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Hidden Truths

Hi! Sorry it's been so long since my last update; computer issues.…

Hidden Truths; a Ianto Jones Fan Journal

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Hi! Sorry it's been so long since my last update; computer issues. Also, because of those issues, I can't link to the other parts of this story; I'm sorry about that. If you're a new reader, comment and I'll get the links to you.

The only kind of strength you need is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

Two days after Jack’s visit, Ianto followed Gwen back to Torchwood.

The intervening day was spent in what was effectively intensive counselling; it turned out that Ianto had had some training, back at Torchwood One, and Gwen carefully led him through the conversation, comparing their training and techniques and, without him realising, guiding his understanding of the situation.

By the end of it both were exhausted; Ianto could barely lift his head, no energy at all, but he felt strangely better, as though a weight had lifted. Gwen wasn’t much better, sprawled across the couch; they’d used up all Ianto’s tissues and kitchen towels and moved on to his supply of toilet paper before they’d finished up.

"I’m so tired," Ianto murmured in Welsh. They’d slid in and out of both languages all day, switching to English to explain difficult concepts and back to Welsh for conversation.

"Yeah. I don’t think I can move," Gwen agreed. Unlike him she spoke in English; Welsh was Ianto’s first language, but she needed to think about it and she hadn’t the energy now.

"You don’t need to, you’re already in bed," Ianto pointed out. Gwen reached upwards, groping vaguely until she found a blanket, and dragged it haphazardly down across herself.

Ianto summoned the energy to tuck the blanket more neatly around her, and Gwen batted him away half-heartedly. "Cer i'ch gwely," she said softly. Go to bed.

Ianto started to rise, swayed and slid back down to sit beside her. "Methu," he muttered. Can’t.

Gwen grimaced, shifting to sit upright. "Stay here then."


"Ianto, you cried down my neck earlier, and I wiped my nose in your tie. We can lie together for a few hours."

"We can’t," Ianto murmured, and Gwen realised abruptly how tense he was.

"Ianto," she said carefully, "do you trust me?"

"Chi'n gwybod 'dwi yn." You know I do…

"Come up here. Come up…" She managed to haul him, bodily, onto the couch, and tucked herself against his side. "Night, Ianto."

Ianto didn’t answer, but she didn’t push. It was maybe half an hour before he relaxed, and longer again after that before he let himself slump, one arm wrapped around her shoulders. Gwen smiled to herself and drifted into sleep.

Jack had been warned they were coming back and passed the warning on to Tosh and Owen; both had been told in no uncertain terms that anyone mentioning Ianto’s absence, or the mess in the Hub, or the standard of the coffee lately, or Gwen’s absence, or Ianto’s breakdown would be cleaning Mwfany’s perch, understood, Owen, you listening?

Owen had grumbled for a few minutes and then asked, seriously, if Ianto and Gwen were ok.

Yeah, Jack told them. They were fine.

Ianto and Gwen separated as soon as they reached the Hub, Ianto to begin tidying and organizing and Gwen to the pile of paperwork on her desk. Owen restrained himself and only asked Gwen once if she’d enjoyed her holiday, taking care that Ianto wasn’t near enough to overhear. Gwen shot back that a few days away from him was like heaven; Tosh laughed, Jack grinned, and for a moment everything was normal.

And if anyone noticed that Ianto was either near or at Gwen’s desk much more often than usual, they didn’t comment.

It didn’t last, of course; a report came in late that afternoon, strange lights and noises over the hills to the north of the city. Jack got Owen, Tosh and Gwen packing up their equipment and called Ianto into his office.

"And what about you?"

"What about me, sir?"

"You want to come?"

There was a long, dangerous pause before Ianto replied, "Why would I do that? Sir?"

Jack rolled his eyes. "Ianto, if you’re not ready for…"

"I’m fine," Ianto interrupted him, rising to his feet. "If that’s all I need to check the SUV, and…"

"The SUV’s fine. Sit." Ianto did so, reluctantly, and Jack continued, "Do you want to be here alone?"

"I’m not…" Ianto trailed off, staring at his hands.

"Well, you’ve got about five minutes to decide. Want me to get Gwen?"

Ianto didn’t answer, and Jack moved around him to the door, yelling for Gwen.

"I’m packing!" she shouted up at him.

"And I’m still your boss, so get up here! Tosh, make sure she’s packed."

"Favouritism!" drifted from the lab where Owen was repacking his med bag. Gwen amiably gave him the finger and came up to Jack’s office.

"What is it?" She paused on seeing Ianto, still sitting bolt upright in the seat, and glanced at Jack. "What’s…"

"I asked Ianto if he wanted to come," Jack explained.

"Why?" Gwen asked, frowning. "Ianto doesn’t come on field missions."

"No, but…"

"Doesn’t want to leave me alone, does he," Ianto interrupted.

"Not true," Jack said firmly, but he was looking at Gwen.

Gwen gestured towards the Hub proper and Jack took the hint, saying something about checking up on Owen and leaving them alone. Gwen perched on the edge of the desk, knees brushing Ianto’s.

"What’s up?" she asked mildly.

"Doesn’t trust me," Ianto muttered, still staring at his hands.

"Not true," Gwen said, echoing Jack without thinking. "He’s worried about you, is all."

"I’m not made of glass. No one’s talked to me today except to say ‘Thanks for the coffee.’ Owen hasn’t even looked at me."

"I could stay," Gwen offered, ignoring the self-pity completely. "Not like I offer much anyway, not in the field."

"You offer everything. There’s no field team without you." Ianto’s voice was oddly flat and disinterested.

"Ianto, I don’t…"

"Connect to the victims. The families and friends. There’s no case without you, nothing." He laughed softly. "Not that we would have cared, once. Changed us…"

Gwen shook her head. "I don’t know what you mean, Ianto."

"Really?" He looked up, meeting her eyes for the first time in the conversation. "You changed us, Gwen. Changed Torchwood, made us care. This isn’t Torchwood, not like Torchwood One, not like we were. You made us something different. Something better."

Gwen blinked, sinking back onto the desk. "I’m…Ianto, that’s a lot…"

"We don’t say it. Not ever. But before you, with Suzie…it was never about people. Only the technology and what we could gain." He lifted one shoulder in an almost shrug. "Now, it’s always about the people. And you did that."

His eyes had slipped away from hers again, and he was talking to Jack’s door; Gwen slid off the desk, deliberately crossing his line of sight as she went for a glass of water.

"Flattering as this is," and god, that was an understatement, she was never sleeping again, "it’s not solving our current problem, is it."

"No. Suppose not."

She passed him a glass of water, glaring until he drank some of it. "Do you want to stay here?"

"No." He made a face, turning to put the glass down. "He’s…"

"ffwdanus," Gwen agreed. Coddling. "He can’t help it. He can’t flirt with you, and he doesn’t know what else to do."

"Am I really that hopeless?" Jack asked mildly, and both of them jumped. He was leaning against the doorframe, watching them both.

Gwen sighed as, from the corner of her eye, she saw Ianto straighten and step away from the desk. "Ianto," she protested, frustrated.

"I’ll be staying, sir," Ianto said quickly, cutting her off. "Was there anything else?"

"No." Jack pushed off the frame, moving past Gwen to get to his desk and incidentally giving Ianto a wide berth. "Please check the SUV, we’ll be leaving soon."

"Aye sir," Ianto agreed, hurrying away before Gwen could say anything.

Jack raised an eyebrow, looking at Gwen. "Well?"

"He doesn’t want to be here on his own," Gwen said dutifully, but her thoughts weren’t on the conversation.

"I can’t let you stay," Jack told her.



"Have I…did I change Torchwood?"

He frowned, wandering away from her to look out the window. "Everything changes, Gwen."

"Even you?" she asked, momentarily diverted.

"Oh yeah. You wouldn’t recognize me; you’d met me before…" He glanced up, meeting her eyes in the reflective glass.

"But Torchwood? Did I change you, Jack?"

"Everything changes," he repeated. "Why? What’s brought this on?"

"Ianto said…Torchwood was different now. Since I came."

"Torchwood changed when he came, too." Jack was still watching her reflection and she heartily wished he’d turn around.

"He said…I made you better."

"Better’s a state of mind."

"Jack!" Gwen just about stopped herself from stamping her foot.

He turned, leaning against the glass. "What do you want me to say, Gwen? We changed when you came, yes. Big changes. We’re a detective agency now."

Gwen blanched, turning away. She could see Jack gesture frustratedly from the corner of her eye. "It was a good thing for us, Gwen. But I don’t…what do you want to hear? Give me some clues, here."

"Never mind," Gwen snapped, pushing out of the office, knowing she was being irrational and unable to help herself.

She halted on the catwalk outside, catching Owen’s attention. "Hey! Are you guys coming, or what? We’re about to leave you behind! Tosh an’ me’ll solve the mystery, hey, Tosh? We don’t need them."

Tosh grinned, ducking her head and hefting her bag. "You’re all packed, Gwen," she said.

"Thanks, Tosh," Gwen said, suddenly absolutely exhausted.

"Let’s go, then," Jack said from behind her, and she headed down to collect her bag.

Ianto, coincidentally, was still at the SUV when they went to load up, and Gwen took the opportunity to drag him to one side. "Call if you need to?" she whispered, in Welsh. "Promise."

"Promise," he agreed, turning away.

"Ianto! One other thing."


Gwen bit her lip. "I wanted…"

"What, Gwen?" Ianto’s voice had softened and he looked back at her.

"Don’t go to the basement?"

From the way he blanched she was right to ask, and she was hugely glad she had. Ianto was in no way ready to face Lisa’s death place yet, certainly not on his own.

"Promise me," she insisted. "We’ll go together, later, if you want. But not on your own, Ianto, or I’m not leaving."

Ianto glanced over her shoulder; she could feel Owen’s gaze boring into her back, but she knew well he hadn’t a word of Welsh, so she wasn’t worried.

"I promise," Ianto said finally, and she grinned at him.

"We won’t be long. I promise."

"Lots to do." Ianto slid back into English for Owen’s benefit. "I won’t be bored."

"See you later, then."

"Gwen!" Jack yelled, glaring at her. "Today, huh?"

"Coming! Bye, Ianto."

He waited until they were gone before going back inside; Gwen watched in the side mirror as they left him behind.

Then she turned her gaze forward and began reviewing their information.

I don't know what the lights and sounds in the hills were, nor do I care. This story's about Ianto, not about aliens. That plot strand will not be resolved.
Just a friendly warning. :)
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