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Title: Twos and Blues: 25/? 
Author: zazajb
Rating: R - N/C-17 overall, adult concepts, occasional language, M/M
Pairings/Characters: Jack/Ianto, [past]Jack/John, Tosh/Owen, Gwen/Rhys, Andy, Gareth, Harris, Nick, Pete, Mica, Rhiannion
Spoilers – none – totally AU

Warnings: angst amongst the smut/fluff!
Summary:  Jack is the Station Commander of a retained* fire station. This is the story of their adventures. Words:  this chapter 6740

Previous chapters:

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters – anything you recognise is owned by RTD & BBC, even if they don’t know how to look after them properly...
With thanks to the wonderful fjorda77 for the awesome banner *hugs*

A/N So, I’ve finally gone completely departure for me – thank you for all the comments so far...and please excuse the liberties I’m taking with Welsh geography! Updates will now be posted to both LJ and DW

A/N1 *Retained stations are crewed by part-time firefighters who live and work locally, responding to a bleeper signal when the fire appliance is needed – in all other respects they are the same as whole-time firefighters... SWFRS= South Wales Fire and Rescue Service PDA= pre-determined attendance [the minimum number of appliances sent to a particular premises no matter what the call]

A/N2 This is for everyone who’s sent me messages of support, virtual gifts and those who’ve wondered what’s happened to our gorgeous firefighters... Xxx

Happy New Year!


Chapter 25

The alarm clock woke them with the garish sounds of the Spice Girls telling them to ‘Stop Right Now...’ Ianto grimaced and rolled over with the intention of slapping the snooze button, only to be intercepted by Jack’s first kiss of the day and the sound faded away as he lost himself in the delicious sensation of Jack’s lips moving sweetly against his own... By the time they’d run out of air the DJ had moved on to something a little more refined and they lay still, limbs entwined as they shared warm breath and let the music wash over them.

Jack stroked a thumb lightly over Ianto’s cheek, “Tell me I didn’t dream it...I told you about Andrew...and you’re still here? And mum and dad are coming home? Did I dream it all?”

Ianto leant into the touch with that ‘just-for-Jack’ little smile, “nope, it was all real – from the fire, the order pad note, the graveyard...” he brushed aside the sudden tears that spilled down his Captain’s face and pressed their lips together to kiss him softly, tongue seeking tongue to reassure and dance enticingly in the other man’s mouth. Ianto pulled back to continue, “...the roses and the truth about the man who taught you how to love...who helped you to become the man I love...and yes, Rose and Doc are coming home in two weeks...”

Ianto gasped as Jack squeezed him tightly and kissed him hard, wild passion gathering hopefully below his waistline, before he was suddenly released and the quilt was hurled energetically to one side as Jack leapt out of bed.

“C’mon Yanno, it’s a new day and I can’t wait to see what it brings...” He bounced off to the bathroom, turning the shower on to warm before returning and launching himself at Ianto from the doorway... The Welshman gurgled helplessly as the air was squashed out of him and he writhed under Jack’s naked body as he got his breath back, certain other areas having no problem coming to life!

Jack chuckled mischievously and ground their hips together, grabbing Ianto’s hands to pin them above his head as he captured his lips in a searing kiss, his tongue plundering the young man’s mouth with possessive intent to leave them both panting and trembling from head to toe... Their eyes locked gazes; love, passion and desire radiating outwards in equal measure... 

With no need for words, Jack slid off Ianto’s warm body and took his hand, leading him into the now steam-filled bathroom where they pressed up close in the tiny cubicle as the water cascaded down on them. Ianto gasped and panted, arched and moaned, lost in blissful sensation as his Captain made love to him until they flew together amongst the stars...

Regretfully stepping out of the shower, they wrapped themselves in warm fluffy towels and wound their arms around each other as they shared soft kisses before drying and dressing and heading downstairs to the shop for breakfast. Jack was in buoyant mood and Ianto smiled indulgently as he was waltzed around the room to the sound of the 1940s Big Band track on the radio, his feet following Jack’s lead effortlessly thanks to those dance lessons he’d suffered from his sister in their youth because she’d had no-one to practice with!

They finished the dance with a spin and a passionate kiss, jumping apart when enthusiastic applause announced Sue and Rhi’s arrival. Ianto blushed as he met his sister’s gaze.

“You found each other then?” she laughed “oh, and loved the fancy foot work boys, I can just see the pair of you on Strictly!”

“From Len – a ten!” Sue added, chuckling as she turned to go back into the kitchen.

Jack draped an arm around Ianto’s shoulders and squeezed gently. “Yes, he found me and I’m never going to let him go...” he stared into Rhi’s eyes and she found sudden tears threatening at the quiet intensity of his words and the depth of emotion blazing from those blue grey pools.

Blinking the tears away she turned to follow Sue, throwing a light-hearted “If you could Foxtrot towards the coffee machine at some point, we’ll sort some breakfast out..!” over her shoulder as she disappeared.

Left alone again, Jack pulled Ianto into a hug and buried his face into the Welshman’s neck, immersing himself in that wonderful aroma that was just Ianto. “I meant it...” he mumbled, breath warm against Ianto’s skin. “Now that you’ve found me, I’m never going to let you go...I love you Ianto Jones with all that I am...”

“I love you too, Cariad...” he tipped Jack’s face up to kiss him tenderly “and I’m not going anywhere” he murmured against his Captain’s mouth as they leant against each other and absorbed the pleasure of simply being... They broke apart after long moments and Ianto moved to start the coffee as Jack leant on the counter to watch those dexterous fingers at work.

Neither noticed Rhi watching them from the doorway. She nodded to herself before returning to help Sue with the preparations; whatever upset had occurred yesterday, they were closer than ever and Jack could barely keep his hands off Ianto for more than a few moments... Not for the first time she realised her brother was a very lucky man...

When they rejoined the men in the shop, Jack was emptying the suggestion boxes and Ianto was loading their four mugs onto a tray. They sat around the table and helped themselves to the array of warm croissants and Welsh cakes Sue had brought in from the kitchen. Jack tore a croissant in half and stuffed it into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully as he read the suggestions on the cards.

“Let’s blend together!” he read out, chortling as he flipped the card over. “No name, just a huge row of kisses...”

Ianto leant into the warmth of Jack’s body and grinned as he took the card out of his Captain’s hand. “That’s your writing!”

Jack chuckled and tugged the Welshman in closer “You got me! May as well start collecting those kisses now..!” he pressed a light kiss on the other man’s lips as the girls laughed.

Ianto gave Jack a meaningful look as he tucked the card inside his waistcoat ‘I’ll save this for later...” blushing furiously as Jack whispered in his ear

that’s one kiss for every one of your erogenous zones Mr Jones...I counted them especially!

“What did..?, on second thoughts I don’t want to know!” Rhi shook her head in mock horror as they all laughed.

Cramming the other half of his pastry into his mouth, Jack read the next card and looked thoughtful, nudging the Welshman who was gazing dreamily into space as he looked forward to the coming evening after drill...

“Huh?” he blinked and concentrated on Jack’s attempt to explain what was on the card through a mouthful of warm croissant. “What?” he chuckled “Nope, it’s no good – I don’t speak croissant! Give it here!” as he tugged the card out of his Captain’s fingers and read it, his own face taking on a contemplative expression as he considered the words...

Jack swallowed his mouthful and snatched the card back “See, it’s a good is, isn’t it?”

“It’s got real possibilities...” Ianto stretched for the card as the other man waved it just beyond his reach. Lunging forward as Ianto’s body moved towards him, Jack grabbed hold of the Welshman, smothering his face in rapid kisses as Ianto gave up wriggling and tangled his hands into Jack’s hair.

Half laughing and half exasperated at their antics, Rhi reached over and pulled the card from Jack’s fingers. Neither man noticed, too intent on kissing each other to the moon and back! 

“They’re like a pair of horny, bloody teenagers!’ Rhi rolled her eyes as the two women read the suggestion together and nodded, discussing the various different options in quiet tones before clearing the table and returning to the kitchen.

When Jack and Ianto surfaced they were alone again. Jack gazed at the young man in his arms, drinking in the sight of his flushed cheeks, glazed eyes, mussed hair and deliciously pink, kiss-swollen lips... He looked utterly beautiful and Jack filed the image away safely in his memory, the just in case anything happens random thought that popped into his head sending cold shivers down his spine...

Ianto sighed imperceptibly and moved out of the embrace, immediately missing the warmth of Jack’s body.

“You okay, Yanno?”  

“Yeah, I’m good...just thinking how nice it would be to play hookie today and spend the day together...y’know, after...” his voice trailed away and he shuffled his feet.

Jack reached for the Welshman’s hand and entwined their fingers. “How ‘bout a compromise – we both work now, I skip out early to help you with the clean up so it’s done quickly, then we’ll have a few hours before drill tonight...” he brought their joined hands to his lips and kissed Ianto’s knuckles softly “maybe we could decide where all those kisses on that card should go..?”

They both chuckled, half-groaning as their trousers tightened in hot anticipation, the rosy hue on Ianto’s cheeks deepening as Sue came through with a tray of clean mugs and shook her head indulgently, smiling.

Jack grinned at her before leading Ianto through the kitchen and out into the yard where he pressed him up against the SUV for a goodbye kiss that made the Welshman’s head spin and left him dazed and weak at the knees. Parting reluctantly, Jack rubbed their noses together before climbing into the driver’s seat and starting the engine.

Ianto watched him drive away, running his finger over his lips that still tingled from the heat of Jack’s kisses. I don’t know what you do to me Jack Harkness, but don’t you dare stop! He grinned contentedly and headed back inside.

Rhi was about to make a teasing comment about them playing while she and Sue had got everything ready, but seeing the dreamy look on his face she smiled and held her tongue – it had been a long time since she’d seen him so happy...

Ianto floated through the shop to open the doors, unaware of his narrow escape from his sister’s teasing! The shop was soon full of the sounds of happy chattering and the morning passed swiftly with a regular stream of customers. Ianto’s phone buzzed at frequent intervals in his pocket and when he finally had a moment to check it, he grinned happily at the messages from Jack, each one suggesting a different strategic location for one of the kisses on his card...

Sue and Rhi watched him from the archway, both smiling fondly. “I’m so pleased they worked whatever it was out...I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this happy...” Rhi sighed dramatically “Oh to be that much in love..!”

“Jack’s a lucky man – gorgeous and lucky – now that’s a winning combination!” Sue chuckled and headed back to the main shop where Ianto was chatting animatedly about introducing a range of ‘take home’ coffee grounds as requested by one of his regulars. The customer was tall, blonde and beautiful and her interest was most definitely focused on the coffee maker rather than the beverege, with lots of hair flicking and batting of which Ianto was completely oblivious!

As Sue settled back at the till and Ianto handed the customer her take-out cup, the woman moved to pay her bill with a final toss of her head and a breathy “see you tomorrow Ianto...”

Ten minutes later there was another brief lull in the queue. “Who was the blonde?” Sue asked, hiding her smile.

“Huh? What blonde?” Ianto looked perplexed as Sue broke down into giggles. “the one who’s been in every day so far,  her flirting is so obvious...”

Ianto looked genuinely confused “nope...doesn’t ring any bells...”

Now snorting with laughter, Sue spluttered incoherently, “there’s only one man who rings your bell!” before rocking helplessly back and forth on her chair as she gasped for breath. Wiping the tears aside she composed herself hurriedly as a customer approached the counter and Ianto turned away, schooling his bemused features into a smile to take the man’s order. By the time he was moving along to the till, Sue was in control again and able to explain the joke to Ianto once the customer had moved away.

It was a relaxed and good-tempered atmosphere as the day neared closing time, Jack’s arrival causing a minor stir as he swept in with a whoosh of 1940s wool to fold the Welshman into his arms for a hug, reluctantly settling for a peck on the cheek as there were still several customers in the shop. Ianto caught Sue’s eye and she dissolved into giggles, grabbing a tray to go and clear some tables before she completely lost it again!

At two thirty the door was closed and the final clearing up was finished swiftly with Jack directing operations in a most efficient manner. Rhi and Sue left just before three, their knowing grins causing a fierce blush to spread over Ianto’s cheeks as they waved goodbye.

Jack locked the door behind them and held his hand out, his fingers closing warm and possessively around Ianto’s as the Welshman took the offered hand and led them quietly up the stairs...

Once in the flat, Jack used his free hand to hook Ianto’s tie out from his waistcoat and pull him in closer without loosening his grip on the young man’s hand. Their lips met, both kissing hungrily as pent up passions surged to the fore... Jack fumbled with the knotted silk until it finally succumbed to his persistence and he tugged it from Ianto’s collar where it fluttered to the floor. Tongues duelled as Jack’s fingers moved to a determined assault on the buttons of Ianto’s waistcoat, the Welshman’s wanton moans lost against his Captain’s mouth as teeth clashed and the kiss intensified to became hot, wet and messy...

Waistcoat unbuttoned, it joined the striped silk on the floor as Jack’s hand moved on to the heavy Swiss cotton of Ianto’s shirt... With four buttons conquered, Jack’s triumphant open handed trail of fingers through the soft downy hair on his Welshman’s chest was curtailed by the sudden insistent bleeping from his alerter.

“Bloody electronic haemorrhoid!” Jack released his hold on Ianto’s hand and opened the door they’d been pressed up against moments earlier. “Duty you!” and he was gone, the outer door banging seconds later.

Ianto leant against the wall as his body screamed in protest at the sudden cessation of pleasure and it was long minutes before he was composed enough to redo two of his open shirt buttons and pick up his discarded tie and waistcoat from the floor. After hanging them up, he wandered aimlessly through to the kitchen and put some coffee on before dragging some mince out of the fridge to prepare a cottage pie for dinner. As he chopped onions and peeled potatoes and carrots, his mind entertained him with a stream of steamy images of what he would’ve been doing without the interruption, the thoughts playing havoc with his circulation! A smile danced on his lips as the Jack in his head kissed his way slowly down his chest...

He’d prepared dinner, put some washing in and was ironing Jack’s shirt for drill when the pounding of footsteps on the outer stairs announced Jack’s return some ninety minutes later and a tornado swept into the room to wrap him into a tight embrace as he was kissed into oblivion...

Pausing momentarily, for air and to unplug the iron, Ianto immersed himself in the heady scent and sensation of everything Jack and the world around them faded away for long enjoyable minutes...

“You know where we’d be right now if it wasn’t for my blasted bleeper...” Jack growled breathlessly in Ianto’s ear when they surfaced “and now we’ll have to wait until after drill...” He released his hold on the Welshman and pressed a finger against his lips to silence the other man’s protests before joining their hands and led them to the bedroom where a large plastic bag with JONES I sat just outside the door. “I’ve got something else in mind for right now...” he waggled his eyebrows playfully “ you go and get it on!”

Ianto’s grin lit the room as he scooped up the bag with his new uniform in it and shooed Jack out, kissing his lips lightly before shutting the door firmly in his face. “And no peeking or trying to come in before I’m ready!”

Jack laughed “love your choice of words Yanno! Okay, I promise not to come until you’re ready for me...”

Muffled giggles floated out from behind the door as Ianto realised what he’d said. Grinning, Jack returned to the kitchen to put their dinner in the oven, then took his coat off and draped it over the back of one of the chairs in the dining area.

Jack...” Ianto’s call had him striding back to the bedroom. He stopped and drew a sharp breath in. Ianto looked utterly gorgeous in his uniform, glancing at Jack shyly from beneath his eyelashes as the Captain’s eyes roved hungrily over his body.

“You know, in the past, firefighters had two uniforms...” Jack took a step closer, desire burning hotly in his eyes “one was a formal ‘dress’ affair with heavy jacket, shiny buttons and scratchy wool trousers...the other was designed for every-day wear and was far more essence, the one you’re wearing is a direct descendant of that second uniform...”

 His hands reached out to grasp the Welshman by the shoulders, running his fingers over the modern blouson jacket, tugging it off to drop it on to the floor, before exploring the shirt underneath... Jack fumbled with the buttons as his mouth sought Ianto’s and the young man melted against him... The shirt joined his jacket on the floor and the t-shirt was rapidly tugged over his head to leave him bare chested... 

They surfaced briefly to recharge their lungs, lips barely a breath part as Jack stroked his fingers lovingly over Ianto’s warm flesh “...and so it became known as the ‘undress uniform’” he smiled triumphantly “I’m only doing what every good firefighter should and following orders...” He closed the tiny gap between their mouths to reclaim the Welshman’s lips as his hands reached for the buckle on the young man’s belt...

Shuffling to the bed, Ianto’s new trousers now tangled around his ankles, they tumbled onto the quilt, their mouths locked together as passions grew and tongues twirled delightedly... Jack batted Ianto’s hands aside as the Welshman reached to remove his Captain’s clothes “no...this is all about you...” as his mouth began kissing down the young man’s neck and chest. He paused to suck and graze his teeth over each nipple until they were aroused hardened nubs of flesh before continuing his trail lower...

 Writhing and moaning beneath Jack’s wicked tongue, Ianto exploded into the moist warmth of Jack’s mouth, shudders of exquisite pleasure racing through his body to leave him tingling deliciously from head to toe. Jack slid up the Welshman’s body to claim his lips, the young man tasting himself as they kissed lovingly. Breaking apart, Ianto snuggled into Jack’s arms, his head resting on the older man’s shoulder as he came down from his orgasmic high to leave him blissfully drowsy and he closed his eyes with a contented sigh...

Jack woke with a start about twenty minutes later, the aroma of slightly burned cottage pie wafting through the flat. He gazed at the sleeping man in his arms, smiling as he pressed soft kisses to his face and Ianto’s eyes fluttered open

“hey nodded off there for a minute...” he yawned widely, admitting sheepishly “so did I and I think our dinner is going to be a bit well done as a result!”

Ianto stretched, shivering slightly as his naked body reacted to the loss of warmth from Jack’s body and broke out in a mass of goose-bumps. Jack slid off the bed. “I’ll go rescue the dinner while you get dressed again...” he glanced at the bedside clock, “shit! We’ll have to be quick as I’ve got to set up for tonight’s drill and I’m supposed to meeting Rhys and Pete at the station in about ten minutes...”

Ianto sat up, dragging his fingers through his wildly dishevelled hair to smooth it down before he stood up. Jack stopped at the door and glanced back, admiring the view of naked buttocks as the Welshman bent down to retrieve his scattered clothing from the floor.

“Jack! I can feel your eyes from here! Dinner, now!” he shook his arse playfully “we can continue our uniform history lesson later...”

Jack sighed melodramatically and walked heavily to the kitchen where he rescued their dinner – it was a bit charred, but looked edible enough! By the time he’d made some instant gravy and heated the green beans that Ianto had also cooked earlier, his Welshman had freshened up and joined him, once more attired in his new uniform.

Jack raised an eyebrow as he handed him his plate “you know, we could have a problem getting dressed for drill every week...”

Chuckling, Ianto took his dinner. “perhaps you’ll have to finish work early every Thursday so we have time to get ready properly...”

“I like your thinking Firefighter Jones – simple yet practical solutions to potential problems...” he nipped Ianto’s ear lightly as he sat down at the table “I think you’ll do well at Penarth Fire Station!”

They ate quickly and Ianto stacked the plates in the dishwasher whilst Jack put his uniform on, reappearing to slide into his coat as Ianto held it out before smoothing the heavy wool over his Captain’s shoulders, the movement intimate and familiar. Ianto leant against Jack’s back for a few moments, revelling in the unique aroma that was Jack...

He moved away “We ready...sir?

Jack groaned “If we’re ever going to make it to the fire station, you’re gonna have to call me something have no idea what those gorgeous Welsh vowels do to me!”

Ianto grabbed his keys and headed to the door “You’re something else...sir!” as he skipped down the stairs, laughing.

Jack muttered under his breath as his entire blood supply rerouted to his groin and he resisted the urge to adjust his trousers as he followed his young lover down to the yard.

Ianto was leant up against the SUV looking a picture of innocence, the sight sending a surge of heat charging through Jack’s wayward body and he allowed himself the indulgence of a passionate kiss as he ground his hips against Ianto’s, the matching straining in the young man’s trousers as they broke apart drawing a throaty chuckle from the Captain’s lips. Both wriggled on the seats as they clicked on their seatbelts and headed for the station.

Pete and Rhys were already in the watch room when they arrived, greeting them cheerfully. Nick’s purple jag and the absence of Pete’s sporty blue hatchback suggested that their relationship was going well and Jack was pleased for them.

Ianto stood out of the way as the three men signed onto the computer and began printing out the assessment sheets for that night’s drill. Once the printing was underway, Jack stepped across to where Ianto was watching with interest. “Nick’s out the back in the BA room. If you go and find him, can you ask him to sort you out with a peg and locker...your fire kit’s arrived as well and it’s in the drying room at the moment. By the time you’ve done all that, we should be ready and I can explain what’s going to happen tonight. You’ll be helping Nick as well...” he winked conspiratorially and turned back to the others.

Ianto went in search of Nick, finding the other man pacing nervously around the BA room. “Hi! Jack says can you help me sort out my kit and a peg and locker please...” he grinned “I have no clue what to do with it...and it’s in the drying room...wherever that is!” he rolled his eyes “I’m doing really well so far aren’t I?!”

Nick grinned and stopped pacing immediately. “I remember what it’s like...I remember my first day – it wasn’t quite so bad as I had Spook...Andy...with me. We’d both seen the crews in town on a flag day and picked up one of their flyers and decided to give it a go...” He sighed contentedly “ thing I ever did...” a dreamy expression drifted over his face and he blushed as he dragged himself back to the present.

Ianto winked “I know exactly what you mean...Jack was explaining the meaning of the undress uniform earlier...I really like that concept although the practical demonstration did lead to us burning the dinner!”

Nick laughed delightedly and draped an arm around Ianto’s shoulders as he steered him towards the drying room. “You are going to love it here...all these uniforms!” his voice dropped to a whisper “oh and the drying room’s always warm...” They both laughed as Nick pushed the door open...

By the time Nick had sorted Ianto out with a peg and locker and shown him how to hang his tunic and leave his boots and leggings rolled ready for swift dressing and they’d practiced a few times, it was almost six thirty and the rest of the crews had arrived. Ianto had suppressed an involuntary shudder as he’d passed Hart’s peg, Nick squeezing his shoulder reassuringly as he followed the Welshman’s gaze, before allocating him a space between Rhys and Gareth on the opposite side of the kit bay.

With a final check to make sure his kit looked like everyone else’s, Ianto followed them as they filed into the appliance bay and lined up ready for the roll call at the start of drill. Standing next to Gwen on one side and Andy...Spook on the other, Ianto watched and copied them, standing to attention and answering his name with a respectful sir careful to look straight ahead just in case he was tempted to smile.

Jack read out some brigade notices, brought some proposed road closures and temporary traffic signals to everyone’s attention before giving the ‘at ease’ instruction. Once everyone had widened their stance and relaxed their posture, Jack outlined the drill for the evening; final, stage five, assessment for Nick and Andy.

“You’ll all be involved at some point so I’ll hand over to the Crew Managers who’ll be running tonight’s exercises... Probationary firefighter Jones will stand with me to observe and will hopefully see some exemplary demonstrations of how these drills should be done...”

Nodding at Ianto to move, Jack stepped to one side as Rhys and Pete moved to address the crews. Jack kept up a running commentary as the two crew managers split the personnel into two teams with a mix of experience on each side.

“Rhys is Nick’s auntie [he took over from Owen when we were getting Rhys ready for his promotion] and Pete is Spook’s and Gwen’s. You’ll notice that Tosh and Owen are both part of the crews – it’s important that we all keep our practical competencies up to standard as you never know when you’ll be called on to use them – sitting in the front seat doesn’t mean you never do any practical firefighting again; if anything, you need to be more aware than ever as you’re the one making the decisions to send your crews into burning buildings and putting their lives on the line – you need to know what they can do and what better way than working in there beside them...”

They all moved into the kit bay to get their helmets, tunics, boots and leggings on before venturing outside into the drill yard where Jack continued his narration.

“Now each team will do a series of ladder and hose drills that they’ve practiced over and over – we all practice over and over as it needs to be second nature – like all skills, the more you practice, the easier they get and then they become a part of you so you can perform professionally and accurately under pressure when you’ve got thirty feet high flames around you or someone’s life in the balance as you dismantle their car or whatever the incident is...

Once they’ve done the routine drills, I’ll give them a different scenario each which they haven’t practiced – it can be one of any number of different incidents from their training manuals which I then adapt to match our fire ground... They then decide on the best approach and carry it out.”

He tapped his tunic pocket “I’ve got a choice of six different ones in here. They pick a number...if they do it well, that will be enough, if they struggle then they’ll get another one to see if it’s just the occasion that’s getting to them – although, I’m always wary of blaming  ‘the test’ – what else is every incident we go to if it’s not a test of what we can do? Sometimes it’ll be an easy test...other times it’ll be one that’ll take you way beyond what you thought you were capable of...and in this fast moving world of ours...” he shrugged “It’s the twenty-first century, Ianto, and everything constantly changes...we gotta be ready...”

Jack nodded approvingly, watching as Ianto drank everything in, asked intelligent questions in the right places and basically showed himself to be far more than just a pretty face, a hot body and a supreme coffee maker...none of which surprised the Captain as he’d long since recognised all these qualities in the man he adored, above and beyond the rather obvious attractions...

Both Nick and Andy turned in excellent performances on the routine hose and ladder drills and approached their Station Commander for their final tasks. Ianto flipped the coin as he’d been prompted to do, Spook calling heads. It was tails, giving Nick first pick. Selecting envelope number one, he read it swiftly, nodded and saluted Jack before handing the card back and moving smartly away to direct his crews with his chosen strategy; namely the rescue of an elderly woman from a first floor window of a burning apartment block.

Ianto was impressed with the confident way Nick gave orders and called for paramedics and ambulances and blankets to be standing by... Glancing at Jack and Rhys’ proud smiles, they were equally impressed and Pete was trying unsuccessfully to hide a beaming smile as Nick signed off on the completion of his incident.

Spook picked number four which entailed solving a lack of water and insufficient water pressure at a long protracted incident on an industrial estate. It made Ianto’s eyes hurt and his head spin to see the reels of hose that were run out and listen to the string of pressures and numbers Andy rattled off as he spoke over the radio to ‘control’ and ‘liaised’ with a water board official. It was a very different incident and Ianto didn’t understand it all, but Pete and Jack were both wearing the same proud smiles so he deduced that it was an equally impressive performance.

Calling the incident to a halt before all the clearing up was done, Jack and Ianto watched as the crews fell into formation and stood to attention, crew managers and their protégées stood in front of their supporting cast.

Leaving Ianto stood at the side, Jack moved to address his assembled station, praising the precision and crispness of the routine drills and the professionalism of the featured incidents. He was glowing in his praise of the two crew managers and the time and energy they’d put in to help their younger colleagues and pointed out the good example it set to newer members of the station...

”...firefighters Lloyd, Cooper and Jones...just see what can be accomplished with some dedication, perseverance and practice...” He smiled, that warm Jack smile that just melted Ianto’s knees, as he shook hands with the two young men in front of him. “Congratulations gentlemen, you’ve passed with flying colours and you are now both fully qualified firefighters...” He shook hands with Rhys and Pete “well we really need to organise that station night out – we’ve got lots to celebrate!”

Stepping back, he nodded at Owen who moved to the front. “Right you horrible lot! We’ve got about a million miles of bloody hose to put away, let’s show the Tea boy here how it’s done and get him working! Miss Sato – I believe this one’s yours!”

Grinning, Jack gave Ianto a gentle push towards Tosh, the young man’s face lighting up at the chance to do some real fire-work and he followed her enthusiastically. With Owen directing operation hose-reel, Jack chatted quietly with Rhys, Pete, Nick and Andy as they watched the rest of the station skipping around to Owen’s commands.

Eventually all hose was put away in a manner to meet even Owen’s exacting standards and the crews trooped wearily inside to line up for dismissal at just after nine fifteen. As he dismissed them, Jack asked for a couple more minutes of their time upstairs once everyone had got out of their fire kit.

Ianto removed his kit carefully and made sure he’d got his tunic and leggings just right before climbing the stairs with the others, only to clump back down them to retrieve the giant triple chocolate cake from the SUV. When he returned, Jack was just telling everyone that John Hart had been admitted to rehab for a six month programme, with no visitors for the first three, although he was permitted phone calls if anyone felt like ringing him. There were a few quiet murmurs but no comments. Jack nodded and moved on to his next announcement. “I believe Dr Harper has something to say...”

Owen reached for Tosh’s hand and tugged her to the front with him. “I asked this gorgeous lady here to marry me...and she said yes!” Tosh blushed as thunderous applause rang out and Owen kissed her hard, the move drawing typical firefighter comments before they were surrounded by everyone offering their congratulations and Jack had to holler to make himself heard.

“Oi! I’m not done yet! We now have lots of reasons for a station night out so I’m going to contact Ollie over at Blue watch at Cardiff Central – they owe us for covering for Lonny’s wedding – and we’ll get some dates on the table... Lastly, if you fancy some of our newest recruit’s amazing coffee and chocolate cake to celebrate Tosh and Owen’s engagement and Nick and Spook’s successful stage five, then we’d be delighted...

The station meeting room was full of happy chattering and good tempered banter for the next forty five minutes as coffees were made and drunk and Tosh cut giant slices of her favourite cake. Gwen sat with Rhys, only half listening as he talked about how well the assessment had gone and how pleased he was...finding herself instead, concentrating on Jack and Ianto.

She noticed how they shared quiet smiles and soft intimate words where the other would have to lean in close to hear... Jack’s hand rested frequently on the Welshman’s shoulder or in the small of his back and Ianto would lean into the touch... She tried to imagine what they’d be like together...really together rather than the semi-clothed fumbling she’d seen from the window...

“Gwen, are you listening to me?”

“Eh? Of course I’m listening!”

“Only you’ve been gazing at Jack for the past fifteen minutes..! Something you want to share?” Rhys frowned.

“I was just thinking how good they look together...y’know, him and Ianto...”

“You old romantic you..!” Rhys leant forward and brushed their lips together lightly. “You had enough cake and coffee? You could come home with me and we can have our own romantic conversation...”

Gwen giggled and stood up. “Ready when you are!” They rinsed their mugs and left hand in hand. Gradually the room emptied, leaving Tosh, Owen, Jack and Ianto to finish the clearing up and put the mugs and plates away before they too, headed for home and the station last left in darkness.

Ianto quietly undid his seatbelt as they turned into the yard, leaping out as soon as Jack stopped and ran around to the driver’s door to open it, offering his hand. Jack took it, grinning, and slid out. Ianto led him to the flat entrance, tapped in the code and held the door open. Jack opened his mouth to speak, only to have Ianto’s finger pressed against it, the Welshman shaking his head slowly. Their eyes met and Jack’s heart leapt at the intensity of love and desire burning from those deep blue pools.

They climbed the stairs hand in hand.

Once inside the flat, Ianto sank to his knees to remove Jack’s shoes and socks before slipping his own shoes off and toeing out of his socks. One hand cupped his Captain’s cheek, stroking softly, as he leant forward to capture his lips as the other hand slowly pushed Jack’s coat from his shoulders so it crumpled quietly on to the floor. Pulling back before the kiss deepened, Ianto threaded his fingers through Jack’s and led him into the bedroom.

Pressing the other man back against the door he folded his Captain into his arms to kiss him with a passion that made Jack’s head swim... Coming up for air, Ianto’s fingers reached for the buttons of Jack’s uniform shirt.

“Yanno...” Jack moaned softly as they shared warm breath, lips just millimetres apart “what you do to me...”

Ianto smiled “I’m just following’re wearing your uniform...I’m undressing you...” he murmured against Jack’s skin. He pulled back to stare deep into Jack’s eyes “...then I’m going to make love to you until the sun comes up...” as he crushed their mouths together and reached for the buckle on Jack’s belt...

continued in chapter 26




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September 2012

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