Chapter 15

It had been a week since the worst night of Jack's life, and the fire-ravaged house was now considered safe enough to start salvaging. Not that much could be salvaged from the house.

Jack had wanted to weep when he saw the wee man's room full of spoiled toys and waterlogged books. Walter loved his books.

Finding the stash of birthday gifts was heart-breaking, with nothing to do but toss them in the skip, their ribbons fluttering in the breeze. It was bad enough that the little tyke had missed his birthday party scheduled for the weekend after the fire, but to see all the streamers and flat balloons floating in the bottom of the closet was just horrible.

For the first time since that night, Jack had a moment to really look at the damage and imagine Ianto crawling through the dark following the monster dog and baby. That dog was a hero. Jack reminded himself that she deserved an extra big bone from the butcher's on the way home.

Ianto had informed Jack that he was never returning to that house. Never! Jack was relieved, as he didn't want to see Ianto's look of devastation at the wreckage.

Jack stood in the shell of the living room. Apparently this is where the fire started, and according to the fire investigator it was arson.

One might think this was the most worrying thing about the fire, but Jack found the revelation of the hidden cameras found in every room not damaged by the fire more of a worry by far.

The whole morning was spent pulling camera after camera from the house. The one in Ianto's bedroom angered him so much he walked around the block to control himself, but when he returned to find they had retrieved one from Walter's room, he was so incensed that nothing short of a brisk walk to England and back would burn out the fire in his gut.

Bastard. Sick murderous bastard. When Jack found this bastard he was going to cut their fucking balls off.

Gwen watched him pacing, and flicked her pad open to read her notes again.

So far she had narrowed down the list of potential suspects to Ianto's ex-partner and family, the mugger, or someone with a grudge against Jack that had finally found a weakness.

When Jack snatched the pad from her hands to read her notes, she swore quietly.

"Lisa's dead! The family disowned Walter!" he snarled, throwing the pad back at her.

"Are you sure? Not a brother or sister that might want Walter?" she offered her opinion, and stepped back as Jack rounded on her.

"If you dare… if you even fucking think of going to Ianto with this theory I'll rip you apart!" he snarled.

"Jack." Gwen placed a hand on his arm and felt him shaking under her touch. "I know you're upset. I see what this new family means to you. You are keeping them safe. You are not going to lose them like …"

"This is nothing like that!" Jack snapped, then he sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

"I'm sorry Gwen. God, I don't mean to snap at you. Just, bringing up Sofia and Melissa isn't helping here." Jack accepted her hand again. "This is not a bloody drunk driver and I never …"

Jack took a deep breath. "I never loved Sophia the way I adore Ianto. I was with Sofia for over six years and we both knew that most of those were for Melissa's sake. But it's barely been three months, and oh God, I love him so much."

"We'll sort it." Gwen nodded with as much confidence as she could muster.

That night, after a bubble bath and book number three had lulled Walter to sleep, Jack sat beside Ianto on their bed and told him everything.

He meant to tell Ianto about the cameras, the probability of arson, and all they had uncovered, but the moment he opened his mouth Sofia was there in the room, like an invisible wall in the bed between them.

He relived the horror of his wife's immediate death in the multi-car accident that took his family from him three years ago. The two weeks he had sat by his four-year-old daughter's bed as he prayed to a God he no longer believed in, only to bury her next to her mother in the cold, cold earth.

His self-blame for not being the one driving the car that day due to a court case he was giving evidence in.

He wept for perhaps the first time since his baby's funeral as his heart finally let go of the unneeded pain. Ianto loved him.

Ianto's hands were in Jack's hair and his lips on Jack's neck, as he loved him. Ianto's hands slid lower and into Jack's pyjama bottoms as Jack cried out with lust and pleasure.

When Ianto's finger breached Jack, the sobs were shaking his whole body. Then those fingers were replaced with Ianto's penis pushing into him, filling him and making his heart whole again. Ianto still loved him.

Finally, after so much time spent fearing this moment, Jack realised as Ianto's breath combined with his own that there was nothing left to fear.

Jack closed his eyes and concentrated on Ianto's chest hairs tickling his nipples. Ianto licked his neck before giving another nip from those teeth, loving him. It was all for him.

In the dark they become one. Ianto's breathy cries as he speared Jack were Jack's undoing, and he threw his head back as he came, shouting Ianto's name.

Ianto grunted as his thrusts became uncoordinated and his fingers slipped on Jack's thighs as he came, spilling into Jack as Jack's penis continued to pump between their bellies.

In Walter's room, the tot slept on as Myfanwy growled softly at the darkened window facing the backyard.

Hunching down, the figure shuffled from the flowerbed outside the window and stole across the lawn to the back gate. Have to do something about that bloody dog.

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