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Yay! I finally wrote a Lorne fic with a happy ending!



Title: Eight Days a Week
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Ianto Jones/Evan Lorne
Word Count: 6085
Warning: moderate angst, mention of character death, umm...sort of schmoop?
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: Torchwood/SGA crossover, future-fic set post-season 1 Torchwood and post-season 3 Atlantis
A/N: Title is from that Beatles song, just in case you missed out on the last 50 or so years of pop music. Also, this pairing ate my brain and is currently setting up a disgustingly domestic home in its place. But I don’t care because it’s just so damn pretty.





The first time Ianto sees him is a Thursday.

Ianto comes into work at 7:30, coffee in hand and looks up to see a man sitting on the edge of the pier staring out at the water. This is not, in itself, unusual. People often sit there in the morning. Sometimes Ianto himself comes to work early to sit and enjoy the peaceful stillness of pre-dawn Cardiff. But when Ianto looks at this man, he gets the feeling the man isn’t really seeing the bay or the boats or the buildings around him. He’s solemn and still, as though he is participating in some ancient ceremony, paying tribute to some monument only he can see.

Ianto stands, staring at the man for a full five minutes before realising he is late and rushing off.

Throughout the day, Ianto thinks of the man, wonders why he seemed so alone. When he leaves again to pick up lunch, the man is gone, and even though he knows it’s ridiculous, Ianto misses him.

The next day, a weevil escapes and Ianto forgets the stranger in the familiar excitement and subsequent exhaustion that defines his work at Torchwood.

***

Lorne still isn’t sure why he came to Cardiff. He spent the summer in Paisley, visiting Beckett’s family. At the funeral, Beckett’s mom had told him he was welcome any time, so when Lorne found himself permanently earthside, his own mother long since dead, he decided to see if she was serious.

He thought it would help, being around family, even if it wasn’t his family. But he found himself feeling out of place, though Mrs. Beckett did everything she could to make him feel at home. Eventually, he told her it was time for him to move on. She cried a little, reminding him momentarily of Beckett, and told him any friend of Carson’s would always be welcome, and she’d keep the guest room ready for him if he ever decided to come back.

He took a train south and ended up here.

He wakes up each morning, long before the sun rises, and pulls on his sweats and sneakers and a t-shirt and goes for a run. It’s the one routine from Atlantis that he still keeps. On his third day in Cardiff, he finds the Millennium Centre, overlooking Cardiff Bay. It’s a four mile run from his hotel, and when he gets there, he runs out to the edge of the pier and sits down, looking out at the water, imagining it covers most of the planet, imagining it’s clear and blue and endless, imagining it’s broken only by majestic spires, reaching upwards towards a sky full of stars at once alien and familiar.

He’s not sure how long he sits there, staring at a city he sometimes thinks exists only in his mind, but when he finally stands, he’s stiff and his sweat has dried, leaving him cold and clammy. He spends five minutes stretching and jogging in place before taking off back to his hotel.

***

The third time Ianto sees him is a Tuesday, and he wonders if the man comes here every morning, if it’s a ritual like Matins or Compline.

He notices that the man is dressed in sweats and trainers and thinks he’s probably an athlete, though he looks slightly too old to be professional. But he’s built like a rugby player, and Ianto imagines he’s strong and quick even now. Ianto wouldn’t call him old exactly, but there’s something about the way he holds himself that lets Ianto know he’s seen much, perhaps too much and is carrying the weight of it all on his shoulders, like a modern day Atlas, afraid to let the world fall.

Ianto almost goes to him, wondering if he’d like a coffee, but he’s running late, and he knows the others count on him for his punctuality, even if they don’t realise it themselves.

***

Lorne runs to the Millennium Centre every morning now. He moved to a hotel closer to the water, though he’s not sure why, since he still only goes to the waterfront during his morning run. He tells himself that he’s imagining things when he stands at his window and thinks he can smell the sea.

Cardiff Bay comes at the end of his run now. When he gets to the water, sweat drips in his eyes and he has to bend over to catch his breath. He can run so much farther now that he’s not carrying a pack, so he pushes himself harder and harder each morning, adding an extra half-mile or so and forcing himself to go faster and faster until his lungs burn and he nearly collapses on the pier. He has to stop himself from running off the end. His flying days are over, and he balks at the cowardice implied in giving up like that.

After a quick shower and breakfast, he asks the front desk where he might find an art supply shop, and she gives him detailed directions and sends him on his way.

***

The eighth time Ianto sees him is a Saturday, and it’s in the afternoon.

Weekends don’t mean as much to Ianto now as they did before Torchwood. He hardly notices except that there are more people on the streets when he goes out for coffee or take-away.

The man is sitting in his usual place on the edge of the pier, seemingly oblivious to the meandering crowds that sunny days always lure outside. He’s dressed in jeans this time and a blue sweatshirt and he has a sketchbook on his lap.

Ianto puzzles over this all the way to the coffee shop, wondering what made the man decide to come during the day, wondering if he’s sketching the bay as Ianto sees it or as it appears in his mind. He orders an extra cappuccino and tells the others he’s going out for a bit when he drops off their coffee, asks them to radio him if there’s anything urgent. They smile indulgently, and Ianto knows they are wondering what could possibly happen that they would need him to come back for. Jack gives him a quizzical look, though, and Ianto just smiles back at him.

He takes his mocha and the cappuccino to the end of the pier and sits down.

“You look like you could use a coffee,” he says, and tries to ignore the way his hand is shaking as he holds the cup out towards this man. He has no idea why he decided to approach him, and that makes him a little nervous.

The man looks up from his sketching and raises an eyebrow at Ianto. His eyes are a clear grey, and the lines around them tell Ianto that he is used to smiling, though he isn’t smiling now. He looks confused and melancholy.

“It’s cappuccino, but I’ve a mocha as well, if you’d prefer.”

The stranger reaches out to accept the cup from Ianto’s trembling fingers, but he still doesn’t smile as he says, “Thank you?”

Ianto tries to smile brightly enough for both of them. “You’re welcome.”

The man takes a hesitant sip and closes his eyes.

“I...I’ve seen you here in the mornings. You’re always sitting here when I come to work.”

He sighs. “I like to run out here.” If the thank you had left any doubt, the flat, short vowels of this statement tell Ianto the man is American, or possibly Canadian.

“I see. I thought I might as well introduce myself.” He holds out a hand that is shaking only slightly less than before, and Ianto wonders why he is so nervous about this. There’s nothing at stake, really. “I’m Ianto Jones.”

The man turns to him and takes the proffered hand, shaking it firmly and looking into Ianto’s eyes as he replies. “Maj....Evan. Evan Lorne.” He is smiling now, in a sort of bemused way, but his eyes are still sad and dull. And the lines don’t crinkle at all.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Evan. Have you been in Cardiff long?”

Evan puts away his pencils and closes his sketch book. “Not long, no. You?” The question is facetious, but Ianto answers anyway.

“Most of my life. What brings you to Wales then?”

“A train.”

He’s looking out over the water again, and Ianto desperately wants to ask him what he sees. Instead, he laughs at what he assumes was a joke, disappointed that Evan doesn’t seem willing to talk with him. “Well, enjoy your coffee, and I hope that Cardiff treats you well, Evan.” He stands and brushes his hands on his trousers.

He’s about three metres away when he hears a voice behind him.

“Hey, Ianto. I haven’t seen much of the city yet, and I could use a guide. Know anyone who’d be interested?”

When he looks back, Evan is smiling, crinkles and all. It almost pushes the sadness out. Ianto knows he is grinning back. “I don’t work tomorrow. Shall I meet you here?”

“Sure. How about ten tomorrow?”

“I’ll be here.”

***

Lorne pulls his sketchbook and pencils out of his bag and carries them over to his window. He’s got a beautiful view of the water from here. He paid a little extra to have the hotel move him to a room that looked out on the bay. He doesn’t mind the extra price. The Stargate program, like the Navy Seals, takes care of its own, and Lorne isn’t lacking for funds.

He sits in the windowsill and flips through the book, stopping to look at the sketches he did this morning, Atlantis superimposed over Cardiff Bay. He wonders briefly what Heightmeyer would make of that. Flipping to a blank page, he picks up a pencil and begins to sketch the view.

A few hours later, he looks back at his work to discover that, where he’d meant to draw the city and the sea, he’s drawn a young man, dark hair, light eyes, kind smile, suit-clad, holding two cups of coffee.

He’s still not sure why he asked Ianto to show him the city, but looking back through his sketches, he sees the smile and is glad he did. It’s been too long since there was someone in his life he could call a friend.

***

The first time they go out is a Sunday.

Ianto arrives at the pier a little before ten and finds Evan already there, sketchbook out, staring off towards the horizon. He walks over to him and stops, standing just behind him, looking down onto his sketch. It’s quite a good sketch of the bay, but there’s something in the water, something tall and spindly, like a group of crystals, jutting out of the bay.

Before Ianto can think too much about it, Evan looks up and sees him standing there. “Hey,” he says, closing his sketchbook and standing.

“Hello.” Evan is a few centimetres shorter than Ianto, and Ianto smiles down at him. “Ready for your tour?”

“Just let me pack this up.” Ianto watches as he stows his pencils in their case and puts the case and the book into a canvas messenger bag before slinging it over his shoulder. “All ready.”

Ianto allows himself a moment to admire Evan. He’s older than Ianto by about seven or eight years, Ianto guesses, broad shoulders accentuated by a black t-shirt that’s just a little too tight in the chest. Ianto reckons most shirts are too small in the chest for Evan. His shoulders taper into slim hips, which are covered in dark blue jeans. He’s still wearing trainers, and Ianto wonders if Evan is always ready to run.

When Evan clears his throat, Ianto realises that he must have been staring and smiles shyly by way of apology. “Shall we go then?”

Evan smiles at him, and Ianto doesn’t know how anyone could go their whole life without experiencing that. It’s part mischief, part amusement and part affection. It immediately earns a place on Ianto’s list of things that must be seen once in his life. It still doesn’t quite erase the melancholy in Evan’s eyes, and Ianto can’t help but be grateful. If this smile is only at half-volume, what must the real thing be like?

“After you,” Evan says, and Ianto realises he was staring again. Somehow, he doesn’t think Evan minds so much.

Ianto shows him around the neighbourhood, avoiding the touristy places in favour of little known parks and shops. Things Evan might need to know about if he’s planning on staying for any length of time. They have lunch at Ianto’s favourite kebab stand, where the proprietor knows him by name and has his order started before they even reach the counter.

They carry their take-away to a nearby park and sit on the grass to eat.

“How long are you planning to stay in Cardiff?” Part of Ianto is hoping Evan will say for ever.

“I don’t know, really. I didn’t really have any plans when I came. I didn’t even mean to come to Cardiff. I just sort of ended up here.”

“I’m glad you got on that train then.”

Evan’s smile this time is sheepish. Ianto wants to start another list of all the different smiles Evan can produce. “So am I.”

There’s silence for a moment as they both turn their attention to their kebabs. Then Evan asks, “So what sort of job requires you to wear a suit and work on Saturdays?”

Ianto falters for a moment, pretending to rearrange his kebab. This is the question he always dreads. “It’s a sort of special ops unit.”

“Like in the RAF?”

Ianto tilts his head. “When I say special ops, you immediately think RAF?”

Evan looks away. “It was just the first thing that came to mind. So what? Like army or something?”

“Something. Sorry, I can’t really say more.”

“That’s cool.” Ianto waits for the follow up questions. What do you do there? What sort of government secrets do you know? But they don’t come. Evan seems to be satisfied with that. It’s not something Ianto is used to.

“So what do you do, Evan?”

“At the moment, nothing.”

Ianto rolls his eyes because he walked right into that one. “Okay, what did you do? You must have had an occupation at some point. Unemployed people rarely have the luxury of transatlantic travel.”

Evan smirks, and Ianto hopes that’s a good thing. “I was in the Air Force.”

And though Evan seems reluctant to say more, Ianto finds he can’t help the questions that follow. “What sort of work did you do for them?”

Evan gives him an inscrutable look. “Special ops.”

Ianto is about to reply when he hears a familiar chirping from his pocket. He pulls out his phone and grimaces when he sees the name of the caller.

“Ex-girlfriend?” Evan asks.

Ianto gives him a wry smile and says, “No, work. Sorry, but I’ve got to go.”

“No worries,” Evan says. And he honestly doesn’t seem bothered by it.

“I am really sorry. Really.” He’s glancing around, making sure he’s not leaving anything important behind.

“Ianto,” Evan says, placing his hands on Ianto’s shoulders and holding him still. “It’s okay. I understand. Go.”

It’s Ianto’s turn to smile sheepishly. “Sorry I didn’t get to finish your tour. Do you know where your hotel is from here?”

“Yeah, I run through this park every morning, actually. Rain check on the rest of the tour?”

“Of course. I don’t know when I’ll be...”

Evan cuts him off. “I’ll see you in the morning. We can work it out then, okay?”

Ianto’s been clearing up the remnants of their lunch as they’ve spoken, and he stops for a moment to look at Evan. It’s been a long time since Ianto’s tried for a relationship outside of work, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t recognise the look on Evan’s face. “Definitely,” he breathes out. “Tomorrow. Sorry, I’ve got to go now.” He waves absently at Evan as he runs off towards the Hub.

He knows he’ll be teased for showing up to work without a suit, but at the moment, he can’t bring himself to care.

***

By the time Ianto has another free day, it’s been almost a week since their first date. They decide to meet for lunch at a little Chinese place Ianto assures him has the best chow mein in Cardiff. Lorne figures Ianto must only go to about four restaurants ever, because the owner of this one knows him by name too, and they get pushed to the top of the list and seated at a little corner table away from the crowds.

Neither of them talk about Ianto’s sudden disappearance. Lorne doesn’t ask him because he knows what it’s like to have to lie to someone about your work, and he knows perfectly well why Ianto doesn’t bring it up. It’s the same reason Lorne never talked about work when he was at the SGC. It’s easier to pretend you’re not leading a double life if you don’t have to talk about it.

Ianto is telling a story about how he and his classmates used to torment their history teacher by refusing to speak in English even though their teacher was from London and his Welsh was horrible. Lorne isn’t really listening. He’s thinking about the way Ianto’s mouth moves, and the lilting vowels of his accent. Every once in a while, he catches himself staring at Ianto’s lips and tries to stop, but his gaze keeps getting drawn back. If Ianto’s noticed, he either doesn’t mind or is too polite to say anything.

Ianto says his name a lot. Lorne doesn’t think he’d notice it as much if he didn’t call him Evan. No one calls him that any more. It usually bothers him. But somehow, when Ianto says it, it sounds right. He can’t imagine Ianto calling him Lorne, actually.

“What’s that face, then?”

“Hm?”

“You’re making a face at me, Evan. What is it?”

“It’s just...” Lorne rubs a hand over his face, not quite sure how to explain.

“Yes?”

“It’s been a long time since anyone called me that.”

“What? Evan?”

“Yeah. I started going by Lorne in high school. After that, only my mom called me Evan. It’s always a little weird to hear other people saying it.”

“I can stop if you like.” And his face is so sincere that Lorne can’t help himself. He’s reaching out to Ianto, sliding a hand around the back of his neck and pulling him close so that their foreheads are resting against each other and their lips are almost touching.

“Don’t.”

And then they kiss, and it’s like coming home. It’s like flying. It’s like saving Atlantis, one last time.

When they part, Ianto’s skin is flushed and he smiles softly. “I’ve always liked the name Evan. It’s a good, Welsh name.”

“So it is.” And there’s nothing more that needs to be said, so Lorne leans in again and captures those perfect lips, the ones that say his name and make it sound so right.

***

The first time they make love is a Wednesday.

Ianto invites Evan over for dinner and a film. He picks Evan up at his hotel and they go to the video store together. Ianto’s spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of film they should watch. He knows Evan’s a comic book reader so he directs him to the action section and picks up Blade.

“How about this one?”

Evan blanches. He’s silent for a moment and then quietly says, “I don’t really think I’m in the mood for vampires tonight.”

Ianto nods and puts it back, something in Evan’s voice making him think that Evan’s reasons for not wanting to watch Blade are similar to his own reasons for not wanting to watch Silence of the Lambs. For the first time, Ianto wants to ask Evan what he did in special ops. He can’t imagine anyone having firsthand experience with vampires without being connected to Torchwood or something similar.

In the end, they pick up The Princess Bride. Ianto gives Evan an odd look when he suggests it, but Evan is appalled that Ianto has never seen it, so Ianto agrees and they stop by the Indian place next to Ianto’s flat to pick up their dinner. (Evan asks Ianto if he’s personal friends with every immigrant in Cardiff or if he’s just a really, really good tipper.)

After dinner and the film, Ianto admits that The Princess Bride is not a chick flick, and that it is, in fact, a very good film. And then they’re snogging on his couch, and Evan’s hands slide up under Ianto’s shirt, and suddenly, Ianto can’t remember why he’s wearing it at all, or why Evan is or why they’re both still in their trousers. And once those are out of the way, Ianto stands and pulls Evan to his feet and leads him down the hallway to his bedroom, and they fall onto the bed tasting and touching and holding each other.

And Ianto finally gets to see Evan’s smile at full strength, and it’s a secret he wants to keep to himself forever. Let the world see him melancholy and serious; joyous Evan is Ianto’s alone.

Later, Evan is lying on his back, his right hand settled on his stomach, his left arm draped above his head, staring at the ceiling, and Ianto’s on his side, facing away from him. Even from there, he almost thinks he can hear Evan’s mind working, spinning out in a million different directions. He lets out a quiet, “Hmph,” and rolls over, slinging his left leg over Evan’s. He twines his fingers into Evan’s and strokes his thumb gently over Evan’s stomach, laying his head on Evan’s chest and nuzzling at the joint between neck and shoulder.

“Stop that.”

Evan shifts so that his cheek rests on Ianto’s head, his left arm sliding around Ianto’s back. “Stop what?”

“Thinking. It’s keeping me awake, and it’s not doing you any good either.”

The press of lips to throat that accompanies this admonishment is answered by a soft kiss to Ianto’s forehead, and Ianto can feel the smile that goes with it. “As you wish.”

Slowly, he feels Evan relax beneath him, breaths evening out until he hears the soft snore that signals the final descent into rest. He places one last kiss to Evan’s throat and says, “I love you too,” before letting himself follow.

***

The next morning, they go running together, and Lorne is pleased to find that Ianto keeps up with him most of the time. They don’t end up at the water this time. Ianto takes them a different route. Afterwards they shower together at Ianto’s, and walk down to the pier. Ianto kisses him goodbye and heads off for work, and Lorne settles down to sketch.

First he draws the bay, as it is. Then he draws Ianto, standing on a balcony, overlooking Atlantis. Then he draws himself and Ianto standing on the pier. Then Ianto alone, lying in bed, the sunlight streaming through the stained glass window, Ianto’s bed in Lorne’s quarters in the city.

He doesn’t realize how late it is until Ianto taps him on the shoulder.

Lorne looks up into Ianto’s smiling face. “Waiting for me, Evan?”

Lorne smiles and stands up, and they walk home together.

***

The first time Ianto mentions Evan at work is a Monday.

It comes up over lunch. They often talk about who has a life outside of Torchwood and who doesn’t. Usually the answer is no one and everyone. And Ianto has never corrected them, because he’s seen what Torchwood does to relationships, and he isn’t ready to subject Evan to that, even if he truly believes Evan would be able to handle it.

But Jack surprises him. “Ianto’s seeing someone. Aren’t you, Ianto? Meets him at the pier every day after work.”

They all look at him with eager curiosity. He begins to clear the table. “Yes, actually.”

“Well?” Tosh asks.

“Well, what?” He doesn’t mean to be petulant, but he doesn’t want Evan sullied by the gossip he knows will fly after this.

“What’s he like? What’s his name? What does he do?”

Ianto sighs, knowing he won’t be able to get out of this so easily as he had hoped. “His name is Evan. He’s American, retired Air Force. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really ought to be getting back to my desk.”

He knows it was rude to leave them like that. They’re his friends. They’ve been his only friends for quite some time now. It’s natural that they’d be curious about his love life. But he can’t discuss this with them. He’s still optimistic enough to believe it will work out, and he doesn’t want them to ruin that.

After about ten minutes, Gwen comes up to his desk.

“Don’t you find it a bit, sort of, difficult?” she asks him, her face a perfect study in friendly concern.

“Find what difficult, exactly?” Ianto likes to think he’s got to know Gwen well enough to understand her most of the time, but he honestly isn’t sure what she’s asking.

“Being in a relationship with someone who’s....”

“Normal?”

“No...I mean...well, yes.” She pauses. “It’s just...with Rhys...It was so difficult, not being able to tell him anything. I hated lying to him.”

Ianto smiles. “It’s different with Evan. He doesn’t ask questions he knows I can’t answer. He...understands.”

Gwen gives him a look which indicates that she thinks he’s kidding himself.

Ianto smirks. “No, really. He understands. There are things in his past he can’t tell me about either. It makes things easier.”

Gwen smiles sympathetically, and he wonders if it’s because she doesn’t believe him or because she knows he doesn’t believe himself.

***
A few weeks after Lorne moves into Ianto’s apartment, (“It’s pointless for you to be paying for a hotel room, Evan. You spend every night here.”) Ianto comes home with a black eye and a limp.

Lorne doesn’t ask. He just shepherds him into the living room and fetches him some ice before calling the Thai place down the street and asking for Ianto’s usual. They watch cartoons, because Lorne knows Ianto still sometimes likes them, even if he won’t admit it out loud, and Lorne tucks him in and kisses him goodnight before going to sleep on the couch because he’s afraid he might hurt Ianto during the night.

The next day, Lorne is sketching down on the pier again. He doesn’t know why he still comes here. He doesn’t ever sketch the bay any more, but he’s thinking of turning some of his sketches into watercolors.

A shadow falls over his shoulder and he smiles. “You’re early,” he begins, but stops when he sees that the man above him is not Ianto.

The stranger smiles at him and sits down next to him on the pier. He holds out a hand to Lorne and smiles. “Captain Jack Harkness. You must be Evan.”

Lorne’s heard of Jack by now. He’d be a little jealous of the way Ianto talks about him if he didn’t think it was probably exactly the same way he talked about Sheppard. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Captain. I’ve heard a lot about you.” If Jack notices that Lorne’s squeezing his hand a little tighter than necessary, he doesn’t show it.

“I wish I could say the same, Evan. It’s like pulling teeth getting Ianto to talk about you.”

Lorne has somehow never realized that Jack is American. It seems incongruous. Lorne is almost embarrassed to be American as well. “Actually, Captain, I prefer to go by Lorne.”

“Really? Ianto always calls you Evan. Huh.” Jack is looking out over the bay. “You can call me Jack, by the way.”

Lorne closes his sketchbook. “So, Jack. Wanna tell me why you came out here today?”

“I like you, Lorne. You get right to the point.” Jack’s smiling, and Lorne recognizes the smile. It’s the one Sheppard always gave on first contact missions. The one that made people like him immediately and made it that much easier for them to negotiate profitable trade agreements.

Lorne’s been immune to that smile for quite some time. “Then I suppose you wouldn’t mind returning the favor.”

Jack looks at him for a long moment. “I’ve known Ianto for a very long time, Lorne. He’s one of my best people. I don’t want to see him hurt.”

A muscle in Lorne’s jaw is twitching. “Oh?”

“You seem like a good guy, Lorne. Ianto certainly seems to think you are. But I know what happens when people in our line of work try to have relationships with people outside. They get hurt.”

Lorne clenches his fists. He’s trying to control his temper, but he’s not sure how good a job he’s doing. “And Ianto isn’t getting hurt at work?”

“That’s different. You have more power to hurt him than anything we deal with.”

And then it hits him. He finally gets what Jack is telling him. “You think I’m going to get fed up with the secrecy and leave him, don’t you?”

“That’s what usually happens, yes.”

Jack’s voice is casual, and it makes Lorne want to punch him because this is Ianto he’s discussing here. There should be some emotion involved. Ianto deserves that.

“I don’t know how much Ianto has told you, Jack,” Lorne says, and the Jack comes out like a curse, “but I’ve got more than a passing acquaintance with secrecy myself. I’ve spent the last seven years of my life working for a top secret military organization. I couldn’t even tell my mom what I really did. I’m not about to leave Ianto because he can’t tell me where he really works. He may be just another employee to you, Jack, but he’s my whole world. I love him, and I’m not giving him up over some stupid classified job.”

Lorne stands up, and Jack slowly pulls himself off the ground as well. He claps a companionable hand on Lorne’s shoulder. “Thanks, Lorne. That’s just what he needed to hear.”

Lorne’s confusion lasts only for a moment before he looks over Jack’s shoulder and sees Ianto standing there smiling.

Jack walks past him with a grin and says, “Take the day off tomorrow, Ianto. I’ve a feeling you’ll need it.”

***

The first time Ianto brings Evan to drinks with his mates from work is a Friday.

It’s rare that there’s a night where not only are all of them available, but they don’t have any emergencies popping up to force them back to the Hub. Jack suggests they use the opportunity wisely, and everyone insists that Ianto bring Evan.

They meet at a pub just up the street from the Millennium Centre. Ianto can’t help but feel a bit cocky when he sees the looks Gwen and Tosh give Evan. He can’t blame them. Evan looks fantastic tonight. Ianto almost didn’t let him out of the flat.

Introductions are made all around, and Ianto is amazed at how quickly Evan insinuates himself into their group. When they met, Evan was so serious and quiet. He’s never seen Evan in a social situation before, but he wouldn’t have expected him to be this gregarious.

But Evan is laughing and smiling (not that smile, Ianto tells himself) and flirting with Tosh and Gwen, and sometimes with Owen, just to make him squirm. And everyone loves him, and Ianto wonders what he was so worried about.

Then Jack puts his arm around Evan’s shoulder, and Ianto can’t breathe. He’s never told Evan about his relationship with Jack. He somehow feels that’s as confidential as the rest of what happens at Torchwood. But here they are. The man he loves and the man he once loved. And Jack is flirting with Evan, and Ianto knows that in a moment, Evan will be flirting back. He must. It’s in his nature. And Ianto is suddenly, irrationally afraid that it won’t stop there. Why wouldn’t Jack want Evan? Jack wants everyone, and Evan is...well...he’s Evan. Ianto sometimes thinks he might be perfect. And why wouldn’t Evan want Jack? Everyone wants Jack. Ianto sometimes thinks that even Owen wants Jack.

Just as he’s about to work himself into a real panic attack, Evan looks across the table at him and smiles. And this is a new one. Ianto is already mentally adding it to his list. This smile is part amusement, part concern, part happiness. But mostly, it’s love. And it scares Ianto a little to realise that he never knew how much Evan loved him until this moment. This is the smile that will always be Ianto’s. No one else gets to see it.

When they go home that night, Ianto reaches for Evan and slides his fingers through Evan’s hair. (He started growing it out a few weeks ago.) He pulls him forward and kisses him until he can’t breathe. Then he smiles at Evan, and hopes that his smile says all the things that Evan’s did.

Somehow, he thinks Evan understands.

***

Lorne has his easel set up on the pier when Jack comes to see him the next time. He’s working on the water color of his sketch of Ianto on the balcony. Jack stands behind him watching as Lorne finishes his stroke.

“Can I ask you something, Lorne?”

Lorne spins on his stool and looks up at Jack. “Shoot.”

“Are you happy being unemployed?”

“Are you asking if I’m planning on mooching off of Ianto for the rest of my life?”

Jack smiles. “I know you’re not mooching off Ianto. I’m asking if you’re happy with your art or if you miss being out there.”

“Out where, exactly?”

“Cut the crap, Lorne. I head up an organization that is beyond the jurisdiction of any one government. I know what you used to do.”

“We are men of action. Lies do not become us?”

Jack smirks, and Lorne stands, because if they’re going to have this conversation, he’s not giving any ground. He crosses his arms and looks Jack in the eye. “I’m happy with Ianto.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“What do you think?”

“I think no one could give up what you’ve given up and not miss it a little. You and I are a lot alike, Lorne. I’ve never been to Atlantis, but from what I’ve heard, I wouldn’t be able to give it up so easily.”

Lorne looks at his painting. Ianto and Atlantis. They’re the only things he’s ever had that he’d happily die for. “Of course, I miss it.”

“Good. Come with me.”

Jack waits while Lorne packs up his easel and his paints, and then he leads him down to a little shop. At least, Lorne thinks it’s a shop. It seems to be some sort of tourist information center. There are maps and postcards for sale, but no one is behind the counter. Jack reaches behind the front desk and presses a button, and one wall pulls back to reveal a hallway behind.

Lorne grins, because he knows where this is going, and he’s already made up his mind to say yes.

***

The first time Ianto and Evan work together is a Thursday.

There’s been a report of a meteor crashing just outside the city. Evan looks a bit apprehensive as he straps on his sidearm.

“Thought you used to do this for a living, Lorne?”

Evan looks over at Jack. “Yes, sir. But I’m used to having a nice thick tac vest between me and the monsters.”

Jack claps a hand on his shoulder. “You’ll do just fine.”

They head out towards the SUV, but just before Evan steps out the door, Ianto grabs his arm and pulls him back.

Evan cocks his head and raises an eyebrow. Ianto kisses him quickly. “Good luck out there.”

Evan grins, happy and sure of himself, and Ianto knows this is what Evan was like before he left Atlantis. “You don’t need luck when you’re as good as me.”

He winks, and Ianto can’t help but laugh.

“My hero.”

Jack’s arm reaches in and grabs Evan’s jacket, pulling him out.

Ianto hears Evan’s voice calling from the other side of the door, “Italian tonight?”


fin
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Date: 2007-05-27 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ana-grrl.livejournal.com
OMG! This is so charming! I grinned the whole way through. Ianto! Lorne! Happiness! I like the way you don't get into to many details about why Lorne is back on Earth, and I also like the way you weave in the small details about Sheppard, and his old job, and Atlantis.

Thanks for writing this!

Date: 2007-05-27 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! As I said, this pairing ate my brain. The whole fic pretty much wrote itself :).

Date: 2007-05-27 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonbetween.livejournal.com
OMG! Love it! Love It! LOVE IT!

No words, for real.

Date: 2007-05-27 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-05-27 03:57 am (UTC)
misslucyjane: poetry by hafiz (Default)
From: [personal profile] misslucyjane
That was darling :). I love the slow build and your vision of Ianto & the Torchwood team.

([livejournal.com profile] morethanteaboy-mun)

Date: 2007-05-27 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Even though my Ianto is not quite like yours, I do blame you for this. I hadn't even seen any Torchwood until Ianto and Lorne started flirting :). Then I had to go out and find it so I could see what was so cool about him.

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Date: 2007-05-27 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shara50.livejournal.com
That was absolutley terrific. Ianto and Lorne worked so well in this and the little bits of Atlantis that you brought in were perfect. I loved it.

Date: 2007-05-27 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-05-27 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talcat.livejournal.com
Also, this pairing ate my brain and is currently setting up a disgustingly domestic home in its place. But I don’t care because it’s just so damn pretty.

If they need a holiday home they can come to my brain *pets the pretty*

I adore this it is so FANTASTIC!
I think my favorite part is Jack going to check out Even and makeing sure he's good enough for Ianto.

Please say your going to write more.

Please?

Date: 2007-05-27 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
I may force them to go on holiday at some point, at which time, I will happily point them in your direction :).

I have, at present, no plans for a sequel, but as my great friend, the late, lamented Rabbie Burns once oh-so-famously said, "The best laid scheme's o' mice, men and fanfic writers gang aft agley." Or something along those lines.

There may be more Ianto/Lorne love at some point. I'm still a bit nervous about venturing outside of my safe little SGA world, but Torchwood has so much pretty that it may prove impossible very difficult to resist.

Date: 2007-05-27 09:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadowhuntress.livejournal.com
You. Just. WIN. I stumbled upon this from my friendsfriends list and boy-howdy am I glad I did. This is absolutely wonderful. I never would have imagined the pairing, but they suit each other so well here. And Jack, of course, is Jack. ;-) I love how Lorne has built up an immunity to Jack's sort of charm. I also loved Ianto feeling smug when he brings Lorne to meet the rest of the team. Beautiful work. Thank you so much for sharing.

::adds to Memories::

Date: 2007-05-27 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I'd never even considered crossing Torchwood and SGA (even though I've seen several stories that do), but I play Lorne in a multi-fandom RPG, and he's been flirting up a storm with Ianto over there. This fic is kind of a direct byproduct of that :).

Date: 2007-05-27 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noneofyours.livejournal.com
I've never seen SGA, but a friend of mine who is a Stargate fan fangirl recc'd this to me. I'm so glad she did. I'm not sure if not knowing Evan is better or worse for this story. I don't have any base to compare him to, regarding character voice and such. Still, I love this story. I think you got the TW team perfectly, especially Ianto. And I can see him getting over Jack and moving on to be happy again. Love it.

Date: 2007-05-27 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you decided to give it a chance.

Actually, when I was finished, I looked back at the whole thing and realized that even if you weren't a Torchwood fan or an SGA fan, the fic still makes sense, mostly. It's good to know that I was right :).

Date: 2007-05-27 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] britchick5000.livejournal.com
This is so wonderful. I love the way you meshed the two worlds together and happy endings are such a good thing. It stands so well alone and feels so complete, but I can't help hoping that you write some more in this world. I'd love to see how things go in the future.

Date: 2007-05-27 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
D'oh! Livejournal ate my response to this. Oh well, I'll try again.

Firstly, thanks!

Secondly, I've been having a bit of a rough patch of Lorne fics lately, and have been experiencing a distinct inability to give him a truly happy ending. I'm hoping this fic signals the end of that.

And lastly, I hadn't planned on doing more with this world, but it may decide it has other plans for me :).

Date: 2007-05-27 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparxxa.livejournal.com
Atlantis and Torchwood. Lorne and Ianto. Please excuse me while I drop dead with happiness.

Awesome fic. Really really good!

Yay!

Date: 2007-05-27 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-05-27 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galaxy-song.livejournal.com
oh this was just great Ianto and Lorne are just so good together.

I liked when Ianto was hurt and Lorne just looked after him and didn't ask any questions.

Would love it if you added more maybe add some more Atlantis characters, but this was realy good

Date: 2007-05-27 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

*sigh* Protective/nurturing!Lorne is one of my favorites :).

Considering that I'm primarily an SGA writer and this is my first Torchwood fic, I was kind of surprised to find that it came out so Torchwood-centric. If I add more, I'll probably try to bring in more Atlantis people/elements.

Date: 2007-05-27 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhydwen.livejournal.com
That was so great. You made them such a good couple.

Date: 2007-05-27 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2007-05-27 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marag.livejournal.com
Squee!! This is very cute and wonderful and I love the idea of Lorne getting to join Torchwood.

Date: 2007-05-27 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-05-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coffeegirl18.livejournal.com
Aww they'd be so freaking cute together. Love the parts about Ianto cataloguing Lorne's smiles and the whole Jack flirting with Lorne and Ianto getting panicky.

I'm addicted to Torchwood/Stargate Atlantis x-overs...there's quite a few oddly enough.

Gtg banana bread is ready.

Date: 2007-05-27 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zabbers.livejournal.com
Ahaha *claims blame for this!*

*cheeky smile*

Excellent fic. Very curious just how parallel Lorne's past relationship with Sheppard was with Ianto's and Jack's. I saw that you were an SGA writer, and I just knew it'd be good, even if I had never considered putting the two of them together before, and you convinced me. It's the little touches (like the movies, heh) that I really like, and the things that aren't said.

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Date: 2007-05-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mgunby.livejournal.com
This was adorably fantastic. I love Lorne and Ianto together, and of course Jack would recruit him. Wonderful!

Date: 2007-05-28 12:01 am (UTC)

Date: 2007-05-27 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] altorogue.livejournal.com
That was gorgeous, simply gorgeous. I had no clue how you were going to make it work, but it worked wonderfully. Made me melt into a puddle of goo as well. :D

Date: 2007-05-28 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

*searches for mop to clean up the goo*

Date: 2007-05-27 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluejbird.livejournal.com
Oh my. This is one of the lovliest things ever!

Date: 2007-05-28 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-05-27 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] szm.livejournal.com
Yay! Vast amounts of yay, oceans of yay!

lovely, lovely story. Ianto falls in love and it's not the end of the world. And Lorne is so sweet.

Date: 2007-05-28 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2007-05-28 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xanphibian.livejournal.com
Wow, this is just so romantic! And wonderful. Truly, truly wonderful. Carson's mom made me want to cry, and Lorne's art made me smile, and Ianto made me squee with happiness. This is just a happy fic all around. Wonderful. *draws hearts on your story*

Date: 2007-05-28 10:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Yay! Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it.

Date: 2007-05-30 02:22 pm (UTC)
libitina: snake across an open book (Default)
From: [personal profile] libitina
OH! This is all kinds of awesome. As soon as you set up their meeting, I could see where it was headed - but it was just so much fun watching them both heal and fit back into their worlds. I am totally rooting for them.

Date: 2007-05-30 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-06-01 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinimato.livejournal.com
This. Is. The PERFECT. Lorne/Ianto. Ever. Gods I love this 1001 ways. I love these two together, and I've tried to stuff them together, and I could never, ever, do an eighth of the job you've done here.

It's so Lorne, painting/sketching Atlantis on Cardiff Bay, and missing the water, and missing Atlantis so, and being the calm, patient guy he is with everything. And it's so Ianto, hiding himself, but not, and dealing with the crap from the team, and discovering bits and pieces and, and, and it's all so. Guh.

And BLADE! You picked that on purpose, 'cause of the one episode the actor did, right? (as in, like, my icon :-P.)

Really. I can't express enough love for this. LOVE.

Date: 2007-06-01 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Wow. 1001 ways, really? Thanks. Gosh, I'm blushing now. *looks away shyly and fans face furiously*

Seriously, though. Thank you. I'm so very, very glad you enjoyed it.

I picked Blade for two reasons...well, three actually.
1) It's got vampires.
2) Because Kavan Smith was in that episode of Blade (which I have been trying to find since I found that out and haven't had any luck with yet).
3) It's my own personal canon that Lorne is a comic book geek. But not like Batman, Spiderman, Superman, X-men necessarily. More along the lines of Blade, Sandman, V for Vendetta, Watchmen. And I wanted there to be a reason Ianto picked a vampire movie.

But yes, Kavan being in Blade definitely played a part. Also, I have always loved your icon, and I don't know if I've ever told you so. It's beautiful. Marvelous. Guh.

Date: 2007-06-03 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] threnodyjones.livejournal.com
This was absolutely fantastic!

Date: 2007-06-04 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2007-06-07 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] umbralillium.livejournal.com
I haven't seen SGA eps with Lorne (though I wish I could, Lorne already has my undying devotion because he's an artist), but I loved this. I liked the recurring 'first times' theme throughout and the hint of Jack/Ianto. ^___^ And good on Jack for offering Lorne a job with Torchwood.

Date: 2007-06-07 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Lorne doesn't show up until season 2, and you don't find out he's an artist until late season 3, but he's one of my favorite SGA characters (possibly my favorite, but really, who can choose?).

I kind of see Ianto as the sort of person who would mentally catalogue the first time he *fill in the blank* (or the third time, or the eighth time...) by what day of the week it was or what the weather was like or something like that.

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Date: 2007-06-13 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] havenstar.livejournal.com
I don't actually watch Torchwood, but I do keep up with it well enough (it's difficult not to when it's all over my flist) and I've seen enough clips to know that I love Ianto. And I also love Lorne. So I figured, well, why not give this fic a try, and lord am I glad I did. Really lovely, wonderfully done and it's odd- and awesome- how well the two fandoms match up and how well the boys do, too. Very sweet, very believable, hugely enjoyable- thanks for sharing!

Date: 2007-06-13 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading!

It is interesting how well SGA and Torchwood work together, isn't it? I've actually seen several crossovers myself.

I'm so glad you liked it and took the time to comment.

Date: 2007-06-14 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grey-bard.livejournal.com
Wow! Missed this one the first time through, glad to have stumbled on it! It's nice to see a Torchwood relationship that doesn't look like it's going to end in horrible tears of betrayal, and your Lorne and Ianto voices had a perfect kind of calm, still, reflective quality about them. I loved it!

Date: 2007-06-14 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you stumbled on it too :).

Date: 2007-06-15 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coreopsis.livejournal.com
This is completely awesome. Lorne would totally fit in at Torchwood. *g*

Date: 2007-06-16 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skidmo-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks! Yeah, he would :).
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