“I didn’t know this planet was protected by the Shadow Proclamation,” the Lysterian said almost indignantly.
“Too bad,” Jack answered. “Now pack your things and fuck off, or I’m going to get really angry.”
“That’s all?” Tosh asked. “He wanted to kidnap people for some rich bastard to put them on display and you’re not going to punish him?”
“There’s not much I can do,” Jack answered under his breath. “If we hold him captive other Lysterians will come and search for him. And then they might find out that in fact Earth is not protected by the Shadow Proclamation. And then it could get really nasty. Better to let him go and spread the word that Earth’s not a possible hunting ground.”
Suddenly they heard running steps, and then Owen entered the office. “We found Ianto,” he said. “And five other people too.”
“Is he alright?” Jack asked.
“Physically yeah,” Owen answered. “He has a nasty bruise on his chin and chafed wrists, but otherwise…”
“You hit him?” Jack cut Owen off and glowered dangerously at the Lysterian.
“I did not! I would never lower the value of my goods by damaging them!” The Lysterian sounded genuinely offended. “He tried to escape and fell.”
Jack didn’t even wait till the Lysterian was finished before he took off. No matter that Owen had said that Ianto wasn’t really hurt, one part of him nevertheless wanted to throttle the alien for harming his lover. And the other part – the bigger part by far – just wanted to hurry to Ianto to make sure for himself that everything was alright.
Because Jack hadn’t waited for Owen to tell him where exactly he had found their missing team member he had to try every door he found on his way. Finally he got the right one and stormed inside. A quick glance around showed him Ianto, who was talking with Gwen.
With a big smile and a relieved “Ianto!” Jack hurried to his side and took him into his arms. He barely registered Ianto’s somewhat startled look before he pressed his mouth on Ianto’s lips for a passionate kiss.
It spoke for Jack’s relief in getting his lover back that it took him some time to realise that Ianto wasn’t exactly kissing back. Jack let go of Ianto and looked at him puzzled.
Ianto stepped back and stared at Jack with wide opened eyes, his hand pressed against his lips.
“Ianto?” Jack asked concerned and a little bit hurt. “Are you alright?” He reached out to touch Ianto on his shoulder, but Ianto took another step back.
Before Jack could say anything else Gwen grabbed him and pulled him some steps away.
“Jack!” she hissed. “Didn’t Owen tell you? Ianto has amnesia. He doesn’t remember any of us!”
“What?” Jack looked at Ianto with horror. If Ianto didn’t remember him… that could put a serious damper on their relationship.
At that moment Owen entered the room. “Tosh secured the Lysterian. He admitted to causing Ianto’s amnesia because he repeatedly tried to escape. We should search through all this alien junk in his office. Maybe there is a way to reverse it,” he announced to the room in general.
Jack sighed. The five other victims of the Lysterian were staring at Owen with big eyes and whispering amongst each other. The word ‘alien’ could be heard repeatedly. Owen really should know better than just shouting everything out loud.
“Right,” Jack said loudly. “Owen, you’ll be looking after Ianto. Take him back to the hub an keep him out of trouble till we’re back. We will take care of everything else.”
“Why do I have to play babysitter for teaboy here?” Owen complained.
“Because you’re a doctor and he is hurt?” Jack answered somewhat sarcastically and tried not to look at Ianto. The confused and slightly timid look on his lover’s face was so adorable that Jack just wanted to hug and comfort him.
But now was neither the place nor the time for that. He had an alien to interrogate and some people to retcon. Business first, pleasure later.
“So, what are we going to do with Ianto?” Owen asked.
After they had cleared up at the warehouse, Jack, Gwen and Tosh had gone back to the Hub. Owen had been more than happy to be relieved of his babysitting duties and had greeted them with more enthusiasm than they were normally used from him.
Jack looked up from where they were gathered around Owen’s desk to the conference room where he could see Ianto sitting on the table, swinging his legs back and forth. He looked like a little kid, despite his usual suit. The sight alone showed that this was clearly not their normally composed colleague but an Ianto who had no memory of them and Torchwood.
“We have to bring his memory back somehow,” Tosh said, watching Ianto with a frown. “There has to be some kind of trigger.”
“She is right,” Gwen said. “After you retconed me, Jack, I still had those pictures of the knife Suzie used in my head, and when I saw it for real everything came back. Maybe there’s something we can say or do to bring Ianto’s memories back.”
“But the Lysterian didn’t use retcon,” Jack answered. “He used a mix of hypnosis and telepathy to brainwash Ianto.”
“All the same,” Owen said. “We just need to find the right thing that will trigger his memories.”
“So, what could be the most logical trigger?” Gwen asked. “What is he most likely fixated on?”
“I don’t know,” Tosh said. “A stopwatch maybe?”
Owen snorted. “Already tried that. And besides, it’s not a stopwatch he is fixated on most.”
Everyone turned to look at Jack. “What?” Jack asked.
Owen snorted again. “Well, go on and wake our sleeping beauty up with a kiss, will you.” He gestured in Ianto’s direction.
“This is not a fairy tale. Why do you think I could solve this with a kiss?” Jack was strangely reluctant to go through with Owen’s suggestion. It just didn’t seem right to him to kiss Ianto when he couldn’t remember him and their relationship.
“Now, this is a first! Jack Harkness doesn’t think his kisses are the solution to every problem!” Owen grinned and Jack growled at him.
“Besides,” Gwen said, “it doesn’t work anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Tosh asked.
Gwen shrugged. “Jack kissed him when we found him and Ianto still can’t remember.”
Owen looked at Jack unbelieving. “You mean you already kissed him and he’s still brainwashed? Man, Jack, you’re really losing your edge!”
“What’s that supposed to mean!” Jack asked defensively.
“You’re always bragging about your sexual prowess, but apparently it’s not really worth writing home about if it’s not even waking teaboy out of his hypnosis!” Owen sneered.
Jack narrowed his eyes dangerously. “You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about!” he said. “Apparently this hypnosis-telepathy-thingy of the Lysterian is very strong and not easily broken! That doesn’t mean my kisses do lack in any way! In fact, my kisses are so good, they could revive the dead!”
“Maybe in the past,” Owen snorted. “But not anymore, apparently. You must be getting old.”
“Old!” Jack very visibly bristled, much to the amusement of Tosh and Gwen who were watching the argument between the two men utterly interested.
“I’m not getting old!”
“You can’t die and you don’t age, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get old,” Owen answered smugly. “It’s a mind thing.”
“I. Am. Not. Getting. Old.” Jack pronounced every word carefully between clenched teeth, needing all his strength to restrain himself from punching Owen.
“Oh yeah?” Owen didn’t seem to notice the danger he was in. “Maybe we should let Ianto be the judge of that. Oh wait. He can’t tell us because he doesn’t remember because you just don’t have it anymore.”
“I’m not getting old and I didn’t lose my edge and I’m going to prove it to you!” Jack exclaimed, then turned around and stormed up the stairs to the conference room. “By tomorrow morning Ianto’s memories will be back, and then you’ll have to eat crow!”
The next thing they saw was Jack storming into the conference room, pouncing on a completely surprised Ianto, kissing him almost senseless before dragging him off to his quarters.
Many, many hours later Jack fell back on his bed, completely exhausted. “Ok, I’ll give. I can’t think of anything else that could bring back your memories, and I’ve tried about everything we ever did. I capitulate. Maybe Owen was right,” he gasped.
Ianto, who was lying next to him and just as exhausted, turned his head and looked at Jack. “Really? But you haven’t tried that thing we did when we had to go undercover in that swinger club.”
“Yeah, but where would I get a feather boa and a rubber duck right now – wait a minute! How do you know about that?” Jack turned his head to stare at Ianto incredulously.
Ianto shrugged. “Duh! I was there, remember?”
“But… Does that mean you have your memory back?”
Ianto shrugged again then smiled. “Seems like.”
Jack narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Since when?”
“Well…” Ianto drawled. “Pretty much since shortly after you kissed me in the warehouse.”
“What?” Jack shouted. “But… why didn’t you say anything? Why did you let us believe you couldn’t remember?”
Ianto smirked. “Well, knowing Owen he’s never going to stop teasing me about getting kidnapped for an alien zoo, so I thought I should get some revenge in advance. Besides, it was pretty funny to watch Owen trying to calm down the nervous, scared and unknowing ‘civilian’, especially when Myfanwy came down to greet me when we entered the Hub and I tried to hide behind him. I don’t know who was more agitated – Owen or Myfanwy.”
Jack thought over the mental picture and had to snicker. Ianto was right, that must have been pretty hilarious – he just wished he had been there to watch it. He’d have to take a look at the CCTV footage later. “But still,” he complained nevertheless. “You could have told me! Do you know what I’ve been going through during the last hours?”
“And when should I’ve told you?” Ianto asked. “We were never alone, and the first moment we were you jumped me and didn’t let me get enough air to breathe, let alone talk! And since when are some hours of strenuous sex hardship for you?”
“I didn’t say it was hardship!” Jack defended himself. Hell, why was he the one who had to defend him? “And you could have told me after the first two rounds! We did make a short break then!”
“I could have,” Ianto admitted. “But by then I was curious what else you would come up with.”
Jack glared daggers at Ianto’s mischievous smiling face. “If I could move I would kick you,” he finally said.
“And if I could move I would kill you for shredding my suit. It was my favourite,” Ianto said with a regretful look at the sad remains of his clothes that were spread all over the floor.
“No you won’t,” Jack said and Ianto’s answering smile showed his agreement. For a while they just lay there, still not moving. Then suddenly Ianto said, “You think we will be able to move again anytime this week?”
“God, I hope so,” Jack answered. “Because if not Owen will call me old again.”
“Aw, poor baby,” was all Ianto offered as consolation.