Ianto sat with stunned horror as he finally realised what was happening, looking at his sister sitting in the other chair on the stage with her arms folded and a look of thunder.
"Say it!" Jeremy Kyle prompted, "Tell him Rhiannon."
"Ifan, you need to stop pretending you are all that and a packet of chips. You need to accept our Da was a nobody, you are a nobody and it's OK to be normal. The fake gun I found in your glove box looking for a tissue, hurting your arm and lying that you fell from your bike. You don't have a bike. Hate bikes! Someone clearly roughed you up. All these secret squirrel games have to stop!"
Ianto gripped the chair as Jeremy Kyle turned to the studio audience "And … after the break we ask his gran, the formidable Jenny for her side of the story in his real life!"
It had started like any other day, Jack gone before he woke and Ianto left with that sticky feeling of 'last night sex' and the lingering scent of lust. A cup of coffee and brush of his teeth and he wss stepping out into the street where he saw the van moments before the snatch, pressing the panic button on his phone as he felt the first tendrils of fear.
His last thought as the doors slammed shut was that he hadn't told Jack, hadn't whispered that he loved him yet. Had he? He couldn't remember. Gods. Did he know?
At the Hub Mainframe went mad as Tosh turned to yell up the stairs to Jack's office that the panic button had gone off. They soon had clear CCTV footage of Ianto struggling and taking on one of the men who lay in a howling heap clutching at his groin as four more yanked Ianto into the van. They continued to watch as the injured one lethargically dragged himself in and the van sped off.
"Tosh?" Jack spoke so quietly is might have been a sigh.
"Well … here is the weird thing. It's registered to the downtown BBC offices. Like … the TV studio" she frowned, "One hell of a front."
"Get on it, I want more" Jack was striding for the SUV, "Gwen, with me!"
Owen watched the door close and turned to Tosh, "Do you think she is? On with him."
"No, you know Ianto is" Tosh frowned, "we all know Ianto is even if they like to pretend."
"Dunno" Owen muttered as he turned to look at the door again, "Part-time shags don't count ya know."
"Says the King of them" Tosh muttered to herself as she turned back to her monitors, Owen starting with surprise as he caught the remark and felt the sting.
"Speak to me Tosh" Jack demanded as he drove like a thing possessed, "His phone still active?"
"Yes. Like I said, the studios" she said as she checked again, "Not moving. He's in there."
"Right" Jack grimaced as he took a corner far too fast, "Some weird cover."
Gwen glanced at him with genuine concern as she wondered what the hell they were heading into.
The elderly woman sat defiantly glaring across the distance at Ianto who had loosened his tie and was now sitting back in the chair calmly assessing how the fuck he might get out of this without bloodshed. He was never going to forgive his sister for this one.
"Your poor mother, my lovely girl Morwen … she would be spinning in her grave if she knew you were acting like this" the old woman accused, "Mister Posh Git. Look at the suit. How much did that cost? Hmmm?"
"I have a deal going with a local tailor Nainny" Ianto sighed.
"See? The eye rolling, see?" she pointed her finger at him, "And where is that … that … black girl. Lisa!"
"Nainny, you know she is dead. She died at Canary Warf" Ianto scolded gently and Rhiannon snorted.
"See? Like he was there or something. Ifan you need to stop. You see …" she turned to Jeremy "Was me birthday see? Brought home this model like woman, black as the ace of spades with a short hair do like some… bloody movie star. Like he could get a movie star … obviously some sort of call girl or escort. Spent the entire evening looking down her nose while he ran about like a mad chicken with its head cut off trying to impress her. Apologised. Can you believe it? Apologised for our ribbing and cat calling like we was embarrassing him. God knows how much she cost him just to swan about like they were a couple. Then this terrorist thing happens and he makes out he was there, now she's dead…convenient right? And he's traumatised, sez why he can't' come around all the time. Moved from London to Cardiff to…what'd did he say? Oh yeah … to distance himself. Total lot of gobshite!"
Ianto blinked slowly and counted to ten as he looked out at all the people in the audience, their faces a mixture of horror and disgust. Well. This was going well then.
Rhiannon was on a roll, gaining momentum as Jeremy nodded and showed the right expression of interest "Another thing … he was seen with a man. Out to dinner at a fancy restaurant in a suit like that one … all posh and refined with some man. A handsome one. Looked like a movie star. Like another high priced escort."
"Jack" Ianto said quietly, "That's Jack. He is handsome."
Rhiannon cut in, "Ifan doesn't tell me anything anymore. Da left and he just up sticks and left too. He couldn't wait! Not a word, just gone. Only comes back to look down his nose at me and offer me money like I can't provide for me own children. At least I have them. You know … I sometimes wonder if he's gay. This mystery man and him so secretive."
Jeremy suddenly swung to look at Ianto and grinned, "Well. It seems we have visitors turned up at the back door looking for you. Ladies and Gentlemen … Ifan's boss if here. Welcome Handsome Jack on the Jeremy Kyle show!"
Ianto face palmed as Jack stormed onto the stage and grinned for the cameras, then settled in the chair like this was no big deal.
"Jack" Jeremy said softly, "You are his direct superior, right?"
"Ianto works for me, yes" Jack nodded.
"So … you call him Ianto" Jeremy said, looking confused then at the family on the other side of the stage.
Rhiannon nodded "See? Ifan totally disregards out father's name, given to him …."
"OUR father is a piece of scum that does not deserve my time" Ianto snarled, suddenly losing his control "I hope he rots in prison, hope he fucking rots. If this is about that, if you think this will get me to forgive him for killing Mam, like I might suddenly see the light or something, get a fucking life! No. I told you and told you he can be as sober and repentant as he likes. I will never speak to him again!"
Jack canted his head and smiled some more as Tosh sang in his ear, telling him Ianto's father, Ifan Lewellyan Jones Senior was serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife.
"And you Jack?" Jeremy asked "What do you know of Ifan's other life?"
"Ianto is a derivative if Ifan, like Billy for William. If he chooses to use that version, I would rather use that. Names are important and to me … he is Ianto" Jack finally said calmly, "I know more about Ianto than you do, clearly. He is a valued member of my team, I knew Lisa and she indeed worked with him and he loved her dearly. Her death shook him. She was very tall, beautiful and almost Amazonian in her stance."
"So … Lisa was real" Jeremy asked.
"Yes. She and Ianto worked in the London office at Canary Warf but then it was destroyed in the terrorist attacks, Lisa killed while at work and Ianto injured but able to save others at the scene, he came to Cardiff. As I knew him it was no stretch to simply transfer his positing to the Cardiff Tourist Centre." Jack smiled some more and Jeremy found himself smiling back. "Ianto doesn't talk about his past, it is not something he does. Talk about himself. It is not that he is embarrassed or anything, more the fact it doesn't come up. Ianto is a private person and since his near death experience he focuses on living. Not looking back."
"Thank you Jack" Ianto said softly.
"Ifan!" Jenny scolded, "You mean to tell me that someone who stands behind a counter giving out maps wears a suit of that expensive cut? My late husband .. your Poppy … was a master tailor. I know how much you are wearing there!"
"He does wear them for work" Jack turned to look directly at her, "He wears them for me. I like him in a suit. Sexy. I think I might have purchased this one for his Birthday. Got him two complete sets. Those waistcoats are so cute."
Silence as her cheeks sucked in and Jack decided he was enjoying this, now leaning back like Ianto was to lace his hand in Ianto's "We are a …a…team. I guess the term 'shagging the boss' comes into play."
"Rhiannon, this is my lover Jack. He is not a gigolo, not a call boy, not a model. He is my boss." Ianto said as he waved the spare hand, not really caring at this point as he tried to work out how the hell he was going to Retcon the entire bloody audience as well as staff.
Jeremy shrugged and turned to the audience, "Well? What do you think. Hands up who thinks he is living in a fantasy world like his family thinks?"
Three hands go up and Ianto recognises Johnny the Fat Bastard his sister is married to, her neighbour Norma with the four snotty children and the old man who has always lived at the corner of the estate Mister Gordon. Really? All they could scrape up for this intervention thing?
"Hands up who thinks Ifan…sorry…Ianto is happy and content in a real life in Cardiff?"
Many hands rose and Ianto felt a stab of satisfaction. Take that!
"Can I just ask … what are we doing here?" Jack cut the silence, "I mean … You basically kidnap Ianto on his way to work, drag him down here to the studios to …what…embarrass him for his dress sense? His choice in career? If this is the pilot episode, I am not sure you will get the finding for this buddy. If it is about us being in a homosexual relationship then … um … you might have ratings drop. Apparently it is sort of accepted these days."
Jeremy looked at the man again, Ianto's grandmother deciding to speak "Look here mister…"
"Captain" Ianto smiled at her, "Captain Harkness lovely lady. I am a retired air force captain and still have the title. Our boss likes to call me Cappy when I visit. Cheeky one that Lizzy."
"Stop it" Ianto hissed, "I told you, stop called Lilibet that, you know this might air and I will have to apologise to her again. There are only so much scones and sandwitches I can consume at that place while sitting with a bloody corgi on my knee."
"Aw, come on. She loves you. Remember last time you were there? She spent the entire afternoon with you talking about horses, I had no idea you knew so much about them" Jack and Ianto were facing one another having a conversation like they were the only to people in the room, "Tiger, is that a new tie?"
"Well … yes Cariad" Ianto blushed softly as Jack reached out to hook the deep burgundy tie from the suit's waistcoat, the pink shirt and gunmetal grey woollen suit looking like it was painted on, so swish and debonair.
"Did I buy this tie?"
"A gift form Terbid, remember? We got that little infestation sorted for him … he was most excited. Three new suits even as I told him I had no room left in me wardrobe with all his gifts!" Ianto canted his head and his face softened as he reached out "You have egg on your collar again, what am I going to do with you, eh?"
Jack smiled back, "Ooops?"
"I just starched this shirt last night, look at that collar. Goodness sakes Sir!"
"Er … excuse me … hello?"
They turned to find Jeremy kneeling beside them on the stage … "So … let me see here .. .you are in a relationship with your boss, work for the tourist board and…."
Ianto looked a Jack with horror as he realised Jack was about to have some fun, sighing as Jack rose to his full height and addressed the audience with a flurry of that stage presence he sometimes showed. Should have been a bloody actor this one.
"I am Captain Jack Harkness. His boss and I answer only to the Boss of the Firm, Lizzy. Ianto here is my PA, she really likes him and he seems able to cover my arse in many ways. Likes my arse too, which is nice. We are in a relationship, I more or less live with him. Spend four or five nights a week at his. He is kind, honest and works damn hard to keep you all safe form the threat of invasion be it foreign or domestic. We are sort of like … MI6 or… 7. Tiger? 7? And as for you Rhiannon Davies, bringing him here to scold about living a double life … best ask your Johnny there in the audience about the Barmaid at the Pig n' Whistle and the two month old baby with his piggy nose eh?"
The place exploded and Jack turned to Ianto with glee, "come on. Let's boogie!"
"What the hell did you do" Ianto snarled as Jack dragged him from the stage, Gwen brushing past with a mask on and a look of glee to reset the scene.
"Tosh? You got it love?" Jack asked as he shoved Ianto into the SUV. "The new Retcon Gas deployed? Footage?"
"Yes, everything wiped, it will be put down to the virus from a rival company. We have just started a war between studios but totally worth it. Gwen is resetting the scene, when they all wake from the suspected gas leak all they will remember is Johnny and Rhiannon there to have a reveal about the barmaid and baby."
"Good find that" Jack snorted, "Cheeky Johnny the Fat Bastard, eh?"
"Poor Rhia" Ianto sighed to himself, risking a small smile of glee.
"Is Ianto OK?"
Ianto had been placing in his earwig and answered, "Ianto is well pissed, thanks for asking Blossom."
She giggled as the SUV roared off, Owen passing them in the second SUV at the lights, waving merrily as he headed back from the studios with Gwen, the gas canisters he had deployed doing their work and now time was up. Time was of the essence, Jack knew Ianto was ready to fucking kill something and they screeched to a halt, the doors flying open as Ianto exploded from the vehicle to race for the beach, sinking onto the pebbles and scream and curse at the waves.
Jack let him, still so amused by the entire episode.
Would have been a cracker.
"Tosh? Can you send a copy to my files?"
"Did my arse look big on TV? They say the camera adds five pounds."
"Epic, took the entire screen! Was like a freight train coming at me!"
Jack laughed happily as Ianto rose to now throw ricks at the water with more temper than the poor water deserved. This tantrum was not over yet.
He pondered fish and chips.