There was something majestic about a pterodactyl flying over a pond as it searched for a tidbit to eat. They didn’t always have to toss in some poor animal and douse it with barbeque sauce in order for the flying lizard to find its food. It liked to fish, too, so they kept the pond stocked with well-fed salmon, tuna (while they were still small enough to fit), and whatever else came up on the market. On hot days and nights, the water fall and the pond looked inviting; the smell, however, was pure dino-sewer. No swimming in the pond.
    That didn’t stop Jack from standing at the window and watching their pet glide through the air and up into the top recesses of the cave where the creature had its nest.
    “I have to go,” Ianto said in his usual quiet manner. Jack tightened his arms possessively around his waist from behind and bit playfully at Ianto’s shoulder. Ianto smiled and laced their fingers. “Now, Jack, I asked you several times if you wanted to go; you still can, you know.”
    “Can’t you go on another night?” The smell of the man was intoxicating; Jack would have liked nothing more than to climb from head to toe along his Ianto.
    “And risk being out when an intergalactic war starts? No, thank you. We’re quiet, so I’m going. You promised me a date to make up for the one we missed.”
    Ianto leaned his head to the side to allow for the meandering lips. Jack grimaced before discovering a tasty ear lobe. “How can I grope you, if we’re in a crowd?” He reached down and offered an example of the groping
process. Ianto’s pants were still unbuttoned, the fronts folded open. Jack slid his hand through the dark curls. He was stopped by another hand.
    “No, I’ll miss my movie,” Ianto said. Jack pouted and turned the man around. He leaned back against the conference table and dragged Ianto between his legs. The shirt was also still open, so Jack took advantage of it and attached himself to a small, hard nipple. Ianto chuckled and allowed it for another minute before Jack felt his ears taken and his head lifted. His pouting lips were pecked.
    “Please come with me, Jack,” Ianto begged. Jack sighed and sat fully on the table.
    “How about a drive-in movie?” he offered. It had been a long time since he had felt this way about another person; Ianto made his heart go pitter-patter. The rebel in him told him to run –fast- while his common sense told him to keep his ass where it was. “We can make-out in the van.”
    “This movie isn’t playing at the drive-in.” Ianto pecked his mouth again. “But at least you offered a compromise. There’s hope for you, yet.”
    “Really, Yan, I need some quiet time,” Jack said. “I have some work to do. You go and have fun. I want you to. Really.”
    Ianto put his hands on Jack’s shoulders, looking deeply into his eyes. Jack often worked at night, when the others were gone; it was the only time he could work on Top Secret files without getting pestered. The team wasn’t ready for certain information; Gwen might, in time, but Jack wasn’t sure of the others.
    After Ianto whined once too many times about it, Jack read him a paragraph from a file. Ianto’s eyes grew blanker and blanker until he held up a hand to stop the verbal and mental torture.
    Jack pressed his mouth to the center of the hard, bare chest, drinking in the youthful testosterone scent. There was a familiar buzz in the back of his mind.
    “It’s ok, Gwen, come in,” he called out. The young woman stepped into the conference room, her eyes flickering back and forth between them. They all received training in basic psychic techniques, with Jack, Ianto, and Owen being the better at it than the women. Jack could usually tell when someone was nearby, and could sometimes get into someone’s head. The signatures of his team members were familiar to him, especially Ianto’s and Gwen’s. For some reason, the Doctor pushed him at practicing this when he was last on the Tardis. The
Doctor had no idea why Tosh had been unable to penetrate Jack’s mind, after being told about the incident with the necklace. The Doctor tried to get into Jack’s mind; he didn’t succeed. They finally concluded that Jack’s multitude of resurrections had somehow changed his brain chemistry enough that it would take someone stronger than the Doctor to break his nut. He seemed to know something Jack didn’t, though, and was refusing to say what it was about.
    “I’m sorry, am I interrupting?” she asked as Jack began to button Ianto’s shirt.
    He kissed a spot of flesh before completing his task. “Nope. Ianto is off to a movie,” he said. “Apparently it’s more important than staying here and fooling around.”
    “Waaa,” Ianto informed him in his usual dry tone.
    “Oh. That’s nice, Ianto,” she said with a quick smile. “How’s your new flat?”
    “Comfortable,” he said, taking a step back when Jack was done tucking him in. Jack watched him. “Thanks again for helping with the move.” Ianto’s previous flat was on the other side of town; he found one a few blocks away from the Torchwood offices. Jack had gone flat hunting with him, making sure neighborhoods matched his security specifications. Ianto was amused in his exasperation; he knew Jack was being the overly cautious boyfriend. Jack, for his own part, wasn’t about to let Ianto live someplace that required a bodyguard to walk him home at night.
    Gwen smiled and waved a hand at him. “You’re welcome,” she said. “It wasn’t a problem at all. Well…. I didn’t mean to interrupt; I left my wallet at my desk.”
    Ianto glanced at the clock and panicked. “I’m going to miss it!” he announced. Jack held his face up, received his kiss, and Ianto hurried out the door. Jack cranked his head around to watch the cute rear end rushing away, and then slowly fell backward onto the table, lifting his hands to his face for a moment. He heard light footsteps come around the table.
    “Are you in love with him?” Gwen gently asked as she put her elbows on the table and leaned in.
    “I love him,” Jack said from inside his hands. “I don’t think IN love is the word, but I love him.” Maybe. In time….. He didn’t want to think about it.
    “He’s sweet,” she said, giving him a smile. “Empathetic. He leaves us chocolate and PMS medicine a day before we’re due.”
    Jack lifted his hands and wrinkled his nose. “TMI,” he informed her. “And I don’t know if I’d count that as evidence of empathy; could be he’s been keeping track through Owen’s charts on you girls. Are you telling me he’s left you chocolate and pills lately and that I won’t be getting any from you this week?”
    “No,” she said, unsure of which question she was answering. She took a step at the same time he arose from the table, running into him. Jack steadied them by putting his hands on her arms.
    “Sorry,” they said together. He stared at her for a moment before releasing her and continuing out into the main room of the hub. She rummaged at her desk and picked up her wallet, holding it up in triumph.
    “Gwen, that could have waited until morning,” he said quietly. “You want to give me the truth?” Her smile fell. The hub was silent except for a gentle hum of equipment and the sound of the waterfall in the distance.
    “I’m not sure,” she whispered.
    Jack took a desk corner and folded his hands over a knee as he considered her.
    “You don’t strike me as the wallflower type,” he said, having seen the dark flames in her eyes on many occasions. “You go after what you want, once you make your mind up. I know you want me, I’m not blind; I want you, too. If you’re not ready, that’s fine, but at least be honest with me.”
    He watched the war within her, and wondered why he just didn’t seduce her like he’s done with other women he’s wanted. Respect. That was the word. He respected her, unlike most people he’s met. It has been a long time since he respected a lover, and now he had two at the same time.
    “I don’t...” she started and took a step toward him. “You’re not a shag,” she said. “Not like Owen. This could hurt me. And you love Ianto. I don’t want him hurt, either.”
    “Come here,” he said, holding out a hand. She came closer and put her hand in his large paw. His hand dwarfed hers, making hers look like a child’s hand. “In my time, issues like this don’t come up, Gwen,” he said quietly. “I know it doesn’t seem like it but I can love, and I can love more than one person at a time. Yes, Ianto’s feelings mean a great deal to me and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt him. I discussed this with him and he’s fine with it. If you want him, too, he’s interested. If not, that’s ok; it wouldn’t stop us from sleeping together, he just wouldn’t join us.”
    She gave a nod, looking down at the floor. “And if I had walked in on the two of you doing something?”
    Jack shrugged. “A few minutes earlier, you would have. Stay and watch or join us,” he said. “Or laugh it off and leave. Sex is fun.”
    “I can’t be like that,” she said in a whisper. “Not with you. If I agreed to this, it would hurt me if you were with someone other than Ianto or me. Can you understand that?”
    “Yes, I understand,” he said. “Have you noticed me having sex with anyone else since Ianto and I began officially dating?”
    She thought hard about it, not having thought about it before. “No, I haven’t.”
    He gave her hand a shake. “No, I haven’t,” he confirmed. “Gwen…. if and when I fall in love with someone, I’m the one who will be hurt. Do you know why?” She shook her head. “Because I will have to watch that person grow old and die.”
    She thought about it. He could see her struggling with it and waited. “Soooo. Closing your relationship with Ianto means you’re serious about him.”
    “Yes, I am,” he said.
    “Buuuuut…. you’re inviting me in,” she continued.
    “Yes, I am.”
    “You…. you don’t love me, though,” she said, frowning as she shook her head.
    “Why not?” he asked. “Gwen, I consider you a very close friend and that’s how I love you. I don’t say this lightly; if you knew who my ‘friends’ have consisted of in my past, you’d understand. I don’t know if I’m capable of anything deeper, I won’t lie to you about that. I am offering you a safe partner, someone to hold, someone to talk with, to discuss your day with, to laugh with, and to joke with. I’ll tear into you as your boss, and I’ll listen to you bitch about your boss when you’re off the clock. I’ll probably even agree with you. If you don’t want to sleep with Ianto, that’s fine, but he’s your friend, too. Go out with him, take in a movie and dinner together. You can bitch about that jerk of a lover you have together, and compare notes. He’s a very good conversationalist, he’s smart, quick, and does great hugs. If you let him.”
    She listened, took a deep breath, and stepped closer. He knew the subject of multiple partners was not only a strange one for her, but also a dicey one. She messed up with Owen just after she arrived to their group; Jack could understand how it happened. Owen would shag a sheep, if it gave him the eye. Scared young ladies, especially pretty young ladies, and a few pretty young men, were always in danger of being cornered by Owen. Jack knew Owen didn’t physically harm them, from what he had seen Owen was a decent lover; Gwen had been too vulnerable, at the time, though, to deal with Owen in a more sensible manner.
    As far as Jack was aware, she had never told Rhys. Gwen wasn’t the love ‘em and leave ‘em type. Her time with Owen was more shock therapy, than anything else. Jack couldn’t treat Gwen that way. He usually stuck to women who only wanted to use him, too, and he was fine with that, but Gwen was different. He needed her to come out of this in one piece, and he knew that neither he nor Ianto would hurt her.
    “How are we going to work this, Jack, a schedule?”
    He released her hands, stood, took her face in his hands, brushed her hair back, and looked closely at her cute freckles for a moment. “We’ll work it out.” He smiled softly, not remembering when the last time he had seen a woman so beautiful in such a girl-next-door face. She stilled in his hands, allowing his soothing energy to wash over her as she looked at his blue eyes. His lips touched hers. He ignored that small jolt, the same one he felt when she pecked his mouth on the first day, thanking him for something…. he couldn’t remember….
damn. Ianto soothed his heart and Gwen was soothing his mind. Why couldn’t they have been born in his own time?
    Her arms slid around his waist and up his back as she opened her mouth to him. The closeness brought new sensations, such as the one that told him she had expected him to pounce and go ape on her. Did he give her that impression? Maybe he did. He took extra care with her, doing his best to make sure she didn’t feel
trapped or used, and waited until he felt the tentative touch of her tongue before tasting the inside of her mouth. She clutched at his back, fisting the cloth of his shirt in her hands. She leaned into him some more, pressing close to him as she returned his kisses until she was breathless. From the condition of his body, Jack knew they’d work well together.
    “God,” she moaned, pulling back slightly. She was flushed and breathing heavy, licking him from her lips. Her face went to his neck and nuzzled her way around his collar bone, tasting the dip between them, at the base of his throat. He lifted his head, giving her room to explore as he pulled her close to him, pressing their bodies together. She felt good against him, her breasts pressing into his chest. Having her against him was physically different from Ianto, who was taller than him, but she fit together with him, her body curving along to his. He slid his hands down, cupping her ass and molding her to him. He lifted her in his strong arms and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he carried her across the room to the hatch of his quarters.
    “You need a proper room, if you insist on living here,” she said breathlessly against his mouth.
    “I like my bomb shelter,” he said, equally breathless. He set her down and bent to open the hatch. Her hands caressed his ass as he was bent over.
    “We’ll discuss it later,” she informed him. Considering the fact that Ianto had been arguing the same thing for a while, now, Jack had a feeling he’d be moving his quarters sooner than he expected.
    He took her hands and lowered her down the tube. She carefully turned aside so that she wouldn’t put her shoes on the bed. Jack scurried down, jumped on the bed, and began to remove clothes. Gwen grinned and raced him to skin. Much to his surprise, she jumped him, sending him flying down to the narrow bed, and
straddling his waist. He grinned back at her, growling low in his throat. He had seen her naked on several occasions, getting in and out of the showers, but those memories didn’t compare to her sitting on him, rubbing her center against his growing concern. He had been right –she wasn’t a wallflower.
    They knocked over books, scattered bedding and pillows, ensuring them a stern talking to from Ianto, and generally used each other any way they could. Gwen did have a couple of boundaries that Jack would have liked to plow through; he didn’t, though. She didn’t wait for him to make all the first moves, she made quite a few herself, making Jack laugh before gasping for air.
    Half the night later, they relaxed, breathing beginning to return to normal. Gwen’s skin began to cool, and Jack reached down, grabbed the blanket, and covered them both as he fell to the bed, turned on his side, gathering her into the curve of his body. She rested her head against his bicep, her hair wet with sweat. The new sense he got from her was one of safety and trust.
    “Should I leave?” she whispered when he was sure she was almost asleep.
    “No, of course not,” he whispered back. He pressed his mouth to her hair. “Go to sleep.”
    She held onto the strong arms around her and fell asleep.
    It hadn’t been easy for everyone when Jack came back from his year away. He could have cheerfully shot the Doctor for not bringing him back to a time closer to the one he had left. When he disappeared, there was a power struggle; Gwen had won the Top Dog’s chair. Much to Jack’s surprise, Ianto had backed her up, followed by Tosh. Owen had pissed and moaned about it, insisting that he was in charge because he was the doctor. Why shouldn’t Ianto be in charge, Gwen had argued? He had the longest record with Torchwood. He worked at Torchwood One before it was destroyed. He helped Jack rebuild it. He knew a hell of a lot more than any of them. Jack found the recordings of the Hub to be interesting. Time and again, it was Gwen and Ianto against Owen. Tosh had at least coe out of her funk over Owen; her god had shown his feet of clay once too often.
    When she threw her hat into Gwen’s ring, at Ianto’s insistence that he didn’t want the job, Owen went to Torchwood One to complain. They kicked him back to Cardiff. Jack knew what TW-1 did; they showed Owen Jack’s video-taped statement should anything happen to him. He had made a strong recommendation that Gwen become the leader of TW-3.
    The quiet opening of the hatch brought Jack from his sleep. Ianto was peering in.
    “The others will be here soon,” he said.
    “Thanks, Yan,” Jack said, equally quiet.
    “Is she alright?” Ianto asked, looking at Gwen.
    “She will be.”
    While Ianto went to make sure the Hub was cleaned of all incriminating evidence, and had coffee brewing, Jack woke Gwen up.
    “We need showers,” he told her as he pushed the hair from her eyes. “We’re a mess.”
    Towels and fresh clothes were waiting for them both in the shower room. Gwen frowned, picking up one of her shirts. It had been ironed and properly hung. They stood under the strong spray of the water, letting the heat drench their tired muscles.
    “Are you ok?” Jack asked. Her face was lifted to the water. After a moment, she turned.
    “I’m ok,” she assured him. “No regrets, Jack. I’m glad this happened.”
    “Is it going to happen again?”
    She gave him a small smile.
    “Yes, I believe it will.”
    They helped each other with backs, rinsed off, dried off, brushed hair and teeth, and dressed. Jack knew he was in trouble when she went into his office.
    And closed the door on him.
    “Hey!” he pounded on the door. Gwen had cornered Ianto. And they were talking. He was beginning to think this was a bad idea.
    They were plotting something. Jack kept watching them throughout the day. Owen and Tosh would look at each other and then at the other three before shrugging. Jack knew he was pouting at the lack of attention, but dammit! Ianto had mysteriously disappeared into the tunnels after lunch while Gwen left the building all-together. Ianto had come back from wherever he had been, whispered into Tosh’s ear, and she disappeared, too. Owen was looking almost as miffed as Jack.
    Jack went back into his office, slamming the door. Wherever Ianto had gone, it
was off the Hub’s radar. There were no CCTV cameras. Jack brought up the
schematics of the Hub, tracing Ianto’s route through the tunnels until he lost
him. Jack followed the schematics, trying to figure it out. He scratched his
head. There was nothing back there except old storage rooms with piles of dust
and God knew what else. What the hell was Ianto looking for? And why did he need
Tosh? Tosh was the computer geek, not an archaeologist. He hoped he hadn’t made
a huge mistake; he and Ianto hadn’t talked about what had happened with Gwen. He
hoped Ianto wasn’t too upset.
    “What the hell are they doing?” Owen asked, plopping himself down next to Jack.
    “No idea. It better be good.”
    “Think they’re making out?”
    Jack briefly glared at him. “Highly unlikely.”
    “Did you guys have a fight?”
    Jack wasn’t sure if the question surprised him or the fact that Owen actually sounded sincere in his concern.
    “No, we didn’t,” Jack said. “At least, I don’t think we did.” He thought about it. “No, we’re good.”
    “Birthday present?”
    Jack looked at him. “What?”
    “Well, we don’t know when your birthday is,” Owen shrugged. “Not in your files. Actually, there isn’t much at all in your files. We looked. Maybe he knows and he’s hiding something for you.”
    Jack stood and stared at the tunnel entrance. “We don’t celebrate birthdays.”
    It was Owen’s turn to stare. “What? Where on this planet…. Oh, right.”
    “We have a mother’s day,” Jack commented as he watched. “More important.”
    "You don't know your own birthday?"
    "Of course I know my own birthday."
    “So… when is it?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Wha’chu mean, you don’t know?”
    “Owen, you know I wasn’t born on this planet,” Jack said, waving a hand at the high stone ceiling. “We don’t use the same calendar as you. It was winter when I was born. That’s the best I can do.”
    “Oh, well that narrows it down,” Owen said with a nod. “Don’t suppose you could guess on an age?”
    Jack sighed. “Owen, I’m a time-traveler; you figure it out.”
    “Oh, right.” He twirled a pen. “Any siblings?”
    “Owen!”
    Owen spread his hands in an innocent gesture. “Look, neither of us knows what’s going on with those three, so unless you have something better to do, I do have a right to a medical AND family history. Right?”
    “Three!”
    “Three what?”
    “Siblings! All older sisters! I’m the youngest! Happy now?”
    “Ecstatic. Explains a lot, actually.”
    Owen’s cell phone rang. “Where are you?” he asked after looking at the caller ID. “What? Do I look like a bagboy? Oh, alright.” He closed the phone and slid it back into the holder at his belt. “Be right back; Gwen’s got groceries.”
    “Groceries?”
    Much to Jack’s consternation, a large, white, THING was pushed through the door
several minutes later. Owen was backing down the stairs with it while Gwen
guided from above. Ianto came running out of the tunnels.
    “Perfect!” he called out and helped Owen bring it down.
    “What the hell is that?” Jack demanded.
    “A mattress box,” Ianto told him. “What’s it look like?”
    “That isn’t going to fit in my space,” Jack reminded him.
    “It will when I’m done,” Ianto told him. To Jack’s even greater concern, the mattress was carried down the tunnel. The opposite direction of Jack’s little hole in the ground.
    “Jack!” Gwen called from above. He looked up. She was holding something over the side. “Catch.” She dropped it and he automatically caught it.
    “What is it?” He turned the large, plastic-wrapped bundle over in his hands.
    “Sheets.”
    He dropped them.
    “Catch!” He took several steps back. The new packages hit the floor. Gwen frowned at him in disapproval.
    “Good thing that was foam pillows,” she told him. “Or you’d be picking up the feathers.”
    Jack ignored the feeling of impending doom and crossed his arms, attempting to look stern. “What is going on?” he demanded. She skipped down the stairs.
    “Ianto and I discussed it,” she informed him. “Since you won’t take a flat like any normal person, and we refuse to skinny up and down that hole, we found a room that will work.”
    He went over it in his head a few times.
    “Work for what?”
    She picked up the sheet bundle, shoved it into his hands, and then picked up the pillows. “Living quarters. Come along, Jack.”
    He scowled at her back. “I’m not moving!”
    He considered tossing the sheets to Myfanwy for her nest but then knew his partners would make him tackle the beast to get them back. It wasn’t fair. He liked his hole in the ground….
    “Jack!”
    He trudged up the tunnel. It must have been a good half mile hike to wherever Ianto had found. There wasn’t as much dust and cobwebs as he thought there’d be; Ianto must have taken his cleaning fits out on the old tunnels.
    Lights flickered along the hallway and he followed them. Rooms that he hadn't seen in decades were filled with old boxes and filing cabinets. He made a reminder to himself to start going through them. “Where are you?” he called out.
    “We must be halfway across the city….”
    “It’s only a few hundred feet,” Ianto called back.
    Was that all?
    The room he stopped at had a steel door and frame. “What is this place?”
    “It’s the old vault,” Ianto told him. He came to the door and took the sheets from Jack’s hands. Gwen jerked her head, forcing the others out. She squeezed by Jack, gave him a gentle shove in, and followed Owen and Tosh.
    “But….” The room had been cleaned to within an inch of its life. There was even a small couch, table and chairs just inside the door, while the bed was being set up on several old, wooden desks that had their legs taken off, making them lower to the floor, at the far end of the room. The drawers were facing out, to be used for storage space. Ianto set the sheets down and put his hands on Jack’s shoulders.
    “I know you like where you are now,” he said gently, holding Jack’s blue eyes.
    “But I need you to stop living like a hermit. I understand why you don’t want a regular flat; we can’t have the neighbors disturbed by aliens and all, so I thought this room would do. It can be completely sealed against any airborne nasty, it has its own generator, Tosh will get a computer rigged up in here, and I won’t be hitting my head on the ceiling every time I leave. And it isn’t nice to make a lady climb in and out of that hatch.”
    Jack stilled for a moment before putting his arms around Ianto’s waist. “You’re ok with it?” He was kissed before his hair was taken in a fist and head gently shaken.
    “I shouldn’t be, but I am,” Ianto told him. “I could be biased, but it feels
different. You and her, and you and me.”
    Jack smiled and slid his hands to the small of Ianto’s back, pulling him closer.
    “It is different,” he assured the young man. He used his tongue to gently part Ianto’s lips. “Get things set up in here and we’ll consecrate the mattress tonight.”
    They backed up until they hit the couch and fell onto it. Jack covered the body under him, sliding his knee between Ianto’s legs to gently rub into his crotch. Ianto moaned appreciatively and lifted his leg over Jack’s hip. Unfortunately, they didn’t get much further.
    “Jack!” Gwen hissed, hurrying into the room. She squatted down next to them.
    “Sorry, Ianto. Jack, the Rift just burped.”
    Jack thought about it and then dragged his tongue back into his mouth as he lifted his head. “It did what?”
    “Burped.”
    “Indigestion?”
    “Like something came through.”
    Jack leaned on an elbow and tapped thoughtfully on Ianto’s chest. He lifted the edge of Ianto’s shirt, peeked in, and regretfully put the shirt back in order.
    “Can’t be too big, if it’s just a burp,” he commented. He stood and straightened his clothes. Before exiting the door, he turned to the other two.
    “Do I need to be concerned about anything?” he asked. “Scorpions in my bed, black widows in the shower….”
    “Ianto and I are having dinner tonight,” Gwen told him. “We’ll let you know.”
    “Fuck.” Jack hung his head and left the room. “Just remember –I did discuss things first!”
    Was he wrong? No, he didn’t think so. Both had quite clearly agreed, with full knowledge and consent, to the arrangement. Interestingly, he felt no need to go looking for anyone else. His home world had silly laws about too much sex –as IF!- and even had medications and therapy forced on people who ‘over-indulged.’
    Ok, so maybe part of his rebellion was being taken out in the bed. And everywhere else. But it felt good! Earth was hell during the 19th century, he LOVED the 60’s, and now people were finally beginning to relax. He considered all the conversations he had had with Ianto and Gwen, remembered facial expressions and tones of voices…. no, he was pretty sure everything was ok.
    “Sorry, Jack, it’s gone,” Tosh said when he came into the main work room. She brought up the replay and he stood behind her to watch the screen. The pulse of the Rift streamed across the screen and then a one-second bump before evening out again.
    “A burp,” he said, giving a slow nod. “Alright, just keep watch for a while and pay attention to the local channels for weirdness.” He patted her shoulder and she sat a little straighter at the attention. “Nice, Tosh.”
    What the hell else could go wrong?
    Ianto and Gwen continued to ‘decorate’ his new space while a miffed Owen tossed them irritated looks which they ignored, grumbling about the new chumminess of the two. Tosh was practically glowing at her computer screen, much more than usual, so Jack peaked in on whatever it was she was doing. IM-ing someone. He did a search on the other person’s ID and came up with the cute MI5 guy. Finding humor in the fact that Tosh was monitoring four other issues while chatting with the guy, Jack gave her privacy, logging out of his spy-eye with a small smile as he continued with the reading of his files. At least this potential boyfriend was someone he could approve of; MI5 knew what Torchwood did. He made a note of the man as a potential recruit.
    The bell for the upstairs door rang, and Ianto ran up the stairs, taking two steps at a time.
    “Jack!” he yelled down. “Need muscles!”
    Owen rolled his eyes and continued with his online RPG while Jack reluctantly,
and nervously, went upstairs. Ianto was signing for a delivery. A large, wooden
box stood in the center of the room which was passing as a run-down visitor’s
center.
    “What is that?” he asked, risking a peek inside one of the doors.
    “An armoire,” Ianto said, obviously. “Where did you think you’d put your clothes? Come on, help me get it downstairs.”
    Being physically stronger, Jack carried the front end down the stairs at Ianto’s insistence.
    “Oh, lovely, Ianto,” Gwen crowed, giving him a pat on the shoulders as the men stood puffing at the base of the stairs. “Come on, boys, just a few more steps.” Jack was beginning to regret the new arrangements.
    “Oh, my GOD!” Owen groaned. “It’s Ozzy and Harriett! Something’s in the water! Has to be! Next thing you know, it’ll be yellow polka dot curtains, and mani’s and pedi’s for the lizard.”
    “Jack can do his own toenails,” Ianto grunted out as they carefully walked past.
    Gwen wrinkled her nose and nodded.
    “Can I have a pedi?” she asked, blinking winsomely at him.
    “Yes, you may,” Ianto said. “You have pretty feet. Unlike others.”
    “Do you want to carry this by yourself?” Jack grumped from the head of the line.
    “Are you saying she doesn’t have pretty feet?” Ianto asked. The water was deepening.
    “Lovely feet,” Jack quickly confirmed. Gwen smiled. Saved in the nick of time.
    They got the large, upright chest situated and Gwen began to polish it while Ianto ran for Jack’s clothes. Jack went back to his office. To hide.
    The crashed space ship incident in Tunguska in 1908 was much more interesting. A 15 megaton blast that felled over 80 million trees, with a 5.0 on the Richter scale, and people accepted the story of a comet breaking up instead of the exploding ship that it was. Jack remembered the incident; he raced halfway across the world to get to Tunguska and see what he could salvage from the downed craft, only to discover that the entire area was too irradiated to approach. He did get to the event site in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2002; he had to go diving for it, but he did manage to get a few items before six different militaries found them. Nothing much was left, a few fragments, but he took them anyway and put them into deep storage in the Vaults.
    He kept staring at the Tunguska files; he really needed to get back there with some of the more specialized equipment. There had been several of these ‘events’ around Russia, and one over Spain in the past few years, and yet no one has bothered to question them beyond what the government statements of what happened. Well, if anyone did bother to question it, they weren’t around anymore to continue questioning it. Jack knew cover-up when he smelled it. Torchwood had no reason to investigate, though, so he would have to come up with some other excuse. Not that the other agencies wouldn’t see right through him…..
    The upstairs door crashed. He frowned, swung his feet to the floor, and got up to poke his head out the door.
    “Jack!” a female voice demanded. “Where are you! Get out here, this is your fault!”
    “Five says she’s pregnant,” Owen said, slapping a bill on the desk. Jack knew that voice.
    “Who are you and how did you get in here?” Ianto demanded back at her. “You need to leave, miss, these are private offices.”
    “Rose?”
    Jack stood in the middle of the room, completely dumbfounded as the young blond woman stormed down the stairs. He warily eyed the large blaster she carried.
    “Honey, what are you doing here?” he asked as she came toward him. “I thought you were… away.”
    “Sir?” Ianto and the others stood, guns at the ready, waiting for orders. Jack waved at them.
    “She’s cleared for it,” he told them. “This is Rose Tyler. Her clearance is higher than any of yours.”
    Tosh frowned. “That name is in the database,” she commented, remembering. “She…. OH!”
    “Oh what?” Owen asked. Ianto and Gwen waited to hear it, too.
    “She… she and that Doctor fellow of Jack’s are the ones who saved Canary Warf! But…. you died in that… didn’t you?” They looked at Jack, standing and breathing after several ‘deaths’.
    “Do I look dead?” Rose snapped. She shifted her feet, leaning on arm on the blaster that was hanging from her neck.
    “Wait. Did you come through the Rift?” Jack guessed, beginning to panic. “Rose, what did you do?”
    “Me? I came to get your help,” she told him. “What’s it say? When one door closes, another opens? The Doctor didn’t count on that Rift, yeah? Can we talk here?”
    Jack gave a nod. “This is my team –Gwen, Owen, Ianto, and Tosh. If it’s something to do with the Rift, you can talk.”
    “Some weird tree says you sent it through and it was ok to eat our pets.”
    Jack groaned and collapsed across a desk. “Ok, someone kill me now. I’m cooked. Can’t take anymore. HELLO!” he yelled, lifting his face to the ceiling. His face then hit the desk again.
    His back was smacked. “It ate my baby brother's rabbit! YOU explain it to 'im!”

Chapter 2: Just Who’s In Charge, Anyway?

by Michele Briere
Rating: R J/I/G
Summary: Jack gets a new playmate and new quarters before a visit from an old friend.

Note: reminder that I am in my own little AU. I tend to write in series, and it’s next to impossible to keep up with canon when you write a series. I’ll do my best to incorporate canon when I can.


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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6