto is very dear to me,” Malcolm informed his son as he raised Ianto’s hand to his lips and kissed the back of it thereby leaving no doubt as to the nature of their relationship.
Tommy understood instantly what his father was saying; he hadn’t been able to put his finger on it but when they’d met up downstairs he noticed immediately that something was different with his father. He seemed lighter and happier than the last time they’d seen one another, something the man hadn’t been since his mother had been killed. Now he knew why.
He wasn't sure what to make of his father's new 'friend'; he hadn't seen his father look at anyone the way he was looking at Ianto since his mother and while he was happy for his dad for finally finding someone to love, there was just something undefinable about Ianto Jones that worried him a little.
Tommy watched the silent conversation going on between his father and his new lover and in a flash he realised what was bothering him: behind Ianto's gentle smile there was a darkness that matched his father's. Tommy wasn't sure what to make of that because in truth it scared him and he abruptly decided to go on the offensive in order to regain a bit of control. "How long have you been sleeping with my father?" Tommy demanded.
Without looking away from Malcolm Ianto merely raised an eyebrow. “I don’t see how that is any of your business.”
Tommy took a step closer to the other man his fists clenching at his sides. “It became my business the moment you crawled into my father’s bed. While he may appear to be a strong man, he doesn’t give his heart away easily and if you’re just playing with him or trying to con him out of his money then I suggest you find yourself another mark.”
Ianto had to admit that he was rather impressed with Tommy’s fierce loyalty to his father despite the rift between them and he figured that the man had earned the truth. He helped Malcolm to his feet and the man wrapped his arm around Ianto’s waist as they turned to face Tommy together. “I can promise you that this is very serious for me. I know what it’s like to be used as someone’s second or third best because who they wanted wasn’t available to them. I give you my word that I would never do that to your father, I have come to care too much for him.” Ianto’s passionate words came straight from his heart.
Malcolm found himself swallowing hard at the intense emotion in Ianto’s voice as he defended their relationship to his son and be pressed a loving kiss to the side of Ianto’s head before looking at Tommy. From the look in his son’s eyes he clearly wasn’t the only one moved by Ianto’s speech.
Tommy studied Ianto for a moment, reading Ianto’s body language and when he saw that it matched his words completely he relented and gave Ianto his blessing. “Then I’m holding you to your word. You had better not break my father’s heart or you’ll be dealing with me, special powers or not,” Tommy warned Ianto grimly before offering Ianto his hand.
A small but true smile graced Ianto’s face as he shook hands with Tommy Merlyn. “I shall certainly keep that in mind and I promise you I will do my best not to hurt your father in any way.”
“Alright then, I’m glad we had this little talk.” Tommy nodded his head curtly. “Now you’d better get out of here, the police will be arriving soon and since no one saw you arrive it’ll be easy for you to slip away, unless you’re willing to explain your little trick to them?”
Ianto and Malcolm both shook their heads emphatically no.
“Right, so it’s probably best that you’re not here when they arrive,” Tommy reminded them that the police were on their way and wasn’t he just looking forward to being grilled by Laurel’s father, again.
Malcolm turned to Ianto with a concerned look. “Tommy’s right, you should go; I can’t have the police meeting my ace in the hole.” Malcolm knew he needed to keep Ianto hidden as long as he could.
Ianto hated the idea of leaving his lover alone and unprotected when he was being stalked by god knows who but at the same time he knew Malcolm and Tommy were right. Malcolm didn’t want people finding out about him just yet, knowing that they would begin asking questions the two of them weren’t ready to or couldn’t answer. He stroked a hand along Malcolm’s face in a tender, intimate gesture. “Fine, you win, but you’d better come home in one piece or I’ll do a lot more than make you sleep on the couch.” Malcolm knew that this was no empty threat even as Ianto leaned in and kissed his lover, keeping it chaste out of deference for Tommy.
“I’ll do my best.” Malcolm readily promised, not wanting to anger his lover. Despite his sweet loving ways Ianto could be a mean little bastard when he wanted to be, it usually involved with holding sex and putting him on decaf.
Ianto’s eyes flashed amber as he dissolved into a golden swirl of time particles and then he was gone without a trace.
“Okay, that right there is cool,” Tommy had to admit as he watched Ianto dissolve into pure energy.
Malcolm couldn’t help but grin at the awe in his son’s voice; it reminded him of when Tommy was six years old and they were in the garden watching a beautiful butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. “That is just one of Ianto’s many talents.” Malcolm shot a look at his son. “Some of which you, young man, will never learn about or see in action.”
Surprised by his father’s words, Tommy blinked and couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at his father’s proud, protective and possessive tone. “Trust me; I really don’t want to find out about certain talents of your Ianto.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear that son.” Malcolm was truly pleased that Tommy was so accepting of his relationship with Ianto, he would have hated for his choice in lovers to drive them further apart.
“So, Ianto seems nice. Does he do that whole swirly time thing a lot?” Tommy asked his father once the paramedics had cleared his dad and they had given their statements to the detectives.
“When he needs to, yes, but for the most part Ianto prefers to keep his skills under wraps which I’m sure you can understand. If people knew what he can do they’d treat him like he’s a freak and god knows some might even try to capture him just to find out how he works. So, I’m trusting you to keep what you learned to yourself.” Once Malcolm’s plans fell into place, it wouldn’t matter who knew about Ianto because by then they would have changed Starling City for the better.
Tommy could see the worry and fear in his father’s eyes of what might happen to Ianto if others learned of his gifts. “You can trust me, dad, I won’t tell anyone.”
“Thank you, son. You have no idea how much that means to us.” No matter their differences Malcolm knew that he could count on his son when he needed him the most.
After the assassination attempt things began to change in the Merlyn household and Ianto noticed that there was a new and wonderful lightness around Malcolm that hadn’t been there before. Ianto was sure it had to do with Tommy’s acceptance of their relationship coupled with the fact that the young man had started coming around more, getting to know Ianto and in doing so, repairing his strained relationship with his father.
Unfortunately based on past experience, Ianto knew the happiness wouldn’t last for long and he was right.
It seemed implausible given the fierce loyalty that his friends and employees exhibited, but someone within Malcolm’s group betrayed him and Ianto knew his lover didn’t take betrayal well.
Frank Chen's treachery cut deeper than he thought it could and Malcolm knew that he wasn't the only one feeling hurt, angry and even a little fearful. What if there were others who felt the same way? How deeply into his organisation did the poison run? He began to suspect everyone even his oldest and closest friends, even Moira Queen; as much as he liked Moira he wasn't sure that he trusted her anymore, not after Chen’s betrayal. With his plans of Starling City beginning their final stages no was not the time to have to worry about traitors.
"You seem tense, Cariad. What’s troubling you?" The soft Welsh vowels washed over Malcolm like a soothing wave as a pair of arms came slinking out of the darkness and wrapped themselves around his waist.
A deep sigh escaped Malcolm's lips as his body relaxed into the hold of the one and only person he fully trusted. "Chen betrayed me and I had to deal with him.” Ianto felt the slight nearly imperceptible tremor that ran through his lover’s body. “Moira Queen talked me out of taking out the rest of his family. I'm not sure I trust her anymore," he admitted sadly. The Merlyn and Queen families had been close ever since Tommy and Oliver were toddlers; they had always been as close as brothers. His eyes fluttered closed as he allowed his lover to start removing his Darker Archer outfit and as each piece left his body his mind became lighter.
"This isn't the first time you've had doubts about her, Cariad, that's why you had me snatch Walter, to use as leverage against her." Soft lips nuzzled the sensitive flesh behind Malcolm's ear, lips that curled into a smirk as he felt the older man shiver.
There was something about Moira that Ianto didn’t trust no matter how his lover felt about his old friend; it was something he couldn’t quite put his finger on but it was there nonetheless. He hadn’t mentioned his suspicions to Malcolm but he wasn’t sure that it was Frank who had betrayed Malcolm first, although there was no denying he was a part of it.
Shifting Malcolm turned in his lover's hold so that he could look into those beautiful blue-silver eyes he loved so much, realising that at this angle he could see the mesmerising swirls of golden light in them. "You are the only one I truly trust, Ianto, and I'm glad you’re back with me. I dislike you being out of my sight for any amount of time."
"Time has no meaning for me anymore,” and as he spoke the golden light in his eyes dimmed a bit. “What seems like a lifetime to you is barely a blink for me, yet whenever we’re apart there is an ache in my soul and my heart. I dislike being away from you as well," Ianto admitted in a soft tone as he leaned into Malcolm’s comforting embrace.
In the year that they’d been together they had hardly been apart for more than a few hours until Malcolm had been forced to return to Starling City in order to set his plans for the city in motion.
Three years ago Ianto Jones died had in the arms of his lover, Captain Jack Harkness, while trying to stop the 456 from taking ten percent of the earth’s children. Ianto had finally confessed his love for Jack, wanting the last thing he heard before leaving the world to be his lover speaking those three words just once but that was not to be.
Instead, he’d heard on single word, “Don’t.”
With his heart broken, Ianto had died in Jack's arms with his lover, the man he loved, unwilling to grant his dying wish. It wasn't until his soul was dragged back into existence by Seriath that he finally heard those three precious words from Jack but unfortunately, it was a little too late. Despite how much he’d always wanted to hear Jack say ‘I love you’ to him, those words now offered no comfort to Ianto.
During his nonexistence in the Rift his heart had become bitter and no longer able to accept that he could be loved by anyone much less Jack Harkness. With too much time on his hands he’d examined every nano-second of his relationship with the immortal and he’d finally realised if it had been Gwen lying on the floor of Thames House, her lungs full of deadly gas, Jack would have tripped all over himself in his eagerness to confess his deepest feelings for the Welshwoman.
All Ianto had ever wanted was to know he held a place of his own in his lover’s heart, that he came first with Jack, just once, even if was nothing more than a lie.
He remained trapped in the Rift bereft of human – or any other kind – contact, not alive yet not truly dead, existing only as a miniscule part of the endless Rift. As the unmeasurable time passed, the power of the time vortex slowly yet purposely became a part of him weaving herself into every fibre of his being. At the same time she remained separate enough to seek out another version of Jack Harkness’ soul.
Her search seemed to take forever although in the Rift it happened in an instant but she discovered exactly what she was looking for. It brought the Rift her greatest joy ever when she played matchmaker for her broken angel, leading him to an alternate reality and into the heart of Malcolm Merlyn.
Although physically the two men were identical in every way, things were different with Malcolm right from the start. While there was a darkness in Jack because of Rose and the Doctor’s influence he had done his best to rise above it. Malcolm on the other hand fully embraced his darker side and through it, Malcolm saw the darkness that Ianto had within him, forced down into the hidden depths of his soul. Malcolm slowly, gently and lovingly nurtured that side of Ianto until the younger man embraced the other side of himself.
It hadn't been an easy transition for Ianto despite the fact that Malcolm shared the same face as Jack, the Welshman knew in his heart that they were two completely different men. His eyes still saw Jack whenever Malcolm smiled but there were big differences; for instance, where Jack was hesitant about showing his feelings for Ianto, Malcolm was open, making sure he never once doubted his role in Malcolm’s life, bed and most importantly, his heart.
Ianto had always thought that his heart would always belong to Jack Harkness, but Malcolm was sexy and dangerous, exciting and erotic. The man wearing his former lover’s face called irresistibly to the darkness Ianto kept locked away, the piece of him that had done whatever it took to get into Torchwood Three, the part of himself that had made such a desperate attempt to try and save Lisa, the unseen part that had so thoroughly enjoyed shooting Owen in the shoulder and stunning Dale and his pathetic little helpers.
That same darkness existed in Malcolm and drew him like a moth to a flame and so three months after waking up in the Merlyn home Ianto stopped fighting his attraction to the man and gave into the burning lust coursing through his body. Being made love to by Malcolm was quite different than his first time with Jack, after going so long without another’s touch he had been starved for physical affection and simply could not get enough of his new lover. From the moment Ianto jumped Malcolm he knew that the tenderness or the overwhelming lust that had been between him and Jack the first time would not be there; it their coupling was fast and hard but it made Ianto feel more alive than he had in a very long time.
Ianto was pulled out of his thoughts as he felt his lover slowly slip one of his hands around his back and cup his arse, squeezing the firm muscle as he hiked an eyebrow suggestively.
Ianto stared at his lover. “I take it you’re feeling better?” he asked with a knowing smile.
Grinning with delight, Malcolm leaned forward and nipped at Ianto’s lower lip. “You’re in a suit so of course I’m feeling better.” Every time he saw his young lover dressed in a well-tailored three-piece suit he wanted to rip it off of him. Actually though, any type of clothing on Ianto made him want to strip his Welshman naked so that he could feast on the sight of Ianto’s pale flesh, which at those times was usually painted with a delicious blush.
Ianto couldn't help but roll his eyes and pretend that he wasn’t turned on by the look in the older man’s eyes. That was the one thing Jack and Malcolm had in common: they would have preferred if he never wore any clothing, ever. He knew his lover well enough to know that he needed this sexual distraction to get his mind off the hurt brought on by Chen's unprecedented betrayal. If giving himself to the man would ease his pain then Ianto was willing to do whatever he could to make his lover's life easier.
“I need you… now!” Malcolm growled as he nipped at Ianto’s throat taking care to leave marks that wouldn’t show above the collar; they were his secret way of marking and claiming his man. He savoured the soft moans coming from Ianto’s lips; his lover had a way of calming and soothing his aching soul.
Ianto understood that as he pressed himself into Malcolm’s body. “Take whatever you need. I’m always here for you.”
The soft skin beneath Malcolm’s fingertips shivered at the contact as his fingers ghosted across the rapid pulse point on his lover's neck. Another soft moan filled the room breaking the comfortable silence but Ianto was unable to remain quiet when Malcolm caressed his feverish skin.
"Who do you belong to?" A voice that oozed promises of dark delights and endless sin demanded huskily.
"You," was the hoarse answer as the younger man arched his body into his lover’s hands. “Only you!” He knew that this was the reassurance that Malcolm needed, to know that Ianto was his and no one else’s and because it was the purest truth, Ianto was only too happy to give it to him.
“Good,” Malcolm growled as he eagerly and passionately took the pleasures that Ianto was offering, losing himself in the young man’s flesh.
Hours later Malcolm and Ianto laid in a tangled mess of tired limbs and wrinkled sheets with Ianto’s head resting on Malcolm’s chest. It was their favourite post-coital position, allowing Ianto to hear his lover’s steady and reassuring heartbeat while Malcolm stroked a soothing hand through Ianto’s hair.
“I’ve dealt with Chen and I will deal with Moira when the time comes but there is still one thing we need to take out before my plans can happen, the Hood.” Malcolm hadn’t counted on such a talented and proficient opponent showing up; this unexpected and unrecognizable rival was almost as good with a bow and arrow as he was. It was clear that the Hood hadn’t received his training from the League of Assassins though; his skills were unrefined and even seemed a bit desperate at times.
"The Hood has a weakness, I’m sure of it; we just need to find out what it is," Ianto murmured softly as he brushed his fingertips through the soft hair on Malcolm's chest; he listened to the steady soothing beat of his lover's heart in his ear. Ianto cherished every precious beat for they meant that his lover was still alive and in his arms. Between with Malcolm's activities as the Dark Archer and now the arrival of the Hood he feared that one day he would no longer hear that calming cadence or feel his lover's strong arms holding him tightly.
‘The day that happens Starling City will not survive my wrath!’
Rubbing his hand along the length of Ianto’s back, Malcolm asked "Do you think you can you find it?" If he was going to break the other man he needed to know what the Hood's greatest weakness was so he could exploit it and destroy the interfering bastard.
Pressing a lingering kiss onto Malcolm's chest Ianto nodded. "It won't be easy seeing as we don't know who the man is under that Hood but I should be able to find his greatest vulnerability.” Ianto’s mind was already working on a solution; he was determined not to let his lover down.
Brushing back Ianto's fringe he pressed a kiss on to his sweaty forehead. "I knew I could count on you," Malcolm murmured fondly; out of everyone in his life, Ianto was the only one he could truly trust and the one man he knew he could depend on until the end of time.“I’ll do my best.” Ianto would turn the world inside out to get what Malcolm needed; he would always support anything that was so important to his lover. His tongue flicked out and wrapped around the nipple close to his mouth, feeling it harden immediately into a hard little peak between his lips. Ianto gave a naughty smile; it was time to distract his dark archer again.