Two Final Tales: The Last Diptych

For Ianto it was the perfect ending


1. Weights & Measures (Owen)

"Cough," Owen ordered.

Jack complied. "I'm not at all convinced you have the authority to do this." There was a distinctive draught in the office which threatened to bring out goose bumps. He never felt he looked his best in the cold. Especially if there was an audience involved.

"You could always ask Ianto. He's memorised the Torchwood rule book." Owen's hand was warm in the damp air and Jack was finding it difficult to avoid responding.

"Cough," the doctor ordered again.

He gave a perfunctory bark. "How long are you going to keep this up?"

Owen glanced down and snorted back a laugh. "About as long as you." It was nice wrong-footing the boss for once. "I have the right to order a full medical if I suspect a member of the force isn't fit for duty."

"I don’t think it was this kind of member they had in mind, Dr Harper. And given your recent briefing to Toshiko I 'm minded to have you sent for an eye test." Owen's fingers maintained their pressure. Jack gave up fighting the sensation and let nature take its course. "You know," he said, "there are easier ways of getting to know me better."

"Not interested, matey." He released his grip, turning away to carefully adjust the hang of his lab coat before picking up a large item from an instrument tray on the desk. "And given I've had to prescribe anti-depressants to your last work shag I think I'm better off not knowing you."

The Captain felt an icy chill run down the back of his spine. "Are you serious?" He glanced at the direction of the drug store at the back as if expecting to see the door to the room ajar.

"Yes." An endoscope of some kind was dangling from the end of the doctor’s fingers. "Now bend over." The stainless steel tip glinted cruelly in the fluorescent lights.

"No. This stops here," Jack stood his ground, arms akimbo. "And now." It was difficult to be resolute when your clothes were neatly folded on a chair half a metre away but he felt under the circumstances he managed quite well. "Any more of this nonsense and I’ll have you retconned and stuffed into a cell where you can play doctors and nurses with Janet."

Owen’s eyes bulged. For a moment Jack thought he’d swallowed his own tongue. "Well, maybe we’ll skip the rest of the tests." He looked down at the rubber tube with something approaching disappointment and bit back a sigh.

"So where’s Ianto now?" Perhaps it would be easier if he fed the lot of them into the Rift and started Torchwood Three afresh. "Overdosing in reception?"

"Nah. Probably half-way to the tattooist’s."

It took a second for the non sequitur to sink in. "Tattooist?"

Owen chewed on his bottom lip nervously, looking beyond Jack to the open doorway as if gauging the distance for a fast exit. "We decided that if the two of you wouldn’t listen to reason we’d force the issue." He drew a deep breath.

"So now I have to look at a Jack ‘n’ Ianto love heart every day?" Jack was fairly certain there was a medical laser in Owen’s kit which could be used to burn off the ink if the worst came to the worst.

"Not exactly. We told him you had a thing about piercings and if he really wanted you to find him irresistible he’d go get his todger done."

Jack stared at him grimly. "Owen fucking Harper. If that boy’s harmed himself in any way I’ll come back with an industrial staple gun and give you a piercing or three to remember."

"Don’t forget your clothes." Owen said lightly as the figure dashed off without them. He waited a few minutes then closed the door. "It’s ok. He’s gone now."

Ianto stepped out from the back room. There was a small gleam of self-satisfaction in his eyes. "Here’s your fifty quid."

The doctor smirked. "Keep it. That was more fun than I expected." He laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound. "Now what are you going to do?"

"Oh, you know," said Ianto nonchalantly, "wander around Cardiff for a bit. I figure if I can avoid bumping into him for an hour he’ll be quite malleable by then."

"Who taught you to be so evil?"

Ianto arched an eyebrow and sauntered off, hands in his pockets, whistling to himself. If you knew Suzie, like I know Suzie…


2. A Cliché Too Far (Myfanwy)

Dear Myfanwy. I hope Owen’s feeding you properly and not just letting you have his left-over pizza. You know too much pepperoni gives you the runs. And I hope you’re not still annoying Toshiko by flying low over her desk. After the last time you blew her notes into the water she threatened to have your wings clipped. So be warned my girl.

Jack’s being the perfect host and has whisked me all round Paris. Yesterday morning we went on a two-hour history tour of Notre Dame. You wouldn’t believe the number of famous people buried there. I lost count after the first thirty. In the afternoon we went on a boat trip down the Seine. Jack loved it so much we stayed on for a further three journeys.

Today we set off early for the Hôtel des Invalides. It has the largest collection of suits of armour I’ve ever seen. It took until lunchtime to get around all the exhibits. We just had time to grab a pain au chocolat before the guide appeared to take us on a personal tour of the Louvre. I don’t think I stopped walking for a minute before we went to the opera this evening. Just be lucky you have wings!

The Bastille is a lovely building. Jack ensured we arrived early enough to have a proper look at the interior before the performance began. He insisted we wore dinner jackets. Oh Myfanwy, he was so handsome in his white shirt and black bow tie. I kept looking at him throughout the first four acts in case I found myself dreaming.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about what the opera was about. It wasn’t in English. There seemed to be several larger ladies who could have been sisters arguing over a man in a deck chair. I tried to follow the plot but it was terribly confusing, especially when I couldn’t understand the words. After the first two hours I’m ashamed to say I gave up and had a snooze. I do hope Jack didn’t notice.

To be honest, I’m quite looking forward to going home. Jack’s been divine but I’ve been bored rigid most of the time.

"What are you writing?" A strong hand pulled the postcard from Ianto’s fingers, ignoring the cry of annoyance. "Bored rigid, eh?" Jack grinned, holding the offending item just out of reach.

"Well, it’s been informative,  but to be honest I’ve been a bit bored some of the time."

"Only some? I’m disappointed." He dropped the item onto the dressing table beside the tangled remains of his bow tie.

Ianto thought for a moment. "You mean to say you’ve been deliberately trying to bore me to death?"

"Of course," Jack said, letting his dressing gown slip to the floor. Ianto cast an appraising eye over the situation.


Jack chuckled. "That’s simple, my beauty." He snuggled down onto the bed and kissed Ianto’s nose. "I don’t want the scenery to be the thing you remember most about this holiday."

"You’re not—"

"I want you to look back on the time we spent here together and say—"

"Don’t." said Ianto warningly. "Don’t you dare say it. I’m not having the night ending on a cliché."

"’We’ll always have Pa—’"

But Ianto was already on top of him, his mouth pressing Jack into silence.